The ubiquitous voice of the fanatical right, Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzRight renews push for term limits as Trump takes power Dissenting nominees give hope to GOP skeptics of Trump UN leader willing to meet lawmakers amid push to cut funding MORE (R-Texas), falls into this category. Sen. Marco RubioMarco Rubio19 companies that Trump has tweeted about Ex-Dem gov: I would have picked Giuliani over Tillerson Right renews push for term limits as Trump takes power MORE (R-Fla.) seeks to navigate this divide.
Both breeds of GOP cicadas are in full-throated scream trying to bring down Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonLaura Ingraham mulling Senate run: report 19 companies that Trump has tweeted about Democrats wed themselves to abortion at their electoral peril MORE over Benghazi, which will ultimately result in another decade or two of GOP hibernation until President Hillary Clinton concludes her second term, after President Obama concludes his two terms.
Immigration reform is quite another matter: The stakes are enormous. If conservative fanatics sabotage immigration reform, the triumph of the right will be devastating for Republicans for many elections to come as Hispanics will turn away from the GOP for a generation.
If this happens, the right will rejoice and Democrats will shed crocodile tears. Rubio's problem is the contradiction between what it takes to win a Republican nomination for president, with a strong rightist GOP base, and what it takes to win a general election, which requires reaching out to the center and winning at least an increased number of Hispanic votes. Immigration will offer the truest test of the future of the GOP and the level of presidential stature for Rubio.
I have a hunch that before this is done, the rightest Republican cicadas will outshout and intimidate the more reasonable victory-starved GOP cicadas. I could be wrong, and hope I am.
I will make one prediction. If Rubio succeeds in moving his party toward moderation on immigration, the right will rage against Rubio at first, until polls show that he may be the only Republican who can run a strong race against Hillary Clinton if she runs for president. In the meantime, official Washington should brace for the voice of the cicadas, on the street and among Republicans in Congress.