David Webb: GOP field needs more Breitbart, less Trump

David Webb: GOP field needs more Breitbart, less Trump
© Getty Images

Take a breath before you explode, if you’re a Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE supporter. I have nothing against The Donald and the energy he has brought to the presidential primary process. 

Andrew Breitbart was the happy warrior. He firmly believed in having more voices, not less, and enjoyed engaging in debate. Even those who hated him for the most part would listen to him. Breitbart could be in your face, as he often was with the institutional leftists, which he strove to remove from the leadership stage (as I and others continue to do). 


The same could be said for Trump, to some degree, but Breitbart wins on this point, thanks to his use of sarcasm, humor and the progressive left’s Saul Alinsky messaging tactics of reject, refute and repeat.

Trump’s “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” should have been stated first the way he later clarified it. The party front-runner is right that there needs to be a better system in place before any more refugees are allowed into the country. Security is about process and vetting, not a numbers game. But it’s become a common pattern for Trump to be brash and bombastic, then eventually add nuance and clarify. 

Naturally, as is in the case in politics, the other candidates pounced with their immediate responses. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said via Twitter, “Donald Trump is unhinged … His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious.”

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, stated, “Donald Trump for example’s been saying we’re going to use a religious test and ban people from coming into this country. It’s a violation of our Constitution, but it also undermines the character of our nation. We stand for religious liberty.” 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stated, “I do not agree with his proposals. I do not think it is the right solution.” He also used the opportunity to highlight his bill to limit the acceptance of Syrian refugees: “The right solution I believe is the legislation that I’ve introduced.”

The GOP candidates should do more than just respond with 140-character Twitter statements or punch lines. They need a plan for how they would improve the vetting of refugees from anywhere and how they would fix the holes in the visa system that allowed Muslim terrorist Tashfeen Malik, who came in on a visa, and her American husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, to murder 14 Americans in San Bernardino, Calif. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and other Muslim terrorist groups are clear in their intent and actions: They will use the refugee and visa systems to send over terrorists if they can. 

Fiorina is somewhat wrong, by the way, when she says Trump’s plan would be a direct violation of the Constitution. The Constitution does not take on the refugee issue but does establish the supremacy of the federal government. See the interpretation of Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 3 and 4, and the 1941 decision in Hines vs. Davidowitz on the conflict between federal and state jurisdiction. President Obama is also wrong when he speaks about religious tests. There is precedent of a religious test in the 1990 law known as the Lautenberg Amendment, which establishes religious priority based on circumstances. Obama reauthorized the law a year ago. 

One of the failures of candidates in primaries — especially this GOP field — is to not focus on those outside the Republican base. There are not enough Republicans, or any group of supporters, for any one candidate at this time capable of electing him or her president.

There’s talk of a brokered convention and a possibility of a fractured Republican Party. No one knows for sure whether it will or will not happen. This early in the game — and with a new political dynamic rarely ever seen — no one knows who the nominee will be. 

There is a GOP debate just around the corner, in Las Vegas, and what has at times been somewhat of a political clown show needs to become a serious and thoughtful approach to the multiple and sometimes overlapping issues facing the nation, from Main Street to Wall Street, inside and outside of our borders. 

The candidates need a little bit more drama, but with an angle more toward Breitbart than Trump. While there can be only one Donald Trump and one Andrew Breitbart, the political mad scientist in all of us wants to take the best elements from the two and others to make a better candidate. This is also called learning from your opponents and the circumstances, adapting and evolving. 

By the way, the need for more Breitbart, less Trump applies to the entire Republican Party, elected or not. Take heed.  

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox News contributor and has appeared frequently on television as a commentator. Webb co-founded TeaParty365 in New York City and is a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.