The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Barack Obama is working as hard as he can to create a wedge issue that will hurt his opposition and rally the public behind him. It won't work, unless the GOP falls into the trap he has set.

This president thinks that by acting in the grey area that borders on unconstitutional, he can somehow burnish his legacy of repeated failures, dishonesty, and bad decisions.  He is set to announce unilateral "executive actions" that actually accomplish nothing other than reinforcing the status quo. His actions provide a symbolic victory for progressives and the illegal aliens they champion, but that's about all they do.

Even pro-Obama media like The Washington Post are a bit queasy with this course of action:
DEMOCRATS URGING President Obama to “go big” in his executive order on immigration might pause to consider the following scenario:

It is 2017. Newly elected President Ted Cruz (R) insists he has won a mandate to repeal Obamacare. The Senate, narrowly back in Democratic hands, disagrees. Mr. Cruz instructs the Internal Revenue Service not to collect a fine from anyone who opts out of the individual mandate to buy health insurance, thereby neutering a key element of the program. It is a matter of prosecutorial discretion, Mr. Cruz explains; tax cheats are defrauding the government of billions, and he wants the IRS to concentrate on them. Of course, he is willing to modify his order as soon as Congress agrees to fix what he considers a “broken” health system.

That is not a perfect analogy to Mr. Obama’s proposed action on immigration. But it captures the unilateral spirit that Mr. Obama seems to have embraced since Republicans swept to victory in the midterm elections. He is vowing to go it alone on immigration. On Iran, he is reportedly designing an agreement that he need not bring to Congress. He already has gone that route on climate change with China.
Unlike far too many progressives who applaud Obama's actions, the WaPo realizes that this president is setting a precedent that is both dangerous and destructive. Of course, Obama cares little about that—it's all about him and his warped sense of politics. In Obama's world, the GOP is the enemy (unlike Iran, who is a partner to be negotiated with!) and must be humiliated and crushed at every opportunity. In Obama's world, conservative ideas aren't only wrong, they're immoral because the president and his supporters have a monopoly on what is right, what is just, and what the country truly needs.

This won't change, but the behavior of the GOP must. They cannot and should not take the bait and react in the way that Obama wants.

On the day that Obama acts unilaterally, a single statement from the new Speaker and Majority leader might take the following form:
The president has acted unilaterally in a way that will affect the status of millions of aliens who entered the United States illegally. In the main, these illegal aliens have not been hounded by the authorities or deported to their native lands. As the U.S. Constitution dictates, the Congress needs to pass legislation that will address their status, and we are committed to do so. Unfortunately, the president, rather than supporting our efforts though bi-partisan reasoned negotiation, has chosen confrontation. When our Democratic friends controlled both house of congress in 2009 and 2010, Barack Obama seemed uninterested in passing immigration legislation. He waited two years and did nothing. Now, in a fit of impatience, he has decided to act unilaterally. The problem is, his executive action is constitutionally questionable.

Barack Obama's actions affect the lives of tens of millions of American citizens who live in border states. Those citizens and the remainder of US taxpayers will be required to fund the additional services to support Obama's dictates. We believe that the president has violated the spirit of the US Constitution. He has exceeded his authority in a manner that is unprecedented.

As the new leaders of the Congress, we will work to pass legislation that help the existing citizens of the United States who have been forgotten under the leadership of this president. We will focus on the economy, on tax reform, on energy and ultimately on immigration. We will not be goaded into action by a renegade executive, nor will our focus be changed.
We deeply regret that Barack Obama has chosen to take this unilateral action. When the history of this presidency is written, it will note this action as a failure of judgement and a failure of leadership.
The GOP majority congress should then go about its business—passing bi-partisan legislation and putting it on Barack Obama's desk. Force him to veto bill after bill, month after month. Eventually, the more moderate Democrats may become fed up, recognizing that it's the president, not the GOP, that is throwing a tantrum. When and if that happens, one or more of his vetoes will be overridden and the humiliation of a failed presidency will be complete.