WASHINGTON, November 21, 2014 — Will Republicans play into President Obama’s hands and let him outwit them again?
Newton’s Third Law is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Obama may be attempting to induce Republicans to react in ways advantageous to him. According to Marc Theissen, speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and noted columnist, Obama’s speech last night was not about fixing immigration, but about politics.
Theissen says that the speech was about “the provoking of Republicans and invigorating a base that all but abandoned him in the 2016 mid term elections.” Republican reaction may not be a problem Obama has to deal with because of his immigration orders, but an intended result.
So will Republicans rise to the bait and charge into the melee heads down and with tunnel vision or will they step-back, assess the field, and throw a hail-mary pass on immigration?
Political pundit Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator and physician says that Obama is a skilled politician and that his policy announcement is “audacious,” making “chumps” out of anyone who has or is attempting to enter the U.S. legally. Krauthammer warns that Obama’s actions will open the borders, letting dangerous people enter almost unchecked. He also calls out the President for citing scripture to justify acting without Congress.
If he felt so strongly about the issue why did he delay announcing this until after he got past the (2014) election, because he knew if he announced it earlier, and after all it is supposed to be so urgent, it would have damaged the Democrats’ chances in the election. Why did he not do this before the 2012 election? Because he did not want to jeopardize his own chance for reelection. But more importantly, if he feels so strongly about this, and scripture dictates this ought to be done, why did he do nothing in 2009, 2010 when he had control of the White House, the House and the Senate and he could have done this legally.
The Republican response to Obama’s immigration plan by fiat — Latin for “let it be done” — has been similar. Obama could have waited for the new Congress that will be sworn in on January 6. He might have found an invigorated group willing to work with him, new faces and new ideas.
America should recognize that Obama is disingenuous in pushing this agenda forward now, after six years of inaction, including years when his party could have done it alone, if only he had asked.
Many of the complaints about Obama’s plans are not about their substance, or that immigration reform is unnecessary, but that Obama has chosen to evade our laws to take the easy route to getting what he wants, when he wants it.
The timing, as Krauthammer points out, is not so much for the benefit of Hispanics already in the U.S., but to goad a response from Republicans that he feels will upset America more than his faux amnesty.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, currently one of the lead Republican candidates for president in 2016 says Obama’s actions are ill-advised and will not lead to a permanent solution to the immigration crisis.
That solution should come from Congress.
“President Obama has once again put divisive and manipulative politics before the sober leadership and sound laws required of an exceptional nation,” Bush said in a statement. “It is time for Republican leaders in Congress to act. We must demonstrate to Americans we are the party that will tackle serious challenges and build broad-based consensus to achieve meaningful reforms for our citizens and our future.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a strong proponent of immigration reform, also criticizes what many see as an unlawful action. He says Obama’s actions will work against a strong and permanent immigration policy that will benefit the nation.
“We need immigration reform. But the right way to do it is to first bring illegal immigration under control by securing the borders and enforcing the laws, then modernizing our legal immigration system,” Rubio said in a statement. “After we do these things, we will eventually have to deal with those here illegally in a reasonable but responsible way. The President’s actions now make all of this harder and are unfair to people in our immigration system who are doing things the right way.”
Attorneys general in the states of Texas and Oklahoma have announce they will be preparing lawsuits to challenge Obama’s attempt to bypass Congress by creating new immigration policy laws.
Boehner has previously said of the suits, “It’s not about Republicans versus Democrats. This is about the legislative branch that’s being disadvantaged by the executive branch. And it’s not about executive actions. Every president does executive orders,”
Boehner says Obama “is basically rewriting law to make it fit his own needs.”
If Boehner and Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell can keep Republicans’ response to the legalities of Obama’s actions and move forward on passing immigration reform, working with the President’s plan as outlined last night — that includes the top concerns of Americans, namely securing the border going forward and ensuring that the process is fair to Americans and those already in line for citizenship — they could create a reaction that would put a Republican in the White House in 2016.
Or they can react to the President’s actions with much gnashing of teeth and stomping of feet and do just what the President and Democrats hope they will do.
Hopefully they will get out the GPS and take the highroad.