The GOP is promising to “swiftly counter Obama’s immigration moves“. Senator Mitch McConnell even gave a speech today and declared that Obama would regret ignoring the wishes of the American people.
McConnell said “We’re considering a variety of options”, which is a reference to shutting down the government or impeaching Obama.
According to the NY Times a steady stream of Republicans are condemning Obama for what they expect him to announce. Senator John Cornyn accused the president of “provoking a constitutional crisis” that would be “deeply harmful to the future of our democracy”. Rep Steve King said that Obama was “throwing this nation into a crisis”. And Senator Tom Coburn warned of “violent reactions” from people who disagree with Obama, saying “the country’s going to go nuts” and we could see “instances of anarchy [and] violence”. Is he talking about a lynching?
They don’t even know exactly what he is going to announce, but whatever it will be, they condemn it and will act quickly to reverse it, most likely by threatening to shut down the government. And if that doesn’t work, by impeaching Obama.
They can’t even wait for him to make the announcement, they are practically salivating.
UPDATE: What I find truly ironic about this whole thing is that the reason why the two big examples of executive action to allow illegal immigrants to stay here were done by Reagan and Bush I is that big business wanted cheap labor. Republicans were behind most efforts at immigration reform. Democrats were traditionally against this because labor unions didn’t want cheap illegal labor undercutting wages. Now things have flipped entirely.
UPDATE 2: Breitbart and soon to be former Rep Michele Bachmann are screaming that the Republican leadership has decided to not do anything to fight Obama’s executive action on immigration. The funniest part is that Bachmann is asking for people to “melt the phone lines” of Congress, asking them to “defund executive amnesty”. No word yet on how you defund an executive action that doesn’t prosecute or deport people. How do you defund something that not only doesn’t cost anything, but actually saves money?
Thoughtful and deeply concerned GOP lawmakers spent Obama’s entire first term not passing effective immigration legislation. They then spent the first half of his second term NOT passing effective immigration legislation. And still, near the beginning of the last two years of Obama’s second term, the one option still NOT among the variety being considered by thoughtful GOP lawmakers is passing effective immigration legislation.
But, if Obama does anything to remedy the situation, GOP lawmakers may not work with him to pass effective immigration legislation… or work with him to do anything else.
This latest from the GOP does not even rise to the level of an empty threat, as the president well knows. The truth is that Obama, with nothing left to lose now that the senate failed to approve Keystone and the Landrieu re-election is out of his hands, is free to govern right up to the bounds set by our constitution.
This could shape up to be a very interesting two more years.
Well, despite all their obstructionist and counterproductive behavior throughout Obama’s entire administration, Republicans were rewarded at the polls a few weeks ago, so as far as they’re concerned their strategy has been a great success. Why change now?
Ironically, universal disgust with Congress has led to historic levels of apathy, which in turn led to the worst voter turnout in 75 years, exactly what Republicans want. They may never win the White House again in our lifetime, but so what? They’re getting exactly what they want, which is to block or demonize anything Obama does, play to their donor base and racist elements, and govern through passive aggression.
They also hold most of the state legislatures and governerships now, which is where a lot of policy is made, often behind the scenes. Notice, for example, how some states have all but eliminated Row v. Wade by placing excessive regulations and restrictions on abortion clinics. Many neighboring states are in a race to the bottom, promising little or no corporate taxes for ten years or more in return for locating there, which plays into the Republican philosophy of rock bottom, regressive, loophole laden tax rates. Meanwhile, our infrastructure continues to crumble. By also somehow convincing many that the immigration problem is all Obama’s fault, they even managed to attract more of the Latino vote this time. Go figure.
So it’s bound to be business as usual going forward and it’s no stretch to predict the next two years will be a redux of the previous six. Obama must know by now that most anything he can accomplish from here on, immigration or whatever, will be through executive authority, threats of impeachment or lawsuits be damned. What the hell else CAN he do?
Ralph is exactly right. The GOP isn’t anti-government per se. They are anti-federal government. They favor states’ rights and want to eliminate the federal government’s ability to intervene in the states. They oppose Roe v. Wade because it takes away states’ rights to ban abortions. They opposed the Voting Rights Act because it took away states’ rights to disenfranchise voters they didn’t like. They oppose the EPA because it interferes with states’ abilities to grant boondoggles to lure businesses from one state to another. They oppose just about everything the federal government does because it places restrictions on what the states can do.
And there’s the rub. Gridlock isn’t about preventing both parties from enacting their agenda. Gridlock at the federal level IS the GOP’s agenda. Gridlock at the federal level means the federal government cannot accomplish anything, which means it cannot interfere with states’ rights to self-govern. Gridlock at the federal level is a complete and total victory for the GOP agenda, because it allows states to pass the repressive anti-abortion, voter disenfranchisement, anti-environmental regulation, anti-LGBTQ policies at the state and local levels.
It doesn’t matter if the GOP never wins a presidential election. And it actually doesn’t matter if they have a majority in the Senate. If they have a majority in the House and they can filibuster everything in the Senate like they have been doing for the past 4 years, they’ve won. This election wasn’t a turning point of any kind, and absolutely nothing will change at the federal level. The GOP won the entire game a long time ago, but Democrats never realized it.
If I knew someone on the President’s staff, I would send them a copy of Uncle Remus. The Br’er Rabbit strategy (“Oh, PLEASE don’t throw me in the briar patch!”) is custom-made for this stupid situation.
Obama probably should have stood up last night and said, “If this Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, I will veto it.”
Michael – couldn’t agree with you more.
Westmoon – not sure how Obama saying that would improve his position. He finally figured out Congress won’t pass anything of the sort anytime in his Administration, so is going pre-emptive, and maybe even sticking it in their faces a little by doing it early, before the next Congress is seated. I mean, what the hell, they’re going to keep hammering him from now all the way into retirement anyway.
Ralph, Westomoon’s mention of Br’er Rabbit is referring basically to reverse psychology. If Obama acts like he doesn’t want comprehensive immigration reform, the GOP will give it to him.