To employ a sorely misused Washington metaphor, President Obama has just used the “nuclear option”, in the minds of the extreme Right anyway, by granting amnesty to some five million “Dreamers” and their undocumented parents, aunts, uncles and other relatives. You will not find me banging the anti immigrant drum but we may have a Constitutional crisis, no matter what side of the partisan isle you call your adopted ideological home. On November 20th, in a speech totally ignored by the major networks in favor of sweeps week advertising dollars;
<strong>Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly five million people in the United States illegally from deportation and focus on enforcement on felons, not families.”
The quote is borrowed from Julie Pace of the Associated Press. (November 21) As Republicans bit cleanly through their car bumpers in a denture shattering rage, Obama coolly ticked off a list of actions that will secure votes from the fastest growing minority group in the country. No crystal ball is required to read the demographic waters of the Big Muddy flowing inside the D.C. Beltway. The United States is becoming a majority Hispanic nation and within two or three decades, we will be a majority Hispanic nation. That is why Obama has ignored the newly minted GOP obstructionist majority that won’t even sit their wide-loads down inside the newly swept out House until January. Most of the ruling elite is made up of white, bought off males, who will not accept their coming irrelevance without a tantrum or three. As Congress ignores encroaching demographics and attempts to destroy the Executive Branch so long as it is occupied by a Democrat, it’s penchant for ignoring its oversight responsibilities has allowed secrecy which is comic in scope. The video below makes this all too clear.
After years of believing that the bully pulpit was a trendy drink in Georgetown watering holes, Obama is finally getting the hang of being a one man branch of government with a sharp elbow on each arm. He is finally throwing them around and Boehner and McConnell are utterly stumped. On Thursday night, the President announced that about 4.1 million undocumented people, whose children are citizens, will be protected from deportation while being made eligible for work permits if they meet certain requirements. Obama announced that minors brought here illegally as children would no longer have to fear deportation. He would deport fewer parents of U.S. citizens and fewer legal permanent residents who have been here less that five years. Why a legal permanent resident would have to worry at all is an obvious mystery to me.
The Secure Communities Program would be scuttled in favor of a new entity called, The Priority Enforcement Program. The latter would apply a finer toothed comb compared to the dragnet that was the former program. As those now living in the shadows here celebrate, they shouldn’t forget that Obama has deported more people than any prior President and that hundreds of thousands, many very young children, now sit in semi permanent detention. Conditions in many of these places are substandard, they divide families as a matter of course and many inmates cannot get access to legal representation while they sit locked away, out of sight and mind. Is Obama trying to assuage a guilty Executive conscience? Is he seeking to lock up the next election for the Democrats or is he putting the GOP in the impossible position of opposing immigrants and immigration at their own political peril? Regardless, the right wing strategy of doing nothing as official policy may have finally caught up with them.
As to the Constitutional crisis I mentioned earlier, the question is this; When the Congress will not discharge its duties, such as funding the government and other boilerplate concerns, who is left to act and who should act? Should the President sit by indefinitely until the Congress produces a bill and brings it to a vote or should he fill the vacuum of leadership as others have done? Teddy Roosevelt ruled by force of his personality and blew around Congress routinely. He once said;
“A council of war never fights in a crisis and the duty of a leader is to lead.”
TR’s fifth cousin, FDR, inched an isolationist country into World War ll. Had he not done so, the world map would have a Teutonic tinge about now. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was the greatest Bully Pulpit move in history but it was only a prelude to the bruising fight that brought about the 13th Amendment. In short, the Congress of Lincoln’s time crafted a bill and passed it, rendering the Proclamation obsolete, in practical terms anyway. Without Lincoln’s decree, do you really think that slavery would have been abolished when it was? The Executive Order is highly motivating for your average do nothing Congress.
Ignoring for a minute that today’s GOP can only obstruct and not lead, suppose for a moment that Boehner and McConnell were rational men. They would debate, produce bills, convince the President to sign them and do so in good faith. Doing this would make the Congress the separate and co-equal branch it was meant to be. Since it is not, who is there to fill the breach? Might he reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? If the public good was of even glancing concern to the American oligarchy, a balance between three branches of government might be possible. Between the billionaires pulling the strings, their puppets in Congress dancing at the ends of them and with the Supreme Court making laws instead of interpreting them, there are no honest brokers.
That said, Obama has clearly empowered and enshrined a burgeoning silent majority of voting bloc power. It will emerge in 2016 and make for the ballot boxes soon enough and when that time comes, the remains of the GOP will be stuffed and put on display at the future Museum of White Male Privilege for the entertainment of the non-white masses. Patrons will be provided sunglasses to break the glare coming off those expertly preserved Caucasian hides. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop on the way out.
You won’t believe what you’ll find on sale.