Forget the fact that President Obama hasn’t attempted to put forward any meaningful immigration reform plan, and barely pushed for the DREAM Act. At La Raza today, the president placed the blame for his lack of progress solely on Republicans in Congress:
President Obama on Monday lamented the bitterly partisan nature of contemporary Congress, stating that when it comes to working with Republicans on immigration issues, “I need a dance partner… and the floor is empty.” …
“Right now dealing with Congress… Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting – not just on immigration reform,” Mr. Obama said, laughing, as cries of “Yes you can!” came from the audience.
This transparently political finger-pointing received cheers from the La Raza audience, but it’s unlikely to win over serious immigration reform advocates, who are incensed the president has made almost no effort to live up to his campaign promises. Now that Obama needs the Latino votes, he’s trying to obscure his broken immigration vows by demonizing Republicans, but many prominent Hispanic leaders aren’t falling for it.
After Obama skipped the the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference last month, Rep. Guitierrez surmised that it was because “blaming Republicans for their intransigence on immigration reform and not addressing what the president’s own administration is doing to immigrants would not wash” with that crowd. Apparently, it plays better with the La Raza audience.
Skapegoating Republican “intransigence” is completely dishonest, because Obama hasn’t made any serious effort to work with the GOP on a compromise, and never even made a concerted push for immigration reform when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.
His excuses also contradict his notorious campaign promise to fight for immigration reform even “when it becomes politically unpopular,” a promise he made at the La Raza conference in 2008:
Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for a president who won’t walk away from something as important as comprehensive reform when it becomes politically unpopular. And that’s the commitment I’m making to you. I marched with you in the streets of Chicago. I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as president.
His first year as president? Obama hasn’t even made it his top priority during his first term. Now that he’s up for reelection, he expects the Hispanic community to believe he’ll get to it next time. Why they would trust him now is anybody’s guess.