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The Day After—for Obama and the Right

The president’s impending decision to act unilaterally to regularize the presence of 5 million illegals in the United States provoked several days of almost incredulous outrage on the Right, along with charges that these actions would basically provoke a Constitutional crisis.  Now that it’s happened, it’s become a political matter that will have profound political ramifications, and no one knows what those are going to be. Obama is flying blind. And so are Republicans and conservatives. We’re in a new political moment, and the fallout will take a long time to come clear. The truth is, though, that Obama has a history of comically misjudging just how much the American people are with him, and how angry they will get at his rivals for attempting to stymie him. He may be wrong again. The White House is banking on the fact that majorities in the polls support more open immigration policies than the Republican party does. But what’s interesting to me is that those polls suggest the American people believe in setting up a “path to citizenship.” This new policy is not that. Instead, it creates a new kind of status for people who have been here illegally for more than five years. The two are very far from the same thing, and there’s a very real question whether this new system will seem a fair process to the American people or rather an arbitrary act of line-drawing. Nor is there any real support for the president’s deep conviction that, in general, the public is with him, the source of his bizarre evident certainty that the two-thirds of the American voting population that did not vote is on his side. In fact, polling after the election suggests the American people want policy in general to be set by Congress rather than Obama, and it’s not even close; in Gallup, the pro-GOP margin is 17 points. He is sure to have his vanity assuaged over the next couple of weeks by the thrilled coverage of his action by the editorial pages he loves and the ideological reporters and bloggers he relies on. His bubble is very thick and it may not be penetrated by the news that ordinary Americans have been made uneasy by what he has done. That said,  it’s interesting to note that the day after the president’s speech, the Right feels unsure, unsteady, and even a little depressed. Perhaps that’s because, after three years of talking about it, Obama has essentially called his own bluff. He began with the “we can’t wait” and “I’ll act because Congress won’t” lines in the wake of the fiscal-cliff showdown in the summer of 2011, but it was mostly just talk until last night. I think people on the Right thought Obama was a paper tiger, and that he would be even more of one in the wake of his party’s swamping on election day. Obama has begun a victory lap, going to Las Vegas today to accept the thanks of a grateful Hispanic public. Again, he has a bad habit of thinking he’s winning when he’s actually losing. That is really not the GOP’s problem.



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6 Responses to “The Day After—for Obama and the Right”

  1. DAVID THOMSON says:

    Obama is still black and white race guilt remains alive and well in the United States. Republicans must therefore subtly—and truthfully tell white, Asian Americans, and nuclear family Hispanics that Democrat elites perceive them as second class citizens. They supposedly deserve to be harmed. The present Democratic party is an anti-white political institution.

  2. ERIC SCHUMANN says:

    Obama wins if the GOP acquiesces in his lawless act. And if they do not use the tools at their disposal – primarily, the power of the purse – they have acquiesced. To charge the President with violating his oath of office and degrading our system of government on the one hand, and on the other to fret about getting some bad press if they take action in response that might lead the President (or Harry Reid) to choose to shut the government down, is incongruous and frankly silly. Is it timidity, or cynicism? The GOP leadership supports amnesty, so I’m voting the latter.

    • DAVID THOMSON says:

      We don’t live in a fair world. Most Americans don’t pay attention to politics. It bores them to death. However, they will get enraged if the government is shut down—and harms them in any way. The Republicans will get blamed, and might pay a terrible political price. Did somebody promise you rose garden? Well, they lied.

  3. EPHRAIM FUCHS says:

    Obama’s actions should be viewed as a blessing in disguise for the Republican party. If Obama can get away with this executive action, what’s to stop the Republican president in 2017 (yes, it will be a Republican) from issuing executive actions declaring the non-enforcement of the individual and employer mandates of Obamacare and any penalties against insurance companies who offer non-compliant health insurance plans? These actions would be popular with the American people and would essentially gut the law. I’ll take that in a trade any day.

  4. ROMAN SZEREMETA says:

    Catch the straw man in the Presidents argument for his Executive Action: “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”
    Nobody has suggested mass deportations but many have pointed out that legalising the illegals will embolden further illegals.

    • WILLIAM CARROLL says:

      I’ll support mass deportations any day of the week. But I’m just a stickler about lawbreakers who break the law and flaunt it in my face. Let ICE start by hitting all the Lowe’s and Home Depots every weekend. This “Living in the shadows” BS is right up there with “Islam is a religion of peace”.




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