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.