No need to mince words here. Starting with immigration reform President Obama must do what is best for the country and the people who live here and not give a fuck what the Republicans, still very much led by the Tea Party, think about it. After being stymied for six long years by a Congress that did not want the first black President to have a legacy of any kind, he must now give it back to them in a big way. There is nothing to lose, no Republican lite Democrats to protect. After Obama was elected twice, by landslide electoral college victories, Republicans refused to admit there was any mandate, even any legitimacy to his victories. Now Obama must tell them loud and clear that he feels the exact same way about their victory.
Immigration reform is a no lose deal for Obama and the Democrats. First of all it’s the right thing to do. It will prevent 5 million people who live and work here, have families here, from being deported. It will also cement the Latino vote in 2016 and the Republicans have little chance of winning without a decent chunk of the Latino vote. As the Republicans complain and talk about impeachment, this will only make Latinos hate them even more than they already do. Any attempt to impeach Obama for something totally lawful and correct, will further destroy Republicans just as the impeachment of Bill Clinton did.
So there really is no downside to Obama acting by executive action on Immigration. As I had mentioned in my last column, the next two years must be executive orders and veto’s and that’s it. There is no negotiating to do with Republicans, not anymore. Been there for six years, done that for six years. You can’t negotiate with neanderthals. They don’t have the brains nor the heart to do what is right for the American people that are not in the top one percent. On the Keystone pipeline Obama must use his veto pen. Obama must show that America will take the lead on global warming. Funny how a party that hasn’t cared one bit about creating jobs, all of a sudden cares about a thousand short term jobs that would lead to about 50 permanent jobs. The over 200,000 jobs that Obama has been creating every month, they won’t talk about of course.
There is nothing more to talk about. Obama must now finish carving his legacy. A legacy that is about taking us out of a recession, ending two wars, finishing Bin Laden, bringing affordable health care to over 10 million people, a stock market that hits record highs daily, gas prices that continue to plummet, cutting the deficit in more than half, and so on and so on and so on.
Republicans will scream and shout, they will have tantrums and curse and threaten. Too damn bad. They have and will continue to misread this past election and overplay their hand. Obama must use this against them and continue to watch the infighting within the Republican party. Let them continue to have to answer impeachment calls from the Tea Party members, let them continue their infighting over this and other issues. Let them fight over shutting down the government. The more resolute he is the more infighting there will be as they try to figure out what to do with this newly defiant President that they are certainly not accustomed to.
I’m cautiously optimistic. Obama has had these opportunities before and has squandered them. However maybe with Immigration reform, the great climate deal with China, and his recent comments about the Keystone pipeline, we are indeed seeing a new Obama. An Obama that has finally realized what the agenda of the Republican party is and has been since January 20, 2009. They couldn’t prevent him from being elected twice, but they still believe they can control his destiny.
They can do so only if he allows it. He is the President. He has the moral high ground and the law on his side. He has the veto pen. He cannot allow Republicans to hurt this country anymore than they already have. He cannot allow them to destroy all the good he has done and take us back to 2008.
He must forge ahead. All they can do is cry about it. He has all the power. They know it. Let’s hope he does as well.