Immigration reform ‘battle royale’ now has a start time

Apparently, it’s on for Thursday night, 8 p.m.:

And the response from John Boehner’s office? As his spokesman put it:

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue – and many others.”

In a different world, in a world in which the previous six years of Obama’s presidency didn’t exist, in a world in which Boehner’s four years as speaker didn’t exist, that kind of argument from the speaker’s office might seem reasonable if not convincing. In that kind of world, it would be tempting to believe that “congressional action on this issue – and many others” — would be feasible if only Obama delayed taking action on immigration.

That is not the world in which we live.

In this world, Boehner has been using Obama as an excuse for his own inadequacies for years now. Time and again, when Boehner has failed to keep his own caucus from throwing immature tantrums, even to the point of shutting down the government and flirting with default, the speaker has blamed that failure on the president, as if by his very existence Obama was provoking the irrational hatred that has been directed at him from the beginning.

More specifically, since at least as far back as 2010, Boehner has been claiming that House action on immigration reform was just around the corner, it was about to happen, he almost had the votes, if only Obama would give him time.

And Obama did give him time. It is now almost 2015, but still no congressional action, and the truth is that regardless of what Obama does or does not do, there is still not the slightest chance of congressional action taking place. And that is entirely on Boehner. At several points in the last two years, he could have allowed the Senate-passed immigration bill to come to a floor vote and it probably would have passed with a combination of Democratic and Republican support. But he lacked the courage to do so.

Frankly, this is not a good place to be. It’s not good for Obama, it’s not good for Boehner, it’s not good for the country, it’s not good for those here illegally, it’s not good for our broken system of government. With public faith in our national institutions already at rock bottom, it’s sobering to think where all this might lead.

But if we’re honest with ourselves, we will admit that it’s not really about immigration, and it’s not really about Obama either.

This is about the volcanic fever that began on the right some two decades ago under Bill Clinton, that fed on conspiracy nonsense and its own frustration and that culminated in his impeachment. It receded a bit in the wake of 9/11, then rose to operatic lunacy in the preposterous Terri Schiavo case under George W. Bush. Now, after several years of working its self-righteous anger to the point of criticality, it seems destined to erupt again, perhaps in more glory than ever.

This is also the natural consequence of a political movement that abhors compromise and that depends on outraged confrontation for its energy, and that will do anything necessary to create that confrontation. Policy goals aren’t important, not really; issues such as the Keystone pipeline and Benghazi are mere means to provoke that confrontation, and if denied that confrontation in one setting it will seek it in another.

In recent months, Obama has had the aura of a man who now accepts and understands that reality, and has ceased running from it. They have tried to deny his legitimacy as president, his legitimacy as a patriotic American and his legitimacy as a leader, and judging from the casual, relaxed tone of his response above, he has finally concluded that their craziness is not his problem to manage.

 

Reader Comments 0

988 comments
alexander2
alexander2

Administration lied about numbers of medical ACA (oops we thought that Dental was included...). You guys really believe this administration? Come on wise up, I'm not saying the GOP isn't full of it also, but to blindly support this adminisration is ludicrous. Nothing "fun" about this administation or the Congress unless you likethe effluent of car wrecks.... pathetic....

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife 

Health care and immigration are done.


Only one other issue to address.

***

Are you for real? Lol.

gotalife
gotalife

Health care and immigration are done.


Only one other issue to address.


Failed trickle down and income inequality.


That is what Hillary is running on.

BeeJay
BeeJay

"They have tried to deny his legitimacy as president, his legitimacy as a patriotic American and his legitimacy as a leader."  God help us that some people really believe this.  The prez has NO legitimacy as a "patriotic American" because he isn't.  He has NO legitimacy as a "leader" because he isn't. He has NO legitimacy as president because he hasn't acted like a president; he has acted like a tyrant, a dictator, an arrogant, narcissistic, divisive person with one care in the world: himself and his anti-American agenda.  Continuing to defend his behavior reflects badly on those playing defense.  Mr. Bookman is like the worst minion in DC - Pelosi - and the media - Piers Morgan - and Hollywood - Gwyneth Paltrow - and others "out there" - Al Sharpton, all of whom think the man is god.  When people get to this point of worshiping, they're past the point of no return.  NOTHING, absolutely nothing will make them see otherwise.  They are deluded, blind, deaf, lost souls with only one thing left: attack anyone who thinks differently, even when that trait makes them look like a dumbass.

I find the fact that the prez is acting illegally to protect and bolster illegals quite ironic.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@BeeJay what a bitter bitter person you are . . . you clinging to your religion or your guns at the moment? or both?

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

look on the bright side, perhaps after tonight Georgia will have folks to pick its crops.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Who promised every family $2,500? Perhaps an up to, but no one ever promised every family $2,500. seriously, y'all will twist anything.


I'm still trying to find that one Obama voter who based his vote on that apparent campaign promise (that I don't even remember ever hearing, myself). Or that one who based his vote on that "like your plan, keep your plan" LIE OF DUH YEAR.


Anyone else have any luck chasing that particular rainbow?

gotalife
gotalife

16 is about ending trickle down bs.

gotalife
gotalife

Obama to congress: You had your chance.


True and you can't stop him but keep trying.


It is fun to watch.

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Boy there must be something really big to hide in all this rush to immigration exec order stuff.....better read the details and have every word defined......another sign it before we get to know what's in it rush deal......how many days did Obama promise the public would get on new laws........?

CommonSenseisntCommon
CommonSenseisntCommon

My feeling is that if JEB had been elected instead of his elder brother immigration reform would have been a done deal.

gotalife
gotalife

I guess the torture report is their way to claim oversight.

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Big loser in all this......middle class....Obama is an elitist hero

gotalife
gotalife

@LeftisnotRight gop are the biggest threat to the middle class with their failed trickle down ideology.

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

@gotalife the more you post the funnier you get.... Busssssh!?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeftisnotRight @gotalife


Do you think forbidding others from mentioning the last guy in the White House by name, will somehow make us all forget that guy?


(Who, for the record, was sitting on 33% Gallup approvals at this point in his second term.)

gotalife
gotalife

The reform to the CIA and intell is happening again without congress. bush's reform failed and not sure what is going on at the CIA. Obviously, they are missing too many events so that agency is not performing well.

gotalife
gotalife

You can thank the gop for handing bush unprecedented power our President is using now.


Presidents never give that power back but the President did debate on ending NSA spying but congress was a no.

gotalife
gotalife

Also, the revolving door from Wall Street exposed all the fed secrets to Goldman so they knew they would get bailed out and lose nothing.


For those still claiming we are a nation of laws, I disagree.


We are a nation of loopholes to laws and soft on white collar crimes.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@gotalife 

I think after our President covered up bush's torture and destroyed the torture tapes, the senate report was a bad idea.

***
Sounds like an impeachable offense to me.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

The Executive Actions on immigration to be proposed by the President tonight are unprecedented, say the republicans, except for those proposed by every President since Eisenhower.

INPEECH!!!!11!

gotalife
gotalife

I think after our President covered up bush's torture and destroyed the torture tapes, the senate report was a bad idea.


But if you really want to impeach him, you can get him on the torture cover up.


Of course bush and cheney would have to be tried in a global court so........

LeninTime
LeninTime

@consumedconsumer 

@LeninTime and we were to expect what? Obama to tell the CIA to take a hike? How'd that work for JFK?

***

So you're saying the chief executive of the country is effectively the pawn of the security intelligence apparatus? Blackmailed and threatened to carry out its dictates and not to cross it? 

Assuming that the executive branch is responsible for ensuring the rule of law, does that not mean there is lawlessness at the very highest levels of our government? 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@LeninTime we've been over this before I believe. And in answer to your questions my response remains, "yes".

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

The official FOX reaction to the speech tonight:

"Human Sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA." - Thomas "Dr. Peter Venkman" Jefferson

Crossbreed
Crossbreed

Bush loved to war-  Obama loves to community organize.  My jack russell loves to chase rabbits.


Hopefully leadership and management skills coming in the next cycle

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Crossbreed

Hopefully leadership and management skills coming in the next cycle

***
Hope springs eternal. Like hope and change. And is revealed as a fraud.

LeninTime
LeninTime

So who's behind the fierce resistance to the publication of the CIA torture reports? 

The Obama White House of course. 

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/11/19/white_house_putting_up_fierce_fight_to_conceal_torture_report

The White House is fiercely resisting the release of a 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program, Senate aides tell Foreign Policy, raising fears that the public will never receive a full accounting of the Bush administration's post-9/11 torture practices.

At issue is the report's identification of individual CIA officers by pseudonyms. The CIA and the White House want the pseudonyms and references to other agency activities completely stricken to further protect the identities of CIA spies. Senate aides say many of those redactions are unnecessary and render the report unreadable. Now even after Senate Democrats agreed to remove some pseudonyms at the White House's request, the Oval Office is still haggling for more redactions.


Eustis
Eustis

@LeninTime 

Understandable. The report will only embarrass and damage the Government, plus forther divide the Country.

Best to learn from it, correct mistakes, and go forward.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime


Come on, Mark Udall. What've you got to lose by reading this on the floor of the Senate?


I mean, besides your own life, maybe your family's...