There have been a number of recent attempts to explain President Obama’s fumbling, disconnected management style as everything from fatigue – he’s tired, disappointed, perhaps a little depressed, and just wants to be left alone to enjoy the perks of the office for the rest of his term – to a ponderous, hesitant approach better suited to academia than the executive branch. Jim Gerghty at National Review ran through four of these theories, beginning with the idea that “‘No-Drama Obama’ doesn’t have a crisis mode”:
He???s spent his adult life in so many relatively calm, methodical, slow-paced institutions ??? academia, state legislature, part-time law career, the U.S. Senate ??? that he can???t move or work fast. He???s perpetually deliberative, taking his time, getting sucked into ???analysis paralysis???, looking for that elusive final piece of information that will clarify it all, ultimately basing his decision upon ???what the experts say.??? (This means he needs reliable experts ??? not a HHS Secretary not being honest about the state of Healthcare.gov, a VA Secretary unaware of abuses within his own department, and so on.)
On CNN, at the height of the VA scandal, Gloria Border quoted an unidentified former White House staffer saying, ???People don???t like to tell him bad news. Part of it is the no-drama culture.???
But Barack Obama can generate plenty of drama when he really wants to. When it’s time to throw the rest of America under the bus and pander to his favorite new constituency, he’s more theatrical, and hysterical, than any Broadway production. Here he is talking to “immigration activists” on Thursday evening:
In case you’re thinking that these “immigration activists” might be interested in such reforms as streamlining the legal immigration process, enhancing border security, and enforcing America’s citizenship laws more vigorously, Obama kicked off his presentation by boasting that he drove to the event with two illegal immigrants in his limo, who he of course praised as “Dreamers” with “inspiring stories” about “living and working in the country they call home, and making it a better place for all of us.” Just don’t get hung up on which laws were bent and broken to get them here.
The Weekly Standard has a transcript of No-Drama Obama’s speech, which is consistent with his recent promises to “immigration activists” that he’ll be serving up a few million amnesties by executive order, just as soon as the American citizens he holds in such contempt have gotten this silly little “midterm election” out their system. Keep the rubes in the dark, let them think their votes still count for something, and then lower the boom as soon as the clock resets to T-Minus Two Years and Counting until the next election. If the Republican Party doesn’t replay clips from this speech endlessly, from now until Election Day, they don’t deserve to take the Senate.
“The clearest path to change is to change [the voter turnout] number,” said Obama “Si se puede, si votamos! Yes, we can, if we vote!”
“You know, earlier this year, I had a chance to host a screening of the film Cesar Chavez at the White House, and I was reminded that Cesar organized for nearly 20 years before his first major victory. He never saw that time as a failure. Looking back, he said, I remember the families who joined our movement and paid dues long before there was any hope of winning contracts. I remember thinking then that with spirit like that, no force on earth could stop us.
“That’s the promise of America then and that’s the promise of America now. People who love this country can change it. America isn’t Congress. America isn’t Washington. America is the striving immigrant who starts a business or the mom who works two low-wage jobs to give her kids a better life. America is the union leader and the CEO who put aside their differences to make the economy stronger. America is the student who defies the odds to become the first in the family to go to college. The citizen who defies the cynics and goes out there and votes. The young person who comes out of the shadows to demand the right to dream. That’s what America is about.
“And six years ago, I asked you to believe, and tonight, I ask you to keep believing, not just in my ability to bring about change, but in your ability to bring about change. Because in the end, DREAMer is more than just a title, it’s a pretty good description of what it means to be an American.”
“Each of us is called on to stand proudly for the values we believe in, and the future we seek. All of us have a chance to reach out and pull this country that we call home a little closer to its founding ideas. That’s the spirit that’s alive in this room. That’s the spirit i saw in Luis and Victor and all the young people here tonight.
“That spirit is alive in America today, and with that spirit, no force on earth can stop us.”
Actually, I was under the impression that “law-abiding citizen” was a pretty good description of what it means to be an American, but I can see where that point might elude a President whose personal relationship with the law has been, shall we say, troubled. He certainly doesn’t think the law, in this case explicitly including the Constitutional separation of powers, should stand in the way of a Great Leader who wants to do Really Important Things.
Back here in the less dramatic real world, the “force on Earth” that can stop Obama from wiping out the rule of law is the American people, speaking through their elected representatives in Congress. Obama’s speech is deliberately divisive, to the point of inspiring outrage – he’s telling these people to look at those law-abiding taxpaying chumps as their enemies, and promising to take something they have decided not to give. The DREAM Act failed in Congress. If Obama was interested in persuasion, he could follow the lawful process of persuading the American people to reconsider – at which point the arguments against his proposals would once again be aired. He knows he’d probably lose that argument again… so instead, he’s keeping amnesty quiet to everyone except his chosen constituents. “Drama” comes easily to him when he’s dividing America into warring camps and rallying his supporters to the polls. He encounters much more difficulty thinking in such militaristic terms when confronting military enemies of the United States.
If a speech like this was delivered to a number of other constituencies, it would be denounced as a hate crime. But the playing field has been carefully reshaped so that raw emotional appeals can only be made on one side of issues like this. Executive action to eradicate the rule of law can be undertaken on behalf of some groups, but not others.
CNS News includes a detail that wasn’t in the Weekly Standard’s transcript:
At one point, Obama was interrupted by a protester who is upset with him for failing to honor his promise to act unilaterally on immigration reform by allowing millions more illegal immigrants to stay in this country.
Obama said he would take executive action by the end of the summer, but now he’s put it off until after the midterm election.
“Fixing our broken immigration system is one more big thing that we have to do and that we will do. Now I know there is deep frustration in many communities around the country right now, and I understand that frustration because share it…But if anybody wants to know where my heart is or whether I want to have this fight, let me put those questions to rest right now.
“I am not going to give up this fight until it gets done.”
Obama was then interrupted by Blanca Hernandez, a beneficiary of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who works as a paralegal in the District of Columbia. She demanded that Obama “stop the deportations…we need relief now. Not one more delay. Not one more broken promise. Not one more deportation.”
She was escorted from the room.
Obama continued his speech, telling the Hispanic audience to help him get out the Latino vote. He noted that any immigration action he does on his own can be reversed by the next president; and he said the only way to get lasting reform is for Congress to pass an immigration bill.
Let me translate all that for you: there’s no way my Party could hold the Senate if I did this before the election, so just stick with me until that nasty “representative democracy” stuff is behind us. That will reshape the electoral playing field so that we can push “lasting reforms” through Congress. At least Obama didn’t let his hair down all the way and brag that the odds of his successor reversing an immense amnesty order, putting five or ten million people “back in the shadows” two years after Obama handed them citizenship, are virtually nil.
There’s nothing more “progressive” than open-borders ideology, because each advance it makes pushes the window of political possibility further in the direction its advocates desire. We’re only looking at an “immigration crisis” now because previous legislatures and executives ignored their obligation to protect the border after the last big amnesty deal. The law was flaunted to bring over ten million people across the border over the years; now we’re told the law must be flaunted because those ten million people represent an insoluble problem. The next amnesty will be presented as an even more done deal, as will the one after that, assuming anyone is still talking about border security or citizenship laws by then. The basic strategy of progressivism can be summed up as: the problem gets worse, so the solution becomes more unlikely, and the power harvested from “managing” the problem grows.
This isn’t about “reforming” immigration law, but rather erasing large portions of it, because we are told it has become effectively impossible to enforce. And if your state dares to prove Obama wrong by coming up with effective enforcement procedures, you’ll find out just how hard the government that can’t secure the border can crack down on its adversaries.
Speaking of the government’s ostensible inability to administer immigration law: remember back in 2013, during Shutdown Theater, when a large number of outright criminal aliens were released from detention centers? There was a lot of mumbling and foot-shuffling when angry Americans demanded to know how that remarkable decision was made. The news cycle rolled on, and we never really got a clear answer, so Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request for internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents pertaining to the release. As it so often happens in the Obama years, this lawful FOIA request was ignored, so Judicial Watch just filed a lawsuit to get the documents:
According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2013, this is not the first time Obama immigration policies have resulted in lax treatment of dangerous or potentially dangerous illegal aliens. The documents, obtained in accordance with an October 2012 FOIA request, revealed that the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting instead costly ???lean and lite??? procedures in an effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications spurred by President Obama???s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive, which grants illegal aliens a two-year deferment from deportation. The documents also revealed that, contrary to administration claims, Obama???s DACA policies applied only to minors who came to this country illegally ???through no fault of their own,??? the directive actually created a new wave of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty. As a result, according to an agency memo from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District 15 Director David Douglas, ???some of the districts closer to the U.S./Mexico border have been inundated.???
???How many Americans will be killed, maimed, or victimized by the Obama administration???s release of aliens convicted of violent crimes???? asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ???Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security has turned from a law enforcement agency into one that undermines and violates our nation???s immigration laws in a way that threatens the public safety. And now Homeland Security is in cover-up mode and violating federal law to keep documents about its mass release of criminals away from the American people.???
You can see why President Obama doesn’t want to obey the Constitution and put his amnesty plans back before Congress for a vote, or be honest with the American people about his executive orders before the midterm elections. That wave of 36,000 released detainees in 2013 included 193 convictions for homicide, 426 for sexual assault, and a whopping 16,070 for drunk or drugged driving. That’s the kind of problem American citizens want addressed with “comprehensive reforms,” but it’s not even on Barack Obama’s radar screen. Your one and only chance to get his attention is to blast Democrats out of the Senate in November.