I got this email from Organizing for Action last week, but with the Thanksgiving holiday and everything else I didn’t get the chance to write about it until now.
There are a lot of people on the other side up in arms right now about the President’s immigration plan, and I’m having trouble understanding why.
Either they don’t think the President should be allowed to take action to help fix our broken immigration system (just like several presidents from Kennedy to Reagan have in the past)…
Or they think that 500 days isn’t long enough to wait for John Boehner to hold a vote on the bipartisan reform bill the Senate passed.
Most Americans are tired of the excuses.
Stand up to the people who just want to drag their feet and block progress at all costs — add your name:
National Issues Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action
As someone on the other side, perhaps I can explain why so many of us are up in arms against President Obama’s recent actions regarding immigration.
First, it is often said that our immigration system is broken, yet somehow no one ever explains how the system got broken. The simple truth is that our immigration system is broken because there a large number of people in Washington DC who simply do not wish for our current immigration laws to be enforced. There are a number of motives involved and this is a bi-partisan issue. Suffice it to say that many members of this country’s political elite want to have effectively open borders while most ordinary Americans of both parties do not. The system is broken because those in charge of maintaining the system want it broken.
Aside from the immigration issue, many Americans are wary of unilateral executive action by the president without regard to the wishes of their representatives in Congress. Even Americans who might agree with the provisions of Obama’s orders dislike the manner in which he has enacted them. This idea that either Congress rubber stamps what ever the President demands or he will issue rules by decree seems more suited to the days of absolute monarchy or some third world dictatorship than to a free republic under the rule of the constitution. This by now famous sketch from Saturday Night Live neatly demonstrates the misgivings many Americans have over the Obama method of getting things done.
And it’s no good claiming that previous presidents have taken similar actions with executive orders on immigration. As David Frum pointed out in his article in the Atlantic, these previous presidential executive orders were clarifications of existing legislation that affected relatively few people. They were not attempts at passing new laws from the Oval Office.
I have a parable in mind that perhaps will help Mr. Shapiro, and others, understand our point of view. Suppose I decided that I wanted a new car, perhaps something a bit sportier than what I now own. My wife, however, explains that the family finances are such that we cannot afford a new car and that anyway my current vehicle works perfectly fine for my needs. I then drive my car into the nearest telephone pole, totalling it. I go back to my wife and explain that since now my car is broken, I really need a new one. She responds that the finances are in worse shape than before from the expenses of the towers taking the car away and my medical bills so that I will have to walk or take a cab. I decide that if she wants to block progress and not take action, I will so I take executive action and go and buy a new car for myself. For this egregious violation of the Family Constitution, I then get impeached (divorced) or censured (sleep on the living room couch for the next year).
I suppose it is a bit late to divorce President Obama, besides being politically inadvisable, but maybe we could make him sleep on the couch for the rest of his term.
- What GOP Congress should (and shouldn’t) do in 2015 (oddonion.com)
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ‘disturbed’ by Obama (christiantoday.com)
- O and Bo: Playing with Matches (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- White House Making Right Call on Immigration? (realclearpolitics.com)
- How to Argue About Immigration Over Thanksgiving (time.com)