Giving the GOP Immigration
by Deacon Blues
It may sound like a broken record, but the Obama administration has found a way to undermine the Democrats’ long-standing advantage on immigration. And although I don’t think a Politico poll in battleground districts is necessarily the last word on the matter, it is indicative of how the president and his “political team” dealt a lethal blow not only to the party on the issue, but also to the chances of comprehensive reform any time soon.
In the first place, the president should never have threatened in June to act on his own before the election to slow deportations. For all of the worst reasons, he and his political team thought that doing so would get Democrats Latino support in key areas for the fall election. As I’ve said previously, no red or purple-state incumbent Democratic senator was going to benefit from a surge of Latino voters from any presidential action to make even the announcement of this threat worthwhile. Yet the president and White House thought they had the whip hand, at a time when the Republicans had already shown a willingness to run on unchecked executive action.
Then, when it becomes clear that your own team and Cabinet can’t agree on what to do and the external political pros convince you that it was a mistake to make the threat in the first place, you back away and manage to depress the base even more. A true master stroke of ineptness and self-inflicted wounds.
Spare me the legitimate gripes about how the GOP clearly used those kids as props to jack up the base. What people missed was that the real aim of the false GOP hysteria about the kids at the border was to turn public opinion against immigration reform just long enough to get through the election, especially in light of Obama’s growing unpopularity. Well, the GOP has succeeded at what it does so well: demonize victims and throw a legitimate debate into the sewer, and yet for some reason this president and White House still managed to stumble into this anyway out of some hard-to-figure delusion that they could win a debate on moral grounds simply because he was the president. Those days are over.
For all intents and purposes, Barack Obama is now a lame duck. The Democratic House and Senate congressional campaign committees know that a bludgeoning is coming, partly a result of gerrymandering, yes, but also partly a result of the political negligence from this White House. The sooner the party can get to January and let the GOP be saddled with their own rhetoric and lack of any further excuses to act, the better.
And as for Hillary, all the focus will be shifting to you the day after the party's midterm drubbing. Based on what I've seen and heard so far, you're not ready and your message and presentation is stale and out of date. Do better or forget it.