Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Obama Gets There Firstest With The Mostest

Magic Man Barack Obama seems to have lost a great deal of his mojo since the Hope, Dope and Change campaign of 2008. His well-organized fund-raising and internet campaigning that made the difference against John McCain are coming unglued. But he hasn’t lost his ability to pander to “victim” groups, and for the first time in awhile his timing, however cynical, was excellent.

His method may be called into question, but his executive order to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was truly good timing. Figuring he won’t lose a single black vote no matter what, Obama has concentrated his demagoguery on the next largest ethnic voting bloc—Hispanics. He was losing support among Latinos for having done nothing to move the immigration debate along. Even with solid majorities in both houses of Congress, he couldn’t get his beloved DREAM Act passed.

So by fiat, El Presidente has changed the rules in the middle of the game. Napolitano has been ordered to cease all deportation proceedings against any illegal immigrants under the age of thirty who were brought to the United States by their illegal immigrant parents before age sixteen, have been in the US for at least five years, have no felony record, completed high school, gotten a GED, or served in the US military. An accelerated path to citizenship is not addressed in the order, cleverly avoiding the word “amnesty,” but the very nature of the executive order presumes that will come soon.

This move was both good strategy and good tactics. He couldn’t have picked a more sympathetic or blameless group than these particular shuttlecocks in the badminton game of immigration reform. Even those who are harshest on illegal immigration (myself included) have been trying to figure out a way to accommodate this particular immigrant demographic without rewarding them for their illegal status. “It’s not their fault” has to be balanced against “but nevertheless, they are here illegally.”

This was clearly a preemptive strike, and a good one at that. It is well-known among political insiders that Republican candidate Mitt Romney has been looking for a way to address this very narrow immigration issue. Senator Marco Rubio, considered to be a front-runner for the Republican vice presidential spot, had already proposed something similar to Obama’s executive order, albeit with more restrictions, emphasis on not creating a fast track to citizenship, and an act of Congress rather than an executive decision.

Obama took a position that has enthusiastic support among a large segment of the population, and little angry opposition on principle. Those who oppose the action entirely are comprised mostly of those who don’t want to discuss any kind of immigration reform beyond “deport ‘em all.” This is not the DREAM Act in disguise, but rather a bowdlerized version of one small portion of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act was/is quite simply a complete large-scale rescission of existing immigration law replacing the law with the legalization of 12 or 13 millions illegals and putting them on a fast track to citizenship.

Obama’s executive action is both cynical and effective. It sends the message to the Hispanic community that he is finally addressing their issues. It’s a small but very highly visible step. And as always, he avoids proposing anything truly radical, having found one small niche in which he could operate while leaving the issue of massive changes for a later day.

It serves another purely political motive. He has managed to steal Romney’s thunder, and to a lesser extent, Rubio’s. Obama can now point out Romney’s stand on securing the borders and deporting (or "self-deporting") illegal immigrants while at the same time turning Romney’s potential views on this specific issue into a “me too” position at best. Obama can wink at Hispanics, indicating that this reasonable solution to a thorny issue is just the beginning of his slow-motion war to enforce complete illegal immigrant legalization. At the same time, it allows him to say that what he has actually ordered is simply fair and reasonable, without any serious implications for the immigration issue at large.

I have to give the devil his due. He has shored up his Hispanic base while at the same time putting his Republican opponent on the defensive. Romney accurately reacted to the news of Obama’s move, but it was just that—reaction. “First of all, we have to secure the borders; we need to have an employment verification system to make sure that those who are working here in this country are here illegally; and then with regards to these kids who were brought in by their parents, through no fault of their own, there needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is. This is something Congress has been working on. And I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Sen. Marco Rubio and by Democratic senators. But the president jumped in and said ‘I’m going to take this action (emphasis added).’”

Romney also said accurately but reactively “I don’t know why he feels stop-gap measures are the right way to go.” Well, let’s hope he does know, or we’re in for a rear-guard action on immigration throughout the upcoming campaign season. He has to come up with something better than this: “If he felt seriously about this, he should have taken action when he had a Democrat House and Senate. But he didn’t. He saves these sorts of things until four-and-a-half months before the general election.”

Romney got the thrust right, but failed to hammer at the real issue in a way that non-political junkies and non-constitutional scholars would easily understand. Not only did Obama have those majorities, but if he had really cared about his Hispanic base, he would have gone the proper route of getting Congress to act on this single, sympathetic issue rather than trying to ram blanket amnesty down America’s throat. Instead, he has used a highly-questionable and possibly unconstitutional executive order to accomplish a goal he should have been able to accomplish with the consent of Congress.

This is not a permanent victory for Obama, nor a serious loss for Romney, but it is a strong hint as to how this campaign will be conducted. Obama cannot run on his record, so he needs to attack Romney and put him on the defensive. Painting Romney as a “me too” candidate has a long history. Kennedy used it successfully against Nixon, and Obama used it successfully against McCain. Romney needs to get aggressively in front of these issues and present the real version of his agenda and platform before Obama can define them for him.

For one thing, Romney needs to work with his team and his PACs to hammer home the idea that the greatest critic of using an executive order to advance immigration reform was, you guessed it, Barack Obama himself. He told his Hispanic base that he had to work with Congress, blamed the Republicans for derailing immigration reform, but justified his own inaction by saying that a president doesn’t have the power to accomplish these goals by executive order. In fact, he said that such an overreach by the executive branch might be wholly unconstitutional.

Obama is going to try these same tactics with foreign affairs, race relations, expansion of government and the economy (I put the economy last because it is obviously the biggest issue of the campaign and Obama’s weakest position). But this preemptive attack on Romney’s immigration position is a very good thing to be used as a learning experience for Romney and his handlers.

Obama’s action, Romney’s position and Rubio’s proposals on this small part of the immigration debate are not really about blanket amnesty, or even about passing portions of the DREAM Act by stealth. They are about the cynical manipulation of a portion of the minority population by a master demagogue using extra-legal means to enhance his own image at the expense of his opponent’s. Romney needs to make that the issue rather than let Obama define the debate.

My advice (for what it’s worth) to Mitt Romney: “Attack, attack, attack. Never take a defensive position, and never allow yourself to be put into a defensive position.” Obama is a master at pointing out his opponents’ weaknesses while hiding his own. If Romney plots out an aggressive ahead-of-the-pack strategy rather than using defensive tactics, Obama will finally have come to the end of his political career. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.


LL said...

The Democrats will use Alinsky's Tactics irrespective. First and foremost, Alinsky (too) was from Chicago and secondly, they work. Romney must fight fire with fire if he hopes to win.

LL said...

Alinsky's Rules for Power Tactics:

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Anthony said...

The timing of this is so nakedly political its funny. Anyway, suspending enforcement for two years for a sympathetic group of people isn't reform or amnesty, though I wouldn't bet on the political prospects of the president who decided to reverse Obama's position and enforce the law.

In practice, immigration laws are a bit like speeding tickets in that there is a lot of room for 'play' in how they are enforced.

Interestingly, Obama has deported almost as many people in one term as Bush 2 has in two (explaining to irate hispanics that he was strictly applying the law in order to build up confidence in his admistration and support for a loosening of immigration restrictions).


Obama seems to have given up on his old plan. Or maybe he will keep the number of deporations high by focusing more on people with arrest records or gang affiliation. Time will tell.

Patriot said...

LawHawk.......The problem Romney and the Repubs have, is that they don't know how to make their point using simple, descriptive language that anyone can understand. They always fall back on policy and the Constitution, while the Dems use simple, colorful, hateful language to describe their enemies.

For example, why can't the Repubs respond to this latest EO by stating "We thank the President for looking out for the children of illegal immigrants with his latest political tactic. However, how will ANYONE verify that any illegal alien here in the United States meets his criteria? How will the INS determine when they entered the country illegally? How will they determine their age accurately? Will all these "children" self-identify? If so, what will the President's order to do their parents immigration status? Once again, the President's heart is in the right place, but he has no clue how the real world operates."

Wonder how many "children" will come forward?

While everyone understands this was a naked grab for Hispanic votes, it will nonetheless fail like all his other vote grabbing actions. The only hope he has in November is massive voter fraud by the Dem machine with DOJ complicity.

Crooks...all of 'em.

Critch said...

Be careful, "Firstest with the mostest" was used to describe Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest of Memphis; the Left will crucify you saying you are comparing the two. You never know where they will go with something.

The Republicans need to stop being nice and above all this, go after his butt and go after it big time.... this is an Imperial Presidency that is out of control.

Unknown said...

LL: Alinsky was both evil and determined. But his strategy and tactics work. Cleaned up a bit, and with a proper purpose, his rules for radicals are really nothing more than a long-range plan for how to win ultimate victory. Republicans could learn a few valuable lessons from him.

T-Rav said...

I find it curious that you would use a Nathan Bedford Forrest quote for something regarding Barack Obama. And by "curious," I mean hilarious.

Unknown said...

Anthony: All true. Obama's schizophrenic policies of trying to be all things to all men are beginning to fall apart. This new one could best be described as "enforce, but don't enforce." Pure pandering, and a short-term "fix" at the expense of separation of powers. Typical Obama. But I do have to say that regardless of who is President in 2013, truly comprehensive immigration reform must finally be addressed and solved. Both parties have been guilty of talking the talk but failing to walk the walk.

Individualist said...

What concerns me most is something sideways to this debate that evidently the President needed to address....

How can anyone who is illegal be in the US military. Even if their parents came in illegally and we want to give them a shot (all of which I can sympathise with, shouldn't we make certain that someone we are going to train for combat, give an automatic weapon to and possibly give authority to major classes of weapons even if it is just repairing them be at the very least given a green card first.

The fact that we have to grant any form of respite form departation to a US soldier in an executive order by the President is troubling. This issue should have been addressed already as a matter of national security.

Unknown said...

Patriot: You ought to send that suggestion to the Romney campaign. It would be a good debating point if Obama will even deign to have a debate with Romney.

As for the election itself, it's important that Republicans work like beavers from now to election day. As someone said awhile back, "if we win big, they can't cheat."

Unknown said...

Critch: Omigod--I'm a racist! LOL Until you mentioned it, I had forgotten whom that expression referred to. Thanks for tickling my history gene.

Obama does indeed think of himself as the emperor who knows what's best for his subjects. Therefore, the Senate is just there for show. No need for real constitutional, republican government.

Welcome to our site, and I hope you'll continue to join us in the comments section.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: Shhhhhh! I've already been caught with my racist pants down. Let's not give the other side any more ammunition to shoot me with.

Unknown said...

Indi: Absolutely correct. If this had been done properly, with debate, hard work and the consent of Congress, those very issues would have been addressed. Some sort of specialized work visa would have to be created and carefully-fashioned. Unlike Rubio (or Obama), I see national military service as the only path to fast-track citizenship, and only if carefully done. Granting the same privileges for "getting an education" sounds good, but with the predictable manipulation, we'll just end up with well-educated citizens with dual loyalties.

tryanmax said...

What absolutely kills me is that, although this move by Obama is blatantly cynical, the MSM has ignored that (no surprise) and instead has characterized the Republican response--which is little more than to call Obama cynical--as cynical! (Rim-shot, please!?)

Another thing that kills me are the self-immolating RWR types who choose to equivocate any part of the Dream Act with the whole. Why stop with the baby and the bathwater? This whole bathroom could use remodeling, right!?

AndrewPrice said...

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. My guess is that it ultimately gets Obama no votes because Hispanics will see it as a ploy and he's going to lose more votes from other groups than he gains.

Unknown said...

tryanmax: The obvious escapes them. LOL

Obama and the open-borders crowd want everyone to pay attention to the sad "victims" of harsh immigration policies so they won't notice that most of the rest of the DREAM Act is thinly-disguised blanket amnesty. But that is not to say that there are not some good things buried in the proposed Act. As you say, the whole bathroom needs remodeling. Comprehensive immigration reform has become a negative phrase for too many people who ought to know better. Comprehensive immigration reform is a vital necessity, but the largest portion of the DREAM Act is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Liberals wanting to let everyone in and conservatives wanting to keep everyone out only muddy the waters. Immigration is one of the things that made America great. Allowing proper immigration to languish because we are quarreling over how to handle illegal immigrants is a very bad thing. As a result, illegals keep on coming and staying, and legal immigrants who follow all the rules and desire to be Americans are left out in the cold. The message, sadly, is "cheaters do prosper."

Unknown said...

Andrew: You are probably right. You can't fool all the people all the time. Even those who desperately want to believe in The One are beginning to notice their god has clay feet. Hispanics particularly are beginning to wake up to the fact that the Democrats aren't helping them, they're patronizing them. Nobody likes to be patronized or treated like an ignorant boob.

Anthony said...

It looks like Rubio is going to abandon his proposed immigration reform. As LawHawk mentioned, that was probably one of Obama's goals.

Sen. Marco Rubio may no longer file a GOP alternative to the DREAM Act, following President Barack Obama’s Friday announcement of a new policy exempting immigrants brought here as kids from deportation.

Obama’s new deportation policy accomplishes most of the goals the Florida Senator hoped to address through legislation, though future presidents could reverse the decision.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/06/18/marco-rubio-may-drop-dream-act-alternative-after-obama-announcement/#ixzz1yGTP5Foq

K said...

What? You mean that Democrats leaving the borders open, swamping the country with illegal immigrants and establishing "sanctuary cities" like Dianne Feinstein did in San Francisco actually works to their advantage politically?

Who knew?

Unknown said...

Anthony: Thanks for the update. Rubio is smart enough to realize that the goal of the Obama action is much like his own, but that a battle based solely on form would be a distraction from the real issue of comprehensive immigration reform. That can be dealt with after the Republicans re-take the Senate and the White House. The sign of a good [potential] leader is his ability to know when to fight and when not to.

Unknown said...

K; The sad truth is that within their own home districts it does work for them. Pelosi and Feinstein may be hated in Peoria, but they're loved in San Francisco.

StanH said...

The wise man said:

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea just who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected. Furthermore; what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?"

I love this, it perfectly illustrates the absurdity of the open border bozos, shut the border down now! stop the invasion, then sort out the problem.

Barry’s getting into panic mode, with this naked usurpation of our Constitution. We are either a country of laws or we are not.

Unknown said...

Stan: And what if after they left the park, they walked into your house uninvited, demanded food and shelter, and dared you to call the police--in Spanish?

Unknown said...

TEAM INPUT REQUESTED: I just got home and even the networks and local affiliates are commenting on the absolute emptiness of Obama's press conference today following his meeting with Putin. Fox is going even farther, claiming Obama praised Putin and claimed Russia is helping us to solve the problems in Syria.

Did any of you see the conference, and if so, fill me in and give me your opinion of Obama's speech. O'Reilly says it was the most meaningless and boring presidential press conference he has ever seen. Krauthammer says on several issues, Obama outright lied. COMMENTS, PLEASE!

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