Sunday, June 24, 2012

Was Obama's mini-Dream Act Decree just a ploy--trolling for the Mexivote?

I'm against both the Dream Act and President Obama's decree cutting some slack for illegals brought here by their parents, for reasons I've given in other essays in this blog.

But I believe the President is both sincere about his decree as well as knowing it was a masterful political move. It's possible to be doing what you believe is the right thing at the same time as manuvering adroitly on the political chessboard.

And of course it's legal. He's not defying Congress's laws. It's not like all those signing statements of President Bush the second when he was saying he wasn't going to enforce the law he was signing. In this case it's a matter of prosecutorial discretion in applying the limited funds Congress has made available to him.

Besides, anyone attacking him on immigration has to confront the fact that he has deported far, far more illegal aliens than President Bush had in a similar timeframe. He has made good on his promise to crack down on illegal immigration before asking for favors for the illegals he favors.

The scope of presidential power will always be a topic of discussion. The Republicans never hesitate to attack President Obama when they think he isn't exercising his authority robustly--as with, say, China or Syria right now. Yet they also never hesitate to attack him when they think he is doing so, as in this case.

So it seems the real principle is that everything President Obama does is wrong by definition--it has nothing to do with how much or how little he wields power. It has to do with him being President--something that has become more important than actual political principles to a remarkable number of Republicans.

Kind of like them all opposing Obamacare--while, in pollings\, mostly saying they like most of its provisions, when asked about them without pointing out that they're part of Obamacare.

That is, the Republican campaign is just like the ones for class president in the 8th grade--

popularity contests.

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