James Varney’s Right About Executive Amnesty, But So What?

Today’s column at NOLA.com by James Varney is correct, as usual. He says that the political obtuseness of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party is peculiar and disconcerting, and it has manifested itself with respect to executive amnesty just as it did with Obamacare…

It’s worth noting that, as with pretending Obamacare didn’t matter anymore, the press is doing Democrats no favors by peddling the pro-amnesty line. The Associated Press chipped in with a post-election story claiming exit polls showed a majority of Americans want to give illegal immigrants a way to stay in the country.

That’s preposterous coming a day after Republicans won senate and governors and state legislature races coast to coast. The Democrats are annihilated at the ballot box and, within hours, we’re to believe one of their pet, controversial issues is OK with the voters?

I think the political failure of the liberal argument on immigration explains this concerted effort to transform it into a human rights issue. There’s been an attempt to shift the focus away from a low-wage labor glut, huge bills for taxpayers and law enforcement headaches and put it instead on a struggling and vulnerable population.

But whatever the reason, there’s no denying an executive order “granting” amnesty to millions would not only be deeply unpopular but, after what happened Tuesday, something of a political crisis, too. That’s neither sound policy nor good politics, but then blunders are as much a part of history as victories.

Varney is, of course, analyzing the executive amnesty gambit along conventional lines. And he’s correct – when you do things which are out of line with the majority of public sentiment there is usually a steep political cost.

I would go further, though, and I would say what Varney isn’t considering is that our president and his fellow travelers in the White House understand perfectly the dynamic he describes in his column; they just don’t care.

Or more to the point, they’re cognizant of the short-term consequences of something like Obamacare or giving millions of green cards to illegals, and they’re willing to suffer those consequences. Because what they want isn’t the short-term hit; they have different strategies to win an individual news cycle.

No, Obamacare and executive amnesty are on a different track. Obamacare and executive amnesty fall in the category of “fundamental transformation” Obama talked about when he was running for president.

Obamacare is a mountainside down which we will slide to socialized medicine unless the Republicans in Congress are willing to undergo the same kind of scorched-earth strategy to get rid of it, and executive amnesty is a plan to flood the market with low-wage workers and destroy upward mobility in this country – thus starving the Republican Party of middle-class strivers who would identify with it.

Both are intended to make America a country full of people dependent on the government, who can outvote people who are not dependent. And both are intended to make fighting their effects just as politically perilous as it was for Obama to initiate them.

A few Senate seats, a few House seats in this election? They couldn’t care less. In a generation, these people believe there will be no Republican Party – or if there is, it will likely have to espouse policies which look an awful lot like the current Democrats do in order to survive.

Obama and his people think bigger. Which is scary. The question is whether the Republican leadership in both houses of Congress will recognize this and have the stones to act accordingly.



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