It seems to be an increasingly rare moment in American politics when Left and Right agree, but the poles appear to agree on one thing: President Obama is a cynical politician. Liberal criticism of the president comes on the heels of the president’s announcement that he plans to delay his proposed executive order on immigration until after November’s midterm elections.
“Republicans have long been aware that the president’s policy decisions are dictated by political considerations. It’s nice to see liberals coming to the same realization.”
The political calculation that prompted the decision is obvious: A constitution-bending order that legitimizes millions of illegal immigrants is not a decision red-state Senate Democrats in tight races want to have to defend. A Republican Senate (along with a Republican House) would mark the effective end of the Obama presidency. Read the rest of this entry »
I have a theory that a journalist could begin an article, or headline, with “Obama Blames…” and write a new story every week, and never run out of body copy. Andrew Johnson’s headline identifies Obama’s primary target of blame: American citizens. We just don’t get it. So he must act alone, because we’ve failed him. But it goes further than that. Consider this: Every time Obama says the word “Congress”, or “Republicans in Congress”, replace that word with “The American voters”. Members of Congress didn’t get there by accident, they didn’t ascend to power in a bloody coup, or arrive in a spaceship, they got elected.
If Congress is blocking the president’s agenda, pursuing an opposing agenda, ignoring his mocking insults and wounded complaining, or being uncooperative and combative, that’s because they were elected to do exactly that. They represent the people. Elections have consequences.
Don’t like it? Then make your case, Mr. President, and help Democrats win back the House. You tried that, and it failed? That’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. When Obama blames Congress? He’s not talking about his political opponents, he’s talking about you.
New Meet the Press host Chuck Todd pushed back against President Obama’s claims that his decision to delay taking executive action on granting legal status to people in the country illegally wasn’t motivated by the upcoming midterms elections. “It looks like politics, it looks like election-year politics,” Todd interjected at one point.
“But if the public’s not behind you, you’re not taking it? That sounds a little bit — that the public wouldn’t support what you did?”
One of the reasons the president claims he delayed action was to make sure all the “t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” but also pointed to the recent surge of unaccompanied children on the border complicated the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
What is the filibuster? It is “a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod,” according to our friends on the New York Times editorial page. But that was in 2005, when Republicans frustrated over Democratic filibusters of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominations were (with National Review’s support) considering the so-called nuclear option, the overblown name of which suggests that it is rather more than a change in the Senate’s procedural rules. The Times denounced the Republicans’ “rank hypocrisy” in 2005, as did any number of Democrats. Having reversed themselves at the dictates of convenience, they show themselves to be hypocrites on the matter at hand and also on the subject of hypocrisy — call it hypocrisy squared.
The Democrats here are helping themselves to ill-gotten gains. Using the filibuster and other stalling techniques, they kept judicial vacancies open by closing them to Bush nominees. Miguel Estrada was kept off of the D.C. Court of Appeals by a filibuster; Democrats refused to process John Roberts’s nomination to the same court (to succeed James Buckley, the gentleman previously known in these pages as the sainted junior senator from New York). Later, when Roberts was named to the Supreme Court, Democrats blocked George W. Bush’s nominee for his replacement, Peter D. Keisler. Roberts’s earlier nomination advanced only after Republicans took control of the Senate, something that Harry Reid in his hubris seems to think will never happen again.