Obama is Going Thelma and Louise

The stunning defeat of immigration reform proponent, Republican Congressman and House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, in Tuesday’s Virginia primary, provided a major setback for establishment Republicans who were bound and determined to pass some form of legislation addressing the issue before the November mid- term elections.  The common wisdom, therefore, was that amnesty, or anything paving the way to it this year, disappeared along with Cantor’s political career. As the first Congressional leader ever to lose his party’s primary, the premature obituaries for the Tea Party and any candidates who agreed with them showed Republicans who sympathized with Cantor’s goals that it would be best not to tweak the nose of that tiger again. At least, not during  this election cycle. 

For the Democrats, however, elections, the Constitution, the voters and the concept of equal branches of government are quaint and amusing anachronisms that should not interfere with the wisdom and will of the more enlightened political class. Enter Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) who, nonplussed by the defeat of his political ally on the other side of the aisle, simply stated that the decision will simply transfer solely to the White House.  As in a banana republic where the Hugo Chavez type leader will brush aside the annoying trappings of legalities and equal rights, Gutierrez apparently looks forward towards action by a president who understands that government is too important to be left to the hands of the people and their elected representatives. How can the cause of amnesty not trump the concerns of Americans of their loss of national sovereignty and damage to their overburdened social services and health care systems?

“I believe the president has, within existing law, the power to take action to protect the immigrant community, and I think he will take those actions.” Gutierrez declared. There are three very interesting points in that brief sentence. The first is the odd notion that this president cares a whit about whether or not anything he does is within the law. He has not shown any hesitation to violate or interpret laws as he sees fit from day to day. Another curious proposition is that the immigrant community either needs or deserves “protection” in the form of amnesty in order to insulate them from the results of illegal acts. Apparently American citizens and legal immigrants do not merit protection from the results of those acts. The most troubling suggestion, however, is the one most likely to occur. The president, probably will “take those actions.”

Historically, a lame duck president focuses on two personal political goals: his legacy and the strengthening of the political position of his party. This president has made it clear, however, that his vision stops at his legacy and that legacy is reflected only by the image he sees every day in the mirror. He rammed through the Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote because he does not recognize the legitimacy of political opposition. Even though that health care program is steadily cracking around the edges and now exhibits the likelihood of survival of an ancient World War I biplane held together by bailing wire and chewing gum, he still looks for another cause, this time amnesty, to stuff, once more, down the gullet of the country, whether they like it or not.

The president has already shown he no longer cares about his party as it faces a crushing defeat in November.  So, since he places no importance on the success of his decisions but only the fact that he forced them upon the nation despite resistance from an electorate which is on the verge of giving the majority power in Congress to the party that opposes his wishes, he seems to be choosing the Thelma and Louise climax to his administration. The only chance the country would seem to have to prevent him from taking us over the cliff with him is a Republican majority that finally shows some spine and stops him by using the power of the purse and the Constitution. If the GOP does not develop this backbone, the majority in the Senate and House will not matter, as Obama will rule for the next two years by executive orders and federal agency rule-making, and the opportunity to not only stop the bleeding but heal the wounds to this country may be lost for decades to come.

Victor Keith writes from Burbank, California and can be contacted at victorkeith.com

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