The Great Diversion
President Obama mobilized the big guns to take out Osama bin Laden, and now he’s preparing to do the same with the next item on his legislative agenda—immigration reform.
You might have thought that the Dream Act was a lost cause, hiding somewhere in a tunnel along the border, but the President found it, dusted it off, and is ready to push for all it’s worth.
For those who are confounded by the timing of this resurrection, the explanation is rather simple. President Obama believes he earned some major political capital last week, and he intends to spend it. You see, he has not had this in a long time, and all the spare change is burning a hole in his pocket. It’s time blow it all on amnesty!
No one is surprised by the fact that it took him less than a week to start capitalizing on the temporary bump in his approval ratings. Spiking the football in itself is off limits, but spiking the football in the name of legislative victories, well that’s another story.
The timing is not the issue. The issue is the issue.
On Monday Jay Carney did his best to disguise the logical leap of the “Osama therefore immigration reform” reasoning, but in typical fashion he only further exposed the mounting peculiarity of the White House’s agenda. He tries really hard. He really does.
The question remains, why immigration reform?
The answer is quite simple, actually. It has nothing to do with the economy. The President had been tanking in the polls for a number of reasons. High gas prices, inflation, disappointing job numbers, welfare expansion, and increased unemployment all point to a weak recovery. Many fear a double-dip recession, and President Obama has borne the brunt of the dissatisfaction.
The death of Osama bin Laden served as a much needed reprieve from the growing outrage over $4 a gallon gas, but the distraction will not last.
The only way to give the President a breather on the economy is to adamantly direct people toward another bright and shiny issue. By this reasoning immigration reform is a perfectly logical choice because 1) it does not draw attention to the economy and 2) it is one of the last remaining items on the Obama agenda. Actually, it was a toss up between this and Cap & Trade, Inc.
There are some risks, however, in reviving this issue. Immigration reform is inexorably tied to border control, and violence along the border shows no signs of subsiding any time soon.
This week the President visited the Lone Star State to insist that the border is safer than ever and that the fence is “basically complete.” He mocked Republicans for never being satisfied with his supreme dedication to border security. Even a giant moat with alligators wouldn’t appease those partisan agitators!
It is not too hard to perceive that these claims are false, unless of course he was referring to the border fence surrounding the White House.
Campaign Obama and Operation Fire Up the Base are clearly in full swing, and we will undoubtedly be inundated with a flood of heart-wrenching stories about the plight of law-abiding illegal immigrants in the coming weeks. Fun, fun, fun!
It is important to remember that this is nothing more than a distraction. President Obama knows that there is no chance of the Dream Act ever passing a Republican House, but he also knows it is a great opportunity to score some political points with the base and direct people away from the quagmire that is the economy.
We must resist the temptation to descend into a point-by-point debate with Democrats over immigration reform.
No, the economy is the battleground of champions, and those who lose their focus are clearly not eating their Wheaties.
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