President Obama enjoys presenting himself as a shining example of maturity, wisdom, and levelheaded leadership. Indeed, at yesterday's birth certificate press conference, he told the pesky "carnival barkers" that it was time to "get serious." Then, he boarded a plane to Chicago to film Oprah. To talk some more about getting serious, I imagine. He later put the birth certificate issue to rest once and for all by mentioning it at three fundraisers last night.
Today, he's chosen to prove that he's serious about reforming immigration by inviting renowned immigration policy experts Eva Longoria, Rosario Dawson and friends to the White House to talk about immigration reform. Yes, that Eva Longoria. Via The Hill:
The White House said Obama would meet with "influential Hispanics from across the country to discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system." It said the discussion would focus on fostering "a constructive national conversation on this important issue as we work to build a bipartisan consensus in Congress."
Besides Longoria, the star of "Desperate Housewives," others invited to the gathering include actresses Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera, Univision hosts Don Francisco and Maria Elena Salinas and Telemundo anchors Vanessa Hauc and Jose Diaz-Balart.
First, how are Hollywood Hispanic celebrities at all a representation of Hispanic Americans? That's like sending Britney Spears or Paris Hilton out into the world to represent the average American and shape foreign policy around the globe. Not only would it be humiliating, but it would produce no relevant information, since they are in no way representative of well, average Americans.
Second, is our President really this bereft of ideas? He repeatedly punts to celebrities on tough issues. I'm assuming that the strategy is to sway public opinion with star power in the absence of actual policy proposals, ideas, or facts. The reality is that this "strategy" will blow up when it comes time to implement some of these changes and there is no substance. His administration is already facing drastically falling poll numbers regarding Obamacare - it sounds a lot better in theory than in practice.
It seems unlikely that using Desperate Housewives stars and Oprah to help pull the country out of the ditch he likes to remind us we're in will work much longer. It may be optimistic, but there's mounting evidence that the American people are starting to see through the smoke and mirrors.
It's time to get serious, President Obama. Let's start by asking people who know something about policy what they think.