immigration reformYesterday, Barack Obama decided that he would not undertake unilateral executive action on immigration:

After saying he would overhaul the nation’s immigration system by the end of summer, President Obama has now decided to delay any action until after the November elections.

The president told Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd in an interview airing Sunday that the surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue.

“The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem,” Obama said in the interview. “I want to spend some time, even as we’re getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we’re doing this, why it’s the right thing for the American people, why it’s the right thing for the American economy.”

The administration says Obama will take executive action to address the nation’s undocumented population before the end of the year. But furious immigration activists are deriding the delay as a reversal of Obama’s previous promises to curb deportations before the end of the summer.

This is a stunning reversal. Obama had made demagoging the GOP on immigration the centerpiece of his party’s electoral strategy for 2014 and presumably 2016. When the Quisling Alliance in the Senate was denied the ability to ram the current Amnesty plan through, Obama vowed he would take unilateral executive action.

So, what happened?

Buzzfeed took time out from maligning Republicans, running stupid contests, and showing images of semi-nude (though aesthetically pleasing) girls to do some reporting on the issue:

President Obama’s decision to delay executive action on immigration until after the November elections was the end result of weeks of back and forth within the Democratic Party, and fears the actions would damage the party’s election prospects.

According to an activist familiar with details of the decision to delay the immigration announcement, Obama’s political advisers became concerned with internal polling in the last few weeks for a handful of states on the midterm elections.

The polling for the vulnerable Democrats was so close — two points apart — that they were afraid the announcement could “put it over the cliff.” Additionally, there was growing sentiment that the president would be blamed if they lost and even if the senators won, he might not be able to count on their support for his eventual actions after the election.

Immigration was supposed to be a killer issue but the Democrats dropped it because they were afraid it would change an electoral landslide into an earthquake induced avalanche.

If this sounds counter-intuitive it is because for the past year the Conservative base has been labeled as racist by many in leadership positions within the GOP simply because we recognized an unmitigated attempt at amnesty for what it was:

For more than a year House Republican leaders have insisted the chamber would act on new immigration laws. And for more than a year, Republicans have done virtually nothing on the issue — despite intense pressure from activists, business groups, and the nation’s changing demographics.

And although there are a variety of reasons for inaction, one Republican lawmaker recently offered a frank acknowledgement that for many House Republicans, there’s one issue at play that’s not often discussed: race.

“Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial,” said the Southern Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race.”

The head of the herd of swine at the US Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, was even more adamant:

The GOP shouldn’t even field a presidential candidate in 2016 unless Congress passes immigration reform this year, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said Monday.

“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Donohue joked at an event on infrastructure investment in D.C. “Think about that. Think about who the voters are. I just did that to get everybody’s attention.”

John McCain and his buddy Chuck Schumer agreed. Schumer said it was vital for the GOP to pass immigration reform if it wanted to win elections… because Chuck Schumer really likes it when Republicans win… which John McCain got all pensive and weepy about the “consequences of failure.”

The immigration reform craziness surfaced for several reasons:

  • Barack Obama and the Democrats thought this was a way of painting the GOP as anti-immigrant before the 2014 election.
  • The Chamber of Commerce wanted a plentiful and disposable supply of low wage labor… and that part of the GOP which is held in thrall by the Chamber went along for the ride.
  • Some part of the GOP legitimately thought that massive amnesty was a way of winning the loyalty of hispanic voters.
  • The press and the Democrats, to the extent they are different groups, wanted to set off a civil war inside the GOP to help them win elections.

But now we find out that this “must pass” legislation, legislation that was supposed to guarantee the viability of the Republican party was rejected by the Democrats because it was going to burn them down in this year’s elections.