I doubt that President Obama’s announcement last night that he will legalize millions of illegal immigrants via executive order will do much to mollify Republicans or build bridges towards a more collaborative approach to governing in the next term. I’m sure that two, contrasting views will be offered: that Republicans could never have been mollified anyway and that the president’s action merely confirms that he never had any intention of a more collaborative approach to governing.
The political battle will be waged between an appeal to pity on the one hand and whether the move is within the president’s executive discretion on the other. I look forward to the overnight presidential approval tracking polls which will not be available for a few hours. My prediction is that they’ll not show a great deal of movement one way or another—among Americans who were paying attention the move had already been expected.
If I were the Republicans I’d seek an injunction against any enforcement of the presidential ukase immediately. We’ll soon have an opportunity of learning whether Mr. Dooley’s pronouncement is still right.
With Obama’s executive amnesty imminent, anonymous White House aides are cockily dismissing John Boehner’s threatened lawsuit against it as a stunt. Even among opponents of executive amnesty — and I’m with them — there’s a tendency to pooh pooh the suit. It’s a loser, it will take forever to decide, it’s an attempt to ‘redirect Republican rage’ away from budgetary remedies like denying funding, etc.
Not so fast. I’m all for giving defunding a try — also holding up appointments — but don’t sell the lawsuit short. I’ll even go so far as to lay down an Yglesias style marker: If Obama’s executive action is as broad as described, the Supreme Court will strike it down.
I also don’t believe that the president can count on Senate Democrats to back him to the hilt. He’s probably won his last election. They have (they assume) many more to which they may look forward. I haven’t done a head count yet but I’m guessing there are Senators running for re-election in 2016 who can’t run on the president’s executive order.