Saturday, November 22, 2014
Voters Rejected Amnesty on Election Day
By Derrick Morganon Sat, 22 Nov 2014
Last month, in a speech at Northwestern University, President Barack Obama declared that the midterm elections were actually a referendum on his policies. “I am not on the ballot … But make no mistake: (My) policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
How right he was. And how resoundingly voters rejected those policies on Nov. 4!
Throughout the country, voters expressed opposition to the president’s push to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants. Even the liberal electorate of Oregon rejected granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants with a two-thirds majority.
As Ron Fournier, senior political columnist for the National Journal tweeted: “After this repudiation, acting on #immigration by fiat would be the political equivalent of … flipping the country the bird.”
Apparently, the president’s OK with that. Only a week after the elections, while Obama toured Asia, administration officials slipped the ever-supportive New York Times details of the president’s plan to bypass Congress and grant amnesty, via executive fiat, to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants.
Does the president really have the gall to ignore the will of the people? Well, he’s certainly done it before.
Remember the debate over Obamacare? As the president was trying to ram the bill through Congress over unanimous opposition from Republicans, Massachusetts held a special election. The contest became one over the law itself. It ended with the people of Massachusetts – hardly a conservative bastion – electing a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy in order to defeat Obamacare.
But the president and his allies ignored the voters and pushed through Obamacare anyway. We’re still reaping the bitter fruit from the president’s unwillingness to compromise.
Unfortunately, the president feels no more bound to respect the powers and wishes of Congress than he does those of the electorate. When lawmakers rejected his cap-and-trade energy tax and his DREAM Act amnesty for illegal immigrant children, the president blithely issued orders carrying out the policies anyway.
This year, Congress wisely declined to pass legislation granting amnesty to more than 11 million illegal immigrants. Post-election polls show that 74 percent of Americans, including a majority of Hispanics, don’t want the president to impose amnesty by executive fiat. Yet here he is, once again pledging to grant executive amnesty before the end of the year.
[Editor’s note: On Nov. 20, Obama announced he would go forward with the executive action on immigration. This column was original published prior.]
If he does move forward with this unpopular, inappropriate action, what can lawmakers do about it? For starters, Congress can exercise its constitutional prerogative – the power of the purse – and refuse to fund any actions or resources needed to implement an executive amnesty. For added good measure, they could pass a resolution affirming that any future president can easily revoke any such order, and that all the information collected regarding amnesty-seekers could be used for future enforcement actions. That might give amnesty activists pause for thought.
Why is it so important that Congress take a firm stand against imposing amnesty via executive fiat? Because what Obama is proposing is more than just bad policy. Such high-handed executive action could provoke a Constitutional crisis or lead to a new, chaos-inducing “normal” for presidential behavior.
Remember when filibusters of judicial nominees were rare? For a long time, Republicans insisted it was inappropriate. But then came a series of Democrat-led filibusters. After just a few years of it, Republicans responded in kind. Indeed, they filibustered so routinely that Senate Democrats triggered the “nuclear option,” outlawing filibusters on district and appellate court nominations.
Could executive action on immigration break down the tradition of presidential restraint, ushering in an era of government by executive fiat? Might it embolden leaders of each party to disregard the checks and balances set out in the Constitution? Might a future president simply ignore environmental, immigration, tax and other laws that conflict with his preferred policy? Legal scholars like Robert Delahunty, Jonathan Turley and John Yoo think such scenarios become increasingly likely every time the president decides to make policy with his “pen and phone,” rather than via legislation.
Now is the time for President Obama to carefully consider his legacy. Does he want to be the president who abused his constitutional authority and launched the era of Imperial Presidencies? Or, will he listen to the voters and reject amnesty? The decision is his.
Originally distributed by the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Gruber and Obama's Big Lie
By Jonah Goldberg - November 21, 2014
I understand we’ve turned the page to the next controversy — Obama’s unconstitutional immigration pander — but I’d like to dwell a little longer on the previous travesty.
Obama administration health-care consultant Jonathan Gruber was discovered to have boasted that Obamacare was designed to exploit the “stupidity” of American voters and elude honest accounting by hiding both its cost and the taxes necessary to pay for it.
When asked about this in Brisbane, Australia, the president rolled his eyes at the controversy.
“I just heard about this,” Obama said. “The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with . . . is no reflection on the actual process that was run.”
“We had a year-long debate,” Obama exasperatedly continued. “Go look back at your stories. One thing we can’t say is that we didn’t have a lengthy debate over health care in the United States. . . . It’s fair to say there is not a provision in the health-care law that was not extensively debated and was not fully transparent.”
This statement is a falsehood, punctuated by deceits, supported by half-truths, in defense of a scam.
Let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he had “just heard about this.” After all, he doesn’t hear about a lot of terrible things he’s ultimately responsible for — the IRS scandal, mismanagement at the VA, etc. — until they appear, often tardily, in the newspapers.
The fact that Gruber was not a staffer is a small truth in service of a bigger lie. Gruber was far more indispensible than any staffer. Nearly every news outlet referred to the man as an “architect” of Obamacare. (Many of those outlets are now scrambling to unsay what they said.)
Mere White House staffers were like the bricklayers and plumbers; Gruber was the guy drawing the blueprints. Who gets more credit for a new skyscraper, the guy who installed the toilets or the guy who helped design it?
It’s true that there was a big national argument about the Affordable Care Act. It’s also true that the press covered it extensively. But an argument is not the same thing as a debate, never mind a transparent one. If Obamacare was so transparent, why did Nancy Pelosi, a general contractor for the ACA, insist that the only way to know what’s in it is to pass it?
Real debates require honesty. If I say, “Two plus two equals four,” and you say, “No, it equals a duck,” and then refuse to accept any contrary facts or evidence, that’s not a debate, it’s performance art.
In 2009, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos confronted Obama about the fact that the individual mandate is a tax. Obama scoffed and filibustered. Stephanopoulos responded by citing the dictionary definition of a tax.
“George,” Obama responded, “the fact that you looked up . . . the definition of tax increase indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.”
Huh? In what open and transparent debate is the dictionary definition of a word irrelevant? By the way, if the Supreme Court had agreed with Obama, the law would be unconstitutional.
President Obama lied — relentlessly — during that so-called “debate.” Most famously, he repeatedly said, “You can keep your doctor” (and your insurance) if you want. He often ended such lies by saying, “Period. End of story,” as if his emphatic assertion were irrefutable fact. Either he knew he was lying, or the law is so un-transparent that even the man who signed it into law couldn’t understand its most basic functions.
Speaking of transparency, the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney notes that Obama frequently attacked the “special interests” opposed to the bill even though the very same interests supported the bill thanks to the generous bribes — er, “subsidies” — included therein. From the Rose Garden in 2009, Obama attacked drug companies for opposing the bill, even though he knew the drug lobby helped craft it. (Carney notes, “Behind closed doors, the White House apologized to drugmakers for that line, blaming a ‘young speechwriter.’”)
Still, the biggest lie is the one Obama left unsaid in Brisbane. He implied that he won the debate. He didn’t. He won the fight in Congress — by brute partisan force. But the majority of the American people watching this farcical debate were never convinced by Obama’s claims. There was a time when such things mattered. But when it comes to the progressives’ desire to impose their will — on health care and, now, immigration — what the stupid voters want counts for little.
Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/11/21/gruber_and_obamas_big_lie_124726.html#ixzz3JoPV68o4
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