Emperor Obama
Emperor Obama

It's the village idiots who have no clothes!

| The Republicans have their knickers in a twist over President Obama's decision to take executive action on immigration. Their latest epithet for the president is Emperor.

The Repugnicans are always deeply resentful when any Democrat occupies the White House, and never more so than now when the president happens to be a black man. On the eve of his inauguration, they began plotting their strategy to thwart him at every turn, deprive him of any accomplishment, and render him impotent and illegitimate. They have carried out that strategy relentlessly.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Obama persisted for far too long thinking that maybe, just maybe, if he pre-emptively compromised enough, waited long enough, if he proposed enough things that the Rs said they were for, the Rs in Congress would come around and start to actually do their jobs. He was slow to comprehend that it didn't matter what he was for; whatever it was, the Rs were against it. Period. If Obama had been willing to schmooze and cajole and flatter and treat members of Congress as they wished to be treated, as they are treated by the legions of lobbyists dispensing largesse, it might have helped a bit, but Obama clearly disdains political theatre. Consequently, Republicans and even some Democrats in Congress continue to nurture childish snits.

And there you have it.

The Repugnicans response to Obama's actions on immigration have ranged from name calling to incandescent rage. Although they have done nothing about a problem everyone agrees is a problem (the Senate did pass a bill but Boehner won't even allow the House to vote on it), the idea that the president might actually do something has triggered tantrums.

Chapatte, NYTimes
Chappate, NY Times

Before Obama even announced his plans for executive action on immigration, Boehner took to the airways to denounce the 'emperor' for acting on his own "when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together" (CBS News).

A bit earlier, Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel issued a dire warning: "If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue – and many others" (TheBlaze.com).

Let's be clear: Boehner is the one who has refused to bring the Senate immigration bill to the floor for a vote, or to draft a House immigration bill of their own. It is he who is not working together. And as for the American people, let's also be clear that polling shows that the American people want the immigration problem fixed.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the font of wisdom that brought us Sarah Palin, said that Obama should "give the new Congress some time" (Voice Of America). Right. The odds that the "new Congress" will be any less obstructive than the old Congress are slim to none. Obama promised to address the immigration problem during his first term, and since he is now in his second term, Congress has had ample time. Gimme a break!

And Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), 2012 vice-presidential candidate, castigated Obama, complaining, “We’ve gone to the president and said, ‘Give us time to do immigration reform, to work on the issue this year. We want to get this done.’ And this is the reaction he has to that? He had two years with a super-majority of his own party, and he didn’t lift a finger. And now he won’t give us a few weeks? He’s basically choosing to give us a partisan bomb” (Washington Post). How conveniently Ryan (and others who make the 'you-had-two-years' argument) forgets that that was precisely when the US economy was in freefall because of GW Bush's disastrous handling of the economy. Oh, yeah, let's not forgot about those two little wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gimme a break!

The House Republicans have sued Obama in Federal District Court over the way Obama has implemented the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), claiming he exceeded his authority by delaying certain provisions. Those would be the same provisions that the House wanted to repeal, along with the entire act, voting more than 50 times to do so.

There is a rising tide of impeachment fever on the Right, True, much of it has come from pundits and talking heads, but there are enough hotheads and gasbags in the House to easily imagine impeachment as one of the first orders of business when the new members are seated in January. On MSNBC, James Clyburn (D-SC) said, "These Republicans have decided that this president must have an asterisk by his name when he leaves office, irrespective of whether or not he gets convicted, it is their plan to introduce an impeachment resolution and they do have the 218 votes to pass it. Because that will keep the country focused on foolishness rather than on what we need to do in order to move an agenda forward" (Int'l Business Times).

When Obama gave his immigration speech (WhiteHouse.gov) on Thursday night and speech in Las Vegas the next day (WhiteHouse.gov) the president was forceful and eloquent. It's obvious that he's committed to fighting hard for his action.

Frankly, if we had seen more of this in the preceding 6 years, we might not be where we are today.

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Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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