President Obama Was Against Unilateral Executive Action On Immigration Before He Was For it

If the President now believes he can act unilaterally on immigration reform, why did he spend the last five years saying that he couldn't?

Obama Thinking

While President Obama appears on the verge of using executive authority to provide temporary administrative relief for as many as five million undocumented immigrants, there was a time when he seemed very intent on making clear that he didn’t have the authority to do so:

WASHINGTON — President Obama is poised to ignore stark warnings that executive action on immigration would amount to “violating our laws” and would be “very difficult to defend legally.”

Those warnings came not from Republican lawmakers but from Mr. Obama himself.

For years, he has waved aside the demands of Latino activists and Democratic allies who begged him to act on his own, and he insisted publicly that a decision to shield millions of immigrants from deportation without an act of Congress would amount to nothing less than the dictates of a king, not a president.

In a Telemundo interview in September 2013, Mr. Obama said he was proud of having protected the “Dreamers” — people who came to the United States illegally as young children — from deportation. But he also said that he could not apply that same action to other groups of people.

“If we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally,” Mr. Obama told Jose Diaz-Balart in the interview. “So that’s not an option.”

(…)

But Mr. Obama is set to effectively reverse position from that statement and now says he believes that such actions can be “legally unassailable,” as a senior White House official put it last week. Mr. Obama is expected to announce plans soon to expand the program for Dreamers to shield up to five million people from deportation and provide work permits for many of them.

The president insisted over the weekend that he had not changed his position. During a news conference in Australia, he said that his earlier answers about the limits of his executive authority were prompted by people who asked him whether he could enact, by fiat, a bipartisan immigration bill that had passed the Senate, which would have provided a path to legalization for more of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants here.

“Getting a comprehensive deal of the sort that is in the Senate legislation, for example, does extend beyond my legal authorities,” Mr. Obama said Sunday. “There are certain things I cannot do.”

In fact, most of the questions that were posed to the president over the past several years were about the very thing that he is expected to announce within a matter of days: whether he could do something to reduce deportations and keep families together if Congress would not act.

The president was pressed on that very issue during a Google Hangout in February 2013. An activist asked whether he could do more to keep families from being “broken apart” while Congress remained gridlocked on immigration legislation.

“This is something that I have struggled with throughout my presidency,” Mr. Obama said. “The problem is, is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

(…)

In an immigration speech in San Francisco last November, protesters repeatedly interrupted the president, yelling, “Stop deportations!” Mr. Obama told the protesters that he respected their “passion,” but insisted that only Congress had the authority to do what they wanted.

“The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws,” he said. “And what I’m proposing is the harder path.”

And at a Town Hall in March of 2011, months before taking action to keep the Dreamers from being deported, Mr. Obama said the nation’s laws were clear enough “that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Jazz Shaw found several instances where President Obama said essentially the same thing:

I believe it was the same one who said in 2010:

“I Believe Such An Indiscriminate Approach Would Be Both Unwise And Unfair. … This Could Lead To A Surge In More Illegal Immigration.”

In March of 2011:

“With Respect To The Notion That I Can Just Suspend Deportations Through Executive Order, That’s Just Not The Case….”

In September of that same year:

“I Just Have To Continue To Say This Notion That Somehow I Can Just Change The Laws Unilaterally Is Just Not True. We Are Doing Everything We Can Administratively.”

And just in March of this year…:

“Until Congress Passes A New Law, Then I Am Constrained In Terms Of What I Am Able To Do.”

Obviously, when President Obama was making these statements his main purpose was to try to explain to supporters, and principally Latino voters who support immigration reform and were frustrated by a long history of inaction on the part of the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress to act. In that regard, it’s worth remembering that there was no significant action taken on immigration from during the two years that of the Obama Presidency that Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress notwithstanding the fact that promises of such action had been made to Latino voters and others that there would be something done about the issue. Indeed, it wasn’t until Republicans took control of the House and made significant gains in the Senate in the 2010 elections that we began to see any legislative action at all on the issue, and it that case it started in the Senate where Democrats and Republicans such as Marco Rubio began to work together to pull together a bill that, at the very least could pass the Senate and, possibly, pass the House of Representatives as well. In the meantime, rather than pushing immigration reform for the first four years of his time in office, the President immigration policy was more concerned with increasing deportations at a pace that far outstripped those of the Bush Administration than it was with providing any kind of relief for undocumented immigrants, children who were brought here illegally by their parents, or the parents of children born in the United States who are, of course, American citizens by birth.

Given all of that, one has to wonder why it is that the President and Democrats in Congress didn’t try to move forward on immigration reform before 2013. Yes, it’s true that the threat of Republicans invoking cloture on such a bill was a real concern in the Senate, but that seems like something of a disingenuous argument for two reasons. First of all, the filibuster issue is only relevant in the Senate and would have obviously not been an issue in the House had an immigration bill been introduced and debate at any point between 2009 and 2011, except there’s no record of any significant bills on this issue being pushed by the Democratic majority or advocated by the Administration. Second, when the Senate finally did take up an immigration bill in 2013, it ended up passing that body with sixty-eight votes, meaning that it had the support of not only every member of the Democratic Caucus, but also thirteen Republicans, the majority of whom were also members of the Senate between 2009 and 2011. Given that, it’s not too hard to believe that a similar bill could have passed the Senate of the 111th Congress with more than enough votes to avoid cloture. That bill would have ended up on the President’s desk, and it would have been signed into law. None of that happened, of course, and it wasn’t until Republicans took control of the House that we saw Democrats try to move forward on immigration.

Once the Senate passed its immigration reform bill in 2013, of course, there was already much water under the bridge when it comes to the relationship between the parties on Capitol Hill, and the relationship between the Republicans in Congress and the President. Additionally, the influence of the Tea Party over the GOP had increased significantly, and the Tea Party had largely transformed into an organization that seemed more concerned with immigration and opposing anything the President supports than it did with the economic issues that were supposedly its founding motivation. Whatever the reason, though, and despite the fact that groups like the Chamber of Commerce and even religious groups have been pressuring the GOP to act on immigration reform, the prospect of getting any kind of reform done in the House became next to impossible. Additionally, the 2012 Republican primary fights put on rather unfortunate display the extent to which anti-immigration positions had led even otherwise level headed establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney to take extreme anti-immigration positions. The result, of course, was that the GOP got one of its lowest shares ever of the Latino vote in 2012, and signs continued to grow that the GOP could lose the Latino vote for a generation because of its stand on immigration.

The lack of progress on immigration, though, began to put pressure on the President to do something other than increase the levels of deportations to help an increasingly important part of the Democratic coalition. In 2012, the White House responded with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which  provided relief for a relatively small group of people who had been brought by their parents the United States illegally as children. When asked, however, why he couldn’t do more, the President responded in the manner set forth above for more than two years, and argued that only the Republicans in the House could truly act to fix what was wrong with the immigration system. Looking at the White House’s strategy from a distance, it seems as though they were more interested in backing Republicans into a corner on immigration than they were in helping the Latinos that they keep telling to vote Democratic. Now, suddenly, the President has seemingly discovered that that he does have the executive authority that he spent most of his Presidency claimed did not exist. Viewed objectively, it seems clear that the authority the President now claims not only likely exists under the law, but has always existed from the moment he walked into the Oval Office on January 20, 2009. So, viewed equally objectively, one can only assume that his decision to continually tell his supporters in the Latino community that he could not do what they wanted him to do was nothing more than part of a plan to play politics with an issue that they care deeply about. One wonders how they might feel about being played for fools for the past five years.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Barack Obama, Borders and Immigration, Congress, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, I know the answer! I know the answer! Call on me!

    He changed his mind.

  2. Davebo says:

    The answer is fairly simple. Public pressure.

    First you had the wave of illegals with minors in tow which causes all kinds of new problems. Add to that the failure of the two primary computer systems earlier this year that brought all immigration hearings to a screeching halt for over a month.

    That systems failure raised publicity, which then made people aware that often immigrants are waiting 4 years for a hearing after being caught and it was a perfect storm.

    Add to that a hiring freeze that kept courts empty due to a lack of judges and it’s a mess.

    And a mess of our own making that wasn’t really a problem until enough of the public realized it existed.

  3. Rick DeMent says:

    … and Republicans were for it before they were against it.

    Reagan And Bush Made The Same Immigration Move That Has The GOP Enraged At Obama

  4. Jeremy R says:

    @Doug:

    … nothing more than part of a plan to play politics … being played for fools …

    The president clearly preferred a more permanent and more sweeping reform that could only come from legislative action, and bought time (at political expense) so that it might occur. His party did the work and successfully passed a bill out of the Senate that the President would have happily signed if it ever reached his desk. GOP involvement in a legislative solution is now a total lost cause, no matter what fantasy you may hold otherwise.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Let’s be clear on what we’re talking about here.

    You are 12 years old. You are an American citizen by birth. Republicans want to arrest your parents and deport them to Honduras.

    You’ve never been to Honduras. You don’t speak Spanish. You have a science paper due in class, and you’re planning a birthday party with your friends. And Republicans want to force you out of your own country by deporting your parents.

    Or maybe you’re that same 12 year-old kid, and you’ve only been in this country since age 6 months. The Republicans want to seize you, throw you on a plane, and send you to a country where you know no one and don’t speak the language.

    The Republicans have had six years to deal with this. They refuse because bashing brown people raises lots of campaign cash.

  6. David M says:

    I’m not even sure why this needs to be asked. It’s like DADT, where Obama didn’t want to act alone, but unlike that case, it’s become clear that Congress won’t act.

  7. Will says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Oh no, we’re bad people for not wanting to give illegal aliens citizenship. Let’s give them all health insurance and welfare to get them started, even the criminals too. Criminals have kids too but it doesn’t matter as long as they promise to behave and vote Democrat.

    From the atlantic:

    “In 2013, the administration released more than 36,000 illegal aliens arrested for various forms of lawbreaking. The administration decided these 36,000 had not done anything sufficiently serious to merit deportation proceedings. What had they done? The Center for Immigration Studies reported:

    Among them, the 36,007 had nearly 88,000 convictions, including:

    193 homicide convictions (including one willful killing of a public official with gun)
    426 sexual assault convictions
    303 kidnapping convictions
    1,075 aggravated assault convictions
    1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
    9,187 dangerous drug convictions
    16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
    303 flight escape convictions

    It’s reasonable to fear that the 2.5 million or 4 million or 5 million people who will gain residency rights under the next round of presidential action will include tens of thousands more such criminals.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    So, viewed equally objectively, one can only assume that his decision to continually tell his supporters in the Latino community that he could not do what they wanted him to do was nothing more than part of a plan to play politics with an issue that they care deeply about. One wonders how they might feel about being played for fools for the past five years.

    Viewed objectively, Republicans do not care much about Obama’s supporters in the Latino community.

  9. John425 says:

    @michael reynolds: You know, Mike- if you were Pinocchio your nose would be 10 feet long due to all the outright lies you tell about Republicans. Oh, wait- you’re not Mike Reynolds, you’re a Gruber!

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @John425:

    Point out a single lie I’ve told. Just one.

  11. Will says:

    @John425:

    He’s not a liar. Michael actually believes his own bullshit and the others follow. He looks pretty tired though these days from what I saw on his FB page. i guess the big author is spending too much time on here and has been neglecting his health and probably writing.

  12. JKB says:

    It’s almost like Obama, et al, were counting on the stupidity of the Hispanic voters? Hmmm?

  13. C. Clavin says:

    In order to stop this…Republicans only have to do one thing. Act. Do something. Anything. It’s simple enough for almost anyone to understand. Yet…they cannot. They were elected to positions with responsibilities that they are wholly incapable of fulfilling.

    Obama has been waiting for them to act since ’09. They aren’t going to. Ever. Their inaction is forcing his hand.

    The funniest part of this is that Republicans are forever claiming to be all about family values. Unfortunately for Republicans their actions speak louder than their words.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Will:

    I’m all for deporting felons. So why has the GOP refused to advance legislation to deal with this? Why can’t they save the 12 year-old American kid from losing his parents, and also deport illegals who commit felonies?

    They’ve had the last six years and a piece of reform legislation that came out of the Senate with bipartisan support, and then killed it in the GOP House.

    Why? Why won’t they do their jobs?

    Because bashing brown people is good for fundraising. They want to tear families apart so they can add to their campaign war chests.

    Why don’t they want legislation that requires employers to check citizenship? Because their richer donors like cheap and helpless labor.

    If the Congress was doing its job, this would not be an issue. This is an issue because Republicans will not do their jobs. Period.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @John425:
    Hey…we’re all still waiting for you to back up your claim about Democrats.
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/election-losses-lead-to-debate-inside-democratic-party/#comment-1985793
    If you aren’t smart enough, or man enough to do that…maybe you should think about just Shutting TFU. Seriously.

  16. Davebo says:

    @Will:

    I’ll need a link to that Atlantic piece because it’s BS. It’s probably talking about green card holders not deported after committing a crime.

    But we can’t know can we?

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One wonders how they might feel about being played for fools for the past five years.

    I don’t know Doug, how do you feel after being played for a fool by the GOP for your entire voting life?

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Davebo:

    It’s David Frum writing in the Atlantic. I don’t think he links to a source.

  19. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m all for deporting felons. So why has the GOP refused to advance legislation to deal with this?

    Your mistake was believing he was making an honest argument, which he wasn’t.

    If you are here illegally and caught, you have a better than 85% chance of losing your hearing and being deported. If you are here legally with a green card and are convicted of a felony the odds of your losing your hearing, most likely an attempt to claim asylum of some kind, are better than 91%.

    Recent Data Here.

  20. stonetools says:

    Doug, I think the answer is bleeding obvious.
    For years, President Obama has been suffering under a delusion. The delusion was that Congressional Republicans were actually interested in governance, that their obstructionist stance was a “fever“, and that somehow one day they would want to partner with the Democrats to pass legislation on important issues through Reasonable Bipartisan Compromise.

    President Barack Obama on Friday told a room full of donors that he believed the Republican Party would eventually become more moderate, but only after it suffered defeat in the 2012 election.

    “I believe that if we’re successful in this election, when we’re successful in this election, that the fever may break, because there’s a tradition in the Republican Party of more common sense than that,” Obama said at an event held at the Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis, which is owned by the sons of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D).

    “My hope, my expectation, is that after the election, now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again.”

    Boy, was he wrong.

    I think we Obama fans have to admit that the man was fundamentally wrong about American politics and that he far underestimated just how mendacious were the Republicans and how bigoted and fearful were their constituents. But there it is.

    Obama , incredibly, held out hope the Republicans would actually be willing to deal with him on immigration reform (despite all evidence to the contrary), which is why he kept putting off his Latino supporters. He probably thought, ” If I just wait, we can work out a legislative deal that will be better and more permanent than what I can do through an executive order.” Unfortunately, events proved that he was dead wrong. Republicans not only couldn’t deliver a bill: Rubio , the Senate Republican leader, ruined his presidential hopes by leading on getting the Senate bill done-a bill that was and remains DOA in the House. The new Congress is, if anything, even more opposed to immigration reform than the current one. So what you see with Obama is the collapse of his grand illusion about the possibility of compromise with Republicans.

    One wonders how they might feel about being played for fools for the past five years.

    I’m not sure they feel that way. They probably feel, “How the heck did you think you could ever get a reasonable deal with these loco Republicans, amigo? Now that you’ve seen the light, let’s move on that executive order pronto.People are suffering.”

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Will: You know, I’m not near as afraid of them as I am of every right wing nut job packing heat with a Wyatt Earp complex. If you thought about it for more than half a second you’d feel the same.

  22. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, Michael, over at Schulers place you cited Obama leaving Iraq as a positive aspect of the positive “grade” you gave him………………only to come over here and denounce the notion that Obama got us out of Iraq. It’s a LIE in capital letters you wrote. When did you do that? Oh, when obama saw things going badly in Iraq and declared in his WH lawn news conference that, no-no-no, he had nothing to do with it. You fell in line, Mr Gruber.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/grubergate-idiots-such-american-voters-all-you-need-know-2-minutes

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @Will:

    Yes, once again you have managed to point out that unlike you I am quite successful in a demanding and competitive career. Obviously you believe this comment thread should be inhabited only by people — presumably like yourself — who are not successful.

    I agree that limiting the participants here would be an advantage to you, but I think you’d profit more from a limit on the IQs of commenters rather than limiting those who are successful. I think if you set the bar around IQ 80 or so you’d be able to maintain a position in the middle of the pack. So, that should be your approach. Glad I could help.

  24. Davebo says:

    Immigration judges have very little discretion concerning legal aliens who are convicted of felonies while in the US on a green card especially since 9/11.

    Most will claim asylum, with most of those saying that gang violence in their home country makes it unsafe for them to return. That will never work with an immigration judge as everyone in their country faces the same violence and we have gang violence here as well.

    Some will claim political or religious asylum but that’s hard for them to prove and comes down to how believable their story is to a judge and again, the vast majority in those cases are deemed deportable.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    I know facts and details and especially nuance are lost on you, Drew, but dude, you’re honestly too dumb to be engaging in this.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @stonetools: I suspect Obama still believes that the milk of human kindness flows thru the veins of Republicans as well as Democrats. I will admit there are times** when I wonder if it flows thru the veins of either.

    ** this latest election where Dems by and large ran away from trying to implement healthcare for all being the latest example.

  27. Will says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Funny old timer! How come you don’t comment on the Hill or Politico? You need your giant ego stroked every day on here by your fans. So worried that your voice won’t be heard anywhere else.

  28. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    Dude…ZeroHedge billed that as an idiots guide…and you watched it?
    Makes sense.

  29. Will says:

    @michael reynolds: @michael reynolds:

    Funny old timer! How come you don’t comment on the Hill or Politico? You need your giant ego stroked every day on here by your fans. So worried that your voice won’t be heard anywhere else.

    I’m sure your fans would love to know the real you.

  30. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’ll take that as “you caught me red handed” so I have to call you stupid or racist.

    Reynolds and honesty:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

  31. C. Clavin says:

    Hey…I just noticed that the Redskins are 3-7 and last in their division.

  32. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    And there you go, proving my point.

  33. michael reynolds says:

    @Will:

    You got me! I am old! Also bald. Overweight. Let’s see. . . I smoke cigars, drink, take a couple hits of weed, and I have a very, very questionable past. All things I’m perfectly open about.

    Anything else? Take a while, I’ll be even older by the time you come up with your next brilliant riposte.

    Come July I’ll be 61. Damn I’m old! So very, very old. Wow.

  34. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Devastating.

  35. Will says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You look at least 70 from that picture in october on FB. Seriously, take care of yourself. Life is too short. Go see a doctor.

  36. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    You know, Drew, if you got over this inflated image of you have of yourself as some great wit or provocateur, and actually learned something about the issues – a little history, maybe – I’d be happy to talk politics with you all day long. But you lack the patience or will to understand things so you end up coming off as a sort of gnat. Buzz, buzz, nah not even a sting.

  37. Guarneri says:

    For those of you who have cracked the code, yes, Reynolds simply comes in, makes a statement and declares victory. If you disagree you are (pick one) stupid, racist, homophobic, incapable of nuanced ( snicker) thought, brainwashed………etc

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Will:

    I know, why don’t you show us your picture? Then I’ll have something to aim for.

  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:

    Actually, Drew, that’s you. “Will” is busy accusing me of writing too much, and you’re accusing me of refusing to write enough? This from a guy who calls himself the King of Sarcasm?

  40. michael reynolds says:

    For the blessedly uninitiated, the picture Will/Jenos is referring to is a pen and ink caricature. Shhhh. Don’t tell him.

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Guarneri: You and Will seem somewhat obsessed with Michael. This in spite of your assertions that he is an ignorant nobody who slings insults instead of facts.

    Kind of makes me wonder about your priorities.

  42. M13 says:

    umm…I think you think President Obama is going to do something he has repeatedly said he has no authority to do.

    He’s not.

    Everyone eligible for deportation before he signs his executive order will still be eligible for deportation after he signs it.

  43. Tillman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They’ve had the epiphany that all liberals are following the marching orders of michael reynolds, despite all those disagreements over the surveillance regime, foreign policy, and to what degree if any racism influences Republican views of Obama you can find in the archives around here.

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    It’s exhausting giving all of you marching orders the way I do. It’s particularly tiresome when I have to give you marching orders to disagree with me on things like the NSA, ISIS, environment, etc… but it’s all part of my master plan which leads in the end to. . . Um. . . Damn, I have no third act.

  45. Tillman says:

    So, viewed equally objectively, one can only assume that his decision to continually tell his supporters in the Latino community that he could not do what they wanted him to do was nothing more than part of a plan to play politics with an issue that they care deeply about.

    If you’re viewing things objectively, you are not making assumptions about those things. You are also giving weight to contextual considerations, such as how the legislative agenda of the early Obama years was entirely dominated by the debate over healthcare reform. Candidate Obama campaigned more heavily on healthcare reform than he did on immigration reform. Further, he campaigned on a renewed spirit of bipartisanship that was killed in its cradle once the 2010 midterms were over and a new class of Republicans was elected. In the face of unrelenting obstruction, my mind might change on unilateral action. This doesn’t depend on my having planned to string along supporters with empty promises.

  46. Will says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The picture is from your own FB page at a small book signing.
    You should edit your page because you might scare your fans.

    How come you refuse to answer why I never see you at mainstreet sites like
    Wapo, hill, and politico? I know it’s because no one cares who you are at those sites and you
    Need constant affirmation from your gang. How about forming your own site instead for all
    Your fans here as well as all the kids that read your books? I guess 12 year old girls aren’t into
    politics. –

    Btw, keep thinking im Jenos. LMAo

  47. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Dude…I think someone has a man-crush on you. Lucky guy.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  49. wr says:

    @Will: I’d rather have million more immigrants than one more of Jenos’ sock puppets.

  50. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: What’s going on with the nut brigade here? They’re all starting to fling poo like howler monkeys — stupid personal insults instead of even the pretense of an argument. Granted, Jenos is pissy because people have cotttoned onto his pathetic sock-puppeting, but even that master of the universe Guarneri has stopped claiming he’s the CEO of every corporation in the country to launch spitballs…

    After the election they seemed giddy, almost delerioius. But now that Team Stupid won, they’re even sulkier than before. What do you suppose this is about?

  51. michael reynolds says:

    @wr:
    They didn’t really want to win. When you win you have to govern, solve problems, come up with answers. All they know is rage. All their Fox-bot brainwashing has prepared them to do is hate Mr. Obama. (Wait till it occurs to them that he’s leaving in a couple years.) So we get like three days of “hah hah!” And right back to incoherent rage.

  52. Grewgills says:

    @Will:
    Stalking commenters facebook pages is more than a little creepy.

  53. michael reynolds says:

    @Will:
    Oh my God, I am a little slow. I just realized: you’re threatening to expose me as a mean, mean man to my readers. That is so precious. I think you have me confused with Ann Martin or John Green. Dude, I am the darkest of YA writers. Hunger Games is patty-cake compared to my stuff. Go read BZRK then come tell me how shocked my fans would be to hear that I’m mean to ignoramuses on political blogs.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tillman: Doh! But of course… Michael? Do you have my marching orders ready for me yet?

    PS: By the by, Michael, I really feel sorry for you that you can not see the beauty of a Nebraska sky which would be nothing without the endless unfoldings of grass beneath it. It is truly sad that one must be so myopic that all is meaning less without…. oneself. Whatever will we do when you die?

  55. michael reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Scatter my ashes in Nebraska?

  56. John425 says:

    @michael reynolds: Or maybe you’re that same 12 year-old kid, and you’ve only been in this country since age 6 months. The Republicans want to seize you, throw you on a plane, and send you to a country where you know no one and don’t speak the language.

    I think that clunker makes you a f**king liar.

  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: Nope. Texas. Houston to be particular. 😉

  58. becca says:

    @wr: I think it’s unbalanced hormones due to T-cream abuse.

    Or maybe just unbalanced naturally.

  59. Andy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    As is the case almost everywhere in American politics, in which ends trump means and process, where you stand depends on where you sit.

  60. george says:

    Politicians talk differently when in power than when in it. This is such a constant (especially in parliamentary systems where its common for party leaders to take several turns at being both in power and in opposition) that I’m amazed that anyone expects any different.

    Basically, they all lie about what they’re going to do when they’re not in power, because the aim is to govern and they’ll say whatever it takes to get in power.

    This isn’t a case of “both sides” do it. This is a case of “all sides for all of recorded history have done it.”

    The amazing thing is that anyone believes anything any of them say. Which is the ultimate rational for the saying “better the devil we know” – you only see what a politician is like when they get a chance to govern. What they say beforehand (and afterward in their memoirs) has only a slight and mainly coincidental resemblance to what they actually do.

    Obama is a decent president, based on six years of seeing him in action (not the best, not the worst). He’s not much like what he promised, but then who really expected him to be? None of them are.

  61. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Doug / James / powers that be:

    I’m all for reasoned debate, and for including alternative points of view, but the time has come (indeed it has long passed) to impose some limitations on these people who are clearly here to flame and inflame.

    Note: that would be Will, who may or may not be a Jenos sockpuppet. Some checking of IP addresses is probably in order.

    If we wanted to cohabitate with Freepers, we’d be over on Freeperland’s website.

  62. anjin-san says:

    Hmm. I could read more comments from Jenos’ Lonely Sock Puppet Band, or I could stare at a test pattern for a few hours. That’s an easy choice.

  63. RAOUL says:

    DM: There is a big gap between legislative action and executive action including citizenship and permanency of the law but perhaps you are fooling all of us in thinking we would not see the difference.

  64. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: yet obama has bragged about deporting massive amounts of illegals- but that was before he invited the last wave of potential voters, workers……

    all in all he’s treading water and really making himself look even worse than ever- jan 2017 can’t get here fast enough for this guy.

  65. Blue Galangal says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Apropos of the Ozarks, I drove through them for the first time this summer and, man oh man, that is a gorgeous stretch of country. (Also had some fantastic ribs in Tulsa.)

  66. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Let’s be clear on what we’re talking about here.

    You are 12 years old. You are an American citizen by birth. Republicans want to arrest your parents and deport them to Honduras.

    You’ve never been to Honduras. You don’t speak Spanish. You have a science paper due in class, and you’re planning a birthday party with your friends. And Republicans want to force you out of your own country by deporting your parents.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the textbook example of “anchor baby.” The use of emotional blackmail to thwart the law.

    The bad guys here aren’t those who say that the law should be enforced. It’s the parents who put their children in this situation, knowing full well how the law works.

  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Wow, all these people who talk about how others are obsessed with michael are totally blind to how obsessed they are with me. Every time someone pops up who doesn’t immediately fall into the GroupThink of the Regular Gang of Idiots, it must be Jenos sock-puppeting!

    News flash, idiots: it ain’t me. It’s never me. Don’t do Facebook, couldn’t pay me enough to look at anyone here’s Facebook page. And I’m certainly not going to make fun of anyone’s physical appearance.

    But back to the topic at hand: of course Obama is contradicting himself. Obama’s single defining principle is “whatever is politically convenient at the time.” When he was a senator, he supported the War Powers Resolution. Now that he’s president, it’s totally irrelevant. He was against gay marriage until he was for it. He was opposed to a health insurance mandate until he was for it. “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” As Gruber said, he needs to lie to advance his agenda, and we should be grateful that he’s willing to lie to take such good care of us and protect us from such big scary things as “choices” and “responsibilities.” Such a good daddy figure.

    Well, maybe not a daddy figure. He’s not quite old enough to pull that off for all of us. But we all need a benevolent, protective Big Brother…

  68. Will says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Thats what these clowns do when too many people disagree with them. Real tolerant folks on here. Thinking you and I are the same. Liberals are the most bitter people when things don’t go their way. They better getter use to disappointment

  69. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Good luck with that! This is a public site for everyone. If you don’t like my words, you have the right to ignore or respond.

  70. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Will: This is a public site for everyone. If you don’t like my words, you have the right to ignore or respond.

    No, it’s not. It’s the authors’ private property, and we are all guests here. If they don’t want you here, then you have no right to comment here.

    Sadly, they aren’t the most neutral of sorts. At least one of the Regular Gang Of Idiots apparently has a free pass to break the posted rules, and the rest of them seem to think that they have some kind of special pull with the authors to get people banned. I don’t recall the authors actually ever banning someone, but every now and then one of the Idiots pulls the “we’re all tolerant and accepting, but this one particular person is beyond the pale and should be gotten rid of, ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ style,” and a couple of others chime in with copious regrets. But I don’t think it’s ever worked…

  71. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Will:

    No, this is a privately owned site on which you are extended the PRIVILEGE of commenting. That you choose to utilize that courtesy for the purposes of flinging invective and disrupting considered debate is why you do not belong here.

  72. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    (Shrug).
    So the president changed his mind . As Keynes may have said,

    When events change, I change my mind. What do you do?

    I guess you are like GWB:

    I think the same thing on Wednesday, as I do on Monday-no matter what happens on Tuesday

    What matters is whether what the President does is legal and as Doug concedes, it certainly is.
    Also too, see other presidents:

    Indeed, presidents of both parties have tailored immigration policy to their own goals. In 1987, the Reagan administration took executive action to limit deportations for 200,000 Nicaraguan exiles, even those who had been turned down for asylum. Similarly, President George H.W. Bush in 1990 limited deportations of Chinese students and in 1991 kept hundreds of Kuwait citizens from being deported. President Bill Clinton regularly used his power of prosecutorial discretion to limit deportations; in 1993 he gave 18-month extensions to Salvadoran residents, in 1997 he limited deportations for Haitians, and in 1998 he limited deportations to Central American counties that had been devastated by hurricanes.

    President George W. Bush also took major steps to limit deportations on humanitarian grounds. In 2001, he limited deportation of Salvadorian citizens at the request of the Salvadorian president who said that their remittances were a key part of their nation’s economy. The Bush administration embraced prosecutorial discretion and ordered the consideration of factors such as whether a mom was nursing a child or whether an undocumented person was a U.S. military veteran in making the determination on whether to order a deportation

    That should end rational discussion on this issue. But hey, since its you, Jenos, carry on.

  73. Will says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    i don’t like bullies. I especially do not like the manner people respond to opinions that are unpopular on this board. these idiots talk in absolutes and believe everything they say is 100% fact. They then descend into bitterness when public opinion turns away from their views. When they are not attacking us, they go after Doug and the other people on this site who have worked hard to make it what it is.

    I act the way I do because I’ve tried being civil. Last week, I was in civil discussions, one about 2016 GOP potential nominees. Until these people start showing respect for other people, I will drop by occasionally to show my displeasure.

  74. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Who are you and why should I care?? Im offering my opinions. Stop trying to censor people.

  75. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Hey, stonetools, don’t you have some black conservatives to scream about or something?

    And your examples… how sadly irrelevant. Specific examples of specific circumstances of specific groups. Whereas Obama is simply doing it wholesale. The groups you cited were under very specific risks from being returned to their home countries at the time.

    Fail.

  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Will: Who are you and why should I care?? Im offering my opinions. Stop trying to censor people.

    He’s a Harvard Law Graduate, you stupid prole. Just like the president. So shut up and listen to your betters.

  77. anjin-san says:

    @Will:

    i don’t like bullies.

    You dropped in out of the blue and started picking fights with people. Now you are whining because the result of that is you got smacked around?

    I will drop by occasionally to show my displeasure.

    Yes, and our new kitten will occasionally attack my ankle as I walk by.

  78. Will says:

    @anjin-san:

    Those that want respect, show respect.

  79. Will says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    A Harvard law degree isn’t worth much these days unless you are in Big Law. Does Mr Harvard work for a big firm like Latham, Skadden, or Paul Weiss or is he just part of academia?

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Will: A Harvard law degree isn’t worth much these days unless you are in Big Law. Does Mr Harvard work for a big firm like Latham, Skadden, or Paul Weiss or is he just part of academia?

    HOW DARE YOU QUESTION YOUR BETTERS, YOU STUPID PROLE! THE MAN/WOMAN/WHATEVER HAS A HARVARD LAW DEGREE, SO SHUT UP!

    I hope that clarifies things for you.

  81. michael reynolds says:

    @anjin-san:

    Normally you don’t see this among people not pushing a shopping cart around Santa Monica. Jenos takes no part in the thread until “Will” is accused of being a Jenos sock puppet, then suddenly he shows up out of nowhere to do a comment section Sybil? Come on, that’s entertainment. Or serious mental issues, not sure which.

  82. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Just call me Beetlejuice.

    I found it amusing that there was a whole article posted about a link I had provided in a prior comment, and was wondering if I would get credit. Instead, I find yet more evidence of just how I live, rent-free, in so many people’s heads. It’s almost flattering.

    You all just can’t live without me, can you?

  83. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You all just can’t live without me, can you?

    Sorry Jenos, your little act was done, and done better, long ago.

  84. Will says:

    @michael reynolds:

    2 people on here who know you are FOS. That’s two. There’s a whole lot more, but most of those folks have left the site. Track the IP old man. Use your “clout” here to unravel the mystery that’s bothering you. Whats the latest with your own site?? I know that giant ego needs stroking and i dont see many of your fan boys around today.

  85. anjin-san says:

    @Will:

    I don’t want your respect. Sorry.

  86. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Fun link, but let me fix that for you. Here’s the one I think you meant to use.

  87. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Well dude, I’m sorry you hate yourself, but giving your abominable taste in music, it’s understandable.

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I know you’re used to saying absolutely nothing of substance, but you just dissed Joan Jett. I’d be curious to see how many others here agree with you that her music is “abominable.”

    Oh, and the term you wanted to use is “given,” not “giving.”

    Stick to saying nothing of substance, anjin. You really suck at it when you venture out of your craven little comfort zone.

  89. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    you just dissed Joan Jett

    Yes I did. If you want to hear what a real rock & roll chick sounds like, you can do it here & here.

    Or you could just enjoy your bubblegum.

  90. Will says:

    @anjin-san:

    If you want to talk about women that rock, list Ann Wilson, Chrissy Hynde, Stevie Nicks, or Janis Joplin. btw, why do you think Jenos hates himself? I think he’s a happy guy like me. We’re sociopaths remember. We’re happy people!

  91. anjin-san says:

    @Will:

    Umm. Dude? I did list Chrissy Hynde. Janis Joplin lived 10 miles up the road from me in her Marin County days. If you are into Janis, you should check out Sam Andrew’s blog, “Sundays with Sam.” Stevie Nicks? Saw her live before she was famous.

  92. anjin-san says:

    @ Will

    I’m curious dude, do you actually know anything about these women and their music? Do you know about Janis riding up from Texas with Chet Helm? Do you know the backstory on the piano Grace wrote “White Rabbit” on? Can you tell us how the harmonies on “Gold Dust Woman” are put together?

    Or are you just dropping names of famous singers?

  93. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Will:

    He’s an equity partner in a white shoe, specializing in M&A. Which firm is not something that a person like yourself has any need to know.

  94. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Now that’s the anjin we all know and… know. Quick, change the subject! Get off the topic at hand, get bogged down in pointless diversions!

    And Joan Jett was a pioneer, from her first days with the Runaways. Almost 40 years later, she still kicks ass.

  95. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    so, you are an equity partner in a white shoe firm?? I’m a recruiter so yes I know a lot about big law firm. I’ve placed many partners and opened offices for law firms. You’d know that if you weren’t quick to bash people.

    Any questions or advice you want to ask about? The latest with Bingham? problems at Dickstein? Are a Howrey or Thelen refugee? There’s a lot of movement this time of the year..

  96. Will says:

    @anjin-san:

    I listen to mostly classic rock. I have all the studio and live stuff too, but occasionally I’ll find some cool stuff on Spotify that i haven’t heard like Chrissy Hynde duets like Waiting in Vain or I Got you Babe. I recently heard the new McCartney covers that features a great version of Band on the Run by Heart. i must confess though i dont know all the stories like you. I’m more of a Zeppelin and Clapton guy when it comes to stuff like that.

    http://www.stereogum.com/1718163/stream-the-art-of-mccartney-tribute-album-featuring-new-covers-by-bob-dylan-billy-joel-brian-wilson-the-cure-more/mp3s/album-stream/

  97. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Will:

    I’m sorry, but after your tirade of invective and the decidedly personal attacks on other commenters here, Micheal in particular, what gave you the idea that I might have the slightest interest in anything you have to say / offer?

    You were doing better reacting to me as though I viewed you with contempt. I assure you that it’s an accurate assumption. Seek joy elsewhere.

  98. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    I have no interest in you. You asked me if I knew anything about big Law. I answered that i did. I only go after folks with portable business. My sense is you have little and are probably a service partner or counsel. I cold call anyway. Best way to get candidates!

  99. michael reynolds says:

    @Will
    And when I want to download The Great British Bake Off I’m “in” the UK.

  100. HarvardLaw92 says:

    You asked me if I knew anything about big Law

    I did? Where, exactly, did I ask that? You volunteered that information of your own accord, for reasons I’ll assume have something to do with hugging yourself. You seem to do that relatively often.

    I’ll have to find some way to survive professionally without your services. Whatever will I do, now that I’ve been turned down by a headhunter that I neither called nor needed in the first place …

  101. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Excellent because i don’t work with losers! It;s very difficult to place folks with no business.

  102. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Will:

    Headhunters, by definition, market the second rate prospect – those people who need the help getting noticed. They’re hucksters marketing the desperate. I assure you that I don’t need you. When you’re actually exceptional at what you do, the people who matter already know your name, and they call you. You don’t call them.

    I tell Rodge you said hello. He knows my name. Somehow I doubt that he’d recognize yours.

    Oh, and have a nice day 😀

  103. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    not billing much today huh? Not my kind of candidate.

  104. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Will: You’re still here? Your hatred and envy are like a soothing balm 😀

    I absolutely agree, though, that I’m not your kind of candidate. I thought I’d already made clear why that is so.

  105. Will says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Why would I envy you? You’re just a tool in the system. I really like how you take the moral high groud as a corporate lawyer. I’m sure you’ve done a lot of good for folks while at the firm. Big law firms really do help people…

    I guess im just amoral and profit off folks like you. I don’t pretend to support liberal causes to wipe away how I help corporate America screw people like you do.

    Btw, I don’t hate any of you. I consider you all friends. It’s been fun pointing out the absurdity and hypocrisy of many of you. Try not to hate me because that would really hurt.

  106. HarvardLaw92 says:

    To not hate us, you certainly do expend a great deal of time and energy attacking and berating us. Maybe that’s just your thing though. Whatever gets you through the day., I suppose.

    I don’t pretend to claim any moral high ground. I am what I am – a guy who takes companies, puts them together to make bigger companies or shreds them apart to make smaller ones, and who gets quite well paid to do it. I stepped on quite a few heads and stabbed more than a few backs to get here, and I’m fine with that. It’s the nature of the beast on Wall Street, I like my expensive toys, and I sleep like a baby. I’m not in business to help people. I’m in business to make money. If you’re expecting an apology or a sense of guilt about that, you’d better pull up a chair, because you’re in for a wait …

    Moreover, I’m pretty transparent about what I am. I support liberal causes 1) because I tend to vehemently dislike the social positions that the Republican party has adopted and 2) because I have the luxury of being able to afford to support them. That having been said, we financially support candidates from BOTH parties, because access is the name of the game and access costs money. It’s a cost of doing business. I don’t much concern myself with morality other than my own, and I’m pretty amoral in that regard.

    I don’t hate you. That would require actively considering and caring about your existence. I just don’t care for your tone.

  107. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: So, you’re basically Mitt Romney. You don’t actually produce anything or contribute anything to the economy. You make your money by manipulating money. You make a (presumably very good) living off other people’s misery, closing down companies and throwing hard-working people out of work. You put profit ahead of people, wreaking havoc on communities by destroying their way of life. And you support liberal causes to assuage your conscience, hoping you can buy your way into forgiveness for your sins against humanity.

    Did I miss any of the standard leftist talking points, or should I poke through the archives and find a few more choice phrases?

  108. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No, I’m basically Mitt Romney’s attorney. Whatever actions he and people like him take with respect to the companies they devour or the communities they destroy are their choice and their responsibility. They bear the weight of the consequences of their actions. My conscience is clean.

  109. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    kicks ass

    Yes, I can picture you, home alone, halfway drunk, rocking out to “Do you wanna touch me” as it plays on a crappy stereo you got at Best Buy. How depressing.

    Probably a waste of time, but here’s some rock & roll that actually kicks ass once, twice, and three times

  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Whatever, Empty Words. Get back to me when you find anything that rocks out anywhere near this.

  111. MARK TRAINA says:

    PHONY AZZ PRESIDENT

    PRESIDENT OBAMA goes ROUGE on IMMIGRATION on 11-20-2014

    NAAWP IMMIGRATION UPDATE: Last night PRESIDENT
    OBAMA was shunned by all the major
    broadcast networks…

    … President Obama’s ‘prime time’ address to the
    nation – which was aired by dominant Spanish-language channel Univision
    viewers, CNN and PBS laid out the new steps he and he alone willing ENFORCING
    through ECECUTIVE ORDER will be taking “to fix our broken immigration system.” Obama appeared to be going all-in as he spoke
    from Las Vegas, Nevada, the HOMESTATE of PROGRESSIVE LEFT-WING-NUT SENATOR HARRY
    REID!

    The
    REPUBLICAN RESPONSE was as follows: SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MC CONNELL had
    this to say immediately after PRESIDENT OBAMA laid out his UNILATERIAL
    IMMIGRATION POLICY:

    “Make no
    mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats,
    they will act,”!

    It seems that
    PRESIDENT OBAMA has picked a BATTLE that he knows he can’t possibly WIN! According to the UNITED
    STATES CONSTITUTION a PRESIDENTS DUTY is to UPHOLD the LAWS of the LAND! The
    PRESIDENT, nor anyone or any group in the EXECUTIVE BRANCH of our FEDERAL
    GOVERNMENT has the AUTHORITY to make LAWS! As a CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY
    PRESIDENT OBAMA knows that his IMMIGRATION MANDATE will be IMPOSSIBLE to
    ENFORCE! Furthermore, PRESIDENT OBAMA has been a very POOR STEWART of
    UP-HOLDING the LAWS as WRITTEN in the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION over the past
    6-years. PRESIDENT OBAMA and ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER have been GUILTY of
    ENFORCING LAWS that they LIKE and IGNORING LAWS that have been in place for HUNDREDS
    of YEARS!

    A DEMOCRAT
    STRATEGIST immediately responded to the PRESIDENT’s ADDRESS to the NATION by making
    the following STATEMENTS:

    “PRESIDENT OBAMA needs to start doing sh—
    that’s going to energize our base,”

    “And these DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS in the HOUSE
    and SENATE need to pull their heads out of their asses. We already own the bad,
    so let’s get something for all of the good.”

    FACT: Over 100
    DEMOCRATS in the HOUSE of REPRESENATIVES and the UNITED STATES SENATE have said
    that in JANUARY of 2015 they will begin the process of CHANGING POLITICAL
    AFFILIATIONS! The GRAND OLE PARTY is expected to begin the IMPEACHMENT PROCESS against
    a ROUGE PRESIDENT soon after the new MEMBERS of the HOUSE and SENATE are
    SEATED!

    FACT: PRESIDENT OBAMA has DESTROYED the
    DEMOCRATIC PARTY and now he seems to be COMING AFTER the REST of U.S.!

    SECOND THOUGHTS:

    OBAMA’s UNILATERIAL IMMIGRATION PLAN SHOCKED the
    NATION

    CONGRESS and the SUPREME COURT were NULLIFIED during PRESIDENT
    OBAMA’s ADDRESS to the NATION last night, as the PRESIDENT laid out his
    UNILATERIAL IMMIGRATION PLAN for AMERICA!

    Interestingly, PRESIDENT OBAMA does not have the EXECUTIVE, nor the LEGAL
    AUTHORITY to make LAWS, nor does he CONTROL the PURSE-STRINGS necessary to
    carry out his newly-minted DICATATES!

    FACT: This is just another one of PRESIDENT OBAMA’s BOGUS attempts to interject
    his NARSISTIC SELF back into the AMERICAN SPOTLITE!

    MARK TRAINA is a STAFF WRITER for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
    for the ADVANCEMENT of WHITE PEOPLE

  112. gVOR08 says:

    @MARK TRAINA: Do you have some weird idea that was even coherent, much less convincing?

  113. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Well, now that the Klan has weighed in, I guess we can consider this one officially dead.