Apparently, there are no limits to what the president will do to get himself reelected. There is evidence that he will manipulate the law in favor of pet causes and supporters, as in the case of Solyndra. His administration might be guilty of breaking the law, as shown by the leaks of classified national security information. And now, President Obama holds himself above the law on immigration.
Today’s executive order, granting work permits and immunity from deportation to young illegal immigrants, is not an example of the president using his authority; it’s a scandal involving the president performing a selfish act in furtherance of currying favor with a special-interest group.
Obama has acknowledged that what he did today would require a new law, or at least changes to the current law. But instead of waiting on either, he has decided to rule by fiat. This is not a show of strength; it’s an act of arrogance of rare severity.
Before you can even get to the question of whether this is good policy or if it invites more illegal immigration, you can see that the president’s actions today ignore some of the Constitution’s fundamental tenets. Yesterday, I spoke about the gall the president displayed in his so-called economic speech, which was full of gratuitous pledges and the selective retelling of history. Today’s actions go beyond gall, showing contempt for our laws.
Obviously, this issue is hand-picked to play itself out in a campaign context, where Obama dares Romney to join with him in ignoring the law or seizes the opportunity to suggest that Romney is indifferent to the plight of illegal immigrants. And this all happens one week before Obama speaks to the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Are we supposed to believe that this is a good act of legitimate governance on the president’s part?
I usually say that in politics, gall pays off. The president will test that theory to the limits. It’s a little frightening.