“Oh, what a tangled web we weave: When first we practice to deceive!”
Obama drew a red line on acting unilaterally on some type of immigration reform by the end of the summer with his pen and phone because Congress didn’t act to his likening. He likes drawing red lines and then pretending he never drew a red line, see Syria:
“I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”
– President Obama, news conference in Stockholm, Sept. 4, 2013
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
– Obama, remarks to reporters, August 20, 2012
It’s bad enough for the POTUS to draw a read line, see it crossed and do nothing, but it’s really bad when he does it in the span of one day. We found out yesterday that he withdrew his pen and surrendered to the at-risk Democrats. What will he say now?
“I didn’t set a red line. The Republican’s set a red line by not passing a bill.” or “I didn’t set a red line. The Democrats changed the deadline.”
Whether to call it a deadline or redline is moot as once again he lied to the American people. At least those Senate Democrats in red states called his bluff.
Personally I’m elated that Obama lied and stepped away from his pen for once, albeit only temporarily. But I do find the political theater over immigration reform and the accompanying threats and bluffs by both party’s quite fascinating. Who’s
zooming bluffing whom?
Watching this whole “debate”, I use the term loosely, is like watching a tennis match in slow motion, back and forth, back and forth:
But then suddenly, it’s whiplash! Why it was just Friday in Wales when he said he would be taking action soon based upon the proposals he’s received from the AG and DHS Secretary and then the president said this before he changed his mind on Saturday and said nevermind, sike!
I suspect that on my flight back this will be part of my reading, taking a look at some of the specifics we’ve looked at, and I will be making an announcement soon.
My intention is, in the absence of action by Congress, I’m going to do what I can do within the legal constraints of my office, because it’s the right thing to do for the country.
Well, how did we get here? It’s all about Big Government, Big Business, Big Agriculture, Big Tech and Big Union of course, the key constituents in pushing for comprehensive immigration reform for their own selfish reasons, that led to the passage of Senate bill S. 744. The People didn’t have a voice in the matter as usual. But the Senate bluffed because they never sent the bill to the House knowing it would be blue slipped.
No matter. We know the Senate and the president didn’t need to put their bill into the House hopper since railing against them was just as powerful as the equivalent of a hot political potato. “The House must act on the bill the Senate passed on 6/27/13 in a bi-partisan fashion”. At what point does this bill become a dead parrot?
It seems the Senate bill was so fragile and tightly written to benefit each Big member, that if one pulled out of the deal, the whole bill would fall.* Yet that’s exactly what happened in April when a Silicon Valley group called Compete America voiced that they want to at least pass the increase in H1B visas if nothing else. That made Mr. Dick Durbin furious. How dare one of the Big coalition step out of bounds! From the same Washington Examiner article, you can just hear him whining:
“It was my understanding that high tech was committed to supporting [the Gang of Eight bill] because the industry’s top priorities are addressed in our legislation,” Durbin wrote. “I am troubled by recent statements suggesting that some in the technology industry may shift their focus to passage of stand-alone legislation that would only resolve the industry’s concerns.”
Durbin slammed Corley’s op-ed as if the techies had moved over to the dark side: “This ‘divide and conquer’ approach destroys the delicate political balance achieved in our bipartisan bill,” Durbin wrote, “and calls into question the good faith of those who would sacrifice millions of lives for H-1B relief.”
So Big Tech called Durbin’s bluff and he huffed and puffed back, surely threatening with pulling his support if they didn’t stick to the Big Deal. One for the Bluffee.
Obama has endlessly taunted the House into passing the bill they never received from the Senate. As the roar grew louder, Sen. Schumer proclaimed that Republicans would never win the White House again. How very nice of the Senator to look out for his staunch
The Republicans called Obama’s bluff and in a rare thanks to Speaker Boehner, told Obama in no uncertain terms, the House would not be taking up the Senate’s bill this session. Not to be out bluffed by Boehner, Obama proclaimed in June he would act alone by the end of the Summer.
Now come July, the Bluffer in Chief got tough. He came out swinging in a WH powwow with all of his bluffees and said he would defer deportation for 4-5M. The pro-no-border folks were happy again to hear that he would do an EO by the end of summer.
So for months, Obama huffed and puffed and threatened to use his red ink pen and phone. And who called his bluff? Well about 60-80 thousand illegals from South America. It was such a spectacular spectacle that finally Obama said to Congress, please give me $3.7B to deal with the problem, that I used to bluff you into passing comprehensive immigration.
The Bluffees in the Senate said no Mr. President and called his bluff. You built this, you fix it and now we’re going on summer break. The House would not be bluffed and voted to give him a pittance, knowing the Senate wouldn’t budge, and then went on vacation. So he didn’t get a dime for all his bluster and best laid plans. That’s two points for the House.
After all the months of bluffing that he would act alone if Congress didn’t enact comprehensive immigration reform, he showed his cards yesterday; he has nothing but a lousy hand and finally folded today as the empty
chair bluffer that he is.
Of course the immigration activist bluffees are furious with him, again. From The Hill (my emphasis):
Cristina Jimenez, director of United We Dream, an advocacy group said. “But Dreamers will not soon forget the president and Democrats’s latest failure and their attempts to fool the Latino community, and we remain resolute in fighting for justice for our families,”
And …director of America’s Voice, Frank Sharry tore into Obama for the delay, calling it a bitter disappointment. “We advocates didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it,” Sharry said. “The President and Senate Democrats have chosen politics over people; the status quo over solving real problems.” “It is hard to believe this litany of high expectations and broken promises will be mended by the end of the year,” he said.
Just how many times will it take for the immigration activists to learn that Obama bluffs and lies to them just for their votes? Maybe this times a charm since he’s been using and lying to them since 2007 and they seem really mad now!
My advice to them? Stay mad (and vote Republican) because he is still bluffing and he won’t act before the end of this year.
Why? Because he knows amnesty is a losing proposition with the electorate from now until forever. He tried to bluff Republicans into passing a bill to seal their political deathbed that he claimed was so important for the good of the country, yet he didn’t pass it when he had a super-majority.
He may not be smart, but he’s not stupid when it comes to retribution politics. He has bluffed every way until Sunday to get Republicans to pass the bill so he and the Regressives don’t take the blame for passing an untenable bill that most Americans reject but that will reward the Democrats forever electorally. No deal Mr. President. I call your bluff. You want it, you pass it.
Immigration reform is dead and Obama killed it. You could say he’s back on first, back to square one, and the Republicans have hit a home run on stopping comprehensive immigration reform. Well done Republicans. Now don’t strike out and we can all live happily ever after.
So what’s the moral of the story? Being a bluffer is far better than being a bluffee and he who calls the last bluff wins.
* I wanted to advocate for this as a cause to break up the Big Bill, but it self-destructed luckily, as we don’t need more H1B visas. The crack in the coalition was there for the taking though…something to keep in mind as the bluffing continues.