In an attempt to game the ref prior to President Obama’s expected immigration reform announcement Thursday (tomorrow), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused, “It is lawless. It is unconstitutional. He is defiant and angry at the American people.”
The Republican shutdown king from Texas, dubbed a “wacko bird” by Republican Senator John McCain, took to the pages of Politico Magazine on Wednesday in an effort to demonize President Obama’s actions on immigration reform before he even announced them.
While Cruz is highly educated, he runs a good game playing obtuse. And thus we get passages like:
To be clear, the dispute over executive amnesty is not between President Obama and Republicans in Congress; it is a dispute between President Obama and the American People. The Democrats suffered historic losses in the midterm elections largely over the prospect of the President’s executive amnesty.
Or, in reality, the 2014 midterms favored Republicans not only in midterm electorate turnout (which, contrary to Ted Cruz’s quackings, do not represent all Americans but actually mostly older white Republicans) but also in terms of which seats were being defended. Democrats were fighting to keep seats in red states lost by the President in 2012. It was a deck stacked against them, and still Republicans had to rely on millions of dark money in red states just to stave off the more popular policies of Democrats.
But Republicans try to pass this off as a huge victory for them and a referendum on Obama and his policies. Yet exit polls showed that the policies Obama was referring to when he said his policies were on the ballot were popular even with voters who voted for the Republican. So we got the misinformed voters who want a raise in the minimum wage and thus voted Republican. Let us not dwell too long in this dark cave for fear of madness.
Cruz continues, “President Obama was correct: His policies were on the ballot across the nation in 2014. The elections were a referendum on amnesty, and the voters soundly rejected it. There was no ambiguity.”
Nope. See above. But also, the President has not even presented his plan yet, so how Ted Cruz can be so sure of what it entails is a quandary best left to wacko bird hunters.
Here’s the reality: Whatever the President announces on executive action regarding immigration reform, he will no doubt present it as a temporary change in the implementation of policy regarding the enforcement of deportation rules, something that is under his authority as the executive (as discussed during the Obamacare implementation change, the President is allowed to make changes to the implementation of laws under the purview of the executive branch). It will not be a change to immigration law as Cruz as the Republicans keep deliberately pretending it is, because laws can only be made in Congress.
Even this conservative Supreme Court agreed two years ago that the President has “broad discretion” over deportation policies. Immigration officials have broad discretion over the implementation of the policy. All of this deciding when to implement and whom to deport falls under the power of the executive branch.
Speaking of civics lessons, why hasn’t this law been made in Congress? Republicans keep saying they need more time but Obama has been waiting now 510 days for Republicans to act on immigration, as the Senate sent the House an immigration reform bill 510 days ago but Speaker John Boehner won’t even vote on it. Furthermore, if Republicans were really concerned about Obama having overreach, they could easily fix this problem by passing an actual law. Republicans have the authority to stop Obama from taking action. They have been told this day was coming for 510 days and they chose to do nothing.
Republicans will solve immigration reform problems by doing nothing but calling the President names and threatening to sue him, apparently. So that’s fun.
Cruz says Obama is undeterred by the will of the people as shown in the last election. He’s a monarch! And also, he’s “angry and defiant”. Blow that whistle. Nobody ever refers to white people as angry and defiant. Everybody knows where Cruz was going there.
Undeterred, President Obama appears to be going forward. It is lawless. It is unconstitutional. He is defiant and angry at the American people. If he acts by executive diktat, President Obama will not be acting as a president, he will be acting as a monarch.
The man who shutdown the government in a temper tantrum over the implementation of a law that was passed legally (Obamacare) is calling the President “defiant” and “angry” at the American people. Sure, Cruz doesn’t want you to have affordable healthcare, but that’s not the same as being defiant and angry at the people. Saving people from deportation is seen as anger at the people.
Also, no. It’s not lawless and it’s not unconstitutional, as former President Reagan well knew when he did it. So, Reagan was “angry and defiant” against the American people. That fizzles because the poisoning of the well re “angry and defiant” doesn’t work as well if the person isn’t black. And no one in their right mind would accuse this President of being angry. There is an ongoing joke involving an Obama anger translator precisely because this President does not get visibly “angry”. Nor has he ever behaved in a juvenile fashion (like shutting down the government right after you win election to it in an epic display of Me Firstitis) to warrant the label “defiant”.
Speaking of elections, Senator Cruz might like to be reminded that President Obama won reelection in a landslide, and more of the American electorate turned out for that election than for the midterms. So, math and reality are not impressed with the defiant and angry one’s attempt to game the ref in advance of President Obama’s immigration reform announcement.
Someone needs to get Senator Ted Cruz a mirror. Stat.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.