Obama Announces Immigration Plan, Opponents In Both Parties Cry Foul

Obama - Signing

In a speech the New York Times asserted was defined by “confrontation,” Barack Obama laid out the details of his executive action regarding immigration reform Thursday evening.

In all, his plan would affect at least five million illegals currently living in the U.S. He announced a new program that would qualify the illegal parents of American citizens for deferred deportations while granting them the ability to work freely in this country. These criminals will also receive a Social Security card, reports indicate.

Obama also plans to shield at least one million other illegal immigrants from deportation through his unilateral order.

Leading up to his planned speech, Republican leaders have discussed how best to respond to his expected action. Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, urged GOP legislators to block any nonessential Obama nominee until the program is overturned.

For his part, however, Obama claims what he has presented is completely legal, blaming his political rivals for the necessity of his executive order.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful,” he alleged, “they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century.”

He went on to call out those who oppose his position and liberal use of executive orders.

“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

Though Republicans made up the largest united voice of opposition to Obama’s amnesty plan, plenty of Democrats felt it was the wrong move as well.

“I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job,” explained Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly prior to Obama’s speech, “but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”

Fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said he expressed a similar position to a group of White House aides Thursday.

“To put it through now is the wrong thing to do,” he said. “I told them I wasn’t comfortable.”

Republicans as a whole offered an even more scathing indictment of his plan. Conservative firebrand Trey Gowdy blasted the action in a statement released Thursday evening. The South Carolina congressman wrote:

“The thread that holds the tapestry of our country together is respect for and adherence to the rule of law.  The law is our greatest unifier and our greatest equalizer.  Attempts to undermine the law via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are dangerous.  President Obama may seek a fight with Republicans in Congress, but in reality he is fighting with founders of this republic and the carefully crafted separation of powers.

“Whether previous administrations acted outside of constitutional boundaries is not license to do the same.  The President himself recognized his inability to do what he just did – 22 separate times. This action is not only detrimental to any chance in the new Congress for a sustainable, long-term solution on immigration, but also to the bedrock of our system of government— respect for the rule of law.

“When the executive branch acts outside of constitutional boundaries the legislative branch must use all powers afforded it to respond and restore the constitutional equilibrium.  This is not a Republican or Democrat issue.  Rather, it should hasten the resolve of all Americans to make certain her elected officials honor the foundational document they swore to protect and defend.”

Photo credit: The Speaker (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Exposed: The Ridiculousness Of The Kumbaya Temptation

Photo credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com

Nov. 4 was a national vote of no confidence in Barack Obama.

Had a British prime minister received a vote like this, he would have resigned by now.

The one issue on which all Republicans agreed, and all ran, was the rejection of Obama. And by fleeing from him, some even refusing to admit they voted for him, Democrats, too, were conceding that this election was about Obama, and that they were not to blame for his failures.

Yet, though this was a referendum on Obama and his policies, and though both were repudiated, some pundits are claiming that America voted for an “end to gridlock” and a new era of compromise and conciliation.

How so? If the American people were truly saying that, why did they vote to turn the Senate over to Mitch McConnell? Why did they vote to send more Republicans to strengthen the hand of John Boehner and those in the House who had “shut down” the government?

Did America vote for the GOP to go back to Washington and work with Obama? Or did America reward the GOP for promising to return and continue to oppose Obama’s policies?

Is the answer not obvious?

What Republicans are hearing now is the siren song of a Beltway elite that just got its clock cleaned, an elite that revels in Republican defeats, but is ever at hand to give guidance and counsel to Republicans when they win.

And that counsel is always the same: Time to put the acrimony behind us. Time to reach out and take the extended hand of the defeated. Time to come together to end gridlock and move forward. And invariably, this means move in the same old direction, if a bit more slowly.

Consider several areas where the kumbaya temptation is strongest.

The first is the rising clamor from Corporate America for the newly empowered Republicans to grant Obama fast track authority and support his Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Fast track would be a unilateral surrender of Congressional authority, yielding all power to amend trade treaties to Obama, and leaving Congress with a yes or no vote on whatever treaty he brings home.

This would be a Republican ratification of the policies of Bush I and II that produced $10 trillion in trade deficits, hollowed out our manufacturing base, and sent abroad the jobs of millions of Reagan Democrats.

Globalization carpet-bombed Middle America and killed the Nixon-Reagan coalition that used to give the GOP 49-state landslides.

Why would Republicans return to that Bush-Clinton-Obama policy that ended the economic independence of Eisenhower’s America?

The party should re-embrace economic patriotism, stand up to Japanese protectionists and Chinese currency manipulators, and put American workers first, ahead of corporate outsourcers.

Immigration reform is a second area where the GOP is being urged, even by some of its own, to compromise. In return for Obama agreeing to improve border security, Republicans will be asked to go along with amnesty for millions here illegally.

But did any Republican run on amnesty? Is the nation demanding amnesty? If not, then who is?

Pages: 1 2

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Against Obama, But For What?

Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

After billions in attack ads that turned the approval ratings of almost every candidate, in both parties, upside down, Republicans appear primed to take control of Congress.

Why are Democrats falling like dominoes?

Easy. Theirs is the Party of Government. And government is failing. And their leader Obama projects diffidence and incompetence.

National surveys also show that large majorities believe America is heading in the wrong direction, that our children will not have it as good as we did, and that the United States is in a long-term decline.

Measuring the performance of Obama against the promise, America is voting for another change in leadership and direction.

But where does she wish to go? And whom does she wish to lead her? The country is voting against Obama, but voting for what?

The new majority leader is likely to be Mitch McConnell, who is about as popular as Harry Reid. The Republican Party that will take power is less well-regarded than the Democratic Party losing it.

What America is voting against is easier to discern than what she is voting for. Consider. Who speaks for a victorious GOP today?

The principal foreign policy voices in the new Senate will be Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Tennessee’s Bob Corker, who is slated to become chairman of foreign relations. All are interventionists; all are hawks.

But are the American people really voting to send arms to Kiev, to confront Russia in Ukraine, and to commit to a forever-war to “degrade and ultimately defeat” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?

Does the country really want a clash with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program?

If so, the GOP should return to Washington and, in the lame-duck session, authorize Obama to take us to war with the Islamic State.

My sense: A victorious GOP would prefer to take a pass on that.

At its core, the Republican Party is socially conservative, a family values party. The party champions right-to-life and opposes same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana.

How many Republicans ran on these issues this fall?

How many will be advancing this social agenda in Congress? How many cultural warriors are left in the GOP, when even the pope is calling for a truce in the culture wars?

Yet if the GOP is no longer united on foreign policy and social issues, surely they are as one on lower taxes and smaller government.

But are they really?

Certainly, even liberals must see from the inversion epidemic — U.S. companies buying up foreign firms to change residence and nationality — that having the highest corporate tax rate is economic suicide.

But is the Republican Party so committed to a balanced budget that Congress will slash spending to match cuts in tax rates and tax revenues?

And, if so, where does the GOP propose cuts?

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and defense are the big budget items. Is the GOP ready to cap or cut these?

Will the GOP go after education, housing, income security, or food stamps, with Obama accusing them of pillaging the programs of the working and middle class while protecting Wall Street and the 1 percent?

Pages: 1 2

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The Coming November Wars

Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

As it stands today, Republicans will add seats in the House and recapture the Senate on Tuesday.

However, the near-certainty is that those elections will be swiftly eclipsed by issues of war, peace, immigration, and race, all of which will be moved front and center this November.

Consider. If repeated leaks from investigators to reporters covering the Ferguson story are true, there may be no indictment of officer Darren Wilson, the cop who shot Michael Brown.

Should that happen, militant voices are already threatening, “All hell will break loose.” Police in the city and 90-some municipalities in St. Louis County, as well as the state police, are preparing for major violence.

After flying out to Ferguson to declare, “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man.” Eric Holder has once again brought his healing touch to the bleeding wound.

Yesterday, Holder said it is “pretty clear” that there is a “need for wholesale change” in the Ferguson police department.

But, Holder notwithstanding, that is not at all “clear.”

Should the grand jury decide that Wilson fired in self-defense in a struggle with Brown over his gun, and fired again when the 6’4″ 300-pound teenager charged him, what would justify a purge of the Ferguson police department or the dismissal of Chief Thomas Jackson?

What exactly have the Ferguson cops done to deserve the remorseless vilification they have received?

Yet, as St. Louis is bitterly divided over this incident and how it has been exploited, so, too, will be the nation, should November 2014 provide a replay of the urban riots of yesteryear.

And the president himself will invite a social explosion if he proceeds with White House plans for an executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens residing in the United States.

Obama is reportedly considering an end to the deportation of an entire class of illegals, perhaps numbering five million, providing them with work permits and putting them on a path to permanent residency.

Such a post-election amnesty would bring a full-throated roar of approval from La Raza and the liberal wing of Obama’s party, but it would evoke an even louder roar of protest from Middle America. And such a presidential usurpation of power would poison Obama’s relations with the new Congress before it was even sworn in.

Undeniably, this would be a decision for which Obama would be remembered by history. But it is not at all clear that he would be well-remembered by his countrymen.

Indeed, among the reasons Obama did not act before the election was that he knew full well that any sweeping amnesty for illegals would sink all of his embattled red-state senators.

The corporate wing of the GOP might welcome the removal of the immigration issue from the national debate. But conservatives and populists will bring it back in the presidential primaries in the new year.

There are also two simmering issues of foreign policy likely to come to a boil and split Congress and country before Christmas.

Pages: 1 2

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The GOP Story The Media Is Missing

5438044918_7af9d70d23_b

The vast majority of political journalists — and I include some of my conservative colleagues — are missing a very big story.

The Republicans are going to recapture the Senate, picking up more seats than most any forecaster expects. And the House GOP is going to add to its majority. But then comes the big story: The beginning of a new conservative revolution.

The idea that nothing much will change if the GOP captures the whole Congress is just plain wrong. The politics and policies in Washington are about to change in a major way.

Obama may still be president. But he is going to be immediately confronted with a flood of new bills that will change the debate on tax reform, energy, health care, education, international trade, and regulations.

Obama will no longer be able to hide behind Harry Reid, who has stopped all voting on these matters. And Mitch McConnell, as Senate majority leader, will be able to move forward the reform ideas of his caucus and House policy leaders like Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, Kevin Brady, and many others.

Obama’s head will spin with all the new paperwork on his desk. He may even have to cut back on his golf game.

Of course, because of his left-wing ideology, Obama may veto everything. But if he does, he’s setting up a new Republican agenda for the 2016 presidential race. Either Hillary Clinton completely jumps the Obama ship, or she’s pulled way left by the Democratic party’s Bill de Blasio/Elizabeth Warren/Sandinista wing. Either way she’s in trouble.

And maybe some Senate Democrats vote to override Obama’s vetoes, with some even converting to Republicanism. An Angus King or a Joe Manchin may cross the aisle after the likely midterm GOP landslide.

Unfortunately, the current GOP never put together a clear national-policy election agenda. Not even a downsized Contract with America. But I suggest two Big Think thoughts for the first 100 days of the new Congress.

First is optimism: We know what the problems are, we know what the solutions should be, and we can make these changes quickly. Second is a re-energized evangelism by the Republican party for pro-growth, market-oriented, consumer-driven, pro-family policies.

“We all see this coming,” House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan told me in a recent interview. “Energy and tax reform are going to be at the top of the list.” And House Financial Services chairman Jeb Hensarling told me, “It’s time to put up or shut up for tax reform. Fairer, flatter, simpler, so the American people will at last know what the GOP would do for economic growth to rescue the country from the worst recovery since World War II.”

Hensarling also emphasized the need to expand the energy revolution and to stop the massive overregulation that has stunted growth.

“The regulatory red-tape burden, which violates the Founding Fathers’ Federalist paper 47 by diminishing the rule of law and increasing bureaucratic power in the executive branch at the expense of the constitutionally mandated legislative branch, has got to be stopped.”

Let me weigh in on the first two bills that the GOP should put on Obama’s desk.

Pages: 1 2

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom