Political Calculus of DREAM Amnesty Decree
Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics pours some cold water on the conventional wisdom that Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty decree is a political winner. Sure, you can get positive results when you ask people whether sympathetic young illegal immigrants should be spared deportation, as yesterday’s Bloomberg poll did — but not necessarily if you ask whether respondents approve of the president bypassing Congress to do so unilaterally, and not necessarily if you mention that it would mean 1 million extra job seekers at a time of high unemployment. Trende concludes thusly:
In short, it’s not really clear what Obama’s tack on immigration really accomplishes, politically speaking. It probably will result in minimal gains among Latino voters, in states with only a few electoral votes. But what it costs him could easily offset those gains, and then some.
I’d only add that the Republican leadership needs to articulate a critique of the president’s decree — one that acknowledges the sympathetic nature of the illegal immigrants in question while decrying the nature and effects of the decree — for the president’s move to exact the political price that Trende points to.