The signs are that President Obama is going to proceed with a massive unilateral amnesty that will effect one of his most important legislative goals without the legislature. As a brazen distortion of our constitutional system, this move will provoke a major reaction and, at the very least, lead to more calls for his impeachment. But for the cynics at the White House this appears to be not a bug, but a feature. Consider the comments by Dan Pfeiffer the other day:
Any such move would prompt a major clash with congressional Republicans, and at least some White House officials appeared to relish the prospect that the GOP might overreach in its response and act in a politically self-destructive manner.
When the decision is announced, it will “increase the angry reactions from Republicans,” Pfeiffer said.
“I would not discount the possibility” that Republicans would seek to impeach Obama over his next immigration moves, he said, adding that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had “opened the door to impeachment” by his plans to sue Obama for allegedly exceeding his executive authority.
Pfeiffer made his comments at a breakfast for reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
The White House may consider the unilateral amnesty a winning move on several different levels: it gets its policy goal; it satisfies an important part of its base; and if there is any serious move toward impeachment, it rallies the entirety of the Democratic base in a way we haven’t seen since 2008 and — assuming the politics of impeachment are bad for Republicans — drives the middle away from the GOP. An administration that is fast entering its dotage could consider this one of the few potential positive game-changers that it has direct control over — the Constitution and the rule of law be damned.