There was never any chance Obama as going to announce a lawless immigration decree before the November 4 elections, and the White House finally acknowledged that on Saturday. This is not only because of the certainty that it would have caused the Democrats to lose control of the Senate, which prompted an increasing number of Democratic senators to call for delay. From a longer-term perspective, turning the midterms explicitly into a referendum on amnesty and increased immigration — and then losing — would have undermined the political case for “comprehensive immigration reform” for years to come.
But, in fact, the midterms should still be a referendum on Obama’s lawless immigration plans, if only the Stupid Party leadership had any sense. After all, from the standpoint of democratic governance, a lawless amnesty decree is bad enough, but openly saying you’re going to issue such a decree only after the people have had a chance to vote is much worse. Every Republican candidate in the House and Senate needs to make clear that, whatever your views on the substance of immigration policy, a vote for any Democrat is a vote for caesarism, for presidential rule by decree. There’s actually a good deal of support for that on the hard left, but most people, of all descriptions, recoil from Obama’s promised power grab.
Note that it’s a “promised” power grab; the AP report notes “the officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.” So this isn’t some teabagger conspiracy fantasy, but a promise to decree sweeping extra-constitutional changes to the law, but just to do it around Thanksgiving or Christmas to avoid electoral fallout. So, despite the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments from the anti-borders crowd, the GOP must not let the Democrats off the hook.
As Brother Geraghty put it, “A new GOP message for the midterms: November is your last chance to send a message to President Obama to not unilaterally rewrite America’s immigration policy!”