It seems to be an increasingly rare moment in American politics when Left and Right agree, but the poles appear to agree on one thing: President Obama is a cynical politician. Liberal criticism of the president comes on the heels of the president’s announcement that he plans to delay his proposed executive order on immigration until after November’s midterm elections.
The political calculation that prompted the decision is obvious: A constitution-bending order that legitimizes millions of illegal immigrants is not a decision red-state Senate Democrats in tight races want to have to defend. A Republican Senate (along with a Republican House) would mark the effective end of the Obama presidency.
Yet to Obama supporters who believed the president’s visionary qualities elevated him above political considerations, these calculations are outrageous: “What this shows now,” says Cesar Vargas, director of the DREAM Action Coalition, which advocates on behalf of young illegal immigrants, “is that Democrats are also willing to throw Latinos and immigrants under the bus.” Frank Sharry, executive director of immigration reform group America’s Voice, was equally blunt: “Jerking about the Latino community on a defining issue amounts to political malpractice.” In a statement issued over the weekend, National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguía condemned the president for “g[iving] in to the fears of Democratic political operatives, crushing the hopes of millions of hard-working people living under the constant threat of deportation and family separation.”
Republicans have long been aware that the president’s policy decisions are dictated by political considerations. It’s nice to see liberals coming to the same realization.
All this unity. It’s heartwarming.