Sounds like legislation? Sure! But who’s going to do anything about it?
Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration.
Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.
Yet there’s little sign that the urgent humanitarian situation in South Texas, where unaccompanied minors have been showing up by the tens of thousands from Central America, has impeded Obama from making plans to address some portion of the 11.5 million immigrants now in this country illegally. Obama announced late last month that congressional efforts to remake the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system were dead and he would proceed on his own authority to fix the system where he could.
I think we’re at the point where Obama is actively doing things he knows he has no power to do — because he wants Republicans to mount an effort to impeach him. That would be a political winner, since Americans are generally rationally ignorant of constitutional processes, and impeachment polls badly as a result. They don’t really care whether Obama exceeds his lawful authority if they like what he’s doing, and they see impeachment, not as a necessary Constitutional corrective, but as an irritation brought about by those stupid politicians who can’t get along. And Big Media tells us that when the two sides don’t get along, it’s usually the Republicans’ fault, and who are we to argue?
We get the government we deserve. The idea that the Constitution restrains the branches is pretty much dead; its provisions don’t matter when the public is unwilling to back the side whose territory is being infringed.
Andrew Jackson is famous for saying: “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” Well, Barack Obama is saying: “Congress may have the ability to rein me in. Let’s see them do it.”
They won’t. And there goes the system of checks and balances. And what will the public do about it?
And that’s the problem.
UPDATE: Thanks very much to Allahpundit for including this post in the famed “Quotes of the Day” post at Hot Air. It’s an honor.