(Note: That translation may be a butchered Internet search but hopefully it gets the point across)
President Obama just delivered a proclamation that amounts to an abbreviated version of the DREAM Act that Republicans in Congress refused to pass. The House passed with most Republicans abstaining but even with a 55 vote majority, Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act with a filibuster.
The DREAM Act was a bi-partisan bill that Republicans actually favoured. It was designed to provide guidelines for immigrants who were in the country through no fault of there own to help them become legal immigrants. It was not an amnesty program but it would keep people who had been brought to this country when they were babies, grew up and went to school here, and even served in the military from being deported to a country they had never known and perhaps didn’t even speak the language.
So the President directed the Department of Homeland Security to create a means to provide temporary relief to those people who live under fear of deportation until such a time as Congress decides what to do about the immigration issue.
During the speech, in the spirit of Joe Wilson, a heckler interrupted the President with a question. The heckler was a first time reporter from a conservative blog The Daily Caller, started by former news and commentary critic, Tucker Carlson. This was a serious breech of decorum and the President reacted accordingly and forcefully. He shut down the reporter and wouldn’t answer his question while he was talking. This was possibly the maddest the President has ever looked (which he actually only looked extremely annoyed by most people’s standards).
After the President finished his remarks, he took the unprecedented step of addressing the reporter’s question when the press corps knew that no questions were going to be taken and the reporter interrupted him again. The President said he wasn’t going to argue with the reporter, answered his question and ended the briefing.
Hopefully this reporter enjoyed his fifteen minutes of infamy as he will unlikely be allowed to return. The tweets and the notoriety for The Daily Caller had better been worth it.
Predictably, the conservative networks and blogs have been caterwauling all day that this is a purely political move designed to secure the latino vote in November. Whether that’s true or not, it was a bold move in that it shows leadership in the face of obstruction. In the words of Mitt Romney, “What’s sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander”.
Will it have an effect on the latino vote? It’s quite likely. It will also force Mitt Romney to justify his stand on the DREAM Act and his comments about self-deportation. He’ll either have to defend those remarks or flip flop on them, Most pundits agree that this looks like a win for the President. Polling is likely to reflect the support of not only latinos but after the comments on gay marriage and the repeal of DADT, the gay vote. He already has 90% approval among the black vote and as Republicans keep meddling in the sexual health care issues of women he’s likely to have a solid majority there as well.
Polls will be interesting in the next few days.
(Photos were captured from a screen grab of the briefing on an iPhone)
- Law Professors Agree: Obama Has Executive Power To Provide Relief To Dreamers (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
- Conservatives Call On Mitt Romney To Flip-Flop (huffingtonpost.com)