Tuesday, November 18, 2014


        The President should act on immigration.
        He has waited long enough for Congress to bring him an immigration reform bill he can sign. He has said repeatedly that the moment they do, the new legislation will supersede whatever executive action he has taken. In the meantime he has promised to take whatever steps are legally possible to improve our broken immigration system.
       Despite that, and despite the fact that both Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush took similar executive action, for Barack Obama do so would be in the minds of many Republicans and the right-wing media one more example of his “lawlessness” and an impeachable offense.  They have been bashing Barack Obama from the moment he first took office, and their negativity paid off for them in the mid-term elections. It aroused the Republican base and disenchanted the Democratic constituency, who, as feared, simply did not turn out to vote.
        Only one-third of the nation’s electorate exercised their right to vote! Despite their impressive gains in the House and Senate, and in the gubernatorial elections, that was hardly a mandate for the Republican Party. Ironically, in some states where they mounted victories, the voters overwhelmingly approved measures that the GOP opposed.
        The Republicans clearly won the PR war. For the Party of No!, the Party overwhelmingly responsible for the failure of the current Congress to get anything done, to convince the voting public that they deserved to be elected to office was a remarkable achievement. I fault the American public for their lack of discernment in falling for the propaganda of Fox News and other right-wing media. I fault the Republicans for their lack of good will, for their utter lack of cooperation, and for their determination to see the President fail.
        At the same time I fault those Democratic candidates who disengaged themselves from the President and the principles he stands for, instead of making their case with courage and conviction. And I fault the whole Democratic Party for its consistent failure to answer the ill-informed criticisms of the Affordable Care Act and to champion the President and his policies.
        If I weren’t so disappointed by the injustice of the GOP’s undeserved victory, I would be tempted to say to the Democratic Party, it serves you right. To put it bluntly, you blew it!
        So now we wait to see how it all plays out. In the meantime, I hope President Obama will vigorously pursue his own progressive agenda, legally of course, but boldly and courageously. I believe he wants and is trying to the best of his ability to do the right thing. His wife Michelle  has been a strong support to him in that effort. The President is thoughtful, intelligent, articulate, honest, and remarkably unflappable, given the way he has been treated by his opponents, who criticize everything he says or does, even if it means reversing their own previously held positions.
        Barack Obama is a also man of faith. I believe he has the courage of his convictions. I hope he does not have to compromise them, in order to get Congress to move on some proposals. The Keystone Pipeline will be a good test of that. The environmentally indifferent Republicans and some Democrats are likely to approve the Pipeline. Will our green-minded President veto it? We’ll see.
        The Obama-bashers are going to criticize the President no matter what he does.I hope Mr. Obama has the courage of his convictions, and that in his last two years in office, he will do everything that is legally possible to advance his progressive agenda. In so doing he has nothing to lose, and the country has very much to gain.

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