The weakest Speaker of the House in modern American history, and the consensus “Worst. Speaker. Ever.,” John Boehner, is the only reason that comprehensive immigration reform has not come up for a vote in the House that he controls.
Boehner fears a revolt from his nativist and racist Tea Party caucus of the GOP to depose him as Speaker and — replace him with who, exactly? Irrational fear has paralyzed this weak man and left him to blame the radicals in his own party for his complete failure of leadership.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last week, Boehner told industry groups and campaign donors in March at a Las Vegas fundraiser (the Sheldon Adelson primary) that, when it comes to immigration reform, the House Speaker is: “hellbent on getting this done this year.”
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck later walked it back emailing reporters saying that “Everyone can tell their editors to chill.”
“Nothing has changed,” Buck said. “As he’s said many times, the speaker believes step-by-step reform is important, but it won’t happen until the president builds trust and demonstrates a commitment to the rule of law.”
The official GOP strategy has been to blame the president for their own failure of leasdership on immigration reform. “We can’t trust the president to enforce the law,” so the convenient excuse goes. This blame-shifting strategy was self-evident in a report in the Arizona Daily Star today, GOP senators attack Obama deportations review:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republican senators accused President Obama on Thursday of displaying “an astonishing disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law and the rights of American citizens” by considering administrative changes to the nation’s deportations policy.
In a letter to the president, the senators said that changes under consideration would amount to “near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement.”
The Associated Press reported this week that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who is conducting a review ordered by Obama on how to make the administration’s policy on deportations more humane, is weighing limiting removals of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who don’t have serious criminal records. Other changes also are possible.
This conservative media entertainment complex-driven hyperbole that President Obama is a lawless tyrant who is violating the Constitution and the rule of law is bullshit. Where were these whiny assholes when Dick Cheney actually was imposing his totalitarian vision of the Unitary Executive Theory? These assholes all supported “Shooter.”
Prosecutorial discretion is well within the executive power of the Department of Justice. It is exercised every day. This GOP blame-shifting strategy for their own failure of leadership on immigration reform is just a bright shiny object with which to distract the easily distracted “lamestream” media with a diversion.
Weeper of the House John Boehner has now admitted to his hometown newspaper, the Cincinnati Enquirer, that the real obstacle to solving immigration reform is his own House Tea-Publicans. Boehner mocks GOP colleagues on immigration reform:
House Speaker John Boehner theatrically mocked his fellow Republican Congressmen for being afraid to reform immigration policy when he spoke Thursday before the Middletown Rotary Club in his home district.
“Here’s the attitude. Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard,” Boehner whined before a luncheon crowd at Brown’s Run County Club in Madison Township.
“We get elected to make choices. We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to … They’ll take the path of least resistance.”
Boehner said he’s been working for 16 or 17 months trying to push Congress to deal with immigration reform.
“I’ve had every brick and bat and arrow shot at me over this issue just because I wanted to deal with it. I didn’t say it was going to be easy,” he said.
The GOP-controlled House has refused to pass the immigration proposal passed by the Democrat-led Senate that includes a path to citizenship for millions of people living illegally in the United States.
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post astutely observes today in the Morning Plum: John Boehner admits Republicans are the problem:
Boehner has laid bare the real crux of the issue here, undoing in one stroke what months and months of spin from Republicans was designed to obscure. Boehner has repeatedly said Republicans won’t act because Obama’s refusal to enforce the law proves he can’t be trusted to honor his end of any immigration compromise. But the first and most important question Republicans face is this: What set of terms and conditions will it take for Republicans to embrace some form of legal status for the 11 million?
Put another way, the dilemma House Republicans face is: Even if the Senate bill is unacceptable because #Obummer, is there any GOP solution to the problem of the 11 million – does there exist any reality-based package of enforcement and legal status – that can win the support of a sizable bloc of House Republicans? The Republican case has been that there is no percentage in even beginning to think about this question, because it will inevitably lead to negotiations with Dems over the final compromise, and that’s a non-starter, because #Obummer. But that’s simply an excuse designed to avoid dealing with the immediate policy conundrum Republicans face on legalization, which must be tackled before any movement of any kind can take place.
Boehner’s comments can be taken as an admission that this is the core issue here: Republicans don’t want to solve the basic policy problem we face, which will require accepting uncomfortable trade-offs, when doing nothing — allowing the status quo to fester — is politically easier. Remember, Boehner himself – in the House GOP leadership’s reform principles – articulates legal status for the 11 million as a core goal of any reform. But can Republicans get to Yes? Boehner is essentially admitting that this problem is an internal one that only they can resolve.
Now, if only there were someone in a position to compel House Republicans to make the hard choices necessary to tackle the problem that Boehner himself admits must be tackled. (snark)
That would be you, TanMan. The Democrats have had a discharge petition for the immigration reform bill circulating for some time now. All it would take is as few as 20 Tea-Publicans who want to deal with immigration reform to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
All Boehner has to do is signal to his membership that he will allow the Tea-Publicans in his caucus to join with Democrats to pass an immigration reform bill this year, and to throw the nativists and racists of the Tea Party who scream “amnesty!” at every turn under the bus.
This is your “Profiles in Courage” moment Mr. Boehner. Are you going to continue to put your title of Speaker of the House — which you have completely failed to exercise effectively as leader — ahead of the best interests of your country? Do you really want to be remembered as that guy?
Mr. Boehner, give us an up or down vote. No more lame excuses or pathetic attempts to shift blame for your failure of leadership and the radical extremists in your party. You are the Speaker dammit, it’s time to start acting like it! Demonstrate some courage and leadership. This is your last opportunity to escape being forever remembered in history as the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.”
Contact Speaker Boehner and your Tea-Publican members of Congress and demand to “give us an up or down vote!”