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New York Magazine: 'Ultraconservative Dissidents', 'Kooks' Now Drive Amnesty Narrative

New York Magazine: 'Ultraconservative Dissidents', 'Kooks' Now Drive Amnesty Narrative

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Note from Senior Management: Left-wing Obama apologist Jonathan Chiat actually understands what is transpiring on the immigration fight. We reprint from New York Magazine.

In the wake of the midterm elections, Republicans said they would prove they could govern. This did not, in contrast to the flickering hopes of bipartisans, mean that they would start passing business-friendly reform bills that Obama would sign. It meant they would keep the kooks locked in the basement. Republicans had swept the elections by making politics boring, relentlessly policing their nominees from uttering any controversial statements, and grinding Washington to a halt. The Republican plan for the next two years was continued, boring gridlock. No shutdowns, no impeachment.

But just a week and a half after the elections, the kooks are pounding on the door.

The cycle of events was set off by President Obama snubbing the traditional ritual of penitence at his post-midterm press conference, crediting the Republicans with merely a “good night” rather than supplying them with a brandable term like “thumpin’” or “shellacking,” and generally acting unchastened. He followed this up with a series of steps that displayed a desire to continue acting like the president rather than waiting quietly for his term to end: He endorsed vigorous support for net neutrality, secured a major climate agreement with China, and plans a major liberalization of immigration law through executive action.

Obama’s forthcoming immigration plan, in particular, is the thing most likely to set off the Republican right. The main reason is that Republicans have a legitimate cause for complaint on procedural grounds. Obama may have a sound legal basis for his proposed actions, but he would be stretching executive branch power in new and potentially disturbing ways. Selective refusal to enforce laws, even if legally permissable, opens up vast new avenues of presidential power.

Further inflaming conservative suspicions is the fact that John Boehner wants very badly to pass immigration reform. (Though not badly enough to bring a bill to the House floor.) In a post-election meeting with Obama, Boehner reportedly pleaded for one more chance to pass a bill and even seemed to tacitly accept that Obama would act on his own if that failed:

Boehner recalled telling Obama, “Mr. President, just give us one more chance to do this the right way. If we can’t, then do what you gotta do.”

The sentiment, recalled by several lawmakers exiting the meeting, angered conservatives not only because the Ohio Republican paired an immigration effort to Obama’s plan to brazenly flout his constitutional role, but also because he seemed to have let him off the hook in the event he later went ahead with the plan.

“To me it’s unacceptable. We believe what [Obama] is doing is unconstitutional,” said one fuming lawmaker leaving the session.

Boehner is attempting to channel the conservative backlash into a lawsuit against Obama, which stands little chance of succeeding, and would helpfully divert conservative anger away from high-profile political channels. Conservatives, dissatisfied with this probably symbolic measure, are organizing to instead instigate a shutdown fight.

Read the rest of the story at New York Magazine.


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