On Thursday night, President Obama delivered his address to the nation on his executive amnesty. It was historic, both in its scope and in its dishonesty: the speech represented a closely-woven and incredible tapestry of falsehood, exposited with a straight face by the greatest liar in modern American history. To those versed in immigration and constitutional law, watching Obama lay out his program felt like watching a madman describe, with preternaturally perfect sincerity, how the moon was constructed of cheese: you know the argument is untrue, but it’s incredible to watch its dogged exposition.
Obama opened with a glowing talk about the wonders of immigration – generalizations with which virtually Americans agree, as is his wont.
Then the lies began. Posing as an immigration hardliner, Obama stated that he felt for “families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules,” and who “watch others flout the rules” (of course, Obama was mere moments away from rewarding those who flout the rules and punishing those who play by them). He then explained that businesses exploited cheap immigrant labor (of course, Obama was about to announce wage pressure downward in the form of amnesty). He summed up with this incredible sentence:
All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America.
Well, no. Not all of us, given that the Democratic Party draws its voting base from those who wish to reap the rewards of living in America’s generous welfare state without taking on the responsibilities of doing so.
Obama continued with his fibs about how he had secured the southern border, citing a drop in illegal border crossings – a drop caused almost entirely by Obama’s weak economy (Obama himself dated the immigration drop to 2007, when President Bush was in office). He pooh-poohed the “brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border,” and said that “the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years.” The notion that there has been a decrease in unaccompanied children crossing our border, according to FactCheck.org, is false.
This all prefaced Obama’s big power grab. In true dictatorial fashion, Obama laid out how the legislative process had failed – and then noted that he had to do what he had to do.
Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me – that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.
Obama has no such legal authority. He knows it. Obama’s executive amnesty is different in scope and kind from anything before it. Neither Ronald Reagan nor George H.W. Bush pursued their amnesty programs in the complete absence of Congressional legislation. No president has ever legalized some 7 million illegal immigrants, as Obama has done over the past three years. This is unprecedented.
But Obama was just getting started. After moving past talk about border security (he doesn’t care) and high-skilled immigrants (he doesn’t sense opposition), he moved to the heart of his program: amnesty for millions.
Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country. I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable – especially those who may be dangerous…. Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I’m describing is accountability – a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.
Accountability does not mean what the president thinks it means. Neither does “nation of laws,” in a nation where the president believes that Article II has a “f*** you” clause designed to allow him unilateral power in the absence of Congressional action to his taste.
But meanings are unimportant. Only the agenda is important.
Obama claimed that he had dramatically increased deportation of criminal illegal immigrants – which begs the question as to why, then, we have to reallocate resources to do just that. He then claimed that he did not have the resources for “tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people” – which begs the question as to how he plans to track down, round up, and amnesty millions of people based on background checks, tax records, and family history. That sounds rather labor intensive. But somehow, we’re up to the challenge!
After redefining accountability to mean anything but accountability, Obama moved on to redefining amnesty as anything but amnesty:
I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today – millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. That’s the real amnesty – leaving this broken system the way it is.
Actually, amnesty has a precise definition: “a decision that a group of people will not be punished or that a group of prisoners will be allowed to go free.” Leaving people “in the shadows” is not amnesty. Declaring by law that they will not be prosecuted or deported is.
But meanings are unimportant. Only the agenda is important.
Next in his catalog of redefinition, Obama moved on to “lawful”:
The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.
This is the opposite of “lawful.” This is dictatorship in a nutshell: do what I want, or I will do it for you. Later in this monstrosity of a speech, Obama would declare that he wanted open debate:
Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight. But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home. Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don’t like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship. I know that some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they’ve gotten the raw end of the deal for over a decade. I hear these concerns. But that’s not what these steps would do.
Well, then, that settles that. Glad we could have that debate. So sayeth the President. Having received the mandate of Heaven, may the emperor lead a long and prosperous life.
Then Obama let Americans know that he plans to be a benevolent ruler:
Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this. Americans are tired of gridlock. What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose – a higher purpose.
Good thing Obama has a direct channel to that higher purpose, via his feelings-magic:
That’s what this debate is all about. We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration; we need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.
That’s right: the president who just asked Americans not to use character assassination during the immigration debate just impugned every American who disagrees with him as unreasoned, thoughtless, and uncompassionate. After a few bedtime stories about wonderful illegal immigrants and their wonderful children just to ram home that point, Obama concluded by quoting Himself:
Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.
Never mind that Obama despises the Bible, and apparently knows only one verse, which he routinely misconstrues as a call to government seizure of private property. Never mind that this section of the Bible describes converts to Judaism, as well as strangers who accepted the law of the land. Obama stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night – and apparently found a Bible in his hotel bedstand there.
Obama summed up:
What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
If Obama truly believed that, he wouldn’t believe that some of us are more equal than others – particularly presidents who stand far above us all, gazing at us in pity from on high.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.