NBC political analyst Chuck Todd predicted Tuesday night that the president would have to back away from his threat to act unilaterally on immigration because of the Republican sweep.
“I think politically, tonight, it put an end to it. It would be a provocative act, politically,” Todd said. “The president is going to know that if he does this, he is starting a political war in Washington between the White House and the Republican Congress. He’d be stuck.”
That seemed like a reasonable opinion last night — while the waves of the stunning political tsunami were still slowly subsiding.
But Dr. Charles Krauthammer, a trained psychologist, has Obama better pegged than that. He understands the psychology of a narcissist who loves conflict and “rubbing raw the resentments of the people.”
“I think the president’s threatening this because he wants to do it,” Krauthammer explained on Special Report Wednesday. “I think he’s all the more anxious to go ahead and do this because it makes him relevant, it makes him the center of the universe again. He is not a happy man that he was asked for a year by his own Democrats to stay away and be invisible. This is a guy who doesn’t enjoy being invisible and, look, what are we talking about tonight? A little bit on the election itself, and now about what he’s going to do. He’s back in the game, he’s relevant now. This is exactly why he wants immigration. Republicans have to resist the temptation, this is impeachment bait or all kinds of nonsense bait. Do what you can, suspend the financing of this because you have the power of the purse. But create your own agenda and don’t allow Obama to suck you into a one-issue fall.”
Obama doubled down on the amnesty threat during today’s press conference, affirming that it would happen because Republicans haven’t been willing to work with him for the past two years. He said that the best way to avoid his unlawful action would be for Congress to cooperate and put a bill on his desk. Sounding like a Chicago shakedown artist, the president promised that if Congress behaves and passes an immigration law he likes, the executive overreach will “go away.”
“I think that the best way, if folks are serious about getting immigration reform done, is going ahead and passing a bill and getting it to my desk. And then the executive actions that I take go away. They’re superseded by the law that is passed. And I will engage any member of Congress who’s interested in this in how we can shape legislation that will be a significant improvement over the existing system.
Serious question: How is it not a form of extortion for a president to threaten to take an extreme unilateral action if Congress doesn’t do what he wants?
So far response from Republican leadership has been tepid:
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, in line to be the next Majority Leader, said Wednesday that it would be a “mistake” for the president to take unilateral action on immigration and that it would “antagonize” Republicans.
But the American people who just handed the reins of power in the Senate to the Republicans, don’t particularly care about their “feelings” regarding Obama’s latest abuse of power. They want action.
Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and David Vitter of Louisiana have risen to the occasion, sending a letter to lame-duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday, saying that if Obama takes unilateral action to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, it “will create a constitutional crisis.”
Via CNS News:
The senators told Reid that they would assist him in enacting a measure to stop Obama from unilaterally granting an amnesty, but that if Reid lets Obama go forward with such an amnesty they “would use all procedural means necessary” to make the Senate focus on the constitutional crisis they say that this “lawless amnesty” would create.
“We write to express our alarm with President Obama’s announced intention to take unilateral executive action by the end of this year to lawlessly grant amnesty to immigrants who have entered the country illegally,” the senators wrote Reid.
“The Supreme Court has recognized that ‘over no conceivable subject is the power of Congress more complete’ than its power over immigration,” the senators said. “Therefore, President Obama will be exercising powers properly belonging to Congress if he makes good his threat.