With news that the White House would use executive action to protect up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation, House Democrats showed their solidarity with Barack Obama in his willful disregard of American voters and how they expressed themselves in this year’s mid-terms.
There is no way anyone with any respect for the electorate could make the type of noise House Democrats did today in demonstrating their support for the White House announcement.
As for Republicans, Mitch McConnell appeared to have absolutely nothing to say about anything, short of turning tail and running away from a confrontation with an unpopular president.
But in hallway interviews, Republican senators had nothing particularly new to add to theories of how must-pass bills could be amended to end the executive amnesty, or how the president would “poison the well” by acting. At his post-leadership vote press conference, incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got a direct question about whether the “executive amnesty” would lead to a shutdown.
“We’ll not be shutting the government down, threatening to default on the national debt,” said McConnell.
In stark contrast to McConnell’s chicken hawk performance as opposition leader, Democrats appeared to be in a take no prisoners mood.
And at the very same time, Illinois Representative Luis Gutierrez had gathered a score of fellow Democrats at a TV studio on the House side of the Capitol, where they took turns one-upping each other in calls for the president to go big. Georgia Representative Hank Johnson compared the possible executive order to the Emancipation Proclamation, and speculated about which of its defenders would star in a movie adaptation of the struggle. New York Representative Jose Serrano promised, in the language of “the barrio,” that Latinos would “have his back” if Obama acted.
“We will circle the president on fire,” said Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. “We will be on fire for rightness and justice.”