Emperor Barack Obama will crown himself on Thursday, Nov. 20 by revealing to the nation his plan to grant “amnesty” to millions of illegal aliens by an executive order delaying their prosecution indefinitely. The title “emperor” is one he himself used, as recently as last year, explaining why he would never do exactly what he is about to do.
The question is why Obama is doing it, in the face of overwhelming opposition, even in the face of advice from his closest allies. And there are at least two reasons.
One is the partisan motive. Obama has always wanted Democrats to be given credit for whatever immigration reform actually takes place. That is partly why he undermined previous efforts at bipartisan immigration reform when Republicans controlled Congress. The idea has always been to turn illegal aliens into legal residents, and then legal residents into citizens and voters-and to make sure they know which party to thank. In addition, the Democratic Party’s brand is built on defending big government-Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, and now amnesty. Obama knows his action will hurt his party for the moment, but he hopes that it will eventually help the brand-and add millions of voters to the party base in the near future.
Another reason is ideological. As Democratic Party strategist-and convicted felon-Robert Creamer argued in 2006-7, Obamacare was merely to be the first of a series of radical reforms aimed at transforming America and democratizing the global economy. The second step? Amnesty. The idea is that once Americans become used to one kind of radical change, they will offer less resistance to subsequent changes. In addition, each of these changes is very difficult, if not politically impossible, to undo. So in declaring an executive amnesty, Obama is pushing America that much further along towards the radical utopia he always imagined. He may not see that Promised Land himself-he has run out of time, and goodwill-but one day a successor will arise.
Yet there is perhaps a third reason that Obama is acting alone. Obama began his career with a radical immigrants’ group, and his executive order will represent a kind of personal, narcissistic confirmation. His executive order will also be the single most sweeping use-or abuse, in this case-of presidential power since the Civil War. It is not just an historical milestone, but a Nietzschean one, the culmination of the cult of personality that blossomed in the 2008 campaign and that persists in the way the Obamas have conducted themselves, even as the hopes that surrounded them have faded. It is a step Obama will take alone-a minor coup, which he will dare his timid opponents to resist.
One small step for mankind, one giant leap for a man-a man who would be, by his own definition, America’s first Emperor.