President Obama this afternoon pandered hard to immigrants of all shapes, sizes and stripes, while also subltly making clear that immigration reform ain’t happening soon.
Democrats, already facing a November bloodbath, would be certifiably insane to try to actually pass immigration reform, at least before the votes are in. They’ve already moved through Congress one lightening rod, the health bill. And they’ve spent the taxpayers money like Imelda Marcus in a shoe shop, a move that is suddenly not so popular, even in Europe. So they definitely won’t try to get serious about immigration reform before they know the size of the beating they take on Election Day.
Obama, of course, knows this. In a speech today at in Washington he suggested he’s not moving and blamed the Republicans.
I’m ready to move forward; the majority of Democrats are ready to move forward; and I believe the majority of Americans are ready to move forward. But the fact is, without bipartisan support, as we had just a few years ago, we cannot solve this problem. Reform that brings accountability to our immigration system cannot pass without Republican votes. That is the political and mathematical reality.
Obama, who of course is himself an immigrant,* laid it on as thick as I’ve ever heard a president lay it on our foreign-born friends, putting the Bill Clinton’s skills of ingratiation to shame. Here’s just a small sample.
So this steady stream of hardworking and talented people has made America the engine of the global economy and a beacon of hope around the world. And it’s allowed us to adapt and thrive in the face of technological and societal change. To this day, America reaps incredible economic rewards because we remain a magnet for the best and brightest from across the globe.
Yes, yes. And with Israel firmly in Obama’s doghouse and some Jews inevitably questioning themselves about what was so bad about McCain, Obama made sure to include an effusive tribute to their ancestors.
One of the largest waves of immigration in our history took place little more than a century ago. At the time, Jewish people were being driven out of Eastern Europe, often escaping to the sounds of gunfire and the light from their villages burning to the ground. The journey could take months, as families crossed rivers in the dead of night, traveled miles by foot, endured a rough and dangerous passage over the North Atlantic. Once here, many made their homes in a teeming and bustling Lower Manhattan.
A clear rebuke to the Helen Thomas Doctrine of sending the Jews right back into the gunfire and flames.
And then, to complete the afternoon’s pandering, the president read the famous Ezra Lazarus poem, the one on the base of the Statue of Liberty that declares,
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Except he left out the line that follows, written before the age of political correctness:
“The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
Politics trumps poetry. Oh well.
* No, no White House Dossier does not believe Obama was born in Kenya. He was born in Tanzania. OK, OK, in Hawaii. We buy the birth certificate story. Jeez, lighten up!