NBC political analyst Chuck Todd said last night that the Republican seizure of the Senate will force President Obama to back off from his plan to temporarily legalize potentially millions of illegal immigrants.
“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.”
Todd said Republicans will feel “they have to confront” the president if he takes such an act, given the passion on the issue within the GOP.
Yeah, well, he’s gonna do it.
Todd’s analysis presupposes that Obama cares whether he is at war with Republicans. I don’t think he does, because I don’t think he has the stomach or the desire to try to mend any fences with the GOP and do the difficult work of passing legislation during his final two years.
Obama is not going to change his character now, a character that leaves him ill-disposed toward building relationships with people who disagree with him. He’s not even particularly interested in relationships with people who do agree with him.
What’s more, this will be a legacy issue for Obama. Once these immigrants are “temporarily” legalized, as with all government-granted benefits, it becomes difficult to take it away. Obama will have taken a possibly irrevocable step toward full amnesty, while pleasing a key component of the Democratic base.
Finally, the president has been big on coming through on “promises” he made in 2008, like Obamcare, withdrawing from Iraq, and closing Guantanamo Bay, which he still wants to do. He owes Hispanics. He said he would pass comprehensive immigration reform. He didn’t – he spent his political capital on Obamacare instead – so he’ll enact it by fiat as much as possible.
Expect a temporary amnesty decree by Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving.