Last week President Obama, tired of waiting for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, sort of enacted DREAM Lite himself, temporarily allowing young illegal immigrants who’d come here as kids off the deportation hook.
Mainstream conservative reaction ranged from discomfiture — because Republicans had been cooking up their own immigration plans, which Obama’s move preempted — to suggestions that Obama had overstepped his Constitutional role.
You can imagine which end of the spectrum our friends the rightbloggers occupied, then extended into the furthest reaches of reason and beyond.
“Effective immediately,” the President said on Friday (over some interruptions, which we’ll get to later), “the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”
Politically, at least, Obama’s move looks canny: House Republicans had been fiddling with multivaried immigration legislation while GOP heartthrob Marco Rubio prepared his own major bill. And a bunch of law professors had recently written to Obama, suggesting he might take action himself on the matter.
When the thing was done, Republican types did indeed appear to have been caught flat-footed.
GOP operative Bill Kristol agreed with the President that the order was “the right thing to do.” Presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounced it as “a stop-gap measure” but refused to say whether he’d get rid of it if elected.
The Wall Street Journal was sour about it (“One begins to wonder if anything this President does is about anything larger than his re-election”), but as the major mouthpiece of open-borders conservatism could hardly come out against it. Ditto the Cato Institute.
Some Republicans got hot about it; Rep. Steve King, for example, threatened to sue. Humorously, two Bush-era employees associated with the torture of U.S. prisoners, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Bush advisor John Yoo, suggested that the President had gone too far.
But in the reaches of rightblogger world, the President’s directive was Caesarism, if not Caligularity.
“When Obama wants to do something, he does it. U.S. Constitution be damned,” said Freedom Eden. “…Whether it’s disregarding the Bill of Rights and oppressing religious liberty or bypassing Congress, King Obama ‘can’t wait’ when it comes to abiding by the Constitution… Obama must be dethroned.”
“King Obama’s executive fiat on illegal immigration,” cried Bookworm Room. “…Never mind the Constitution, of course. Only racists care about that document anyway.”
“Emperor obama Rules by Decree on Immigration,” announced Michael J. Fell at Colony Rabble.
“Obama is turning out to be the most subversive chief executive in terms of eroding U.S. law since Richard Nixon,” said National Review‘s Victor David Hanson, who then listed some of the Obama Administration’s most egregious attacks on the Constitution — including the appointment of Van Jones and “the president’s and Eric Holder’s serial racialist statements” — and summated that Obama had “tried his best, through hook or crook, to change America in ways that simply were not possible through legislative or even judicial action. Give the president credit. He has thrown down the gauntlet and essentially boasted: This is my vision of the way the new America should work — and if you don’t like it, try stopping me in November, if you dare.” [The sound file of demonic laughter on the page is, at this writing, not working.]
“The Emperor’s plan is to drop nearly 1 million illegal aliens into the United States workforce,” said Craig Andresen at The National Patriot. He then explained why, aside from the imperialism, this really bothered him: “Of the 1 million [covered immigrants],” Andresen said, “maybe 1 or 2 percent will actually aspire to those lofty goals while the rest are more likely to become gang members, game the system or eventually become citizens and rely on government handouts.”
Andresen was also upset that “Obama’s ego simply will not allow Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite who has been working on producing similar legislation, to get far enough with it that the Rubio measure could get support from republicans in congress.” If someone’s going to flood America with Latino gang members and welfare cheats, for heaven’s sake let it be a Republican.
“The White House decision to enact the DREAM Act through executive fiat is a lawless act,” headlined Mark Krikorian at National Review. “…Any DREAM Act supporter who applauds this measure has forfeited any right to complain about future usurpation of the Constitution. Even backers of DREAM in Congress have a responsibility to deny funding to DHS to carry out this policy.”
“King Barack Hussein Kardashian Obama thinks that he gets to invent laws where they don’t exists and disregard the ones that are already on the books,” declared Daniel Horowitz. “… if the president is above the law, then why should any of us be compelled to adhere to laws that we regard as imprudent or unfair?… This is not the time for Republicans to reward Obama for violating the law with their own version of amnesty. This is the time for them to stand and fight an extreme president who is beneath contempt.”
Later, Horowitz was displeased with the timid Republican reaction. “God forbid for Romney to assail Obama on the underlying policy of paving the road for millions of new welfare recipients and Democrat voters,” he seethed. “…at the very least, you would expect him to attack the fact that Obama violated the Constitution…”
But you couldn’t find too many rightbloggers attacking Romney over this: For them, yesterday’s RINO is tomorrow’s possible political spoils distributor.
Some Guy at Red State even said that “Mitt Romney’s response is perfect,” because while Obama clearly “decided not to enforce legislated law and do his Constitutional duty as President,” for Romney to denounce his order might have cost him votes; “the press was probably hoping for some impulsive response that would somehow justify Obama’s action, alienate the conservative base, or some other unfortunate error.” Better, then, that everyone keep quiet about this, and anyway, “the best thing to keep Romney in line,” Some Guy added, “is to elect conservative congressmen and trust him to stick to his past strong positions on illegal immigration.” Then they’ll have him right where they want him!
The one genuine bright spot for rightbloggers in the whole situation was when Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro hollered a question while Obama was speaking. Sic semper tyrannis! the brethren cheered.
“Kudos to Munro for actually acting like a journalist while the rest of the MFM simply keeps licking Obama’s boots,” said Robbie Cooper of Urban Grounds. “Preezy Got Wee Weed Up,” babbled I Own The World. “Neil Munro Was 100% Justified In His Attack Against The DICTATOR, Obama,” reasoned The Mad Jewess.
“Can you believe that a member of the White House press corps would ask Obama a pointed question?” asked Right Klik. “Obama’s cheerleader team (MSM journalists) can’t.”
Obama told Munro off, which Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft interpreted as “OBAMA SNAPS!” “It’s amazing, though, how much ‘world class temperament’ resembles the behavior of an irritable, spoiled four year old,” said Billy Hollis of Q&O, referring to Obama, not the guy who heckled him.
Referring to Obama’s admonishment to Munro — “I didn’t ask for an argument, I’m answering your question” — Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler rejoined, “If the president expected no arguments, then he is deluded. If he will brook no arguments, then he is unfit for the office. He is not a king, and we are not his subjects. We have a duty to push back if we believe that his actions are wrong or illegal, both of which may apply to today’s seismic policy shift.”
The Daily Caller said they were proud of Munro, and Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds told them, “You should be. He’s not a lapdog. And it’s rather late for the White House to try to stand on Presidential dignity.”
Reynolds explained this last, cryptic remark with a link: Obama had once joked during a commencement address — his own, not somebody else’s — about getting the IRS to audit his hosts, which, though it was greeted by the crowd with laughter rather than with terrified gasps befitting a dictator, apparently meant to Reynolds that all bets were off. So expect rightbloggers to take up speaking truth to power in this non-traditional way, and to bitch about it when someone points out that they’re making asses of themselves. Swing voters love that sort of thing.