A quickie but goodie via Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters. I’m glad she dug the speech because she was, after all, the target audience: This was as pure a sop to his base as you’ll ever see from The One, offered as a consolation prize to progressives and Latinos in lieu of an amnesty deal this year. He can’t give them action so instead he’ll give them chills, in hopes that they won’t hold his broken promise to do something about immigration against Democrats (especially Harry Reid) in the fall.
As I’ve said before, it’s usually easy to tell when he doesn’t much care about the subject he’s addressing. And today it was easy:
When a president recites Emma Lazarus in a speech on immigration—and recites not merely a fragment or two but virtually the entire length of “the New Colossus”—one is inclined to conclude that his speech was
written by someone who has just graduated from high school and has a young head brimming with social studies. This being President Obama, however, one can conclude that he will have written a fair portion of the speech himself, and, in so concluding, one would be struck forcefully by how banal the speech was. It was, if one can say such a thing, the acme of boilerplate, so utterly conventional was it in its narrative of American immigration.
America, a nation of immigrants? Check. Hardworking people who come here only to improve their lives, and those of their families? Check. Being American isn’t a matter only of blood and birth? Check. The system is broken? Check. The need for reform? Check.
Right — and to top it all off, O actually ended up misquoting Lazarus’s most famous line. The transcript of the speech is available at the White House website, but I’ll save you some time and quote the most incendiary platitude here. Remember how ObamaCare’s troubles in passing Congress were all the fault of the GOP even back when Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate? Well, guess what:
So we’ve made progress. 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. The only way to reduce the risk that this effort will again falter because of politics is if members of both parties are willing to take responsibility for solving this problem once and for all.
And, yes, this is an emotional question, and one that lends itself to demagoguery. Time and again, this issue has been used to divide and inflame -– and to demonize people. And so the understandable, the natural impulse among those who run for office is to turn away and defer this question for another day, or another year, or another administration. Despite the courageous leadership in the past shown by many Democrats and some Republicans — including, by the way, my predecessor, President Bush -– this has been the custom. That is why a broken and dangerous system that offends our most basic American values is still in place.
It’s all the GOP’s fault, a talking point echoed today by Gibbs in the briefing. Except that, according to Democrat Luis Gutierrez — who’s as pure an amnesty shill as there is in Congress — there actually aren’t enough Democrats either in favor of comprehensive immigration reform to pass something. (And he doesn’t just mean in the Senate.) As with so many policies championed by The One, it’s the opposition, not the support, that’s bipartisan.
He also dumped on Arizona’s law, of course, calling it “unenforceable” without explaining why that isn’t any more or less true of federal immigration law. Or maybe that was the point: From the feds’ perspective, all immigration law these days is “unenforceable.” Two clips for you below, the first of “chills” at MSNBC and the second of highlights from the speech.