Via the Corner, on a surprise scale from one to 10 I’m grading this a nine. It should be lower — go figure that one of the left’s loudest (and best paid!) union boosters would be leery of cheap illegal labor — but at this point the sheer novelty of a liberal with a megaphone questioning Obama’s power grabs bowls me over. And he’s not just objecting to the wage effect here; he claims to object to it in principle too, arguing that Obama can’t solve every problem by executive decree. Correct me if I’m wrong: Is there even one other prominent lefty commentator on TV, radio, or online who has a problem with the president deciding to grant de facto amnesty to five million people, a power that he himself has scoffed at repeatedly in the past? Almost to a man, they’ve gone face-first into the tank, six short years after deciding that Bush was some sort of Hitler in the making for issuing presidential signing statements (a practice that Obama has continued despite vowing to end it, naturally).
Makes me wonder if this is the first inkling of a backlash. Obama doesn’t care if righties are furious over executive amnesty; they’ll be out in force at the polls in November regardless. He does care, a lot, if blue-collar Democrats react badly. And until now, Democratic leaders haven’t so much as paid lip service to the idea that there may be costs to summarily legalizing five or six million people. (Their immigration soundbites nowadays are reserved for gumming up the deportation process for border kids.) They’re not going to change their talking points just because Big Ed’s sweating, but if he’s sweating, maybe other Democratic voters are too. Then again, Schultz has bucked the lefty line on hot-button issues before only to fall meekly back into line once other progressives tugged on his leash. Let’s see if he can get through a week of shows after this before deciding that, goshdarnit, maybe a gigantic amnesty’s not a bad idea after all.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin imagines the post-amnesty future:
Republicans should prepare a game plan, not merely rule out impeachment (which is the president’s fondest desire). For starters, they and the GOP candidates for 2016 should make clear that any executive order will disappear at the end of Obama’s term and any who step forward for exemptions now may be subject to deportation in 2 1 /2 years. Harsh? No; it’s a sensible deterrent to prevent widespread lawlessness. (The Democratic presidential nominee should be challenged on his or her own plans to rule by executive edict. Let Hillary Clinton try to win an electoral majority on a platform of executive imperialism.)
The GOP, which is frantic to ingratiate itself to Latino voters, should campaign on rolling back an executive amnesty that will be greeted rapturously by Latinos? Also, Hillary can easily finesse this issue. “Only Congress can solve this problem,” she’ll say, “which is why I support comprehensive immigration reform. But in the meantime, to minimize further disruption to America’s immigration system, we should leave President Obama’s orders in place.” Unless there’s a Schultzian backlash that no one sees coming, that’ll play just fine with American voters.