It's time for Obama to stop pandering to Latinos and get immigration reform done, says ... Chris Matthews?

Bizarro world fun via the Daily Caller, which notes correctly that Matthews has seemed … more sanguine about racializing political issues in the past. If you’ve got six hours, read our archives on that subject. Here’s a personal favorite.

As much as I’d like to “attaboy” him here, pandering to Latinos is a core part of the Democrats’ long-term strategy. They’ve calculated, not without reason, that they can build a durable national majority by holding onto a few select niches of the white vote (single women, highly educated liberals, etc) and accumulating an overwhelming advantage among minorities, including and especially America’s growing population of Latinos. If I’m understanding Matthews correctly, he’s proposing legalization for illegals who are already here in return for real security improvements, starting with rigorous penalties for businesses that hire illegals. He thinks that’s the Gang of Eight plan but it isn’t really; the Gang of Eight plan imagined probationary legalization happening first with security maybe hopefully ideally to happen later — i.e. never, once amnesty shills started obstructing it with lawsuits. What he’s really proposing is the Republican plan on immigration. There are assuredly a majority of GOPers in Congress willing to amnestize America’s illegals if they get the kind of enforcement in return that ensures they’ll never have to do this again. It’s Democrats, led by The One himself, who oppose that plan for perfectly rational reasons: If their electoral future hinges on dominating the Latino vote, why wouldn’t they insist that America keep importing future Democratic voters from Mexico and Central and South America? Matthews wondering why O continues to pander to “ethnic groups” and amnesty shills is like wondering why a defense contractor donates exclusively to hawkish candidates. It’s for his own good.

Moreover, why would Obama make a deal with the GOP now when he’s telling everyone who’ll listen that he’s going to grant his own executive amnesty in two months, without any of those icky border-security provisions from the Gang of Eight bill attached? The only advantage to doing this through Congress is that a statute will survive Obama’s presidency whereas an executive order could be rescinded by a Republican successor, but (a) Democrats think they’ve got a winner in Hillary and therefore don’t need to worry about that and (b) if it’s a centrist Republican like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or even Marco Rubio, the odds that they’re going to risk Latinos’ wrath by summarily undoing O’s policy are near zero.

In fact, there’s a theory floating around on lefty sites like Vox right now that Obama, having screwed amnesty fans by delaying his executive order once before, is going to screw them again by postponing his order indefinitely this winter. The theory is that a Republican Congress would make too much hay from it if O goes ahead and issues the order; for instance, they’ll start attaching language that would repeal Obama’s policy to must-pass bills like the next debt-ceiling hike, which would leave him in a political jam about whether to sign the bill or not. I don’t follow that logic, though, because … why wouldn’t Obama want to call the GOP’s bluff on executive amnesty? He knows the Republican establishment is terrified of alienating Latinos before 2016, and he knows they’re equally terrified of a backlash from the entire electorate if there’s another shutdown or (shudder) a technical default on the nation’s debt. If the GOP forces a showdown over his executive amnesty, he could simply say something like, “It’s inappropriate to hold the nation’s credit hostage as leverage over unrelated issues. If Republicans want me to rescind my immigration order, I’m happy to do it in exchange for a bipartisan immigration bill in Congress.” Imagine the terror in McConnell’s and Boehner’s eyes if they’re forced to simultaneously pound the table against an immigration order that’s popular with Latinos and risk some sort of major economic hit in the process. They’ll cave.

Anyway. The White House said a few days ago that O’s determined to wait until after the election to issue his order because, and I quote, “had the president moved forward with his announcement prior to Election Day, you would have seen Republican candidates do more to make the immigration issue central to their campaign. And in the event that they were successful in their campaign, the concern would be that they would cite their opposition to immigration reform as a reason for their success.” In other words, making this a key issue for voters would be too risky because they might vote in a way that Obama doesn’t like. So, poof — they don’t get to vote on it except as a hypothetical of what O might do. That’s the Most Accountable Administration Evah for you.