Remember Luis Gutierrez? Sure you do. Quote: “I have only one loyalty and that’s to the immigrant community.” Frustrated by the lack of movement on amnesty in Congress, he’s been threatening some sort of schism between Latinos and Democrats for months. On the one hand, that’s a savvy move insofar as it recognizes that The One values nothing so much as his own reelection. (That’s the shining lesson from the deficit-reduction battle, after all.) But realistically, Democrats aren’t going to pass any immigration bills before 2013: It’s too dicey for centrist Dems like Tester and Nelson who are up for reelection, especially with unemployment still sky high. The smart play for Gutierrez would be to pressure Republicans with warnings that they’ll be wiped out by the Latino vote next year if they don’t compromise on immigration; that strategy would dovetail with the Dems wanting to use the issue as a wedge with the GOP, to remind Latinos that the same evil people who want America’s grandmas to go without medical care are also the exclusive impediment to open borders. Instead, Gutierrez is sabotaging that plan, laying the blame exclusively at Obama’s feet. Mystifying. Although not as mystifying as this:
According to the Chicago Tribune, the lawmaker told a large crowd at Lincoln United Methodist Church in Chicago that Obama should use his executive powers to stop the deportation of people with children who are U.S. citizens.
“I have nothing but the greatest desire to vote for Barack Obama. I have nothing but the greatest desire to be helpful, and to join arms with him, and march across this country toward his reelection,” Gutierrez said in Chicago. “But I cannot do that. We cannot do that, until we resolve the current conflict that exists between this administration and its immigration policy.” Gutierrez said Latino voters are dissatisfied with Obama’s progress on the issue. He’s concerned it will mean smaller voter turnout in 2012, according to the published report.
Mark Krikorian says that would be an impeachable offense, but I’m less concerned than I am amused by the idea that The One would tempt fate with independents by unilaterally ordering some sort of mass amnesty. I fear poor Gutierrez has set himself up for heart-ache yet again.
Even so, attention must be paid, so Obama threw him a bone today by doing what he does best: He called a meeting to talk about it. Ho hum.