Skip to 1:25 of the clip for the key bit. Here’s something you rarely hear me say about Obama: He’s totally right. I’ve made this same point more than once myself. One of the defenses used most often by fans of O’s executive amnesty is that it’s not much of an affront to separation of powers because it’s temporary. Sure, he’s seizing lawmaking power from the branch that’s constitutionally empowered to wield it, but it’ll last only as long as his presidency does. His successor can cancel it with one line scribbled on a piece of paper. Back in reality, it won’t work that way. The deep insight of Obama’s power grab, what makes it sinisterly brilliant, is that it recognizes how reluctant Americans are to abandon the policy status quo, even if that status quo is brand new and imposed through dubious means. ObamaCare is a quintessential example: Despite the law’s abiding unpopularity, even states that went for Romney in 2012 are more inclined to keep it and give it a shot now than to repeal it. When you combine that tendency towards inertia with the momentous fact that Latinos are becoming a bigger part of the national electorate, the next president is guaranteed to think twice about pulling the plug on executive amnesty — even if he’s a Republican. Quote:
“It’s true a future administration might try to reverse some of our policies. But I’ll be honest with you — the American people basically have a good heart and want to treat people fairly and every survey shows that if, in fact, somebody has come out and subjected themselves to a background check, registered, paid their taxes, the American people support allowing them to stay. So any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think, would not have the support of the American people,” Mr. Obama told a supportive crowd at a town hall meeting in Nashville. “It’s true, theoretically, a future administration could do something that I think would be very damaging. It’s not likely, politically, that they reverse everything we’ve done.”
Precisely. A newly elected Republican president would need to do something about O’s order to placate the conservatives who voted for him, but revision is much more likely than rescission. One obvious reason why:
Latinos like it a lot. Whites do not, a fact that will give even a Democratic successor pause in keeping O’s order as is, but there are arguments that can and will be made to soften some of the white opposition, especially as the heat surrounding the issue right now cools over time. In fact, the White House is already making them. Here’s another taunt to amnesty opponents from one of O’s immigration apparatchiks:
The man who will oversee President Obama’s new temporary amnesty said Tuesday that part of the reason for the program was to get the illegal immigrants working on the books, making it economically impossible for them ever to be deported by a future president…
“If this program does what we want it to do, you will now have literally millions of people who will be working on the books, paying taxes, being productive. You cannot so easily by fiat now remove those people from the economy,” said Mr. Rodriguez, who took over as agency director earlier this year.
The economy is perennially the most important issue to voters. Convince people who mildly oppose Obama’s executive order that they’re risking another recession if the order is rescinded and millions of amnestized workers become illegal laborers again and what happens to their opposition then? Remember, Democrats don’t need to persuade a majority of whites or a majority of the total electorate that O’s order is a good thing which they should support. All they need to do is persuade them that there are enough pros to neutralize the cons and therefore they shouldn’t have a strong opinion about this when they go to vote. Meanwhile, in theory, Latinos will remain grateful to Obama and the Dems for their work on it and will reward them for it. That’s how executive amnesty is supposed to work. And if it does, a Republican successor will be boxed in politically.
Your one consolation is that inertia in public opinion over policy changes can work for the GOP too. If President Cruz decides to use O’s precedent to issue an executive order summarily lowering income tax rates by 10 percent, a measure sure to be popular with everyone except the left, good luck getting his Democratic successor to pull the plug on that by rescinding the order entirely.