I’m honestly surprised. You can see the leftist spin coming from a mile away: “REPUBLICANS SUE TO KEEP LATINO MIGRANTS OUT.” (Here’s Brian Beutler at TNR with a sneak preview.) That’s the precise opposite of the message that the GOP leadership wants to push before 2016. The obvious move is to leave immigration out of the House’s suit and to target less politically fraught examples of Obama’s executive power grabs, like suspending ObamaCare’s employer mandate, instead.
So why is Boehner considering it?
Speaker John Boehner said he is considering including executive actions on immigration as part of the House’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama.
“Yes we are,” the Ohio Republican said on Wednesday…
Boehner did not elaborate on what immigration policy the lawsuit may consider, many GOP lawmakers have zeroed in on a 2012 directive from the Obama administration that effectively halted deportations for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States.
They’re going to sue O to overturn his 2012 amnesty for DREAMers? “REPUBLICANS SUE TO KICK LATINO CHILDREN OUT.”
Three possibilities here. One: Plain and simple, the politics have changed. Dave Brat beat Cantor by calling him an amnesty shill while voters were watching tens of thousands of illegals from Central America stream across the border. Independents might have tolerated a soft-on-amnesty push before, but now Boehner’s concluded that they want to see stern action on security before the midterms. Adding immigration to the lawsuit is a nod to that, however liberals might spin it.
Two: It’s just blather. Boehner knows they’re not going to include immigration in the Obama lawsuit — his masters at the Chamber of Commerce would never allow it — but he needs to pretend for the time being, while conservatives are zeroed in on the border crisis. The whole point of the lawsuit is to show righties that House Republicans object to O’s threat to separation of powers. If he refuses to add immigration to the litany of complaints, at a moment when Obama’s promising a mass amnesty of illegals who are already here and tea-party hero Sarah Palin is demanding impeachment, it’ll defeat the whole purpose. He’s got to give righties some hope that immigration will be part of this, at least for now.
Three: Boehner really does intend to include immigration in the suit, knowing full well that the left will brutalize the GOP over it. He has no choice, though. Remember, the ultimate goal of Beltway Republicans in their now years-long amnesty push is to impress Latino voters by showing that the GOP is willing to play ball on legalizing illegals, which in turn will (eventually) make Latinos more inclined to vote Republican. That’s what all of this has been about politically. If Obama now turns around and issues a mass amnesty on his own, the Republican dream of a mega-pander to Latinos will be up in smoke. As much as they hate to give the left a new reason to call them the “party of deportations” a la Beutler, they’d hate even more if Obama ends up earning all of the goodwill with Latinos that Republicans were hoping to share. If the lawsuit’s successful, it could in theory block Obama from issuing that mass amnesty, whereupon Boehner could turn around next year, swallow hard, and pass comprehensive immigration reform, thus fulfilling the establishment’s pander-y hopes. At the very least, the mere prospect that a federal judge might nullify an executive amnesty may make Obama think twice about going ahead with it.
That makes me wonder. If National Journal’s right that the GOP is planning a “potentially dramatic” vote to authorize the suit at the end of July, right before they head out for their August recess, what will this do to Obama’s timeline in issuing his amnesty? I’ve explained in other posts why I think he’ll wait ’til next year — the politics are simply too unpredictable right before the midterms — but lefties like Greg Sargent are nudging him to go big and to do it soon, notwithstanding the daily news about more illegals coming across the border. Maybe the lawsuit will inspire O to act sooner rather than later. Lefties will appreciate the act of defiance if Obama turns around in August and issues his order, right after being slapped with the suit. And the longer the new policy is in effect, the more a federal judge might hesitate to strike it down — in which case, Obama has a strong incentive to get it done quickly. Cross those fingers and hope for the best, red-state Democrats!
While you take all of that in, enjoy Mika Brzezinski being reduced nearly to tears at the thought of Precious facing an impeachment charge.