The American people don’t want President Barack Obama to take the lead on enacting policy, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out Wednesday…By a clear 56% to 33% margin, those surveyed don’t want Mr. Obama to take the lead role in setting policy, preferring that Congress take the lead role…The 56% who now want Congress to take the lead role in policy making is a high water mark in the poll’s history. The WSJ/NBC poll found Americans are pleased that the Republican victories in this month’s midterm elections were broadly viewed as a rebuke to the president – 53% said they feel positive about the idea that “fewer people were elected who support President Obama’s legislative agenda.” Only 41% said they feel badly about candidates who back Mr. Obama’s agenda losing.
This data is relevant on two levels. First, in an immediate context, the public has very little appetite for President Obama’s leadership or governing agenda, a message clearly conveyed in the midterm election results. And yet, here we are; bracing for a presidential announcement of a massive, unilateral policy decree on a controversial issue that was partially adjudicated in the recent campaign — and on which the president’s party lost. Obama is “taking the lead role in setting policy” by arrogating power, despite the public’s opposition to both the concept of him doing so, and to the policy itself. This same poll shows double-digit opposition to the executive amnesty plan, in spite of the question’s favorable wording. And, of course, Obama is abandoning his own erstwhile views on executive authority and the limits of his capacity on this specific issue:
The American people have spoken, and the White House is flipping them the bird. The administration’s surreal talking points actually try to cast this move as a law enforcement initiative that’s all about security and accountability:
“Taxes and background checks aren’t amnesty. That’s accountability. Doing nothing—that’s amnesty. We need to focus on deporting felons, not families; criminals, not children.”
The children line is incredibly disingenuous. Obama’s 2012 executive action shielded the so-called DREAMers from deportation. And how has this administration performed on the whole “deporting felons” thing?
New records contradict the Obama administration’s assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records. The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide. The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress. The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.
As Allahpundit said at the time, that USA Today scoop was most notable for its exposure of the sequestration lie; after all, the government released tens of thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records last year alone. It appears the Obama administration takes immigration enforcement about as seriously as it takes the Constitution’s separation of powers. The second reason the new NBC/WSJ poll is important is that it delivers a crushing blow to liberals’ narrative that Republicans only won because of low voter turnout (which also ignores the fact that turnout was significantly higher in major battleground races, which the GOP practically swept). The president himself seemed to imply that because many voters stayed home, the election wasn’t really a repudiation of him, so much as a signal of general disgust and discontentment. Not so. Just review the polling data points highlighted above. This survey was taken among adults, not voters. The general public is pleased that Republicans won, and that Obama’s agenda defeated. A post-election Gallup poll — also of adults — confirms the American people’s mood:
The Left is trying to inject ambiguity into the election’s outcomes when none actually exists. Voters and non-voters are fed up with Obama, and currently trust Republicans more to set the nation’s course. The president is reacting to that smack down with a blend of self-delusion and brazen power grabs, in furtherance of an unpopular, highly political, policy objective. A disgrace.