PASS A BILL
None of the Republican arguments or bluster can hold up to scrutiny. Ronald Reagen and George Bush did the same thing. The action includes more border security but the core of it is simply about who gets protection from deportation. It does not create any law or violate any law. The action can be reversed by the next president.
That's what he did for the people. Here's what he did to the Republicans. He painted them into a corner, he called their bluff, and he left them no good option.
If they now try to defund the action, that won't really work. It costs money to deport, not so much to decide not to deport. Besides they will be paying fines which will cover much of the costs that are incurred.
They can take it to court -- but what is their case? Not much -- besides some sound bites. Even conservative lawyers for the Federalist Society concede that Obama has the legal right to do this. The immigration act gives the administration leeway in deportation decisions.
If they try to take this away from 5 million people -- what are they going to do? Suddenly deport 5 million people? That would be political suicide for them, as well as impossible practically. It takes about $12,500 to deport each person. So to deport all 7 million here without documents, would cost taxpayers $87.5 billion. In addition, we would lose the taxes they have been paying, the jobs they have been doing.
Impeach the president? Of course some of the loud-mouths are calling for this -- or even putting Obama in jail. They can impeach in the House, but it takes 2/3 vote of the Senate to convict. That's not going to happen.
Boehner says this unilateral action "poisoned the well" for any further cooperation on a bill. That's really ludicrous. Republicans poinsoned the well on day 1 of the Obama administration by pledging to work against him in every way -- unless he came around to their way. Then they would call that cooperation.
So what can they do other than stamp their feet, make big blustery noises -- and go home to eat turkey? Liberals on msnbc pointed out that FoxNews has already stopped talking about it. If all you can do is make empty claims of what you will do -- and you either can't do it or it wouldn't work -- then it just makes you look bad. They are stymied . . . and furious.
Obama's timing has almost completely blotted out the Republican wins in the Nov. 4 election, as far as news and message advantage are concerned.
Meanwhile, President Obama suddenly seems on fire politically. Maybe if he had done this before the election, that might have turned out differently.