Blaming President Obama for something that Bush did is nothing new for Republicans. Hell, they’ve been doing it since before Obama even moved into the White House. After all, these are the people who blame him for the millions of jobs we lost that were caused by the economic crash that was a direct result of the policies of the Bush administration.
The latest attempt to blame President Obama for something that occurred during the Bush administration comes in a comment made by frequent Fox News contributor Allen West, who claimed that the president was taking executive action to allow illegal immigrants to enlist in the United States military.
West posted on his Facebook page:
“Morning folks. While you were sleeping, Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation.”
First, let me get something off my chest. It infuriates me how disrespectful people like West are toward the office of the President of the United States. He’s the president, yet they’ll frequently call him “Mr. Obama” or Barack Hussein Obama. Purposefully leaving off his title in a blatant show of disrespect toward who he is.
Well, West’s little post here happens to be inaccurate, as Politifact found his statement to be “Mostly False.”
According to Politifact’s findings:
In December 2008, under President George W. Bush, the Defense Department announced a pilot program to temporarily allow certain legal aliens who were doctors or nurses — or could speak certain in-demand languages such as Haitian-Creole, Chinese or Farsi — to join the military. (Spanish is not on the language list.)
The program started with 1,000 recruits, and in May 2012 the cap was raised to 1,500 a year through Sept. 30, 2014. The program has been open to asylees, refugees, and certain categories of people who hold non-immigrant visas, such as students or workers. All told, the MAVNI program has enrolled about 2,900 individuals since its inception, Defense spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen told PolitiFact.
Just days before the program was set to expire, Jessica Wright, the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, signed a memo that extended the program through the end of fiscal year 2016 and allowed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients to apply.
DACA — announced by Obama in 2012 — allows certain illegal immigrants who came to the country as children to apply for a renewable, temporary status that suspends deportation. As of the end of June 2014, about 580,000 individuals received initial deferred action under DACA. There are an estimated 11.7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.
To summarize, all President Obama’s administration did was slightly extend a policy that was passed during the Bush administration.
So, if West thinks the president is some unconstitutional “charlatan” for simply extending one of Bush’s policies, I wonder what he thinks of our former president who actually created the policy.
And as Politifact concluded:
The program in question was initiated by Bush in 2008, before Obama was president. In addition, contrary to West’s sweeping suggestion, experts say it’s doubtful that many undocumented immigrants would be brought into the military. And Obama didn’t order the military to take illegal aliens but rather made it an option.
So, no matter how you try to slice it, West not only distorted the facts behind which president actually initiated this policy (Bush) but blatantly misled Americans into thinking that President Obama “ordered” the military to take illegal immigrants in. When all he did was slightly adjust the policy passed by his predecessor.
Here’s my suggestion for a new slogan for the GOP: Republicans, we’ll try to blame everything on President Obama – even if it’s a policy that was passed during the Bush administration.