Even though it hasn’t been in the headlines much the last couple of weeks due to the ongoing debate over the Mike Brown and Eric Garner deaths, the controversy over President Obama’s executive action on immigration is still simmering within the Republican party. In fact, I fully expect it to boil over as soon as the holiday season is over.
But the truth is, ultimately nothing is going to happen. President Obama’s executive orders will stand, Congress won’t pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill and Republicans certainly won’t shut down the government for a second time. Though there is certain to be plenty of fear-mongering rhetoric coming from the GOP and the conservative media in the coming weeks about Obama’s executive actions.
However, the question still remains, why won’t Republicans just pass an immigration reform bill?
Well, the answer to that is simple: Because they can’t.
You see, Republicans are stuck between a rock and a racist place. If they come out and outright reject these sensible measures to deal with illegal immigration, they’ll be seen as out of touch by young voters and as racists by many Latinos. And with 2016 just around the corner, the last thing the GOP wants to do is go on the record alienating Latino voters that they’ll desperately need if they want to stand any chance at reclaiming the White House this next presidential election. But they also can’t embrace comprehensive immigration reform because that would really tick off many of their far-right conservative voters who feverishly oppose any plan on immigration other than “deport them all, build a wall!”
So, what’s their only real option? It’s simple. They’re going to paint President Obama as some kind of unconstitutional dictator who doesn’t want to work with Congress, threaten to shut down the government as to appear “tough,” but ultimately they won’t do much of anything because they really don’t have the power to do anything to stop the president.
And they know it.
All this posturing is nothing more than pandering to far-right conservatives who are too ignorant to realize that the reason why Republicans won’t shut down the government, or pass comprehensive immigration reform themselves, is because they support President Obama’s plan on immigration. They just can’t publicly say that because they know it will send tea party conservatives into a racial frenzy that could possibly ruin any chance they have in 2016.
It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive approach to immigration. Republicans don’t have to go on the record (via a vote) on either side of the immigration debate (saving themselves from possibly alienating their base and/or the Latino vote), but they really don’t plan to go through with any of their threats against the president because they know those drastic measures would ultimately backfire against their party.
So, at the end of the day what will ultimately happen? Well, in the coming weeks a fussy GOP will continue to throw a temper tantrum like a petulant child that will ultimately accomplish absolutely nothing because deep down Republicans know there’s nothing they can really do. And at the end of the day, all this “Obama is an unconstitutional king/dictator/emperor” nonsense is nothing more than political fodder for the right-wing media to use in their ongoing effort to continually fear-monger against anything and everything President Obama does.