Rachel Maddow Slams Republican Hypocrisy on “Outrage” Over Immigration

Maddow-debunktion-junctionEver since President Obama announced his intentions of using executive actions to get something done on immigration (since Speaker of the House John Boehner refused to let the House vote on the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill last year) Republicans have been essentially throwing a hissy fit.


I’ve heard some talk of impeachment and others saying that they support blocking all of his nominees. I’ve even heard a few pushing for another government shutdown.

It’s been absolutely ridiculous. And it all stems from the fact that House Republicans have absolutely refused to do anything on immigration in four years. That is what Republican voters should be angry about. I would absolutely love to see the GOP try to justify four years of complete inaction on immigration in the House when Democrats and Republicans came together last summer and passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that Boehner wouldn’t even let the House vote on.

But when you get right down to it, executive order or not, the right-wing hysteria over all of this has been absurd.

Especially when, as Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, President Obama plans to use executive orders on immigration in nearly the exact same way George H.W. Bush did in 1990 when he used executive privilege to deal with immigration.

In 1990, Bush signed an executive order that applied to about 40 percent of the illegal immigrants in the United States. That’s the point Maddow made during her segment when she said, “The executive action that President Obama is contemplating would also apply to about 40 percent of the undocumented population in this country. So it’s roughly on the same scale.”

A statement Politifact rated as “Mostly True.”


The lone caveat that prevented this statement from being rated as completely true is the “roughly” aspect of it, being that the 40 percent estimate used by Bush in 1990 was apparently disputed by some. But if you take Bush at his word – and he’s the one who claimed his executive order would impact 40 percent of illegal immigrants – then it’s 100 percent accurate that his plan and Obama’s are essentially identical as far as the scale of reach goes.

But as we all know, when President Obama does something that even Republican presidents have done, then that suddenly makes him a “king” or a “dictator who’s setting fire to our Constitution.” Then again, when isn’t President Obama some kind of out of control dictator to the Republican party? Basically everything he does they try to claim is some form of massive abuse of power by a tyrant who couldn’t care less about our Constitution.

Fear is about all they have and fear is very often what they use. Republicans know as long as they push it, and the conservative media supports it, fear can easily trump facts – especially to gullible conservative voters.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Smarie62

    It’s because he’s Black, Allen. It is ok for a black man to have the power, but if he uses it, there will be hell to pay and he is a traitor. He should sit there and let the white man tell him how to use that power. Glad it’s 2014, not 1914.

    • Jim Bean

      Its because he deprived me of my right to have my elected representative have a say/vote in the matter and therefore, he disenfranchised me on the issue of immigration.

      • PoppaDavid

        If your representative didn’t get a vote on the matter, it is because a minority of reps kept the Immigration Bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Blame them.

      • Jim Bean

        It was their call to make, not his, and they are under no obligation to produce something ‘when he demands it’ or produce something that is to his liking. As he said before he decided he is an emperor, he is not an emperor.

      • PoppaDavid

        The full Congress assembled DID produce an Immigration Bill. The minority of the House prevented a vote on the bill. Our President has said, “vote on it” because he can count votes. Your side says “No vote” because they can count votes.

        Don’t claim “principle” when all you have is “politics”.

        “Emperor”? LOL The opponents of an emperor are sent to prison to silence them. The opponents of our President appear on television where they speak out loud.

      • strayaway

        “ALL legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Article 1, Section 1

        Note the first word “ALL”. Presidents have no such granted (delegated) power. Presidents cannot change a law because they are petulant, frustrated, or can get away with it. Presidents cannot, for instance, change a law requiring that most illegal aliens be shown the door to a new law rewarding them with working papers. Congress did vote down a similar amnesty bill when Bush tried to push it through for his corporate friends. Congress also looked at dreamer legislation and decided not to vote on it before the president used his magic phone and pen to legislate the amnesty of dreamers. Who better to quote on the matter than Obama before he turned rogue.

        “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.” -candidate Obama(3/31/08)

        ” “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” – president Obama (3/28/11)

      • PoppaDavid

        Yes, LEGISLATIVE powers are given to Congress. This is the ability to make laws that apply to the citizens and residents of the United States.

        EXECUTIVE powers are given to the President. This is the ability to tell his employees which jobs they will perform and when they will perform them.

        i.e. first deal with those who have committed felonies, then address those who have not.

        When you start complaining about the Executive Orders issued by Republican Presidents with the same vigor as complaints against Our President, then I can allow for the possibility that you are acting on principle, until then, it smacks of political posturing.

      • strayaway

        All legislative power is given to Congress (Article 1, Section 1).

        Legislation defined: “the act of making or enacting laws.”

        “The Congress shall have power…To establish a uniform rule of naturalization… (and) repel invasions; (Article 1, Section 8)

        You will note that Congressional powers apply not only to citizens of the United states but also to aliens (non-citizens) and that it is Congress rather than the president who was granted such powers.

        I just quoted the President saying he had no power to suspend deportation which is just what he did to a large extent for five million illegal aliens. Neither does he have power to hand out work permits to four million illegal aliens to legally take away a wider range of jobs from Americans. That is a new law not passed by Congress.

        To again quote our now rogue president,If anyone wants to claim that the president’s November 20 action was not a change of law, or just an execution of congressional law, listen to what the president said,

        “I just took an action TO CHANGE THE LAW”.

        -Post Constitutional Stongman Obama 11/25/14

        Bingo! in his own words, Obama changed the law instead of executing the law. To “change” a law, the old law was replaced with a new law. Only Congress has such power.

        I have elsewhere cited FDR for imprisoning Japanese Americans and mentioned Lincoln for tossing his political enemies in jai by executive order. I have asked for an example of Bush issuing an legislating by executive order of this magnitude. There were, of course, no responses. Obama is instead acting as if Congress has signed off on an enabling act like in Germany in 1933. You should be ashamed of yourself for being an apologist for autocratic rule. Nothing good ever comes of autocratic rule in the long run. If the wrong Republican ever becomes President and uses the Obama precedent to justify taking things away from you; consider it karma.

      • Ben Wilkins

        He didn’t change the law, Einstein. He changed how it’s enforced. If your do-nothing congress chooses to pass an immigration law, let them do it. BUT, that means they now have to take responsibility. Up to now, they’ve just been obstructionist. They know that if they pass what the lunatic fringe wants, they’re out of a job in 2016 and will never see the presidential post again.

      • strayaway

        “I just took an action TO CHANGE THE LAW”.

        -Post Constitutional Stongman Obama 11/25/14

        The president said he changed it. I directly quoted him. You are calling the president a liar. A number of Democrats who voted for the presidents sell out amnesty plan are out of a job. Keep giving away Americans’ jobs and Democrats will become even rarer.

      • Rob Bailey

        No, Princess, your Senator voted. The Bill passed easily. And unlike all the crap Bills sent out of the radical-right House that you’re getting ready to whine about, this Bill would have still passed the House and would have been signed by the President. You have a context/fact problem, Bean. Fact is, the radical right just didn’t want to give Obama a win, lied about it, and is now looking like a bunch of crybabies because what the President is doing is COMPLETELY LEGAL!

      • FD Brian

        But it’s okay when republicans do it?

      • The President moved 5m people to the end of the deportation line. Given that Congress only funds the deportation of 400,000 per year, they should start being deported in 16 years.