Ever 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.