Obama just made an immigration reform move to ensure that Hispanic voters show up for the Democrats in 2016, and Republicans will have little capacity to do anything about it. Why Hispanic voters are okay with being political pawns is beyond me, but they will join feminists and African-Americans as demographics that the Democrats have successfully courted through carefully crafted political posturing.
It has long been the case that politicians utilize demographic opportunism to try to garner votes from a particular people group. You can always tell when these political maneuvers are in play because they usually have no real legislative consequences. Many of them aren’t even gambles.
For instance, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most brilliant pieces of political propaganda ever devised. It did not free a single slave. It applied only to the South, which did not recognize the Proclamation as a legitimate law. Therefore, it did absolutely nothing to forward abolition and it cost nothing politically. All it did was cast Lincoln as an enemy of slavery. Which did wonders for his support, both locally and internationally. It may have even kept Britain from joining the war on the South’s side.
Ever since then, such actually useless but politically potent pieces of grandstanding have become the norm. And about all they do is sway public opinion without costing anything. So Obama’s recent immigration proclamation doesn’t do very much. It says that certain immigrants who have been here for five years will not be deported, so they can register and start the citizenship process without fear.
But these non-citizens will not be eligible for Obamacare. And many (if not most) of the illegal immigrants don’t qualify for this protection from deportation. So, as you can see, this “executive amnesty” on immigration is largely immune from any real criticism. It doesn’t grant citizenship. It leaves Obamacare out of it. And it applies only to workers who pass a criminal background check, have been here for years already, and perhaps already have children who are American citizens.
The only criticism possible here is that Congress, not the president, should be legislating immigration reform. But this isn’t even technically legislation. Obama is merely outlining how the DOJ will enforce immigration. This move costs Obama nothing. And it gains him quite a bit. He’s playing chess. This is politics. Not compassion.
So, bottom line, this move looks really good to Hispanic voters, though it currently does very little for the vast majority of Hispanic people in this country. And it also makes the Republicans look really bad if they criticize it on any grounds. So Republicans can oppose Obama’s executive tyranny and further solidify the Democrats, or the Republicans can say nothing and continue to let Obama have his executive way.
And it just gets worse. Democrats continue to paint the Republicans as the party of the rich white man. And there is little Republicans can do to undo that characterization. Black Republicans are called Uncle Toms. Female Republicans are called brainwashed pawns and idiots. Republican measures to protect the middle class are being categorized as breaks for the “rich.” And this politicization of race goes both ways. Republicans tend to oppose and be opposed by the African-American and Hispanic voter base. Because they are black or Latino? Not necessarily. It could be just because they are increasingly Democrat. As one commentator puts it:
. . . In the South, ideology and racial identity are nearly inseparable.
And all along, what’s happening? The country is becoming ever more divided among racial and socio-economic lines. This is a shame, and it needs to stop. The Democrats thrive on race baiting and political grandstanding. And Republicans are trying to no avail to forge a new post-racial identity out of race dodging and political grandstanding. But at what cost to the country? While they cash in on race to grab more power, the country is falling to pieces. Are there no politicians whose desires go beyond mere political aspirations?