Amateur Hour at the White House

One of President Obama’s biggest boosters, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC, lamented hearing from Democratic senators that President Obama didn’t know what he was doing:

Recent events seem to reinforce that view. Mr. Obama’s economy is failing. Our country’s secrets are being leaked onto the front pages of left-wing papers. And our esteemed president either doesn’t have a firm grasp of the limits of his power as outlined in the Constitution even after three years in office, or doesn't care that he is violating those limits.

President Obama just decided he has the power to rewrite U.S. immigration policy all by himself. But a couple of years back, the president claimed he didn’t have that authority: “I just have to continue to say, this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.”

It’s an astonishing but well-timed discovery of executive power as it just so happens this is an election year. And the president needs the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. to turn out and pull the lever for him in November. I fear that some Hispanics, so eager to believe Mr. Obama has their best interests at heart, will buy this obvious tactic. As fellow Latino columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. put it in a radio interview: “Whenever he throws them a bone, they call it a steak dinner." The president wrongly assumes that all we brown-skinned folks care about is immigration. I can assure him we’re deeper than that.

The president’s campaign is giddy that the country is focused on his immigration power grab -- any time the press has an excuse to cover something other than the sagging economy or treasonous intelligence leaks, it’s a win for Team Obama. But American Latinos are very concerned about the security of America being traded for an election year bump in the polls. The New York Times’ revelation that David Axelrod, President Obama’s most senior campaign advisor, was present during top-level security meetings should send a chill up any American’s spine.

The White House and Axelrod deny he was there. Still, Americans are left with a couple of conundrums. First: We have to decide who has lied to us least, Mr. Obama or the New York Times. It’s a hell of a choice, but on balance the Times has done some accurate reporting from time to time. That’s more than can be said for team Obama.  That leads to our second problem: How can we trust that President Obama knows what he’s doing, if he thought it was appropriate to have a campaign hack like Axelrod anywhere near top-secret information? Again, the president’s lack of experience comes shining through.