Obama Continues to Play Hispanics on Immigration Issue

Good question. The answer is obvious: It’s because Obama actually cared about achieving health care reform. But he doesn’t care about immigration reform. It’s always an afterthought with this president, and only tends to come to mind when Obama finds himself addressing a Latino group and looking for dependable applause lines.

And when Obama insisted that he can’t accomplish immigration reform alone and that he needs partners, Sotelo reminded him that he had put together a group of leaders in the immigration movement and reached out to the White House. But, Sotelo said, he never heard back. Rather then respond, Obama quickly changed the subject.

That’s typical. Liberal Democrats don’t do advisory boards, or at least do them very well. When dealing with minorities, they think they know everything -- and feel everything. Besides, from the perspective of the White House, people like Sotelo need not shape policy; their only responsibility is to gin up publicity for candidates and parties.

Finally, the host asked Obama, in essence, where he got the nerve to come around and ask Latinos for their votes again -- when he hasn’t delivered on the last set of promises and doesn’t seem to care much about keeping Latino voters satisfied.

Obama disputed the “notion that somehow if I had worked it hard enough, we could have magically (achieved immigration reform),” insisting this is “just not the way our system works.”

Actually, there is no magic involved. Just leadership. With health care, the president knew he had to go out and rustle up votes. But with immigration, his stance has typically been that he’ll sign legislation once the votes are there. He needs to do more.

As for how our system works, frankly it might work better if the media followed the lead of people like Eddie Sotelo. Rather than simply fall in line behind Obama and the Democrats, Sotelo asked tough questions and tried to hold the president accountable for his performance in office. He actually seemed to think that promises are supposed to be kept, and that it’s the job of the media to keep politicians honest.

Sotelo did his job. Now Obama needs to do the same -- and help fix an immigration system that everyone agrees is broken.