After the voters rejected President Obama and his policies and his party on November 4, the president spoke to the nation and declared that he had gotten the election’s message. That message was: The American people want Democrats and Republicans in Washington to work together.
He didn’t mean that. It was just a line he used to buy time.
Feral federal government, meet corrupt and pliant media. Politico reports today that President Obama had been planning last night’s extraconstitutional maneuver for nine months.
That gets us all the way back to February, and tells us just how long ago the administration realized that the Democrats were going to lose the Senate.
Nine months ago, the new Homeland Security secretary, Jeh Johnson, received a request from the White House. President Obama wanted him to personally take on perhaps the administration’s toughest political assignment: looking for creative ways to fix America’s immigration system without congressional action—or executive overreach.
Just four months into the job, Johnson had been prepared to take on tough security issues: Bombs on planes. Deadly diseases. Radical Islamists carrying U.S. passports. As the Pentagon’s chief counsel, Johnson had routinely dealt with contentious national security matters, finding himself in the midst of sensitive political fights like whether and how to close Guantanamo Bay, allowing gays in the military, and the rapid expansion of America’s killer drone program.
He wasn’t prepared for a crisis of purely political making.
Politico doesn’t spell it out, but President Obama distracted the chief of Homeland Security away from security and toward a plan that will increase national insecurity.
Johnson was working on this plan all summer, which means he was working on harming border security and providing incentives for more people to come into the nation and stay illegally, when the border was being overrun by thousands of illegal aliens.
Politico does point out that many in the president’s own party did not want him to do this. But he did it anyway.
At several key points, Obama wavered under pressure from members of his own party, worried about an electoral collapse that happened anyway when the votes were counted in the midterm elections earlier this month. Throughout, Johnson worked, largely in secret on the grand plan that finally became public this week, convening a small group of former Capitol Hill aides with expertise on immigration to work with Homeland Security officials to draft a policy that all expected would provoke not only fierce opposition from conservatives but from liberals who thought Obama should go further. It was a consuming task: in all, sources said, the immigration issue ate up fully half of the Homeland Security secretary’s time in recent months, with Johnson —a high-powered corporate attorney in his previous life — writing the final presidential memorandum himself.
Again, Politico doesn’t make the next logical connection, perhaps because like some of their colleagues they traded integrity for access — Homeland Security was consumed with working on Obama’s secret plan even while the border was in an active state of chaos.
That’s worth repeating: While the border was being overrun and in an active state of chaos, President Obama distracted the head of Homeland Security away from his job, and toward crafting a purely political plan to circumvent Congress.
Politico does blame the voters. So there’s that.
[Rep. Diaz-Balart] had planned to sit down with House leaders on June 12, ask for a week to firm up the numbers and secure their commitment to bring the bill to the floor — from which he hoped it would pass with a bipartisan majority. Behind the scenes, he kept the White House informed of his actions. Obama held out hope that Diaz-Balart might succeed where so many others had failed, agreeing to delay the release of a narrow batch of executive actions on immigration to avoid antagonizing conservatives at a delicate moment in Diaz-Balart’s negotiations.
But then, just two days before the meeting, Eric Cantor, the House majority leader who had gingerly supported certain immigration reforms, lost the Republican primary for his Virginia House seat to an insurgent candidate who hammered him for his supposed softness on immigration. “Eric Cantor saying he opposes amnesty is like Barack Obama saying he opposes Obamacare,” thundered Dave Brat, an obscure college professor who challenged the powerful majority leader. Beating Cantor, Brat claimed, “is the last chance” to prevent undocumented immigrants from pouring into the country.
“We were so close,” Diaz-Balart says now. “We were closer than the House has ever been.”
Virginia voters, this is your fault!
Despite [Homeland Security Secretary Johnson’s] scant knowledge of the complex web of immigration laws when Obama first handed him the assignment, he took personal ownership of preparing the president’s policy. He held dozens of meetings with outside legal experts, lawmakers and interest groups, including NumbersUSA and Center for Immigration Studies, fierce opponents of legalizing undocumented immigrants.
While the border was in an active state of chaos.
Obama and Johnson, as well as their staffs, traded draft memos and ideas for months. By one count, they produced more than 60 iterations of the proposals. Johnson’s aides would draft something, then shoot it over to Eggleston and Munoz to examine and return with revisions.
While the border was in an active state of chaos.
Secretary Johnson should be called to testify under oath before the new Congress regarding the level of distraction this secret planning created. President Obama knowingly politicized national security. Secretary Johnson lacked the integrity to resist, and to resign if necessary. The American people should hear directly from him next year.