An Open Letter

Dear Mr. President,

I find it curious that immigration was an issue of such pressing importance that it required immediate (and dare I say unprecedented?) action on your part, and yet so trivial that you couldn’t be bothered to address the nation. “Bad optics,” as they say in your biz. Still, I hope you enjoy your stay in Las Vegas this weekend — it’s lovely there this time of year.

One of those British newspapers I read online, you know the one with all the stories about busty celebrities barely wearing fancy clothes? Anyway, they were nice enough to publish a lot of what you said last night, and there was some good stuff in there. I really like that part where you told illegal… excuse me, undocumented migrants that “if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes — you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.” That sounds to me like smart policy, the kind of thing we could probably all agree on. Maybe it would have been smarter if you had saved it for your State of the Union address a few weeks from now, when you would have had the new Congress to work with, and everybody would have had the holiday vacation to settle down and cool off and stuff?

Anyway, when you get back to DC to work more on rewriting our immigration laws, which sounds like lonely work by the way, maybe you could answer a couple of questions I have about the Constitution. I understand that you were once almost nearly a constitutional law professor, so I think you can help me.

You keep using this phrase “if Congress refuses to act,” and I keep wondering,”If Congress refuses whom?” I’m not one of those Tea Party racists who carries a tiny version of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or whatever in his pants pocket all the time, but I did pull up a copy of it online, and I don’t see anything in there about you being able to demand anything of Congress. It doesn’t even say here that you’re allowed to introduce your own bills. And then you said that thing that the House refuses to vote on a Senate bill, but I also don’t see anything in here that says the Senate can demand anything from the House or vice versa. They both have to agree on the same stuff without any demands at all, and then you have to sign it and then it’s a new law. Or did I miss something? Anyway, I read somewhere last week that the Senate has refused to vote on over 300 bills the House sent over, lots with bipartisan support, so it sounds like that Harry Reid is really going to have his hands full when he comes back to run the Senate in January! So if you could clear that up for me, that would be great.

I want to get back to this immigration thing, because I think you have some good ideas. And it looks really bad, what the House is doing, playing politics with immigration. To be fair though, the House is 435 politicians, and politics is what they do. But those politicians don’t report to you, sir, they report to their voters back home. In fact, a couple weeks ago we just sent a bunch of them back home, permanently, because we didn’t like what they were doing. But we kept bunches more of them right there where they were, because I guess we did like what they were doing. Those are the people you’ll have to work with, and not make demands of. They say politics is the art of taking half a loaf — you’re not supposed to grab the whole thing and run off to Vegas with it.

So it’s worse, isn’t it, what you’re doing? Instead of playing politics with the politicians, you went behind their backs to do stuff you’re not supposed to do without them. And it looks like you went behind most of our backs, too, the voters I mean, by doing all of this during the lame duck session and without addressing all of your fellow Americans first. And then running off to Vegas afterwords? Mr. President, sir, it looks to a lot of us like you just don’t give a hoot anymore.

You’ve made a lot of people really mad, and you didn’t even have to. There’s that other part in the Constitution, the part where the Constitution demands that you, the president, “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and I wonder if you understand what that means. I remember a few years ago a nice young Democratic senator from Illinois — hey, that’s where you’re from, too! — explaining that the president couldn’t just go around “doing stuff” without Congress, so if he’s still there in DC, maybe you could sit down with him when you get back from Vegas.

Enjoy your trip,

—Your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit