“I believe that this president tempted will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, to issue an executive order as he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen,” Rubio said in an interview Tuesday on WFLA’s “The Morning Show with Preston Scott.”
If that were to happen, Rubio warned, Republicans would not get the provisions they have been fighting for in the immigration debate, such as billions of dollars to strengthen border security and a workplace “e-Verify” system to help ensure that employers do not hire undocumented workers.
“I have tried to come up as best as possible, given who controls the Senate, with a way to start the conversation to at least address some of these issues,” Rubio said. “It only gets worse as times goes on.”
This is the fallback retreat position. Yes, we’re going to lose. But let’s make this as favorable a retreat as possible. As I wrote in June,
The plan that Pro-Amnesty Republicans have been touting was Obama’s plan all along, word for word. It’s even being sold in exactly the same way and Gang of 8 members often find themselves repeating lines from Obama’s American University speech.
It wasn’t just the 2012 election that stampeded Republicans into backing amnesty. Winning a majority of the Latino vote would not have put Romney in the Oval Office. Instead the real trigger was Obama’s unilateral implementation of the DREAM Act by executive order. Within some Republican circles, the perception was that Obama would implement amnesty either way and their only chance to control its scope and claim some of the credit for it was by getting out in front of the existing amnesty proposals.
It seems insane, but it’s also how Washington DC works. Given a choice between a series of piecemeal amnesties that Obama would control and own from start to finish… and an amnesty that they could have some claim on, a number of Republicans chose to back an Obama plan from his first term, rather than allow him to implement his own plan by executive order.
Now Rubio is coming clean. It’s either an amnesty that Republicans can lay some claim to and that comes packaged with meaningless border security measures and enforcement plans that will be waived, trashed and neglected… or Obama will unilaterally run his own amnesty.
But the question that Rubio then ought to ask himself is why hasn’t Obama done it already? If the current plan were some kind of end run around Obama, he could have stolen their thunder with a few bad executive orders.
Obama prefers the solidity of a legislative package that he can then tamper with at will. Rubio and co. will get no credit for it among pro-amnesty voters either way.
The problem that Rubio raises is a real one. How do you deal with an imperial presidency that claims absolute power? There is no easy answer.
Obama cannot and will not be held accountable by the media. The Republicans have been unable to intelligently asses his actions and come up with a solid scandal game plan.
But trying to do what Obama wants before he does it on his own so he doesn’t get all the credit is the worst possible response.
Abuse of power has to be confronted. It can’t be appeased.