Immigration Policy Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson - townhall.com
Alligators, Moats and Other Such Nonsense
Victor Davis Hanson - townhall.com - May 19, 2011
President Obama gave what was billed as an important speech on immigration last week near the border in El Paso, Texas. Unfortunately, it was one of the most demagogic moments in recent presidential history. Nearly everything Obama said was either factually incorrect or deliberately misleading.
Why, 28 months into the Obama presidency, is there now a sudden push to pass "comprehensive" immigration reform? After all, from 2009 to early 2011, Obama had large Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate. Why hasn't Obama already rammed through his own immigration bill, as he did with health care?
The answer, of course, is that about 70 percent of the American people consistently poll against the president's initiatives on illegal immigration. Obama simply did not want to sign an easily passable bill that would earn him further unpopularity.
But now he has lost the House. A close re-election bid looms. The president is enjoying a sudden bounce in popularity after the capture of Osama bin Laden. He needs to firm up his base of Latino supporters. Presto: time to blame Republicans for his own past unwillingness to get a bill through his Democratic Congress.
Obama's demagoguery seemed to work on the crowd in El Paso. It interrupted the president's speech to answer, "Tear it down," when he mentioned the border fence. The audience booed, and jeered on cue, "They're racist," when he went after Republicans. And it joined Obama, the sudden cheerleader in chief, in chanting, "Yes, we can."
In blaming Republicans, Obama charged that their fears about open borders were groundless since, "The fence is now basically complete." And to emphasize that claim, he mocked his opponents by saying, "Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they'll need alligators in the moat."
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