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Obama's 2nd Inaugural Address, Pres. Should Declare War on GOP??
5 years ago

When you are on the Fox News’ ticker for the wrong reasons, it's time to put things into context.

On the eve of the president's inauguration, I wrote a piece about what President Obama needs to do to be a transformational rather than caretaker president. I was using a very specific definition of transformational presidencies based on my reading of a theory of political science and the president's own words about transformational presidencies from the 2008 campaign. It was also based on these givens: The president is ambitious, has picked politically controversial goals, has little time to operate before he is dubbed a lame-duck president, and has written off working with Republicans. "Bloodier-minded when it comes to beating Republicans,” is how Jodi Kantor put it in the New York Times. Given these facts, there is only one logical conclusion for a president who wants to transform American politics: He must take on Republicans—aggressively.


For me, this was a math problem with an unmistakable conclusion. Some people thought I was giving the president my personal advice. No. My goal was to make a compelling argument based on the facts. I used words like "war" and &ldquoulverize,” and some have responded with threats to me and my family. (“Go for his throat!” some have counseled, echoing the headline.) These words have also liberated some correspondents (USUALLY THE ONES THAT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!) from reading the piece or reading it in the spirit in which it was written. But there were also almost 2,000 other words in the piece, which should put that provocative language in context. What's been lost in the news ticker and Twitter threats is the argument of the piece: This is the only plausible path for a bold, game-changing second term for a president who has positioned himself the way President Obama has. Indeed, the piece accurately anticipated the forceful line the president ultimately took in his inaugural address with his call for collective action and failure to reach out to Republicans. Brit Hume said Obama’s speech confirms for all time the president’s essential liberalism. The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber precisely identified the speech not merely as liberal but an argument for liberalism.

Some correspondents have asked why I didn't advocate that Obama embrace House GOP spending plans or some other immediate compromise, a more pleasant outcome than the prospect of even more conflict in Washington. There's no evidence, however, that the president is in a compromising mood. (Again, see second inaugural.) This piece was written from the viewpoint of the reality as it stands, not a more pleasing future we would all prefer to inhabit. That reality (and the initial piece) includes an unpleasant fact to some Republicans: The

This post was modified from its original form on 23 Jan, 4:36
5 years ago

The GOP is in a state of disequilibrium. For evidence of that disarray, I rely on Rep. Tom Cole, Sen. Rand Paul, participants at the House GOP retreat, and Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review. (As I mentioned in the piece, Democrats have their own tensions, too.)

People see my article as an argument for one-party power, which is impossible since I posit that Obama’s second-term conflict with the GOP will be the first step leading to its rebirth as a majority party. Some assume I hate Republicans. This latter charge will confuse my close relations, who are not only proud conservatives but among Fox News' most ardent fans (the two groups not necessarily overlapping). Indeed, one of the many reactions I received on my reporting on the tensions within the Republican Party came from a family member who wrote:


 "Barack Obama is the best thing ever for those who believe in conservative principles because it would show that with hard work, regardless of race, anyone can achieve, and it would give Republicans a few years in the wilderness to get back to a coherent philosophy. Now I believe that Obama will help conservatives because he will make them better.


 He has totally figured out how to use technology to deliver mass customized messages to individual voters and now citizens. Ultimately, this is a great boon to democracy. He is smart and articulate. He is tough and ruthless. All of this will make conservatives and Republicans raise their game. Ultimately, that is good. … I look forward to a Republican Party that is a worthy adversary and a worthy advocate. Barack Obama should inspire us conservatives to be better, not to be whinier."


You can disagree with that analysis, but it is in keeping with the theory of political transformation that I was articulating as I considered the central question on the eve of Obama’s second term: What is the pathway for transforming American politics given the president's current posture? There may be another way to solve this math problem, but I still don't see it.

5 years ago

The GOP needs to regroup and change its ways, or the party is with Marco Rubio laying down his 6 steps of immigration reform and all those millions given legal status in this country, you wonder if he is among others in the Republican party, if they are really in the right party?

5 years ago

Senator Marco Rubio Unveils Amnesty Blueprint

After nearly a year of touting his ideas for immigration reform, pro-amnesty Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) began releasing details of his legislative proposal last week. While he has not released specific language, Rubio's plan already consists of the typical open borders lobby reforms, running the gamut from a path to legalization for illegal aliens to increased legal immigration and worksite enforcement provisions. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 14, 2013)

Sen. Rubio insists his proposal to legalize the roughly 11-12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. "is not blanket amnesty or a special pathway to citizenship." (Id.)  Yet, to qualify under this proposal, Sen. Rubio described the exact same eligibility requirements found in the 2006 and 2007 amnesty bills. He said:

They would have to undergo a background check. They would be fingerprinted. They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country. (Id.)
So long as illegal aliens meet the above criteria, Rubio says, they will be granted a temporary legal status that allows them to apply for permanent residency–and then citizenship—after several years. The green card waiting period, however, "would have to be long enough to ensure that it’s not easier to do it this way than it would be the legal ways," he said. (Id.)
And, like the 2006 and 2007 amnesty bills, Senator Rubio's plan places illegal alien minors–or so-called "DREAMers"–in a different category than the majority of illegal aliens. Under his plan, these aliens would be allowed to apply for amnesty through a separateapplication process, one that moves "in a more expedited manner than the rest of the population." (Id.)
Again, like the 2006 and 2007 amnesty bills, Sen. Rubio also indicated that his plan would increase legal immigration. Arguing the legal immigration system must be "modernize[d]," Rubio suggested either altering the current ratio of preferences for family-based immigration, or raising the overall ceiling on the number of investment and skills-based visas allocated annually. (Id.)  However, he indicated he prefers increasing the number of skills-based visas, so as not to undermine family-based immigration. (Id.; see also interview with Bill O’Reilly on immigration, Jan. 17, 2013)
Finally, just like the 2006 and 2007 amnesty bills, Rubio indicated that his plan will increase the number of visas for permanent or seasonal farm workers, saying "the goal is to give American agriculture a reliable work force and to give protection to these workers as well." However, his proposal appears to ignore the fact that the H-2A agricultural guest worker visa is uncapped. (Id.)
Regarding immigration enforcement, Sen. Rubio's proposal appears to be lacking in true immigration reform measures. While the Senator apparently wants to include a mandatory worksite enforcement component, such as E-Verify, and Sen. Rubio acknowledges investing in people and infrastructure along the border is a necessary reform, he fails to require increased enforcement as a precondition to granting amnesty. (Id.)
Alarmingly, before even seeing detailed legislation and completely disregarding the roughly 22.5 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, key Members of the House of Representatives are voicing their support for Senator Rubio's plan. Notably, 2012 GOP vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was quick to climb aboard Sen. Rubio’s bandwagon. "Sen. Rubio is exactly right on the need to fix our broken immigration system," Rep. Ryan posted on his Facebook page. (The Hill, Jan. 17, 2013) "I support the principles he’s outlined: modernization of our immigration laws; stronger security to curb illegal immigration; and respect for the rule of law in addressing the complex challenge of the undocumented population." (Id.)
Rep. Ryan has also been discussing amnesty proposals behind the scenes with longtime amnesty advocate Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). (Id.) 
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