Republicans Warn That Immigration Order Will Foment Anarchy and Violence among Their Base – Obama Tells Them, ‘Pass a Bill’

S. 744, a bill to reform immigration, passed with bipartisan votes in the Senate in June 2013, but House Republicans refused to put it up for a vote

Last night Pres. Obama unveiled his executive order to defer the deportations of 4.4 million undocumented residents, allow spouses of green-card holders to apply for legal status, make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to get visas and more.

Today, predictably, Republicans are in full lather trying to shift public attention away from the fact that they have no alternative plan for immigration reform — and, worse, that for a year and a half House Republicans have been sitting on the immigration bill — Senate bill S. 744, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill — that passed the Senate with bipartisan votes in June 2013.

Instead of proposing an alternative to the president’s order, the GOP strategy is to focus public attention on the process — Obama’s executive action — by claiming, falsely, that the order is illegal. In fact, presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush also signed executive orders deferring deportations, and Republican presidents Eisenhower, Ford and George W. Bush also made unilateral changes to immigration procedures through executive orders.

The Republican leadership is making a calculation that by ginning up rage at the president over the order, they can avoid having to take a substantive position on immigration, even if the derangement they foment drives their racist base to violence and anarchy, as Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and others have predicted.

Obama Unveils Executive Order on Immigration Reform
Video and transcript - below the fold

Video and transcript – below the fold

Here are highlights of Pres. Obama’s executive order on immigration reform from the Washington Post:

The executive action will have two key components:

  • It would offer a legal reprieve to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who’ve resided in the country for at least five years. This would remove the constant threat of deportation. Many could also receive work permits.
  • It would expand the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allowed young immigrants, under 30 years old, who arrived as children to apply for a deportation deferral and who are now here legally. Immigrants older than 30 now qualify, as do more recent arrivals.

People in both groups will have to reapply every three years. The executive action will also include:

  • A program to facilitate visas for people who invest in the United States and those who pursue science, technology, engineering and math degrees
  • Modifying federal immigrant detention procedures
  • Adding resources to strengthen security at the border

But notably, the action will not:

  • Extend protections to hundreds of thousands of parents of young immigrants who participated in the DACA program — a group totaling 671,000 people.
  • Expand visas for migrant farm workers. According to The Times, “farm workers, for example, will not be singled out for protections because of concerns that it was difficult to justify legally treating them differently from undocumented workers in other jobs, like hotel clerks, day laborers and construction workers.”
  • Expand the existing H-1B visa program for highly skilled foreigners
  • Offer access to the Affordable Care Act for newly protected immigrants

GOP Senator: Facts about Legality of President’s Executive Order Don’t Matter to Republicans
A new low for 'Morning Joe' - hosts and reporter ignore Sen. Coburn's warning that GOP base might launch race war over immigration, Ferguson
Watch the video below the fold

Watch the video below the fold

In an interview with Susan Page at USAToday, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., warned that the Republicans’ base might provoked into violence, if Pres. Obama signs an executive order on immigration, as planned:

The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said on Capital Download. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

Coburn appeared on on MSNBC’s right-wing gabfest, “Morning Joe,” to clarify his remarks. In doing so, however, he committed a classic Kinsey gaffe — meaning he inadvertently told the truth:

I just… you know .. Joe, I just think, ah, the President oughta walk into this a lot more slowly, especially after an election. Ummm. This idea, the rule of law, is really concerning a lot of people where I come from. And whether it’s factual or perceptual, it really doesn’t matter. And the glue that holds our country together is this common belief in the rule of law. [Emphasis added.]

A Republican senator admitted on their show that facts were irrelevant to his party’s base. What was the reaction from Scarborough, his cohost Mika Brzezinski and Jeremy Peters, the New York Times reporter whose turn it was next to ask Coburn a question?

Advocates for Canada’s Keystone Pipeline Rely on the ‘Stupidity of American Voters’
While support among Democrats has dropped 11 points in 18 months - GOP support has not budged from 83%
Route of Canada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the United States

Route of Canada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the United States

A bill to enable construction of Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline across the American Heartland failed by one vote, 59-41, in the Senate yesterday. Although the lameduck Democratic leadership put the bill up for vote in quixotic hopes of helping Sen. Mary Landrieu win her runoff election against tea partyist Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, all the “no” votes came from Democrats.

Republicans vow to bring Keystone up for a vote again when they take control of Congress next year. And while polls are on their side at the moment, support for their position appears to be slipping. A Pew poll released this week found that 59 percent of Americans support building the pipeline — but support is down from 66 percent in March 2013.

Impeachable? Here Are 18 Immigration Executive Orders Issued by Recent Republican Presidents
Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush all altered immigration law by executive action, yet none were impeached

pensito-infograph--gop-executive-amnesties

Republicans claim that that Pres. Obama’s plan to establish temporary legal status for undocumented immigrants by executive order is illegal.

logo-am-immigration-council
Read the full report from the American Immigration Council: Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present

They have issued a series of threats against the president if he signs the order to stand up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including blocking the nomination of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, shutting down the government again and/or impeaching him.

According to a detailed report from the American Immigration Council, however, presidents have routinely altered immigration policies by executive order, including 18 such changes by five recent Republican presidents — Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. None of these presidents was threatened with political reprisal for signing the orders, of course.

Here is an overview based on the AIC report:

Party of ‘Death Panels’ Feigns Outrage Over Insider Claim That Obamacare Passage Relied on ‘Stupidity of the American Voter’
GOP hypocrisy red alert
T4 refers to the Nazi's euthanisia program

T4 refers to the Nazi’s euthanisia program

Four years ago, the Republican Party launched a relentless propaganda campaign to convince their low-info, Fox-befuddled followers that the coming of Obamacare was a harbinger of the Apocalypse. The motive behind the propaganda campaign had nothing to do with the substance of the reform — Pres. Obama had based the Affordable Care Act on the Republicans’ own individual mandate system that Mitt Romney had successfully rolled out when he was governor of Massachusetts — and GOPers knew that, if passed, the ACA would provide health and financial security to their own working-class and self-employed constituents, many of whom would be insured for the first time in their lives.

To Republican pols, the bankruptcies, foreclosures and untreated illnesses of their constituents were just collateral damage in their campaign to destroy Pres. Obama by killing his signature law. And so was the truth. Remember these patently ridiculous lies they floated on Fox and right-wing radio and inserted into the Congressional Record?

Breitbart.com Confuses Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch with Country Star Loretta Lynn
Left, Attorney General nominee with Pres. Obama; right: country star Loretta Lynn

Left, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch with Pres. Obama; right: country star Loretta Lynn

In the world of the late racist provocateur Andrew Breitbart, facts did not matter. As spreaders of lies and smears targeting liberals and progressive organizations, Breitbart, along with his federally convicted Mini-Me, James O’Keefe, deserve a great deal of credit for poisoning the well of American politics.

The beauty part about operating in a fact-free world is that fact-checking does not matter, either. In that regard, Breitbart may be dead but his spirit lives at his website, which continues to publish the same sort of right-wing smears, lies and provocations that comprises Breitbart’s legacy.

The mistake published by Breitbart.com this week, however, was a real doozy: In a story criticizing Pres. Obama’s choice for attorney general, the editors confused Obama’s nominee, Loretta Lynch, the 55-year-old U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, with 82-year-old country star Loretta Lynn.

Given that fact-checking is not a thing in the fact-free right-wing media universe, the mistake is understandable The names are very similar.

Too Soon? Obama Comes Out Swinging After Midterm Elections

SwingingHow “not mopey” is Pres. Obama? Not mopey enough to send an email blast less than a week after the 2014 midterm elections that leads respondents to the screen shot shown.

Hertzberg: ‘Elections are decided by low-information voters, people who cannot be troubled to figure out whether they are Democrats or Republicans’

Republicans were already complaining that Obama wasn’t contrite enough about the recent Democratic election losses. They, of course, took the results as a mandate for their issues, like repealing the Affordable Care Act, building more fences along the border with Mexico, and keeping women from carrying out their reproductive lives in private.

Obama heard a different signal.

SCOTUS Ruling in Favor of GOP Lawsuit Would Revoke Health Insurance of Millions of Americans
The GOP hopes a technical flaw in ACA language will force over 7 million mostly red-state Americans back into the ranks of the uninsured
chart-red-stater-insurance-subsidies

The vast majority of Americans whose insurance would be revoked by the GOP lawsuit live in states controlled by Republicans

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a lawsuit on the Affordable Care Act, King v. Burwell, brought by Republicans seeking to revoke the health-insurance of 7.3 million Americans whose premiums are paid by government subsidies under the ACA. The lawsuit is based on a snippet of poorly constructed language in the law that suggests subsidies can only be granted to people who live in states that operate their own insurance exchanges.

After the law passed, Republican governors in more than 30 states opted not to build exchanges, thus requiring the federal government to step in and build the websites. Opting out was a cynical political tactic that put the governors’ desire to hobble the president’s reform law over the interests of millions of their uninsured constituents. Now, if the Supreme Court rules in Republicans’ favor on King v. Burwell, the vast majority of people whose subsidized insurance is at risk are residents of states where Republican governors forced the feds to step in and build exchanges.

What a neat trick.

Poll Finds 64% Tea Party Support for Impeaching Pres. Obama
Support among more liberal Republicans is 50%

graph-gop-ready-to-impeach

A poll from Democracy Corps found that the Republican base supports impeaching Pres. Obama by a two-to-one margin. The poll did not ask what high crime or misdemeanor tea partyists believe the president is guilty of, but presumably it is “presidenting while black.”

Congressional tea party boss Ted Cruz routinely bullied House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders in the 113th Congress into pursuing unpopular actions, chiefly including shutting down the government. Polls like this one suggest that it’s more likely than not that Boehner, McConnell, now the incoming majority leader in the Senate, and the rest will be cowed by Cruz — whose extremist caucus will have at least six new members in the Senate — into proceeding with impeachment in the 114th Congress.

Watch Rachel Maddow’s interview with the pollster, Stan Greenberg, HERE.

Enumerati

  • 3>56%

    Of Americans think the country’s economic and political systems are stacked against them, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. “Most striking is how widely shared this sense of alienation now is. Among those saying the system is stacked against them are 58% of Democrats; 51% of Republicans; 55% of whites; 60% of blacks; 53% of Hispanics; as well as decent majorities of every age and professional cluster, including blue-collar workers, white-collar workers and retirees.”

  • 76%

    Of Americans say the midterm election won’t substantially change the nation’s direction, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.Also interesting: Americans are split almost evenly between positive (41%) and negative (39%) reactions to Republicans controlling both the House and Senate next year.

  • 48%

    Of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s expected plan to take executive action that would potentially allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay legally in the United States, while 38% support it and another 14% have no opinion or are unsure, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

  • 10 minutes, 9 seconds

    Time it takes the U.S. economy to create 50 jobs in 2014 — that’s the number of permanent jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would create after its completion, reports the Washington Post. The U.S. economy has been averaging 229,000 new jobs per month since January, and at that rate, it would take less than one week to create the 42,000 temporary jobs Keystone supporters tout.

  • 30

    Percentage of energy committee hearing and subcommittee meetings at which Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) spoke or submitted written testimony or questions between 2009 and November 2014, according to an analysis of congressional records, videos and transcripts by Bloomberg. Yet she “is presenting herself as a leading voice for Louisiana on energy issues in the U.S. Capitol, showcasing her inside influence by forcing a Senate vote on a bill that would allow construction of the Keystone pipeline, a project backed by industries and voters in her state.”

Poetic Justice

Republicans have never been known as environmentalists
As much as they have as bigots, bastards and bigamists.
But when it comes to climate change,
They’re starting to sound deranged,
Standing in line and chanting, “I am not a scientist!”

Verbatim

  • Pass a bill. You don’t need me to call a vote to pass a bill. Pass a bill.

    — President Obama, quoted by the New York Times, urging Republicans to vote on the bipartisan immigration reform bill that overwhelmingly passed the Senate.

  • Shame on us as Republicans for having a body that cannot generate a solution to an issue that’s national security, that’s cultural, that’s economic. I’m close to the people in the House, but I’m disappointed in my party. Are we still the party of self-deportation?

    — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by The Hill.

  • The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer — millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language. Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote… It’s a wink and a nod, we all know it’s going to happen.

    — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), telling the Washington Post that the immigrants given new protections by President Obama could become “illiterate” Democratic voters.

  • Hardened cynics, we will also note one job-related reason that this issue is even being discussed today. When Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) political position became obviously tenuous after Election Day, Senate Democrats quickly began pushing forward Keystone XL approval in the hopes that it would help her chances in next month’s runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R). Between Election Day and December 6th, the economy will probably create over 200,000 jobs without the Senate doing anything. The question on Capitol Hill appears to be if the vote will save one short-term job: Landrieu’s.

    — Philip Bump, writing on Washington Post’s The Fix political blog.

  • I was never going to run away from the president. It was not even in consideration. I support the president. I think the president has been right. I mean, look at the numbers, look at the job growth, sustained job growth—the greatest in American history. The. Greatest. In. American. History. Why didn’t people run on that?

    — Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D), quoted by the Daily Beast, on why he was one of the few Democrats who survived the 2014 midterm elections.

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