President Obama said yesterday that he will pursue comprehensive immigration reform through legislation to be drafted this year and pushed in Congress next year. Like the unsuccessful reform package formulated by the Bush administration, Obama’s plan will offer a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal immigrants.
Obama has already pushed through a massive stimulus bill and is committed to remakng our health care system, revamping the financial regulatory system, and enacting radical “cap-and-trade” energy legislation. Add comprehensive immigration reform and you have what Obama calls “a pretty big stack of bills.”
Obama clearly places his leftist convictions, coupled with his quest for greatness (as he conceives it), above concern for husbanding his political capital. Undeterred by the fury of the health care debate, he is prepared to start a fight of comparable magnitude next year, even as mid-term elections will loom. By this time next here, the chances are good that he will have alienated nearly every non-liberal voter in the America and traumatized every legislator who depends on non-liberal voters.
Obama’s arrogance is palpable, yet I can’t help but respect him.
Fortunately, Obama is burning political capital at a rate that suggests he won’t have enough left to push immigration reform through a skittish Congress. A strong economic recovery would, I’m pretty sure, replenish his stock. But barring that, he will probably face quite an uphill battle in his effort to enable illegal aliens to become U.S. citizens.
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