While President Obama should be applauded for reaching past the partisan gridlock in Congress that has made it impossible to improve the lives of millions of families torn apart because of strict immigration laws, his emphasis on families over felons seems outdated and a rhetorical step backward, not forward.
While the Republicans are scrambling to figure out their next steps and keep their forces together, the president and Democrats are taking victory laps with cheering crowds of recent immigrants who are mobilizing to stand up and defend executive action.
This week, President Obama announced the temporary halt of deportations for an estimated 4.4 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. It was a welcome, if belated, move for a president who, as of April, had deported 2 million people. One might think Republicans would welcome a policy that keeps families together and rewards hard work. But the move was met with the obligatory threats of shutdowns and impeachment. "In the days ahead, the people's House will rise to this challenge," thundered John Boehner. But, really, all they have to do is what President Obama suggested: simply "pass a bill." If only Congress were as hardworking as the families whose lives their ugly inaction has put into limbo. Meanwhile, we lost Mike Nichols, a man who embodied the American dream: an immigrant who came here to realize his talents and left America better than he found it. Now there's a challenge to rise to.
When Congress wouldn't pass a bill, the president had to act on immigration and deportation policy, to keep families intact -- a measure that affected 40 percent of the undocumented immigrants in the United States.
There is a reason why it has taken so long to emerge from the Great Recession. And the Republican leaders of the House and Senate with their new majorities exemplify why we have barely emerged from it.
Obama, like some treacherous Jacobean villain, has had the nerve to make decisions while the Congress was out on a well-earned vacation for six weeks from doing nothing for over six years.
President Barack Obama took a historic step in announcing he would take far-reaching executive actions to change immigration policy. But his actions have set up a major confrontation with Republicans who have accused the president of an abuse of power.
We've waited this long, I think we can afford to wait another couple of weeks. It might not change anything -- it might not influence congressional Republicans in the slightest -- but there is a chance that it could. That chance is worth taking.
Nancy Pelosi is a unifier and not a divider within her Caucus. Time after time the Democrats were united -- from promoting the Make it in America jobs agenda to fighting the GOP shutdown.
This week brought reports that President Obama will soon take executive action to prevent the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants. The news sparked howls of protests from Republicans, with Speaker John Boehner on Thursday refusing to rule out shutting down the government in retaliation. "This is the wrong way to govern," he said. So in order to prevent the president from exercising the power of government, the right "way to govern" is, apparently, to prevent all government from working. Perhaps when Philae is done probing Comet 67P, it can land on a place even more inhospitable to humans -- the U.S. Congress -- and make sense out of that dormant, non-celestial body. Meanwhile, New York Mayor De Blasio announced that those caught with small amounts of marijuana would be given tickets instead of being arrested. It's a welcome, if belated, step -- but even better would be ending the racial disparities in drug enforcement. That's the real ticket.
Obama shouldn't "poison the well"? Really?
Many are now pointing out that Warren's elevation pretty much assures she won't be running for president in 2016, but then we never really believed she would run in the first place. At this point, she'll be much more effective within the Senate Democrats.
Speaker Pelosi was able to pass meaningful legislation despite an ideologically diverse cause because she made sure that her members understood that even though they might disagree on many things, their job was ultimately to negotiate a compromise and take action to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.
The important lesson from all of this is that leaders in Washington shouldn't start believing their own press releases. Go ahead and claim voters endorsed everything you stand for, but don't start acting like it's true. The American people did not suddenly decide they don't care about clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate.
Obama needs to strongly show that no election instantly changes what the two parties believe, and that all this talk of waving red flags cuts both ways.