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.
Finally, President Obama is playing offense on immigration reform -- and it will pay dividends to both the country and his own political standing. Republicans who thought Obama would be a rug they could stomp on to 2016 are now on defense.
Even as Republicans bask in victory and Democrats try to recover from shell-shock, the greater implications of this election are starting to crystallize. It's early, but three lessons particularly stand out.
One year ago today, Republicans made their strongest possible case outlining their governing principles. Threatened by the prospect of millions of Americans securing access to quality, affordable health care, Republicans chose instead to shut down the federal government.
Desperation is the father of bad decisions. At this point in the never-ending saga of immigration reform, mass deportations and the GOP's rabid opposition to immigrants, advocates are pushing Obama to take executive action, bold and sweeping changes to the enforcement of our current ramshackle immigration law. That would be a mistake.
In the world of social media, the current question of Obama's immigration legacy can be summed up as this: Which will be the dominant tag, #DeporterInChief, or #GoBigObama? Anything Obama does will exist next to the 2 million deportations his enforcement has already carried out, more than any previous president.
Ironically, Speaker Boehner resorted to the American justice system to sue President Obama, the very system he has worked relentlessly to underfund for indigents. Instead of suing Obama, he should start fixing the system he and his colleagues broke.
In the latest attempt at Photoshopping Latinos' deep and wide loathing of the Republican Party, National Review's Reihan Salam informs his readers that "Immigration Reform Is Not the Key to the Latino Vote."
It was a political ambush, and in deciding to stand and fight, Steve King had lost before he'd even started. The whole idea of a political ambush is that it's lose-lose for the ambushed.
Forty years ago today, President Nixon addressed the nation to announce he would be resigning the next day -- the only time in US history this has happened. Today, President Obama announced the US will be dropping bombs on Iraq once again. That's a pretty heavy-duty amount of the past to contemplate, in one week.
Steve King (R-IA), along with what has been dubbed the "suicide caucus" members like Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have been on a real roll: they managed to push the House away from any border crisis funding.
These two bills do not represent a coherent response to our border crisis. They reflect Speaker Boehner's failed leadership as well as the triumph of immigration extremists. While these bills will have zero policy impact, the GOP will likely feel their political impact for years to come -- and not in a good way.
The question remains: Why do Republicans come back, over and over, to this kind of thing, to peddling a cocktail of fear mixed with hate?
Boehner has gone from confidently touting his and his fellow House Republicans' upcoming leadership on the issue of immigration, to now doing nothing more than groveling for Obama to solve the problem using his executive authority -- which is an ironic enough stance for a Republican to take, these days.
This ad will likely be followed by other companies' ads -- all competing freely in a marketplace for customers -- which means it does represent a historic turning point.
However you feel about the immigration issue, the sight of angry protesters in Murrieta, California shouting invectives to a busload of children and their moms has to make you queasy.