President Obama is soon to issue executive orders on immigration. To score a huge victory in the inevitable political battle, however, he has to orchestrate it.
The president cannot rely on the popularity of his actions, or even the feeling that
"something" is being done. He has to orchestrate it for maximum impact. Otherwise, as with almost everything else, the radical right-wing will control the narrative.
- This should be an Oval Office speech to the nation. We need the president in our living rooms, explaining what he is doing and why. Otherwise, all the Right need do is to create confusion and stir anxiety. [He needs to do more Oval Office speeches, but that is another subject].
- For each action, the president should cite precedent. This is basically the "talking points." When news media report on Republican reaction, they can refer to these precedents already cited by the president.
- The president should make it clear that he prefers Congressional action. He should offer a deal, that if Republicans bring up the Senate bill, intact, for an up-or-down vote in the House, he will cancel his executive orders regardless of the outcome of that vote. Even if the vote is "no," he should offer to withdraw his executive orders just in exchange for having the vote.
The president should remind the nation that the House is the peoples' branch, but that majorities shift based upon the issue, it does not have to be all Republicans or all Democrats. On some issues, the majority is bipartisan. Let the majority of the House speak, up or down, on the Senate bill by bringing it to a vote.
He should point out that the Senate bill is bipartisan, passing by more than two-thirds majority in the Senate. He should call out Marco Rubio (R/TP-FL) by name as an example of a right-wing Republican who led the charge to develop and pass that bill.
If the president takes these steps, the American people will not only be with him, but he will have cornered the Republicans so that, for once, they may do the right thing.
Of course, that will only happen if, for once, the president orchestrates his announcement for maximum impact.