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Respected Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, here with Obama at a town hall, on Obama's immigration-related campaign promises: "He broke his promise. It's that simple."

In Latino circles, two Obama 2008 quotes have gotten a great deal of play. The first was from a May 28, 2008, interview with famed Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, the Latino Walter Cronkite -- easily the most respected Spanish-language media figure in the world:

I cannot guarantee that it is going to be in the first 100 days. But what I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I'm promoting. And I want to move that forward as quickly as possible.

The second was this one, in July 2008 at the Washington convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens:

For eight long years, we have had a president who has made all kinds of promises to Latinos on the campaign trail, but failed to live up to them in the White House. We need a president who isn’t going to walk away from something as important as comprehensive [immigration] reform when it becomes politically unpopular. That’s the commitment I’m making to you ... and I will make it a top priority in my first year as President.”

Needless to say, those campaign promises couldn't have been any clearer. There was zero ambiguity or hedging.

And needless to say, those campaign promises were blatantly broken as Obama focused on other things, like the botched health care debate, cap and trade, and endless negotiations with Republicans who were engaged in a blatant and malicious campaign to stymie and obstruct the Democratic agenda.

That's all ancient history. We'd like to think Democrats learned their lesson, but ... oh well. But now it's 2011, and Obama faces a reelection campaign. And he won't win states like Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and New Mexico, nor compete in places like Arizona and myriad others, if he can't lock in solid and enthusiastic Latino support.

So yes, I'm cynical about this:

President Obama is reviving the issue of immigration reform in the face of mounting political pressure as he readies his bid for reelection.

Obama is holding a meeting at the White House on Tuesday with current and former elected officials along with business and faith groups to discuss the "importance of fixing our nation's broken immigration system for our 21st-century economic and national security needs," according to his schedule.

Ahead of that meeting, the president insisted the fight for major immigration reform legislation is not yet over despite the fact Republicans, who are largely wary of current comprehensive proposals, made large gains in the 2010 midterm elections.
"The question is going to be, are we going to be able to find some Republicans who can partner with me and others to get this done once and for all, instead of using it as a political football?" he told Dallas-based WFAA-TV during one of four local television interviews on Monday.

There's no way Republicans go along with this now. Why give Obama credit with a key base demographic ahead of important elections? And why would any Republican risk a teabagger primary by doing the right thing?

But of course, that was pretty much always the case the last two years. Immigration reform was DOA so long as Republicans were hell-bent on destroying the Obama presidency. Unfortunately, Democrats were too afraid to fight and lose the legislative battle, and it cost them in the political battle.

Fact is, Democrats don't have to win the legislative battle to win the political one -- as long as Latinos see a genuine effort on their behalf, they will know which party is working to improve their lot in life, and which party is fighting against it. Just ask Harry Reid.

So yes, fight for comprehensive immigration reform, and force Republicans to stand up in opposition to the interests of Latino families.

But if Obama wants to truly cut through the cynicism felt by many in the Latino community (myself included), then there's plenty he could do to unilaterally show commitment to fairer immigration laws.

For one, his administration could stop deporting more people than Bush ever did, and then brag about it to Republicans.

In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) grilled DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano about her Department’s deportation practices. Sen. Grassley was particularly agitated about the “threat” of Napolitano using prosecutorial discretion and allowing some individuals with compelling cases to delay their deportations.

Instead of calling out Sen. Grassley for his role in blocking immigration reform, Secretary Napolitano tried to appease him. She touted her Department’s record number of deportations and noted that the Obama Administration granted deferred action in less than 900 cases last year – fewer than the Bush Administration.

Furthermore, Obama could unilaterally grant relief to DREAMers -- the kids of undocumented immigrants who cannot go to college or serve their nation in uniform because of the "sins" of their parents.

It is true that the president can't create a new immigration status without Congressional authorization. However, the executive branch could provide relief to certain groups within the universe of 11 million undocumented people, citing the justification for doing so-for example, for national security, economic, or humanitarian reasons.

"Deferred action" includes a stay of deportation and (potentially) the opportunity for a work pemit.

And then, perhaps Obama can get ICE to stop its abuses:

Last May, Michigan DREAMer Ivan Nikolov and his mother were detained in a Michigan detention facility, where Ivan was forced to watch while his crying mother was strip-searched.

Only a small, shoulder-length screen separated the two.  When Ivan’s mother expressed her objections to being strip-searched in front of her son, the officer responded, “You’re lucky we don’t just shoot you in the head.” [...]

Other stories from the same jurisdiction tell of warrantless raids resulting in a man being pushed through a wall, a six-month pregnant woman being refused medical care, children being stalked by ICE agents at elementary schools, and even US Citizens being shackled when ICE agents refused to accept their identification.

Obama made some campaign promises, then never bothered to fight for them until now, in the early stages of the 2012 election. The time for promises is over. If Obama wants to truly deliver for the Latino community, there's plenty of actions he can take without worrying about Republicans or xenophobic Democrats.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did he promise Latinos to be a "fierce advocate"? (6+ / 0-)

    If he did, they're screwed.

    Unless Lieberman is willing to make some phone calls.

    •  What has the gay community not gotten from Obama? (10+ / 0-)

      DADT? Ended.
      DOMA? No longer defended?

      I can understand Latino disillusionment, but that is a seriously trollish comment.

      •  DADT is not ended. (5+ / 0-)

        Congress passed a bill that allows it to be ended; it has not been ended yet.

        Yours is the typical antigay trollish comment that always pops up whenever anyone dares to question the perfection of Obama on the issue of GLBT equality.  You might as well have gone ahead and used the words "you homos need to stop whining".

        •  Over a thousand gays discharged since Obama... (5+ / 0-)

          ...took office, when he could have halted them with the stroke of a pen.

          "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

          by Uberbah on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:12:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Discharges have stopped (0+ / 0-)

          The repeal will be implemented in place in 5 months. You're straining awfully hard to find something wrong.

          •  And you do everything you can... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, Uberbah

   excuse anything that doesn't declare Obama to be some shining paragon of human existence.

            •  There you go: wallow in that poutrage! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              What's it like to be so unhappy in life? I give the President criticism when it's due, and I give the President praise when it's due.

              No President has done more for the gay community than Obama. Nor is there much more he can do, other than vocally defend gay marriage and end discriminatory federal immigration policies on gay spouses. That's it.

          •  Hearings continue. Investigations continue. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Would you be willing to be investigated based on rumors about your sex life?  Sounds all warm and fuzzy, huh?

            Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

            by YucatanMan on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:41:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  policies changes don't heppan instantley (0+ / 0-)

          I think the internet generation expect things to happen instantly. You're to used to instantaneous gratification, instead of thought out policy changes.

          •  Except when they can, of course. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vacantlook, YucatanMan

            Stroke of a pen.  That's all that Obama had to do to stop the discharges, and he could have done it the moment he took office.  Under either a stop loss order - following a law passed by Congress - or under DADT itself - also passed by Congress.

            As for the Pentagon...who's in charge of the Pentagon again?

            "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

            by Uberbah on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 02:02:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Already been debunked a million times (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rustbelt Dem

              No matter what LiarBlogFake says, a stop loss order would not work, and could be overturned legislatively by the next President.

              But thanks for playing.

              •  Wrong wrong wrong wrong, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                wrong wrong wrong wrong!

                Copied and pasted from a previous post:

                Aside from the military falling under the Executive Branch, Don't Ask Don't Tell was explicitly written to allow the SecDef to:

                (e)  Rule of Construction.— Nothing in subsection (b) shall be construed to require that a member of the armed forces be processed for separation from the armed forces when a determination is made in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense that—

                (1) the member engaged in conduct or made statements for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military service; and

                (2) separation of the member would not be in the best interest of the armed forces.

                Halting DADT is also allowed under a stop loss order:

                Stop-loss was created by the United States Congress after the Vietnam War. Its use is founded on Title 10, United States Code, Section 12305(a) which states in part: "... the President may suspend any provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States"

                Obama's ability to halt DADT was acknowledged by Gibbs:

                GIBBS: The president, as you know, supports changing that because he strongly believes that it does not serve our national interest. He agrees with former members of the Joint Chiefs in that determination. Unlike photos, the durable solution to Don't Ask Don't Tell is through the legislative process, and the president is working with Congress and members of the Joint Chiefs to ensure that that happens.

                REPORTER: But couldn't he in the meantime put a moratorium on these discharges until that can be accomplished?

                GIBBS: The president has determined that's not the way to seek any sort of lasting or durable solution to the public policy problem that we have.

                REPORTER: How would you respond to the criticism that dismissing qualifying linguists endangers the troops?

                GIBBS: I would respond by saying the president has long believed the policy doesn't serve our national interests.

                Now just so we're understanding this correctly: Obama intervening in the release of torture photos is supposed to be a "lasting or durable solution" to the problem of U.S. officials TORTURING DETAINEES, but not stopping the dismissal of gay men and women doesn't even help, like, keep them from being dismissed? HUH?

                That's Obama's excuse for not halting DADT: that it's not a "permanent" solution.  And a pathetic excuse it is.  We are going to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for some time yet, and Obama has over 3 years left in his presidency.  There is zero justification for keeping DADT while the military is stretched the bone and we're involved in two wars.  Zero.

                And if Congress complains: just show them the legislation passed by Congress explicitly allowing the President to halt this policy.  Not to mention the fact that issuing an Executive Order would make the "long term solution" easier, because years of gays openly, and heroically, serving their country would cut the homophobic arguments to shreds.

                This is indifference from Obama at best, cowardice at worst.

                and could be overturned legislatively by the next President.

                Nevermind the DADT "repeal" would allow President Palin to do just that, and not even have to go through Congress since the policy is left up to the Pentagon.

                "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

                by Uberbah on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 03:10:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, I do find it really hard... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uberbah, YucatanMan

   understand how it takes fucking forever for our government to figure out how to not kick someone out of the military.  The military moved with great speed to bomb Libya, but apparently not kicking people out of the military is somehow way way way more difficult than killing people and destroying things halfway around the world.

            •  It was the easiest thing in the world to do... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

    's like if the cops stopped handing out tickets for expired license plate tabs.  All you have to do is....stop pulling people over for expired tabs and writing out tickets.

              And our troops already serve with openly gay troops - from other countries militaries on joint operations.  Here's a picture of a gay British Trooper on deployment in Afghanistan, complete with a pink Zac Efron blanket:

              "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

              by Uberbah on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 02:31:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Have Latinos Tried Chaining (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah, YucatanMan

        themselves to the Whitehouse fence?

        I swear that is what it takes.

        Multiple times.

        It is sad to say that to get things moving, groups have to go beyond the "write a letter to your congressman" .

        The gay community has worked on a variety of fronts to make change happen while overwhelming odds against gays and lesbians on every front from almost every sector of Americans over decades. And  still are.

        I suggest looking to the gay community for techniques to bring about change that could also be used in your community.

        I believe that the gay community could devote a lot more toward helping other minorities if and when America gives up on their attack on the community and the constant drain that has on the gay community in terms of broader activism.

        The Catholic Community has been one of the leaders in attack on the rights of gay and lesbian Americans.  Those who continue supporting that part of the Catholic Agenda need to take another look at why they are supporting that (i.e. church attendance, tithing, etc.) and instead step forward and say that attacks on one minority is an attack on all minorities.

        250 is the new 180

        by kerplunk on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:38:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Civil Disobedience (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uberbah, YucatanMan, kerplunk

          has been one of the primary weapons of the immigration reform movement (full disclosure, I'm a paid part of the movement).  A bunch of kids were just arrested in Georgia last week for protesting their version of SB 1070.  These actions gets some small media attention, Dems and the White House say they will try to do something, then follow that promise up with nothing.  It's not something they are seriously interested in addressing.  

          If you look at the invite list for yesterday's White House meeting, there is not one single immigration advocacy organization listed.  It seems like they didn't want to talk to the people who are actually on the ground and know the law, the policies, and how they are really impacting communities.  

          •  As usual, they are hiding from any substantive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            progress on the matter and just want to put on a pretty show.

            Obama's utter inattention to this unambiguous promise has been a huge mistake.

            Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

            by YucatanMan on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:43:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Fight timing (3+ / 0-)

    Any coincidence he's pushing it now, making Republicans be the bad guy ahead of an election? :P

    No, not really.  He's a great campaigner.

  •  I think this would get him a lot of cred. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moonpal, TofG, TEHelms

    Saying "I'm sorry. I failed. I'm going to try again." I think he has the courage to apologize and own up to his mistakes.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:16:38 AM PDT

    •  Failing [not equal to] Not Trying (6+ / 0-)
      •  Not True (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moonpal, mon, Dragon5616

        I have to say I have a problem with the whole premise of this entry by KOS.  Obama has tried to move on comprehensive immigration reform as well as pass the lesser DREAM Act.

        There were major congressional negotiations going on throughout 2009 and 2010 (especially the Senate) to get a package together that could actually pass with the neccessary bi-partisan support.  Senators Kerry, Lieberman, Graham and others were the prime movers on the issue.  

        It wasn't until the big healthcare debate turn so toxic and the rise of the Tea Party that the effort ran into serious issues.  The GOPers who were working with the DEMS started balking (Graham, McCain, etc.) and so Reid didn't bring up the bill that had been finally presented by Kerry, Lieberman and Graham.  Instead he moved to bring up the DREAM Act which had a real chance of getting the neccessary bipartisan support.  Of course we know what happened in the lame duck session but Obama, Reid and Pelosi made a massive push for the legislation and almost got it through.

        Is Obama's latest push political?  Of course it is...he is running for re-election and he needs big Latino support.  But does he control the fact that the Tea Partiers control the US House?  No the voters voted them in.  Obama has to deal with the reality and keep pushing forward to get reform done.  

        So I hope that Latino voters will view the upcoming election as critical to finally getting reform passed. They have to come out in unprecedented numbers to not only re-elect the President who has and is trying to pass reform but also to get/keep a Democratic House and Senate.  Latinos can make immigration reform a major issue next year and extract concrete promises to get it done if they make a major push in the election next year....just imagine if say there were a 60% turnout of Latinos nationwide or even better in states like Texas, Arizona, Nevada, etc.

        •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, YucatanMan

          You said that Obama, "tried to move on comprehensive immigration reform as well as pass the lesser DREAM Act." then only give examples of Congressional action on immigration.  

          I work in this field, and Obama did the absolute minimum he could to move immigration reform.  Any time we complained to him about not pushing for reform, his response was: Not my problem, this is an issue for Congress, talk to them.  

          Meanwhile, he's increased detentions and deportations by 1/3 over the Bush administration, presided over a massive expansion of the Secure Communities program (which fails miserably at doing it's job and provides no oversight to prevent racial profiling or other civil rights abuses), and has basically told the immigration advocacy community to fuck off when we've asked him to use his discretionary authority to provide relief.  

          At yesterday's meeting, they did not invite one single immigrant advocacy organization.  

          •  It doesn't matter to the Obama apologists that you (0+ / 0-)

            work in this field.   In some ways they are like the Tea Party supporters in only seeing what they want to see and ignoring little things like facts.

            Obama has played political games over and over again with many of the issues that he campaigned on.  When convenient, we get the argument, "The White House doesn't make law the Congress does".   Other times we get the, "It is useless to bring up since Republicans will just block it".

            I'm sick and tired of the games.   Why weren't the promises addressed when Democrats had both the House and the Senate?   Let the Republicans vote it down but while there doing that make it clear to everyone what they have done.

          •  I Understand Your Frustration (0+ / 0-)

            on this issue.  But I think what you are talking about is his leadership style.  On most of the big issues he has left Congress to hash out the details and do the hard work of getting an basic agreement before he comes in very prominently to finish the deal.  In most cases he acheives his victory (tax cuts, 2011 budget, healthcare reform, etc.)  We might not always agree with his style but it has gotten results.

            I think he would have done similiar had either the House or Senate passed a comprehensive bill last year.  The Kerry / Lieberman Graham bill would have been the one he would have pushed to get passed.  The GOP negotiators basically screwed things up when they balked on bringing up the bill last year because of pure politics.

            Now I know many are upset over the deportations and other issues.  But the key element to getting a deal is going to be proving to people the we are enforcing existing laws.  I see that issue being raised over and over.  Obama has made high profile efforts to increase border patrols and yes deportations.  But he has to because first its his job and second his reform plans will go nowhere without a strong enforcement/border control effort.

  •  It's Clear President Obama Is In Campaign Mode (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Fireshadow, jack23, mon

    So he's out there initiating the debate, on the verbal offensive.

    The permanent campaign governing mode of Republicans is something you have to at least give a nod towards.  They sell their policies like Proctor and Gamble sells soap.  They are out there every day in lock step (goose step?) repeating the same message depending on the issue at hand.

    Unfortunately, some people's opinions are malleable and depend on what they hear most frequently or recently.  Might as well acknowledge this and exploit it as the other side does.

    The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:16:53 AM PDT

  •  Not quite true, kos (18+ / 0-)

    Obama AND the Dems pushed for the DREAM ACT to pass at the end of the last Congress. It almost passed, but Republicans uniformly killed it.

    There is a clear set of legislation to help provide citizenship to undocumented Latinos that Obama and the Dems put together that was KILLED.

  •  Latinos are in the same line with every other Dem (10+ / 0-)

    You get a speech, a donation form, and a request for votes.  If you want more than that, this ain't the President for you.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:17:51 AM PDT

  •  I just hoped for once we had politicians who (5+ / 0-)

    just said fuck it all with political calculations and just did the right thing for all of the people of this country. Let chips fall where they may with elections. There are so many calculations out there on who and what might get the swing voters. I really would respect a politician who did that and I think they would get the votes.

    •  Well there is always (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jalenth, judyms9

      Donald Trump.

       He seems to be ignoring all political calculations and just going after it big time. Must be why the GOP loves him. He takes such bold (ignorant) stands with No fear of the consequences.

      ~a little change goes a long way~

      by missliberties on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:28:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are always going to political calculations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can I get it passed being a big one. Where is the American public on this issue? Is the next.

      To the first I would say based on the past congresses performance no. And we saw what happened to the DREAM Act.

      Next where is the American public? No where near were we need them to be.  With the economy in the toilet, unemployment high the very last thing they wanted to hear about was immigration reform.

      so yes maybe Obama broke this promise and maybe he needs to admit it, but he also needs to explain why. I am not sure proposing and fighting for reform and then losing miserably, as he would have, would have been smart or effective.

      In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

      by jsfox on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:29:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank goodness Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, didn't (6+ / 0-)

        use the chance of polltical receptiveness as the criteria for his passion and action.

        BTW, I wonder how many are aware that not waiting for the approval of the majority to act, was the original essence of the original meaning of

        "the fierce urgency of now."

        Please read King's Letter From the Birmingham Prison to learn more of his thoughts about those blacks who wanted to wait in a more politically accomadating time to act.   He suggested he has more of a problem with their attitude than the blatant racists.  

        Dr King rejected the fierce hypocracy of political accomadation.

        We should to.

        Let's fight for what we know is right, and wait for the rest of society to catch up with us.   And they will, under the force of our moral suasion.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:39:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   But, Obama can't be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheLizardKing, missliberties

          an MLK as a sitting President. Like Van Jones said, we need someone on the outside organizing the movement and Pres. Obama can't always be out there on the frontlines. A dynamic like LBJ and MLK is needed and even with that LBJ used the horror of JFK's assassination to get some of those civil rights legislation through. Where are all the Dem/progressives pushing their agenda to the public? It seems like the only time they get on tv is when they are criticizing something the President or a Dem congressmen is doing. They are not pushing the narrative like Limbaugh/Beck or even Trump are doing, but instead constantly reacting to stuff that someone on the right says/does.

          "Don't bet against us" -President Barack Obama "Velma the Exhausted"-KayCeSF

          by moonpal on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:49:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Organizing a movement (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bay of arizona, ssgbryan, HoundDog

            Kind of like the movements I have participated in here in Indiana to oppose anti laber, anti-teacher laws.  Like what we are seeing in WI and OH.


            And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.

            Oh well.

            If Newt Gingrich were elected president, he would leave in the middle of his term for a younger, hotter country.

            by Indiana Bob on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:56:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The fierce urgency of now, is not about (0+ / 0-)

            President Obama, I didn't even bring him up.

            It's about a strategic stance towards acheiving our progressive agenda.

            But, as long as you bring it up, yes, I do wish President Obama move closer to King, than he has for the last two and a half years.

            I could be widely successful with this posture.  Many of us voted for him in the hope he would be more like Dr King, in terms of the depth of his progressive vision, and his passion, and courage in expressing it.

            Today, he did it outstandingly well.

            It's about time.  

            But, a much appreciated support for our Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients.  He knows how to do it.  And, he does it well.

            I was proud and happy to see him back on the trail today.

            And, back into his game.

            I'll grant he had a lot to deal with coming into office, and a lot to learn.

            Well, get there.  

            Real progress, always takes longer than we expect.  Even when we know it will.  

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 01:19:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Just a blindlingly (4+ / 0-)

          poor analogy. And I don't have to read his letter I have read it many times. And he has a very valid point from his position as a non elected activist pushing for a singular goal.

          The President of the United States does not that bit of luxury to be singular focused on one issue and not to take the politics into consideration. You may not like that fact, but it remains a fact.

          And Dr. Kings efforts ultimately paid off. Why? It came about because he and others kept pushing until enough minds were changed in Congress and in the public sphere to make it happen. Not because he ignored the politics I would say because he worked the politics very very well to his advantage.

          So in the end it is not Obama that will make this happen it will be those that work to change the minds of Congress and the minds of the public. Those that have a laser like focus on this issue. Sitting back and waiting for any President to lead the charge is just sitting back and waiting.

          In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

          by jsfox on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:55:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not calling out any specific politician (0+ / 0-)

            and am saying this in general. I know the politicians of this day and age have to play this game. I just wish it were different...

          •  You what grates on eyeballs, (4+ / 0-)

            the stunning low expectations people have for this president. I've never before seen a president who was simultaneously the best guy we've had in years but also impotent in the face of tough opposition.

            Sitting back and waiting for any President to lead the charge is just sitting back and waiting.

            This is probably the saddest statement about presidential leadership I've ever seen. Don't expect the president to lead???? lol It's astounding.

            Republican presidents certainly don't think this way. No matter how ridiculous or unpopular the idea is, they go out and make the case for it. But not us. We have to wait until everyone comes around.

  •  You said "plenty of actions" (0+ / 0-)

    could you elaborate on what kind of actions you've in mind besides Deffered Deportation?

  •  Speaking of immigration (7+ / 0-)

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:22:13 AM PDT

  •  AFTA NAFTA, LAFFTA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Where is that bill? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bay of arizona

    I think Obama's got a veritable dream team when it comes to immigration reform - Napolitano at DHS, Solis at Labor, Duncan at Ed, VP Biden, Clinton at State, Holder at Justice, etc. - but the real issue, it seems to me, is that no one has a bill to rally around (or oppose).

    1.  Who dropped the ball?  Rahm?  Schirilo?  Messina?  Pelosi?  Reid?
    2.  Where is the bill?  What's the President's approach?
    3.  Knowing we'll need GOP support to get anything passed, is there adequate independent support out there (perhaps in the Catholic community? among independent Latinos?) to even begin talking about a bill?

    I know there's a lot of good progressive activity in Tennessee among independent, nonpartisan organizers who simply believe that it's a matter of humane and fair treatment of ethnic minorities that we address immigration reform.  Obviously, promises were broken and skepticism is warranted.  So, now what?

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

    by Benintn on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:24:08 AM PDT

    •  You have to look at Congress too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The last immigration bill was McCain-Kennedy. It would have been great if McCain continued to work on a comprehensive bill after the 08 election, but McCain had a primary challenge to think about, so that wasnt happening. And of course, Kennedy was too ill to vote, let along work on such a huge bill in early 2009. Who can take their place in this debate? I dont know. Last I heard Schumer and Graham were working on a bill together.

      •  Not true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Benintn, YucatanMan

        Rep Gutierrez had a really good reform bill last session, but it didn't go anywhere because neither the Democratic leadership nor the President wanted to actually try and push anything forward.

        No one wanted to do anything unless they had Republican cosponsors.  

  •  Great, another purist Obama hater (9+ / 0-)

    who didn't get 100% of their ponies. Just what this site needs. Someone needs to bring this poutraged joker to the attention of the admins.


    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:26:32 AM PDT

  •  We should be pushing a comprehensive immigration (6+ / 0-)

    act, as part of our solution to the Social Security shortfalls that start showing up in the mid-2030s.  We're totally funded until then, no crisis here.

    But, do to the younger average age of the Hispanic community, and younger birth rates, making the 12 million undocumented workers, here now, citizens, would proivide a tremendous boost to Social Security contributions, and solve a lot of the other problems as well.

    Health insurance, unfunded, emergency room visits, shool attendence, fear of reporting crimes etc.

    Plus, here's the key money quote of your great essay KOS,  a lesson, Democrats still haven't learned

    Fact is, Democrats don't have to win the legislative battle to win the political one -- as long as Latinos see a genuine effort on their behalf, they will know which party is working to improve their lot in life, and which party is fighting against it. Just ask Harry Reid.

    The Teabaggers have started a whole movement and shifted the bounderies of the debate by fighting for things so absurd they had no chance of passage.   But, when folks see someone willing to fight for causes they get inspired.

    Democrats should be using this same attitude to fight for DREAM, ENDA, against DOMA, for a stronger EPA to protect our children against toxic chemcals, for human rights, in the US and around the world, and even world peace.

    Even our adversaries would have more respect for us.   Of the many independents I know, our apparent lack of real values and convictions we're willing to fight for, is their biggest problem with us.

    Let's fight for what we know is right.   This will win us many more voters, than waiting until two months before the election to run a bunch of slick adds, showing the President kissing Hispanic babies.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:28:45 AM PDT

  •  The problem is that everyone wants (13+ / 0-)

    comprehensive immigration reform but there are no two people in this country that can agree as to what that means.

  •  What's happening with the Arpaio case? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought they were investigating that lunatic for civil rights violations that are absolutely occurring. Last I heard he was still thumbing his nose at DOJ demands for his records.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:36:30 AM PDT

  •  Kos? Cynical? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, TofG

    Heaven forbid!

    I do blame Republican obstruction for the vast majority of the lack of progress in this country the past couple of years. It's shouldn't be surprising since it's been their modus operandi for decades now. (although they have gone far further off the rails since '08.)

    Just wish the man we helped get elected would just fight for the people more.

    And I'm fucking tired of all the arguments as to why he hasn't. He sure can talk the talk. It's up to him to walk the walk.

    An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics - Plutarch

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:36:54 AM PDT

  •  I don't think he will if it alienates the holy (4+ / 0-)

    grail of independents that he and the WH team are looking to get in the 2012 election.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:38:06 AM PDT

  •  He is going to put on some comfortable shoes (5+ / 0-)

    and go out and march in support of the cause.

    Oh wait, that is what he said he would do for Unions.

    Still waiting for that as well.

  •  tough choice (0+ / 0-)

    suck up to funders or voters.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

  •  Is there any example of a failed legislative... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, moonpal, burlydee, TheLizardKing

    ... battle rebounding to the benefit of the party that pushed it?

    We absolutely need comprehensive immigration reform, and you may certainly feel that this - not health care, not cap and trade - should have been the main reform battle of the first two years.

    My only question is this: Kos, you write that it probably would have failed and would probably still fail, but that it will "show" Latinos who's fighting for them and help Democrats at the expense of Republicans. When has this ever happened? The experience of the last two years - and from previous years - is that when a major legislative initiative fails, it's pretty much a disaster for the party that pushed it: the opposition gets riled up, while the base is demoralized and angry that the effort failed rather than supportive that their party "tried".

  •  I think the main fault for no immigration reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is not the president, but the GOP senate AND especially the absurd old boy fetish of the bulk of Democratic senators in refusing filibuster reform (and preferably elimination). And don't think for a second if the GOP gets a narrow House and Senate majority and WH they won't end the filibuster and make all of the U.S. like Michigan gov. is trying to. (And tell me he'll be out by this time next year!)

  •  Democrats rarely fight for anything that (7+ / 0-)

    isn't a slam dunk, and they rarely score the slam dunks, at least not without rebounding a number of misses first...

    They seem to have no concept of the "political win" you mention. All manner of populist issues could have been pursued and lost the last two years and we would be working with more Democrats today, not less. What a tragic waste of an opportunity of a lifetime.

  •  Obama said a lot of things in 2008 that looking (5+ / 0-)

    Back now on it, I don't even think he believed any of them. It was more campaign rethoric. 2012 won't be easy for him to say the least.

  •  Naaa. The little financial crash got in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, moonpal, xndem, LegendClick

    the way a bit don't you think?  A few more pressing matters, but Republican Immigration fanaticism was high this year, like the bullsh*t in your posting. Give President Obama a fracking break, you troll!

    "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

    by Fireshadow on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:53:06 AM PDT

    •  Like he was helpfully populist about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the crash, either?

    •  what I would normally say... (0+ / 0-)

      But since it's you kos, BRAVO!!! ... You are such a prescient instigator.... ;)

      "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

      by Fireshadow on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:11:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He promised we'd see legislation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for comprehensive immigration reform within months of taking office. Yes, he made the promise after he was in the White House (thus, after the financial meltdown of '08); he even made the promise while acknowledging the financial crisis as having greater priority.

      So stop making excuses for Obama or waving the "financial crisis" card whenever he fails to follow through on campaign promises. The prez is a pretty good talker, so he can make his own excuses if he has to.

      What it really came down to was that Obama failed to act. There was plenty of analysis in the WH on how to move forward (including Obama submitting his own bill), there were lots of meetings with advocates, but nothing happened.

      "The deflation of the progressives was done on purpose by the White House staff. It was a terrible mistake." -- Howard Dean

      by just some lurker guy on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 01:48:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I fail to see how (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Duke1676, cas2, YucatanMan

    people can sync up the what this administration does and 'prefers' to support and calls compromise or the middle way, with what it offers when in campaign mode. I am constantly told that I did not listen correctly to the candidate I voted for and worked to elect.  Politics this unhinged from the 'world as we find it' requires a suspension of belief that in the end boils down to having your vote extorted out of pure fear of the unhinged hardliners waiting in the wings.

    I do not diminish the ugliness and intolerable face of a Jan Brewer, Rand Paul or the presence of the bigoted, hateful, tea baggers, they are dangerous . I find it hard to swallow let alone vote for a candidate or party that gives these people equivalency and hides their own intents and mendacity behind a construct so flimsy. I am not cynical, I'm pragmatic and refuse take the bait offered a second time. Rhetoric that defies reality just pisses me off, I've heard enough of it from both sides. Peace is not war and ignorance is not strength. I refuse to believe double speak, it requires me to learn double think and that hurts my head and kills my soul.

    'But elections are not enough. In a true democracy, it is what happens between elections that is the true measure of how a government treats its people.'  Barack Obama 2006


  •  Where's the pragmatism when it comes to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, ssgbryan, aliasalias

    political wins.

    ALL populist positions are winners.

    2010 could have sealed the deal for Democrats for a decade. We could have re-gerrymandered districts contorted in 2001, for one.

    For the same reason, less the opportunity to re-district, 2012 could be a landslide, if only Democrats would work for the people who work for a living, or at least would if they could.

    But, oh, I forgot. That's like asking for a pony...

  •  The President may be talking up Immigration Reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, theboz

    But the racists and xenophobes hiding in their hateful corners of the country still control the debate. Congress is still too afraid of losing votes (from the racists and the xenophobes) and funding (from businesses who exploit labor from undocumented immigrants--I'm looking right at you, Big Agriculture).

    The only way the US will see any comprehensive reform in this area is what will solve a lot of the current problems that we have: Time. Time is the only thing that will sweep away the racists and xenophobes.

    This President and this Congress will not do it. This President shrinks away from any form of legislative battle. The Congress is too corrupt, too cowardly, and the members of it who would do the right thing are too few.

    Unless there are enough people in the streets, people willing to get batoned and tasered and worse fighting for the rights of people who want to live here and work.

    Time is the only way this fight will be won.

    "Deals come after we fight for ideals -- let's do that first." -Rep. Anthony Weiner

    by cybrestrike on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:07:48 PM PDT

    •  The Racists And The Xenophobes (0+ / 0-)

      But the racists and xenophobes hiding in their hateful corners of the country still control the debate

      Don't control the debate. The people who control the debate are the people who are asking the questions that nobody can answer:

      1.) Why did we pass NAFTA to then import 10% of Mexico's population (the least educated and the least skilled)? And why is NAFTA not part of the debate at all?

      2.) Why is it that for almost two decades now both the majority of all illegal immigrants in the U.S. and a plurality of all legal immigrants to the U.S. are from Mexico?

      3.) What is the difference between exporting a job to cheaper labor, and importing cheaper labor to a job?

      4.) What does 'comprehensive immigration reform' mean beyond granting all those currently in the country legal status?

      I could go on here, there's are dozens of questions for which there are no answers.

      Quick Guide to Kennedy- McCain Immigration Bill

      Two Random Responses On The Subject Of Illegal Immigration

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 01:01:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the President did (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, moonpal, burlydee, Dragon5616

    present a comprehensive immigration reform package very early on, and has been steadfastly pursuing it as Congress does its thing.  I have been following this closely and I don't think the President is taking up this issue now as a campaign strategy.  I don't think he has ever stopped being engaged on this.  

    In my opinion the Right have made scape goats of immigrants intentionally since the war costs began to drag down our economy during Bush's administration.   I believe this scapegoating was repeated during the Obama administration by the same people and even more intensely to avoid blame for the near depression caused by recklessness in the financial market.

    Sending more xenophobic representatives to the halls of congress through Tea Party candidates and Citizen United funding makes this even harder.

  •  Campaign mode yet again (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds like a broken record..

    He needs to DO something regarding all the past and current statements, speeches, etc.  Action is what is needed...and to have other Dems...Durbin for one on SS...undermine what he is saying is just not enough.

    "You can almost judge how screwed up somebody is by the kind of toilet paper they use." Don van Vliet, Captain Beefheart

    by Muggsy on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 12:20:26 PM PDT

  •  If it's really that bad then just vote Republican (0+ / 0-)

    and you won't have to complain anymore.  The man has accomplished sooo much in 2 years but that's not enough....He's still working on things and doing this fighting the senate and congress.  

    Just vote republican and see what they do "quickly"......

    •  That's pretty much the attitude (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i believe the Democratic leadership have towards their supporters.

      "Hey listen. You have no choice but to vote for me regardless of my performance. I will always work with Republicans. Disappointed? Too fucking bad. Get excited and vote for me anyway. Otherwise, you'll end up with someone worse than me? Got that, asshole?!!"

      Then the Republicans to their base:

      "No matter what, I'm with you guys. People think were crazy, but we know we are right. I will never compromise with the Democrats. So make sure you understand that there is no daylight between me and you. We may not win everything, but you'll know where I stand no matter what. And eventually, we will win in the long run."

      It's pretty astounding if you think about it.

  •  I realize that it majorly disappoints people... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and as POTUS, he should have a handle on all issue. But I can't help thinking that right now it seems that the States are a bit like a ship with many many holes, and he's trying to patch up the biggest ones before working on the "smaller" ones. He set different priorities, and certainly did some slacking off which I am very angry about, but I'm thinking that he wanted to focus on things he deemed more urgent. I just tend to be naively optimistic?

    'If you feel you're in control, you're just not going fast enough' - Mario Andretti

    by vyschneider on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 01:42:42 PM PDT

  •  Obama got a lot done in his first 2 years. (0+ / 0-)

    YOU can't expect him to fulfill every policy in 2 years, and now especially with the new republican House.  You should have thought about that and voted in 2010!  Besides Health Care Reform was more important.

  •  Suckers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just like abortion and a balanced budget amendment with the GOP, Obama (and Dem pols in general) brings up immigration reform when he needs a bounce from the base and then... does nothing.

    •  Think of how this plays with (0+ / 0-)

      US citizens and legal immigrants. What message does it send to them when they see a population getting special consideration who has no legal right to be here?

      •  Are you ready to fund concentration camps yet? (0+ / 0-)

        How do you propose to round up 20 million people? Where will you keep them all?  How will you transport them? Feed them?  

        Wait!  How do you know which people actually have rights to be here and who does not?  Immigration law is enormously complex.

        You pretend that there's just a little book you look everyone up in and you know their status. Except there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of variations of status.  It actually takes DHS/ICE weeks to sort out a single person's status completely.  

        Oh, but that doesn't matter at all.  

        You sound exactly like a Republican carrying on about Teh Gayz wanting "special rights"  with your "special consideration" bullshit.  Oh wait....

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:04:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am glad immigration reform hasn't passed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (And yes, as I am sure some of you will come in and say this, because I don't agree with the "progressive" position of amnesty, I must automatically be a horrible "racist who hates Hispanics" even though my mother came from South American legally)

    I think about how this plays with other voters. There are people who work hard, pay their taxes, and play by the rules. Then they see another population who hasn't played by the rules demanding special treatment and consideration. What I can't understand is why illegal immigrants have this self-entitlement complex where they and their apologists act like they somehow deserve legal residency because ICE didn't catch them.

    And what does "immigration reform" do for those who have been waiting years, if not longer, to come here legally? What does it tell them to see a group of people who didn't follow the rules get special consideration? What incentive then is it for people to come here legally?

    What I also want to know is that, if the US government grants these illegal immigrants amnesty, what are we going to do 20-30 years from now when there will inevitably another group of illegals demanding special consideration?

    When will we actually deport people who have legal right to be here?

    And why is it "racist" automatically to oppose immigration reform?

    •  Oh look. Another turd in the punch bowl. (0+ / 0-)

      You've posed these exact same questions in literally dozens of diaries. People have been extraordinarily polite in explaining it all to you.  People have gone to great lengths to help you understand the human and social implications involved.

      And yet, you just come right in and trot out this garbage time and time again.

      What is your proposed solution to the "issue" then?
      Ship them out, right?

      And when you walk down the road to implementing that, you'll see how you've begun to behave.

      The most telling clue in all of this is your "us" versus "them" attitude.  You are a racist.  Your protests fall upon deaf ears.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 12:08:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Typical answer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Anyone who doesn't agree with the pro-illegal immigrant contingent here is automatically a "racist". I guess you probably believe that anyone who disagrees with you is a "racist".

        •  Apologies. (0+ / 0-)

          I forgot to emphasize the "are" in "You are....."

          I was simply responding to your complaint about people calling you that, because by your choice of words and positions, you reveal that you are.

          Many people disagree with me about thousands of subjects.  I don't think they are all "racists."  In fact, I may learn quite a bit from some of them. But your repeated entries on this topic for years now has shown your true colors.

          That is all.  Or..."That is all."

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 02:29:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  He has zero credibility on Immigration (0+ / 0-)

    after his utterly shattered promises.

    Worse, as KOS points out, his administration has vigorously -- enthusiastically and viciously -- gone after undocumented immigrants who are not guilty of any violent crimes.

    We know it.  He knows it. His administration has made the number of deportations an evaluation milestone in the performance appraisals of ICE agents.

    It'll be interesting to see how he tries to salvage this self-created mess.  Broken promises are pretty hard to smooth over.

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 11:39:49 PM PDT

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