President Obama is in my state, the state of Texas, fund-raising and meeting people. He went to Dallas where he met with local elected officials and faith leaders. Governor Rick Perry got the elevation he needed to meet face to face with the president. The president called the meeting constructive.
Dallas officials, and specifically Democratic county judge Clay Jenkins, have stepped up to help the refugees on the Texas-Mexico border in a rather bipartisan fashion. “For the most part,” Jenkins said. “we put aside those partisan arguments, and we discussed a way to get this problem resolved.”
The overarching rhetoric against immigrants, and specifically Latinos, does not play well in most of the population centers in Texas. Even Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has moderated his anti-immigrant anti-Latino rhetoric.
Mostly Republicans wanted President Obama to visit the border while he was in Texas. He wisely did not. Elevating the border issue above and beyond the pain and suffering inflicted by a non-functional Congress on Americans would have deferred the narrative of a fickle press to concentrate on this one issue. While the border situation is important from a humanitarian standpoint, Republican intransigence and inaction is inflicting much pain on millions of Americans.
What was very ironic about the meeting with Rick Perry is that the governor wanted the president to act unilaterally to attempt to bring the refugee problem at the border under control. He wanted him to activate the National Guard now. President Obama reminded many in Texas that the same folks wanting him to act unilaterally on the immigration issue are the ones that are suing him for issuing ‘too many’ executive orders.
The cable networks abandoned President Obama’s speech in Austin on Thursday when they realized he was not going to make the border issue its centerpiece. It was an economic speech. He, however, used a small segment to excoriate Republicans to illustrate their hypocrisy and lack of governing acumen.
“There are number of Republicans in Congress including a number of them in the Texas delegations who are mad at me for taking these actions,” President Obama said. “They actually plan to sue me. [...] The truth is with all the actions I have taken this year, I am issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than a hundred years.The President is right that he has issued the lowest number of executive orders than any president in more than 100 years. The president is correct that the charlatans disguised as GOP Congressmen are not doing their jobs. They are the least productive Congress in modern history. That is a verifiable fact.
"So it’s not clear how the Republicans didn't seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. Maybe it is just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there is some principle out there that I haven’t discerned. That I haven’t figured out. You hear some of them. ‘Sue him. Impeach him.’ Really? For what? You are going to sue me for doing my job? Okay.
"Think about that. You are going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job while you don’t do your job. There is a movie called The Departed. … There is a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg, they are on a stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy they are tracking. And Wahlberg is all upset, yelling at the guy. The guy looks up and says, ‘Well who are you?’ And Wahlberg says, ‘I am the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.’ Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys, I am the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.”
These politicians are not serious. Marching National Guardsmen to the border is not the help needed for the onslaught of refugees. They need humanitarian aid. Turning Central American refugees away is a simplistic answer that will not work, especially for a country that touts its humanity. After all, many of the problems in Central America have their genesis in U.S. policy. Let us as well not forget that America’s insatiable hunger for drugs makes these countries producers and financial depots for that black market.