As members of the GOP and its supporting media clamor on and on that Obama is simply playing political games by dealing with immigration so close to the general election, I find it interesting that the House Oversight Committee led by GOP Rep. Daryl Issa is preparing his committee to vote on a Contempt of Congress charge against US Attorney General Eric Holder. Seems Issa and his GOP caucus believe that Holder has not been forthcoming with all the documents his committee has been demanding via subpoenas relating to the ill-conceived and executed Fast and Furious Mexican arms trafficking program and therefore, he must either resign his office or face the sanction of Contempt of Congress. For the record, Fast and Furious was conceived and initiated by the Bush Justice Department and ended by Holder once his department realized it was nothing but a major calamity. Guns were distributed and re-distributed that were eventually traced to murders and mayhem throughout the drug world Mexico is now famous for. Also for the record, Holder has gone before Issa's committee no less than twelve times in the past year, yet Issa is still not satisfied. To make matters worse, back in 2008 when the Democrats had control over the very same committee, they attempted to use a civil contempt lawsuit against the Bush Justice Department's involvement in purging US Attorneys that were previously appointed by Democratic presidents. At that time, Rep. John Boehner and other prominent GOP Representatives filed an Amicus Brief decrying the action as an effort to merely "generate a rapid confrontation with the White House." Sound familiar? It appears Issa has gotten just what he wanted, a direct confrontation with the White House because President Obama has declared the documents being sought by the Committee to be subject to "Executive Privilege." Now we DO have the conflict Issa and his GOP caucus has been gearing for, and right before the election. So seriously think about it. Are no politics involved? Really?
A splinter Al Qaeda group has admitted responsibility for the terrorist raid from Sinai into Southern Israel that led to the death of an Israeli-Arab working on a new security fence along the border with Egypt along with a series of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. Israel considers any terrorist attacks to be condoned by Hamas which maintains a grip in all matters in Gaza. And to think North Carolina is seriously considering boycotting Israeli products because they oppress the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank. Last I checked, firing rockets into a neighboring Country is still an act of war. Using Egyptian land (given back to them by Israel for peace) to launch terrorist attacks is also something to be condemned. But, where is the World when it comes to safeguarding Israel? Seems they are preoccupied with saving Arabs from being killed at the hands of other Arabs in Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
After the defeat of the DREAM Act failed due to a threatened GOP filibuster in the Senate (Dems. lost closure by 5 votes), Freshman Sen. Marco Rubin R-FL. stole the limelight by claiming he was crafting his own more "conservative" version of a bill aimed at helping illegal immigrants avoid deportation. With a GOP immigration initiative, it was hoped that Rubio would thrust himself into the national political spotlight while seeking the VP spot on the ticket with Romney at the same time attracting Latinos to the GOP side of the political spectrum. More importantly, Mitt Romney stated earlier that had the DREAM Act been passed by Congress, he would veto it and would instead rely on the Bill being proposed by Rubio. Here's the catch. Rubio never disclosed what the terms of his alleged bill were, ever! And now that Obama has proposed altering the regulations relating to deportation of illegals under the age of 30 (with conditions) through the Department of Homeland Security, Rubio has abandoned his alleged alternate Bill, stating "Why are we going to do anything in this now?" This poses a big problem to both the GOP with Latinos and for Romney with the voting public (especially since Rubio announced today that he too would be an illegal immigrant if he had to feed his family). Romney has consistently avoided answering questions about how he would turn the economy around while he continues to blast Obama. Instead, he says those elements will be addressed after he is elected president. We do know Romney has endorsed the Ryan Budget Plan though...another indicator that Romney is NOT a man of ideals or ideas, just a borrower from others. Romney has no foreign policy experience, yet he seems to believe our military strength can be imposed on an "as needed" basis, regardless of the fact that a strong majority of Americans are tired of war. And here again, Romney was relying on Rubio for a policy on illegal immigration. But that policy failed to materialize. When asked about the Obama initiative, Romney has repeatedly refused to answer whether he is in favor of it or opposed to it. Seems Mr. Romney needs to take at least one stated position before he changes his mind. Until that time, Romney gives us no clue what he is thinking (or borrowing from others). Has Romney any plans besides cutting taxes, regulations and big government? He has never given any details on how he expects to accomplish any of those objectives, just that he will once elected president. Anything different than the Bush policies? Am I pushing for Obama? Hardly. but his proposal to alter the Homeland Security Regulations in favor of younger illegal aliens is a positive step (over 60% of Americans agree). Was it a political move? Of course, EVERYTHING the president of the United States is considered political, whether it be Obama or William Howard Taft (and we know how difficult it must have been for Taft to move quickly on anything). Obama on the foreign policy front has been steady and not as portrayed by his GOP opposition or its favored media outlets. And again, Obama has not demanded a "restrained" judiciary like Romney has. Perhaps someone should start a Political Pandering Scorecard for both candidates and parties?
As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, I find it interesting to note that many journalists and pundits are pointing to Watergate as being more than a break-in and theft of political secrets by the Nixon Administration from Democratic National Headquarters. Many today are claiming that Nixon's thieves also stole away the confidence the American people had long maintained with the institutions of the federal government. For some of us that were alive at the time and paying daily attention to the Nixon Administration, not only with Watergate but with the Pentagon Papers and prosecution of the Viet Nam War (excuse me, "Police Action"), I find it interesting that the Far Right Wing of the GOP is now pushing hard against the federal government. During the era of Watergate, Republicans supported Nixon tooth and nail, even promoting the political mantra of "Love it or Leave it" which implied that anyone criticizing the president and the government really was not a patriot and instead was a "trouble making, pot smoking, liberal commie." Does anyone remember the things Archie Bunker would spout about during that era on the popular TV show "All in the Family?" Amazingly, the GOP has transformed itself since Watergate into being the "Anti-Government" party, relying instead on the alleged authority of the States to deal fairly with the citizens with Washington being out of touch and unable to do ANYTHING without massive fraud, waste and inefficiency. How is it that those on the left that seem to support the role of the federal government are again labeled by the Right wing of the GOP as "trouble making, baby killing, weed smoking, unpatriotic (see Tea Party fake founding father get-ups), alien, socialist, and not one of us" folks? With the passing of Rodney King, perhaps we can co-opt his famous quip for future political campaigns..."Can't We Just Get Along?" What happened to "Love it or Leave it?"
Rep.Vern Buchanan's latest poll (6/17/2012)...
"President Obama announced Friday he will end the deportation of up to 800,000 illegal immigrants
under the age of 30, allowing them to stay in the U.S. and get work permits. Do you support the
President’s action? Yes 34.50%
This is the part that truly amazes me. The part that fellow GOP members of Congress are pushing these polls out without understanding that alienating the Latino Community is NOT in their long term best interests. Jeb Bush is correct when he warns of this phenomenon.
Allow me to be the first to predict this about today's GOP: If Romney wins the White House, the Dems will employ all the obstructionist tools the GOP used for the next two years so that nothing Romney wants is passed into law and gridlock will continue. With nothing changed during the first two years of Romney's administration, the public will begin to demand more representative government and will seek this against BOTH parties in the 2014 Mid-Term Elections. Romney's failings will damage the long-term image of the GOP.
If Obama is re-elected, the GOP runs a HUGE risk of making itself irrelevant on the National level. Bear with me here... If Obama wins, the GOP and the Far Right will have lost their 4 year old argument...that "Obama is NOT one of us, has ruined the economy and has utterly failed as president" because the public retained him. Then, if the GOP continues to obstruct as the "Party of No" with the sole objective of defeating a re-elected president's policies, then the electorate may fatally kill the GOP in the 2014 Mid-Term elections. The further we go down the road, the more change will take place in our electoral demographics (and less White & Male the average voter will be). More African-Americans, more Latinos. The GOP needs to adapt NOW, or I believe render itself to a future of being only a fringe national political party. The GOP can't seem to realize they need support from Minorities!
I enjoyed watching John McCain on Meet The Press this morning. He claims he has never heard of a president using an executive order to avoid enforcing an existing law. Earth to John McCain, learn some American History before inserting foot in mouth. What do you think Executive Orders are even for, creating recipes for pies? Executive Orders are implied powers used to enforce laws as the Executive sees fit. Geesh! He then went on to claim it is "shameful" that Obama is not committing US Military forces to stop the bloodshed in Syria. We haven't spent enough cash and human capital influencing the lives of others already? I find it difficult to justify injecting our military into yet another civil war, when we can't take care of our brave soldiers as it is, AND McCain and his own party want to cut spending on the poor and uneducated IN America. HIS priorities are "shameful."
As soon as I slam George Will for being clueless, he writes an article entitled "Unrestrain the Judiciary" slamming Romney for promising he would appoint "restrained" judicial candidates. Will explains the need for an independent judiciary and why the framers intended they stay above the political fray expected of politicians. Great job Mr. Will, except you left off one important factor... how the game of politics affects the nomination and confirmation of our judiciary since the days of Robert Bork! Politics plays a major role in the selection and confirmation of judicial nominees and BOTH parties use the process to ensure a nominee pursue their political ideology instead of the standard that justice is blind and that each case alone should determine judicial decisions.
Have a great Father's Day to all those fathers that have made a difference in their children's' lives and the World that surrounds them. Kids...the gifts that keep on giving. I know mine do...(can't wait now for Grandfather's Day, whenever that is)!
Mitt Romney told a group of Evangelical Christians today that he would do the exact "opposite" that Obama has done when dealing with Israel. Let's see what that means... Obama okays sale of bunker busting bombs to Israel, Romney would have refused the approval? Obama successfully built a coalition at the UN to block the Palestinian request for formal recognition of Statehood. Romney would have allowed it? Obama's administration steered away Turkey's efforts to have the UN condemn Israeli stopping the Turkish Flotilla attempt to break her blockade of Gaza. Romney would have allowed Turkey to succeed at the UN against Israel? I find it amazing that the Obama Administration is SO bad at communicating their successes to the American people while allowing Romney to present an untruthful and disingenuous political position on Israel as well as other political fronts. Blame resides where it belongs...on Obama himself. A REAL leader would use his "bully pulpit" to take command of the "communication gap" he has been experiencing virtually throughout his presidency.
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Daniel R. Rubin is an Attorney, Educator, Lecturer and National Award Winning Author. He is a retired adjunct professor of American History who also taught Advanced Placement United States Government and American Politics in Venice, Florida.