The Chaos To Come Will Be John Boehner’s Legacy

Barack Obama’s political life will be over on January 20, 2017, and he has some things he wants to do before the end comes.

One of those things is immigration reform. There is a bill in Congress that would go a long way toward fixing our immigration system, a bill that has been passed by the Senate—in June of 2013—with, gasp, 14 Republican votes. But that bill, a bill that would quiet all the fuss over executive orders if it reached the President’s desk, will never get a vote in the Tea Party-controlled House because Speaker John Boehner knows it would pass with Democratic votes, joined by a handful of Republicans. And the Speaker knows that if that were to happen, he wouldn’t be Speaker anymore. There would be a rebellion of historic proportions.

So, let’s get it straight: There is a bi-partisan solution to the immigration problem that has been rejected by a Republican leader because he values his leadership job over the well-being of the country. It’s pretty much that simple. And if journalists spent as much time reporting on that salient fact as they have on the issue of Obama’s executive oJohn Boehner smilerder—which he will announce tonight—an order that would only partly and temporarily address a long-standing problem, then maybe there would exist some decisive pressure on the Speaker to allow the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate to come to a vote. And we could move on to other things.

But there has been no real pressure on Speaker Boehner. He is rarely, if ever, asked a question about why he is tearing the country apart by not allowing that vote on the Senate bill. Most of the questions these days are focused on just how ridiculously nuts will his caucus go, if the President issues his order, an order that will not only help millions of undocumented immigrants and the country as a whole, but would also help Republicans in the 2016 presidential election (just ask the Chamber of Commerce). Those questions raised about the craziness of the Republican reaction are certainly legitimate, but they shield Speaker Boehner, who is the real problem in this mess, from the criticism he richly deserves.

When President Obama (Boehner’s spokesman now calls him “Emperor Obama”) finally announces his executive action on immigration reform (Boehner himself falsely but intentionally calls it “executive amnesty”), the resulting tumult, both in the Congress and throughout the foaming-at-the-mouth conservative media complex and beyond, will be Speaker Boehner’s responsibility. Whatever ugliness happens after tonight—and it will get ugly—history will blame much of it on John Boehner, even if contemporary journalists have largely given him a pass.

[AP photo]
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  1. ansonburlingame

     /  November 20, 2014


    To make a valid assessment of your claims in this blog takes more information than I have available to me. I am only aware of the big picture, resistance to the Senate passed immigration bill and whatever Obama will order executively tonight. But I have no idea so far the details of either “documents”.

    I don’t support the radical right any more than I support the radical left. It seems to me that the right wants an ultra-secure border where NO ONE can get through, illegally. As well they want all 11 million illegal immigrants already here to remain illegals and federal and state law applied in each case when they are brought to the attention of any law enforcement agencies.

    The left wants far more open borders, how open I have no idea. As well they want full amensty for any illegal immigrant already in America. Or is that correct? Do they just want amnesty for any Hispanic illegal immigrant? I’m not sure, are you? How does one know if a Hispanic is Al Qaeda trained, for example?

    Any sane American would not want either of those two options it seems to me.

    You and I could sit down and sort this whole mess out in my view. The southern border should be secure enough that the vast majority of people wanting to enter the U.S. would HAVE to come through a regulated “portal”. The law of the land would apply for all such people, just like it is applied at say JFK.

    For those trying to enter by sneaking across there should be a firm “catch and release” policy in place with release happening to the south of our border, period. Had we paid attention to our souther border in the past we would not be struggling with 11 milion illegals already here.

    For those illegals already here, let them stay, in a much better controlled manner. Document their presence in America and be sure they follow American laws. After they are documented give them a path to citizenship that follows the laws for others here legally and wanting to become American citizens.

    The biggest difference for such documented illegals is the action taken under American law when they break such law(s). Certainly any felony should require immediate deportation after serving time for the felony. For misdemeanors it would take firm and reasonable judgment exercised by a judge as to the correct action to take. Each case should be handled legally and any judge rendering decisions in each case would be required to document why he or she took whatever action deemed appropriate. Of course multiple offenders must be deported.

    We cannot write laws that let judges just become robots, doing exactly as the law requires. Judges must be held accountable for good judgment. Haul a convicted “gang-banger” before a judge is a different situation for a “grandmother” that got caught with a DUI, for example.

    My point of course is that there is a reasonable middle for this hot topic. But your radicals and mine, left and right, are the ones preventing reasonable people from enacting a reasonable middle ground.

    Welcome again to American politics today.



    • Anson,

      You said, “The left wants far more open borders.” I’m sorry but I don’t know anyone on the left who wants open borders. President Obama, not a man of the left to be sure, even offered up the idea that he is in favor of greater border security. And his latest executive order(s) did not give any comfort to those who have come here illegally in the past four years or so.

      I want to once again remind you that the “reasonable middle” was represented by that Senate bill that is about to die in the Tea Party-controlled House. Liberals did not get all of what they wanted, and that compromise that we saw fell victim to the extremists on the right, not the left.


  2. ansonburlingame

     /  November 20, 2014

    Duane and others,

    Someone named “Moderate Poli” has been commenting on my blog for about a year now. I really like her, his, style. He/she is between my blog and this one, a person trying hard to find the center of American politics today.

    I offer one blog just posted by him/her at

    I encourage all herein from the left, to read and consider the views offered therein.



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