Saturday, September 6, 2014

Its politics. Do we engage emotionally or strategically?

I am disappointed that President Obama has chosen to delay his announcement about immigration. For me, its not about the timing. A two month delay isn't that big of a deal. What bothers me is that he made a promise to do it "by the end of summer." And now he's decided to wait until after the November midterms. There will be some fall-out to that.

But rather than simply react emotionally, lets take a moment to think about how to respond strategically (i.e., be pragmatic). The first thing to keep in mind is that generally Democrats have been pretty nonchalant about the issue of immigration reform. I know that because even when I write about it here, the posts get fewer views than most others. I see that same pattern generally across the blogosphere.  On the other hand, the teapublicans are absolutely livid about it. If we had shown the same energy leading up to this election, the strategy of delay in order to help Democrats wouldn't even be on the table.

Secondly, its clear that Republicans are running a "no issues" campaign this fall. Their only strategy is to act like President Obama is on the ballot and run against him. He's not. And so if you are one of those people who are passionate about immigration reform, getting angry at the President about his two month delay only feeds the Republican agenda. How does that help us?

You are likely better served by sizing up those in your area who are running for House and Senate seats and working your ass off to get immigration reform supporters elected. I know that no one gives Democrats a chance in hell at winning back the majority in the House. But the truth is, it could happen. But only if voters wake up, take stock of the issues, and get out to vote. Then perhaps President Obama wouldn't need to act on his own. Even if the Democrats don't gain the majority, politicians will notice if/when supporters of immigration reform make their presence felt at the ballot box.

I know I'm spitting in the wind on this whole idea of acting strategically instead of emotionally. But by gawd the facts are out there about which route is likely to be more successful in reaching our goals. Go have your temper tantrum somewhere quietly. Then keep your eyes on the prize of what we're working towards.

8 comments:

  1. The idea of the Democrats winning back the House is a nice wish, but not in the cards. The districts are too gerrymandered for it to happen this time around, even if every part of the Democratic coalition voted. But a big turnout can definitely keep the Senate in Democratic hands and gain a few more seats in the House... and portend bigger success in 2016.

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    1. I recognized that its probably not in the cards. But I disagree w/ the idea that its impossible.

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  2. I'm pretty confident that by mid-October there will be some other 'issue' that will dominate discourse and drive people to or away from the polls. This is a minor setback at best. I'm glad he did it. I think it would have given the Rs an advantage to beat up on the President on this issue if he had made any dramatic executive orders this close to an election.That would have played into the R strategy of running against the President. I think when he made that promise, the Rs had a different strategy. The success of the ACA undermined their strategy, so they shifted gears. Consequently, PBO shifted gears to accommodate that.

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    1. As I said in the article, my disappointment is that he made a promise he's now delayed keeping. That has political ramifications as well.

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  3. Hey, some places summer lasts until October-but doing it then would mess with the election-so he's delaying it until after. He was going to use it like a club against Republicans, but some of his fellow Democrats begged him to back away, so he listened to them.

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  4. I agree with Doug -- this is about the Democrats in congress; and not the president. If the Democrats want immigration reform done, then they need to stand up collectively as a party and support the president's call to action. I don't blame him for refusing to do all of the heavy lifting again. He carried healthcare reform across the finish line in 2010 when Democrats were running scared -- and the list goes on.

    Perhaps Obama did intend to do something before the end of the summer. But it's clear (from all of the news reporting, and confirmation from the White House), that Democrats have started begging the president to "hold off" until after the midterms. I'm still amazed how the Democrats in congress continue to never be held "accountable" by the voters and the reform activists when they do things like this.

    At some point Democrats (and the whiny activists) will have to decide what's more important -- winning elections and passing important legislation, or blaming Obama for everything. He will no longer be president in 2017. And I shutter to think what will happen to the Democrats once he's out of office. They've enjoyed the benefits of hiding behind Obama for nearly every major political issue.

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    1. Thank you. I'm tired of congressional democrats being sorry. It's time for people on the ground to figure out how to take over these worthless state parties.

      Vic78

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    2. Again it is important to vote! I live in Louisiana, with a close race between Landrieu and Cassidy,. His latest commercial, tying her to Pres Obama and border control. CIR sits at the House Congressional feet! Where is your ire against them activists and pundits! Let the man run the country and get your people to the polls, so he can keep the Senate! I believe after this election, he is doing whatever he decides to do to help as many as he can. Even with gerrymandering we gotta have hope, he can improve the odds.

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