There are really only two ways to look at President Obama’s immigration announcement Friday: 1) as a principled policy change by a confident and secure leader looking to bring some resolution to a controversial issue; or 2) as the panicked act of a weak incumbent desperately trying to distract from his failed economic record.
Considering his position in the latest tracking polls (Gallup has him down one to Mitt Romney head-to-head) and his widely panned economic speech in Cleveland Thursday, it is safe to rule out the first explanation. However, judging from this Sunday’s talk shows, Obama did succeed in distracting the press … for now.
But as former Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo notes, Obama’s decision has set a precedent that could last well beyond his own term in office:
Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.
So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.
Team Romney has done a good job sticking to their message on the economy, but when they are asked about Obama’s immigration policy, the damage it did to the Constitution should be their first response.
Polls: A new Reuters poll that 52 percent of independents believe Obama’s policies have not helped create more jobs in America.
Veepstakes: The Wall Street Journal editorial board takes Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to task for voting to preserve federal sugar subsidies.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Pro-bailout party leads Greek vote: Greece’s conservative New Democracy Party prevailed in elections Sunday, giving it the chance to form a new coalition government that would try to comply with the difficult terms of the country’s bailout and secure its spot in the euro zone.
The Wall Street Journal, In France, Socialists Win a Solid Majority: French voters gave President François Hollande and his Socialist Party a parliamentary majority in Sunday’s legislative elections.
The New York Times, Egypt’s Military Cements Its Powers as Voting Ends: Egypt’s ruling military council issued an interim constitution Sunday, granting itself broad power over the future government, all but eliminating the president’s authority.
The Wall Street Journal, Private Fix for Public Parks: In an unprecedented step by the state to prevent mass park closures after stiff budget cuts, California is close to finalizing bids from private companies to take over day-to-day operations of six state parks. The state will maintain ownership of the park lands.
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis explains what the Greek election results mean: “Greece is still likely headed for the exits this year.”
Forbes‘ Avik Roy reads between the lines of recent Justice Ginsburg and Scalia statements and predicts the mandate will be struck down on June 25th.
At The Corner, Mark Krikorian says Romney “fumbled” his response to Obama’s amnesty announcement.
ThinkProgress is attacking Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for turning a 6-year-old girl over to federal authorities after his office failed to locate her parents.
The New York Times Paul Krugman says Europe, not Greece,is to blame for the current debt crisis.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., tells Talking Points Memo that liberals should not expect bipartisan support for overturning Citizens United.