Holder that amnesty: Don’t the coming Attorney General confirmation hearings offer Obama another convenient excuse to put off his unpopular (and arguably unlawful) executive amnesty plans? True, Latino interest groups are expecting something big from the White House, amnesty-wise, before the end of the year. But what if Obama and Biden— “The president’s going to do it, and he’s going to do an awful lot”– are just stringing them along until the mid-term vote? With Senator Sessions trying to make opposition to executive amnesty a litmus test for any A.G. appointee, couldn’t Obama say he doesn’t want his promised amnesty to create an unnecessary obstacle to filling this vital post, etc.? If the A.G. nominee is liberal enough the more established Democratic interest groups and team-playing Dem Congressmen might fall in line. ….
Why would Obama want to put off executive amnesty? So as not to kill the chance of legislative amnesty. Perversely, this logic may seem especially powerful if GOPs win everything in November — now that Jeb Bush and the not-wildly-credible Mario Diaz-Balart are running around boasting that a Republican-controlled Senate could produce an immigration deal. Republican office-holders who may be afraid of knuckling under to the current Dem-produced immigration plan might think they have cover for a GOP-branded plan, even if it amounts to more or less the same thing.**
What’s an anti-amnesty cheerleader to do? 1) Root for Republicans to take the Senate on the grounds that this might temporarily kill executive amnesty — but only by opening up a possibility of legislative amnesty? Or 2) root for a Dem fingernail-cling result that reduces the danger of a GOP-led “reform” bill (while still punishing vulnerable Senators who voted for the Gang of 8 amnesty) — but that then risks a nothing-left-to-lose Obama executive amnesty?
I think (2). Even if Obama delays executive amnesty, he’ll still have two more years to pull the trigger if legislation stalls again. And while the risk that amnesty legislation might actually pass isn’t huge, even if GOPs take the Senate, *** it would be so much more calamitous that any extra risk is to be avoided. Pascal’s wager in reverse.
*** — In the press, Diaz-Balart will always be about to triumph, of course.