Making Sense, by Michael Reagan
I'm getting tired of President Obama blaming Republicans for everything.
This week it was immigration.
In Las Vegas the president called for a policy that would provide a clear path to citizenship for illegal residents who pay their taxes, learn English and abide by the law.
He warned that if bipartisan talks in Congress break down in bickering, he'll use his bully pulpit and present an immigration bill based on his ideas -- ideas that barely mention the need to secure the border as the first order of business.
The president and his liberal friends in the media like to make everyone think it's Republicans who've been thwarting comprehensive immigration reform all these years.
But the dirty little political secret is that it's the Democrats who are really the ones who don't want to see immigration reform happen anytime soon.
As long as immigration policy remains a political football to fight over, Democrats can use the issue as a way to brand Republicans as anti-immigrant and continue to capture the vast majority of Latino voters.
If the GOP wants to have a future, it has to get its act together and get its ideas out to the Hispanic community — 16 percent of Americans. Hispanics are receptive to those ideas when they know the truth.
Right now, Latinos and all immigrants who come to America legally or illegally see Republicans as the party of exclusion, not inclusion.
Except for Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, the GOP is seen as the party that tells immigrants "We want you out of the country."
But Republicans should be welcoming and embracing immigrants, not appearing to scare them off. Until the party changes, Democrats will own the Latino vote the way they own the black vote.
The Republican Party also has to prove that Marco Rubio isn't its only Latino. Rubio is great. I love seeing him in the Senate and I'd love to see him in the White House someday.
But the GOP has some other great Hispanic political leaders out there who need to be seen and heard on immigration. In fact, liberal CNN recently admitted that among statewide officeholders, Republicans are more diverse than Democrats. Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, plus rising Senate star Ted Cruz of Texas are among that group.
We -- the Republican Party and the country -- need to hear their ideas. Not at the end of the immigration reform argument, but now, at the beginning.
Meanwhile, the country desperately needs a president who knows how to lead.
We need a leader who doesn't stand up and point fingers at the other side but instead opens the door to the White House, invites both sides in, finds commonality and signs the subsequent legislation.
Unfortunately, we don't have such a president. We have a leader who is arrogant. We have a leader who never gets off the campaign trail long enough to lead. And who spends most of his time demonizing the opposition.
My mother taught me a basic truth that President Obama should learn -- "You can't listen if your mouth is always open."
President Obama's mouth is always open. It's time for him to shut his mouth, open the White House doors and do what my father Ronald Reagan would have done. It's time for him to stop talking and start inviting.
Copyright ©2013 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to [email protected] Follow @reaganworld on Twitter. Mike's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns contact Cari Dawson Bartley at [email protected] or call 800-696-7561.