Making Sense by Michael Reagan
The fight over immigration reform was wiped off our TV screens by the fires and tear gas clouds in Ferguson Monday night.
CNN and the other networks will milk the grand jury's decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown for as long as there's a single ratings point to be gained.
But by Tuesday afternoon President Obama was already back on the road plugging the alleged merits of his executive actions on immigration and explaining why they were not constitutionally bogus.
Republicans in Congress are in their home districts for the Thanksgiving recess, celebrating their recent landslides in the Senate and House and eating lots of turkey.
Presumably, their party leaders are working up a plan to retaliate against Obama's power grab, which bypassed Congress and supposedly could spare as many as five million illegal immigrants from being deported.
I hope it's not too late. But I've got a perfect plan for the GOP's bosses to follow for the next two years — do nothing to directly challenge Obama's executive action.
Republicans shouldn't threaten a lawsuit or a government shutdown over what Obama did.
And they shouldn't waste a week writing a mega-immigration reform bill half the members of their own party won't like.
They shouldn't give up on immigration reform. But for the next two years Republicans can turn the tables on the president.
For starters, the new 2015 McConnell-Boehner partnership should dig through the Senate wastebaskets for those House immigration bills Harry Reid never allowed to be considered.
The Republican Congress should pass the bills ASAP, send them to the president's desk and force Obama to make the final yes or no call with his almighty executive pen.
The GOP needs to make the president take the heat on immigration for the next two years.
A lot of that political heat will come from the states. It's their taxpayers who'll have to pay the costs and foot the bills for the president's rogue immigration decision.
Texas and Oklahoma have already said they were going to go to court to block what they charge is Obama's dictatorial bypass of Congress' lawmaking authority.
I doubt if California's clueless government will have the good sense to join in a legal challenge, but it has paid a higher price for illegal immigration than any other state.
The Golden State has 1.1 million illegal immigrants who have become welcome "guests" of its taxpayers.
The County of Los Angeles alone spends more than $2 billion a year giving illegal aliens and their children welfare, food stamps, healthcare and education programs.
L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich says Obama's plan to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is just another unfunded federal mandate and a tax-supported welfare program for people who've broken the law to enter the country.He's right. But Obama's executive order may not be as damaging as many people on our side of the aisle think.
It's only good for two years. What immigrant will risk coming out of the shadows now if the law can change under a new president?
When Obama's out of office, and when he's replaced by a Republican in 2016, his outrageous executive grandstanding on immigration will become a historical footnote.
He knows perfectly well it won't last. It was all about padding his legacy, not doing something serious to solve our immigration problem.
Basically, what Republicans in Congress should do for the next two years is pretend President Obama doesn't exist.
They shouldn't argue with the president or take him to court. He's a renter in the White House, not an owner, and he and his executive orders will be gone two years from now.
Meanwhile, Republicans should concentrate on passing some good bills on immigration, energy and tax reform and work to get the economy moving again.
If they do that, they'll win in 2016. If they don't do it, they won't.
Copyright ©2014 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 of the email service reagan.com 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 Sales at [email protected]