Writing for the Brookings Institution, where he is based, political scientist Tom Mann scoffs at the Republican meme that President Obama’s executive action on immigration will poison the well for compromise going forward.
Co-author of “It’s Even Worse than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism,” Mann writes after last night’s speech and the Republican reaction:
“The crocodile tears in reaction to President Obama acting well beyond his constitutional authority and destroying prospects in Congress for bipartisan agreement on a range of pressing public problems, including immigration, are laughable. The President has faced unified and unrelenting opposition from Republicans in Congress since the first day of his presidency, following his sweeping victory and that of his fellow Democrats in Congress in the 2008 election. Republicans have never accepted the legitimacy of his presidency nor demonstrated any willingness to enter into negotiations with him to deal with the Great Recession, stagnant wages, serious flaws in the regulation of financial services, unsustainable health care costs, a deteriorating infrastructure, climate change, and a widely acknowledged broken immigration system. Instead, since the 2010 elections returned the GOP to the majority in the House, they have engaged in unprecedented and irresponsible brinksmanship and hostage-taking that have threatened the full faith and credit of the country, weakened the economy, and precipitated a sharp decline in the public’s trust in government.”
Mann believes that Obama’s executive action is within his “well documented constitutional and statutory authority.” I remain skeptical on that one, but I agree after the last six years it’s pretty funny for Republicans to suggest that what Obama just did is the reason they won’t compromise.