Friday, November 7, 2014

Could Obama have hurt himself more by pushing for immigration reform early? Could Chuy bring Latinos back?

President Barack Obama let it be known quickly after Election Day that he will take some sort of action meant to push the nation’s immigration policy closer to the state of reform that is desperately needed.

Of course, there were those who wondered why Obama didn’t act earlier, much earlier. As in several months in advance of Tuesday’s federal election cycle..

THE REASONING BEHIND the delay was that Obama feared that action prior to the elections would irritate the ideologues to the point that he’d bolster the opposition votes against his interests.

Although when one looks at the election results across the country, how much worse could he have done? If anything, I wonder if taking some sort of action might have bolstered the Latino segment of the electorate to back Democrats – who are starting to wonder if Dems are too cowardly to stand up to the ideologues.

As in those whose idea of a national immigration policy is to bolster the number of deportations from the United States – particularly those whose national origins come from other parts of the Americas.

Obama has said he is inclined to use his ‘executive order’ powers to create a policy that will reduce the deportation total while federal officials try to figure out a long-term solution to the bureaucratic mess that is an immigration policy.

WHICH IS SOMETHING that most definitely will not happen now that a Republican majority exists in both the Senate and House of Representatives. If anything, the people most openly hostile toward immigration reform are now going to dominate the debate on Capitol Hill.

All the more reason Obama should have acted a long time ago to push this issue forward.

Because when Obama does use his executive order powers, it will merely infuriate the ideologues even more.

There is speculation that Republicans may self-moderate themselves out of a desire to show during the next two years they are capable of governing – and not just obstruction. But that underestimates the political will of the ideologues who have their own close-minded ideals of what this nation ought to represent.

ONE ASPECT SORT of caught my attention – a Washington Post report that implied some Latinos are shifting toward the Republican Party in the most recent election cycle.

It seems that some states where Republicans did well had as many as 40 percent of Latino voters back the GOP candidates rather than Democrats. Although it also seems that those were states such as Texas or Georgia where the Republican Party was already dominant.

Which most likely means Latino voters were choosing to be part of the establishment in their home states. Latinos living in places where Democrats dominate continued to back that political party.

We’ll also get a strong test locally of Latino backing for Democrats, along with how strongly other people will want to regard Latinos as part of the political party.

FOR WE’RE GOING to have Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the running for mayor in the Feb. 24 municipal elections.

Anyone who decides to challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his ample campaign fund is going to be a long-shot. But the Chicago Teachers Union’s house of delegates officially endorsed Garcia on Wednesday, which could help him come up with some of the financial muscle any challenger is going to need to avoid running a political campaign that is nothing more than a waste of time.

If anything, it’s going to take local actions like Garcia’s involvement to keep the Latino electorate from becoming totally disconnected to the political process.

A large part of which was caused by the unwillingness of Obama to challenge the segment of voters that was never going to take him seriously to begin with.


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