Oliver Willis

Obama, Immigration Action, And Doing The Right Thing

It’s always a much better feeling when you just do the right thing.

President Obama is on that path tonight with his executive action on immigration. The GOP has had years to get this right. They had a chance under George W. Bush when they ran the entire government, they had an opportunity to do this even with Democratic control. The votes are in the House right now to pass this but Speaker Boehner as usual was too cowardly to pull the trigger.

Now substantive action on immigration reform belongs to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. While Republicans have made themselves into the party of nativism and “self-deportation,” the Democrats can be the party that helped to pull vulnerable human beings out of the shadows. While Republicans like Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz rush to out-wingnut their records with nativists, the next wave of Democratic leaders – Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and beyond – can begin to build towards congressionally-enacted reform.

John Boehner didn’t have the balls to do it, but we know Nancy Pelosi does.

Unlike the absurd vote for the Keystone pipeline and Democratic capitulation on gun background checks, it feels much better to not think twice about doing the right thing at the right time.

Democrats are often afraid of their own shadows, terrified to do the thing that often turns out to be popular and more importantly the right thing to do.

But once they do it, once they rip off the scab and stand up for what’s right, it works.