The president flipped in an election year on the Dream Act. Suddenly, in 2012, Obama decided that he indeed did have the executive power to order amnesty without congressional approval for those who came illegally as children, stayed in school or joined the military, avoided arrest and thus deserved citizenship.
Why not make the president's Dream Act part of the envisioned grand bargain on immigration? Once it is agreed upon that we have the ability to distinguish those foreign nationals deserving of amnesty, then surely we also have the ability to determine who does not meet that agreed-upon criteria.
Why, then, cannot conservatives allow a pathway to citizenship for the play-by-the-rules millions who qualify, while regrettably enforcing an un-Dream Act for others who just recently arrived illegally; enrolled in, and have remain on, public assistance; or have been convicted of a crime? Who could object to that fair compromise?
Finally, Obamacare will be imposed on all Americans by 2014. But so far the Obama administration has granted more than 1,200 exemptions to favored corporations and unions, covering about 4 million Americans. Shouldn't Republicans seek to end all exemptions rather than tackle the improbable task of overturning Obamacare itself?
One of the brilliant themes of the 2012 Obama campaign was forcing Republicans, on principle, to systematically oppose most of the things that the administration wanted them to oppose — thereby shielding itself from the unwelcome consequences of its own ideology while winning political points. Now, in defeat, Republicans should agree to let the chips lie where they fall: Tax only the truly rich; reward only the truly deserving illegal immigrants; and exempt no one from Obamacare.
Nothing could be fairer or more equal than that.
TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES