The best time to threaten Obama is now
Everybody who wants something from Obama should threaten to withdraw their support and make the threat stick. It worked on gay marriage. Now it's working on immigration. From the Times:
Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
The policy change, announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It bypasses Congress....
So, if it bypasses Congress, it could have been done at any time in the last three years, right?
Now is the time, since after the election it will be too late. Are you listening, AARP? NOW?
NOTE Of course, once the concession is granted, the question becomes, as it should become, "What have you done for me lately?"
UPDATE Adding, I have never found a good counter to the argument of the right that "it's illegal." If you accept the rule of law as a construct (which not all do) then you cannot argue that the banksters should be thrown in jail for breaking the law (as they should) and that illegal immigrants should not. You can argue for a higher morality, but then, that's exactly the same argument the banksters are making, right? ("Doing God's work.")
And you can argue for the obsolescence of the nation-state (so, no borders, hence no "immigration," and no law, because no enforcement body), which has the merit of consistency, but doesn't that leave us all in a dystopian, Snow Crash-like hell of humongous post-national corporations and warlords collecting rents with mercs? (To which both anarchists and libertarians will chorus "Of course not!")
All of which circles back to the idea that it seems, these days, that what the state is good for is exempting certain classes of individuals (not necessarily citizens, mind you) from the operations of the legal system, and that this is a very odd outcome indeed. One also thinks of the Quebec Surete declaring marches illegal under Bill 78 whereupon the marches proceed.
UPDATE Atrios points out, correctly, that anybody who wants to deport these kids is an asshole. What I'm trying to find, here, is a principled way of not being an asshole. Quite the existential position, though one, of course, not of relevance to personality- or party-driven politics.
UPDATE Media Matters has this to say:
In Fact, DHS' Exercise Of Prosecutorial Discretion Is Perfectly Consistent With Current Law
Which strikes me as logic-chopping, and tendentious logic-chopping at that. Push the logic as far as it can go, and the only reason to prosecute or not prosecute anybody is polling in an election year!
Again, Obama's decision has nothing to do with policy, justice, morality, humanity, or anything like that. If it did, the "prosecutorial discretion" could have been exercised at any point in the last three years. The sole and only reason Obama's not enforcing the law now is to win votes in an election. Is that really how we want the government to operate? What happens the jackboot's on the other foot and a Republican's deciding not to prosecute, say, laws against workplace discrimination or harassment? Or decides not to prosecute militiamen who shoot a few brown skinned people because then they win AZ? Now that Obama's openly set the precedent?
I support the outcome, to be clear, but there's nothing policy-oriented about the decision at all.