The Cruelty of Barack Obama

On immigration, the ex-president isn’t what he says he is.

What gets almost zero press attention is the sneakier folks, Mr. Obama included. Truth is, no man has done more to poison the possibilities for fixing America’s broken immigration system than our 44th president.

.. Mr. Obama’s double-dealing begins with his time as junior senator from Illinois, when he helped sabotage a bipartisan immigration package supported by George W. Bush and Ted Kennedy. Mr. Obama’s dissembling continued during the first two years of his own presidency, when he had the votes to pass an immigration bill if he had chosen to push one. It was all topped off by his decision, late in his first term, to institute the policy on DACA that he himself had previously admitted was beyond his constitutional powers.

.. For all his big talk about how much he’s wanted an immigration bill, whenever he’s had the opportunity to back one, he’s either declined or actively worked to scuttle it.
.. Sen. Obama opted to back 11th-hour amendments that Kennedy rightly complained were really intended as deal-breakers. At a critical point, Kennedy urged that President Bush ask then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep the Senate in session to get the last few votes the bill needed. Mr. Reid opted for the Obama approach: Concluding he’d rather have the political issue than actual reform, he adjourned the Senate for the July 4 recess.
.. Mr. Obama frequently noted the limits on his powers. “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works,” he said. Then in 2012 he decided he would indeed change the law himself. A June 2012 Journal editorial captures the cynicism built into the DACA memo.

The president’s move, the Journal predicted, “will further poison the debate and make Republicans more reluctant to come to the negotiating table and cut a deal.” The editorial went on: “One begins to wonder if anything this President does is about anything larger than his re-election.”

Shields and Brooks on the Senate health care bill unveiled, Trump’s tape clarification

Brooks: I favor using market mechanisms to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality.

Shields: The Democrats have to come up with what they are for, rather than what they are against.

Nancy Pelosi passed the Affordable Care Act and raised millions.  She is the most effective leader ..

Brooks: After Trump leaves, will this be the new norm

Shields: Americans don’t believe that Trump is honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable, experience, or has right temperament.

Hillary Clinton’s Poisoned Prize

Trump isn’t going anywhere, nor are his provocations. It was the birther conspiracy yesterday; it will be something else tomorrow. And Clinton isn’t trading war for peace. Her presidency, should it indeed happen, will be a battle royal. The circumstances surrounding it are as politically daunting and inhospitable to accomplishment as those facing any of her predecessors over the last half-century.

.. And nearly all of the seats that Republicans are projected to lose, he said, are those of relatively moderate lawmakers. It’s not the hyper-conservative members of the Freedom Caucus who are on the run. They’re from safely Republican districts. They’re fine. They’ll be back — and, proportionally, they’ll be a bigger, more forceful presence among the Republicans remaining in the House.

.. “What’s often missed about the Freedom Caucus is that the majority is less of a priority for them than having a pure ideology.”

.. Already, some House conservatives have called for hearings about Clinton’s emails after any Clinton inauguration; one of them has already raised the specter of impeachment. At this stage, it’s in the very DNA of the relationship between Clintons and Republicans for there to be dire threats, special investigations, public grilling. It’s a reflex, a tic. Not even a landslide on Nov. 8 would change that.

.. Many of the votes she gets on Nov. 8 will come from people more committed to suppressing Trump than to elevating her

.. the percentage of voters who viewed her unfavorably (54 percent) was still 12 points higher than the percentage who viewed her favorably (42 percent).

That spread was 15 points in a CNN poll over the same period. No president in modern history has taken office after such sustained unpopularity in the run-up to the election.

.. And no president in my lifetime has confronted what Clinton surely will: an opponent who is vanquished but not remotely humbled.