Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Political Calculus 101

Trey Smith

...since the Obama administration itself initiated the most massive wave of deportations in US history, it also could have stopped them six months, a year, two years ago. So calling press conferences, as Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez did, to thank the Obama Administration for maybe stopping deportations just of vets and college-bound youth with spotless records is like expressing sincere gratitude to a brutal assailant who's beat every square inch of your body the last three years, when he announces he might start going easy on the head and groin shots from now on. If you ask him nicely.

This is not a victory for the human dignity of immigrants. It's a no-cost cynical ploy by the Obama Administration a few months before the election to shore up his sagging support in the Latino community.
~ from Obama Memo Deferring Some Deportations Not a Victory For Latinos, Immigrants or Human Rights by Bruce A. Dixon ~
I am always dubious of presidential proclamations and policy shifts in the lead-up to a presidential election. Too often, as in this case, the rhetoric of the announcement makes a tiny stone sound like it's as large as the Rock of Gibraltar! (If you read Dixon's column, you'll see Obama's memo isn't all it's cracked up to be.)

Dixon's fellow columnist at the Black Agenda Report, Margaret Kimberley, points out something rather curious about our current Commander-in-Chief.
When President Obama doesn’t want to do something, he pleads the limits of presidential power or resistance from Republicans. But, when a novel move is to his political benefit, the world is his oyster. So far, gays and Latinos have benefited from Obama’s newfound insights or powers. Obama could just as easily issue executive orders “to change policies on incarceration, or address the foreclosure crisis, or bring federal dollars to economically devastated communities.”
But he doesn't seem interested in doing any of that. Why? It's all based on political calculus.

Throwing a bone or two to gays and Latinos doesn't upset Wall Street all that much. As long as the titans of capital aren't impacted by such vote-chasing ploys, there is little political risk. The money from the well-to-do will keep flowing into Obama's campaign coffers unabated.

And that's really all that matters as the campaign season picks up steam. Obama can do about whatever he wants to shore up his base, so long as he does not cause corporate profit to fall by as much a penny. That's the one bridge he will refuse to cross.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.