July 13, 2010

HE NEVER PASSED ANY LEGISLATION, BUT HE DID KILL SOME:

Obama's Immigration Fakery: In 2007, then-Sen. Obama helped derail an immigration bill he claimed to support. He's no more serious about a bipartisan bill today. (William McGurn, 7/13/10, WSJ)

Earlier this month President Obama gave us his speech on comprehensive immigration reform. Since then, observers have commented on its similarity to the Oval Office address given by George W. Bush four years earlier. As someone who had a hand in the Bush speech, let me point out two striking differences.

First, President Bush actually wanted an immigration bill, and indeed many of his conservative critics loathed him for it. Second, because he knew that such a bill required bipartisan support, he did not disparage members of the other party.

Wait a minute. Hasn't Mr. Obama told us how he "reached across the aisle in the Senate to fight for comprehensive immigration reform"? Well, yes, those are his words. The back story, however, suggests another face to our president. For then-Sen. Obama also favored a series of amendments that were plainly recognized as bill-killers—spurning not only Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain but the Democratic architect of that compromise, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.).

One such amendment was Mr. Obama's own, which aimed to substitute family ties for education and skills when determining who gets green cards. That led to what the Associated Press called a "heated exchange" with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.). Mr. Graham accused Mr. Obama of undercutting Democrats and Republicans working for reform—contrary to his lofty campaign rhetoric about Americans coming together.

"So when you are out on the campaign trail, my friend, tell them about why we can't come together," said Mr. Graham. "This is why."

Mr. Obama's mischief did not stop there. Though his own amendment failed, he supported another poison pill by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.). Mr. Dorgan's target was the guest-worker provision, another key to GOP and business buy-in.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 13, 2010 5:48 AM
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