Now that House Speaker John Boehner has ruled out impeaching President Barack Obama, what will Republicans do when Obama fulfills his promise to use executive orders to grant amnesty and work permits to millions of immigrants who came here illegally?
Will they sue him again?
Will they go on television and complain about the patently illegal use of executive authority?
Will they write him a nasty letter?
Or will Boehner and some other Republicans applaud Obama's action because they, too, have always promoted what amnesty backers euphemistically call "comprehensive immigration reform"?
It's a question worth asking because this is one promise Obama is very likely to keep.
The question was put to Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus recently. Here's how he responded: "I don't know. ... These are all hypotheticals. I've got enough to worry about on a daily basis, let alone worrying about what could happen down the line."
Fair enough. But what would Boehner have to say? With all the illegal, unethical, immoral activities of the Obama administration to date, he claims not to be interested in discussing impeachment. He says only Democrats do that so they can raise money on the impeachment issue. It may be true that Democrats do that, but impeachment is, indeed, the only constitutional remedy for unlawful activities by a president.
Having ruled out impeachment as an option for all Obama has done to date — including other illegal use of executive orders and encouraging massive illegal immigration, which has created a crisis in the country — what would Boehner do?
Keep in mind, even Obama has, on several occasions since becoming president, acknowledged that he does not have legal authority to use executive orders to suspend deportations or abrogate the law of the land with regard to immigration matters:
—On March 28, 2011, Obama said he cannot use executive orders to overturn laws or create new rules on immigration matters: "With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case. ... There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president."
—On Sept. 28, 2011, Obama asserted that he is required to enforce the immigration laws on the books and has no authority to achieve his objectives without Congress: "I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there's been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by (perpetuating) the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It's just not true. ... But we live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it."
—On Nov. 25, 2013, Obama reiterated that we're a nation of laws and he cannot solve all these problems without Congress: "If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws."
So if Obama does this thing, he will be doing it after repeated admissions that he is doing it illegally. That's pretty brazen. In other words, he will be daring Republicans to impeach him. He will be calling them on their non-bluff, which is worse than calling them on an actual bluff.
There are only a couple of possibilities to explain this:
—He actually welcomes an impeachment fight so he can play the victim role, which, as a lifelong community organizer, is a role in which he is comfortable.
—He thinks he has already immunized himself against impeachment through his political pre-emptive strike against it.
—He knows that Republicans fear impeachment to the point of political paralysis and to the point at which it hurts the GOP with its base.
—All of the above.
In other words, he thinks Republicans are damned if they do impeach and damned if they don't impeach.
If they let him get away with an action even he admits is illegal, what's to stop him from even greater abuse of the executive actions in his remaining 2 1/2 years in office?
Doing this in a midterm election year that is expected to give Republicans gains in the House and Senate is sheer political genius. Whose voters are most likely to stay home if Obama promotes his agenda illegally and the Republicans do nothing about it except complain? You guessed it — Republicans'.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.