Obama used executive action to shield a few million undocumented immigrants from deportation. As usual, the relatively sparse discussion of the merits of this action is buried beneath an avalanche of arguments about appropriate government processes. Is it the role of the executive to do this sort of thing? What does it forebode? And won’t someone think of the children?
American governmental processes are, of course, total garbage, which is probably why countries across the world — which used to model themselves after America — don’t do that anymore. The very idea that you have an executive who is not leading a majority of the members of the legislature is utterly hilarious and crazy. In civilized nations, political coalitions “form a government” by securing a majority of the legislative body and then, from that legislative body, creating an executive council. This ensures the government is a unified one, virtually eliminating all of the questions regarding proper executive processes.
I thought about writing a bigger piece about this, but I decided to spare everyone since I already make this point so often. Instead of indulging these disingenuous procedural shell arguments with a longer piece, I will instead observe the following.
The pretended debate is about whether, as a purely abstract procedural matter, executive action like that involving immigration is, as a purely abstract procedural matter, right and good. Theoretically, this question, as a purely abstract procedural matter, should have nothing to do with the substance of the matter. People of all political stripes should be coming down on both sides of abstract executive process disputes. Yet, it surely does seem that people who either support the substance of the immigration action or support Obama/Democrats/liberals more broadly line up, basically to a person, behind the view that the executive process utilized here is OK. People who either oppose the substance of the immigration action or support Republicans/conservatives more broadly line up, basically to a person, behind the view that it is not OK.
I wonder what’s going on! It’s is almost as if the process question is not actually being genuinely debated by anyone, but is instead rhetorical backfill to provide additional support for substantive positions. In the context of such a ridiculous feint of a debate, only Brian Beutler’s treatment of the matter has been adequate thus far.