The most ineffective congress in American history returns to the Capitol today where they will spend the next three weeks engaging in their unique version of “conducting the people’s business.” (That’s right; they will be in session for only three weeks.) Three weeks hence they will return to their districts until after the elections…during which time they will try to convince their constituents that their inept leadership warrants another term in office. They have a lot on their plate.
The most pressing issue facing congress will be deciding what to do about ISIS. Appearing on Sunday’s Meet the Press, an engaged President Obama informed viewers that he will lay out his strategy for defeating ISIS in a Wednesday address to the nation. The president made it clear that his intent is to explain his strategy to the American people, garner their support for his actions and to call upon congress to go on record in a united show of support of his efforts to defeat this latest terrorist threat.
We have already heard the war mongering rhetoric from a handful of the usual neo-con suspects. Even a small group of Democrats have weighed in; calling on the president to be more aggressive in his approach to ISIS. But if you listen closely you will notice that a vast majority of our fearless elected officials want no part of an up or down vote on military action. Far better politically to sit quietly on the sidelines and Monday-morning-quarterback after the dust has settled.
You see political careers have been inexorably altered on the basis of a “yea” or “nay” vote to send our troops into battle. Not too long ago an unknown junior senator from Illinois named Barak Obama voted against the war in Iraq. The presumptive Democrat nominee for the presidency, Hillary Rodham Clinton, voted for the war. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is easy to find a microphone and question the president’s leadership. It is far more difficult to go on record for sending our children into harms’ way. The president wants congress on the record.
One of the topics congress will not have to address is immigration reform. The president made it clear that he is breaking his promise to enact immigration reform measures via executive order by summer’s end saying that he will delay taking action until after the elections. Apparently the president is bowing to political pressure from vulnerable Democrat senator’s who fear their election prospects will be negatively impacted by any additional executive orders by this “imperialist” president.
The president denied charges that his change of heart was little more than pure partisan politics saying: “What I’m saying is that I‘m going to act (after the elections) because it’s the right thing for the country. But it’s going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children and why it’s necessary.”
I don’t know what that means. What I do know is that everything that needs to be said about immigration reform has been said over the past six years. There is nothing more to be learned between today and the day after the ballots are cast.
This president was elected in part because he promised to change the self-serving culture in Washington that fails to put the peoples’ best interests first. This president was elected in part because he promised Hispanics and other minorities that he would repair the divisive immigration laws that bring so much grief to their communities.
The president’s decision NOT to act is nothing more than politics as usual. His statement is clear…the self serving interests of a few challenged Democrat politicians outweighs the interests of the minority communities that the president vowed to protect.
Lost in all the noise about ISIS and immigration reform is the fact that the government will run out of money on September 30. The government will be forced to shut down if congress fails to agree on a continuing resolution to keep it funded.
We’ve seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well.
Three weeks to govern.
So much to do…so little time!