Real-estate business owner Danny Tarkanian thinks Pres. Obama is using Latinos to win re-election.
On Wednesday, the Republican hopeful in Nevada’s 4th congressional district told a group gathered for a Hispanics in Politics breakfast in Las Vegas that the president switched his deportation policy at the last minute to recharge his Latino base.
“Why wasn’t it passed?” Tarkanian asked, referring to the DREAM Act. “Maybe it wasn’t passed because …. They wanted it to be used as a political tool. … They’re using it as a tool to get votes back in Washington.”
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
“Tarkanian faced a round of hostile questions after his remarks from Latinos who said Republicans are the ones who blocked immigration reform in Congress to deal with 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally. The critics said the GOP leaders also opposed the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young adults who were brought to this country as children and have grown up and lived here for years.”
It’s promising to see such nonsensical accusation met with solid facts.
The fact of the matter is Pres. Obama and the Dems did pass the DREAM Act in 2010 — it passed the House of Representatives and received 56 votes in the Senate. But since Obama took office, his opponents in the Senate have rigidly imposed a 60-vote threshold for any Democratic bill. (Traditionally, bills are passed by a simple majority.)
It used to be that when one party took the White House and enjoyed healthy majorities in both chambers of Congress, it was considered a mandate — the president and his party were licensed to steer domestic and foreign policy for at least two years.
But that’s not what happened in 2008. The Dems had taken control of Congress in 2006 (is control the right word?), but when the Dems were also handed the White House in 2008, Republicans cried that the Bolsheviks had stormed the palace. They entrenched themselves behind the filibuster, imposing a 60-vote threshold in the Senate that practically nullified the Dems’ mandate.
The Dems mustered 56 votes in favor of the DREAM Act in 2010 (the bill also included a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) — which would’ve made it law in Lincoln’s day — but the GOP’s use of the filibuster had already changed how the game was played in American government.
So if you want Pres. Obama to pass the DREAM Act, give the Democrats a majority again in the House, but don’t forget to give them a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate as well.
Till then, in this democracy of ours, society will be ruled by the radical, obstinate minority.