The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Abuse of Power? Executive Action? Public Polling?

Cover photo
President Obama as power wielding dictator who would be king!

I am going to spend a few minutes exploring the nation's 44th president as, according to the current mouthpieces in the GOP, the most autocratic and dictatorial president in US history. At the core of this piece is the resurgent GOP mantra: "abuse of power, "would be king", dictator. All under the umbrella of executive action.

Before taking another step, let's make certain we look at the 2009 line of scrimmage for President Obama. As Barack H. Obama and wife Michelle visited many Inauguration balls on the evening of January 20, 2009, a group of subversive GOP members of congress and GOP operatives plotted against the newly inaugurated president. The subversives plotted as rarely reported in US History. In comparison, plotters against post civil War, Abe Lincoln surpassed the 2009 republican subversives, but never has such subversion taken place so early in an administration.

Caucus Room Conspiracy

"You will remember this day. You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown."-- Newt Gingrich, Jan. 20, 2009

The group of seventeen plotted obstruction against all things Obama, and by doing so plotted against the United States. And, the GOP fulfilled every plot item through four national elections and as the Obama Administration worked (alone) to bring the nation back from the GOP economic collapse.

Thom Hartmann says it best: "Dems duped by the Caucus Room Conspiracy.

Democrats eventually succumbed to the Caucus Room strategy and completely fumbled any chance of winning in 2014.
Immigration Reform and Executive Order 

There are no issues more important to the GOP than obstruction to immigration reform and the Affordable Care Act. Typical "hot items" for a party who's elected representatives, are beholding to a constituency other than the US voter. A constituency that appears to have a fire burning under their politicians that has led to a lawsuit against a sitting president. Members of the Grand Ol Party are crying like spoiled children, despite support for immigration reform from all sectors of the population outside of the cancerous GOP/ Tea Party. They cry in the face of polling data that supports reform and they cry despite an immigration bill passed in the Senate, but Cantor and Boehner never allowed a Chamber vote. They refused to schedule a vote despite polling indicating favorable responses to immigration reform.

In 2013, The Partnership for A New American Economy published polling results showing unarguable support for reform. 

The Partnership Publishes Polling to Demonstrate Broad Support for Reform
In June, two weeks ahead of the Senate vote on the “Gang of Eight” bill, the Partnership, Americans for Citizenship and Republicans for Immigration reform released a series of 27 in-state polls that showed overwhelming support for the bill’s passage and political reward for politicians who voted in favor of reform. The polls were released at coordinated news events in 22 states with key voices from each state. Additionally, a national news teleconference with representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations garnered significant media attention.  In total, the polls generated more than 200 news hits and were recited by the news media and pundits through the Fall of 2013. 
In November, the Partnership, in conjunction with Compete America and Republicans for Immigration Reform, released a new set of polls, including a national survey and 11 individual state polls in traditional “battleground” states. The battleground surveys demonstrated the strong support for immigration reform across the country and the potential impact the issue may have on the Republican Party in future campaigns for the White House. The national survey showed that Americans support immigration reform by a 71%-25% margin with a majority more likely to vote for elected officials who vote for immigration reform, compared to only18% that would be less likely to do so. The results were profiled in Politico and other national publications.

John Boehner took to a podium early this morning to rail about the president and how he ignores the will of the American people. If the GOP chooses to ignore data from sources other than Drudge and Breitbart News, the House leader should be far more careful regarding proclamations of universal opposition to immigration reform. If 71% of a survey respondent group indicated support for immigration reform, possibly GOP leadership mis-read a couple of polls that revealed telling information about how the conservative view the issue. If you peruse the two tables that follow, you will see why the GOP feels "the American people" are opposed to any humane policies regarding US immigration (from south of the US border).  

Gallup June 2013


One year later the result of a Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) poll, shows the GOP has a core that is so anti-immigration one can only consider an aversion to brown people entering the United States. The tea party core of the party drives policy and guides practice.

Should we accept conservative America as the barometer and meter for social policy? Placating the Koch brothers and running from the party's inner core tea party, places GOP party leaders at odds with reality. During the week Boehner and McConnell have busily fought against immigration reform and, via law suit, continued an assault of President Obama's desire to advance a nation. While the law suit has the ACA as an underlying impetus, it is clear the law suit is yet another effort to stop President Obama form advancing his quasi-liberal agenda.

Boehner and McConnell attack Obama from the precarious position of "abuse of power." The Executive Order has become GOP mantra as was Benghazi and the IRS in 2012 and 2013.

Let's do what conservatives hate most: data, facts and representation of factual data.  

In comparison, Obama is issuing orders at the slowest rate since Grover Cleveland in the 19th century at a rate of just 0.09 per day.
George W. Bush's rate is slightly higher, as are those of other conservative heroes like Ronald Reagan and Calvin Coolidge. 
And according to the graphic, Republican presidents have issued more executive orders than their Democratic counterparts at a rate of 0.23 for the GOP compared to 0.18 for Democrats per day in office.

While the GOP and accommodating electronic media will ride the "abuse of power" mantra until it crumbles to its shaky foundation like most GOP positions, HIVs (High Information Voters) know Obama's handling of Immigration is best for the nation. CNN will ride the immigration order until it finds another national or international crisis. Do you recall MH-370? Fox News after fulfilling its role if "town-calling fear of Ebola needs an issue for feeding its ravenous sycophant viewers. Half of MSNBC's show hosts and the networks conservative news director will also milk the false 
abuse of power claim. Ultimately, the abuse of power campaign will work, but a misinformed public won't completely reverse itself and following the bigotry of the GOP. 

American Action Forum

Study: Immigration Reform, Economic Growth, and the Fiscal Challenge

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin April 9, 2013
Executive Summary
Immigration reform can raise population growth, labor force growth, and thus growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition, immigrants have displayed entrepreneurial rates above that of the native born population. New entrepreneurial vigor embodied in new capital and consumer goods can raise the standard of living. 
These channels suggest that any discussion of immigration reform that omits the benefits on economic performance is incomplete. Similarly, there will be direct feedback from better economic growth to more revenues, fewer federal outlays, and “dynamic” improvement in the federal budget. Traditional “static” budget analyses of immigration reforms’ impacts will be similarly incomplete. 
A rudimentary analysis of these impacts suggests that in the absence of immigration, the population and overall economy will decline as a result of low U.S. birth rates. A benchmark immigration reform would raise the pace of economic growth by nearly a percentage point over the near term, raise GDP per capita by over $1,500 and reduce the cumulative federal deficit by over $2.5 trillion.

Public Opinion Strategies

The Guest Worker Program: A Crucial Element Of Immigration Reform

This post highlights data from two surveys:  1) Public Opinion Strategies/Ciruli Associates – Vernon K. Krieble Foundation March 2013 National Survey; and, 2) ABC News/Washington Post April 2013 National Survey. 

First, our poll clearly shows that American voters see border control and a guest worker program as being intrinsically linked in a positive way.  In fact, seventy-one percent (71%) of voters said they agreed with the following statement: “The best way to get control of our border is to have a system for handling guest workers.  Without a guest worker program, we are just inviting more illegal border crossings.”  In essence, voters are saying that they believe America cannot effectively secure its border if border control is not accompanied by a functioning guest worker program.  Republicans (67%), Independents (63%), and Democrats (78%) are all in agreement with this strong statement tying the two issues together. 

Therefore, it is not surprising that roughly seven out of ten voters (69%) nationally said they favor “a guest worker program that would give work permits to people who are already in the U.S. illegally who pass a security background check and have a job.”  Further, more than a third of the voters we interviewed (35%) said they would “strongly” favor this type of a guest worker program.  Self-identified Democratic voters were the strongest supporters (82% favor), but more than two-thirds (70%) of Independent voters and a solid majority (54%) of Republican voters also counted themselves as supporters. 

When asked a little bit differently on the recent ABC News/Washington Post Survey, 60% of the respondents said they would support “more visas for highly skilled workers from other countries,” and fifty-six percent (56%) said they would support “a guest worker program for low-skilled workers from other countries.”  It is important to note that the poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post made no mention of security background checks or the immigrants already having a job, and the numbers were still quite strong. 

Looking in greater detail at a specific guest worker program, the Public Opinion Strategies/Ciruli Associates poll tested a six-part guest worker program.  The two most popular aspects of six-part guest worker program are the two which could be most easily associated with helping secure our borders.   First, guest workers would need to “pass a security background check and have a job” (90% favor) and, second, “workers would receive a work permit smart card that includes a photograph of the worker, employment information, and biometric data such as fingerprints” (85% favor).

The table below shows all six components of the guest worker program as tested:
chart 1
Overall, when packaged as one six-part proposal, roughly eight in ten voters (79%) support the establishment of this guest worker program.  Support is significantly high across party with (74%) of Republicans, (88%) of Democrats, and sixty-eight percent (68%) of Independents in the support column.
Read more 

President Obama is probably the most astute statesman to occupy the Oval Office in decades. His back office polling is second to none and has proven accurate on just about all issues to which he was at odds with the obstructive GOP.  If we do not recognize the extent to which the president makes decisions with consideration of public sentiment, we are truly lost in a revolving world of Fox News, CNN and MSNBC conservative news hosts. He does not make decisions in a vacuum.

Between November 19th to 20th, Hart Research completed a poll of 800 likely 2016 voters; the results do not surprise. 

Executive Action on Immigration pdf (highlight added by The Pardu)

After six years of working against the betterment of the nation, the old adage should guide the GOP.

Additional topical research information

The Bridge Project: Taking Executive Action 

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow

Maddow is point-on! I cannot count the number of times I have intimated, "Obama should not have postpone the executive push prior to the 2013 midterm elections."

Yes, President Obama is relevant and those who feel he would not lead in his final two years in office, should take note. The note-takers include the nascent Obama critique Chris Matthews. From questions about about falling into an "intellectually lazy" mode, to his hosting a panel in which he laughed about "nothing good happening in the nation" and he looked one panelist straight in the face and asked: "Will he (Obama) lead in his last two years in office." One would think the ratings seeking Matthews would know better. But, like the GOP when there is a higher order to please (ratings and conservative viewers) personal integrity and mental acuity fails.

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