Now that President Obama has announced his executive action on immigration, which will allow approximately 5 million people to remain in the United States, the Republicans are tying themselves in knots trying to decide how they will “punish” the President (in the words of Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, who is always eager for an on-camera commentary). Some are saying that despite what GOP leadership has promised about not shutting down the federal government, such a move may be necessary as a way to let the President know they are displeased with the direction he has taken on the immigration issue. Others are calling for impeachment. House Speaker John Boehner says a lawsuit is the best way to deal with the issue. But what action will Republicans really take?
First of all, let’s stipulate this: You can never accurately judge how a group of extremist politicians who are hell-bent on making political hay out of an issue will act when they feel there is fear or anger yet to be tapped. Think of the millions of dollars such political action committee whores such as Cruz, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and hundreds of other Republicans can raise with their faux outrage over an action which has been taken by dozens of previous Presidents but was never controversial until now. Even Ronald Reagan, the hallowed god of the GOP Right Wing Nutbag Contingency, made changes to immigration rules through executive action. And yet suddenly this is an impeachable offense.
Will the Wingnut Right pursue impeachment? Will they be placated with a government shutdown? The next few months will give us the answer to a question many of us have pondered for years: Who actually calls the shots in the U.S. Congress? The elected leadership, or the Right Wingers who insist that the majority dance to their tune? Jim DeMint, former Senator and current head of Heritage Action, an ultraconservative advocacy group, said recently he will “insist” that GOP members of Congress vote to shut down the government unless and until the President takes his executive action off the table. Will DeMint, who has raised millions of dollars for Republican candidates in the most recent midterm election, get his way? If he does, we will know one thing without any doubt: Big money now controls Congress and calls the shots on every issue the Republicans pursue as part of their agenda. And then we as Americans can watch as our government changes from a democracy to a plutocracy. On that day, will we step forward and demand power be returned to us, or will we merely shrug our shoulders and go shopping?