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Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

The eye of our latest ‘man-caused disaster’

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Remember, way back a week or so, when Texas Gov. Rick Perry invited President Obama down to the centers near the Rio Grande where the surge of illegal immigrant children find accommodation? Remember, though it was so long ago, how Perry urged Obama to visit and, surrounded by the sad truth of the crisis and national TV cameras, announce to restive Central Americans that their plans to circumvent U.S. immigration laws would not be tolerated?

And remember how Obama chose instead to flee to a Denver pub, where he spent the evening — sleeves expertly rolled up and tie dangling, but still firmly knotted — shooting pool, quaffing beer and declining the offer of a perfectly legal marijuana joint? Because, as he said reassuringly to the American people alarmed about their increasingly irrelevant borders, “this isn’t theater” and he wasn’t “interested in photo ops.”

Well. Didn’t that make you feel better, more confident that the commander-in-chief had a plan to make things all right?

Except now comes another elected Texan — and, yes, another Republican, sorry about that, but they’re as common as jack rabbits in the Lone Star State — to relay what she’s been told by leaders of Central American nations: A photo op, full of force, purpose and grim resolve, would help staunch the northward flow.

Emerging from weekend meetings with the presidents and first ladies of Honduras and Guatemala, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, of Fort Worth, said on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday the foreign leaders “want their children back” and are “willing to cooperate with us” to return them “as quickly as possible.”

Granger, who chairs the House working group on immigration, also said the presidents would welcome an unequivocal warning to their citizens from President Obama.

“I did ask them how helpful it would be if the president of the United States spoke out clearly and strongly and said ‘Don’t send your children to the United States illegally because we will send them back, they will not complete their journey,’ they said could be very helpful but they did not indicate that was happening.”

Instead, flatly snubbing a stage at the edge of America, one electric with symbolism and power, Obama chose the politics of blame and distraction. Attempting to shift responsibility from the likeliest source — the implications of his unilateral suspension of deporting certain young illegals reaching and exciting desperate families in strife-torn Central America (thinking, reasonably, what’s to stop him from expanding his order?) — he targeted the House GOP. Want it fixed? he huffed. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.

But Obama’s proposed solution would do nothing about the Central American surge, as Marco Rubio — a key, and later rueful, sponsor of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill — adroitly noted.

While long on instant legal status and wink-wink timetables for citizenship adored by Obama, most Democrats and open-border Republicans — accommodations that would occur upon passage — the legislation’s ballyhooed border-enforcement teeth (much like Obamacare) would be at the discretion of an administration that thinks fences are elitist (which is why they reserve them for themselves) and that border “patrol” should play the role of hotel receptionist and bell hop.

This, in the parlance of the White House, is a “man-caused disaster,” and the man in question rides aboard Air Force 1 … which never lands anywhere near our southern border.

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