Last week, the momentum behind the huge topic that has broiled through several Republican and Democratic administrations and decades, and has rarely gone anywhere forward, i.e., the Immigration issue, moved substantially forward, again.
Yet, again, it did so, solely at the hand of President Barack Obama. In that act, the more important political accomplishment by the chief executive was to capture another four years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a Democratic administration.
That result also promised to extend the 3-2 Democratic commissioners’ current majority at the Federal Communications Commission from eight to 12 years, at minimum (along with the power base at just about every other administrative office at the federal level). Thus, judging the odds, if one were making important political and business decisions about the leanings of the FCC as we round the next decade, the folks whose mascot is the donkey might well get the nod.
Walk The Walk
Some would say there is no basis for such a brash prediction, especially almost two years away. Yet, there actually is a huge basis, in common sense.
That is because President Obama no longer simply talked about continuing his support of foreign would-be citizens, he actually did it; and for a second time. (Recall, The President took similar steps in mid-year 2012.)
Thus, when it comes time for those tens of millions of illegal immigrants, their friends, their families, and everyone else who knows them, to express opinions about which political party actually moved to do something, at least a couple of times, to help their status, it will very likely stay the Democrats. That will, in turn, produce millions of decisive votes (especially if the Democrats can effectively exercise the “Immigrant” vote).
Versus Talk The Talk
In my estimate, there is a good chance that younger brother Jeb Bush will become the best runner for the Republicans. He is moderate, and seems to hold a place in his heart for these people who so want to become Americans. Jeb is also great for this audience of voters mentioned in the paragraphs above, because he apparently speaks fluent Spanish, he knows the culture well, and he was governor in Florida, a state with lots of Latinos and Latinas there that will back him, as well.
Yet, very importantly, what Jeb Bush will lack between now and November 2016, will be the ability to say that he didn’t just talk about helping Mexicans, Cubans, and other immigrants in the U.S. today (and, again, their friends, families and those that know them), but actually helped them. Because compared to what President Barack Obama did for them in the third full week of November 2014, Jeb Bush could only promise; Jeb Bush could only talk.
Plus, Jeb will still get no more effective, first-level backing than that from a party that has considerably short-changed immigrants, for decades now. Moreover, Latinos and Latinas and other minorities, especially with efforts in their families and spheres to become citizens, know that difference between a politician who talks about great things he will do for them, and one that actually risks much to actually do it.
Best of The Bad
Please do not mistake my message here. I am not saying that the President’s act last Wednesday was all good, nor am I saying I agree with it entirely. I am the son of an immigrant who worked hard at a time in a country that did not want him, and waited a very long time for a green card, followed by a citizenship status that he was tremendously proud of. And like my father would, I do not like the idea of others coming into this country and getting his same benefits, without having to abide by the same laws and earn that privilege as he did.
But, the common sense and the practicality simply no longer permits the federal government to deport, and continue to seek to deport, so many millions of illegal immigrants, thus we settle on the lesser of evils, and make the best of a bad situation.
That is what Mr. Obama did last week, and in the process, it won the White House for Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democratic candidate will be. Plus, in that tortured process, it means that a more progressive influence will hold sway over telecom and media matters, all the way into 2020 and the next decade!
In the end, the Republicans will likely continue to exercise gnashing, gnawing, and ranting, even to the point of trying to sue and impeach and challenge President Obama with cancelling legislation, but they have -- via their inaction and other acts too often showing less than good faith toward these peoples -- let the Voting Genie Out of The 2016 Bottle, and He/She Will Vote For They That Helped Them Best.
It’s just common sense (and a bit of basic math), all liberalism and conservatism aside.
Jimmy Schaeffler is a telecom/media author and chairman and CSO of the Carmel-by-the-Sea-based streaming/broadband, broadcast, and pay TV/video consultancy, The Carmel Group (www.carmelgroup.com).