As the nation holds its collective breath over what the Emperor-in-Chief plans to do with illegal immigration, some context should be noted.
Obama's many admissions that he couldn't simply put on a king's hat and change laws by himself is being cited as a reason he can't actually change things now because after all, he was a constitutional scholar. And he said so. So he should know. Even the NY Times has noticed the inconsistencies. But he was almost surely lying again.
The Dream Act executive action was precedent--illegal aliens were granted a reprieve from prosecution and given perks. Other previous quasi or direct amnesties via EOs by Republican presidents are also precedent, as pointed out by the Democrats. It can be done. It's been done. Obama knew he could gift the Dreamers' parents with their own 'deferred action' whenever he wanted to, without causing a constitutional crisis.
So why didn't he? Naked politics.
He needed the Blue Dog Senators to win their mid-term 2014 elections and keep the Senate blue. Many voters in those blue dog states oppose immigration reform so when talking to immigration/Hispanic groups, who always pleaded with him to just use his pen, he pretended his hands were tied by the Constitution and blamed the GOP for not signing a bill. This was designed to hold them off until after the election.
The politics worked both ways. In 2013 Boehner was stringing Obama along on whether the GOP House might take up the Senate bill or make some new attempts, leaving the door open. Then he closed it. But immigration groups were madder at Obama because after all, he's had the chance to do reform as early as 2009 (as he had promised) and did not, so once again he was putting off the Hispanic lobby.
The mid-term shellacking results make it appear his ploy didn't work--they lost the Senate anyway (with many candidates winning by opposing blanket reform). But maybe it didn't need to.
The president has certainly realized there is a very good chance that Boehner and McConnell can simply stall any immigration bills until 2016, leaving reform for the next president's legacy and leaving Obama and perhaps the Democratic Party shut out. What to do!?
Well, he did what he always does--announce that a blue ribbon panel of experts has been tasked with studying the legal issue so when he takes executive action it will be legal and proper.. In other words, Obama 2013 was wrong--a blue ribbon commission says so. But Obama 2014 doesn't have to win anymore elections. The embarrassment of a constitutional scholar being wrong about such a plain vanilla issue will mostly be short-term, trading it for a long-term legacy gain and a divided and angry GOP. What's to lose?
Besides, the ruse is ensured because the same liberal media who haven't been interested in exposing any lies or scandals since 2009 (that of Candy Crowley fame) are not about to change horses now. They will point out a few inconsistencies here and there but will be more than happy to divert their full attention to covering the GOP 'melt-down' or 'temper tantrum' or whatever else results from Obama's 'courageous' humane action right before Thanksgiving, etc. etc. The GOP caucus is going to have to get real creative, real soon.
Here's what the White House is counting on after this is announced...
It will be demagogued to death, with the hopes of painting the GOP as a wild pack of racist xenophobes. They will push the impeachment button over and over--they being the Democrats. Anything to besmirch the recent shellacking. They are craven.
The AP telegraphs how they are going to cover this--from the human side, complete with fabrications about the GOP's intent. Danger, Will Robinson, it's a trap. The electorate that voted-in the GOP majority are those who pay attention--the ones who didn't bother to vote are a Gruber-like wave in the making for 2016. Those are the ones Obama2014 is trying to rile up with actions that Obama2013 said were unethical and unconstitutional.