Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

President a pretender to a legacy

navarrette column sig

By
From page A9 | February 10, 2013 |

SAN DIEGO — To be a king, or not to be a king. For Barack Obama, it’s a trick question.

The president hates being challenged over his deportation policies or being asked why his administration – five months before an election – offered deferred action to young illegal immigrants but not to anyone else. So when those questions come up, as they tend to do during Spanish-language interviews, he reaches for a hackneyed line:

“I’m not a king.”

That is what Obama recently told Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas. And it is what he told Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart in another interview on the same day.

“I’m not a king.”

By now, those words are for many Latinos like fingernails on a chalkboard. We’ve heard them too many times. He must think we have short memories.

The next time he’s in one of these interviews, Obama should just give it to Latinos straight. He should say: “Look, you folks will believe anything. I deported 1.5 million people and divided thousands of families – most of them Latino – and you gave me 71 percent of your votes. Why are we even here?”

The Spanish-language journalists got off easy. If the president had been in a more condescending mood, they might have received a civics lesson on the three branches of government and been told that the executive branch can’t act without the blessing of the legislative branch.

Of course, there is tremendous power embodied in the executive office. Obama knows this full well, because – on issues he actually cares about – he has wielded the power of the presidency liberally.

In October 2011, Obama went on a spree of executive orders billed as the “We Can’t Wait” initiative. He took steps to ease the debt burden for college students by simplifying the process by which they pay back government loans, to help veterans find employment, and to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

At the time, Obama said: “Steps like these won’t take the place of the bold action we need from Congress to boost our economy and create jobs, but they will make a difference. And until Congress does act, I will continue to do everything in my power to act on behalf of the American people.”

But, when he had the chance, Obama didn’t do anything to stop a flood of deportations and prevent the destruction of families. Because, well, you know, he is not a king.

A year ago, as part of the “We Can’t Wait” initiative, the president was flexing his executive muscles once again – this time, with an accomplice. As Vice President Joe Biden stood by his side, Obama said: “When Congress refuses to act, Joe and I, we’re going to act.” Insisting that he was trying to improve the economy for the sake of middle-class voters, Obama went on to say: “With or without Congress, I’m going to continue to fight for them.”

Yet, oddly enough, when it came to stopping the deportations and restoring sanity to an enforcement system that has gone off the rails, Obama didn’t have any fight left in him. Because, well, you know, he is not a king.

Roberto Lovato is tired of hearing it. As the co-founder of Presente.org, a grassroots activist organization dedicated to protecting the rights of immigrants, the U.S.-born son of Salvadoran immigrants sees up close the human toll of Obama’s enforcement juggernaut. He wants the president to issue a moratorium on deportations until we can figure out if Congress is sincere about comprehensive immigration reform. He also wants an end to one of the administration’s favorite chew toys – the ghastly program known as Secure Communities, which ropes local and state police into the enforcement of federal immigration law.

I told him, “Sorry, ain’t going to happen. Because, well, you know, Obama is not a king.”

That’s when the activist really lit up.

“He’s right,” Lovato said. “For Latinos, President Obama is definitely not a ‘King.’ He’s not a Martin Luther King. Because Martin Luther King would never have jailed hundreds of thousands of innocents and deported what will be 2 million people by year’s end, and destroyed all those families. And King would never sanction immigration raids that terrorize children in their own homes.”

Ouch. Obama says he’s not a king. But he just got a royal scolding.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at [email protected]

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • BennyFebruary 10, 2013 - 7:39 am

    Obama is a master of having it both ways, the shame is that most Democrats don't care not even about his policies that conflict with their alleged ideals. They'll check all the "D's" on their ballot no matter what he does or who's even running, politics has turned into an irrational religion for them.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 10, 2013 - 7:55 am

    Benny, using irrational and religion in the same sentence? I believe this might be some of your best work! ;)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike kirchubelFebruary 10, 2013 - 11:40 am

    Are we to presume benny has discovered a new, rational religion?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StRFebruary 10, 2013 - 11:56 am

    @ MK and CD I think still arguing Dem good Repub bad is totally intellectually vacuous. What kind of Government do Progressives want and does the Federal Government then control most everything like it does now? Is religion totally stamped out under your system? Are you really moral atheists or really on the dark side?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4, 1 Comment

 
Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3, 7 Comments

 
Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics