Saturday, September 20, 2014
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 ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

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

Solano jobless rate drops, jobs rise

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
 
Memorial focuses on hope, healing from addiction

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Vacaville High graduate shines at tech event

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
New law aimed at urban water district reports

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Travis celebrates KC-10′s 20 years at base

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Highway 37 detours in place

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Maintenance begins on Rio Vista Bridge Sunday

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Mother gives late daughter a voice by helping others

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B8, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Sept. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Record-setting retardant used on California fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Brown vetoes diaper changing-station bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of son, 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

California man accused of killing fellow gym-goer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
California school gender equity ruling upheld

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

State to ban smoking at home day cares

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Driver of stolen van that hit dog gets prison time

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

License plate scanner networks capture movements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Feds approve California’s immigrant license words

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fence-jumper makes it into the White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Florida town knew shooter had troubled past

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Daughter calls Utah doctor a monster at sentencing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
3 guilty in Ga. salmonella-tainted peanut trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Fierce fighting in Yemeni capital kills 120

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Sierra Leone begins 3-day Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ambush suspect could be aided by dense woods

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
France joins US against Islamic State over Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

After vote to stay in UK, Scots must heal divide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

Lots of services available for Solano veterans

By Ted Puntillo | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield Ford boosts animal adoption efforts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Sept. 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Make sure you get educated during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

Fallon to pay up, broadcast show in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Big plays in second half lift Vanden past Center

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
Legs power Mustangs in win over Falcons

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s Lester holds Phillies to 5 hits in 7 innings in 3-1 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Keselowski wins pole at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon has suspension reduced to 10 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

After NFL, baseball addresses domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: ‘Same mistakes can never be repeated’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kershaw gets 20th win as Dodgers pound Cubs 14-5

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders could be down 2 starters on defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sharks open with new vibe after playoff collapse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers’ Davis, McDonald questionable for Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stewart slogs through tough day at New Hampshire

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Vista gets easy football win over Delta

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

The Kuro taste: Peppery tang and hint of squid ink

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

China fines GlaxoSmithKline $492M for bribery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Procter & Gamble cancels on-field NFL promotion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

California adopts olive-oil labeling standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 1 Comment

 
Yahoo rakes in another jackpot from Alibaba’s IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Alibaba stock soars in jubilant trading debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Allie M. Zell-Jones

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Charles Randolph Orr

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Corazon Libunao Thompson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 09/20/14

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.23 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

New Standard Pacific models in Vacaville

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Real estate transactions for Sept. 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3