The Magazine

Ditto

Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Last week, Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, lashed out at President Obama over the border crisis. Since last fall, more than 40,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have been caught illegally trying to enter the country. Cuellar called Obama’s response “aloof,” “bizarre,” and “detached.” He might have added “predictable.”

Ditto

Naturally, Obama had asked for billions of dollars to address the problem without offering to fix his administration’s lax deportation policies that created the crisis in the first place. At that point, the next move in the White House’s tired playbook was all too obvious. As our friend Mary Katharine Ham tweeted: “Probably best thing to do now that O’s doubled the request for funding is give a speech crapping on the people he needs to agree to it.” The very next day, Obama gave a press conference on the immigration crisis, prompting perhaps the least surprising Politico headline ever: “Barack Obama goes after Republicans on immigration.”

Just a few hours after Obama gave his speech, a train full of 1,300 migrants headed toward America derailed in southern Mexico. Obama’s wreck of an immigration policy is now resulting in literal train wrecks and the best he can do is climb on his towering soapbox and insult Republican lawmakers. 

This brilliant messaging strategy continued apace, and Democratic Twitter feeds were soon tweeting out a photo of Obama at his desk in the Oval Office superimposed with the quotation, “ ‘I’m the guy doing his job. You must be the other guy.’—Barack Obama on the Republican Congress.” Of course, you might be wondering why hundreds of elected representatives in Congress would be addressed as a singular “guy.” The answer is that this isn’t really an Obama quote, which is given away by the fact that it’s vaguely memorable. It’s actually a line that POTUS has appropriated from Martin Scorsese’s Irish gangster film The Departed

Obama later acknowledged the  source in a speech in Austin, where he noted that The Departed was “a little violent for kids.” You know what’s also inappropriate for kids? Being penned up by federal authorities while the president torpedoes any solution to this crisis by pathetically trying to score points with quotes from mob movies. 

Immigration is a thorny issue, and The Scrapbook doesn’t pretend to know how to find common ground between Republicans and Democrats. But we are absolutely certain that if the president is serious about helping these kids, he needs to dispense with the petulant nonsense and start by acting like an adult.

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