Ask your average white-person-on-the-street in Alabama what is the political philosophy of President Obama and I expect the likely responses would be “liberal” or “socialist” or worse. While it does not work into the GOP’s playbook, there is a growing chorus of voices expressing that President Obama has governed like a moderate Republican from the 1990’s.

For instance, Bruce Bartlett, a top adviser to President Reagan and George H.W. Bush , stingingly contends that Obama is actually a covert conservative:

The truth is that Obama has always been moderately conservative – a fact that has been obvious to liberals dating back to the beginning of the 2008 campaign. It would be clear to conservatives as well if they weren’t so blinded by their partisanship and occasionally got their news from an unbiased source.

On what does he base this opinion?

. . .Obama took office under roughly the same political and economic circumstances that Nixon did in 1968 except in a mirror opposite way. Instead of being forced to manage a slew of new liberal spending programs, as Nixon did, Obama had to cope with a revenue structure that had been decimated by Republicans.

Liberals hoped that Obama would overturn conservative policies and launch a new era of government activism. Although Republicans routinely accuse him of being a socialist, an honest examination of his presidency must conclude that he has in fact been moderately conservative to exactly the same degree that Nixon was moderately liberal.

Here are a few examples of Obama’s effective conservatism:

  • His stimulus bill was half the size that his advisers thought necessary;
  • He continued Bush’s war and national security policies without change and even retained Bush’s defense secretary;
  • He put forward a health plan almost identical to those that had been supported by Republicans such as Mitt Romney in the recent past, pointedly rejecting the single-payer option favored by liberals;
  • He caved to conservative demands that the Bush tax cuts be extended without getting any quid pro quo whatsoever;
  • And in the past few weeks he has supported deficit reductions that go far beyond those offered by Republicans.

. . . Conservatives will, of course, scoff at the idea of Obama being any sort of conservative, just as liberals scoffed at Nixon being any kind of liberal. But with the benefit of historical hindsight, it’s now obvious that Nixon was indeed a moderate liberal in practice. And with the passage of time, it’s increasingly obvious that Clinton was essentially an Eisenhower Republican. It may take 20 years before Obama’s basic conservatism is widely accepted as well, but it’s a fact.

To bolster his argument, in separate article,  Bartlett recounts the numerous attacks on President Obama from the left. As an example, he cites:

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the widely-read Daily Kos web site, penned a bitter attack on Obama for betraying liberals, taking swipes at left-wing groups and other offenses. “There is a line between ‘moving to the center’ and stabbing your allies in the back out of fear of being criticized,” Moulitsas said. “And, of late, he’s been doing a lot of unnecessary stabbing, betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician.”

Bruce Bartlett is not the only commentator concluding such. Almost on cue recently, liberal Paul Krugman noted Obama’s position on the budget cuts “puts him slightly to the right of the average Republican voter.

But what about “Obamacare” and its individual mandate, you say? That proves he is a flaming liberal, right? As Ezra Klein notes:

Take health-care reform. The individual mandate was developed by a group of conservative economists in the early ’90s. Mark Pauly, an economist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was one of them. “We were concerned about the specter of single-payer insurance,” he told me recently. The conservative Heritage Foundation soon had an individual-mandate plan of its own, and when President Bill Clinton endorsed an employer mandate in his health-care proposal, both major Republican alternatives centered on an individual mandate. By 1995, more than 20 Senate Republicans — including Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Dick Lugar and a few others still in office — had signed one individual mandate bill or another.

Well what about the other one of President Obama’s tactics to “destroy” America: Cap-and-Trade. It appears this was a Bush I idea, too.

The story on cap and trade — which conservatives now like to call “cap and tax” — is much the same. Back then, the concern was sulfur dioxide, the culprit behind acid rain. President George H.W. Bush wanted a solution that relied on the market rather than on government regulation. So in the Clean Air Act of 1990, he proposed a plan that would cap sulfur-dioxide emissions but let the market decide how to allocate the permits. That was “more compatible with economic growth than using only the command and control approaches of the past,” he said. The plan passed easily, with “aye” votes from Sen. Mitch McConnell and then-Rep. Newt Gingrich, among others. In fact, as recently as 2007, Gingrich said that “if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur . . . it’s something I would strongly support.”

Of course there is President Obama’s “liberal” immigration policies of open borders and amnesty. Remember when President Obama said he wants a:

free flow of individuals between these two countries who want to work and want to be an asset to our country and to Mexico.

Oops, that wasn’t President Obama’s line; “uber-conservative” GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry spoke those words.  President Obama, on the other hand, has been incredibly “conservative;” in fact, deportations have almost tripled under President Obama from Pres. Bush. The number of deportations has hit an all-time record high: over one million have been deported.

Klein concludes with some final points of similarity between the President and Republicans of a few years ago:

Rather, it appears that as Democrats moved to the right to pick up Republican votes, Republicans moved to the right to oppose Democratic proposals. As Gingrich’s quote suggests, cap and trade didn’t just have Republican support in the 1990s. John McCain included a cap-and-trade plan in his 2008 platform. The same goes for an individual mandate, which Grassley endorsed in June 2009 — mere months before he began calling the policy “unconstitutional.”

This White House has shown a strong preference for policies with demonstrated Republican support, but that’s been obscured by the Republican Party adopting a stance of unified, and occasionally hysterical, opposition (remember “death panels”?) — not to mention a flood of paranoia about the president’s “true” agenda and background. But as entertaining as the reality-TV version of politics might be, it can’t be permitted to, ahem, trump reality itself. If you want to obsess over origins in American politics, look at the president’s policies, not his birth certificate.

Along this same vein of thought, the most stinging indictment of Obama’s actual governance came from Columbia Economics professor:

The Democrats of the White House and much of Congress have been less crude, but no less insidious, in their duplicity. Obama’s campaign promise to “change Washington” looks like pure bait and switch. There has been no change, but rather more of the same: the Wall-Street-owned Democratic Party as we have come to know it.
The idea that the Republicans are for the billionaires and the Democrats are for the common man is quaint but outdated. It’s more accurate to say that the Republicans are for Big Oil while the Democrats are for Big Banks. That has been the case since the modern Democratic Party was re-created by Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin.

Thus, at every crucial opportunity, Obama has failed to stand up for the poor and middle class. He refused to tax the banks and hedge funds properly on their outlandish profits; he refused to limit in a serious way the bankers’ mega-bonuses even when the bonuses were financed by taxpayer bailouts; and he even refused to stand up against extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich last December, though 60 percent of the electorate repeatedly and consistently demanded that the Bush tax cuts at the top should be ended. It’s not hard to understand why. Obama and Democratic Party politicians rely on Wall Street and the super-rich for campaign contributions the same way that the Republicans rely on oil and coal. In America today, only the rich have political power.

Obama could have cut hundreds of billions of dollars in spending that has been wasted on America’s disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen, but here too it’s been all bait and switch. Obama is either afraid to stand up to the Pentagon or is part of the same neoconservative outlook as his predecessor. The real cause hardly matters since the outcome is the same: America is more militarily engaged under Obama than even under Bush. Amazing but true.

I think all this shows the meaninglessness of partisan labeling. What we call “liberal” today was Republican a few years ago. What conservative John McCain included in his platform just three years ago is now a sign of President Obama’s commitment to communism. What the current Republican front-runner and other conservative 1990’s Republicans developed as a market-friendly counter to HillaryCare is now proof-positive of a socialist coup.

Recently, a closed-borders friend of mine responded with glowing accolades of Rick Perry in response to a post of mine about Perry’s “open-borders” stance. I asked if she had actually read my piece because his position was contrary to my knowledge of her immigration stancen. She had not but thought he must believe as she because “liberals” were attacking him. It showed how intellectually lazy we all have become by relying upon political labels and partisan categorizations to decide how we believe.

Labels are unhelpful and, as shown hereinabove, are increasingly meaningless.  Let’s end the habit of political labeling. Our republic would be much more healthy if we actually engaged in policy debate rather than relying upon partisan ad hominem attacks.

So, the next time someone derisively labels something or someone as “conservative” or “liberal,” don’t let them get by with it. Make them detail what makes the policy or the candidate “right” or “wrong.”

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The American Spectator rightly calls President Obama out on his military and foreign policy:

You will remember the Obama campaign of 2008. His was a fresh and pleasingly multicultural face and his candidacy, although unexamined by an incurious national media, took pains to present a foreign policy sharply different from either the meliorism of Hillary Clinton​ or the jingoism of John McCain. Barack Obama was unambiguously the peace candidate and it was on that basis that he became our President.

That was then. Once in office, Obama established Ms. Clinton as his Secretary of State, listened long and mindfully to Sen. McCain, and then proceeded to outreach both of them in an intermittently coherent but unmistakably neoconservative assault on the Middle East (however horrified the anti-Israeli Obama would be to know he’s acting neoconservatively). Obama amped up the war in Afghanistan, started another one in Libya, helped to topple a staunch U.S. ally in Egypt, and launched “kinetic military actions” against Somalia and Yemen that, to the locals, looked very much like war. All of these initiatives were undertaken in the name of Western democratic values and, unlike the Bush wars, could not be said to have been contaminated by either a thirst for Arab oil or a hunger for Israeli favor. Obama’s policy was manifestly propelled by neoconservative impulse, most brightly illuminated in the putsch against Mubarak. In that instance, the U.S. made it clear that it would support any successor regime. Our strategic judgment, ultimately arrived at, was this: better the street mob, any street mob, than the aging autocrat, even a reliably pro-American autocrat. That judgment represented neoconservatism in its distilled form.

On these matters, President Obama has certainly not honored his campaign promises in 2008.

He has not helped himself politically either for the future. For 2012, what is the practical difference in foreign and military policy between President Obama and Perry, Bachmann, or Romney? How can President Obama differentiate himself from the belicosity of his likely GOP opponents? He can’t.

At this point, politically, President Obama reminds me of former Democratic President: Lyndon Johnson. LBJ too initiated grand domestic policies with his Great Society to only be overshadowed in scale by his escalation of military commitments in Vietnam and southeast Asia. Likewise, President Obama’s eagerness to engage in foreign wars has not seen limitation. We are now up to seven wars and counting. (see here and here)

LBJ never faced an electoral consequence for his policies because, seeing the writing on the wall, he withdraw from the campaign in 1968 after another candidate entered the race: Bob Kennedy.  RFK presented a wholly new vision for America and the Democratic Party. Not only did he present a bold voice for ending poverty and inequality, promoting racial reconciliation, and making our communities livable, he also triumphed ending the Vietnam War. Shortly after announcing his candidacy, RFK said:

All this bears directly and heavily on the question of whether more troops should now be sent to Vietnam — and if more are sent, what their mission will be. We are entitled to ask — we are required to ask — how many more men, how many more lives, how much more destruction will be asked, to provide the military victory that is always just around the corner, to pour into this bottomless pit of our dreams?

But this question the Administration does not and cannot answer. It has no answer — none but the ever-expanding use of military force and the lives of our brave soldiers, in a conflict where military force has failed to solve anything in the past. The President has offered to negotiate — yet this weekend he told us again that he seeks not compromise but victory, “at the negotiating table if possible, on the battlefield if necessary.” But at a real negotiating table, there can be no “victory” for either side; only a painful and difficult compromise. To seek victory at the conference table is to ensure that you will never reach it. Instead, the war will go on, year after terrible year — until those who sit in the seats of high policy are men who seek another path. And that must be done this year.

For it is long past time to ask: what is this war doing to us? Of course it is costing us money — fully one-forth of our federal budget — but that is the smallest price we pay. The cost is in our young men, the tens of thousands of their lives cut off forever. The cost is in our world position — in neutrals and allies alike, every day more baffled by and estranged from a policy they cannot understand. . .

It may be asked, is not such degradation the cost of all wars? Of course it is. That is why war is not an enterprise lightly to be undertaken, nor prolonged one moment past its absolute necessity. All this — the destruction of Vietnam, the cost to ourselves, the danger to the world — all this we would stand willingly, if it seemed to serve some worthwhile end. But the costs of the war’s present course far outweigh anything we can reasonably hope to gain by it, for ourselves or for the people of Vietnam. It must be ended, and it can be ended, in a peace of brave men who have fought each other with a terrible fury, each believing he and he alone was right. We have prayed to different gods, and the prayers of neither have been answered fully. Now, while there is still time for some of them to be partly answered, now is the time to stop.

President Obama is certainly facing very similar political dilemmas as LBJ.

“The issue was not simply Johnson’s loss of popularity, it was his loss of credibility.” Reflecting on this turning tide, Johnson admitted to Goodwin, “I felt that I was being chased on all sides by a giant stampede coming at me from all directions.”

“When Johnson continued to insist that America was making progress, fewer and fewer people believed him,“ historian McCullough remarks. “No one directly accused the president of lying; they called it ‘the credibility gap.’”

Although the GOP these days certainly accuse the President of lying, I do believe he is generally facing a credibility gap of his own wherein America just tunes him out.

I certainly desire for President Obama to make bold moves in foreign policy and return us to the principles of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the Democratic Party: a foreign policy of moderation dedicated to keeping America free, prosperous and at peace.

Will Obama have a RFK in 2012? Certainly, not from the current GOP field. Except for Ron Paul, each GOP candidate has not seen a foreign policy problem which they believe should not be solved by military entanglement.The President will probably not see an opponent from the Democratic Party, either; although 28% of Democrats desire to see a new candidate according to a recent CNN poll.

Nevertheless, this battle can be fought in US Congressional and Senate races. We need a new crop of RFKs at the legislative level willing to fight to bring American brave soldiers home. Disentangling our country from all these foreign wars is electorally smart too; its what the people want.

A strong majority of voters in Virginia, a state that is home to the Pentagon, Naval Station Norfolk (the world’s largest naval base), U.S. Joint Forces Command, and the fourth highest percentage of veterans of any state, want American troops out of Afghanistan and Libya.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 55 percent of Virginians polled think the United States “should not be involved in Afghanistan now,” and 60 percent oppose involvement in Libya.

According to the poll, fewer Virginians support those wars than any of the other people or topics the poll asked about. Only 38 percent now support the Afghan war, and 31 percent support the Libyan military involvement, compared to 42 percent who don’t want to repeal the 2010 health care law, 43 percent who would vote to re-elect President Obama, 48 percent who approve of Obama’s job performance, 42 percent who would vote for George Allen for senator, and 43 percent who would vote for Tim Kaine.

Last week, to howls and cries from neo-conservatives, President Obama announced a limited withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan over the next 15 months.

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday night that all the 33,000 additional U.S. forces he ordered to Afghanistan in December 2009 will be home within 15 months.

In a nationally televised address from the East Room of the White House, Obama said 10,000 of the “surge” forces would withdraw by the end of this year, and the other 23,000 would leave Afghanistan by September 2012.

This withdrawal should not have come as a surprise; he advised of his plans 18 months ago.

So after 15 months, we will still have a substantial occupying force in Afghanistan.  After draw-down is complete, the total U.S. military deployment in Afghanistan will still be nearly 70,000 troops.

Nevertheless, my Congressman, Republican Mike Rogers, saw fit to, not only criticize the President’s decision, but cynically impugn his motives:

The sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform have made in Afghanistan have helped bring greater stability there, and must not be jeopardized by any withdrawal plan based on political expediency and not the real-world decisions of our commanders on the ground.

We have been in Afghanistan for 10 years.  How long should we stay? When would be an appropriate time?

Congressman, there are many reasons to make this decision wholly apart from “political expediency.” For instance, in addition to the human loss (2554 US and coalition deaths in Afghanistan alone), the fiscal costs are unsustainable. In support of bringing the troops home, the conservative Future of Freedom Foundation stated:

The occupation of Afghanistan costs $10 billion a month. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have now cost more than $1 trillion, and these money pits are still in operation. Let that sink in: The government has a $14 trillion debt. Annual budget deficits are running at more than $1 trillion a year. Congress and the president are wrangling over whether to raise the debt ceiling. And the government is spending $10 billion a month in Afghanistan alone.

If this were a movie, you’d dismiss it as ridiculous beyond belief. Yet our “leaders” expect us to accept this as reasonable, reassured that wise people in power know what they are doing. If it seems screwy, you must be an “isolationist” or uninformed.

If there is a criticism of the President, please address why we should not bring the more troops home more rapidly. I mean the president has not exactly shown himself to be an antiwar radical nor a lover of civil liberty. Greenwald summarizes his recent actions well:

In just the past two months alone (all subsequent to the killing of Osama bin Laden), the U.S. Government has taken the following steps in the name of battling the Terrorist menace: extended the Patriot Act by four years without a single reform; begun a new CIA drone attack campaign in Yemen; launched drone attacks in Somalia; slaughtered more civilians in Pakistan; attempted to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki far from any battlefield and without a whiff of due process; invoked secrecy doctrines to conceal legal memos setting forth its views of its own domestic warrantless surveillance powers; announced a “withdrawal”plan for Afghanistan that entails double the number of troops in that country as were there when Obama was inaugurated; and invoked a very expansive view of its detention powers under the 2001 AUMF by detaining an alleged member of al-Shabab on a floating prison, without charges, Miranda warnings, or access to a lawyer.  That’s all independent of a whole slew of drastically expanded surveillance powers seized over the past two years in the name of the same threat.

And “real-world decisions?” In the real world, does our War in Afghanistan effectively deal with Terrorism or actually make it more likely. A well stated here:

Of course, just in case those propagandistic claims aren’t sufficient — we must wage war in multiple countries and seize ever-expanding surveillance powers to stop this group of two dozen Terrorist masterminds — the U.S. is doing everything possible to ensure that Terrorism remains as large as a threat as possible:

A NATO air strike has killed at least 14 civilians, including eight children, in the eastern Afghan province of Khost, local police say. . . .The deadly air raid came a day after two children were reportedly killed in a separate air strike in southwest Ghazni province.

The killing of civilians by foreign troops is a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers, and has soured the feelings of many ordinary Afghans towards foreign forces. . . . As violence has spread across the country, casualties have risen, and the United Nations said May was the deadliest month for civilians since they began keeping records four years earlier.

So Congressman Rogers, please encourage the President to bring the troops home as quickly and safely as possible.

 

 

As you may know, I ran unsuccessfully for the Alabama State Senate in 2010;  not many Democrats were successful in Alabama in November. Nevertheless, during the campaign, people regularly questioned me about my positions on abortion; I was openly and expreslly pro-life. I find no inconsistency between being pro-life and being a Democrat.

I was (and am) continually frustrated that the perception in Alabama (and elsewhere) was that Democrats could not be pro-life and that the Republican Party is the “Christian, Pro-life Party.”

I found a recent interview with pro-life, former Congressman Democrat Bart Stupak sheds light on the falsehood of the perceptions. It revealed another example wherein the Republican leadership merely used the abortion issue as a political tool, wedge; it reveals also something about President Obama.

The Atlantic: You were a central player in the abortion fight. You supported the Hyde language throughout, and then at the last minute it passed on the agreement that President Obama would issue an executive order clarifying the language that was in the bill. Do you still feel that executive order was enough to live up to your expectations on abortion policy?

Stupak: Yes, because the president has had three opportunities to throw us under the us, if you will, and he has not. Number one, in the high-risk pools. Remember how New Mexico send theirs in and had abortion in there, and Right to Life and all of them jumped right on it, and [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and all of them said, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t do that. We had an executive order.’ They changed their law. So did Pennsylvania. So in order to apply for the high-risk pool, their law had to be reflective of the executive order, which says no public funding for abortions. They held firm to it.

Secondly, the community health centers, which the law was silent on. The executive order says you cannot perform abortions or advocate for them in public health centers. That has been upheld.

And, last but not least, there’s a number of grants you can apply for right now, especially for developing health care professionals–that’s going on right now in the bill–and if you go online and look at the applicaiton form, it says you must comply with the Hyde language, even in your application for the use of these federal funds. So there have been three opportunities for Secretary Sebelius or President Obama to just sorta look the other way, and they haven’t. They’ve upheld it. So there have actually been less abortions now because of that executive order and the health care bill than there would have been if we’d never had it. . . .

Atlantic: Was it unpleasant talking to Rahm? Everybody thinks he’s just a screamer and shouter and would just wave his fists around–

Stupak: No, Rahm doesn’t scream and shout at me, ’cause he knows better. I’ll just tell him to go to Hell and move on. No, no. rahm and I had a couple of good conversations. The executive order came up in the conversations we had a few weeks before it ever came.

But, to be honest with you, I’d been working with some of the Senate Republicans on trying to find some way to do a technical corrections bill. And actually, truth be known, the Republican leadership in the Senate pulled the rug out on me on that on Thursday night, the Thursday before that Monday [when the final vote occurred]. Most people don’t realize that.

Anyways, long story short, I always thought we would have some statutory language. It wasn’t until Thursday before the vote that when the Republican leadership on the Senate side said no go … and the reason was that it would pass.

Atlantic: Health care would have passed the Senate with Hyde language?

Stupak: Yeah. It would fly though the Senate. So they weren’t interested in getting health care passed, they were interested in killing it. So every suggestion, every legislative proposal I had–and I knew I had to get to 60 votes in the Senate–I was led to believe up to that point in time they’d work with me. And they pulled the rug out that Thursday before. Remember, they went home that Thursday night, or that Friday night there. They weren’t around that weekend when we voted on the health care bill.

Republicans used abortion as a talking point to bash the healthcare plan, but when the President and other House Democrats agreed to include the pro-life provisions the Republicans were demanding, it was the Republicans which “pulled the rug” on the compromise. The reason: they would lose their political hocky-puck, their wedge.

The President though remained committed to his word to Stupak on an pro-life executive order:

Stupak: And I give [the President] credit. I’ve called him and told him, ‘Thank you.’ He’s upheld that executive order. When he signed it, he said this was an ironclad commitment–those were his words, ‘ironclad commitment,’ and I’ll give him credit. He’s done it. I say that maybe with a little bit of surprise in my voice, I always thought he would, but there was so much outrage from the Bishops and Right to Life that, ‘How could we trust this president, cause he’s the–‘ I hate to use the word–but ‘the most pro-abortion president ever, and you can’t trust him.’ Well, I trusted him, and that trust was well founded.

Here is another example where partisanship trumped commitment to principle. The Republican Senators did not want to give up their wedge, their talking point, their fundraising issue so they “pulled the rug” out from under Stupak and the Pro-life Democrats. Following this “rug-pulling,” the President and Stupak were then attacked for not having the Hyde Amendment language in the bill when it would have passed but for the Republicans.

The National Right to Life Committee argued that seven objectionable pro-abortion provisions in the Senate bill are unchanged.

“The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says,” the group said.

Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group was revoking its “Defender of Life” award to Stupak, which was to be awarded at its Wednesday night gala.

“We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so,” Dannenfelser said. “Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.’

Let’s us not uncritically accept partisan rhetoric nor be fooled that either party has the exclusive province of purity and righteousness.

Where is the Love, Senator Beason or Representative Hammond, to President Obama?

I have not seen yet where Republican State Senator Scott Beason nor Representative Mickey Hammond have shown any love or commendation toward the President on the President’s record of immigration enforcement. Perhaps it was drowned out by the media coverage of Beason telling a Republican Club to “empty the clip” at illegal immigrants and calling Greenetrack supporters “aboriginees.” I’ll keep looking for the praise.

Beason stated before that:

Democrats do not want to solve the illegal immigration problem because they know, this is a fact, that when more illegal immigrants move into an area, when their children grow up and get the chance to vote, they vote for Democrats. They like big government, they like programs, they’ve benefited from the day they were born because the child was born into poverty because mom and dad are poor. . .

The reality is that if you allow illegal immigration to continue in your area you will destroy yourself eventually . . .  If you don’t believe illegal immigration will destroy a community go and check out parts of Alabama around Arab and Albertville.

The President’s record on immigration is right up these politician’s alley, but I have not heard either give any credit to the President for it. Senator Beason must be waiting until the end of his testimony in the bingo trial to praise President Obama’s efforts to garner these headlines.

Criminal Prosecutions for Illegal Reentry (8 USC 1326)

Per the Washington Post: In 2009 alone, Obama’s administration deported about 400,000 people, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

6/22/11 UPDATE: ICE Announces Arrests of Over 2,400 Convicted Criminal Aliens:  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement announced yesterday that it’s seven-day “Cross Check” enforcement operation in May led to the arrest of more than 2,400 convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.  The nationwide operation involved the collaboration of more than 500 ICE agents, as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, and targeted aliens with serious convictions including armed robbery, drug trafficking, and sexual crimes against minors.