- The Washington Times - Monday, June 16, 2014


President Obama is so busy these days blaming anyone and everyone for the consequences of his policies that it has to be cutting into his golf game. Iraq is on the verge of collapse, not because of his policies, he contends, but because the Iraqis have failed to persuade their adversaries to sit down and reason with them, and are a bunch of cowards to boot. The Russians keep besting Mr. Obama not because Vladimir Putin is tougher, stronger or smarter than our Harvard-trained president, but because Mr. Putin lives in an earlier century and won’t play by the rules.

Presidents have from time immemorial tried to blame their shortcomings on others, but Mr. Obama has raised it to an art form. It began almost from the day he was sworn in. The political divide deepened right off the bat as Mr. Obama informed Republicans that to him, bipartisanship meant they should do what he wanted “because we won.” The Fast and Furious gun-running scandal can’t be blamed on him, Mr. Obama claims, because it was initiated and carried out by a few rogue agents in Arizona. Besides, he couldn’t be expected to know everything that goes on in a government as big as ours. Those “rogue” Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents in Arizona might just have been related to the “rogue” Internal Revenue Service agents in Cincinnati responsible for using our tax laws to harass and persecute Tea Party and conservative groups. The nationwide Veterans Affairs scandal was something he learned about on the news and it certainly wasn’t his fault because, well, how could he have known?

The list goes on. He has been in the White House now for 5 years and simply refuses to take responsibility for anything that might be regarded as a mistake or worse, but talks as though his failed policies are working wonders. The one thing he has made clear time and again is that nothing that goes wrong can be blamed on him or his administration. He’s even blamed a tsunami, a hurricane and a rough winter for his economic failures. When polls reveal that the public doesn’t share his enthusiasm for his signature health reforms, he blames his political opponents and acts as though Rush Limbaugh, rather than he, controls America’s “bully pulpit.”

In addition to blaming others, politicians also have a tendency to ignore or deny the often-unintended consequences of their policies. Think youth unemployment and the minimum wage. Think of the migration of job producers from high-tax jurisdictions or the relocation of U.S. businesses overseas because of this country’s corporate-tax structure. Think also of the swarm of young immigrants flooding Texas. The administration blames “violence in Central America” for the flood and has even dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to Honduras to look into what’s going on down there.

Central America is more violent than our country — Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala do have high murder rates; but they have been high for years when their children were not crossing the U.S. border in the numbers we see today. So what has changed? Could it be that the word is out in these and other countries that our borders are open to young people because of recent policies adopted or implemented by Mr. Obama and his pals?

It requires a suspension of disbelief to accept the argument that thousands of children in these nations all of a sudden have decided to leave their families, risk everything, cross the border into Mexico and walk or catch rides to the Texas border in the hope that they will be accepted as refugees or granted asylum by the United States. Perhaps the word in these countries is that if a family can get its children to America, they will be accepted with open arms, allowed to stay and perhaps eventually even become U.S. citizens. Maybe there are even rumors floating around that once the kids get in, the United States will, in the name of family reunification and “the good of the child,” allow the parents to follow. In fact, it seems that this is exactly what’s happening. Border agents familiar with the situation in Honduras and Guatemala told National Review reporters recently that the media in those countries are carrying reports that children are being accepted and encouraging parents to send their children to a better life in America. Guatemalan parents who believe such reports can hardly be blamed for acting on them.

What’s more, these media reports may be accurate. The children are being welcomed here. Administration officials are treating the arriving children as refugees rather than illegals and while the temporary accommodations they are provided may not seem all that great to us, they have better days to look forward to. The Border Patrol is turning the children over to Department of Health and Human Services officials who are stating that once in their care, they have a legal responsibility to take actions “in the best interests of the child.” Sounds fine, but that includes the agency doing all in its power to reunite the children with their parents, even if that means allowing the parents entry to the United States.

None of this is Mr. Obama’s fault, of course, and has nothing at all to do with his immigration policies. It’s simply a “humanitarian crisis” to which we must respond with compassion, cash and Obamacare. The idea that his policies may be contributing to all this is something neither Mr. Obama nor his underlings seem capable of grasping.

If they could grasp such a concept, they might consider another consequence likely to follow the admission of these “children.” Some of the children we are welcoming may be bringing the violence we abhor with them. The Central American nations from whence these “children” come are plagued by youth violence. Youth gangs made up of kids as young as 13 are responsible for much of the violence in these countries. These kids are the victims and the perpetrators. The largest transnational youth gang is MS-13, which according to an Inter-American Development Bank Study, has tens of thousands of members in these countries and is growing in strength in the United States.

Perhaps that’s why Border Patrol agents are reporting that today’s flood of youthful immigrants includes many known Central American MS-13 gangbangers who they are powerless to turn back under Mr. Obama’s policies.

David A. Keene is opinion editor of The Washington Times.

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