President Obama is angry because his constituents are angry about his scheme to resettle thousands of largely “unvetted” refugees in places across the 50 states. He thinks the anger is not legitimate, but manufactured by Republican partisanship, bigotry against Muslims and an overreaction to that business in Paris. He promises to veto everything that comes to his desk restricting his authority to bring in whomever he pleases, even if it puts at risk the omnibus appropriations legislation needed to keep the government up and running.
The idea that a president would ignore the strong beliefs of 7 or 8 of every 10 Americans and what promises to be a bipartisan majority of Congress about a threat to national security is unthinkable, irrational and politically suicidal, or would be for a president who thinks he has something to lose. House Speaker Paul Ryan says the president is “playing politics,” but it’s hard to see how the president’s obstinacy is good politics. Mr. Obama is not a politician, but an ideologue. He’s still the community organizer sitting around late at night with his pals, drinking cheap wine and railing against the system.
FBI Director James Comey says it will be difficult if not impossible to perform the background checks on the migrants the president wants to bring in, and be confident that the ISIS fighters among the refugees and asylum seekers have been screened out. The numbers the president wants to let in would overwhelm any system, even if the data needed were available, and it is not. It’s only sensible, as the growing bipartisan majority has concluded, to reduce the flood to a trickle. The president insists the wave of refugees is no more dangerous than the tourists who come to America every year.
Whether what’s needed, is a pause or resettling the refugees in a safe place nearer to their homes, should be the subject of conversation among grown-ups, rather than a presidential name-calling. The president calls his critics “pop-offs;” his name-calling is the work of a “show-off.”
The hostility of the president to the suggestion that the director of the FBI, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national security be required to personally certify the adequacy of the background checks on those admitted to the United States stems from his assertion that such steps couldn’t be taken under the existing system. But it would force a “pause” until the problem is fixed or until Mr. Obama is forced to admit that it’s a problem he can’t fix.
The fact that ISIS can infiltrate terrorists into the country, disguised as refugees, is not an urban myth. ISIS has done that in Europe and within the past week Syrian refugees using altered Greek passports have been arrested in Honduras, and Mr. Obama’s government concedes that hundreds of such cases are under investigation.
Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions of Alabama suggest that the U.S. Senate use the omnibus appropriation legislation to cut off the money the president needs to run his rogue immigration scheme. Earlier this week they observed that “the president needs the annual appropriation for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and other budget items. Congress therefore, through its spending power, can block the president’s plans. Absent such restrictions, the omnibus spending bill will give the president all the funds he needs to carry out the resettlement of nearly 100,000 refugees this year alone. First and foremost, this is a question of appropriations.” A president consumed with ideology and his personal wishes and dreams must not be allowed to blow off the legitimate concern that the nation is in a clear and present danger.