It may seem strange that Barack Obama has recently started to push immigration amnesty, even as he has serious and pressing issues to deal with in Afghanistan, the Gulf of Mexico, and in the economy generally. But when you look at his trademark initiatives–Cap and Trade, healthcare, “stimulus” support for government workers–it’s pretty clear that he is willing to focus his energies on game-changing and permanent shifts in federal power. Healthcare, for instance, will bring in huge swaths of the middle class into government dependency, much as Medicare and Social Security have with the elderly. Amnesty is of a piece with these initiatives: if successful, it will yield a huge swath of reliably Democratic and largely working class Hispanic voters. Millions of dependent voters would be created overnight.
Obama’s listlessness and alleged incompetence may be real, but they are secondary issues; he shows great cunning and precision when looking to expand federal power to pursue liberal ends. Indeed, this same passion for shifting power away from America’s traditional elites–whites, business owners, local governments–also explains his odd foreign policy gestures, which are typically insulting of traditional European allies while obsequious to the hostile Third World. Obama is his father’s son: the Third World anti-imperialist revolutionary with a socialist bent, smarting over the indignities of yesteryear and also today, where his own group’s arrested development is a daily embarrassment. Obama’s “incompetence” coupled with his use of political power makes sense when we realize he has no interest in American power or preserving it, but instead is interested in advancing the interests of outsiders, foreigners, minorities, the poor, and other groups that have historically been less powerful and less successful under the free market, limited government economic regime of historical America. A la Charles Beard, this order is ipso facto unjust precisely because the people that Obama wants to succeed do not do so well under this system, even as formal barriers to minority participation and advancement have been removed and, indeed, been replaced with an extensive affirmative action bureaucracy to advance their interests at the expense of the talented American majority. Obama will not be content until the high have been made low. It’s like the 1970s Ten Years After song, “Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no rich no more.”