June 17, 2012
President Barack Obama returned Friday to a trusted tactic — satisfying his political allies by not doing something.
Conservatives were angry when Janet Napolitano announced the administration would stop deporting certain undocumented immigrants, but they should have seen it coming. On issue after issue — gay rights, drug enforcement, Internet gambling, school achievement standards — the administration has chosen to achieve its goals by a method best described as passive-aggressive.
Rather than pushing new laws through a divided Congress to enact his agenda, Obama is relying on federal agencies to ignore, or at least not defend, laws that some of his important supporters — like Hispanic voters and the gay community — don’t like.
“If the president says we’re not going to enforce the law, there’s really nothing anyone can do about it,” University of Pennsylvania constitutional law professor Kermit Roosevelt said. “It’s clearly a political calculation.”