Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on President Obama’s executive action on immigration opened with a video montage. Introduced by Republican chairman Bob Goodlatte during his opening statement, the Fox News-produced video featured clips of Obama repeating several times throughout his presidency that he did not have the authority to institute deferred action without congressional approval.
“It’s not how our system works,” said Obama in the video, over and over again. Needless to say, though Goodlatte said it anyway, Obama seems to have changed his mind. It was a devastating demonstration, with the president making the GOP’s own constitutionality
Democrats pushed back on the unconstitutionality argument, saying that the executive action fell under the president’s “prosecutorial discretion.” On Obama’s executive authority flip-fop, Democratic committee member Zoe Lofgren of California could only offer this defense: “If the president had said multiple times that five plus five is fifteen, and then he finally said five plus five equals ten, he would not be wrong when he finally said five pus five equals ten.” But what the House Republicans and their witnesses argued was that Lofgren has it backward: Obama’s was right when he said he couldn’t act unilaterally, and only when he reversed himself did the math get bad.