LatinaLista -- Ever since President Obama was elected, the rhetoric from the GOP to make him a "one-term president" has been nonstop. Blistering comments lobbed against a sitting president by the opposing party is nothing new. In fact, it's been accepted as part of the political game on Capitol Hill.
Yet, it's pretty much seen by the American people that the GOP is taking itself to a whole new low with this president. First, their staunch refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless they get their way, and only their way, of slashing federal programs to preserve the tax cuts of the wealthy is slowly turning into a public relations nightmare for the GOP leadership -- though they can't see it through their stubbornness to please their Tea Party supporters to the detriment of the rest of the nation.
As one of the most respected businessmen in the nation, Warren Buffet, said on a CNBC interview: We raised the debt ceiling seven times during the Bush Administration and now in this administration they're using it as a hostage."
It doesn't make sense that any political party would put their own interests above that of the nation. Unfortunately, it's just another example of how the GOP has lost their way in respecting the office of the President -- and understanding Latino voters.
The GOP has unveiled an ambitious Latino recruitment plan - recruit at least 100 new Hispanic legislative candidates across the country -- at the same time they're pushing for huge cuts in federal entitlement programs. These are programs that Latino elderly and poor -- relatives of those 100 Hispanic recruits the GOP is looking for -- depend on to live, and in many cases, survive day-to-day.
The latest example of how the GOP isn't serious about Hispanic outreach because they're too busy trying to minimize this president is a recent bill authored by Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). It's called the HALT Act (H.R. 2497) and basically strips the President of power "to target deportation and immigration enforcement at the worst violent offenders and security threats by eliminating his ability to exercise prosecutorial discretion, grant Temporary Protective Status, or defer deportation for low-priority non-criminals."
Congressman Smith appears to be afraid that President Obama will grant a blanket amnesty to the 12 million undocumented. Though it's the logical course of action, I don't see the President taking that brave step without measures that would appease his GOP colleagues. Yet, Smith doesn't seem to want to take that chance.
What makes this bill particularly mean-spirited is that it specifically states that this stripping of power ends once a new president is elected.
It's a shame for this country that the level of contempt held by some members of the GOP leadership towards President Obama has taken such a historic low. Many Democrats, and not just Latinos, are stepping up to the plate to defend the President against this latest frivolous attack -- even though they don't agree with the President on the way he's currently enforcing immigration polices.
What they do agree on is that the Office of the Presidency, as well as the man occupying the Oval Office, needs to be respected otherwise what hope can be given to the country that things will get better?