Immigration Reform Another Grasp for Stability from Obama
Today, July 1, Obama brought one of the key campaign issues of 2008: immigration reform. Taking a shot at Arizona's controversial new law (which will take effect at the end of this month), he said "These laws also have the potential to violate the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents." This change of priorities for the president comes on a day which saw a nearly 300 point swing in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and may be an attempt to secure certainty in at least one area as the mid-term elections approach.
Certainty has been a hobgoblin for Obama. Entering into his presidency with the clear and simple goal of closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, his administration has had trouble closing the deal, facing such problems as where to relocate prisoners. Many of the problems with an instant closure are detailed here.
Then, healthcare reform took center stage, and, though the Democrats had a majority in both houses, congress had difficulty passing what is now colloquially referred to as "Obamacare," extending the congressional debates into the Christmas recess. Though it was finally passed and signed into law, Obama gave many concessions, and its full implementation is still uncertain. Perhaps most concerning is its unknown effect on the economy.
Throughout his presidency, the economy has been in the public spotlight. Never wavering from the Keynesian ideals of lower interest rates and increased government spending on infrastructure, Obama maintains that increased government spending will pull America out of recession, into recovery and prosperity. However, the rest of the world disagrees, leaving Obama alone at the G20 summit arguing for increased spending. With conflicting actions from world governments and an optimistic government contrasting a concerned public, there is little doubt that volatility will remain king on Wall Street and around world markets.
Will immigration reform provide the stability that Democrats need to win in the fall elections? With Republicans and Democrats in little agreement, and other issues on the public mind, probably not. Obama, along with the Democrats, has spread himself too thin over a variety of domestic and foreign policy issues, and the economy is bringing his popularity down.
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