Admitting defeat is tough. Accepting that you aren't going to get your way is a bummer.
But the wise course for those on the short end of the stick is to look toward another day instead of pouting and stomping off making rash statements that you can't deliver on.
Key aides to President-elect Barack Obama have confirmed what I promised to you in my first 2009 column: "Comprehensive immigration reform" is dead— for now and possibly for some considerable time into the future
And the spoiled sport is none other than the National Council of La Raza's whining brat, Janet Murguia.
The actual death-knell statement made by Obama's operatives included comments to the effect that in order to "avoid political distractions" and instead to "focus on reversing the economic slide," the president would have to "delay" some of the "promises" he made during his campaign. [Economy May Delay Work on Obama's Campaign Pledges, by Peter Baker, New York Times, January 10, 2009]
Just in case anyone missed his administration's revised focus, Obama will clarify it during an interview with ABC's This Week which is scheduled to air Sunday:
"I want to be realistic here. Not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped."
Rahm Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff, boiled it down this way:
"Our No. 1 goal: jobs. Our No. 2 goal: jobs. Our No. 3 goal: jobs."
In a conversation with Murguia about immigration in which he tried to let her down gently, Emanuel reportedly told her that it's important "to talk" about the issues but that no commitments to a timetable could be made.
But Murguia recognized the brush-off and reacted quickly.
"President-elect Obama has made clear a campaign commitment to address this issue in his first year, and we know he takes that very seriously. And we plan to hold him accountable."
The president of a ethnocentric, single-issue organization plans to hold the president of the U.S. "accountable" for not making her narrow agenda among his top priorities.
How, I wonder, does Murguia expect to make good on her pledge?
Murguia, for all her experience, didn't read the tealeaves.
Obama didn't really make a "clear campaign commitment." What Obama did was to speak out in favor of comprehensive immigration reform to those audiences where he knew that position would play well.
If Murguia with her extensive Capitol Hill background bought into Obama's campaign mumbo-jumbo, then she's not as sharp as she thinks she is.
Murguia might move to the ledge if she knew just how far down on Obama's priority list immigration is.
A sidebar in the print edition of the New York Times story cited above categorizes "The New Administration's Priorities" and divides them into three groups.
As identified, and using the administration's labels and the Times' text, they are:
Infrastructure: finance roads, bridges, schools and other construction projects
Tax cuts: provide tax breaks for workers and businesses
Stem cells: reverse restrictions on embryonic stem cell research
National Security: begin withdrawing combat forces from Iraq and begin sending them to Afghanistan.
Health care: computerize medical records and expand a children's health care program while taking longer to pass a plan offering universal care.
Energy Independence: double alternative energy supplies while waiting to develop a more comprehensive energy policy.
Down the Road:
Climate Change: a market-based cap on carbon-based emissions may not pass this year.
Repealing Bush's tax cuts: rather than repeal President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest this year, they may be left to expire under current law in 2010.
Gay rights: overturning a ban on gays serving openly in the military may not happen until later this year.
Immigration: while some rules may be changed right away, a comprehensive overhaul of immigration may take longer.
There you have it.
On Obama's to-do list, immigration ranks thirteenth and last. And best of all, I can't think of any federal policy left off Obama's list that might come in fourteenth.
Note also that when and if Obama gets around to immigration, "some" rules "may" be changed right away but a complete overhaul may take "longer."
Murguia's comrade Frank Sharry, executive director of another open borders advocacy group, America's Voice, seems at least somewhat more grounded. Sharry projects a window of opportunity open between September 2009 and March 2010 when there are no elections scheduled and Obama may have calmed the turbulent first months of his administration. (Contact America's Voice here.)
But Sherry's thinking is wishful too.
Forward thinking is consistent with Obama's pattern. We know now that he initially began his presidential campaign in January 2005, the same month that he was first sworn in as Illinois' U.S. Senator.
The outlook for "comprehensive immigration reform" is so bleak that even Obama's "immigration transition team"—two law professors, Tino Cuéllar of Stanford University and Georgetown's Alexander Aleinikoff—has nothing to say.
Neither replied to "repeated requests" from San Antonio News-Express reporter Hernán Rozemberg who wanted their opinion on whether there would be progress on immigration during Obama's first year. [Immigration Issue on Backburner, by Hernán Rozemberg, San Antonio News-Express, January 12, 2009]
The worst thing that we can expect from the first years of Obama's administration—and I view this as very bad—is that under new Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, fewer workplace enforcement raids will occur.
We may be surprised—as we were with the conversion we witnessed in Michael Chertoff. Napolitano has promised to go after unscrupulous employers and enforce the border. But I'll believe it when I see it. [Napolitano Signals Shift in Worksite Raids, by Stewart M. Powell, Houston Chronicle, January 15, 2009]
Ominous sign: Napolitano's announced first matter of business is to "re-visit" REAL ID—last June, as Governor, she signed legislation refusing to implement REAL ID.
In summary: "I told you so," "I told you so," and "I told you so."
At that time, Murguia foolishly warned Lou Dobbs that she would be hold him "accountable" for so-called hate crimes if and when they should be committed. Now Murguia has added Obama to her long list of people who should bow down to her.
Certainly, Murguia's fellow subversives must be ready to try someone different. How much worse could they do?
We're going to have to suffer through occasional idiotic statements from Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. And I expect camouflaged efforts at amnesty through the ever-present DREAM Act which has been defeated more times than I can count over my twenty plus years of activism.
We have beaten back these types of efforts in economic times much more conducive to amnesty.
Although we must remain ever vigilant, for now we're safe.
Best of all, we've shut the other guys up for a while. What a blessing that is!
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.