Her hopes have been dashed, and the changes she was expecting never arrived.
President Obama has been one big disappointment. In her latest column to Politico.com, Velasquez mulls doing to Obama what white conservatives did in 2012: sit out the election, and let their would-be, used-to-be Democratic Party standard bearer fall on his own petard.
Even before Obama ran for President, she refused to honor him as any kind of hero:
When Barack Obama and I last sat down in 2006, I refused to shake his hand. Today, I still won’t. His announcement last weekend that he would delay executive action on immigration is his fifth broken promise to Latinos on this all-important issue for our community. He has been blind to the pain of the 1,100 deportations our communities face every day and the anguish our families feel as they are swung back and forth as political pawns.
In 2006, US Senator Barack Obama was riding the wowed crowds of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where he stole the show from the blue-blooded, cold-handed Presidential nominee John Kerry. His ascendancy to the podium prepped him as the media-hyped Presidential candidate who would sweep a nation on an anti-Big Government, anti-Republican tidal wave in 2008.
We are the change we have been waiting for.
Velasquez was not impressed then, and she still is not, since the change she has been waiting for has not materialized.
Stumping for US Senator Obama in 2004, Velasquez believe that he would move on immigration reform and great amnesty to millions of (Mexican) illegal immigrants in the country. He disappointed her time and again, first giving into the majority sentiment of his caucus and the country, which favored security first before other measures.
Outlining five times where the President betrayed a promise to expedite Latino amnesty, Velasquez does not hold back her bitterness. Yet like many true liberal believers (making the best of limited options, as all American voters must), Velasquez voted for Obama, trusting that in the first one hundred days, he would enact comprehensive immigration reform, a modern day Nueva Accuerdo (New Deal).
|Obama reneged on his promises for immigration reform|
And it didn't happen when he had supermajorities in both chambers of Congress. Focusing on elite, progressive interests (Cap and Trade, universal health care), President Obama brushed aside immigration reform, and ignored the interests of the Latino wave which went for him two-to-one in 2008. She further slammed the President for deporting more illegal immigrants than all other Presidents (particularly President Bush).
Despite this glaring setback (or betrayal), Velasquez and Latinos throughout the country rallied for Obama, and he won reelection, though contrary to her uninformed partisanship, it was not the brown vote, but the lack of a white vote which put Obama back in the White House.
Come 2013, and even when the bipartisan US Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill (by 68 votes, missing their threshold goal by two), the more populist (and accurate) House ditched the bill. The popular political beat was actually against amnesty, and the illegal immigration youth crisis emerging along the Southern US border has turned off voter support for any pathway to citizenship or staggered amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Nevertheless, Velasquez' the clinician wants the promise fulfilled:
This year, Obama promised us action on immigration at the end of spring. Then he promised movement after the summer recess, when federal lawmakers returned to Washington. Now, he promises to take up the issue after the November elections.
Her brazen insouciance to Obama's extralegal executive orders should disturb any serious activist eager for reform. What good is immigration to a better country, when the rule of law is as superficial and meaningless there as in one's home country? Does Velasquez not realize that the incremental dismantling of American citizenship and its privileges will do more harm than good, even for the illegal immigrants? Still, she vents her frustration with a President's piecemeal, lawless acts, which have done very little to appease her amnesty demands.
This turn of discernment cannot be ignored. Where the Tea Party movement broke with the mainstream Republican, today there now emerges on the Left, unmitigated immigrant partisans running out of patience with their President to enact a broad amnesty. The amnesty issue had created a rift among Republicans during the Bush Administration (between Big Business and conservatives). Now the rift is breaking apart the once strong coalition forged by Obama six years ago, between conservative (vulnerable) Democrats and fiery advocates who .
For all the lies professed and exposed from the Obama Administration ("If you like your doctor, your health care plan, your privacy, your well-spent tax dollars, your guns, etc ,you can keep them") her deepest grievance rests on Obama's delaying an extension of non-deportations. From his promises as a Senator to his speeches before immigration groups and on the campaign trail, to his two promises to enact on amnesty before and after Congress' summer session, Obama has not delivered.
Recognizing that Obama's political calculation to delay amnesty announcements to protect vulnerable Democratic US Senate incumbents in red states, Velasquez indicates that he may harm otherwise safe incumbents in more blue states.
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Illinois Reps. Brad Schneider and Bill Foster — all Democrats who have kept their promises to the Latino community and consistently supported reform — will face reelection and risk losing if disaffected Latinos refuse to show up at the polls.
Why will these loyal Democratic voters not show up, in Velasquez' opinion? They will be worried about losing loved ones, likely to be deported because of Obama's executive inaction. Convinced of the ongoing disrespect from the White House toward immigration activists, the medical clinician concedes that perhaps President Obama's party will have to lose the Senate, seats in the House, and key governorships in order to take them seriously.
Whether such a measure would provoke attention from the President, Velasquez' intentional inaction represents the enthusiasm gap which plagues Democratic chances in 2014. The Millenials who supported him in 2008 starting turning on the President in 2010. In 2011, as Obama was preparing for his 2012 election, Illinois immigration activists declared their waning enthusiasm for President Obama's lack of change in immigration policy:
As he launches his reelection bid, President Obama needs to address the issues Latinos and immigrants care about—including stopping the deportations of students and hardworking immigrants and the separation of their families. Without addressing this important issue, the question whether Latino and other immigrant voters will support him in 2012 remains unanswered.
He did not address these concerns, apart from a flawed executive order of non-importation for youth under thirty who had lived in the country for sixteen years, attending school, with no criminal record. Immigration lawyers still reasoned for caution, since the order had no legal standing or certainty behind it.
Still, the Democratic Party has a comprehensive, disillusioned electorate with no interest in voting, or not as strong as key constituencies had turned out in 2008 and 2012, including Latino voters. When the liberal-leaning Washington Post tells the President that there is an enthusiasm gap, underneath the euphemism one should read "chasm".
Another Illinois Latino, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, called out his Democratic Party for dropping the immigration reform when they had the best chance of enacting it, the same time when the President was pushing Obamacare:
There was a majority of Democrats in the House. There was a majority in the Senate. We failed, the Democratic Party failed, the administration failed, we failed as a party to get it done.
Adding to Gutierrez' sad admission, Carmen Velasquez has articulated the "No Votaré Obama" sitzkreig with careful rhetorical flair. If Latinos do sit out Election 2014, combined with the rising GOP enthusiasm to take back the US Senate and push back the aggressive, progressive (yet highly regressive) Obama-Agenda, the President and his party have more to worry about than they can possible import.
With immigration reform still a low priority for voters, particularly with Latino voters, now coupled with the immigration crisis, crumbling national security and prestige at home and abroad, plus the flagging economy, Democrats will face another shellacking, this time striking both houses of Congress.
Irronically enough, the Democrats will have the Latino vote (or rather, non-vote) to credit for their dismal performance this November, stated with clear vehemence by liberal Latinos like Carmen Velasquez, who has declared No votaré Obama in 2014.
|Obama may lose key support from Latinos who don't vote in 2014|