In light of recent talk of moats and alligators, Mark Salter recalls circa-2005 Obama’s efforts to scuttle immigration reform on behalf of big union interests and to prevent a president from the wrong political party from taking credit amongst hispanics for getting it done:
As an aide to McCain, I was in the room for every one of those meetings. It was my first opportunity to observe Obama closely. During those meetings, I never saw him engage in any discussion concerned with building a majority vote in favor of the legislation. In the meetings he attended, he would draw from his shirt pocket a 3×5 index card, on which he had written changes he insisted be made to the bill before he would support it. They were invariably the same demands made by the AFL-CIO, which was intent on watering down or killing the guest-worker provisions. Republicans and Democrats alike were irritated by his transparently self-interested behavior, but tried to negotiate with him. He remained adamant in his positions and unwilling to compromise.
This perfidy of yore is not exactly a great argument against immigration reform — whatever that currently amorphous aspirational cloud ultimately transforms into — but Salter does make a pretty irrefutable case for the president coming down off his high horse long enough to reacquaint himself with the mud he flung a few short years ago.