Talk of gridlock, says the GOP, they’re trying to dispel
But Obama’s immigration plan is poisoning the well.
And yet he has them worried that they may have cause to fear
Their policy could cost them in a presidential year.


            Obama’s Executive Order on immigration enraged conservatives. Said the headline of one Town Hall columnist: “America’s Choice: Emperor Obama or the Constitutional Rule of Law”. Inevitably, there was satire.

          Saturday Night Live jumped on the issue. Playing off “I’m Just Bill”, a children’s “Schoolhouse Rock” TV civics program, SNL offered a cast member dressed as a bill explaining how a bill becomes law – only to encounter President Obama, who pushes him down the stairs and replaces him with an Executive Order character.

          This program set off a further burst of satire when a Washington Post “fact checker” did a check of the SNL skit , concluding solemnly that the skit “got a couple of things right and a couple of things wrong.” The conservative blog Hot Air jumped on the inherent absurdity of fact-checking satire by correcting errors from other comedy shows, such as “There are actually very few people with cone-shaped heads, and they rarely talk like robots.”        

          Sarah Palin wowed her Facebook audience with a meme combining the Ferguson riots with immigration. Obama says: “I will be signing a new executive order replacing the word ‘looting’ with ‘undocumented shopping.’”

          Conservative cartoons rubbished Obama, one showing him pushing a “Welcome Mat” and a copy of the Constitution through a hole in the border fence. And the online atomic monkey offered a meme asking foreigners: “Why be just an American when you can be a DEMOCRAT”, with US citizenship when you sign up, a promise that “Democrats can’t be deported”, and free food and health care.

          However, one conservative cartoon provoked an uproar and an apology. Gary Varvel depicted an American family about to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner as an undocumented immigrant family climbs in through the window; and the host, about to carve the turkey, says: “Thanks to the President’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” This set off angry protests that it was crudely racist and the Indianapolis Star said that it had “erred” in publishing the cartoon.

          Of course there was counter-satire. The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz  has Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell accusing Obama of “flagrantly treating immigrants like human beings…eliminating the fear of deportation which is the great engine of the American economy…Remove the fear of deportation, and what will immigrants become? Lazy Americans.”

          And Sarah Palin did not get away unscathed. The satirical magazine The Daily Current invents a Fox News program in which she declares: “If I were Obama I’d put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico. The liberal media says it’s impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships.” When fellow Fox commentator, Sean Hannity, informs her that “Mexico is just a short drive from the Mexican border”, she responds, “Sean, you’re just wrong on that. I’ve been to Mexico many times and I tell you it has excellent beaches. How can you have beaches and not an ocean?”

          The debate continues, though not always at this exalted level.


Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2014 (Archive on Friday, September 01, 2017)



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