‘Where’s the president’s plan?’


Complaining about President Obama’s new immigration policy, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said yesterday the move will make it more “difficult” to pass a comprehensive reform package. Since reform efforts are impossible in this Congress anyway, it wasn’t much of a complaint.

But Boehner added something else that struck me as interesting.

“Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue? Instead of campaigning all the time, maybe he ought to come back to Washington and go back to work,” Boehner said.

It was an odd thing to say. If the House Speaker wants to know where President Obama’s immigration plan is, he can type “President Obama’s immigration plan” into the Google machine and, wouldn’t you know it, one of the first results is President Obama’s immigration plan. It’s 29 pages long, written in easy-to-read language, and it’s been online since May 2011.

Maybe Boehner isn’t much of a reader? Well, Obama also delivered a detailed speech, outlining his immigration plan, last summer in Texas. The Speaker can watch the video.

When Boehner asks, “Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue?” it’s disconcerting because it suggests the Speaker doesn’t just disagree with Obama’s approach; it suggests the Speaker doesn’t understand that Obama’s approach exists.

What’s more, I feel like this sort of thing comes up all the time, with folks demanding Obama produce plans he’s already unveiled.

Mitt Romney recently complained that the president refuses to present a jobs plan, conveniently overlooking the president’s presentation of a detailed jobs plan. The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman complained last November that Obama hadn’t put forward a plan for debt reduction, apparently unaware that the administration published a detailed, 80-page report, outlining exactly what the White House supports. Officials even prepared fact sheets and summaries for more casual readers.

Now Boehner is under the impression that Obama’s immigration plan is a well-kept secret, despite the fact that it’s been publicly available for over a year.

Obama’s critics realize the White House has a website, don’t they?

Barack Obama

'Where's the president's plan?'