[Ed. – Bonus question: what if — as is inevitable — your conservative relatives don’t pose to you the stupid strawman premises Mr. Newell prepares you to argue against?]
This is the big one, the main event. You’ve been practicing for it all year. Those barbecues you had with a smattering of family members on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day – mere skirmishes, exhibition games. This is Final Jeopardy, Wrestlemania. Think of various other dumb metaphors. They all apply.
Today many of you will gather with most of your extended family to eat traditional foodstuffs on the national holiday now known commercially as “Black Friday Eve.” Unless you are from some sort of ideological bubble, there will be a contingent of right-wingers among this number. The specter of Uncle Dingo looms large in your mind as you prepare. …
What your right-wing relative is referring to here is President Obama’s recent executive action to defer deportations for up to 4 or 5 million undocumented immigrants. Ask one or two follow-ups about this position and your relative’s supposed reason for rage — separation of powers — will disappear and reveal unfortunate language about Obama “trying to change the culture” into something “un-American.”
What is there to say? Avoid the condescending rhetoric about how “America’s strength is in how it welcomes a diversity of cultures.” …
But the Republicans just won a sweeping victory in the midterms; how can Obama just reject that and do whatever he wants?
Okay, fair, and if this has negative political consequences for Obama and the Democrats, then they’ll have to live with that. But just like Republicans won a bunch of two- and six-year terms in Congress on Nov. 4, 2014, President Obama won a four-year term as president on Nov. 6, 2012. This means he still gets to be president for the next two years and use the powers of the presidency to accomplish his goals.