Young: Guess who’s (not) coming to dinner |

Young: Guess who’s (not) coming to dinner

John Young
Special to the Daily

The Indianapolis Star has apologized, but surely some of its readers ask: Why?

The cartoon that it published carried the sentiments of every American who is horrified — horrified, I tell you — about President Obama’s directive on deportations.

Drawn by Gary Varvel, it depicts a white family whose Thanksgiving peace is jolted by a brown-skinned family climbing through the window just in time for turkey.

It quotes those about to be preyed upon:

“Thanks to the president’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.”

Yeah, Star. Why apologize? Isn’t this how many feel, that freeloaders are sliding their chairs up to our table?

Thanksgiving? Don’t let anyone lead you to believe that the holiday has something to do with sharing or inclusion.

Sure, someone is going to say that the first Thanksgiving was different, but that’s socialist revisionism. The Pilgrims weren’t going to smoke that pipe. The victors write the history. The victors get the drumstick.

All right. Enough irony, delicious though it is.

What a sparkling analogy Varvel offers for the empty and mostly racist claims made about the people who will benefit from Obama’s executive order. Almost everything said is cartoonish hysteria.

“There goes the neighborhood!” An interesting claim, when the people in question have been in the neighborhood for years, working hard, serving mankind and bothering no one.

“Horning in on dinner!” By and large, the people that this order benefits are more than able to feed themselves. They have worked their fingers raw to put food before their own families.

“Drug runners and terrorists! Killers and thieves!” It’s right to be concerned about criminal activity. But the beneficiaries of Obama’s directive are roofers and yard workers. They make hotel beds. They clear half-cleaned plates off white-clothed dining-room tables. And don’t forget their role harvesting the food springing from America’s cornucopia this Thanksgiving.

Obama’s directive is about people who, by and large, couldn’t be more hard-working, more respectful. Indeed, they are the least disruptive demographic of any group ever. That’s what it means to live in the shadows.

“Amnesty!” Obama has it right: What we have had, minus any action by Congress, is a de facto amnesty. Supply your own exclamation point. Members of Congress can bluster all they want. Even if they had executive power, they wouldn’t be in any position to deport 5 million people, equivalent to a city twice Chicago’s size.

The Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would have done much of what the president wanted. It would be law today if House Speaker John Boehner had allowed a vote on it. He didn’t, because he didn’t want to challenge the fit-throwers of the hard right.

Allowing the undocumented individuals in question to come out of the shadows has immeasurable benefits. For one, if pointed toward citizenship, they can cease being part of the underground economy. They can pay taxes, help pay for Social Security, help finance the public schools their children use, and the infrastructure that gets them to jobs others refuse.

“Obama is lawless!” No, the absence of any reasonable response to an untenable situation is lawlessness.

Last week Sen. Ted Cruz was leaning on his blow horn, saying that Republicans should block every Obama nomination in response to the president’s deportation directive. Cruz was reminded that, for instance, blocking a successor to much-reviled Attorney General Eric Holder would mean two more years of Holder.

All that the tea party patriots in Congress have done by blocking any and all bipartisan action has been to guarantee that the things they decry have remained as is, the immigration mess included.

Until Congress acts like a governing body, it will be up to the president to make the choices that deal with the deportation situation and others.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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