CNN Analyst: Obama's Push To Admit Refugees 'Principled' Not 'Political'

As Rush Limbaugh would say, they're not refugees or illegal immigrants: they're undocumented Democrats . . . On this morning's New Day, CNN political analyst Josh Rogin [formerly of the Daily Beast], repeatedly claimed that President Obama's push to admit refugees from Syria and elsewhere is a "principled" position, not a "political" one. 

Does Rogin or anyone else seriously believe that the admission of refugees is not of a piece with the opening of our borders to immigrants, illegal and otherwise, in an effort to flood the electoral rolls with Democrats-to-be? Does anyone imagine Obama and his fellow Dems would be pushing hard for the admission of millions of new immigrants if they knew, for example, that 70% of them would be voting Republican? Playa please.

Even if there might conceivably be a short-term politcal hit in admitting refugees, any temporary impact will be outweighed by the electoral benefits to Dems from the admission of millions of refugees and immigrants.

Rogin's comments came in the context of previewing President Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday. It was mentioned that a Syrian refugee will be seated with First Lady Michelle Obama.

VICTOR BLACKWELL: Sitting with the First Lady on Tuesday night will likely be sending another message to Republicans. A Syrian refugee who fled the civil war will be sitting there as well. This, I'm sure, is a message to the rest of the world that the US is willing to accept you. That is, obviously, a controversial message, considering Donald Trump's plan to ban non-American Muslims and the large portion of Republicans and some independents and Democrats who agree with Trump. 

JOSH ROGIN: Right. It's not a clear-cut political win for Democrats but it's a principled stand for the administration. And I think here we see the difference between an administration that has has very little to lose, that can afford to sort of take a risk like this by standing up for a very simple principle that America is a place of tolerance, that tolerance needs to be extended to Muslims and we need to reinforce that as much as we can against a Republican primary field that is increasingly leaning towards giving in to this sort of fear and concern that Muslims or refugees can present a national security threat. 

The president is doing this not because it's a smart political thing but because it's something he believes in and I think most Democrats also see it that way, including Hillary Clinton. They're going to hold the line and say that Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees, people from around the world who see America as that shining city on the hill, who want to come here and are in need of our help should be given that help even if the risks can't be 100% mitigated and that's not necessarily a popular position but, again, it is a principled one. 


Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.