And he will have no hesitation to veto everything else the Republicans pass that doesn’t have the votes to override. And since the Democrats tend to hang tough, that will be just about everything the Republicans plan to do.
You can rail all you want against the Republicans, but at this point it is clear that minus a president who cares about what the people want, if a president is willing to defy both houses of Congress and can get away with it, the only way to pass legislation these days with an opposition party president is to control more than 2/3 of both houses. But that’s a rare situation; it is not usually the case, historically speaking, that when a president is of a different party than Congress, the other party can muster that strong a majority.
It’s quite an impasses. The only way out I can see is for the Republicans to exercise the nuclear option on legislation in general. That would be quite a move, setting a dangerous precedent for the future when they are not in power. However, at this point it is clear that if they don’t do it the left is determined to make sure the right has no future (amnesty is one tool for that). There is no doubt in my mind that if the situation were reversed, the Deomcrats would jettison the filibuster in a heartbeat. They are playing for keeps.
[ADDENDUM: I realize that eliminating the filibuster would not help override a veto. Unfortunately. But it would enable the Republicans in the majority in this Congress to pass a lot more legislation and force the veto over and over and over, which I think would at least make it crystal clear what’s going on with this president. There is at least a small chance that this would increase the pressure on Democrats, especially moderate ones, to vote to pass certain measures that Obama opposes but which are popular with Americans (such as Keystone), and perhaps to join in an override of a veto. Obama doesn’t care about being re-elected, but maybe the Democrats in Congress do.
Unfortunately, though, without a 2/3 majority, and with Obama in the White House, the Republicans are limited in their possible approaches. Obama is willing to defy both Congress AND the American people, and the Democratic Party is willing to go along.
I don’t think America has ever faced anything like this before, certainly not on this scale.
The 2014 election was incredibly important (as the 2012 one had been before it). It was nearly impossible for the GOP to achieve a 2/3 majority in 2014, even though the GOP did really, really well. But without 2/3, even “really really well” matters little.]