One wonders what these supposedly "wise" people are smoking. Republicans have had four years to come up with their own immigration bill. The Senate has already passed a bipartisan immigration bill that John Boehner has refused to let come to the floor of the House. Were it not for the Tea Party, the country would have immigration reform by now. How long is Obama supposed to wait for a bill that will never materialize?
Rather than wait, Obama should be prepared to proceed on his own and for the following reasons:
1. The well is already poisoned and has been ever since Obama got elected in 2008. The GOP has made it clear that their number one priority is to obstruct him at every turn. And to that end they have been very successful. Since they took the House in the 2010 midterms, Obama has been unable to get anything through this Congress. What makes anyone think that 2015 will be any different?
2. Those who insist that Obama's use of executive orders in unpopular are not reading ALL of the electorate accurately. Yes, a majority of voters don't want Obama to proceed unilaterally, but most of those voters didn't vote for him in the first place and probably didn't vote Democrat in the last election. Among the Democratic base, there is a lot of support for his executive actions. Within the Hispanic community, an overwhelming majority feel the President has been, if anything, not forceful enough.
Dana Milbank in the Washington Post noted that Obama's decision to delay action in July to help Democratic candidates in Red states was a mistake. Not only did those candidates end up losing anyway, but candidates in purple states like Charlie Crist and Mark Udall were hurt by low turnout among Latinos.
3. The real prize here isn't the next two years, but the 2016 election. With Democrats continuing to make strides with a growing demographic and the GOP pandering to a demographic which is shrinking, the goal should be how to ensure that the former doesn't defect. Obama's executive action may initially inflame some voters, but it will put Republicans into the all-too familiar position of being anti immigration reform and anti immigrant. The long game is what counts here and if Obama plays his cards right, he and his party will prevail. Giving Republicans yet more time to do nothing but delay and obstruct will, in the long run, hurt Democrats far more than the GOP.
To sum up, Democrats lost in the midterms because they ran away from who and what they were. The base felt as if it had been abandoned. The best way for Obama to make inroads and repair the damage that was done is to deliver on his promise to take action. And sooner rather later.