Obama's Curious Enemies List

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By Francis Wilkinson

If the Obama administration has an enemies list, it's a curious document.

On May 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that the administration is continuing its "crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants," ordering hundreds of companies in recent weeks to submit hiring data for federal inspection. The administration, which has deported more than 1 million illegal immigrants, has been significantly more aggressive than its predecessors in enforcing immigration laws.

Today, Mark Drajem of Bloomberg News reports on the Obama administration's efforts -- over the objections of its own Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department -- to ease restrictions on gun exports. Obama has been called "the greatest gun salesman in America" by the gun industry, but it's not exactly a compliment. It stems from the uptick in sales due to fear and loathing of the president among gun aficionados, sentiments spread liberally by the National Rifle Association.

Hispanic voters, who supported Obama over McCain by a 67-to-31 margin in 2008, are a crucial component of the president's re-election coalition. Republicans have alienated Hispanics so thoroughly that perhaps Mitt Romney's only chance of gaining Hispanic votes is severe disenchantment with Obama. Yet Obama continues to anger those voters with a sharp immigration crack-down.

Meanwhile the gun industry's most prominent lobbying arm, the NRA, vilifies the president for a living. Yet Obama is working to ease its access to foreign markets.

Richard Nixon would not recognize this White House.

(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. Follow him on Twitter.)


-0- May/03/2012 14:55 GMT