If there’s one thing that is sure to send Republicans into an apoplectic, screaming rage, it’s the prospect of the most successful President in modern memory deliberately tweaking them where it hurts the most–namely, in their phony pretensions of patriotism:

“This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Mr. Obama said. “Don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict. That’s not how it worked.” The grandparents and great-grandparents of politicians taking a hard line on immigration, he said, were also “somehow considered unworthy or uneducated or unwashed.”“When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American,” Mr. Obama said.

In one sentence the President managed to tie immigration, patriotism and religious faith together and frame it as an indictment of the Republican platform. With one carefully timed, barbed phrase he baited the entire Republican field, including the blowhard idiot with the orange hair, into responding, while turning the Republican meme of his “otherness” on its head and serving it up to them on a cold dish. If you don’t think the right is already churning up its outrage meter, Google “Un-American” on your news feed of choice and take a look at who is reporting on this.America will now have the pleasure of watching the Republican candidates weigh in on the President’s characterization of their entire hateful, anti-Latino and Hispanic crusade. It should be the first question asked in the debates. Go ahead, Mr. Trump. Explain to your sycophants why implementing a cruel, massive deportation scheme impacting 11 million people can be reconciled with American “values,” as you understand them. Tell them why we need to build a “wall.”  Tell them what kind of twisted notion of “God” or even basic human decency would support this kind of scheme. Your audience will eat it up. The rest of the country–maybe not so much.

With the corporate media reduced to a useless, drooling circle-jerkfest over everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, the President is busy moving into Iowa to weigh in on the “debate:”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest made no secret that Mr. Obama flew to Iowa to try to influence the 2016 discussions.

Rather than “dropping in” for a ceremonial visit, the President held a Town Hall meeting, fielding questions about education, economic policy, and most of all, immigration, where he continued to torment the Republican candidates into defending the consequences of their policies:

Mr. Obama got animated when asked about the children of illegal immigrants having education benefits, and he immediately tied it to the debate on the 2016 campaign trail.He said it makes “absolutely no sense” for politicians to block young people who “are American kids by every other criteria except for a piece of paper” from being “full-fledged parts of this community and this country.”

It has to be terribly galling for a party that spent the last two decades demonizing Democrats with accusations that they are somehow less patriotic, somehow less devoted to their country and its citizens than the chest-beating Republicans, to have the “un-American” label pinned onto them. It has to be doubly galling after they failed so spectacularly in trying to block the Iran accord, aligning themselves with the desires of Israeli hard-liners rather than the interests of the U.S.  It has to be triply galling after it was recently revealed that they’ve conspired to sabotage international efforts supported by the U.S. to combat the effects of climate change.Sometimes the truth just hurts. But don’t worry, Republicans. You’ll get your chance to explain yourselves tonight.

President Obama is bringing the popcorn.

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