By Mark Krikorian
January 29, 2014 7:57 AM
National Review

In the short story “Silver Blaze” there’s the following exchange between Sherlock Holmes and a Scotland Yard detective:

Gregory : “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

In other words, the guard dog didn’t bark because he was friendly with the culprit.

On immigration, Obama last night was the dog that didn’t bark. He said almost nothing on it; out of nearly 7,000 words, the immigration paragraph contained fewer than 200 and was devoid of substance: “fix our broken immigration system,” ”fulfill their dreams,” ”Let’s get it done. It’s time.” What’s more, Obama didn’t single out for recognition any of the illegal aliens invited by the White House and Democratic congressmen to attend.

Given that amnestying the illegal population and hugely increasing future legal immigration is Obama’s chief second-term policy objective, this reticence may seem like a curious incident. But he didn’t bark because he’s in league with the House Republican leadership to trick their rank-and-file members into saving his presidency. Ted Kennedy’s former immigration staffer, now on the White House staff, is working closely with McCain’s former immigration staffer, now on Boehner’s staff, to get the functional equivalent of the Schumer-Rubio bill through the House. And it’s not just Boehner, of course; as the National Immigration Forum tweeted, “@RepPaulRyan among first to stand up and applaud when Obama said it’s time to fix broken #immigration system.”

Raising a ruckus last night ran the risk of further complicating Boehner’s attempted snow job starting today at the GOP retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I’ve been told by several Hill sources that the retreat session devoted specifically to immigration will be led by Mark Strand, president of the Congressional Institute. This seems like an odd choice given that the group is focused mainly on the mechanical aspects of lawmaking, but there’s probably more to it. In any case, he’s going to have his hands full.