WATCH: Trey Gowdy Doesn't Take Too Kindly to Suggestion That GOP is Racist

Posted: Dec 05, 2014 7:45 AM

Is racism the underlying reason why congressional Republicans oppose the president’s decision to stop deporting some five million illegal immigrants? That's preposterous, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said emphatically at a congressional hearing earlier this week.

The Blaze has the details:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) interrogated Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, during a Tuesday House hearing on President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration reform after she seemingly suggested race may be the basis behind the GOP’s opposition to the unilateral action.

If anything, this gave Rep. Gowdy a golden opportunity to finally clear the air and address a charge that’s been thrown around for weeks now; namely, all opposition to the president's immigration order is racist. He noted, for example, that when Democratic lawmakers opposed a certain Republican president not so long ago, the “discrimination” charge was rarely, if ever, levied. How interesting. He also gently reminded the witness on the hot seat that President Obama opposed amnesty before he was staunchly in favor of it.

“Harry Reid had a very different perspective on recess appointments when there was a Texan in the White House and none of us accused him of geographic discrimination,” he said. “In fact -- hell -- for that matter, Sen. Obama had a different perspective on executive overreach than President Obama, and nobody runs to race as an explanation for that. So I would just caution you to be careful when you try to import motives to people.”

Indeed, Sen. Obama does make some compelling arguments…

Nevertheless, when progressives “run to race,” as Gowdy put it, in defense of the president, aren’t they really just conceding that they've lost the argument? No honest person actually believes opposition to amnesty of all things stems from racial animus, do they? Republicans, Democrats, the Washington Post editorial board, and liberal constitutional scholars have all criticized the president for circumventing Congress, and for trying to solve our immigration woes unilaterally and through executive actions. That's a rather broad coalition.

For now, however, it's unclear if what he did was lawful (17 states are now suing him to find out), although over a hundred constitutional scholars have given him legal cover.

That being said, an unprecedented presidential action like this is at least grounds for expressing dissent -- and raising tough questions -- without charges of racism entering the fray, right? Apparently not: