Posts Tagged ‘over-reach’

Obama, second term, does not pretend to represent the nation

January 19, 2013

Barack Obama has not yet been sworn into office to serve his second term as president of the United States. He won the election by a vote of 51:49 in the popular vote, though the victory was augmented in the Electoral College. Such is often the case, especially with second term wins

With the single exception of FDR in 1936, all U.S. presidents have introduced or re-introduced themselves at the beginning of their administration as representatives of the entire people, not of a partisan subset of that population. That is an easy statement to make by any president who puts his country before his personal prejudices.

FDR choked on such a statement in 1936 because, as a traitor to his own class throughout his first term, he had gathered around him a cabinet of proto-communists hostile to capitalism and to the so-called ‘royalists’ who allegedly ran that economic system.So FDR spoke to his cabal, and destroyed the U.S. economy, prolonging the Great Depression well beyond any other country on the planet. Without Pearl Harbor in December 1941, who knows how long that depression would have continued in a country bereft of economic confidence, and assailed by job-destructive policy after job-destructive policy, rubber-stamped by huge Democratic Party majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Like FDR, Obama has already choked on those nation-healing words, pumping out venom against the 49 per cent of the electorate who voted for Mitt Romney and promising a continuous class war against them. Worse still, he has word-baited the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, claiming with a bare-faced arrogance that is beyond belief, that somehow they are a non-elected group, intent on blocking the work of the Messiah. Even FDR held back from such extremism, from the basis of a much more convincing electoral majority.

“So here is what is utterly remarkable: President Obama has been using the days and weeks leading up to his inauguration to show the depth of his disdain for the leaders of the other major party and, by inference, that party’s voters, which is to say more or less half the country. He has been spending his time alienating instead of summoning. It has left the political air more sour and estranged. As a presidential style this is something strange and new. That has to be said again: It is new, and does not augur well.” Peggy Noonan, ‘His Terms Are Always Hostile Ones’, The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2013

By such behavior, Obama evidently chooses to suck up completely to the winning coalition within his selectorate – to those who effectively returned him to office – while using that office to expropriate the assets of those who failed to do so. Readers will recognize such behavior for what it is. It is reflective of the behavior of dictators across countries and throughout history. It is indeed the essence of the Dictator’s Handbook. Pay off your winning coalition and continuously harass those who oppose your will.

By the grace of the Founding Father’s, however, Obama is not (yet) dictator. He lives and breathes in a system fenced off by the separation of powers. Like any would-be dictator, in such circumstances, Obama is shackled to a degree from the outer-bounds of his ideological preferences. He cannot fully impose that agenda across a divided nation. Unfortunately, Obama is insufficiently smart to recognize this limitation. His unbridled behavior is an unexpected gift to the opposition that he so openly despises:

“On cul;tural issues, this Democratic president could have done a Nixon to China – the bold move that only he could make without inspiring fierce dissent, the move that could break through. Instead he did a Nixon to the Orange County GOP. Maybe the president doesn’t operate with as much good faith as he thinks, and maybe the other side isn’t as bad as he pretends. As I watched his news conference and his gun-control remarks, I thought, for the first time in a while, that the Republicans are finally getting a break. He is overplaying his hand. He does that. He’s doing it again.” Peggy Noonan, ibid.


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