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Obama Thinks He Has It Rough Now?

What an Obama presidency would look like if the GOP takes control of Congress in November.

by
Rich Baehr

Bio

June 9, 2014 - 5:56 pm

For the 12th time in 36 years, the winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness  has failed to win the Belmont Stakes. But another opportunity also disappeared in the homestretch for California Chrome this year. That was the possibility that for the first time ever, a triple crown-winning horse and its jockey, owners, and trainer might have made a White House Rose Garden appearance.

After the disastrous photo op the president held with the parents of deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, for whom he had traded (without the required notification to Congress) five of the nastiest Guantanamo prisoners to the Taliban (or at least temporarily to Qatar for a bit of safekeeping), the president might have welcomed the chance for some light-hearted celebration at the next Rose Garden event. The country’s sports-fan-in-chief — a job he fills more easily and more capably than commander-in-chief — might have enjoyed the opportunity to shatter the thoroughbred glass ceiling at the White House.

Having the Rangers, Kings, Heat or Spurs for a White House visit  (or, in some cases, repeat visit) would be pretty routine at this point. Think, on the other hand, of the diversity celebration that would have been on display with California Chrome’s  owners, a trainer named Sherman, a jockey named Espinoza, an African American president, and a dark-horse winning thoroughbred (Lipizzaners would not be so welcome).

No president has inserted himself more into popular-culture venues than Barack Obama. The president now makes a regular interview appearance on Super Bowl Sunday to the nation’s largest annual television audience, offers up his NCAA brackets to CBS broadcasters who treat them as the equivalent of messages from Delphi, shows up regularly for sporting events in the Washington area, and by his own admission watches a lot of games on TV (as well as ESPN’s Sports Center nightly). The president has joked, perhaps wistfully, of his desire to start a career at ESPN after his White house playing days are over.

No administration has been as social-media savvy. And never has an administration cared so much about participating in this new  communications environment, with cabinet members and aides regularly tweeting their instant reactions and heartfelt “feelings” about this and that (e.g., “Putin invading Crimea is really not good at all” or  “Donald Sterling must go, solidarity with the Clippers”). The president himself has regularly appeared on lowbrow television programs like The View and offered himself or Michelle up for interviews with women’s magazines or People.  Press conferences have been rare and, until recently, easy-going affairs with journalists eager not to offend.

Operating amid a cocoon of aides who refuse to challenge him, or offer critical feedback (Valerie Jarrett would have their heads if they did, since this would reflect disloyalty), the president moves from failure to fiasco routinely.  We are, after all, speaking of  a man who told an exultant audience in Berlin before he even became the nominee of his party in 2008, and then again on victory night in Grant Park in Chicago in November 2008, that the moment of his victory and ascendance to office would be marked as one where the planet started healing, the oceans stopped rising, and all the other problems in the world  would just begin to melt away.

It took a while, given the protective cover provided by a compliant media, and the non-stop public relations and journalist-control efforts by the White House, for recognition of the president’s consistent record of failure to set in with the American people. Now, both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are regarded in surveys as more competent executives than Obama. The president’s approval ratings in every policy area are underwater. American prestige abroad and the respect for our international role, power,  and decision-making have slipped to levels not seen since the Carter administration. Plenty of leaders of other countries were unhappy with George Bush, but they did not mock his weakness or think America’s ability to project  power had been consciously downgraded.

The president was never interested in working with the opposition in Congress, since he always regarded those who were not on his side politically as not worth the effort to persuade (after all, he believed he had the mandate and the power to roll over them).  The 2010 elections and the loss of the House proved disastrous for the White House agenda as a result. When you use straw men to mock the other major political party, while never talking to them, accepting their input, or showing any interest in compromise, it should come as no surprise when the legislative path becomes stagnant for nearly four years. As a result, the president has  resorted to executive actions without the consent of Congress or, at times, in seeming contempt or disregard for the law. The Bergdahl decision fits the pattern, which can also be seen in ignoring statutory deadlines and requirements of Obamacare,  bypassing Congress in the environmental area to give greater leeway to the EPA to create new law, abusing his recess appointment power, and making unilateral enforcement decisions on immigration policy .

The loss of the Senate in November, which is at least a 50% likelihood at this point, would make the final two years of an Obama presidency a difficult thing to watch. The president flounders when he has less than complete control over the political process, and his disputes with Congress if he continues to use his  rule-making and executive authority to run roughshod will create the potential for a constitutional crisis.

In foreign affairs, the president has more authority to put his stamp on things. All presidents have a degree of narcissism about their achievements and legacy, though none probably greater than Obama, who was ready to authorize carving work for a new face on Mt. Rushmore after giving himself a top grade for his first two years in office (one of the four or five greatest such periods in presidential history, if he did not say so himself). Of course, his party ran Congress without any meaningful opposition in these years, and he and they were able to steamroll both Obamacare and Dodd-Frank into law, whatever their merits.

In foreign policy, it is a good bet that the president will be less restrained in his desire to separate the United States from its long-time close relationship with Israel, which will likely include more frequent and nastier denunciations of the Jewish state, like a good European nation would do out of habit.  Legacy building will drive the White House to agree to any nuclear deal with Iran it can get, and hope that the Iranians repay the favor of additional sanctions relief by not showing their contempt for America — delaying the final step of their accession to the nuclear club until Obama leaves office. That will mean Obama’s successor will have to answer the “who lost China” question about Iran getting the bomb.

On the home front, the president will likely make greater use of his Justice Department to regularly bring suit to push a racial agenda, making use of disparate impact tests to challenge alleged discrimination in one economic sector after another and one location after another.

It might be better for all if there were more team celebrations to take up the president’s time. Why not honor college lacrosse champions or rowing teams?  Maybe next time will be the charm for a Triple Crown winner. Maybe the White Sox will become a contender, and their fan-in-chief can devote more time to following  the pennant race.  We should hope for more such distractions. Trivial pursuits are better than failed policy and doing damage to America.

——–

With all eyes on the midterms, PJ Media is launching The Grid. The Grid will be your one-stop shop to find out all the latest on these crucial elections, along with other news in and beyond politics.

Richard A. Baehr is the co-founder and chief political correspondent for the American Thinker. For his day job, he has been a health care consultant for many years doing planning and financial analyses for providers.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Never willing to compromise. Never admission of error or apology for anything.
Unwilling to engage the opposition in meaningful debate.
Condescension, derision, and contempt for 'outside' views and
Vilification of any opposition. These are the hallmarks
Of radical Islamism, leftism, and the current resident of the White House.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
What planet does Richard Baehr live on? On earth, Obama gets to do whatever he wants, legal or illegal, and nobody protests. Nobody. He gets to target his enemies with the full power of the government and nobody does a thing. If Democrats lose the Senate, so what. Mitch McConnell will most likely be the Majority Leader and he is fully funding Obamacare, along with John Boehner, so what is the big deal if there is a Republican Senate, Mr. Baehr. Right now, the Republicans are desperately trying to figure out how to give the Democrats exactly what THEY want on legalizing illegals so they are zero threat to Obama. There are only about five elected Republicans, maybe 10 after January, who will even criticize Obama. So, Mr. Baehr, your headline betrays a vast ignorance of what todays Republicans are all about.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never have I seen such an abomination in the white house. Congress can start reining him in immediately by cutting the purse strings. I would start with the EPA. Simply cut their funding until they start listening to congress. Next would be the DOJ. Either prosecute the law firmly and fairly and comply with lawful congressional subpoenas or we will cut off your funding. White racism and voter ID laws do not jeopardize our republic. The numerous white house scandals do. Either do your job or appoint independent prosecutors to do it for you. Next is the IRS. Cut off all funding until full compliance with duly issued congressional subpoenas, and production of those responsible for the unlawful targeting of conservatives. The house needs to start using the power it has. If Boehner can't do it, we need a new majority leader. Stop the nonsense we are losing our country.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (33)
All Comments   (33)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Obama had 2 YEARS when he controlled both the Senate AND Congress. He accomplished nothing positive, while driving poverty (i.e.- welfare, medicaid, disability, food stamps, minority unemployment, national debt have ALL skyrocketed) up, in the last 5 years. He is, without a doubt, the worst President that we've ever had.

Obama = (Nixon + Sharpton) x Carter
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe maobama should use his phone and his pen.Stick his phone up his a$$,and his pen in his ear as far as it will go.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama would need his own mountain for carving his likeness. He could never be in the company of mere mortals like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why would Lipizzaners be unwelcome? They're gray?
(If you're going for they're white and that's the wrong color in this administration, sorry to tell you, they're gray.) They're dressage horses, having nothing to do with horse racing. Does it have something to do with General Patton? WWII? Speaking Austrian?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welcome to the alternate reality of liberal "national security" policy: It yields neither security nor a sovereign nation.
The self-absorbed American electorate is not left-wing or liberal. It is apathetic, an attitude for which it will pay a horrendous price. God help them.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Rs better have a clear eyed plan B thought out when they takeover because this guy will try to leave behind far more serious damage to the country than what he has already done.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
" ... (Obama) always regarded those who were not on his side politically as not worth the effort to persuade ... "

Sorry, Rich, you understand nothing about how a psychopath acts. But you are not alone, almost no one understands how a psychopath acts.

Psychopaths are equally contemptuous of supporters and opponents alike. Everyone and everything are tools to use and abuse as the psychopath sees fit.

" ... in seeming contempt or disregard for the law."

A psychopath has as little regard for the law as he does for the Tea Party or for the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Psychopathic Hitler threw Ernst Rohm, his closest associate, under the bus without a thought when it was politically convenient to do so.

No one understands that psychopathy is the world's worst mental disorder, and that is what we are dealing with in Obama and his psychopath enablers in the Democratic Party.


24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
WHY SHOULD BO BERGDAHL HATE PRESIDENT OBAMA?

Click www.apollospeaks.com for the answer.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Quit hawking your website. I've *never* seen a single "like" on ANY of your self-serving posts.

Nobody cares.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Full GOP control of Congress will make hardly any difference at all. The only thing it does is stop Reid from tabling all House legislation, and set up veto fights instead. All Democrats are guaranteed to stand with Obama no matter what, so no vetoes will be overridden. The Democrats will take all veto override votes as test votes on impeachment and impose strict party discipline. So instead of Boehner negotiating with Reid he will have to negotiate with Obama, as difficult as that is. And Senate control will prevent Obama from making any Supreme Court nominations, but there might not be any open slots anyway. As long as his own party protects him, Obama can get away with anything, just as he does now.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
We'll see. When he vetoes something popular with the country, in addition to his continued lawless behavior, and the Dems still won't override, the screams for impeachment from the electorate may just be loud enough to be heard even in the tone-deaf Democrat Party and the office of the spineless Speaker.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never willing to compromise. Never admission of error or apology for anything.
Unwilling to engage the opposition in meaningful debate.
Condescension, derision, and contempt for 'outside' views and
Vilification of any opposition. These are the hallmarks
Of radical Islamism, leftism, and the current resident of the White House.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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