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3 Windows into Obama's Dangerous Second Term

Regulation and cronyism. On October 23, John Hayward at Human Events identified what we would face if Obama won reelection:

Sprinkled through his speeches and debate performances are little hints that he (Obama) plans to double down on everything the American public hates. Solyndra? More to come. Regulation? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Taxes? Not nearly high enough. ObamaCare? Not nearly complicated enough. Medicare? Ignore your lying calculators, it’s just fine the way it is.

Even though many of its regulations don't go live until 2014, ObamaCare is already holding back the job market. As the Wall Street Journal reported on November 4 ("Health-Care Law Spurs a Shift to Part-Time Workers"):

Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week. That is the threshold at which large employers in 2014 would have to offer workers a minimum level of insurance or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 for each worker.

The reason companies are making these moves now is that the penalty thresholds in 2014 will be driven by reported employment during 2013. The bifurcation of the workforce between those desperately hanging on to full-time jobs and those who can only find part-time or temporary employment (if they're even that lucky), already well under way during Obama's first term, is destined to accelerate during his second.

Thus, Obama, no longer needing voter approval, supported by legions of federal apparatchiks, and clearly unconcerned about annoyances like the Constitution's supposed limits on executive power and authority, now has a four-year open field.

As the ugliness continues to unfold, I certainly hope that the millions of conservatives who chose to stay home, thereby guaranteeing Mitt Romney's defeat in four states where their presence in numbers comparable to 2004 and 2008 would have given him an electoral vote majority, seriously question their decisions. Jim Geraghty at National Review noted that even in the face of dozens of external and self-inflicted factors leading to his underperformance, Romney could have won the election if a combined 407,000 sideline-sitters would have shown up in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado. New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada should also have been within reach.

By sitting out what may come to be seen as the most consequential presidential election in almost 150 years -- this time potentially fracturing the union beyond repair instead of saving it, as Lincoln's 1864 reelection did -- they have for now forfeited any right to have their complaints taken seriously. If they continue to refuse to engage, it will only get worse.


Image courtesy shutterstock /  Anna Jurkovska