If you listen to progressives these days, the Supreme Court has granted corporations the power to compel their employees to go to church. It has empowered corporations to tell women to throw away their contraceptives. Five of the men on the court have declared full jihad against all of the women of America. Next stop, subjugation, revocation of the right to vote, and the end of women’s rights in America.
All of that is absurd, of course. The Hobby Lobby case was a too-narrow win for religious freedom and private property rights. But it’s making for amusing theatrics around the country as Democrats grapple with the fact that the man atop their party is an incompetent buffoon, and the American people have figured that out, and the Democrats are stuck with him.
Two years ago, I coined a phrase that stuck. In June of 2012, President Obama suspended the federal government’s immigration law enforcement agreements with the state of Arizona. He did this to retaliate for that state passing a modest law with the aim of getting a handle on the growing chaos on its border with Mexico. Obama was “going Soviet” on Arizona, I wrote, and Rush Limbaugh and others quickly picked up the phrase to describe what was going on. What I meant by “going Soviet” was that Obama was clearly punishing Arizona and singling it out to make an example of it for other states, especially red states. The phrase reaches back into the history that they no longer teach in our schools, to a time when the Soviet Union existed and was as brutal to its own people as it attempted to be to the rest of the world. People who stepped out of line would find themselves subjected to abuse by their own government. On the extreme end, the USSR literally starved millions of Ukrainians to death. The American press, led by the New York Times, helped the Soviets cover up their ghastly crimes. The US media has served a similar function during Obama’s reign.
In June of 2012, Obama punished Arizona for its attempt to enforce immigration law. In those days, none of us had any idea that the Obama IRS was also systematically punishing Tea Party groups by dragging out their tax-exempt application processes and subjecting them to invasive and abusive questioning. Most of us had no idea that True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht was being subjected to abuse from a litany of executive branch agencies. “Going Soviet” was more applicable than we knew, two years ago. We did not know that the IRS was criminally releasing conservative groups’ donor information to their leftwing enemies. AG Eric Holder’s refusal to investigate that was still in the future.
Fast forward two years, and Obama has been re-elected but he is already a lame duck when it comes to getting anything done in Congress. No one there trusts him. The Democrats have no relationship with him. The Republicans have been burned and, even if they wanted to strike a deal with him, sentient ones know that he will re-write whatever deal is crafted before the ink on his signature is dry. Pass a full immigration reform deal, and he will strip out all of the enforcement components and grant sweeping amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. He may even do what President Clinton did once, and speed up citizenship for millions of illegal aliens ahead of an election — so they can register and vote.
The polls show where Obama’s actions and untrustworthiness have led. He is rated the worst president since World War II. His personal popularity has crashed. Americans now say that we would all have been better off if Mitt Romney had been elected president in 2012. Obama has failed to help veterans, despite his explicit promises to reform the Veterans Administration. His foreign policy is a flop, and now Russia is on the march from one direction and the Islamic State, a new caliphate, is on the march in another. American influence is at such a low ebb that Russian pilots will soon be flying over Iraq to help that country and Iran push back against the Islamists. Either out of cluelessness or malice, Obama still wants to arm Syrian rebels, many of whom are Islamist radicals too.
And then there’s the Texas-Mexico border. Two years ago, Arizona’s border was in crisis mode, and Obama responded by punishing that state. Today, Texas is being flooded by illegal aliens.
And the Texas border is not being secured. Not even close. More than 50,000 illegal aliens — many of them children — have crossed into Texas in the past few months. The flood shows no signs of slowing down. The Obama administration’s response to that is to clamp down on free speech, threaten American medical personnel with arrest, block a congressman from seeing what’s going on, and ship thousands of illegal aliens around the country for processing and some kind of resettlement. Obama is provoking a backlash. He is creating a burden on America’s social systems that will last for decades to come, in terms of foster care, medical care, and education. This fall, thousands of these kids will be put in our public schools, many of which are already overcrowded. They will be placed in foster homes. They will be given green cards, which means legal status, and likely be put on a pathway to citizenship.
Is Obama just giving up? The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard thinks so.
The Hill Associate Editor, A.B. Stoddard. stated that it “seems like [President Obama] is giving up on the job [of president].” In a panel discussion on Fox’s “Special Report,” Stoddard reported “the president is giving Americans the sense that as he gives up on Congress, he’s kind of giving up his job.”
Giving up on Congress is not the same thing as giving up on what Barack Obama believes is his job. The signs do not point to him giving up on what he thinks he is destined to do with the office. They just point to his obvious impatience with the American system of governance. He was open about his disdain for the Constitution long before he was elected president. “We can’t wait” — a phrase so banal it belongs in a line of kindergarteners waiting to use the restroom — describes well Obama’s lack of enthusiasm for necessary constraints on his power.
Sure, Obama is bored with having to deal with John Boehner. He is bored with having to enforce laws that get in his way. He was happy to see Eric Cantor go. He is tired of having an opposition party that he keeps taunting and declaring dead, yet is on track to keep the House, keep the majority of governorships, and take control of the Senate this fall.
Barack Obama is tired of all of that. But no one should think for a second that that means that he is giving up. This summer and the next two years are promising to be an unending series of manufactured controversies, engineered constitutional crises, and endless political deviousness and division.
Barack Obama isn’t giving up. He’s just getting started.