Patriot Post – Digest For Wednesday
Here Come the Post-Election Executive Orders
On the eve of the 2012 elections, the Obama administration had its fires to put out. Jihadis killed an ambassador and three other Americans in Libya in September. In October, a hurricane blew up the East Coast and gave Obama the opportunity to show the president in action — or to showcase a clumsy government trying to patch things before Election Day. This year, Barack Obama is waiting until after the election for his fireworks.
In some respects, the election two years ago was a harbinger of what this congressional election has become. Before his re-election, Obama delayed the EPA’s ozone rules. That was just one legislative delay. The administration waited until after the 2012 election to move forward on 24 “economically significant” regulations. In the months leading up to that election, it worked on only eight.
In this election, the Democrat Party has all but abandoned the president. The governor of Connecticut accepts the endorsement of Bill Clinton, but shuns the fundraisers where Obama makes an appearance. Obama chases after his party, saying that all his polices are on the ballot, but Democrat politicians won’t even say if they voted for the man. The scandals abound in the IRS, the VA, the jihadi prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl, etc. And like every other facet of election-year politics, Obama has backlogged his executive actions, waiting until the results come in to release them in one big rush.
This is the home stretch for Obama. This is the last major election until he retires to Chicago, or Hawaii, or wherever his golf-happy heart desires. And that’s why this election is so scary: He has less reason than ever to behave within constitutional bounds. The next two years are his last chance to pad his legacy with imperial actions.
The White House expects a Republican-controlled Congress. Obama’s White House staff is cynical that a new Congress will get anything done. “Republicans in control in the Senate, [Hill insiders] say, would mean two years of obstruction, subpoenas and brutal confirmation fights,” Politico reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere writes. “Instead of 2016 creating pressure to get things done, it will set up yet another cycle of running the clock with the majority up for grabs again in two years.”
So the Rambo in chief will load his pen and heft his phone to go hunting in the swamp along the Potomac. He has prey aplenty. The pundits anticipate Obama’s biggest prize will be some kind of action on immigration. He’s promised the Congressional Hispanic Caucus an executive action if they would just be patient, and the ever-political Obama will likely give those all-important constituents something juicy to smooth over the relationship.
And while Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, he hasn’t exactly packed his boxes and left the building, as Obama has yet to nominate a replacement for him. Could the next AG be worse than Holder? The New York Post certainly thinks so, speculating Obama’s first pick may be now-Labor Secretary Thomas Perez — a more radical race baiter than even Holder.
But many of Obama’s delayed actions have also been to avert some more … uncomfortable situations. The U.S. Army is sitting on its completed investigation into Bowe Bergdahl. But we’ll just have to wait until after the election to find out the Army’s assessment of Bergdahl’s actions. By delaying, the Obama administration pushes a summertime scandal out of sight.
To avoid giving the Right rhetorical ammunition, the Obama administration delayed the release of this year’s ObamaCare premium numbers. By all accounts, rates will increase substantially, smacking the low-income earners shopping in the most inexpensive bracket, bronze, with an estimated 14% hike. Worse, a new study says hikes could reach 78%. Such sticker shock would fail to persuade only the most ardent of Obama supporters.
It’s difficult to get a bead on Obama’s real plans because the administration obfuscates the facts so thoroughly. Even lefty journalists in Washington warn about the Obama administration’s stonewalling, intimidation and general lack of transparency on a regular basis.
“I’m worried that whatever happens with this administration, that’s the new floor for the next administration,” said USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. “And that we’ll never regain access, ability to do reporting, ability to do our job unless we just constantly fight the battle.”
It’s not just the press/politician relationship that’s at stake. Obama’s phone-and-pen tactics, his lack of accountability and his disregard for the Constitution could set a precedent for future American presidents. The most lasting legacy the Obama administration may leave is putting the word “bully” in “bully pulpit.”