What’s the most important question that Barack Obama and his aides are wrestling with these days?
No, it’s not what they should do about the crisis in the Ukraine or how they can get Vladimir Putin to back down. Sadly for us, and all freedom-loving Ukrainians, the Russian President knows he can ignore any tough talk from the American President. Putin has concluded that Obama is all bluff and bluster. And who can blame him?
Nor are those White House aides burning the midnight oil debating how they can prevent things from degenerating even further in the Mideast. Their only hope for a peaceful solution in Syria is that Bashar Assad suffers a fatal heart attack. And that the fates (or maybe Israel) will conspire to halt Iraq’s nuclear ambitions; certainly the mullahs there don’t view American policy as a serious threat to their ambitions.
No, the single most important question occupying the Democrats these days is much closer to home. It is simply this: What can the Obama Administration do to minimize Democratic losses in the midterm elections this November?
The Democrats may be committed to raising taxes on the “rich,” giving more subsidies to the poor and even most middle-class Americans, and doing everything they can to promote economic equality. But they’re not total idiots. They know that tens of millions of Americans are still unemployed or woefully underemployed. They know that there is no “economic recovery” taking place in this country, no matter what the President and his pet economic advisers claim.
They know that the horribly (and deliberately) misnamed Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is the most unpopular piece of legislation to be rammed through Congress in the past 50 years.
And they know that, as a result, Democratic incumbents are in big, big trouble in the coming midterm elections. They’ve already given up on winning back control of the House of Representatives. Now their biggest nightmare is that they will also lose control of the Senate.
Once you realize that this is the question consuming Democratic leaders, then every new policy, every new promise and every new pronouncement makes a lot more sense.
That’s why Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had the unmitigated gall to declare that all of those horror stories about people being hurt by Obamacare are nothing but lies. According to the Senate Majority Leader, all such reports are just “made up from whole cloth.” Sure thing, Harry. Lots of luck getting any but the most deluded Democrats buying into that one.
It is this political concern that explains why Obama and his team have made more than a dozen changes to Obamacare since the Affordable Care Act became law. The latest occurred earlier this week, when they declared that consumers can keep insurance plans that don’t comply with the Federal health law for another two years, until the end of 2016.
Previously, those plans would have expired at the end of this year, which means that millions of consumers would have received notices of cancellation right before the November elections. Guess which party would have been hurt the most when those people went to the polls?
But wait a minute. Since Congress passed the original law, shouldn’t it have been up to our lawmakers to change the requirements or issue any such extensions? Sure, it should. But obeying the law has never been a policy of this Administration. After all, Obama boasted about how much he could do without Congressional approval, just by using his phone and his pen.
Last week, The Heritage Foundation issued a list of the Obama Administration’s most flagrant violations of the Constitutional separation of powers. Leading the list was how the Administration had unilaterally changed the employer mandate in Obamacare without any Congressional authority to do so.
So now comes the latest charade in the political theater that is Washington, D.C.: the President’s new budget proposal. Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2015 calls for a staggering $3.9 trillion in Federal spending. But thanks to hefty new taxes on corporations and “the rich,” he claims that the deficit will shrink to “only” $564 billion.
That’s right. Our most spendthrift President in history has the nerve to brag about a budget that will put this country another half-a-trillion dollars in the red. “Our budget is about choices,” the President declared. “As a country, we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans or if we’re going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American.”
The President’s proposed budget repeats calls for a several proposals, such as increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits, that have gone nowhere in Congress but always get enthusiastic applause from Democrat loyalists.
Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who as House Budget Committee Chairman will be responsible for putting together the Republican counterproposal, said in response, “This budget isn’t a serious document; it’s a campaign brochure.”
Well, of course it is. The Democrats know full well that there isn’t the slightest chance that the President’s budget proposals will get approved in the House of Representatives. Of course it reads more like a campaign document than a serious proposal. It was planned that way.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was just as dismissive as his Republican colleague. “After years of fiscal and economic mismanagement,” Boehner declared, “the President has offered perhaps his most irresponsible budget yet. Spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much, it would hurt our economy and cost jobs.”
So the political charade continues. And it will — until enough voters decide to replace both the Tweedledum and Tweedledee candidates. Meanwhile, get ready for a lot more BS from the poseurs and politicians in Washington. Remember, it’s all about what polls well and makes the best commercials.
God help our Republic.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.
Editor’s note: To see The Heritage Foundation’s list of President Barack Obama’s most unConstitutional executive actions, check out Ben Bullard’s article from Monday’s P.M. Edition of Personal Liberty Digest™.