[VIDEO] Hubris: Obama Taking Credit for Iraq Troop Withdrawal Over and Over in 2012, Ducking Responsibility for it in 2014Posted: August 12, 2014
President Obama took credit for Iraq troop withdrawal over and over in 2012 before ducking responsibility for it in 2014. The first 3/4ths of this is predictable grandstanding, electioneering, credit-taking, campaigning, boasting, signature Obama. The sweet spot starts at around 46 seconds.
“Uh umm, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving myself to you.“
Full in-context video here
One of the many things Obama campaigned on was a promise to restore confidence in the federal government’s competence after the failures of the Bush years. Building a case for expanding, not reducing, the role of big government in American life, while curbing overuse of executive power, scaling back military obligations, and ending intelligence agency abuses, the effort succeeded, and Democrats took power. Five years later, Obama’s campaign to make government better, more responsive, and more accountable is widely recognized for what it was–empty campaign rhetoric. Once in the White House, his administration became more secretive, more adventurous, and more abusive than any in the post-war era.
And the campaign never ended. Employing a variety of tactical maneuvers and rhetorical sleight-of-hand, this administration seeks to provide cover for one power grab after another. Defending Obama’s use of executive orders, his team–with help from the media–are waging a cynical campaign to mislead the American public.
This point can’t be made enough–quantity isn’t the issue, quality is–but that won’t put a dent in the rhetorical armor shielding the White House from charges of overreach. The predictable boasts by Administration officials and talking heads about Obama’s record of issuing fewer executive orders, or less than his predecessors, is meant to fortify effort. Why so cynical? One answer–though this deserves further exploration in a future post–is that it banks on the public’s escapist tendencies, it urges them to tune out.
Barack Obama is constantly mocking the House lawsuit by referencing the fact he’s issued the fewest executive orders of any president over the last century. His spin-squad, paid and unpaid, parrots the argument at every turn. My yell-at-the-TV gripe about this has mostly revolved around the fact that the number of executive orders has nothing to do with anything. The president could issue a hundred executive orders a day — about casual Friday dress codes, the need to label food in the West Wing fridge, about how August 15 will hence forth be known as “Wacky Sock Day” — and no one would care. Or he could issue one executive order during his entire presidency. If that one order was about “Wacky Sock Day,” again no one would care. Read the rest of this entry »
“That’s got to change to serve the president better, because right now the communications shop is ill-serving him.”
Disclosure: I had a phone conversation with Lanny Davis during the Clinton years. He was interested in a portrait I’d done of him in the New Republic, and sweet-talked me into giving it to him for next to nothing. I found Mr. Davis to be a disarming, self-deprecating, gently persuasive operator. Davis was viewed by the press at that time, as a ‘master of spin’. He’s well-positioned to make these observations, and I’m sure it gives him no pleasure to see a Democrat in the oval office being ill-served by communications director Dan Pfeiffer.
“It’s the cynical spin that I hear from the White House communications shop rather than constructive, outreach, high-level the way the way the president deserves.”
The strategy of the White House communications wing of “always demonizing the opposition” is not only damaging to the national discourse, but ultimately for President Obama as well, says Democratic adviser and strategist Lanny Davis…(read more)
FLASHBACK: June 10, 2008: ‘Impeaching George W. Bush, president of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors’Posted: August 3, 2014
For RealClearPolitics, Carl M. Cannon writes: One disconcerting feature of modern liberalism is that so many Democrats consider it reasonable to judge the Republican Party by its most rhetorically untethered adherents: Sarah Palin, for one. Or Rush Limbaugh. Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is another example.
Those three have been trying to nudge their fellow conservatives in the direction of impeaching President Obama. This suicidal idea has been duly ignored by the Senate Republican leadership, the House leadership, and every potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
“The sponsors of the Bush impeachment bill were congressional liberals in good standing with the Democratic leadership in the House, and most of them are still there, including—yes, you guessed it—Sheila Jackson Lee.”
It has been rejected out of hand, really, by almost every prominent Republican in the country, including the never-shy Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Limbaugh is a famous talk radio provocateur; Palin a failed vice president candidate who resigned from Alaska’s governorship after less than one full term to cash in as an author and Fox News talking head. Stockman is a fringe character departing the House after losing a Republican senatorial primary in landslide. In other words, these are not people in positions of authority or responsibility within the Republican Party.
The actual officeholders and party professionals stoking impeachment talk are all Democrats. This is disquieting for several reasons. For starters, having White House officials and leading congressional Democrats claim with straight faces that impeachment is a serious threat is cynical and dishonest. Its purpose is to frighten liberals into donating money to Democrats, a tactic that is working. But it suggests a political party that is out of gas and out of ideas.
Speaking in Kansas City last week, Obama sounded more Valley Girl than presidential. “We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” he complained. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time.”
On Capitol Hill, Democrats deliberately conflated the loose talk of impeachment with the House Republicans’ pending lawsuit against Obama over a series of executive orders and administrative waivers regarding the Affordable Care Act. This, too, is a nasty little ploy: Impeachment is a right-wing fantasy. Going to court over the separation of powers disputes is a way to address constitutional disputes. Read the rest of this entry »
…Over the last month… an entire apocalyptic fund-raising campaign has been built around the specter of a House impeachment vote.
Anyone paying attention knows that no such impeachment plan is currently afoot. So taken on its own, the impeachment chatter would simply be an unseemly, un-presidential attempt to raise money and get out the 2014 vote…
“The president is contemplating — indeed, all but promising — an extraordinary abuse of office.”
…Beyond a certain point, as the president himself has conceded in the past, selective enforcement of our laws amounts to a de facto repeal of their provisions. And in this case the de facto repeal would aim to effectively settle — not shift, but settle — a major domestic policy controversy on the terms favored by the White House.
[White House Double-Speak - Obama on DREAM Act: Can't "just change the laws unilaterally" Transcript]
[Not seeing the big picture - To improve its standing with voters, the White House tries to drum up some trouble for itself - Time]
“This is the tone of the media right now: The president may get the occasional rebuke for impeachment-baiting, but what the White House wants to do on immigration is assumed to be reasonable, legitimate, within normal political bounds.”
[Setting the Table: Pfeiffer: ‘The President Has No Choice but to Act’]
“It is not: It would be lawless, reckless, a leap into the antidemocratic dark.”
…This simply does not happen in our politics. Presidents are granted broad powers over foreign policy, and they tend to push the envelope substantially in wartime. But domestic power grabs are usually modest in scope, and executive orders usually work around the margins of hotly contested issues.
In defense of going much, much further, the White House would doubtless cite the need to address the current migrant surge, the House Republicans’ resistance to comprehensive immigration reform and public opinion’s inclination in its favor. Read the rest of this entry »
Immigration is now President Obama’s worst issue http://t.co/aELOG7Si4M
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 31, 2014
On Wednesday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said that Democrats will come to rue their response to President Obama’s executive overreach…
“The president’s job is not, as the president says, to help people — that’s his interpretation of what he does — it’s to faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed. That is as clear as day. That’s the definition of his job.”
“Such misconduct need not be an indictable wrong. It could involve dereliction of duty, lies to Congress or the public about serious matters, the failure to honor an oath.”
I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way… [The Republicans’ differences with the White House do] not rise to the high crime and misdemeanor level.
Wrong. To repeat, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a British term of art borrowed by the Framers, does not refer to penal offenses. It refers to what Hamilton called “the misconduct of public men, or in other words . . . the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Such misconduct need not be an indictable wrong. It could involve dereliction of duty, lies to Congress or the public about serious matters, the failure to honor an oath (such as the oath to execute the laws faithfully), and any conduct that intentionally undermines the governing framework that safeguards our liberties and security (the president, of course, takes an oath to preserve the Constitution).
- The border is being overrun and the president, far from taking action to stop it, is encouraging it.
- Illegal aliens are being smuggled throughout the country by the federal government without notice to the states.
- The president refuses to enforce the immigration laws. The president is usurping the power of Congress to confer federal benefits on aliens.
- The president is unilaterally rewriting Obamacare, the drug laws, and other congressional statutes that are inconvenient to him.
- The president willfully lied to the country to get Obamacare enacted and to get reelected.
- The commander-in-chief took no meaningful action to protect Americans before and during the terrorist siege of Benghazi, and then he and his administration willfully lied to the country about the cause of the massacre in order to get reelected.
- The president has used the federal bureaucracy to harass and punish his political opponents. Evidence of the IRS’s wrongdoing has been destroyed.
- Evidence about the Justice Department’s Fast & Furious scandal, which resulted in the murder of a Border Patrol agent, has been withheld from Congress — with the attorney general held in contempt.
- The VA cooked its books to conceal the mistreatment of our veterans, some of whom died.
It is perfectly understandable — indeed, it is wise — for Republicans to explain that there is no prospect of removing President Obama from power because you’d need lots of Democratic votes in the Senate and the Democrats will protect President Obama no matter how lawlessly he conducts himself. Read the rest of this entry »
Frustrated by GOP’s Unwillingness to Take the Bait, Obama Signs First-Ever Self-Impeachment Order
‘If the Republicans aren’t willing to work with me on this, I’ll do it myself.’
Critics Blast Obama’s Action as “Irresponsible”, “Reckless”, Dems Fear Constitutional Crisis.
Congress Accuses Obama of “Presidential Reach-Around.”
Report: Nancy Pelosi Seen in Senate Bathroom, Weeping and Throwing Up.
Senior White House Officials Not warned in Advance, Stunned by President’s Decision.
“I’m ready to retire anyway. Who needs this? They don’t appreciate what I’ve done for the middle class, what I’ve done for the children…”
“They don’t appreciate what I’ve done for the bureacrats, what I’ve done for the banks, and for Wall Street, what I’ve sacrificed for the future of the Democratic Party. Screw ‘em. I’m done.”
– Obama, after signing historic Self-Impeachment order.
The Hammer: Amnesty via Executive Order an Impeachable Offense, But Impeachment Would Still Be Political SuicidePosted: July 29, 2014
If Obama were to carry out his threat to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegals, Charles Krauthammer expressed this duality:
“Clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory…an impeachable offense.”
And later added,
“I would be 100 percent against impeachment because it’s political suicide.”
See how that works? The political paradox for opponents of executive overreach: If a president has the majority of the media working to protect him, and his opponents are defenseless because of this historically unique opportunity — virtually immune to impeachment — why wouldn’t he abuse his authority?
From today’s National Review Online: Talk of impeachment is a “concoction of Democrats,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grander strategy by the White House and its congressional allies, Charles Krauthammer warned.
On Tuesday’s Special Report, he speculated that the Obama administration may be trying to exhaust the idea of impeachment and “softening people up for” when the president uses executive action to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of immigrants in the country illegally…(read more)
GLOBAL PANIC FAILURE OVERLOAD Washington Post: ‘President Obama’s Competence Problem is Worse Than It Looks’Posted: July 29, 2014
“Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question…”
Obama was elected in 2008 on a stated promise that he would restore competence to government. He pitched himself as the antidote to “Heck of a job, Brownie” and the Bush years, the person who would always put the most qualified candidate in every job in his Administration. That the basic functioning of government would never be in question.
“…and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall.”
Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall. A series of events — from the VA scandal to the ongoing border crisis to the situation in Ukraine to the NSA spying program — have badly undermined the idea that Obama can effectively manage the government. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s not the job of the U.S. military to do nation building or produce democratic utopias.”
For The Daily Beast, Eli Lake writes: One way to understand Ted Cruz’s foreign policy, particularly if you are a Democrat, is through the prism of the social media phenomenon known as trolling. The best trolls are provocateurs. Their language is meant to expose a fallacy or weakness in the opponent’s position as opposed to offering a constructive alternative.
“The American president has a peculiar leadership responsibility to speak out for freedom.”
In a wide-ranging interview with the junior senator from Texas, there was a lot of trolling. Of Obama’s recent attempt to stop the fighting in Gaza, Cruz said, “We should be helping Israel, not Hamas, which is what John Kerry’s proposal would have done.” But Cruz found a silver lining. “It’s remarkable that the failures of the Obama, Clinton, Kerry foreign policy are not only uniting the left and right in Israel but might even be creating some common ground between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”
Cruz’s foreign policy approach hews much closer to that of one of Reagan’s top advisers, Jeane Kirkpatrick. She wrote a landmark essay for Commentary in 1979 called “Dictatorships And Double Standards” where she chastised President Jimmy Carter for pursuing human rights at the expense of U.S. national interests.
When speaking about the conditions that led up to the Egyptian military coup last year, Cruz observed: “One of the saddest things to see were posters among the people that said: ‘Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood,’ ‘America supports terrorists.’”
Cruz described Secretary of State John Kerry’s surprise deal with Vladimir Putin to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons in these words: “The incompetence of the Obama foreign policy was so manifest that it presented an opportunity for Putin to cast himself as a hero and save the day.” The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision last week to suspend all air travel to Israel after a Hamas rocket fell near Ben Gurion Airport amounted to an “economic boycott of Israel.”
But to think of Cruz as just a troll is to miss an important development in the Grand Old Party’s post-Bush foreign policy. Read the rest of this entry »