As Obama’s Power Fades, Americans Should Celebrate Hobbled GovernmentPosted: May 30, 2014
However limited the president’s power and influence in Washington, they’re about to shrink. And that’s a good thing.
For Reason, Steve Chapman writes: About now, Barack Obama may be wondering why he thought it would be such fun to serve a second term rather than go lounge on a beach in Hawaii. Life in the White House has become a daily ordeal of pain and frustration. Nothing is going well.
“Presidents don’t scale back their ambitions because they want to; they do it because they have to.”
On the foreign front, he has to contend with an aggressive Vladimir Putin, an unsuccessful war in Afghanistan and his failure to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Domestically, he has to endure a Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, an underperforming economy, a health care overhaul whose ultimate success is in doubt, House hearings on Benghazi, and an inability to get Congress to do anything he wants.
“Obama is stymied on Capitol Hill because he lacks the political power or popular standing to get his way.”
In the international arena, as a news story in The Chicago Tribune recently noted, the president has been compelled to adopt a “measured, even incremental, approach to most foreign crises and challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to Syria’s grinding war.” Instead of trying to do great things, he’s settled for a policy that his aides summarize as “Don’t do stupid stuff”—though they use a different word than “stuff.”
Here at home, Obama is looking for ways to act entirely on his own in areas where he can’t get Congress to move—such as declining to deport foreigners who grew up in the United States after coming illegally as children and curbing greenhouse gas emissions through Environmental Protection Agency rules.
His executive actions, decried by Republicans as incipient dictatorship, betray weakness, not strength. Presidents don’t scale back their ambitions because they want to; they do it because they have to. Obama is stymied on Capitol Hill because he lacks the political power or popular standing to get his way…(read more)
- Legacy at risk, Obama struggles to redefine foreign policy (reuters.com)
- Obama Attacks His Own Foreign Policy at West Point (breitbart.com)
- How Obama Has Hobbled the Economy (online.wsj.com)
- Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Foreign-Policy Speech ‘Literally Pointless’ (nationalreview.com)