Jonathan Turley, writing at USA Today, looks at some of the similarities between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama. That’s all well and good, but what are some of the differences between the two men?
Nixon aspired to the imperial presidency; Obama has achieved it.
Nixon thought of the press as Muppets who hated him; Obama thinks of the press as Muppets who bow down before him.
Nixon thought the idea of homosexual marriage was an absurd oxymoron; Obama was against it before he was for it.
Nixon practiced wireless surveillance; Obama perfected it.
Nixon had enemies lists; Obama has kill lists.
Nixon’s second term was a catastrophic failure of leadership and ethics; Obama’s first and second terms have been the same.
The idea that President Obama might compare unfavorably to President Nixon should give him and his Administration pause. But it won’t.
A commissioning oath (they vary slightly between services):
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Hmmm. They look pretty similar don’t they? And yet, if military officers took its oath as unseriously as Dianne Feinstein takes hers, we’d have had non-stop military coups since our earliest days.
Which is a more professional organization, the military or the Congress, and which takes the oath more seriously? On whole, I’d argue it’s the military, hands down.
Through its obedience to the Constitution, it seems the military takes the Constitution seriously while far too many in the Congress—for example, in Feinstein’s recent posturing and political theater (‘Senator, I’ve been on this committee twenty years and I’ll ignore your question completely and I’m offended and I’m going to lecture you in the hopes you’ll shut up and I’m not a sixth grader, blah, blah, blah’)—take its own “wisdom” and authority self-seriously. After all, isn’t the wisdom of a fool still foolishness?
Similarly, we have the imperial president, one who ignores legislation in lieu of executive orders, who arbitrarily determines when the Senate is or isn’t in session, who uses taxpayer funded resources as personal accoutrements, who ignores Congressional oversight, who self-certifies his own death-by-drone list, etc.
When leaders rely on their own wisdom, outside the law and moral constraints, things end poorly.
Why did so many Dems go all-in on Obama’s death-by-drone policy?
Easy: because Obama is a Democrat.
Remember the threats of trials for former Bush officials regarding enhanced interrogation? Recall the Obama principle of terrorism being a law enforcement issue that can be addressed in the courts? One doesn’t hear too much of those in these times.
Ignored are previous and sometimes principled Democrat policy disagreement, replaced with Presidential drone-death apologists like Dianne Feinstein, here leading along John Brennan in his recent Congressional testimony:
“And, so, Mr. Awlaki is not an American citizen by where anyone in America would be proud.”
Some New Yorker comment/questioning of Feinstein’s death-by-drone proposal:
“Proud,” “upstanding,” “so-called American”—is this the basis on which the Senate is judging fundamental questions of American rights and due process? Before the hearing, I wondered what picture of Americans we were supposed to have when we heard about the executive giving itself the power to kill them. Feinstein could hardly have given a less reassuring answer.
The Obama Administration, as far as we’ve seen in a leaked Department of Justice white paper, is making a contradictory case: it claims that it is deliberate and careful, acting only when it must to say lives. But, when challenged, it descends into emotion and an abandonment of law.
The lesson of lawlessness—and hubris—here is obvious. The Administration cannot admit its crimes, its wrongs, or even its contradictions, and if you don’t believe it, just ask chief apologist Jay Carney; somehow this license to kill difficulty will end up as the fault of
Congress Republicans. And waiving off such difficulties requires the help of deep-Blue state (and untouchable) Obama boosters, such as Feinstein, attempting to employ Jedi mind tricks in lieu of logic, law, and reason.
And yet while Feinstein doesn’t want you to have a 20-round 9mm clip, she’s OK with the President acting alone as policeman, judge, jury, and executioner. Welcome to the Imperial Presidency, where the king is law.
The bigger revelation? If, like Feinstein, you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.
UPDATE. The last sentence should have read as follows: “If, like Feinstein, you represent only partisan politics, you’ll do anything.”
The Audacity of Hope? Hardly. Instead, consider The Audacity of Death. Or perhaps The Audacity of Drone Kills.
There’s this from the New York Times on the President’s self-authorized/self-certified/unreviewable license to kill:
The paper’s sweeping claims of executive power are audacious. For a threat to be deemed “imminent,” it is not necessary for a specific attack to be under way. The paper denies Congress and the federal courts a role in authorizing the killings — or even reviewing them afterward. In doing so, it cites the authorization of force that Congress granted to President George W. Bush after 9/11.
The Time’s blurb is fascinating at several levels. First, they dare to publicly question their great god, Barack Obama. Next, President Obama’s policy refers back to a Bush-based standard—while twisting it into a wholly unrecognizable shape—to justify his kill program. Finally, is the author goofing on Obama’s Audacity of Hope?
Has the Administration–and the Times–somehow forgotten Bush all bad, Obama all good?
Formal justice often moves slowly.
While Barry may be lefty catnip, he ain’t extra-legal Superfly.
In unrelated news, Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius announced Congressional approval was not required for a revision to the Obamacare prescription medication benefit. The benefit will be immediately amended to include a variety of free fly control products approved for human use.
The Emperor has announced more gun control. The not-completely-related clip from Drudge:
A different clip, this one from the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law:
Discuss, consider yourselves conquered, and assimilate into the collective. It’s for the children.
A draft of the 19 gun control items President Obama intends to pursue via Executive Order were provided by a senior advisor who was not authorized to discuss their release. They are as follows:
- Assault weapon ban
- Handgun ban
- Long gun ban
- Shotgun ban
- Ammunition ban
- Magazine ban
- New lifelong waiting periods
- Making guns illegal in schools
- Making guns illegal in cars
- Making guns illegal in the outdoors
- Making guns illegal on private property
- Making guns illegal on government property
- Making gun possession a hate crime
- Making ammunition possession a hate crime
- Making magazine possession a hate crime
- Making concealed carry a federal crime
- Making open carry a federal crime
- Paintball gun ban
- Requiring all Americans wear body armor
A twentieth order, banning all pictures of guns, ammunition, and magazines, was considered but rejected due to First Amendment concerns.
Several prominent Democrat lawmakers say the proposals don’t go far enough, but that they are willing to support the President’s decisions while more restrictive legislation can be drafted.
Waivers to the Executive Orders—limited to Democrats only—will be subject to President Obama’s personal approval.
(Philup Nubia and Zerxes Jones-Smith from PMNS’s Chicago Information, Research, and Translation Service enclave contributed to this article.)
Finding media bias that favors President Obama is so old hat and so easy as to almost make the entire exercise pointless. Man remains the only creature capable of deceiving himself and media man is not only capable of deceiving himself, but others. Something about how misery loves company, I suppose.
None-the-less, here are a couple of observations just so I stay in practice.
On one hand you have Paul Gregory at Forbes who lays out a brilliant case against Obama-speak (“I saved GM from bankruptcy”) and Clinton-speak (‘He saved the entire U.S. auto industry’) while also making the point our imperial president chose to patronize his political allies, practice crony capitalism, and ignore the law and past practice with the Administration’s political solution to GM and Chrysler’s non-competitiveness. The efficacy of the political solution at GM, at least, is crumbling, while Chrysler—at least Fiat now owns most of it—had no where to go but up (although their 2011 sales were below their 2008 mark).
And as far as the crumbling goes, even GM is chaffing at the Administration’s foolishness. In fact, GM now wants to take repurchase stock from the taxpayer funded rescue. The problem is the government won’t let them do it:
At GM’s Friday [14 September 2012] share price of $24.14, the U.S. would lose about $15 billion on the GM bailout if it sold its entire stake. While GM stock would need to reach $53 a share for the U.S. to break even, Treasury officials would consider selling at a price in the $30s, people familiar with the government’s thinking have said.
There is also a political calculus. A deal at this time could be fraught for the Obama administration, which has maintained that the bailout saved hundreds of thousands of jobs at a critical time for the U.S. economy and was a win-win for business and taxpayers alike. Huge losses on taxpayer investment in the auto maker’s stock could tarnish the administration’s overall record in recovering crisis-era bailout money.
On the other hand you have a pro-Obama/anti-Romney article steeped in regurgitative media bias, A Desperate, Deceptive Gambit for Romney in Ohio, which appears in the New Republic (I’m shocked, shocked!).
It’s fair to say that they [‘thousands and thousands’ of Ohioans] owe their jobs to President Obama, who in 2009 rescued Chrysler and General Motors from likely liquidation.
Liquidation, as the author fails to notice, is the normal process of an asset being sold to settle an obligation. He additionally fails to understand the sold assets are then used by another entity.
The NR author is so in the tank for Obama (if you couldn’t tell from the headline), he later feels compelled to add in some faux-objectiveness:
Did Romney intend to mislead Ohio voters [regarding Chrysler building a Jeep plant in China, the “desperate, deceptive gambit”]? I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Presidential campaigns are chaotic, particularly in their final weeks.
Of course he isn’t prepared to give Mitt Romney the benefit of the doubt; it’s just a set-up and giving Romney such benefit would confuse his readers, his instincts, and his storyline.
Instead, the definitive New Republic assertion is Mitt Romney is desperate and deceptive while Dear Reader saved jobs. Lots and lots of jobs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs:
…as Chrysler and GM were on the brink of true collapse, the Obama Administration stepped in with federal loans and a managed bankruptcy. Almost immediately, the automobile manufacturing sector started growing again. Since July, 2009, the workforce has risen by about 150,000 jobs and that’s purely in vehicle manufacturing. If you include parts and other related jobs, it’s 250,000.
A managed bankruptcy is a nice way of saying a politically managed bankruptcy. Then the author uses a graph featuring a super-shallow “V” of automotive jobs as evidence of the Obama automotive “recovery.” But moreover, as Mr. Gregory points out, the entire effort is but another example of Clinton-speak:
Bill Clinton’s Charlotte boast of “250,000 more people working in the auto industry” refers to new automotive jobs at Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Ford, and assorted trailer, camper, and jeep operations in America – not at the “new” GM.
And meanwhile back in Ohio (emphasis in the Gregory original)?
In March of 2008, GM employed 12,300 Ohioans. Today, GM employs 9,533, for a loss of 2,767 jobs — equal the average GM job loss in U.S. operations. A structured bankruptcy would have yielded a similar jobs result, but a competitive GM. There would be about 10,000 GM jobs in Ohio today with or without Obama “Saving GM.”
While it’s useful to re-confirm that the left lives in denial land, things that can’t continue forever—like a Soviet-style command-directed economy—won’t.
The role of the president, according to Article II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution, is to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
The just-discovered typographical error in the President’s copy of Article II, Section 3:
(the president shall) “take Care that the Laws be faithlessly executed.”
That explains everything. And not even spell-check would have caught that.