Category Archives: Barack Obama

Obama Could Alter Stance Of Federal Courts….And Worse

Posted on February 7, 2012, 4:30pm

These aren’t even the most dangerous appointments Obama could make. Justice Kennedy is retiring soon and Ginsberg is not far behind him. All it takes is one more appointment and the Supreme Court is a liberal one, with at least three Leftist judges.

AP – A second term for President Barack Obama would allow him to expand his replacement of Republican-appointed majorities with Democratic ones on the nation’s appeals courts, the final stop for almost all challenged federal court rulings.

Despite his slow start in nominating judges and Republican delays in Senate confirmations, Obama has still managed to alter the balance of power on four of the nation’s 13 circuit courts of appeals. Given a second term, Obama could have the chance to install Democratic majorities on several others.

Fourteen of the 25 appeals court judges nominated by Obama replaced Republican appointees.

The next president, whether it’s Obama or a Republican, also has a reasonable shot at transforming the majority on the Supreme Court, because three justices representing the closely divided court’s liberal and conservative wings, as well as its center, will turn 80 before the next presidential term ends.

The three justices are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s liberal wing, conservative Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy, who leans conservative but on some issues provides a decisive vote for the liberals.

The next high court opening would cause a titanic confirmation fight if it would allow a Republican president to cement conservative control of the court by replacing Ginsburg or if Obama could give Democratic appointees a working majority for the first time in decades by replacing Scalia or Kennedy.

The prospect of such dramatic change on the Supreme Court, along with the justices’ strikingly high-profile election-year docket could heighten the judiciary’s importance as an election issue, said Curt Levey, who heads the conservative Committee for Justice. The justices will hear arguments on Obama’s health care overhaul in March and Arizona’s immigration crackdown in April. The court also could soon decide whether to hear a Texas affirmative action case challenging the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

Even one new justice can produce dramatic change. Justice Samuel Alito replaced the more moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and shifted the outcome in cases on abortion, campaign finance and other key issues, even though both were appointed by Republicans.

Openings on the circuit courts of appeals get much less attention, but those courts have the last say in most legal disputes that are appealed in the federal system. Only about 80 cases make it to the Supreme Court every year.

There are still more Republicans than Democrats on the circuit appeals courts and on the entire federal bench. But if Obama merely filled existing vacancies, Democratic appointees would be the majority on the influential court of appeals in Washington, where four current Supreme Court justices once served, and the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans also maintain their edge on the 10th Circuit in Denver only because two judgeships are empty.

Two other appeals courts on which Republicans have comfortable majorities could shift over the next four years. The Chicago-based 7th Circuit has four judges in their 70s who were chosen by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, Judge Emilio Garza, a Republican appointee, will take senior status in August, a move that will open a seat while Garza takes a smaller caseload. Two Reagan picks in their 70s remain on the court.

Twelve Reagan appointees now in their 70s remain on circuit appeals courts or, in the case of Scalia and Kennedy, the Supreme Court.

Republican presidents, in recent decades, have been more aggressive than Democrats in filling those seats with younger, more like-minded lawyers.

Many nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were in their early 40s, some even in their 30s, and with reputations as bold conservatives. By contrast, Obama has frustrated some liberal interest groups mainly by favoring older nominees over younger ones who might be the Democratic equivalents of some of the Reagan and Bush picks. Obama’s two youngest appeals court nominees, Goodwin Liu and Caitlin Halligan, were stymied by Republican filibusters in the Senate.

The average age of Obama-nominated appeals court judges is more than 55 years old, higher than any president’s going back to Jimmy Carter, according to the liberal interest group Alliance for Justice. The age of these judges matters in an era when presidents regularly look to the circuit appeals courts as the pool for Supreme Court candidates. Younger judges have a chance to develop a record that presidents can examine, yet still be young enough to be considered for the high court.

Alito and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas all became appellate judges in their early 40s. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican appointee, and Justice Elena Kagan, a Democrat, would have been on the appeals court in Washington before their 40th birthdays had senators not blocked their confirmations. Roberts had to wait another decade before becoming an appeals court judge, while Kagan is the only justice who did not serve as an appellate judge.

Obama’s picks have yet to surprise anyone with their decisions, said Levey, head of the conservative interest group. “So Obama’s liberal critics can rest assured that if he’s re-elected, his transformation of the appeals courts will make a big difference in the law.”

Party labels do not always foretell a case’s outcome. During recent challenges to the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, Republican appeals court judges in Cincinnati and Washington cast deciding votes upholding the law, while a Democratic appointee in Atlanta voted to strike down the requirement that most people buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

Still, there is wide agreement that Obama picks have sharply altered the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had been dominated by conservative, Republican appointees.

Obama could alter stance of federal appeals courts

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Does The Iowa Electoral Fraud Scam Lead To The White House?

Posted by Fullcouch on January 25, 2012, 8:05am

This is a page right out of Chicago politics. There’s NO way this president walks out of the White House scandal free? But then again Mayor Richard Daley seems to be made of Teflon.

Investors – In a scandal reeking of electoral fraud, a Democrat-linked political hack was arrested Friday for identity theft in an apparent bid to defame and replace Iowa’s GOP secretary of state. How far up does this go?

Zachary Edwards, who served as President Obama’s Iowa “New Media Director,” and a campaign organizer in critical battleground states such as North Carolina and New Mexico during 2008’s elections, apparently has quite a range of uses to the Democratic Party.

One of those uses may include identity theft.

The 29-year-old’s arrest in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, for attempting to steal the identity of Matt Schultz, Iowa’s Republican secretary of state, points to dirty tricks as a potential element of the Democratic agenda for 2012. The big question is how far up it goes.

According to a criminal complaint released by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, “Edwards fraudulently used, or attempted to use, the identity of Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz and/or Schultz’s brother, Thomas Schultz, to obtain a benefit, in an alleged scheme to falsely implicate Secretary Schultz in perceived illegal or unethical behavior while in office.”

Edwards worked for a consulting and opposition research operation with close ties to the Democrats, called Link Strategies. The firm has since fired him and claimed that his acts were unauthorized deeds of a lone wolf acting on his own.

But if one were to scroll back to 2006, the only response to that is: Not so fast.

In 2006, the hardest of the hardcore Democratic operatives — including the secretive rich-man’s club known as The Democracy Alliance, and the loud crazies of MoveOn.org, both funded by socialist billionaire George Soros — founded a “527” political group called the “Secretary of State Project.”

The aim was to elect “progressive” secretaries of state in swing or battleground states so that when elections were tight, the decisive official in the secretary of state’s chair would presumably rule in Democrats’ favor. This worked like a charm in Minnesota, when the SOS Project managed to place Democrat Mark Ritchie in that office to rule in favor of Democrat Al Franken after hundreds of ballots were “found” in his close Senate race.

But it didn’t always work to plan. Iowa, which the Secretary of State Project lists as one of its most important battleground targets, saw its voters elect Schultz, a very conservative Republican, secretary of state in 2008.

Does the Iowa electoral fraud scam lead to the White House?

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President Apologizer Tells Iran He Didn’t Want To Sanction Them

Posted by Fullcouch on January 23, 2012, 7:40am

President Apologizer strikes again. Well, Iran, mommy wants to put you in a timeout. Let me be clear, Iran, I don’t want to put you in a timeout, but I have to, so fear and respect me even less while you sit and ponder how sorry and weak your daddy is.

PJ Media – The threat by the Islamic regime in Iran to close down the Strait of Hormuz and of Revolutionary Guards Navy boats harassing U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf has caused President Obama to send secret messages to the regime stating his concerns over the closure of the strait and the possibility of an accidental war.

Since then, Iranian officials have been revealing the contents of President Obama’s letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which indicates a deep desire by the U.S. president for a dialogue with the radical leaders of Iran. However, on Saturday, Iranian officials also claimed that an oral message by Obama delivered through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran is even more revealing than the letter delivered to the Iranian supreme leader.

According to Fars News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Ebrahimi, the vice chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, alleged that on Saturday in a meeting between Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti and Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, Agosti informed the Iranian officials that Obama recognizes Iran’s right of access to and use of nuclear technology.

Ebarhimi also disclosed another important point that the Swiss diplomat delivered: Obama said that “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank, but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”

Last month, the Obama administration pressed key Democrats on the defense bill conference committee to get their colleagues to water down the strong sanctions language against Iran, which passed the Senate by a 100-0 vote as part of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill. The administration, threatening a veto, managed to delay the implementation of sanctions and penalties from 60 to 180 days in the final draft, also allowing the president to waive those penalties for national security reasons or if it would harm the global economy.

President Obama boasted on Thursday that U.S.-led sanctions had reduced Iran’s economy to a “shambles,” defending his policy towards Iran following sharp Republican attacks.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast also disclosed on Saturday that Iran had received Obama’s message through three different channels: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice handed a letter to her Iranian counterpart, the Swiss ambassador conveyed the same message in Tehran, while Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered the same message to Iranian officials in Baghdad.

Last Wednesday, Ebrahimi for the first time disclosed the contents of Obama’s letter in which the U.S. president had mentioned that cooperation and negotiation are based on the mutual interests of the two countries, and assured Iran that America will not take any action against the Islamic regime.

This is not the first letter sent to the leaders of Iran by Obama, Ebrahimi said. “He has repeatedly spoken in a soft tone about the Islamic Republic of Iran, but in practice, he has not acted accordingly.”

In response to Obama’s message to the leaders of the Islamic regime and his request for negotiations, Iranian officials have decided to reveal his message in order to further embarrass him on the international scene, claiming that Obama’s approach shows the world the true power of the Islamic regime.

Obama: I did not want to sanction Iran’s bank

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Obama Bails On Keystone To Appease The Jagged Fringes Of The Left

Posted by Fullcouch on January 20, 2012, 8:55am

Nice work, Mr. President. Let’s dump on one of our biggest allies, keep funding the Middle East and China, keep gas prices high, throw a boost to national security and well-paying jobs out the window, just to make some environMENTALists happy. All this, and more, for an ideology. So empty, yet so revealing.

Robert Samuelson – President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It isn’t often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and — beyond the symbolism — won’t even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his re-election that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances.

Aside from the political and public relations victory, environmentalists won’t get much. Stopping the pipeline won’t halt the development of tar sands, to which the Canadian government is committed; therefore, there will be little effect on global warming emissions. Indeed, Obama’s decision might add to them. If Canada builds a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific for export to Asia, moving all that oil across the ocean by tanker will create extra emissions. There will also be the risk of added spills.

Now consider how Obama’s decision hurts the United States. For starters, it insults and antagonizes a strong ally; getting future Canadian cooperation on other issues will be harder. Next, it threatens a large source of relatively secure oil that, combined with new discoveries in the United States, could reduce (though not eliminate) our dependence on insecure foreign oil.

Finally, Obama’s decision forgoes all the project’s jobs. There’s some dispute over the magnitude. Project sponsor TransCanada claims 20,000, split between construction (13,000) and manufacturing (7,000) of everything from pumps to control equipment. Apparently, this refers to “job years,” meaning one job for one year. If so, the actual number of jobs would be about half that spread over two years. Whatever the figure, it’s in the thousands and important in a country hungering for work. And Keystone XL is precisely the sort of infrastructure project that Obama claims to favor.

The big winners are the Chinese. They must be celebrating their good fortune and wondering how the crazy Americans could repudiate such a huge supply of nearby energy. There’s no guarantee that tar-sands oil will go to China; pipelines to the Pacific would have to be built. But it creates the possibility when the oil’s natural market is the United States.

There are three things to remember about Keystone and U.S. energy policy.

First, we’re going to use lots of oil for a long time. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that American oil consumption will increase 4 percent between 2009 and 2035. The increase occurs despite highly optimistic assumptions about vehicle fuel efficiency and bio-fuels. But a larger population (390 million in 2035 versus 308 million in 2009) and more driving per vehicle offset savings.

The more oil we produce domestically and import from neighbors, the more we’re insulated from dramatic interruptions of global supplies. After the United States, Canada is the most dependable source of oil — or was until Obama’s decision.

Second, barring major technological breakthroughs, emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, will rise for similar reasons. The EIA projects that America’s CO2 emissions will increase by 16 percent from 2009 to 2035. (The EIA is updating its projections, but the main trends aren’t likely to change dramatically.) Stopping Canadian tar-sands development, were that possible, wouldn’t affect these emissions.

Finally, even if — as Keystone critics argue — some Canadian oil were refined in the United States and then exported, this would be a good thing. The exports would probably go mostly to Latin America. They would keep well-paid industrial jobs (yes, refining) in the United States and reduce our trade deficit in oil, which exceeded $300 billion in 2011.

By law, Obama’s decision was supposed to reflect “the national interest.” His standard was his political interest. The State Department had spent three years evaluating Keystone and appeared ready to approve the project by year-end 2011. Then the administration, citing opposition to the pipeline’s route in Nebraska, reversed course and postponed a decision to 2013 — after the election.

Now, reacting to a congressional deadline to decide, Obama rejected the proposal. But he also suggested that a new application with a modified Nebraska route — already being negotiated — might be approved, after the election. So the sop tossed to the environmentalists could be temporary. The cynicism is breathtaking.

Obama bails on Keystone to appease the environMENTALists

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Republicans Need To Exploit Obama’s War On Fossil Fuels

Posted by Fullcouch on January 19, 2012, 7:30pm

Remember when Obama said that under his watch “energy prices would necessarily skyrocket?”

Townhall – President Obama launched the New Year by blasting an unpopular Congress.

Following Obama’s successful outmaneuvering of Congressional Republicans over the payroll tax cut the President rammed through a recess appointment for Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

By securing an estimated $40 a paycheck for the average family and appointing a consumer advocate, Obama is marketing himself as the savior of hardworking Americans by rescuing them from an ineffective Congress and Wall Street.

There is little doubt that economic issues will be a main factor in the 2012 election. Picking fights with Congress to highlight the President’s effort to help the “little guy” is a cornerstone of Obama’s re-election bid.

While the President is currently scoring short-term political points, his strategy may backfire if Republicans use the upcoming debate over the extension of the payroll tax cut to challenge Obama’s war on fossil fuels. They can do this by adding a pro-energy reform as part of the deal.

Obama’s war on fossil fuels is a big vulnerability for the President because it harms the prosperity of hardworking Americans. The issue illustrates the stark difference between what Obama says is good for average Americans and the reality of his policies.

High energy costs are an economic matter for Americans of every political persuasion. While Obama talks a good game regarding the welfare of hardworking Americans, his policies that raise energy prices will burden many families. Rising gasoline prices alone could easily negate the $40 tax savings from the payroll tax cut, but the Administration’s policies are unnecessarily pushing electricity prices higher as well.

All by itself, President Obama’s assault on coal – expected to be a main cause of predicted electricity price hikes — may have major implications for his re-election bid and the Democratic Senate majority.

Coincidently, key presidential swing states, including Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, derive over 45 percent of their electricity from coal – with some of these states generating over eighty percent of power from this source. Critically for Republican legislators looking for a way to recruit Senate Democrats to support lower-price, pro-energy reforms, each of these states also has Senate Democrats running for re-election.

With coal, Obama’s EPA is doing almost everything possible to bring about the President’s promise to make electricity prices “skyrocket.”

While Obama was pivoting around House and Senate Republicans with the end-of-year politics surrounding the payroll tax cut, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was issuing the Utility MACT Rule – the most expensive regulation ever issued by the agency. According to the EPA, this rule will cost utilities almost $10 billion a year. Which is why it can’t help but cause substantially higher electricity prices for consumers.

The Utility MACT Rule and another new Obama Administration regulation, the Cross State Air Rule, both of which target coal-fired utilities, are estimated to result in up to double-digit utility rate increases and a loss of 1.4 million job-years by 2020.

Electricity price increases are being reported nationwide as a result of the EPA’s actions. In North Carolina, Duke Energy is seeking rate increases of 14 and 17 percent for households and businesses respectively, in Louisiana rates may go up 25 percent and in Chicago the rates may spike up to 60 percent.

Refusing to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the creation of an estimated associated 20,000 jobs (with the additional benefit of increasing our oil supplies from Canada at a time when Iran is rattling its saber) is but one example of the destructive nature of Obama’s energy policy.

In contrast, Congressional Republicans have consistently fought EPA’s overreach and, accordingly, have been on the right side of economic prosperity and the interests of lower and middle class citizens.

In addition to pushing for the construction of the Keystone pipeline, House Republicans, in a bipartisan effort, passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011 to slow down the EPA’s assault on our economy and coal-fired utilities.

In the Senate, Rand Paul (R-KY) led an unsuccessful effort to use the Congressional Review Act to stop the Cross State Air Rule. Senator Paul’s effort to stop the Cross State Air Rule was vindicated, as a federal court recently blocked the rule and its outcome will be determined later this year.

This presents reform-minded Republicans with an opportunity. If they attach a reform proposal, such as the TRAIN Act, to a high-profile issue such as the upcoming debate over the extension of the payroll tax cut, they can educate the voters in these states about the impact of Obama’s energy policies on their wallets.

Debating the pros and cons of the TRAIN Act would expose Obama’s role in driving electricity prices higher and apply pressure to Congressional Democrats to support pro-energy, lower-price reforms.

If Congressional Democrats recognize Obama’s attack on Congress provides meaningless benefits for their constituents while the President’s war on fossil fuels threatens their political future, they may resist being thrown under the President’s bus. After all, Democrats are part of Congress and, in fact, they control the Senate.

Given the political risk facing some Senate Democrats and Obama’s eagerness to run against Congress, Republicans might find some surprising support to stop Obama’s assault on fossil fuels.

GOP needs to attack Obama’s war on fossil fuels

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The Imperial Presidency Is Real, And No One’s Paying Any Attention

Posted by Fullcouch on January 18, 2012, 7:35am

“I’d like to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.” — Barack Obama, July 25, 2011

Jack Kelly – Liberals once expressed great fear of an “imperial presidency.” Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich, then chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, held hearings on the subject in 2008.

“George W. Bush is the imperial president James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about,” wrote columnist Robert Scheer in 2007.

To the founders, Mr. Bush “would seem less like a president than a king,” Adam Cohen, assistant editorial page editor of The New York Times, wrote that same year.

Mr. Bush pushed “the most massive and rapid expansion of presidential might America has ever known,” wrote Texas Democrat Jim Hightower in 2006.

They were upset chiefly with measures Mr. Bush took to fight the war on terror. “The danger of an imperial presidency is particularly great when the president takes the nation to war,” Mr. Cohen said.

But, said Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute, Mr. Bush’s “overall behavior is consonant with what the Constitution’s framers would have expected from a president facing such a threat.”

Most of Mr. Bush’s critics must secretly agree with Dr. Schmitt, because when President Barack Obama continued policies they’d railed against, they grew considerably quieter. Few complained when Mr. Obama flouted the War Powers Act to conduct military operations in Libya — in contrast to Mr. Bush, who sought — and received — approval from Congress before going to war in Iraq.

Another sign of Mr. Bush’s “imperial presidency,” liberals said, was that from time to time when Congress passed a bill that contained a provision of which he disapproved, Mr. Bush would issue a “signing statement” indicating he wouldn’t bust a gut enforcing it.

“It is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like,” Sen. Barack Obama said in a 2007 interview.

Critics of Mr. Bush’s signing statements mostly have been mute when President Obama has issued signing statements, most recently on New Year’s Eve, when he said he would ignore key provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act. He stated, for instance, that he “will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”

The charge that President Bush had made an “unprecedented” power grab was false. The national security measures he took were authorized by statute, and were more modest than those taken by Franklin Roosevelt in World War II or Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War. Signing statements originated with President James Monroe (1817-1825).

Mr. Obama often has ignored laws with which he disagrees. Many other presidents, including George W. Bush, have pushed against the boundaries of their authority. But Mr. Obama took matters a shocking and dangerous step further Jan. 4 when he deliberately took an action forbidden by the Constitution.

Normally, appointees to federal departments, agencies, boards and commissions may not assume office until confirmed by the Senate. But the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clause 3) gives presidents the power to make temporary appointments when Congress is in recess. This provision was important when Congress would leave Washington for months at a time. Now, presidents tend to make recess appointments only when their nominees are too controversial to win Senate confirmation.

But Congress was not in recess when Mr. Obama appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and filled three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.

The Senate was in de facto recess but in session pro forma, a tactic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pioneered in 2007 to keep President Bush from making recess appointments. At the time, liberals said the gambit preserved the constitutional balance of powers between the legislative and executive branches.

But now that an actual imperial presidency is emerging, liberals have fallen into silence — or worse. Many — including Sen. Reid — applauded when Mr. Obama flouted the Constitution.

The lesser point is that these liberals are hypocrites who will say, do, or excuse anything in their pursuit of power.

The Founding Fathers provided for a strong presidency, but not for a dictator. The president is bound by the Constitution. He is obligated to support and defend it. He isn’t above it. When Mr. Obama acts as if he were, he departs from the American tradition, and embraces that of a banana republic. A constitutional crisis has begun.

Liberals don’t seem to fear the “imperial presidency” anymore

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Obama’s Critics Are Far From Dumb

Posted by Fullcouch on January 17, 2012, 5:35pm

The elitist Left may say we are dumb, but we are not scary. The Left is scary. Dumb trumps scary.

Telegraph U.K. – Barack Obama’s critics are far from dumb.

Prominent Obama-backer Andrew Sullivan has a rather pompous piece in this week’s edition of Newsweek, which the magazine has subtly headlined on its cover page: “Why are Obama’s critics so dumb?” You can read the whole article here at The Daily Beast, but his conclusion pretty well sums up the entire piece, which reads a lot like a desperate White House press release:

If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin; biased toward a president who has conducted himself with grace and calm under incredible pressure, who has had to manage crises not seen since the Second World War and the Depression, and who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell once wrote. What I see in front of my nose is a president whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.

In response to Sullivan’s provocative article, which has stirred up a good deal of debate in America, here are five reasons why President Obama’s conservative critics are significantly smarter in their approach and thinking than his failing Left-wing administration in Washington:

1. Obama’s critics have a far better understanding of the concerns of the American people and the mood of the country

If Obama’s critics are so dumb why do most Americans agree with their view that the United States is moving in the wrong direction under this president? The latest RealClear Politics average has roughly two thirds of Americans (65.3 per cent) believing the country is moving down “the wrong track”. Just over a quarter of Americans (28.3 per cent) believe it is heading the right way. To see just how disillusioned Americans have become with Obama’s America, look at this Gallup poll from December, which showed US public satisfaction at its nearly lowest level since 1979 when Jimmy Carter was president:

throughout 2011, an average of 17% of Americans said they were satisfied with the way things are going in the United States. That is the second-lowest annual average in the more than 30-year history of the question, after the 15% from 2008. Satisfaction has averaged as high as 60% in 1986, 1998, and 2000.

2. Obama’s critics reject big government and the ludicrous idea that bureaucrats know best

Barack Obama’s presidency has been a disastrous experiment in big government, one that has racked up the largest budget deficits since the Second World War, adding $4.2 trillion to the national debt since taking office. Obama’s attempt to refashion the United States into a kind of supersized Belgium with Greek-style debts tacked on is hardly a winner in a nation with a deep-seated tradition of limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty. Unsurprisingly, as Gallup’s recent polling shows, nearly two thirds of Americans now see big government as “the biggest threat” to their country:

Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the greatest threat.

3. Obama’s critics reject appeasement of America’s enemies, support America’s allies and don’t believe in apologising for their country

In his Newsweek piece Sullivan points to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as evidence of Obama’s decisive leadership. The president certainly deserves credit for ordering a risky and successful operation, but so does the Bush administration for launching the global war on terror that ultimately led to bin Laden’s downfall.

As for the rest of Obama’s foreign policy however, it has largely been a disaster. The Obama administration’s strategy of engagement with Iran has only bought valuable time for Tehran to develop its nuclear weapons programme, and the Islamist regime is now close to possessing a nuclear bomb. In addition, Obama’s decision to withdraw US forces from Iraq has led to a wave of terrorist attacks there, and paves the way for Iranian domination of the south. Hillary Clinton’s “reset” with Russia has been another failure, with Moscow increasingly emboldened in the face of Washington’s weakness.

America’s key allies, including Great Britain and Israel, have been treated with indifference and at times hostility. The Secretary of State’s decision to side with Argentina in its call for UN-brokered negotiations over the Falklands was a betrayal of America’s closest friend and ally. The Obama team’s policy of kowtowing to some of America’s biggest strategic adversaries while kicking her allies has been coupled with a series of embarrassing apologies on behalf of the United States on the world stage, which I have outlined here. Obama’s critics have been vindicated in their criticism of this administration’s foreign policy, which has made America weaker, less feared and more vulnerable on the world stage.

4. Obama’s critics believe that a presidency should behave with decorum, and show respect for opposing views

As I’ve noted previously, this is probably the nastiest US presidency in decades. There is nothing “dumb” about the administration’s critics questioning attacks on political opponents, which have been a hallmark of this administration. Take Joe Biden’s appalling comparison of the Tea Party to terrorists last August. As I wrote at the time, “there is something deeply sad and disconcerting when the vice president decides to compare opposition legislators in Congress with terrorists simply because he disagrees with their views and principles. This is the kind of ugly, threatening rhetoric that has no place at the heart of the US presidency.”

Obama’s critics have also been smart to criticise the arrogance of an imperial-style presidency with a penchant for acting without Congressional restraint. The president’s hubris, from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize just months after taking office, to declaring himself the fourth best president in US history, knows no bounds, and has been a defining characteristic of a presidency that is out of touch with ordinary Americans.

5. Obama’s critics know a gaffe-prone, embarrassing administration when they see one

For all its talk of “smart power”, this is a gaffe-prone presidency that makes mistakes so elementary they are embarrassing. Instead of calling Obama’s critics “dumb”, the president’s supporters should be telling their own Executive Branch friends to smarten up their act and do a bit of homework, especially when it comes their less-than-stellar knowledge of current affairs. From Hillary Clinton’s description of murderous Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s calling the Muslim Brotherhood “largely secular”, this administration’s foreign policy track record has been a mess. And as for the myth that the current president is smarter than his Yale-educated predecessor, I don’t recall George W Bush ever referring to “the English Embassy”, or incredibly describing France as America’s strongest ally.

Why are Obama’s critics so smart?

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