The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Democrats’ Wishful Thinking

By 8.28.14

Democrats are engaging in wishful thinking by claiming Republicans want Obama impeached. Democrats’ reality is that they are stuck with Obama. He has become their biggest political liability, which is only likely to get worse. The only thing that can save them is a Republican misstep.

Obama is down across the board — on policy, politically, and personally. Public perception of his policy has always been Obama’s greatest weakness and it has only gotten worse. On health care, the economy, immigration, and foreign policy — all today’s big issues — Obama’s job performance polls extremely poorly.

Unsurprisingly, Obama’s political performance is suffering accordingly. His job performance is at or near his presidency’s lows in most polls. The public appears to have reached a tipping point regarding his administration’s basic competency.

Even personally the president is suffering. Obama’s saving grace has been that people liked him, even as they disliked his policies. Now while they dislike his policies more than ever, they appear to like him less than ever. Obama’s “likability” appears gone.

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HELP WANTED at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

By 8.25.14

Suddenly, America is sick and tired of Barack Obama. He has become an embarrassment and, worse than that, a threat to the personal security and peace of mind of American citizenry as a whole. It is all too obvious that he is not up to the task of being captain of the ship of state at a time of increasing peril.

So what to do about it?

Should he be impeached? If so, for what crime?

You can’t impeach him for the “crime” of frivolity — or the “crime” of excessive partying at fund-raising junkets with his Hollywood pals during national emergencies.

You can’t impeach him for the “crime” of poor judgment — thinking back to the decision he made in June to release five Taliban commanders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an alleged deserter. He celebrated that “victory” by bringing Bergdahl’s parents to the White House and acting as though their son were a hero.

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The Maximalist

By 8.13.14

In 2011, President Obama, speaking before the National Council of La Raza, remarked that “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.” He acknowledged the appeal of dictatorial action, but he said “that’s not how our system works.” The crowd responded, “Change it” and “Yes, you can!”

He spoke of bypassing Congress as a temptation to which he wouldn’t yield. But he has, and it is clear that he regards America’s system of checks and balances as an odious obstacle to his conception of good government.

In a recent interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama pronounced that “our politics are dysfunctional.” What the Founding Fathers would have considered ordinary and commendable political resistance is akin in Obama’s eyes to Middle Eastern mayhem.

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There He Goes Over the Top Again

By 8.8.14

“If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top,” President Obama stated in a recent interview with the Economist. It’s surprisingly clumsy and unscholarly for Obama to use the words “don’t have a right” in that comment, given that he taught law for 12 years at the University of Chicago and is an experienced wordsmith and writer. (Obama’s “principal accomplishment before becoming president was to write two autobiographies,” wrote John Guardiano in his column “Barack Obama: Narcissist-in-chief” at the Daily Caller.)

To be less polarizing and more in step with the U.S. Constitution, Obama could have said “the folks who don’t have a reason to complain are the folks at the top.”

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Right Now There Is Nothing We Can Do About Obama

By 8.4.14

The great fear among conservatives, stoked by the actual statements of the Obama White House and one of its chief sycophants, Congress Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, is that the president will step far beyond the constitutional limits of his power and grant amnesty through executive fiat to as many as six million illegal aliens.

This would be political suicide for Obama. It would be an act of brazen stupidity and it would likely not only destroy any chance his party has to retain control of the Senate but could potentially fracture his own coalition for future elections. Already Obama polls at just a 31 percent approval rating on the immigration issue. If he were to take such a rash step his presidency could well implode—particularly when the butcher’s bill comes in the November elections. Democratic senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mark Udall, all of whom currently have fighting chances at re-election, would be roadkill.

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Get Thee to a Fundraiser

By 7.29.14

So the Emperor Nero (or is it Zero?) fiddles while Rome burns — going to multiple fundraising parties as the world reels from one catastrophe to another. A White House flack defends the president, saying that everyone would be much more worried if we allowed some untoward event — such as the Russian president shooting down a western airliner — to throw the emperor off his chosen course of entertaining and being entertained by the rich and foolish.

It’s hard to disagree with that. Would we really be better off if the president — meaning this president — were deeply engrossed in the nitty-gritty of policy-making or statecraft rather than harmlessly engaged in small talk at political fundraisers?

I don’t think so.

The going rate at the president’s fundraising dinners is a little north of $32,000-a-plate. That’s about two-thirds of the medium family income in the United States, but it is chump change for the “folks” (as the president likes to say) in Hollywood Hills, Silicon Valley, the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and out in the Hamptons and places like Martha’s Vineyard and Palm Springs — to mention just a few of the president’s favorite haunts.

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Support the Revolution Or Else

By 7.23.14

Eliminating freedom by fiat, President Obama signed an executive order this week mandating that all federal contractors conform to his conception of gay rights. Any company or organization that dissents from his view can now be stripped of its contract.

“We’re going to prohibit all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees,” he said. “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people.”

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The Gang That Couldn’t Speak Straight

By 7.22.14

Great piece by former colleague Alyssa Mastromonaco who defines smart, savvy and fashionable.

Thus began a tweet on Thursday by Jen Psaki, the execrable State Department spokeswoman who thought it would be a good idea to depart from that day’s shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 over the Ukraine by Russian separatists, if not actual Russian military operators, using a SA-11 missile system.

It was the second Psaki gaffe of the day, as she had already opened her daily briefing not with reaction to the downing of the plane, but rather a series of minutiae so insignificant that Fox News’s Shepard Smith angrily denounced her as “highly inappropriate” for wasting airtime.

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MH 17 vs. KAL 007—Obama vs. Reagan

By 7.19.14

This generation has its KAL 007. The stunning downing of Malaysian flight 17 is strikingly similar to the shock of September 1, 1983, when the Russians downed a Korean passenger airliner, flight 007, which had left New York City for Seoul via Alaska. In both cases, the Russian government vehemently denied any involvement, disparaging anyone who dared to accuse it of prior knowledge.

Both planes were Asian with similar numbers of dead. KAL had 269 passengers; the Malaysian flight nearly 300. They were mostly Asian passengers but also Americans—61 Americans in KAL 007 and a much smaller (still unconfirmed) number in the Malaysian flight. In both cases, questions arise over why the planes were flying where they were flying. Exactly what happened with KAL still isn’t entirely clear, but it seems the computer on the plane’s guidance system was set incorrectly, allowing it to stray into Soviet airspace. Russia fighter planes stalked KAL 007 before blasting it out of the sky.

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A Flashing Green Light

By 7.16.14

The tens of thousands of Central Americans who have crossed America’s porous borders over the last year came on the assumption that once on U.S. soil they would never have to return to their countries. The instigators of this influx correctly viewed Obama’s de facto support for amnesty as a flashing green light.

After all, how seriously were they going to take U.S. immigration law under a president who treated border security as a punch line to a joke? In 2011, Obama loudly mocked conservatives, the very ones who foresaw today’s mushrooming crisis, as malcontents crying wolf about a vulnerable border.

“You know, they said ‘we needed to triple the border patrol.’ Well, now they're going to say we need to quadruple the border patrol, or they’ll want a higher fence,” he said at the time. “Maybe they'll need a moat. Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat. They’ll never be satisfied. I understand. That’s politics. But the truth is the measures we put in place are getting results.”

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