The Obama Watch

The Obama Watch

Obama’s Mandatory Voters

By 3.20.15

On Wednesday afternoon, speaking at the City Club of Cleveland, President Barack Obama suggested mandatory voting in the United States as an alternative to campaign finance reform — also known as restricting the free political speech of Americans.

It’s not surprising that Obama would support such a policy: He recognizes that he and his party have done poorly during midterm elections when turnout, particularly among minority and young voters, drops off substantially from presidential elections.

He is also a bully at heart, unhesitatingly compelling Americans to bend to his will, whether in buying only those health insurance plans which he deems adequate, accepting federal regulation of the Internet, or paying more for electricity because he hates, hates, hates coal and oil.

The Obama Watch

Heavy Meddle: Obama in Jerusalem

By 3.17.15

Back in 1978, New York magazine ran a cool contest for the best three lines of dialogue. Character A would say a line, Character B would respond, and Character A had a comeback line to close it out. All the clever Big Apple wags got to duke it out and the results were out of this world. One of the top five winners went as follows.

“Did you hear I am learning to speak German?”

“Excellent. Wie gehts?”

“No, thanks. I don’t like tomato juice.”

This was quintessential New York humor, witty with a hint of cultural snobbery. You only get to enjoy the joke if you know “wie gehts?” means “how is it going?” in German and you know it is pronounced “vee gates.” Then you could make the connection to V-8 tomato juice and appreciate how Character B exposes himself as a linguistic wannabe by failing to recognize the standard German greeting.

If we were to run such a contest today for the political cognoscenti the tomato juice reference might produce another winner.

“Mr. President, can I offer you some tomato juice?”

The Obama Watch

The Move Away From Obama

By 3.12.15

As Obama leads Democrats into his final political battles, they are understandably nervous. Obama has cost them plenty and may still cost them more. Democrats are now pressed harder on the right and the left and Obama can no longer defend them on either flank. 

In congressional seat totals, Democrats are worse off now than they were before Obama took office — holding five fewer Senate seats and 44 fewer House seats than in 2006. Counting from when a president took office, Obama has cost his party more Senate seats than any president since Carter, and more House seats than any president since Eisenhower. 

Democrats know too that their substantial losses may not be over. In 2016, they will replicate their “worse case” scenario during Obama’s presidency: When he is on the electorate’s mind, but not on the election’s ballot. In such circumstances, Democrats have suffered massive losses during Obama’s two midterm elections — first losing the House in 2010, then losing the Senate in 2014. 

The Obama Watch

Obama, Churchill, and FDR

By 3.11.15

Recently, President Obama angered many Americans by suggesting publicly that Americans temper their criticism of other cultures:

Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

Much criticism focused upon his equivocating in public just after the horrific video of ISIS torching a Jordanian pilot alive was posted on the Internet. In the aftermath of the flaunting of such barbarism, the president should instead have issued a clarion call for action.

Consider, then, how Barack Obama might have spoken in other major historical junctures. Specifically, let us try to compare what British WWII-era prime minister Winston Churchill said on June 4, 1940, upon the evacuation of British troops from Europe, to what an Obama oration might have sounded like. Let us also compare what then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt said after Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, to what the current Oval Office occupant might have said.

The Obama Watch

A President Who Can’t Get Any Respect

By 3.6.15

“Nothing new here,” said our president, in the spirit of a vain and testy ostrich, upset that someone who did not have his head buried in the sand had dared to contradict his view of the world.

Nancy Pelosi, the house minority leader, leapt to his defense following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday. She shed great salty tears all through Netanyahu’s speech, or so she said — “saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5+1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing a nuclear holocaust.” It is true this administration gets no respect — from Israel or from other nations, whether friend or foe. Why should it?

The Obama Watch

Reagan, Like Rudy, Tied Democrats to Communists

By 2.24.15

It is amusing to watch the furies unleashed in both the White House and the liberal media over former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s citing of the Communist Frank Marshall Davis as an influence on the young Barack Obama. And Giuliani’s insistence that, partly as a direct result of that influence, the president doesn’t “love America the way we do.”

The Obama Watch

Giuliani Versus Obama

By 2.24.15

The firestorm of denunciation of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for having said that he did not think Barack Obama loved America, is in one sense out of all proportion to that remark — especially at a time when there are much bigger issues, including wars raging, terrorist atrocities, and a nuclear Iran on the horizon.

Against that background of strife and dangers on the world stage, it may seem as if Barack Obama’s feelings, or Rudolph Giuliani’s opinion about those feelings, should not matter so much, especially when it is hard to know with certainty how anyone feels. Yet when someone is the leader of a great nation at a historic juncture, it is more than idle curiosity to know what drives him.

It is not clear what the basis was for so much outrage at Mayor Giuliani’s opinion about President Obama. Was it that what Giuliani said was demonstrably false? Was it that Barack Obama is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty?

The Obama Watch

For Love of Obama

By 2.23.15

I’m not sure why the Left is so aghast that Rudy Giuliani dared suggest that President Obama didn’t love America. The Left sure doesn’t.

How often has Bill Maher, a man who gave $1 million of his own money to assure Obama’s re-election, said America is a stupid country?

When Jonathan Gruber attributed the passage of Obamacare to the “stupidity” of the American voter, Maher enthusiastically seconded his motion.

America evokes intense feelings among the Left — contempt, condescension, embarrassment. Love is not among these emotions.

The Obama Watch

The See-No-Evil President

By 2.20.15

George W. Bush couldn’t always speak clearly. His successor can rarely see clearly.

The see-no-evil president doesn’t glimpse Islam as the common denominator behind recent ugliness from Libya to Syria to Nigeria and points beyond. The speak-no-evil president dare not name the religion as the inspiration for vile acts but instead maintains that a perversion of the message of the Warrior Prophet motivates them.  

“The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists,” the White House announced in a statement. “We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.”

The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of German citizens at Buchenwald. The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of Southerners by the Ku Klux Klan. The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of schoolchildren by Boko Haram.

Obama lies by omission.

The Obama Watch

Obama on Path to Imperial Presidency

By 2.19.15

When Republicans challenged Obamacare in the courts, they sought to overcome the hurdle of persuading the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a program passed by Congress and enacted by a president. The legal challenge by Texas and 25 other states to the Obama administration’s executive actions on immigration is different. Congress never passed a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, to grant legal status to some 5 million immigrants. President Barack Obama himself never signed what his aides call an “executive action”; Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson takes that honor. Thus, DAPA is a scary power grab that claims that the president — and even his bureaucrats — have the power to override duly enacted federal law. Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, was right to issue a temporary injunction against it.