Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to fight Obama (and Hillary Clinton)

How to fight Obama (and Hillary Clinton)

By Ed Lasky in American Thinker

The strategy is a simple one: ignore Obama. He will respond in ways that will further damage the Democratic Party and the prospects of a Clinton presidency.
Conservative pundits have responded to Republican control of Congress by suggesting myriad ways to attack Obama and derail his agenda. These tactics range from the simple (power of the purse -- already exercised in the case of the IRS, for example) to the more procedural (subpoenas and more oversight to gum up his plans) to the more arcane -- use of the Congressional Review Act to prevent Obama from using regulations to fulfill his boast that he would “fundamentally transform America” (see GOP finds its secret weapon). But they are just that: tactics.
Strategies win wars; tactics are tools. So what should be the strategy going forward in dealing with Barack Obama?
Ignore him.
My friend and frequent American Thinker contributor, Herb Meyer, suggested at dinner one night that conservatives had to “smash the paradigm” when operating against Democrats. Since Herb worked closely with Ronald Reagan to bring about the downfall of the Soviet Union and its colonies in Eastern Europe, his wisdom is to be respected.
Conservatives should stop making-nice to Barack Obama. True, most presidents respond well to people showing respect for the office and cordiality to them personally. Manners can build relationships across the aisle and across ideologies. But, as Barack Obama is wont to remind us, he is not like most presidents. He relishes his role as an outsider. He “really does not like people” a close aide admitted and does not respect most Americans -- as if that were not obvious to any sentient observer of Obama over the years. He considers Republicans (“bomb-throwers and hostage takers”) beneath contempt and has trumpeted his ability to ignore them (“I have a pen and a phone”) and, for that matter, the priorities of the American people. Those priorities do not include his favorite ones: climate change, Obamacare, and surrender to our enemies.
Why work with him anyway? There is no triumph of hope over experience to be had. And his arsenal of executive powers is nearing its limits.
When Republicans have tried to deal with him he ambushes and humiliates them for the cameras (see Abuser-in-Chief); when Republicans reached a deal with him on taxes, entitlements and deficit-cutting, Obama pulled a fast one at the last minute and demanded huge increases in taxes. He simply is not trustworthy; when ideas he proposed turn out politically poisonous, he blames Republicans (there is a long list of examples that certainly includes his proposal for sequestration).
He and his henchman in the Senate , Harry Reid, abolished the filibuster (something they had sacralized when the Democrats were the minority party) in order to fill federal benches with liberals for life, making those so-called “moderate” Republicans who had compromised with Reid in the past (to avoid his pulling the trigger on the nuclear option) look na├»ve as best. Accommodation is a fool’s errand because expecting fairness from these Democrats (the ones who would weaponize the IRS) is obtuse.
Barack Obama, after all, is a man who says he brings a gun to a knife fight.  Does that sound like a man who can be trusted to play fairly or one that would cheat, lie and steal to win? (That was a rhetorical question.)
So Republicans would be wise not to waste their time in dealing with President Obama. It is a sucker’s game with a man who repeatedly sucker punches. He will, as John Podhoretz has written, act as a troll by ramping up his leftism to provoke Republicans into fits of embarrassing frenzy or bait them into doing something stupid that will damage them politically.
Instead, Republicans should not play his game. Smash the paradigm.
Check him when necessary, as the American people by the millions elected you to do.
Then just ignore him.
Presidents like to feel important; they revel in being players. Bill Clinton plaintively said back in 2005 when Republicans swept Congress that “The president is relevant here”; even Barack Obama expressed the same sense of helplessness – briefly -- in April 2013 when his agenda seemed to be going nowhere after the Republicans won control of the House.
Republicans should make the lame duck even more helpless by just saying no to suggestions that they should work with Barack Obama. He has shown no inclination to work with them.
Barack Obama is unmoored by reality, as shown by his State of the Union speech last week and his refusal to respectfully nod to the Republican sweep, as other president have gracefully done when their party went down to defeat (memo to Obama: here is a video that shows how presidents, in this case George W. Bush, displays such grace). He churlishly said after the massive midterm loss of the Democratic Party that he intended to represent the people who did not vote. He has not shown willingness to admit that this was his defeat nor respect the will of the voters. He will not pull a Bill Clinton and triangulate.
Perversely (and this is a word that can be used often when judging Barack Obama’s presidency) he seems determined to take the opposite tack and go full Bulworth as he said he would in his second term when voters no longer mattered.
To which Republicans should respond “Booyah!”  Game On!
Barack Obama will not react well to being sidelined. His ego will not tolerate being treated as a bit player. Given his fragile emotional state (anatomically he has both a glass jaw and thin skin) he will seethe and have more temper tantrums. He does not have a fine temperament and Republicans can use this character flaw to their benefit.
Republicans can show they will further the agenda of the American people. What the American people want is not unbridled liberalism but unleashed American talent. The person and party humiliated in the midterms were Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. The magnitude of their defeat across all levels of government across America was stunning (see Thank you, Mr. President). The people voted against liberal policies and therefore prospects of compromise that tilt in any way, shape or form in Obama’s way should be rejected.
What can Congress do?
They can pass budgets, carefully write and pass legislation that clearly delineates regulations-thereby depriving Obama of one source of his executive power; reject Obama’s nominees who do not pass muster; vote down treaties that do not serve America’s interests.
There are also symbolic moves that can be taken and they should not be underestimated.
One factor that has been helping Obama’s popularity of late:  gasoline prices. He has had absolutely nothing to do with that and hectored us that we could not drill ourselves to $2 a gallon gasoline (wrong again! any one keeping count?). Republicans should not let him get away claiming this success was his success.  Cheap gas is a Republican triumph that was a victory despite of Barack Obama.
Conservatives should point out how he has acted in ways to deprive America of cheap gas (closing off federal lands to exploration -- as he did just days after boasting about gasoline prices; killing Keystone; slowing permits) but they should also realize how politically important is cheap gas. It is a daily picker-upper. Dealing with national debt, deficits, and the like are too abstract and distant to have widespread political appeal.
Cheap gas benefits everyone -- except Obama’s green scheme cronies and donors. Every gas sign is a billboard that favors whatever party or politicians that can claim credit.  Republicans should seize that ground, rightfully theirs.
What else can Republicans do that will meet with favor?
One idea would be to push for unbundling of cable services. Every month customers get inflated bills because they are forced to purchase packages for coverage they do not like or want (reminiscent of ObamaCare). Cable companies are very unpopular for a reason. Republicans should tackle this topic with gusto since Comcast (owner of MSNBC and NBC, two the most Obama-besotted media outlets) so clearly are allied to the Democratic Party and run one of the most sophisticated lobbying operations in Washington. Brian Roberts, who heads Comcast, and his team of execs are huge bundlers for Obama and other Democrats. Roberts golfs with Obama on Martha’s Vineyard and hosts parties for Obama on his island estate.  Republicans should be in the forefront of forcing cable companies to heel to the will of the American people. That would be a symbolic action in more ways than one.
So would push for tax reform, and the most beneficial move the Republicans could make is to simplify taxes so tax returns could fit on one page, as one of my favorite Republicans, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, proposed years ago when he was in Congress. 
Obama will tack further to the left and veto bill after bill.  He will become the bitter clinger. He will gather some Democrats to support those actions.  Americans will finally realize which party couldn’t care less about their priorities.  Every Democrat who votes to support Obama will pay a price -- just as they did in 2014, when those votes show up in political ads.
Republicans should welcome this coming conflict. Obama is and always was a man of the far left, and now that he no longer will run for office he can vent his spleen all he wants and keep using whatever power he still has to push his agenda. Should he and his minions support further street protests, they will backfire. Did Occupy Wall Street and the Ferguson riots help the Democrats or hurt them?  Last November 4th is the answer.  His policies lost the Democrats the vital center of American politics and Middle America, the hoi polloi, the people of flyover country, the bitter clingers who finally came to their senses.
Since he is still the leader of the Democratic Party his moves will further tarnish his fellow Democrats.  The Democrats have shifted to the left over time anyway; Barack Obama and his big donor base (unions, gentry liberals, leftist billionaires, Hollywood celebrities) has accelerated this trend. Ronald Reagan’s declaration that, “the Democratic Party left him” now rings true for millions of people.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is now a viable candidate for the party’s presidential nomination and her momentum is having ramifications.  Her increasingly populist rhetoric is forcing Hillary Clinton to become more vocal with her own leftward inclinations (Saul Alinsky was her mentor, too) to win the primary. Videos of her lecturing Americans to “empathize with enemies” and this “You Didn’t Build That”-like gem
“Don’t let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried; that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly,"
exemplify her latest metamorphosis and will haunt her presidential run.
So Republicans should invoke the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid.
Check Obama when necessary, pass policies the majority of Americans want, but otherwise ignore Obama.
It will drive him nuts.

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