To Triangulate or Not to Triangulate?

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Of all the agendas that will be addressed in the next two years, the environmental one has the potential to be the most contentious.  The Obama administration, despite all evidence to the contrary that it doesn’t work, will continue to pursue “green jobs” and some sort of tax on fossil fuels.

It won’t matter that Spain lost over two jobs for every one created in its now-abandoned march towards green energy.  Nor will it matter that anything resembling cap and trade will impose huge cost increases for energy on Americans already struggling to make ends meet.  Like health care and immigration, this will be yet another attempt to put more of the private sector under the control of the federal government.

The reason it will be so contentious is that this administration has already demonstrated its willingness to bypass Congress completely and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to implement policy.  And that’s when Democrats had a majority in both houses.

Thus, Barack Obama has already indicated that he will test the limits of executive power and allow the EPA to both write and enforce rules both entities consider necessary to “save the planet.”  Whether Republicans in Congress can stop that from happening is unclear (legislation disallowing the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide is a possibility), but the bet here is the same kind of lawsuits being filed by individual state Attorney Generals with regard to the health care bill’s individual insurance mandate will be filed against a “capricious” EPA using “now-discredited” global warming science to implement its agenda.

All of the above reveals much about the president’s take on the issues.  But far more telling is the president’s abrupt change of tone in the space of eight days. The president’s current desire, as evidenced by Wednesday’s speech, is to have “an honest and civil debate about the choices that we face.” That is markedly different from something he said in a radio interview with Univision last week.  In an attempt to rally his Latino supporters, the president offered this:

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’–if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election–then I think it’s going to be harder. And that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd.”

The key word there is “enemies,” and Mr. Obama knows it was the wrong thing to say.  “I probably should have used the word ‘opponents’ instead of ‘enemies,’” offered Mr. Obama on another radio interview this week. The key word here? “Probably.”

Both words reveal much.  “Enemies” reveals the mindset of a man who, despite all the talk of being a post-partisan, post-racial president, may be the most divisive Chief Executive this nation has ever elected.  As columnist Charles Krauthammer so brilliantly pointed out, “This from a president who won’t even use ‘enemies’ to describe an Iranian regime that is helping kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.”

But the word “probably” may be even more damning.  It  probably wasn’t a good idea to refer to Americans who disagree with your agenda as enemies, Mr. President?  How about “definitely” or “unequivocally”–followed by a sincere apology?

There will be no apology.  Nor is there likely to be much notice given to the hypocrisy of a president who is suddenly “eager to hear good ideas wherever they come from, whoever proposes them”–enemies included, presumably.

Is he really eager to do this? Mr. Obama may have provided the answer during Wednesday’s speech when he suggested that he saw no reason to “spend the next two years re-fighting the political battles of the last two.”  Those would be the two years in which Democrats went from ruling the roost in Washington, D.C. to a 62-seat loss in the House, a 6-seat loss in the Senate, and a Republican takeover of several state legislatures and governorships around the nation. All of which amply demonstrates that, despite the president’s dismissal of such an idea, the electorate is more than willing to “re-fight” those battles.

Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton.  He is a man thoroughly convinced that the overt disaffection demonstrated by voters is nothing more than “people …frustrated…with the pace of the economic recovery.”   These are the same Americans Mr. Obama previously characterized as people who “cling” to guns, religion, and anti-immigrant sentiments, people who are “hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared.”  The Republican party is one which can “come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”

Are those the words of a man looking to move towards the center?  Hardly.  Mr. Obama will double down on double down.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    It's not necessarily a matter of "drawing the proper conclusions" from the election. Obama may understand exactly what happened and why, and it may make not one iota of difference to him. I honestly don't believe he looks upon the majority of Americans who just voted his party out as stupid and/or uninformed. I think he looks at us in the same way he that implored Latinos to look at Republicans during the election: as ENEMIES.

  • tanstaafl

    Obama is similar to Mao and Stalin. He cares little for the effect of his policies on people and seems to be more interested in the ideological "purity" of his various schemes.

    • Jim C.

      Dingbat, Obama has governed to the RIGHT of Clinton. His solutions to the economy have been mainly monetarist, his economic advisors are basically Reaganites, his foreign policy is Bush's. Name one action that is Maoist or Stalinesque. ONE.

      • tanstaafl

        Obama's health care plan. It was pushed thru Congress despite popular opposition and more pressing problems. It is not intended to aid ordinary people, but to expand governmental control over a vital part of the American economy.

      • tanstaafl

        Both Stalin (White Sea – Baltic Canal) and Mao (Great Leap Forward) pushed overly ambitious programs solely for increasing the prestige of their respective countries and to promote Marxism. These programs were dangerous, lethal and resulted in the deaths of many "workers" and "comrades".

        I am sure you will point out that no one has died as a result of Obama's health care fiasco – but I am examining the President's attitudes. He is an ideologue and is removed from the consequences of his ambitions – just like Mao and Stalin.

  • Tom

    I think Mr Ahlert fails to appreciate that the destruction of the US – particularly the economic destruction of the US – is not a negative thing from the viewpoint of the Obamanistas. This article presupposes that they are interested in actual economic recovery, but the evidence is all to the contrary. The destruction is not thru ignorance – it is thru malice.

  • Wesley69

    We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of & America.” Five days later, Obama became the 44th President of the US. What did he mean by transformation? To most, it would be better than the Bush years, which they were told brought about the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. So they went back to their normal lives.

    He is an Ideologue. He is a true believer in his ideas. It is the people who misunderstand him. He did a poor job of communicating them to the masses. He learned NOTHING about the message sent by this election.

  • Wesley69

    He is an elitist who believes We The People, are stupid and need government to tell us how to live.

    He is a dangerous radical, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, who said, any means to justify an end. He will say and do anything to cast his "enemies" in a bad light. His Chicago-style leadership is slick so he will attempt to put one over on us.

    His connections to Leftist-Radical organizations which are funded by billionaire wacko-Leftist George Soros reveal who he is. The people, Mr. O. has surrounded himself with are definitely radical. But, some of these people hold extreme views about the environment, about the economy, about energy.

  • Wesley69

    He is no Bill Clinton. Clinton recognized the political realities of his situation and used it against the Republicans securing himself a second term, the only Democrat to do so since Truman and FDR. He knew about give and take. It is no wonder big changes took place in his administration. He was on the verge of Health Care Reform with Republican Newt Gingrich, when the sex scandals broke, a missed opportunity for this nation.

    The Republicans must check this narcissist in the House through legislation such as defunding programs, through investigations and subpoena power, through suits in federal Courts. They must not impeach him or make him appear as a victim. Censure would be a better weapon, or pursuit of the people around him if there is proof of criminal behavior.

    He will not play ball with the Republicans. It is not in his nature. Hopefully, this country can survive the last two years of this potential modern day Nero, but the thrill is gone!!!!!! At least for now.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Jim C.

    What "gestapos," you unconsionable moron? I'm betting you can't name one.

    The term "low-info" voter was made especially for you.

  • Joan Hanson

    Great post, as usual. He’s promising the plebes bread and circuses which can only last a few more years. He keeps lecturing that “We cannot continue to do” the things he continues to do.

    One quibble with the post though, and while technical, I don’t think it’s minor….. We cannot “leave traditional Medicare as an option for seniors who don’t feel comfortable embracing the newer model.”

    J Hanson’s Last Blog The World’s Most Prestigious Universities