In yesterday’s webcast, after a wide-ranging discussion of the issues surrounding the killing of Osama bin Laden (including the issue of torture — check it out if you haven’t already), I did a brief review of the Republican candidates who showed up at the first GOP/Tea Party debate in South Carolina. All of them left something substantial to be desired, and at least one — Tim Pawlenty — struck me as full of hot air. Daniel, a frequent participant in my live webcast, declared his intention to vote for Obama in 2012, if necessary. And, with a slate of candidates like those who appeared at the debate, I would tend to agree. Just re-elect Obama, vote for Republicans or Tea Party members for Congress, and hope for four more years of gridlock so we can have time to change the culture.
But there’s one problem. And this article, describing the Obama administration’s “Strange Probe” of one of the drugs that state governments use to execute convicted felons sentenced to death, is illustrative. The article describes how the DEA is confiscating supplies of the drug, but notes that no real explanation is being given for the confiscations, and that the confiscations seem to be occurring only in those states that actually carry out the death penalty on a regular basis. The article cites columnist Debra Saunders, who thinks it significant that the DEA “hasn’t raided California, which has had executions on hold anyway and just announced it was delaying executions for at least another year.”
If this is indeed Obama’s way of circumventing the proper method of changing the law — i.e., in this case, introducing legislation prohibiting the death penalty in the relevant state legislatures and getting the votes necessary for passage — then it’s scary. And sure, it could be challenged in the courts — but Obama is appointing the judges there. I suppose the Republicans could try and introduce federal legislation stopping Obama from making such power grabs, assuming they were content to give up power that they might themselves enjoy one day. But good luck getting Obama to sign it.
I do not like the way this Administration does business, to say the least. It seems that if Obama wants to get something done, he’ll find a way, even with a Republican majority in Congress. So perhaps voting for gridlock will not be enough to prevent Obama from doing significant damage to our country. What do you think?
[Update: Here’s another example that’s currently in the works. Obama wants to bypass Senate review of his presidential appointments.]
11 responses to “Can We Be Content to Vote for Obama (and Gridlock) in 2012?”
The more conventional Obama appears, the more dangerous his behind the scenes power-grab plans are. Right now, Obama has a second term to lose, so he will try his best to appear to be what he’s not. Voting for Obama as if this is the usual Republican/Democrat dance ignores the damage he’s already done to our republic. His destructive policies in his first term will be dwarfed by a second. Gridlock won’t save us this time.
Obama’s circumventing the normal legislative process via regulations from the alphabet soup of government agencies is alarming. However, electing another religious republican like Bush is almost as bad. I may repeat what I did in 2008 and leave the presidential section of the ballot blank.
His destructive policies in his first term will be dwarfed by a second. Gridlock won’t save us this time.
Agreed. I don’t know if America can survive 8 years of Obama and remain intact.
The problem with Bush was that everything he did he did in the name of conservatism/patriotism/free market values, and often these policies were diametrically opposed to fiscal conservatism, patriotism, or the free market. However, his areas of serious damage (other then stem cell research) were not in the social conservative arena, e.g., abortion, evolution, etc. This is not to say that his religious beliefs didn’t provide a philosophical foundation for his folly; “compassionate conservatism” is essentially the Sermon on Mount as domestic policy.
Therefore, I wonder if electing even a pretend free market Republican, pressured by the tea party, wouldn’t be marginally better than 4 more years of Obama, especially in light of his propensity for doing end-runs around the constitution and established law. For instance, Rudy Guliani (who is horrible on gun rights!) would most likely stand firm against Islam, but might be another conservative big spender.
But your point is well taken. This crop of Republicans is, so far, not just disappointing, but dispiriting.
Definitely dispiriting. By the way, I wanted to share a link to an interview I’ve made reference to during my podcasts. It’s an interview of Ron Paul by Don Imus, and they’re talking about foreign policy:
So when libertarians like Paul say we should stay out of other people’s business, what they really mean is we should leave civilized, capitalist countries like our ally Israel to fend for themselves amidst the predatory Arabs.
Someone should tell Senator Libertoid that Gaza is not blockaded by Israel, who has no control of the Egypt side (that’s the side of Gaza that Paulian types never complain about). Someone should also inform Senator genius that the right to search ships coming into the Gaza harbor is part of the agreement the world demanded Israel signed when it left Gaza to the reign of 7th century religious savages.
Paul is supposed to be such a savvy campaigner, but the Republicans whose support he needs to win the nomination are about 10 times more likely to support Israel over the Palestinians. This line will not get him very far.
Obama’s use of agencies to implement his agenda is really breathtaking: the NLRB to increase union power and shackle businesses (e.g. Boeing), the DOJ failing to protect republican laws from constitutional challenges (e.g. DOMA, but there will be others), the Fed and its regulation of banks and finances, the Interior in closing down access to federal lands using the ‘wild lands’ designation, Energy in implementing Cap & Trade by regulation, the ATF undermining gun rights, TSA strip searches on planes, trains and automobiles, the FCC implementing ‘net neutrality’, HHS destroying medicine. I’ve probably missed a few key ones, but you get the point. I can’t see not voting for the Republican whoever it is. The key is influencing congress as much as possible regardless of what Republican is in the whitehouse.
Thanks for the catalog, Shane…I think. Very depressing to see all the damage he’s already done. Let’s hope a better candidate emerges before we have to vote next fall!
Leave it to Obama to make gridlock seem unattractive….
A gridlock is not what we want, even if Obama wasn’t seeking dictatorial power through the FCC, EPA, etc, outside or even against the wishes of congress. The US will undergo an economic collapse in the next term if there is a gridlock. Keeping government the same and trying not to enlarge it is NOT sustainable at this point. We need someone who can help us weather the inflationary depression that will come in the next 4 years.
Conventional candidates won’t help America steer through the impending economic collapse. The only candidates I see who could do it are Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or less-so Herman Cain (who said he supports the gold standard).
For those of you who think you can influence republicans while they are in the white house,keep on dreaming.They will take this as a weakness on your part,having abandoned principles for short term gain(pragmatism?),they will inturn continue to destroy the country.