After Obama: The United Banana Republic of America
Many Americans gave President Barack Obama the benefit of a doubt in the 2008 election. This was reflected in the fact that President Obama managed to win a majority of independents against John McCain, as well as a some Republicans. American voters wanted to believe that then Senator Obama would live up to his promise of hope and change. The Bush-years had been divisive, with the anti-war Left heading the assault on anything that might be called “civility” in American politics. So voters went to the polls and placed their faith in that President Obama would manage to help bury the partisan axe on Capitol Hill and work to enact real reforms with the support of both Democrats and Republicans.
Of course, one can make the argument that it was difficult from the outset to see how President Obama ever would be able to reach bipartisan compromises. Then Senator Obama was not exactly known for reaching across the aisle and had obtained one of the more liberal voting records in the Senate during his short tenure as Senator from Illinois.
After the election President Obama and his administration immediately went to work on enacting their agenda. Who can blame them? After all, they won the election and had control of both Congress and the White House. However, it quickly became clear that the Democrats weren’t planning on compromising with Republicans on anything in order to create stable bipartisan majorities for reform. Instead, President Obama joined with Nancy ‘we have to pass it to find out what’s in it’ Pelosi and Harry Reid to smash Obamacare through Congress no matter the objections from Republicans and others.
The result? A highly unpopular and partisan piece of legislation that had to be upheld by Chief Justice Roberts through an amazing balancing act on the edges of the Constitution.
After 2010 the Obama administration had to face a Republican controlled House of Representatives. Unlike President Clinton, who reacted to a Republican majority by finding bipartisan solutions together with Speaker Newt Gingrich, the current administration has showed few signs of even having the intention to work together with Republicans. Instead, the administration has started to bypass Congress in order to enact its agenda. Gone are the left’s objections to executive power that was so prevalent during President Bush (43).
In Libya, President Obama decided to take the nation to war based on U.N. approval instead of seeking out Congress’ approval. On immigration, the administration is trying to compete for Hispanic votes by unilaterally deciding to give legal status to young adult illegal immigrants. On the environment, the EPA declared carbon dioxide a pollutant so that it can regulate it under the Clean Air Act.
Recently, the administration decided to gut one of the biggest successes of the Clinton-years: welfare reform. On other issues, ranging from Fast and Furious to the Defense of Marriage Act, the administration has disregarded Congress and the laws of the country in order to enact its own agenda and placate core constituencies.
The bipartisan era that Candidate Obama promised is nowhere to be seen and it is easy to see why voters who thought that President Obama would restore ”hope” (whatever that actually means) in American politics have been sorely disappointed by his administration.
Because of this, and other things, many on the right seem to have become convinced that President Obama is out to destroy the United States. I don’t believe that’s Obama’s goal. However, true to his campaign promise he is determined to change the United States and in his attempt achieve that change he’s using every tool at his disposal with a complete neglect for political opponents, Congress, the American people, and the Constitution. With each law that this administration neglects or revises the United States of America is becoming more like a banana republic in which the corrupt executive arbitrarily decides the fate of the country and provides benefits to select groups that are loyal to the current government.