Fellow for Strategic CommunicationsMeet our expert
Tense relations between the White House and Congress aren’t unusual, and certainly not new. Yet over the past month they’ve hit lows not seen since President Clinton’s impeachment trial. Are congressional Republicans really “traitors,” as the New York Daily News screamed in all capitals on the front page? Should President Obama be “embarrassed” for them, as he told Vice News? I don’t think so. Here’s why: While many people focus on each separate action taken by congressional Republicans as if they were a random collection of impulsive temper tantrums, they’re missing the forest for the trees. From the 30,000-foot view, Mr. Obama is doing his best to “transform” America — just like he pledged since the 2008 campaign. Congressional Republicans are trying hard to stop him and to save our nation as we know it.
Mr. Obama has less than two years left, so he’s pushing hard. As he gloated during the State of the Union, he doesn’t face any more elections. Translation: He can do whatever he wants. That’s frankly terrifying. And why? Because to President Obama and the international left, American power is the problem. His actions since Day 1 show that’s the only reasonable explanation. Thus he’s taking charge, often by executive action, to soften us. It explains the obsession with closing Gitmo, releasing as many al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists as possible even as our intelligence agencies report nearly 1 of 3 released detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. Mr. Obama traded the Taliban’s top 5 leaders for an Army soldier who walked off his post, an unprecedented act of appeasing our enemy during wartime. It explains a weak accord with the United Nations P5 plus 1 and Iran, paving the way for Tehran’s nuclear weapons. The interim agreement and follow-on accord only pertain to uranium enrichment — not warhead development nor missile technology. While Secretary of State John Kerry has repeated President Reagan’s mantra of “trust but verify,” how can anyone possibly verify when Iran refuses to open up all its roughly 30 nuclear sites for inspection? How can we trust Iran when President Hassan Rouhani openly boasts of deceiving the West? Answer: We can’t. Yet Team Obama prefers any deal that gives us “peace in our time.” It’s Munich, 1938. It explains failure to utter the words “radical Islam,” as in the self-named Islamic State. The re-established “caliphate” rules one-third of Iraq and Syria, has allies in a dozen countries, wages genocidal campaigns against Christians, Yazidis and fellow Muslims, and threatens to destroy America. Yet to Mr. Obama, they’re just “violent extremists.” If we appease them and we’re weaker, he thinks they’ll leave us alone. It explains the Russian “reset” button and reassuring Moscow that he’ll have more flexibility on missile defense “after the elections.” Meanwhile, much of eastern Ukraine has since been gobbled up, adding to 20 percent of Georgia already under occupation. It explains amnesty for millions of immigrants who came here illegally. Citizenship comes next. Since it usually takes immigrants a couple generations to climb the socio-economic ladder, it means a massive new block of mostly lower-income voters relying on big government. Which means the Democrats can coast to decades in the White House, and majorities in Congress. It explains conducting secret negotiations with Cuba’s regime in Canada, cutting Congress out of the loop entirely. The Castro brothers always whine about “Yankee imperialism.” Mr. Obama apparently feels their pain. It explains blaming the Benghazi attack on a video, rewriting White House talking points a dozen times, both deceiving the American people. It explains $1 trillion in defense cuts, the smallest Army since World War II, and smallest Navy since World War I. It explains why the president says climate change is our biggest threat. Because the other threats are just reactions to our so-called overreach, so they’re really our fault. Meanwhile, as he attacks American industry, China and India gain a competitive advantage. If America is the problem, weakening it will make the world a better place. So the Oliver Stone conspiracy theory goes. None of this should be surprising. Mr. Obama often reminds us that we’re the nation of slavery and Jim Crow Laws. He referenced it during the National Prayer Breakfast last month. Let’s not forget his reminders about Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. Nor decimation of Native Americans. In the faculty lounge where Mr. Obama shaped his worldview, America must atone for its sins. In trying to survive Mr. Obama, protect America, and literally keep Israel on the map, congressional Republicans are hitting a series of panic buttons. They’re slamming on the brakes, desperately trying to weather the storm on behalf of us all, stopping Mr. Obama’s vision of a “transformed” America before it’s too late. When we look at the big picture, who can blame them?