President Obama "Picking Fights"
One of the most common themes in the emails I receive every day is the growing belief that Washington is broken, that the "system just doesn't work anymore." It's a widely-held view. A Gallup poll released Monday found that 77% of Americans felt that "the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the United States."
Day after day, the "mainstream media" blame congressional conservatives and so-called "Tea Party extremists" for the dysfunction and gridlock in Washington. But there is a column in Politico today headlined, "Why President Obama Is Picking Fights With Congress." And there is also this headline from The Hill: "Raring For A Fight, Obama Heads Into His Second Term Swinging."
According to Politico, the White House and its allies "already are eyeing the 2014 midterms." In other words, they are intentionally creating conflicts in order to keep the left energized for the 2014 elections.
That is why so many Americans are frustrated with Washington. For too many in this town, it's all about posturing for the next election.
The White House may be overplaying its hand. The country is narrowly divided. Yes, the president won reelection, but he did so with only 51% of the vote. Hundreds of House conservatives won too. There is no mandate for a left-wing agenda. Just consider some of the "fights" the White House is picking right now:
- Chuck Hagel -- President Obama is daring Senate Republicans to oppose a decorated Vietnam veteran and "one of their own." But the nomination of Hagel is so controversial that some Senate Democrats aren't even on board.
- Gun Control -- It remains to be seen exactly what proposals will emerge from Vice President Joe Biden's commission later this month. But the polling suggests that it is the political left, not the NRA, that is out-of-touch with public opinion.
A December 2012 poll by the Washington Post found that only 32% of respondents favored "passing stricter gun-control laws," while 49% preferred "stricter enforcement of existing laws." Seventy-one percent said they opposed a nationwide ban on handguns. A Gallup poll found that new gun control legislation ranked fourth on a list of ideas to prevent school shootings. "Increasing the police presence at schools" was the most popular idea, and presumably the police officers would be armed -- the very position put forward by the NRA after the Newtown shootings.
Already one Senate Democrat has said that the White House proposals she is hearing about are "way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about."
- Taxes -- Fresh off his reelection victory, President Obama demanded higher taxes on the rich. He got them in the fiscal cliff deal.
According to a Pew poll, 57% say the president got more of what he wanted. But 52% say the deal will hurt people like them, while only 30% say it will help them. When asked about its effect on the economy, 46% said it would hurt the economy, and 36% said it would help.
Gallup found similar results. Only 43% of adults approved of the fiscal cliff deal, while 45% opposed it. President Obama may have won, but the public doesn't seem particularly happy about it.
Biden Warns Of Executive Orders On Guns
Vice President Biden talked to the media today before meeting with victims of gun violence. His words have stoked fears among conservatives and gun owners. Biden said:
Biden called it a "moral issue" and added, "It's critically important that we act."
Biden's assertion that he is seeking guidance from Attorney General Eric Holder of "Fast and Furious" infamy is hardly reassuring.
Something else jumped out at me too. Biden said that gun violence/restrictions are a "moral issue." Increasingly, the left dresses up its statist agenda with appeals to morality. The president will often announce some new initiative that inevitably grows government or shrinks your paycheck, and he will punctuate his argument by stating firmly, "It's the right thing to do."
Sadly, many on the right have run away from appeals to morality. We are told by the media and even by some of our "allies" that we shouldn't be talking about the morality of abortion on demand or same-sex marriage. We often downplay or ignore the moral implications of class warfare, which is built on envy, or runaway deficit spending, which children not yet born will have to pay back.
Conservatives need to rediscover the language of the heart and soul. If we don't, history will record that big government, secular socialists stole it from us to seduce the American people.
More Trouble For Obama Nominees
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced yesterday that he would delay John Brennan's confirmation to be Director of the CIA until the Administration answers questions about the Benghazi attacks. Here is an excerpt of his statement:
It was also announced yesterday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 22nd. Perhaps then Senator Graham will get the answers he's looking for.