Smart President, Foolish Choices
ObamaCare's failure may be Obama's only hope of a successful presidency.
By JAMES TARANTO
THE BEST OF THE WEB TODAY
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
Thursday, 18 March 10
When President Obama gives TV interviews, the treatment he gets is typically soft, if not reverential. This is not because of the interviewers' respect for the presidency--they were much tougher on George W. Bush--but because of ideological and personal sympathy for the man who now holds the office. Yesterday was an exception--perhaps the first time Obama has ever faced a tough interview. The interviewer was Bret Baier of Fox News Channel, and the president was clearly unprepared, coming across as petulant and evasive. (You can watch it online: Part 1 and Part 2.)
If the rest of the so-called adversary press had been doing its job for the past few years, Obama might not be in the political trouble he is. Then again, he might not have withstood the scrutiny and become president either.
Oh well, that's water under the bridge. ObamaCare isn't, at least not yet. And here is what Obama had to say in summing up the case for the legislation Americans fear and hate:
The reason that it needs to be done is not its effect on the presidency. It has to do with how it's going to affect ordinary people who right now are desperately in need of help.
But if this is for the sake of ordinary people and not the presidency, why is it the president who will stop at nothing to cram it down the throats of ordinary people? What part of "no" doesn't he understand?
If a report from Politico is accurate, the president is telling undecided Democratic representatives exactly the opposite of what he claimed in the Baier interview to believe:
Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.
One caucus member told Politico that Obama won him over by "essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency" hinged on this week's health reform vote in the House. The member, who requested anonymity, likened Obama's remarks to an earlier meeting with progressives when the president said a victory was necessary to keep him "strong" for the next three years of his term.
Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, "We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss."
Added Serrano: "He was subtle, but that was the underlying theme of the meeting--the importance of passing this for the health of the presidency."
A failed presidency, or one that is perceived to have failed, is bad for the country, as anyone who lived through the Carter years or the latter part of George W. Bush's administration can attest. But it takes chutzpah for Obama to ask members of Congress to save his presidency by passing this misbegotten legislation. Having failed utterly to persuade Americans that his plan was worth supporting--whether because it is not worth supporting or because his persuasive skills are defective--he could have backed off at any time.
By pressing forward anyway, it is he who has imposed on America the unattractive choice of either a failed presidency, or a "transformed" health-care system and the crisis of legitimacy attendant to imposing such a transformation through partisan bullying and in defiance of public opinion. What a reckless abuse of the trust the voters placed in Obama.
Still, if this is the choice left to America, a failed presidency is clearly the less unattractive alternative. If Obama's presidency fails, it will be over in less than three years. A wrecked health-care system would be much harder to repair, and a crisis of legitimacy could last for decades.
Further, a failed presidency would not necessarily result from the failure of ObamaCare. Bill Clinton similarly targeted the health-care system. He failed, yet his presidency is generally viewed as having been modestly successful. If Obama has Clinton's strength of character--a discomfitingly big "if"--he could adapt after a single failure and learn to be successful.
Obama's threat of a failed presidency is classic passive-aggressive behavior. He is playing the victim in order to get what he wants. At least one sympathetic journalist is playing along. Check out this bit of analysis from David Brooks of the New York Times:
I persist in the belief that government is more fundamentally messed up than ever in my lifetime. Barack Obama campaigned offering a new era of sane government. And I believe he would do it if he had the chance. But he has been so sucked into the system that now he stands by while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about passing health care via "deem and pass"--a tricky legislative device in which things get passed without members having the honor or the guts to stand up and vote for it.
Deem and pass? Are you kidding me? Is this what the Revolutionary War was fought for? Is this what the boys on Normandy beach were trying to defend? Is this where we thought we would end up when Obama was speaking so beautifully in Iowa or promising to put away childish things?
Obama just got "sucked into the system"? He is the president of the United States. He is the system! The implication of what Brooks is saying is that Obama is simply not up to the job. One of the reasons may be that the news media, which are supposed to hold politicians accountable, have too few Bret Baiers asking tough questions and too many David Brookses making excuses for the president's bad decisions.
And ObamaCare isn't the only area in which the administration has been acting recklessly. Yesterday we noted that Attorney General Eric Holder, asked by a congressman whether a captured Osama bin Laden would get the due-process protections of a common criminal, evaded the question by scoffing at the idea that bin Laden would be captured as opposed to killed. The Associated Press reports that the military has weighed in on the claim;
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that it remains the goal of U.S. troops to capture Osama bin Laden alive and "bring him to justice."
Let's hope they don't bring him to Justice, because it's amateur hour over there. In the liberal New Republic, Yossi Klein Halevi looks at President Obama's recent Mideast missteps and reaches a similar conclusion:
That Obama could be guilty of such amateurishness was perhaps forgivable because he was, after all, an amateur. But he has now taken his failed policy and intensified it. By demanding that Israel stop building in Ramat Shlomo and elsewhere in East Jerusalem--and placing that demand at the center of American-Israeli relations--he's ensured that the Palestinians won't show up even to proximity talks. This is no longer amateurishness; it is pique disguised as policy.
The Obama administration desperately needs adult supervision--and this is yet another reason to hope the House defeats ObamaCare. Handing Obama a defeat offers at least some hope that he'll seek the help he needs. A victory promises more of the same recklessness--on all fronts.
So Much for the War on Drugs
• "Parliamentarian's Ruling Deals Blow to Democrats' Healthcare Reform Chances"--headline, Hill, March 11
• "Washington Apologizes for Cocaine Use"--headline, MLB.com, March 17
ObamaCare: Almost as Good as Ahmadinejad
By sending a letter to Congress in support of the Senate healthcare bill, a wide coalition of nuns took sides against not only the Republican minority but against their own church hierarchy, as represented by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which opposes the bill. The nuns' letter contributed to the momentum in favor of the legislation, despite opposition that is partially rooted in a disagreement over abortion funding.
"We agree that there shouldn't be any federal funding of abortion," said Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of Network, a national Catholic social justice advocacy organization that spearheaded the effort. "From our reading of the bill, there isn't any federal funding of abortion."
Who is this Simone Campbell? In 2007 she hosted a meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's lunatic president. Network's Web site has her comments on the meeting. Here's a sample:
The President of Iran gains support in Iran when he is "attacked" by the United States, and President Bush gains at home when he demonizes the Iranian President. This plays well for both administrations in their domestic political struggles. Neither has an incentive to change the dynamic. . . .
Of his comments--I think I was most touched by his comments about poverty and how where there is absolute poverty there is a denial of someone's human rights.
Some of the questions asked were so culturally contained in an effort to connect at the human level, e.g. his fears, failings in Iran, etc. I don't know how we get around this, but it seems unrealistic to expect him (or anyone from another culture) to respond to our U.S. human expectations of "bonding."
So her reading of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is that he's just like George W. Bush, only more of a humanitarian. Does this give you confidence in her ability to read anything else?
BARRY SOETORO aka BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.
This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).
He is not eligible
because he was not born of
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
as required by the Constitution.
Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom. Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years, was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Here is a direct quote from Obama's "Fight the Smears/Fact Check" 2008 website:
‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “
The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources. BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:
Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.
Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:
His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.
HERE IS THE QUESTION WHICH EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN SHOULD BE ASKING HIS OR HER CONGRESSMAN AND SENATORS
“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed - at birth - by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”
- Leo Rugiens