Barack Obama: The World's Most Powerful Person
At the end of last year, Forbes Magazine anointed Barack Obama as the most powerful person in the world. In summarizing their reason for choosing Obama, the editors stated,
Despite faddish American declinism, the U.S. remains, indisputably, the most powerful nation in the world, with the largest, most innovative economy and the deadliest military.
The editors failed to mention that the world's "largest, most innovative economy" has, since Obama entered office, been on a constant downward trajectory, with massive debt incurrences and ever-growing governmental regulation leading to stagnant growth, high unemployment, and further decline. And the article was published prior to Obama initiating his drive to materially weaken the world's "deadliest military" through unparalleled cuts in defense spending, reductions in the armed forces, and a decrease in our nuclear arsenal (not to mention the premature withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan[i]).
Accordingly, a cursory look back at Obama's first three years is helpful not only in understanding how Obama chose to wield his authority, but also in looking forward for clues as to how this Chicago machinist will continue to muscle weaker players abroad and at home in order to achieve his grand vision of "Change We Can Believe In."
Upon entering office, the self-proclaimed fourth greatest POTUS followed in the footsteps of the 16th President, and had his Attorney General free several Black Panthers who had been indicted on charges of intimidating voters by standing in front of polling places brandishing batons (not the twirling type). Obama interjected himself in the minutiae of everyday police matters by accusing a white officer of being stupid for arresting a black professor who appeared to be breaking into a home. The most powerful man in the world then ordered the men to attend a beer fest believing that doing so would heal the country's racism...until it was convenient to once again play the race card which he has been doing since elected (with Eric Holder recently claiming that the investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal is motivated by the two men's skin color).
The man who ran on his ability to heal the nation's wounds has instead used class warfare to further his aim of replacing capitalism with socialism, thus seeking to alter the very foundation of the American democratic system. America's exceptionalism was created through the hard work of entrepreneurs who had the freedom to succeed -- and fail -- in a capitalist system.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Jeb Bush discussed the concept, first coined by Paul Ryan, of the "right to rise,"
We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck.
Instead, Obama believes that "at a certain point you've made enough money" and he will use all means of political gamesmanship and outright abuse of power to attain his goals. What the American people have faced over the past three years is increasing uncertainty due to excessive amounts of regulation pouring out of the executive branch and its czars[ii], constant threats of increased taxes by the Democrats and president, and massive growth of the federal government.
Obama took over the automobile industry and in doing so, bailed out his union cronies at the expense of other creditors and the rule of law. He took over the healthcare industry passing ObamaCare through backroom dealings and legislative tricks completely undermining the will of the American people. He passed a massive stimulus the proceeds of which were funneled into failing companies with ties to his constituents resulting in the Solyndra and Light Squared scandals rather than growth and job creation. He federalized the student loan industry and signed the Dodd-Frank bill that has burdened the financial services industry with weighty, nonsensical, and uncertain regulation.
Oil prices remain high while Obama mollifies his base in refusing to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline that would have been the only real "shovel-ready" project, create 20,000 new private sector jobs, and lead to energy independence.[iii] His administration strong-armed Boeing through legal action initially preventing it from building a plant in South Carolina, a right to work state. His administration persecuted Gibson Guitar over its alleged use of "illegal" wood while at the same time bypassing Congress in order to provide backdoor amnesty to real illegal aliens. The administration sued Arizona for passing immigration laws intended to do the job that the federal government failed to do. The list is endless.
So, at the same time that the European economy is collapsing due to uncontrolled entitlements and lack of fiscal discipline, the Man Who Would Be King has determined that the Cloward Piven strategy of collapsing the U.S. economy under the weight of historic spending and debt burdens will ultimately lead to an end to poverty and equality for all. In doing so, more Americans will become dependent on the federal government while the power of the presidency will ensure that Obama lives the "life of Riley" until death.
Looking at Obama's foreign policy, his abuse of power has been abhorrent, reflecting his clear desire to reach out to the nation's enemies while dissing its friends and "leading from behind." Upon entering office, Obama's first phone call was to Mahmoud Abbas thus giving legitimacy to the terrorist supporting leader and enemy of an American ally. When he finally made a phone call to Bibi Netanyahu, Obama was photographed with his feet on his desk pointing toward the camera -- an insult in the Muslim world.
The insults to friends continued as the newly installed POTUS returned a bust of Winston Churchill given to George W. Bush by the British government after the 9/11 attacks. Obama then threw our allies, Poland and the Czech Republic, under the bus when he decided to scrap plans agreed to by Bush to install a missile shield in Eastern Europe. Thus, in determining that agreements of his predecessor would not be binding upon him (nor would Constitutional limits), it was with ease that Obama turned his back on Israel and rejected Bush's 2004 agreement with Ariel Sharon that "it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949." Instead, Obama dictated that negotiations begin on the basis of the '67 lines in the hopes of restarting talks that stagnated due to his own failed policies.
While examples of Obama's horrific treatment of Israel are endless, other allies have also been deserted. Obama abandoned freedom fighters in Honduras and Iran, the latter of which was a costly decision that may very well lead to lost treasure and lives on an astronomical scale. In dumping Hosni Mubarek, Obama unleashed the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists on the Egyptian people -- and on Israel with whom a decades-long peace agreement may find its way into the trash heap of history. Islamism is spreading like wildfire across the Middle East and Northern Africa, Libya's weapons are finding their way into the hands of terrorists after Obama asserted unilateral executive authority to bypass Congress and enter that war, and Iran's path to nuclear power remains unhindered.
In a recent article Mark Steyn recalled the English king, Canute,
who...took his throne to the shore and commanded the incoming tide not to wet his feet. It declined to obey, as Canute knew it would: He staged the performance in order to teach his courtiers a lesson in the limits of kingly power.
Alas, the man serving as the POTUS -- the most powerful person in the world -- promised that upon his election the oceans would recede. Unfortunately, he does not understand "the limits of kingly power" and in his quest, like Don Quixote, will pursue every destructive measure on the road to failure.
When Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. I've got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I'm not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. Not with so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans. We're not going to let that happen.
Obama's dangerously omnipotent belief in himself (recall that he stated in a phone call with 900 rabbis that, "We are God's partners in matters of life and death") and his self-entitled compulsion to alter the course of mankind recalls Albert Camus' line that, "The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants."
Americans elected a tyrant who has pitted American against American with his class-warfare rhetoric, his grandiose lies and mischaracterizations, and his Chicago-style political games. But power does not lead to success and the world cannot afford another four years of Obama's destructive policies. In 2012, Americans had better run him out of office before this unleashed dictator no longer needs to claim he is acting in the best interests of the country and can simply and freely wield the destructive power of despots and autocrats seen throughout history.
[i] Daniel Greenfield recently questioned why, if Obama had no interest in winning Afghanistan believing that the Taliban are not our enemy, we stayed for so long losing American lives. He concluded that the timing of the Iraqi and Afghan withdrawals were planned intentionally around the time of the 2012 election. Greenfield stated,
What that means is Obama sacrificed the thousands of Americans killed and wounded in the conflict as an election strategy. The idea that American soldiers were fighting and dying for no reason until the time when maximum political advantage could be gained from pulling them out is horrifying, it's a crime beyond redemption, an act worse than treason -- and yet there is no other rational conclusion to be drawn from the timetable.
[ii] Michael McConnell, a former federal judge, professor of law at Stanford Law School, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal recognizing that the administration's adoration for unlimited regulation is only surpassed by its attraction to governing by executive order when it is encumbered by the Constitution's separation of powers. For instance, in order to push forward card check or cap and trade in the face of Congress' refusal, Obama let loose the NLRB and the EPA. Mitchell stated, "the Obama administration has admitted to a strategy of government by executive order when it cannot prevail through proper legislative channels."