President Obama, The Lame Duck President

By Sal Bommarito

I’m glad to see an article in the New York Times that supplements my last post relating to the performance of President Obama.

The focus of the story was Obama’s lame duck status. The authors of the op-ed piece have implicitly given up on the possibility of Obama being named the luckiest president (Washington), most imaginative (Theodore Roosevelt), most intelligent (Jefferson), best at handling Congress (Lyndon B. Johnson) and  best president (Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt share this honor). The liberal media continues to search for new ways to prop up Obama’s pathetic legacy so it has invented a new presidential category “The Best Lame Duck President.”

One of the first comments in the op-ed was “Obama is making a run for [the best lame duck president]. Since the midterm elections, in his first month and a half as a lame duck , Mr. Obama has taken dramatic action on immigration, climate change and now, formalizing relations with Cuba.” All this is true; it is dramatic, but many Americans have issues with the actions because they feel they are  unwise, ill conceived and/or they have not been endorsed by Congress.

How can presidential actions like granting amnesty to five million illegal aliens be a great action if Congress is not involved in the decision? Understand, I am in favor of immigration reform and would welcome a well-thought out, bipartisan plan to assimilate these people. But, the president is greatly increasing the authority of the executive branch by initiating a new law without  Congress. This is quite different than establishing regulations to make changes to existing laws. Moreover, the plight of 10-15 million illegals is a national issue that will have widespread implications politically, financially, socially and practically.

The basis of a strong lame duck president is that he or she has little or nothing to lose since this status occurs after midterm elections and it has no effect on the president’s political future. Should a president who no longer has skin in the game be able to make unilateral decisions that could impact the country for generations? I say emphatically, no.

President Obama was unable to sell his ideology via traditional constitutional means for six years. My previous post reviews the circumstances involved in detail. Obama was somehow incapable or unwilling to compromise with the opposition, as if he was the first president that had to deal with a hostile minority.

Obama may do irreparable harm with his new found power. Presidential  edicts  relating to climate change and Cuba have been severely criticized. A full blown debate in which all sides can express their opinions is what our forefathers would prefer rather than all decision made by one man.

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