Obama And Congress Will Clash

By Sal Bommarito

Has the liberal media participated in an effort to diminish the mistakes and errors in judgment of the Obama administration? Absolutely. Progressive reporters and editorial writers have been protecting the president for the past six years. There has been no misstep great enough to inspire a thorough investigation by the free press. Americans should appreciate the untiring efforts of Fox News, which refuses to let the most egregious actions slip by without comment.

All this came to a head during the recent elections. Voters finally realized that the president’s ideological bent and uncompromising demeanor is responsible for a number of decisions that hurt the economy and America’s reputation abroad. The reaction of the electorate has been so severe that Democrat candidates who supported Obama’s agenda during his tenure eschewed him in their campaigns. The press has thankfully begun to dig deeper into the plethora of scandals and dysfunction that have plagued the White House.

Consider the following two issues.

• Obamacare is a disaster, even though the press has consistently advocated the benefits of this entitlement. Creating an affordable medical insurance program for lower and middle class families is and continues to be a noble objective. But the law was enacted without any concurrence by Republicans and ramrodded through Congress. The result was a poorly crafted giveaway that hurt almost as many individuals and businesses as it helped. A huge number of the poorest beneficiaries have received assistance via Medicaid, something that could have been enacted without Obamacare drama.
• With the help of the press, the administration has downplayed the criminal and unethical behavior of various agencies of the government. The IRS scandal tops the list. It is inconceivable that our tax collectors were targeting citizens who have different political preferences, and now they are covering up their misdeeds.

The list goes on. But most disturbing is the ideological tenacity of our president. He is on a mission to punish, sanction and disparage the most successful and wealthiest Americans. He says some citizens are too greedy and capitalistic. They don’t do enough for the poor. He thinks exceptionalism somehow deteriorates our society. Business achievement is unproductive. 1%ers are not paying their fair share.

The 2012 presidential campaign rewarded Obama’s class warfare tactics. He successfully denigrated a person who built a huge private equity business and benefitted by it financially. The media jumped on the Obama bandwagon and destroyed Mitt Romney simply because he has enjoyed a great career.

Along with voters, Democrat politicians realize that the president is radioactive. Many will no longer tie themselves to his misguided policies. Allegiance to the president during the last several years was the downfall for many liberal candidates. Obama’s presence in Washington, his actions and his arrogance together with low voter turnout (apathy) were the undoing of progressives seeking to retain or gain office. The press was forced to participate in the resultant electoral massacre because the story was so pervasive.

During the next few months, important decisions will be made regarding the confrontation with ISIS and Iran’s nuclear program. For sure, Congress, under new leadership, will step up its oversight of these matters. The media should follow suit. Investigative reporters must shed their biases and provide the facts that will help Americans understand what their leaders are up to.

The president is not going to change his method of operation. Already he is threatening to mandate immigration changes without approval of Congress. If this occurs, it will be a long, hard two years until the next presidential election.

President Obama Is Not Going To Be A Conciliator

By Sal Bommarito

The president seemed awfully relaxed during his press conference yesterday, after an election that completely changed the power structure in Washington. Republicans are now the majority in both houses of Congress. Given that Obama’s policies, management style, ambivalence and defiance were among the most important things that swayed voters, it is shocking that he so glib and unconcerned about trying to find ways to work together for the benefit of the country.

Many politicians that supported the president were crucified at the polls, yet the president has decided to let it all roll off his back. Publicly, he has shown little empathy for those who were defeated. One reason for this approach may be the fact that almost none wanted Obama to campaign with them.

The president said he would try to work with his adversaries, but also threatened to govern without congressional endorsement, if Congress did not approve of his initiatives. One day after the country repudiated the president and his party, he did not think it was important to seek genuine reconciliation with the new Congress.

It is more than disconcerting that several critical issues are brewing while the president prepares to go to battle with Republicans once again. The war with ISIS is a prime example. The president used the War Powers Act to attack ISIS without congressional approval. However, after a period of time, the president must go to Congress to obtain concurrence or a declaration of war.

The problem is that the president’s plan is faulty. He continues to insist that no U.S. ground forces will be deployed, even though the war cannot be won without such support according to most experts. Alternatively, the coalition intends to train Iraqis and a “moderate rebel force” in Syria to provide ground assistance. The plan is inane because of the time it will take to make the force battle ready. Additionally, the newly trained soldiers are not expected to be large enough or skilled enough to repel the more experienced ISIS fighters. So, a strategy to continue bombing is something Congress will definately consider carefully.

Immigration is one of the most important issues for America today. Forging a plan that protects Americans from drastic demographic and socioeconomic transformation will be a great challenge. The president has threatened to implement reforms (citizenship for millions of illegals) by edict and without congressional approval. He does not have the right to go it alone, nor does he have the right to unilaterally grant immunity and citizenship to illegal immigrants without limits and responsibilities. Unfortunately, this potential action by the president could lead to a serious constitutional confrontation.

Many Americans who are experienced in deal making believe the president has a low social IQ. He does not recognize or accept others who disagree with his perspectives; he is incapable of compromise. He casts aside all opposition, including members of Congress. This is a recipe for disaster. The result of his continued propensity to disenfranchise the other party will result in two more years of complete governmental paralysis.

President Obama: Give Us The Facts About The ISIS War

By Sal Bommarito

The Republican landslide in the 2014 elections will likely reopen the debate about the U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria. The current objective is to degrade and destroy ISIS.

There is no evidence that the coalition forces are making significant progress towards this endgame. In fact, ISIS is becoming more powerful as recruits pore in, and stolen oil is sold to finance operations. Further, the atrocities committed by these savages remain unchecked. Reports are flowing in telling of mass executions throughout the widespread ISIS territories.

Yet, the U.S. strategy continues unchanged while the White House and the Pentagon say things are moving along satisfactorily. Perhaps, the generals who are covering for the president will be more forthcoming when Senator John McCain (R-AZ) becomes chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and asks them under oath whether they believe the current tactics will assure victory.

The Guardian published a scathing article which indicates that the “Pentagon denies U.S. strategy to defeat ISIS is unraveling.” A Pentagon spokesman said, “I don’t believe that we view current events a major setback to the goals that we’ve set with respect to training and equipping the moderate opposition [in Syria].” The comment was made after an Al Qaeda faction routed a Syrian resistance group that was supposed to “anchor” an anti-ISIS proxy force.

The plan is to train 5,000 fighters in Syria, which is supposed to take one year, “against an ISIS force that may command as many as 31,000.” The arithmetic looks very bad for the ground forces that are expected to supplement U.S. bombing efforts.

“ . . . the administration is signaling a counter offensive to oust ISIS from Iraq, led by the Iraqis and backed by U.S. airpower and Iranian Shia militia . . .” The force will not be ready until 2015. This strategy aligns the U.S. with Iran. Many are wondering what the price of this support will be. Might it include a green light for Iran to continue its nuclear program?

Michael Eisenstadt of the Institute for Near East Policy wrote that the U.S. should “’define down success,’ as a marginalized ISIS that can no longer conquer or hold territory.” Even this would be a tall order considering the strength of the enemy at this time.

The problem for the Obama administration is that it embroiled us in a war with ISIS without committing to doing what is necessary to win. Every American hates the idea of sending ground troops to the rat holes known as Iraq and Syria. But if defeating ISIS is an important element of securing our homeland and/or providing national security, ground troops will be deployed sooner or later. It’s too bad the administration did not consider this before initiating a relatively ineffective bombing campaign.

How Democrats Might Win Elections In 2014

Most savvy political analysts believe Republicans are poised to make significant gains in Congress during the impending midterm elections. The most persuasive arguments for a GOP landslide are based upon Obama’s declining polls; a recent poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal has Obama’s approval rating at 40% (about the same as George W. Bush). Additionally, Obama’s foreign policies have been lambasted, and scandals at the IRS and the Veteran’s Administration are taking a toll on his popularity along with the continuing sluggish economy.

 

But, there may be hope in some pockets across the country, especially in races where Democratic incumbents are trying to fight off a change in the Senate majority. A New York Times article, titled “Democrats Seize on Social Issues as Attitudes Shift” does an excellent job of highlighting the strategies of some high profile Democratic campaigns.

 

In recent weeks and months, Democrats have tried to distance themselves from the Obama administration while their GOP opponents continue to use the president’s performance as the reason why voters should pull their levers on Election Day. America, the Republicans says, is standing on the sidelines as “chaos and violence in Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq and Syria” continue to escalate. Obama has provided no defense of his policies to make peace in these regions. Simultaneously, the president has been unable to convince Americans that the economy is doing better. And, he even told corporate executives to stop complaining about economic conditions, hardly a strong political statement.

 

Democratic candidates must go it alone without Obama, especially in places where the electorate is evenly split. The president’s presence in a campaign could literally mean defeat for some Democrats. The response of some candidates is to resort to social issues, a ploy commonly used by Republicans.

 

In the 70s, Richard Nixon  “rallied Americans disturbed by noisy protests over civil rights, the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War.” “Acid, amnesty and abortion” was the label attached to George McGovern in the 1972 election. George W.H. Bush used a released black convict to hammer Mike Dukakis in 1988 playing upon the public’s concern the Democrats would perpetrate a wholesale release of felons.

 

The Times article states that demographic changes are shrinking Nixon’s “Silent Majority.” American households have morphed over the years. “Nearly half of adults are unmarried. Fully 10 percent of opposite-sex married couples are interracial or interethnic. Acceptance of same-sex marriage has expanded with astonishing speed.” And of course, there is the legalization of marijuana and the continued perceived threat against pro-abortion females.

 

Democrats are supported politically by “[Millennials], college graduates, single women, blacks and Latinos,” as these groups generally are in favor of cultural shifts. Ironically, Millennials and African Americans have suffered the most during the Great Recession.

 

The tactics being used in high profile campaigns vividly expose the Democrat’s political strategy. The most important element is that Democrats, in some case, are labeling their GOP opponents even if the accusations are not entirely true. For instance, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is in a tough race for his seat with Ed Gillespie. Warner accused his opponent of seeking to “overturn abortion rights and ban some forms of contraception.” Mr. Gillespie, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a recent debate “he wants contraceptives available (behind the counter) at pharmacies without a prescription.”

 

Senator Mark Udall’s (D-CO) whole campaign is about social issues including “birth control, ‘parenthood,’ abortion.” By diverting voters away from the economy and foreign policy issues, incumbent Democrats hope to retain their current seats.

 

The strategy is a sign of desperation on the part of some incumbent Democratic officeholders. But, what choices do they have? Keep in mind, Obama successfully employed an accusation tactic in 2012 against Mitt Romney. Label you opponent as a radical, right-winger, stay away from the president, and maybe you can win your election. Then again, maybe you won’t.