The American Spectator
Months ago, I predicted in this column that President Obama would so discredit himself in office that he wouldn’t even be on the ballot in 2012, let alone have a prayer of being reelected. Like President Johnson in 1968, who had won a much bigger victory four years previously than Obama did in 2008, President Obama will be so politically defunct by 2012 that he won’t even try to run for reelection.
I am now ready to predict that President Obama will not even make it that far. I predict that he will resign in discredited disgrace before the fall of 2012. Like my previous prediction, that is based not just on where we are now, but where we are going under his misleadership.
Is the President Above the Law?
Watergate was supposed to have established that Presidents are not above the law. If that is so, President Obama may have to resign for breaking the law in the Sestak affair.
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is now the Democrat nominee for the Senate seat held far too long by Arlen Specter. President Obama induced Specter to switch parties and give the Democrats their very temporary, 60 vote, filibuster-proof majority, in return for endorsing him for reelection and promising him no opposition in the Democrat primary. But Sestak had already announced that he was running for the seat, and he refused to get out. Two week ago, Sestak defeated the unprincipled, opportunistic Specter for the Democrat nomination, continuing the perfect string of everyone who Obama endorses and campaigns for going down to defeat.
For months now, Sestak has publicly claimed that President Obama tried to keep his promise to Specter by offering him a high-ranking administration appointment if he would get out of the race. The rumor is that Sestak, formerly an Admiral, was offered appointment as Secretary of the Navy. The problem is that a federal statute explicitly provides that it is a federal felony, punishable by up to one year in prison, to attempt to bribe a candidate with a federal job, or anything of value, to influence an election.
As Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has indicated, the White House is now engaged in a coverup that is only making matters worse. Former President Bill Clinton is now claiming that he carried the offer to Sestak of an appointment to an unpaid position on a Presidential Advisory Board in return for dropping out of the race. But that story is not plausible because as a sitting member of Congress he could not have legally served on such a Presidential Board. So is the White House now lying to the American people about the matter?
Moreover, indirectly offering the job through former President Clinton still violates the statute, as does the offer of an unpaid position. That is why Issa, Mark Levin, and others are saying that what the White House is publicly admitting still amounts to a federal crime, which is an impeachable offense. Democrats are going to have to decide if they really believe that presidents are not above the law. Presently, one reason to vote Republican for president is that Republican presidents are subject to the rule of law, but Democrat presidents are not.
Misfeasance or Malfeasance?
But the Sestak affair is just the early breeze of the gathering political storm that threatens to envelop President Obama. A mysterious explosion over six weeks ago in a deep sea oil well a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush oil to this day, heading for Gulf beaches and fisheries. The White House says the President held a meeting on it in the Oval Office on Day One. But we have not heard a word on what was done in that meeting 44 days ago, other than develop political talking points.
Democrat talking head Kirsten Powers, writing in the New York Post on May 27, explained what should have been done: “Turns out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration back in 1994 drafted plans for responding to a major Gulf oil spill, a response called ‘In Situ Burn.’…The idea was to use barriers called ‘fire booms’ to collect and contain the spill at sea — and then burn it off.” Powers cites former federal oil spill response coordinator Ron Gourget as believing “this could have captured 95 percent of the oil from the spill.” But, Powers writes, “the Administration’s chief response so far was to send out Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to do his best impersonation of a totalitarian thug, proclaiming that the government would ‘have its boot on the throat of BP.'”
It is too late for the fire boom plan now, with the oil spreading across the Gulf. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal quickly developed another plan to build temporary sand barrier islands off the coasts to absorb the oil and protect fragile wetlands and fisheries. The law requires federal approval for such activity. But perhaps because Jindal is a Republican, the hyperpartisan Obama Administration has failed to even respond to his proposal first made a month ago, except to say that it is studying the idea, while the oil starts to wash ashore.
What President Obama has done instead is to suspend all offshore drilling in the Arctic, at least until the causes and solutions to the Gulf spill are discovered. No applications for drilling permits in the Arctic will even be considered now until 2011. Drilling scheduled to begin this summer under already issued Alaskan leases has also been halted. Investor’s Business Daily explains how this punishes the American people, saying on May 28, “Alaska’s Chukchi Sea holds more oil and gas than anyone thought – 1,600 trillion cubic feet of undeveloped natural gas, or 30% of the world’s supply, and 83 billion barrels of undeveloped oil, 4% of estimated global resources. You can be sure the Russians won’t be as reluctant.” Nor will the Cubans and their Chinese partners expected to drill in the Gulf of Mexico off of Florida’s coasts as well, just as the Brits and others have not been reluctant to drill in the stormy North Sea.
Moreover, President Obama has already begun to use the crisis to renew his political push for federal cap and tax legislation that will cripple the economy with arbitrary, unnecessary, soaring, energy cost increases. Does he plan to hold any future drilling hostage to passage of this legislation?
In the response to Hurricane Katrina, federal law specifically provided that the then Democrat Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans were in charge. The federal and FEMA role was to “support…state and local assistance efforts” with the necessary, primarily financial resources. Nevertheless, in the days after the hurricane, President Bush’s federal government was the only functioning authority, as the Coast Guard rescued 30,000 people off of rooftops. Hundreds of school buses that could have been used to whisk those people out of harm’s way were left ruined under water due to Mayor Nagin’s inaction in response to federal hurricane warnings. The partisan Governor acted only to deny and delay President Bush’s control over the state’s national guard for political reasons.