Government by Regulation or you might call it Government by Thieves in the Night
Posted December 31, 2010on:
More on how Obama and crew plan to govern during the next two years. Obama will engage Congress in some really meaningless fight and then behind the scenes his crew will be busy taking over government. It will take all congress’ time just trying to keep up with and undo or counteract the behind the scene mischief.
Like his appointments to various positions with people Congress would not have approved of. When the Cat’s away these big bqad rats certainly intend to play. BB
……..Turns out ignorance is the Democrats’ best hope. And regulation is their perfect vehicle — so much quieter than legislation. Consider two other regulatory usurpations in just the last few days.
On December 23, the Interior Department issued Secretarial Order 3310, reversing a 2003 decision and giving itself the authority to designate public lands as “Wild Lands.” A clever twofer: (1) a bureaucratic power-grab — for seven years up through December 22, wilderness-designation had been the exclusive province of Congress, and (2) a leftward lurch — more land to be “protected” from such nefarious uses as domestic-oil exploration in a country disastrously dependent on foreign sources.
The very same day, the president’s Environmental Protection Agency declared that in 2011 it would begin drawing up anti-carbon regulations on oil refineries and power plants, another power grab effectively enacting what Congress had firmly rejected when presented as cap-and-trade legislation.
For an Obama bureaucrat, however, the will of Congress is a mere speed bump. Hence this regulatory trifecta, each one moving smartly left — and nicely clarifying what the spirit of bipartisan compromise that President Obama heralded in his post-lame-duck December 22 news conference was really about: a shift to the center for public consumption and political appearance only.
On that day, Obama finally embraced the tax-cut compromise he had initially excoriated, but only to avoid forfeiting its obvious political benefit — its appeal to independent voters who demand bipartisanship and are the key to Obama’s reelection. But make no mistake: Obama’s initial excoriation in his angry December 7 news conference was the authentic Obama. He hated the deal.
Now as always, Obama’s heart lies left. For those fooled into thinking otherwise by the new Obama of December 22, his administration’s defiantly liberal regulatory moves — on the environment, energy, and health care — should disabuse even the most beguiled.
These regulatory power plays make political sense. Because Obama needs to appear to reclaim the center, he will stage his more ideological fights in yawn-inducing regulatory hearings rather than in the dramatic spotlight of congressional debate. How better to impose a liberal agenda on a center-right nation than regulatory stealth?
It’s Obama’s only way forward during the next two years. He will never get past the half-Republican 112th what he could not get past the overwhelmingly Democratic 111th. He doesn’t have the votes and he surely doesn’t want the publicity. Hence the quiet resurrection, as it were, of end-of-life counseling.
Obama knows he has only so many years to change the country. In his first two, he achieved much: the first stimulus, Obamacare, and financial regulation. For the next two, however, the Republican House will prevent any repetition of that. Obama’s agenda will therefore have to be advanced by the more subterranean means of rule-by-regulation.
But this must simultaneously be mixed with ostentatious displays of legislative bipartisanship (e.g., the lame-duck tax-cut deal) in order to pull off the (apparent) centrist repositioning required for re-election. This, in turn, would grant Obama four more years when, freed from the need for pretense, he can reassert himself ideologically and complete the social-democratic transformation — begun Jan. 20, 2009; derailed Nov. 2, 2010 — that is the mission of his presidency.
— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010 the Washington Post Writers Group.