At first glance, it looks like a story straight out of the satricial newspaper The Onion. A report that the nation’s top intelligence official is determined to plug national-security leaks must be a spoof, no? After all, everybody in Washington knows the White House is in desperate need of a plumber.
But protecting all the president’s men requires an elaborate pretense and great gobs of hypocrisy. And so James Clapper, drafted to be the Inspector Clouseau of this farce, insists he is serious about stopping the gusher of classified secrets. Given the stakes, his willful blindness marks a new low in Washington cynicism, one more fitting of a banana republic than the United States of America.
Then again, it’s increasingly par for the course. In political peril because of its arrogance and incompetence, the Obama administration has lost its moral bearings in a bid to stay in power.
Laws are ignored, and new rules created simply for the convenience of the campaign. The president’s mad dash for cash has turned Air Force One into a shabby shuttle, its grand symbolism reduced to getaway-car status.
“Watch what we do, not what we say,” John Mitchell, Richard Nixon’s attorney general and campaign manager, famously said. That was before Mitchell was convicted in the Watergate scandal.
One suspects Mitchell would feel comfortable in the reckless Obama White House and Eric Holder’s politicized Department of Justice. Whatever the era, a commitment to winning above all else shreds the bonds of duty and the oath of office. After that, it’s only a matter of time until the crash.
This week offers an especially clear view on the disaster of the last 42 months and the rough road ahead. The chaos in the Mideast, the broken jobs machine at home and America’s bitter polarization are the fruits of a failed presidency.
“Hope & Change” has become a punch line, and even Jimmy Carter, the poster boy for fecklessness, is piling on by attacking Obama for failing to protect human rights.
And for all the drama about what the Supreme Court will do on ObamaCare, the most important verdict already has been rendered. Every poll taken shows a big majority of voters wanting some or all of the monstrosity repealed.
In a nutshell, the health-care takeover reveals the essence of the Obama presidency. Sold on the false premise that the entire health system was “broken,” larded with incomprehensible regulations, higher taxes and hidden costs, the bill lurched through Congress on a party-line vote only because the skids were greased with legal bribes.
It spawned its own Hall of Shame incidents, including the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mad-hatter declaration that “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”
Voters certainly knew enough about it to punish Dems in the 2010 midterms, with Obama conceding a “shellacking.”
Yet, if he felt chastened, the feeling quickly passed. Predictions that he would turn to the center proved delusional as he doubled down on a far-left approach to spending, taxes and the size of government. To this day, with America swamped in debt, the military is the only department he wants to cut.
Barack Obama doesn’t listen to anyone who disagrees with him. He sees his election as a blank check that carries near-absolute power and freedom from all restraint. Congress, the courts, voters, whole industries — if they are not with him, they are obstacles that must be crushed or circumvented.
Hubris, like dishonesty, demands an ever greater effort to distort reality. Hence the frenetic campaign to win votes by handing out government goodies. Instead of addressing the economy or any big issue of concern to most Americans, Obama runs as panderer-in-chief to a favored few.
Immigrants, gay rights, government unions, college students, blacks — his campaign is a micro-targeting exercise that slices and dices the country. He offers no solutions for America, only abuses of authority in exchange for four more years. Is there anything he won’t say or do to win?
“If something can’t go on forever, it won’t,” an economist once said. So it is with a president who thinks he is above the law. America has its limits.
To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post on other topics including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, click here.