OBAMA’S LEGACY…SUCCESS OR FAILURE???

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With his time in office now slowly, albeit far too slowly, drawing to a close, although it can’t get here soon enough for me, there has much talk going around of late regarding what kind of legacy Barry “Almighty” will leave behind.  It has been during his two terms in the White House, Barry has done his best to make same-sex marriage the law of the land; implement trailblazing environmental regulations to crackdown on climate change; issue sweeping legislation allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country; and reconstructed, some would argue deconstructed, the healthcare system in this country.

It has been noted by many of those whose job it is to ponder such ponderable things that there have been more than a few blows dealt to Barry’s various policies by the Supreme Court — a venue where those representing his administration have done less than a stellar job — that some think have placed his legacy in jeopardy.  And it has also been pointed out that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against Barry’s administration positions in at least 13 cases just since January 2012.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement of those policies that Barry has tried to promulgate.  But that never stopped him from trying to use his pen and his phone.

It was John Fund who writes, “The tenure of both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder has been marked by a dangerous push to legitimize a vast expansion of the power of the federal government that endangers the liberty and freedom of Americans.”  And he goes on to say, “They have taken such extreme position on key issues that the Court has uncharacteristically slapped them down time and time again.”  He adds, “Historically, the Justice Department has won about 70 percent of its cases before the high court. But in each of the last three terms, the Court has ruled against the administration a majority of the time.”

And it’s on the topic of same-sex marriage that Barry continues to maintain that his views on the topic have “evolved” from opposing it when he first ran for president in 2008 — a reversal from his 1996 Illinois Senate campaign when he supported it — to backing it in 2012 after Vice President ‘Slow Joe’ Biden publicly pledged support for gay marriage. After contradictory decisions by federal appeals courts, the Supreme Court heard a case brought by Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee arguing that the decision should be left to the states. Same-sex marriage proponents say gay marriage bans violate couples’ constitutional rights.

The court’s much anticipated June decision is a “potentially historic ruling” that will cap “a two-decade legal and political fight for marriage equality,” at least according to the Los Angeles Times.  In 2013, according to the Washington Post, the Supreme Court ruled in the administration’s favor by allowing the federal government to recognize legally married same-sex couples.  So Barry may yet be able to ram this down the collective throat of the American with help for a Supreme Court that may actually lean more than a little to the left on the issue.  So we will see if it turns out to be a ‘historic ruling’ or another slap at Barry.

Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act, Barry’s signature legislation, could be torpedoed if the court rules in favor of a group challenging the legality of Obamacare subsidies to residents in 37 states that didn’t set up their own healthcare exchanges.  The New York Times reported this week that a four-word clause — “established by the state” — included in the 900-page act specifies that federal subsidies are only permitted for people who buy their coverage on state-run exchanges, not those who go through the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov.  Some 7.5 million people stand to lose their subsidies if the court rules they are unconstitutional.

And it was in the Hobby Lobby case, brought by the evangelical Christian owners of an arts and crafts store chain by the same name, that the Supreme Court found that family-owned businesses do not have to provide birth control coverage to their employees if it conflicts with the business owners’ religious beliefs.  The landmark decision, rendered on June 30, 2014, extended for the first time religious protections to for-profit corporations, The Boston Globe reported, noting that the ruling was a win for social conservatives who opposed a provision of Obamacare that required contraceptive coverage be included in health insurance provided by businesses.

And as far as Barry’s penchant for making rather questionable recess appointments, the high court issued a unanimous rebuke of the president for exceeding his constitutional authority by making high-level government appointments in 2012 — specifically to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) — when he declared that the Senate was in recess and unable to act on the nominations.  In January 2012, while the Senate met in pro forma sessions every three days specifically to deny the president his recess powers, Obama made three recess appointments to the NLRB and one to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Barry contended that “even though the Senate was meeting every three days, the pro forma sessions meant just a single senator was on the chamber floor for a brief time, and no real business was conducted, which meant the Senate was really not in session.”  The majority opinion of the justices on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that “the founding fathers intended for the president only to be able to use his recess appointment powers when the Senate was gone for a long period of time, not the brief breaks Congress regularly takes for holidays or weekends.”  Apparently Barry, the Constitutional scholar, interpreted things differently.

This past spring, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging what has been called by some in the state-controlled media Barry’s “signature environmental achievement”: Environmental Protection Agency regulations limiting the amount of mercury emissions and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired and oil-fired utility plants.  More than 20 states and “major industry groups” such as the National Mining Association argue that the rules place undue costs on power plants.  The EPA estimates that the regulations, which would require plants to install high-tech scrubbers to remove the pollutants, come with an estimated $9.6 Billion annual price tag.  A decision is expected next month.

And on the topic of Immigration, Barry’s immigration policy took a hit as recently as this past Tuesday, when a federal appeals court in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, denied Barry’s emergency request to lift a lower court’s injunction on deferring deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants, according to a Washington Post story.  Alleging executive overreach, 26 states sued the federal government after Barry issued an executive order in November expanding programs that allow millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and apply for work permits and some government benefits.  But he didn’t get his way, at least not yet.

In February, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, blocked Barry’s order on the grounds that it should not be implemented until the case is resolved.  The administration appealed the decision and it was decided in the plaintiffs’ favor.  In typical fashion the White House issued a scathing criticism of the opinion.  White House bimbo, Brandi Hoffine said, “As the powerful dissent from Judge [Stephen] Higginson recognizes, President Obama’s immigration executive actions are fully consistent with the law.  The president’s actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy, and keep our communities safe.”

Republican House Speaker John Boehner lauded the ruling.  And in one of those rare instances where I find myself in agreement with the Speaker, he said, “The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, and the courts have agreed once again.”  But the number of things that Barry has managed to do despite the fact that he did not have the authority to them is really quite impressive.  And he got away with doing those things primary because we had in Congress a combination of rabid ideologues who were in complete agreement with him, and a band of gutless cowards too afraid to stand up to him.

Personally, I would argue that Barry’s legacy is quite secure.  He is the first foreign born, affirmative action, America hating, white-hating president of this once great republic.  He has done what will most likely turn out to be irreparable damage to this country both domestically and internationally.  This harm was not done out of ignorance, incompetence or even stupidity as many would have you believe, but out of a naked, plain and obvious hatred for The United States.  His legacy will be one of an evil-doer who could always count on the ignorance of the American people.  His legacy will be one of someone who easily and blatantly lied about everything and always got away with it because the press was too feckless to call him on it. They were too afraid of being called “racist”.  Better to let a half black man lie than tell the truth about his lies.  Let’s pray that the electorate never makes the same mistake.  But with so much talk about Hitlery Clinton, I’m not the least bit optimistic.

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