Obama Bashing: Ill-Informed Rant Circulating Internet

Last night, I was sent this conservative tract about the “dangers” of the Obama administration and had to break it down in case you see anyone else quoting this. For the future please please please send me any articles like this that show up in your inbox because I enjoy researching and writing retorts to this sort of faux journalism.

Steve McCann of the American Thinker is very afraid of a second Obama term. His fears center around growing executive power, which is certainly a concern if you are worried about American-born al Qaeda sympathizers. Given that McCann is not concerned with protecting terrorists in Yemen, none of his criticisms make a lick of sense. Rather they are trumped up complaints about policies in place since at least 1946 (but with roots in laws passed years earlier). So basically McCann thinks Barack Obama is responsible for events that took place 20 years before he was born…presumably in Kenya.

The 2012 election has often been described as the most pivotal since 1860. This statement is not hyperbole. If Barack Obama is re-elected the United States will never be the same, nor will it be able to re-capture its once lofty status as the most dominant nation in the history of mankind.

I’m not sure he understands what the word “hyperbole” means. Because — spoiler alert — any sentence that uses the phrase “in the history of mankind” is hyperbole…or irony.

McCann believes that the Obama administration forced the Democratic Congress in place during Obama’s first two years to cede unprecedented authority to the executive branch, essentially rendering Congress irrelevant.

That is why his re-election team is virtually ignoring the plight of incumbent or prospective Democratic Party office holders.

This is going to be one of many half-truths in this article. The Obama campaign is not planning to transfer funds from its coffers to the House or Senatorial campaign committees, but the reason is not a nefarious disregard for Congress, but the fact that the Obama campaign is no longer expecting to raise the over $1 billion in campaign cash originally estimated.

The most significant accomplishment of Obama’s first term is to make Congress irrelevant. Under the myopic and blindly loyal leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats have succeeded in creating an imperial and, in a second term, a potential dictatorial presidency. During the first two years of the Obama administration when the Democrats overwhelming controlled both Houses of Congress and the media was in an Obama worshipping stupor, a myriad of laws were passed and actions taken which transferred virtually unlimited power to the executive branch.

Curious. Go on.

The birth of multi-thousand page laws was not an aberration. This tactic was adopted so the bureaucracy controlled by Obama appointees would have sole discretion in interpreting vaguely written laws and enforcing thousands of pages of regulations they and not Congress would subsequently write.

Multi-thousand page laws are not an aberration — true, that correctly notes that this practice has a long history. But then IN THE NEXT SENTENCE, McCann says “this tactic was adopted” for Obama’s benefit. In reality, the Administrative Procedure Act (the “APA”) of 1946 established the framework McCann characterizes as a dangerous and unprecedented Obama-concoction. The APA recognized that Congress lacked the time, expertise and flexibility to draft rules to bring effect to all of the laws it passed. If you expect the House and Senate to draft, enforce, investigate and revise every rule governing dairy production in the U.S. Agricultural sector every year then you can expect American government to grind to a complete halt. The APA envisioned a structure where Congress would pass laws with broad strokes and industry experts, economists, engineers, scientists, farmers, etc., would be charged with making specific rules and keeping those rules up to date on the current practices.

For example, in the 2,700 pages of ObamaCare there are more than 2,500 references to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There are more than 700 instances when he or she is instructed that they “shall” do something and more than 200 times when they “may” take at their sole discretion some form of regulatory action. On 139 occasions, the law mentions that the “Secretary determines.” In essence one person, appointed by and reporting to the president, will be in charge of the health care of 310 million Americans once ObamaCare is fully operational in 2014.

The same is true in the 2,319 pages of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act which confers nearly unlimited power on various agencies to control by fiat the nation’s financial, banking and investment sectors. The bill also creates new agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not subject to any oversight by Congress. This overall process was repeated numerous times with other legislation all with the intent of granting unfettered power to the executive branch controlled Barack Obama and his radical associates.

What is missing from this ominous passage is any context. In fact, thousands of laws provide agency directors and cabinet secretaries this level of power. If anything, the high number of “shall” and “Secretary determines” are actually limits on executive power. In the Patriot Act, for example, the Attorney General is given broad power to make any regulations that a court could find reasonably related to the purpose of the law. On the other hand, these Obama-era laws cabin that power by giving the administration rule-making over hundreds of narrow openings instead of a large and vague openings.

This is classic misdirection on McCann’s part, because it preys upon the natural human skepticism of big numbers. Citing page numbers in the thousands and words being used in the hundreds scares an audience accustomed to big numbers signaling danger. Here’s an example of the power of citing big numbers. Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Scary, no? Are you familiar with Dihydrogen Monoxide? Read more here. I’ll bet I can convince McCann to join me in banning this dangerous chemical, unless he’s against the EPA…oh here we go:

Additionally, the Obama administration has, through its unilaterally determined rule making and regulatory powers, created laws out of whole cloth. The Environmental Protection Agency on a near daily basis issues new regulations clearly out of their purview in order to modify and change environmental laws previously passed and to impose a radical green agenda never approved by Congress.

The EPA was created by the Nixon administration and since that day has functioned with the exact same “executive power” that McCann blames Obama for creating. I wonder if Obama ordered Watergate too?

None of these extra-constitutional actions have been challenged by Congress. The left in America knows this usurpation of power is nearly impossible to reverse unless stopped in its early stages.

Probably because there has not been any usurpation of power in this area. Occam’s Razor, dude.

McCann claims that the legislation passed in the first two years of Obama’s administration cannot be overturned by a Republican-controlled Congress. This is probably true, but McCann undermines this worry:

The most significant power Congress has is the control of the purse-strings as all spending must be approved by them.

This has already been threatened. The GOP-controlled House responded to the need to reauthorize the rate protection for college student loans by cutting funding for the Affordable Care Act. This is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the GOP if they recapture the Congress and despite McCann’s position, if Congress cut funding, it could undermine any delusional fear of another Obama administration.

However, once re-elected, Barack Obama, as confirmed by his willingness to do or say anything and his unscrupulous re-election tactics, would not only threaten government shutdowns but would deliberately withhold payments to those dependent on government support as a means of intimidating and forcing a Republican controlled Congress to surrender to his demands, thus neutering their ability to control the administration through spending constraints.

OK, now I’m starting to wonder if this is written ironically. The government has shut down before and shut downs have been threatened more than a few times and every instance has been at the hands of the Republican party. The reason is simple: a shutdown DOES hurt those dependent on government support, and that’s why the Democrats always cave because they refuse to cut off social security to seniors or food aid for children while the Republican party, whether bluffing or not, will willingly use those constituencies as hostages in a game of political poker.

Further, this administration has shown contempt for the courts by ignoring various court orders, e.g. the Gulf of Mexico oil drilling moratorium, as well as stonewalling subpoenas and requests issued by Congress. The Eric Holder Justice Department has become the epitome of corruption as part of the most dishonest and deceitful administration in American history. In a second term the arrogance of Barack Obama and his minions will become more blatant as he will not have to be concerned with re-election.

Both of these stories are jokes. The Gulf drilling moratorium — which, lest we forget, was put in place after it came to light that drilling in the Gulf was riddled with safety hazards that had killed 11 people and created the second worst environmental disaster in American history — was overturned by a low-level federal judge and then appealed. The moratorium was lifted and then the Obama administration began issuing new permits at a record pace once safety standards were put in place. That’s not contempt, it’s responsibility and respect for 11 dead people and thousands more devastated by the effects of the spill. The Eric Holder “corruption” charge relates to the “Fast and Furious” scandal, which was a local sting operation conducted since the Bush administration that was bungled and the GOP has decided to call for the firing of Holder as the “CEO” of the Justice Department because someone 9 levels below him screwed up.

Who will be there to enforce the rule of law, a Supreme Court ruling or the Constitution? No one. Barack Obama and his fellow-travelers will be unchallenged as they run roughshod over the American people.

Did he just say “fellow-travelers?” Is this 1956?

In the debate world, an argument must have an impact. In response to McCann’s argument, I ask “even if I were to believe that the Obama administration has expanded executive power (which it has not), what’s the abuse?” There is no explanation in the McCann article of how anything he describes leads to running “roughshod” over the American people. Is it the law that lowers the cost of health insurance? Is it the law that places regulations on the banks who created the financial meltdown by making risky investments without hedging their bets?

McCann attempts to whip up opposition to President Obama by crediting him with creating the structure of American government we’ve all lived in since at least 1946. His article is either willfully disingenuous or woefully ill-researched.

24 comments for “Obama Bashing: Ill-Informed Rant Circulating Internet

  1. Kathryn
    May 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    This is great! You are the political Snopes.com debunking inaccurate information from the darkest recesses of the internet

  2. Sam
    May 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Once again you, as a left-wing socialist have used rhetoric to totally distort what was in the article. By spouting words around the actual truth in the article you seem to be trying to inject your agenda into the distortion. It is the brainwashed voters that will once again listen to the cool-aid pushers and believe what you have to say without any consideration of the real truth which was put forth in the McCann statements. I would advise your readers to go and look at the other side of the story instead of just taking what you have to say as the truth, which it is not, if they want to know the real truth behind obama’s plan to turn our great country into a socialistic state with him as the supreme leader. Obama and his administration are socialist and are hell bound to destroy this country and you are a follower, which is very obvious in your rhetoric to bow down to his socialistic agenda. You are a fool if you believe anything that you have written in your article and you will always be a fool.

    • Ron
      May 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Everyone who disagrees with you is a fool and only you get to decide what is true. Is that it? It doesn’t matter if what Obama is doing is the way it’s been done. Somehow in your mind because it’s Obama only now is it dangerous.

      Consider the possibility that you are exposing yourself as someone incapable of critical thought. We’re embarrassed for you because you actually think you are saying something. You should be embarrassed yourself yet you act as if you know something we don’t.

    • Gerald
      August 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Wow! You are a moron

  3. Joe Patrice
    May 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I think you need to use a dictionary to figure out the bare bones definition of “socialism.” This sums up the growing problem in this country where misunderstood buzzwords replace critical thinking.

    But certainly this makes sense — someone flaming a blog’s comment board probably understands the power and opportunity of free markets as much as Obama supporters like Warren Buffett or Jamie Dimon or Paul Volcker. There are philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats, but the furtherest Left-leaning Democrat in America is staunchly pro-market because “increasing the reserves a bank must keep on hand” or “establishing firewalls between investment and commercial banking” are not the same as “nationalizing industries.”

    Indeed, the “socialist” agenda Obama is pursuing is returning America to the financial rules of the Reagan administration (hence the support he gets from Reagan economic appointees like Volcker). Reinforcing my belief that, despite the lip service, Reagan would be laughed out of the primaries if he ran for the GOP nomination today (just like Jon Huntsman — a competent, thoughtful conservative).

    • sam
      May 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Just more and more socialist brainwashed comments. You people just don’t get it because you think that the “gimme” state is the way to go. You’ve been brainwashed in school and now you kiss his ring in hopes that you will be in line for the next handout. You refuse to look into obama’s history and who he has associated himself with all his life and now at this critical time in our history you are willing to follow this socialist down a certain path of the nanny state socialist agenda. No, I am the one who is ashamed of you and the fact that I fought in a war and risked my life for fools like you two. What a waste of lives that were lost by REAL Americans so fools like you can have your handouts. It appears that you are one of those college educated cool-aid drinkers and you to will always be a “taker” and of no real use in American society.

      • Joe Patrice
        May 27, 2012 at 3:51 am

        This may be genius, Andy Kaufman-style satire, but if it’s not, let’s break it down.

        “Just more and more socialist brainwashed comments.”

        Basically you said, “The Yankees are the worst football team ever.” I said, “the Yankees don’t play football” and you responded, “more football propaganda.” Actually I earlier counseled you to look it up in a dictionary. So here’s the dictionary definition:

        “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

        Has this Presidency done anything to establish control over the means of production and distribution? Has Obama seized Microsoft? Indeed, this government DID seize control of the means of production by buying the auto industry and then GAVE IT BACK to private enterprise! If your theory of the world had any merit out of the gate, that fact alone demolishes it.

        “You people just don’t get it because you think that the “gimme” state is the way to go.”

        What “gimme” state is that? The one where many families have to work two jobs to own a home and raise a kid? We live in an America where working hard and getting all the breaks can make you very very wealthy and that’s awesome. And if you, like me, make $200,000/year or more, then giving 3 cents on the dollar more to make sure we have schools and roads instead of the $11 trillion debt Bush racked up, is not communism, but common sense.

        “You’ve been brainwashed in school and now you kiss his ring in hopes that you will be in line for the next handout.”

        I will guiltily say that going through a state university with an economics degree and then an elite law school has given me the skills to recognize the difference between competent government and socialism.

        “You refuse to look into obama’s history and who he has associated himself with all his life and now at this critical time in our history you are willing to follow this socialist down a certain path of the nanny state socialist agenda.”

        Who can you possibly mean? Is this a random Reverend Wright attack (he was against the U.S. going to war because he thought violence begets violence, the Pope said the same thing but nobody’s giving him a hard time about it)? Some trumped up and discredited Bill Ayers thing maybe? We’ve had 4 years in which he’s done NONE of the stuff you toss allude to in your paranoid fantasy, and yet we still have to hear it? Is there any specific policy that concerns you? Killing Bin Laden maybe? [Over the objections of every religious figure from Wright to the Pope] Or deciding NOT to create a socialist medicine system like in every country that pays less for better care and instead creating a system created by the conservative Heritage Foundation? [http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1989/a-national-health-system-for-america] Pray tell!

        “No, I am the one who is ashamed of you and the fact that I fought in a war and risked my life for fools like you two.”

        This is serious. I always value the service of veterans. As we enter Memorial Day weekend, the fact that so many have fought and died to allow both of us the freedom to correspond over the internet to further our political agendas is something to celebrate rather than lament. You fought in a war and I (most definitely 4F) help train officers for the precise purpose of having this discussion. But I do find it curious, given your status, that you have such a negative view of Democrats since the Republicans have pitched slashing veteran’s benefits while the Democrats have been staunch defenders. Maybe you think of benefits like VA hospitals as a gimme state issue, but I view it as repaying a debt.

        “What a waste of lives that were lost by REAL Americans so fools like you can have your handouts.”

        I blog on the side…I made $250K last year. I don’t believe in systemic handouts, I DO believe we need roads and schools and cops and firefighters and defense and, yes medical care for the elderly and children, and you know what? That costs money and I think if you taxed me 3 cents on the dollar more I’d still be rich and we’d have every one of those services.

        “It appears that you are one of those college educated cool-aid drinkers and you to will always be a “taker” and of no real use in American society”

        It’s spelled Kool-Aid, and yes I did go to college…that’s why I’m NOT a taker from society, but a wealthy guy who has the luxury of writing on the internet in his spare time.

        Obama isn’t a socialist by any stretch of the real definition, but if you believe good education, sound defense, strong law enforcement and caring for the elderly and children is socialism then I guess he is a socialist and I pray most Americans — in fact, I pray most Republicans — are with him on that score.

        • Swalling
          August 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

          Joe….well said. Just saw this…know it was a while ago. I have had the Steve McCann article sent to me by some well meaning friend who thinks as McCann does, and I am really fed up by the slandering and lying. I intend to send this article and, hopefully your comments to her to show her there is another dialog besides the FOX channel. Thank you for your insight and taking the time to address the misguided individual who really won’t care that you took the time!!

    • Joe Killian
      January 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Really? A Dictionary to understand the meaning of “socialist”? Well perhaps you have a small point or a half truth (which is the same as a lie). I have an “evolved” term for Obama and the left; Neo-Marxist. The nearly polar opposite of the Neo Conservative and both are wrong for America. Imagine a string with opposites at both ends of ultra left and hard right. Now join the string to make a circle and you will find the methods and outcomes of both political views are exactly the same. The right has their mark on the spying on Americans and the left picks right up and advances the erosion of rights even more effectively… They are both wrong and so are you for siding with one extreme and therefore helping the agenda they both have to turn the nation into a police state.

  4. Walter Gourlay
    July 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This deserves to be read by everyone. Including the comments.

  5. Dave Proffer
    September 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Joe, I’m right with you. Today I had this McCann article emailed to me a second time. I live in a small town in Southern Indiana and work in health care. All I hear, day in, day out, is how Obama has ruined our country. I have yet to obtain any evidence of factual information to back this up. This article is one of the vehicles of fear that gets the weak-minded all in an uproar about where “this country is headed.”
    In my personal situation, I’m a retired military officer, have two Master’s degrees, have a great job, pay less taxes than I did four years ago (mostly due to Social Security withholding reduction), and have a nice mortgage interest rate. My 22 year old son is on my medical insurance; he definately could not afford his own at this point.
    Thanks for providing a voice of reason to this debate!

  6. duane
    September 19, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Superb analysis. To bad more people can’t put this amount of time into this kind of work. I only wish you had noted that he GOP efforts to condemn “bureaucrats” in particular and the “Government” in general have resulted in a radical diminution of the effect career professionals can have on good government. The proliferation of political appointees (campaign workers, big money contributors, etc.) in the government has diminished and emasculated the work that competent, non-partisan professionals can have in the work of the executive branch of government.

  7. aaron
    September 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Forgetting what you answered you cannot have
    President Obama is giving away the country.

  8. Nancy
    October 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Well at least if all you Obama lovers get your way, we’ll only have to live with him in office for four more years. Hope we all survive it.

    • Joe Patrice
      October 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Yes, the economic growth, steady job creation and successful prosecution of the war on terror has been so terrible for the last four years.

      • Nancy
        October 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        I’ve seen no economic growth in the last 4 years. My business has dropped in half, and return on my 401k is nonexistant. Job creation will take another 4 years to stabilize the unemployment mess, IF jobs start to trend upward, like 250,000 jobs per month. ( as reported on national news this morning). As for the war on terror, I’m hearing about hundreds of our soldiers getting killed everyday. No improvements there.

        • Mark
          October 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

          I can’t say anything about your business. I can say something about your statement that “hundreds of our soldiers [are] getting killed everyday.” That’s wrong. For the year to date (October 15, 2012), 276 American soldiers have have died in Afghanistan. Total. for details, see: http://icasualties.org

          Lots of improvements there. Really.

  9. Leslie De Palo
    October 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    THANK YOU JOE! Your clear thinking and writing are much appreciated. Yes, I too received the ridiculous Steve McCann article and actually thought it sooooo silly, it was funny, in a sad way. There is nothing wrong with an opinion, however, others actually believe there is merit in what McCann writes. Anyway, I appreciate your research and gratefully sent out your response to the many people who were unwittingly subjected to such horrible dribble from a faux Journalist, as you so aptly called him.

  10. mike
    October 21, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    who is this Steve McCann?

    • dudoight
      October 31, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Mr. McCann is a man born during WWII, orphaned, found wandering in war torn Europe. He was adopted by and American family, raised and educated in the USA. He has no idea of his true origins, name or family. He loves this nation and is more than grateful for having the opportunity and gift of coming to the USA.

      • mike
        October 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

        i guess i meant what is his education and qualifications. if you mean to say he is just another guy with an opinion i accept your comment.

  11. Tom
    November 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Basically, I just want someone to balance the Federal Budget in a timely manner. And maybe even more importantly the trade deficit. I think it is great to help people in need, but we need to figure out how to prioritize within a balanced budget.

    I think education is important. Top-notch grades allowed me to win scholarships that paid for over half of my undergraduate engineering degree. My grades while completing my first four years of college allowed me to obtain a masters degree in engineering for free, and earn some income performing research and teaching. Right now I earn a pretty descent living, and it is all because of my education. I also have completed an MBA from Michigan. My wife is a respected public school teacher too, with about 24 years of experience.

    Either raise taxes, or cut spending, but balance the budget. It is not responsible to have a Federal deficit year after year.

    I also believe that a healthy economy based on a service industry is not possible.
    It’s pretty hard to sell our services to other countries at a level that balances the trade deficit based on our thirst for inexpensive foreign goods and imported oil. I call the IT department for a computer issue where I work in the states, and I get someone in a foreign company helping me. A great deal of software coding is farmed out to foreign countries too. Seems like some our service industry is imported too.

    You guys can duke it out all day here. I just want our government to take care of both the Federal and the trade deficits, even if it means some pain from cutting programs AND raising taxes. I really think raising taxes might be the pain we all need to experience to learn how to prioritize.

    I don’t believe in any further stimulus programs. A stimulus is for fixing short-term issues. A stimulus cannot fix long-term systemic issues.

    I am also pretty disappointed with all the focus on green energy. This is a great article on the Volt. http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/GM-offers-big-discounts-to-boost-Volt-sales-3885596.php GM loses almost $30,000 on everyone they sell! GM sold a record number last month because they are discounted 25%. Read the article I referenced if you don’t believe me. I’m also referring to the Nissan Leaf, Fisker, A123, Solyndra, etc. The government pushing green energy, but the government cannot defy the laws of physics or the basics of supply and demand. We need some engineers in government that understand Newton’s Second Law, heat transfer, basic concepts for energy, etc

    My simplistic opinion: You shouldn’t spend more money than you make, and you can’t defy physics. Humans are driven by greed. Economics are driven by supply and demand.

  12. Edward
    March 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Joe says “please please please send me any articles like this that show up in your inbox”

    Joe, please suggest *how* you’d like me to do that, unless you just mean you’d like us to post these as comments to this piece. Below is a link to an article that I believe fits the bill.


    • March 3, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Thanks! There’s also an email icon in the upper left that emails me. Now that I’m working at Above the Law, I don’t update this blog as often, but I love going through these so much.

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