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Washington Loses Power -- And not just from a storm
The Weekly Standard Magazine, Vol 17 No. 41 ^ | July 16, 2012 | Fred Barnes

Posted on 07/07/2012 2:10:46 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

For Washington, this is definitely not the best of times. The town is suffering from a power outage.

The evidence is hard to miss, from Washington’s weeklong struggle to cope with storm damage that knocked out electricity across the region to President Obama’s inability to awaken the economy, as reflected once again in June’s pathetic jobs report.

To make matters worse, Washington is out of sync with the country, at least with the noncoastal parts. The usual response is to unleash the president so he can rally America to Washington’s purposes. But the bully pulpit hasn’t been effective since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. And Obama has failed to revive it.

The president was bailed out when the Supreme Court upheld his health care program on the flimsiest of constitutional grounds. That, however, did not bring Obama or Washington into harmony with the rest of the country. On the contrary, Obamacare remains a source of bitter conflict.

What’s clear is that Obama is no longer a commanding presence, much less a force for national unity. This is important because Washington has always been a White House-centered town. The media, indeed most Americans, look to the president for leadership. He acts. Congress reacts.

Obama has acted clumsily. He’s proved to be a poor negotiator, alienating congressional Republicans rather than finding even a shred of common ground. He has turned to issuing executive orders, a sure sign of weakness. Legislation passed by Congress is difficult to repeal. Executive orders can be erased at a stroke of the next president’s pen.

Obama isn’t the only cause of Washington’s power shortage. The capital’s political community—bureaucrats, lobbyists, ideological groups, trade organizations, the press, hangers-on of all stripes—plays a role. This body of permanent Washingtonians believes that it knows not only what’s best for America, but where things are headed. More often than not it guesses wrong.

The consensus in Washington was that Obama would “pivot” to the center after the Republican landslide in the 2010 midterm elections. He moved left. And according to the prevailing view in Washington, Obama would be a strong favorite to win a second term. But his reelection prospects are no better than 50-50.

There’s more. Washington looked askance at the Tea Party, but took the Occupy Wall Street movement quite seriously when it came to town. The Washington Post treated Occupy Washington as a group of idealists with nothing on their minds but the betterment of life for all Americans. The Tea Partiers, in contrast, were harmful extremists.

When Obama refused to accommodate the Tea Party message of the 2010 elections, the Washington community followed suit. There was outrage, for example, at the idea that raising the debt limit should be accompanied by cuts in federal spending. That the president might be obligated to compromise with Republicans on the spending issue was not taken seriously.

Here, the division between Washington and much of the country has emerged once more. The expectation in Washington was that Republicans had hurt themselves badly by insisting on cuts. But polls showed the opposite was true. Obama’s job approval fell.

Despite this, Washington’s negative view of Republicans has hardened, and Obama’s self-serving scenario has been accepted. His narrative: I’ve tried to bring Republicans on board, but they’re committed to obstructionism. In fact, Obama offered Republicans nothing to gain their votes on his economic stimulus or the health care bill and little in budget cuts except from defense.

Americans want to like their presidents. But they’re not crazy about bureaucrats, either in Washington or anywhere else. Yet Obama is bent on giving unelected bureaucrats greater authority in the federal government. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, the Wall Street reform bill, created at least 188 new boards and commissions, offices and grant programs, to be run by bureaucrats.

A cherished objective in Obama-care was the new Independent Payment Advisory Board of 15 bureaucrats empowered to decide what Medicare—and thus health insurers—will pay for. The White House also insisted on establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate consumer loans and freed it from normal congressional budget constraints, with funding directly from the Federal Reserve. And now the Obama administration wants to hire 4,000 more Internal Revenue Service agents to ensure Obamacare is strictly enforced.

That’s a lot for the public to swallow. And Obama thinks hiring more government workers, especially at the state level, is the key to boosting the economy.

He’s been forced to choose between what looks good to Washington’s elite and what most Americans prefer. He’s sided with Washington. What he’s sacrificed is power, most of which comes from outside Washington.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: elites; executive; judicial; legislative

1 posted on 07/07/2012 2:10:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It’s time to through the bums out, all of ‘em.


2 posted on 07/07/2012 2:21:07 AM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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To: exnavy

Time to showcase the Tenth Amendment.


3 posted on 07/07/2012 2:22:18 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Walter E. Williams: States should nullify Obamacare
4 posted on 07/07/2012 2:23:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: txrangerette; All
Initiative would let voters overrule federal law "Voters could get the right to overrule federal laws and mandates under the terms of an initiative filed late Thursday.

The Arizona Constitution already says the federal Constitution "is the supreme law of the land." This measure, if approved in November, it would add language saying that federal document may not be violated by any government -- including the federal government.

More to the point, it would allow Arizonans "to reject any federal action that they determine violates the United States Constitution."

That could occur through a vote of the state House and Senate with consent of the governor.

But that also could occur through a popular vote on a ballot measure, effectively allowing voters to decide which federal laws they feel infringe on Arizona's rights as a sovereign state.

Organizer Jack Biltis said he turned in more than 320,000 signatures. The next step will be for the Secretary of State to determine, after screening the petitions, if there are at least 259,213 valid names on the forms to allow the measure to go on the ballot.

Biltis, who said he has spent more than $1.2 million on the campaign so far, said it is time for Arizona to step up and reclaim its constitutional rights.

The "flagship" example, he said, is the federal Affordable Care Act. He said there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution which gives the federal government the power to enact a national health care plan.

Biltis acknowledged that the U.S. Supreme Court, faced with exactly that question, ruled to the contrary.

"I believe the Supreme Court completely got it wrong,"..........

"The only portion of government that has unlimited powers are the state governments and the people themselves,".....under his measure, Arizona could simply refuse to participate, though it would do so at risk of losing federal dollars.".......

5 posted on 07/07/2012 2:40:18 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The Republican slogan should be “Restore Free Enterprise”.


6 posted on 07/07/2012 2:51:18 AM PDT by abclily
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To: abclily
“Restore Free Enterprise”

I like it!

It's VASTLY superior to:

ROMNEY
"Believe in America"

....the bumper sticker mailed (unsolicited) to my house.

7 posted on 07/07/2012 2:55:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If the fool believe hiring government workers will revive the economy, he is a fool for surre. Taking resources from the people to finance jobs that don’t produce anything is a sure way to more of a recession.

Of course, the fool could be lieing.


8 posted on 07/07/2012 3:00:01 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special
If the fool believe hiring government workers will revive the economy, he is a fool for surre....

Just like Brown in CA. WE should not be asked to bail broke CA out. Their path of debt has been purposeful.

California high-speed rail gets green light ......"The move marked major political victories for Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration. Both have promoted bullet trains as job generators and clean transportation alternatives."....

9 posted on 07/07/2012 3:12:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Obama has acted clumsily.”

Come on, Fred. You’re paid to be writer. Write like one.

Obama has acted stupid.

Obama has acted like a doofus.


10 posted on 07/07/2012 3:12:52 AM PDT by sergeantdave (Public unions exist to protect the unions from the taxpaying public)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

It’s exactly like people going in and out of your house, robbing you blind and not being able to do anything about it. Meanwhile, our fellow citizens are mostly blind.

Politicians do not create jobs. All they do is rob from the productive to create the appearance of economic activity. The question remains, what might have been done with those resources if they had not been stolen by demagogues.

All Americans better begin to understand how completely they have been gamed.


11 posted on 07/07/2012 3:29:21 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: sergeantdave

As if it’s impossible that Obama is intelligent. Conmen can have a certain modicum of intelligence if only it’s just the kind that can be nothing but calculating.


12 posted on 07/07/2012 3:33:16 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: No One Special

oops

calculating = calculate


13 posted on 07/07/2012 3:34:57 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Time to take the children out of the candy store.


14 posted on 07/07/2012 3:35:30 AM PDT by ronnie raygun (B B)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m wondering what sort of interest rate investors are going to need to invest in those bonds?


15 posted on 07/07/2012 3:38:48 AM PDT by No One Special
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To: All
LA TIMES: Small business isn't doing its part as the engine of new jobs "It's a problem that many California businesses face. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses in the state do not plan to hire any new employees in the next few months, according to a recent survey conducted by ... About 30% of companies plan to reduce the number of employees in the next year, 48% plan to ..."
16 posted on 07/07/2012 3:45:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“What’s clear is that Obama is no longer a commanding presence, much less a force for national unity.”

It is sad, but he has never been a force for national unity. It is a proven fact that a church becomes more like their pastor the longer he remains their spiritual leader.

This nation will become more and more like our national leader the longer he remains POTUS. He is and has been (since his days in the Senate) the most polarizing person I know of. We will become more and more divided as long as he is at the helm.


17 posted on 07/07/2012 3:47:02 AM PDT by PastorJimCM (truth matters)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

CA killed off small business. THat’s why they don’t hire.


18 posted on 07/07/2012 4:08:17 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“The consensus in Washington was that Obama would ‘pivot’...”

Irritating, adolescent, macho-man, bulls**t from the minds of Progressive policymakers.

IMHO


19 posted on 07/07/2012 4:22:25 AM PDT by ripley
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The usual response is to unleash the president so he can rally America to Washington’s purposes.

And there is the problem in a nutshell. Washington should exist for America's purpose, not the other way around.

20 posted on 07/07/2012 4:29:21 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
participate, though it would do so at risk of losing federal dollars.".......

Herein lies the REAL obstacle that the Feds have erected. It's WHY it is so critical to abolish the 16th Amendment which authorizes the Feds to bring the full force of the Federal government upon the individual Citizen, and to strip them of an ever increasing portion of their labor.

So that now, on average, a citizen must give of a third of their bounty annually to the Federal overlords who utilize these resource in furtherance of their own self interest; to the continuing detriment of the States and productive Citizens and enslavement of the poor.

But the States have the numbers and the power to call a Constitutional Convention for the sole purpose of repealing this tyrannical law and free the people and their treasure; a portion better utilized by the States under closer scrutiny of the people.

The courage to do so must be found, if our great endeavor to self-govern is to succeed. For then our future and our treasure rests not in unknown hands in a far away district, but with our neighbors whom we know.

21 posted on 07/07/2012 4:32:30 AM PDT by Errant
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To: PastorJimCM
This nation will become more and more like our national leader the longer he remains POTUS.

Bill Clinton's behavior during his presidency certainly is a testament to that.

To their own ends, the Obama's of the world cater to and encourage baseness and selfishness.

Once socialists control, they will command the masses to a standard that they will not place on themselves.

In the end, all the division to create "rights" interest groups (that the Left cultivates and nurtures) will have done the trick and these "interest" groups will see every last vestige of their liberty stripped away to accommodate social order that benefits the state.

22 posted on 07/07/2012 4:42:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Errant

23 posted on 07/07/2012 4:48:46 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Errant; Cincinatus' Wife

Errant, you mention the 16th amendment and the power it gives Washington.

You mention a constitutional convention. I don’t think that’s in the cards, just my opinion. But think about this...

The states actually collect the tax money and send it to Washington.

If I understand correctly, then the states, if push comes to shove, could refuse to send that money they collect to Washinton in order to rebel against the oppressive, dictatorial, unconstitutional power Washington is wielding over the states.

Cincinatus’wife, this is a good article by Barnes. He buys at least a clue what’s happening in the nation, not bad for an inside-the-beltway type himself. It doesn’t go far enough to explain the deep anger out here in America. The fear, the loathing, the hurt that broken Washington is causing, while they ramp up their DC and Virginia/Maryland economies while killing the rest of America.

It doesn’t explain the Communist Obama’s reasons for doing all the wrong things, it just points out all the wrong things he’s done. And he has now unleashed the fascist Axelrod...a Communist, too, but an evil propagandist like Joseph Goebbels under Hitler...to equate Romney’s so called secretiveness with Nixon. Who as we all know is supposed to be despised.

Yet Obama himself is the most false, secretive, and mean President we could possibly have. That’s why Axelrod is accusing Romney of what Obama is guilty as sin of himself. It is base, vile, naked propaganda worthy of the Third Reich and it is frightening.

None of Obama and his minions is politics as usual.

Politics as usual is bad enough...this is something entirely different. Not sure Barnes quite captures that truth, but otherwise a good piece.


24 posted on 07/07/2012 4:57:35 AM PDT by txrangerette ("HOLD TO THE TRUTH...SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR." - Glenn Beck)
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To: txrangerette
...Cincinatus’wife, this is a good article by Barnes. He buys at least a clue what’s happening in the nation, not bad for an inside-the-beltway type himself. It doesn’t go far enough to explain the deep anger out here in America. The fear, the loathing, the hurt that broken Washington is causing, while they ramp up their DC and Virginia/Maryland economies while killing the rest of America.

You pegged my thinking. Barnes is part of this mentality. You can feel how he struggles to be blunt but his natural instincts can be felt. Is he just now beginning to understand how truly awful things are - how divided the country is from the government powerbase in D.C?

"Tea Party" rumblings, though dismissed by the MSM, must be causing tremors on Capital Hill.

25 posted on 07/07/2012 5:17:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: txrangerette
....None of Obama and his minions is politics as usual....

This is what the people representing us MUST WRAP THEIR BRAINS AROUND!

26 posted on 07/07/2012 5:22:05 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Every time there is a major disaster it seems the president has done something against Israel. What did he do this time behind the scenes.


27 posted on 07/07/2012 5:24:41 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: mountainlion
In the Maryland /DC area (I lived there for several years and can attest to the mess) Outage Outrage: The Politics of Electricity
28 posted on 07/07/2012 5:32:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If I hear one more time that he’s a nice man but in over his head, I think I’ll.......oh, never mind!!!

Now of course he IS in over his head, but that isn’t identifying the correct disease that has so sickened America.

He is power mad and anti American. He hates our nation as founded and he wants to become our version of Hugo Chavez and America to become Venezuela or some other third world nation run by a tyrant.

He wants our precious individual liberties GONE, forever. To control and brainwash our children and grandchildren from birth.

If there were justice, Obama would be impeached and removed from office for careening around America shouting one lie after another to the braindead and the bought crowds.


29 posted on 07/07/2012 5:33:33 AM PDT by txrangerette ("HOLD TO THE TRUTH...SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR." - Glenn Beck)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Time to showcase the Tenth Amendment.

We need a "Just Read the Damn Constitution!" party.

30 posted on 07/07/2012 5:58:37 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Errant

Yep

Liberals especially are always harping on the right to privacy but think it is alright for the government to have access to all your financial data


31 posted on 07/07/2012 6:23:26 AM PDT by uncbob
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

32 posted on 07/07/2012 9:06:16 AM PDT by Errant
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To: txrangerette
The states actually collect the tax money and send it to Washington.

If I understand correctly, then the states, if push comes to shove, could refuse to send that money they collect to Washinton in order to rebel against the oppressive, dictatorial, unconstitutional power Washington is wielding over the states.

Unfortunately, that's not case...

33 posted on 07/07/2012 9:11:02 AM PDT by Errant
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To: All
The tax man cometh to police you on health care

AKA IRS

34 posted on 07/07/2012 9:24:37 AM PDT by Errant
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Yes, even to the point of arresting federal officials when encountered in a given state. Holder, Napolatano, etc.
35 posted on 07/07/2012 2:45:16 PM PDT by exnavy (The time is upon us, fish or cut bait, may God guide your heart.)
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