What If Republicans Win?

Roger Simon is concerned about what Barack Obama will do, or at least attempt to do:

Barack Obama is a man unaccustomed to losing. Life has been exceptionally kind to him, sailing, as he did, through balmy Oahu sunsets, college, law school and career on into the presidency with scarcely a bump. He has been a protected man beyond any in recent memory, feted and praised virtually everywhere he went until the last couple of years. Even now, despite catastrophe after catastrophe, there are acolytes who continue to celebrate him, paying tens of thousands merely to have their photographs taken with him.

When such cosseted people are forced to confront failure, they typically do not do so with grace. They are rarely able to admit fault, as if even a crack in their pristine facades could lead to extreme personality disintegration. We have already seen manifestations of this in Obama’s refusal to acknowledge something so obvious as his own inability to foresee the dangers of ISIS, aka the JV team. Insider books by Robert Gates, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta have appeared in rapid succession, implying or directly alleging that the president lives in a bubble, unwilling to listen to advice. He frequently threatens to — and sometimes does — go around the Congress to get his way via, often unconstitutional, executive fiat. We all know that he lies, constantly.

This man is angry but highly unlikely to go into an anger management program. Imagine what will happen after November. We could be looking at behavior that would fit the very definition of “acting out,” anti-social but on a global scale. And he still has two more years in office.

I share his concern.

31 thoughts on “What If Republicans Win?”

  1. This is America, the one thing we don’t have to worry about is a petty President using government agencies to persecute his political opponents, even if he scapegoats them for all the evils in the world past and present.

  2. OK the angry part but I don’t buy the “acting out.”

    This is cynical, yes, but suppose the Islamic State has indeed already handed Mr. Obama an October-surprise to go all Wag-the-Dog on their backsides.

    Would the anti-war faction of his party get all hissy? Maybe, but the more shrill they got, the more street cred the President would get. Would folks on the Right get all snarky and I-told-you-so with cat calls of Boooosshhh, Boooosshh? Sure some would, but if the President “went big”, it would make those commenters look very small.

    Bear with me here. Suppose for a moment that smashing the Islamic State is the correct action, and yes, there are some dangers involved, but that is what being President, especially during a time of crisis is all about. Then Wag-the-Dog isn’t really Wag-the-Dog, i.e. a cynical exercise. Instead, it is the defining moment of your legacy, to think outside your political box, and do those things that need to be done.

    The voters would rally. This would reverse the 2014 Republican landslide. A bummer for the Supreme Court, tax reform, straightening out the Health Care Act mess, balancing the budget, but thems the breaks. We would rally around Mr. Obama.

    But it seems that Valerie Jarrett gave leave for him to wage enough war to annoy his anti-war base but not enough to make either any impression on the enemy nor on the American public?


    1. How could you possibly present a future wag-the-dog scenario where the President would build street credibility when we have nearly six years of observable foreign policy disasters? Not just the President, but our “dream team” Secretaries of State and Defense? Get your head out of the sand.

      1. Where, where did anyone get the impression that I was part of that faction of apologists? I will get my head out the sand when my esteemed friend gets his head out from where it is right now.

    2. Sure, escalating the current Iraqi conflict (what war are we on now?) right before the 2014 elections would be an October surprise, but it’d be the sort of surprise that causes Democrats to lose the Senate. He has to depend on the anti-war side for votes so right there, no escalation before Election Day. Then there’s the risk of the war not turning out well.

      For example, one of the reasons the US isn’t moving is because of Turkey. They’re set to invade the territory of the Iraqi Kurds should those guys get too successful in repulsing ISIS.

      For all the complaints about G. W. Bush, he was able to create and maintain a large international coalition while keeping the domestic side enemies relatively placated. Obama can’t do that especially on such short notice.

    3. At this point, even if he had the light of Damascus change him into the perfect president, he would have zero chance of fixing anything. In two years we can try again. Until then all we can do is minimize the damage as well as we can.

    4. Consider the siege of Kobane (or Kobani, Ayn al-Arab), a small city midway on the north border of Syria. It’s a key defensive point for a Syrian Kurd militia called the “Peoples’ Protection Units”, which holds a line of territory bordering Turkey with this city crudely in the center. If they lose that, their territory and forces are cut in half with their backs to Turkey, which is hostile to the group though not currently at war with them.

      Reading a little bit of Wikipedia, it appears that this group cooperated with the Syrian government to occupy this strip of land after ISIS turned hostile. So if they get booted from Syria, then ISIS eliminates a front in their war (unless Turkey should decide to get involved and attack ISIS directly).

      But the PPU’s presence in Kobane is weak enough that it probably will fall in the next few weeks even with the US and allies assisting via airstrikes.

      The ISIS apparently has had a number of military successes with the current siege being a point well along in their defeat of this foe. But what appears to be special about this battle is that it’s near the Turkey border and hence, has a high visibility to western reporters. I think it could end up being an “October surprise”, but not of the sort that helps the Democrats.

  3. I disagree, the nations response to another terrorist attack on domestic soil would be disaster for the Democrats of epic proportion, it would be their 1929 stock market crash on steroids. Their weakness would be seen as inviting it.

    Bush was not in office long enough to take the blame for 9/11. nor had we been in a state of war with terror for 13 years. A terrorist attack between now an the election would be the donkey’s worst nightmare because it would show that they fail totally at protecting us.

  4. I’m thinking the stupid party manages a 50-50 split in the Senate, giving Uncle Choo Choo the deciding vote on anything important. So no worries, mate.

    1. Won’t even go that far. The absolute maximum majority the GOP could get in the Senate would be six votes, and there are certainly six “republican” senators who’d sacrifice their children if it’d get them the right bribes… or in at least one case, if he thought it would give him some friendly treatment from the press he worships so fevrently.

  5. I don’t pay a lot of attention to US domestic politics, but Roger Simon sounds like a paranoid nut, the structure of the US political system has proven itself to be far stronger than any one man.

    1. I don’t pay a lot of attention to climate science, but global warming proclamations come across as neo-commie nut jobs propaganda. The climate has proven itself to be far stronger than any one man.

    2. ” but Roger Simon sounds like a paranoid nut”

      You have read discussions here about the IRS right? While I expect Obama to keep up his work with the IRS and DOJ going after political dissidents, I am sure he will continue to take executive actions rather than work with congress as well. Immigration, global warming, and the unilateral disarmament of the USA are all areas in which he can act on his own and blame Republicans for obstruction even if he never even bothered to reach out and solves the problems he claims to be concerned about. Sort of like he did in negotiating a new SOFA with Iraq. No negotiating and then blamed the Iraqis.

      It is more beneficial to Obama to push the view of the loyal opposition as enemies that must be punished rather than actually come together and solve problems with them.

    3. I don’t pay a lot of attention to US domestic politics, but Roger Simon sounds like a paranoid nut

      Repair the former, then reassess the latter.

    4. If President Obama defies Congress and closes Guantanamo, would you consider that damage to the structure of the US political system? How about if he gives amnesty to 6 million illegal aliens? I fear that he will do those things. I fear worse the reaction.

    5. I don’t pay a lot of attention to US domestic politics, but Roger Simon sounds like a paranoid nut, the structure of the US political system has proven itself to be far stronger than any one man.

      Last I checked, Obama got elected by a lot more than this “one man”. Despite the spin of the original article, the threat is not from Obama no matter how powerful the office of US President might be, but from the people who enabled him.

      1. the threat is not from Obama no matter how powerful the office of US President might be, but from the people who enabled him.

        In that case the solution is obvious – get rid of democracy.

        1. Actually, the president is not, and is not supposed to be, democratically elected. He is supposed to be elected by the states. That’s the point of the electoral college.

          1. There is no constitutional requirement for electors to be elected by the voters.

            But they are elected by voters, I like to look at the system as it actually works, not at how it theoretically could work if things were done differently.

        2. In that case the solution is obvious – get rid of democracy.

          They certainly are trying pretty hard. All I’d have to do is get out of the way.

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