SC

Supreme Court’s Rejection of U.S. Campaign Funding Limits Opens Door for Big-Money Donors

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a key pillar of federal campaign finance law by allowing donors to give money to as many political candidates, parties and committees as they wish.

In the latest in a series of decisions by the high court that have given big-money donors more influence in U.S. elections, the justices rejected the overall limits on how much individuals can donate during a federal two-year election cycle.

The ruling – a 5-4 decision with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority – could have an immediate impact on the 2014 midterm elections, in which Republicans are likely to keep control of the House of Representatives and are seeking to gain six Senate seats to take over that chamber.

The decision does not affect rules that limit donors from giving $2,600 per candidate in primaries and another $2,600 in general elections. But it does eliminate the “aggregate” donation limits of $48,600 to candidates and $74,600 to state and local political party committees during each two-year cycle.

Instead of being limited to giving candidates and party groups a total of $123,200 for the 2014 elections, a wealthy donor who wanted to give the maximum amount to every House and Senate candidate and every political committee in his or her party could now give nearly $6 million, according to public advocacy groups.

Republicans, who generally favor lifting finance limits, hailed the decision as a boost to political free speech.

“It is the right of the individual, and not the prerogative of Congress, to determine how many candidates and parties to support,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a long-time critic of campaign finance restrictions who is in an expensive battle for re-election and was a litigant in the case.

Democrats, who typically argue for tighter restrictions based on concerns that the wealthy otherwise could have undue influence over American politics, blasted the court’s ruling.

“I’m concerned about what it means for our democracy. Our founders, they sacrificed their lives, their liberty, their sacred honor for a democracy: a government of the many, not a government of the money,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said during an appearance at the Reuters Health Summit in Washington.

“It’s totally ridiculous. But that is the path that this court is on,” Pelosi added, citing the court’s landmark 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which cleared the way for unlimited spending by independent groups in federal elections.

The Citizens United decision supercharged spending on the 2012 elections, as independent “Super PACs” and nonprofit groups created in the wake of the ruling – most of them Republican-leaning – spent nearly $1 billion on the presidential and congressional elections.

Such conservative groups failed in their push to oust Democratic President Barack Obama, but they did help reshape U.S. politics: In some cases the new, independent groups became as crucial to campaign funding and messaging as political parties.

Because it lifted some donation limits for parties, Wednesday’s ruling is likely to help the parties maintain their historical influence in campaigns even as independent groups continue to pour millions of dollars into elections, analysts and party officials said.

“This allows us to go to our donors and say, ‘Look, instead of only being able to give to nine Senate candidates, you can give to the 14 that are most in play,'” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on a conference call.

In Washington, the ruling also could pressure lobbyists who form the backbone of the city’s fundraising circuit to write more checks to campaigns.

Tax lobbyist Ken Kies, who has already donated more than $123,200 to Republican candidates and committees, said Wednesday he was worried that he will be faced with a flood of fundraising pitches now that the donation cap is no longer in place.

“I’m horrified. I’m delisting my phone number and destroying my email address. Possibly legally changing my name,” Kies said in an email.

FREE SPEECH VS. CORRUPTION

Politicians’ reactions to the ruling reflected the crux of the arguments before the court, and the disagreements over campaign finance among the justices themselves.

Chief Justice John Roberts led the court’s majority in saying that the aggregate limits on campaign fundraising violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects free speech. The majority also rejected the Obama administration’s contention that the limits are needed to fight corruption.

The caps on campaign donations “do little, if anything, to address that concern, while seriously restricting participation in the democratic process,” wrote Roberts, who was appointed to the court by former President George W. Bush, a Republican.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer said the ruling, along with Citizens United four years earlier, “eviscerates our nation’s campaign finance laws.”

The disagreements between the justices in some ways boil down to how they define corruption – or the appearance of corruption – and how that is weighed against free speech protections.

Roberts and the other conservatives – Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito – have a narrow view of corruption, saying it only occurs when a politician does something in exchange for a donation. Unless the allegedly corruptive act reaches that level, it is trumped by the donor’s First Amendment rights, the theory goes.

The more liberal justices – Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – have a more expansive view of corruption. In his dissenting opinion, Breyer wrote of the danger of corruption prompted by individuals with outsized influence.

“Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard,” he wrote.

‘NOTHING IS SAFE’

In his court opinion, Roberts pointedly wrote that lifting the remaining limits on campaign donations was not at hand.

Campaign finance specialists and strategists who examined the ruling said it led them to believe that more changes are coming, however.

The narrow way that Roberts defined corruption led some election law specialists to predict that challenges to other campaign finance restrictions are likely.

“Nothing is safe,” said Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group that supports contribution limits, said before the ruling that a decision such as Wednesday’s would allow a single donor to write a $5.9 million check to a joint fundraising committee controlled by an elected politician or party official, who then could distribute the money to candidates and local or state committees.

Both parties already use joint fundraising committees to solicit large donations from wealthy donors, but the court’s ruling increases how much they can solicit from each person.

The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions, has said that only a “very small handful of people” are currently close to reaching the existing caps for aggregate donations in the 2014 election cycle. According to the center’s data, only 591 donors nationwide gave the maximum allowable amounts to federal candidates in 2012.

Wednesday’s ruling eventually could threaten the legal underpinning for other campaign finance regulations, analysts said.

The court was divided over how sweeping the ruling is.

Roberts wrote that the court did not reach the question of whether to overturn a key 1976 ruling, called Buckley v. Valeo, which upheld limits on campaign finance donations while also describing how courts should analyze such regulations.

Justice Thomas, who voted with Roberts, said the court had gone further than the chief justice claimed. The court had continued to “chip away” at the Buckley decision, Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion.

The aggregate limits on donations had been in place, in various forms, since 1974.

Wednesday’s case began when Republican donor Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman, and the Republican National Committee challenged the contribution caps. McCutcheon could give only the maximum amount allowable to a total of nine candidates before he hit the donation limit.

The case is McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, U.S. Supreme Court, 12-536.

SC

[H/T Reuters]

Face the Nation

Mitt Romney on Obama’s Handling of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: ‘This Is Not Fantasyland’

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney had some harsh words for President Obama over his handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

Appearing as a guest on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday March 24, Governor Romney reaffirmed statements he made during the 2012 election that Russia was America’s number one geopolitical foe by reiterating that we “really need to understand that Russia has very different interests than ours, this is not fantasyland, this is reality.” [See video below.]

The segment began with host Bob Schieffer playing a clip of President Obama mocking Romney during one of the presidential debates in 2012 before the CBS host asked Romney: “I’m sure governor you’re tempted this morning to say, I told you so. But do you really believe that what happened in Ukraine had anything to do with what President Obama has or hasn’t done?”

Romney then tore into President Obama arguing that:

The president’s naivety with regards to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives has led to number of foreign policy challenges that we face. And unfortunately not having anticipated Russia’s intentions the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria.

We really need to understand that Russia has very different interests than ours, this is not fantasyland, this is reality, where they are geopolitical adversary. They’re not our enemy but they’re certainly an adversary on the world stage.

See relevant transcript below.

CBS

Face the Nation

March 23, 2014

10:42 a.m. Eastern

BOB SCHIEFFER: During the campaign, and I want to start with this you took a lot of heat for saying that Russia was our greatest geopolitical foe in the third debate, the president came down pretty hard on you about that.

BARACK OBAMA: A few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America you said Russia. Not Al Qaeda, you said Russia and the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.

SCHIEFFER: I’m sure governor you’re tempted this morning to say, I told you so. But do you really believe that what happened in Ukraine had anything to do with what President Obama has or hasn’t done?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, there’s no question, but that the president’s naivety with regards to Russia and his faulty judgment about Russia’s intentions and objectives has led to number of foreign policy challenges that we face. And unfortunately not having anticipated Russia’s intentions the president wasn’t able to shape the kinds of events that may have been able to prevent the kinds of circumstances that you’re seeing in the Ukraine as well as the things that you’re seeing in Syria. We really need to understand that Russia has very different interests than ours, this is not fantasyland, this is reality, where they are geopolitical adversary. They’re not our enemy but they’re certainly an adversary on the world stage.

Face the Nation

[H/T NewsBusters]

Liberals.png

Explaining Liberalism Through Hygiene

I liken Liberalism to wiping your buttocks after taking a crap. No matter how many times you wipe, you can only get your butt so clean.

The only thing that can get rid of that stench is a COMPLETE WASHING, and that’s exactly what you need if you have been anywhere near a Liberal. You need a SOAKING, if not total quarantine.

Each and every day, Liberalism puts its smelly buttocks on display. Whether it’s some scheming politician who wants you to believe in MAGIC, like Barack Obama’s magic ObamaCare, or it’s some bleeding heart who wants us to feel sorry for some criminal  because of his (or her) poor upbringing.

To be a Liberal, you must just admit to being an idiot, immune to logic and reason.

Liberals want GUN CONTROL, KNOWING that a gun has never killed anybody. When there is gun violence, you can bet there is a Liberal nearby with an illegal weapon and an “I voted for Obama” t-shirt. Liberals know the stats on crimes by Liberals with illegal guns, but they don’t care. The fact is that laws don’t have to make sense for Liberals. For a Liberal, a law is meant to accomplish 3 things:

  1. A law must create taxes,
  2. A law must CURTAIL YOUR RIGHTS as as a citizen,
  3. Combination of 1 and 2

Recently we reported on the Detroit police chief warning Detroit citizens, “Don’t wait for the cops!” He added that armed citizens are the best deterrent to crime.

We Conservatives get ecstatic when somebody shows common sense in dealing with COMMON SENSE ISSUES. We are like puppies, when somebody validates the OBVIOUS.

“The police chief of DETROIT BELIEVES US! He understands us.”

HELL, HE SHOULD understand us. He knows the criminal element.

You ask for solutions, where here is one. If somebody wants gun control, we have them ARRESTED or ADMITTED to an insane asylum. Fools who fight for gun control are idiots of the highest order. I don’t need a Constitution to tell me that I will protect myself, my family, my loved ones by the most expedient means necessary. When the Phasor from Star Trek is a reality, I will drop my guns and get me a Phasor AND an ASSAULT phasor!

Stop being grateful for people like Police Chief James Craig saying the OBVIOUS. Promote his point of view, yes. But he is speaking common sense. It’s time we begin DEMONIZING those who DON’T speak like James Craig.

Liberals

[H/T The Black Sphere]

sarah-palin1-300x225.jpg

The Real Truth About Sarah Palin… Ouch!

Re-Posted from FB

Very interesting facts on two very different ladies. Sarah Palin

Whether you’re a Democrat, Independent, or Republican….the second half of this email should make all of us very sick,
send this on …..especially the second half……

READ TO THE VERY END! VERY ENLIGHTENING!!! AND VERY DISTURBING!!!
By Dewie Whetsell, Alaskan Fisherman.

As posted in comments on Greta’s article referencing the MOVEON ad about Sarah Palin.
The last 45 of my 66 years I’ve spent in a commercial fishing town in Alaska . I understand Alaska politics but never understood national politics well until this last year. Here’s the breaking point: Neither side of the Palin controversy gets it. It’s not about persona, style, rhetoric, it’s about doing things. Even Palin supporters never mention the things that I’m about to mention here.

1. Democrats forget when Palin was the Darling of the Democrats, because as soon as Palin took the Governor’s office away from a fellow Republican and tough SOB, Frank Murkowski, she tore into the Republican’s “Corrupt Bastards Club” (CBC) and sent them packing. Many of them are now residing in State housing and wearing orange jump suits The Democrats reacted by skipping around the yard, throwing confetti and singing, “la la la la” (well, you know how they are). Name another governor in this country that has ever done anything similar.

2. Now with the CBC gone, there were fewer Alaskan politicians to protect the huge, giant oil companies here. So she constructed and enacted a new system of splitting the oil profits called “ACES.” Exxon (the biggest corporation in the world) protested and Sarah told them, “don’t let the door hit you in the stern on your way out.” They stayed, and Alaska residents went from being merely wealthy to being filthy rich. Of course, the other huge international oil companies meekly fell in line. Again, give me the name of any other governor in the country that has done anything similar.

3. The other thing she did when she walked into the governor’s office is she got the list of State requests for federal funding for projects, known as “pork.” She went through the list, took 85% of them and placed them in the “when-hell-freezes-over” stack. She let locals know that if we need something built, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Maybe she figured she could use the money she got from selling the previous governor’s jet because it was extravagant. Maybe she could use the money she saved by dismissing the governor’s cook (remarking that she could cook for her own family), giving back the State vehicle issued to her, maintaining that she already had a car, and dismissing her State provided security force (never mentioning – I imagine – that she’s packing heat herself). I’m still waiting to hear the names of those other governors.

4. Now, even with her much-ridiculed “gosh and golly” mannerism, she also managed to put together a totally new approach to getting a natural gas pipeline built which will be the biggest private construction project in the history of North America. No one else could do it although they tried. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’re trying too hard to be unimpressed while watching her do things like this while baking up a batch of brownies with her other hand.

5. For 30 years, Exxon held a lease to do exploratory drilling at a place called Point Thompson. They made excuses the entire time why they couldn’t start drilling. In truth they were holding it like an investment. No governor for 30 years could make them get started. Then, she told them she was revoking their lease and kicking them out. They protested and threatened court action. She shrugged and reminded them that she knew the way to the court house. Alaska won again.

6. President Obama wants the nation to be on 25% renewable resources for electricity by 2025. Sarah went to the legislature and submitted her plan for Alaska to be at 50% renewable by 2025. We are already at 25%. I can give you more specifics about things done, as opposed to style and persona. Everybody wants to be cool, sound cool, look cool. But that’s just a cover-up. I’m still waiting to hear from liberals the names of other governors who can match what mine has done in two and a half years. I won’t be holding my breath.

By the way, she was content to return to Alaska after the national election and go to work, but the haters wouldn’t let her. Now these adolescent screechers are obviously not scuba divers. And no one ever told them what happens when you continually jab and pester a barracuda. Without warning, it will spin around and tear your face off. Shoulda known better.

You have just read the truth about Sarah Palin that sends the media, along with the Democrat party, into a wild uncontrolled frenzy to discredit her. I guess they are only interested in skirt chasers, dishonesty, immoral people, liars, womanizers, murderers, and bitter ex-presidents’ wives.

So “You go, Girl.” I only wish the men in Washington had your guts, determination, honesty, and morals.
I rest my case. Only FOOLS listen to the biased media.

NOW If you’ve read this far ………………………………………..now

,open your eyes……….
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Servant List and Pay Scale 

TheFirst Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants (Thats 22 Attendants to be exact)
1. $172,200 – Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 – Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 – Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 – Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. $100,000 – Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 – Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 – Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 – Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 – Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 – Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $64,000 – Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 – Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady)
13. $60,000 – Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. $57,500 – Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 – Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary to The First Lady)
16. $50,000 – Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special=2 0Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to The First Lady)
17. $45,000 – Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady)
18. $43,000 – Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 – Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 – Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $35,000 – Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $35,000 – Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)(This is community organizing at it’s finest.)
There has NEVER been anyone in the White House at any time who has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life. One wonders why she needs so much help,at taxpayer expense, when even Hillary, only had three; Jackie Kennedy one; Laura Bush one; and prior to Mamie Eisenhower social help came from the President’s own pocket.

Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and “First Hairstylist” Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air Force One to Europe .

FRIENDS…..THESE SALARIES ADD UP TO SIX MILLION, THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS ($6,364,000) FOR THE 4 YEARS OF OFFICE????? AND WE ARE IN A RECESSION????? WELL….MOST OF US ARE. I GUESS IT’S OK TO SPEND WILDLY WHEN IT’S NOT YOUR OWN MONEY?????

Copyright 2009 CanadaFreePress.Com

Yes, Yes, I know, The Canadian Free Press has to publish this because the USA media is too scared they might be considered racist.
Sorry USA !

Sarah Palin

By Rollan Ross

Barack-Obama-2.jpg

House Passes ‘Enforce the Law’ Act

The House of Representatives passed the “Enforce the Law Act” Wednesday, a bill designed to push back against the numerous unilateral moves the Obama administration has used to circumvent the law.

Five Democrats joined Republicans in passing the bill by a 233 to 181 vote.

H.R. 4138, sponsored by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), would authorize the House or Senate to sue the executive branch for not enforcing laws and provide an expedited process through federal district courts. The bill is one of several the House GOP is pushing to combat the “imperial presidency.”

Republicans say the legislation is necessary in light of the numerous administrative actions taken by President Barack Obama to change and selectively enforce laws, including immigration, marriage, welfare rules, and his signature legislative achievement, Obamacare.

The administration has unilaterally altered Obamacare at least 20 times. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that millions have been exempted from the individual mandate due to a rule change.

The administration also announced last week that individuals would be able to keep their so-called “substandard” health insurance plans that do not comply with Obamacare until October 2017.

Additionally, Obama unilaterally instituted the Dream Act by creating a deferred actionprogram for young illegal immigrants and changed work requirements in welfare.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said the Obama administration has “ignored” the Constitution.

“From Obamacare to welfare and education reform, to our nation’s drug enforcement and immigration laws, President Obama has been picking and choosing which laws to enforce,” he said. “In place of the checks and balances established by the Constitution, President Obama has proclaimed that ‘I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer’ and that ‘where [Congress] won’t act, I will.’”

“Throughout the Obama presidency we have seen a pattern: President Obama circumvents Congress when he doesn’t get his way,” Goodlatte said.

Democrats called the vote a “sham.”

“It is simply another attempt by the majority to prevent the President of the United States to implement duly enacted legislative initiatives that they [the Republicans] oppose,” Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) said.

The administration’s unilateral changes are simply the “reality of implementing sometimes complex laws,” Conyers said, referring to Obamacare.

Jonathan Turley disagrees. He testified at a House hearing last month that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.”

“The fact that I happen to think the president is right on many of these policies does not alter the fact that I believe the means he is doing [it] is wrong, and that this can be a dangerous change in our system,” the liberal law professor said. “And our system is changing in a very fundamental way. And it’s changing without a whimper of regret or opposition.”

Arguing that Obama should agree with the legislation, Gowdy gave a “pop quiz” on the House floor prior to the vote.

“That may seem unfair to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but I’m going to give them a hint,” he said. “The answer to every one of the questions is the same.”

“I’m going to read a quote and then you tell me who said it,” Gowdy said. “‘These last few years we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.’ Any guess on who said that? Mr. Speaker, it was Sen. Barack Obama.”

“Here’s another one: ‘No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand up as a coequal branch the Constitution made it.’”

“’I taught the Constitution for 10 years, I believe in the Constitution,’” Gowdy again quoted then-Sen. Obama.

“So my question Mr. Speaker is what’s changed?” Gowdy asked. “How does going from being a senator to a president rewrite the constitution? What’s different from when he was a senator?”

Barack Obama

[H/T The Washington Free Beacon]

Obama-Crown.jpg

Obama’s Great Man Delusion

Amid the Ukraine crisis last week, President Obama spoke several times by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to reports, the “conversation” soon devolved into accusations.  Now U.S.- Russia relations are the worst they’ve been since the Cold War; not only are the two nations at odds on policy, but their leaders seem to harbor deep personal animosity toward each other.  What else could you expect when one self-anointed Great Man faces off with another who thinks he is also Great?

Those who suppose themselves Great Men are capable of doing great harm.  That has been the case with President Obama’s health care takeover, green energy fiascos, and failed jobs initiatives.  Now the effects of his mishandling of foreign affairs are coming to light not just in the Ukraine, but also in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Afghanistan.  Instead of doing the job he was elected to do, Obama seems to have spent the last five years posing as the greatest leader since Napoleon.

There’s some indication that Obama actually believes he is the greatest leader since Napoleon.  He is “historic”; he is transformational; he is changing the fabric of American society.  He’s a lot like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, LBJ, and Ronald Reagan combined, only better.  And we’re stuck with him for another three years.

For Obama, the Great Man is the man who refuses to negotiate, the one who advances but never retreats, the one who presents himself as “above” partisanship while pursuing his own ends, the “only adult” in the room.  That all sounds like another disastrous Great Man: when Lenin’s collectivization of Soviet agriculture resulted in mass famine of 1921-1922, that Great Man refused to admit he was wrong and continued to enforce his mistaken policy.  Six million died.

In reality, Great Men like Lenin are only fearful little men, but their megalomania always causes harm.  With his nose raised higher in the air than anyone else in the room, Obama appears to be one of these little men.

Reportedly, Obama’s first words after being sworn in for a second term were “I did it.”  Not “I’m looking forward to serving the American people for a second term.”  Not “I hope we can patch up our differences and work together.”  Not even “The American people have spoken.”  Just “I did it,” with the emphasis on “I.”

The media should have jumped on those three words, but they were too swept up in the celebration of their candidate’s victory to notice.  Their candidate had “done it,” twice.  Now they plan to hand out passes for next three years, then come up with something to call the Obama Legacy.  Maybe it will comprise revised food labeling.

The Great Man complex is this president’s fatal flaw.  Megalomania cuts one off from others so that discussion, negotiation, and compromise become impossible, and without such interaction, nothing gets done.  It’s hard to govern when you’re taking selfies.

Obama’s second term is turning into a disaster largely because the president won’t talk.  His recent budget proposal was DOA, as usual.  Not a single Democrat spoke seriously about passing it.  Even the New York Times called it a “populist wish list.”  Now, a week after it was delivered to Congress, can anyone remember a single new idea in Obama’s 2015 budget proposal?

It seems that Obama absolutely hates negotiating with Congress.  That’s one reason he talks so often about “going around” it.  Just because he has “a pen and a phone,” he thinks he doesn’t have to work with Congress.  Maybe that’s why none of his initiatives since 2010 has passed, and what did pass earlier – including ObamaCare – has been scaled back or reversed in the courts.

In his great book, Crowds and Power, Elias Canetti has a great deal to say about rulers who imagine themselves to be Great Men.  That is because Canetti wrote this important book during the period when Hitler and Stalin rose to power.  Canetti observed these delusional, paranoid, megalomaniacal leaders carefully, and he compared them to so-called Great Men of the past, including Caesar and Napoleon.

According to Canetti, these men’s sense of greatness, especially their instinct to command and survive a great mass of others, is “a dangerous and insatiable passion” (p. 230).  It’s not enough to be president.  One must be emperor, with a pen and a phone.  And what could be more imperial than nationalizing the health care system so as to place the lives of millions at risk?  What could be more Caesar-like than to throw the world into chaos – the Arab Spring, Syria, the Ukraine, and whatever else is coming – and issue threats from on high that there will be “consequences” and “costs”?

And yet, the more Obama postures as the Great Man, the worse things get for America and for his “legacy.”  In the end, those who imagine themselves Great Men always fall from on high.  That is because they have mistaken command for governance.  Just because the president wants open borders and amnesty for illegals doesn’t mean it is going to happen.  Just because he nationalizes health care doesn’t mean it will work.  Just because he warns Putin of Grave Consequences doesn’t mean Putin’s not laughing.

Obama seems to think he can snap his fingers and everyone, including the hard-nosed Russian ruler, will come running.  Maybe he really doesn’t understand that that the prestige and power of the United States have sunk to a postwar low, and that he – President Obama – is largely to blame.  Or maybe he does see it but thinks he can forfeit the Crimea, lose eastern Ukraine, watch the bloody civil war in Syria drag on, and continue to play the Great Man for another three years.  Who can tell?

As Canetti put it, “[n]obody knows what Napoleon’s real feelings were during the retreat from Moscow.”

Obama-Crown

[H/T American Thinker]