Now that Christmas is in the rear-view mirror, we are in the true closing stretch of the Obama Administration, and it just won’t go away.
The outgoing President’s decision to stay in Washington, D.C. living less than two miles from his former digs on Pennsylvania Avenue will ensure that he stays in the flow of official D.C., and his promise made in a CNN interview to keep quiet for a while after he leaves office to “still” himself is likely to be forgotten within the first hundred days of the new Trump Administration.
But it is Obama’s actions leaving office that are much more startling than any sidebar comments he makes in private with his buddies from the Washington Post that will be splattered across the pages of their birdcage lining rag.
Obama is determined to cement his legacy in the hopes that the mortar dries before the true “change” administration can dismantle it. The range of Obama’s chutzpah is startling going from foreign policy to a regulatory onslaught to a virtually unprecedented release of high level drug traffickers and violent criminals.
Obama’s choice to abstain rather than veto a United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution condemning Israel’s settlement of land that has been deemed to be occupied — in contravention of settled international law — fundamentally changes U.S. policy in the Middle East, opening the door for Israeli soldiers and government officials to be subjected to world court harassment or worse, used as basis to invade those Israeli territories, waving the new Security Council Resolution as a ready-made justification.
However, the fallout for the UN could be even more significant, as the corrupt international body’s anti-Israel decision should lead to a complete examination by the new Congress and administration of whether the UN actually serves any valid purpose, or if it should be shunted aside as the failure which it has proven to be. Senator Ted Cruz has already urged a half-measure, calling on Congress to suspend U.S. funding to the UN so long as this latest resolution remains. At a time when discretionary budgets for the U.S. government are likely to tighten, it would be easy to in the least deny the approximately $5 billion in non-peacekeeping contributions in 2017 and 2018 and allocate those monies to other important domestic needs.
In the end, if the UN comes under intense scrutiny in 2017 — which it will thanks to Obama’s extremely provocative move to allow the UN declare the post-1967 borders illegal — it will be because of Obama’s Hanukkah breach of U.S. policy, declaring that Jewish homes that have been built in certain territories of Israel are illegal, even including those in east Jerusalem.
While Obama continues to do internationally in his lame duck period what he wouldn’t dare prior to the election, his administrative state is churning along pushing out a regulatory barrage of bad ideas designed to tie up the first hundred days of the incoming Congress with using the Congressional Review Act to overturn dozens of regulations. It is reported that at least five new environmental regulations are scheduled to go final in the upcoming three and a half weeks from the EPA and Department of Interior alone at a cost of $6 billion.
Unlike the Bush Administration which put much of its regulatory writing on hold during the final six months of his term, Obama is working at a whirlwind pace to tie up the next Administration for much of its first four years in office attempting to unwind his maze of economically destructive paperwork.
But Obama’s pen has not just been busy clogging the system with regulatory overreach, he has also engaged in a legal jail break of historic proportions through his mass clemency program. In the past year alone, 872 drug offenders, some of whom were violent, have either had their sentences shortened or been granted outright clemency.
To put this in perspective, if you combine the numbers of people released from federal prison by Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, it would not equal Obama’s total.
Obama is going out with all of his guns blazing and you can be certain that his home in the wealthy D.C-based neighborhood, Kalorama, will be viewed by the establishment press as the government in exile, given almost diplomatic status in their minds.
With all of the challenges in the world, perhaps one of Donald Trump’s biggest problems will be Obama’s government in waiting undermining U.S. policy, led by their former boss who apparently has no intention of giving his successor the same courtesy that was afforded him.
This is a guest editorial from Americans for Limited Government