Fraudulent Fears of a Second Term

His detractors forget that even if he were a crazed leftist, Obama has limited powers.

Whenever you hear about a psychic being arrested, the natural question is: Why didn't she see that coming? Conservatives who raise dire alarms about what will happen in Barack Obama's second term face a similar problem. They need him to lose so their predictions will not be exposed as products of raging paranoia.

Rick Santorum says the defeat of Obama is imperative "so that future generations do not say about America, 'When men were free.'" After Obama was heard telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have "more flexibility" on missile defense after he's re-elected, House Speaker John Boehner accused Obama of planning dangerous "unilateral concessions."

Former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen laid out "the top ten disasters that would befall America if Obama were re-elected"—notably defense cuts so huge that "America will no longer be a superpower."

But no one can match National Rifle Association official Wayne LaPierre, who in February warned that Obama's plan is "get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom."

Oh, really? I usually agree with the NRA on gun issues, but when it comes to predicting the future, the organization is more useless than a Ouija board.

In 2008, it told gun owners Obama would "ban use of firearms for home defense," "pass federal laws eliminating your right-to-carry" and "mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm." Wrong, wrong and wrong again. In fact, the president has been so respectful of Second Amendment rights that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave him an "F."

LaPierre's fantasy of a second-term plot is no more believable than the first-term version. Obama, after all, didn't know at the beginning whether he would be re-elected—and still doesn't. If he wanted to eviscerate Second Amendment rights, wouldn't he have done it immediately? Wait four years, and the chance to pry our guns out of our cold, dead hands might be lost forever.

The critics seem to think that after this year, Obama will be free to liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea. This scenario glosses over the president's cautious temperament and aversion to liberal crusading, which often cause Rachel Maddow to grind her teeth.

The doomsayers also assume that someone shrewd, unthreatening and adaptable enough to become the first black president would, at the age of 51, metamorphose into Huey Newton. It's about as plausible as Santorum undergoing a sex change or Newt Gingrich taking a vow of silence.

How can conservatives forget that Obama is a consummate politician who has never taken the path of high risk? The radical steps they expect would antagonize the vast majority of the electorate and banish his party from power for decades. No president would deliberately do that.

Thiessen apparently imagines that Obama will mothball the Pacific Fleet and melt down our nuclear missiles for scrap. Never mind that under him, defense spending has been higher, adjusted for inflation, than at any time under George W. Bush. It's also higher than the budgets of the next 17 countries combined. Obama's planned trims would be like taking a couple of feet off the Empire State Building.

If he wanted to scrap our missile defense plans in Europe, let me ask again: Why wait? Conservatives feared he would do it in his first term, but they were mistaken. In 2010, Obama threatened to walk away from a major arms control deal rather than meet Medvedev's demands on missile defense, and the Russians gave in.

His detractors forget that even if he were a crazed leftist, Obama has limited powers. He can't shred the Second Amendment, because the Supreme Court—dominated by conservatives now and for the foreseeable future—won't let him.

He can't gut the Pentagon budget, because Congress has the last word on spending. He can't sign Munich-like arms treaties with Russia, because the Senate wouldn't ratify. He can't bring about the demise of freedom in America, because ... oh, let's not be ridiculous.

Oh, and one more hitch: He hasn't shown the faintest desire to do any of these things.

Every day, these alarmists wake up, go outside and look up in surprise to discover that, despite Obama's presence in the White House, the sky has not fallen. If he is re-elected, they will get 1,461 more surprises.

 Steve Chapman blogs daily at newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/steve_chapman.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Limited powers that he will no doubt abuse with impunity once he becomes a lame duck and thus unaccountable to the electorate. Good Bob, where did Gillespie find this Chapman moron?

  • HeroicMulatto||

  • NotSure||

    Lovecraft in my opinion is the greatest American writer, Hemingway's books and Moby Dick are positively coma inducing.

  • ||

    James Fenimore Cooper, the original Lunesta.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Atlas Shrugged is ruffies.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    As cool as the Lovecraftian Mythos is, you have to admit that he wasn't the most technically skilled writer.

  • Alack||

    Agreed, HM. I like this chap's take on Unknown Kadath though.

  • ||

    Um, that's actually "Call of Cthulhu," but you're correct -- the guy's funny.

  • Mr. Saveloy||

    William Faulkner says hello.

  • Brandon||

    I nominate George Saunders.

  • Ben the Duck||

    Dorothy Parker.

  • Phileleutheria||

    In my opinion the title of greatest American author goes to Mark Twain. I agree though, Hemingway is a bit overrated.

  • Brian D||

    If Obama does those things then doesn't he throw the 2016 election for whomever the Democrats nominate? If so, then he would be an ally of conservatives.

  • ||

    Take a wild guess who Chapman voted for in the 2008 election. Why am I not surprised.

  • Stupid Chapped fag 2008||

    "1. Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama, for two main reasons: The Republican Party, which has jettisoned its best inclinations and indulged its worst for the last eight years, richly deserves exile from the White House, and 2) because he shows an intelligence and temperament that suggest he will govern more pragmatically than ideologically—the best that can be hoped for from a Democratic president."

    This time, he really will do that. I swear!

  • Barry D||

    "Pragmatic" does not preclude "completely corrupt", either...

    The virtues of pragmatism depend entirely on whom that pragmatism is intended to serve.

  • shrike||

    This is the least corrupt admin in my lifetime.

    Gunwalking is an old ATF program and Solyndra is just a bad investment.

    Iran-Contra was corrupt. Firing US Attorneys for prosecuting party members was corrupt. Lying us into a trillion dollar war was corrupt.

    $500 million wasted on an energy company? That is a fucking bargain for one administration.

  • Brandon||

    But, but, but, but BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSHHHHH!

  • Shorter Shrike||

    Derp

  • ||

    Needs more christfag!

    I keed, I keed.

  • ||

    Nah, I say we start calling Shrike "Obamafag."

  • people executed without trial||

    it doesn't count as corruption if the policy is ok'd by lawyers and all.

  • Apogee||

    This is the least corrupt admin in my lifetime.

    How does a three year old manage to use the internet?

  • ||

    If Solyndra were an isolated incident you could conceivably chalk it up as a fuckup. The fact that it enriched Democratic Party bosses and affiliated lobbyists from the same families, and the fact that it's one in about a dozen green energy companies that received tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money only to go bankrupt while the companies hand out bonuses and taxpayers are left holding the bag indicates a pattern.

    Even if you ignore F&F, which you would do so at the expense of any pretense of objectivity or intelligence, what about the Justice Department's institutional policy of non prosecuting civil rights crimes against blacks, over which 2 high placed officials quit in protest?

  • ||

    It's also worth pointing out the federal attorney firings under Bush weren't illegal either, and it has been longstanding tradition that usually the entire bench of federal attorneys is canned when a new administration takes over. The only thing "corrupt" about the incident was that they lied about it. Kind of like Holder did when he claimed before congress that he knew nothing about a program that had a paper trail leading directly to his desk.

  • gregm52246||

    PM: debatable. You can fire U.S. Attorneys *whenever* you want, and it's a tradition to replace them *at the beginning of a President's term,* but if you're firing them specifically because you don't want them to investigate/prosecute your cronies, that becomes obstruction of justice. If you're firing them because they've independently chosen not to prosecute your enemies, and you want someone who *will* prosecute your enemies, that also becomes a crime.

    In the case of Carol Lam, Lam had already successfully prosecuted one Republican congressman (Duke Cunningham). She had announced an investigation of another one (Jerry Lewis). Her firing took place *48 hours* after this announcement.

    Fred Black, US Attorney in Guam, was fired when he began looking into hotshot Republican fundraiser Jack Abramoff.

    David Iglesias investigated charges of voter fraud in New Mexico, and he determined there was no evidence of any fraud. He was fired because of this.

    Witness tampering is also mentioned in the below-linked article.

    18 USC 1512 (c) applies to "anyone who corruptly “obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,” including U.S. attorney investigations."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03.....andopinion

    To reiterate: You can fire US Attorneys for almost any reason, but if you're firing them specifically to prevent them from investigating crimes committed by your associates, that's obstruction of justice.

  • Ben the Duck||

    This is the least corrupt admin in my lifetime.

    ... said the mayfly.

  • Joe Kristan||

    Even Kevin Phillips and Even Bruce Bartlett were already booked.

  • ||

    Thank you for saying what so many are thinking.
    Truthfully, what happened to Libertarian = Personal Liberty and all that. This president has done more to suck the liberty out of the US than any one man in our history.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Go back a few months, and you may be able to find columns from the same writers complaining about the "imperial presidency". Go back to 2007, and read about how great divided government was at holding down the growth of government.

  • West Texas||

    Yeah, I'm not buying most of this. I agree that he's going to be constrained by Congress and the courts no matter what, but the main reason he didn't do those other things in his first term is because he was busy with crap like Obamacare and environmental nonsense (i.e. he was gunning for cap and trade before he gave up on it).

    He hasn't had time to do the other stuff. So he needs to get reelected to get the requisite time and opportunity to start pushing it through.

  • Suki||

    Unless the R's get enough seats in both houses to impeach, Maobama will continue will all of his blatant unconstitutional finger flipping. Nationalization of business and recess appointments will be seen as mild.

  • sarcasmic||

    If Congress or the Court doesn't like proposed legislation, just sign an executive order or have one of the many "Departments" draft regulation.

    Separation of powers is so quaint.

  • ||

    Separation of powers and upholding the Constitution is not important. What's important is democracy. If you don't like living in a police state just vote them out of power. Also, eat your broccoli or else!

  • Suki||

    If Italy could do it, why can't we!

  • ||

    If Congress or the Court doesn't like proposed legislation, just sign an executive order or have one of the many "Departments" draft regulation.

    Sarcasmic, you magnificent bastard! This is the point that seems to elude Chapman. His Pestilency, with Congress' willing ceding of more of its authority to the Exec Branch I might add, has made a finely tuned art out of circumventing the Constitution and those quaint and antiquated separation of powers you mention.

  • sarcasmic||

    The only good thing about Obama using executive orders is that, unlike legislation, they can be rescinded by his replacement.

  • ||

    Unless they prove to be both very popular with the entitled masses and the Crapitalist insiders in D.C.

    If by some wing of a prayer Shit Flopney gets in office, I find it highly dubious that he would A) recind those orders in toto and B) with masters of parliamentary like Chuckles Schumer, good luck getting anything he wants to enact past a filibuster.

    TEAM RED is too collectively pussifed to use budget reconciliation.

  • ||

    "parliamentary procedure"

  • sarcasmic||

    Unless they prove to be both very popular with the entitled masses and the Crapitalist insiders in D.C.

    Which is why I said "can", not "will".

  • ||

    That you did, that you did.

  • Suki||

    They can be undone through additional legislation too.

  • Realist||

    "They can be undone through additional legislation too."
    You mean as in Congress....Aaahhhaa!

  • VG Zaystev||

    His Pestilency, with Congress' willing ceding of more of its authority to the Exec Branch I might add, has made a finely tuned art out of circumventing the Constitution and those quaint and antiquated separation of powers you mention.

    And guess what,

    A Romney administration will be, if anything, worse in that regard than a 2nd Obama one.

  • ||

    Nationalization of business and recess appointments will be seen as mild.

    So what you are saying is His Pestilency is The Shrub's third term, as the prior administration, with Congress' tacit approval, pulled all of the above? Albeit in slightly lesser amounts.

  • Suki||

    At least Bush got overt Congressional approval. Obama skips even the ask step.

  • Suki||

    As bad as that approval may have been.

  • Barry D||

    Bush sucked. So what?

    Obama isn't running against Bush. He didn't run against Bush the first time, either, though you'd never have known that from his campaign rhetoric.

  • shrike||

    GOP policy has not changed.

    Bush = Romney.

  • Barry D||

    I'd be fine with $1T/year lower deficits, right now.

  • Apogee||

    GOP Government policy has not changed.

    Bush = Romney = Obama = Corruption

    The only "policies" you'll see enacted by either winner have to do with theft, and nothing else.

  • Rokk Krinn||

    Never let a good crisis go to waste.....Now would it suprise anybody if something bad happened (ie domestic terrorisim) or some other tail wag dog excercise that allows teh wun to implace martial law? Not saying it would happen, but it wouldn't suprise me.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    This scenario glosses over the president's cautious temperament ...

    Monday Funnies?

  • Suki||

    +69

  • Realist||

    Yes, Chapman is one dumb fuck!

  • hk||

    Yeah that was a pretty awful analysis. I don't normally have a problem with any of the writers here either.

  • ||

    april fools was yesterday shitbrick

  • NotSure||

    Many people want to give him unlimited powers, and they are dead serious about that.

    The trend clearly has been to give ever greater powers to the US president, no matter which party. The other side only fears unlimited because it will be used against their agenda, if he is their man, then they are all for it.

  • DarrenM.||

    Many people want to give him unlimited powers, and they are dead serious about that.

    One man, one vote, one time.

  • Incredulous||

    While many of the observations are true - Obama has "limited powers" and he is unlikely to disarm Americans - but the author appears to have a certain naivete. Obama is not only a "crazed leftist" but the most financially irresponsible President EVER. His reelection would increase the chances of a catastrophic financial collapse from overspending. This is obviously a scenario one should fear. It is true that the election of a Republican such as Romney may only modestly decrease the chances of this scenario unfolding (in part due to a reluctance to restrain insane levels of military spending). But any change in our current course towards a financial abyss may help us avoid a catastrophe.

  • David||

    If you think there is any chance of avoiding a financial collapse from overspending, you weren't paying attention to Bush 2. The only party that will advocate fiscal restraint is the one that's out of power.

  • Incredulous||

    Maybe you should go back and reread my post. I acknowledged that the Republican alternative may not be much better (or no better) in terms of fiscal responsibility. But Obama appears to ensure colossal fiscal irresponsibility whereas an alternative at least gives us some small hope of a better course.

    In a better world, a libertarian would be President and the government would be much smaller and spending within its means. But a libertarian will not be President in the forseeable future.

  • sarcasmic||

    I acknowledged that the Republican alternative may not be much better (or no better) in terms of fiscal responsibility.

    A Republican would likely increase spending and cut revenue, growing the debt even worse.

  • Incredulous||

    Yes we're probably screwed no matter what. But with Obama we are definitely royally screwed. With somebody else, there's a slim chance of not being screwed.

  • ||

    With somebody else, there's a slim chance of not being screwed.

    No, we'll get screwed. Just actually using lube and maybe getting a sweet nothing whispered in the ear will make it all good and courteous-like.

  • Teaching Student||

    With a Republican, we might have the opportunity to keep some of our property and wealth... might.

  • ||

    What do you mean by "US"? Romney doesn't give me any hope. That filthy-rich chickenhawk cult member is NOT getting my vote. No way. No how. Even if he was running against Stalin.

  • ||

    Obviously, class warfare has worked very well.
    When John Kerry (D) ran for President nobody cared about his money. Nobody cared about the Kenneys money. NOW it's evil to have money. EVIL!!! Thank you Obama. It worked. Unless, of course, you are a movie star you are not permitted to be wealthy.

  • Rokk Krinn||

    Well at least a rich leftist.....they care don't ya know?

  • Tony||

    Republicans have demonstrated over and over that they are by far the worse stewards of the federal budget. They just bitch about it the loudest, apparently resulting in your confusion.

    Bush and his Congresses destroyed the budget, and Obama and a useless Congress have not been able to clean up his mess yet, largely due to the economic catastrophe Bush left them.

    Paul Ryan's plan makes the situation worse, and we're supposed to buy it because he offers closing some unnamed loopholes (but not the capital gains/income tax disparity loophole!) Actually the plan, which the party has signed onto fully, just makes the situation worse.

    If you don't favor raising any taxes then you don't have any right bitching about budget deficits. Period.

  • Brandon||

    Because it is impossible to cut spending. Impossible!

  • ||

    Yes Bush and his Democratic Congress really got destructive from 2006 on.

  • shrike||

    No, you stupid bastard.

    The Bush "drunken sailor" spending came in before 2006 with a GOP Congress.

  • ||

    Oh, then they clamped down hard on wasteful spending in Jan 2007.

  • ||

    The Bush "drunken sailor" spending came in before 2006 with a GOP Congress.

    Oh so when democrats over spend it stimulates the economy...but when republicans do it is drunken spending.

    Shrike, you are a hacky hack hack hack hack hack.

  • ||

    Except that Bush's "record high" deficits that you always talk about happened in the last year of his presidency with a Democratic congress. I don't blame you for your confusion though: back in those days we were actually passing budgets, so it was easier to keep track of these things.

  • ||

    Bush's budget deficit where around 500 billion, if that is considered "destroying" than what the hell is the chosen one doing!

  • ||

    No no - Shrike just schooled me on how Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid don't do wasteful spending.

  • ||

    THAT'S RIGHT! IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT! KEEP SAYING IT! THE IDIOTS WILL BELIEVE IT!

  • ||

    Republicans have demonstrated over and over that they are by far the worse stewards of the federal budget.

    Obama raised the debt more in little over 3 years then bush did in 8.

    They are both terrible but Obama is measurably at least twice as worse.

  • Barack Obama||

    Limited pow...? Haha! Bitch, please.

  • Suki||

  • shrike||

    *slurp slurp slurp*

  • sarcasmic||

    Why bother going through the messy process of drafting and voting upon legislation when regulation and executive orders will suffice?

  • ||

    Yes - He won't ban guns or such nonsense.

    He continue to destroy the economy and liberties with regulations.

    AND - if one of the five conservatish Supreme Court Justice drops dead, we are truly screwed.

  • Suki||

    Hitler didn't ban guns either. (Misreading his 1938 law still does not make it a gun ban.)

  • sarcasmic||

    He continue to destroy the economy and liberties with regulations.

    I don't see how he's any different than Bush in that respect, or how replacing him would make a difference.

    The legions of regulation creating bureaucrats do not change with the president.

    They just keep churning the stuff out, regardless of who is in the White House.

  • hk||

    I think there is a legitimate case to make about Supreme Court justices though. I don't want to see this moron in power of that.

  • NYer||

    Romney is more than likely to give us Pro-Raich/pro-commerce clause conservative and Souter-type justices than he is to give us libertarian leaning justices. His history suggests more the former than the latter. We're screwed either way.

  • ||

    Not voting for him regardless, but Romney is less likely to give us another Ginsberg, Sotomayor, or Kagan (not because they're women, but because they're half-retarded statists), and we know that Obama is guilty of 2/3 of that hideous lineup.

  • Robert||

    Fast and Furious, anyone? How about "gun control under the radar?

    "He can't shred the Second Amendment, because the Supreme Court—dominated by conservatives now and for the foreseeable future—won't let him."

    It only takes the retirement of Scalia and Thomas, no young men, to flip the Supreme Court from majority-conservative to majority-liberal.

  • Speaking of which...||

    What happens if Kennedy keels over during Obama's second term?

  • Incredulous||

    A great observation and perhaps one of the best reasons to fear a second Obama term. Our constitutional freedoms are hanging by the thin fraying shred of sanity still present on the SC. Obama has already appointed two brainless twits who will just rubber-stamp even the most fascist power grab by the executive or legislative branches. We don't need a third.

  • ||

    His Pestilency took especially personal offense to the Citizen's United decision, and our hip Dear Leader has shown both a very thin skin and a remarkable grudge nursing ability.

  • ||

    Chapman's back to channeling his inner liberal douchebag I see.

    Obama has yet to see a constitutional amendment he didn't want to shred.

  • Jerryskids||

    No, Obama 2 - The Empire Strikes Back will not be the end of the world. But it won't be any better than the original, either. Replacing Obama with Romney would be worse - Romney has no desire to undo anything Obama did which would tend to make the current status quo the future status quo. A bipartisan status quo.

    I am afraid 9/11 really did change everything - we will never roll back the omnipresent Nurse Ratched State we now have.

  • ||

    "Replacing Obama with Romney would be worse"

    Please support that bit of stupidity with some detail. While not a big Romney fan, I can perceive the difference between a moderate business-type Republican and a hard-left Democrat.

  • shrike||

    Go back to Free Republic.

    "hard-left"? Look at the goddamn market averages. The markets love Obama.

    17 small biz tax cuts/credits, energy production booming, tech soaring, exports at record highs, etc.

    And fuck your hero Rush in his bloated ignorant ass.

  • ||

    The markets haven't done shit except keep up with inflation.

  • shrike||

    You don't know a damn thing about markets.

    Markets are tracking earnings and both are up 60-80% - far more than the puny 2% annual inflation.

    FR wants you back.

  • ||

    Lol. 2% annual inflation. Did the CPI tell you that? You're adorable.

  • Brandon||

    Go back to HuffPo.

    The markets love being an alternative to continually-devalued cash. They also love the implicit promise of bailouts.

    Changes in CPI to hide inflation, ignoring labor force participation to hide unemployment, cronyism destroying legitimate small businesses, etc.

    Yeah, you're on fire today, shrike.

  • shrike||

    There is no devaluation of the USD going on. Its gaining strength in the world.

    The fucking Chinese peg their currency to it. The fastest growing economy in the world sucks off the USD every day.

    On markets - no one here can debate me. No one.

  • ||

    The grocery store and gas station sure seem to value my dollars less.

  • shrike||

    Ever hear about a concept called "demand"?

    The world is driving and eating more.

  • ||

    Ever here of supply? The supply of dollars is higher.

  • ||

    The world is driving and eating more.

    No it isn't

    http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx

    You are a lying hack shrike.

  • Brandon||

    Because you don't debate?

  • Apogee||

    There is no devaluation of the USD going on. Its gaining strength in the world.

    Wrong. The rest of the world is simply more fucked than we are right now, and that's created a bubble of US investment.

    That could all change very quickly, as it's based entirely on perception, and not on actual numbers. Everyone thought Japan was going to take over the world as well.

    Losing less than your competitor depends entirely on your competitor never improving, and that's not a recipe for long term stability.

  • ||

    Then why is the greenback currently worth 99 Canadian cents?

  • ||

    Look at the goddamn market averages.

    Inflation + apple is fucking amazing = markets have almost returned to highs of 2008.

    Sorry Shrike I do not see the Obama love...all I see is you being a giant TEAMBLUE hack.

  • ||

    Limited powers lie F.D.R?How about L.B.J..Nixion.All thee expanded federal powers way beyond what was known before.New Deal,great socieity,druog war,EPA.Need I say more

  • ||

    You forgot Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton. Hell, almost every President in my lifetime expanded government power.

  • ||

    Obama doesn't need expanded powers to screw us all. He can use his vetoes to make government even more hostile to growth while keeping spending at unsustainable levels.

    He can veto any extension of the Bush tax cuts - raising taxes to preposterous levels unadjusted for inflation. He also keeps his Fed Chairman who loves to print cash.

    He can veto any fix to the complexity or rates to individual or corporate (now the world's highest) taxes. He can also use the veto to block any real reform of entitlements.

    The next 4 years would be a continuation of debt limit and budget deadline government "shutdowns" and short-term fixes to keep things running.

    It is a recipe for extending what is becoming a second Great Depression. That one kept going until FDR left office - this one will go on until Obama leaves.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    Oh, and one more hitch: He hasn't shown the faintest desire to do any of these things.

    Really?

  • ||

    Is he going to go FULL 'UGO CHAVEZ? I doubt it. But I don't doubt he's going to continue on the path he's already on and be less inhibited in his behavior because he won't face re-election and there no chance even the Democrats would run Slow Joe Biden The Amtraktard in 2016. And the likelihood that any Democrat will be elected in 2016 is very low anyway.

    That's all enough to legitimize reasonable fears that the country will get much worse from a libertarian perspective if Obama is re-elected.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    The problem is that whatever he does, he will have the complete support of the mass media and the Democrats in Congress. So no matter how outrageous it is the story can always be framed on partisan terms. Look at Fast and Furious. Yeah, the Republicans have talked a lot, but Obama has yet to feel a single consequence for it.

    The only reason Nixon left office was because the Republicans turned against him. A second term Obama would have control of the IRS, DOJ and the entire federal law enforcement apparatus with no worry of political oversight. That ought to scare anyone.

  • shrike||

    Because F&F is an overworked illusion in your fevered paranoid little brain.

  • NotSure||

    Speaking of paranoid, you still got the Christian Taliban after you ?

  • shrike||

    Laugh all you want, but the Christian Talibans is real! I seen em with my own eyes!

  • ||

    Wow, and you lived to tell?

  • Apogee||

    Because F&F is an overworked illusion in your fevered paranoid little brain.

    DOJ has made quite an effort to conceal any information that Congress has requested regarding such an "illusion". Or are you suggesting that Holder is simply protecting Bush?

  • ||

    Correct about the lack of GOP action. Even if they control both houses of Congress, they will be slow and hesitant to openly confront Obama's executive overreach.

    Obama seems to show utter disdain for constraints on his power. Why would he care if he leaves office in 4 years with dozens of court challenges and even impeachment proceedings?

  • ||

    "Obama seems to show utter disdain for constraints on his power."

    Bush's quotes and actions indicated obvious disdain to the Constitutional limits on his power as well. And moreover, I'm not convinced Romney will be different than either of them. So what difference does it make?

    I do hope the GOP seizes both houses of Congress and Obama keeps the presidency. Divided government is best. The Republicans can be budget hawks, Obama would try (harder than Republicans probably would) to avoid a war with Iran.

  • ||

    Slow Joe Biden The Amtraktard

    Joe Biden is the ultimate insurance policy against unfortunate "accidents" whilst in office. That is the only reason he was put on the ticket. The ballyhooed "Smooth Senate Operator" crap was just to smooth over liberal prog racists and balance the ticket.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    It is always fun to make fun of Biden, but is he any worse than Obama? Would even Biden have done something as stupid as the open mic gaffe?

  • Incredulous||

    Uh... remember his "BFD" remark?

    But you make a good point. Anybody - even Biden - is probably preferable to Obama.

  • ||

    The difference between Obama and Romney isn't even worth the cost of changing the White House curtains.

  • Suki||

    Chapman is the leader of the Maobamatron wing of liberaltarians.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    How can conservatives forget that Obama is a consummate politician who has never taken the path of high risk? The radical steps they expect would antagonize the vast majority of the electorate and banish his party from power for decades. No president would deliberately do that.

    Did they put Chapman in a cryogenic chamber for the last three years? This is the same President who passed an unpopular health care law without a single opposition vote. And still to this day doesn't regret it even though it resulted in the worst mid term election since the Civil War for his party.

  • Incredulous||

    Yes it appears Chapman is guilty of both extreme ignorance and naivete.

  • Realist||

    Bullshit....he's a stupid fuck....period.

  • invisible furry hand||

    Rick Santorum says the defeat of Obama is imperative "so that future generations do not say about America, 'When men were free.'"

    Rick Santorum, defender of our liberties. No relation to Rick “This idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do…that is not how traditional conservatives view the world” Santorum

  • ||

    Chapman, what the hell? Saying it doesnt make it true or convince anyone that it is. When we see obama we know what we are looking at.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    The whole article is just a long way of saying "well he would never do that!". I wish I had as much faith as Chapman.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think it's so much "would" as "could".

    The office of the presidency is still limited.

    For now.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    DOJ, IRS and DHS beg to differ.

  • Realist||

    ...and EPA.

  • Anomalous||

    EPA got smacked down recently by the SCOTUS, in a 9-0 vote.

  • Apogee||

    A couple changes to SCOTUS, and that would quickly reverse.

  • Chapman = smarter libertarian||

    Jason Godesky can "no longer support the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party because of its single-minded crusade to destroy my home." Then he supported Obama in 2008.

    Seems like Chapman is wising-up, just like Jason.

    You should too, right-wing-nut Fibertarians. There's no reason to be full-ahead stupid.

    Yeah, stupid, I said. Did you know that the latest psychological study shows that stupid = right wing? The drunker you are (that part of the study involving alcohol and questionnaires) the drunker you are, the more right-wing your answers.

    Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism
    Scott Eidelman, etal
    Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
    PMID: 22427384 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

  • Charlotte Corday||

    It is unsurprising that Godesky would be a paranoid who thinks the President is out to destroy his house. People who are mentally ill often have delusions of persecution. And those delusions often involve people in places of high authority.

  • Chapman = smarter libertarian||

    Godesky isn't paranoid about the President destroying his house.

    He's addressing the avoidance of personal responsibility right-wing-nut libertarian types have for the environment.

    Learn to read.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    I am sure the President wakes up every morning and meets with advisers and gets a briefing on the progress they are making in destroying Goedesky's house. Happens every morning I am sure.

    Goedesky is mentally ill. He shows all of the signs, the persecution complex, extreme narcissism, the ability to have high cognitive functions in some areas but never be fully cognitive.

  • Comrade Political Officer Char||

    All political dissent is a sign of mental illness.

    Da, Comrade.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    No. Thinking the president is trying to destroy your house makes you mentally ill.

  • he didn't say that||

    learn to read, Fibertard

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Oh it is the Libertarian Party who has the meetings about how to destroy his house. Either way, Goedesky thinks dark forces are persecuting him. He is insane.

  • Obama, the DARK FORCE||

    I'm Mao, with my little red book, persecuting insane capitalists.

  • Brother Grimm||

    "All political dissent is a sign of mental illness.

    Da, Comrade."

    No, the persecution complex, extreme narcissism, and ability to have high cognitive functions in some areas but never be fully cognitive are signs of mental illness. Pay attention.

  • Online Fibertarian Diagnosis||

    It's authoritative.

    Pay attention.

  • Brother Grimm||

    What about Godesky's mental illness is authoritative?

  • ||

    Do you mean "learn how to read minds"?

  • MNG||

    This is a telling thread: the Reason article is, well reasonable, while saying Obama is a bad President it says its silly to say 1. he's some wild eyed radical and 2. even if he were he'd be limited by legal and political constraints.

    Of course our increasingly nutty fringe commenters are having none of that! He's coming for the guns and the secret Sharia law!!!

  • Most Fibertards=right WingNuts||

    ...with a side dish of fetid "liberty for me, but not for thee" bullshit.

  • hk||

    Most Aggressives want Centrally-planned keynesian economies.

    So sorry you lose, even Bill Clinton was stupid enough to buy into that argument. Obama is a dumbfuck.

    And Libertarians are not conservatives, we're real classical liberals.

  • hk||

    *Clinton was not stupid enough

  • DarrenM.||

    And Libertarians are not conservatives, we're real classical liberals.

    1. Many self-identified libertarians are classic liberals, many aren't.

    2. The Left's definition of a 'conservative' is anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them and has shown themselves in need of re-education.

  • ||

    Obama is only economically liberal. And even in that he isn't much different than Bush II.

    I think he's been a shittastic president, but he has continued every single shittastic thing that Bush did. I don't see how that makes him an uber liberal.

  • MNG||

    See, if you are an extremist on the other side then yes, Obama looks like an extremist the other way, and if you think minimum wage laws= TEH SLAVERY and the END OF THE REPUBLIC then yeah, you dont buy that there are still meanginful restraints on our government.

    So Chapman is not being reasonable, he's being a Maoist...

  • Mary Stack looks like a genius||

    ...comparatively speaking.

  • sarcasmic||

    So Chapman is not being reasonable, he's being a Maoist...

    Stop being moist.

  • hk||

    Obama is a radical, our budget deficit was 1.5 trillion dollars.

    Liberals can no longer hide their socialist tendencies.

  • DarrenM.||

    Liberals can no longer hide their socialist tendencies.

    Just watch.

  • ||

    I'm waiting for The Libertarian Case For Obama. I guess you are speaking to the anyone but Obama folks who are dim enough to think a Santorum or a Romney would be any better. I don't think there's many of those people in here.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, Obama sucks, but so does everyone else. And I think it is absurd to call him any kind of radical leftist. Let's face it, pretty much the entire political class is incredibly financially irresponsible. Obama hardly represents a unique evil.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    Obama is the President who couldn't even pass the laws he wanted while his party had complete control of the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government.

    Even Obamacare has little resemblance to the healthcare legislation he wanted, cap and trade went nowhere, immigration reform didn't happen, etc.

    He has proven to be a remarkably incompetent party leader.

    The only argument I find mildly convincing to electing a Elephant as opposed to re-electing the Ass is the supreme court justice one.

  • ||

    Hah! now that is funny!
    Owebama's spending has made the Repubics look like pikers...

  • shrike||

    And you're an idiot.

    Spending has held steady in the $3.5 trillion range.

    (stimulus of $800 billion was supplemental)

  • sunny black||

    Looks like Reason is setting the table to justify a new slate of Obama endorsements.

  • shrike||

    This topic really drew the wingnut comments out. Its like reading Free Republic which is always worth a nice laugh.

    Romney is out there calling Russia our #1 enemy and calling for war with Iran as well as increasing the deficit well past Bush level highs. Of course Romney is full of shit or lying as usual.

  • NotSure||

    Speaking of a nice laugh, you still have not answered the question, you still got the Christian Taliban after you ?

  • ||

    Not or. Both.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Anyone who has actually choked down FreeRepublic posts, would know better than to compare them to H&R.

    Go to FR and put "libertarian" in the search box. Feel the lack of love in most of the posts.

    Fuck FR.

  • shrike||

    Yes, they hate Libertarians and especially Ron Paul.

    That doesn't stop the first 50 comments on this thread from launching into FR territory.

    Obama is a moderate and the worst thing he will ever do is the stimulus package - which is standard issue for either party.

    Let me know when he lies us into a trillion dollar war that claims 4400 US lives.

  • ||

    Basically shrek seems to use FR, LGF, Rush, and calling posters conservatives the way most liberals use racism. Its code for I have no real argument.

    He can't wield the racism club around here b/c nobody gives 2 shits, but if he uses one of these right-winger type catch phrases, posters will defend that instead of the original point, which he already lost.

    Everyone around here knows who the regular conservative posters are, and they're not everyone who bests shrek intellectually (since that's pretty much everyone), so just make your half witted point, shrektard and move on.

  • shrike||

    Ha. I am a cultural supremacist for the West.

    I admire Hitchens and Oriana Fallaci - both deceased.

    You don't know shit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You also admire Soros and Obama, so why should we take your word for anything?

  • ||

    I am a cultural supremacist for the West.

    I always pegged you for a nationalist.

    And it is no surprise that a nationalist is a hack for TEAMBLUETEAMRED.

  • ||

    Obama doesn't make the pretense of lying - he likes to just start his wars the old-fashioned monarchical way.

  • Rokk Krinn||

    Not that he gives a shit about those 4400. He can claim a 1000 or so since he took over.

    Anyways what does he care...just dumb fuck conservative leaning peeps that died.

  • hk||

    Fuck you, Obama has the most necon foreign policy I've ever seen.

  • hk||

    *neocon

    I guess you didn't read the article buddy. Obama is Bush on steroids.

  • shrike||

    Bullshit.

    McCain wanted war in the former Soviet state of Georgia as well as Syria and Iran.

    You can bet that a Cheney/Bolton team would comply. Cheney is the best liar in US history.

  • ||

    False hypothetical, Obamafag.

  • ||

    Eh, I don't know about that. Perjury seems to be kind of a Team Blue thing. Then again, if you get caught, I guess you can't be very good. Maybe you're right.

  • ||

    Even if you give all of fiscal 2009 to Bush (even though about 875 billion of it was Obama's stimulus), he still comes up about 400 billion shy of Obama's largest deficit flying solo. So much for "Bush level highs". Of course, you are full of shit or lying as usual.

  • ||

    Well, I can think of only one way to be sure that Obama won't go completely off the leash after this election . . . .

  • Realist||

    "His detractors forget that even if he were a crazed leftist, Obama has limited powers."
    Limited by who...what?
    "He can't gut the Pentagon budget, because Congress has the last word on spending. He can't sign Munich-like arms treaties with Russia, because the Senate wouldn't ratify. He can't bring about the demise of freedom in America, because ... oh, let's not be ridiculous."
    Ridiculous indeed, if you think Congress will find their balls you are full of shit.

  • Guest1776||

    The irony is that "the GOPe" hacks don't realize they are feeding Joseph Smith White Horse prophecy which many people are going to find too bizarre to vote for Romney. Under the guise of JFK had to explain his religion, the Left and the MSM are going to hammer Romney and the GOP on all that "Constitution is hanging by a thread" hyperbole and many will run away from Mittens in droves.

  • Guest1776||

    The irony is that "the GOPe" hacks don't realize they are feeding Joseph Smith White Horse prophecy which many people are going to find too bizarre to vote for Romney. Under the guise of JFK had to explain his religion, the Left and the MSM are going to hammer Romney and the GOP on all that "Constitution is hanging by a thread" hyperbole and many will run away from Mittens in droves.

  • ||

    Any chance for some elucidation? I failed mind-reading at Hogwarts.

  • Guest1776||

    Not sure what's so hard to understand but here goes: Many many GOP hacks are basically saying the Constitution is hanging by a thread which happens to sound a lot like White Horse prophecy which states that a Mormon will save the country at a time the Constitution is hanging by a thread.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Our ibggest fear should be one of the ideological conservative Supreme Court justices dropping dead in the next four years. Could Pres. Obama get another Kagan through the Senate?
    For that matter, would President Romney put up a Suter or Warren type or a judge who believed the Constitution means what it says?

  • Be a WINNER, not a LOSER||

    Election 2012 in a nutshell:

    • Vote Obama, please your woman.
    • Vote for a loser, be a limp dick.

    It's that simple of a choice.

    Voted for McCain? Your Testosterone Dipped
    Why you may have felt less manly after voting in the presidential elections
    Scientific American Magazine
    Charles Q. Choi | January 13, 2010
    www.scientificamerican.com/art.....smo-mayhem

    Once ya go black, ya never go back!

  • shrike||

    Black is beautiful

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Politics is not.

  • Anomalous||

    Obama is only about 3/8 black, so that would make him a little better than a 4.

  • ||

    Just the title is hard to read. As a seif employed carpenter, I can tell you the government as a whole has been driving my way of life off a cliff for a very long time. When this administration came into control, that driving force has added a jet engine and the cliff is the border of my country. I started working before the end of the Vietnam war. We have had 6 presidents in that time, 3 or 4 recessions, inflation, gas rationing, terriost attacks and financial meltdowns. I have NEVER had to look for work until 3 years ago. I would take any president before this one, ANY president.4 more years, and we will headed to France, importing immagrants to pay enough taxes to take care of a non productive poulation, dependant on handouts.

  • ||

    Chapman outted.

    He's really Thomas Friedman in drag; his 2008 Obama vote admitted, it's time to double down on stupid.

  • ||

    What was all this previous crap about personal liberty? I guess it was just blah, blah, blah.
    Our Marxist in Chief, who scoffs at our Constitution, and thumbs his nose at free thinkers and ambitious entrepreneurs is just getting started. He will run unchecked in a second term without worrying about reelection.
    Just last week he got caught whispering promises to our enemy -saying he would sell America and her allies down the river once he gets past the next election.

  • ||

    Owebama / Biden
    We Know Better

    Owebama / Biden
    Because There's Still More Money In China

  • shrike||

    Get down, you stupid FR bitch.

    "Marxist"? All the top capitalists avidly support him.

    Quit listening to redneck AM radio.

  • church lady||

    could it be....Marxism?

  • ||

    You are wrong. This capitalist does not support him.
    Stop drinking the Koolaid.
    He complains about the constraints The Constitution has placed on his power, and he takes us to war without Congressional approval. He lights up the Empire State Building in Chinese national colors, and announces to the world that we have been an arrogant nation. He promotes class warfare, encouraging unrest, yet he takes money from the rich, and is wealthy himself. Anybody with more than "his share" of wealth is now an enemy to the rest of the country, "greedy rich," and he promotes civil unrest. Last, his wife was never proud of our country until he was made president.
    He is an enemy to Free Thinkers, Enterpreners, and Believers in Personal Liberty.

  • shrike||

    LOL!

    He lit up the Empire State building in Chinese colors?

    Keep the freak up, bitch! Do you like bukkake too?

  • Anomalous||

    Are you asking if she, like you, likes bukkake?

  • ||

    Good comeback, Ass Wipe.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    BTW, it's the crony capitalists who love Obama.

  • ||

    No such thing. If you have money, you are a screaming right wing laissez faire capitalist. And if you also support Democratic Socialism, ipso facto, Democratic Socialism is right wing laissez faire capitalism. Get with the program.

  • ||

    That's right -- I'd forgotten misogyny is "in" with statists this year.

  • Tony||

    Idiots. Republican shilling FOX News gun clinging paranoid morons everywhere. Only in America do overbearing machismo and constant crybaby paranoid pants wetting go so hand-in-hand.

    Principled libertarian: true, the Republicans are demagogic theocrats who lie their way into wars, engage in minority scapegoating, destroy budgets and civil liberties with equal zeal, and are supported in elections by the most uneducated mouth-breathing inbreds in the civilized world... but they believe in lower taxes for billionaires, so let's be pragmatic here!

  • Pity the poor Billionaires!||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not a very good Tony spoof. C+.

  • ||

    Wrong, Tony. We believe in lower taxes for *everybody*

  • ||

    the Republicans and Democrats are demagogic theocrats who lie their way into wars, engage in minority scapegoating, destroy budgets and civil liberties with equal zeal, and are supported in elections by the most uneducated mouth-breathing inbreds in the civilized world... So either vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. Write it in if you have to.

    Fixed.

  • Tony||

    What theocratic actions have Democrats taken? Ohh ohh lemme guess global warming is a religion as you learned in higher education on right-wing internet blogs.

    Given that there are only two real choices, and among them aren't Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, it might pay to inquire whether it's actually true that the parties are exactly equally bad. Considering they disagree on almost everything that would be something.

  • Liberty||

    Look, Chapman, we're libertarians. That means we keep the mouth-breathers and rubes really, really angry over nonsense. You're not helping. Get with the program, huh?

  • ||

    My respect for Chapman is now sleeping with the fishies.

  • ||

    The same thing happened to me like 3 years ago when Chapman came up with the great solution of bulldozing houses to fix the housing collapse.

    I even emailed him some info showing that the housing bubble was a price bubble and not a supply bubble.

    His rely was "no it wasn't"

    Chapman is a triple A idiot.

  • ||

    Chapman evidently hasn't heard of Bastiat's broken window fallacy. Destroying property is never real solution.

  • ||

    Garden variety Team Blue apologist. When Tony and shrike spring woodies after an article, you know the author isn't playing with a full deck.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    The critics seem to think that after this year, Obama will be free to liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea.

    Mr. Chapman, do you have something to say, or are you just need to sit in a corner and breathe in and out of a paper bag for 10 minutes or so? Yes, Obama is the most left wing president we've had since Carter, and he's potentially got four more years to fill the courts and the already topheavy executive branch with like-minded individuals. I prefer an alternative, even a lousy one.

  • shrike||

    You're an idiot.

    Carter was the most do-nothing libertarian president since Coolidge.

    No one de-regulated more industries than Carter did. Energy, Air, Trucking, Finance, and Labor.

    Carter didn't raise taxes and there were no new social programs.

    Fuck yourself hard - idiot.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Dept of Energy, Dept of Education, stagflation, and the commies wanted him reelected. In short, fuck you.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Don't forget Selective Service. Have you registered, komrade?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    In shrikeworld, Carter was a far-rightwing warmonger who ate live puppies the way New Orleansers eat crawdads.

  • Killazontherun||

    George W Bush's domestic policies were much further to the left of Carter. Carter appointed the sound, right-center Volker to the Fed, Bush pushed the very liberal, former chairman of the Princeton economics department, and very reckless Ben Barnanke. Carter supported deregulation, Bush supported Sarbanes-Oxley and an expansion of the regulatory state that even Obama has yet matched. Carter even backed capital gains cuts. Bush expanded Medicare. The only area where they come out even is energy policy, but Bush had no excuse not to learn from Carter's mistakes there. All in all, much of the success of the 80's have Carter to think for laying down the ground work.

  • Killazontherun||

    'thank' for laying down the ground work.

  • Killazontherun||

    One last comparison. Carter did create the department of education but gave it no fangs nor claws. It had neither until W came along.

  • shrike||

    Wow, you have an accurate knowledge of recent history.

    Rare among posters here.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The Community Reinvestment Act didn't have claws. At first.

  • shrike||

    It never did, you idiot.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Guess again. I once worked at a bank, and took a class in the CRI. If a bank was suspected of redlining, it's charter was in danger of not being renewed, expansion and/or acquiring other banks was held up, in short, it's make the loans we want you to make or you go out of business. Yeah, no claws there.

  • shrike||

    Yes, REDLINING became illegal!

    So what? All a bank needed to do was require a 770 FICO and they were fine.

    (many did)

  • Concerned Citizen||

    So how did the housing bubble get started? If the evil banks didn't want to lend to bad credit risks, what changed? Hmm, Fannie and Freddie might be able to tell us.

  • shrike||

    Mortgage origination fees, pal.

    Make five grand and sell the paper to a fool.

  • ||

    CRI uses the carrot and stick with banks through their CRI annual audit. Fail the audit, by not enough lending to single parent families, not enough low income lending, requring debt to equity ratios too high; and you can forget any branch expansion.
    As a bank board member I took a class given by the Chicago Fed on how to be a "good" director. We were schooled how debt to equity, debt to income and installment debt was "old school thinking".
    CRI was extortion by the government to make bad loans, pure and simple. We didn't, and 20 years later took zero tarp money.
    CRI was instrumental in the housing bubble and the resulting crash.

  • ||

    [Make five grand and sell the paper to a fool}

    A remedy by the Fed, via CRA, to allow the lenders to churn the money to make even more bad loans.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    See, Harvard, you and I had first hand experience with the CRI and see it for the clusterfuck it is. Shreik only sees the intentions, which are all that matters to a leftist.

  • ||

    One last comparison. Carter did create the department of education but gave it no fangs nor claws. It had neither until W came along.

    It had money and carrots have more power to destroy then sticks do.

    Don't believe me? Just look at what Fanny and Freddie did to the housing market.

  • Tony||

    Obama is the most left wing president we've had since Carter Nixon.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Did Nixon openly denounce capitalism? Carter did. Nixon did make use of the draft, Carter resurrected Selective Service, so both see the citizens as cannon fodder.

  • ||

    Obama is the most left wing president we've had since Nixon.

    Glad to see Team Blue has raised its bar all the way up to Nixon.

    By the way Nixon went to China...Obama, on the other hand, started a trade war with China.

  • Tony||

    Nixon was a corrupt bigot but he knew a country can't be governed on mindless quasi-anarchic slogans. Such things used to be considered fringe and stupid. Now his party is heehawing such slogans and nothing else.

    A world in which Obama's faults are worth talking about would be a great one. Unfortunately we have fucking insane people running an entire major political party now.

  • ||

    We have fucking insane people running two entire political parties - you're just to mindless to see it from the party who's insanity makes you moist in the shorts.

  • ||

    *whose

  • Tony||

    False equivalence pseudo-thinking. There's never been a party of angels in this country. What the GOP has become differs from the norm in important and potentially dangerous ways, maybe even uniquely in American history. I don't see how it's fair to take their craziness and automatically require the other party to be equally crazy.

  • ||

    There is no objective basis, of course, for your opinion on the party you hate - it's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. You just seem to think it is somehow a self-evident fact that Team Red is insane because you disagree them while Team Blue is reasonable because you agree with them. It depends on your starting premise.

  • ||

    Holy shit, I nearly agreed with something Tony postulated! Substitute "statist" for "left wing" and I've got no argument.

  • ||

    Oh, so Obama will only be as fucked-up as he is now? Gee, that's not terribly comforting.

  • ||

    Chapman may very well be right, just not for the reasons he claims. Obama proved willing to push through very unpopular policies when it suited his ideological predisposition. Hell, for the first three years, the administration pushed the economy - the pre-eminent issue in the public's mind - to the back burner while he legislated a liberal wish list. Much more than any caution or constitutional scruples on Mr. Obama's part, the fact that there's a reason a second-term president is called a lame duck is the check on the worst case scenario.

  • Killazontherun||

    Listen up, Chapman. This is something you and too many Conservatives don't quite get. I don't fear Obama's radical ideas, he has none. I fear his centrism. He adapts to every whim of the elite as if he were the uncool kid trying to play catch up. Green jobs, gun control, industrial planning, fiscal and monetary manipulation, coercing the populace to jump through hoops to prove their good citizenship, these are all centrist nostrums. If he gets a second term, he will want to cut some deals, and not the same type Clinton cut after the Hillarycare debacle made him gun shy.

  • shrike||

    Finally, a critic with half a brain.

  • ||

    I would say Bush was more centrist than Obama. Although you are right that none of his ideas are his own.

  • ||

    gun control

    He has not been that bad with gun control.

    In fact he gave out some guns to Mexican gun cartels.

  • ||

    "He hasn't shown the faintest desire to do any of these things."

    Now I can get behind you on principle here Chapman, if he gets reelected it won't be the end of the world. However, you can't say he hasn't shown the desire to do any of these things. Just because he hasn't been able to accomplish something doesn't mean he has no desire to do so. Nearly everything you've listed whether it's arms treaties or 2nd amendment shredding, he HAS shown desire or even made attempt. Does advocating serialized ammunition not qualify as faint desire? Does promising "flexibility" to Russia on missile defense not show a faint desire? Mr. Chapman, here you have a good point backed up by a poor argument.

  • ||

    One counterargument to the fears of the second term is the hope that he might be more "progressive" in some ways that we agree with but that are politically unpopular. For example, avoiding war with Iran (instead of having to rattle sabres to look "tough"), legalizing gay marriage (instead of catering to social conservative instincts), providing amnesty for illegal immigrants (could not do if running for re-election) and decriminalizing pot (which a majority agree with but somehow it backfires politically).

    While there will certainly be many things to worry about economically and governmentally, there are potential libertarian benefits to an unencumbered second Obama term. Can't say the same for conservatives, but that's their problem and not mine.

  • ||

    Passing a federal marriage law would be an unprecedented expansion of the central government. I have no comprehension whatsoever how supposed libertarians think that would be a good idea, or make the legal institution of marriage one iota less discriminatory than it is now.

  • ||

    I highly doubt this. Last we heard, Barry's views on gay marriage were "still evolving." Meanwhile, even Dick Cheney's come forward in favor of it. Killaz above post is on the money -- in this case, Barry's less "progressive" than Dubya's VP.

  • DarrenM.||

    It's called 'politics'. You sound like it's something unique. It's still necessary to look at the likely results, not the rhetoric.

  • mammoth2||

    Yes this seems very interesting

  • ||

    Even if specific fears from Republicans turn out to be unfounded, Obama is creative. He'll come up with something to surprise and delight us all.

  • ||

    The critics seem to think that after this year, Obama will be free to liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea.

    We are talking about the same president that sent the military to Libya then said he does not need any approval from congress so long as he has the permission of the international community (ie France).

    I don't know about North Korea or "inner radical", seems like a strawman argument to me, but Obama is a huge statist and in his first term has shown little regard for the checks to presidential power.

    One would expect more of the same terrible statism in his second term.

  • ||

    turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea

    Thiessen apparently imagines that Obama will mothball the Pacific Fleet and melt down our nuclear missiles for scrap. Never mind that under him, defense spending has been higher, adjusted for inflation, than at any time under George W. Bush.

    Isn't a larger US military more like North Korea then a smaller US military?

  • shrike||

    I'm being a real cuntbag today. I should give myself a prize.

  • ||

    No, I should give you a zetz im kop.

  • ||

    No, I should give you a zetz im kop.

  • ||

    If Libertarians all start voting for Obabma, I'm out. None of the major parties has a good choice, but some are worse than others, and Obama - and the hard left (== democratic party these days) in general - is by far the most antithetical to individual rights. Chapman should be drummed out as a closet socialist, IMO.

  • ||

    Exactly. Not to mention this article is bullshit, and there's a bunch of Obama Staff on this thread.

  • ||

    In other words, we have to give Obama a second term before we can find out what's in it.

  • ||

    BTW, kudos to Chapman for a boldness even the Obama campaign team hasn't had the stones to approach. Passing this president off as too pragmatic. 5 trillion dollars in new debt in 3 years without even the pretense of a budget and no end to trillion dollar deficits in sight, an overseas military engagement without approval from congress (at least Bush had the courtesy to "lie" to us), the biggest expansion of federal powers since the Johnson administration in the Affordable Care Act, an extraordinary sweeping new regulatory regime that is still yet to be fully articulated in Dodd-Frank, assassination of American citizens overseas without trial (eat your heart out warmongering baby killer republicans!), expanded new unilateral executive branch powers for unlimited detention of American citizens at home, renewal of the PATRIOT Act... yeah, he sure is a shrinking violet.

  • ||

    Chapman should pray for a 2nd Obama term - if he can rattle off a line of bullshit like this with a straight face, he'll have a bright and promising career as a Team Blue spinmeister for the next 4 years.

  • ||

    Agree with basically all this, but I don't like to single out the president for the deficit. That's a joint Capitol Hill production.
    I'd say he's only 50% responsible for that. I'll go 50.1% if you insist.

  • ||

    What Reason really needs is more writers from the Chicago Tribune. Derp.

  • ||

    Yes, his plan all along was to wait until he was a lame duck to accomplish the really hard stuff.

  • Major Arswhole||

    I'm pretty sure anyone who hasn't lived under a rock for the past 12 years should know that the president(s) have WAY more power than they should.

    To be honest, I would think it naive to believe he wouldn't try to place a federal ban on guns. I mean, we have after all entered Libya without congressional consent, pass an unconstitutional healthcare bill, bailed out multiple private companies, and much more.

    But who am I to question the amount of power that one man can have, we are a dictatorship after all... right?

  • Carlsbadip||

    Chapman is a hard core Statist. Why does he write for Reason? There are thousands of Statist periodicals in the world - The Economists, Newsweek, Time, Harper's , The NAtion, The New Republic, Pravda, Izvestia, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, New Statesman, Labour Left Briefing, The Liberal, Challenge and Renewal to name just a few where his work with fit with his statist outlook.

  • trickamsterdam||

    Quite solid essay. Needed to be said even if it's not greeted w/ thunderous applause by most on the American Right.

    Part of all this is Obama-derangement-syndrome...but oh there's also something else.

    They want to intimidate those of us who have no intention of voting for this creature and brute (Romney) into doing so...if we don't the World will simply end they claim.

    Basically the WMD thing all over again.

    Don't buy it but even if it were true:

    How should a country/planet that nominates two people like Obama and Romney end?

  • Father of Two||

    President Obama doubled down on all of the worst policies of George W Bush, and Bush was bad enough. Their policies are similar, but the philosophy behind them makes a great deal of difference. Bush seemed to believe that people are entitled to what they earn, but government must impose to soften life's ups and downs for the less fortunate in the name of compassion. I disagree with Bush - we can create a compassionate society without the welfare state. But the Obama philosophy (along with Democratic leaders in Congress) assumes that unequal outcomes in life are fundamentally unfair, and that this unfairness entitles government to a first claim on the nation's resources. It follows that anything government doesn't take away is somehow giving something away to the more fortunate. Perhaps Chapman knows what's going on in Obama's mind, but I can only listen to what he actually says and draw my conclusions.

    Gun rights are not safe. The Supreme Court majority supporting Second Amendments rights for the individual is tenuous. It's entirely possible that Romney will appoint justices who fail to support gun rights, but absolutely certain Obama will do so. The next 2-3 appointments will reverberate for decades. Once Wickard v Filburn removed the last restraints on Congress' Commerce Clause powers, leviathan government became inevitable.

    I am no fan of Romney - I much prefer either Ron Paul or Gary Johnson. But this election will make a great deal of difference.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement