In a timely article titled The Great Unraveling, Scott Johnson of PowerLine speaks of the damage President Obama has done, and will yet do to America. To those that love liberty and understand that peace is not merely the absence of an American-declared and fought war at the moment Mr. Obama declares peace in yet another teleprompter reading, there is no more momentous topic.
As Iraq disintegrates and al Qaeda/ISIS et al. rise, it is difficult to miss the connection to Obama’s foreign policy. Instead of settling accounts with Iran, he has rendered us a pitiful supplicant and enabler. Even the King of Saudi Arabia wants him to stand up. With the Iran factor in the equation we seem to have a case of eternal recurrence.
Charles Lipson gives his own account of the great unraveling, climaxing with the Bergdahl deal:
‘Why did Obama release a murderers’ row of Taliban generals? Why did he refuse to tell anyone in Congress beforehand, as he was legally required to do? Is the president floating a trial balloon to empty Guantanamo? Could the newly released Taliban plan deadly attacks? Will the swap encourage Islamic terrorists to kidnap other Americans?’
But the Bergdahl deal is obviously a part of Obama’s announced goal of closing Guantanamo. To borrow the cliche, to Obama, the release of the Taliban Five wasn’t a glitch; it was a feature. As with the bows, however, he will never admit to it. He knows it would sound too stupid to the average American.
Professor Donald Kagan is our foremost living student of the Peloponnesian War. As such, he has thought deeply about issues of peace and war, as in On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace.
Professor Kagan’s assessment of Obama hits home with me; the New York Times reports that he’ Of Obama himself, Professor Kagan observed: ‘We should not underestimate the possibility of extraordinary ignorance.’ This is how liberalism looks when the consequences of liberal policies become manifest.
Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Obamacare and Mr. Obama’s innumerable lawless acts to further it while hiding its most disastrous effects until he is out of political danger, the ongoing IRS debacle with its newest revelations of what can only be blatant and illegal destruction of records on a previously unimaginable, in-your-face, scale, violating the law by refusing to give Congress advance notice of his release of Taliban field marshals–though a relatively small offense compared to the IRS conspiracy–and much, much more will almost certainly go eternally unpunished. Justice will never be done. Barack Obama, protected by the notoriety of his race–he’s the first (half) black president!–and a wholly owned media, will never be impeached, though that is the one practical way he could potentially face justice for his many high crimes and misdemeanors.
The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
A president may not pardon himself to avoid impeachment, but with one other exception, his pardon power is unlimited. That exception? He may not issue a pardon for an offense that has not yet been committed. There are no get out of jail free cards for this, because it would have the effect of allowing a president to simply wipe away any law. While this is a well-established constitutional principle, Barack Obama has never been constrained by something as insubstantial as the Constitution, and has already ignored or rewritten many laws, and will doubtless ignore or rewrite many more. As he has often said, he has a pen and a phone. Why not simply pardon people for crimes not yet committed?
While Mr. Obama will almost certainly never face criminal penalties for his actions, it is not a certainty that a president cannot pardon himself. A self-pardon would obviously put a president above the law, making a mockery of the rule of law. However, there is more than ample evidence that Mr. Obama has already repeatedly put himself above the law, and has suffered for it not at all, except in declining popularity in polls. With impeachment off the table, what does he care about poll results?
Mr. Obama’s behavior is a result of arrogance, almost unimaginable narcissism, and a true believer’s faith in his ideology. Call that ideology Marxist, statist, socialist, leftist, progressive, choose any or all, for elements of each are present, but all amount to the fundamental transformation–the destruction–of our constitutional republic and individual liberty. That day grows nearer as our military is debilitated, our enemies–vicious barbarians anxious to use the nuclear weapons soon to be in the hands of the Iranians–grow stronger, our allies are ignored and/or insulted, and Obama plays yet another round of golf or takes another multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded vacation.
Professor Kagan is right as well. There is a substantial element of ignorance, even rank stupidity in much that Mr. Obama has done and will do. This is a natural result of the arrogance and narcissism of a man that believes himself more brilliant than any of his advisors, and surrounds himself with people whose primary function is to praise him. When one cannot learn from mistakes because nothing he does can possibly be wrong, ignorance, error and stupidity become the inevitable drivers of policy.
Empty Guantanamo; free all the terrorists there? Why not? Surely a few countries can be found that will promise–Islamist’s honor–to make them behave for a year. Try the sole Benghazi terrorist captured to date in a civilian court so he can lawyer up and vital intelligence is forever lost? Why not? Hasn’t Mr. Obama single-handedly ended the terror war and vanquished the terrorists? What do the inevitable takeover of Iraq and Afghanistan by terrorists and the nuclear armament of Iran have to do with the peace Mr. Obama has declared? Has he not said that he has conjured peace, and is it not therefore, so?
There is, however, a fundamental reason why Mr. Obama and his functionaries, including his Attorney General and his handpicked operatives subverting the Constitution from within the Department of Justice as J. Christian Adams has so well documented, fear nothing. None of them will ever be prosecuted, and they know it. The same is true of the enemies of Americans and liberty at the IRS, the EPA, and every other federal agency that views the American people as subjects rather than citizens of a constitutional republic and their employers. They will all be pardoned, or at least enough of them to make prosecuting the rest virtually impossible. There are, after all, more than two additional years for evidence to be lost in tragic hard drive crashes.
None of this is a recent epiphany within the Obama Administration. If Mr. Obama learned anything during his days as a “constitutional law professor,” he surely learned about the abuse of the pardon power.
Even though he was never a professor, merely a lecturer given a minor teaching position through political patronage, would it be a stretch to believe that Mr. Obama and his cronies have been operating under the blanket of pardons since the very beginning? Wouldn’t that explain Fast and Furious and virtually every other anti-constitutional outrage?
Expect, during Mr. Obama’s final days, on a Friday if he sticks to his usual method of dumping bad news, or possibly even as he is on his way out the door of the White House for the final time, to learn of an unprecedented, previously unimaginable blizzard of pardons, pardons that will subvert justice and prevent most, if not all, of the actual crimes of the Obama Administration from being prosecuted. Of course, Mr. Obama won’t learn of his pardons until they are reported on the news.
Mr. Obama, unlike the Clintons, won’t bother to pilfer the furniture and china from the White House. He will have stolen far, far more, including American’s trust in government, our economy, our safety, our standing in the world, and liberty. So much damage will have been done–even before the pardons–it may never be entirely repaired.
The groundwork has been laid. A fog of cynical apathy has descended over America. So outrageous and frequent have been the lawlessness and crimes of Mr. Obama and his sycophants that Americans, for the most part, merely shrug in tired resignation at each new revelation. Scandals that would have ruined any previous president are now barely reported, and if known, evoke little more than a disgusted, resigned shake of the head and a muttered “so what else is new?” The Congress, its constitutional role and prerogatives usurped, lacks the courage to do more than profess faux outrage for the occasional news camera, while multiple committees and sub committees conduct “investigations” that amount to little more that congressional posturing before the cameras.
It is difficult indeed to imagine how the Congress could muster the political will to impeach Mr. Obama. It’s harder still to imagine how the Senate, particularly should it remain in Democrat hands, would ever convict. Could even the nuclear annihilation of Tel Aviv or an American city be sufficient? And should the next president also be a democrat, there will surely be no prosecutions, even if there were not wholesale pardons.
Unlike the American people and our allies, Barack Obama and his functionaries have little to fear. Mr. Obama has a golf bag full of pardons, and he will not be afraid to use them.
Oh, and it won’t be necessary for the left to chant “free Mumia” anymore either.