Those who might be anticipating a Bill Clinton-like turn to the right from President Obama in the wake of the massive Republican victories last week obviously have not been studying this president for the last 6 years. There is nothing in President Obama’s past or in his current demeanor to suggest that he has any intention of compromising with the new Republican majority.
Bill Clinton was a governor from a southern state. He knew that to succeed he had to compromise (much to the dismay of his Marxist wife). Barack Obama was a community activist-turned-Senator. He was raised and mentored by Communists. There is nothing in his background to suggest that he has the inclination to compromise. Like so many of his ideology, he views advancing the ideals of his philosophy as the highest cause. There can be no compromise, only a clever framing of issues designed to force any opposition to capitulate.
This president has shown time and time again that he holds Congress in contempt. He views Congress alternately as an obstacle in the path of his agenda or a relic of our constitutional past that can be ignored altogether. He most certainly does not view Republican members of Congress as fellow leaders with whom he can negotiate a reasonable compromise.
The bold proclamations regarding pending executive orders granting amnesty to illegal aliens provide the most recent and most illustrative example of Obama’s view of compromise. He says he has grown impatient with Congress over their inability to pass immigration reform, so he must act on his own.
Indeed this president has grown far too comfortable acting on his own. His talk of “if Congress won’t act, I will” is a clear violation of the separation of powers laid out in our constitution. Executive actions were intended to enable a president to act in times of crisis when there is insufficient time for Congress to convene. They were not intended as a means for a president to advance his agenda should the Congress not see eye to eye with him. But the constitutional lawyer in the White House has shown little regard for the Constitution during his tenure. And the sad (and ultimately perilous) thing is no one is holding him accountable.
That is why we should not expect Obama to compromise on anything. Why should he? He has his phone and his pen, after all. If Congress won’t act, he will. If Congress won’t pass an immigration bill to his liking he will stop enforcing immigration laws (which he has already done) and use his mighty pen to grant amnesty to any non-citizens he sees fit (especially those who show a propensity to one day slavish support the Democrats).
People have declared this election as the end of Obama’s presidency. It is far from that. Unless he is impeached (which is about as likely as Al Gore admitting global warming was just a hoax to make him rich), he will do whatever he feels is necessary to continue to advance his agenda.
The question is can the Republicans and the Democrats in Congress reach their own compromise to stop him? It seems very unlikely. But if they don’t, it’s not Obama who will spend the next two years in a state of irrelevancy. It is Congress that will be irrelevant. And once that happens, his fundamental transformation will be complete.