Diary

Obama's master stroke: resignation

The stimulus, the budget, the apologies to Hamas and Iran, the betrayals of Israel and Taiwan, the imposition of cap and trade, the destruction of both nuclear and coal options for energy generation, and the abandonment of any standard of decency in mass media political coverage – what one action by Mr. Obama would cement all this and more in place to the point that only an unparalleled and unlikely violent revolution could save the country?

He could resign.

It seems ridiculous, counter-intuitive, utterly absurd – but good strategic play often does – so let me explain.

Assume for the moment that Mr. Obama believes his role as President to be vulnerable on eligibility – that he sees, in other words, a real possibility that either a court of sufficient jurisdiction or public opinion could turn against him on this issue. If so, he should see his options in terms of the following major scenarios:

  • public opinion turns against him, but no court of sufficient jurisdiction has the courage to order him forced out.

    In this situation, his term becomes the mother of all lame duck sessions, the “blue dog” democrats abandon him, Republicans prevent the implementation of most of his agenda, the democrats lose big in 2010, and he spends the rest of his life hoping to hide in obscurity.

  • it goes to a court of sufficient jurisdiction but he’s allowed to resign before the verdict comes down.In this case he still loses any hope of returning to power in America, but Biden takes over as President; Mrs Clinton moves up; and a long running battle begins with Republicans and blue dogs trying to prevent implementation, Biden and Reid doing little either way, and Pelosi fighting Clinton for personal prominence throughout the remainder of their terms in office.
  • The appropriate court makes the appropriate ruling and he’s effectively perp walked out of the Whitehouse.In this case he and his backers lose everything – while Republicans win big.

    McCain becomes president; Palin, Gingrich, and Romney take over on energy and the economy; the Dow doubles overnight; the foreign policy reversals get reversed; and there are suddenly enough blue democrats in the House and Senate to bring the Liebermann wing of the party back to power – sending leading democrats including Dodd, Franks, Reid, and Pelosi to jail or retirement.

    On the downside Wilkerson’s vision of inner city riots and looting comes true – but people like me point out first that history always rewards those who confront and resolve over those who appease, and second that the economic surge triggered by the CAFE repeal and Drill Here. Drill now program offers new opportunities for dealing with the underlying problem: educational failure.

  • He resigns, claiming a sudden realization that he doesn’t meet the natural born requirement – and says that yes, it’s a mere technicality, but the President of the United States swears to uphold the constitution and so, with regrets, it’s both his duty and his honor to resign.In this case Biden takes over; Mrs. Clinton moves up; Obama’s powerbase is strengthened by huge worldwide media accolades; blue dogs become redder; opposition to the agenda withers; he gains public and party power over Pelosi and Reid, chairs a constitutional conference nominally called to remove the “stupidest” clause from the constitution but which also eliminates the 2nd (right to arms) and 22nd (term limits) amendments; and, nobody would dare raise the eligibility issue again before his triumphant return as President for life in 2012.

In other words, if he feels any vulnerability on eligibility, then resigning over the natural born clause now would be a strategic master stroke – and so the question is: does he feel vulnerable?

He should: he claims that his father was Kenyan holding British citizenship – and while his birth in Hawaii makes him a legal American citizen, his father’s citizenship denies him natural born status.

More subtly, his failure to reclaim American citizenship after his mother’s renunciation of that status in Indonesia makes him an illegal immigrant today.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but it’s his inability to meet the natural born criteria that counts here: first because it’s forgivable as in no way his fault; and more importantly because it’s mutable: meaning that he benefits from “noticing” it, resigning, and then getting the constitution changed to accommodate him.