President Obama has decided that he would like to allow more Syran refugees into the country. Generally speaking, I don’t disagree with this policy and I think that an administration with even basic competency could make sure that they aren’t, you know, bringing automatic weapons or grenades with them or anything. This is one of the benefits of not being connected to the Middle East via land.
That having been said, the refugees have to go somewhere, which means that the Federal government will need some cooperation from the States in this matter. A President of even competent leadership ability would have been on the horn to the nation’s governors, one by one, explaining his policy and the steps he was taking to ensure the safety of the American people, who are understandably skittish after the attacks in Paris.
Instead of a President of even competent leadership ability, we have Obama, who is playing Internet troll instead of displaying leadership:
“Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America,” he said later. “At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of 3-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
It is a sign of Obama’s gross incompetence that even when I agree with what he’s doing in principle, I have to observe that the way he is going about doing it is so terrible that I can’t blame anyone for opposing it.
I think that probably Obama is genuinely surprised at the level of widespread disregard for Federal policy being displayed by Republican governors in response to what ought to be a non-partisan issue. I think further that he views this as personal towards him, and he is probably right.
What he fails to realize is that there are consequences to his “I’ve got a pen and a phone” style of “leadership.” Probably any other President, Republican or Democrat, would not be facing this kind of open opposition right now. That is because no other President in recent history has shown such blatant disregard for the constitutional prerogatives of offices other than the President of the United States.
No other President has burdened the States with onerous costs associated with his blatantly unconstitutional attempts to unilaterally rewrite Federal immigration policy. After shoving Obamacare down the states’ throats, Obama then responded to lower-than-expected enrollment numbers by unilaterally assessing billions of dollars in “providers’ fees” to the States. Obama also acted directly contrary to the Clean Air Act in his attempt to unilaterally change the emissions policy of all 50 states in response to the threat of climate change.
The list could go on and on. Over and over again throughout his tenure, Obama has shown little or no interest in either displaying leadership or building consensus. Instead he announces his preferred policy, and if people don’t go along, he implements it anyway and dares them to file a lawsuit to stop it.
Believe it or not, there are consequences to imposing this kind of “leadership” style upon men and women who have been ambitious and successful enough to become the governor of one of the 50 United States. One of those consequences is that they tend to dig in their feet and fight you for literally every inch of territory.
This is behavior that even a sixth grader could predict, but every time it happens, Obama goes out in front of the cameras and looks genuinely surprised at how the governors are balking at fulfilling his very reasonable request.
So here we are, and as even liberal Kevin Drum has noted, people are understandably skittish about letting Syrian refugees into the country, and governors realize that they will have to stand for re-election in front of these skittish people if they allow refugees in and one of them commits a terror attack. This is a situation where strong leadership, persuasive skills, and accumulated goodwill are necessary for Obama to get what he wants. Instead, Obama has spent the last 7 years trolling Republicans at every turn, declaring “I won,” and trying to ram things down their throats.
Obama doesn’t seem to realize that he’s passed the point of his tenure where either he or his party will face election again while he’s President. He’s no longer got any campaigning to do, he’s only got accomplishing stuff to do. But for Obama, the only thing he knows how to do is win elections via playing the Internet troll. And so, when it comes time for Obama to accomplish things, he thinks he can do it by the same tactic. He’s about to find out how very wrong he is.