Voters made clear their dissatisfaction with President Obama on Tuesday. Even the liberal media was forced to acknowledge that their knight in shining armor had begun to tarnish beyond repair. But while Republicans are rightfully optimistic about what they can do with full control of Congress, conservatives should be aware of a very disturbing fact: Obama is now more dangerous than ever.
This wouldn’t typically be the case. A president who has shown a willingness to stay inside his constitutional authority would be chastened by a voter surge like we saw Tuesday, understanding the need to cross the aisle if he wants to secure his legacy. But Obama has shown no such willingness, and he does not seem to regard the 2014 vote as the obvious rejection of his policies that it is. He hasn’t quite gone so far as to dig his heels into the dirt, but he has made it clear that he won’t hesitate to veto Republican legislation.
Obama plans to go forward with his promised executive action on immigration. If he does, millions of illegal immigrants will be given a path to citizenship (and a path to the voting booth). This alone could prove to be devastating for the American economy, American culture, and the future state of illegal immigration. At an all-time low in the approval ratings, Obama has little reason to back down from his declaration. He’s not running for office again.
On Wednesday, MSNBC liberal Chris Matthews suggested that Obama was holed up with a bunch of “sycophants,” listening only to yes-men while ignoring the obvious ramifications of the election. That could easily be the case. It would explain quite a bit of what we’ve seen out of this president in the last six years. It also portends darkly for the next two.
Republicans Need a Backbone
The reconciliatory tone coming from Republican leadership is equally troubling. The mainstream media successfully deflected the worst of the Obama referendum by claiming that voters were fed up with “Washington gridlock.” Predictably, this led Mitch McConnell and others to promise that they would “get things done” over the next two years, which means compromising with the president and congressional Democrats. That could easily backfire in a number of ways.
One, if Congress and the president pass bipartisan legislation, it will be seen as a victory for Obama. The average American, sad to say, simply isn’t savvy enough (or invested enough) to see what’s really happening in Washington. An economic bounceback, for instance, would be a huge victory for the president even if it resulted from Republican-pushed deregulation and tax cuts.
Two, it’s not clear whether or not those pundits are right. Yes, Americans are angry at this perceived gridlock, but the informed voter is more concerned with Obama’s policies. The Republican wave didn’t happen because voters thought, “Oh, all right, time to give the other guys a shot.” It happened because people are deeply troubled by the direction of the country. That direction is almost entirely due to the set of Obama’s sails.
If Republicans want to set the stage for 2016, they have to be very careful. Obama is off the leash. He is largely oblivious to DNC pressure. And he is hungry for the chance to be remembered for something other than his skin color. None of this suggests a president ready to compromise, and that should worry Americans who hoped Tuesday would put Obama in his place.