President Obama appears to have forgotten -- or ignored -- why we have elections. One reason is to stop, or slow down, an agenda the public doesn't like.
When polls began reflecting buyer's remorse about Mr. Obama in 2010, voters elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and might well have done the same in the Senate in 2012 were it not for some weak GOP candidates, especially in Nevada and Delaware.
President Obama acts as if elections other than his own don't matter. His attitude seems to be, "I have the power and the rest of government be damned." In another speech (does he talk in his sleep?) last week in Minneapolis, the president said of House Republicans, "They don't do anything except block me and call me names." Actually, Republicans have passed scores of bills, virtually all of which have died in the Senate, because Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to bring them up for a vote, much less debate. It is Reid who is the real obstructionist.
Speaker John Boehner is threatening to file a lawsuit against the president for using his executive powers to bypass Congress. Critics, notably Neil Cavuto of Fox News, have accused the Republicans of engaging in a "stunt" that has no chance of succeeding.
Cavuto may be right, but not all stunts, if that's what this is, are without merit. While the courts might rule that Boehner lacks legal standing to sue the president, the lawsuit could serve as a teachable moment for the public, which polls show increasingly distrusts this president on matters both foreign and domestic.
Here's what a real stunt looks like. While in Minneapolis, President Obama met with two people he said had written him about their economic struggles. He ate a hamburger with a woman who said she is having difficulty paying her bills. Maybe the president picked up the check, helping her out with one meal. Other than that, how did he improve the woman's circumstances? Cutting taxes, lowering government spending and reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy would improve the economy so that the struggling woman -- and many like her -- might be able to find a better job with higher pay, or secure a raise in the job she already has.
This president believes in his policies even when they are not working.
As the late Pete Seeger sang about Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, so it might also be said of President Obama and the record of his administration: "We were knee deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool said to push on."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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