Are we watching the meltdown of Barack Obama, soon to become a radioactive pile from which voters will run come November? Or are we instead witnessing the stirrings of a kind of political phoenix heretofore unseen in American history?
By any traditional measure, news in the past week or two alone should sink Barack Obama's chances for a second term. First, Obama biographer Stanley Kurtz reported new and definitive proof that, as a 34-year-old embarking on his political career, Obama belonged to the anti-capitalist -- indeed, socialist -- New Party, a phase of his political development he has not only never repudiated but also has hidden from the American people. By any traditional measure, such news would at least intensify any Obama meltdown. But wait. Kurtz and other researchers discovered this fact back in 2008, only to be smeared by the Obama campaign as not wrong but "crackpot." They were right all along and deserve an apology. (Don't hold your breath.)
Do Obama and his campaign get away with lying about this key entry in the president's political resume? Does Obama get away with having masked his early efforts to socialize America? So far, even against the backdrop of imploding European socialism, the answers are "yes."
Next, there was the president's Rose Garden amnesty of June 15. That's when the president seized legislative powers by declaring a brand-new law to exempt an entire class of illegal aliens -- those 16 to 30 years old -- from deportation laws enacted by Congress. Frankly, revolutions have started over shorter dictatorial overreach. As kids in elementary school should know, but aren't taught -- no time with all those sex-ed and "green" energy requirements -- the executive branch doesn't make law; it executes it. Even Barack Obama has repeatedly made the point.
What changed? The conventional wisdom, assuming the White House is in political "panic," explains this presidential diktat as a desperate act of pandering to anti-immigration-law Hispanic voters. No doubt. But as Mark Krikorian noted at National Review Online: "One needs to ask why the White House thought it could get away with such a shocking power grab. And the answer is that no one stopped them before, so they figured ... they could go further."