Robert Knight

Chutzpah is defined in some dictionaries as “shameless audacity.” It’s not a big enough word to describe what Barack Obama, author of the bestseller “The Audacity of Hope,” said after securing a GOP surrender in the fiscal showdown last week.

“We’ve got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis,” Mr. Obama said with a straight face.

In his nearly five years as president, Mr. Obama has governed almost solely by “crisis.” He has raised the national debt by $6 trillion over that time by lurching from one “crisis” to the next. He engineered massive bailouts, more borrowing, more dependency and spending billions on “green” projects whose beneficiaries funnel money back to Democrat campaign coffers. He unilaterally bombed Libya to end the Libyan crisis while doing nothing to forestall the real threat of Iran nearing the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Citing the global warming “crisis,” he almost secured Al Gore’s massive “cap and trade” carbon credit scheme in 2010, failing only because Democrats in fossil fuel states like West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana rebelled.

Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s first chief of staff, set the administration’s tone in 2008: “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do things that you would otherwise avoid.”

Proclaiming that America had a health care “crisis,” Mr. Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) jammed the Affordable Care Act through Congress without a single Republican vote. In a crisis, consensus is a luxury.

In his amazing lecture to the nation following the Senate’s 81-18 vote and the House’s 285-144 vote to end the shutdown, Mr. Obama used a tone geared toward a classroom of dim-witted children. For good measure, he threw down the gauntlet over immigration amnesty and a new farm bill.

Soon, we’ll hear again about the immigration “crisis” as liberals work to create millions of new government dependents, i.e., reliable Democrat voters. We’ll also hear about a food “crisis.” The shocking reality is that a mere 50 million Americans – about a sixth of the population – are now on food stamps, up from 26 million in 2007.

We’re also in an “obesity” crisis, according to Michelle Obama. I can’t decide whether to skip a meal or run up the max on a government SNAP food stamp debit card. What’s the most patriotic thing to do?

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.