In a recent meeting with a leading Republican presidential hopeful, I asked the candidate why he’s running for the nation’s highest office. He looked me in the eye and stated flatly his belief that America may not survive a second Obama term—that President Obama’s policy agenda is so radical, and his willingness to circumvent congressional authority so flagrant, that America might never recover.
I wasn’t surprised to hear such a stark analysis of the stakes ahead in 2012. It is a sentiment shared by many top Republicans today, and it’s one that I agree with. A reelected Obama, armed with a fresh mandate and uninhibited by political constraints, would have an opportunity to fulfill what he promised to do when he first ran for President in 2008: to “fundamentally transform America.”
Few areas of American life would be left untouched after eight years of Obama. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Obama’s budget plans for the next 10 years would lead to a deficit totaling $9.5 trillion, and that by 2021 public debt would equal 87% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Net interest payments, according to the CBO, would increase by 400% from 2012 to 2021, from 1.7% to nearly 4% of the GDP.
Republicans in Congress would do what they could to restrain Obama’s agenda. But through his use of vetoes, executive orders, policy initiatives, recess appointments and signing statements, as well as thousands of government bureaucrats issuing a web of regulations, President Obama would be able to accomplish much of what he couldn’t get through Congress.
Obama would no doubt veto significant spending cuts along with any attempts to repeal ObamaCare.
On gun control, the Obama Justice Department recently began holding meetings to determine what the administration may be able to do to bypass Congress and shape gun policy through the executive branch.
In March, according to the Huffington Post, Obama said this to gun control activist Jim Brady concerning increased gun regulation: “I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”
Congressional liberals were unable to pass cap-and-trade legislation in a Democratic Congress, but that hasn’t stopped the White House from implementing harsh energy regulations over the last two years. The Environmental Protection Agency has already started to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at some energy plants.
Two new EPA pollution regulations will hit the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their jobs, and electric rates will skyrocket, according to a new study based on government data.
Obama pledged to take up immigration reform at the beginning of his presidency, and left-wing Hispanic activists are angry that nothing’s been passed. Dozens of policy makers are pushing the President to sign an executive order halting the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants, even those who have knowingly overstayed their visas.
Obama says he remains committed to a legislative solution. But, whether through executive fiat or legislation, amnesty would be at the top of an Obama second-term agenda.
In April, Obama made it clear that so-called gay marriage would be high on his second-term agenda, telling gay rights advocates in San Francisco, “Our work is not finished.”
Obama has in recent years maintained that he supports civil unions for homosexual couples but has hesitated to call for redefining marriage. Instead, he continues to tell us that he is “wrestling” and “grappling” with, not to mention “evolving” on, gay marriage.
Nobody believes him. Obama supports gay marriage full-stop. He has already called for the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” begun offering benefits to the same-sex partners of federal workers and ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the federal law that bans homosexual marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act.
Obama supports homosexual marriage but knows it is a political liability. If he wins a second term, he will appoint hundreds of judges to the federal courts and probably at least one Supreme Court justice who will redefine marriage by judicial fiat.
As ambitious and radical as Obama’s first two and a half years have been, many liberal activists are upset at what they believe has been Obama’s timidity in pursuing his agenda. It may be difficult for many conservatives to believe, but much of Obama’s left-wing base—young people, minorities, unions—are disappointed and disillusioned that Obama has not done more.
Many Democrats may be reluctant to vote in 2012—which is why Obama will spend the next year and a half making even more promises to them. And this time, if he wins, he will have little reason to hold back in pursuing his agenda.
At a recent campaign event in Chicago, Obama exhorted supporters to vote and stay involved in his campaign. “There is unfinished business. The vision hasn’t changed. What we care about hasn’t changed. Our commitments should not have changed,” he said. “And the question is, do we finish the job. I’m prepared to finish the job. I hope you are too.”
A second Obama term would move America beyond the tipping point, toward European-style socialism. Two things need to happen in order to avoid that outcome: voters need to understand—and the Republican nominee needs to candidly explain—what’s at stake.