Talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh and Democratic firebrand Rahm Emanuel agree on one thing: Barack Obama’s presidency could alter America for decades.
Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff, recently told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the financial meltdown provides an opportunity “to do things that Americans have pushed off for years.”
Limbaugh offered the contrary view, with this warning: “We're about to see an encroachment by the left that will take a generation to roll back.”
Here are a “dirty dozen” changes Team Obama is most likely to enact.
|Ratings [1 to 10 scale]:|
|Likelihood that the measure soon will be implemented.|
|Potential impact on the country, once the measure is enacted|
|Future political impact on the GOP and its supporters.|
|GOP Misery Index |
|An average of the three measures.|
1. Allow Anyone to Vote
[Probability 5.2 / U.S. Impact 6.4 / GOP Impact 7.8 / GOP Misery Index = 6.46]
The 2008 election triggered multiple voter-fraud investigations, and Democrats apparently have decided that, if everyone is declared eligible to vote, no one can be accused of voting illegally.
Registering to vote is just a “bureaucratic obstacle” they say. So Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., says she’ll introduce legislation to promote automatic, universal voter registration by the government.
Government voter registration would rely on existing databases, mail surveys, and door-to-door canvassing. This would make the demographic challenges facing Republicans that much tougher.
2. Ban Offshore Drilling
[Probability 7.0 / U.S. Impact 7.5 / GOP Impact 3.1/ GOP Misery Index = 5.86 ]
Blocking offshore oil drilling has been a mainstay of the Democratic agenda. Under political pressure, Congress let a drilling moratorium expire, and President Bush changed an executive order that prohibits it. Obama will be pressured to reinstate the executive prohibition. It wouldn’t even require congressional approval.
3. Close Guantanamo
[Probability 9.8 / U.S. Impact 7.5 / GOP Impact 2.0 / GOP Misery Index = 6.43]
Now that Guantanamo Bay is Obama’s problem, The New York Times is admitting the problems associated with shutting it down, stating it could lead to “the release of suspects for lack of evidence.” Jailing suspects in the United States could lead to the radicalization and recruitment of U.S. prison populations, along with the nightmare scenario of armed jailbreaks. Obama is closing the camp to placate the globalists -- but at what cost to U.S. security?
4. Curtail Gun Owners’ Rights
[Probability 8.0 / U.S. Impact 8.5 / GOP Impact 3.2 / GOP Misery Index = 6.56]
Obama strongly supports the right of cities and states to restrict gun owners’ rights. So it was not surprising that more than 350,000 Americans rushed to buy guns the week after the election. Expect Obama to appoint judges who oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Washington, D.C.’s, gun ban. No only will he have a chance to fill key vacancies of the nation’s appellate courts, Democrats are pushing through a new judgeship bill that will create more judicial slots – all to be vetted and filled by the Democrat-controlled Congress.
5. Enact Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants
[Probability 8.2 / U.S. Impact 7.8 / GOP Impact 8.8 / GOP Misery Index = 8.26]
Democrats know that amnesty for America’s 12 million illegal immigrants is the best way to lock in the gains it achieved in 2008.
Given the 2006 political backlash against immigration reform, however, look for Obama and Congress to move circumspectly. The first step will be legislation fast-tracking naturalization for all illegals serving in the U.S. military or attending college. Next, processing backlogs will be expedited. Given that 67 percent of Latinos voted for Obama in 2008, the long-term impact on the GOP could be devastating.
Amnesty would be “a nation killer” politically, says William Gheen, president of the Raleigh, N.C.-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). It would “destroy any future hopes for immigration enforcement or border security,” he warns.
6. End Faith-Based Initiatives
[Probability 7.7/ U.S. Impact 7.1 / GOP Impact 6.5 / GOP Misery Index = 7.10]
Obama insists that religious groups not discriminate in hiring, which could kill faith-based initiatives. This could mean, for example, that an Orthodox Jewish group would have to hire an avowed atheist to administer a faith-based program. “He’s rolling back the Bush protections,” Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, told The New York Times.
7. Give Driver’s Licenses to Illegal Immigrants
[Probability 8.5 / U.S. Impact 6.6 / GOP Impact 7.4 / GOP Misery Index = 7.43]
Obama says giving illegals licenses “is the right idea.”
Unfortunately, a driver’s license confers many other rights to anyone who holds it. With a license, you can board a commercial aircraft, open a checking account, or register to vote.
“When you give somebody a license you give them the keys to the kingdom,” says ALIPAC’s Gheen. “You have at that point given them a type of legal presence.”
8. Hike Taxes
[Probability 6.6 / U.S. Impact 7.2 / GOP Impact 6.3 / GOP Misery Index = 6.70]
Obama promised to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans -- quite a feat, considering that only about 60 percent of Americans earn enough to pay taxes in the first place. Political sleight-of-tongue aside, any realistic hope of extending the Bush tax cuts died on Nov. 4. Obama has yet to back off on his plan to hike taxes for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, despite the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.
9. Implement ‘Card Check’ in the Workplace
[Probability 6.0 / U.S. Impact 8.1 / GOP Impact 7.2 / GOP Misery Index = 7.10]
The unions helped elect Obama and expect some payback. They’re demanding approval of the Employee Free Choice Act, which, naturally, being a government program, seeks to take away workers’ free choice. The act would eliminate the confidential balloting in which workers now determine whether they want to be unionized. Even former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern warns that the measure could deny “freedom to many Americans.”
10. Impose Greenhouse Restrictions
[Probability 8.5 / U.S. Impact 7.8 / GOP Impact 2.3 / GOP Misery Index = 6.20]
Energy companies are bracing for a double whammy: Obama will push for the greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system he once said would bankrupt coal-fired power plants, while hitting oil companies with a windfall profits tax. It’s all part of “spreading the wealth around.”
11. Silence Talk Radio
[Probability 5.6 / U.S. Impact 7.8 / GOP Impact 8.5 / GOP Misery Index = 7.30]
Democratic Campaign Chairman Charles Schumer recently compared outlawing talk radio with “limiting pornography.” So should Rush, Sean, Laura, and the gang start looking for another line of work? The guess here is that the Democratic troika of Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Harry Reid will have bigger problems to deal with, at least initially. But count on frequent attempts to intimidate right-minded radio.
12. Promote Islamic Education
[Probability 5.5 / U.S. Impact 6.1 / GOP Impact 2.7 / GOP Misery Index = 4.76]
Despite the recession, Obama plans to pour $2 billion into reforming schools -- not in America, mind you, but in the Middle East.
It’s all part of Obama’s plan to defeat global terrorism by winning “the battle of ideas.” Obama promises to “work with moderates within the Islamic world” by establishing “a $2 billion Global Education Fund to work to eliminate the global education deficit and offer an alternative to extremist schools.”
Rush Limbaugh’s skeptical reaction: “You're going to be paying for schools that try to convert terrorists.”
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