Tags: barack obama | democrat primaries | election | healthcare

Obama Has Reason to Worry

Obama Has Reason to Worry
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, 03 December 2019 12:51 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Former President Obama is getting restless.

He stole the Democrat Party away from the Clintons in 2008 to start a movement, decades in the making, to — as he put it — “remake America” pushing it further to the left than any other Democrat leader in history.

Perhaps he did is job too well.

Obama’s recent, public counsel to the 2020 field about moving too far to the left too quickly is an acknowledgement that his movement is in peril. Coupled with his private comments about Biden’s difficulty connecting with voters, the 44th President appears to be increasingly trying to salvage the course he set out for the future of the party and the nation.

While all the frontrunners have embraced the idea of refilling the ranks of Democrat voter rolls by supporting some measure of an open-borders policy, they now are also associated with a wide range of radical proposals and nanny state policies that make them virtually unelectable.

It is important to remember that Obama was only a U.S. Senator for only two years before launching his presidential campaign. While a low-ranking Illinois State Senator, he often voted “present” or in other words abstained from voting on highly controversial issues.

Obama then campaigned as a centrist, talking about job creation, tax cuts, and a better future for marginalized minorities. After taking office he went on to orchestrate one of the biggest lies in the history of American politics and government, that the Affordable Care Act would lower insurance costs for individuals while allowing them to keep their doctors and current plans. During his presidency, premiums rose 43% and millions of were kicked off their health care plans.

He did little for minorities, particularly struggling urban blacks, leaving office with more than 600,000 more black families living under the poverty line. He weaponized the federal government bureaucracy to strip away personal privacy and regulate industries without Congressional approval in ways never before seen. His administration attacked religious freedom and handed billions of dollars over to the terrorists in Iran. The number of food stamps recipients went up by 10.7 million people, a staggering 32 percent jump during his presidency.

It was masterful. With an easy smile and lofty rhetoric, the faithful student of Alinsky, Obama knew if he was going to move the country to the left, he needed to present his ideas in a fashion that would be accepted by mainstream voters. As I’ve written before, the genius of the Left is their ability to indoctrinate people and shape public opinion without people realizing they’re being manipulated.

That’s the winning strategy. That’s the way you change policies and perceptions. Obama did it so well that even today pundits and commentators still classify him as a moderate.

Warren, Sanders, Bloomberg, and Biden don’t have the Obama magic because they don’t appreciate as he did that democracies tend to resist bold, broad, precipitous change. Like turning an aircraft carrier, change comes gradually, requiring a combination of patience and precision. As a country based on individual liberty and personal responsibility, the majority chafe at the nanny state or, worse, policies that smack of socialism.

Obama risked pressing the Affordable Care Act to create a tipping point on healthcare in America that he hoped would ultimately lead to a total government takeover of the health care industry. He then, abandoning formal Congressional action on policy almost entirely, added shadowy strategies like those of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Operation Chock Point to the mix. He changed Obamacare more than 40 times by fiat rather than through Congress. He marginalized the Legislative Branch by privately encouraging then-Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid to forgo passing a budget for nearly three years.

Though frustrated with what he sees, Obama isn’t one to sit on the sidelines. Conservatives and Republicans should take note and take that seriously.

With President Trump showing resiliency and a serious enthusiasm gap between moderates and leftists in the Democrat primaries, a restless Obama may take another page out of his community organizing past and refocus his attention on local races.

Make no mistake, while Republicans continue to struggle with building local political infrastructure to counter a wave of new immigrants, leftist activism and Democrat voter registration initiatives, Obama could turn his attention to efforts to control the decennial redistricting process. For a frustrated Obama, to save his movement, the chaotic 2020 field may end up being a side show to the more lower-profile effort of taking control of state legislatures, thereby driving changes in public policy from the ground up.

Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004, as Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. Basile's critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq" (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving fairer coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University, a local elected official and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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TomBasile
Former President Obama is getting restless.
barack obama, democrat primaries, election, healthcare
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2019-51-03
Tuesday, 03 December 2019 12:51 PM
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