To some degree, I regret not having blogging during the fiscal cliff negotiations. They may, to be sure, represent a low point for congressional Republicans, but they may also represent a turning point. The once-divided House Republicans emerged unified from their Williamsburg retreat. And Congress has now disposed of one of the few issues Obama emphasized in the campaign — and demagogued after his victory — increasing taxes on the wealthy.
He will not longer be able to use that issue (i.e., “tax the rich) against Republicans as effectively as he did in the campaign. And he now gives Republicans a chance to remind Americans about the second part of his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction: spending cuts.
Las Friday, we learned that despite his successful reelection campaign, President Obama does not have the power he needs to “fundamentally” transform the nation as he would like. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the incumbent’s attempt at constitutional overreach, striking down his use “the Constitution’s recess appointment power to make appointments despite the absence of a recess” to appoint members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
This ruling will make it relatively easy for employers to challenge all the pro-union rulings the NLRB has made since Obama announced the appointments. The Democrat cannot willy nilly put policies into place increasing regulation and giving more power to favored special interests.
And despite a largely favorable press, Obama’s current approval rating hovers just below that of George W. Bush at a similar point in his term, indeed, as George Will observed, the Democrat enjoys “the lowest approval rating (according to Gallup, 50 percent, four points lower than that of the National Rifle Association) of any reelected president when inaugurated since World War II”, with the eminent pundit opining that the incumbent’s “contradictory agenda [is] certain to stimulate a conservative revival.” [Read more…]