Let the Battles Begin

Gas prices are falling. The unemployment rate is slowly dropping. If you don’t see the underlying problems that are ongoing, you might think things are turning a corner. Yet when an unemployment rate falls, is it because the economy is robust, or have people taken themselves out of the job market? Hint: it’s the latter. Our workforce is at its lowest ebb in decades. When you lose hope finding a job, you fall back on the government, which is exactly where this administration wants you.

But if you’re counting on always being part of the safety net, don’t get too comfortable:

My Plan

About those wonderful new numbers at the gas pump, ask yourself just what the president has done to achieve this. Has he opened up new oil exploration? Remember, this is the man who refuses to go forward with the Keystone Pipeline. What we have to realize is that even when the government does its best to impede recovery, there are times when market forces create a better situation anyway. Yet that won’t stop Obama from taking credit, despite the evidence to the contrary:

Policies Working

The new Congress meets today to get set up and running. Both houses are now controlled by Republicans. I’m withholding judgment on their performance until I actually can evaluate their performance. They need to remember their primary task:

Dusting Off

It’s time to start observing this document again, and by observing I mean following it. That’s going to be the yardstick by which I do my evaluation.

Obama is going to double down on executive actions, and he threatens to use the veto for anything that comes across his desk that he doesn’t like. Will Republicans pass decent bills and then get enough Democrat support to override his vetoes? The battles have only begun. Let them come, I say–let them come.

Happy New Year? Will Government Help or Hurt?

The last two days I’ve looked at the role of Christians and the moral/cultural climate as we peer into 2015. I’ve said that the key to this being a happier year is whether real Christians take their task as salt and light seriously. Then I dissected the trend of the culture morally, showing the immense job we have ahead of us.

Today, let’s consider government’s role, and what it does, either to help reverse current trends or push us further along a wrong path.

Good & EvilUnlike some conservatives/libertarians, I don’t think that government is a necessary evil. Rather, it is established by God to bring order to society. According to Romans 13, it is to be a servant of God to protect those who do good and punish those who do wrong.

I can see why many chafe under civil government when it does the opposite of what it is intended by God to accomplish. I feel the same way. When I survey what our government has done in the past (and being a historian, I’ve done a lot of surveying), I can point to many times when it has deviated from God’s directive. Yet, in America, regardless of the failures, we’ve done better than almost any other nation on the globe, both currently and in the past.

Obama Arrogant LookI regard the ascension of Barack Obama into the presidency as a watershed in American history. His vision to fundamentally transform the country was not just rhetoric. He is the first president who, in the deepest part of his being, doesn’t really like and appreciate the nation he is presiding over. He doesn’t like its history, the way the government was set up in the Constitution, nor the free-market approach to prosperity.

In short, he is the antithesis of everything America was designed to be.

His election was supposed to heal the racial divide, but his words and actions have only widened that divide. He has put the federal government in charge of as much as possible, from student loans to the healthcare system. His outright support for homosexuality and same-sex marriage has encouraged our retreat from Biblical morality, and he is the first president ever to address Planned Parenthood—the foremost provider of abortions—and ask God’s blessing on their efforts.

Obama’s background is a deadly mix of anti-colonial resentment, Marxist ideology, and black liberation theology. All three fuel his drive to remake America in his own image.

During his tenure, we have seen one scandal after another—the IRS, the NSA, the VA, Benghazi, etc. In each case, he has swept the dirt under the rug, and the media has obliged by ignoring the potentially devastating nature of the infractions and the blithe dismissal of solutions.

Stymied by Congress, he has now decided to operate as a lone wolf—first by executive orders for which he has no authority; lately, by mere executive memos that even fall short of an official order. His word is all that is necessary to make law.

This is, in summary, the beginnings of a tyranny.

The Obama vision was rejected soundly in the 2014 congressional and state elections. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Republicans now control 70 of the 99 state legislative bodies and both houses of the Congress. Based on that, one might expect a genuine attempt at reversal. But will we see it?

Boehner-McConnellAlready, many suspect that Republican leaders, spurred on by the Chamber of Commerce, are in league with the president on the immigration amnesty. Will they do anything at all to counteract it? The next two months will reveal the truth.

Are Republicans truly committed to repealing Obamacare, step by step? Yes, they still have the hurdle of a presidential veto of anything they pass, but will they take a principled stand, at least? Again, we’ll see.

The Supreme Court may do their job for them on that issue: a case is going to be decided that could kill Obamacare for good. There is hope.

There are two opposite things that Christians must never do: we cannot believe that the government is our savior; neither can we withdraw from the political scene and just let things play out. We must have a realistic view of what government can and cannot accomplish, but then we have an obligation to actively work for the good it can accomplish.

Christians & PoliticsIt still comes back to what I said two days ago: the key for a happier New Year lies with those who are devoted followers of Jesus Christ. They are the only ones with the ultimate Truth to share, and they should be the ones who have the wisdom to apply that Truth properly to society.

Will we be wise? I wish I could be more certain of that, but that goal remains at the top of my prayers.

About Those Election Results

I was going to move on from the election results today. I really was. But I just can’t. I blame the political cartoonists; they’re doing some of their best work right now, and I would hate to let it go to waste. Let’s see how they’re handling this GOP victory and corresponding Democrat defeat.

What makes the victory even more compelling is that the media remained solid in support of the president and his minions. Yet the people pushed aside that heavy influence in their favor and voted against them anyway. It appears the strategy didn’t work:

Low Information

Democrats are fond of calling conservatives “deniers” when it comes to issues such as global warming [which isn’t exactly happening, so I guess I’m a “denier”], but they are becoming experts at real denial themselves:

Upset with Republicans

As for the president, he’s acting as if this whole election thing is no big deal:

Cavalier

He’s also claiming that he “hears” those who didn’t vote, implying they are all on his side. That’s an amazing trick:

Hearing Voices

Ocean of People

Obama is unbowed by the results. His approach is as in-your-face as ever:

Give & Take

Toast

And after accusing Republicans of every kind of evil and stalling all legislation in the Senate for years, we’re suppose to believe this election is a call for Republicans to be more conciliatory toward Democrats and be bipartisan [translation: you do what we want even though you won and we lost]?

Work Together

Let me be clear—to quote nearly all politicians—I believe in reconciliation and in principled compromises that advance good policies, and Republicans shouldn’t have a chip on their shoulders and refuse to work with Democrats. But keep in mind that goes both ways.

Acquiescence to intransigence on the Democrat side—insistence to continue their failed policies—would be to repudiate the results of this election, and Republicans must not go there. They must be principled and lead accordingly.

Their ideas may continue to be rejected by President Obama, and he may veto everything they try to do, but if he does, the American public will receive an overdue education that should lead to another Republican victory in 2016.

Lighting the Way

The good news continues. The Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee has pulled back from many of the ads they were going to run on behalf of Mary Landrieu in Louisiana for the runoff election. Apparently, they think it’s not worth the cost. She will undoubtedly be leaving her Senate seat and returning to the private sector.

Also, an update on what I reported yesterday. I had written that the GOP now controls 2/3 of the state legislative bodies. That number is now 70%. So, if you stop and think about the political trend of the country, it is encouraging. Republicans now have the majority in Congress, 2/3 of governors, and 70% of state legislative chambers. If that’s not a wave, what is it?

There’s only one roadblock for a complete turnaround, and it resides in the White House, where the president has infamously said he has a phone and a pen, and he will act unilaterally—something he pretty much repeated in his press conference on Wednesday. Yet most of the voters on Tuesday repudiated that message:

Pen & Ballot

This penchant for acting like he is the government must end. The government established by the Constitution did not authorize the president to be a king, let alone behave as if he has some kind of divine right to do as he wishes, regardless of the other branches of the government and the desires of those for whom the government operates—the people. The message should be clear to him:

New Paperweight

The issue is whether he is listening or even cares to listen. One commentator opined last night that it might be that Obama doesn’t truly grasp what took place on Tuesday, and may not get the full message until he is forced to deal with a Republican Congress beginning in January. I’m not sure that’s the case; I’m more inclined to think he knows what has happened, but just stubbornly refuses to submit to it.

Word is out that he resents having been put on the back burner by his party during the campaign. Little good it did them; the voters still knew who is responsible for our current mess:

Thank You Cards

But one election is not our salvation politically. The nation remains in critical condition spiritually. Government isn’t, and never will be, our savior. Unless we turn things around spiritually, we’re still going the wrong direction:

Handbasket

I pray Republicans will accomplish what they can within the limits of what government is ordained by God to do, and within the constraints of constitutional authority. That by itself, though, will not be enough. The root of our problems has never changed: the sinfulness of man. We must address that with the Gospel if we ever hope to move the nation in a new direction.

Ultimately, it won’t be government that turns things around; it will be the Christians in society. We need to remember that Jesus called us the salt and the light. We need to be vigilant to preserve the good in our society and to provide light on the path toward righteousness and true Biblical justice.

America’s Nero?

So now we’re sending humanitarian aid—finally—to those displaced in Iraq by the bloodthirsty ISIS terrorist organization. And we’re dropping a few bombs on ISIS positions. I wonder how many Americans have been fooled into thinking this somehow represents decisive action? I don’t recall which military spokesman it was, but someone in the last day or two clearly stated that our pinprick policy of bombing wasn’t going to put any real dent in the ISIS forward movement.

Back when President Obama was being questioned about this rising threat to Iraq’s stability, he dismissed ISIS as the “junior varsity” compared to Al Qaeda. Well, it appears he was somewhat shortsighted in his dismissal.

Life's a Beach

While he’s “busy” vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, reports now indicate ISIS is far more threatening than Al Qaeda at its peak. It’s better funded, better organized, and has set up what it calls an Islamic State in what was a section of Iraq. Our leader never saw this coming:

Islamic State

For Obama, of course, the most important thing is never to get America involved again in Iraq. Circumstances, though, may foil his plans:

Dragged

No matter where one looks with respect to the Obama foreign policy, one sees American retreat from leadership and the looming threat of more terrorist attacks here at home. With the congressional elections coming up soon, Democrats are scrambling to disassociate themselves from the presumed head of their party:

Run

Even Hillary Clinton, already transparently running for the top job, is attempting to put some distance between herself and her former boss:

What Difference

That’s going to be a hard sell. After all, she was his secretary of state, responsible for enacting all aspects of his foreign policy. She can’t legitimately claim to be separate from his policies. Her best hope is the collective amnesia of the average American voter.

Obama has demonstrated such a high level of incompetence that, coupled with his unconstitutional power grabs and the use of government agencies to attack political opponents, it’s no wonder the “I” word is being bandied about. Republican leaders are aware that Democrats seek to use that to gain sympathy for Obama and reverse the electoral tide this November. That’s why Republicans, on the whole, are not falling for a strategy that has no hope of success in the Democrat-controlled Senate, no matter how eager Democrats are for them to take the bait:

The I Word

So, in a perverse sort of way, it’s Democrats who are pushing the impeachment talk. Even Obama himself wants to use it for his advantage:

To Get Impeached

Right. As if that’s ever going to happen.

Meanwhile, our own Nero continues to play his figurative fiddle while all around us burns.

Race, Hypocrisy, & the Coming Elections

No one can argue that racial discrimination is entirely a thing of the past. As long as there are human beings, there will be those who harbor ill will toward anyone who is “different,” a word that can be defined in numerous ways. We’re talking about a feature of life simply called “sin,” another term that has innumerable manifestations, both personally and in society.

Yet the United States has gone to greater lengths than any other nation to do whatever government is capable of doing to minimize the effects of unfair discrimination. Civil rights acts passed after the Civil War were the first steps toward rectifying a wrong; then the more well-known Civil Rights Act of 1964 further solidified the nation’s stance that we should aim toward a colorblind society, one in which all people, regardless of outward appearance or ethnicity, are to be judged equally under the law.

Some innocently thought that the election of a black president (or at least one of mixed parentage) would be the proverbial final nail in the coffin of racial tensions. But when that president continues to bring up race himself and hires on associates with huge racial chips on their shoulders, it becomes impossible to leave race behind.

Take Eric Holder, for instance, our attorney general, the man who heads up the Justice Department. From the beginning of his tenure, he has made race a feature of his concept of carrying out justice. Under this administration, we have taken a giant leap backward with regard to race relations:

Color Blind

Something tells me Holder isn’t exactly on board with that whole “equal under the law” idea. And he’s particularly upset by the most recent Supreme Court decision that allows Michigan to stop making decisions on university admissions based on affirmative action policies. Really, all the Michigan state government is saying is that we ought to stop making race a cornerstone for policy—that we should treat everyone equally. How is that unfair discrimination?

Discriminating

What the Court actually has done is reinsert a little common sense and “fair” play into the way we judge one another.

That’s not going to stop President Obama’s party from making race one of the foundations for the upcoming congressional elections. More than ever, Democrats seem determined to make a case that race is the central issue on the political scene:

Dem Platform

What this seeks to accomplish, of course, is to divert attention from the new healthcare crisis created by Obamacare, which may very well be the key factor pushing voters to the polls this November. Yet the drumbeat will go on, as Republicans will be accused of every sort of evil intent, not only on race but with regard to a supposed war on women:

Racist Woman-Hater

Don’t you love the logic in that cartoon? The real question is whether the American public is going to fall for this logic once again. Democrats will do their best to spread this type of disinformation, but it will take a lot of money to do so. That leads to another glaring bit of hypocrisy: the Democrat theme lately is that Republicans are the party dependent on the billionaires to get elected, whereas studies show that the biggest political donors are those giving to the Democrats. While Republicans stand accused of being the “fat cats,” Democrats are awash in cash:

Too Much Influence

This bit of hypocrisy needs to be exposed for what it is. Democrats truly fear what may happen in these elections, and they have good reason to fear:

Heaven Real

For the sake of the country, may their fears be realized.

Travails of Obamacare

Last week I provided a litany of political cartoons demonstrating the ongoing issues with the implementation of Obamacare. That was so well received that I’ve decided to offer another cartoon series today. The follies of this “landmark” piece of legislation are so legion that cartoons are the most appropriate way of highlighting them, in my opinion. We can begin with a reminder of how this bill became law in the first place:

Force Fed

It’s a given that it wouldn’t have passed the current Congress; Republicans in the House would have stood unified against it. That’s another reminder, if we need one, that midterm congressional elections are just as important as presidential elections.

As the new law lumbers into action, a few kinks have been discovered:

Flowchart

And when things don’t work out as the starry-eyed proponents expected, there’s only one thing to do—that’s right, throw it in the Republicans’ lap and blame them. Why? Because it’s standard operating procedure for this administration:

Fix It

 Made Me Do

Yet, despite this comedy of errors, Obama and his people put on a happy face and say nothing’s wrong. They seem incapable of seeing the train wreck approaching:

 Right Track

The latest news is that many of the unions that were solidly in Obama’s camp have suddenly awakened to the disaster that awaits them if it should ever be implemented. They are crying out for—shall I say it?—hope and change. But again, what do we hear from the administration?

Right on Time

Is this the cluelessness of the ideologically blind or just another example of dishonesty in the hope of fooling the masses one more time? Maybe both?