Whatever happened to the Obama administration’s guiding principle never to let a serious crisis go to waste?
Ex-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel pronounced this shockingly brazen political principle before a group of Wall Street executives in November 2008.
He said this even before President Obama took office. It was after that historic election, a time when the president was riding high on a wave of good will and political euphoria that few American politicians have ever enjoyed. It was also a time when the president’s party controlled both chambers of Congress and could have approved just about any agenda the White House could dream up.
Mr. Emanuel was, at the time, speaking about the financial crisis that was savaging the stock market, straining unemployment rolls and simultaneously spiking both foreclosed homes and homelessness across the country.
“Things that we had postponed for too long, that were long-term, are now immediate and must be dealt with,” Mr. Emanuel elaborated. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”
Machiavellian? Sure. But, boy, did that crew talk a big game back then. It really sounded like they knew what they were talking about.
And he struck a bipartisan chord back then that sounds laughable today, knowing now how utterly hollow those words would turn out to be.
“The good news, I suppose, if you want to see a silver lining, is that the problems are big enough that they lend themselves to ideas from both parties for the solution,” Mr. Emanuel cooed.
You mean like, say, Obamacare? The single biggest, most strictly partisan government program ever created? These people have taken partisanship to its nastiest level in more than 80 years. Heck, Mr. Obama has turned partisanship against even his own party. When he doesn’t get his way, he goes around even fellow Democrats in Congress with his unconstitutional gambits.
So what did Mr. Emanuel’s “serious crisis” unwasted get us?
National debt exploded 70 percent to a staggering $17 trillion. Unemployment went from 6.8 percent up to 10 percent where it hovered for about a year and a half and is finally back down now to 6.1 percent. Today, a record 92 million Americans are no longer in the workforce, a rate of hopeless indolence not seen in the USA since Jimmy Carter was president.
Maybe America would have been better off if they had just decided to waste that serious crisis.
Now Mr. Obama faces another “serious crisis.” This one almost entirely of his own making.
Tens of thousands of children wandering the desert alone or shepherded by the modern equivalent of slave traders across the U.S.-Mexico border. Untold numbers have died, been raped and murdered.
All because Mr. Obama has promised to make them free Americans if they just touch our blessed borders — or at least that is the message the president conveys to these children and their families.
One little boy told a reporter through an interpreter: “He’s helping us. He signed papers and said all Guatemalans who come to the United States can stay. He’s helping us.”
Just look at the facts. Enforcement of immigration laws is a joke in the United States and everybody in South and Central America knows it. Then, Mr. Obama himself unilaterally granted amnesty to children in the U.S. illegally.
How does he now claim to be surprised by the humanitarian crisis of children flooding the border? What did he think would happen?
If ever there were a serious crisis not to let “go to waste,” it is this one now.
The president could finally get serious about enforcing immigration laws on businesses that hire illegals. He could begin real deportations. And he could send the starkest message yet by returning the children streaming across the border to their families back home.
Instead, the president keeps harping about “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is politicalese for refusing to enforce border laws until a widespread amnesty process is approved for all illegals. Of course, this is precisely why we have the humanitarian crisis on the border in the first place.
Mr. Obama plans to travel to Texas this week to attend political fundraisers. Astonishingly, the White House says that while is he collecting political campaign cash, he has no plans to visit the border.
Indeed, a serious crisis wasted by a president who apparently does not care.
Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com, and on Twitter @charleshurt.