The Sprawling, Dimming Age of Obama

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

In Barack Obama, America elected a chief executive whose Department of Justice has repeatedly targeted the press, whose Internal Revenue Service has gone gunning for conservatives, and whose government has elevated secrecy into a cardinal virtue. The Obama administration’s data grab is not just about national security, or Edward Snowden. It is also an epilogue befitting a candidate who delivered his 2008 convention acceptance speech in front of a temple façade dedicated to himself, and whose faith in government and the state is at the center of his presidency.

Under the Obama Rules, the unauthorized dissemination of non-classified government information is now “tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States.” Think Nixonism without the sweaty five o’clock shadow; Cheneyism without the dyspepsia, armed with a jump shot instead of a shotgun.

Forget Obama’s paeans to civil liberties. The Age of Obama is a celebration of ever-growing and ever-more intrusive government, with mandated healthcare, crony capitalism, and First Family daytime and late-night television appearances as the modern iterations of bread and circuses.

On Tuesday, Obama environmental adviser Daniel Schrag announced to the world that “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed,” only hours before the president rolled out his environmental regulatory scheme that would have the EPA issue more regulations, while constraining development of the Keystone XL Pipeline — jobs be damned. Talk about timing! Just a day later, first quarter GDP growth was revised downward to 1.8 percent.

Having previously been rebuffed by Congress over a carbon tax, the President didn’t propose anything to Congress this time. He simply announced what his executive branch would do unilaterally.

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