The Illogic of a Passionate President

obama-spockPresident Obama has finally taken action on gun violence. Billed as one of the most cerebral presidents in history – jokingly compared to Spock on more than one occasion – he has apparently gotten in touch with his human half. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and numerous other news outlets ran photos of an emotional president fed up with gun violence and ready to take action. The problem is not that we should doubt the sincerity of his emotions, but that we should question the logic of his actions. Here are five reasons why the president’s actions on gun violence frustrates his critics on both the left and right. Continue reading

What’s A Constitution Among Friends?

Obama_Boehner_golfThe press has blown a gasket the past few days crowing about the breach of protocol related to Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress. The charge, and it’s not without merit, is that “Ambassadors and other public ministers” must be received by the president, as stated in Article Two, Section Three of the Constitution. As head of state, the argument goes, it’s the president’s right to meet with other heads of state. By inviting Netanyahu to speak and bypassing the White House, critics contend that Speaker Boehner ignored the Constitution.

The Constitution is rather vague on this issue. The language of the relevant section states that presidents “shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers.” In the context of how Article Two is framed, Section Three lists what might be considered duties of the president rather than prerogatives (which are dealt with in the previous section). In this sense, while protocol may have been violated by not clearing Netanyahu’s visit with the White House, the refusal of the president to meet with the head of a foreign nation could also be construed as a violation of constitutional duty. As read, the president is required in his symbolic capacity as our leader to meet with foreign heads of state. He might refuse, but such action can only be interpreted as a diplomatic statement, and an antagonistic one at that.
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Free Community College? Not quite.

President Obama, the Giver-in-Chief, has come up with a doozy of an idea this time.  The President announced (via a Youtube-like video with the hashtag #FreeCommunityCollege) that he would like to see the first two years of community college free for those who “work for it.”  There’s a novel idea.

The President is correct that higher education is the path forward for Americans looking for opportunities.   Community colleges provide an affordable start for students seeking a four-year college degree.  In addition, the vocational programs that many of them offer are vital to American growth and promise respectable and often high-paying jobs in service industries.  Here in Houston, the demand for welders with the proper training and certification from our area two-year colleges has pushed welding salaries in the six figure range.

The weakness of the President’s proposal is that it’s a political stunt based on a faulty premise.  Here are five reasons why “Free Community College” is a bad idea. Continue reading

Hope, Change, and Honest Graft

obama-community-organizerPresident Obama’s election in 2008 was heralded as the start of a new American presidency. He was hyped as a man above partisanship, politics, and parochialism.  His campaign promised a more enlightened perspective from a man whose life’s story crossed racial, cultural, and even continental borders.   He was the novus homo of the American Presidency.

Except that he wasn’t.  Most of my liberal Democrat friends are now waking up to face the reality that the man who was going to make it all better isn’t all that.

It turns out that President Obama is not the global man of the 21st century everyone made him out to be.  To the contrary, the President comes to us from the 19th century.  And his worldview isn’t that of a global citizen but rather of a party boss from the streets of Chicago. Continue reading