(NY Post) He’s the Staller in Chief — President Obama has punted almost every hot-button issue past the key midterm elections on Nov. 4.
Obama has postponed decisions on a raft of contentious issues related to ObamaCare, Gitmo, immigration and his Cabinet.
This is partly to protect Democratic candidates and hold onto the Senate. But it’s more than that. Obama plans a number of radical moves later this year when the administration believes the media, and the public, are paying less attention.
This includes a forced transformation of our neighborhoods, a huge influx of immigrants and billions of dollars in additional taxes.
Will midterm voters really be fooled? Probably not. Republicans are expected to hold both the Senate and the House starting in the next term. But whether anyone can stop the executive actions Obama quietly plans is another matter.
In fact, the president is hoping you don’t even notice.
In June, Obama vowed “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” but now he’s taking no executive action on immigration until after the midterms.
The White House reportedly is preparing to provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in late November, including work permits and green cards for up to 34 million.
Immigration and border security have become the most divisive and important issues of this election cycle, thanks to growing threats from Islamic terrorists and Ebola. Most Americans already opposed amnesty.
Even though Attorney General Eric Holder stepped down last month, Obama hasn’t named a replacement — that’s because he has someone more radical in mind: Thomas Perez.
Perez, now serving as labor secretary, is a dangerous race-baiter — and a shameless liar to boot.
He recently told an all-black crowd at Howard University that he learned while visiting a Mississippi school district that officials were locking up black kids for farting. He used the outrageous anecdote as an example of lingering white racism in the Deep South. But as I reported earlier in The Post, the African-American school superintendent denied the whole story and said Perez never even visited schools there.
School administrators aren’t the only people Perez has framed as racists. He’s also compared bankers to Klansmen, whom he says practice a more “subtle” kind of racism that’s “every bit as destructive as the cross burned in a neighborhood.”
As the Justice Department’s civil rights chief, Perez sabotaged a landmark housing discrimination case before the Supreme Court to protect his use of the dubious “disparate impact” theory to shake down bankers for billions in payola for Democrat groups.
When Congress investigated his role, Perez swore he never personally intervened in the case, even though e-mails and voicemail transcripts say otherwise. In fact, the evidence shows Perez went out of his way to derail the high-court case — including flying to meet with the petitioners to get them to drop the case and then insisting they not leave a paper trail.
Radical Latino activist groups have pressured Obama to appoint Perez as the second-ever Latino attorney general. But Perez is certainly not someone who will enforce the nation’s laws equally — or enforce them at all in the case of illegal immigration. As he revealed in a National Press Club speech last week, he’s all about getting more immigrants in to vote for Democrats to bring about more “shared prosperity.”
Obama is expected to ram through his radical nod in the lame-duck session before newly elected Senate members take their seats in January.
War on terror
Even though the Army’s investigation into Bowe Bergdahl’s desertion of his post in Afghanistan is complete, the results won’t be released until Pentagon brass can “review” it. That’s bureaucrat-speak for “bury.”
There’s little doubt election politics factored into the delay. The case has become a political powder keg for President Obama and Democrats. The GOP would justifiably make great hay of the report, especially if it absolves Bergdahl of any wrongdoing.
Since the president traded five imprisoned Taliban leaders for Bergdahl, the US Government Accountability Office has declared the swap illegal, and nearly two dozen House Democrats have joined Republicans in officially condemning the move for making “Americans less safe.”
In addition, the Taliban deal appears to have encouraged the Islamic State to put up American hostages as trade bait to free other terrorist detainees, namely “Lady al-Qaeda” Aafia Siddiqui. And now lawyers for dangerous al Qaeda prisoners at Gitmo are arguing for their release, as well, based on the precedent set by Obama’s Taliban amnesty.
In fact, a Gitmo parole board just approved for release al Qaeda assassin Muhammad al-Zahrani to Saudi Arabia. His lawyers successfully argued that the terrorist no longer meets the threshold for a high-risk detainee because Obama, with his release of the Taliban commanders, lowered the bar for what’s considered high-risk.
“We have demonstrated that Mr. al-Zahrani represents a lower threat than the [Taliban] detainees that have been released,” his defense team wrote the board, “and therefore does not rise to the standard for ‘continuing significant threat to the security of the United Sates.’ ”
Fellow soldiers and other critics fear the military’s delayed Bergdahl investigation is shaping up to be a whitewash. A senior Army official told me court-martialing Bergdahl would “make the president look bad” — and by extension, make Democrats look weak on national security at a time when the war on terror has rekindled. Dragging out his case past the election keeps voters from being reminded of the bad Taliban deal.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new power-plant restrictions that will cost the industry some $366 billion, but the onerous rules won’t be finalized until later this year.
This looks to be just the beginning of more regulations and fines Obama will pursue without congressional approval to pursue his environmental visions.
Obama also refuses to make a pre-election decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline. A move on the massive oil and gas pipeline, opposed by environmental activists, has been delayed for six years. Now it has been delayed again by the president, who fears angering his environmental allies.
The administration has announced that health-insurance premium rates on the ObamaCare exchange won’t be available until Nov. 15, when the Healthcare.gov website is set to start enrolling people for 2015.
How politically convenient.
Rates are expected to go up by a whopping 14%, but voters won’t know because they won’t be revealed until after the election. Last year, enrollment began on Oct. 1. Clearly, the date was pushed back to hide the increases from the voting public.
Masking the costs of Obama’s unpopular law until after the midterms proves just how bad a deal ObamaCare is for consumers — and just what a liability it is for Democrats like North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, one of its biggest backers.
Obama is expected to hand even more concessions to Iran in pursuit of a nuclear deal — but not until after Election Day. As part of the pact, set for Nov. 24, Obama is reportedly prepared to suspend economic sanctions against Tehran and allow it to triple the number of centrifuges in operation — an outrageous deal no Democrat would want to defend in televised debates.
After a delay, the administration’s final “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” regulation is now expected to be announced in December. Originally scheduled for finalization in October, the new Housing and Urban Development Department rules will force all cities and suburbs to accept subsidized housing in the name of racial diversity, superceding all local zoning ordinances.
The Orwellian-sounding regulation would force some 1,200 municipalities to redraw zoning maps to racially diversify suburban neighborhoods.
Under the scheme, HUD plans to map every US neighborhood by race and publish “geospatial data” pinpointing racial imbalances. Areas deemed overly segregated will be forced to change their zoning laws to allow construction of subsidized and other affordable housing to bring more low-income minorities into “white suburbs.” HUD’s maps will be used to select affordable housing sites.
It’s part of the administration’s ambitious agenda to eliminate “racial segregation,” ZIP code by ZIP code, block by block, through the systematic dismantling of allegedly “exclusionary” building ordinances. In effect, federal bureaucrats will have the power to rezone your neighborhood.
Of course, Obama and Democrats are loath to inject this decidedly radical issue into the elections, so they’ll keep it out of the headlines until after voters go to the polls.
While temporarily punting away politically fraught issues may be smart politics, it’s cowardly leadership.
If the president’s policies are so popular, why does he have to try to hide them from voters? And who can trust Democrats now distancing themselves from him and his ideas when they voted with him 99% of the time previously?