Who’s running the show: Barack H. Bush?

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., March 23, 2011 – We are witnessing a political metamorphosis:  Barack H. Obama is merging with the psyche of George W. Bush to become a hybrid of liberal conservatism.  Or is it conservative liberalism?  We now have a Nobel Peace Prize winner invading Libya without Congressional consent and supporting offshore drilling in Brazil while banning it in the United States.  The whole thing is very confusing.

Why can’t the President just consistently choose between alternatives?  It’s like picking a race.  Just pick the one you think will win.  It can’t be any harder than predicting the NCAA brackets.

In 2002, Mr. Obama had clarity:  “dumb war(s)” were wrong, and “brutal … ruthless” dictators were “bad guy(s).”  However, he stated that we should just ignore them if they “pose(d) no imminent and direct threat to the United States” and they could be “contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, (they fall) away into the dustbin of history.”  Sounds like a plan … particularly when our country is already supporting troops in a variety of other countries and we’re running out of money.

In December of 2007, then-candidate Obama said, “The President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”  Of course, maybe things have changed.  In the old days, a President didn’t have the power to declare a law unconstitutional and order the Department of Justice not to enforce it … but, as we recently learned, that rule no longer applies.

Now, President Obama has chosen to support military action in Libya without first conferring with Congress.  President Bush was supposed to have cornered the market on trampling constitutional rights.  Now, he apparently has some competition.

The two Presidents appear to have other traits in common.  President Bush was criticized for taking too many vacations.  President Obama has taken vacationing to a whole new level.  No one before him has had the audacity to launch a military attack while enjoying a luxurious trip in a foreign country.

Of course, President Obama was in Brazil to conduct business as well.  After he threw $2 billion at Brazil’s off-shore drilling efforts last summer, the Brazilian government owed the President a few rounds of golf and some really nice dinners.  Meanwhile, offshore drilling is still banned in the United States.

Joseph Mason, author of The Economic Cost of a Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region, testified that the U.S. ban has cost 19,000 jobs and about $1.1 billion in lost wages.  Perhaps, the President could have invested the original $2 billion in offshore drilling at home … but then, where would he have vacationed?

Then there’s the incident that’s been somewhat quashed by the mainstream media pertaining to photos that have emerged of American soldiers allegedly posing over the dead bodies of Afghan citizens.  Remember Abu Ghraib?  That was President Bush’s fault.  There was general agreement that the related prison photos incited terrorists to rise up against the United States.  Just to be clear:  the current pictures are far worse.  Hopefully, the terrorists will cut us some slack for having closed Guantanamo.  Oops!

So, how does one choose whom to support?  Do zealots on the Right switch over to President Obama’s camp because he’s invading countries, deposing dictators, and at least drilling offshore for oil somewhere?  Do stalwarts on the Left continue to support the President because he’s a registered Democrat, has a partial claim to minority status, and isn’t afraid to expand government and run up massive debt?

Then again, the Bush Administration was pretty good at expanding government and running up debt when “W” was in office.  The distinctions have become so blurred.

Maybe President Obama is preparing to switch parties.  Perhaps the November “shellacking” pushed him in that direction.  Could that be the “change” he was talking about?

If he did switch parties, I would provide us with yet one more comparison to President Reagan (who formally changed parties in 1962).  Besides, by switching parties, President Obama would be demonstrating true bipartisanship … and possibly bipolarity as well!  It might position him to win a landslide victory in 2012.  The pillagers of the planet and hawks on the Right might find him to be more to their liking, and the Liberals on the Left might be too afraid of appearing “politically incorrect” to vote against him.  Now, it all makes sense.  The man is a shoo-in for another four years.


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.


This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.