The prime characteristic of the Obama reign is the President’s ability to lie with a straight face. “My administration will be the most transparent administration in history. If you like your plan you can keep it. The Benghazi attack was caused by a video. I didn’t know about the email server until I read about it in the paper.” and on and on and on.
Now he pledges a smooth transition while plotting just the opposite.
How Trump clears Obama’s minefield
Although Obama promised a smooth transition, he’s moved unilaterally to make that impossible. He lacks the grace and modesty to recognize that the country does not want him or his policies any longer.
By WASHINGTON EXAMINER • 12/30/16
Before moving into the White House, President-elect Trump needs to double check the Oval Office for trip wires. His predecessor has spent the last month setting traps to ensnare the new administration.
President Obama has more on his mind than an effort to solidify a legacy and nail down policy. He has adopted a guerrilla strategy designed to defame and debilitate. Inherently political, it’s administrative sabotage by extra legislative means and it threatens to hobble Trump.
Obama has prepared what looks like a classic episode from Mad Magazine: Executive vs. Executive. Instead of delivering on his own agenda, Trump will be forced to deal with the aftermath of his predecessor’s final binge. They could consume a notable portion of Trump’s first 100 days, but if left unaddressed it would stain his administration long term.
To avoid that hazard, an examination of President Clinton’s final days in office is helpful. After all, Obama didn’t develop these tactics on his own. He lifted them directly from a manual written by the Clintons.
Just days before President George W. Bush’s inauguration, Clinton weaponized EPA regulations to set a trap for the new administration. Despite complaints from rural communities about crippling compliance costs and a lack of a scientific consensus, Clinton adopted aggressive arsenic standards for drinking water. When Bush eased the mandate, it unleashed a torrent of criticism that had been long planned, most notably from Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.
Despite calling for studies based on “sound science,” Bush couldn’t shake accusations that he wanted to poison children. The attacks found their mark, and Bush later remembered the experience as one of the worst mistakes of his young administration.
Now Obama’s running the same play. But while his midnight regulations haven’t escaped media attention, journalists continue giving the Obama administration charitable coverage. By focusing on the policy impact, they ignore and amplify the coming political fallout.
With a stroke of his pen Wednesday, Obama declared 1.65 million acres of Utah’s vast wilderness a national monument. The area, called Bears Ear, is certainly beautiful, but that is no reason for the feds to remove it from local control. Indian tribes, Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah’s entire congressional delegation want the state to handle preservation.
Most of Utah opposes the land grab and have already called on Trump to reverse the move. He should do so, but should also tread carefully. The pitfall is deep and the barbs at the bottom are sharp. Trump will certainly be branded an enemy of the environment if he overturns Obama’s high-handed expropriation.