More and more people are finally coming to the realization that President Obama is presiding over America's decline, though there are differences of opinion as to whether he's deliberately or even directly causing it.
You have to admit that it's outright bizarre and alarming that people are even having this discussion, yet many of us have been warning about it for years now. It is gratifying that others — albeit belatedly — are waking up.
There are two separate issues: Is Obama trying to bring America down, and is his presidency falling apart (and what does that mean)?
As for the first, many get hung up on the semantics of whether Obama is trying to destroy America. Few are willing to believe anything so sinister of a twice-elected president. It's an easier sell to say that he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism or decries the very idea of nationalism and prefers to consider us all citizens of the world. He believes that capitalism yields unfair results, which leads him to desire a redistribution of our resources within the United States — and from the United States to the rest of the world. So he is pursuing an agenda that will bring America into line with the rest of the world, which is to say, he is making us weaker and less prosperous.
I also happen to believe he has a grudge against America and wants to bring us down to size. But in his bizarro world, that's not destroying America; it's making it fairer and more just.
Concerning the second issue — whether Obama's presidency is falling apart — it's important that we are clear on what we mean by this. Most seem to agree that Obama's honeymoon with the American people has degenerated into serious marital difficulties, as evidenced by his nose dive in approval polls. Some consider this data, along with his multitudinous scandals, and conclude, "His presidency is imploding."
I believe that's correct only in the limited sense that he has lost the good will to accomplish much more of his agenda through proper constitutional channels. But I don't believe that it means he will be unable to accomplish anything for the remainder of this term. He has already proved that he is fully able and willing to act unilaterally on a wide range of issues, both domestic and foreign, with or without constitutional authority or congressional approval.
He wasn't just bluffing when he smugly declared, "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone." He was expressing his frustration with his political opponents' sometimes refusal to roll over to his dictates and his resolve to circumvent them every time he gets a chance.
This was nothing new. He and his advisers had said many times that he intended to liberally use executive orders and other tricks to advance his agenda at every opportunity. He's also made clear his willingness to act lawlessly and encouraged his administrative agencies to do likewise. Nor will anything deter his enabling Democrats in Congress to assist and provide him cover every chance they get. Just watch the congressional hearings involving the Internal Revenue Service scandal if you want to understand how national Democrats invariably place their party's interests above those of the nation -- and above the law.
As for his propensity for lawless unilateral action, remember when he admitted he didn't have the authority to pass the DREAM Act on his own and then two weeks later went ahead and issued an executive order implementing important provisions of it? Everyone has watched his whimsical, arbitrary and capricious granting of Obamacare exemptions. He intervened militarily in Libya without even consulting Congress, much less obtaining its approval. His Environmental Protection Agency, doing his bidding, has issued far-reaching emissions standards. The IRS was fulfilling his aims in criminally targeting conservative groups for punitive treatment under the tax code. His subordinates Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice were carrying out his direct orders in falsely blaming an Internet video for the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Oh, yes, and he abused his recess appointment power to appoint a National Labor Relations Board president when the Senate wasn't in recess, for which the Supreme Court surprisingly slapped his hand. I could continue.
So if you choose to believe that Obama's presidency is imploding, I hope you understand that this doesn't mean he no longer represents a threat to America as founded or is impotent to do any further damage.
It's silly to write this all off with a wave of a hand, saying, "This is America. One man can't do that much damage." If you don't believe enormous damage has already been done in the past six years, we are on different planets. Look at the latest quarterly economic report, which shows a 2.9 percent shrinkage in the gross domestic product, with no end in sight. The number of people on food stamps and dependent on other government programs. The labor participation rate. The debt. The explosive costs and abominable failures of Obamacare. The state of the Middle East and the explosive rise in Islamic jihad.
Regardless of whether Obama has the political clout to pass major legislation now or in the remaining 2 1/2 years, his executive powers alone — including those he has usurped — are enough to keep us on this downward spiral. Even without any further executive power usurpations, we are already on autopilot to spend ourselves into bankruptcy.
Whatever you do, people, please don't get complacent.DAVID LIMBAUGH, a Washington Examiner columnist, is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.