Obama and the Passive-Aggressive Presidency

Suppose President Obama wins reelection, but is greeted by a Republican House and perhaps a Republican Senate. I argue at Fox News that Obama’s negative campaign has deprived him of any claim to a mandate, which will leave him without any influence over legislative reform on the great challenges facing us in domestic policy. Moreover, if this campaign has shown us anything, it has been that progressivism has become intellectually exhausted.

This time, however, we won’t see the happy state of affairs that prevailed from 1994 to 2000, when the Gingrich Congress stalemated Bill Clinton and the paralysis allowed the economy to grow. Instead, President Obama will be left to act out his liberal dreams using his executive and regulatory powers. This will leave us with a new kind of White House, which I call the “passive-aggresive presidency.”

  1. Rocket City Dave

    An Obama re-election will do a lot to discredit the Democrat Party. They’ll be stuck defending antiquated old liberal ideas that clearly don’t work anymore. They won’t have the option of running against Bush as we’ll have spent 8 years with a stagnant economy and a government less effective every year.

  2. Melissa O

    And the “passive-aggressive ” President will be buttressed by his “aggressive-aggressive” friends in the streets.

  3. David John

    Passive-Aggressive. Ugh.  Read about it in DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). 


    Can’t we escape this kind of claptrap on Ricochet? 

    I was in Vietnam, poor me. A cpl years ago I was told by a social worker that I would be a “shoe-in” for a PTSD disability claim. He handed me a synopsis of the DSM requirements, instructing me how to respond to questions. 

    Mental disability. I know it exists and I sympathize, but it’s easy to fake, and it is running rampant in our system. This is going to be a difficult battle. We should not give any lipservice to the DSM.

  4. Devereaux

    No. While I generally find most of your arguments highly instructive, as I do most of Prof Epstein’s (except when he opines on self defense), in this case I believe Obama will have made the presidency a totally rogue position. He has abused his “power” repeatedly, and he will have no restraints in a second term.

    The question is will we tolerate it or impeach him. (I doubt we will have the will to impeach.)


    With both side of Congress comes control of the purse, right down to the minutest pot of money. Also the ability to Impeach for a whole range of unconstitutional transgressions “the One” has committed and that the fourth estate has been over looking. A state of affairs that maybe coming to an end win or lose.  If Reid is still in charge of the Senate, well we are stalemated for another four years….

  6. HVTs

    Prof. Yoo – excellent article in Fox News … nicely summarizes the poverty of ideas that our “smartest President ever” can’t manage to overcome. His Progressive playbook is so very thin. Yet he’s managing to borrow about $46,800 every second of every day, driving us to financial ruin (along with a complicit Congress).  It’s passive-aggressive, as you say … the Alinskite-in-Chief would rather we collapse than continue our evil capitalist & imperialist ways.  It’s a psycho-drama which, if the American people condone it for four more years, probably will permanently end our reign as a global leader. 

  7. Carbon Creek Visitor

    What truth is there to the idea that Romney could win the popular vote, loose the electoral college on election night, yet win the electoral college a week later due to various National Popular Vote laws passed in various states, like California (55 electoral votes). I ran across this tidbit on another blog describing California passing such a National Popular Vote law http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/08/08/californias-popular-vote-bill-signed-into-law/

  8. Carbon Creek Visitor

    Never mind. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

    Looking at California AB459

    This bill would ratify a specified interstate compact that requires the chief election official of each signatory state to appoint the slate of presidential electors that was nominated in association with the presidential ticket that received the largest national popular vote total. This compact would only become effective if states cumulatively possessing a majority of the total electoral votes have ratified the compact.

    Although this is not the text from the CAdotGOV website; it appears the California law will not take effect until a majority of other states pass similar laws.

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