Is President Obama running for re-election just to hold onto political power? That’s the belief of Mitt Romney, as expressed in a CBS interview on Wednesday morning. It’s alluring to think of the opposition candidate as having no other motive than to keep the trappings of office, and I can only say I wish I believed it too.
I think Obama wants more than power for its own sake. I believe this is a president absolutely committed to an extremist left-wing agenda. It starts with fundamental questions about when life begins and the nature of marriage, and also moves into areas like a top-down approach to social justice, where all that’s good must originate in Washington D.C..
It encompasses policy choices like choosing the agenda of financially secure environmentalists, who don’t want the Keystone Pipeline built, in spite of its prospects for job growth and ultimately lower fuel prices—something that would disproportionately benefit the working classes that the Left talks a great deal about, but does very little for.
And it extends into the question of religious freedom, where the Left feels the horror of a $9 co-pay on a birth control pill is such a repression of women’s rights that it’s necessary to use government bullying to coerce the Catholic Church to including as part of their insurance packages in their hospitals and other affiliated businesses.
There is a clear ideological agenda that permeates everything the president does and its hostile to those he himself called “bitter people clinging to guns and religion”, back in 2008. It’s friendly to the left-wingers of the suburbs who don’t have bread-and-butter concerns and have the luxury to seek ideological satisfaction above all else.
A vivid example of this came in early 2010. The voters of Massachusetts, hardly a bastion of right-wing activity, delivered the president a stinging rebuke when they elected Republican Scott Brown to fill the seat long held by Teddy Kennedy. Brown’s vow was to be the 41st vote against health care, the amount needed to keep a filibuster going.
At this moment, a president solely focused on keeping power would have cut his losses. An extremist would double down and that’s what Obama did, as legislative gimmicks enabled health care to pass without a supermajority. You can debate whether it was appropriate, you can debate the wisdom of the policy, but there’s no debating the instigator behind it all really believes in it.
If Obama only wanted the office for the sake of the trophy, there would be no reason to be concerned. The fact is that he wants to continue to serve as the instrument of the Wealthy Left in imposing its value system on everyone else, and no one should ever underestimate that.
Dan Flaherty is the author of Fulcrum, an Irish Catholic novel set in postwar Boston with a traditional Democratic mayoral campaign at its heart, and he is the editor-in-chief of TheSportsNotebook.com