As Mitt Romney makes his case for a first term, conservatives are muttering darkly about the dangers of Obama 2.0
Conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza is making waves, and millions at the box office, with his factually iffy political documentary 2016: Obama's America, in which he asks fellow conservative critics what will happen if President Obama wins a second term. They come up with "some disturbing answers," says Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer, including the altogether dubious suggestion that Obama is "deliberately making America more vulnerable to attack from Muslim extremists." Of course, these are hardly the first "dire alarms" from the Right about Obama 2.0, says Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune. Forget "the president's cautious temperament and aversion to liberal crusading" — once Obama is freed from the check of having to face voters again, conservatives argue, he'll "liberate his inner radical and turn the United States into a more hellish version of North Korea." Chapman may be exaggerating for effect, but here are six actual predictions conservatives have made for a second Obama term:
1. Obama will jack up taxes and over-regulate
Among the "disasters" awaiting America if we re-elect Obama: "Job creators will face massive tax increases" at the same time that "more Americans will come off the tax rolls," says Marc Thiessen at the American Enterprise Institute. Obama will also "finally wage the regulatory war on fossil fuels the Left demands" and "unleash the Environmental Protection Agency to impose crushing new burdens on U.S. business." Since Democrats won't control Congress, "the second-term Obama agenda will have to be executed through agency action and executive order," says David Frum at CNN. And thanks to the sweeping banking and health laws Obama passed in his first term, he'll have "large powers to reshape the health industry and financial services" to his liking.
2. He'll outlaw gun ownership
Obama didn't do much regarding gun control in his first term — he's "been so respectful of Second Amendment rights that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave him an 'F,'" notes the Chicago Tribune's Chapman — but that's "just part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term," the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre told the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. "We see the president's strategy crystal clear: Get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms' freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights, and excise it from the U.S. Constitution."
3. And he'll ban pizza
TIME recently asked former Republican presidential candidate and ex-Godfather's Pizza boss Herman Cain if it's "worse to imagine a world without pizza or one in which Obama gets a second term." A second Obama term would be worse, Cain replied, "because with Obama in a second term, there will be no pizza. For anyone." Okay, "you heard it here first," says Max Read at Gawker: "Obama will ban pizza in his second term."
4. Obama will deliberately weaken the U.S.
D'Souza's basic premise is that Obama is channeling the "anti-colonial" dreams of his "philandering, inebriated African socialist" father, says the Philadelphia Inquirer's Rea. According to D'Souza's film, that translates into sitting back and letting "the nations of the Middle East, including Libya, Syria, and Iran, band into 'the United States of Islam,' threatening the security of the United States and the world." The inescapable though implausible conclusion is that the president who killed Osama bin Laden "is deliberately making America more vulnerable to attack from Muslim extremists."
5. He'll let Iran go nuclear
Unless the U.S. attacks Iran in the next four years — and that's unlikely under Obama — "Iran will enrich enough uranium for multiple nuclear weapons," says David Frum at CNN. And unless Israel forces the president's hand by attacking first — also unlikely — a second Obama administration means we'll "will confront a radically reshaped Middle East, one in which America's friends will be weaker and more fearful and Iran will be more assertive and intransigent." And the U.S. couldn't respond even if it wanted to, says the AEI's Thiessen. Under Obama, "the Defense Department will be gutted, with cuts so deep that America will no longer be a superpower."
6. Obama will let the U.N. take over the U.S.
Tom Head, a judge in Lubbock, Texas, raised plenty of eyebrows in August when he told a local CNN affiliate that if given a second term, Obama will "try to give the sovereignty of the United States away to the United Nations," sparking "civil unrest, civil disobedience, possibly, possibly civil war." And once that happens, the "dictator" Obama "is going to call in the U.N. troops, personnel carriers, tanks, and whatever." Head's remarks were "widely ridiculed," says Aman Batheja at The Texas Tribune, but "concerns about U.N. overreach are gaining ground, with the attacks mostly focused on a 20-year-old nonbinding U.N. resolution called Agenda 21." For those of you "not familiar with this sinister plot," says Joshua Keating at Foreign Policy, the resolution, ratified by President George H.W. Bush, morally "commits signatories to the goal of sustainable development through responsible land use and energy conservation." And lest you think calling "bike lanes and high-speed rail projects" precursor to a blue-helmet invasion is fringy, Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck speak of it frequently, and the GOP included a plank in its party platform condemning Agenda 21 as "erosive of American sovereignty." That's "pretty close to black helicopter territory" for a major party.
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