As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

A Pivotal Year

The year 2014 is a turning point.

Whether the United States can turn back is a question I can’t answer. But I can tell you that we have turned a corner.

Funny how “turn a corner” can either mean a good thing or a bad thing has happened. In our case, of course, it’s the latter.

In both foreign and domestic affairs, President Obama is taking the easy path, the Leftist path, the path that provides short-term shots-in-the-arm of good feelings but will lead to major trouble down the road.

The president pursues “peace” and “diplomacy” abroad, failing to recognize the immutable evil of our enemies and recoiling meekly from the fights a great power sometimes must wage to keep itself secure. And he rules increasingly by decree at home, realizing the dreams of the Left while failing to do the hard work of creating legislation. In the process, he is erasing vast portions of the Constitution.

2014 saw the rise of ISIS, a brand new threat that thrived as America withdrew from the world and became tentative. Had the White House been paying attention, or if it had cared to act boldly, it could have killed ISIS in its crib, when it was still staging to sweep through Iraq. It’s ability to do so is the direct result of Obama’s failure to leave any troops at all in the country. Now, of course, he is forced to bring troops back, albeit in such a limited fashion as to ensure years of low-grade warfare and the survival of a sanctuary from which ISIS can direct attacks on the United States and our allies.

ISIS is emblematic of a broader problem, the recognition by the world’s evildoers that America is no longer in the business of taking serious measures to combat its enemies. Iran understands fully that Obama lacks the stomach or even the interest in militarily opposing its drive to obtain nuclear weapons. Obama is trying diplomacy without the credible threat of armed action, a fatal attenuation of the usual recipe for diplomatic success. The extremist ayatollahs who run Iran will have their nuclear bomb soon enough.

The president’s growing and increasingly virulent use of executive action marks a perilous new phase of American history in which an ideologically motivated leader enacts by decree that which the people’s representatives in Congress reject.

Obama prepped us for this new way of governing in 2012 and 2013 by offering a limited amnesty for “Dreamers” – those brought here illegally as children – and decreeing various changes to the Affordable Care Act that altered due dates required by statute. But these and other executive actions were just a warmup for 2014.

Obama advisors

In June, having failed to extract carbon emissions limits from Congress, Obama unveiled sweeping regulations requiring carbon plants to cut their carbon output. In November, he acted to shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation and, what’s more, grant them legal status. And in December, he gutted the congressionally-enacted Cuba embargo by normalizing relations with the Castros.

All three actions sidestepped years and even decades of debate within Congress and between Congress and the executive branch, strong-arming the system of checks and balances constructed by our Founders. Where is the outrage among mainstream commentators that would have greeted an attempt by George W. Bush to seize the Constitution for himself?

Obama no doubt hopes we’re getting used to this.

The gradual inurement of people to cultural and societal change marked by the loosening of moral standards and the seizure of liberty is something the Left has always counted on. You can see it described in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, as the pigs gradually assume the character of humans running a totalitarian enterprise.

No, I’m not saying Obama is seeking totalitarian power. But he is seeking drastic new power, and this was the year he really went for it. And so far, got away with it.

If judges invalidate his actions, will his attorneys next find some way to ignore the judiciary as he has the Congress?

And who’s going to stop him?

I can’t. But that’s not what I’m here to do anyway.

It will be the mission of this website for the next two years to document and explain Obama’s actions and statements, whether they be for good or ill. In doing so, I hope to continue to serve the role that too few Washington journalists adopt: the role that is meant for the Fourth estate, that of watchdog of freedom.

The term “Fourth Estate” derives from the notion that the press serves as a kind of fourth branch of government, one that, though bearing no legal authority, keeps a careful eye on the other three.

Most journalists today seem to view their mission as akin to football commentators, pronouncing on who is up, who is down, who has a knee injured, who threw three touchdowns yesterday, and which coach is going to be fired.

I do some of that. And I also provide you with the news. But accountability is the watchword of this website. And after this watershed year, with a president who no longer is politically beholden to anyone, White House accountability is more is more urgent than ever.

Thanks for reading this year. There will be lots to do in 2015.

Have a very Happy New Year.

Keith

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70 Responses to A Pivotal Year

  1. Welcome back Keith and thanks for the insightful article…so much to think on there.
    I hope you had a wonderful Hannukah and got some much deserved rest.
    We missed you. With Fox and you both gone I have been lost.
    The year ahead will be one to closely monitor from all angles, left and right.

  2. Welcome back Keith. We all missed and hope you had a great time off.
    The article is insightful as anniearkansas mentioned.
    I stop here for now. I would like to read other comments.
    However I will mention a very important thing. Our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren deserve better. I worry so much for their future.

  3. Welcome back Keith. And Happy New Year in advance.

    I was wondering if your involvement in this site is known by the rest of the press pool, and if so, have you gotten any backlash from them about it?
    Since many (or most?) are presumed to be water carriers for this administration, I would assume that they would not be happy with any usurper in the midst.

    I also wonder why the same reporters are the ones asking questions at the briefings (Ed Henry as one example), and why none of the others in the room seem to have any questions and prefer to scribble notes or play with their phones?

    Just curious.

  4. Well said, Keith. We are “all in” with you! I have posted this before, but it seems appropriate again.

    “We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved heaven and earth; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  5. Thank you, Keith for a succinct summation of our current state of chaos. I have been afraid about our future since this charlatan took office. He does not have the best interests of the American people on his ledger of deeds of transformation he has chosen. Our best interests rest upon a few congressmen, senators & hopefully the media, to hold him up for what he has done & the destruction he has wrought upon this once wonderful nation.
    God bless us all for a happy, healthy, invigorating New Year.

    • ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ is a G#D Damn neo-socialist and no one will call him that.
      Look at his “life story” and what little we know about his time in “college”, “law school” and “work as a community organizer”… (Obama could NEVER pass a US Government background clearance; SF-85 or SF-86…)
      Obama just stinks of being a Marxist/Socialist.

  6. Great article Keith, and please, continue to be our ” watchdog of freedom”.
    I also hope that there will be a little more of Thomas Jeffersons spirit in American politics next year : ” Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations and entangling alliances with none “.
    Happy New Year !

  7. To all of my friends here at WHD.
    I wish you a very happy New Year.
    We, as Americans have work to do in the future to try to restore the fabric that built this great Country.
    What America is is us.
    No-one in the world are like us.

    Keith laid out the challenges we are faced with very eloquently.

    On New Year’s eve 2014, I would like to give you a taste of where we have been.
    Hopefully, this will bring back some happy memories for you as it did for me.
    This video is 1 hour long, but it is like a good book that you just can’t put down.

    I hope you enjoy it,…Happy New Year and God Bless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etDRlpTYcjA

    • It’s funny that you do not fully appreciate what you have until it is taken away from you. I think we have all had symptoms of withdrawal without the very clear, concise and informative wisdom you impart, Keith. Thank you for putting it all into such an understandable prospective. This is what you do best. Happy New Year, Keith and family. Happy New Year WHD family. Stay safe and stay warm.

  8. Keith,
    May I ask why NO ONE in the “WH press corps” (those so called elite “journalists”) ever asks or bring up the issues you laid out in this article…???

  9. ‘Nobody does it Better”…!
    Carly Simons song title applies to you Keith.
    Thank You for your insight & brilliant writing.!!
    Looking forward to 2015 and Praying for the Best.
    Happy 2015 to All

      • Agree. Dictator Obama and his band of democrat party communist thugs have one ultimate goal and one only: the imposition of a Stalinist/Mao style totalitarian dictatorship over this country.

        Unfortunately the republicans will do nothing to halt this steady march of totalitarianism.

  10. Thanks, Keith, for all you write and the boldness with which you write it. Our greatest challenge in the next two years will be to assure that BHO actually leaves office in 2017. I don’t think that’s a sure bet. I certainly believe there will be at least a trial balloon for a 25th Amendment “waiver,” or a cancellation of the election on the basis of some “national emergency,” real or contrived. If we are to save this country, it must be in these two years.

    • IIRC, Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., has proposed to repeal the 22nd Amendment each year for the past 15 or 16 years. So, if you see him do it again in January, keep your pants on.

    • I can see him continuing to stir up racial sh^& and then at the right time when violence continues declaring martial law=national emergency. Keep enough ammo and supplies handy.

  11. Excellent summary!! I might make a couple of footnotes. There is a You Tube Animal House. It is 1 hour 15 minute animation.

    Re: Embargo of Cuba. Actually the USA sells them food and medicine except we require Cuba to pay up front. They have been a deadbeat nation and will continue to be so if allowed.

  12. Excellent manifesto-like article Keith. Obviously your brain hasn’t been completely idle during your rest break. My view is that we have become a new type of socialist nation. Let’s call it Socialist Media Nation–so many heads down and mesmerirzed with their Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, and all the rest. It is the worst kind of reality TV with nearly 300 million cast members plugged into hedonistic and narcissistic activities and completely unconcerned with history or politics. Just foolish electronic sheep waiting to be shorn. I pray someone will step forward with the courage and intellect to get elected President and fix things in 2016. As Emerson said: “To what avail the plow or sail or land or life if Freedom fail?” Maybe Happy New Year is too much to ask for so best wishes for a moderately pleasant 2015.

  13. Happy New Year to all on board this “The pen is mightier than the sword” Truth Starship. With Keith as commander we will survive the rough road ahead..
    P.S., Great blog post Keith.

  14. Welcome back! Hope there wasn’t too much of a mess left during the week of open threads.
    Well thought column and opening to 2015. If only the majority of the press corps gave a damn.
    My Globe column falls on New Year’s Day this year and I did kind of the same take: Obama has taken flippancy and lying to a new level and when you combine that with the Balkanization of our politics the danger is that without honor among our leaders it’s only a matter of time before it all comes down.
    I pray daily that I’m wrong but the way things are going and with an ADD populace and a progressive press it makes it harder and harder each and every day.
    Keep up the great work and Happy New Year!

    • Good stuff Geoff.

      A great damage that Obama has done — trust and belief. He lies, and it trickles down. The government lies. The media lies. Very few people or institutions have credibility. Everyone is suspect.

  15. Welcome back Keith. Hope your holiday and time off were peaceful and joyful.

    Thank you for this considered piece. Acting as a watchdog and holding public officials accountable are key to the Fourth Estate. The Estate has been reduced to a very few men and you are one of them. Good luck. The rest of the media is irredeemable.

    And because the legislative and the judicial branches are key to how far the Executive power grab for a one man rule is allowed to go accountability must be demanded from them as well. So far, they are not performing outside of protecting their own.

    The United States is weak, exposed and vulnerable to attack and destruction from within and without.

    Welcome back.
    Happy 2015 to you and to all.

  16. Keith, you have made another rotten year with Obama not only tolerable, but mirthful and enjoyable. Thank you!

    Just heard two encouraging reports that should take the wind out of Obama’s sails going into the new year. Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) announced that he expects to have a majority 67 veto-proof vote, including 17 Dems, to stop Obama from opening an embassy in Iran. Secondly, the Castro regime shut down a free-speech protest in Havana on Tuesday – detaining several pro-democracy activists.

    Now, if we could just eliminate Boehner (not sure about McConnell yet), we might be able to start deconstructing Obama next year.

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/cuba-cracks-down-attempt-test-free-speech

  17. Thank you for everything you have been doing Keith! Consistently the best analysis of Washington out there!

    Some of us still believe in that Fourth Estate stuff. Thank you for being one of the very very few actually doing it.

    Happy New Year!

  18. deBlasio begins the new year by doubling down. Reappoints
    set em free Brooklyn judge. Just like Obama , deBlasio a hubris filled incompetent Marxist.

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/31/de-blasio-re-appoints-set-em-free-brooklyn-judge/

    I’ve written off NY for the new year. As well as California with its 1 million illegal immigrants with new drivers licenses.

    Prayers for law enforcement across America.

    Just when you think there is nowhere to go but up….

  19. Happy New Year Keith to you and your family,Keith and to all of you here!
    Wish you much success, lots of good fortune, and loads of happiness!

  20. Welcome back, Mr. Koffler, and Happy New Year.

    You’ll have to forgive me for being disagreeable in my very first post of calendar 2015.

    But I cannot–I SHALL not–join in the pessimism. I reject COMPLETELY the notion that America is over, and that her best days are gone forever, along with any such fatalism.

    That is because, since 2009, we have not been living in America, as she has been understood through the centuries. We have been living in Obamaland, not the United States of America.

    And yes, life in Obamaland is intolerable; there is no way around that. But it is still the American people–the people of this great Nation who remember what it was, and know what it can–nay, what it will–be again, who will come back into the public square, once America is allowed to be America again, and restore her to her rightful place among nations.

    The Spirit of the American Republic is simply waiting, biding its time under the current regime, for the next 750 days. And truly I say to you: on January 20th, 2017, at the stroke of noon Washington time, when the new Republican president is sworn in, and with Obama newly discarded onto the ash heap of history, there will be a victorious shout of liberty throughout this land the likes of which humanity has never heard!

    America is not gone. Again I say: AMERICA IS NOT GONE! She’s simply waiting to return.

    And yes, for now, groan we must, as millions of our fellow human beings have done under despots throughout the ages. But once America can be set loose, free to be America again, she will rise, greater than anyone thought she could ever be.

    For now that once and future Americans have seen firsthand what despotism looks like, regrettably on their own shores, they will be able to explain, from experience, why freedom is worth defending.

    It is one thing to read about the fall of Soviet Communism and all its satellite regimes in a history book which probably has an agenda. It will be quite another to have lived under the collectivist Obama regime for eight years.

    Americans understand now, that collectivism does not work. For if it cannot work starting with all the prosperity of the United States of America, how can it ever work, anywhere?

    I believe America has reached Peak Leftism. Ordinary Americans have now seen, firsthand, the twisted goals of the American Left, and the dictatorial ambitions of too many of its disciples. They will reject this in 2016, as they did in 2010 and 2014.

    2012 must, and will, be regarded as an aberration. The problem with a cult of personality is that, without the personality, the cult cannot exist. Obama’s coalition will not be the Democrats’ salvation in 2016. They will have to defend their ideas, and they won’t be able to convince very many.

    And, really, which of them wants to try to defend this failed state of Obamaland?

    Hillary is several years past her sell-by date as it is. And Fauxcahontas is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do about her rank dishonesty during her academic career, among many other things. And either one of those two would fare very poorly once the idea of “we don’t need another affirmative action president” takes hold, as indeed it shall.

    And who, exactly, do the Democrats have after that? You know–the men who will have to run on their records, and not their reproductive tracts? Martin “I even taxed the rain” O’Malley? Bernie “I’m a socialist and proud of it” Sanders?

    To borrow the terms of the Great American Pastime, the Democrats have very weak starting pitching, and their bullpen is a motley crew of has-beens, injury call-ups, and career minor leaguers.

    The Democrats have no message beyond “Maybe collectivism will work, eventually,” and they have no one jumping at the chance to carry that doomed banner into a battle certain to be lost.

    The Republicans will win in 2016. They will win big. And America will be America again.

    Obama will no doubt continue taking cheap shots from the thirteenth green once he’s out of power. He’s a narcissistic demagogue, and that’s what narcissistic demagogues do. But once America is allowed to be America again, Obama will quickly be seen for what he always has been: a huckster who pulled off the greatest con job in American history, to whom no further attention need be paid.

    America will be back. She will be back soon. And she will be stronger than she’s ever been.

    So, Mr. Koffler, with all due respect: I applaud your efforts to hold this White House to account. But please, Sir…take that fatalism elsewhere.

    America isn’t over. Not even close. She has been beaten and bowed, yes. But she will never surrender.

    Obamaland will not survive beyond January of 2017. America will return…and she will endure forever.

    • Darkangel, thanks for your comment.

      I’m not a pessimist. And I never said America was over. But Obama is no mere interlude. He, and liberals before him, have installed policies that are designed to last and will be difficult to reverse.

      I believe America can come back. It has to. But I’m not going to tell everyone it will be easy or that it is definitely going to happen. If Americans don’t recognize the grave and very real danger, they won’t take take steps to reverse it. And danger involves the possibility of loss and even destruction.

      If you want happy talk, you find plenty of that elsewhere. We heard lots of it in 2012. I believed some of it myself. And we saw how things turned out.