Liberal overreach seen in D.C. and in the Colorado Legislature
Before I hit the pillow Wednesday night, I saw a Fox News replay of soon-to-be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s appearance before a Senate committee to talk about Benghazi.
When pressed for details about the motives and circumstances that gave rise to the deadly attack on the American consulate that took the life of four Americans, Clinton responded with self-righteous fury, saying, “What difference does it make?”
Moments before this defiant exchange, Clinton conveyed a different tone — grief for the loved ones of those lost in the terrorist attack. Clinton’s sentiments were moving, and obviously heart-felt. Her attempt to brush off accountability with a fitful “who cares, none of your business” was anything but. Clinton and her boss are anguished by the attack, but they don’t owe an explanation to anyone, you see.
Can you imagine a high-ranking Bush administration official asking the original 9/11 Commission, “What difference does it make?” when queried about the motives, tactics or sinister circumstances behind that attack? And the poor Bushies get accused of arrogance.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Clinton is going to rue the day she uttered the words, “What difference does it make?” if not in the coming weeks, certainly in four years.
More telling than the simple substance of Clinton’s brush-off was the imperious tone in which it was draped. It’s a tone that seems to capture the general essence of the Obama administration in January 2013, an administration whose executive cup overfloweth with aggrandizing confidence.
Imperious comes easy, not just to Clinton, but to all of Obama Nation these days. And why not? After overseeing a disastrous first term, the Left still managed to win a sweeping electoral victory. Can you blame them for preening a little?
And to the victors, the governing spoils. It’s their time to pluck the shiny apple from the tree. And pluck they most assuredly will.
Anyone who hoped for a kinder, gentler, more pragmatic Barack Obama in this second go-round was summarily disabused of that notion on Monday when he delivered his second inaugural address — a speech where “the audacity of hope” was gunned down by pure audacity.
Concession and compromise — a broad call for national unity; a coming together to solve the great problems — were left on the editing room floor. Our president has a plan, and the detractors — you mindless reformers of Medicare, you unthinking lovers of guns, you petty partisans focused on the small matter of the nation’s $16 trillion debt — you had best move out the way.
Lest you had any doubt, Obama’s bubbling confidence is trickling down to the Liberal Industrial Complex in noticeable ways all across the country, too. One national publication is reporting a grand Democratic plan to try to change the partisan leanings of the reliably Republican state of Texas into a state where Democrats can compete and win. The effort, called “Battleground Texas,” is being bulldogged by a top aide to Obama’s re-election campaign.
Colorado is seeing a lot of overreach of our own. In a state Legislature hopped up with a Democratic majority ushered in on the coattails of Obama, overreach is everywhere.
Two weeks ago, I discussed a brazen plan to chuck the death penalty. This week, a bill was introduced by a Boulder Democrat to classify all firearms as deadly weapons, no matter how it’s being used, setting the stage for all manner of civil and criminal mischief.
Another bill racing through the Legislature would broadly expand the power of unions to organize certain local government employees. It is a bill so bereft of policy wisdom that even the mayors of Colorado Springs and Boulder showed up in harmonious chorus to testify against it.
Politics, like the economy, the weather and really just about everything in life, is a cyclical beast. One reason is simple pride. Pride comes before the fall, and in between — in politics, at least — comes the overreach.
From Clinton’s Benghazi brush-off, to Obama’s inaugural screed, to a greedy grab-bag of big-government bills in the state Legislature, there is ample evidence that the big overreach is well under way.
How it ends, we don’t know. But I would guess it won’t be good for America — or for Democrats’ plan to permanently rule Texas and the world.
Josh Penry is a former minority leader of the Colorado Senate. He is a graduate of Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College.