Shocker: Democrat incumbents want WH to abuse regulatory power to boost re-election chances

posted at 12:41 pm on April 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Don’t expect too many incumbent Democrats on Capitol Hill to ask Barack Obama to join them on the campaign trail, especially in red states or swing states where his unpopularity already represents a potentially insurmountable obstacle to their re-election. That doesn’t mean that these Democrats have turned up their noses at Obama’s assistance, though. The Washington Post reports that most of them want the White House to start turning regulatory and enforcement screws to boost their popularity back home:

Sen. Mark Begich has said repeatedly that he thinks President Obama is wrong about a host of policies, whether on oil drilling, the military or the environment. Begich also has made it perfectly clear that he has no interest in having his fellow Democrat out to his home state of Alaska, saying this year that he doesn’t “care to have him campaign for me.”

But that doesn’t mean he’s not looking for the president’s help. Begich has, in fact, submitted a long wish list to the Obama administration for agency decisions that he thinks would boost his reelection chances. Other Democrats have done so, too.

In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would like the administration to help expand access to the new health-care law. In Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu has lobbied for help to keep open a federal call center. In Montana, Sen. John Walsh is fighting a decision to privatize land that could be used for hunting and fishing.

In the post-earmark era, using the party’s control of the federal bureaucracy to deliver local projects or delay new regulations that might stifle jobs has become a critical part of Democratic efforts to maintain control of the Senate. In close races, particularly in less populated states such as Alaska and Montana, incumbents are hoping that a few favorable agency decisions might secure the backing of key constituencies.

Consider this the Chicago way. It’s doubtful that this is an entirely new development, or entirely restricted to Democratic Presidents, for that matter, although it’s interesting that the Post doesn’t mention much about the past history of such practices. One reason might be what the Post’s Paul Kane highlights, which is the earmark ban. To the extent that earmarks have been suppressed — a debatable result — these legislators can no longer run their own pork-barrel, incumbency-protection rackets. Now they need help from the executive branch, and are apparently not shy in demanding it.

The fact that this White House is open for that kind of business shouldn’t shock anyone. Obama got elected on the promise to get rid of crony politics and corrupt political dealings, but Obama comes from the Chicago Machine culture. The limiting factor Kane reports isn’t Hope And Change, but Obama’s own political prospects. He doesn’t want to anger environmentalists, for instance, so Begich’s attempt to get federal funding for the King Cove road project has failed, to Begich’s embarrassment. At least, it’s failed so far.

Regardless of whether this is an innovation from Democrats or merely an amplification necessitated by the earmark ban, its cause isn’t the Obama administration or even incumbent Democrats per se. Its root cause is a federal government with far too much regulatory and spending power over what should be non-federal issues. Crony politics would not become a corrupting factor in elections without the continued growth of a large and unchecked federal bureaucracy. Unfortunately, neither party seems terribly serious about addressing that root cause, at least not at the moment.


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The corruption of the Left is absolutely breathtaking

Whitey Ford on April 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Send all the D-rats and thugs, and the R-rats home. Period.

Pitchfork them all, politically.

The thugs destroy the land, the Rs enabling the Ds.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

The Washington Post reports that most of them want the White House to start turning regulatory and enforcement screws to boost their popularity back home

…and the MSM…will aide them!

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Yeland Lee will be the Point man on this strategy….

ToddPA on April 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Shocked! Shocked, I am!!!

dentarthurdent on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

…Hope and Change

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

The democrats think they still need to convince voters? Jeez, aren’t they behind the times. Who needs real voters when you can get a bunch of dead people and unregistered names to vote for you.

Naga_Jolokia on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Why not just declare no elections if the Democrat Party favors using government fascism to preserve their power?

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Pitchfork them all, politically.
Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

I’d rather do it literally.

dentarthurdent on April 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

<blockquoteThe democrats think they still need to convince voters? Jeez, aren’t they behind the times. Who needs real voters when you can get a bunch of dead people and unregistered names to vote for you.

Naga_Jolokia on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Or pre-load the trunks of their cars with ballot boxes to “find” enough votes to overturn the vote…

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Why not just declare no elections if the Democrat Party favors using government fascism to preserve their power?

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

They can’t get away with that. Yet. Wait unit we have a few more 10s of millions of illegals from countries where a revolution every few decades is a way of life.

Fenris on April 8, 2014 at 12:52 PM

They’re pure leftist, putrid slime.

rplat on April 8, 2014 at 12:54 PM

And Obama’s approval rating is around 47%….lots of America is all for the Obama way of doing things.

albill on April 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

What a decrepit pig is CiC.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

They can’t get away with that. Yet. Wait unit we have a few more 10s of millions of illegals from countries where a revolution every few decades is a way of life.

Fenris on April 8, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I agree. That is what he wants to do. That’s what Soros WISHES he could do as well. This is why 2014 has begun with Poedesta writing Imperial Edicts for Obama to sign with his pen. Obama’s ruling by Decree, ignoring Congress entirely is a harbinger for how he will act next year when he no longer has any control in Congress.

Next year Congress will be a purely CEREMONIAL body. Obama won’t work with it at all. He most likely will take actions that will make this year’s seem mild in comparison, such as appointing JUDGES by Decree, Implementing a Budget by Decree, etc. What will happen then?

Such actions, by our law, is JUST AS BAD as canceling elections by Decree… If canceling elections warrant a Revolution, doesn’t ignoring the RESULT of that election and ruling by Decree to spite Congress not also warrant a Revolution?

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

I’d rather return to earmarks. At least they had an end point. Now, politicians just ask the White House to do it for them, but it never ends. We’re stuck with it regardless of what happens to the politician.

In a way, I think we can thank John McCain as much as Barack Obama for this development. In the scheme of things, porkbarrel spending, which I loathed, was a fairly small fraction of the Federal budget…and the people could decide whether to reward or punish their representatives. Now, we get to have Congress awarding more permanent power to the executive branch.

Thanks, McVain!

Resist We Much on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

You’ll never hear about this in the MSM (no-sh**-Sherlock).

Naga_Jolokia on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

OT/JugEars will be flying down to Texas for a fundraiser/party…same time as the Fort Hood Memorial Service.
…think he might fit some golfing in?

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Send all the D-rats and thugs, and the R-rats home. Period.

Pitchfork them all, politically.

The thugs destroy the land, the Rs enabling the Ds.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

From my back yard, I can’t tell a dimes worth of difference between ‘em anymore. Sadly, it has been that way for a very long time; I was just a sleep at the wheel until 1998.

HonestLib on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Democrats want the federal government to harass and criminalize their opponents?

Surely, you must be joking.

Good Lt on April 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

We shouldn’t be surprised when progressive fascists want to act like fascists. It’s who / what they are…and to them, power, if not abused, is under utilized.

Athos on April 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Hey, what did you think government power was for, if not to fill your pockets and maintain your cushy job? Isn’t that what our forefathers fought and died for?

Socratease on April 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

United Fascist States of America.

rbj on April 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

I agree in general, but these things always take longer than you think. Next year, there will still be judicial pushback on complete tyranny. Unless there’s a watershed event and it all goes to he11, but that doesn’t seem likely soon.

Fenris on April 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I was just a sleep at the wheel until 1998.

HonestLib on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Glad you woke up, friend, but I’m ‘fraid it’s too late for us all.

Pity the children.

Schadenfreude on April 8, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Regardless of whether this is an innovation from Democrats or merely an amplification necessitated by the earmark ban, its cause isn’t the Obama administration or even incumbent Democrats per se. Its root cause is a federal government with far too much regulatory and spending power over what should be non-federal issues. Crony politics would not become a corrupting factor in elections without the continued growth of a large and unchecked federal bureaucracy. Unfortunately, neither party seems terribly serious about addressing that root cause, at least not at the moment.

Let’s not jump on the ‘pox-on-both-houses” moral equivalence so fast that we overlook:

1) (The Obvious) This is actually happening on the left, not the right, by progressives, not conservatives, by Democrats, not Republicans. It’s all well and good to point out that the Republicans aren’t always innocent, but who is actually doing it? Obama and Senate Democrats
2) (The Structural) We shouldn’t be surprised by the first point, that the Democrats are the overwhelming offenders, because the Democrats are the party of big government and regulatory overreach. The larger the federal bureaucracy, the more advantage to the Democrats.

Thos Republicans who take advantage of the crony capitalism in Washington are inadvertently cutting their own throats, and making it easier for the Democrats to beat them. Get rid of crony capitalism, and you slash the Democrat power base.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 8, 2014 at 1:13 PM

scum…

PatriotRider on April 8, 2014 at 1:14 PM

OT/JugEars will be flying down to Texas for a fundraiser/party…same time as the Fort Hood Memorial Service.
…think he might fit some golfing in?

KOOLAID2 on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Well duh! The only reason why Obama would go to honor dead soldiers is for the opportunity to fundraise and have a mini-vacation.

Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I want a Federal Infrastructure program, planting ‘hanging trees’ in every Congressional district in the Union.
Then, use them as necessary. Rendering the more egregious parasites in our system ‘shovel ready‘.

orangemtl on April 8, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Do I still get my damn free phone?

/47%

mankai on April 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM

From my back yard, I can’t tell a dimes worth of difference between ‘em anymore. Sadly, it has been that way for a very long time; I was just a sleep at the wheel until 1998.

HonestLib on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 PM

More and more I am beginning to think you’re right on that one. At least the D’s are open and honest about it. The R’s like to do it behind closed doors, and then send Speaker Boner out to cry about it. I’m done with them. I have no use for most of them.

RandallinHerndon on April 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Ed you might want to rephrase the headline – I interpreted that as “abuse election regulations”.

As for abusing regulations to make his party look good well… He’s been doing it since day one. I’m not surprised and it’s all the way up there with Boehnerrewritinf Obamacare laws to give “small businesses” more choices. That sort of behind the scenes shenanigans didn’t happen accidentally.

Our government is corrupt and maybe the Repiblicans (some) are less corrupt than the Democrats but few in our govrenment follow the law.

This is the new norm of our country – created by Obama.

Skywise on April 8, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Democrats want the federal government to harass and criminalize their opponents?
Surely, you must be joking.
Good Lt on April 8, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Nixon was right.

Skywise on April 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The debate is over.

And if you complain, you’re a racist.

BuckeyeSam on April 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Or pre-load the trunks of their cars with ballot boxes to “find” enough votes to overturn the vote…

ConstantineXI on April 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

In Iran they use the Keep It Simple Stupid principle for voter fraud. In the 2009 election all precincts reported the exact same percentage vote for the candidates (the government candidate winning of course.) Thus each candidate won the same percent of vote in his opponents home town as he did his own. Simple, effective and easy to understand.

KW64 on April 8, 2014 at 1:43 PM

The Machiavellian attitude of the Left knows no bounds. I used to think the only limit they knew was murder. Now I’m not so sure given they are willing to destroy the most cherished asset of America, “the rule of law”, to get their way.

Tater Salad on April 8, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Mr. Morrissey:

Part of what you posted on noon of 20 Jan 2009 was-

Campaign issues, like Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and so on, no longer matter. Obama won the election. In four years, he’ll run for re-election, and what will matter will be the things Obama did between now and then. When Obama does something right, I’ll praise it, but I’ll speak up when policies go bad and mistakes are made. That’s part of being an American.

Best of luck, President Obama. My prayers are with you, for support and wisdom as you assume the burden of this office and lead our country. When you fail to provide that leadership or demonstrate wisdom, though, don’t expect me to be silent. I’m rooting for America, not the coach.

I’ve got to wonder how you assess what you wrote back then. Ayers, Wright, and so on turned out to matter. They were clear indicators about the corruption and partisanship of this administration. What mattered in 2012 was not what Obama accomplished but what he managed to hide (Benghazi, cooked numbers on Obamacare, fake numbers on the jobless, etc.)

What have you praised Obama on these last five years? Where’d he provide leadership or demonstrate wisdom?

I too am rooting for America but it is harder and harder to find that America in this world created by Obama.

Happy Nomad on April 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

What was that?! Someone say they want Obama to turn the nation into is own personal BANANA REPUBLIC even FASTER?

Look, he is already spying on EVERYONE, STILL using the IRS to target his political enemies / the TEA Party, and violating the Constitution and Law like his face was on all of our currency NOW. You KNOW he will have Holder reassuring even MORE Obama supporters he will step in and drop federal voting fraud charges for everyone who votes multiple times for Obama and then brags to the media that they did so…like he did in the 2012 Presidential Election. He COULD ‘sic’ his militant New Black Panther Party supporters on voters again like he did in 2008. He could use his own personal militia – Homeland Security – to help out….but he’s already doing just about everything they can do!

easyt65 on April 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would like the administration to help expand access to the new health-care law.

To go along with our already 90% premium cost increases, #2 in the nation thank you ever so much…shootin’ for 100.

Skank.

PatHenry on April 8, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Tar, feathers, rail.

Mason on April 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

It’s so corrupt the need for the Marines to arrest the whole Administration and jail them would be proper.

mixplix on April 8, 2014 at 4:59 PM