– By Dr. Mims Mobley –
It doesn’t seem like it has been 37 years since the late Christopher Reeve, starring as the superhero with red cape billowing, flew across theater screens in the first of four Superman movies; it was the blockbuster movie of 1978. One scene I vividly recall was just after Superman had given Lois Lane an eagle’s view of Metropolis, she asked him what he was all about. His answer was the same as it had been when I read Superman comic books as a kid way back when: “the battle for truth, justice, and the American way.“ Impressive was the way Reeve delivered the line. It wasn’t said with fanfare or bravado. He said it in a matter-of-fact manner as if it was a long-respected given, and that the battle for preservation of those tenets was on-going.
With the 2014 mid-term elections, the policies of President Obama were rather soundly repudiated by the voters, handing control of the Senate to the Republicans and further increasing the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. The list of reasons is long with the negligible growth in our economy for six years being at the top of the list. But one wonders to what extent the Obama administration’s deviation from the Superman axiom of “truth, justice, and the American way” might have played a role.
As far as truth and justice are concerned, it is unlikely that any administration in the history of our Republic can claim total veracity, and probably all have used the Justice Department in some manner to their advantage. But for some time our current administration has very much been under public scrutiny regarding its truthfulness with things like Benghazi, Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal, and conflicting pronouncements regarding Ebola among others. The President and his Attorney General have been forthcoming about which laws they would and would not enforce, but supposedly their duty is to enforce them all. So regarding truth and justice, although the administration’s record is far from stellar, wiggle room can usually be found.
The Obama administration has deviated rather markedly from the American way of doing things, however. Coming into office in 2009, boasting that it would be the most transparent administration ever, it has been the least transparent. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, in control of their respective legislative bodies, essentially ignored their colleagues of the opposition party across the aisle and the millions of voters who had sent them there. And when the Affordable Care Act, to become known as ObamaCare, emerged from behind closed doors with no Republican input or opportunity for amendment, and passed by totally partisan voting, it had been done contrary to the American way.
The voters dealt early with Mrs. Pelosi, handing the House to the Republicans in the 2010 mid-term election. And they did it again in 2012 and in 2014. But all the while Harry Reid continued his one man rule in the Senate, letting only a handful of many legislative bills from the House come to a vote on the Senate floor. He never even allowed a vote on a budget. Every household has a budget of some kind, but thanks to Reid essentially closing down the Senate for business, the U.S. Government did not during his tenure as Majority Leader. All the while President Obama usurped the law-making responsibility of Congress, changing the Affordable Care Act to his political advantage being but one example. Lyndon Johnson was an adroit Senate Majority Leader in his day and later a progressive president, but he always reached across the aisle to build consensus.
We now have a new Congress with both the House and the Senate under Republican control and the possibility of a much needed return to “the American way” of doing things in Washington, which in essence is what the voters said they wanted.