There are but 12 months left in the saga that has been the Obama presidency, and I can’t help but wonder if we are about to enter a season of dramatic action.
With the Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, it is safe to say that dramatic legislation won’t be coming our way.
But for a President who preferences legislation but doesn’t necessarily seem constrained by it, we might be in for a season of action.
With the stroke of a pen, he has altered the interpretation of existing law through executive action in a manner unseen by his predecessors.
We know he intends to take action on gun control within the next few weeks, and this has left me to consider what his final acts might be.
Deportations Have Been in Steady Decline
We know that President Obama has a soft stance on immigration and would likely favor an amnesty of sorts if he could pull it off politically.
But what happens when he couldn’t care less about what happens politically, as he has but months or weeks left in office?
A report has recently come out that immigration deportations have steadily declined over the past four years and are currently at a 10-year low.
It would seem that at the current pace, President Obama is pushing amnesty by a sheer lack of action.
Border Patrol officials have often complained that their hands are tied in attempts to do their job properly.
So with little to lose, will the President in his final weeks or days in office just go ahead and grant amnesty with the stroke of a pen, personally enacting the largest immigration reform we have seen since the Reagan administration?
Criminal Justice Reform
It has long been a tradition for outgoing Presidents to issue pardons or commute the sentences of those currently in prison or who have criminal records.
There is little to nothing that can be done to stop them, and their actions are often final.
George W. Bush’s most controversial act was commuting the sentence of Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby.
But President Obama has long made the need for criminal justice reform known, and the cry against mass incarceration actually has a good deal of bipartisan support.
A large number of those in the prison system today are there for minor offences, many of which are just marijuana-related charges.
So it is fascinating to consider that much like with immigration, we could be about to see the biggest mass exodus from prison that we have ever known.
Everything in Between
Gun control, immigration, criminal justice reform, and just about anything you can imagine is on the table with this president.
Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he lets Michelle Obama and her healthy eating initiative talk him into banning fat altogether. Surely he wouldn’t touch bacon, though, as that is certain to invite civil war.
The future of the country and the global economy could very well be altered by one man with a pen, 12 months left, and nothing to lose.
Sure, the next president could undo it. But if it becomes clear that the next president will be one Hillary Clinton, there stands little chance of that. He can take the action and the political hits, and all she has to do is nothing.
Half of America is certainly excited to see the end of the Obama administration, but that half better buckle in, because I have a feeling this administration will not go quietly into the night without swinging that pen a few more times.