Politicians and presidents of both parties have occasionally suffered from open-mic syndrome, saying something when they thought the microphone was turned off they wished had not been made public.
The latest to fall prey to that amplification of the mouth is President Barack Obama. The president told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during their Monday meeting in Seoul, South Korea, that once re-elected, he would have "more flexibility" to deal with missile defense. The president asked Mr. Medvedev to relay to incoming President Vladimir Putin his request for "patience" and "space."
The comments sent shivers down conservative spines. Conservatives believe the president is a not-so-closeted socialist. They recall his criticism of the Founding Fathers for putting too many restraints on presidential power in the Constitution, limiting a president's ability to unilaterally bring about change. Unconstrained by the need to run again, they fear a political version of "Girls Gone Wild," with the Constitution shredded and America transformed beyond recognition.
Dick Morris believes that an unleashed President Obama would cause even more damage to the country. The former adviser to Bill Clinton appeared on Fox's "Hannity" Monday night and delivered a Nostradamus-type prediction of what an Obama second term might look like.
"I believe that he'll proceed to a single-payer system on health care," said Mr. Morris. "I think Obamacare was just an intermediate step in his mind. If he's re-elected, particularly if there's a Democratic Congress, he will eliminate the private health insurance industry and all insurance will be from the government and it will all be according to one plan. Secondly, I think that he will completely reverse the initiatives of the Bush 43 administration in opening up vast new forms of oil drilling in the U.S. And will eliminate this incredible opportunity we have to dominate the global oil markets and put the terrorists out of business. But thirdly, I think that his big focus will be to make the United States a vassal state to a globalist entity."
With another president, this might sound like blather from the extreme right, but consider the new book by Van Jones, Mr. Obama's former "green energy czar" who was forced to resign for past extremist views and statements, including signing a 2004 petition from 911Truth.org, a group that claimed George W. Bush allowed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to happen. In "Rebuild the Dream," Mr. Jones claims President Obama could have done more to yank the country leftward had he not been "determined to be bipartisan at all costs."
What would "more" look like in an Obama second term? Again, Dick Morris thinks he sees the future: "TheG-20and the IMF will acquire sovereignty over our economy. I think that he will sign the International Criminal Treaty that would oblige the United States to get U.N. approval, which is to say, Russian and Chinese approval before going to war. I think he will sign the 'Rights of the Child' treaty, which would create a legal basis for suing to increase foreign aid to poor countries."
Mr. Morris was not finished: "I think that he'll sign the global ban on small arms, back-door arms control in the United States. I think he'll sign away royalties for offshore drilling by going along with the Law of the Sea Treaty. I think that he'll ban U.S. weapons in outer space, which will eliminate an anti-missile capability."
The most important thing the president will do, according to Mr. Morris: "He's going to transform America into two countries, a small number of people who pay taxes and a large number of people who don't work and are dependent upon the government to create a permanent leftist, socialist base in the United States."
If that is not cause for alarm, even panic, what is? In the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Obama promised to fundamentally transform America. Given a second term and especially with a Democratic Congress, he will. Just give him some space.
Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at email@example.com.