Obama’s Last-Minute Power Grab Seeks to Control Future Elections

Never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to make one up.

Democrats love a good crisis. Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And where there is no crisis they can point to, they make one up.

With a little over a week to go before President Obama vacates the White House, he’s doing all he can under his executive authority to cram through as many last-minute “midnight regulations” as he can whether the perceived threat is real or not. In this case, the Obama administration has declared that America’s election system is vulnerable to foreign cyber attack and the president must step in to protect the legitimacy of future elections.

The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson released a fear-mongering report on Russia’s alleged hacking of the November election and is using it as a smokescreen to give the federal government more power over state and local elections. This unconstitutional move based only on allegations would remove state sovereignty by declaring local systems “pieces of critical infrastructure” to be mandated and overseen by DHS. State officials aren’t happy with that possibility.

“[Obama’s executive actions] uses security as an excuse to subvert the Constitution and establish the basis for federal encroachment into election systems,” Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp said.

Democrat Vermont Secretary of State Jim Candos spoke to Politico, “What I think a lot of folks get concerned about; when the federal government says, ‘Well, look, we’re not really interested in doing that, but we just want to give you this,’ and then all of a sudden this leads to something else.”

The secretaries of each state run the local elections, and each one of them knows that a “decentralized U.S. election system makes large-scale hacking almost impossible,” as National Review’s John Fund stated.

There’s zero proof that Russia hacked the election signal and changed a single vote from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. This is political theater; nothing but sour grapes by the Democrats who can’t stomach that America and the Electoral College chose Trump and so, they need something or someone to blame. 

However, the Obama administration needs only to look inward to see it has left classified information accessible to hackers on several occasions (Secretary Clinton, anyone?) and that alone disqualifies them from even suggesting the federal government intervene in local elections. Fund wrote:

Rather than pursue more authority over election systems, the Obama administration should have been more worried that its director of the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had to resign last July after hackers stole the personal data of 21.5 million current and former federal employees. The stolen information included employees’ addresses, Social Security numbers, financial and military records, and security clearances from OPM’s data bases. No one else has been disciplined for that breach, even though OPM had for months ignored clear warnings about the agency’s vulnerabilities.

“There is no federal power to control or secure elections. Each state administers its own elections, restricted only by constitutional protections for voting rights,” said Cato Institute senior fellow in constitutional studies Illya Shapiro. “It may make sense for states to request federal support here, but it would set a dangerous precedent for a federal agency to unilaterally take over state electoral processes.”

UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo said, “While the federal government has the general power to protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure, it cannot intrude into areas of state sovereignty without clear constitutional mandate.”

Obama’s entire presidency has been one circumvention of the Constitution after another. This last-minute power grab is just another example of his thirst to secure his legacy.

Issues

People

Organizations