- - Monday, October 27, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Before Americans vote next week they deserve to know what President Obama has in store for them. The administration’s near-term plans on health care, the environment, immigration, nominees for high office and other issues are shrouded in mystery. It doesn’t take much of a crystal ball to guess what lies just ahead, but the people should hear it from the source. Mr. Obama isn’t talking. He says his policies are on the ballot, and he knows that the less the voters know, the better for Democratic candidates.

The White House wants no repeat of the “shellacking” it took in the 2010 midterm election that gave Republicans six more seats in the Senate and 63 more in the House. The scariest Halloween trick on any Democratic campaign between now and Friday would have Mr. Obama show up unannounced with an offer to help. Since he’s poison on the campaign trail, Mr. Obama spent Saturday on the links at Fort Belvoir, playing his 201st round of golf as president. His golf score is a secret, too, but the informed word is that he hasn’t broken par yet.

All bad news is put on hold until after the elections. Health-insurance premium rates on the Obamacare website won’t be announced until Nov. 15. By some estimates they’ll go up as much as 14 percent, which would be a public relations disaster the administration postponed by extending the open-enrollment period by six weeks. If the public understood how “affordable” health care became under a law enacted with only Democratic votes, the anger would be explosive.

Mr. Obama isn’t likely to be trying very hard to find a successor to Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., who announced his intention to resign on Sept. 25. Contingency plans are made for such replacements far in advance, so if he intends, by some speculation, to choose Thomas Perez, a former deputy to Mr. Holder, why not say so? Could that be because nominating someone just as divisive, just as radical and just as dedicated a race-baiter as Mr. Holder to direct the Justice Department might be bad for Democrats on the eve of the elections? Even if Republicans take back the Senate, as widely expected, Mr. Obama might still force Mr. Perez’s confirmation through a lame-duck Senate run by Sen. Harry Reid under the “nuclear option” rules curbing Republican ability to filibuster presidential appointments.

Costly and onerous Environmental Protection Agency power-plant regulations, meant to destroy the coal industry, are in the postelection pipeline (which is the only pipeline this administration can abide). So, too, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s radical “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rules. These would compel all cities and suburbs to change zoning laws to distribute public housing projects in the name of racial diversity. Answers to these questions the inquiring mind wants to know.

Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, famously said that “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” The coach was talking about football. Messrs. Obama and Reid apply it everywhere. These political deferrals aren’t merely “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” politics as usual. They’re dishonest, radical and dangerous. Now is the time for Republican candidates to put their Democratic opponents on the spot by demanding to know where they — and Mr. Obama — expect to stand on the questions that everyone knows are on the way.


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