A dog that hasn’t barked

In the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze,” the clue to the solution of the case is the dog that didn’t bark. The story teaches a lesson in the virtues of seeing the obvious. Was Orwell a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories? He captured the same thought in the admonition, “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle…”

“The dog that didn’t bark” has become a cliche of the kind I try to avoid, and here I am misusing it, but I want to make a point about a theme that the Romney campaign should be raising against Obama in the course of the campaign and hasn’t. It is a dog that should be barking like crazy. I mean the Obama administration’s lawlessness.

Yesterday gave us the commencement of of Obama’s DREAM Act by executive decree. Even Obama had recognized at one time that he lacks the authority to do that.

The day before yesterday, so to speak, gave us Obama’s abrogation of welfare reform’s work requirement. Hey, it’s illegal.

The early days of the Obama administration gave us Obama’s reshuffling of bankruptcy priorities in favor of the administration’s union friends in the course of the auto bailout. “We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government,” Michael Barone observed at the time. “It is likely to be part of a continuing series.” The administration’s promotion of Obamacare provided Barone another installment in the Gangster Government series. Barone returned to the theme in “Gangster Government becomes a long-running series.” (Barone also contributed a valuable introduction to David Freddoso’s book on the subject.)

And then we have Fast and Furious along with the administration’s stonewalling. Katie Pavlich wrote the book on that one.

The “long-running series” also features the Catholic cramdown element of Obamacare, by which I mean the provision of contraception, abortifacients and sterilization by religious institutions not exempted from Obamacare’s free “preventive services” requirement. It remains a work in progress that will kick in after the election, but it’s a biggie.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope it makes the point. This is one dog that the Romney campaign needs to get barking.

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