The problem with modern-day liberals’ penchant for implementing functions not allowed in the Constitution isn’t just that they’re sticking their noses where they shouldn’t; it’s that it’s distracting them from sticking their noses where they should.
Fresh out of the gate, President Obama decided to continue President Bush’s plan to take over the nation’s largest car companies and banks by tempting them with bailout funds, then tightening the noose and micromanaging them from Washington. Soon after, Obama decided to force taxpayers to guarantee virtually all U.S. mortgages, thus sticking a $5 trillion debt to people who had largely paid their mortgage bills on time. Recently, Obama decided to cap executive pay for banks that took bailout money, and has expressed an interest in monitoring the pay of even banks that didn’t take TARP money.
Congress is currently considering unconstitutional legislation—stalled only because it is trying to pass even bigger, more expensive unconstitutional legislation—to impose cap-and-trade regulations to restrict and tax the nation’s energy use.
This summer, Obama carried out an amusing little $3 billion scheme to pay car owners to destroy their used automobiles and buy new ones, a jaunt that resulted in no significant net energy conservation in the U.S., boosted the auto industries of Japan and South Korea, and hurt the American used car business.
Since July, Democrats’ pet project has been to take over the U.S. health care system. Not crazy enough to try to force through a single payer system, Senate Leader Harry Reid nonetheless went “rogue” on Monday, in defiance of Senate committee members and moderate Democrats, and announced that the Senate version of the health care reform bill would offer a public health insurance option, though such an option has zero chance of passing in the Senate.
Other fun and unconstitutional dalliances the administration has undertaken in recent months include:
• Nationalizing the student loan system
• Nominating for the Supreme Court a justice who believes in ignoring the equal protection offered under the law by the Constitution and considering race and gender in her rulings
• Threatening to violate free speech rights by regulating the Internet and talk radio in order to ensure “balanced” views and prevent “irresponsible” content
• Attacking a private organization, FOX News, for criticizing the administration, and threatening its right to freedom of the press by shutting it out of White House interviews to which other major news organizations are invited
• Appointing 34 unaccountable czars—“green jobs czar,” “science czar,” “diversity czar,” “czar witness protection program czar”—to set policy while circumventing Congress’s approval of either policy or czars
• Massive, unprecedented deficit spending to stimulate the economy
Obama’s expansion of federal government rivals the explosion of federal agencies resulting from FDR’s New Deal and the establishment of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the 1950s.
If the Obama administration finds a free moment from poking around the Constitution searching for such lame justifications for its health care takeover as “promoting the general welfare,” it might consider dealing with the following urgent tasks, which are actually allowed by the Constitution but seem to have fallen by the wayside:
• Providing adequate troop levels for our ongoing war in Afghanistan, as the General whom Obama hired to turn around the war in Afghanistan requested several months ago. Joseph Curl of The Washington Times notes, “The White House bristles when asked whether Mr. Obama is so distracted by domestic affairs and health care that he is unable to focus on Afghanistan.” Hint to Obama: People don’t “bristle” about something that isn’t true—they brush it off their shoulders and move on, because they and everyone else knows it isn’t true. Instead of bristling, Obama might want to consider that his interlocutors are on to something.
• Taking steps to protect the U.S. and its allies from the threat of a nuclear Iran—other than Obama’s chilling warning to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he will meet him “without preconditions or preconceptions.” As the UK Telegraph recently reported, Israel’s former deputy defense minister has somberly observed that Israel can no longer rely on the U.S. to rein in Iran’s nuclear program if it wants to survive as a nation.
• Sticking up for allies Poland and the Czech Republic and honor our agreement to defend them against potential Russian aggression
• Providing adequate funding for missile defense rather than slashing it to make room for bloated domestic spending
• Standing up for human rights in Iran—by not waiting a week after anti-government protests to support the protestors; in China—by not having our Secretary of State rhetorically place the issue of human rights below that of reversing climate change; and in Tibet—by not refusing to meet the Dalai Lama in order to appease China
• Defending the Honduran government’s enforcement of its constitution in their ouster of President Zelaya for attempting to violate presidential term limits
Recently, The New York Times’ Bob Herbert came out against fighting crime in New York; he called it a racist promise for Mayor Bloomberg to make in his reelection bid. The Times’ editorial board no doubt approves of Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder’s early decision to drop charges in the Black Panther voter intimidation lawsuit brought last fall after a harassment incident in Philadelphia on Election Day.
If protecting citizens against violent crimes committed by their fellow citizens isn’t a legitimate Constitutional function, then what is?
I think we have a good idea regarding the priorities the administration will and will not be focused on for the next four years.