Archive for January 20th, 2009

January 20, 2009

Obama’s gay agenda

Via Marc Ambinder, we see that the White House Web site now details Hope and Change:

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

The Lavender Mafia’s wish list, in other words. So if you thought you were voting for economic recovery and foreign-policy realism — surprise! Welcome to the Howard Dean administration.

January 20, 2009

Inaugural memories

From my latest American Spectator column:

Eight years ago today, I took my daughter Kennedy to see President Bush’s inauguration. The weather was miserable, a cold drizzle of sleet and rain falling for most of the day, but that was of little concern to a dad taking his 11-year-old to watch a moment of history.
Kennedy was homeschooled and, as part of her social studies lessons that year, she had followed the presidential election, assembling a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about the campaign. . . .
Our journey downtown for the inauguration parade was sort of a field trip to culminate that project, but it was also an unexpected lesson for my daughter. The lesson was provided by the legions of anti-Bush protesters who showed up in an effort to spoil the fun for everyone.

Please read the whole thing.

UPDATE: A New Ace for a New Era notes the gloat.

UPDATE II: Bush hatred was never strictly a function of policy, Jeremy Lott reminds us:

America’s elites do not merely disapprove of Bush. They loathe him. Back in 2003, when Bush was still basking in the reflected glory of his sun god-sized post-9/11 approval ratings, Jonathan Chait published a piece in the liberal journal the New Republic making the “case for Bush hatred“. Chait objected to Bush’s policies, as well as, for lack of a better term, his Texas-ness.
Chait complained about “the way he walks”, “the way he talks”, “his lame nickname bestowing”, his good ole boyness and his social privilege. He admitted: “I suspect that, if I got to know [Bush] personally, I would hate him even more.”

Nevertheless, all must now praise Obama, or be accused of insufficient patriotism.

UPDATE III: Everyone seems to be enjoying a good laugh at the expense of Fred Barnes, who bids fair to be Bush’s Monica Lewinsky.

UPDATE IV: Kerry Pickett provides video of obscenity-spewing anti-Bush protesters at his 2005 inauguration:

Memories, light the corners of my mind . . .

UPDATE V: Linked by Dan Riehl who asks, “what good conservative names their child Kennedy?” Ah, but I was still a Democrat when she was born in 1989. Nevertheless, my good Ohio Republican wife made me swear a promise at that time, so our 6-year-old daughter is named Reagan.

UPDATE VI: “MSNBC covered the send-off and viewers at home could hear inaugural attendees near the MSNBC location chanting ‘Hey, Hey, Hey, Good Bye’ as they watched Executive One fly over the Mall.”

UPDATE VII: Linked at The Hill‘s Briefing Room.

January 20, 2009

Name That Party!

When a 45-year-old mayor confesses to an affair with an 18-year-old, you can bet that the Associated Press will omit the mayor’s partisan affiliation.

Oh, and the mayor’s latest boyfriend is Oregonian reporter Peter Zuckerman. Insert joke about “press relations” here.

Jammie Wearing Fool notes that Adams had to cut short his trip to the Obama inauguration in order to do a Portland press conference about his taste for twinks.

January 20, 2009

Tingling! Tingling!

Michelle Malkin is monitoring media cliches about the inauguration. Howard Kurtz:

The country’s big-name anchors, actors, commentators, news executives, producers, editors and scribes have been celebrating the quadrennial event — and themselves — at one glitzy gathering after another in the run-up to today’s inauguration. . . .
Every inauguration is a major media moment, with nonstop television coverage, newspapers churning out special editions and correspondents parachuting in from around the globe. But it is hard to envision this level of intensity if John McCain were taking the oath of office. All the hoopla has left the impression that many in journalism are thrilled by Obama’s swearing-in.

Meanwhile Malkin points to a study showing that many journalists have been celebrating Obama with their Facebook status updates.

Allah has an open thread for the Obamapotheosis.

.msnbcLinks {font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 425px;} .msnbcLinks a {text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px;} .msnbcLinks a:link, .msnbcLinks a:visited {color: #5799db !important;} .msnbcLinks a:hover, .msnbcLinks a:active {color:#CC0000 !important;}

UPDATE: Ace of Spades becomes “A New Ace for a New Era.” He links to Ramesh Ponnuru’s take on the speech:

“We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” Good luck with that, Mr. President.

That’s just it, isn’t it? Obama promises the sun, the moon, and the stars, and is celebrated for the ambition of his promises, no matter how absurdly unrealistic they may be. Text of the speech is here.

UPDATE II: Vicious right-wing attack dog Glenn Reynolds: “I find that my overwhelming feeling for him right now is sympathy . . .”

UPDATE III: Did you hear about the evil racist Congressman who tried to pull rank at the inauguration and started hassling a black policeman? Name that party!

UPDATE IV: Reactions from Nordlinger and Levin.

UPDATE V: Tingling from the L.A. Times:

Few moments in our modern political history have been as eagerly anticipated as today’s inauguration. After eight increasingly dispiriting years, the Bush administration at last exits the stage, to be succeeded by Barack Obama and the impressive Cabinet he has assembled. . . . In Obama, America has chosen a leader of eloquence and vision, of patience, intelligence and extraordinary capacity.

Ignore those 58 million who disagreed.

UPDATE VI: Jules Crittenden has a roundup of the pre-inaugural media tongue-bath.

January 20, 2009

‘Battered liberal syndrome’

Bob Shrum writes:

A number of liberal bloggers and columnists, most notably the New York Times’ Paul Krugman, worry, hint or state outright that Obama appears to be selling his mandate short. Their indictment of the stimulus — or recovery plan, as Obama prefers to call it — is that the plan is both less efficient and less fair because it includes tax cuts. Then there’s Obama’s reluctance to pledge to investigate and prosecute a wide array of misconduct in the Bush administration. Obama is reproved for his resolve to focus on the future, not the past. At the least, dissenters on the left insist, he should establish a truth finding panel, with subpoena power, to rake through the Bush detritus and expose it to the world.

The Left is in a 1974 sort of mood, wanting to do a “Nixon” on Bush. Surely, Obama must realize that the nation faces enough challenges in the here and now that they don’t need to be witch-hunting the former administration. But Shrum can’t help but throw out some red meat to appease the wolves:

For the moment, the incoming president has marginalized fevered agitators like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity.

“Fevered agitators”? Ann Coulter’s book is No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list, if that’s any gauge of how “marginalized” she is. And since Bob Shrum is touting the “marginalization” of Coulter as evidence of Obama’s greatness, you should buy Guilty: Liberal ‘Victims’ and Their Assault on America.

January 20, 2009

Gloomy forecast

Pat Buchanan isn’t exactly a voice of cheerful optimism about the Republican future (or lack thereof):

Philosophically, too, the country is turning away from the GOP creed of small government and low taxes. Why?
Nearly 90 percent of immigrants, legal and illegal, are Third World poor or working-class and believe in and rely on government for help with health and housing, education and welfare. Second, tax cuts have dropped nearly 40 percent of wage earners from the tax rolls.
If one pays no federal income tax but reaps a cornucopia of benefits, it makes no sense to vote for the party of less government.
The GOP is overrepresented among the taxpaying class, while the Democratic Party is overrepresented among tax consumers. And the latter are growing at a faster rate than the former.

I am considerably more hopeful, given the prospect of a thoroughly Carteresque new president. The GOP is back to the post-Bush blues of 1993. If they can get the Bushism out of their system, a recovery is yet possible.

January 20, 2009

Rush: ‘I hope he fails’

Somebody’s got to say it:

I got a request here from a major American print publication. “Dear Rush: For the Obama [Immaculate] Inauguration we are asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency. We would love to include you. If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal.” . . .
Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” . . . I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.

Kind of like: It won’t work.

UPDATE: Lefty blogger Steve Benen:

It takes a special kind of American to hope for our failure. . . . No, I don’t think Americans have to root against the country. If Obama fails, we fail. If his presidency falls short, there are negative consequences for all of us. This is the opposite of patriotism.

But if you believe (as Rush says) that Obama’s agenda will harm the country, then Obama’s “success” in implementing that agenda will have “negative consequences for all of us.”

Now, suppose tomorrow Obama were to look at the budget and say, “Hey, what’s up with this National Endowment for the Arts? Subsidizing ballets and art exhibits for rich people? We’re in a serious crisis. We can’t afford that fancy crap. Zero it out.” At which point, Rush would be shouting, “Mega-dittos!” So if Obama wants Limbaugh’s support, he can tune in to WMAL (630 AM) at noon daily and find out how to get it.

UPDATE II: Joseph Farah isn’t on the Obandwagon.

January 20, 2009

Geithner’s GOP stooges

After my posting yesterday about Charles Krauthammer stooging for Tim Geithner, I noticed that Michelle Malkin had jumped on the same Fox News quote.

One of the arguments you hear from Geithner’s Republican defenders is that he is the most conservative Treasury nominee we could reasonably expect from the Obama administration. If Geithner gets Borked, it will therefore mean a more leftward turn, and this might be especially true if Obama were seeking vengeance for being thwarted by Republicans.

All of which sounds quite reasonable but . . . but that’s not how I roll.

No, my concept of politics is that you take your shots where you get ’em, and when I see a Democratic nominee bleeding in the water, I want to see some Republican shark fins circling. Obama will only present X-number of opportunities for the infliction of political damage, and we ought not begin the process by crossing Geithner off the target list and reducing the number of opportunities to X-minus-1.

Same thing with those Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who seem inclined to give Hillary a free pass on her husband’s conflicts of interest. Presented with an opportunity to fight, Republicans ought to kick up as much of a ruckus as they can.

Granted, at such a low ebb of influence, the GOP has limited ability to inflict pain on Obama, but if they start rolling over meekly and refusing to fight at the outset — especially in a situation like Geithner’s, with a financial bigshot who doesn’t pay his taxes — what will they do when the bigger battles come along?

January 20, 2009

BDS, R.I.P.

You know the moonbats had to throw one last spastic fit of hate to finish off eight years of barking madness, and This Ain’t Hell’s John Lilyea was there:

I’m guessing that these organizations that spent the last eight years hating Bush are hurting for donations because Obama won the election. Regular BDS sufferers were purely partisan and they’re perfectly content to have The One in office. It’s making life hard for the Far Left who’ve been scaring people for eight years over things that never happened, so they’re clinging to the “Impeach Bush” excuse to remain relevant.

These angry-pest leftoids were useful to Democrats when they were out of power, but since Democrats took Congress in 2006, the Code Pink/International ANSWER faction has become less relevant, and after today, they’ll find they’ve got no friends inside the newly empowered and respectable Democratic Party.

John’s got lots of photos and videos, so check it out. The leftoid freak show is over, and I’m sure we’ll miss it. Eventually. Once the stench fades.

UPDATE: Sister Toldjah thinks the freak show will continue. Nice new look at her blog, BTW.

January 20, 2009

‘A more perfect Union’

Brilliant young Kevin Vance at The Weekly Standard has a long post about Barack Obama’s invocation of the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia, and calls attention to this passage of Obama’s speech:

It was these ideals that led us to declare independence, and craft our constitution, producing documents that were imperfect but had within them, like our nation itself, the capacity to be made more perfect.

Kevin skips past this to talk about the right to life, but what strikes me is the absurd (though now altogether commonplace) misinterpretation of the Constitution’s phrase “a more perfect union” that Obama foists upon us.

Why did the Framers gather in Philadelphia in 1787? The were called into convention, sent as delegates by their states, to amend the original Articles of Confederation. The Articles had formed the original compact of the 13 colonies during the War of Independence, but the government established by that document proved unworkable. Convened to amend the Articles, the delegates quickly realized it would be best to start from scratch and draft a new system.

Among several other problems under the Articles, there were competing state currencies and states were imposing tariffs on goods imported from other states, preventing the citizens from reaping the economic advantages of a commercial union. This is the original meaning of the constitutional clause authorizing the federal government to “regulate interstate commerce” — that is to say, the federal government would guarantee the orderly flow of goods and services across state lines, preventing the states from mucking things up with encumbering regulations and tariffs. Yet, in the 20th century, judicial activism twisted the word “regulate” in the Commerce Clause to mean that Washington could step in and muck things up in ways that certainly the Framers never intended.

Just as the Commerce Clause has been wrenched out of historical context to mean the exact opposite of what was originally meant, a similar alchemy of meaning has been practiced on the phrase “a more perfect union.” Here is what the preamble of the Constitution says:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now, as I said, the 1787 convention had been called to amend the Articles, so that the delegates had somewhat overstepped their commission in crafting an entirely new plan of government. Therefore, in presenting their plan, they began with a sentence intended to explain and justify their unauthorized action. Since the Constitution, if it was to become binding, required the ratification of the several states, the preamble says that it is “We the People” who “ordain and establish” this new framework. If the states hadn’t ratified it, it would not have been ordained or established, so the “We the People” phrase — however inflated with mystic significance by civics teachers over the years — was written more in expectation of ratification than as an expression of the document as a manifestation of popular will.

So, what of this first avowed purpose, “to form a more perfect Union”? Well, the union of the states under the articles was manifestly imperfect, with the states working at cross purposes as if they were rival European duchies. Especially by establishing a common currency and reserving the regulation of interstate commerce to the federal government, the Constitution aimed to create a more amicable and mutually beneficial relationship among the states — “a more perfect Union.” Q.E.D.

What the Constitution did not do, and what the Framers certainly never intended by that bland and opaque phrase, was to suggest that the federal government engage in an endless project of social improvement, a perpetual process of “more perfect” and “more perfect” until Union gave way to Utopia. And yet this is exactly what the modern misreading of the phrase — a misreading evidently shared by our new president, a Harvard Law graduate — would have us believe.

The best single-volume treatise on originalism, M.E. Bradford’s Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution, includes a foreword by historian Forrest McDonald in which he contrasts the original “nomocratic” view of the Constitution (i.e., establishing a basic legal framework of government, a Rule of Law) with what he and Bradford call the “teleocratic” view:

The alternative, teleocratic view is one that has come into fashion only during the last few decades and has all but destroyed the original Constitution. This is the notion that the design of the Constitution was to achieve a certain kind of society, one based upon abstract principles of natural rights or justice or equality or democracy or all of the above. It holds that specfic provisions of the document are of secondary importance or none at all; what counts are the “principles” it supposedly embodies, usually principles based on the Declaration of Independence or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, neither of which has any standing in law.

In his epilogue, Bradford has sport with liberal author Mortimer Adler’s ridciulous little book about the Constitution, We Hold These Truths, “whose weaknesses are specified by the very title,” i.e., because Adler’s title phrase comes from the Declaration, not the Constituion. Bradford writes:

After Adler identifies the Declaration as a “preface” to the Constitution, we know how the argument will tend: that in the end the Declaration will, if allowed, swallow up the Constitution — except for the Preamble, as ideologically construed.

And so it goes. The teleological conception of the Constitution as chartering an unlimited federal authority that functions as an irresistible engine for achieving abstract ideals — always “more perfect” and “more perfect” with no end in sight short of absolute perfection — makes a mockery of the Framers’ intent to “secure the blessings of liberty.”

There can be neither security nor liberty without a fixed Rule of Law, but by misreading the phrase “a more perfect Union,” the teleocratic view requires that the rules be constantly changed and updated, always to grant more power to Washington, centralizing authority in ways inimicable to liberty.