Obama’s power grab
Executive order expands presidential prerogative
hat’s next Morris, are you going to go after Adopt-a-puppy or Save The Baby Seals?”
This was a question put to me by a constituent recently when my refusal to sign a resolution by the Indiana House of Representatives celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) became a front-page, international news sensation.
With 50 million former members, and goodwill that comes from their famous cookies, the Girl Scouts would seem like a strange organization for anyone to take exception with.
The reality is that I am far from the first social conservative to have expressed disapproval with the current leadership of GSUSA.
Many Christian leaders, such as James Dobson, have already adamantly denounced the left-wing agendas of the Girl Scouts’ leadership, and recently St. Timothy Catholic Church in Chantilly, Va., banned the organization from using its facilities because of its pro-homosexual and pro-abortion agenda.
Our concerns are not just the relationship between the Girl Scouts and abortion provider Planned Parenthood (something GSUSA CEO Kathy Kloninger publicly confirmed), but also the left-wing information the organization provides to young girls.
After the email I sent to my colleagues and supporters criticizing the Girl Scouts’ leadership for its provocative doctrine went viral, I was not just the object of derision from the likes of Moveon.org and the Huffington Post, but was attacked by everyone from comedians Conan O’brien, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert, to the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many international outlets.
I believe much of the reason the media attempted to use my comments as a line in the sand against criticism of the Girl Scouts organization is that awareness of its liberal activism is starting to become a real problem for the organization itself.
Membership in the Girl Scouts in the U.S. has plunged by more than 400,000 girls since 2005. Meanwhile, family-friendly alternatives have been gaining strength. The American Heritage Girls membership has more than tripled just since 2006. As word gets out about the leftist agenda of the GSUSA, look for more conservative parents to do what my wife and I have done and pull their girls out of the Girl Scouts and put them into a traditional values alternative.
My need to speak out on GSUSA’S leadership arises largely from the fact that 99.9 percent of local members and group leaders are wonderful people and it is vital that they become informed about the direction the organization’s leadership has taken.
As to the question of whether GSUSA leadership has a far-left agenda, a simple review of hundreds of websites, media stories, and the Girl Scouts’ own website will confirm this (the GSUSA’S own guidelines had instructed its impressionable members to check ultra-liberal, George Sorosfunded Media Matters to verify controversial information).
What I found most interesting in my journey from obscurity to worldwide news was the way the media operates in matters related to the culture war.
Universities have long excluded Christian groups that don’t allow homosexual members, but now Vanderbilt University has informed its Christian groups they must allow non-christians to serve as leaders. To tell religious groups they must be led by people who regard their religion as a ridiculous myth is to create a new and obnoxious fault line in the ongoing culture wars, yet there has been basically no media coverage on this.
Media brouhahas in the culture wars are exclusively used to vilify anyone who complains when left-wing culture warriors continue to remake the United States into something unrecognizable to most Americans.
During the gale force winds of media attacks, I was reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
By demanding that I sign a resolution that endorses a group that mocks and ridicules the values of my faith, I was being asked to find Christianity of moderate importance, and all the media attacks in the world cannot make me do that.
At the end of the day, what is clear is that socially conservative parents will increasingly join groups like American Heritage Girls, while socially liberal parents will be more comfortable with the Girl Scouts.
As for the culture wars, the left had just dispensed with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation when they turned their attentions to me. Today, they are bludgeoning Rush Limbaugh and tomorrow they will find a fresh new target. My advice to that target is to never back down.
So far, all of the victories in the culture war have gone to the progressives. Nearly all of our most revered institutions, such as universities and major charitable organizations, have been infiltrated and transformed by agents of the left. It is hard to believe that Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and nearly all of the now reliably liberal Ivy League universities, were founded as conservative Christian seminaries, just as it is impossible to imagine what conservative industrialists, like Henry Ford, would think of the politics of the board of directors of the foundations that bear their names.
Whatever concessions we make will be followed up with angry demands that we abandon even more of our core principles. If we accept homosexual members today they will demand that we have anti-christian leadership of our Christian groups tomorrow, as is the case at Vanderbilt University. Each new appeasement is welcomed by the left with their moving the goal post yet again, and anyone who objects, like myself, may be subjected to the full force and fury of a monolithic cultural warfare machine.
Nothing short of the destruction of our faith and values would satisfy progressives. We have been left with no choice but to refuse to cede even one more inch of ground in this bloody culture war. The time for resolve is now.
POresident Obama has given himself the powers to declare martial law — especially in the event of a war with Iran. It is a sweeping power grab that should worry every American.
On March 16, the White House released an executive order, “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” The document is stunning in its audacity and a flagrant violation of the Constitution. It states that, in case of a war or national emergency, the federal government has the authority to take over almost every aspect of American society. Food, livestock, farming equipment, manufacturing, industry, energy, transportation, hospitals, health care facilities, water resources, defense and construction — all of it could fall under the full control of Mr. Obama. The order empowers the president to dispense these vast resources as he sees fit during a national crisis.
“The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency,” the order says. “The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.”
In short, the order gives Mr. Obama the ability to impose martial law. He now possesses the potential powers of a dictator. The order is a direct assault on individual liberties, private property rights and the rule of law. It is blatantly unconstitutional. The executive branch is arrogating responsibilities precluded by the Constitution without even asking the permission of Congress. The order gives Mr. Obama a blank check to erect a centralized authoritarian state. This is a law one would expect to find in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela or Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The backdrop to the executive order is the looming showdown with Iran. The administration says the “window for diplomacy is closing.” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta warned Tehran’s mullahs that “all options are on the table” — including military intervention. Mr. Obama stresses that his patience is ne gets the sense that voters are growing increasingly impatient with the GOP’S seemingly interminable primary battles to choose a nominee who can beat President Obama in the fall.
After an exhausting primary season of bitter debates, unending TV campaign attack ads, an untold number of gaffes, embarrassing memory meltdowns, and even a womanizing scandal that drove an early front-runner from the race, the contest still may have a long way to go.
It seems as if this race has been going on forever, and reporters are picking up complaints that the contest has run far too long and Republicans want to pick the nominee sooner rather than later. Primary battles cost a lot of money; they can deplete the party’s war chest for the general election to come; and there’s the danger the party will be so bitterly divided and the nominee so bloodied that the opposition will be too weak to mount a credible campaign.
I don’t buy any of that. I think our system of running the prospective candidates through a long gauntlet of caucuses and primaries is exactly what is required to ensure that we weed out the worst and weakest among them, dig out the skeletons in their closets, and test their ability to mount a wellfinanced national campaign that can go the distance.
One of the singular manifestations of the GOP’S search for a nominee in the 2011-12 election cycle has been the surprisingly large number of early contenders who sped to the top of running out. He vows that Iran will not acquire the bomb. Mr. Obama wants several more months for sanctions and international isolation to bring the ayatollahs to heel. Yet the signals are clear: Mr. Obama may be ready to launch devastating airstrikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.
If that should happen, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised massive retaliation. American troops will be targeted by Iranian proxies in Iraq and Afghanistan. American embassies will be struck across the Middle East and North Africa. Most ominously, Iranian-backed Hezbollah cells could launch devastating terrorist attacks in major U.S. cities, killing numerous citizens. The war may well come home, triggering domestic chaos. These are the very real risks of a major conflict with Iran. the polls, only to see their support vanish in the blink of an eye, forcing them from the race.
We had a former pizza-chain executive who wanted to impose the first national sales tax in American history, on top of all the other sales taxes, and about whom relatively little was known. A sordid womanizing scandal forced him to suspend his campaign.
Then there was the folksy, late-entry Texas governor who cut ahead of everyone in line simply on the basis of being a chief executive of a big state that had created lots of jobs. It turned out he couldn’t express himself very well, often went all but silent in the TV debates and couldn’t remember the name of a huge federal department he said he would abolish. He never recovered.
Then came a former speaker of the House who had led his party to victory in the mid-1990s after 40 years in the minority. He shot ahead in the polls after fiercely attacking the moderator in one of the early debates. He fell behind, only to make a second comeback, only to collapse when it was apparent that he clearly was not presidential material. He finished in last place in Illinois Tuesday.
The party primary system we have was developed to vet candidates like these and cool the passions of the voters who may get swept away by a slick, Elmer Gantry-sounding politico only to discover the candidate lacked substance, stability, focus and a broad base of support.
Which begs the question: Would that tempt Mr. Obama to claim a state of emergency and thereby implement his executive order? No one knows the answer. And we shouldn’t have to find out. The president does not — and should not — have the authority to subordinate the entire private economy to the government, especially without the consent of Congress and the American people. It is national socialism masquerading as military security.
This is why conservatives — those who are serious about defending our constitutional republic — should demand that the executive order be repealed immediately. Liberals argue that President Clinton issued a nearly identical mandate. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first national defense resources preparedness order, which has been amended by successive presidents, including George W. Bush. Hence, according to the progressive left, if it was good enough for FDR, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush, why not Mr. Obama?
The answer is simple: Because the Constitution matters — or at least it should. For more than 70 years, liberal Democrats and corporatist Republicans have been slowly dismantling the old republic, imposing a creeping social democracy. The Founding Fathers’ vision of limited government and federalism has been replaced by a new ruling class. FDR, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush — all of them were militarists expanding the size and scope of government. They were Wilsonian globalists, and they shamelessly violated civil liberties. FDR was the worst, by forcing Japanese-americans into internment camps.
Mr. Obama’s executive order represents the culmination of the welfare-warfare state. He is walking in the footsteps of his predecessors, those who enabled the rise of the imperial presidency. And it leads to only one tragic end: the gradual deterioration of our democracy.
So here we are, having endured primary contests in 34 states, with the field effectively winnowed down to just two candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Each has weaknesses and strengths. But at this writing, it appears that Romney is going to be the nominee — the steady, focused, long-distance runner who knows that cross-country races are won by marathoners with stamina, not by sprinters who fade in the homestretch.
It hasn’t been an easy sell for the former businessman who helped start countless companies that have become household names and employ tens of thousands of Americans. But in the end, he stayed focused on the No. 1 issue that will decide whether Barack Obama becomes a oneterm president: a weak, slowgrowth, jobless economy.
Mr. Santorum, however, doesn’t see the economy as the major, overriding issue of this election. In the past month, he has said the economy “is not the only issue” and that there are “other issues besides the economy,” seemingly dismissing its importance in the large scheme of things.
Reporters who regularly cover his campaign say he rarely talks about the economy and jobs, sticking to the religious and social issues that he feels most comfortable talking about to his socially conservative and evangelical base.
As if to reinforce how he seeks to separate himself from Mr. Romney’s laser-beam focus on the Obama economy, the former senator told voters this week, “I don’t care what the unemployment rate is going to be. It doesn’t matter to me.”
After Romney jumped on the remark, saying his rival seemed to be dismissing the issue that most voters say is their chief concern, Mr. Santorum responded with this weak explanation: “I’m saying my candidacy doesn’t hinge on whether the unemployment rate goes up and down.”
Mr. Santorum’s campaign was so worried this week about how his personal opposition to contraceptives was playing among female voters that his wife, Karen, went on CNN to say, “Women have nothing to fear when it comes to contraceptives. He will do nothing on that issue.”
Meantime, Mr. Santorum’s campaign also suffers from his complete inability to put together and run a major national campaign organization. This was embarrassingly evident in his failure to meet the delegate filing requirements in many states. Not only did he lose badly in Illinois, but he was ineligible for 10 of its delegates because his campaign had not filed the correct paperwork.
Putting together a wellfinanced national campaign is a key professional prerequisite in the long primary season, and Mr. Romney has done that from the ground up. Mr. Santorum has been hobbled by a relatively small staff and no state-by-state national campaign apparatus to speak of.
As things stand now, Mr. Romney has won half of the GOP delegates he needs to clinch the nomination, and ahead of him is a long line of state primaries where he is favored to do well and that will put him at or over the top.
The Gallup Poll reports that Mr. Romney leads Mr. Santorum by 11 points in the head-to-head surveys and the president by 50 percent to 46 percent. The nomination battle is all but over.