An ad­min­is­tra­tion of rad­i­cals

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

We know that “safe schools czar” and “Queer­ing Ele­men­tary Ed­u­ca­tion” es­say­ist Kevin Jen­nings failed to op­pose ho­mo­sex­ual man-boy re­la­tion­ships and that sci­ence czar John Hol­dren has writ­ten, without ob­jec­tion, that “laws re­quir­ing com­pul­sory abor­tion could be sus­tained un­der the ex­ist­ing Con­sti­tu­tion.” We know that one-time Health and Hu­man Ser­vices sec­re­tary nom­i­nee Tom Daschle had to with­draw be­cause of a fail­ure to pay his taxes. But what has not been ad­e­quately tal­lied is how many of Pres­i­dent Obama’s nom­i­nees and ap­pointees are rad­i­cal or just plain em­bar­rass­ing.

When rad­i­cal­ism and eth­i­cal short­com­ings reach such a crit­i­cal mass, it’s time to broad­cast the dis­honor roll. There­fore, in ad­di­tion to Mr. Jen­nings, Mr. Hol­dren and Mr. Daschle, please con­sider the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of an ad­min­is­tra­tion manned by the likes of the fol­low­ing. The rad­i­cals: Van Jones: The “spe­cial ad­viser for green jobs” re­signed on Sept. 5 af­ter sto- ries broke about his ties to a Marx­ist group, his pro­fane crit­i­cisms of con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans and his as­so­ci­a­tion with Sept. 11 “truthers.”

Harold Koh: Barely ap­proved to be the chief le­gal coun­sel for the State Depart­ment, Mr. Koh is an ad­vo­cate of the danger­ous no­tion of “transna­tion­al­ism,” which would el­e­vate for­eign law above the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. Mr. Koh has en­dorsed a “global reg­u­la­tory” regime to out­law firearms.

So­nia So­tomayor: Se­nate ques­tion­ers barely touched on the two most dis­turb­ing parts of the new Supreme Court jus­tice’s record. First was her opin­ion in Hay­den v. Pataki that states can be forced to al­low cur­rently in­car­cer­ated mur­der­ers and rapists to vote. Sec­ond was her dis­crim­i­na­tory claim in sev­eral speeches that be­cause of “in­her­ent phys­i­o­log­i­cal or cul­tural dif­fer­ences,” gen­der and na­tional ori­gins “will make a dif­fer­ence in our judg­ing.”

Ezekiel Emanuel: This key White House ad­viser on health pol­icy has writ­ten that “al­lo­ca­tion [of med­i­cal care] by age is not in­vid­i­ous dis­crim­i­na­tion” and that “ser­vices pro­vided to in­di­vid­u­als who are ir­re­versibly pre­vented from be­ing or be­com­ing par­tic­i­pat­ing cit­i­zens are not ba­sic, and should not be guar­an­teed.”

Louis But­ler: The new nom­i­nee for a fed­eral district judge­ship in Wis­con­sin is a pro­po­nent of the the­ory that man­u­fac­tur­ers should be forced to pay dam­age awards in law­suits even if there is no ev­i­dence that their prod­ucts made any­body sick.

Charles W. Free­man Jr.: His nom­i­na­tion to chair the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Coun­cil was with­drawn af­ter pub­lic no­tice of his re­marks that Amer­i­can re­ac­tions to Sept. 11 gave ev­i­dence of “an ugly mood of chau­vin­ism,” that Is­raeli set­tle­ments in dis­puted lands are “in­her­ently vi­o­lent” and that the big­gest er­ror of Chi­nese leaders dur­ing the Tianan­men Square up­ris­ing was their “overly cau­tious” re­ac­tion. The eth­i­cally du­bi­ous: Ti­mothy F. Gei­th­ner: The Trea­sury sec­re­tary not only failed to pay all his taxes but ac­tu­ally ac­cepted re­im­burse­ment for taxes he never paid.

Yosi Ser­gant: This ac­tivist was forced out as com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor at the Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Arts af­ter he used gov­ern­ment re­sources to com­min­gle pol­i­tics with the arts.

Bill Richardson: The New Mex­ico gov­er­nor with­drew as nom­i­nee to be sec­re­tary of com­merce be­cause of a fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged im­proper busi­ness deal­ings in his state.

And all of that is just a sam­pling. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder Jr.’s in­volve­ment in the pardons of fugi­tive Marc Rich and some Puerto Ri­can ter­ror­ists should have been dis­qual­i­fy­ing. Cli­mate czar Carol M. Browner ear­lier this year was still a leader of So­cial­ist In­ter­na­tional’s Com­mis­sion for a Sus­tain­able World So­ci­ety. White House coun­sel Gre­gory B. Craig and Jus­tice Depart­ment Civil Rights chief Thomas E. Perez have trou­ble­some back­grounds as well. And so on.

An old but true rule of gov­er­nance is that “per­son­nel is pol­icy.” With the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, that’s a scary thought.

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