Michael Gaynor
Obama's promoting socialism and judicial activism
By Michael Gaynor
February 12, 2009

The secret of President Obama's success is combining audacity, a pleasant demeanor, a talent for subterfuge, a willingness to pander shamelessly and the willingness of most of the major media to disregard the negative truths about him and to denigrate his opponents for him.

Before Election Day 2008 "Joe the Plumber" correctly commented that the economic philosophy of President Obama is socialism and the Judicial Confirmation Network (www.judicialnetwork.com) warned that a President Obama might use the presidential appointment power to promote welfare and wealth redistribution if given the opportunity.

On October 27, 2008, Wendy E. Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, issued the following statement on the 2001 WBEZ Chicago radio interview in which then Illinois state senator Obama said that one of the "failures of the civil rights movement" was that "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society."

Mrs. Long:

"In this very revealing 2001 Chicago radio interview, Senator Obama lamented that he was 'not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change by the courts' — but not because Obama didn't want to. Rather, he said that the Warren Court 'didn't break free from the essential constraints' in the Constitution — 'at least as it's been interpreted' — that do not allow such judicial activism on the part of the Court. But he said that he — unlike the Warren Court — could 'craft theoretical justifications' for 'legally . . . bringing about economic legal change through the courts."

"Presumably, an Obama administration would try to interpret the Constitution to advance those radical legal arguments — and an Obama Supreme Court would presumably uphold them — that would bring about 'economic legal change through the courts.'"

That presumption was fully justified.

But the major media's management of the news and manipulation of the electorate, especially with regard to the financial crisis, made Obama President.

These days the Obama administration is rushing the biggest spending bill in history through Congress by labeling it "stimulus" and insisting that the result of a delay to scrutinize the bill will be a disaster from which the United States may never recover.

So much for eschewing "the politics of fear" in favor of "the audacity of hope."

President Obama is politically skilled at promoting himself and packaging, to be sure, but in the name of equality he may make everyone poor and he surely will impose a huge burden on future generations.

As a candidate, Obama lied about his relationship with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the bulk of the major media did not expose the lie.

As President, Obama is enjoying the same "cooperation" from the bulk of the major media, even though it has been discovered that several of his high-level nominees have had ethical and legal problems that should have stopped him from nominating them.

Ironically, President Obama acknowledged that one of those high-level nominations had been made because he "[a]bsolutely" had "screw[ed] up" during an NBC interview on February 3, 2009. (During the election campaign NBC was the National Barack Channel and it still is, shamelessly.)

While the focus has been on the nearly trillion dollar "stimulus" bill, President Obama has been working to put judicial activists in control of the United States Justice Department.

For Attorney General, there is Eric Holder, known for facilitating the pardons of Puerto Rican terrorists and financier Marc Rich during the Clinton Administration.

Of course, Holder needs helpers and, with the help of Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Obama is, in the words of a Judicial Confirmation ad, "trying to ram through the Senate confirmation process the nominations of David Ogden for Deputy Attorney General, Elena Kagan for Solicitor General, and Thomas Perrelli for Associate Attorney General.

The Judicial Confirmation Network asked "why is Senator Leahy forcing a rush to judgment on Department of Justice nominees — especially when the vetting process for top jobs in the Obama administration has been so lacking" and "[w]hat is it the Senate needs to know about these nominees that Senator Leahy prefers to brush past?"

Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, demonstrated that Senator Leahy is significantly speeding up the process for the Obama nominees in a National Review Online Bench Memo aptly titled "The Confirmation Rush" and posted on February 9, 2009.

Mr. Whelan:

"Given the hard-Left records of President Obama's senior DOJ picks, it's no surprise that Judiciary Committee chairman Pat Leahy is pressing for early hearings to make it difficult for Senate Republicans to expose those records. Compare and contrast:

In 2001, President Bush's nominee for Deputy Attorney General, Larry Thompson, received his committee hearing 50 days after President Bush announced his nomination, and he was confirmed 85 days after that date. In 2009, President Obama's nominee for Deputy Attorney General, David Ogden, received his committee hearing 31 days after then-President-elect Obama announced his nomination.

In 2001, Bush's nominee for Solicitor General, Ted Olson, received his committee hearing 50 days after Bush announced his nomination, and he was confirmed 99 days after that date. In 2009, Obama's nominee for Solicitor General, Elena Kagan, is slated to have her committee hearing tomorrow — 36 days after Obama announced her nomination — even though (as a Senate staffer tells me) the questionnaire response that she submitted doesn't include all the requested publications.

"If the 19-day and 14-day differences strike you as insignificant, have in mind that those extra days would more than double the time that committee staffers have had to review the nominees' questionnaire responses and the voluminous materials accompanying those responses."

In an op ed titled "Obama's legal extremists" and published in the Washington Times on February 10, 2009, Mrs. Long suggested that Senator Leahy's haste "may be by design" because "appointees have far-left records" and explained "the Obama-Leahy confirmation strategy for legal appointees whose views are far outside the American mainstream" this way: "The strategy is to deploy 'the fog of constitutional war.' Smart, well-prepared lawyers who believe in a 'living Constitution' that accommodates their political preferences obfuscate their way through senators' questions, fogging up the issues instead of making them clear, all with a show of charm and ingratiating deference. And, when all else fails, making an Obama-like proffer of faux humility."Mrs. Long supported her astute an analysis with facts that the public should know:

"Take Ogden. This past Thursday in U.S. Senate hearings, the man who has in private legal practice been one of the porn industry's main advocates sounded like he was trying to edge out Phyllis Schlafly in his desire to protect children from smut and exploitation. Meanwhile, the porn industry calls his nomination 'refreshing.'

"But facts are stubborn things. Ogden fought to remove porn filters from the Internet in public libraries. He argued that the law requiring producers of sexually explicit material to keep records about the identity and ages of their performers was unconstitutional. He submitted a Supreme Court brief on behalf of the ACLU arguing that a man had been improperly convicted under the federal child pornography statute because the man's videotapes, 'Little Girl Bottoms (Underside)' and 'Little Blondes,' which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had found 'clearly were designed to pander to pedophiles,' aren't really pornography under the Constitution. Then-President Bill Clinton disagreed with Ogden, as did the U.S. Senate, 100-0."

Obama picking a porn industry champion for the United States Justice Department should be highlighted, not hidden.

Mrs. Long highlighted Mr. Ogden's "inconsistency," as follows:

"Ogden successfully asked the Supreme Court to overturn the death sentence of Christopher Simmons, who at the age of 17 broke into the house of a Missouri woman, bound her hands and feet and face with tape, and threw her into a river, where she drowned. 'The evolving standards of human decency that mark a maturing society' don't permit the death penalty for crimes committed at the tender age of 17. Never mind the text and history of the U.S. Constitution, which sets no minimum age for punishing murder with execution.

"But the age of 14 is not too tender, according to Ogden, for girls to have abortions without telling their parents. Ogden explained away all of these positions. At one point, the legally sharp and scrupulously fair Republican ranking member, Arlen Specter, cut off the fog machine blowing at the dais, saying 'I consider that a non-answer, candidly.'"

As for Ms. Kagan, mentioned as a possible Obama Supreme Court nominee, Mrs. Long is very concerned, not charmed.

Mrs. Long:

"Don't expect any more transparency today, when Elena Kagan, the Obama nominee for Solicitor General, takes the stand. She has charmed many in the conservative legal community, particularly in the academic world, by hiring a couple of conservative law professors in her capacity as dean of Harvard Law School.

"Kagan will doubtless turn on the constitutional fog machine when asked why she booted military recruiters off the Harvard Law campus. She's vehemently against the Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy — again, one embraced by President Clinton — because it discriminates against homosexuals who want to be open about their sexual orientation while serving in the military. She calls the U.S. military's policy 'a moral injustice of the first order.' Wonder if she'll enforce the Defense of Marriage Act as Solicitor General.'

It's more likely that she would declare DOMA unconstitutional if she gets the opportunity!

Unfortunately, the Obama Justice Department is likely to include other "far-left extremists," including Dawn Johnsen, nominated to head the Office of Legal Counsel, who worked at NARAL and the ACLU and opposes even modest regulation of abortion, such as partial-birth abortion bans and parental notification for teenagers and has argued that restrictions on abortion violate the Thirteenth Amendment, which banned slavery, because "forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest" and Thomas Perrelli, nominated to be Assistant Attorney General, who, in Mrs. Long's well chosen words, "worked with the Florida ACLU to cut off basic food and water to Terri Schiavo, causing her to die, and later expressed disdain for the American people making laws through elected representatives that undo the work of legal extremists and activist courts."

Mrs. Long warned President Obama that if nominating "a slew of far-left activists to the Justice Department.... is the change he believes in," he "will lose the support of the sensible moderates who voted for him."


The secret of President Obama's success is combining audacity, a pleasant demeanor, a talent for subterfuge, a willingness to pander shamelessly and the willingness of most of the major media to disregard the negative truths about him and to denigrate his opponents for him.

But, as the real Abraham Lincoln said: "It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time."

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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