Out of Left Field, Into Leadership
The majority of Americans may approve of the job President Obama is doing, but many are skeptical of the vacancies he is filling around him. In CNN’s latest poll, nearly 40 percent of the country believes Obama “is doing a poor job selecting the top officials in his administration.” With Congress back in session after a week-long siesta, some of the President’s worst nominees will be taking their turn in the hot seat of Senate confirmation. After a brief delay, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on porn advocate David Ogden, bama’s controversial pick for Deputy Attorney General.
For more ammunition on Ogden, don’t miss Cathy Ruse’s eye-opening piece, “A Man Who Thinks Child Porn Is Free Speech Is Not Fit for Justice,” published today in Human Events. It details some of Ogden’s worst clients, including Stephen Knox, who was charged with possession of child pornography. In Knox’s defense, Ogden argued that the videos (which included footage of children’s genitalia) were an “art form.” He claimed that the images merited protection under the First Amendment–leaving little doubt that he would act on those instincts as America’s Deputy Attorney General. Another potential member of the Justice team, Dawn Johnsen, is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday. As Obama’s choice for Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn’s resume includes a stint at NARAL, the radical pro-abortion organization, in which she served as the legal director.
Meanwhile, little has been made of the President’s Secretary of Labor-designate Hilda Solis (D-Calif.). Among other things, the current congresswoman has a history of communist ties and now serves as a member of the Progressive Caucus, “the socialist wing of the Democratic Party in the House.” Since her election in 2001, Solis has consistently scored 0% on FRC Action’s Vote Scorecard. As Labor Secretary, she would continue to champion the Employee Free Choice Act, a pro-union bill which would give the federal government “the power to dictate the terms of a contract and to set wages, benefits, hours and work rules.” The full Senate will vote on Solis, the fourth of Obama’s nominees to owe back taxes, tomorrow.
Coast Not Clear for Hawaii’s Civil Union Bill
Actor Sean Penn may have stood before his peers last night and declared “gay marriage inevitable,” but he only demonstrated how out of touch Hollywood is with the majority of voters. Across America, swarms of people are mobilizing in the most liberal states to show their support of traditional marriage. On Sunday, the same day Penn rebuked Prop 8 supporters as “haters,” a crowd of thousands rallied in Honolulu against a civil union bill that would grant same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual spouses. Although the legislation (HB 444) has cleared the House, it now heads to the Senate, where it enjoys less support. Sen. Robert Bunda, a Democrat who for weeks has been the deciding swing-vote, has pledged to vote against the bill after more than 1,400 emails in protest. “I believe… any change to the marriage laws will require a Supreme Court ruling or a constitutional amendment,” he said. Tomorrow, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on HB 444, and we encourage our Hawaiian friends to continue flooding senate offices with phone calls and emails.
Blankenhorn’s Sour Note on Marriage
In a surprising departure from his prior positions, David Blankenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values, partnered with Jonathan Rauch for a stunning op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times called “A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage.” In it, the pair advocates the creation of a federal civil union law which would give same-sex couples “most or all” of the benefits associated with marriage while somehow strengthening religious conscience protections. Blankenhorn’s concession is disturbing on several levels. As we have seen elsewhere, civil unions are a Trojan
horse for homosexuals’ ultimate goal of marriage. Once a national civil union law is in place, denial of marital status would be almost impossible to defend.
Far from a “compromise,” Blankenhorn’s position surrenders on the core question of whether the relationship involved (homosexuality) can be recognized as a social good. If it can be, the ability of other institutions to deny it recognition will be on a path of extinction. Their proposal also confines religion to specifically religious institutions or para-religious institutions. But any religion worth its salt (and light) demands moral behavior in all realms of life, so all sorts of freedoms will necessarily suffer curtailment under this regime. This is of little matter, however, because this proposal is a halfway house to the ultimate goal–something I suspect Rauch knows.
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