When he says he won’t do something that usually means he will.
When President Obama announced his new budget a few weeks ago involving record spending, tax increases, deficits and debt, he did so with soaring rhetoric about spending cuts (non-existent), tax cuts for 95% of workers (misleading), and cutting the deficit in half in 5 years (good luck). This misdirection rhetoric is now a common Obama pattern.
For example, when the Administration leaked out word over the weekend of a plan to convert TARP loans into common stock in the banks, it did so with rhetoric that this was a way to rescue banks without asking for any more taxpayer bailouts. That drew attention away from the fact that this was an effective nationalization, with new outright government ownership in banks.
Obama started his Administration repeating the mantra that he only cares about what works, not about ideology. That was meant to draw attention away from the fact that Obama is all about extremist ideology, not pragmatism. That is why he is so intent on sharply raising tax rates on savings and capital and top income earners. Nothing practical about that in promoting the economy. Just the opposite. Obama’s proposed severe global warming regulation serves extremist environmental ideology, not practical economics. Misdirection rhetoric is another trick Obama learned from Saul Alinsky.
So when the Senate recently voted 87-11 in favor of an amendment prohibiting reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, with obvious White House approval resulting in the support of all those Senate Democrats, I immediately started looking for the other shoe to drop. What is the real plan to shut down conservative talk radio and Christian broadcasts? Where is Obama hiding the peanut this time?
The standard playbook for revolutionaries is to seize all the television and radio stations first, and announce the rebels are the new government. The Left has already done this in America. Except for a couple of holdouts — conservative talk radio and Christian broadcasts.
Obama has already taken over GM, firing and replacing its CEO and Board of Directors. Now he is angling to take over the banks by transforming TARP loans into common stock. Will he find some way to take over the radio stations next, or at least the remaining talk radio and Christian broadcasting stations?
The Senate immediately followed its approval of Sen. Jim DeMint’s amendment prohibiting the Fairness Doctrine by approving an amendment from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) which provided for the FCC to “encourage and promote diversity in communications media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest.” This language points the way, but it is still a sideshow.
The main frontal attack is not going to come through Congress, where talk radio audiences and Christian grassroots can be mobilized to stop it. It is going to come through regulations issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which already has all the legal authority it needs.
The FCC is currently composed of two Democrat and two Republican commissioners. Obama has nominated a new Chairman, his long time pal Julius Genachowski, which would give Democrats a 3-2 majority once he is confirmed. WorldNetDaily reports:
Genachowski…advocates creating new media ownership rules that promote a diversity of voices on the airwaves. In fact, Genachowski is credited with helping craft the Obama technology agenda, which states: “Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.
Local Soviet Councils
One of those “public interest obligations” of broadcasters has always been “Broadcast Localism,” which is the responsibility of stations to serve the needs and interests of their local communities, as specified in the original Communications Act of 1934. Obama has already said,
I fully endorse a call for new rules promoting greater coverage of local issues, and greater responsiveness of the broadcasters to the communities they operate in. I also believe that broadcasters’ license renewal requests, the periodic review required to ensure that broadcasters are complying with their public interest obligations to local communities for using the public spectrum, should require greater FCC scrutiny and public input should occur more frequently.
Indeed, the FCC has already endorsed a regulatory requirement that each station “convene a permanent advisory board made up of officials and other leaders from the service area of its broadcast station.” These boards would enable stations to “regularly meet with community leaders and individuals from all sectors of the community” for advice on how to serve the needs and interests of each station’s community. The FCC concluded in a January, 2008 report, “We believe that these boards will promote both localism and diversity and, as such, should be an integral component of the Commission’s localism efforts.”
Right now, the plan openly discussed for these boards is innocuous, with each station to pick who is on them, and just to meet with them once in a while to discuss issues and ideas. The FCC has noted, in fact, that Fox stations already do a good job of this on their own. But the TARP loans didn’t seem so insidious in the beginning either.
These local boards provide an entering wedge that the Obamans can use to exercise greater control over local radio stations. New FCC regulations can take away station control over the boards, and provide for local politicians to appoint the members, or even for some process of local election. Or board regs can open up membership to Obama cronies from ACORN or similar left-wing organizations and labor unions. Or maybe Muslim activist groups in the case of religious broadcasters.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?