Streetcar Line

So Many Outrages, So Little Time

Stories I under-covered in 2011.  

By 12.30.11

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It's a sad commentary on the Obama administration both that the Republican effort to dethrone him seems so desperately important that it dominated (my) column-writing in the year before election year and that the administration flouts laws and constitutional traditions in so many ways that it's almost impossible to blow the whistle on them all. That said, I have been seriously amiss in writing too little in 2011 on the following stories, some of which I covered at length in previous years -- and all of which I enthusiastically invite other reporters and columnists to write about.

The Obamite War Against the Heroic FDNY: Contradicting the Supreme Court decision in Ricci v. DeStefano which held that results of a race-neutral exam for firefighter promotions ought to be honored, the Obama/Holder Justice Department has been trying to force New York City's fire department to throw out results of a race-neutral test, and to admit into its academy black applicants even if they missed 70 percent of simple questions -- in the process, blocking the admission of black applicants who actually performed well on the test. (Go figure.) DoJ instructions even suggested explicitly quota-based academy admissions, thus ignoring plenty of other Supreme Court precedent. In the latest news, the city of New York has, quite rightly, appealed the rogue judge's order (the judge and the Obamites are aligned) appointing a "monitor" for the fire force's personnel moves.

The Obamite Effort to Discourage Voting by the Military: Eric Eversole, executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project, came on my radio show in September to discuss this, but it still merits far more attention. Clearly, the Obama administration has, at best, fallen down on the job, and more likely, actively discouraged military voting. Clearly, they believe military voters tend to be conservative, so the Obamites want them disenfranchised.

Judicial Wars: Usually one of my favorite topics, this has slipped away from me this year -- partly because Republican senators are so frustratingly weak-kneed about the whole subject. Ed Whelan has some statistics here. Sadly, only a smattering of GOP senators would even support their own Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, in opposing the nomination of Susan Owens Hickey to a federal district court, and they wouldn't do even a temporary filibuster against the manifestly ill-qualified Alison Nathan.

Blocking Obamite Efforts to Nationalize Education Policy: U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett has introduced the LEARN Act to let states opt out of federal micromanagement, and it appears to be a great idea. As Gary Palmer of the Alabama Policy Institute points out (and as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been noting as well), the Obama administration is improperly using the "waiver" process to force their own policy choices on the states.

Obamite Flouting of Clear Legislative Language: U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf complains that White House science czar and compulsory abortion advocate John Holdren is violating the law in using federal appropriations for unapproved purposes (in this case, certain bilateral activities with China). Likewise, the Washington Times' Emily Miller catches the White House blowing off other Appropriations restrictions, thus further indicating that he is dangerously authoritarian in outlook.

Obamites Cheating for Union Goons: So many examples of this tendency could be mentioned here that I won't even try to list them all. But here's one highlighted by the Workplace Fairness Institute. In short, the National Labor Relations Board has become, like the Justice Department, a lawless agency.

Obamite War Against Catholics and Other Traditionalist People of Faith: The Catholic Advocate explains in this short online video, and writes in another forum the following:

Think about some of the policies that have taken root since Obama entered the White House:

•  No longer defending the Defense of Marriage Act;

•  Forcing private insurers to provide contraception like the morning after pill to women at no charge;

• Reversing the ban on federal dollars from funding stem cell research;

• Taking away health care providers' rights of conscience.

Other than the controversial spending and tax bills, these policies are the highlights of what the Obama administration has accomplished. This administration is leading America to a place where religious liberties do not exist, and if we're not vigilant, they'll try to take God away next. Are you comfortable with this?

Finally, in one area where the administration's sins are in the background (the administration ought to use diplomatic pressure to help out, but won't), the manifestly dishonest Ecuadoran environmental case against U.S.-based Chevron Corp. continues apace despite all sorts of evidence of skullduggery that completely belie the idea that Chevron is guilty of much of anything. The whole case was rigged from the beginning.

Aside from all that, a few notes about what has been good about 2011…. To wit: A) The old-fashioned campaign work ethic of Rick Santorum. B) The continuing efforts of J. Christian Adams, Hans von Spakovsky and others to highlight and fight against the Obamite efforts to enable widespread vote fraud. C) The conservative blogging of Jennifer Rubin in hostile territory at the Washington Post. D) The efforts of conservative journalists at all four of the "traditional" conservative periodicals -- The American Spectator, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and Human Events -- to try to uphold Reaganite conservative thought and action in an age of American Idol mentalities and text-message attention spans. E) The legislative and political leadership of Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Frank Wolf on issues where they draw heavy liberal fire but still won't back down. F) The leadership at the state level of governors such as Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and John Kasich of Ohio (along with the recently retired and underappreciated Bob Riley of Alabama), who show that conservative governance really can work. G) The folks at the Heritage Foundation, still the greatest idea bank for the conservative movement, and especially the brilliant team at its Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, who are always superbly responsive and well informed. I) My kind and eminently agreeable friend Victor Schwartz, who always knows what's going on behind the scenes in the world of lawyers. J) Fellow conservative bloggers who labor for the cause. K) Conservative radio hosts across the land -- Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, of course, but also too many others to name, who keep the airwaves full of real facts and intelligent commentary, breaking through the media monopoly of the big TV networks. L) My colleagues at the Center for Individual Freedom and the University of Mobile, who help make all my writing possible. M) Al, Bob, and Wlady, for keeping the Spectator afloat, alive, and vibrant -- with a special thanks to Wlady, who does yeoman's work with unflagging energy, remarkable patience for the quirks and shifting schedules of writers like me, and remarkable good humor.

Here's wishing everybody a wonderful 2012 -- and, if I may say so, a president-elect, by this time next year, who didn't grow up in Hawaii or Indonesia.

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About the Author
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator and a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom. Follow him on Twitter @QuinHillyer.