Political Hay

Obama’s Last-Minute Gifts

The undemocratic nature of liberal "victories."  

By 12.23.10

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A tension always exists between the cocky rhetoric of the left and its undemocratic tactics. Were left-wing ideas as popular as they claim, liberals wouldn't need to advance them in such an underhanded way. "Progress" on the causes most dear to them usually take place not at the ballot box but in judicial chambers, or, as it happens this week, in an undemocratic lame-duck session of Congress.

A smug and beaming Obama declared at the signing ceremony for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on Wednesday that people will look back and wonder why homosexuality in the military was a "source of controversy in the first place." But people are more likely to look back and wonder why such an arrogant president who enjoyed total control over Washington for two years had to wait until a lame-duck session after his party got pulverized at the polls to pass the repeal.

That just shows the repeal is an elitist, not populist, victory, one which a future Edward Gibbon will mark down as yet another illustration of an insular political class's delusion and decadence at a time of terrorism. This elite has long wanted to tear down the military and turn it into a laboratory of political correctness, and Obama has smuggled this gift to his friends through the backdoor of a lame-duck session.

In his remarks on Wednesday, he said that gay soldiers will no longer be forced to "live a lie." Never mind that one can't be forced to join an all-volunteer army. Moreover, he showed no concern about the new deception a majority of combat troops who object to the repeal will now have to live. Those soldiers must swallow the lie of political correctness. In order to stay in the military or get promoted in it, they will henceforth have to pretend to accept all the pro-gay propaganda and pro-gay reeducation sure to follow the repeal. They are now expected to be as enthusiastic about brotherly lust as they had formerly been about brotherly love.

Obama revealed in his signing-ceremony remarks what was foremost in his mind during his very first meeting with his generals: not defeating America's enemies at a time of war but liberalizing the military. "Ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was a topic in my first meeting with Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, and the Joint Chiefs. We talked about how to end this policy. We talked about how success in both passing and implementing this change depended on working closely with the Pentagon. And that's what we did," he said.

So, while insurgents and terrorists trained, Obama was sitting around with his generals and worrying about how to make the U.S. military gay-friendly. The irony of this "historic" democratizing of the military is that he had to use the undemocratic means of threatened court decisions and a lame-duck session to achieve it.

"We are on the side of history," liberals like to burble, especially after a moment of "progress" such as this one. But this bragging sounds suspicious this week, since the big news from the Census is that Americans are migrating to parts of the country the left regards as racist and homophobic.

Under the new numbers of the Census, liberal bastions like New York and Massachusetts will lose congressional districts, while conservative states like Texas and Arizona will pick new ones up. Most of the shrinking states that are losing congressional districts voted for Obama.

To blunt these population trends, the left will have to resort to the undemocratic tricks afforded them by judicial activists, one of which is the Voting Rights Act.

"With Republicans in control of many state legislatures and governorships after November's historic election, the GOP will have the upper hand during the politically charged battles that take place in the states every decade over the redrawing of congressional boundaries," reports the Washington Post. "This does not give Republicans the ability to draw the lines anywhere they choose. Certain states with a history of racial discrimination are required by the federal Voting Rights Act to draw boundaries in a way that does not put minority populations at a disadvantage."

A movement that relies on politically correct gerrymandering, judicial activism, and lame-duck legislation for its victories speaks not for the people but only for an increasingly manipulative and arrogant elite.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.