President Obama promised the most transparent administration in history. He pledged all bills would be posted online for five days before he signed them. Turns out that only applied to NON-emergency bills, and everything is an emergency in our swiftly transforming America. As Rham Emanuel, President Obama’s closest adviser says, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which must have been an emergency since it didn’t qualify for the five day guarantee. We had to pass the pork-laden stimulus bill before the Best-Congress-Money-Can-Buy could even read it, let alone post it online, otherwise unemployment might reach the unacceptable 8% range; though most of the provisions wouldn’t kick in for months or years, but that was an emergency. Another bill too big to read is America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, which fails to insure the uninsured and doesn’t slow the rising rates, which are the two things it was supposedly designed to accomplish. And even though most of the provisions won’t overwhelm us until after the next presidential election, it was an emergency. Adding insult to injury, after saying “There has never been a more open process,” Nancy Pelosi crafted the health care take-over behind doors closed so tight they’ve been called an iron curtain. Eventually she had the nerve to say “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…”
The American tradition was built upon the idea of limited and dispersed powers, and under the Constitution neither the people, nor the states, nor the federal government was given absolute power or complete sovereignty. Behind the veil of silence, mockery and misstatements, and continuing a trend that has gone on through the reigns of many imperial presidents, the Obama administration is accumulating more power than any previous administration in American History.
Now the usual suspects are calling for the censorship of the media under the guise of protecting us all from hate speech. After years of congressional blockade in the 1990s and presidential vetoes in the 21st century current Progressive CABAL has resurrected Ted Kennedy’s Hate Crimes law which now hangs like a shroud on the body politic. These types of laws have been used in Europe and Canada to criminalize opinion and squelch any who don’t repeat the catch phrases, which pass for free speech in the Progressive’s mental gulag.
Mark Lloyd Diversity Czar at the FCC seeks to gain greater control of broadcasting with the aim of curtailing the daily drip-drip of conservative commentary by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In cyber space Net Neutrality is nothing but the patently unfair Fairness Doctrine for the Internet. Political correctness has taken its toll of the spoken word. We no longer know what to call anyone in this day of hyphenated-America and fractionalized interest groups when what is politically correct changes with the winds of doctrine. The fairness police choke freedom out of speech using peer pressure while the administration tries to malign and marginalize the only network that isn’t acting as a fax service for their press releases. This isn’t exactly what I envisioned when I heard that pledge to be the most transparent administration in history. It’s more like the smoke and mirrors that passes for representative government in a one party state like Chicago.
Our Progressive leaders are transparent in one thing: their contempt for the desires of the people. Even though he gave speech after speech trying to explain why we needed to reform our medical system to death, the president said people were only against it because they didn’t understand it. Now with the coming financial reform act combined with the previous take-over of auto and insurance brings a larger percentage of the American economy under government control than at any other time, as poll after poll show the popular sentiment solidly against these acts, but the bills were rammed through anyway. Obama the candidate denounced the Bush Administration as the most secretive in history. The Obama Administration is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests at a rate 50% above the previous administration. I know we see through a glass darkly, but if this opaque obfuscation is transparency I’d hate to see secrecy. Perhaps secrecy is what you call announcing in advance when and where the next offensive is coming in the shooting wars across the sea.
Those who believe the Constitution is a Living Document they can self-amend at will continue to chip away at the traditional definitions of what it means to be free. In the New-Speak of the transformed America, racial quotas aren’t racial discrimination, the take-over of industries are done to save free enterprise and being in charge means it’s always someone else’s fault. If those of us who want to remain free don’t use our remaining freedom to protect our freedom, soon it may not be politically correct to even remind people that once we were free.
Dr. Robert R. Owens teaches history, political science, religion, and leadership for Southside Virginia Community College. Dr. Owens is the author of “America Won the Vietnam War” and “The Asuza Street Revival.” He is available for speaking engagements.