04.13.2010 0

Obama’s Appointment Failures

By Bill Wilson

Many Americans expressed surprise at the hard left turn of the Obama Administration which promised post-partisanship in their drive for the White House.

However, those who have followed the personnel decisions of the Administration are much less surprised. After all, since the Reagan Administration it has become an accepted truism that “personnel is policy.”

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has just released a report titled, “Obama’s Staffing Failures” which reminds us of some of the high level Obama Administration officials whom either were unable to be confirmed, were forced to resign, or in some cases, serve without Constitutional authority under the advice and consent process.

These short reminders of the Administration’s top personnel blunders, embarrassments, and seeming practical jokes remind those who thought they voted for a centrist that, in reality, this Administration is filled with the most radical anti-free enterprise appointees in our nation’s history.

Who can forget Obama Communications Director Anita Dunn? Her most notable achievement in office was trying to use the full weight and power of the U.S. government in a public relations campaign against FOX News because they had the audacity of accommodating views and opinions held by the substantial percentage of Americans who describe themselves as conservative.

This intimidation attempt was not only aimed at FOX, but was a powerful message aimed at any other media outlet that might dare to present dissenting opinions. This direct attack on the First Amendment was not surprising after learning that one of Dunn’s favorite political philosophers is Mao Tse Tung. The same Mao Tse Tung who famously wrote, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

As some remember, after her love affair with Mao was exposed, Dunn was forced to vacate her post in November of last year.

Unfortunately, Dunn’s philosophy is not an anomaly. Those looking to discover the heart of Barack Obama need look no further than Van Jones, who may be the best personification of the connection between environmentalism and anti-capitalism. Jones, the former green jobs czar, who was removed last September after his long history of left-wing extremism came to light in the very media that Dunn tried to quiet. An avowed communist, Jones signed a 9/11 “Truther” statement that claimed former President Bush was behind the terrorist attacks. Shortly after discovery of Jones’ attitudes, he left the Administration.

However, those that have left or never made it into government service are less of a concern than those who remain. There is, for example, John Holdren, the science czar, who has advocated government-mandated population control measures and ardently supports the most alarmist views on climate change.

Then there’s Dawn Johnsen for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. She withdrew her nomination after it was disclosed that she had been involved with personnel and other staffing decisions without ever being confirmed, as ALG News has previously reported. Or Errol Southers for the Transportation Security Administration, who withdrew after he would not confirm whether he would change the policy of collective bargaining within the TSA.

Both of these nominees were blocked, meaning it would have required a recorded vote, with 60 votes necessary to proceed to the nomination on the floor of the Senate.

On the labor front, Obama’s recess appointment of Craig Becker along with Senate confirmation of Labor Department Solicitor Patricia Smith signals his determination that he is not going to wait on Congressional action on big labor’s holy grail, the Employer Free Choice Act (EFCA) as well as an attack small business formation through forcing independent contractors into the hourly/salary employment system.

Becker, the former counsel to both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, famously wrote that much of what big labor is trying to accomplish legislatively through EFCA could be accomplished administratively through the National Labor Relations Board, which he now heads. After he failed to be confirmed in the Senate, Obama appointed him during the Easter recess.

Smith, for her part, ran the Labor Department in the state of New York, where she enlisted the help of union organizers to identify employers who should be subjected to audits by state regulators. We are already seeing this tactic employed by the U.S. Department of Labor through their “We Can Help” public service announcement campaign where workers are encouraged to call the Department of Labor if they “are not paid fairly”.

And on April 16th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the nomination to the 9th Court of Appeals of soft speaking judicial extremist Goodwin Liu, who conveniently forgot to provide the Committee with 117 of his most explosively controversial writings, including a legal justification for providing a transfer of wealth from taxpayers under the guise of reparations.

Americans for Limited Government’s “Appointment Watch” project clearly shows that while appointees like Van Jones and Anita Dunn have drawn the public scrutiny, they are not outliers, and their ideology is not unusual for an Obama appointee.

For those who have been paying attention to the radical views of Obama’s political appointees, his dramatic tilt to the left is not a surprise, it was inevitable. ALG’s new publication, “Obama Staff Failures” will serve as a valuable reminder as centrist rhetoric begins to flow from the White House as November approaches, because in politics personnel truly is policy.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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