08.23.2010 0

Radical Recess Appointments Reveal the Real Obama

During the presidential election campaign, Obama supporters regularly dismissed those who thought that his association with the Weathermen Underground leader, terrorist bomber, and alleged murder, William Ayers was a window into candidate Obama’s beliefs.

These same Obama supporters told anyone who would listen that it was unfair to associate Obama’s philosophy based upon the radical liberation theology and outright hatred for America presented by his pastor of over twenty years.

We were assured that his wife’s famous statement during the presidential campaign that “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country” should be ignored, and not be viewed as reflective of candidate Obama’s thoughts.

While these past associations gave a clue to Obama’s formative years and comfort with radical thought, the true window into this president’s beliefs lie with the people who he is appointing to office during Congressional recesses by going around the Senate advice and consent process.

The latest example is the just announced recess appointment of Mari del Carmen Aponte to be Ambassador to El Salvador. Aponte’s appointment was mired in questions about her 1986-94 live-in relationship with a man who was proven to be in the Cuban Intelligence Service, and the subsequent memo that was discovered where the Cubans viewed Aponte as a prime target to become a spy for them.

Aponte’s appointment to be the lead U.S. representative in El Salvador is particularly troubling due to historical context. From 1980-92, Cuban-funded communists under the banner of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) sought to take over El Salvador as part of their plan to create a mainland communist foothold in Central America.

In appointing Aponte, Obama was providing her with an opportunity to clear her name through the advice and consent process. By subverting the process, and putting Aponte into the ambassadorship of the very country that her friends in the Cuban government attempted to take over without answering legitimate questions about her very loyalty to the U.S., sends a dire message to those who support America’s interests in Central America.

Obama’s going the extra mile and using the recess appointment process to place someone with these serious questions in her background into an extremely sensitive position in the very country she may have supported subverting shows at best a reckless disregard for America’s interests in the region.

Other Obama recess appointees are similarly revealing about the President’s beliefs and priorities.

Dr. Donald Berwick was plucked from the normal nomination process and given a free pass without confirmation to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages the nation’s senior health programs.

Berwick faced stiff opposition due to his long stated admiration for the British health care system, and was given a recess appointment to avoid scrutiny before the Democratic Party-controlled Senate was even able to hold a committee hearing on his nomination.

Only a few weeks into Berwick’s tenure at CMS, controversy has emerged as the agency is taking the unprecedented step of evaluating whether an FDA-approved medicine (Provenge) for late stage prostate cancer should be paid for by CMS. As feared by those who opposed the Berwick appointment, the decision on Provenge hinges on the cost of the medicine versus the quality of life of survivors. The exact social utility equation that worried ObamaCare and Berwick detractors is being implemented by the President’s recess appointee to CMS.

These two outrageous appointments were matched by his going around the Constitution’s checks and balances system by appointing SEIU and AFL-CIO lawyer, Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.

Becker, who wrote that he didn’t believe that management should have any role in the union election process, now oversees those very elections. Becker has also refused to recuse himself from participating in cases as a judge that he was an advocate on in the past, including the SEIU, removing any sliver of objectivity from the process.

Becker, through his non-confirmed role, is expected to administratively put many of the most controversial elements contained in Big Labor’s major piece of legislation with the Orwellian name of The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) into law. Putting EFCA into law by fiat effectively usurps Congress’ role, as Obama and Big Labor have, to date, failed to muster the votes of elected representatives to pass it.

It is somewhat fitting that an unelected, unconfirmed political appointee would attempt to push through the National Labor Relations Board special interest legislation benefiting his former bosses that actual legitimate elected officials have refused to pass.

While it may have been unfair for the American public to judge candidate Obama on his previous associations, his willingness to subvert the Constitutional advice and consent process to put these three radicals into office demonstrates his true philosophical bent.

In 2012, Obama will not be a mystery anymore and obscure past associations will no longer be the only clues available to try to figure out where he stands. Aponte, Berwick and Becker may sound like a law firm, but instead they are likely to be the standards by which this President will be judged.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government.

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