This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue was published December 15, 2011 on the American Thinker website.
The Obama administration, predictably, is not calling a “truce on social issues,” as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) suggested that the next president should do.
Daniels reportedly told Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard last year that the next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved. Daniels didn’t back down when challenged by a few fellow Republicans as recently as last March.
Republican candidates have mostly heeded Daniels’ naive advice instead of going on offense against Obama on social issues, including freedom of religion. The GOP could easily make the case that moral and family issues have a crucial impact on government spending and the economy. Because Obama can’t defend his record on jobs and the economy, he is using social issues to pander to his leftist base, wasting taxpayer dollars and increasing federal debt.
Obama rebuked Republican candidates for “trying to make the fight about social issues that stir up their base” in his speech to feminists at the National Women’s Law Center’s Annual Awards Dinner on Nov. 9. He advocated more federal funding of Planned Parenthood and criticized congressional Republicans for trying to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider and remove abortion subsidies from Obamacare:
Instead of working to boost our economy, they’re out there spending time trying to defund Planned Parenthood and prevent millions of women from getting basic health care that they desperately need — pap smears and breast exams. (Applause.)
That is not the right direction for this country. These folks know they can’t win on the big issues, so they’re trying to make the fight about social issues that stir up their base. They’re spending their time trying to divide this country against itself rather than coming together to lift up our country.
This is a classic Saul Alinsky tactic: accuse your opponents of the very thing you are doing.
For example, the ACLU sued to stop federal funding of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ program to help victims of human trafficking because of the program’s refusal to refer trafficking victims for contraceptives or abortion. So Obama’s abortion-zealous political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services overruled HHS career staff and awarded grants to three agencies with lower-rated programs who do refer women for abortion and contraceptives, according to Jerry Markon of The Washington Post.
Obama’s dedication to his radical social issues agenda includes pandering to homosexual activists. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a $3-million “Global Equality Fund” to “help expand the rights of gay people around the world,” according to Kim Geiger of the Los Angeles Times. Clinton’s announcement came within hours of Obama’s Dec. 6 memorandum to all executive agencies on the subject of “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons.”
Americans can expect other federal agencies to add to the federal deficit by spending many more millions of tax dollars on homosexual advocacy. Obama’s memorandum lists the “agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export Import Bank, the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.”
As Geiger noted, “[t]he initiative builds on the Obama administration’s effort to promote the rights of gays and lesbians at home. The Pentagon this year dismantled its ban on gays serving openly in the military, and Obama recently directed the federal government not to defend a law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) rightly calls it Obama’s “war on religion.” Consider just a couple of Obama’s IEDs.
ObamaCare mandates that employers — including religious employers — cover contraceptives in their health insurance policies even if coverage violates the employer’s religious beliefs. At the same time, Obama, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats made sure that ObamaCare insurance providers from which Obama and federal employees may choose can ignore the contraceptive mandate if it violates the provider’s religious beliefs.
The constitutional right to free exercise of religion for the rest of us ends where ObamaCare begins.
Then there’s this missile from Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. An EEOC lawyer argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in October that the agency has the right to order a church to reinstate a fired minister. As Ken Klukowski, senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union, noted in his analysis of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, the agency’s claim that “there’s no ministerial exception in the Constitution, only the same rights that secular organizations possess” was too preposterous even for Obama’s latest Supreme Court appointee, the very liberal Justice Elena Kagan.
Most Americans don’t want a wimpy presidential candidate who will “agree to get along for a little while,” as if he or she can’t walk and chew on economic and moral issues at the same time.
Any candidate who can’t make the connection among morality, liberty, and the economy should get off the stage. It’s not as if Obama hasn’t provided plenty of ammo.