Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Astigmatic Ideology of the Obama Presidency (Part 1)

Barack Obama’s charismatic performance during the 2008 electoral campaign was, to many, electrifying and highly exciting. His ability at eloquent oration, contrasted to former President Bush’s down-home style punctuated by frequent errors, was especially impressive, and led many people to suspend rational thought and analysis and come to the absurd conclusion held by historian Michael Beschloss, that Obama’s IQ was “off the charts”. Beschloss even went so far in his schoolgirl-giddiness to assert that Obama was “probably the smartest guy ever to become President.” Never mind that it was inevitably revealed that the teleprompter was to Obama what wax wings were for the mythological Daedalus. Remove the teleprompter…and Obama’s wings melt. It’s great entertainment to watch him crash to earth.

A year and a half into the presidency, Americans have caught on, and are increasingly disturbed by the absurd positions the administration has adopted. No longer appearing to be the great intellect many once believed him to be, Obama now appears incurably befuddled.

There is no issue that better highlights the administration’s contradictory and nonsensical folly, than the quandary in which it finds itself regarding the Arizona immigration bill, SB1070.

We all would do well to recall that Arizona passed SB1070 in response to unacceptable crime rates within the state connected to illegal immigration, and about which the Federal Government was simply not responding. The Government has, for several decades now, failed to fulfill its responsibility to secure the borders and to process the millions of immigrants who flaunt federal immigration laws. So the Arizona legislature carefully authored SB1070, with the specific intent of allowing local law enforcement to help enforce federal law. The law was in no way written to change, alter, or counteract federal law.

What’s more, out of concern that local law enforcement, while attempting to enforce the law, might violate the civil rights of citizens, the authors carefully stated in multiple locations that racial profiling was prohibited, and that officers could only request proof of citizenship when 1) the persons questioned had already been detained for other legal police matters, and 2) there were grounds for suspicion that the persons questioned were not US citizens.

The law was very carefully designed to support the federal laws, and to help federal agents to enforce the law, and not to undermine it.

High ranking members of the Obama administration could not even wait until they had actually read the bill before maligning it publicly. Department of Justice Attorney General Eric Holder was caught out while giving testimony before congress and had to admit that he had not read the law he was criticizing. The same embarrassment befell Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and Assistant Secretary of State PJ Crowley, who went so far as to compare the Arizona law to Chinese human rights offenses.

It was no surprise when Attorney General Holder announced that he was filing suit to block the Arizona law. What was surprising was that the reason given had little to do with the concern about civil rights violations: the Obama administration’s position was that the Arizona law “interfered with” the Federal Government’s authority to regulate immigration.

There can be no doubt that the conflict between Arizona and the Obama administration will eventually end up in the Supreme Court, where Obama is going to have great difficulty convincing the Supreme Court that a state law that strengthens and supports federal law, somehow preempts the federal law. Consider marijuana laws as an analogy. There are federal laws that make growing, selling or distributing marijuana a crime. If a state passes laws that prohibit the growing, selling or distributing of marijuana and allows local police to enforce the law, they have not preempted the federal law, but have simply supported it. The Arizona immigration law does exactly that.

Click HERE to Read Part II

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