The Orwellian Presidential Bully Pulpit

Does the following statement from Melody C. Barnes, director of
President Barack Obama’s Domestic Policy Council, strike you as a)
patronizing or b) Orwellian? "The president believes that it’s particularly
important to sign this (presidential memorandum authorizing federal funding
for human embryonic stem cell research) so that we can put science and
technology back at the heart of pursuing a broad range of national goals."

Your answer should be both a and b, especially when considered
in conjunction with another presidential memorandum "aimed at insulating
scientific decisions across the federal government from political

The president brazenly sermonizes against scientifically
challenged conservatives while triggering federal funding of research that
is scientifically controversial and preparing to impose cap and trade
penalties on corporate America in deference to global warming junk science.

While you won’t hear much about this in the mainstream media,
there is a meeting currently taking place in New York City that serves as an
ironic backdrop for Obama’s embryonic stem cell order. reports that more than 70 scientists — 
representing the views of tens of thousands more scientists — are meeting
at The Heartland Institute’s second annual International Conference on
Climate Change to make the case that politically motivated alarmism, not
science, is driving climate change activism, which potentially threatens the
sovereignty of the United States.

At the conference, European Union and Czech Republic President
Vaclav Klaus likened those pushing global warming hysteria to the communists
of Old Europe, who refused to listen to opposing views. Their goal, Klaus
warned, is to control the public.

Sounds familiar. The Obama administration repeatedly implements
policies that are in direct contradiction to its benign rhetoric, which is
what I mean by "Orwellian." Consider its fiscal recklessness accompanied by
promises of fiscal responsibility, including its staggering denial that it
is promoting earmarks. Or its boasts of bipartisanship while shutting
Republicans out of the legislative process. Or calling its plan to chill an
employee’s choice to opt out of union membership the "Employee Free Choice

But Obama’s statements while introducing his embryonic stem cell
executive order truly take the cake. He said: "But after much discussion,
debate and reflection, the proper course has become clear. The majority of
Americans, from across the political spectrum and from all backgrounds and
beliefs, have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research — 
that the potential it offers is great, and with proper guidelines and strict
oversight, the perils can be avoided."

It would take several columns to parse that statement alone, but
just look at the misleading phraseology: "The majority of Americans . have
come to a consensus." Assuming a majority favors embryonic stem cell
research — and even federal taxpayer funding for it — is it not deceptive
to imply that a majority constitutes a consensus?

Of course, those who agree on a proposition always share a
consensus among themselves, but doesn’t "consensus" suggest that there is
almost unanimity on the issue?

The answer is yes. The Obama left repeatedly uses this type of
language to manufacture the impression that only a fringe minority disagrees
with the overwhelmingly accepted majority view. They declare a consensus
when there isn’t one and bully the true opposition from voicing their
concerns. They do it with global warming, embryonic stem cell research,
"intelligent design" theory and now Keynesian economics.

They have plenty of help from the liberal lapdog media. They
dutifully report that Obama is lifting a ban on embryonic stem cell research
when there has been no ban on such research, only a restriction on federal
funding for it. Nowhere do they acknowledge the genuine ethical objections
to or the scientific problems that have been encountered in such research.
Instead, they just portray opponents of federal subsidies for the practice
as Luddites.

While the left ridicules those who don’t buy into their decreed
"consensuses," they are the ones who suppress scientific inquiry and debate
on various issues. They are the ones who suppress publication of facts that
contradict their agenda.

You’ll rarely hear from them about the failures and hazards of
embryonic stem cell research, such as a report that embryonic cells injected
into a boy caused multiple brain tumors. You’ll never hear them speak about
the increasing successes of adult stem cell research, even though adult stem
cell science is less expensive, more accessible, probably involves less
cancer-causing risk, and is not ethically controversial.

Beware; when the Obama left mounts its rhetorical high horse and
tells us it is advancing science in furtherance of a consensus, it is most
likely signaling that it is implementing a highly controversial,
scientifically dubious policy whose opposition it intends to intimidate and
silence with the formidable force of the presidential bully pulpit.