If you needed any more evidence that our President bristles at any criticism, look no further than his actions last week in relieving Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his post as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The Rolling Stone article that carried McChrystal and his staff???s comments, ???The Runaway General,??? is clearly embarrassing for the general and for the Obama Administration. Yet it seems odd that the President holds Gen. McChrystal to a higher standard than he does others who serve him.
One example of the double standard relates to a speech Atty. Gen. Eric Holder gave on Feb. 17, 2009. In that speech, Holder said that ???though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, a nation of cowards.??? For the attorney general to call America ???a nation of cowards??? was way over the line. Yet Holder wasn???t summoned to the White House to explain that verbal offense against the proud history of this country.
Another example of a double standard is the treatment of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano after her bizarre statement on CNN that ???the system worked??? in thwarting the Christmas Day bomber in Detroit of last year. The Christmas Day bomber was thwarted by a detonator that failed to ignite the bomb and a courageous passenger who helped stop the terrorist from igniting his bomb. There was no public reprimand by the President for Napolitano???s erroneous comment, and the administration went so far as to float her name as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court as a reward for her loyal service
Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar hasn???t been called on the carpet for failures in responding to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was never publicly reprimanded for called liberal activists ???retarded??? in their hard-line lobbying for a public option in Obamacare.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.) accused the President in May of this year of being ???thin-skinned??? after a meeting with the Republican caucus. The double standard maintained by the President for his cronies shows that he is more worried about criticism than about his own officials taking actions many considered incompetent and inflammatory.
Maybe the President made the right decision to accept McChrystal???s resignation. Yet he doesn???t hold others in his administration to a similar high standard.
Questions for Kagan
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will commence a long-awaited hearing on the nomination of the President???s solicitor general, Elena Kagan, to be a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, little is known about Kagan???s judicial temperament and her views on the important legal issues of the day. Conservatives hope that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ask tough questions, drawing out Kagan???s judicial philosophy through the use of direct queries.
Kagan herself praised the Senate???s tough treatment of Robert Bork and wrote in a 1995 piece that the Senate should ???engage nominees in a meaningful discussion of legal issues.??? While still a senator in 2006, Barack Obama called for ???meaningful advice and consent and that includes an examination of a judge???s philosophy, ideology and record.??? Conservatives certainly agree with this standard of review for nominees to the high court.
The American public has already seen evidence that this nominee has been openly hostile to military recruiters on campus and to the 2nd Amendment. She also has a lifetime of liberal activism. Senators need to ask this nominee if she believes in a strict construction of the Constitution, or a more liberal empathetic standard that reads liberal ???rights??? into the clear language of our founding charter.
Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) is gathering signatures on a discharge petition for his bill to repeal Obamacare. King???s bill, H.R. 4972, has 89 cosponsors. He needs a majority of the House to sign the petition to force a vote on his full repeal of Obamacare. The bill simply states that ???effective as of the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such act are restored or revived as if such act had not been enacted.??? This is a true test of the Tea Party and conservative movements to see if the American people???s dislike of Obamacare will be translated into action in the House.