June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010 | Commentary on Political Thought

Still Blaming Bush?

President Obama and his leftist pals ought to start taking responsibility for the shortcomings of their extreme ideology. The left’s knee-jerk reaction: Blame former President George W. Bush for anything that goes wrong, seems to have no bounds. Bush has been saddled with everything from a bad economy to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Obama kicked off the blame game soon after his inauguration, when he hung the bad economy and large federal debt on former President Bush. In February of 2009, Obama declared: “This administration has inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit—the largest in our nation’s history—and our investments to rescue our economy will add to that deficit in the short term.” He’s since rammed through a trillion-dollar stimulus plan and a trillion-dollar Obamacare bill. Yet the left still wants to point backward and blame our nation’s $13 trillion in debt on Bush. 

Bush is also being blamed for President Obama’s slow response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “Well, you know, they come into office a year ago with all of this. And so, after the last eight years,” Sen. Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.) declared on Fox Business in an interview with Don Imus, “to lay this at Obama’s doorstep, in light of years and years of regulatory permissiveness when it comes to these kinds of operations occurring—it didn’t occur in the last year and a half.” Imus laughed, yet this audacious response isn’t especially funny. The Obama Administration and its allies are always ready to resort to Bush bashing.

Senate Republicans Call for a Special Prosecutor

Some Senate Republicans allege the Obama Administration may have committed a crime by meddling in the Pennsylvania Senate race. All seven Republican members of the Judiciary Committee last week signed a letter to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that the administration offered Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak a job if he’d pull out of the May 18 primary against Sen. Arlen Specter. 

The letter demands a “special prosecutor to investigate Congressman Joe Sestak’s claim that a White House official offered him a job to induce him to exit” the race. It alleges that “such an offer would appear to violate various federal criminal laws, including 18 U.S.C. Sec. 600 (promise of employment or other benefit for political activity).” This will be a true test of this administration’s promise to be transparent and ethical. 

Elena Kagan—Stealth Nominee

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on President Obama’s stealth nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, on June 28. Although the AP reports that “in an election year consumed by fights over healthcare, Wall Street and the big oil spill, Kagan’s quiet march toward a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court is, at least for now, causing little stir.” There’s been almost no controversy to date, because so little is known about Kagan’s judicial temperament or any political activism. Actually, not much is known about Kagan at all. 

Conservatives should expect a firestorm of controversy when documents are released this week by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library relating to Kagan’s tenure as a lawyer and policy advisor during the Clinton Administration. The first point of controversy will be whether the Obama Administration provides all of the documents needed in a timely manner for senators to prepare for the hearings beginning June 28. The library has promised 160,000 pages of documents, yet that seems like a mountain of paper to read before Kagan’s hearing, which is why some have suggested it be delayed.

Kagan should answer questions about her position on the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. When she clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall she wrote that she was not personally “sympathetic” to a defendant’s claim that he had a constitutional right to posses a gun. The Los Angeles Times reported that Kagan was a very active participant in Clinton’s gun-control initiatives and that she drafted an executive order for Clinton banning the importation of certain weapons. This is one of many issues that should be explored by Senators during the hearing. 

The Obama Administration picked Elena Kagan because it’s convinced she would be a solid left-wing vote on the Supreme Court. The American people have the right to know more about Kagan’s judicial philosophy and temperament before she is granted a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

About the Author

Brian Darling Senior Fellow for Government Studies
Government Studies

First appeared in Human Events