Conservatives Discover Obama’s Fascism — But Not What to Do About It
by, 12-30-2010 at 04:36 PM (464 Views)
by Ben Johnson
A series of federal regulatory measures has finally awakened the conservative movement to the dangers of Obama’s plan to rule by executive fiat. New regulations from the FCC, EPA, and HHS have tightened the feds’ grip around the internet, health insurance, and the energy industry. Net Neutrality, price fixing, and oversight of carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” have forced them to face the reality that Barack Obama plans for forcing his far-Left on the American people. In typical inside-the-Beltway Republican fashion, they present half-measures and temporary solutions that will leave our Constitution open to continual assault, because they lack the solution understood by everyone from our Founding Fathers to Ronald Reagan.
Obama Begins Government by Regulation and Fiat
...Last week, the Obama administration decided to greet the incoming conservative Congress by rolling out the red tape. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced new price controls requiring insurance providers to get the administration’s permission to race rates more than 10 percent. The FCC passed Net Neutrality, although it lacks Congressional authorization to do so. The EPA began regulating power plants and refineries for carbon dioxide emissions...The Obama administration reinstated “end-of-life” counseling for ObamaCare recipients by federal regulation early this month, but it only caught notice this week after the federal onslaught.
These actions brought some conservatives a “moment of clarity.”
...This author was alone in reporting Obama’s plan to rule by executive order in 2011...Now other conservatives have realized the dangers. The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog, Seton Motley at BigGovernment.com, and Robert Allen Bonelli at BigGovernment sounded the alarm this week.
After premature partying and futile fantasizing that Obama would spend two years at their mercy, conservatives have realized what they actually possess: one-half of their own political party (the leadership of which is hostile to them) and some of the majority seats in one house of Congress. They have work to do in reining in their own party, let alone assuming Obama will defer to their will simply because the overwhelming majority of Americans want him to.
“By Any Means Necessary”
Obama and the progressive “liberals” have followed precisely the outline I laid out more than a month ago:
Look for an aggressive agenda in the lame duck session of Congress, focused especially on passing the DREAM Act and repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."…After January, Cabinet agencies will issue regulations at a faster clip. His most visible target will be the EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant."…However, every agency will roll out reams of red tape, a process that has already begun…Stealth amnesty will continue apace…Obama will rule increasingly through executive orders and appeals to the United Nations.
If conservatives now agree on the problem, then to quote Lenin, “what is to be done”?
The Congressional Review Act: A Temporary Solution
...The instrument Republicans have come up with is the Congressional Review Act. Conservatives from the Heritage Foundation, to the Hot Air blog, to the Motley crew over at BigGovernment.com have discovered the 1996 law, which allows a majority vote in Congress to kill federal regulations by majority vote.
The tactic is one of the few tools Congressional Republicans have at their disposal against runaway executive branch power. However, it is at best an imperfect and temporary solution, even if the entire party were committed to its rigorous application.
It requires a Congressional majority, which even after the midterms Republicans do not have. Democrats still narrowly control the Senate. Republicans may cobble together an ad hoc coalition around the most egregious regulations, but it seems unlikely vast numbers of Democrats will oppose government regulations in any meaningful way. After all, each of them hope to be running this bureaucracy someday, churning out his own version of federal regs...
Provided a majority could be reached, Barack Obama can simply veto the disapproval. A two-thirds majority is well out of reach.
If per chance one bureaucratic rule were to be struck down, the feds could pursue the same goal by another avenue.
Should Congressional Republicans somehow get control of the ever-growing Federal Register, Obama still has the power to issue executive orders or insist he is acting in compliance with orders of the United Nations...
The Conservative Solution, from Washington to Reagan
May I humbly suggest another? Abolish the EPA.
In fact, abolish as many federal agencies as possible and return regulation to the states and municipalities, which are closer to the people. If there were fewer federal Cabinet agencies, there would be fewer dictatorial, top-down federal regulations. This would render the CRA unnecessary. If a regulation were needed at a national level, it would have to show its Constitutional basis and gain the support of a majority of Congressmen. Measures that lacked either would never see the light of day.
That sounds radical today, but Ronald Reagan pledged to abolish the Departments of Energy and Education in 1980. (He never had the votes to pursue it.) He hoped the EPA would follow suit.
Reagan understood, with our Founding Fathers, the dangers of concentrating power in the hands of the federal government, most especially among its unelected elite.
While they are at it, Republicans should abolish America’s Ministry of Culture. Conservatives have rediscovered the joys of axing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the wake of the Juan Williams firing. The National Endowment for the Arts has slipped off the conservative radar since certain former Democrats (or radicals) convinced Republicans to spare the organization, since abolishing it was not “politically feasible.” In light of a $13 trillion national debt and “mandatory spending” exceeds tax revenues, such frivolous, offensive, and unconstitutional discretionary spending is indefensible.
Our liberties will never be secure until Washington is drained of the power to regulate, tax, spend, oversee, compel, or control whole segments of our lives. That is why Thomas Jefferson defined the government envisioned by the Founding Fathers as:
A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.
As Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, he told the nation:
And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: “As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Twenty years later, we still have to complete the Reagan Revolution.
A longer form of this post appeared on FloydReports.com.