Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Woodward Blasts Obama "Madness"
While most media elites are bending over backwards to promote President Obama and his agenda, Bob Woodard, one of the nation's most respected journalists, is ruffling feathers for daring to speak critically of Obama.
Big Media has loyally parroted the White House's spin on the sequester, but Woodward has been the lone voice crying out that the sequester was Barack Obama's idea. This morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Woodward ratcheted up his own rhetoric.
Referring to the Obama Administration's claim that the sequester cuts would prevent it from deploying a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, Woodward said:
"Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document'? … Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement [saying] 'I can't do what I need to do to protect the country.' That's a kind of madness that I haven't seen in a long time."
Who would have imagined that the media's hero -- the man who brought down Richard Nixon by exposing the Watergate scandal -- would be accusing the media's anointed one of "madness"? White House retaliation will be swift and harsh. But Woodward is no "right winger," and his honest critique of Obama's conduct is raising eyebrows all over Washington.
Sadly, the Senate voted yesterday 58-to-41 to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. I say sadly because I never thought I would see the day when a nominee for Secretary of Defense endorsed by Louis Farrakhan would be confirmed! But that day has arrived.
Every Senate Democrat voted for Hagel. They were joined by four Republicans -- Thad Cochran (MS), Mike Johanns (NE), Rand Paul (KY) and Richard Shelby (AL). All four votes are depressing, but I want to comment on Senator Paul's vote.
When Rand Paul ran for the Senate three years ago, there were concerns about his views on Israel and the Middle East. He has tried to dispel the doubts.
In January, Paul traveled to Israel and said, "I came here to show that I am supportive of the relationship between Israel and America." He later said, "I think we should … announce to the world … that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States." That is why his vote for Hagel yesterday was so disappointing.
And it is disappointing for another reason too. Paul explained his vote for Hagel by saying, "The president gets to choose political appointees." That's true to a point, but Paul is under no obligation to vote for them.
Rand Paul's claim to conservative support is that he is a champion of constitutional government. The Founding Fathers could have easily said that the president gets to appoint his cabinet and left it at that. But after a protracted debate, they decided that the president's nominees must receive the consent of the Senate.
Paul's explanation implies he is ignoring the clear words of the Constitution in exchange for a formulation that suggests presidential appointments are essentially guaranteed. That doesn't pass the straight face test.
I don't see how anyone who claims to support a strong national defense, who wants to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and who believes that Israel is our best ally could vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. If Rand Paul wants to be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2016, he has some explaining to do.
Defend Religious Liberty
The sequester may be dominating the headlines, but other important public policy battles are also taking place right now. Recently I signed on to a coalition effort that is fighting to defend conscience protections in the wake of the Obama Administration's unprecedented assault on religious liberty. More than 50 national, state and local organizations are part of the Call2Conscience coalition.
You will recall that Hobby Lobby and other Christian-owned businesses are still fighting Obamacare's outrageous mandates. Now we need your help!
The House of Representatives will soon take up legislation to fund the government for the rest of the year. We want to make sure that critical conscience protections are included in this legislation so that businesses are not forced to pay for services and procedures that violate their religious beliefs.
Click here to learn more about this important effort and to take action in defense of religious liberty!