In his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama talked a lot about “bipartisanship,” but in office, he has governed from the far left, on both domestic and foreign policy, by meddling overseas in favor of left-wing would-be dictators, and at home in support of powerful left-wing unions, at the expense of taxpayers, airline security, the Constitution, and the rule of law. (One possible exception to his left-wing path is his support for the obscene Wall Street bailouts, which disgusted left and right alike, although those bailouts showered billions of dollars on the liberal Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, which was so rich that it didn’t even need the money).
The Wall Street Journal criticizes Obama for seeking to force Honduras to accept the return of its ex-president and would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya, a demand backed by left-wing Latin American dictators. “Mr. Zelaya was deposed and deported this summer after he agitated street protests to support a rewrite of the Honduran constitution so he could serve a second term. The constitution strictly prohibits a change in the term-limits provision. On multiple occasions he was warned to desist, and on June 28 the Supreme Court ordered his arrest. Every major Honduran institution supported the move, even members in Congress of his own political party, the Catholic Church and the country’s human rights ombudsman. To avoid violence the Honduran military escorted Mr. Zelaya out of the country. In other words, his removal from office was legal and constitutional, though his ejection from the country gave the false appearance of an old-fashioned Latin American coup. The U.S. has since come down solidly on the side of—Mr. Zelaya.”
The Weekly Standard criticizes Obama for blocking travel to the U.S. by Hondurans, even while inviting to the White House, and giving a visa to, an official of Burma’s genocidal government, which has used mass rape and massacres against ethnic minority groups, and used torture and murder against Buddhist monks protesting oppression. The Obama Administration earlier imposed travel sanctions on the people of Honduras to punish them for their Supreme Court’s ruling refusing to allow the return of Honduras’s ex-president dictator to office. Michael Barone, the dean of American political commentators, chides Obama for undemocratically “opposing the elected Congress, courts and civil society of Honduras.”
The Washington Times calls it “the worst foreign policy ever.” It notes that Obama has bullied “Honduras, which is desperately trying to stave off a socialist takeover by an anti-American autocrat whom the State Department has concluded is worthy of full U.S. support. This has delighted Cuban dictators Raul and Fidel Castro and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, who are very willing to let the United States carry their water. Venezuela, meanwhile, has signed a major arms deal with Russia, continues to build the anti-Gringo “Bolivarian” bloc, bullies U.S. ally Colombia and plans to launch its own nuclear program.” (Obama’s actions have also emboldened Nicaragua’s corrupt, bullying President Daniel Ortega to behave dictatorially).
The Washington Times reports that “President Obama’s diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission” has praised Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and his crackdown on independent media, in remarks in which he “described Hugo Chavez’s rise to power in Venezuela as ‘an incredible revolution.'” (Chavez recently closed 240 radio stations in Venezuela, and his regime has shot unarmed demonstrators). Other Obama appointees have Marxist roots or sympathies. Obama’s green jobs czar was the race-baiter Van Jones, “a self-avowed communist” who remained in office for months, desite controversy, until revelations that he was a Truther who believed that George Bush may have been behind the 9/11 attacks. Obama’s nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State, Arturo Valenzuela, has a reputation as a loud defender of Venezuelan dictator Chavez’s terrible record on freedom of the press.
The Times also criticizes Obama’s congressional allies for moving to unionize airline security screeners and authorize collective bargaining at the TSA, making it more difficult for lazy or careless employees to be fired for incompetence. The unions have “urged TSA Acting Administrator Gale D. Rossides to suspend use of the agency’s skills test for screeners. Failure rates this year reached more than 50 percent and were as high as 80 percent at some airports. The skills test shows that large numbers of airport screeners are failing at jobs that are intrinsic to keeping our airports and commercial airplanes secure, and the union’s response is to get rid of the test. The government employees union is also pushing to have failed screeners’ records cleared because pay and bonuses are tied to performance and unsatisfactory employee records prevent those who were fired for poor performance from being reinstated. So much for worker accountability.”
Obama also wants to introduce union-backed collective bargaining at the TSA. (A study found that the TSA is more than twice as likely to fail to detect a bomb as the private security firms it replaced. And TSA’s failure rate is three or four times as high as the few remaining private firms still allowed to handle airline security.)
The Obama administration is also undermining the security of railroad passengers by gutting an expert, highly-rated, anti-terror agency at Amtrak, which Amtrak’s unions hate, despite its efficiency, because it is not unionized. Political cronyism is also playing a role in the gutting of Amtrak’s Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations (OSSSO). Ultimately, OSSSO’s “highly-specialized officers” will likely be replaced by unionized employees with “alarmingly low pass rates” in “basic” classes.
Earlier, the Obama administration ripped off taxpayers and retirees in the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts, in order to enrich the left-wing United Auto Workers union, in unnecessary bailouts that have cost at least $70 billion, drawing criticism even from the liberal Washington Post. Many commentators argued that the auto bailouts were illegal, such as the Heritage Foundation and Clinton administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
In the Washington Post, George Will criticizes Obama for caving in to demands by left-wing unions for protectionist policies like tire tariffs that will harm consumers without saving jobs. The stimulus package passed earlier this year contained protectionist provisions that backfired, destroying thousands of U.S. jobs by triggering massive retaliation against our export industry while doing little to reduce imports.
The Obama administration has now ordered a private provider of Medicare Advantage services to remain silent about how the Obama health-care plan would destroy the Medicare Advantage programs relied on by millions of seniors. Eugene Volokh, a leading expert on First Amendment law, says that this violates the First Amendment.
Obama’s congressional allies have decided to conceal the exact language of their health-care bill until after it is voted on in committee, preventing the public from learning about controversial provisions buried in it. (Earlier versions of ObamaCare have contained lots of provisions that do nothing to enhance health care, like racial preferences that were criticized as unconstitutional by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights).
Obama’s Energy Secretary likens the American people to unruly “teenage kids” who don’t know what’s good for them, and need to be told what to do. (The cap-and-trade bill he backs to fight global warming would be devastating for the economy and do nothing to protect the environment).