CLEVELAND, October 3, 2012 — With the first presidential debate upon us, it is important to look at President Obama’s record. The issue is not how people feel about him personally. Everything should be based on his record. Recent columns have looked at his foreign policy and economic policy records. Today we look solely at his domestic policy record excluding economics. This does include his stand on social issues. While the answer of his supporters to any criticism of President Obama is Republican “obstructionism,” that is a slogan lacking actual examples or factual truth. For the first two years of his presidency, the Democrats controlled everything. The 2010 elections were a specific rebuke of one party Democratic rule, just as 2006 was a vote against Republicans.
With that, here is the Obama domestic record.
Healthcare: Several promises were made regarding Obamacare during his 2008 campaign. It would be revenue neutral. People could keep their own doctor. There would be universal coverage. None of these promises have been kept. Costs have exploded and are expected to skyrocket exponentially starting in 2014. Companies are dropping group coverage. Doctors are leaving the profession and medical school enrollment has dropped. Many people still lack coverage. Lawsuits are a major cost driver. Obama said he would “look at” malpractice reform but buckled under pressure from the trial lawyers.
Deals that would be considered bribery in the private sector were necessary to pass the plan, from the Cornhusker Kickback to the Louisiana Purchase. Obama supporters blame “The Tea Party” for the negative view of Obamacare, but this is false. The Tea Party was born because of opposition to the original bill. The Tea Party were private citizens with zero power to stop the legislation, which passed over their objections.
Contraception: Mr. Obama supports taxpayer-funded contraception. He had liberal activist Sandra Fluke address that issue at the Democratic Convention. Obamacare mandates that religious institutions provide information and access to contraception even if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Abortion: Mr. Obama favors abortion rights under all circumstances, including partial birth abortion. Additionally, he favors taxpayer financing of abortions. Obamacare mandates that abortion be covered in health plans of religious institutions even if those institutions are against abortion based on religious doctrine. This has been described particularly by Catholics as a war on religious freedom.
Gay Marriage: Mr. Obama favored gay marriage in 2004 while an Illinois state legislator. He was against it as a 2008 presidential candidate although his supporters in the LGBT community believed he secretly favored it. In 2012 he came out in favor of it the day before a George Clooney Hollywood fundraiser that added 15 million dollars to his campaign coffers. He does not discuss the issue on the campaign trail except when in very blue states.
He has tried to thread the needle on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996 while running for reelection. Obama has not pushed to repeal the law, but he has also refused to enforce it. This allows him to stay silent on the issue, but picking and choosing which laws to subvert and which to obey leads to a legal and Constitutional quagmire.
Gun Control: Publicly Obama knows that advocating more gun control has hurt Democrats in the last two decades. This led to an effort by Attorney General Holder to launch the Fast and Furious program in an attempt to gain sympathy for gun control. The program backfired when one of the guns was used to kill American border agent Brian Terry. Obama has shielded Holder from having to say who authorized the program under the cover of Executive Privilege.
Oil: President Obama has been accused of declaring a war on oil, and the evidence over his term would seem to support that.
When a BP well began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, 86 days passed before the problem was solved. Obama did not cause the problem, but he had no answers on how to fix it. Even worse, he went on television and repeatedly threatened BP, which had every incentive to try and fix the problem. His hostility toward the company lacked any substantive offers of solutions. He used the situation to restrict drilling in the Gulf. Many business owners in the Gulf region were more harmed by his restrictions than by the original oil spill.
Mr. Obama has refused to build the Keystone Pipeline that would transfer oil safely from Canada to the United States. He cited environmental concerns even though such concerns have already been addressed. Now Canada is threatening to do business with China instead. The only person holding up the project is Obama.
Mr. Obama takes credit for approving more drilling than any other American President but this is not true. North Dakota is experiencing an oil boom. They have a 3.5 percent unemployment rate and can’t fill jobs fast enough. However, North Dakota oil production involves extraction on private land. The government has zero power to block drilling. The Obama administration has blocked drilling on federal land by wielding the Environmental Protection Agency as a weapon.
Mr. Obama keeps saying that he is open to harnessing nuclear power, but he has done nothing to advance the building of any power plants.
Green Energy: Mr. Obama deeply believes in the vision of a green economy, but so far he has come up snake eyes. Billions of dollars in taxpayer stimulus money were given to companies like Solyndra, and the result was failure every single time. Solyndra went bankrupt. Scandal ensued when it was discovered that the shaky financing of the companies was known. Ideology trumped sound investing and the money was thrown away. Obama touted a program where workers could start new careers building solar panels. Yet once the government subsidy to buy the panels ended, the customers disappeared and the workers lost their jobs. Obama also nationalized General Motors, and offered subsidies for the Chevy Volt. The Volt is a hideously ugly automobile and virtually nobody bought one. The fact that they were catching fire did not help matters. Despite the entire green agenda failing, Obama has promised to double down if reelected.
Race Relations: Mr. Obama has a habit of jumping to conclusions to fit a predetermined narrative. When Shirley Sherrod was accused of making racially charged remarks, Obama ordered her fired without having all the facts. He ended up with egg on his face when it was shown she was innocent. He blamed the creator of the video, as he would later do with a foreign policy fiasco. The video did not make him overreact.
When a white police officer arrested his friend Professor Louis Gates of Harvard, who is black, Obama insisted that the white police officer “acted stupidly.” The facts contradicted this.
When the New Black Panthers wielded billy clubs to intimidate white voters, Attorney General Eric Holder declined to prosecute. Obama was heavily influenced by Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who is known for racially charged sermons. Obama and his supporters frequently accuse critics of the administration of being racists in an attempt to silence policy disagreements.
AIDS: President Bush allocated more money to combat AIDS in Africa than all of his predecessors combined. Obama has reduced funding for the program, citing budgetary concerns.
Space Exploration: JFK guaranteed that America would land a man on the moon. Obama has gutted the space program, again citing financial concerns.
Trade: Mr. Obama takes credit for approving free trade agreements with South Korea and Panama, but this is not true. The deals were approved by his predecessor. Obama held them up for three years in an attempt to renegotiate the deals. This angered our allies. Under heavy political pressure, he stopped blocking the agreements.
Labor Relations: Mr. Obama allowed the NLRB to block Boeing from building a new plant in South Carolina, a right to work state. The state sued and won. He nationalized General Motors and protected the United Auto Workers union at the expense of the bond holders. This action would be illegal in the private sector. He did not take sides publicly in the Chicago schoolteachers’ strike.
Disaster Relief: Obama excoriated his predecessor over Hurricane Katrina, as many accused Bush of not caring about black people. A recently surfaced videotape of Obama from 2007 shows him expressing this view. Obama’s term has seen natural disasters occur in Joplin, Missouri, Minot, North Dakota, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and parts of Tennessee. Federal assistance was slow to non-existent, and those areas contained many white voters who did not support Obama in 2008.
High Speed Rail: Mr. Obama is obsessed with making this a reality, and has tried to force states to accept federal money for such projects. States that decline are often punished by having other needed federal funds withheld. Critics of high speed rail say it is too expensive, and that public support is lacking.
Education: Mrs. Obama has led a crusade against obesity, which has led to restrictions on the caloric intake of school lunches. Some students are complaining of being malnourished from portions that are too small. Every child is different, and the universal standards are failing. Mr. Obama has made it very difficult to open charter schools. He will not stand up to teachers’ unions, who support declining public schools at all costs. Accountability is non-existent.
Illegal immigration: Mr. Obama and Attorney General Holder have arbitrarily decided to refuse to enforce immigration laws. They are giving amnesty to illegal aliens since those individuals will vote for the Democratic Party in perpetuity. Obama could not get the Dream Act passed in the legislature, so he just declared it law by fiat. This is illegal, and Obama is being challenged on this front. The Southern border has never been less secure, and the recent killing of an America border agent has not led to any security improvements or changes of any kind. Any attempt to enforce the border is seen as racist.
Mr. Obama sued Arizona for trying to enforce immigration laws. Attempts to require photo identification to vote have also been described as racist. Mr. Holder has sued any state trying to require picture identification.
This is the Obama record on domestic and social issues.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
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