To the Editor:
Many Republican pundits are at odds with syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer over his commentary of Dec. 27, "President wins big in lame-duck session."
Being of the same persuasion as Mr. Krauthamnmer, I am concerned that moderate Republicans have not yet learned their lesson and are still questioning the results of the November elections. Did desire for partisanship really sweep many Republicans into office in November or was it the rejection by the American people of the Obama administration's liberal policies?
It is fair to speculate that Republicans who continued to view the lame duck legislation in terms of major accomplishments were thinking ahead to the 112th Congress where the House will seat 60 newly elected solid, conservative congressmen. Obvious to moderate Republicans was that the 60 mostly Tea Party-elected congressmen were anti-spending and advocates of repealing Obamacare who could present a force to be reckoned with when seated.
Only time will tell whether moderate Republicans can reconcile with their fellow conservatives. Of concern is that moderate Republicans, especially in the Senate, will continue to believe that deal-making (compromise) to convey bi-partisanship with the Obama administration is the route to take, forgetting that Republicans will be called obstructionists if they don't compromise, but Obama will be quick to take credit for anything good that ensues from a compromise.
There is a pitfall even even more troubling on the horizon for Republicans and this nation, should Republicans be asleep at the switch by taking their eyes off where the real action is. During the next two years it will be the rule-making process by executive order which will demand vigilance by Republicans and the public.
Recently a George Soros-funded Institute for Policy Studies article recommended that President Obama govern from executive order to push through a progressive agenda. Karen Dolan, a fellow at the IPS, a Marxist-oriented think-tank in Washington, D.C., gave this explanation for her reasoning:
"The socialist-founded Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House Democratic Caucus at over 80 members, emerged virtually unscathed, losing only three members. By contrast, the conservative Blue Dog Democratic caucus was more than sliced in half from 54 members to only 26. Further, of the 34 conservative Dems who voted against Obama's Healthcare Reform, a mere 12 won re-election."
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has spoken numerous times at DSA events. The DSA has been linked closely to the Congressional Black Caucus of which Conyers is one of its 13 founders. Rep. Conyers is an advocate of "one-world" government.
Already the Obama administration's EPA is exercising Obama's royal fiat. Three days before Christmas the EPA administrator Lisa Jackson delivered a present to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries beginning on Jan. 2.
Jackson said, "The move follows failed attempts in the Congress to pass 'cap-and-trade' legislation." To which Obama responded, '"Cap-and-trade' was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way."
One notable Democrat, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, is unhappy with the new regulations, citing that in his state they will "drive up energy prices, wreck the coal industry, and severely damage West Virginia's economy."
Meanwhile, the royal crusaders at the EPA are marching forward under the banner to save the planet, caring little about the economy and fast becoming an ideologically-driven rogue agency.
Obamacare has likewise become a recipient of law-making by fiat, as reported in an article in the New York Times on Dec. 25 by Robert Pear titled, "Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan that caused Stir."
The Obama administration wasted little time in denying the report in the NYT. Facts, however, belie the administration's denial of the claim.
When discovered by the American people that Obamacare included funding for end of life counseling, controversy erupted and that language had to be stripped from the bill which was eventually signed.
If this is so, how is it that end-of-life counseling is now being funded by the federal government when the bill signed into law by President Obama last March only authorized Medicare to cover yearly physical examinations or wellness visits? It was through the Obama administration's regulation-writing process to bypass Congress, which is certain to become more prevalent in 2011 as Obama deals with strengthened Republican opposition.
Should the federal government really be involved in end-of-the life decisions, pressuring doctors who are being compensated to help individuals and family members make end-of-life decision, perhaps even pull the plug, as Medicare costs soar and end-of-life becomes too expensive to deal with? We could become our own death panels!
Death panel decisions are already a reality. Consider this: On Dec. 16, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would ration the late-stage cancer drug Avastin for patients with metastatic breast cancer.
The FDA claimed its decision had nothing to do with Avastin's cost, that it was based solely on the drug's effectiveness. Every year about 40,000 American women die from breast cancer. The drug is costly, but for some women Avastin is the last hope for many not to meet that fate.
It will take vigilance by the public and our Washington, D.C. legislators to prevent a government by fiat during the final two years of President Obama's term. Becoming enamored by bi-partisanship will not advance the cause of saving this nation from falling off the cliff to a position of irrelevance on the world stage.
Bi-partisanship might appear noble and preferable. "Why can't we all get along?" is the mantra of many Americans. But compromise can be dangerous if compromise consists of throwing a bone here and a bone there in an attempt to appease voters when in so doing very few are satisfied.
The media will be quick in 2011 to report when bi-partisan legislation passes, extolling and praising it as the way to go, even if only a handful or less of Republicans are on board, but will the media be just as diligent in reporting the behind-the-scenes executive decisions and rule-making of the Obama administration geared to passing its progressive agenda without Congressional input?
Let the 112th Congress begin. It promises be an interesting time.
May the American people not let down their guard.
Nancy J. Thorner
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