September 14, 2009

Friday, another radical extremist joined the ranks of the Obama administration.

Cass Sunstein, who is an old friend of Barack Obama, is now our new Regulatory Czar. You will recall that he is the guy who wants animals to sue hunters and other Americans.

He also supports gun control.

While his nomination as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs passed the Senate by a 57-40 vote yesterday, the REAL vote was actually much closer -- losing only by three votes.

That vote occurred on Wednesday, when Republicans tried to kill his nomination using a filibuster -- a procedure which required Democrats to muster 60 votes. Every Democrat (except for three) voted for Sunstein. The three Senators who voted against Sunstein on the filibuster were Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and James Webb (D-VA).

Unfortunately, a handful of Republicans crossed party lines to help Sunstein overcome the procedural roadblock. The Republican traitors who crossed party lines on Wednesday were Senators Bob Bennett (UT), Sue Collins (ME), Judd Gregg (NH), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Richard Lugar (IN) and Olympia Snowe (ME).

Dishonorable mention goes to Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter (PA) who voted for Sunstein -- as well as Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), who waited until the end of the voting period to finally cast his ballot against Sunstein.

Regarding Pryor, you will remember that in August, he waited until the last minute to cast his vote in favor of the concealed carry reciprocity amendment. When it became clear the anti-gunners had a comfortable margin of victory, Sen. Pryor actually switched his vote at the last minute.

As the Regulatory Czar, Sunstein will provide the final touches on new federal regulations. No firearm or ammunition needs to be banned outright -- that would be too transparent. As the coauthor of Nudge (2008), Sunstein has already laid out how "choice architects" should carefully guide (or nudge) Americans into making better choices.

So with a little regulation here... a little regulation there... Sunstein can strengthen the iron fist of the federal gun police (otherwise known as the BATFE). Or, he can implement additional federal requirements which will result in firearm and ammunition manufacturers paying more for their merchandise.

Of course, these costs will be passed on to the consumer as new "taxes" that will "nudge" Americans away from purchasing firearms or engaging in the shooting sports.

Now we are hearing in many circles that Mr. Sunstein is possibly on the short list for the next Supreme Court seat that opens.  I offer the following except from Glenn Beck interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano concerning who is possibly the next nominee to SCOTUS (The juicy part begins around 1 minute and 25 seconds into the clip):

Let me repeat Judge Napolitano's words again: "We have never had anybody in a regulatory position with this kind of power that's this out of step with the American people.  So his potential damage is limitless!"

In talking about Sunstein's legal ideology, Napolitano notes that he is farther to the left than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  In case you are wondering, Justice Ginsburg (a Clinton appointee) has a record which is considered the farthest to the left than any justice on the Supreme Court in his entire history.

If you thought Van Jones was extreme, Sunstein is just down-right kooky. Consider these facts...

---In a 2007 speech at Harvard University, Sunstein said "We ought to ban hunting."

---From his book Radicals in Robes: "[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally  fine.  And if the Court is right, then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.

---From 2004 book Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions: "Animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives..."

---2007 speech at Harvard: "[Humans'] willingness to subject animals to unjustified suffering will be seen ... as a form of unconscionable barbarity... morally akin to slavery and the mass extermination of human beings."

---Arguing for a Fairness Doctrine of the Internet in his book 2.0: "A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government."

---In an article he co-authored entitled, "Why We Should Celebrate Paying Taxes": "In what sense is the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully 'ours'? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without support from bank regulators? Could we spend it... if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live?"

---Same article: "[T]ax day is not a day of national mourning. Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. Indeed, property owners are more deeply “dependent” on government than food-stamp recipients."

Seriously?  Where did this guy come from?  Oh yeah, Chicago and Harvard.  Sound familiar?

Sunstein wrote a book called Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech.  First of all, it's troubling that a "constitutional scholar" would describe the First Amendment as a "problem" of democracy.  In the book, Sunstein argues, America needs to "reinvigorate processes of democratic deliberation by ensuring greater attention to public issues and greater diversity of views." 

Sunstein's worried about the present "situation" in which "like-minded people speak or listen to mostly one another," and thinks "we must doubt whether, as interpreted, the constitutional guarantee of free speech is adequately serving democratic goals."  Sunstein favors a "New Deal for speech" that would draw on an "insistence on the role of free speech in promoting political deliberation and citizenship."   Hm... this sounds like a RESOUNDING endorsement of the so-called "fairness doctrine." 

More lunatic quotes of Cass Sunstein can be on a "Sunstein Quote File" placed on Google and can be found here.

In short, be prepared for more "change" from Washington and less spare change in your pockets.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.