Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Byron York on the Gregg withdrawal

I'll just get this out of the way right now: Gregg was an idiot to even think of taking the Cabinet position. He was going to be nothing more than a token Republican in a highly-partisan, Democrat administration. But he withdrew his nomination yesterday, and the move surprised the White House. Byron York left National Review just a few short weeks ago, and we've been reading him over at his new digs at the DC Examiner. Byron's piece today focuses on the decision by Gregg to withdraw:

After 16 years as a Republican senator from New Hampshire, Judd Gregg has a lot of friends among GOP lawmakers, and in the past two weeks, many of them -- perhaps most of them -- have been wondering why he chose to accept Barack Obama's offer to become Commerce Secretary. Their objections intensified in the last week, as Republicans grew more worried about the Obama administration's plan to move control of the politically-sensitive 2010 Census from the Commerce Department to the White House. For Gregg himself, concerns about having the Census taken away from Commerce dovetailed with more general fears that a Democratic White House would restrict his freedom to run the Department. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, Gregg formally withdrew.

"I think he had buyer's remorse," one GOP senator told me. "After he looked into it more, he said, 'Whoa, this was a mistake.'"

"He's been getting Republicans walking up to him saying, 'Are you going to let the White House circumvent you, are you going to let them do this to you?'" one GOP aide who is aware of those conversations told me Thursday night. "This was a natural conflict that was going to arise, and on a personal level, politics aside, people were saying 'Hey, are you sure you want to do this?'"

The answer was no. "I've been my own person for 30 years," Gregg told reporters late Thursday. "I've been a governor and I've been a congressman. I've been a senator, made my own decisions, stood for what I believe in." As he explained himself, Gregg made clear that, as a member of the Obama cabinet, he would have been called on to take actions that violated his principles. "I have a core set of political and philosophical beliefs," Gregg said. "In the context of what was going on this week, and in the context of what I saw coming…it would be virtually impossible for me to do this job."

And what was going on this week? In a written statement released before his news conference, Gregg explained that "on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me." A short time later, in front of the press, Gregg played down both issues, but a number of observers believed his original statement was the more accurate. On the stimulus, his decision to stay out of the debate had put him in an awkward position; as a longtime fiscal conservative, he couldn't vote his conscience, because it would conflict with the president who offered him a place in the cabinet, and as the Commerce Secretary-designate, he couldn't vote with the president, because it would violate his conscience. So he chose not to vote at all. On the Census, Gregg told reporters that it "was not a major issue," but he appeared to protest too much when he said the Census "wasn't a big enough issue for me to even discuss what the issue was." If that were the case, then why did he specifically mention it in his written statement?

At the very least, the Census issue would have made for a very uncomfortable confirmation hearing. Gregg's fellow Republicans on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee would certainly have asked him what he thought of a plan that would move control of the Census from professionals in the Commerce Department to Rahm Emanuel, the hyper-partisan White House chief of staff. What would Gregg have said? It was the stimulus problem all over again; Gregg couldn't have said what he believed, but he probably couldn't have brought himself to support the president, either.

So now Gregg is out. His fellow Republicans are delighted to have him back; it's likely his informal role in the party's leadership will not be affected by his flirtation with the Obama cabinet. For its part, the White House is back to the beginning in its snakebit search for a Commerce Secretary. And the Census issue is likely to intensify, with Republican senators Susan Collins and Kay Bailey Hutchison now exploring the question, joining several members of the House who were first to express concern. The Gregg nomination is dead, but the Census controversy might just be coming to life.

With his statement drawing attention to the issue of the Census, Barry just might have a ticking time-bomb in his hands. First, Congress set the Census up they way they did for a reason. It was to be done through the Commerce department by statisticians to keep the issue from being politicized. Second, if the White House is involved in the collection of the raw data, they'll know how to rig the congressional districts in their favor. As Mark Steyn pointed out yesterday, Massachusetts is a heavy blue state, but people have been leaving it for the past decade. The Democrats want to make sure that Massachusetts stays in their column.

Personally, we see this naked power grab as unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the congress right now won't take that issue up. Both Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are too busy A) Spending our future generations into oblivion, and B) They're Barry's water carriers. they'd never think of bringing impeachment charges against him. However Democrats should be warned that the overreach by Pelosi, Reid, and Obama on the Pork-A-Palooza, the passage of S-CHIP, the proposed omnibus bill coming up after the Pork-A-Palooza, and the talk on Capitol Hill about the revival of the Fairness Doctrine could all add up to an electoral defeat in 2010. The shift of power could once again be in Republican hands. If we have the majority, and that majority deems the usurpation of the Census from the Commerce department an impeachable offense, get ready for another wild ride, especially if we have both Houses.

Barry really doesn't have a clue about what he's doing. He's acting more like a king and less like a president. And it doesn't help that the two Houses of Congress are led by a pair of royal @$$es. But hey, the lemmings out there fell for this shyster. They wanted hope and they wanted change. Well, you morons got the change, but he's running low on hope these days. Unless, of course, those moronic voters really believe spending a trillion dollars will help the economy, and that it's cool to let the White House act like a bull in a china shop, running roughshod over the Constitution itself.

Publius II

1 Comments:

Blogger Ted said...

Sen. Gregg withdrew because (1) Obama’s chutzpah crossed the line and (2) Obama CANNOT put away his “birth certificate” issue.

1. Here’s the chutzpah: The Republicans didn’t get their act together enough to challenge Obama for not being constitutionally qualified to be President as an Article 2 “natural born citizen” so Obama’s White House steals the census from the Commerce Department against the specific instructions of the constitution itself — “actual enumeration” under Article 1.

2. Here’s the “birth certificate” issue: Since Obama’s earnest drive to convince the nation to weaken its economic strength through redistribution as well as weaken its national defense, COUPLED WITH HIS UNPRECEDENTED WHITE HOUSE TAKEOVER OF DECENNIAL CENSUS TAKING FROM THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT, has confirmed the very threats to our Republic’s survival that the Constitution was designed to avert, it no longer is sustainable for the United States Supreme Court to refrain from exercising WHAT IS ITS ABSOLUTE CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY TO DEFEND THE NATION FROM UNLAWFUL USURPATION. The questions of Obama’s Kenyan birth and his father’s Kenyan/British citizenship (admitted on his own website) have been conflated by his sustained unwillingnes to supply his long form birth certificate now under seal, and compounded by his internet posting of a discredited ‘after-the-fact’ short form ‘certificate’. In the absence of these issues being acknowledged and addressed, IT IS MANIFEST THAT OBAMA REMAINS INELIGIBLE TO BE PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 2 OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. Being a 14th Amendment ‘citizen’ is not sufficient. A ‘President’ MUST BE an Article 2 ‘natural born citizen’ AS DEFINED BY THE FRAMERS’ INTENT.

February 13, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

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