President Obama made campaign promises that he’d severely restrict lobbying. Yesterday, on Wednesday, he signed an anti-lobbying ethics order to prevent executive branch appointees who leave from coming back to lobby any agency in the executive branch, and to prevent lobbyists to executive branch agencies from working for the administration for at least two years. Democracy 21 describes the rules for lobbyists joining the Obama administration as follows.
It prohibits any presidential appointee who served as a lobbyist during the two-year period prior to joining the Administration from working in any agency or department that they had lobbied, for a two-year period after they join the Administration.
It also provides that a person who served as a lobbyist during the two-year period prior to joining the Obama Administration cannot for the first two years after being appointed to the Obama Administration participate in any particular matter on which the person lobbied or in the specific issue area in which the particular matter falls.
Today, on Thursday, it came out that Barack Obama nominated William Corr for deputy secretary of Health and Human Services, who lobbied that agency last year on behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Also nominated was William J. Lynn III for the number two position at Defense, who lobbied the Pentagon for Raytheon last year. In two days Obama has gone from promising very restrictive anti-lobbying rules to breaking them. When asked how this worked, press secretary Robert Gibbs replied, “Even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions.”
Also announced yesterday, Obama signed an order to shut down Guantanamo in one year. He has reversed the Mexico City policy, which allows the US Government to fund abortions overseas, and promises to sign the horrible Freedom of Choice act, which repeals all Federal and State restrictions on abortions, even parental notification rules for minor age children and bans on partial birth abortion, and punishes as criminal the choices of medical professionals not to participate in abortions.
Will there be reasonable exceptions for those who oppose the homicide of innocent children in the womb? Probably not. Reasonable exceptions only apply when they are what the new President wants.
In other words, what we are talking about here is the President refusing to live by his own rules. This is traditional behavior for the Pelosi/Reid Democrat Congress, but it’s rather brazen for this President to do it before the ink is dry on his brave new anti-lobbying rules. And it is most definitely not what is meant by the Rule of Law. Wikipedia has a reasonable definition that starts like this (my bolding).
The ‘rule of law’, in its most basic form, is the principle that no one is above the law. Thomas Paine stated in his pamphlet Common Sense (1776): “For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.”
But this is the Messiah, Lord Barack Obama the Most Merciful, and the quality of his mercy is not strained: Certainly not when it comes to himself. So what if he doesn’t follow his own rules. That is for peasants. Obama is something else, an aristocrat at least, perhaps a king or a messiah. He is above the law.
And that explains the loose way his credit card processing worked during the campaign. How much of his $600M came from foreigners and Americans who were exceeding the $2300 limit again? I guess we’ll never know. Obama, while promising to run the most transparent administration ever, has not released any of that information.
It also explains how he intends to follow the Army Field Manual when it comes to interrogating big cheeses from Al Qaeda: Reasonable exception. He won’t be challenged on it by the press or the left (but I repeat myself). He can get away with it, because he is special.