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The Orwellian Presidential Bully Pulpit


Does the following statement from Melody C. Barnes, director of President Barack Obama's Domestic Policy Council, strike you as a) patronizing or b) Orwellian? "The president believes that it's particularly important to sign this (presidential memorandum authorizing federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research) so that we can put science and technology back at the heart of pursuing a broad range of national goals."

Your answer should be both a and b, especially when considered in conjunction with another presidential memorandum "aimed at insulating scientific decisions across the federal government from political influence."

The president brazenly sermonizes against scientifically challenged conservatives while triggering federal funding of research that is scientifically controversial and preparing to impose cap and trade penalties on corporate America in deference to global warming junk science.

While you won't hear much about this in the mainstream media, there is a meeting currently taking place in New York City that serves as an ironic backdrop for Obama's embryonic stem cell order. reports that more than 70 scientists — representing the views of tens of thousands more scientists — are meeting at The Heartland Institute's second annual International Conference on Climate Change to make the case that politically motivated alarmism, not science, is driving climate change activism, which potentially threatens the sovereignty of the United States.

At the conference, European Union and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus likened those pushing global warming hysteria to the communists of Old Europe, who refused to listen to opposing views. Their goal, Klaus warned, is to control the public.

Sounds familiar. The Obama administration repeatedly implements policies that are in direct contradiction to its benign rhetoric, which is what I mean by "Orwellian." Consider its fiscal recklessness accompanied by promises of fiscal responsibility, including its staggering denial that it is promoting earmarks. Or its boasts of bipartisanship while shutting Republicans out of the legislative process. Or calling its plan to chill an employee's choice to opt out of union membership the "Employee Free Choice Act."

But Obama's statements while introducing his embryonic stem cell executive order truly take the cake. He said: "But after much discussion, debate and reflection, the proper course has become clear. The majority of Americans, from across the political spectrum and from all backgrounds and beliefs, have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research — that the potential it offers is great, and with proper guidelines and strict oversight, the perils can be avoided."

It would take several columns to parse that statement alone, but just look at the misleading phraseology: "The majority of Americans … have come to a consensus." Assuming a majority favors embryonic stem cell research — and even federal taxpayer funding for it — is it not deceptive to imply that a majority constitutes a consensus?

Of course, those who agree on a proposition always share a consensus among themselves, but doesn't "consensus" suggest that there is almost unanimity on the issue?

The answer is yes.

The Obama left repeatedly uses this type of language to manufacture the impression that only a fringe minority disagrees with the overwhelmingly accepted majority view. They declare a consensus when there isn't one and bully the true opposition from voicing their concerns. They do it with global warming, embryonic stem cell research, "intelligent design" theory and now Keynesian economics.

They have plenty of help from the liberal lapdog media. They dutifully report that Obama is lifting a ban on embryonic stem cell research when there has been no ban on such research, only a restriction on federal funding for it. Nowhere do they acknowledge the genuine ethical objections to or the scientific problems that have been encountered in such research. Instead, they just portray opponents of federal subsidies for the practice as Luddites.

While the left ridicules those who don't buy into their decreed "consensuses," they are the ones who suppress scientific inquiry and debate on various issues. They are the ones who suppress publication of facts that contradict their agenda.

You'll rarely hear from them about the failures and hazards of embryonic stem cell research, such as a report that embryonic cells injected into a boy caused multiple brain tumors. You'll never hear them speak about the increasing successes of adult stem cell research, even though adult stem cell science is less expensive, more accessible, probably involves less cancer-causing risk, and is not ethically controversial.

Beware; when the Obama left mounts its rhetorical high horse and tells us it is advancing science in furtherance of a consensus, it is most likely signaling that it is implementing a highly controversial, scientifically dubious policy whose opposition it intends to intimidate and silence with the formidable force of the presidential bully pulpit.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His book "Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party" was released recently in paperback. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his Web site at To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;...I feel like calling you out... I am kind of busy... We got a lot of rain, and my basement is flooding...The house next door went up for sale after getting forclosed.... The insurance did not pay for a fire, and the guy left to stay with friends, and while he was gone the pipes froze up and flooded the place, and no one opened window one, and the place grew thick black mold, so everything is going to have to be trashed right down to the studs, and everything washed with some kind of bleach preparation, and painted with kilz to seal it up... The asking price is 20K, but it may go for as much as forty after people get done jacking the price... I won't go above 25k..It used to be a 200K house.... But I am going to take some time and contact you through this site, and ask you for those 70 so called scientists and the thousands who are too busy to represent the truth directly... You might want to read Copernicus, and his Dedication of the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, to Pope Paul the third... Now, this paper was delivered in 1543.... It seems that we should have known better about the world to be sailing around it... But even Copernicus sat on his theory for many years before delivering it, until old age left him little of life to risk the loss of... Such was the fear of organized religion that his words seem to tiptoe up to the Pope with great respect and whisper in his ear.... That is what all ideologues demand of science... Ask first: Mother may I, before advancing any view of truth...And it does not matter if the facts are on global warming or stem cells....Ideology writes our text books...Do we know the truth about slavery, or about our treatment of native Americans??? Do we know the past, and do we care about the future??? There was once upon a time, when protestants rejected irrationality, and it is for this reason that the enlightenment and industial revolution grew out of their activities... Rational man and rational life has been rejected by all religions now... They do not care about the facts...They have faith...I am certain that if the results of stem cell research offered them some cure they would accept it.... They reject science after all, but use computers... Does this make them hypocrites..They reject science, and fly in airplanes and drive in cars that are made out of science... Is that hypocracy??? They go to doctors who train in science and reject science...Terrorists who reject our society and economy and education still embrace our weapons...Is that hypocracy??? I don't know... One thing is clear to me, and it is that neither side wants to seek consensus...I agree that unless we have consensus we do not have democracy....But no one wants to build consensus, or ask for it behind any idea...You are playing for division... That is the purpose of your lies...But parties rule because they divide... They do not want a united people because a united people would first sweep them away... The do not even like the word, so what consensus Mr. Obama is refering to is lost on me...We do not have consensus, and we need it....I trust that consensus is the great enemy of the government, because they do all they can to spoil it...The government, and the churches do not want to give any citizen the idea that they have the right to pass on the affairs of government..We have the right no matter what they say... .. Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:35 PM
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