By Rick Manning -
Sometimes it really hurts to be right. But based upon the record, you didn’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent or Miss Cleo to predict the future if Cass Sunstein was confirmed for the post of Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.
On September 10, 2009, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Sunstein’s nomination by a 57-40 margin over the objections of Americans for Limited Government with Republican Senators Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch (UT), Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ME), Richard Lugar (IN) and George Voinovich (OH) voting for his confirmation.
Sunstein’s comments that Congress should impose mandates to force equal time be provided on websites and blogs to opposing points of view would be alarming on their own. But coming from the chief regulator in the federal government, they should send a shiver down the spine of every American who treasures their First Amendment right to free speech.
Upon hearing the comments, Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson urged Obama to fire his chief regulator over statements that are a direct attack on our most basic freedoms.
However, no one should be surprised, including those Republicans who found him to be fit to serve in the Administration. Americans for Limited Government warned these same Republicans that Sunstein had extreme views on a variety of issues that made him particularly dangerous in a regulator role.
Believe it or not, Sunstein has actually advocated that animals should have the right to sue, when he wrote in 2002 in “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” that “We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are persons, or that they are not property.”
That’s right, 57 Senators, including six Republicans, voted to put a guy who believes that animals should be able to access our court system, and sue for damages, in charge of reviewing all of the regulations that come through the federal government.
Can they really be surprised that he is advocating forcing opposing views to be presented onto websites? After all, prior to his appointment and confirmation, Sunstein argued in his book “Nudge” in favor of a “civility check” on e-mails. He went as far as to suggest that there could be a 24 hour waiting period on the sending of e-mails that a master Internet e-mail censor deemed “uncivil”.
Of course, Sunstein’s latest authoritarian trial balloon of forcing websites to have opposing views presented for readers has some humorous potential. Imagine the horror from the left if an atheist website had to run a series of pop up ads advocating for a loving God using the booming voice of James Earl Jones.
But of course this is not what Sunstein is talking about. No, he wants to give the ratings-retarded Keith Olbermann a mandated voice on Bill O’Reilly’s website. After all, it isn’t fair that no one cares what Keith thinks, he must be heard.
The truly scary thing about Cass Sunstein is that he is viewed as Obama and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s intellectual soul mate. Soul mates whose philosophy is based upon an elitism that doesn’t trust Americans to think for themselves. In many respects, Sunstein reveals who Obama and Kagan are, and why it should be unsurprising to America that this Administration has embarked on policies designed to make the federal government each of our watchful nannies.
In Sunstein, Obama and Kagan, we may very well be seeing the horrors of Plato’s philosopher kings being played out before our eyes. A group of “intellectuals” who just think they know better than the rest of us, and are determined to use the coercive power of government to force us to conform to their sensibilities.
Unfortunately, the Senate knew who and what Cass Sunstein is when they voted to confirm him into a post that gives him incredible power to regulate every aspect of American life, and soon they will face the question of whether to give his soul mate Kagan a lifetime position on the highest court in the land.
As Bill Wilson noted, “This is what happens when Republicans don’t play hardball on these nominees, you end up with dangerous people in positions of power, who are intent on doing real harm to our freedoms.”
This is one time that I truly wish Americans for Limited Government had been wrong.
Unfortunately, Cass Sunstein is turning into everything that was feared. Let’s hope that Senate Republicans have learned their lesson before we end up with Elena Kagan ruling from the Supreme Court for the next thirty years.
Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government, and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.