More Obama Pandering?

16 Jun

Mona Charen is one of my favorite op-ed writers.  This year, Obama gave the commencement address at her alma mater, Barnard College, a private women’s liberal arts college.  Charen is a syndicated columnist and political analyst, and spent time working in the White House in the Reagan administration.  Charen wrote an essay on the visit and speech, which you can find in full at

A few excerpts:  [Bolding is mine]

. . . in March, as part of the “war on women” gambit, the White House decided it needed a friendly female audience before whom the president could strut his feminist stuff. Barnard, bastion of women’s rights . . . .

The speech got scant coverage. The main takeaway seemed to be that a member of the audience shouted out that Obama should do the “moonwalk” when he happened to mention it. Thrilling. The press is keen to remind us that Obama remains cool to the kids. . . .

I don’t care for cool. I’d prefer competent. . . . .

. . . . the president recalled that when he was a student, “Some of the streets around here were not quite so inviting. Times Square was not a family destination.”

So true Mr. President! I remember dodging the hooligans myself. Funny you should mention that, because New York was suffering from the liberal policies that had been enacted by Democrats and liberal Republicans (John Lindsay) for decades. Good liberals just like you ran the city into the ground. They believed that crime shouldn’t be punished severely because it was the understandable response to injustice. They believed that high taxes and heavy regulation were the right approach to business, because businesses were based upon greed.

They believed that welfare was the least we could do for blacks and others who had been persecuted for centuries. They believed that government employees made life better and that accordingly, we should have many more of them. It was only with the election in 1993 of a conservative Republican mayor, Rudy Giuliani, that New York — including the iconic Times Square — was transformed. Thanks so much for reminding us that conservative reform can make such a dramatic difference in such a short time.

That the president would pander to the female audience with talk of how bright and creative and essential they are is neither surprising nor offensive. Less excusable were the outright falsehoods he cited in making the tired liberal argument about how persecuted women were in America until liberals saved them.

“Before women like Barbara Mikulski and Olympia Snowe … got to Congress,” Obama told the graduates, “much of federally-funded research on diseases focused solely on their (sic) effects on men.” A hoary untruth. The National Institutes of Health retracted its claim that women were excluded from clinical trials back in 2001. . . . ”

Despite four years of his leadership, the world these young women are entering continues to be blighted by sexism. They will face “unique challenges,” the president warned, “like whether you’ll be able to earn equal pay for equal work … whether you’ll be able fully to control decisions about your own health.” This is claptrap. Equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land since the 1960s. And to fully “control decisions about your own health” is Obamacode for religious institutions cleaving to their constitutional right to free exercise in the face of his administration’s assault.

The pander, like the liberal governance in New York City, appears to be failing.

[End of excerpts]


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