- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 21, 2012

President Obama’s ugly campaign is backfiring. With bad news clouding over our struggling nation, Americans are sick of all the political lies, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years and the Obama camp’s inference that the Republican presidential candidate was guilty of a felony related to his business background. A defensive Mr. Obama even stopped hiding from the press for a few minutes on Monday to stammer, “We point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don’t go out of bounds.” Yeah, right.

Increasingly fewer voters are buying what Mr. Obama is selling. According to Gallup, Mr. Obama is losing to Mr. Romney by 2 points, 47 percent to 45 percent. Even more telling, only 36 percent approve of Mr. Obama’s management of the economy, and a mere 30 percent support the president’s handling of federal deficits. On top of those dire numbers is the fundamental disconnect between Mr. Obama’s left-wing dogma and background as a community agitator with the normal views of Main Street USA. His animosity for the average voter was made plain when he sneered about mainstream Americans bitterly clinging to their guns and religion. Now the president is targeting those people’s beliefs.

Recent shootings naturally had many trying to make sense of life, and why it can be so fleeting. Government-centric left-wingers predictably jumped to the conclusion that more government is needed to save man from himself, or from others. The liberal media sprinted to try to show that deranged shooters in some way represent the Tea Party or conservatism, as if being disaffected by ineffectual bureaucracy makes one dangerous. At the root of liberalism’s empty sentiments is the reality that the state can’t control an uncertain world and solve all of our problems. At some point, a higher power comes into play. That’s why our money has “In God We Trust” stamped on it. Instead of embracing the moral foundation of America, the Obama government is pursuing all-out religious persecution.

The most direct threats at the moment are the provisions in Obamacare that force religious institutions to provide abortion, contraception and other services against the dictates of their faith. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, has warned, “Coercing religious ministries and citizens to pay directly for actions that violate their teaching is an unprecedented incursion into freedom of conscience.” What His Eminence left unsaid is that the modernist goal is to drive religion underground so faith can’t act as a road bump to evil laws. That’s going to be hard to accomplish because America’s spiritual roots run deep. According to Pew, 67 percent of adults, “say it is important for the president to have strong religious beliefs.”

This is the latest salvo in an ongoing battle over religious issues such as whether Christian adoption agencies must place children with homosexual couples and the banning of cultural manifestations of belief like the 10 Commandments in courtrooms or manger scenes in front of firehouses. What ties the tussles together is Big Brother’s hellbent mission to force faith out of the public realm. “When the government tampers with a freedom so fundamental to the life of our nation, one shudders to think what lies ahead,” Cardinal Dolan wrote in The Wall Street Journal about Obamacare’s attacks on faith.

The president’s blitz of negativity isn’t working out so well for him. His campaign is burning cash faster than he can raise it, while his poll numbers fade. With unemployment getting worse, the economy staggering, consumer confidence on the decline and gas prices rising, Mr. Obama can hardly run on his record so he’s reaching down into the darkness and playing dirty. Does anyone doubt that this man will do or say anything to hold onto power? Instead of hope and change, Mr. Obama now relies on the brute force of hate and the status quo. America’s better angels need to come to the fore.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, 2011).