Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What do Craig Becker, Chai R. Feldblum and Jacqueline A. Berrien have in common?

They’re the latest left-wing activists to gain public office in President Obama’s gallery of radical rulers, courtesy of recess appointments on March 27.

Mr. Becker is a labor lawyer who has pledged to force “card check” on the nation’s workplaces, which would end the right to work without being a union member. Instead of secret-ballot elections determining whether a workplace would be unionized, which preserves the employees’ freedom to disagree, card check would automatically unionize a workplace if a majority of employees signed a form or card. That would be done under the watchful eye of union goons, of course. No pressure there. Mr. Becker, who was counsel for Andy Stern’s radical, ACORN-linked Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well as the AFL-CIO, is now on the five-member National Labor Relations Board. That’s the federal agency that serves as a neutral arbiter between employers and labor. Putting Mr. Becker on the board makes about as much sense as naming Yogi Berra as the plate umpire in a Yankees-Red Sox game - no offense to Yogi, a great American.

Ms. Feldblum, a lesbian activist at Georgetown Law Center who has said she cannot think of a single instance in which religious freedom would trump “gay rights,” is the newest commissioner on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That’s the agency that enforces federal civil rights laws in the workplace. Ms. Feldblum once said the culture war could be resolved in a simple manner: “Gays win, Christians lose.” She is an author of the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), another of Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank’s nuclear gifts to the radical left.

ENDA would affect every employer in America with 15 or more employees. By elevating “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into federally advantaged “rights” categories, ENDA would put a gun to the head of any employer failing to promote the gay rights agenda in the workplace. This means devout Christians, Jews (and even Muslims if the Obama administration is serious) would see their beliefs defined as a form of bigotry punishable by law.

Joining Ms. Feldblum as chairman of the EEOC is Ms. Berrien, most recently of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund. Her resume is a litany of racial and feminist entitlement claims, and she filed a brief arguing that Virginia Military Institute (VMI) should be forced to admit women. Did I mention that she was a staff attorney for the ACLU?

These latest appointees fit right in with the 40 or so “czars” Mr. Obama has appointed to high places in federal agencies. Since “green jobs czar” Van Jones resigned on Sept. 6 after being outed as a self-described communist, Mr. Obama has been a bit more careful to appoint people who are merely radical leftists, not necessarily communists.

Still, he has an outright socialist as “energy czarina” in Carol M. Browner, who is charged with making the case for the “cap-and-trade” bill, which would cripple industry, impose the biggest energy tax in history and turn Al Gore into a multibillionaire. Ms. Browner, who was at the far-left Center for American Progress, was on the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, an elite arm of Socialist International. She also is a former board director of APX Inc., which facilitates - surprise! - trading in carbon offsets.

As long as we’re talking radical, here are a couple more snapshots of Obama appointees.

• John Holdren, director of the White House’s Office on Science and Technology Policy (the “science czar”). Mr. Holdren has the president’s ear about how to spend our money on science. During the 1970s, he co-wrote a book with the overpopulation panic couple Paul R. and Anne Ehrlich in which they floated the idea of putting birth-control agents in public drinking water and made the case that mandatory abortions could be justified under the U.S. Constitution. More recently, Mr. Holdren has been a major backer of global-warming treaties. During his confirmation hearing on Feb. 12, 2009, he told an incredulous Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, that he stood by his 1986 prediction that man-made global warming could kill as many as 1 billion people by 2020.

• Harold Koh, State Department legal adviser (“foreign law czar”). Mr. Koh, a self-described “transnationalist,” thinks the days of the United States as an exceptional nation are over and that our laws and court decisions should reflect international legal opinion. He once referred to President George W. Bush as the “torturer in chief” and has tried to have former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo drawn and quartered for drafting a legal opinion about the limits of interrogation techniques. He has testified in support of crackpot U.N. power grabs, including the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Among its activities, the CEDAW committee has attacked conscientious objections against abortion by doctors in Italy and the observance of Mother’s Day in Belarus and has promoted legalization of prostitution.

These folks are just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Obama’s recess appointments make it clear that we’re probably in for even more loons at the top.

Robert Knight is senior writer and correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries, a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and the author of “Radical Rulers: The White House Elites Who Are Pushing America Toward Socialism” (radicalrulers.com, 2010).

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