Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Does the Obama administration meet Obama's own standards for democracy?

The Chicago Tribune reported (hat tip: David French and Instapundit) Monday on Pres. Obama's five criteria for his continued support of Egypt's (now-defunct) Morsi government (I added the numbering):
"But the way we make decisions about assistance to Egypt is based on 'are they in fact following the rule of law and democratic procedures?'," he said, speaking on the last stop of his three-nation tour of Africa.

"We don't make those decisions just by counting the number of heads in a protest march but we do make decisions based on whether or not a government is [1] listening to the opposition, [2] maintaining a free press, [3] maintaining freedom of assembly, [4] not using violence or intimidation, [5] conducting fair and free elections," he said.
Let's each of those five criteria in turn and apply them to Obama's America:

(1) "listening to the opposition"

Rather than "listening to the opposition," Obama talks about "hand-to-hand" combat and tells his allies to "bring a gun" and "punish our enemies."

(2) "maintaining a free press"

Obama is using the Justice department to conduct unprecedented levels of surveillance on reporters who publish stories on his failures.

(3) "maintaining freedom of assembly"

Obama signed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, an act whose vague language allows the government to restrict protests in the vicinity of government buildings or government officials.  Even on the left, such as at Slate and MoveOn, they don't like this one.

(4) "not using violence or intimidation"

Nothing says intimidation like an IRS audit.   Under Obama, the IRS has harassed and silenced opposition groups by the hundreds over two election cycles.

(5) "conducting fair and free elections"

Without voter ID, it is pretty clear that elections cannot be fair or honest, and the Obama administration has been a vigorous opponent of voter ID. Even UN poll watchers are baffled that the US doesn't require voter ID.

It may or may not be good foreign policy for Obama to apply these standards to Egypt.  But, it is time for the American people to hold this administration to the same standards here in the US.

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