David H. Edmund’s letter to the editor [“Obama’s record less than impressive”] in this past week’s edition of the Fairfax County Times got key facts wrong while ignoring others that are exculpatory.
President Barack Obama’s record is not immune from criticism, but couldn’t Edmunds at least check his facts before presenting them in a public forum?
First, Edmunds was wrong when he stated the president has maintained the strict moratorium on offshore drilling in the face of rising gas prices. The truth is, in 2010, the president announced the lifting of the 40-year-old, off-shore drilling moratorium from Delaware to the central Florida Coast, along the southeast coast of the Gulf of Mexico and in the Arctic Sea, north of Alaska. In fact, under the Obama administration domestic oil production has increased 13 percent over the administration of George W. Bush.
Second, the president did not reject the Keystone XL pipeline — he only refused Republican calls to expedite approval by eliminating required environmental impact studies. A decision on the XL pipeline is expected later this year when the environmental reviews are completed. Moreover, the XL pipeline will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil as Edmunds suggested. The XL pipeline will carry crude oil derived from tar sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada (a foreign country!) to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma.
Third, the issue being litigated by the Department of Justice in Arizona is not stricter enforcement of immigration law, but rather a constitutional question of whether a state can enact statues where the federal government has pre-eminent statutory (and constitutional) authority. The Constitution’s supremacy clause pre-empts states from enacting laws where federal authority is pre-eminent — such as conducting foreign affairs (immigration). It is not hypocritical to be against illegal immigration while at the same time taking a stand against unconstitutional methods to stop it. The Supreme Court ultimately will decide the matter, which is as the Constitution requires.
Fourth, Edmunds claimed the Affordable Health Care Act is an example of the president’s autocratic rule. However, the law was passed by a majority of elected officials in the House and Senate as required by the Constitution, and now is being vetted by the Supreme Court. There is nothing autocratic in this scenario. Similarly, like them or not, recess appointments are allowed under the Constitution and have been made routinely by nearly every president since George Washington.
Fifth, the national debt has not doubled under Obama. On Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama took office the national debt was $10.626 trillion. Today the national debt is $15.579 trillion. One major contributing factor for the rise in the national debt is the failure by Congress to pay for three signature initiatives of the George W. Bush administration; two lengthy wars, a costly prescription drug program for seniors and massive tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.
I voted for Obama in 2008 and believe his record is worthy or criticism.
But if we are going to criticize, let’s at least have the discussion in an intellectually honest way using facts instead of unbridled political rhetoric.
Mark S. Morgan, Vienna