SOUTH FLORIDA, March 23, 2014 — President Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s newest Surgeon General is expected to go down in flames. Vivek Murthy faces united opposition from Republican senators as well as from enough red state Democrats to imperil his appointment.
Murthy’s nomination begs a larger question.
Why does Obama routinely nominate individuals for positions they are unqualified for? What if Obama attempted to appoint people solely based on merit?
Murthy is intelligent. He was class valedictorian in high school, earned his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard, and received his advanced degree from Yale. He has expertise in the technological field, and has attempted to bring that knowledge to the medical world.
However, this 36-year-old man is not just a fellow with a brain.
Like so many Obama nominees, he is a leftist crusader. He formed the group “Doctors for Obama,” later renamed “Doctors for America.” This medical community organizer deeply believes in Obamacare, but it his views on another controversial issue that has his critics seeing red.
Murthy is rabidly anti-gun. He has taken to Twitter to criticize gun ownership. He sees gun ownership as a health issue, and the National Rifle Association has let senators know that a vote for Murthy will be a vote against gun owners.
Murthy has promised that he would not use his platform to regulate guns. He would stick to health issues. The problem is that many Americans simply do not believe him. They do not trust him, nor do they trust the man who appointed him.
In picking nominees, Obama starts with ideology. He then narrows down the list of leftists to the ones who have benefitted him the most personally.
Qualifications for the job are further down the list, if at all.
This is how Obama can pick nominees for various ambassadorships who have never visited the country they are supposed to diplomatically represent. Obama bundlers choose which cushy position they desire, and the White House provides the political patronage. The nominee to Norway has no idea which form of government Norway possessed. Other nominees had zero knowledge of their proposed assigned countries.
Chuck Hagel was chosen for Defense Secretary because he shared Obama’s anti-war agenda and his willingness to drastically reduce America’s military.
Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were elevated to the Supreme Court to fit quotas. They were both women. Kagan is Jewish, Sotomayor is Latina, and neither one had a record of legal excellence.
The more nominees Obama was able to successfully get through, the more emboldened he became. After winning his own reelection, he became even more greedy. He deliberately pushed nominees meant to enrage the other side. He had Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid abolish the filibuster to push as many nominees through before the 2014 elections.
The final straw was Obama’s nominating Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Right’s Division. Adegbile fought on behalf of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This was more than even Democrats up for reelection could stomach. Attorney General Eric Holder has already been accused of racially politicizing the Justice Department. Holder got through when Obama was riding high in 2009. Adegbile in 2014 did not.
Vivek Murthy, like so many Obama nominees, is a crusader. Leftist activism by fiat is what Obama has promised, and Murthy would have broad regulatory powers if confirmed. In the wake of EPA and IRS abuses, allowing another hardcore regulator into the government was too much for a majority of senators.
Obama can blame obstructionist Republicans, but really he has only himself to blame. Republicans would have a much weaker position politically if the nominees themselves were stronger. By putting ideology over ability, Obama is ensuring a more politically polarizing climate and lower poll numbers for himself.
People gave Obama the benefit of the doubt. They were not sure he was qualified, but they gave him a chance. With so many problems domestically and abroad, the patience of many Americans has run out.
They do not want a Surgeon General or any other nominee to fundamentally transform anything. They just want people who can do the job. If Obama ever figures this out, the result would be better nominees and a better government delivering better results.