Obama Ethics: Safer to Be a Golden-Winged Warbler than a Baby Human

It appears that thanks to the Obama administration, our great national nightmare may finally be coming to a close. 

Now, don't be confused.  By "national nightmare" I am not referring to something as petty as our culture's nearly forty-year-old abolition of the unalienable right to life for those deemed inconvenient or unplanned, or something as inconsequential as the breakdown of the family unit and the moral decay that has come as a consequence.  Nor am I talking about the child's play that is the ongoing threat of radical Islam and its war against Western civilization.  And just stop with the silliness about our relentless unemployment crisis and stagnating economy.  I'm talking about the big stuff here.

Word has emerged that President Obama is finally taking steps to protect the melodic golden-winged warbler.  It appears that he was the one that we'd been waiting for after all.

With his finger firmly on the pulse of what is most concerning to Americans, the president has announced that he will soon be extending endangered species status (and the requisite mountain of rules and regulations that accompany the designation) to a list of over 500 plant and animal species.  And besides being great news for the soon-to-be-protected slow-moving Gopher tortoise, this move will undoubtedly benefit a national economy already stunted by oppressive bureaucratic micromanagement.

One can fairly imagine how much easier life is about to get for the people of Hawaii, for instance, when they receive new federal guides on how to identify the 99 new native plants they must avoid trampling or trimming.

And though Americans will be initially alarmed to know that the giant Palouse earthworm of Idaho and the Utah Gila monster did not make the cut, the Obama administration is assuring us that all rejections are subject to court challenge.  Thank heavens!  It's about time our underworked court system had something of substance to engage.

In all seriousness, this news should provoke two primary questions in the minds of serious Americans.  First, is there any stronger indictment of our oversized and bloated federal government than the fact that it pays hundreds of individuals to study and evaluate the breeding proficiency of 35 different kinds of snails in Nevada's Great Basin?  In the midst of an epic fiscal crisis in the country, should it really take the commissioning of an unconstitutional Super Committee in Congress to be able to pinpoint areas of the federal budget to eliminate when examples like this abound?

That's not to say that we can balance our books as a country simply by slashing funds for the Fish and Wildlife Service.  But it is to say that the only hope for balancing our books comes when we're willing to ask whether it is the proper role of the federal government to even operate a Fish and Wildlife Service in the first place.

Call me a cynic, but I can't imagine George Washington holding cabinet meetings with Alexander Hamilton to discuss the energetic and vital action the national government needed to take in protecting crawfish (82 different kinds in the Southeast alone have been tagged by Team Obama as imperiled).  Yet today we manage to convince ourselves that we are doing a disservice to mankind if we don't have some government agency designing a complex tiered system for evaluating the endangered status of the most obscure creatures in the country.

But the second question this whole issue engenders is even more fundamental and even more concerning.  What does it say about the ethics of our country when the slimy American eel and the tiny Texas kangaroo rat (both on the new endangered list) receive greater legal protection than full-term baby human beings?  What does it say about a president who is willing and eager to mete out harsh fines and penalties for those who callously pollute the habitat of beetles, yet who works diligently to facilitate and abet those who pitilessly invade the sanctuary of the human womb to intentionally kill their fellow man?

What it says is that far from progressing towards a James Cameron-esque environmental utopia like Pandora, we are slouching perilously close to the moral degeneracy of Gomorrah.  And time is running out to reverse course.

Peter is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana. Email peter@peterheck.com, visit www.peterheck.com, or like him on Facebook.