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OPINION

Biden Dips Into The Well of Extremism Once Again

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

From his Inaugural Address to the State of the Union, President Biden has argued that he is a consensus builder. But looking at his key appointments shows the only consensus the president is building is between the Left and the far Left.

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The Biden administration and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are pressing hard to force a vote on two of the most extreme nominees ever to face Senate confirmation.Alvaro Bedoya nominated to sit on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Gigi Sohn nominated to sit on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), recently advanced through the committee process on a tied committee vote.

Both the FCC and FTC wield incredible power; each possessing the capacity to cripple the free enterprise system. And both nominees were tapped to lead these agencies precisely because they are well-known activists who seek to expand the power of unelected bureaucrats over the private sector.

Bedoya’s nomination is particularly concerning because the FTC determines whether businesses are free to innovate or get stuck in government red tape. Bedoya's track record shows that much likeLina Kahn, the FTC's chair, he will push for the government to involve itself in transactions and areas outside the government's constitutional purview.

A consistent thread of extremist activism runs through Bedoya’s career, including his fellowship in a George Soros-backed program and deeply controversial and hyper-partisan positions. Bedoya’s academic work has routinely opposed ICE deportation efforts. “It is time to call ICE what it is: An out-of-control domestic surveillance agency that peers into all our lives,” he tweeted in 2020. Criticized for denying the importance of border security, Bedoya attempted to explain away his tweets as "rhetoric."

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Either the nominee is lying to grab a far-left Twitter following, or he doesn’t believe that the United States should even have a border. While this would not be his area of oversight, his vote on the FTC would be responsible for regulations and litigation impacting virtually every economic transaction in America.

Bedoya also routinely takes provocative stances on things outside his expertise. In one instance, here tweeted Joy Reid calling President Trump a white supremacist , he also compared the Republican convention to white supremacist rally and another tweet advocating for aspects of critical race theory. While he tried to backtrack and apologize for some of his heated rhetoric during the confirmation process, his rhetoric over the years shows a vocal activist unsuited for a role like the FTC. Sen. Ted Cruz called him“a provocateur, a bomb-thrower” while Sen. Roger Wicker expressed concern about the “the frequency with which he has publicly expressed divisive views on policy matters.”

For her part, Sohn's past remarks show a censorious hostility toward conservative viewpoints. "For all my concerns about#Facebook, I believe that Fox News has had the most negative impact on our democracy,” she tweeted in 2020, adding, “It's state-sponsored propaganda, with few if any opposing viewpoints." If confirmed, she could make good on her past calls to target Fox News with perpetual investigations or drag its senior leadership before a congressional Star Chamber.

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Even more alarming is Sohn's demand that the FCC aggressively police broadcast companies and her backing of a petition that would allow the government to censor free speech. She even tweeted, "I say that @FCC should look at whether Sinclair [Broadcasting] is qualified to be a broadcast licensee at all." In her new role, Sohn would have a free hand at dismantling the First Amendment rights to which she has demonstrated such hostility.

Additionally, and incredibly even worse in many respects, Sohn previously sat on the board of Locast, a company that essentially pirates TV content and makes it available for free. Shockingly, she defended the company’s actions, saying, "I thought this was, from a public interest, pro-consumer perspective, I thought this was good."

Her assertion that stealing other people’s property and rebroadcasting was “good” is a window into her belief system that others’ work and property is hers to control. This stance is disqualifying by itself. But she went even further by misleading senators during her hearing about the company’s piracy settlement with TV providers.

The Senate should perform their Constitutional role by rejecting the nominations of these two extremists who are appointed to positions that significantly impact the future of the U.S. economy.  The president has a right to nominate anyone he wants, but the Senate’s job is to withhold its confirmation when a nominee is too extreme. Sohn and Bedoya fit this description – particularly as their jobs impact the American economy – and should be rejected.

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Rick Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government.

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