Send a message to D.C. on Election Day

For those of you inclined to send a message to Washington on Election Day, herewith a list of grievances that should get you plenty revved up:

Spending: A federal debt approaching $18 trillion. Interest on the debt cost taxpayers $221 billion last year alone. Yet the president seldom cares to discuss this national embarrassment.


Immigration: Border security is not a priority for the president. Accordingly, despite repeated warnings, the feds were woefully unprepared for last summer's mass influx of undocumented children. And this shoddy performance while a new iteration of terrorists threatens the homeland.

Obamacare: A careless act carried out under cover of darkness. Few members understood its profound repercussions. Few of its promises have been met while many of its unintended consequences are now hitting home.


Dependency: Approximately 50 million on food stamps, a quadrupling of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and the regular rejection of welfare-to-work requirements by congressional Democrats speak volumes about today's culture.

Benghazi: Four American heroes dead and the best the Obama/Clinton team can come up with is a phony video story. A colossal failure of intelligence, preparation and common sense. The extent of the cover-up remains unknown.

The I.R.S.: Political pressure applied to "slow-walk" administrative approvals of conservative non-profits during the president's re-election campaign. A formal investigation begins, after which the unit leader (Lois Lerner) has her Blackberry wiped clean. Then Ms. Lerner takes "the 5th". Not a happy chapter for First Amendment fans.

The NLRB: The arbiter of labor-management disputes is morphed into a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Labor. This unit means business — just not that kind of business. And it doesn't particularly care for those who create jobs for a living. After all, you didn't build that.

Voting rights: Updated voter rolls (deleting the deceased) and requiring photo identification in order to vote is now a racial indictment. I heard it from Eric Holder himself!

Foreign policy: An administration inept at peace and uncomfortable at war. Hence, "status of forces agreements" are seen as nonessential, apologies are offered where none are required, and American exceptionalism is gratuitously degraded. Today, America is viewed as an unreliable ally, a non-threatening enemy and a declining superpower.

Employment: America's labor participation rate is at World War II levels, reflecting a severely depressed labor pool. Obamacare has converted many full-time employees to part-time status.

Energy policy: The president refuses to drill on federally owned land and remains undecided on the Keystone Pipeline. A domestic natural gas revolution awaits a president who will lead the nation toward energy independence.


Tax policy: Huge increases in the individual tax burden have failed to mitigate income inequality. On the corporate side, a respected rating agency places the U.S. 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries on tax competitiveness. Most economists believe high corporate rates lead to lower employee wages. Yet the president shows no interest in leading a long overdue rewrite of the tax code.

American culture: The man elected to help heal class and racial division has proven to be expert at both. But such damage was not enough. In coalition with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, a newly energized "war on women" storyline has evolved alongside a narrative focused on the politics of personal destruction (see Koch brothers for context). No wonder the oceans haven't receded.

Fibs and worse: Finally, the president has been flat out wrong about too many important issues: Bashar Assad faced no consequences for chemical weapons use in Syria, notwithstanding Mr. Obama's "red line"; Vladimir Putin rejected a "reset" in bilateral relations; Lois Lerner's IRS shenanigans amounted to far more than a "smidgen" of corruption; Obamacare failed to generate "$2,500 per family savings"; the stimulus did not produce "shovel ready jobs"; the Free Syrian Army was not merely "pharmacists and farmers"; ISIS was never the "JV"; six million Americans could not "keep their health plan and doctor"; al-Qaida was never "on the run"; the "tide of war" was far from "receding"; the White House did indeed rewrite Benghazi "talking points"; and Fort Hood was never about "workplace violence".

For my readers in Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, West Virginia, South Dakota and Alaska — you know what you have to do. Now do it!

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column appears Sundays. The former Maryland governor and member of Congress is a partner at the law firm King & Spalding and the author of "Turn this Car Around" and "America: Hope for Change" — books about national politics. His email is

Author's note: Many of you have asked whether I will be endorsing a candidate in Maryland's race for governor. I can't in these pages, per The Sun's policy against endorsements by columnists.