We are seeing a growing pattern from the Trump administration. Key campaign promises get modified and then ignored. From building the wall, decreasing low-skilled guest worker programs, ending Obama’s amnesty, and repealing Obamacare to moving the Jerusalem embassy and eliminating the Iran deal, many key campaign promises have either been stalled indefinitely or completely abandoned.
More disturbing, many of these Obama-era policies are not mandated by statute and in fact were tantamount to illegal legislation from the executive branch. They can and must be eliminated immediately. The latest example is HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s unwillingness to rescind Obama’s war on the suburbs through his de facto national zoning board.
In 2015, Obama’s HUD created the Affirmative Further Fair Housing (AFFH), an ad hoc federal gerrymander to force local governments to impose low-income housing in areas HUD targets for social engineering. To further the socially engineered outcome without the consent of the local populace, the program funnels funds to left-wing community organizing groups to transfer people from the inner city into suburban neighborhoods. This is social transformation without representation at its worst. It violates federalism, property rights, and the true ideals of equal opportunity expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
Under the AFFH, HUD uses a demographic mapping tool to unilaterally decide that not enough individuals from a given race or ethnicity live in a particular jurisdiction. Then, in order to leverage the local government to “identify significant determinants that influence or contribute to those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals to address fair housing issues and determinants,” HUD threatens to withhold community development block grants.
The outcome for cohesion of local communities is devastating.
For example, as Stanley Kurtz has chronicled, cities like Dubuque, Iowa, have been forced by HUD to accept a number of new Section 8 residents from Chicago rather than from their own state because the AFFH program deemed Iowa’s list of recipients too white.
Given the revolting and unconstitutional nature of this HUD agenda and the fact that it was all done administratively, it was a no-brainer that this program would have been quashed from day one of this administration. As such, I didn’t even bother to check on its status. Yet now the Washington Examiner is reporting that Ben Carson plans to “reinterpret” the rule instead of abolish it. Rather than categorically rejecting this as a federal administrative legislation of arbitrary “equality,” Carson said he supports the underlying goal of the program, but that he wants to reinterpret the rule to reduce manipulation and cost.
Carson didn’t provide any insight to the future of the plan or how it is possible to reorient such a malignant agenda in any positive direction. This is yet another example of how Republican administrations always operate within the narrow confines of the progressive agenda, even when the progressives are thrown out of office.
Even more disconcerting is the rationale Carson offered for keeping the program, according to the Examiner:
Carson, who had criticized the rule as a doomed-to-fail attempt to “legislate racial equality” in 2015, indicated that he would not totally reverse it. He cited a 2015 Supreme Court decision finding that housing policies with disparate impact on black families violated the law, even in the absence of intent to discriminate.
“I probably am not going to mess with something the Supreme Court has weighed in on,” Carson said. “In terms of interpreting what it means — that’s where the concentration is going to be.”
This is a problem with a great many other issues, not just HUD. The other branches of government have become so obsequious to the judiciary that they now proactively and preemptively implement policies they believe the courts might require when they haven’t even been mandated by the courts yet.
Carson is referring to the 5-4 activist court decision from 2015 Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. However, this case dealt with a state policy and certainly does not force the federal government to further this agenda using a specific mapping tool and accompanying mandates. Private groups might sue local governments to judicially legislate such outcomes, but there is no reason Carson’s HUD should do it for them.
The Trump administration should move in the opposite direction — not only abolish the AFFH, but strip the courts of jurisdiction to require localities to comply with similar insidious gerrymandering. Instead, the lower courts will now interpret this policy as the law of the land, much as with DACA.
What is really going on at HUD has nothing to do with the courts but is happening in every agency within the executive branch. The deep-state culture and its outside supporters have applied enormous pressure to continue Obama-era policies, and the “shallow state” heads of these departments are either too inept or too unprincipled to fight them or outright agree with the goals of the previous administration.
With all the talk of Russian collaboration, I think we have finally found the smoking gun. This administration is adopting the Stalinist social engineering of local communities. If this administration cannot categorically eliminate such an odious program overnight, it is perhaps a bigger scandal than anything Robert Mueller could ever uncover.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.