Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Audacity of Obama

Speaking at the Archives and using our nation’s founding documents as props was far more appalling than that silly popping up in front of those Greek columns. The President is further alienating Americans from their roots in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

We are an imperfect people. Every now and then, there are those who think that America’s safety and success requires us to walk away from the sacred principles enshrined in this building. We hear such voices today. But the American people have resisted that temptation. And though we have made our share of mistakes and course corrections, we have held fast to the principles that have been the source of our strength, and a beacon to the world.

Has Obama taken to heart the words of Abraham Lincoln, his favorite President, who asked:

"Is there, in all republics, this inherent, and fatal weakness?ff "Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?ff

Obama does play on an American concern that Bush and Cheney did not appreciate in their rhetoric: The need to be the good guys, and good guys never use terrible means to secure their ends. The latter part is of course naievete, yet it remains part of the American character and needs to be accommodated. (See David Tucker’s take on this below.)

But what must Obama think of this part of the Declaration of Independence?

He [the King of England] has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Does this talk of "barbarous ages" and "merciless Indian Savages" reflect a "rigid ideology"? Is this not part of "our values [that] have been our best national security asset"? Might it not lead to "anything goes" conduct on the part of Americans? Who here is using national security as a "wedge that divides America"?

Discussions - 3 Comments

Does this talk of "barbarous ages" and "merciless Indian Savages" reflect a "rigid ideology"?

Sure does. Moreover, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to that document's beloved preamble.

But I haven't taken an entire U Dallas-style seminar on it, so I'm probably just reading too much context (that nagging reminder of subjective narrative!) into it. And your implied suggestion that the "anything goes" absolutism Obama mentioned in his speech would be encouraged by rejecting absolutism in general is a semantic game only a school-boy relativist would lose at, let alone play.

Obama's name-calling doesn't help us understand America better. He seems to think the Declaration exists so he can criticize America--see both his books.

Don't listen to what Obama says. Even if you do, 30 minutes later you can't recall any specifics - because there were none. Watch what he does instead. His words are his right hand, while his actions are his left hand, and he plays a masterful shell game of distraction. Where's the pea now, boys and girls? Oh, fooled you again! Obama's nomination of a liberal, ethno-centric, judicial activist judge for Supreme Court tells me all I need to know about his respect, or lack thereof, for our Constitution and traditional rule of law.

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