The Incredible Shrinking President

By | May 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

If you want to test an article of clothing, wash it in hot water. No matter how stylish the cut, no matter how trendy the colors, if it’s poorly made you will end up with a shrunken mess, useful only as a cleaning rag. The brilliant reds, whites, and blues fade into weak pastels. That’s what is happening to the president and his administration. Next time, let’s get the good stuff.
I was brought up to admire the party of John Kennedy, which recognized the dangerous nature of the world, but now many Democrats have become head-in-the-sand advocates of disarmament. I was taught to see people as individuals, but now many Democrats see everyone as mere examples of race, gender, and class.
Yes, things have changed. Now Democrats play the politics of class envy and racial discord, while Republicans tend to see people as individuals. Now Democrats advocate the virtues of ever bigger government, while Republicans remind us that there actually is a Constitution. No, not a “living” Constitution that lives only in the minds of liberal judges, but a real, written Constitution that we can read to find out what it says.
Recently I was discussing the IRS scandal with a liberal. He brushed off the problem as Republican machinations. But then he added that Republicans “can’t stand a black man as president.” In other words, anyone who dares to criticize anything the president does must be a racist. I was going to explain that an identical charge – using the IRS to harass political opponents – was leveled against President Nixon. In fact, this charge was included in the Articles of Impeachment that caused Nixon to resign. (See Article 2, Section 1.)
But I decided I would be wasting my breath. This man got all his information from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and MSNBC. To him, the accusations against Obama were baseless, and anyone who believed them was a racist. No need to discuss the subject – just insult any critic of the president.
How can political discourse continue, when insults have replaced rational argument? In effect, many Democrats have descended to the level of small children in the schoolyard – no discussion, just thoughtless name-calling.
To clarify a situation, it is often useful to reverse things.
● What if a Republican administration misused the IRS to harass political opponents – and went so far as to inquire into the religious beliefs and practices of organizations, and to sic the FBI, the BATFE, and OSHA onto the member’s business?
● What if a Republican administration caused the Department of Justice to seize the phone records of Associated Press reporters – and even to snoop into the personal e-mails and key-card records of a reporter for a news organization deemed “hostile” to the organization? Whether actual conversations were recorded remains to be seen.
● What if a Republican administration denied repeated requests for additional security by our ambassador in an unstable country? And when the attack actually occurred, the administration did not even attempt to send a rescue force, and as a result the ambassador, an assistant, and two former SEALs were killed over a seven-hour period.
It does not require a vivid imagination to picture what would happen. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and papers from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times would trumpet warnings that a new Nixon was at hand and our freedom was in jeopardy. Special prosecutors would be tripping over one another, and congressional committees would vie with one another to hog the spotlight. Liberal clergy would thunder from their pulpits that Satan was in the Oval Office. (Go to Google Images for “Bush Satan” and “Cheney Satan.”)
But now, with their man in the White House, the mainstream media barely utter a peep, either minimizing the scandals or ignoring them entirely. Only Fox News, talk radio, and conservative websites speak out. But there is a problem with ignoring reality. It acts like a rubber band – the more you try to stretch it, the worse the pain when it finally snaps back on you. As John Adams noted, facts are stubborn things, and the mainstream media ignore them at their own peril.
One might argue that the president isn’t really shrinking. We are merely being allowed to see what was there all along, but which the sycophantic, pandering media hid from us with their uncritical praise of Obama. We are finally able to see how small he has been all along.
It is as if Toto pulled away the curtain, and we see the Great and Powerful Oz shouting through a megaphone and mimicking thunder with a piece of sheet metal. There never was a wizard. There was only an ordinary man with a charming demeanor and a glib tongue, trying hard to play the role of a wizard.
If there is a positive side to this affair, it is that people may finally realize that there are no wizards. Merely because a person attains high political office, he or she is not magically endowed with supernatural powers:
● Merely because someone has the title of “president,” he does not magically attain the wisdom to regulate everything that all 315 million Americans do each day – without turning citizens into dependent children and turning the government into a bullying parent.
● Merely because someone has the title of “secretary of Homeland Security,” she does not magically attain the wisdom to monitor everyone 24/7 – without taking away their freedom and privacy.
● Merely because someone has the title of “secretary of Health and Human Services,” she does not magically attain the wisdom to make health-care decisions for everyone – without rendering them helpless before the all-powerful state.
● Merely because someone has the title of “commissioner of Internal Revenue,” he does not magically attain the wisdom to decide which organizations are entitled to be tax exempt, or which organizations should be subjected to an audit – without inhibiting political expression and stifling dissent.
The Great and Powerful Oz was an amusing fictional character. The Great and Powerful Government is considerably less amusing but considerably more real. It is time we all recognize this fact.
Those of us who did not vote for Obama may feel a perverse glee at current events. But such glee is ill advised. We live in a dangerous world. There are violent fanatics who hate us, whose ideology justifies mass murder of “infidels,” and who are developing weapons of mass destruction – or already possess them. If these potential and real enemies see our president as weak, they may take the opportunity to strike.
Our enemies may already see Obama as weak and indecisive. He opened his presidency with the Apology Tour. He bends over backwards not to offend Muslim nations. He bends over forwards to bow to the king of Saudi Arabia. He goes out of his way, as do his subordinates, to avoid use of the words “Islamism,” “extremist Islam,” “radical Muslims,” or even the word “terrorism.”
Two weeks after the attack on our Benghazi consulate and the killing of our ambassador and three other Americans, the president went before the U.N. and blamed not the attackers, not their homicidal ideology, and not the silent majority of Muslims who enable the terrorism by their silence. Instead, he blamed a brief YouTube video that virtually no one had seen.
That is, Obama absolved the guilty and blamed the video maker – who was promptly jailed for an alleged parole violation. So now, eight months after the Benghazi attack, the video maker remains the only person who was punished. How do you suppose that looks to those who wish us ill? The principal risk to the Benghazi terrorists is that they will injure themselves falling off their chairs laughing at us.
Our enemies may already see us as in decline, and see our president as a weak appeaser. If current scandals weaken him still further, we must be even more alert for terrorist attacks. This is not a reason to stop uncovering those responsible for the scandals. It is a reason for our military and intelligence personnel to remain alert.
But come what may, we must not allow these abuses of constitutional government to stand. If we tolerate such abuses, there will be nothing left that is worth defending. Then we might as well pack it in, because it will be we who have shrunk.
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