Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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Our Campaigner

Our campaigner-in-chief’s message keeps evolving.  He toured the country touting what others have labeled Son of Stimulus, and what he called a Jobs Bill.  (Remember the “if you love me,” speech?)  That didn’t work either.  The magic is gone.  He couldn’t even woo his own party.

As the economic news worsened he returned to a divisive harangue against “the rich,” arguing for higher taxes.  The subtext being that he could then spend more on helping everyone else.  Never mind that the numbers didn’t add up.  It was enough to encourage the OWS mobs to intensify (with union and ACORN funding) their activities.  Another dud.  The hoped for spontaneous revolt of the downtrodden turned out to be merely revolting.

Now, he has cut to the chase – he will just buy the darn votes.  More than once he has admitted to being uncomfortable with the democratic process.  All this messing around with Congress is such a bother. “We can’t wait” (for lawmakers to act) is the new mantra.

He told his advisors to find a way to impose his stimulus projects “without additional congressional authorization.”  The word ‘additional’ is flummery.  His meaning is without any congressional authorization.  That’s what leftists do when representative government gets in the way; they take power.

The Founders’ idea was that the three branches of government would each jealously check the power of the other two, but Congress has been willingly ceding legislative authority to executive agencies for decades.

Now the president wants to cut Congress out of the action altogether.  By executive fiat he wants to ease requirements on repaying federal tuition loans (ka-ching, that’s for the revolting); write new rules so more homeowners can avert foreclosure (ka-ching, one for the underwater crowd); create more public sector jobs (ka-ching, a big win for the unions). The bill won’t come due until after the election.

Alexis de Tocqueville* explored “What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear.” He warned of “an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate… it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principle concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of their property, and subdivides their inheritances…Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs man of all the use of himself.”

Not even Tocqueville perceived an executive so desperate for re-election that he would be willing to sell the nation into penury to achieve it.

The Founders thought that an educated and discerning people would never elect such a man to high office.  If he is also re-elected, Tocqueville’s prophesy will come true.  The people, like Esau, will have traded their birthright for a mess of pottage.

*Democracy in America


1 Michael E. Newton { 11.04.11 at 5:50 am }

I am a huge Tocqueville fan, but he never wrote/said that opening quote. It certainly isn’t found in Democracy in America.


2 Marcia { 11.04.11 at 9:15 am }

Big oops! I was looking for something brief and had that in a list of his citations. I would have been better off using a longer one from his chapter on “What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear.”
Thanks, I’ll make the change.


3 Bob Mack { 11.11.11 at 6:28 pm }

Well, if old Alex didn’t say it, he should have.
Great post, Marcia.


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