Obama's Address and Why It Sucked

| | Comments (2)

Obama wants us to put aside our "petty grievances." We should not have "conflict" or "discord" or "recriminations."

Apparently we're all supposed to agree with Obama. If we believe, due to "worn-out dogmas," that our government is too big (and therefore, necessarily, takes away too much of our liberty), then we are focusing on "childish things."

He explicitly stated we should not be asking whether a government program violates the Constitution: if a program "works" (by his standard), we should do it, the Constitution be damned:

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward.

Yet most small-government advocates base their views in large part on the Constitution, so according to President Obama, he intends to move forward, regardless of what the Constitution says. (Note that he said this mere moments after vowing to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.")

To President Obama, I say: Screw You. (Oh yes, I did!) Whether government takes away liberty is far more important to me than whether by your standards it "works."

I will not stop fighting for liberty just because you try to make my fight into something dirty and un-patriotic. You will not decide for me what is important, what is patriotic, what is worth fighting for, what is good and just and right and meaningful.

Incredibly, Obama uttered one of the most Orwellian phrases I've ever heard from any politician: "To those who cling to power through ... the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." Obama is telling people to not dissent while at the same time attacking people who are "silencing dissent."

Obama said at the beginning of his address, "... We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents." If he cares so much about our forebears and founding documents, he would do well to read Federalist 10:

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.

This nation was founded on the notion that we will not agree. The entire republic is set up to deal with this fact of life.

It is not President Obama's job to tell me what to think. It is his job to protect my right to think it, to express it, and to act on it. Of course, this wouldn't be a problem is he actually followed his oath to uphold the Constitution, and didn't propose violating it in the first place.

Liberty, Liberty, Liberty. This is what matters. This is why the Constitution exists, and why it must be followed. And Obama, like Bush before him in various ways, are saying liberty and the Constitution don't matter.

I won't agree, and President Obama can bite me for saying I should agree. slashdot.org

Now Playing: Petra - Grave Robber


nandorman said:

Hmm. No liberal am I - far from it. But I think your analysis of those parts of his speech are not good.

He did not list worn-out dogmas, for instance, and you are inserting it for him, putting words in his mouth when you say that one of those worn-out dogmas is "small government."

And even Small Government advocates would NOT judge the constitutionality of a Federal Government program based on its size - rather, we would base it on various criteria such as whether it violated things like Amendment 10.

So when you criticize him for that paragraph above, why read into it that the things he is suggesting are against the constitution? If I were to read your post the same way you seem to be reading Obama's speech, I would say that you are claiming large programs can be considered EQUIVALENT to unconstitutional programs, which of course they are not.

I, too, am for small government. However, why not read this into Obama's speech: "The question we ask today is not whether our constitutional government programs are too big or too small, but whether they work -- whether they helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified." I find it hard to argue that if a lawful program is effective that it should end just because it is large. If he can find a large program that is constitutional, cost-effective, &c., then great.

In effect then, he did NOT say that we should "be asking whether a government program violates the Constitution." Those are your words. Instead, he is ONLY stating that the size of the program should not matter. If you asked him if a government program should end if it is unconstitutional, I have no idea what answer he would give - but regardless, he did not mention the juxtaposition of constitutionality and government programs, but only size and government programs.

I suppose what I'm saying is that unless you're prepared to provide some sort of logic that says ALL large government programs are unconstitutional a priori and thus "take away your freedoms," your arguments in this post against his speech fall apart.

Yes, he's a liberal pinko. Yes, he could easily turn into a national socialist (and yes, with all of the nastiness that could imply). Yes, he may in the future push programs (and in fact already has) that are unconstitutional. But his speech, as it reads, is not as sinister as that.

pudge Author Profile Page said:

President Obama specifically said that the question is not the size of government, but whether it works, and called people who DO ask that question "cynics" who "fail to understand ... that the ground has shifted beneath them."

If you think this is somehow unconnected to his claim that "worn-out dogmas ... for far too long have strangled our politics," I don't see it.

And I didn't say the constitutionality of a program is judged by its size. That notion was never stated or implied. He was talking about the size OF GOVERNMENT (which is what I referred to when I talked about constitutionality), and then he went on to address specific programs. And obviously, since the Tenth Amendment limits the scope of government, that also limits the SIZE of government: it can only grow as big as is needed to fulfill its Constitutional powers. Which would make it much smaller than it is today.

So yes, size is not usually a Constitutional question in regard to specific programs, but for the government as a whole, it is. So you misconstrued most of my post by getting that wrong.

I never implied that a lawful program should end if it is "too large." But I am attacking Obama's claim that the only question of any program is whether "it works," which obviously means he is ignoring whether it is lawful in the first place.

he did NOT say that we should "be asking whether a government program violates the Constitution."

Right: he said we SHOULD NOT be asking that, because the ONLY question is whether "it works." If you ask any other question about its legitimacy, you are the problem.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on January 20, 2009 2:35 PM.

Civil Liberties to be Lost was the previous entry in this site.

New Superintendent Dorn Gets Constitution Wrong is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.