Saturday, September 19, 2009

Obama's true colors

It's starting to become clear why President Obama's advisers keep that TelePrompter in front of him.

On Friday, the president gave five television interviews to be broadcast on Sunday. According to the Associated Press, this is part of what he told NBC News when asked if he thought the opposition to his policies was racial in nature:

"It's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic, and that is, What's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look out for one another? ... This is not a new argument, and it always evokes passions."


Can you think of another elected official in the United States -- any elected official, let alone a president -- who ever said, at any time, that we have to "balance freedom with our need to look out for one another?"

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a new argument.

At least in this country it is.

What's wrong with him? Successful American presidents don't go around saying their policies are going to reduce freedom in America, certainly not because freedom has to be "balanced" with the need to take care of the poor. They don't dismiss angry voters and massive protest demonstrations with a statement like "it always evokes passions," as if American citizens defending their freedom from intrusion by their own government is some kind of bar fight over a football game.

What a paternalistic, condescending, arrogant, collectivist, politically suicidal thing to say.

We defy anyone to cite even one example in all of recorded history of less freedom leading to more prosperity for anyone except government officials and their cronies, but that's not the point. Freedom does not have to be justified to government officials who think they're supervising a debate over how much of it the people of the United States ought to have.

The last time the American people were this agitated over the federal government having too much power may have been 1789, when the ratification of the Constitution would have failed if not for the promise to add amendments to strengthen the guarantee of liberty. The Bill of Rights was the result.

There's nothing in it about balancing freedom with the need to look out for one another.

Freedom is not something that is granted to us by our government. Freedom is a condition that exists under a government of limited power.

The Constitution limits the power of the federal government.

That means you do not have to wake up in the morning and ask yourself what the government wants you to do today, or what it will let you do today, or what kind of light bulbs, automobile, snack food, or health insurance the federal government will allow you to have or force you to buy.

Someone who was in the Reagan administration told an interviewer once that it was easy to work for Ronald Reagan, because everybody knew where he stood. For example, he was generally against taxes and generally in favor of a strong military.

It's starting to look like it's easy to work for President Obama, too. He's generally against more freedom and generally in favor of more government force. He's generally in favor of using government power to prop up unions and of using the tax code to bleed small businesses. He's generally in favor of positions taken by Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba, and generally against positions taken by Britain, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the people of Honduras who threw out that guy who tried to make himself president for life.

In 2008, when those eloquent Ted Sorenson speeches flowed over the TelePrompter and into our living rooms, Barack Obama looked to some people like a breath of fresh air.

He is a cloud of stale smoke.

Copyright 2009

Editor's note: You might be interested in the earlier posts, "Obama admits it," and "Barack Obama explains socialism," in the 2005 post, "Why the Iraq policy isn't working," and in "Defending Capitalism" at