Just in case you missed it or decided not to tune in, the president made another bluntly polemical campaign speech last Monday. No, the 2014 midterm elections haven’t already started (yet). I am, of course, referring to his inaugural address. Though falling far short of the grand expectations that the president would parallel the persuasiveness of the man he alliteratively alluded to, no one could accuse him of being unclear or deceptive (as he usually is).
Nearly 20 years ago, Bill Clinton, our last Democratic president, declared that “the era of big government is over.” If nothing else, the president made one assertion with absolute lucidity last week: A new era of big government has dawned, and he intends to prosecute it with retributive vengeance.
I do not mean to suggest that President Obama has not already inaugurated a new era of statism, merely that he is no longer putting up a façade. The “cool” Obama who ostensibly sought bipartisanship and cooperation is gone. The unabashed liberal Obama, who will remorselessly tax and spend for the illusory “common good” produced by the welfare state, engage in nonsensical foreign interventions that harm our international interests and give away “free” health care and high-speed rail from here to Bakersfield, has come. The oceans will be rolled back, the planet will be saved and the very fires of hell will be extinguished. The unwashed masses that responsibly exercise their right to keep and bear arms will be punished for their insolence, and those who attempt to defend unborn life will be brushed aside, ridiculed as “paternalistic,” “oppressive” and “holier than thou.” Those who continue to believe in the God he paid lip service to will continue to be forced to comply with mandates against their consciences. The rich will be vilified more than ever because, after all, wasn’t Jesus a pro-choice socialist?
As a final point, I cannot help but laugh every time the president alludes to his admiration of Abraham Lincoln as he did last week. Save for both of them being from Illinois and relatively inexperienced when they entered office, they could not be more different. In his address, our president effectively told us in a George Bush-like “we have to abandon capitalism in order to save it” manner that we must surrender individual liberty in order to take the collective action that is necessary to preserve individual liberty, and that we do not all have to define liberty in the same way to move forward. Families can now have the “liberty” to have more of their money taken in taxes, unborn children the “liberty” to have their life taken while voiceless in the womb, business the “liberty” to follow exactly, with no deviation, the million-page-long laundry list of profit-killing regulations.
But how did Lincoln, whom Obama so admires, define the word liberty?
“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some, the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.”
Welcome to Obama’s America, Round 2. May the Republic somehow survive it.
Jeffrey Robin only finds Obama’s word salad palatable when sprinkled with more than a few grains of salt.
REBUTTAL to the LEFT’s position:
Responsible entitlement reform that ensures those programs can survive for future generations without bankrupting the nation? Repairing the legal immigration system in addition to dealing with all the illegal immigrants already here? Buying oil from our friends rather than from socialist despots in South America? Creating jobs in the private sector? Those bastards! Do they not realize they’ll make every progressive in the country faint with such outlandish proposals!
Be careful what you order at Starbucks in the future, my liberal friends — I’d hate to think you’ll be burning yourself day after day, spitting up your soy mocha lattes with how bad you’ll have it.
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You do know, don’t you, that in the original quote Lincoln was talking about slavery? And that Lincoln spoke in a State of the Union address in 1861 about the struggle of labor and capital?