Opinion | Morgan Liddick: A sharp right turn off the road to Utopia
Special to the Daily
On Wednesday last, the president grumpily acknowledged that Republicans “had a good night,” and assured the American public that “I got your message.” It took a little more than 24 hours to complete the thought with, “And I couldn’t care less.”
“A good night?” What happened Nov. 4 was a thrashing of epic proportions. Republicans not only retook the Senate in a wave that continues to roll, they increased their margin in the House to levels not seen since Harry Truman was president. Nor was this simply an “anti-incumbent” tide. Disgust was quite selective: only two Republicans who sought re-election were not returned. No, since Barack Obama repeatedly reminded everyone that his policies were on the ballot and that Democrats campaigning for their lives were solidly behind his policies and performance, we should all understand exactly what Nov. 4 was: a comprehensive repudiation of the president, his programs and his philosophy. Last Tuesday the nation’s voters spoke to Democrats, and what they said was, “Enough of you.”
Our petulant president, in thrall to his vision of an America exceptional only for its racism and greed, spurred by an elitist’s sense of infallibility, has already replied with a one-fingered salute. Far from being guided by the election’s results à la Bill Clinton in 1994, Barack Obama will instead persist with his plans to “fundamentally change this country” through executive fiat. He will grant amnesty to millions of people here illegally, conjure new regulatory authorities which usurp legislative functions and use the organs of government to attack his political foes and protect his friends. He will ignore what happened because the results do not please him. These are the actions of a monarch, not a president — and there has been ample warning from Congress about the perils of pursuing this course.
Trust the president to pay such warnings no mind. He will continue undaunted, understanding the Republican Congress dare not impeach him however great his “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He will rely on his slavish minions on the Hill who did his bidding for six years to protect him from the most dangerous legislative threats, and he will continue cutting the power and prestige of the United States down to a size he considers appropriate and just. Democrats who object, pointing to the poisonous effect his behavior and policies had last Tuesday are dullards. Theirs is not the Democrat party; it is the party of Obama. Their job is only to see that his will be done, whatever the cost. This has potential to make a fascinating governmental crisis, abetted and enhanced by the cravenness of our political classes.
Those who created our republic understood a government that could control who prospered and how was a government inches away from tyranny, and that a government to which people looked for daily support was powerful enough to destroy anyone it wished. To forestall this they divided power finely, so that any significant action would require difficult-to-assemble consensus. They also placed strict limits on the scope of government to prevent it from growing large enough to threaten liberty. Together, these actions create the “gridlock” progressives — who see in government the answer to all desires — fulminate against.
Their frustration creates in progressives like the president an irresistible pressure to act unilaterally; if possible within constitutional limits and the bounds of political common sense, but outside them if necessary. The urgency comes from what they see as service to higher and nobler interests, as they drive the federal government further into what Jefferson called “a boundless field of power.” They believe government does only good, particularly when guided by superior intellects such as theirs. In contrast, they believe people who vote Republican are too stupid, greedy, racist — or all three — to appreciate their genius, so they must be marginalized and crushed. In the people’s name, of course.
When denied, there’s more than chilly body language, sulky comments and petulant refusal to join the rest of us who understand that “Utopia” is a Greek word meaning “Nowhere.” Instead, they resort to the language of the autocrat; to the rhetoric of “my pen and my phone,” to the executive order, the secret letter, the cabal of like-minded bureaucrats. Because there’s a world to be saved from America, that grasping, polluting, oppressive nest of racists. So the people be damned — as they deserve for their slack-jawed denial of progressive truth.
That’s what the American people rejected on Nov. 4. Whether the president and his sycophants, enablers and cronies admit it, or not.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column.
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