George Shuster: Obama’s War on We the People (Told You So)
In early 2012, I published a book with the self-explanatory title: Obama’s War on Free Speech. Though the pattern of attack was already becoming all too clear at that time, little did I or the nation know that soon thereafter the Obama regime would “double down” in ways that would make every American who was not asleep realize what he was doing.
Early 2012 was before the more egregious assaults became public. There was the attack on the Associated Press. On reporter James Rosen. And of course the most existential threat to our Democracy from our own government in history, the use of the IRS and other agencies as a dirty-tricks campaign apparatus to stifle opposition voices and thereby subvert a national election. Sadly, I must now say, “I told you so,” without any question of informed dissent, only it has become even worse than I could have imagined.
It is now clear that Obama’s war has extended beyond the First Amendment. Free speech is probably the most important safeguard our Founders bequeathed us to ensure that the We the People sovereignty model of self-governance would be preserved against the voracious appetites of an overly ambitious government. Thus, it was natural that free speech would become an early focus of a regime determined to dictate top-down, instead of being responsive to the bottom-up voices of the citizenry.
But the First Amendment was not our only Constitutional safeguard. The longer the Obama regime remains in office, the more persistently it abuses all of the structures built-in to keep us masters of a servant government, instead of the other way around. A partial list of these assaults include: violations of the rule of law, disregard of separation of powers, stonewalling and other tactics to minimize transparency, repeated lies and other cover-ups, and abuses of federalism’s proper balance of state versus federal authority. There is no longer any question that President Obama’s war is much broader than a war on free speech, as significant as that is in itself. Rather we now know, from repeated proofs impossible to ignore, that the more accurate terminology is a war on We the People exercising our role in a participatory democracy.
This fact is amenable to self-demonstration to any reasonably alert American today. All a citizen needs to carry out is a simple two-step analysis. First, list those characteristics that would be present in a government dedicated to the We the People sovereignty model. Then, take that list of traits indicating a commitment to a meaningful exercise of self-governance by the citizenry and place against it a candid appraisal of what the Obama regime has actually been doing.
A sample list of these traits could include:
- Openness and transparency versus stonewalling and lies
- Free speech versus attacks on opposition voices
- Faithful execution of enacted laws versus unilateral executive rewrites to legislation
- Following Constitutional structures versus unconstitutional usurpation
- Welcoming of criticism versus creation of “enemies lists” and constant derisive mockery of opponents
- Having policing remain a local matter versus heavily arming numerous federal agencies
- In general, respect for states’ rights versus federal encroachments
- Respect for the judicial branch versus mocking every decision deemed unfavorable
- Consistency in prosecutorial discretion versus arbitrariness to support political agendas
As to these and similar spectra of analysis, each of us can honestly ask ourselves: Where does the Obama regime consistently position itself? In each case, to those keeping score, the answer is not even close. The balance is in every case a long list of cogent and outrageous examples.
Yet the most overarching outrage of all, the one President Obama himself labelled “outrageous” before declaring it to be “phony” and “without a smidgen of corruption,” remains the corrupt transformation of the government into a dirty-tricks operation in the 2012 campaign. As to that perversion of our democracy it should, and plausibly can, be asked: Would the election have turned out differently but for the use of the IRS and other agencies to tamp down the opposition?
It is impossible to know the answer with certainty, but the very fact that the question needs to be asked is indication enough that the Obama regime has gotten entirely out of its proper bounds. We the People all have a duty to resist the powerful forces unleashed by this imperial presidency against the appropriate role we all share as citizens in our Constitutionally established self-governance model.