Saturday, February 23, 2013

Some Political Thoughts

I've been busy over at my Warhammer 40,000 blog and have been spending much of my free time on the 40K hobby, which means that I've seriously neglected my general interest blog. What little content I've added to The Atomic Spud in recent months has been almost entirely genre movie reviews.

I used to post a lot of political commentary, but politics have gotten so vicious and personal in recent years that I've said very little about them in a public forum. (Hence the Atomic Spud's recent content; I've yet to receive hate mail over a movie review.) In fact, the last time I made a purely political blog post was in April of last year when I briefly discussed how uncivil things had become.

Despite keeping quiet about politics, I still follow various blogs and news sources and am concerned about the direction the United States has taken. Like many others, I worry about how indebted the nation has become. However, I'm even more concerned about a fundamental shift in American politics; specifically that the current administration has truly become an "Imperial Presidency" and that relatively few Americans seem to care.

When and why did the American people decide that it was appropriate for the Executive Branch to have the power to specify what an insurance company covers, especially when it infringes on a religious organization's liberties? Or to effectively oust the CEO of a private company? And what about the 23 executive orders that impinge on a Constitutional Amendment? These are just a few well known examples of Presidential overreach.

Not only does the President seem to be getting away with grabbing up power, but it appears that there are quite a few who want him to. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that Obama should bypass Congress and unilaterally increase the U.S. debt ceiling. (The law requires that any such increases be agreed to by the House and the Senate.) Is anyone else concerned that highly placed individuals in the Legislative Branch appear to be eager to cede their authority to the Executive Branch?

Then there are the Hollywood types who explicitly want an Obama dictatorship. For example, a couple years ago Woody Allen told a Spanish language magazine that "it would be good if [Obama] could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly." (I wonder how many dictators have voluntarily given up their power after a few years?) Referring to Obama's political opposition, singer Harry Belafonte said that Obama should "Work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail." It looks like some on the Left actually want Obama to do the kind of things that they were afraid George W. Bush would do.

The degree to which the far Left wants to expand federal power in general and Executive power in particular is astonishing. They're oblivious to a huge flaw in their strategy, which is that it depends on power being retained indefinitely by the Left. As the old saying goes, "This too shall pass". Obama's reelection notwithstanding, there's no guarantee that the Left will be able to remain in power. I'm sure they remember all to well that after eight years of Clinton there were eight years of George W. Bush. Has it ever occurred to the far Left that whatever degree of power is handed to one of their fellow Liberals may very well be wielded by a dreaded arch-Conservative within four short years? The Astute Bloggers put it best:
When liberals tell you they support another expansion of federal power at the expense of personal liberty you should ask them how'd they feel if President Palin and Majority Leader Cruz and Speaker Ryan had that power.

Do they really want Palin and Cruz and Ryan to control their healthcare or pensions?

Then, while [they're] stammering at the prospect of Palin signing 23 PRO-GUN executive orders or 23 PRO-LIFE executive orders, ask them why they think that giving career politicians and bureaucrats more money and more influence over the lives of ordinary people will improve things for the ordinary people.
I'm amazed that the Left can rant and rave about the greedy and uncaring "1 Percent" while simultaneously believing in the existence of a great and benevolent State with armies of selfless public servants. Human nature is human nature, whether one is a venture capitalist or a government bureaucrat, and any mere mortal who is entrusted with a large amount of authority is just as likely to abuse it to the detriment of the people as he is to use it for their benefit (just ask those who lived under Soviet rule about the extent of political corruption). That's why the Founding Fathers attempted to limit government authority; they wisely assumed that a government composed of fallible human beings is just as fallible and that its ability to harm the citizenry must be limited.

Our nation has been gradually dismantling the Founding Father's system of checks and balances for decades. I think we've picked up the pace in recent years.


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