Monday, May 6, 2013

Fisking The President's Graduation Address

The Toledo Blade: President Obama Commencement Address
A Real Clear Politics headline reads, Obama To Grads: Reject Voices That Warn About Government Tyranny. Here, I respond to part of his address, line by line (fisking):

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems.

ME: Not as long as you follow The Constitution, sir.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.

ME: Tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The founders deliberately tried to limit the power of the branches of government. Inefficiency was built-in. Gumming up the works is a GoodThingTM! We should never reject those voices. We must be vigilant of our government. Trust but verify. The Constitution can't uphold and defend itself. We the People have to demand it!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted.

ME: As long as it remains self-rule, that is. But we are now ruled by massive bureaucracies and usurpers who have assumed far more authority than The Constitution allows.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems. We shouldn't want to. But we don't think the government is the source of all our problems, either.

ME: It's rapidly getting that way. You don't seem at all constrained by The Constitution. You seem to operate on the premise that it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Because we understand that this democracy is ours.

ME: This is not a democracy. This is a representative republic. You work for us. You represent us.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And as citizens, we understand that it's not about what America can do for us, it's about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government. And class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process.

ME: Finally something I can agree with, Mr. President.

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