Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thanks, Mr. President, For the Reminder That You're as Big a Bastard as Your Predecessors
At Ohio State University, President Obama said:

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; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. 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.

We have never been a people who place all of 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. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. 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. (Applause.) And, Class of 2013, you have to be involved in that process. (Applause.)

The founders trusted us with this awesome authority. We should trust ourselves with it, too. ...

But even assuming that "we" are as worthy of wielding coercive power as the president suggests (a dubious proposition for anybody who is familiar with the trial of Socrates, which saw the poor bastard sentenced to death for offending the sensibilities of the citizens of Athens) "we" are usually busy working, raising families, having drinks with friends and otherwise living our lives. The power of government is inevitably really wielded by a professional political class, with a good deal of input from well-organized groups with interests in specific areas of policy. That's the way it always is. And that power is always used against critics of those in power, dissenters to majority views, and inconvenient scrutinizers of officeholders and their activities....

...So, as we prepare to hand authority over our health care system to a tax agency that has, time and again, wielded its power for political purposes on behalf of whoever is currently in power, we owe thanks. Thank you, Mr. President, for demonstrating that you're just as untrustworthy a bastard as all of your predecessors. Thank you for reminding us that, no matter the public assurances we receive, every iota of power given to the government will be misused. We repeatedly forget these lessons, and we need our reminders....

Obama knee-deep in Nixon-esque scandal
President Obama’s second-term campaign slogan was “Forward,” but instead we’ve got cover-ups, congressional investigations and the government persecution of political opponents and reporters.

That sounds like “backward” to me. All the way to, say, 1972.

Who would have guessed that just a few months into his second term, President Obama would be compared to Tricky Dick. And by a liberal Massachusetts Democrat — U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano.

Republicans could not even have scripted this one. The agency most hated by voters, the Internal Revenue Service, admits to going on a Nixonian witch hunt against Tea Party and conservative groups during the re-election campaign.

This is a story even the most partisan Massachusetts liberal cannot defend. It’s so bad that even Ed Markey is calling for heads to roll.

Now we learn that the Justice Department has secretly obtained the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors in what appears to be an investigation of an AP story that disclosed details of a CIA operation that stopped a terrorist attack.

Going after the Tea Party is one thing, but the media? What an outrage. Who knows, the press may get so mad they won’t laugh at Obama’s jokes during the next White House Correspondents’ Dinner....