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Governments Rot When Their Citizens Let Them (Part II)

Just a few reasons we get the worst governments we are ready to tolerate. (Read part one here.)

by
Dan Miller

Bio

May 10, 2011 - 12:00 am

(Read part one here.)

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“Single issue” voters often lose sight of the bigger issues that embrace their often reasonable but always smaller ones. This makes it very difficult to get the country back to basics and deal adequately with their issues as well as the others. It also makes it very difficult to work effectively against President Obama’s 2012 reelection — even though what is suggested here might otherwise be his destiny:

In order to save the world from devastating global warming and climate change — and, indeed, all fatal consequences of capitalism — the restless progressives in the world are uniting. Obama is well prepared to position himself as their prophet — or messiah.

His conservative critics dramatically underestimate him. Obama knows precisely what kind of America he envisions. He wants to mold a certain type of America in order to mold a certain type of global governance. For that, he needs another term to reach his goal.

“Birthers.” Whether President Obama is constitutionally qualified under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution as a “natural born Citizen” of the United States — implicating several interrelated questions apparently involving passports, college scholarships, etc. — is oft asked. To a great extent, these questions are based on a palpable lack of trust.  The MSM response? “Are you serious? Chuckle Chuckle. Are you Serious?” This, of course, has simply encouraged those who doubt President Obama’s provenance to become even more serious. The MSM itself is no object of trust. Maybe some who pursue the issues aren’t serious, and maybe some who are should lighten up. There are other problems with President Obama and, while not constitutionally based, they are arguably no less important: incompetence and disdain for the United States — for its culture and history, for example — are not constitutionally disqualifying attributes.

The issue of President Obama’s constitutional qualifications has probably been answered for many, even if the larger questions remain for others. The release of a “long form” birth certificate on April 27 is not likely to silence them — or restore their trust. Some question the document because it shows the father’s “race” as “African,” not a traditional racial classification in 1961, or because of alleged Photoshopping of the document. Silly? Maybe. A statement from Hawaii Governor Abercrombie’s office is here.

Why did President Obama wait so long to release the birth certificate? Will it hurt or help Donald Trump?
Who knows. The case was made to the Republican leadership here that

if you continue to shield Barack Hussein Obama, knowing that he is ineligible for the presidency and has possibly committed fraud and felony conspiracy, then, you are welcome to him for a second term. I will not stand with you.

In my opinion, many Republicans have violated their oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution. Because of their cowardice or complicity in hiding the truth from the American people, there was a major failure to uphold the law. For that reason, they have forfeited their privilege to represent me.

Is this issue so crucial to the future of the country that it should trump the matter of Obama’s consistency with the Constitution in all of its manifold aspects? Or the harm President Obama has done, and is likely to continue to do, regardless of his constitutional qualifications? If I had the misfortune to be President Obama, having finally released my “long form” birth certificate, I would continue to prance away from substance and pump the “natural born citizen” issue for all it’s worth. I might as well say, “if those right-wing nuts aren’t satisfied with the tardy release of my real birth certificate, they are really beneath contempt.” And many would accept this. It can be a great decoy to divert attention from all else — and push him over the top in 2012. As suggested here:

It’s tempting to speculate that Obama used today’s release to make the birth certificate a bigger story, to distract from the story that the press has spent 39% of its time covering: Namely, the economy.

And here is an article suggesting that continued “birtherism” is just just barely disguised racism. Nonsense? Sure. But that won’t make the suggestion any less effective in diverting attention from more important issues facing the country and getting President Obama reelected.

Abortion. I agree with the view, held by many other conservatives, that in many circumstances abortion is bad. There appears to be no national consensus that any federal funding for any abortions at any time or of any type is essential to the national defense or to anything else beyond the fulfillment of a desire to give some people medical care at the expense of others. That might be a rather more altruistic and praiseworthy motivation were those demanding it to donate their own funds, generously, to deal with the problem they perceive. Instead, they demand that others who disagree with them — fat cats all! — pay.
While it seems possible to eliminate federal abortion funding, it does not seem possible any time soon to make early term abortions unlawful. No national consensus for that has emerged. Nor is doing so within the constitutional powers of the president. Even if a changed Supreme Court were to overrule Roe v. Wade, only the states could pass the necessary laws. While abortion is an important issue, single-issue opposition to all abortions for everyone should not impair our efforts to have the country return to constitutional basics. This does not suggest that anyone opposed to abortion should pretend to countenance the practice, or the grant of funding to those who do. Other issues, however, should take precedence.

There are some on the left who are obsessed with President Obama’s reneging on his many campaign promises: to close Gitmo; to move at great speed to further liberalize the immigration laws; to mandate government-provided national health care; to increase the scope of affirmative action for “minorities”; and to do the other silly things they thought he was destined to do. Ralph Nader is trying to assemble a stable of challengers for the Democrat Party convention. That’s very good: if they neither support nor vote for President Obama in 2012, it will decrease his chances of reelection. Unfortunately, it seems premature to scream out a headline like Obama Will Lose in 2012.

Those who favor a return to constitutional governance and a minimum of federal meddling cannot emulate the ideological supporters of a president who favors the opposite. To do so is to board the same unseaworthy vessels, to founder on the electoral rocks, and finally to sink. The willing, competent, and electable presidential candidate that must be found, no matter how difficult, will not be a single-issue leader. Elections have consequences. Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

Dan Miller graduated from Yale University in 1963 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1966. He retired from the practice of law in Washington, D.C., in 1996 and has lived in a rural area in Panama since 2002.
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