Streetcar Line

Channeling the Young Patrick Henry

If this be treason, so be it.

By 3.13.09

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If this be treason, make the most of it.

No, not treason against this wonderful nation. But this column may sound suspiciously like treason against the cult of Obama, and against his hagiographers in the establishment media, and against the very idea that this president actually loves this nation's liberal, republican, constitutional order. Consider this also to be treason against the myth that our president is a man of deep, or even average, integrity.

Barack Obama is a radical's radical and a man whose ego vastly outstrips his prior accomplishments. He is dangerous, and after just seven weeks he already is leading this country into disaster.

Let's start with his integrity, or lack thereof. It's not just conservatives who are starting to complain about Obama's dishonesty. Already the decidedly centrist Robert Samuelson has called Obama "a great pretender. He repeatedly says he is doing things that he isn't, trusting in his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference." Or, as National Review's Jim Geraghty has turned into a repeated and accurate refrain, "All statements from Barack Obama come with an expiration date. All of them."

Obama told the nation he doesn't "believe in bigger government" while proposing the biggest government in American history. He says he wants bipartisan consultation but then asks for no substantive Republican/conservative proposals on either "stimulus" or health care -- or on anything else, for that matter. He repeatedly has claimed he would fight against earmarks but signs bills full of them after not lifting a finger to take them out. He pledged not to appoint lobbyists to his administration (a stupid pledge anyway) and then appointed lobbyists to his administration. He promised to allow the public five days to read all bills before he signs them, but already has broken that promise twice. He blasted President G.W. Bush for overusing "signing statements" and the very next day issued a signing statement. He promised transparency in all sorts of ways but then failed to provide it.

He claims to be committed to the security of Israel but surrounds himself with people far from friendly to that tiny country, including an intelligence council director (since departed) long openly hostile to and insulting of Israel. (The same man, Chas Freeman, sided with the Butchers of Beijing against the students in Tiananmen Square, which raises other issues to be addressed momentarily.) He said he supported an undivided Jerusalem and then that its status remains to be negotiated. He said Iran was one of the greatest threats to the United States and to world peace and then that it "doesn't pose a serious threat to us."

Obama pledged to abide by campaign spending limits and then abandoned them; he claimed to barely know William Ayers even though he knows him quite well; he ludicrously claimed to be ignorant of the hatred spewed by his own pastor of 20 years and said he "could no more abandon" that pastor than he could his "white grandmother," only to abandon him just a few months later. He claimed to have little to do with ACORN but actually taught yearly seminars for them. He promised to debate John McCain "anywhere, anytime," but ignored McCain's offers to do so. He claimed to want to seek common ground on abortion and life issues but has already as president taken three radically anti-life actions while surrounding himself with a host of some of the most pro-abort aides and appointees we've ever seen -- including one who likened pro-life laws to involuntary servitude.

This list could go on, but you get the picture.

Everywhere you look, Obama's actions (not words or tone, but actions) shows a disdain for tradition, for limits, for moderation, and for empirical information that doesn't fit his ideological predilections. Filibusters of judicial nominees -- even of the superbly qualified John Roberts? Of course. The gutting of welfare reform without even debating it? Yes. Promising all children they would have the same educational opportunities he and his children have had but then killing a scholarship program that lets underprivileged children be his daughters' schoolmates? Oh, well….

He does not one, not two, but three things in short order that come across as insults to the single closest ally, Great Britain, that this nation has had for an entire century. His secretary of state downplays human rights so repeatedly in just a few short weeks that even the Washington Post editorializes a warning. He travels abroad as a candidate and takes it upon himself to apologize for this nation's supposed sins. For two key positions -- head of his executive office of inter-governmental affairs and head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department -- he chooses people with ties not just to amnesty proponents, but to groups that believe parts of the Southwest should be ceded back to Mexico.

His entire Justice Department, for that matter, is made up of radicals. So is his White House counsel's office. His attorney general calls Americans "a nation of cowards" but the president waits days before correcting him, and then only when directly questioned about the remarks. He supports efforts to hobble those who would guard against vote fraud, and he tries to stack the electoral deck even more by politicizing the census.

His economic policies are utterly ruinous and ignore more than a quarter century of lessons about the advantages of sound money, low taxes, and restrained spending. He piles debt upon debt upon debt (after having spent his campaign last year promising "a net spending cut"). He proposes tax hikes on energy that would affect every single American, taxes on thousands of small businesses, and in effect on charitable donations and mortgage interest (in the midst of a depression, no less). He supports taking the secret ballot away from workers considering union formation. He supports the entire agenda of all his fellow liberals who whore for oodles of campaign cash and assistance from union bosses, gazillionaire plaintiffs' lawyers, and environmental extremists. And he now has killed the safest storage area for nuclear waste, the Yucca Mountain site, which will hobble extremely eco-friendly nuclear energy development.

Even worse are his defense policies. He offers to bargain away missile defense for eastern Europe. He campaigned on drastically cutting missile defense overall. He is considering putting off for five more years the procurement of the air-refueling tanker that every serious analyst says is justifiably the Pentagon's single most pressing equipment need, to replace a fleet of planes now half a century old. He reportedly is considering a long-term defense budget cut of up to 10 percent. Meanwhile, he already has begun letting terrorists go free.

And, as noted earlier, Obama actually appointed a defender of the Butchers of Beijing and a man prone to radically anti-Israeli (and sometimes downright anti-Semitic statements) as chairman of his national intelligence council. Even with Chas Freeman gone, what his original appointment says about the president is downright scary. His Secretary of State's pathetic suck-up to the Chinese foreign minister, combined with Mrs. Clinton's incredibly long record of suspicious or seemingly corrupt ties to Asian interests, leads an observer to fear a dangerous wool-headedness where China is concerned.

Finally, even on Afghanistan, the one defense/foreign policy area where Obama always seemed willing to be tough, he is letting matters drift in a worrisome fashion.

And consider that this is just a survey of Obama's record. The details, were there space here to examine them, would look even worse.

President Barack Obama doesn't want to "change" some policies; he wants to change America itself. And he wants to do it on a fast track before the American public fully catches on to him. He knows that some changes, once implemented, are almost impossible to undo.

Rhetorically, organizationally, financially, and politically, he must be stopped. Must.

And if this be treason, make the most of it.

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About the Author
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator and a senior fellow at the Center for Individual Freedom. Follow him on Twitter @QuinHillyer.