December 7, 2010
Power CorruptsBy Lauri B. Regan
The Obama administration's actions and policies epitomize the veracity of Lord Acton's famous proposition that "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." From the passage of ObamaCare to the offensive TSA screenings, this country's citizens have seen the Constitution trampled upon with little to no acknowledgment that such actions would have caused our forefathers to board a ship to a far-off land in search of liberty and freedom.
Upon Obama's election, liberals danced from the rafters. "Finally," we heard them say, "we will now have our civil rights back!" Those on the left screamed and yelled in horror that Bush wanted to listen in on Muslim jihadists' phone calls. They railed that military trials of terror suspects were un-American and that Republicans were corrupt. I wonder how those same people feel now when they pass through airport security, when they read of the debacle of the civilian trial of the terrorist who murdered 224 people yet was acquitted of all but one of the 285 charges against him, and when they heard about the Charlie Rangel censure.
And where was the liberal outrage when Eric Holder dropped the New Black Panther case notwithstanding their guilt and the fact that true civil rights -- voting rights -- were clearly violated? Why was there no outcry from the left when the DOJ decided to release from custody thousands of illegal immigrants notwithstanding unquestioned violations of our country's laws -- or Janet Napolitano's decision to file a lawsuit against Arizona for the patriotic attempt to secure our country's borders?
On this past Friday afternoon alone, the Drudge Report posted the following articles:
With regard to the last article, the abuse of power by the TSA embodies the corruption and disregard for human dignity that we have come to expect from this administration. And while we have heard a multitude of stories of TSA agents who have abused their authority, the recent video of the young mother who attempted to prevent her breast milk from passing through the x-ray machines was beyond shocking. It truly exemplifies the abuse of the power that the TSA agents have come to wield. Deciding that it would be a nice diversion from their otherwise dreary existence of feeling up babies, nuns, and wheelchair-bound geriatrics, these power-corrupted TSA agents subjected a young woman to humiliating and abusive treatment for the mere crime of asking that her baby's food not be tainted by radiation in the name of national security.
Ultimately, the responsibility for the relentless abuse of power by TSA agents lies with TSA head John Pistole and his boss, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Neither individual has exercised any form of common sense to date. Both have also been corrupted by their positions of power and have dug their heels in even further. But that seems to be the pattern with the Obama administration. From Rahm "Dead Fish" Emmanuel, whose official motto was "Never let a crisis go to waste," to Barack "I won" Obama, the un-American attitude that because they are in a position of power, they are permitted to abuse it is pervasive.
Everyone must answer to a higher authority. Unfortunately, Obama does not care that he works for the American people. And he has proven not to care about the highest authority of them all -- God. Twenty years sitting in the pews of a church governed by Black Liberation Theology does not make for a man governed by the principles of God based on moral accountability and humility.
Obama was preceded by a man of deep religious and moral convictions attributable in part to his belief in God. In a recent editorial addressing U.S. efforts to battle global AIDS, George W. Bush wrote, "America is a certain kind of country, dedicated to the inherent and equal dignity of human lives. It is this ideal -- rooted in faith and our founding -- that gives purpose to our power."
So where in the TSA's rules and regulations, the DOJ's pattern of defending Islamic jihadists, and the White House's disdain for the will of the American people is the dignity of the Constitution and the citizens addressed? To what end do Obama and the ruling elite allow the abuse of power to grow? For while Bush was guided by his faith, the governing Democrats are motivated merely by their desire to rule. They do not recognize their higher calling and the constitutional limitations imposed upon them.
Many great men have become leaders of our nation, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, General Douglas MacArthur, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ronald Reagan. They all staved off the temptations of power. And while the folks who make Chia Pet would like Americans to believe that Obama is "a symbol of liberty, opportunity, prosperity, and hope" and have even included him with Washington and Lincoln in the Presidential Collection, it is quite clear that the crew running the show in D.C. actually exemplify the systematic taking of liberty typically seen in dictatorial governments.
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Charlie Rangel, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, and Barack Obama have been feeding on the privileges of office since the day the American people entrusted them with the future and safety of the nation. We have witnessed the out-of-control growth of an obstreperous monster -- a behemoth known as Big Government has taken over Washington faster than anything we have observed throughout our country's history. And this has occurred through the abuse of the rights and privileges bestowed upon the governing elite by the American people and the United States Constitution.
And while one would hope that a clear message was sent to our nation's leaders on November 2, it is becoming apparent that they are in fact blinded by their desire to wield the gavel of control over Americans notwithstanding the will of the electorate. In an appalling video of Republican Congressman Steve Buyer being denied the opportunity to speak by the House Democratic Chairman Laura Richardson, Buyer stated, "Was treating another member with dignity so hard, Madam Speaker? ... [Y]ou chose to exert the power of the gavel, Madam Speaker. Therein lies the problem."
Only when Buyer stated that "[t]his is why the American people have thrown you out of power" did the speaker allow Buyer one minute of time.
Furthermore, just as the triumvirate in Washington forced ObamaCare on the American people one year ago, the people's will be damned, Obama is now invoking Ronald Reagan to sell the New START to an unwitting public. Ed Meese and Richard Perle described Obama's ill-conceived use of the "Reagan Argument" as "a brazen act of misappropriation." I call it another abhorrent abuse of power.
In light of the abuse that we have witnessed over the past two years, I wonder how many Americans celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday last month with gratitude that they had the luck of having been born in, or having immigrated to, the United States -- a country where Tea Parties flourish, patriotism thrives, and abuse will not be tolerated.
As Lord Acton also observed, "Liberty is the prevention of control by others. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being." It appears that until the abusers are removed from power, they will continue to operate in a fashion that would make the Founders and Lord Acton turn over in their graves. But those great men have already answered to the higher authority, and it is no small comfort to recognize that someday, this lowly crew will as well.