Obama: Fox, Lion, or Emperor?
"The White House may craftily be laying the groundwork for a massive and thoroughly unconstitutional seizure of power from Congress," warned veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler of the upcoming debt ceiling battle.
Considering both the slyness and boldness of Obama's latest power plays, Koffler's observation is reminiscent of a quote attributed to Emperor Napoleon: "I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other."
Besides playing both fox and lion as he skirts the Constitution or arrogantly walks right over it, Obama has also been busy whipping up the populace with his "Thou shalt have fairness" rhetoric. But we wonder if the outcome of the folks affected by his manipulations and exhortations is not what motivates him -- rather it is Napoleon's self-proclaimed title that Obama covets: Emperor.
Apparently a crown has been, if not on Obama's head, at least on his mind during his childhood. According to a former Punahou classmate of Obama's from Hawaii, Obama told friends he was a prince of Indonesia, Kenyan royalty, and that he would be a ruler himself someday. As Daniel Greenfield observed, it is interesting to note that Obama, as a child, saw himself as "a foreigner with delusions of grandeur."
There's even an etching, "KING OBAMA," in a concrete patch on the school grounds. The notably pro-Obama website, "Obama's Neighborhood," captioned the picture with the assertion that Obama was likely the artist, but instructs the reader to "disregard the 'King' scrawling above 'OBAMA.' It appeared after the 'OBAMA' graffiti and is not related." (No support is provided for either claim.)
And recall Obama's joke at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, where he showed his "birth video" -- a clip from Disney's The Lion King where the animals bowed down in reverence to the baby lion, Simba, at his birth.
All amusing and interesting anecdotes -- but it's not difficult to envision a grown-up Obama as caesar, reclining in a royal box overlooking an arena, giving an executive-order thumb up or down as the crowd roars in approval. A caesar who reaps then redistributes the wealth of the people in billion-dollar bread and circuses, and, as Harvard Professor Mary Ann Glendon once described as a "modern form" of both, promotes a distracting "array of new sexual freedoms to compensate for the loss of the most basic civil right of all -- the right of self-government." A caesar who disarms the people in the guise of protecting them. And the majority of the population in this "neo-feudal landscape" loves Obama for it, and chants "hail" alongside a fawning media.
The Old Testament describes the time when the Israelites demanded a king to replace the judges that God appointed, even though Samuel warned the people that a king would only enslave them. Senator Rand Paul recently said, "I'm against having a king. I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over, and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress, that's someone who wants to act like a king or monarch."
At one time, most Americans agreed with Paul, and many of us are still "against having a king." But the trillion-dollar question is whether Obama truly does seek the crown. When he circumvents the Constitution by arguing, "we can't wait" -- does the "we" refer to the people he serves, or the majestic plural? If the majority of the people want a king, will Congress and the courts allow Obama to continue forward in an evolving coronation of himself?
Presidents are sworn in and kings are crowned, but both ceremonies utilize religious symbolism. Author George Neumayr observed that "most revolutionaries" find the "appropriation" useful. "Even Napoleon invited the clergy to his coronation, though he made sure to give them poor seating, as they passively watched the leader crown himself."
Columnist John Hayward, in his article, "Rand Paul vs. King Barack I," wondered: "What makes a 'king'?" While a man may consider himself king of his own castle, a real king requires subjects outside the immediate family, lots of them -- which may explain, simply, why Obama seems to ignore the faltering economy and instead facilitates growth in the number of dependent Americans. A growing number, that, as Professor Glendon further observed, appear unwilling to "undertake the hard work of becoming citizens rather than subjects." Dependent subjects, many empowered by envy disguised as "fairness," who bow down to take their just reward -- find the drop to the knees easier work than a climb up by their own bootstraps. And we can't forget the crony courtiers, the political establishment, and the chattering class who clamor for a seat at the king's table.
History books are replete with accounts of tyrannies led by men who first played the crafty fox, roared as the lion, and then crowned themselves king. America may soon find itself the subject of a similar chapter. Glendon again: "the United States will not be the first republic to slip by small degrees into the form of government that, alas, has been more common than any other in human history: tyranny by a minority."
But there are still citizens who resist the change -- types apparently the subject of a new West Point think tank study warning of "past-oriented," "far-right" groups such as the "anti-federalist" movement. The study describes anti-federalists as those who "espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals' civil and constitutional rights," and who support "civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government."
Those terms once favorably portrayed America's heroic founders in their opposition to a monarchy. Now they describe citizens who oppose today's government -- "dangerous" because they simply dare to recognize that Big Government has grown into Big Brother. Tyrants and their cohorts consider such citizens a threat -- because these "bitter clingers" know how to track a fox, are brave enough to confront a lion, and refuse to bow to an earthly king.