Obama’s dangerous charge of ‘absolutism’

Keith Koffler

A nation should be concerned when it seems its leader has tired of the grueling work of democracy.

One of the most remarkable and frightening aspects of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was his dismissal of his opposition – presumably the House Republican caucus – as “absolutists” who are without “principle.”

They are mucking up Obama’s agenda, and he won’t have it.

“For now decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay,” Obama said. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect.”

Absolutism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a form of despotism – “government by an absolute ruler or authority.” That the president of the United States is accusing his democratically-elected opponents of acting in a tyrannical fashion is a remarkable development with potentially profound implications.

Once the president’s opponents have been defined in the American mind as despotically inclined, unsusceptible to reason, and unwilling to play by the normal rules of politics, it is only natural that extreme measures are permitted in response…

…Once it has de-legitimized the opposition, the White House can claim it is left with no choice but to accelerate and expand its use of executive power. What else can they do, the president and his operatives will argue, when faced with the insanity of the Republicans?

The press, which avidly buys into the notion that much of the House Republican caucus is beyond reason, will lend a sympathetic ear to Obama as he struggles with the forces of darkness…

…Once Obama has succeeded in rendering his opponents illegitimate and circumventing them with executive power, he will have gone at least some way toward having the playing field to himself. And then he will be alone in his absolutism.

Read the complete op-ed at Politico.

Related:   Stupid: Letting Your Opponent Define You

…Through out the past two months, since the day after the election, Republicans have sought to explain, justify or believe that their political foibles are a product of (what their opposition has already concocted for them) gaffes, rejecting minorities and protected groups, dismissing the poor in favor of the affluent or misunderstanding middle America. No. It wasn’t the lack of outreach; it wasn’t the gaffes or embracing social, controversial topics. I would humbly suggest they need to turn their eyes to other vital issues; the first being a fundamental transformation in the work ethic thanks to Obama propaganda; a surprising embrace of collectivism and its plenty-of-strings-attached freebies (courtesy of your hard earned money and a shameless confiscation via taxation); and finally, an obstinate refusal to recognize the true nature of what they are facing, the ultimate ideological war in our own back yards…

…enough of the stupidity, near-sightedness and mea-culpas. The real stupidity is to allow the opposition to define you and to adopt, sub-consciously if you will, their terms, ideologue vocabulary, re-writing of history, a new definition of “normal,” demonizing of the productive sector, division of Americans into classes…

Comments are closed.