Bill Murchison

Franklin Roosevelt had similar intimations of infallibility, which came to naught after he tried to "pack" the Supreme Court with pro-New Deal justices and thus win general approval of his whole program to make over the government. The founding fathers had foreseen such eventualities. They knew human nature, and humans love of power. The Constitution that Professor Obama once received a salary to teach was a document bristling with all kinds of internal barriers and protections against the concentration of power. "A" could do what "B" couldn't; "C" had still other functions. The three were obliged to work together. Obama strains continually against these cords: hoping his rhetorical abilities will scare the daylights out of opponents and naysayers.

This brings up a corollary point. Are the voters and the media -- in 21st-century speak -- his enablers? That's to say, didn't we put him where he is? Don't we share some responsibility for his policies and behavior? And can't we, not to mention, shouldn't we, speak out against and contradict actions with the potential of undermining constitutional liberties and the country's economic integrity, such as it is?

A president who once taught the Constitution should be expected to think every now and then about the constitutional obligations -- the human restraints -- that rightly come with power-sharing. On the other hand, if "Machiavelli for Beginners" was in fact his curricular subtitle, ex-Professor Obama might think a little about what comes with upsetting the people, making them fearful and angry and desirous of throwing him out.

From "The Prince," Chapter 19: "[C]oncerning his subjects, when affairs outside are disturbed he has only to fear that they will conspire secretly, from which a prince can easily secure himself by ... keeping the people satisfied with him, which it is most necessary for him to accomplish."


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
 
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