Robert Knight

Barack Obama’s 2006 bestseller The Audacity of Hope gave us a number of clues as to how he would govern based on his worldview.

We can’t say we weren’t warned.

Amid the graceful prose, we see underlying hostility to the idea of revealed truth (apart from his own). We also see an understanding of the Constitution as a sort of referee between interests instead of a binding fetter on government power.

Mr. Obama describes his view as “one that sees our democracy not as a house to be built, but as a conversation to be had. …What the framework of the Constitution can do is organize the way by which we argue about our future. All of its elaborate machinery – its separation of powers and checks and balances and federalist principles and Bill of Rights -- are designed to force us into a conversation….”

I guess that’s what he meant when he appointed a couple dozen “czars” without Senate consent and made recess appointments when the Senate wasn’t in recess. That started quite a bit of conversation.

So did the Justice Department’s running hundreds of guns illegally across the Mexican border in an attempt to frame American gun sellers. And let’s not forget Obama’s National Labor Relations Board ordering Boeing not to build a new plant in South Carolina, or having the Justice Department crush voter fraud prevention laws in South Carolina and Texas and sue Arizona for enforcing immigration law. There’s much more, but it all adds up to contempt for the constitutional separation of powers.

It makes more sense as you thumb through Obama’s Audacity book. On page 93, he says, “If there was one impulse shared by all the Founders, it was a rejection of all forms of absolute authority.”

This would be news to George Washington, who kept a prayer diary in which he wrote, I “humbly prostrate myself before thee. … Holy Lord God, who art the King.” It would also be news to Thomas Jefferson, who grounded our government’s authority on “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Obama goes even further in the next paragraph: the Founders were unified around “a rejection of absolute truth.”

It’s certainly true that the Founders were deeply suspicious of men’s motives, especially when entrusted with power, but that doesn’t mean they rejected the concept of absolute truth.

The Declaration states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….”

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.