August 02, 2011
NYC Letter: If Only...
Day 924 of CHOPE
We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time - bills like Social Security checks, veterans' benefits, and contracts we've signed with thousands of American businesses. If we don't, for the first time ever, we could lose our country's Triple A credit rating. Not because we didn't have the capacity to pay our bills - we do - but because we didn't have a Triple A political system to match it.
Yet again pesky representative democracy discommodes this president. Oh! To be president of China! If only.
If only the president could just do things on his own.
Now, I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books, but that doesn't mean I don't know very well the real pain and heartbreak that deportations cause. I share your concerns and I understand them. And I promise you, we are responding to your concerns and working every day to make sure we are enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.
Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. (Applause.) And believe me, right now dealing with Congress --
AUDIENCE: Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!
Believe me -- believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. (Laughter.) I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. (Laughter.) But that's not how -- that's not how our system works.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Change it!
That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written. So let’s be honest. I need a dance partner here -- and the floor is empty. (Laughter.)
musing out loud on the convenience of one-man rule
REMARKS TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA
WASHINGTON July 25, 2011 (White House)
Constitution. Bummer. As a Constitutional scholar, Mr. Obama knows that which he disdains.
If Mr. Obama could but make the trains run on time at least he could claim the usual standing to be dictator. But what has Mr. Obama put his hand to that has not turned to ruin? The economy? Foreign policy? Health care? Energy? Not content with ruination within the compass of his office, Mr. Obama yearns for a freer hand -- a freer hand to drag you ignorant proles kicking and screaming into his bigger brighter better world. Peter Berkowitz, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, explains:
In the annals of American progressivism, Obama’s predicament is hardly unique. Indeed, the mismatch between leaders who put forward partisan ambitions in the name of the people and majority sentiment reflects an enduring paradox with deep roots in the progressive tradition. Like Obama’s new progressivism, the old or original progressivism championed a vision of democracy that sometimes conflicted with ordinary people’s opinions and preferences. The old progressives often realized it and said as much, clearly and with a clear conscience. One of the distinguishing marks of the new progressivism at whose head Obama stands is the determination to conceal the gap between what majorities want and what progressive leaders want to enact in their name while insisting proudly on the purity of their democratic credentials.
... For going on two generations, leading scholars have sought to develop a rhetoric of reform that explains how progressive political goals are, notwithstanding majority views, not merely just but also democratic. From the perspective of the professors’ theories, the glaring gap between the president’s promises to govern in a balanced and moderate fashion and his transformative progressive agenda is no gap at all, once democracy is rightly, which is to say progressively, understood.
If only.Posted by Damian at August 2, 2011 11:45 PM