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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Coronation

"All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity." — George Washington

Today’s second inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama in Washington, D.C.800px-Jacques-Louis_David,_The_Coronation_of_Napoleon_edit as President of the United States seemed more a coronation to me than an inauguration. My first thought was a 20 x 32 foot painting by the French political hack artist Jacques-Louis David that hangs prominently in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The painting, first exhibited in 1808, shown Napoleon Bonaparte taking the crown from the seated Pope to place on his head as he proclaims himself Emperor of France. His paramour Jos├ęphine de Beauharnais is shown devoutly kneeling in a submissive position before him. The painting also shows many of Europe’s dignitaries and nobles standing around him to pay homage to the Napoleon. Who of those in attendance could foresee that Napoleon would be dead 17 years later in exile on the island of Saint Helena?

Napoleon like many of histories dictators and demagogues, like Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, and Fidel Castro were immensely popular when they came to power. They were idolized and adulated in the media of the day, as was Napoleon by David. If you doubt me just go back and look at the newsreels and films of the day — especially those of Leni Riefenstahl. But, in a few short years after they had brought their nations to ruin they were hated and cast off to the dust bin of history.

Newsweek magazine recently published a cover depicting Obama in aBA5fuj6CQAAvSE9 Mussolini-like profile pose with the caption “The Second Coming.” When I first saw this cover I first thought of Benito Mussolini, but then my thoughts turned to the painting by Jacques Louis David. While the term “second coming” could be interpreted as Obama’s second term it is much more associated with the second coming of Jesus Christ. Like David and Riefenstahl the mainstream media has declared Obama a Christ-like figure.

“Conservatives have long joked that the national press corps see Barack Obama as the second coming of Jesus Christ,” writes Brent Baker of NewsBusters. “Today, Newsweek — made it official.”

While writer Evan Thomas insinuates later within the body of the article that the comparison was rather to Abraham Lincoln, others have found the cover to be a messianic statement that makes a play of Scripture.

“Obama may not be the second coming of Lincoln, and our times are hardly as desperate as the civil war,” Thomas wrote. “But it’s a good bet that Obama is more ambivalent than he lets on about the proper roads fostering prosperity while at the same time, cutting red ink, a challenge that divides the best of economists.”

Baker noted that Thomas has declared Obama as being a God-like figure before.

“In a way, Obama’s standing above the country — above the world,” Thomas said during a 2009 interview on MSNBC. “He’s sort of God. He’s going to bring all different sides together.”

Many have been describing Obama as a type of messiah even before his first four years in office. Writer Dave Jolly notes that during the last election, Maggie Mertens, associate editor for the Smith College newspaper, penned an article entitled “I Will Follow Him: Obama as My Personal Jesus.” Hollywood actor Jamie Fox recently expressed the same sentiment.

Jolly also pointed to an editorial in the Danish newspaper Politiken, which stated, “Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”

Additionally, to mark Obama’s 100th day of presidency, artist Michael D’Antuono unveiled a painting that he had crafted, which depicted Obama in the oval office wearing a crown of thorns and raising his arms as if on the cross.

During the Democratic National Convention last September, a number of vendors offered products that depicted Obama as a messiah. One poster that was sold at the DNC displayed the head of Obama, which faded into a graphic of an open Bible with the word “Barak” highlighted. Above Obama was the headline “Prophesy Fulfilled.” To the left of the image, the poster read, “Barak is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is ‘flash of lightning.’ Barak is a valiant fighting man who cooperated with the prophetess Deborah to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds. Hussein [means] good and handsome. So, you see, Barak was destined to be a good and handsome man that would rise like a flash of lightning to win victory in a battle against overwhelming odds.”

T-shirts were also sold by vendors that cite Psalm 110:1, which says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, “Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” The graphic on the tees depicted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, placing his feet upon the back of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is kneeling on his hands and feet.

Additionally, Obama calendars were up for sale, which used Scripture for each month of the year to point to Obama as a messiah. For example, in the month of August, Obama’s birth month, accompanying a photo of Obama were the words “Heaven Sent” with the Scripture John 3:16, which speaks of God sending His Son. The month of November featured a graphic of citizens laying hands on Obama while quoting Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

Prior to the election, Florida A&M professor Barbara A. Thompson also penned a book entitled The Gospel According to Apostle Barack in which she claimed that she was given a series of dreams by God where she was able to realize Obama’s purpose as the leader of the free world. She says that after God answered her prayers to heal her son Gibran, who was badly injured in an accident, God told her to “go on a journey with Apostle Barack.”

“His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or ‘heaven here on earth,’” she writes in her book description on Amazon. “[A]s I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid, something miraculous happened. I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night.” Fortunately the book received a mere one star.

William Henry Harrison stated in his two hour inaugural address:

Limited as are the powers which have been granted, still enough have been granted to constitute a despotism if concentrated in the Executive branch. The tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when exercised by a single individual would terminate in virtual monarchy. The tendencies of governments in their decline is to monarchy. The spirit of faction in times of great excitement imposes itself upon the people as the genuine spirit of freedom, and, like the false christs whose coming was foretold by the Savior impose upon the true and most faithful disciples of liberty. It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have entrusted power."

As an aside Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, took the oath of office on March 4, 1841, a cold and wet day. He wore neither an overcoat nor hat, rode on horseback to the ceremony rather than in the closed carriage that had been offered him, and delivered the longest inaugural address in American history. It took him nearly two hours to read, although his friend and fellow Whig Daniel Webster had edited it for length. Harrison then rode through the streets in the inaugural parade, and that evening attended three inaugural balls, including one at Carusi's Saloon entitled the "Tippecanoe" ball, which at a price of $10 per person attracted 1000 guests. On March 26, Harrison became ill with a cold. According to the prevailing medical misconception of that time, it was believed that his illness was directly caused by the bad weather at his inauguration. The cold worsened, rapidly turning to pneumonia and pleurisy and he died on April 4, 1841, 30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after taking the oath of office.

It was Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) who stated:

"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious."

We, the people of the United States are living in a time when celebrity and fluff means more than character and substance when selecting our leaders. We are accustomed to seeing the “beautiful people” on the red carpet at award shows and late night celebrity shows. We have a mainstream news media that is devoted to Barack Obama. In fact Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest advisors, thanked MSNBC for all of their support for the past four years. In another instance of bold media bias ABC, CBS and NBC all refused to identify the indicted ex-mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, as Democrat. It’s almost impossible to have a civil debate on the issues facing this nation when so many in the media are blind to Obama’s shortcomings and narcissistic personality.

The American left, and its mouthpiece the mainstream media, is now resorting to its usual mindless name calling, as they cannot intimidate the NRA and the bulk of the American citizens into meekly acquiescing to their so-called "gun violence" initiative. The majority of the citizenry see this ploy for what it is: an attempt at further incrementalism with the ultimate goal of eviscerating the Second Amendment. Therefore, the references to the NRA and gun advocates as racists as well as comparisons to Hitler and the Nazis (known as “Reductio ad Hitlerum”) are coming fast and furious. It is as predictable as the sun rising in the east.

This past week, Bob Sheiffer of CBS compared defeating the NRA to defeating the Nazis in World War II. Not to be outdone Martin Bashir of NBC said the NRA "deserved to be compared to Hitler." Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) claimed: "they [NRA] cannot get over the fact that Obama is black." And the ever reasonable Charlie Rangel (D-NY) in discussing gun control said: the Southern states have cultures that we have to overcome." These are but a few of the many references to either Hitler, the Nazis, racism or backwoods gun-toting hicks in fly-over country since the debate spawned by Obama's determination to impose more stringent gun control measures began.

The well-worn and dog-eared tactic — used by the Progressive cabal to malign and intimidate their political opponents by the obligatory reference to anyone who opposes their agenda as Nazis, references to World War II and the mindless charge of racism as synonyms for political disagreements — is beneath contempt and is indicative of the inability to present a coherent argument in support of their position.

Since Barack Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009, the use of the race card has reached epidemic proportions. Anyone who disagrees with his policies is branded a racist — a term filled with negative and ominous connotations. Its use is solely intended to demonize and intimidate the political opposition and is succeeding only in creating the most polarized society since the 1960's.

The lifeblood of a Democracy is civil discourse. It is painfully obvious that the left, the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party have no interest in any other point of view or even the future of the country. They have instead descended into the depths of disgusting name-calling and outright lies and obfuscation. They should be ashamed of themselves, assuming they are capable of shame or getting beyond childish playground taunts.

Mark Levin, the Conservative radio talker, author, and constitutional scholar told Ben Shapiro in an interview on Breibart.com:

“I don’t think Obama knows exactly what he’s going to go for in his second term as he will look for opportunities to exploit as events unfold. I am sure they've drawn up a partial a list, and we already know that it includes, but is not limited to, gun control; attacks on the First Amendment such as religious liberty; amnesty for illegal aliens; union expansion; institutionalizing ObamaCare; institutionalizing voter corruption; de-industrialization via the EPA; destroying the capitalist-based economy via tax increases, smothering regulations, massive deficit spending, and endless borrowing; and hollowing out our military; etc. This will effect all of us. It will do extreme damage to the nation in many respects. I think Obama sees himself as correcting historic wrongs in this country, as delivering the fruits of the labor of other people to people who he believes have historically been put upon. I think there’s a lot of perverse thinking that goes on in his mind, radical left-wing thinking. He was indoctrinated with Marx and Alinksy propaganda. You not only see it in his agenda but in his words -- class warfare; degrading successful people unless, of course, they help finance his elections, causes, and organizations; pretending to speak for the so-called middle class when, in fact, he is destroying their jobs, savings, and future. Obama's war on our society is intended to be an onslaught in which the system is overwhelmed.

“I think the Republican Party, its apparatus, its so-called leadership, the parasitic consultants, represent an institution that is tired, old, almost decrepit, full of cowardice and vision-less. It has abandoned the Declaration of Independence and any serious defense of constitutional republicanism. The Democrat Party is now a radical 1960s party; it’s the anti-Constitution, anti-capitalism, anti-individual party. It largely controls the federal government, including the massive bureaucracy and much of the judiciary -- what I call the permanent branches of the federal government. The Democrat Party represents the federal government, and the federal government expands the power of the Democrat Party. They're appendages of each other. On the other hand, the GOP today stands for capitulation, timidity, delusion -- so mostly nothing. Republicans may speak of the Constitution, limited government, low taxes, etc., but what have they done about them? Next to nothing if not nothing. Even when Bush 43 was president and the Republicans controlled Congress. What did they do? They went on a spending binge. They expanded Medicare, the federal role in local education, drove up the debt, etc. Meanwhile, we are lectured by putative Republicans like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Tom Ridge, and a conga line of others trashing often viciously NOT Obama and what the Democrats are doing to our nation, but conservatives, constitutionalists, and tea party activists who are the only people left standing for liberty against tyranny in this country."

In his 18 minute inaugural address Obama declared war on liberty and while sounding the same themes of class warfare that propelled his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama devoted his second inaugural address to laying out his second term agenda: a struggle to undo the seeming injustices of America's past, and to overcome the army of straw men that stand in opposition to progress.

In the process, President Obama attempted nothing less than an assault on the timeless notion of liberty itself:

“Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society's ills can be cured through government alone.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

After praising the "collective" and mocking the notion that America is a "nation of takers," President Obama targeted the political opposition. He targeted those who "deny" climate change, attacked those who allegedly refused to reward the elderly for their contributions, and defied critics whom he said wanted "perpetual war." He attacked the rich — as he has done so often over the past four years — and painted a caricature of an unjust nation: "our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few."

President Obama's address failed to deliver on promises earlier in the day by senior political adviser David Axelrod that the speech would sound themes of national unity on a day of national "consecration." Instead, the president sounded combative themes familiar from his divisive first term, albeit wrapped occasionally in the lofty rhetoric of "hope" and "tolerance," and punctuated by the repeated refrain: "We, the People."

He acknowledged Americans have diverse concepts of liberty, but insisted that these could all fit together under the “collective mission” of the government to achieve its redistributive aims. Days after describing Republicans as determined to hurt the poor and elderly, he accused his opposition of intolerance: "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."

President Obama also spoke out in favor of gay rights and immigration reform, acknowledging groups of voters that were central to his re-election effort — yet for whom he did not fulfill many of his first-term pledges. He touched on three historic locations — "Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall" — critical to the history of the women's rights movement, the civil rights movement, and the gay rights movement, respectively.

Throughout his address, the President maintained his voice in a near-shout. This was not an historic address, a reflection on a moment in history; it was an exhortation to political action, in contrast to the political reality of a divided Washington, in defiance of the profound economic challenges still facing the American people.

It was a declaration of political war on individual liberty. It was a wasted opportunity — and a warning.

Cindy Simpson writes in American Thinker:

“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."

“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.”

This was not a visionary inaugural address — it was, as always, a campaign speech and a clarion call for more government control of our lives. There was no “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” There was no “the most dangerous nine words in the English Language — "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." There was no “It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have entrusted power."

This was a speech one could expect from a demagogue on his coronation to the pinnacle of his power. It was more in tune with Lenin than Washington. We need to remember the words of William Henry Harrison stated some 172 years ago when he said: “It is in periods like this that it behooves the people to be most watchful of those to whom they have entrusted power” not long live the king. And I remind you of the words of Benjamin Franklin. Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

I close with two other quotes from Benjamin Franklin, the sage of the Constitutional Convention:

“As all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever.”

“When the people find they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

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