Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Lion Is Dead. Long Live the King!

As Senator Edward Kennedy is laid to rest, a question is raised.  What effect does the death of a politician have on legislation?

In the case of Senator Kennedy, probably not much.  Despite calls to lionize the liberal lion yet again by naming the health care bill after him, the passage of Obamacare is not likely to be moved much in either direction.

Those who loved ol' Teddy bear already love Obamacare.  Name one Congressman or Senator who's vote will swing based on Kennedy's passing.  Give up?

However, there is one politician whose passing would result in the landslide passage of a government controlled health care bill.  One politician still so beloved by the American people that his demise would create a groundswell of public sympathy to eclipse that even of Teddy's brothers.  A man who has done more to cast the American political and economic system in his own image than any politician in a generation.  The one man whose continued existence is ironically imperative to the survival our center-right republic.

For these reasons, Liberty Watchman calls on conservatives throughout the nation to do everything possible to preserve, protect, and defend, the life of Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

The urgency of this call could not be greater.  According to Ronald Kessler's recently published book, In the President's Secret Service, the level of protection provided by the Secret Service has declined significantly in recent years.  Kessler reports that despite a 400% increase in the number of threats against the life of President Obama, the Secret Service has, on more than one occasion, either not screened at all or inadequately screened crowds with metal detectors prior to the President's or Vice President's appearance.

What??  That's right.  No metal detectors.

There may be multiple reasons why security is slipping.  Kessler says that in part it's the result of budgetary constraints imposed when the Secret Service was moved from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.  Maybe, but it would be a mistake to think this is only a matter of money.  No President is at the mercy of his security detail.  Every President is fully briefed on his own security arrangements and has ultimate say over how he is guarded.  If the President wants greater protection, he gets it -- budgets be hanged.  If he wants less, he gets that too.  And more often than not, as Kessler chronicles, Presidents want and get less security.

We have seen the tragic results of Presidents who eschew their Secret Service protection.  Lincoln went to Ford's theater without his security detail.  John F Kennedy refused to have Secret Service agents on the running boards of this vehicle at Dealey Plaza.  It's unclear if guards could have saved President Lincoln, but the first shot having missed President Kennedy, there's a good chance that a human shield could have saved his life.

Why did these men risks their lives in this way?  Was it bravado?  Was it to protect their image?  Was it just the fatigue of being watched like a bug under a glass 24x7 and the desire to have some time unfettered by guards?  In Lincoln's case we're told it was a combination of image and watchman fatigue (no pun intended).  For Kennedy it was purely to protect his image as a president who does not cower.

With Obama we have an even more fearful concern: self-sacrifice.  It's widely reported that Obama has said he would sacrifice his second term as president if that's what it would take to get the health care bill passed.  His sense of noblesse oblige is commendable, but is there more to it than that?

The messianic nature of the descriptions which swirl around Mr Obama give even greater reason for pause.  Does he embrace his alleged divinity?  If he's willing for his second term to be a sacrificial lamb, is he also willing to lay down his life for historic legislation?  Does he fancy himself as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the titanic struggle between limited and unlimited government. “You can't win, Darth.  If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

I submit that whether he believes in the Obi-Wan philosophy or not, it's probably true.  He would be even more powerful in death than in life.

I'm not saying President Obama has a death wish.  I suspect that like most sane people he does not.  But the pomp and circumstance, the sheer adulation of the office, can cloud a man's judgment.

And what of his staff?  For the sake of quickly seating the guests, his staff pressured the Secret Service to halt magnetometer screening at at least one campaign event last year.  Which of his Chicago mafia gave that order?  Do they believe their own press clippings?  Do they think that Obama's charisma can disarm even an assassin?

I think most men who ascend to the office of POTUS are made more noble by it.  There is a sense of purpose and destiny far beyond one's self.  I'm sure Barack Obama senses this.  But just beyond the horizon of that nobility lies the poison of self-importance and the delusion of invulnerability.  The antidote for these is self-sacrifice.  But beware the noble self-sacrifice that leads to foolish decisions.

Let's hope the president has not taken the poison and let's make sure no one else is allowed to give it to him.  Call your representatives today and insist on a congressional investigation into the claims in Kessler's book.  Insist that President Obama's security detail be increased immediately.

As conservatives we want to see Mr Obama defeated on the field of ideas and policy, not lionized in a state funeral.

The Lion is Dead.  Long live the King.  Long Live the King.

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