Hounding Obama 7 – NoBama, Keep the change

Peter Namtvedt's picture
Contradicting, instead of defending, the constitution: this is not change. Moreover, contradicting your own campaign promises, promising to kill more jobs and also to save and create jobs, this is not the change we want. Obama: keep the change. We do not want this kind of change.

I assumed when you took the oath as the new president, to uphold the constitution, that you meant you would withdraw most of your Agenda for Change. However, it seems that is not to be. The development of the Agenda, as the president rolls it out, contradicts the constitution. It makes me wonder what country's constitution he swore to uphold.

Furthermore the Agenda for Change is self-contradictory.


A prophecy of change
securely strapped on a gurney
A perfect dose of gigantic proportion
falsified and an illusion to many

Change is when you smell death and fall ill with a disease
Only to find there is a treatment
Change is when brothers woke, unsure of their existence
only to find their cash, is ancient

Change is when an unknown man came to visit
His word, to save you from his fellow despot
Change is when Israel and Palestine seem to be in a circuit
only to find they are cousins befriending a bullet

Change is not Barack Obama Oratory
Change is when a hopeless man cracks a smile
and hatred will never be hereditary
t he heavy burden, the hopeful man starts to unpile

Tapiwa Zungunde
No thanks, Obama. Keep the Change.

A fiscal conservative YouTube ad describes Obama's change, “no thanks Barack, keep the change,” as “spread the wealth around” and “redistribution of wealth” and tacking economic rights onto civil rights.

The change America wants is to restore individual rights and defend them. That means to have once again the equal protection of the laws. Everyone who works in government, from president, legislator, justice, judge, to governor, mayor, dog-catcher, who takes a vow to protect and defend the constitution, needs to remember its main clauses.

Change relative to the constitution

As the preamble states, the government instituted by the constitution is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The constitution delegated limited powers to the branches of government. It explicitly demands that the government not be allowed to declare specific persons as criminals, but rather to create laws that state general principles, that are not retroactive, and that do not impair the obligations of contracts.

The constitution was not created to establish unlimited democracy. In fact it never mentions democracy. Article IV, section 4 guarantees a “republican form of Government.” The founders viewed democracy with a critical eye, giving the people control through representatives.

This constitution was approved unanimously by the states only after commitment of the delegates to add a Bill of Rights. This is in the form of the first ten amendments. Those amendments specified a number of things the government shall not do, thus safe-guarding individual rights and limited state powers.

To underscore the limited powers of the federal government and the unlimited scope of individual rights, amendments nine and ten were included.

Change relative to Obama campaign agenda

Among the powers was “to provide for the General Welfare,” which has never meant welfare for individuals or any specific cause. However, in the Obama Biden website their Agenda for the Economy we learn

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a plan to revitalize the economy.

  1. Immediate Action to Create Good Jobs in America
  2. Immediate Relief for Struggling Families
  3. Direct, Immediate Assistance for Homeowners, Not a Bailout for Irresponsible Mortgage Lenders
  4. A Rapid, Aggressive Response to Our Financial Crisis, Using All the Tools We Have

Yet the meida are full of stories of bailout money by the hundreds of billions of dollars being doled out to banks and insurance companies who entangled themselves in sub-prime mortgages and derivatives. These derivatives were supposed to be insurance policies protecting them from homeowners defaulting on the mortgages. However the derivatives were not backed by funds or any real guarantee of payout upon default.

The media keeps telling us of homes being foreclosed. The immediate help for struggling families has not yet started coming.

This same Agenda page promises protection for the labor movement (same source):

•  Ensure freedom to unionize: Obama and Biden believe that workers should have the freedom to choose whether to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their employers. Obama cosponsored and is a strong advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bipartisan effort that makes sure workers can exercise their right to organize. They will continue to fight for EFCA's passage and Obama will sign it into law.

•  Fight attacks on workers' right to organize: Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor of legislation to overturn the NLRB's "Kentucky River" decisions classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction workers, and professional workers as "supervisors" who are not protected by federal labor laws.

•  Raise the minimum wage: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs.

This contradicts the promise to save or create jobs. Employers, especially smaller ones, will balk at retaining the same number of employees when they are faced with becoming a union shop, where wages typically end up twenty percent higher. The EFCA and another rise in the minimum wage will arguably result in the loss of more jobs.

Contradictions and change

We want neither contradictions nor the wrong kind of change.

We want no contradictions. We want reason. We want a consistent application of logic to the facts of reality.

We do not want just any kind of change. Not just the phony change that takes us away from the Republican emphasis. After all Demopublicanism is the dominant political view in this country. It has two emphases or two faces, like the god Janus. Real change is not just switching emphases, swapping faces.

The change we want is to return to the way the constitution was understood by the public at the ratification. This is not some secret original intent. It is true that no one can be sure what the Founders were thinking except for what they published. However, we can tell what the public meaning of the text of the constitution was by studying other writings.

The change we want is rationality in our economics and constitutionality in our politics.



Peter says:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Peter also writes for Ada Byron's Blog.