It is past time to face the fact the United States of America has had, for at least several months, a President with no moral authority, not diminished moral authority, no moral authority.
Before going further, here is a definition of “moral authority”:
The quality or characteristic of being respected for having good character or knowledge, especially as a source of guidance or an exemplar of proper conduct.
A Google search of “Obama no moral authority” yields more than a million results. This will be the biggest challenge for the country over the next weeks. Let me give you three beginning with the thoughts of respected historian, Steven Hayward, writing at Power Line:
One of the most famous lines about Theodore Roosevelt came from the British ambassador Cecil Spring-Rice, who, after observing TR rolling around on the floor in the Oval Office, told another diplomat: “You must remember that the president is about six.”
One suspects that Spring-Rice would place President Obama as a two-year old. Certainly his tantrums are about as immature. Two days ago he walked out of a meeting with congressional leaders who apparently riled him up by interrupting and refusing to compromise surrender to his terms. According to ABC’s Jake Tapper, Obama said, “Enough is enough. We have to be willing to compromise. It shouldn’t be about positioning and politics, and I’ll see you all tomorrow.” House majority leader Eric Cantor was fingered as the main offender. Perhaps Cantor was merely quoting back Obama’s words to Cantor from January 21, 2009, when Obama dismissed Cantor’s suggestions for a tax cut component of the stimulus bill with the remark that “I won the election, so I think I trump you on that.” Yeah, Barry, I know, payback is a you-know-what.
This didn’t just start in July because of Obama’s petulance over the debt ceiling. My friend, Pamela Geller represents those like me who saw him devoid of moral authority almost immediately. Writing in the American Thinker in 2009, Geller said,
Obama’s hypocrisy and brutal inhumanity in light of recent events shocks even the most jaded among us. Americans had to listen to his daily tongue lashing about our morals and values as he defended closing Gitmo (home to the worst war criminals), admonishing us for the benign use of waterboarding in order to save thousands of American lives, and in his latest attempt to create a “torture” prosecutor.
Yet what was done at Gitmo was all done in defense of this dear country. It is a testament to our moral authority that Gitmo exists. Saner men would have lined up the enemy in front of a firing squad. It is a tribute to our moral superiority that Gitmo guards wear splash guards on their heads to protect against flying excrement and urine.
Nonetheless, Obama lectures us on morality, while now, just weeks later, we have watched him turn a blind eye to real torture: the unspeakable brutality, beatings and murders that the Islamic Republic of Iran is committing against people peacefully marching for liberty, for the principle of one man one vote. He has rewarded this regime with his recognition. Is this what Obama meant when he said we must respect Islam “even if we don’t agree”?
Barack Obama warned that we cannot “keep this country safe unless we enlist the power of our most fundamental values” – which he was claiming had not been done. He said: “America must demonstrate that our values and institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology.”
He also declared: “We uphold our most cherished values not only because doing so is right, but because it strengthens our country and keeps us safe. Time and again, our values have been our best national security asset – in war and peace; in times of ease and in eras of upheaval. Fidelity to our values is the reason why the United States of America grew from a small string of colonies under the writ of an empire to the strongest nation in the world.”
Is that from the President’s statement on Iran? Did he say this in denouncing Ahmadinejad and the bloodthirsty mullahs? No. He was talking about Gitmo.
One has to ask: why did this man run for President? The knee jerk reaction to such a question is that a man (or woman) runs for President because he loves America. It is becoming increasingly clear that Obama ran for President because he hates America and wants very much to “change” it.
“There is also no question,” Obama said, “that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.”
No, Mr. President. Your position on Iran, Israel, Honduras, Chavez, Ukraine, Georgia, and the American taxpayer did that.
It is unconscionable that a President would invoke America’s “moral authority” to pave the way for the advances of Islamic supremacism here and abroad. It is an abomination that he would sanction the actions of the Iranian mullahcracy while attempting to ethnically cleanse parts of Israel of the Jewish people. Denying the Jews’ right to natural growth as a people is a crime against morality and humanity.
Austin Bay, writing at The Patriot Post, May 25, 2011, detailed the length Obama went to circumvent Congressional and Constitutional authority over the military action against Libya. Bay laid out the case that Obama’s illegal actions destroyed his moral authority.
Let‘s review moral authority of our Presidents over the past eight decades.
- Herbert Hoover, 31st President, 1929-1933: He had it when he was elected—lost it. Hoover was defeated for reelection in a landslide.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President, 1933-1944: came to the Presidency with unprecedented political capital and great moral authority. When he died in office, Roosevelt still had moral authority.
- Upon Roosevelt’s death the unknown Harry S. Truman became America’s 33rd President, 1944-1953: Truman had only borrowed moral authority as his Presidency began. His moral authority actually grew in office. Truman left the Presidency with many questioning a variety of policies; none questioned President Truman’s moral authority.
- General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President, 1953-1961: came into office with enormous moral authority; in large measure a function of his war hero popularity. His moral authority was intact when Eisenhower left office.
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President, 1961-1963: Kennedy’s moral authority was intact when he died a martyr by the assassin’s bullet November 22, 1963.
- Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President, 1963-1969: Came into office with enormous but unearned moral authority given by a Nation unified in grief. Johnson used his political capital and moral authority to fundamentally transform America with sweeping Great Society legislation. He lost his moral authority over the Viet Nam war and left office in 1969 a discredited man.
- Richard M. Nixon, 37th President, 1969-1974: governed slightly center-left (Democrats controlled Congress) His moral authority was never questioned—until Watergate. A delegation of Republican Senators accompanied Senator Barry Goldwater to the White House. Goldwater told Nixon he no longer had support in the Congress (moral authority).
- Gerald R. Ford, 38th President, 1974-1977: Ford was an honorable man who came to the Presidency without his own political base or capital and really never had moral authority.
- James Earl (Jimmy) Carter, 39th President 1977-1981: Carter got a number of things done joining Johnson and Nixon in establishing the disaster we face today. But Carter was a small man, who, in the face a deep recession, couldn’t muster a bit of moral authority.
- Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President, 1981-1989, was criticized by the establishment as a dunce when he came to power. But he never lost a bit of his substantial moral authority. Reagan successfully raised our National self-image from “malaise” to a Shining City on a Hill, turned the economy from Keynesian (government stimulated) economics to Freidman market economics, and defeated the Soviet Empire.
- George H. W. Bush, 41st President, 1989-1993, came to office with moral authority as Reagan’s Vice President and his own exemplary life of military and public service. This was strengthened as America lead Dessert Storm successfully against Saddam Hussein. But Bush lost much of his moral authority when he broke his “no new Taxes” pledge.
- William Jefferson Clinton, 43rd President, 1993-2001, generously came to terms with America’s move to the right. (“The era of big government is over.”) He was astonishingly able to maintain at least some moral authority through a Presidency marked by corruption, Presidential misconduct, impeachment and trial.
- George Walker Bush, 43rd President, 2001-2009, came to office with little political capital but substantial moral authority. His moral authority grew after the September 11, 2001 attack on America. His character and integrity kept his moral authority together during the last three years of his Presidency as he carried out very unpopular policies in the “war on terror.”
- Barak Hussein Obama, 44th and current President of the United States of America, came to power with substantial political capital and moral authority based on public good will
The country is not yet bankrupt but, sadly, President Obama’s lack of character, integrity and moral authority leaves him unable to lead in the face of profoundly difficult times and the opposition of the members of Congress that We the People tasked to restore Constitutional government. We must come to terms with this vacancy in the Presidency. We must trust a Providential God will be with us as we limp through the next 18 months, in a dangerous world, towards a new Constitutional government in 2013.