De Tocqueville foresaw Obama and the Progressive State

Posted by: Phineas on April 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

**Posted by Phineas

My friend Michael Ledeen has a great essay at PJMedia arguing that Obama’s shocking remarks about the Supreme Court and his apparent questioning of judicial review the other day had nothing really to do with the Constitution, since it was all just politics to him, as his walk-back the next day and Eric Holder’s essay for 5th Circuit Court of Appeals showed.

What it was really about, Michael says, was power. Power and freedom:

Power, because the president and his people think that, since they are smarter and better than the rest of us, anyone who tries to limit their power is bad, and has to be brought into line. Thus, the tough words of warning to any justice contemplating voting against Obamacare.

Freedom, because the accumulation of power in the hands of the executive branch comes at our expense, bit by bit and law by law, precisely as Alexis de Tocqueville feared.

I’ll leave you to read the rest of Ledeen’s essay; it’s worth your time. But I must swipe repeat his quote of de Tocqueville:

That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

(Emphases added.)

Sound familiar?

RELATED: I know I push this a lot, folks, but Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” really does clarify so much. Remember, fascism won’t come with jackboots and rifle butts, but with a reassuring smile and a warm, comforting embrace.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “De Tocqueville foresaw Obama and the Progressive State”


  1. Drew the Infidel says:

    It’s what you learn after you know it all that really counts.

  2. Zachriel says:

    Phineas: Obama’s shocking remarks about the Supreme Court

    “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

    Not sure what’s so shocking about his remarks, nor do they seem to question judicial review.

    Accusations of Judicial Intimidation

  3. Carlos says:

    What’s so hard about “foreseeing” a free people being bought off slowly by those who are so much smarter than everyone else? The people already had freedom, and their’s precious little more valuable than that, so the elites had to bribe their way to ungodly power piece-by-piece.

    Pretty simple, actually, especially since the bribery also included an expanded set of abused classes.

  4. Great White Rat says:

    Zachriel mutters:

    Not sure what’s so shocking about his remarks, nor do they seem to question judicial review.

    Your problem in this case – one you share with Obama – is that you don’t understand the concept of judicial activism. Simply overturning a law is not judicial activism.

    Judicial activism occurs when a court decides that its own views or political agenda should override the Constitution. It’s an attitude that places some other standard – whether it be personal belief, a leftist wish list, or another country’s legal system – over the U.S. Constitution.

    Upholding the Constitution and invalidating laws that violate it is not judicial activism. You can make a good case that that’s actually judicial restraint.

    And there’s nothing “unprecendented” or “extraordinary” about that.

  5. Mitch says:

    Took me awhile, but then I’m just a dumb Conservative. Anyway, I just realized we have a Liberal in our midst. Zachriel, to be more precise. Don’t get me wrong. I love Liberals. They’re just too damned much fun. Welcome, Zachriel. Glad you took the time out of your busy day to join us. We’ll try to make your stay here among us an enjoyable experience. If not for you, at least for the rest of us.

  6. A.J. says:

    “Sound familiar?”

    Indeed it does. That too reminds me of George W. Bush.

    PS: You got your closing quote (“fascism won’t come with jackboots and rifle butts, but with a reassuring smile and a warm, comforting embrace”) wrong. The correct quote is:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” – Sinclaire Lewis, in his book “It Can’t Happen Here”, 1935.

  7. Mitch says:

    Freedom is such a precious thing and it is always under attack by those who fear it in the hands of ordinary God fearing poeple.