Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013

Another Round on Self-Evident Truths

At Power Line, friend (and nemesis!) Steve Hayward replies to my suggestion that he reads rather too much into President Obama's second inaugural by using rather too little of it. Steve originally used just a few words from this line of that speech—
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  —to suggest that Obama's belief system is (ahem) less than fully American. "May be self-evident" suggests residual disbelief in the proposition. I suggest the fuller passage indicates the president's unmitigated…

Getting Inside Obama's Head: Steven Hayward Edition.

I think most pundits do their worst work when they play armchair psychologist; instead of assessing what (say) a president is doing on its own terms, they try to guess at the man's motivations and hidden beliefs—often in venal terms, if they disagree with that president's acts.
My friend and occasional nemesis Steven Hayward, I think, gets caught in this trap in his latest column for Forbes, in which he speculates about why the president isn't showing up for this week's anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Gettysburg, decides that the president just doesn't believe in America the way the rest of us do.
One reason may be that Obama has to carefully avoid associating himself fully with Lincoln’s view about the centrality of what Lincoln called, at Gettysburg, “the proposition” that “all men are created equal.” Obama omitted this famous line from the Declaration of Independence in his famous Philadelphia speech about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy in 20…