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The President Is Not A King And He Does Not Deserve Our Allegiance

by @ 10:38 am on April 6, 2010. Filed under Barack Obama, Politicos & Pundits, Politics, Rush Limbaugh

Chris Matthews did a segment last night on Hardball about the new war between President Obama and conservative talk radio, and specifically Matthews’ apparent ire at Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word “regime.” You can watch the whole nine minute segment here, but I want to comment on this specific portion of the discussion:

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I think what bothered me is when Matthews referred to the President as a “temporary Monarch.” Yes, it’s true that the President is both Head of Government and Head of State, but that doesn’t mean that they are akin to a King somehow, or that a nation that fought a war based on the idea that Kings cannot rule over people should treat him as such.

The President deserves respect, but he’s not above criticism, or satire, or, when it’s necessary sharp, biting commentary.

And, by the way, I wonder where Chris Matthews was during the days when people were talking about the “Bush Regime.”

5 Responses to “The President Is Not A King And He Does Not Deserve Our Allegiance”

  1. sus says:

    So we are to believe that Rush Limbaugh’s audience interprets him as satire? Or is Rush the sharp, biting commentary?

    As for the days when people were talking about the “Bush Regime”, compare the google hits for your search against:

    Under a million hits for +bush -obama +regime.
    Over 20 million hits for -bush +obama +regime.

  2. Nick says:

    To be honest, I’m not sure Presidents even deserve our respect anymore. It’s a two way street. The Executive branch has disrespected the public with power take over after take over for years now. They don’t respect the Constitution, and they don’t respect our individual liberty. Why should we continue to respect those who continue that horrible tradition?

  3. James Young says:

    I’m uncomfortable — this is the old Political Science major speaking here — with the whole use of the word “regime,” since the word denotes the FORM of government, not whomever might be holding office at any time.

    Of course, there is the strong argument to be made that President Barry IS trying to change our form of government with his socialistic ideology.

  4. I don’t like the word regime either James, but I’m not going to deny people the right to use it (and I don’t think you are either)

    But I think Matthews goes way over the top in his argument that the President is somehow above being ridiculed.

  5. Justin Bowen says:

    or that a nation that fought a war based on the idea that Kings cannot rule over people should treat him as such.

    So, it’s wrong when one person chooses to use force against others because he calls himself a king, but it’s less wrong when another person chooses to use force against others because he calls himself a president?

    Frankly, there are many upsides to living under a monarch.

    First, when things go wrong, you know exactly who to blame (and thus, if and when the time comes, who to kill). Where monarchs actual wield power, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions. Sure, the consequences might be severe and many people might suffer, but the blame rests with the person who caused the problems (just as it does in every other facet of life).

    In a democratic system, you not only don’t know which politician to blame when things go wrong as the cause of the problem might be something done by a previous politician but you also don’t know who voted for the politician who caused the problem. In a democratic system, it’s not only the politicians who are to blame for the consequences of their actions; the people who put them there in the first place also deserve to be blamed for the consequences of the actions of the people who they essentially hired to represent their will (which is a great reason for why there should be no secret ballots (and a reason for why I’m not totally opposed to the EFCA)).

    Second, the average citizen is better off during a war between monarchs. When the European monarchs went to war with one another, they did so very carefully. They took great care (as best they could) to ensure that the civilian population that was to be ruled over was preserved; after all, a dead person pays no taxes. Battles were typically fought in remote areas so that civilian population centers could be preserved. The monarchs basically viewed the lands over which they were fighting as property that had value, which gave them a powerful incentive to restrict the scope of their wars.

    Under governments based upon ideologies, however, that wasn’t the case. The resurgence of ideology-based governments (after centuries of rule by monarchical governments) saw the re-introduction of total warfare, where governments intentionally targeted population centers and destroyed everything in their paths. If you look at the history of warfare for the centuries prior to the 19th century, you won’t nearly as many examples of governments engaging in total warfare (as a proportion of the total wars fought).

    The President deserves respect


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