As I write, I am looking out the window at the gradual but remorseless deconstruction of one of the oldest structures in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the heritage-designated Ogilvy Building. Built in 1907, it had stood empty for the last 20 years and left to deteriorate, until it was recently condemned. According to the Ottawa Citizen for December 17, 2012, this well-staffed and popular emporium “was the place to shop for ‘quality’ goods of every description…founded on the motto ‘Good Merchandise, At a Fair Price, With Service.” With its buff-colored brick facade, large wood-framed windows, high ceilings, ornamental metal cornices and panels decorated with the ‘tree-of-life’ motif, it was an imposing municipal landmark. It now resembles an architectural carcass, its top two floors reduced to a heap of rubble, the medallions and wall plaques scraped away, the sculpted pillars lopped like amputated limbs, the decorative linear meanders chiselled off, and the remaining bricks sandblasted to a lackluster grey. An army of industrious laborers wielding jackhammers and scurrying about in tractors are chipping and hacking away at the once-solid grandeur of what, for a time, seemed indestructible.
“Another emblem there,” said poet William Butler Yeats, mourning the passing of a rich and storied world, “in memory glorified.” But now, “all is changed.” And so it is with the Shining City on the Hill, thanks to a president whose actions belie what appears to be an underlying purpose, namely, the erosion of the structures that sustain the greatest republican enterprise in history.
I have been suspicious of Obama from the very beginning of his meteoric national career. I could not understand how a man with so obscure a dossier, very few salient records disclosed to the public; with little or no executive or working experience; and affiliated with a host of decidedly shady characters—communist poet and activist Frank Marshall Davis, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, unrepentant former terrorist Bill Ayers, America-and-Jew bashing Jeremiah Wright, corrupt financier Tony Rezko, racist leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan, to name only a few—could captivate the media, bask in the glow of an adoring public, receive the Democratic nomination, and then be elected to the presidency of the United States.
My suspicion of the man’s bona fides deepened even more after the Honduras affair in July 2009, in which Obama (and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton) sided with leftwing strongman Manuel Zelaya, implicated in a conspiracy to overturn the civil Constitution of the country, and against the democratic legislature that had deposed him. The historically invalid and politically tendentious Cairo speech, the evident shilling for the Palestinians and their flagrantly concocted narrative of ancestral title, the clear animus against Israel and the outrageous treatment meted out to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu only confirmed my misgivings concerning the president’s political agenda.
That an American president should cozy up to the Venezuelan leftist dictator and bow from the waist to the Saudi monarch was beyond my comprehension. (And more recently, his hearting of Turkish autocrat and neo-Ottoman jihadist Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his personal “friend and colleague” is only a further indication of Obama’s troubling and discreditable policies.) That he should see to the massive increase of the American debt within only a few years and apply himself, in the words of Victor Davis Hanson, to “tun[ing] a properly moribund economy,”—i.e., “ensuring 50 million on food stamps, putting over 80,000 a month on Social Security disability insurance, and extending unemployment insurance to tens of millions”—was another sign that something was profoundly amiss. His bruited release of criminal illegals from American prisons defies common sense, as does his refusal to patrol and seal the incendiary border with Mexico. And that he should eagerly adopt the lifestyle of a Hollywood playboy and the jet-setting 1%, in defiance of his own proletarian rhetoric, while the country was foundering economically and absorbing one setback after another in the international theater, should have earned him the distrust of every sentient American citizen. Another stain on this dismal record of political degeneracy is his abandonment of the American ambassador and his entourage in Libya, leading to the death of four Americans.
It doesn’t stop there. The Democratic Party’s concerted attacks on the Second Amendment are surely disquieting. Moreover, new reports circulating about some of the Obama administration’s latest maneuvers, must, if they are true, be squarely confronted and made sense of. At the same time that ordinary Americans may be deprived of their guns, or forced to scale back on legitimate ownership of certain models and magazine capacities, the Department of Homeland Security has ordered millions of weapons and over a billion rounds of hollow-point bullets (banned internationally), as well as riot gear and other military equipment. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has followed suit, putting in an order for 46,000 rounds of .40-caliber hollow-point bullets. Why, we may wonder, is a weather service being armed to the teeth? Are U.S. citizens now at risk from their own government? After all, the National Defense Authorization Act provides for indefinite detention without warrant or probable cause. The bill does not apply exclusively to terrorists or terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay; even after a change of wording to allay fears of extra-judicial proceedings, the military may still retain the power to arrest and hold Americans without the writ of habeas corpus or, at any rate, without the obligation to take the judicial process further. As Senator Rand Paul objected, “Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus—the right to be presented before a judge—is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole.”
Some patriots are profoundly apprehensive over these developments, fearing something like a “hostile takeover” of civil society by a growing state apparatus. But surely, it can’t happen here, though it has happened in many other places. Did not the Fathers write a Constitution to prevent exactly that, especially when one considers Article 1, Section 8 that allows for an armed citizen militia? America must be exempt from such a nightmare scenario, which can only be the product of fevered imaginations and conspiracy nuts. Or is it? This is a president who has presided over an imploding economy, a ballooning deficit, a deteriorating international situation, an out-of-control Department of Justice, a diminished military, political and racial divisions that are tearing the nation apart, the specter of restrictions on freedom of expression, the appointment of indisputable incompetents and highly dubious characters to sensitive positions of authority (read: Kew, Hagel, Brennan and Kerry, who are only the most recent), and a de facto alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood whose self-admitted project is the destruction of the United States and whose installment in power in Egypt, as Barry Rubin definitively shows, “was a conscious and deliberate strategy of the Obama administration, developed before the ‘Arab Spring’ began.” Indeed, this is a president who traffics in blatant lies, cover-ups and misdirections at the cost of American interests and consequently merits being suspected of nefarious designs.
I am not suggesting that anything so cataclysmic as a state-sponsored putsch is about to take place. I am only remarking on a series of curious and provocative news items and speculating on their concatenation. But if we were inclined to conduct a thought experiment assuming the possibility of such an event, the main obstacle to its success would seem to be the state of Texas, with its long, unlocked coastline, its oil industry, its early history of “lone star” sovereignty, and the (presumably) fiercely independent nature of its people. Could this be the reason that the Democrats are launching what has been called “a full-scale offensive…with the aim of turning a GOP stronghold into a battleground state,” targeting the growing Hispanic community—a demographic shift favorable to the Democrats, investing in grassroots organizations, and infiltrating the school system via a progressivist indoctrination scheme known as CSCOPE and the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), supported by Bill Ayers and President Obama? (CSCOPE describes the Boston Tea Party as a “terrorist attack,” praises the morally compromised UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon as an eco-warrior, extols Islam while denigrating Christianity, exonerates the Black Panthers’ strategy of violence to achieve “equal rights,” and so on.) Take Texas and you’ve got America. In this hypothetical scenario, the whole of Texas is the contemporary Alamo and the president of the United States is the incarnation of General Santa Anna.
As with the historic building just across the street, so the great republican edifice just across the border is being dismantled, as the Citizen puts it, “brick-by-brick, panel-by-panel, window-by-window.” I say this to my American readers: One way or another, your trophy president is going to bring down your country. All the evidence points to the likelihood that he is not only an enemy of the United States of America, but its most formidable enemy in the world today. As I wrote in 2009, “I do not fear Abbas, Zelaya, Putin, Chavez or the rest of that disreputable bunch. I am alarmed when I consider Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. But I am scared to death of Obama.” You should be too.
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