Katherine Kersten reads another book
Or skims one, anyway . . .
With the election coming up, and candidates, debates, and constitutional amendments to worry about, taking the time to comment on a column by Katherine Kersten feels a little heading into the back yard to hit some fungos (spellchecker helpfully recommended “fungus”), but so be it.
The column, titled From Obama, agenda at odds with founders is Kersten’s latest after a layoff of a few weeks. Now, it’s easy to write a column with this premise, or even the book that political “scientist” Charles Kesler wrote, I am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism, a recent tome (with a release date of September 11th; that has to be karmic, don’t you think?) from which Kersten’s article is generously cribbed. Even the titles seem a little similar, don’t they?
Parenthetically, Kersten apparently took only five weeks to read the book and write her book report.
It’s easy because all the founders are — most of you have noticed — quite dead, and have been for some time. It’s not as though Katie could ring up Tom Jefferson and say, “Tom, when you used that neat turn of a phrase about usurpations, why did you use that particular word?” Michele Bachmann probably could, but not Katie.
So that gives people like Katie and Charlie a set of founders who present a malleable aspect, suited to whatever ideological point needs to be made at the moment — and that can be made without much fear of contradiction by the founders.
On reflection, it isn’t much different than presuming to speak for God, especially when people are doing something that really get under your skin and you want them to stop. It’s funny, in fact, because people who like to speak for the founders also like to speak for God. Like Dinesh D’Souza. Or Katie.
I’ll bet God gave her spokesman, the middle-aged Dinesh, a piece of her mind for shacking while married with a barely post adolescent of unknown provenance, apparently married herself.
But I digress; well, sort of.
Kersten writes — and almost certainly Charlie Kesler right before her — that Barack Obama is the inheritor of the progressive escutcheon from his ancestors: Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and most disturbingly, Georg W.F. Hegel; that’s his visage that glared at you when you opened this story. Hegel was a foreigner; did you know that?
Hegel’s fatal error was believing in the possibility of human progress. Katie — and don’t forget Charlie — believes otherwise. Katie thinks the founders got it just right in the last quarter of the 18th century.
Katie writes (and these are undoubtedly her own own words):
The founders anchored the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in three principles. They believed that human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inherent in nature and human dignity, and preexist the state. They believed that government should be limited, and that its primary purpose is to protect these rights. Finally, they crafted our Constitution to disperse power and curb its abuse through mechanisms such as checks and balances, and federalism.
You won’t find “life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness” in the Constitution. They are in the bill of divorcement in the suit filed against George III. But they weren’t in the Articles of Confederation and are not in the Constitution. God, nature, and nature’s God aren’t in there, either. Because we are a nation of positive law, not natural law.
This is especially annoying to people who like to speak for God. Like this:
But if you like rule by the mullahs or the clerics, Katie is definitely your gal. Because the mullahs and the clerics will be happy to tell you what nature’s God decrees.
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