“There’ll be women and their fortunes; Who just want to mother little orphans; Are you gonna cry while I’m squeezin’ them dry? Takin’ all I can get, no regrets, when I openly lie; It’s my life and I’ll do what I want” — The Animals/It’s My Life
Obama’s off-the-cuff remark to French president and fellow socialist François Hollande gives insight into the workings of his mind, and it doesn’t function like that of any previous American presidents, at least none who felt constrained in any way by that pesky law of the land known as the U.S. Constitution.
“Rid of the two ends, take the middle,” advised the Chinese sage Confucius, and that’s exactly what the creators of our American Republic did, establishing a system of “checks and balances” between three co-equal branches of government to ensure that moderation of political extremes — compromise, if you will — was institutionalized. It’s a system that has worked well over the years because its founding document was generally honored by officials who swore an oath to protect and preserve the boundaries defined within, a pledge they honored, if not because of it’s sacred nature, then because it protected and preserved their own precious prerogatives.
But, when compromise becomes impossible, war becomes inevitable — and compromise these days seems as archaic a concept as State’s Rights. When a big Red wolf sits down with a fat old lamb, political accommodation centers upon which muttony hindquarter the latter is going to part with first. In a land filled with 3-legged sheep, the canis lupus is to be feared. What remains uncertain is whether there remain enough stubborn old goats and angry young rams willing to lower their horns and butt the mangy beast back into the dark forest where he belongs.