Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By Alan Caruba
Treason is generally defined as the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of one's country or of assisting its enemies in war. Benedict Arnold burned his name into U.S. history by conspiring with the British to turn over West Point to them. When his plot failed, he fled to England.
Having all formerly been traitors to the Crown, the framers of the Constitution defined treason narrowly. Historians tell us this was to lessen the possibility that those in power might falsely or loosely charge their political opponents with treason.
Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution says “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
Let it be said that probably all presidents have been called treasonous by their political opponents.
A growing body of popular opinion, however, is beginning to regard the actions of Barack Obama as treason because they coalesce into a pattern that suggests a deliberate effort to undermine national security and the economy. The liberties we take for granted, privacy, freedom of speech, and others are seen to be in jeopardy.
What is troubling to many was the way Obamacare was foisted on a nation that clearly opposed the takeover of one sixth of the economy. The political process by which passage was achieved was ugly, but it was not treason.
Now the Cap-and-Trade Act is being ushered hastily into the Senate for a vote despite widespread opposition to the fact that it is based on a total fraud, “climate change”, otherwise known as “global warming.” Can a law based on a lie be lawful? Is passing such a law treasonous?
The President’s displeasure with the Arizona law that mirrors almost word for word the federal law regarding illegal aliens presages a likely effort to grant amnesty to millions here illegally; a measure that is also widely opposed by the majority of Americans.
The hasty passage of any or all of these laws, now that the midterm elections loom in November, is completely legal, but they all represent a refusal to acknowledge the will of those in whom the Constitution posits ultimate power, the People.
The Tea Party movement, taking its name from an act of insurrection against the Crown, is ample evidence of the unrest among many Americans. The effort to smear members as racists or violent suggests the seriousness with which the White House takes the movement.
Given the virtual free hand any president has to determine foreign policy, he has consistently offended our allies and raised questions among them as to his judgment. That is not treason, but it is harmful when the U.S. needs to call upon them for support.
His actions regarding Iran have been a green light to continue their quest for nuclear weapons. His actions toward Israel are nothing less than astonishing given the long record of cooperation and mutual support that has existed since its founding.
Surrounding himself with White House staff, one of whom was an admitted communist, another who praised Mao Tse Sung, and still others whose views reflect bizarre “scientific” theories or proposals, raise questions and legitimate concerns regarding his true political philosophy, but it is not treason.
The takeover of General Motors, his firing of the company’s CEO, the disgraceful treatment of investors and creditors should have raised serious constitutional questions. When Harry Truman tried to take over the nation’s steel manufacturers, he was rebuffed by the Supreme Court. The U.S. retains an ownership position with AIG, the insurance company.
Obama’s attacks on insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, even physicians, then migrated to attacks on Wall Street despite the fact that banks receiving TARP funds swiftly repaid the loans. There is at this point no aspect of life in America that has not been sharply criticized by the President.
None of this can be called treason under the strict and narrow definition of the Constitution, but taken together it is a pattern of acts that pose what many are coming to see as a clear and present danger to the nation.
The midterm elections in November represent the only constitutional means to rebuke the passage of legislation that has saddled the nation with greater debt than all previous administrations, with the takeover of key elements of the economy, and the prospect of the further erosion of our national security and sovereignty.
Everything that President Obama and the Democrat leaders in Congress have done has the sanction of law, but not the approval of the people whose lives will be affected by it.
It is not treason, but it has the look, the feel, and the smell of treason.
© Alan Caruba, 2010