I first heard about the article below when I was listening to the Mark Levin Show.

How to Reverse Obama’s “Soft Despotism”

By Michael Barone

Many Republican House members, and the bloggers and tea partiers who cheered their victory in gaining a majority in November 2010, seem to be seething with discontent and eager for confrontation.

They believe, reasonably, that that victory represented a repudiation of the vast expansion of government by the Obama Democrats. They want to see those policies reversed, and pronto. And if the dilatory Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the all-campaign-no-governance President Obama want a confrontation, so much the better.

Such impatience is unbecoming in those who call themselves “constitutional conservatives.” It is James Madison’s Constitution that prevents the winners of one election from directing the course of public policy as unilaterally as, to take one example, the British Labor Party marched Britain into a socialist welfare state on the basis of one election victory in 1945.

We have a House of Representatives 100 percent of whose members were elected in a historic Republican year, a president elected in a historic Democratic year, and a Senate two-thirds of whose members were elected in historic Democratic years and one-third in a historic Republican year.

It should not be surprising that they cannot agree on policy. Most of the high-minded folk who decry “gridlock” would like the Republican House to say uncle. The Republicans bemoaning their leaders’ lack of boldness imagine that if they force confrontation they can somehow prevail.

Neither can succeed in the framework the Framers gave us — not until another election.

The Republicans who seek changes in policy need to exercise prudence in framing issues in order to gain a favorable verdict from voters in the election coming up this fall. (continued here)

Levin seethed over this line.

Such impatience is unbecoming in those who call themselves “constitutional conservatives.”

As both men are brilliant, it would be interesting to hear them debate what we should do about Obama’s soft tyranny. What will happen, however, is whatever we can get the Republicans we elect to do. To get anything done, we must replace the ones who will not act with those who will.

Regardless of which is right, we need to congratulate both Levin and Barone for their references to “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville. Considering when Tocqueville wrote his book, he predicted the nature of the crisis we now face remarkably well.

We all should have read “Democracy in America” in high school. I did not, but late in life I have corrected that error, and I recommend that everyone else do the same. Reading Tocqueville’s book both helped me to understand what makes my country special and what I can do to save it.



  1. I found this online. I don’t recall having read this book but I’ve heard of it.

    If this isn’t it, please delete my comment.
    Thanks for this post-I chuckled because I’ve been hearing “soft tyranny” many times over the last few days and thought, Tyranny is tyranny. Soft? No. Stealth? Yes, but about as gracefully stealth as a bull in a china shop! I thought for sure Obama would be the best president ever in his first 4 years while lining things up for his second 4 years, which we would not much like.


  2. Sherry — If you wish, I will delete your comment, but I think it serves a purpose.

    At the end of the Wikipedia article, there are links to Tocqueville’s book. The website you reference just talks about Tocqueville’s book.

    Secondhand information can be worst than useless. When we really don’t, we end up led to believe we do know. Here is example. I never sat down and studied the Bible, but because I had heard so much about it, I thought I understood it. Because of what I thought I knew, I did not take the Bible seriously. With some books, the Bible being a special example, we have an obligation to learn for ourselves what they say. Nothing else will do.


  3. Well, if you modify my comment and get rid of the link then your comment would have to go and so would this one. I should have made two seperate comments. You did give a disclaimer so all should be OK unless you don’t wish others to link to it. I leave it up to you if you deem this thread needs to be cleaned up. 🙂


Comments are closed.