Allen West is having another self-righteousness-gasm:
Yesterday in an interview with NBC News regarding why he didn't seek approval for the Berdgahl swap, Obama's arrogance was in full flower when he said it was a unanimous decision from "MY government."Right, because no previous president would ever have referred to the government as "my government." Certainly not Obama's immediate predecessor!
* President and Mrs. Bush Meet with Dissidents, September 23, 2008:
THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I and Secretary Rice and members of my administration have just had a wonderful lunch with democracy leaders, human rights activists, courageous men and women who have stood strong for freedom. I assured them that this government, my government, believes in the universality of freedom.* President Bush, Prime Minister Sharon Discuss Middle East, February 7, 2002:
We had an interesting discussion about how we can help the Palestinian, those who aren't involved with terror. I'm deeply concerned about the plight of the average Palestinian, the moms and dads who are trying to raise their children, to educate their children. My government is -- I've got $300 million in the budget to go through NGOs to help Palestinians be able to realize a better life.* President's Statement on Violence in Darfur, Sudan, September 9, 2004:
My government is seeking a new Security Council Resolution to authorize an expanded African Union security force to prevent further bloodshed.* President Chirac Pledges Support, September 18, 2001:
We will -- it's a policy of my government not to discuss any plans we may have as to how we intend to deal with the terrorists and the terrorist networks that believe they can disrupt lives, anyplace, anytime in the world. I look forward to talking with one of our strongest allies in private about what's on my mind.* President Bush Meets with Cuban American Community Leaders, October 10, 2008:
You know, recently [Hurricane]Ike hit Cuba very hard and all Americans, whether they be Cuban Americans or otherwise, grieve deeply about the damage done to the average Cuban citizen. And so my government, under the leadership of Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, offered aid from the United States to the Cuban people. But that aid was rejected by the Castros, which should tell the people of Cuba and the people around the world that the Castro people are only interested in themselves and their power, and not to the benefit and welfare of the Cuban people.And that's just from the first two pages of results from a search at the archived Bush-era whitehouse.gov. (There are fourteen more pages of results.)
West, in his blog post, goes on to write, in reference to Obama's use of the phrase:
Funny how that goes. Lincoln said it was government of the people by the people and for the people that shall not perish from the earth.I'll admit that I've failed to find an example of Lincoln using the phrase "my government." But when I search for his name plus the phrase, I find a lot of people who weren't president using the phrase.
So choose this day: Obama's or Lincoln's definition of the American Constitutional Republic. It is truly the difference between tyranny and liberty.
* Andrew Dickinson, ambassador to Nicaragua, to Don Tomas Martinez, Nicaragua's new president, 1864:
I am instructed by my Government to congratulate your Excellency upon your recent elevation to the Supreme Constitutional authority of the Republic of Nicaragua. This manifestation of the confidence of the people in your wisdom, patriotism and statesmanship is a source of great gratification to my Government.* Major Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter at the outbreak of the Civil War:
The Confederates demanded immediate evacuation of the fort. However, they promised safe transport out of Charleston for Anderson and his men, who would be permitted to carry their weapons and personal property and to salute the Stars and Stripes, which, the Confederates acknowledged, "You have upheld so long...under the most trying circumstances." Anderson thanked them for such "fair, manly, and courteous terms." Yet he stated, "It is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligation to my Government, prevent my compliance."* Henry David Thorea, "Civil Disobedience":
How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.I'm no Garry Wills, but it seems to me that the phrase "my government" tended to be used in Lincoln's time to suggest being the government's subject more than it was to suggest being its master.
But then, why I am even trying to dispute this with an idiot like Allen West?