There is an interesting article on Martin Kramer’s Sandbox blog about Obama adviser Samantha Power. The article points out the extraordinarily daft 2002 foreign policy suggestions made by her and Michael Ignatieff (who I have met a couple times… nice enough for a total Guardianista) in which she urges US military intervention against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. But in the quoted part of her problematic remarks…
Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. It’s a terrible thing to do, it’s fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. It’s essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people.
… the real ‘money quote’ for me is not the bizarre notion of (in effect) going to war with Israel, it is “But, sadly, we don’t just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway.”
Her remark is a pretty clear cut rejection of the US Constitutional Republic in favour of unrestrained democracy. That is of course clearly what Obama thinks as well and why he will not allow the Second Amendment to get in the way of what he wants. So it is hardly surprising that he chooses an advisor who shares his opinion that constitutional limits on democratic politics are something to be sad about. It is also something that needs to be pointed out loudly and often by people who think limits on what the state can do are a very good idea indeed. At least Samantha Powers is somewhat honest about the fact she feels the US Bill of Rights is a regrettable limitation on untrammelled democratic politics. I wonder how many politicians would be so candid?