President Downgrade

-By Selwyn Duke

When Barack Obama promised change that would transform America, most never suspected that he would make history by presiding over the nation’s first-ever credit downgrade. But, well, yes – he can.

And he did.

Of course, the blame cannot be laid entirely at Obama’s feet. Since Congress controls the purse strings, it allocates the money (the president does have a veto pen, however). And, if in light of this we can still say that a president “spends,” for two terms Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, spent like a drunken sailor.

Yet the reality is that Obama has spent like three drunken sailors and a tipsy cabin boy. And this isn’t just rhetoric. According to a Weekly Standard piece featured at the very liberal NPR’s website, deficit spending under Obama is three and one half times what it was under Bush, as he has signed budget increases amounting to a whopping one trillion a year more in deficit spending. So the reality is that, in a great measure, the president owns our economic woes.

Yet there is something even more significant here: When Standard & Poor’s lowered our credit rating, it wasn’t just a fiscal reality.

It was symbolic.

It was symbolic of a man who has downgraded the White House, the Constitution, human life, foreign policy and race relations – and America herself.

Welcome to the reign of President Downgrade.

The U.S. is the nation that defeated Nazism, stood down communism, and helped spread democracy and freedom wherever these ethereal blessings could take root. It is the land that has provided 300 million people of all races, creeds and colors unprecedented wealth and human rights. For these reasons and others, American presidents generally exhibited a healthy patriotism.

But not President Downgrade.

Within months of taking office, he had already apologized for America on foreign soil. In 2009 he said that the U.S. “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe when he was speaking to, of all peoples, the French. And he managed to start this downgrade even before taking office. In a 2008 Berlin speech he said, “I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.”

To place this statement in perspective, let’s apply it not to a mother country, but to a mother. Imagine if a person said, “I know my mother has not perfected herself. At times, she has struggled to keep the promise of fairness for all of her children. She has made her share of mistakes, and there are times when her actions around the town have not lived up to her best intentions.” Since it’s a given that all people are imperfect, this statement would be gratuitous.

That is, unless the person believed that his mother was unusually flawed.

As President Downgrade believes about America.

He has downgraded our Constitution as well, with his effort to turn us into a top-down, command-control socialist state. He has undermined the rule of law and our system of checks and balances and has further subverted the Natural Economy; he has visited on us blatantly unconstitutional ObamaCare, which was bought but not paid for with bribery and backroom deals; he has in a sense nationalized the banks, the financial arena and automakers; and he next wants to institute a cap-and-trade scam that would give Big Brother a vice-grip around the private sector’s neck, to name just a few of President Downgrade’s constitutional trespasses. To him, our Constitution is not America’s national contract and a prescription for limited government. It is an impediment.

He has downgraded foreign policy by snubbing long-time allies such as Britain and Israel. Perhaps even worse, he has bowed to potentates in reality – and to the world metaphorically. As to the latter, his tendency to behave as if he is ashamed of his country tells other leaders he is a weak sister who can be had. Moreover, people generally are contemptuous of those who throw their own under the bus; no one respects a traitor. And what do you suppose foreign leaders think about a nation that has elected one?

President Downgrade seeks to downgrade human life with his opposition to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, his lifting of the ban on overseas abortion funding, and ObamaCare’s taxpayer financing of abortion through insurance plans.

He has downgraded the White House by inviting thuggish rappers into its once hallowed halls and by introducing a new level of informality. And don’t be surprised. President Downgrade’s judgment and conscience are such that he even downgraded his own daughters. I refer to his 2004 admission that he allowed then three-year-old Sasha to listen to rap.

And post-racial Mr. Downgrade has downgraded race relations as well. He presides over a Department of Justice that, whistleblowers have informed, will not pursue voting-rights cases in which the victims are white and the victimizers are minorities. This explains why the DOJ wouldn’t prosecute the Philadelphia Black Panthers who were caught on videotape wielding nightsticks and trying to intimidate white voters.

And this is most amazing when you consider that doing so would have been a win-win scenario for President Downgrade. He could have made a statement – as he did when he rashly said that some white Cambridge police officers “acted stupidly” – and proclaimed that he was the president of all the people and that, regardless of race, creed or color, whenever Americans’ rights are trampled, he’ll be there by their side. He would have been hailed as a truly fair, just leader and as an authentic racial healer. Instead, he threw away this opportunity, thus casting himself as one who would even go so far as to take political flak to stick it to whites. He has made clear that his heart was downgraded, from innocent to bigoted, long ago.

Having said all this, there is something worse than having a President Downgrade: having a people downgraded to the point at which they would elect him. In 2008, Americans saw a Chicago-machine thug, an urban rube, a man who sat in the “U.S. of KKKA” church for 20 years, a radical Alinskyite who owned the Senate’s most left-wing voting record (even to the left of that body’s only avowed socialist), and what did they do? They pulled the lever for him.

Upgrading the White House is relatively easy; that takes only one usual election or one unusual impeachment proceeding. But upgrading the culture – restoring hearts and minds so they deserve freedom and not fetters – is a different matter entirely.
Selwyn Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show and has been a regular guest on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His work has appeared in Pat Buchanan’s magazine The American Conservative and he writes regularly for The New American and Christian Music Perspective. He can be contacted at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001