Friday, November 24, 2006

Maybe Mitt Gets It

On Tuesday over at The Remedy, the blog of The Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, Richard Samuelson writes about one of the men who is being talked about as a potential candidate for the 2008 Republican Party's nominee for President of these United States:
Romney Gets It

At Claremont we study statesmanship. One of the main elements of statesmanship in our republic is teaching. Great American statesman must educate the citizenry about the nature and purpose of republican government.

I have only begun to pay close attention to the race for the 2008 Republican nomination, but so far Romney seems to be the only one who might understand that.

Consider two recent comments. The first, thanks to Power Line is an exchange with a reporter:
A reporter from the Boston Globe asked Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a rambling question about removing some tolls from the Mass. Turnpike. Eventually, Romney interrupted by joking, "Do you have a point of view on this?" The reporter responded, "I represent the people, governor." To which Romney said, "No, I represent the people, you represent the media."
Here we see Romney reminding the reporter, and through him the people present, that in our democratic republic the only people who represent the people is those whom the people have chosen to do so. Any others who claim to represent the people are usurpers.

We see the same focus in the comments he delivered to a rally on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse, (via the The Corner):
This was the place where an astounding idea was born. It revolutionized America, it revolutionized the world.

The idea was this: our nation would be guided by the voice of the people.

This nation would trust the voice of the people rather than the wisdom of a king, or anyone else.

The idea was embodied in the first Constitution, written by John Adams, here in Massachusetts. It established how the voice of the people would be heard – through elections and votes, petitions and initiatives, representatives and senators.

Lincoln said that as elected leaders, we promise to follow the law, to follow the Constitution. He called this “America’s political religion.”

Last week, 109 legislators decided to reject the law, abandon the Constitution, and violate their oath of office.

For the Constitution plainly states that when a qualified petition is placed before them, the legislature “shall” vote. It does not say may vote, or vote if its procedures permit a vote, or vote if there are enough of the members in attendance. It says “shall” vote.

A decision not to vote is a decision to usurp the Constitution, to abandon democracy and substitute a form of what this nation’s founders called tyranny, that is, the imposition of the will of those in power, on the people.
Here again, Romney keeps his focus on the special character of our constitutional republic. I'm impressed.
You can see the first exchange here on YouTube. The latter comments are even more impressive when reading more of Gov. Romney's statement as found on The Corner. We just may have a Whig running for President!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A National Day of Thanksgiving

The President of the United States has proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving Day, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed.

The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer." During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals.

At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations. Today, many of these courageous men and women are securing our peace in places far from home, and we pay tribute to them and to their families for their service, sacrifice, and strength. We also honor the families of the fallen and lift them up in our prayers.

Our citizens are privileged to live in the world's freest country, where the hope of the American dream is within the reach of every person. Americans share a desire to answer the universal call to serve something greater than ourselves, and we see this spirit every day in the millions of volunteers throughout our country who bring hope and healing to those in need. On this Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year, let us show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, family, and faith, and may God continue to bless America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 23, 2006, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

For more about national days of thanksgiving, see my other blog.