President Obama’s weekly address, which generally falls on Saturday, fell this year on July 4th, which as luck would have it happened to be a Saturday. In his remarks, a video of which follows, he allowed as he and his family were “going to spend the day outdoors, grilling burgers and dogs.” Using the elliptical form “burgers and dogs” for “hamburgers and hot dogs” ordinarily wouldn’t warrant a second look, but coming from a man who admits to having eaten dog meat, it might raise an eyebrow or two.
Something else he said was also ambiguous, if only because of his well-rehearsed stance on abortion:
We remember as well that this is the day when, 239 years ago, our founding patriots declared our independence, proclaiming that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [Emphasis added]
Obviously, except for his torturing of the language to avoid the sexist formulation “All men are created equal,” the bulk of the sentiment is not his own but, rather, borrowed from the Declaration of Independence. Since, however, he chose to quote the “founding patriots,” as he calls them (again to avoid the sexist “fathers”), it might be fair to ask at this juncture how many of those unalienable rights he does agree with. He made it clear during the last week in June that he is bullish on liberty, so long as it is not religious liberty. And one might concede that he is not opposed to the pursuit of happiness, but he is far more committed to ensuring the happiness of people who share his ideology. Judging from his not-infrequent reliance on the literary conceit of sarcasm, it is obvious he gives not a rat’s behind about those who don’t.
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