Ex Parte Vallandigham, or The Kiss of War

Facts are classified. Emotions, however, reveal those classified facts. In the same way that the NSA can determine the content of a conversation based on the metadata -- without listening to the content -- so can we surmise that our leaders are emotionally besieged by the kiss of war.
Obama wants to push through his domestic policies: to legalize 11 million undocumented, establish gay marriage; and he wants his health care law to survive, or he will not be remembered as a Lincoln for the poor and disenfranchised. It is the case that the best way to silence opposition and unite a country is through war. The confrontation of our nation against Syria and Iran (with Russia as proxy) -- and the ensuing wave of patriotism that will be needed -- is the only way that Obama can guarantee that should a Republican nominee be elected in 2016, his policies will be irreversible.

Obama is not just concerned about his credibility; he's most concerned about his legacy. And though Lincoln freed the slaves, he left our nation with a legacy of tyranny and bloodshed. Obama is taking the same road.

In 1863, General Ambrose Burnside Issued General Order Number 38, declaring it treason for anyone to express sympathy for the Confederacy: "that hereafter all persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country, will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death. Persons committing such offences will be at once arrested, with a view to being tried as above stated, or sent beyond our lines into the lines of their friends."
And indeed, many ordinary citizens (to the tune of almost 40,000) who expressed sympathy for the Confederacy, or doubt in Lincoln, were incarcerated at Fort Lafayette, known then as "the American Bastille." But not only was it a crime to express sympathy or doubt, Lincoln saw it as a crime to not express support: "the man who stands by and says nothing when the peril of his Government is discussed cannot be misunderstood. If not hindered, he is sure to help the enemy; much more if he talks ambiguously — talks for his country with 'buts' and 'ifs' and 'ands.'" In modern parlance, Lincoln said: "you either clearly express support for us, of you're against us."

No one was safe from the free speech police: "one of those imprisoned for fourteen months for simply questioning the unconstitutional suspension of habeas corpus was Francis Key Howard, the grandson of Francis Scott Key and editor of the Baltimore Exchange newspaper. In response to an editorial in his newspaper that was critical of the fact that the Lincoln administration had imprisoned without due process the mayor of Baltimore, Congressman Henry May, and some twenty members of the Maryland legislature, he was imprisoned near the very spot where his grandfather composed the Star Spangled Banner. After his release, he noted the deep irony of his grandfather’s beloved flag flying over 'the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed.'"

Even Ohio congressman Clement Vallandigham found himself incarcerated after promising that anyone who supported "King Lincoln's" policies would receive "sepulchres" in return. In the 1860s, those vile words resulted in Lincoln calling Vallandigham a "wily agitator" and the Supreme Court decided not to review his case after he was incarcerated via military commission. In essence, a congressman gave a speech, a military officer decided that he didn't like it, and that congressman was imprisoned. The Supreme Court decided that a military commission could imprison any citizen, and the precedent stands today.
If any congressperson should decry that Obama is working as Al-Qaeda's air force, then it may just be the case that that congressperson could be put before a military commission. If Obama needs to suppress a rebellion -- which seems likely -- then he can in the words of Lincoln say: "the man whom, for the time, the people have, under the Constitution, made the commander-in-chief, of their Army and Navy, is the man who holds the power, and bears the responsibility."