IN 1825, Russian officers staged a coup against the Tsar's absolute monarchy, and in favor of a constitution. Feeling their power after their army had defeated Napolean 13 years before, and back from occupying Europe where they got to read, talk and study with avant-garde thinkers, they saw their chance in 1825.
The old czar died, and the more popular, more liberal older son, Constantine, chose love over office, choosing to marry a non-royal Polish girl. He renounced the chance at a throne in favor of his younger brother Nicholas.
The liberal officers staged a revolt, getting their men to cry "Constantine and Constitution!". Unfortunately, many of the common soldiers thought that "Consitutzia" was Constantine's wife. The premature revolt failed.
This month, June 2009, hasn't seen so many people in the streets since 1989 (Romania, East Germany, China). As of Sunday morning, July 5th 2009, it's an open question as to whether the forces of free election and popular participation will win in Iran and Honduras, both countries in which the American taxpayer funded CIA has done much to help kill, torture and imprison earlier advocates of change in the fifties, sixties, seventies in both countries, and in the eighties in Honduras.
Unlike earlier US administrations, Obama is sending signals to those who would use teargas and clubs that they don't have a friend in the White House. It's about time.
Here's to Obama and Constitutzia!
And to the fact that we now know the difference between Michelle and Constitution.
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