[FOUNTAIN]It looks like a duckThe African-American activist Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little. He dropped his last name to reject the slave name a white master had given to the family. X symbolizes the absence of an inherited African name.
According to the Dred Scott ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857, “Blacks, whether slaves or free, could not become United States citizens,” and therefore were not entitled to be protected by the federal government or the courts. The American Congress had no power to order the states to ban the enslavement of men, it said.
The ruling was the most dishonorable decision in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, played a major contribution. Mr. Buchanan, too, thought slavery was not right. However, in order to maintain the Union, he suppressed the anti-slavery protests and enforced the fugitive slave laws. Arsenals were raided and riots spread around the country. Economic troubles brought about the Panic of 1857. President Buchanan declared he would not seek re-election, and the term, “lame duck” originated from the leakage of power in his last days in the office.
When Abraham Lincoln was elected president to succeed Mr. Buchanan in November, 1860, seven slave states in the South seceded from the union, but all Mr. Buchanan did was criticize them. The Twentieth Amendment, nicknamed “The Lame Duck Amendment,” was established in 1933. It requires presidents to step down from office in January instead of March.
President Roh himself now frequently mentions lame ducks. At a meeting with the leaders of overseas Korean organizations in July 2005 and at the Government Innovation Symposium last May, he said, “I have been a lame duck since the beginning of my presidency.” President Roh blames his lack of National Assembly seats and the single-term presidential requirement. However, you make yourself a lame duck. The Chinese poet Li Po of the Tang dynasty said, “When a ruler loses his vessels, the dragon turns into a fish. When power is handed over to his retainer, the rat becomes a tiger.” In a democratic society, the “vessels” mean the public sentiment. The public turned away from former presidents Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung when corruption scandals were revealed, creating lame duck sessions for both presidents. After the Iran-Contra scandal, many thought President Ronald Reagan would become not just a lame duck but a dead duck. However, when he stepped down, his approval rating was 68 percent. Mr. Reagan admitted his mistakes and tried his best to change by a bold reshuffling of his closest aides.
by Kim Jin-kook
The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.