What is it about the meaning of words that so confounds Democrats, the president and the Left in general?

For the record, it is not known what President Barack Obama’s favorite childhood book was, but a good guess might be “Through the Looking-Glass,” simply because he seems to have taken the pronouncement of one of the main characters as a role model.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

It’s been seen time and again over the past eight years as President Obama has redefined words to suit its purpose – from “overseas contingency operations” (that would be, ‘war’) and “man-caused disasters” (‘terrorism’) to “persons the president has the authority to detain” (uh, ‘enemy combatants’).

Now, the Obama administration is using his own touchy-feeling redefinition of a basic word to make it a crime to require United States citizenship as a prerequisite to serving as a county sheriff.

“We are citizens,” the President said in his 2013 State of the Union address. “It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made.”

That’s the state of Obama’s America – one that will be changing on January 20, 2017.

But that’s little comfort to the Denver Sheriff Department, which has been fined $10,000 for having the temerity to consider citizenship as a job requirement for deputies.

Obama’s Department of Justice, lead by Loretta Lynch who sees nothing wrong with holding a secret meeting with the highly influential spouse of the target of an investigation under her purview, went after the Denver Sheriff’s office for violating a provision of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act, claiming that immigrants with work-authorization should have been considered for positions as deputies.

The department will be required to cull thousands of old applications to locate people who were excluded and reconsider them for one of the 200 positions that were filled during the period in question.

The department did not comment on the time, manpower – or cost such a search and remedial training will entail or how it will address the diversion of resources from actual peacekeeping duties to comply with the paperwork.

The DOJ also imposed additional training requirements on the Department’s human resources staff and ordered it to conduct a procedures review to ensure compliance with federal law.

Although the Department issued the standard apology through an official statement, it appears the Colorado Constitution offers support for its position through the requirement that sheriffs take an oath of office “to support the constitution of the United States and the state constitution.”

That constitutional requirement begs the question: How can a citizen of another country, who has not taken a similar oath to support the U.S. Constitution in a citizenship ceremony, take the oath of office as a deputy?

In fact, it doesn’t matter. Citizen only means what President Obama says it means.

At least for the next 60 days.

PHOTO: Andy Cross, The Denver Post

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