November 20, 2013Obama vs. LiberalismBy J.R. Dunn
The conservative attitude toward Obama has largely been a mirror image of that of the left. To liberals, Obama is the ideal vision of Liberal Man -- the Lightbringer, the new FDR in a darker shade,who will right all wrongs, set the U.S. firmly on a progressive path, and give out lots of free stuff (from "Obama's stash," as one admirer put it.)Conservatives see the exact opposite: a demonic figure, the community organizer from Hell, a combination of Caligula, Lenin, Mao, and Blofeld, a Muslim-communist- progressive Antichrist with a perfect and implacable plan to destroy the U.S. and the Western world as a whole.
Events of the past few months have belied both the liberal and conservative visions. If Obama is the Antichrist, he's a kind of goofy, inept, comical Antichrist at best. And as for the Lightbringer, events speak for themselves. Plainly, Obama is worst enemy liberalism has ever had.
Take a look at his record. Any aspect of his record, from any angle excepting only his media boosters. Finance, the economy, employment, energy, healthcare, foreign relations...in each case, Obama has taken the liberal agenda and smashed it against the nearest brick wall. He has, furthermore, left no plausible way of repairing or recovering the fragments.
If he is a demon, Obama is Goethe's Mephistopheles, who "wills forever evil, and does forever good."
We can begin anywhere. Why not renewables? Obama had a master plan for the country's energy resources, derived directly from the agenda of the greens as expressed through the work of John Holdren (his "science czar") and the Ehrlichs: abandon fossil fuels completely in favor of renewable power on a nationwide basis. If that causes misery and economic dislocation, that's fine -- no price is too high to pay for a "sustainable" future. Obama set this plan in motion though the shutdown of the coal industry (as he'd promised in his first presidential campaign) by the EPA as the first step toward banning fossil fuels. And at the same time....
Well, at the same time, the administration tossed billions of dollars into renewable energy, concentrating on that green daydream, solar power. The aim appears to have been (we can't be certain since no one's willing to discuss it at this point) to bootstrap the solar power industry using government subsidies so that it would slide into place as coal vanished.
Instead, administration largesse led to a series of bankruptcies that will appall and terrify business students for generations to come. Solyndra, EPV, Sunfilm, Evergreen, Abound, Solar Millennium -- the names have already attained the status of legend. There has been no full accounting of the money they wasted (and no serious investigation scheduled either). The renewables catastrophe followed the standard blueprint for any given Obama scheme: no planning, no vetting, lack of due diligence, improper disbursement of funds, lack of accounting, incompetent management, and, following the collapse, a complete denial of responsibility from all concerned, both corporate and governmental. Not a single Obama-era renewable company can demonstrate any prospects whatsoever. As a legacy, several plants have been left so polluted that they cannot be sold or utilized and will require millions in cleanup costs.
To ice the cake, at the same time, fracking, pioneered by oil magnate George P. Mitchell, blazed across the country like a wildfire, transforming the United States in five years from an energy beggar to the leading producer in the world. It also, not to put too fine a point on it, attained most of the goals that Obama claimed for renewables: lowering dependence on foreign sources, slashing prices, and cutting levels of CO2.
Electric cars, another Obama obsession, have followed a similar trajectory. The introduction of mass-market electrics, which was to transform the country... right around now, as a matter of fact, has been nearly as complete a washout. Bankruptcies have occurred or are imminent among both car manufacturers (Fisker), and battery suppliers (A123). The basic objections to electrics -- range, battery life, dependability, and expense -- have never been overcome. While a few Leafs and Volts can be seen whirring back and forth, national impact has been minimal. The latest news involves the Incredible Exploding Car, Elon Musk's contribution, the Tesla. It seems that a Tesla running over deadly road obstacles such as gum wrappers can suffer catastrophic damage causing the car to burst into flames. This has happened a few times over just the last couple months. You could toss "dangerous debris" of the type that crippled Teslas (rocks and broken tow hitches) at the undercarriage of any internal combustion vehicle then get in and drive across the country without a second thought. Let's hope Musk is better at rockets.
The best that can be said about the Tesla is that Musk largely paid for it himself, without the billions from Obama's stash thrown to the rest of the industry. It's unlikely that much investment money will be spent on electrics in the near future, particularly since we have access to cheap natural-gas powered vehicles if we need them.
Which brings us to ObamaCare. Now, if you can picture the Titanic, packed with black plague victims, exploding over Lakewood, NJ, you have a reasonable picture of the enormity and impact of ObamaCare, a fiasco that will cause more damage than any other government-sponsored operation since the heyday of the Marxist dictatorships in the mid-20th century. While the collectivization of the 1930s and the Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) certainly caused more human suffering, ObamaCare is unique in that it is occurring in a Western democracy, supposedly secure from such government-fomented catastrophes. Literally hundreds of millions of lives are being disrupted by this program. Untold thousands will die prematurely. Tens of thousands will be crippled or dogged by easily-treated disorders. Millions will suffer serious economic stress. It is not impossible that another recession will wrack the country. And there is no way to stop it. Obama's "fix" is mere theater. The avalanche is still headed downhill, the American populace (most of them, as we know, Obama voters) staring at it wide-eyed. I intend to watch from the top of my secure stone tower with interest and sympathy. But Obama won't be around. He has a golf date.
The outline is simple: Obama has a vision. In Ozymandias mode, he declares that his vision must be made manifest. His staff, the Executive Branch, the Democratic Party, and no small number of citizens race about to make it so. Treasury pulls a few billion from the eighth dimension. One of Valerie Jarrett's relatives is dragged out to run the thing. Anybody who actually knows anything at all about the industry or specialty in question is carefully winnowed out. The media rhapsodizes, establishment Republicans nudge each other and whisper, "You know, there's a fortune in lobbying for this deal...."
Then it comes crashing down. The media falls dead silent. Jay Carney stares off into space biting his lip. Obama glumly tees off. A week later it starts all over again.
That's the pattern, one that could not have established itself without a complete lack of honesty, historical knowledge, common sense, or professional pride among anyone concerned. A sensible Democrat would have long ago pulled Obama aside and straightened him out -- but the last one of those (Daniel P. Moynihan) ascended to abide with Al Smith years ago. All that's left are the hacks, the crooks, and the ideologues, who think that the Obama wheel will continue turning forever.
ObamaCare was put into effect just as its models in the UK, Canada, and Australia were in the midst of collapse, and several years after Sweden began desperately privatizing its national healthcare program in order to stave off the same kind of disaster. It is a system that cannot be repaired, cannot operate without the cooperation of people who have already been cheated, and cannot be replaced.
We could go on, but instead we'll turn to foreign policy.
One of the great desires of the liberal elite of our time is perfect communion with radical Muslims. This yearning for oneness with butchers is in no way a new trait. In previous decades, it was the criminal class in the United States, various political misfits of the Black Panther/Weatherman variety, and the leadership or cadres of the Communist totalitarian states overseas -- Fidel, Mao, the Viet Cong, and so on. Liberalism long ago ceased being able to exist on its own terms and instead adapts practices, ideas, and goals from some of the most repellent ideologies in human history. Today it's radical Islam, which liberals take as being identical to Islam as a whole. We're supposed to "learn to live with" people who shoot schoolgirls, burn off the features of young women with acid, torture and behead people whose crimes amount to questioning passages of the Koran, and murder thousands of innocents of other creeds and backgrounds for no other reason than sheer spite. We are simply to accept this and learn to sing "Kumbaya" in Arabic or Farsi, with compelling new lyrics about murdering kaffirs and driving the Jews into the sea.
So Jihadi villains disappear from films. School textbooks, carefully cleansed of any mention of Christianity, suddenly feature lengthy, detailed accounts of the "contributions" of Islam to the West. Newspapers begin placing PBUH after the name of Mohammed. Marvel Comics comes up with a Muslim superhero. It's surprising that nobody has turned Salman Rushdie over for the reward.
Obama embodies this in pure form. He is culturally Islamic (no way he couldn't be, having spent his formative years in an Islamic country, Indonesia). Religiously he is a nullity, an empty secular of the type that infests the current elite. His leaning toward Islam has been expressed variously in claims that Islam forms an "important part" of American culture and that Islam has made endless "historical contributions" to the United States.
He has also made covert efforts to provide the Islamic world with what, in his ignorance and lack of insight, he believes it wants: to turn its people and governments en masse over to whatever Jihadi outfit is available. As a result, we have seen Libya descend into chaos, with an American ambassador and members of his staff paying the ultimate price, and Egypt, the leading Arab power and a firm ally of the United States, almost overturned on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. In Syria, the United States has found itself supporting "rebels" who tear out living hearts and eat them.
The administration is even now negotiating a treaty with Iran that will make the efforts of the British appeasers of Hitler in the 1930s look like the first wave to hit the Normandy beaches. The details of this effort remain vague -- not surprising, since one of the architects is John Kerry -- but the first version was spineless enough to appall the French, crippling the sanctions regime while giving the Mullahs carte blanche to complete their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. In other words, peace in our time.
The Obama record being what it is, it will be somewhat surprising if Iran doesn't slide into the Indian Ocean five minutes after a treaty is signed. Any Middle Eastern leader can tell you that cooperation with Obama is the mark of doom. So it will go with Iran. At a minimum, we will see large-scale warfare in the Middle East, and perhaps even a nuclear conflict (though not WW III, as some of the more hysterical legacy media commentators have predicted -- it's impossible to picture either Russia or China going to the mattresses over a Shi'ite theocracy). There will be some odd developments -- how about an Israeli-Sunni coalition against Iran? -- before the region at last shakes down into a new status quo. The price will be millions of dead and untold human misery. Obama's responsibility for this will be direct and total.
Finally, Obama has also destroyed what has stood as the last hope of liberalism since the New Deal. Once the liberals have blown things up, they turn to the GOP, much as a four-year-old turns to Daddy, to fix it and make it work. So Eisenhower acted as conservator of the New Deal and Nixon savior of the Great Society. Obama, with his conniving, his insults, and his rampant ego, has ruined that. While there are plenty of Republicans who would come to his aid for a handful of magic beans -- McCain, Graham, Ayotte, and Rubio, to mention only a few -- they can't. Not today, not in the second decade of the new millennium. They can't because the party rank and file is infuriated, the tea parties are out for blood, and the barbarians, led by Ted Cruz, are within the gates.
This will stand as Obama's great contribution: acting as modern liberalism's executioner. Liberalism has been running on fumes for decades. Based on ideology and wish-fulfillment daydreams, it was connected to reality by the thinnest of gossamer threads. Now even those connections are gone, severed by Barack Obama. So what do its adherents do now? Fade away? Become even more weirdly cultic than before? Or switch to the vicious brutishness of their foreign models? Thanks to Obama, we're going to find out.
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