The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


In a tweet yesterday, Robert Reich, a left-wing economist and rabid supporter of Barack Obama tweeted (@RBReich) the following pithy question:
“Will we comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable under President Obama, or do the exact opposite under President Romney?”

Although Reich is undoubtedly speaking for himself, I have to wonder how many other Obama supporters would subscribe to his comment. I also have to wonder whether the President doesn’t quietly agree.

But “afflict the comfortable?” Really?

In my online dictionary, the word afflict is defined as “cause pain or suffering to; affect or trouble …” I suspect that Reich was tweeting metaphorically, but his choice of words is a fascinating look into the Left-wing mindset.

What happened to taxing “millionaires and billionaires” or “private jet owners” who don’t pay their “fair share?” No, now it’s afflicting “the comfortable.” Since Reich is an economist, you’d think he quantify comfortable in some meaningful way. Are “the comfortable” the 10 percent of taxpayers who pay 70 percent of all income taxes collected? Are they comfortable enough to be afflicted? Or maybe it’s the 100 – 47 percent who are not dependent on government assistance of some kind—are they “comfortable” enough to qualify for affliction?

What we’re seeing in Reich’s tweet is a natural extension of Barack Obama’s class warfare rhetoric. First, we see moral preening that suggests that only Barack Obama (and his supporters on the Left) can “comfort the afflicted.” Then the easy slide from suggesting that the “rich” pay their “fair share” to a new meme—the implication that the “comfortable” deserve to be punished (afflicted) is some morally satisfying way.

In betting his campaign and his presidency on the notion that “middle class” voters resent and envy Americans who have built businesses, acquired wealth, and yes, have become “comfortable,” Obama cynically divided Americans in a manner that is unbecoming of a modern President. We’ll see whether his bet pays off next Tuesday.


It occurs to me that under President Obama the number of “afflicted” has certainly grown substantially. Whether it’s the number of Americans collecting food stamps, or the number who are unemployed or on disability, or the number of Americans whose average family income has fallen by $4,000, there are certainly a lot more afflicted people to “comfort.” Maybe it’s time for a new President who will reduce those numbers. Except according to Robert Reich, only Barack Obama can do that, even though his abysmal first-term record tells us that he can’t.