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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Hard Way

Napolean once said, "Command, counter-command -- chaos." Apparently, Barack Obama never read those words or simply doesn't care. Scrambling to undo the catastrophic results of his own legislation, eager to avoid a mutiny of his supporters in the Democratic party, and desperate to stop his plummeting poll numbers, his brain trust (I use the term loosely) has come up with a CYA fix that does little if anything to fix the problem, and nothing to repair his permanently damaged credibility.

Paul Rahe goes back in time to examine Obama the idealist, suggesting that a man with the his kind of ideology honestly believes that thinking something will makes it so, that belief in an idea is all that matters to make the idea become the actual.

Rahe writes:
There is something to be said for this species of Idealism. Our imaginations are exceedingly powerful, and we can easily enough be bamboozled by those with an expertise in the deployment of words. Barack Obama has demonstrated this time and again, and he understands, better than any American politician in my memory, that what he resolutely refuses to mention or mentions only once in passing and never touches on again may simply disappear down the memory hole. What ever happened to Fast and Furious? to the IRS scandals? to the Benghazi blunder? to the Associated Press wiretaps? You and I are aware of what is going on, but the general public has only a vague and hazy memory of these scandals.

It helps, to be sure, that the press is servile—eager to provide cover for the Administration at almost every moment. But that is not the whole story. Barack Obama's "no drama" pose works. It works very, very well.

Sooner or later, however, reality bites. Sooner or later, something happens that touches the material interests of individuals in a way they cannot willfully ignore. Sooner or later, something happens that causes all but the most blind partisans to step back, pay attention, and rethink. It is like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy sees behind the curtain. You and I have long been aware that the country is being conned. We knew that the President was lying when he told Americans on 24 occasions, in no uncertain terms, that they could keep the health insurance that they had. We knew as well that he was perfectly aware that he was peddling a whopper, and everyone in our larger political class knew so as well. The mainstream media knew, and they helped him sell his lies.
But now the public, like Dorothy, has looked behind the curtain. And what they see is not pretty. A web of lies was used to establish Obamacare ("You can keep your coverage, period." It won't cost the taxpayer a dime."). It was not, as the trained hamsters at The New York Times suggested, that the president "misspoke." He was aware of the pending cancellations (this has been documented in writing) but chose political expediency over the truth.

In my view, Barack Obama has very few strengths, but he is an expert in "the deployment of words." It's what captured the imagination of the naive and the idealistic in 2008 and propelled an unprepared low-level politician to the presidency. It's ironic that Obama's arrogance and hubris caused him to forget (if he ever knew this to begin with) that the deployment of words can bite back, if the words are infused with lies. In the end, words are not enough, belief is not sufficient, and thinking something doesn't make it so. The country is learning that -- the hard way.