Daniel Henninger, lead editorialist of The Wall Street Journal, has written a piece, “The State of Obama” in the Wall Street Journal (2/14/13), that deftly presents yet another version of The Case Against Obama. While some of the elements of the case are, even at this late date, shocking in their depiction of just how far off-the-rails this President really is, the overall picture is nothing new. As further revealed by the Henninger piece, the President’s self-infatuation is pathological – can you imagine any other human being, even a politician, who could not just think this thought but publicly utter these words in the presence of another human being: “It is very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.” (This on the occasion of being potentially upstaged by the presence of some pro basketball players.) Mr. Henninger presents an Obama who sees himself as an historic figure of the magnitude of a Lincoln or Gandhi: the leader – and the instrument – of a second American revolution, one so profound that it will leave a nation unrecognizable as the same country as the one that was the product of the original American Revolution.
The one false note in the piece is Mr. Henninger’s statement, in his concluding paragraph, that “Barack Obama is indeed in sync with the public will . . .”, an opinion that ignores the fact that nearly half the country voted against him and the likelihood that a very sizable portion of that half considers the man to be completely bizarre and a menace to the country.
And then, Mr. Henninger concludes this otherwise dramatic piece with this: “In the next four years, that could prove to be a problem.” Talk about the elephant giving birth to a mouse.
We Are At War. Our Second Civil War Has Begun
It is conceivable that what I am about to disclose will be news to the Obama Coalition: that curious blend of most of the Have-Nots of America with the cluster of favored Haves who manipulate them, such as the academy, the media, the entertainment industry, organized labor, Chicago politician-thugs, and the crony-capitalists – the co-opted elements of cyberworld and Wall Street and other select parts of what used to be called the private sector. The Coalition folks quite possibly do not realize that we are now deeply engaged in a second Civil War in this country, one that might not cost lives but that will alter the country, if the Coalition wins, even more radically than the first did or could have done. As far as the non-Coalition half of the country is concerned, their views and values are so different from (and they are so offended and antagonized by) the views and values of the Coalition half that they see no possibility of a reconciliation and indeed they see no point to making further attempts to achieve a reconciliation.
For the non-Coalition folks (essentially, the American Right), there is no longer any political solution out there, no conceivable compromise or accommodation with this President, that would be of any interest or value to them. That is not to say that the American Right is unable and unwilling to compromise and live with the American Left; it is so say that the American Right is uninterested in attempting any further compromises or accommodations with Mr. Obama. As far as they are concerned, he is an alien from another planet, far beyond the spectrum of anything they expect in an American President. For some of them, it is a matter of the shocking escalation of the country’s movement toward a collectivist, statist model of government; for others, it is the escalating war on individual and economic liberties. For many, it is just a gut reaction to the massive growth in spending and the sense that the President is concerned mainly with amassing political power and control, not in taking meaningful actions to re-vitalize the economy. They get it, that he is deadly serious when he talks about transforming the country, changing it into the kind of place they or their ancestors once risked death in order to escape. They are not saying he is objectively right or wrong, merely that he is talking about some other country, not America. Regardless of the specifics, they do not want to live with him, they do not want to live in his version of America, they do not want to continue to accommodate his followers and acolytes and dependents, and they are no longer interested in making any deals. A great many of them, wistfully, are making plans to move to another country. For the American Right, this is no longer about working things out with someone like a Clinton or even an LBJ, about maintaining the separation of powers, or about changing Administrations from time to time to keep the pendulum from swinging too far away from the political center. This President has pushed them way beyond all such possibilities. We are now talking, sadly, about the end of America, its conversion into some weird channeling of France or China or some other place that people want to move out of, rather than into. They are way, way past “this could be a problem.”
The President Is Keeping Up The Offensive
From this writer’s perspective, every day brings news of yet another presidential speech, program, regulation, executive order, etc., that I find so appalling, so offensive, that it is like playing Whack-A-Mole (with dozens of moles), trying to keep up and to explain my objections to every single thing these people are trying to pull. There seems no further point in trying to tackle the details of each new assault they direct at the America they so dislike. I am appalled by the values and principles that drive these people. I just don’t want to have to indulge them any longer. I don’t want to share a country with them. I don’t want to watch the movies they make or read the books they write. I am exhausted with trying to fight through the bias with which they have turned our mass media into their propaganda and PR arm. I see no upside to trying to find common ground with them. They have declared war against me, and I’d be prepared to see the country just split and to forfeit to them New England and the Beltway and the rest of Blue-state America. Would I be willing to give up even California? You bet: the only part worth saving, Silicon Valley, will be Death Valley after a few more years of Jerry Brown’s stewardship. Eric Schmidt, the Obama Administration’s boy toy, may stick around as the token crony-capitalist, but the rest of the Valley will head for Austin, Texas or other free-enterprise zones outside of CA.
He Gave Us Ample Warning
It is not as though Mr. Obama has deceived anyone regarding his ultimate ambitions and intentions. Yes, he has seduced the Have-Nots with his unfulfillable promises of a lifetime of state welfare, where everything they want is free of charge and paid-for by the hated rich and there is no reason to bother to get a job. But for those with the means to absorb Mr. Obama’s words and who take the trouble to read those words carefully and grasp their meaning, be they on the Left or the Right, there is really no deception at all. The President’s words make certain things abundantly clear:
- that he wants to eliminate the two principle features of our republican form of government – the distribution and separation of powers among its three branches, and the Constitutional framework that outlines and limits the powers delegated by the people to their government and that articulates a bill of citizens’ rights;
- that he would like to replace our traditional governmental system, with its checks and balances between the legislative branch and the executive branch, with a parliamentary system, in which the leader of the dominant political party is in control of both the executive and the legislative functions of the government and thus has far greater power than under our present system for so long as his party is the most popular party nationally;
- that he believes the judiciary should decide cases on the basis of “fairness,” national interests, and more useful outcomes, rather than on the basis of laws, precedents, and the Constitution – and that it has the power to do so, because the Constitution is a “living document” that means whatever the dominant party thinks it should mean today (which may be exactly the opposite of what they thought it meant yesterday);
- that he wants to convert us to a centrally-planned and exhaustively-regulated economy; and that he wants to replace our free-market capitalism with a form of Chinese-style “state capitalism,” which involves a business sector but does not involve free markets and is not really capitalism at all.
The President’s idea of “liberties” and freedoms has little to do with the American notion of freedom to do things (such as free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc., under our Bill of Rights) and consists, instead, of freedom from things– such as freedom from poverty, freedom from ill health, freedom from having to pay for your own birth control, and freedom from having to endure neighbors who are better off than you are (or more religious). His attitude toward America as the world’s benevolent super-power, supporting peace and stability while keeping the world’s bullies from abusing their neighbors, is: Forget about it – we need to spend all of our earned (and borrowed) money on enhancing the welfare state, not on maintaining the military capabilities needed to support our peacekeeping role.
Is The Journal Content With This Passive Role?
I don’t know what is holding Mr. Henninger back, but this train, if it has not already left the station, is fully boarded, and the doors are closing. Could the President have been any clearer? If all of this is not enough for Mr. Henninger to go beyond, “this could be a problem,” what else would it take? Is Mr. Henninger waiting until he is really, really certain that the President is serious and is not going to change his objectives or his methods? Is Mr. Henninger waiting for the President to make a formal declaration of a state of emergency so that he can invoke emergency, executive powers, maybe activate his ObamaCare Ready Reserve Corps? Must the Democrats re-take the House in 2014? Must Germany invade Poland? What’s it going to take?
Or maybe we have already witnessed Daniel Henninger being angry.