Obama’s Audacity of Fake Centrism
Some liberals are concerned by his pivots towards the middle. They needn't be.
July 29, 2008 - 7:35 am
On the left, they’re not friends; they are allies, as long as there’s more money coming in. But at the end of the day, they all want to use the government to bring money and power to them[selves].
Centrist Barack Obama? Well, I suppose that phrase of ideological incoherence is no more fabulous than anything else we hear pertaining to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. His current masquerade as a moderate might well be the only “audacity” his campaign contains. Few candidates are so burdened by a history showcasing radical affiliations and associations. Indeed, the would-be savior’s established voting record reveals him to be anything but a conservative, and one media outlet even rated him the most leftward-leaning member of the senate.
Obviously, a Democrat abandoning many of his more progressive (read: regressive) stances in the months preceding an election is not usual, but one would hope that Obama’s past derails his ability to cast himself as a non-partisan figure. Peter Kirsanow correctly observed that “even with his recent attempts at moderation he retains positions on several significant issues indistinguishable from those of Dennis Kucinich. Most of those positions are opposed not only by overwhelming majorities of all Americans, but in several cases, majorities of Democrats as well.”
The alleged uniter is in fact a leftist’s leftist. Obama has never once “reached out” to the opposition in regard to any issue or subject. Nothing suggests that he even knows folks whose opinions lie outside the “statist” region on the Nolan Chart of political affiliation. After all, what is more in keeping with radicalism than an officeholder who wants to redefine patriotism in such a broad fashion as to include himself and who also plans — in the midst of an economic situation he terms recessionary — to initiate $800 billion in government spending? Barack brims with dreams of the Leviathan. As president he will make us pay to satisfy his imagination in both hard currency and human suffering.
Given Obama’s known disdain for the behaviors and mentality of his countrymen, his fabricated maneuvers should be a quixotic endeavor. However, due to the electorate’s pervasive disinterest and ignorance in regard to political matters, he might succeed in fooling a majority of “undecided” voters come November. Hopefully this is not what will occur because the Democratic candidate is a libertarian nightmare. He demands that the people serve the government and his wife summed up their fantasies for popular control when she proclaimed: “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation. … Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”
No doubt she would deem highly cynical the retort of “Mind your own damn business,” but surely I am not the only American cognizant of our need to be free from governmental coercion. She is wrong about everything, as divisions are beneficial. They prevent the United States from morphing into a setting in which to retry all of last century’s failed policies. In 2008 we need cynicism more than ever. It is entirely appropriate to greet with derision those who want to increase the size of a klepomanical state that expropriates 53.9 percent of the nation’s income. Moreover, there is nothing “new” about pseudo-liberals wanting to extinguish liberties and outlaw the diversity of others.
In lieu of the mainstream media’s slavish devotion to Mr. Obama, one would assume that the left would play along with his subterfuge. They should recognize that no matter how he may verbally pivot, not one cell in his body is tainted by conservatism. Yet contrary to conventional wisdom, reality, and past performance, numerous leftists got duped. They are now “uneasy, upset, dismayed, and even angry” with their presumptive champion.
The New York Times ran a story concerning the creation of a critical subgroup at an Obama campaign site consisting of “progressives who won’t accept being pushed away from the table” due to his flip-flop on FISA. The Gray Lady published a lengthier piece as well, documenting the disgust some leftists feel towards their New Age knight in shining Façonnable classic dress shirts. One of the disaffected noted that she felt sickened by his shifts and will vote for the Green Party in the fall. Other leftists have formed an escrow fund for their donations. Their doing so reflects collective distrust. Cash will only be forwarded to Obama when he displays “a firm commitment to progressive values.”
Seth Colter Walls over at the Huffington Post actually believes that Obama’s recent centrist feints are a reflection of who he has always been. Michael Eric Dyson rebuked the Democratic nominee in Time for daring to suggest that absent fathers were somehow responsible for the condition of the modern black family. He wished that Obama would emulate Chris Rock and be “just as hard on whites as on blacks.” The Progressive seconded his opinion. They miffed that “Obama has a bad habit of denouncing black people.” Another commentator at the same site wondered, “Why should we believe he will suddenly tack back to being a defender of civil liberties?”
As one who discerns the transparency behind Obama’s venture into the middle of the road, I was astonished to learn that his base of estranged Americans was perturbed by his double-dealing. I soon realized that my surprise was hasty and a product of temporarily forgetting the nature of the leftist. Appeals to reason and history are lost on them. With the pseudo-liberal, logic has no dominion because it’s all emotion all the time. This eventuality was evident in their queer over-celebration and hyping of the inexperienced candidate throughout the election cycle. That a cohort of fanatics would turn on him was inevitable. Loyalty and honor are not traits endemic to the left; distrust, resentment, projection, and outrage are characteristics they perspire in copious quantities. Grover Norquist summed up their essence perfectly with the phrase “competing parasites.”
From a rational perspective, there was never anything promising or unique about Obama. Certainly he possesses some gifts such as an engaging voice, a strong physical presence, and a polite demeanor, but none of these attributes is even remotely relevant post-inauguration. A president should be selected on criteria involving policy stances, attitude towards the nation, and the probability that he or she will preserve and defend our Constitution. Obama is gravely deficient in all of these areas.
The would-be messiah is but an illusion. His ornate reputation was constructed upon the endless repetition of jejune platitudes like “Change you can believe in,” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” and “A new strategy for a new world.” These clichés are merely fluff and circumstance. There’s no there there. That journalists and urban hipsters mistake these trivialities for substance is a reflection of their own shallowness. When one’s views are fueled by feeling, rhetoric is everything. Thus, when Obama veered off in a new direction he diminished his worth in their eyes. The here and now is all that matters to a leftist. History is irrelevant unless it can be recruited for the purposes of disseminating conspiracy theories.
The tsunami formally known as Barack was a mirage from the start. With him the message was always the message — and that’s it. The only thing his victory portends is a recapitulation of the 70s. At the end of his hope rainbow lies the Carter administration redux. Ultimately, I fear that his oscillations will not harm his prospects. As one diehard remarked of his irritated peers, “Where are these people going to go, anyway?” I can suggest an ideal place, but it does not involve ballot boxes or any other terrestrial locale.