In an Feb. 14 Wall Street Journal article, Michael Medved asserts, by way of title, “Obama Isn’t Trying to ‘Weaken America.’” A film critic and generally conservative cultural commentator, Medved only approaches the primary thrust of his argument in his final paragraph when he writes:
Americans may not see a given president as their advocate, but they’re hardly disposed to view him as their enemy — and a furtive, determined enemy at that. For 2012, Republicans face a daunting challenge in running against the president. That challenge becomes impossible if they’re also perceived as running against the presidency.
As a 2012 political strategy, Medved’s final point is, as far as it goes, reasonable. However, the rest of his essay often argues against his thesis, which seems to be that Mr. Obama is not consciously trying to harm America and is a conventional American president and politician with conventional political goals and aspirations. If one assumes, for the sake of argument, that this is true — if Mr. Obama is, with the best intentions and with good will, pursuing policies that are manifestly harmful to America and Americans — the end result is the same. The matter of his motivations will doubtless be a ripe controversy for future historians, but will matter little to contemporary Americans, who will suffer regardless.
Medved begins his essay with a quote from John Adams: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May not but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” Medved mentions some who were not so wise and honest in making the point that the quality of our presidents has always been limited by the fact that we are limited to choosing from the human race. “For all their foibles, every president attempted to rise to the challenges of leadership and never displayed disloyal or treasonous intent. This history makes some of the current charges about Barack Obama especially distasteful — and destructive to the conservative cause.” Perhaps, but only if Mr. Obama is unquestionably a member of that august company.
Mr. Medved quotes a number of prominent conservative commentators to level a blanket criticism:
None of the attacks on Mr. Obama’s intentions offers an even vaguely plausible explanation of how the evil genius, once he has ruined our “strength, influence and standard of living,” hopes to get himself re-elected. In a sense, the president’s most paranoid critics pay him a perverse compliment in maintaining that his idealism burns with such pure, all-consuming heat that he remains blissfully unconcerned with minor matters like his electoral future. They label Mr. Obama as the political equivalent of a suicide bomber: so overcome with hatred (or “rage”) that he’s perfectly willing to blow himself up in order to inflict casualties on a society he loathes.
Thinking that Mr. Obama is a conventional American politician who will react in predictable, rational ways to common American political stimuli is a common mistake, so it is unsurprising that Mr. Medved makes it. But Mr. Obama manifestly and demonstrably is not a convention politician. The evidence is stark and easy to find for those willing to see.
Mr. Obama is a doctrinaire socialist who does not, perhaps cannot, see that the pursuit of socialist policies is harmful to America and harmful to his electoral prospects. He simply can’t bring himself to believe that the public won’t ultimately be grateful to him and catapult him back into the White House. Recall that he has, on more than one occasion, said that people ought to be thanking him for imposing socialist policies, and in making those statements, seemed genuinely puzzled and angry that they were not.
Begin with the reality that Mr. Obama is a socialist. Those doubting this assertion of fact need only refer to Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. There, Stanley Kurtz meticulously and undeniably lays bare Mr. Obama’s socialist education, associations, mentoring, roots, beliefs, and actions. Let us also keep in mind that socialism, like Marxism, is fundamentally incompatible with freedom, democracy, and capitalism as embodied in America’s founding documents and as practiced in America. If Mr. Obama is indeed a socialist — and he is — then his belief system, his way of thinking, is innately hostile to America. Socialism and American democracy cannot coexist, so if Mr. Obama is pursuing socialist policies, American democracy must, of necessity, be weakened or destroyed.
But if this is true, how did Mr. Obama become president? It boils down to this: He lied. He lied about who he is, about his background, his fundamental beliefs, his intentions, and his methods. He employed standard Marxist/socialist tactics and concealed his true nature so as to seize power and impose his will, and for two years, he pretty much got away with it. A recurring theme of Mr. Medved’s article is that such things are impossible, as Mr. Obama — like all politicians — wants to be reelected. Put aside, for the moment, that Mr. Obama has addressed this issue explicitly, saying that he’d rather accomplish his (socialist) goals than be a two-term president.
Consider then the following examples, not by any means an exhaustive list:
(1) Mr. Obama’s 2012 budget flies in the face of fiscal and political reality. Not only does it fail to actually cut spending, it dramatically increases spending — and the deficit — far into the future, while raising taxes, ignoring the entitlement crisis, and continuing the promulgation of policies that can have no result other than to destroy the creation of wealth, jobs, and the economy. America is broke, beyond broke, and the utter dissolution of our existing entitlements — not considering ObamaCare — is imminent. Unemployment is arguably at 10.3%; virtually every economic indicator is in the toilet. Any responsible president, any president for whom the welfare of the nation is his first concern, will not propose a budget that spends, now and into the future, far more money than America produces and can possibly take in or repay. Yet Mr. Obama wants to spend billions on projects like high-speed rail, a boondoggle the public neither wants nor needs.