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Ed Driscoll

‘Where the Obama Administration Sees War, and Where It Doesn’t’

August 10th, 2012 - 12:21 pm

OK, one more Geraghty link. Jim quotes Kathleen Sebelius, “telling a luncheon of pro-choice activists, ‘we are in a war’” on religious issues:

Once we recall that the Department of Defense under Obama “prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ and urges the “use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’”… we find we have an administration where the Secretary of Health and Human Services believes she is fighting a war and the Secretary of Defense does not.

And it’s been that way since the start of the administration — heck, since Obama began running for office. As I wrote in June of 2009:

A few months ago, President Obama was quoted as telling a Democratic congressman who was against the president’s “stimulus” plan, “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.”

Coming from the president of the United States, and aimed at a member of his own party, that’s threatening stuff. But from remarks such as that to his repeated verbal attacks on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and businesses in general, President Obama has demonstrated that he’s always eager to view American politics as the continuation of warfare by other means, to flip Von Clausewitz’s axiom on its head. Certainly class and culture warfare at least. It’s the Chicago way, after all.  And last year on the campaign trail, Obama more than once referred to “civilians” when discussing opponents whom he thought should not be publicly attacked in the legacy media political battlefield — but would tacitly leave to his surrogates to demonize.

As Charles Krauthammer writes, the case against our would-be Reverse Von Clausewitz can be made in two ways:

There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology. You can run against his record or you can run against his ideas.

The stewardship case is pretty straightforward: the worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of an additional $5 trillion of accumulated debt.

The ideological case is also simple. Just play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama’s Roanoke riff telling small-business owners: “You didn’t build that.” Real credit for your success belongs not to you — you think you did well because of your smarts and sweat? he asked mockingly — but to government that built the infrastructure without which you would have nothing.

Play it. Then ask: Is that the governing philosophy you want for this nation? . . . The ideological case, on the other hand, is not just appealing to a center-right country with twice as many conservatives as liberals, it is also explanatory. It underpins the stewardship argument. Obama’s ideology — and the program that followed — explains the failure of these four years. . . . If Republicans want to win, Obama’s deeply revealing, teleprompter-free you-didn’t-build-that confession of faith needs to be hung around his neck until Election Day. The third consecutive summer-of-recovery-that-never-came is attributable not just to Obama being in over his head but, even more important, to what’s in his head: a government-centered vision of the economy and society, and the policies that flow from it.

Four years of that and this is what you get.

Make the case and you win the White House.

Do the American people want to end this war? We’ll find out in November.

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