It’s easy to despise Barack Hussein Obama, perhaps the least qualified man ever to accede to the Oval Office. The empty resume, the imaginary biographies, the laziness, the arrogance, the profligacy with the public treasury, the weakness, the cowardice and the cringing servility when dealing with America’s enemies abroad: his six years as president of the United States — a presidency we will all look back upon someday with wonder, shame and national embarrassment — have been as disastrous and harmful as some of us predicted at the time. The man is a disgrace.
There is one thing, and one thing only, to like about him. And that is his complete and utter contempt for his domestic political enemies and the high-handedness with which he treats them. And why shouldn’t he? As the beneficiary of the Being There presidency, he must retire to the family quarters of the White House each night laughing his head off at the electorate and yet at the same time being utterly convinced of his own rightness. After all, he won, didn’t he? Twice! If he’s so dumb… how come he’s president?
As Yuval Levin noted in a post over at NRO after the State of the Union speech, Obama acts as if the electorate had not just delivered his party a crushing rebuke in an election in which he said quite clearly that while he may not have been on the ballot, his policies most certainly were. (Not that he cares about what happens to the Democrats after he retires to a live of Secret Service-protected, taxpayer-supported, think-tank enriched utter indolence.) But he appears to be living in a fantasy land of his own device, one in which he, Barry, remains beloved by the masses who didn’t bother to show up at the polls.
The most striking thing about President Obama’s State of the Union address was how thoroughly and consciously it was disconnected from the political moment. The president addressed the Congress he will face for the remainder of his term, which is the most Republican Congress since 1929, but he didn’t really speak to that Congress or to the electorate that sent it. He made no mention of the recent congressional election and offered no reason to think its results would change his approach to his own job.
Instead, he began by pointing to economic gains that suggest that, six years after the end of the last recession, we may finally see the sort of growth that could merit being called a recovery. He then proceeded to propose a set of policies — giving the federal government far more power over community colleges, cutting taxes for families with two working parents but not for those with a stay-at-home parent, levying new mandates on employers — designed to draw contrasts with Republicans rather than to close distances or to be enacted. Then he painted a rosy picture of international affairs on an Earth-like planet that plainly is not this one. And finally he hearkened back to the promise of his 2004 Democratic Convention speech, which he knows everyone recalls fondly on cold nights, and said it wasn’t too late for Americans to prove ourselves worthy of that speech and its maker, if only we would behave a little less like congressional Republicans.
In short, so far, so nuts. But this presupposes that sanity is currently an operative virtue in the American political system. Alas, it’s not; what counts is a ruthless, Nietzschean Will to Power, against which everything else is either nugatory or negotiable. One man’s tilting at windmills and mistaking sheep for enemy soldiers is another man’s Don Quixote, the crazy hero of his own tale who eventually becomes our hero as well. For Obama, the sheep are the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, and as long as he can send them fleeing with just a shake of his mighty rhetorical lance, he must be doing something right.
Because, in the current political system, it is the GOP that’s tilting at windmills — in this case, the windmill that what the American people “really said” in November’s election was that they wanted to have both parties work together and “get something done.” This is an even more idiotic delusion than Obama’s, since the clear meaning of the vote — by Obama’s own standard! — was a repudiation of both the Emperor Hussein and his fawning courtiers in Congress (one of whom mysteriously wound up with four broken ribs and the possible loss of his sight in one eye over the Christmas break, an event in which the national lickspittle media has shown exactly zero interest).
Now you might think that the beating of the former Senate majority leader, the single most important man to Barack Obama over the past four years, the apparatchik who effectively blocked any attempt at Congressional rollback or oversight of what has become a rogue presidency, might be of interest to the “national media,” that collective of prep-school and college classmates who make up the Praetorian Guard of the Democrat-Media Complex — even if it was an “exercise machine” that administered the beating. (And why, pray tell, is Reid not suing the manufacturer?)
But not in the Cloud Cuckoo-Land that we currently inhabit. Whatever you may think of “fundamental transformation,” the fact is that Obama and his media buddies have done their best to make it a reality, even if it is only a Jedi-mind-meld virtual sort of reality that can still be overturned by the one-eyed man (not Harry Reid) who realizes that in the country of the blind he is king.
A point I’ve made before: Obama resembles no historical figure more than San Francisco’s Emperor Norton, a bona fide 19th-century Bay Area crackpot to whom everybody paid obeisance but not a whit of attention. This should be the GOP response to the Emperor Hussein for the next two years: genuflect when he comes into the room, flatter his overweening vanity, indulge his sybaritic tastes in vacations and restaurants — and then completely and utterly ignore anything he has to say or, more important, actually does under the guise of “executive orders.” The English-South African Emperor Norton issued many executive orders, including the dissolution of Congress and the building of the Bay Bridge, two eminently sensible ideas, as it turned out, and one of which was actually acted upon after his death. Otherwise, he was a beloved figure of fun in America’s most beautiful, wackiest city.
Here was his proclamation of executive authority:
At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.
—NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.
No wonder Obama calls himself Barack Obama II. Which is exactly the way he should be treated henceforth.