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A Sudden Realization

June 9th, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Ron Fournier reveals that yet another highly placed Democrat has quit on the president. He’s not naming names but paraphrasing what they said.  The thing that broke the camel’s back for some was the Bowe Bergdahl incident. But it was not Bergdahl itself that mattered, so much as the train of events of which it was a part.

The email hit my in-box at 9:41 p.m. last Wednesday. From one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington, a close adviser to the White House, the missive amounted to an electronic eye roll. “Even I have had enough.”

Another Democrat had quit on President Obama.

The tipping point for this person was the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl case—not the soldier-for-Taliban swap itself as much as how the White House mishandled its obligation to communicate effectively and honestly to Congress and the public. More than that, Obama’s team had failed once again to acknowledge its mistakes, preferring to cast blame and seek cover behind talking points.

On closer inspection the real reason for the low-level Democrat fever is the unease from the growing suspicion that Obama doesn’t listen to them — listen to people who fancied themselves influential in the Democratic party. One of the foundations of insider self-esteem is to imagine you are a player.  If all of a sudden you find the steering wheel through which you imagined yourself exercising influence proved actually like one of those child’s toys which only allow the user to pretend he’s driving — then you realize that you’re not an insider after all.

The illusion of concordance may have held up at first, at the start of the Obama administration. But ever since Hope and Change left the off-ramp it seems headed off into the blue and nobody is quite sure where it’s going.  A terrible realization has set in among insiders. Suppose this wheel is disconnected from the steering linkage?

Fournier writes:

In the 18 months since I began writing columns focused on the presidency, virtually every post critical of Obama has originated from conversations with Democrats. Members of Congress, consultants, pollsters, lobbyists, and executives at think tanks, these Democrats are my Obama-whispers. They respect and admire Obama but believe that his presidency has been damaged by his shortcomings as a leader; his inattention to details of governing; his disengagement from the political process and from the public; his unwillingness to learn on the job; and his failure to surround himself with top-shelf advisers who are willing to challenge their boss as well as their own preconceived notions.

Whoever Obama’s listening to, it’s not to the people complaining to Fournier.

Although it fashionable to caricature the liberal mindset, intelligent liberals are no fools. Many of them have a record of solid achievement believed they could safely engage in income transfers, arms control, engagement with American enemies or even opening the border because they could turn off the valve if things threatened to go too far.  They were comfortable with power and certain — perhaps over certain — of their own judgment.

The cornerstone of liberal of the liberal self image is the belief that they can sup with the devil and hold their own. They say  ”I’m not stupid. I know when to stop.” 

But that assumes the brake will work when the time comes.  Now these same intelligent liberals are finding the steering wheel disconnected from the linkage. And a sinking feeling is creeping over them. Fournier describes the problem baldly. (The emphasis is mine)

I got that one from an Obama family friend. The same mistakes get made again and again, provoking a familiar chorus of friendly fire, which leads me to conclude that either Democrats aren’t being honest with the president, or he isn’t listening. Either way, when those closest to him are quitting on him, it’s hard to maintain the audacity to hope that Obama will change.

They’re a bunch of authentic geniuses on a runaway train wondering what went wrong. The blindspot that fooled them was basic.  They took the terms of the train journey at face value. That made them highly vulnerable to the one man who boards the train for whom the agreement means nothing at all; the man who puts one last doll inside all the layers of Matryoshka dolls.

Back at the end of 2013 Alan Dershowitz said something pathetically obvious. “Alan Dershowitz, who has made much of his friendship and fireside chats with former Harvard Law School colleague U.S. President Barack Obama, said he now doubts his friend’s promise to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.”

Any damn fool could have said the same. What is truly amazing is why it took a smart man like Dershowitz so long to figure it out. He is a textbook example of the sort of person I described visiting a hypothetical Dinosaur Island whose preconception of the T-rex’s gentle nature trumps his common sense.  He stands on the beach watching destruction approach and can’t quite accept the monster is going to eat him even when its mouth is agape.  The T-rex was gentle because … look it says so right here in the book.

Speaking on the sidelines of Israel’s Globes 2013 Israel Business Conference, Dershowitz said, ”Obama promised me in a personal conversation that Iran would not develop a nuclear weapon on his watch, and I believed him. Nonetheless, I am not sure that he can keep this. Therefore, Israel cannot outsource its security.”

And so the train thunders down the track. Conservatives by themselves can’t put the brakes on a runaway. To accomplish this they need a coalition with elements of the left; to make common cause among intelligent liberals.

But it won’t happen yet — won’t happen for a long time — despite the evidence of their senses, because they have an almost religious attachment to the Cause. The Left is a religion. It looks away from the obvious sins of its leaders the way earlier generations of churchgoers sometimes averted their gaze from the misdeeds of their own. The Left will abandon the Left around the time the Wahabis abandon Wahabism.

It is so central to them that life without it would be meaningless. Leaving the Left is like being a man without a country. It is easier to change your passport than to change your friends.  As one person put, “If I had to choose between my country and my friends, I hope to have the courage to choose my friends”.  The reason people on the Left can’t rebel isn’t because they cannot bring themselves to doubt Obama. It’s because they can’t bring themselves to stop going to cocktail parties.

That doesn’t mean the Left can’t change. It only signifies that the shift, when it comes, will be no ordinary change of mind. It will be more akin to a Pauline conversion than a matter of fact acknowledgment of a mistake. To non-ideologues being proved wrong is nothing important. You just admit to error and correct yourself. By contrast, because ideology defines the self-importance of ideologues, to confess you’ve been took is a humiliation beyond description.

The only thing likely to precipitate such a change is either some blasphemy by Obama against their creed or an existential danger so great that even family friends will break ranks. Any oppression of the hated right or hostile creeds by the Lightworker won’t anger anyone on the left much.  Only when the precipice yawns before the train will people start to jump.

In this, the highly placed but disgruntled liberals are like the Old Bolsheviks. These were people who fought alongside, befriended for decades, or who were sometimes related to the Joseph Stalin. The Old Bolsheviks were the first to see (because they were insiders) how ghastly it was turning out to be. Yet each believed that staying on the inside was best; and they were not worried because they believed their personal closeness (“fireside chats”) to Stalin would protect them.

An unbelievable percentage of them finished up in the Gulag.  The safest place to be in relation to a runaway train is off it. Implausible as it may sound, if history is any guide, being a red-necked, church-going, NASCAR-watching, gun-toting, Bible-thumping person is safer in the long run than being a dear old friend of the driver of the runaway train.

I expect Fournier to keep getting emails from disgruntled Obama confidantes. All I can say  is:  I hope they encrypted it.

Revolutions, even mild ones, eat their own. The time for liberals to to realize that is early, before the train makes the thundering turn into that long, long stretch of track — the one that culminates in a ravine.

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Lehrbuch der Historischen Methode und der Geschichtsphilosophie
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42
Without Warning
Elephant Ear Washer Bottle System
AquaSense Adjustable Bath and Shower Chair with Non-Slip Seat, White
Yoshi Grill Bake Nonstick BBQ Mats 2 Pack Easy Grilling Baking
Spirit Horses
Storm Over The South China Sea
The War of the Words (The World of Information)

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

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Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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Top Rated Comments   
Surprise surprise....the great Harvard genius Dershowitz
Only just now realized he can't trust Obama with the security
Of Israel. Are you paying attention you other 70% of American
Jews who helped this Islamo-leftist get elected...twice?
You got a lot of apologizing to do to the six million
Jews in Israel when they're staring down a nuclear armed
Iran. Some of us saw it coming in '08 but you weren't
Paying attention. Idiots!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
E.M. Forster said "I hope I should have the guts to betray my country." May he burn.

wretchard your essay needs proofreading for several typos.

If memory serves back in 2008 one of the faculty members at the University of Chicago discussed what Obama was like at the Quadrangle Club, which is the faculty club. He would tilt his head and seem to listen, even begin by paraphrasing something you said which is the mark of Active Listening, but it was all a sham. He really was just waiting for an opening to drop his boilerplate and upon reflection had paid no attention at all, his beginning with a quote was a parlor trick. Obama was like the annoying student that teachers learn to avoid who only wants to hear their own voice.

Good leaders hold back expressing an opinion until after everyone else has spoken. That ensures that when they do speak the decision is final. It also ensures that they do not commit themselves until every flaw in the considered decision has been exposed. In Obama's case it appears that he made all decisions by his 19th birthday and has considered nothing since then.

Fournier writes of his sources, "They respect and admire Obama." Why? No one has ever given me a reason why anyone would hold an especially high opinion of that man over any of hundreds of other possible choices. Choosing to be loyal to Obama never had anything to do with knowledge of his aptitude. It had something to do with credentialing and reliance on the endorsement of other authorities in a herding episode.

It was perfectly possible for people on the Left at one time to evaluate candidates and screen out someone as unsuitable as Obama was. That changed over the last 20 years. First the Old Guard of the Left discredited themselves over internal disputes and scandals, Vietnam which was a policy from the Establishment Left, race which also lead to a purging, and corruption with the BCCI and Abscam especially leaving the Democratic Party hollowed out and ripe for seizure.

Good leaders resort to better tricks. FDR nurtured disputes among his subordinates to ensure that they would critique each other and keep him informed and in control. LBJ prized George Ball and kept him in the White House as house critic. Both kew that being seen to tolerate dispute increased the stature of the President as final decider.

If there is only one voice heard then what that voice says is dependent on what information it receives. When subordinates are not publicly finding flaws in policy choices then the one who controls the narrow pipeline to the President controls the information and the ultimate decision. That means the ostensible boss is less powerful than the gatekeeper.

BTW using the perfectly good English word for tilting the head, also a term for a male fowl, got my entry stopped for "words that are not allowed." Shameful.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is a crisis of faith for the Leftists. Finding out that, as you put it, the steering wheel is a child's toy, is a part of it. Finding out that they are not the connected insiders they thought themselves to be is a part of it.

The key point is that they believed themselves safely inside the Nomenklatura. And as such, they both know and believe in what they intend to do to the rest of us, believe that the suffering inflicted is a positive force in the world, and finally and most importantly; that they will be completely immune from what is to be inflicted on the proles, the Kulaks, the Christians, and the believers in the Constitution. And from the consequences of what they are about to inflict.

That personal immunity is key to their willingness to rob, imprison, and kill those who do not believe in their version of the Material Dialectic Faith.

If they are not among the connected, then they have no immunity. They may have to suffer with the rest of us. And since it is personal, that cannot be. It just cannot be. Those who believed themselves connected have actually seen the fools, miscreants, maladroits, sadists, psychopaths, and megalomaniacs at the top up close. And suddenly, they themselves are vulnerable to the reality they have been preparing for the rest of us. And they see that absent that "steering linkage" there will be absolutely no mercy for themselves.

"If Stalin only knew!" "If Obama only knew!" "If Lavrenti Beria only knew how his underlings were perverting what he and Comrade Stalin wanted!" "If Holder and Rice and Jarrett only knew how their obedience to Obama's decrees was being twisted by their minions!"

Long ago when the world was new, and I still wore a badge for a living; I used to tell various complaining felons who objected to my interfering with their freedom and lifestyles, "You DO have freedom of choice, absolutely. What do DO NOT have is freedom from consequences."

Those below the real Nomenklatura are suddenly realizing that they are NOT free from consequences. That does not mean that they are any less dangerous, any less deadly to Americans and America, or that they are deserving of the mercy that they would never grant us. It means that it is our duty to see that they do not avoid their deserved consequences.

Subotai Bahadur
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (167)
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Many of us have made the switch from being hard left to being right. It is surprising how friends and family react and it's not pretty.

But after apologizing to people I argued with, I made new friends and the new ones were smarter, more reasonable and logical. Being on the right is being down to earth.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Richard, you are misreading this. The noble cause, the great alternative faith of mankind, is greater than any one man, including President Obama. What we are seeing is the inner-party preparing to liquidate someone who has remained true to the cause, but must now serve in the role of scapegoat for the sake of the cause.

The great Stalinist purges, grizzly though they may have been, served the cause. Whittaker Chambers acknowledged the necessary role purges played even as he witnessed the liquidation of the purest of true believers, including those he counted among his friends. Now it is President Obama’s turn. He will be purged along with his closest, most trusted advisors, in a process that dates back almost a century. His only possible salvation comes from the weak-kryptonite that is the pigment of his skin.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was with you 'til the last sentence --i think the skin pigment was part of the plan, that whenever the destructive policies emerged into the national awareness, the purge begins, with the pigment ready-waiting to become the cause of the president's failure, due to race-based reactionarianism, revanchism, sabotage, that if not for white racism, he would not have failed. This is why we keep hearing the charge levelled by people who would be ashamed to be so dumb-sounding were it not for the higher cause.

This is the future history book entry, the policy analysis and statistical measures are entirely arcane and turgid, as they well knew all along.

So they gain the malign effect of the preposterous policies, as well as a vindication --and a proof --of their major attraction and recruiting meme, the 'oppression by white racism'.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS, and like that Marine officer aboard ship off Iwo Jima watching the flag go up atop Mount Suribachi said, "that means a Marine Corp for the next 500 years", a collapse of the Obama presidency by the inner party means a race-exploitation party for the next so and so years, due in no small part to bona-fide racism raised up by the first black president being also the first jihadi communist president.

Nice work, Democrats! Please enjoy Hell when you get there.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The irony is almost suffocating, that in fact, he will have been scuttled because, now that further major policy damage has hit resistance, his skin color creates an opportunity to scapegoat the GOP.

IOW, he will have been purged by the democratic party, because he is a black man.

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eric Cantor wiped out by tea party challenger!

Cantor spent 41 times as much campaign money. The primary was just called --for his oppo, an obscure economics professor from somewhere.

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
--the victory margin was 12% !
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just got back from the Republican Party of Texas convention. I was surprised by the maneuvers that people trained and disciplined in Robert's Rules of Order can orchestrate. Every time I'm surprised. doof

This time I thought I'd do a little training on Alinsky's Rule 5. Too late. He's done it to us to the max. Martial law protecting illegal immigrants is just around the corner.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Cantor loss to the Tea Party just now called --may put a screeching halt to that martial law plan. As well as a whole lot else. OTOH, other folks' new plans might go forward:
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
...and that ain't all. Here's three Drudge headlines up right now.

I skipped the Christians pouring into the desert outside Iraq's second-largest city, taken by surprise by Obama's recently-revealed friends, AQ (the outfit that did 9/11/01), who the running Christians assume are planning to kill them. Iraq, two years ago, the Dionar climbing, investments pouring in, small biz, new newspapers and schools opening everywhere across the land, stock market booming, freedom, free markets, and all the tribes getting along famously. Then the baleful eye swiveled slowly. Looks like, from DC. Proud America!

and this isn't Drudge, this is Australia's gun control, re the Drudge link above.

...and lastly, Can't We All Just Get Along?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wretchard wrote, "Although it fashionable to caricature the liberal mindset, intelligent liberals are no fools. Many of them have a record of solid achievement believed they could safely engage in income transfers, arms control, engagement with American enemies or even opening the border because they could turn off the valve if things threatened to go too far. They were comfortable with power and certain — perhaps over certain — of their own judgment."

They ARE fools. Over-certainty of their own capabilities is one of the things that makes them fools, no matter how intelligent or educated they are.

'Dershowitz said, ”Obama promised me in a personal conversation that Iran would not develop a nuclear weapon on his watch, and I believed him. Nonetheless, I am not sure that he can keep this. Therefore, Israel cannot outsource its security.” '

If Iran develops nuclear weapons after Obama leaves office, he's kept his promise.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dudes and Dudetts:

Proceed with caution. PJM disabled my system to the point that I could not save a file in Notepad. I shut down and restarted, then decided to us IE in case Chrome had become corrupted.
Up came a Cached copy of Drudge in the Midst of the UCSB Virgin Serial Killer Affair, and, like, I thought I was having flashbacks!
It was scary, man, I thought my usefulness as a Troll had come to an end, and I was doomed to live in the past, fearing I might be shot on the streets of Islla Vista, but then Drudge's meta refresh brought me back to the present, I think.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Look, last night i dreamed i woke up --and when i woke up, i was asleep!
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
This just in at The Corner:

The Cleansing of Iraq’s Christians Is Entering Its End Game
By Nina Shea

"The government of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fell overnight to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Mosul’s panic-stricken Christians, along with many others, are now fleeing en masse to the rural Nineveh Plain, according to the Vatican publication Fides. The border crossings into Kurdistan, too, are jammed with the cars of the estimated 150,000 desperate escapees."

This is a huge deal, right? I mean, as huge as the Syrian civil war or anything else in the region. Is Obama going to say anything about it? What about the MSM?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's Bibi's fault.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought Mosul was Kurdistan.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I thought so too, but it isn't. Here's what Wikipedia says:

Some of the villages and towns around Mosul with its large Kurdish population were significantly affected by the 1991 rebellion suppression by the deposed former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, during the 1991 Kurdish-mounted, unsuccessful revolt against the regime. In the wake of the revolt's failure, a swathe of Kurdish-populated territory in the north and northeast of Iraq fell under the control of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party, which established autonomous (and de facto independent) rule in the region. Mosul did not fall within the Kurdish-ruled area, but it was included in the no-fly zones imposed and patrolled by the United States and Britain between 1991 and 2003.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've long noted here that our defense against Obama will involve separating Obama and his far leftists from the moderates and independents.

Glad to see the ACLU objecting to some of Obama's actions of late.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>Glad to see the ACLU objecting to some of Obama's actions of late.<<<

maskirovka or maskirova ( маскировка): military, (especially regarding Soviet warfare) A set of procedures designed to confuse, mislead, and camouflage oneself from the enemy.

The ACLU will remain loyal to the Leftist State stamping out individuality even up to the moment that Leftists stand them up against the wall.

Subotai Bahadur
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
So I should feel sorry for Liberal fellow travelers? Look all the indicators were there. Where did this O guy come from? The guy had no experience doing anything. How could he be a hawk and a dove both? Why no school transcripts? Why the holes in his past? Three Moslem names, wouldn't one have been enough.
I graduated from Columbia. Beyond all other things I know few Columbians get a radical left catechism as sure as God made little green apples. All the indicators were there and McCain didn't have the nerve to call him a socialist when asked directly by a reporter.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Columbia years were one of those holes in Big 0's past.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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