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Works and Days

The Fantasy House of Barack Obama

September 23rd, 2012 - 9:27 pm

Passing on This Bunch

You can scream at, tax, regulate, and berate an employer, but you cannot force him, not yet anyway, to go out and hire and buy new equipment. Obama tried all that and almost single-handedly has ensured that a weak recovery of June 2009 would become a permanent weaker recovery. All the one-percent rhetoric — fat cat, pay your fair share, corporate jet owners, now is not the time to profit, spread the wealth, redistribution, you didn’t build that —  did was to terrify the private sector, flush with savings, into paralysis. There are trillions of dollars on the sidelines because employers don’t know what Obamacare will cost them since Obama does not know either, don’t know when the next presidential slur against them will surface, don’t know what new regulation will curtail productivity, don’t know when printing billions in new money will fuel inflation, don’t know which particular company will be shut down, or don’t know what public oil and gas lease will be pulled.

The tone Obama has set is also pure fantasy. Bush, we were told, was “unpatriotic” in running up the debt to $11 trillion, but Obama insists that he has never used the slur “unpatriotic” against anyone. And he has no idea what the debt is after he added $5 trillion to it. “You didn’t build that” supposedly did not mean that business people should thank government for creating their success, but also that they should thank government for their success. What did Obama’s reference to an imagined son resembling Trayvon Martin mean? Who were the “enemies” Obama and the Latinos were supposed to “punish”? Whose faces were we supposed to get in, and whose knives were we supposed to bring guns against? Whom did the “stupidly” acting police “stereotype” — “typical” white persons”?

The World Sized Up Obama

In foreign policy, the fantasies proved even scarier. A young, JFKish, Nobel Peace laureate, biracial, hip, cool, and beloved president — with a Muslim patrimony no less —  would charm the Middle East the way he had mesmerized American with “hope and change,” “yes, we can,” and, less grandly, “make no mistake about it.”

Obama assumed that all real problems began with Bush, and would end with Bush gone — given that he would apologize, bow, and contextualize to the world about the sins of the pre-Obama America, the unexceptional country that did nasty things when “I was three months old.” Once the cooled and now drier continents grasped that American was “on their side,” and not entangled with the Brits, the Israelis, the Czechs, the Poles, and all the old staid “allies,” new possibilities would become endless.

“Radical Islam” would give way to all sorts of euphemisms; terrorists were to be the merely accused and tried in civil courts in New York. Guantanamo would release all its political prisoners. Renditions, tribunals and preventative detention would end. The al Arabiya interview, the Cairo speech, and the notorious “apology tour’  would win oppressed peoples over, if not to our side, at least over to Obama’s — given that “they hate us” not because of who we are (as in vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, golf, prep schools, jet-fueled junkets, and rap and hip-hop music), but because of what we used to do before 2009. Apparently, European socialist models would spring up in the Middle East — the region a sort of hybridized half-socialist Greece, half-Islamist Turkey.

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