That fantasy cruelly ended with the horrific death of an American ambassador in Libya, the graphic details of which the administration will not disclose, given that the truth would confirm that we were not prepared when we should have been, amid policies towards Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Iran that are imploding. What are we left with? The Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, Mr. Morsi, just summed it up when he outlined the conditions under which his country would be willing to accept aid and remain friendly. The State Department is funding apology ads on Islamic television, and we are still using all the rhetorical power of the White House to hound one crude filmmaker, a modern Ares who supposedly had the power to set the Muslim world afire against Barack Obama.
A Final Note: Do Not Take Counsel of Your Fears
There is much criticism of Romney that, despite all of the above Obama fantasies, he still is only either even or slightly behind in the polls — and perhaps less well off in the swing states. But what is surprising is not that Romney is not ahead, but that he is even close — much, much closer than was Reagan in 1980 at a much later time when he ran against an even weaker incumbent and faced far less media bias. On October 26, 1980, a week before the voting, Reagan was worn out from his constant, off-topic gaffes, media hounding, an incumbent president who had dodged two debates, in-fighting among his campaign staff, and a Gallup poll that showed him 8 points down — with one last chance for a single debate.
There is not really any free press anymore, but instead a Ministry of Truth, in which PBS, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Newsweek, Time, AP, McClatchy, and Reuters are de facto extensions of the Obama campaign — far more highbrow and adept in disguising their partisanship than an overt Hannity or Limbaugh. Their “journalists” are fed favorable administration leaks when in the old days they had to sue to publish a hit piece. They care little whether ambassadors are left unguarded, or that the U.S. suffers the most costly attack on its air assets since Vietnam, or that administration officials offer lies about Libya that they know cannot be true.
Remember that the grandees of the universities, the foundations, the arts, the unions, and the government employees are all heavily invested in Obama — the class warrior who assures those of the upper classes that class and racial resentment will be turned against others. Remember the powers of presidential incumbency. Remember that millions are still mesmerized by teleprompted eloquence. Remember that each month thousands more go on food stamps, receive disability insurance, obtain unemployment insurance extensions, and are excused from the federal income tax rolls — and are loyal to those who enable them and hostile to those who might not. Remember that to criticize Obama still almost immediately earns the charge of “racist.”
It is not easy to overcome all that.
This is an election of smiley fantasies versus a harsh wakeup call to prevent looming financial and overseas catastrophes in the next year or so. And fantasies, not reality, are what half the population may now live for. That Romney is close is a miracle; that he still can win is beyond a miracle.