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Works and Days

The Great Obama Catharsis

September 19th, 2011 - 6:40 am

Civility for Thee

In the manner of Richard Nixon, Obama and his supporters gave us first “Fight the Smears,” then Journolist, and now “AttackWatch.com” — the common denominator being to watch, monitor, report, and quash criticism of Him, in enlisting the loyal flock to go after the heretic on the list. The old liberal sermons on civility are dead too for the foreseeable future. The unanswered profane slurs of the Black Caucus and Jimmy Hoffa Jr. illustrated that Obama’s calls for polite discourse were inane at best, and at worst a crude ploy to silence conservative critics. Obama urged Latinos “to punish our enemies” one day, and lectured others to talk more cordially the next, and then kept still as his “base” let loose on political opponents as “son of bitches.” The next time Obama — or any other self-described no more red/no more blue state “unifier” — calls for an end to polarizing discourse, for good or evil, he will be met by outbursts of hilarity.

Race in the Raw

In an odd way, racial relations will become soon more honest as well. Under Obama the racial boilerplate of perpetual victims and perpetual oppressors, institutionalized across crude racial lines, was explicit. The head of the Black Caucus now sadly, but honestly, admits that if the president were not black (i.e., he were white), his cadre would be marching in furor on the White House (which I think means skin color alone adjudicates attitude, which I also think we used to call “racism”).

The Caucus members have told their opponents to go straight to hell, compared them with lynch mobs, insisted Tea Partiers wanted slavery back — the entire race-based invective that everyone long ago tired of, but is the inevitable result of a misguided 19th-century system of racial-gerrymandering that had the unintended effect of ensuring that most local black politicians never had to run competitively in statewide races, and instead could pander to mostly districted black consistencies. The old idea that any centrist black congressman could be elected as a U.S. senator in a Texas or even California is unlikely any more, given the Black Caucus record of racialist invective that polarizes the general electorate and, in circular fashion, also guarantees that a centrist would never be elected to Congress in a black district. When the head of the caucus admits race is all that matters in Black Caucus protest, the cards unfortunately are on the table.

This new racialist candor is also the dividend of  the Obama bunch’s beer summit, “stupidly acting,” “punish our enemies,” “wise Latina,” “my people,” “cowards,” and the 2010 campaign video that appealed to supporters on the basis of race and gender.

The public thought, with their first “black” president, they would be hearing even-handed lectures, as one week Obama explained why the federal government had to ensure equality of opportunity in a multiracial society, while on the next he gently warned minorities not to rely on government to ensure parity when success or failure for all Americans far more often hinged on personal choices, discipline, and sacrifice. Instead, Obama voted present while his surrogates ensured that America is more racially polarized than any time in our history. But this too was cathartic. A majority of the population of all races has simply tuned out the now near meaningless charge of “racist” and sees the real danger to America in racial tribalization and balkanization rather than classical racial discrimination. We will see another black president some day, but race will be incidental not essential to his or her character.

“Millions of Green Jobs”

For the foreseeable future, “millions of green jobs” and “cap and trade” are also the stuff of comedy. Thanks to Obama we’ve been there with Van Jones, Solyndra, and EPA hyper-regulations, and done that. I don’t think Al Gore will be any more quoted or EU policies emulated. More likely we will go back to finding new fossil fuel sources as private technology keeps improving on alternative energy. Fairly or not, “green” conjures up everything from Climategate to Solyndra, and suggests an entire class of elite academics, financiers, and activists who wished to follow the oil companies’ crony-capitalist business plans of the 1940s and 1950s without the basic truth that oil is a logical energy source and so far a windmill isn’t.

The New Idiotocrats

After Obama, I don’t think there will be any more John Kerry or Al Gore sermons about the superior Europe model either. A disarmed, undemocratic, insolvent, shrinking, and increasingly polarized continent is now a model of what the United States should not be. There simply have been too many California as Greece stories for any politicians to advise us with the old admonition: “But In Europe, they….”

Obama thought that he would replicate the EU paradigm. He would bring in properly certified technocrats from academia or government like Chu, Geithner, Goolsbee, Holder, Orszag, Romer, and Summers to oversee massive new regulations and taxes that would dictate from on high how the ignorant masses must be protected from everything from cheap gas to old-style light bulbs. In less than three years, they all proved far more ignorant about what makes America work than the local car dealer, welder, or farmer. After Obama, Americans will not be fooled for a generation or so into thinking that a Harvard PhD or Berkeley professor “really” knows that borrowing is prosperity, that gas should cost as much as it does in Europe, and that the more we pay millions to regulate, the more the vastly fewer who produce make us all prosperous. (And given Obama’s mysterious silence about the undergraduate record at Occidental and Columbia that won him a scholarship to Harvard Law, we won’t take seriously any more the usual liberal critique of supposedly weak-minded conservative candidates who, based on their leaked undergraduate transcripts, could not get As decades ago in college.)

From Here On Out

Had McCain been elected, or had Obama proved a canny Clinton triangulator, we would never have gotten out of the bipartisan rut of massive borrowing, growing government, higher taxes, and unionized public employee regulators. But with Obama as the great liberal deliverer and with the masses scared to death of Him, the next president will inherit an America in catharsis. The future is uncertain, but at least now, after our cauterizing, we have some sort of chance to return to the old principles that might save us.

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