PJ Media

The Big Fool Says to Push On

If you’re of a certain age, you may well remember one of the signal moments of the late ‘60s — the moment when, on a network variety show, a folk singer trashed a sitting president. It was in January of 1968, and pressure against the Vietnam War was building toward the bursting point that would come later that year in Chicago.

The “radical” Smothers brother, Tommy, had always been interested in providing more than mere laughs on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and now he saw a unique opportunity to whack Lyndon Johnson a good one upside the head — with Pete Seeger’s guitar. Seeger was only too happy to oblige, and after the lights went down he sang these pointed words about a foolhardy officer who’d pressed his men to risk their lives by crossing a river: “We were knee-deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.”

Everyone knew what the song was really about: LBJ’s escalation of the war. Seeger left no doubt: “Every time I read the papers, that old feeling comes on: We’re waist-deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.” We know how it all turned out for Johnson. Within a few months he’d declined to pursue the Democratic nomination for another term, and after a close election the nation ended up with a new president named Richard M. Nixon.

What’s the relevance to today? Well, Pete Seeger’s still around, bless his progressive soul, even if there’s no network host who would even consider asking him to come on to help torpedo “The One” (not that he’d ever do it). But with the evidence of President Obama’s disastrous mistakes piling up all around us, why not?

Obama’s health care plan becomes less popular and less credible, with its brain-dead policy and corrupt bargains, every time he opens his mouth to tout it. The voters of Massachusetts, of all places, have delivered an unequivocal verdict: “Drop it!” But the big fool says …

Obama’s homeland security policy, which takes a much more relaxed attitude toward “man-caused disasters” such as murderous jihadis and wants to shift the burden of the fight against them to the criminal justice system and away from the military, was very nearly blown out of the sky, along with what remains of his presidency, by the underwear bomber on Christmas Day. And yet the big fool says …
The One’s foreign policy, based on the brilliant three-pronged program of “grin, bow and apologize” and aimed at emphasizing that he is not his predecessor, has Chavez comparing him to the devil (as he did that same predecessor), Kim planning more missile launches, Sarkozy asking publicly if he’s weak, Putin calculating how much he can get away with, and Ahmadinejad thumbing his nose at serial deadlines to dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But the big fool says …

Obama’s anti-recession policy, based on borrowing and spending vast sums of money to protect the jobs of unionized government workers mainly in blue states that can’t afford to pay them because of disastrous tax-and-spend policies like his own, has produced a jobless rate of over 10% despite his promise that it would hold that rate at 8%. His elixir for growth? Have the government take over vast swathes of the economy while demonizing those who make money as “fat cats” who “don’t pay their fair share.” Meanwhile, to commandeer another late-‘60s line, he’s piloting the deficit and national debt “to boldly go where no man (or deficit) has gone before.” And the big fool …

There is also a housing program that doubles down on the failed policies that drove Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to bankruptcy, isn’t solving the problem of rising foreclosures and may well be making things worse. An Afghan war policy that advises our enemies that if they can hold out for a certain number of months they can have the place. A minimum wage policy that raised the cost of teen labor just as teen unemployment — especially among minorities — was peaking. And a pro-Big Labor policy that would make U.S. industry drastically less competitive amid signs of job-destroying protectionism to come.  Where have all the protest singers gone? Pete? Bruce? Anyone care to pick up a guitar?