Obama's Empire Strikes Out
Over the weekend in Ohio, President Obama took his desperate campaign to cling to power to new heights of silly, irresponsible rhetoric. Having spent the past couple of weeks decrying "name-calling" in politics, the president likened the Republicans to "the empire striking back."
"They're fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election, they are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across the country."
That's obviously an allusion to the best movie of the Star Wars franchise, The Empire Strikes Back. And that Empire is the best of the franchise, there can be no debate. George Lucas didn't direct that one, so the actors' delivery is closer to human than it is to wood, as in most of the other five movies in the series. Cute, dead-eyed, robot-worshiping Muppets don't implausibly bring down massive armored assault vehicles ... yet. Empire was all that was right with film making. That President Obama would sully our childhood memories by dragging them into politics is nearly grounds for impeachment.
In Empire, the reeling Galactic Empire which controls just about everything recovers from its humiliating defeat at the Death Star, takes out a hidden icebound rebel base, captures one of the rebellion's leaders, and informs another that his father is the evil Darth Vader. And lots of stuff gets blown up and there's some cool laser swordplay along the way. As is usually the case with Obama, once you unpack his rhetoric, it's childish and shallow, while what substance there is is riddled with projection, hypocrisy, and deception.
Projection. Obama has been aggressively accusing the Republicans of benefiting from foreign donations, but guess what: the Democrats have taken in twice as much in that filthy foreen lucre. In the current political environment, President Obama's party controls everything, and he and the Democrats have been using the full power of the federal government to amass even more power while ruthlessly pursuing their enemies. They have used the Environmental Protection Racket, sorry, Agency, to attack thriving states like Texas so that the Republicans there are hurt politically (and his own power grows). They have taken over most of the U.S. auto industry. They have taken over the student loan industry. They have, in the manner of that shot toward the end of Revenge of the Sith, hoisted the scaffolding for what will be the ObamaCare takeover of the U.S. health care industry (unless they're stopped). They have snuck government-empowering legislation through Congress using midnight votes and trickery, much like the schemes Chancellor Palpatine used to fritter away the Republic Senate's power to set up the Empire. Who's the hapless, hoodwinked Jar Jar Binks in this telling? Rep. Bart Stupak? Sen. Ben Nelson? Biden? Any Democrat who voted for ObamaCare, only to find it a massive albatross now?
When a group of scrappy underpowered upstarts decided to stand up and fight back -- the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars, the Tea Parties in reality -- Obama and the Democrats went after them with an unholy fury. They have tried to crush them with the political equivalent of the Death Star attack on Alderaan, which is to to call them racist. And this is how the promised post-racial presidency dies ... to thundering applause from Tinglepants Chris Matthews (Salacious Crumb, in the Lucas universe -- or maybe that's Carville).
Hypocrisy. Invoking the galaxy far, far away in the American political context is a ridiculous thing to do, but since President Obama did it second (George Lucas apparently did it first), let's take a look at a few other parallels. In his "empire" soundbite, President Obama slammed the Republicans for "spending tens of millions of dollars on negative ads" and using front groups to retake power. The Democrats' Empire has its own shadowy and unaccountable evil emperor in George Soros. George Soros has spent untold hundreds of millions of dollars since jumping strongly into politics in 2006, and his entire Shadow Party strategy hinges on setting up front groups like J Street, American Independent Media, Media Matters for America, and the Center for American Progress to attack Republicans. And it's not as if anyone can plausibly argue that Soros' involvement in politics is about clean government, or anything other than enhancing his own power. Soros himself is a convicted insider trader, as a currency speculator he has all but destroyed world currencies at the expense of the common man, and his allies have helped cover up Democrat misdeeds. What's Soros' agenda? To rule.
Let's carry Obama's inane comparison further. Anakin Skywalker enters the picture in Episode One: The Philm That Ruined Star Wars Forever as a pure savior who will "bring balance to the Force" (whatever that means, George Lucas). But that branding gives way to a narcissistic personality that brings about nothing but division and deception while creating a hideously powerful and authoritarian central galactic government. Obama came to power as a savior promising post-partisanship, unity, and a new hope, but all of that has evaporated as he has revealed himself to be a bitterly partisan actor ruthlessly pursuing a singular vision of an all-powerful state. The One has turned out to be probably the most partisan and divisive president America has ever had. And like Darth Vader, who depended on technology for his literal survival, Barack Obama depends on technology (the teleprompter) for his political survival. When Darth Vader doffs the shiny samurai helmet, he can't breathe, and as for Obama, well POTUS needs the TOTUS. When he strays from the script he ends up accusing Americans of being bitter clingers and of supporting Republicans because they're not thinking clearly enough to bask in Obama's brilliance.
Deception. In Star Wars, Chancellor Palpatine seems like a harmless fuddy duddy of a senator to those who aren't on to him, which is pretty much everyone including the overrated Jedi. But Palpatine is carrying a secret (and it's not the fact that shovel-ready jobs never existed). Palpatine's secret is that while he appears harmless, he's a secret Sith and his entire scheme depends on how convincing a liar he is. I won't dwell for long on the fact that Obama's plight has resurrected the career of Bill Clinton, known as one of the most skilled liars ever to take the White House, but I will dwell on Obama's 2008 campaign. To those who weren't on to him at the time, his gauzy "hope and change" and fake Roman columns persuaded millions of Americans that he was a moderate, post-racial, post-partisan, middle of the road pragmatist. But once in office, the deception began to break down: Obama was a secret radical leftist. He outsourced policy to partisans like Nancy Pelosi (for whom there is no analogue in the Star Wars universe, since even Lucas couldn't come up with such an implausible figure) and Harry Reid (represented with a dead-on lack of humanity by trigger man Grand Moff Tarkin), and has consistently said things that have turned out to be untrue. "If you like your health care, you can keep it." "We will hold all the health care negotiations out in the open, on C-SPAN." "We will post bills on the Internet five days before they're voted on." And so on and so on.
The fact is, in the current political environment, it's the Democrats who are the closest thing to an Empire. They control the White House and the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. They control the U.S. auto industry and they have taken broad steps to control our health care system, which is about one-eighth of the U.S. economy. They control most of the large states, including Michigan, California, and New York -- the Empire State -- while they're busy attacking Republican strongholds like icebound Alaska, er, and Texas, which isn't icebound at all. Their little liberal storm troopers, the Organizing for America activist army, are everywhere, plotting Democrat takeovers on behalf of the man to whom they personally answer. Obama's Democrats are hell-bent on putting their central, imperial government in control of everything. The Tea Parties have allied with the old Republican guard to stop them. We even have a strong, attractive woman or two at the helm of the alliance.
But that's enough about Star Wars.
November 2 won't be the destruction of Death Star 1 or 2, nor will it be the Rebel Alliance's defeat at Hoth. Like most of what Obama says, the "empire" line is rubbish. Nov 2 will be the people of America reasserting their power over their employees in government. It's a healthy thing, real power going back to the people, with a healthy pruning of the political class worked in. To most of us that's good, but to the leader of a party that has done what Obama's imperial Democrats have done, it's not a feature of the system -- it's a bug.