“My name is Craig K., and I’m an Obamaholic.” That’s the confession with which Craig Karpel opens The 12-Step Guide for the Recovering Obama Voter. It’s meant, of course, to be an aid not just to addicted individuals but also to a society that’s taken a wrong turn and gone off the rails.
And, analogously to the addicted individual, the first requirement is accurately targeting the blame: “the Obama presidency isn’t Obama’s fault — it’s ours. We should be impeached for having elected him.” And that includes “those of us who didn’t vote for him, because we didn’t persuade enough other people not to.”
In other words, this book offers itself as a curative to a whole country that has “hit bottom,” as Karpel puts it, as the national debt reaches staggering levels, the numbers of those unemployed and living off the dole continue to burgeon, and the world scene descends into a Hobbesian nightmare as Iran strides unimpeded toward nukes and Islamists take the helm in Egypt and a raft of other countries.
What brought things to such a pass? What enabled Americans to enable “a man with no administrative experience to run the largest organization on earth”? Why was Obama elected without “carefully examining [his] background, character, career, and plans,” while ignoring the fact that he lacked any record of significant achievements?
In the framework of his 12 Steps, modeled loosely on those of AA, Karpel looks for the answers.
For one thing, “we became hooked on a political cult that…presented a politician as a messianic figure.” It’s the left, says Karpel, that’s truly “faith-based,” attributing “providential potency to government.” Government under the left’s dispensation, with the “philosopher-king” Obama at the helm, became a “primitive idolatrous pagan church in which, as the ancient Egyptian fertility god Osiris was superstitiously believed to have the power to make grain grow, the president of the United States is superstitiously believed to have the power to make initial unemployment claims shrink” — along with other miracles, while taking steps reflecting European-style statist fantasies instead of experience and prudence.
In electing Obama, America also fell for charisma “instead of valuing only character.” Whereas Bush 43 “offended sophisticates by acknowledging a supreme being rather than pretending to be one,” Obama dissed American exceptionalism while projecting himself as what was truly exceptional, “the appointed person…at the appointed time.” And, taken in by his charismatic mien, people fell for it.
Good old elitism was another Siren luring the ship off course, “the belief that those with certain credentials” — such as Obama’s Harvard background — “constitute an elite whose members have a right to rule.” This while ignoring the fact (except that slice of voters who are far to the left and welcomed it) that ’60s and ’70s radicals have turned the universities into left-wing hothouses — a milieu well manifested in Obama’s quixotic “stimulus” attempt, Solyndra debacle, and appointment of 42 elite “czars” (an example of what Karpel calls “crony anticapitalism”)
And, perhaps most perniciously since it sows social discord, Obama, says Karpel, got Americans addicted to blaming others. “[N]ever before,” Karpel writes, “has there been a president whose central discourse is about blame.” As the U.S. economy continues to tank, Obama goes on blaming his predecessor, George W. Bush, for the woes. But it’s not only that. On pages 52-56 of this e-pamphlet, Karpel has compiled an impressive list of Obama’s malicious attributions of blame to others, ranging from ATMs to auto manufacturers, from Standard & Poor’s to “stupid” police in Cambridge, Massachusetts (for arresting his friend Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.). And the habit is catching, as Obama turns Americans against each other and cultivates group antagonisms.
As November 6 looms and the race appears close, Karpel hopes this book will make a difference. He suggests setting up house meetings of Obama Voters Anonymous to “work” its 12 Steps, creating Facebook events, and disseminating the link by Twitter and email. It sounds worth trying; as an American Israeli with an added Middle Eastern perspective on the harm this president has wrought, I hope these ideas catch. There are, of course, those who will vote for Obama no matter what. Polls, though, continue to show considerable ranks of the undecided, people who could potentially be reached by this book’s friendly, empathic approach.
But even if you’ve never dreamed of voting for Obama and aren’t the organizing type, this short, addictive book is one you shouldn’t miss. Distinguished by lean, pungent prose laced with wit, it’s a deeply insightful compendium of where things stand after four years of disastrous executive bungling, and offers a path out of the mess before it’s too late.