'Pragmatist' or Not, Obama Is Trying to Remake America
As a veteran of hard-core street organizing with a fair amount of experience at bare-knuckled, backroom political brawling, there's not a whole lot than can surprise a guy like me.
But when I watched Barack Obama's interview with Fox News' Bret Baier, I saw something that made me sit up and take notice. During the interview, President Obama stated:
I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate.
What I can tell you is that the vote that's taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if the people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don't think we should pretend otherwise.
Let me get this straight. Obama is a Harvard-trained constitutional lawyer who once taught con law at the University of Chicago. Yet, here's this man, the president, saying: "I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what the procedural rules are in the House or the Senate."
Wait a minute -- didn't this president have any constitutional concerns about the "procedure" involved in the strong-arm tactics that were employed to pass a government-run health care plan that amounts to a takeover of one-sixth of the nation's economy?
Even Democrats had grave concerns about the process to jam through a health care plan few Americans wanted. Democrat pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen noted before the House vote that "four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it ... while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly."
Nonetheless, Obama has tried to present himself as a deep thinker, a cautious, intellectual president who moves carefully -- in other words, a political pragmatist. However, his ruthless rush to pass a health care bill -- damn the consequences or the methods used -- exposed him as an opportunist who will trash the Constitution if necessary to gain a legacy for himself and remake America as we've known it. If we let him, Obama -- rooted as he is in the beliefs of the old radical Saul Alinsky -- would have America resemble a European-style social democracy, not the nation that rose to greatness based on individual liberty and free market capitalism.
By saying this, I want to make it clear that I'm not joining with the fringe that sees Obama as some sort of Manchurian candidate. I'm not going to encourage those caught up in the Obama derangement syndrome -- something that's as embarrassing as it is politically destructive.
Here, of course, I'm referring to those who continue to argue that Obama is "intentionally" trying to destroy the American economy as part of some sinister plot, or that he really isn't an American citizen. This is simply dumb and dangerous stuff.
It is, however, another matter to weigh in on the argument that tries to paint Obama as some sort of benign, if ruthless, pragmatist.
This ruthlessness could be seen in Obama's testy exchanges with Fox News' Baier. He appeared to be outraged that anybody would have the audacity to question his views.
Obama's comment that he "doesn't care about the procedural rules" tells us at least one thing: this president is an ideologue.
He wants to remake America and doesn't care if his fellow Democrats will pay the price for what he's done at the ballot box. And he doesn't seem to care that every trick in the political book got played by Pelosi and company to pass his plan. He just wanted the victory -- even if it may be Pyrrhic.
We've all heard the argument that Obama can't be an ideologue. "Look at how he's pissed off his left base" they say. And to be honest, he has angered the MSNBC-type leftists -- but not because he's operated as some kind of centrist. They're mad as hell with him because he hasn't moved fast enough to implement the goals and beliefs they share.
Just consider Dennis Kucinich, the wacky leftist congressman, who rolled over and said he'd vote "yes" on the health care bill. He wanted "reform" -- even if it's a weak and watered-down version of what he'd prefer. No, leftists don't oppose Obama's attempt to "reform" health care. What made them mad is that, as Kucinich said, Obama's plan is not radical enough. It's not the full-on, slam-dunk single payer plan they'd like him to impose on America.
In the meantime, while some lamely argue over whether or not Obama's a pragmatist, he's gone to work re-shaping American society.
General Motors has become "government motors," financial institutions are government-controlled, bureaucrats will oversee education loans, and energy use will be dictated by the government if cap and trade passes.
All of this is being orchestrated to the tune of political bribery, threats, and intimidation.
This certainly isn't what a lot of Obama voters had in mind when they embraced "hope n' change."