The Unreality-Based Presidency
As the 2004 presidential election approached, so-called "progressives" took to calling themselves "the reality-based community."
Originally adopted as a defiant rebuttal to the Bush administration's alleged dominance by faith-based, fact-denying zealots, it has morphed over time into a more widely used and arrogant expression intended to communicate the following: "We have the facts on our side and we understand how the world works. Anyone who disagrees with us is in denial, delusional, and dangerous."
For some time now, I've considered compiling a list of some of the most ridiculous and untenable beliefs held by hardened members of the left, now known as "mainstream Democrats." Thanks to President Barack Obama, I have now crossed out that task on my to-do list. He and his speechwriters worked it up for me, and for posterity, in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. As such, I'll only need to deal with a few of the most blatant examples of truly dangerous and delusional reality denial here.
On the economy, Obama insisted that "the true engine of America's economic growth" is "a rising, thriving middle class." No sir. A prosperous middle class is the result of a free-market economy operating in an environment where the rules of the game are clearly understood and evenhandedly enforced. We largely had those conditions in place during the 1980s, when during the first 14 full quarters following a recession which was arguably as serious as the one which officially ended in June 2009, the economy grew by 20 percent.
To a greater extent than commonly understood, we no longer have those conditions. This largely explains why the economy has grown by only 7.5 percent during the past 14 quarters. The fact that it has grown at all is almost a miracle, given the unprecedented level of cronyism; stifling over-regulation; misguided and corrupt attempts by the government to pick winners and losers, invariably leading to the selection of hordes of losers; and powerful deterrents to hiring, which will only became worse as the impact of Obamacare's definition of a full-time employee as someone who works 30 or more hours per week and therefore must be covered under an employer's insurance plan spreads. Census Bureau and other data show that these government-driven and government-imposed conditions are in fact gutting the middle class.
Speaking of ObamaCare, Obama claimed that it "is helping to slow the growth of health care costs." No it's not, according to an Employee Benefit News report which cites the government's own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:
[A] separate CMS report projects that even after PPACA is fully implemented, U.S. health spending is expected to reach nearly $4.6 trillion by 2019, growing at an average annual rate over the next decade of 6.3%, as opposed to a 6.1% rate anticipated before reform.
By 2019, health care is predicted to account for nearly one of every five U.S. dollars spent or about 19.6% of the gross domestic product, 0.3 percentage points higher than projected previously, CMS economists concluded.
For those in touch with reality, 6.3% represents faster growth of health care costs, not "slower."
In discussing the federal government's precarious financial situation, Obama claimed: “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion.”
Unfortunately, Obama's statement includes over $1 trillion in spending cuts which haven't happened, and savings of hundreds of billions in interest costs which won't occur unless those spending "cuts" (really reductions in projected spending increases) really take place.
But it's in the area of "climate change" -- the supposedly less threatening term replacing "global warming" -- that Obama reveals how dangerous it is when we have an unapologetic, unreality-based White House occupant.
Marc Morano at Climate Depot exhaustively demonstrated in a Wednesday post that the climate-related assertions in Obama's speech are almost entirely without basis (links in Climate Depot quotes are in the original post):
- Obama: "[T]he 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15." CD: "Global temperatures have essentially been flat lining for 16 years now. The halt in global temperatures has shown up in multiple data sets and peer-reviewed literature." Even NASA climate change crusader James Hansen has admitted that "Mean Global Temperature Has Been Flat For The Last Decade" -- which perhaps explains why he didn't write that "Obama has four years to save the planet," as he did in January 2009.
- Obama: "Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods -- all are now more frequent and intense." CD: "(The) EPA says heat waves were worse in the 1930s"; "flooding has not increased in the United States over records of 85 to 127 years"; "Wildfire numbers since 1950 have decreased globally by 15%."
- Obama: "We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy ... (and other natural disasters) were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it's too late." CD: "Sandy was terrible, but we're in a relative hurricane drought."
What will happen if Congress doesn't buy into Obama's unreality and fails to "act soon to protect future generations" from this non-existent calamity? Why, he'll do everything he can to force his unreality upon us:
I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Kirsten Powers, one of an apparently very few sane liberals remaining on our non-warming planet, recognized the chilling nature of that threat: "The edict on climate change was despotic, not liberal."
Despotism is the final refuge of those in power who choose to remain trapped in their unreality. They believe they can ultimately bend reality to their will. The more their flawed perceptions cause them to fail, the more despotic such people become.
We truly live in dangerous times.