Ed Driscoll

The Obama Administration Declares War


Against Vladimir Putin? Don’t be silly. But the Obama administration is fully prepared to wage maximum war against the enemy within, as Peggy Noonan writes in her latest column:

We are suffering in great part from the politicization of everything and the spread of government not in a useful way but a destructive one. Everyone wants to help the poor, the old and the sick; the safety net exists because we want it. But voters and taxpayers feel bullied, burdened and jerked around, which again is not new but feels more intense every day. Common sense and native wit tell them America is losing the most vital part of itself in the continuing shift of power from private to public. Rules, regulations, many of them stupid, from all the agencies—local, state, federal—on the building of a house, or the starting of a business. You can only employ so many before the new insurance rules kick in so don’t employ too many, don’t take a chance! Which means: Don’t grow. It takes the utmost commitment to start a school or improve an existing one because you’ll come up against the unions, which own the politicians.

It’s all part of the malaise, the sclerosis. So is the eroding end of the idea that religious scruples and beliefs have a high place that must culturally and politically be respected. The political-media complex is bravely coming down on florists with unfashionable views. On Twitter Thursday the freedom-fighter who tweets as @FriedrichHayek asked: “Can the government compel a Jewish baker to deliver a wedding cake on a Saturday? If not why not.” Why not indeed. Because the truly tolerant give each other a little space? On an optimistic note, the Little Sisters of the Poor haven’t been put out of business and patiently await their day in court.

I think a lot of people right now, certainly Republicans and conservatives, feel like a guy in a batting cage taking ball after ball from an automatic pitching machine. He’s hitting the ball and keeping up and suddenly the machine starts going berserk. It’s firing five balls a second, then 10. At first he tries to hit a few. Then he’s just trying to duck, trying not to get hurt.

That’s how people feel about the demands and dictates. The balls keep coming at them politically, locally, culturally. Republicans and conservatives comprise at least half the country. That’s a lot of people.

But they’re the wrong kind of people from the left’s perspective — and as Bertolt Brecht suggested 60 years ago, “would it not be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?”

In sharp contradistinction to what feels like a hard-fought war on the American people, when it comes to the Russians rolling into the Crimea, the Obama administration is fully prepared to declare…their latest “Uncontested Arrival” to the Newspeak Dictionary:

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At Hot Air, Allahpundit snarks in response:

My mistake. I thought the White House might try to make all of this go away by accepting Putin’s phony pretense that it’s a domestic uprising among ethnic Russians in Crimea, not an invasion by Russia. In fact, says the White House, there is a foreign element to the new troop presence — but it’s all good so far because Crimea isn’t resisting.

In other words, to save face over the fact that there’s nothing much we can do to stop this, the official U.S. line is that this can’t be an invasion if the Russians are being … greeted as liberators.

Read the whole thing; as Allah adds, “Popehat’s right: ‘Uncontested arrival’ is the best Orwellian euphemism for war since ‘kinetic military action.’”

Victor Davis Hanson’s July, 2013 article on “President Obama’s New American Vocabulary” is going to need another update; there will plenty more before 2016 is concluded.

So what does the administration do next? To borrow one of Kate of Small Dead Animals’ favorite leitmotifs, now is the time that John E. of the Ace of Spades blog juxtaposes:

obama_crimea_happy_hour_2-28-14

No kidding — he really did say that, according to the Washington Post:

Speaking to the Democratic National Committee Friday night, President Obama defended his right to use executive authority and mocked Republicans for their obsession with the Affordable Care Act.

Obama leavened his sharp policy message–which focused on increasing the minimum wage and expanding health care access–with moments of levity, telling the crowd at the Capital Hilton, “Well, it’s Friday. It’s after 5:00. So this is now officially happy hour with the Democratic Party.”

As the group laughed and applauded, the president added, “I can do that. It is an executive action. I have the authority.”

Classy. But it is yet another reminder that Mr. Obama’s obsessions are with the “fundamental transformation” of America — he really doesn’t give a damn about what happens overseas.

As Peggy Noonan has advised the administrations she’s worked for, and has written, tone matters — “A president sets a mood, a tone. He establishes an atmosphere. If he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. If he is too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads too.”

And from the top down, this administration is entirely tone-deaf. No wonder half of America’s citizens fear him far more than any foreign leader with an expansionist bent.

Update: “Ukraine threatened: Obama fires verbs at Russian tanks,” Neil Munro writes at the Daily Caller.