Ed Driscoll

The 'Bam in the High Castle

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What if Obama had been president in 1939? To understand the measure of just how temperamentally unsuited Barack Obama is to the job of president, just imagine him in the role of FDR on the eve of World War II, and the language he would use to describe the Axis, which is what VDH does in his latest column at PJM, “President Franklin Delano Obama Addresses the Threat of 1930s Violent Extremism:”

“As for acts of violence in Germany itself, we must express our worry to the German government over apparent extremism, but at the same time we must not overreact. As far as these sporadic attacks on random civilians, as, for example, during the recent Kristallnacht violence, we must keep things in perspective, when, for example, some terrorists randomly targeted some folks in a store. My job is sort of like a big-city mayor, to monitor these terrorist acts that are said to be done in the name of the German people. Let us not overreact and begin to listen to radio commentators who whip us up into a frenzy as if we were on the verge of war. We must not overestimate the SS, a sort of jayvee organization that remains a manageable problem.

“Here let me just say that we must never fall into the trap of blaming the German people abroad, but especially our German community here at home. National Socialism by no means has anything to do with socialism. These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy, and all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like the SS somehow represent socialism because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative. It is true that America and Germany have a complicated history, but there is no clash of civilizations. The notion that the America would be at war with Germany is an ugly lie.

“So make no mistake about it: National Socialism has nothing to do with Germany or the German people but is rather a violent extremist organization that has perverted the culture of Germany. It is an extremist ideology that thrives on the joblessness of Germany and can be best opposed by the international community going to the root of German unemployment and economic hard times. Let us not confuse Nazism with legitimate expressions of German nationalism. Stiff-arm saluting and jack boots are legitimate tenets of Germanism, and the German Brotherhood, for example, is a largely peaceful organization.

“So we Americans must not get on our own high horse. We, too, have bullied our neighbors and invaded them. We, too, have struggled with racism and anti-Semitism, slavery and Jim Crow. And our own culture has at times treated American citizens in the same callous way as the National Socialist do Germans. Before we castigate the Nazis, let us remember the Inquisition and the Crusades.

It’s brilliant stuff; a reminder that Obama will make a great host on MSNBC in 2017, or a great Ivy League lecturer on Ferguson or income inequality or whatever the hot lefty fad du jour is, but was a disastrous choice by the left and the pundit class (but I repeat myself) to lead the nation in 2008. Get off your high horse and read the whole thing. Because the Crusades, maaaan.

Since this seems to the weekend for both revisionist history and exploring Obama’s own fantasyland worldview, also check out Kyle Smith in the New York Post, who notes that “Sure, Obama loves America — just not the America we live in:”

Even when Obama claims to support American exceptionalism, he can’t do so without a “but.”

At West Point last year he said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

That’s a strangely twisted definition: We’re only special if we stop acting as if we think we’re special?

Americans are, of course, far more skeptical of the idea that our actions must receive the blessing of international bodies. In a 2011 Pew Survey, only 45 percent of Americans said we should get UN approval before using military force. In France, Britain, Germany and Spain that number was 66 percent to 76 percent.

The reality of American exceptionalism is that it tells a story of a country very much at odds with the fantasy version preferred by Obama and other liberals, a sort of continental campus where “hate speech” is carefully controlled, everyone thinks income inequality is a big deal, government is respected or even beloved, the churches are empty and no one owns a gun.

Much to Obama’s chagrin, Americans overwhelmingly reject the idea that we’re all enrolled at the United States of Oberlin. They love America as it is.

Or to put it in graphic terms: