The PJ Tatler

Matt Damon and Charles Krauthammer Agree: Obama Is No Good

Hollywood hypocrite Matt Damon says that Obama “broke up” with him.

When asked by how he feels the President is doing in the second term, Damon said, “He broke up with me” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MATT DAMON: He broke up with me. There are a lot of things that I really question, you know: the legality of the drone strikes, and these NSA revelations they’re, you know, it’s like, they’re, you know, Jimmy Carter came out and said we don’t live in a democracy. That’s, that’s a little, that’s a little intense when an ex-president says that. So, so, you know, he’s got some, some explaining to do, particularly for a constitutional law professor.

Damon stumbles into a good point: Obama, the former adjunct constitutional law professor, knows what he’s doing when he runs past Congress and rules by decree. He knows what he’s doing when he dramatically expands the power of government in relation to Americans, and that government gets used against law-abiding Americans who become inconvenient to him. It’s an intentional expansion of his powers with a goal or set of goals in mind.

Krauthammer writes about Obama’s twisting of language for the sake of political convenience. The phenomenon is administration-wide, seen most recently when Obama loyalist and now State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to call embassy evacuations “evacuations.” It’s also seen in the trial of Nidal Hasan for what the administration calls “workplace violence.”

Thus continues the administration’s penchant for wordplay, the bending of language to fit a political need. In Janet Napolitano’s famous formulation, terror attacks are now “man-caused disasters.” And the “global war on terror” is no more. It’s now an “overseas contingency operation.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is “mostly secular” and the porous border is “as secure as it’s ever been” even though the facts consistently say otherwise. And the war in Libya wasn’t a war, it was “kinetic action.” As if the bombs used would not have stayed at rest had not Obama ordered aircraft to drop them on specific targets.

But Krauthammer is too charitable to Obama.

This would all be comical and merely peculiar if it didn’t reflect a larger, more troubling reality: The confusion of language is a direct result of a confusion of policy — which is served by constant obfuscation.

It’s not confusion. It’s also not incoherence, as Krauthammer says later in the same piece. One doesn’t systematically twist and mutilate the language as Obama and all of his underlings do, all the time and on nearly every issue, without some purpose in mind. They downplay the war both to obscure the real enemy and to build up another one. They call significant scandals “phony” to deflect from their responsibility and pin back the ears of the victims, who are this administration’s enemies. The enemy that Obama’s administration consistently targets is people who oppose his political agenda here at home. His IRS singles them out. His EPA punishes whole states. His NLRB tries to force union rules on right-to-work states and non-union enterprises. Obamacare forces the heavy, central planning blue state model on red states whether they want it or not (and they don’t). Increasingly, no one but Obama’s union friends and bloodless bureaucrats want Obamacare, and they only support it as a means of power — they don’t want to live under it themselves.

Krauthammer’s conclusion is also wrong.

In the end, this isn’t about language. It’s about leadership. The wordplay is merely cover for uncertain policy embedded in confusion and ambivalence about the whole enterprise.

This is not leading from behind. This is not leading at all.

Wrong. Obama is leading. He just isn’t leading in any traditionally American way, through the constitutional process and within the bounds of our historic political discourse. But he is leading, and it’s a grave mistake to believe otherwise.

Kevin Williamson warns where Obama is leading.

Barack Obama’s administration is unmoored from the institutions that have long kept the imperial tendencies of the American presidency in check. That is partly the fault of Congress, which has punted too many of its legislative responsibilities to the president’s army of faceless regulators, but it is in no small part the result of an intentional strategy on the part of the administration. He has spent the past five years methodically testing the limits of what he can get away with, like one of those crafty velociraptors testing the electric fence in Jurassic Park. Barack Obama is a Harvard Law graduate, and he knows that he cannot make recess appointments when Congress is not in recess. He knows that his HHS is promulgating regulations that conflict with federal statutes. He knows that he is not constitutionally empowered to pick and choose which laws will be enforced. This is a might-makes-right presidency, and if Barack Obama has been from time to time muddled and contradictory, he has been clear on the point that he has no intention of being limited by something so trivial as the law.

Or what used to be our common language. Obama doesn’t believe in either one.

And here we are, living in what was a constitutional republic being rapidly transformed into a surveillance state.