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It Was the Power, Stupid!

VIII. Only Power?

Does that mean Obama does not care about ideology? Not necessarily. You can be cynical about trashing fat cats while enjoying Martha’s Vineyard—and still believe in nationalizing health care on principled grounds. A sort of medical TSA is a win-win situation in that we all line up for bypasses and antibiotics in the way the line at the airport snakes back and forth; health officers with epaulettes will take our blood pressure and pop us pills in the way unionized TSA officers so assiduously screen our luggage, five or six to a console. Just as you see a small crowd consult whether granny’s wheelchair is laced with plastic explosives, so too the Obamacare GS-10 examiners will huddle to see whether that appendix of yours really is all that close to rupturing, as you, the paranoid and greedy, suspect.

"Share the wealth" and "fairness for all" are not incompatible with a power-hungry technocratic class, an apparat to oversee all this liberality. As recompense for their noble sacrifice, a complete exemption is granted from the consequences of their own mandates. If Michelle is exhausted from trying to make us eat well, why should she not go to Costa del Sol or R&R or Vegas? If Barack Obama is worn out trying to win for us the Buffett rule, why should he pay 30% on his $760,000 in income? If Tim Geithner is fighting on our behalf to make us pay a “premium” tax for being privileged Americans, why should he have to pay his FICA? If Steven Chu takes the heat for trying to get us $8 a gallon gas in our best interest, why should he have to buy a car and drive?

In 2012 we will learn whether there is a year 5 or 2013.

IX. Footnote to Trayvon Martin

The liberal narrative about the case is now destroyed; it had nothing to do with finding out the truth, whether a trigger-happy vigilante murdered Trayvon Martin, or a desperate neighborhood watchman saved his head from being pounded to smithereens by pulling out a gun and shooting his assailant, or something in between. The narrative instead was solely concerned with taking a tragic shooting case and turning it into more fuel for a fossilized civil rights industry (since the case broke, dozens of violent crime cases of blacks against whites and Asians are splashed over the news, enraging readers and escaping liberal commentary). All we know now is that the “narrative”—a preteen shot “like a dog” while eating candy by a white “assassin” who uttered racial epithets and was never even touched by the victim, only to be let go by a wink-and-nod police force—is false.

I think it will be very hard to get a second-degree murder conviction, given the absence of racial malice on the tape (the narrative’s “coons” and NBC’s version of Zimmerman on his own volunteering “he’s black” are now inoperative), eyewitness accounts of the fray, and the clear injuries to Zimmerman. Instead, the authorities will hope that by inflating the indictment, by airing the facts, and by making Zimmerman testify, tensions will ease--and so when he is acquitted or a judge throws out the case, or a lesser count is pressed, riots will fizzle.

X. Sacrificial Lambs

This is sort of the criminal version of the Scooter Libby case: after it was learned that Plame was probably not a covert agent, that her status was disclosed to Robert Novak not by Libby but by Richard Armitage, that Colin Powell knew the entire time that his deputy--not Libby--had made the initial disclosure, that there were areas of conflict of interest between Plame and Wilson in his selection for his yellow-cake mission, then Libby was sort of seen as a sacrificial lamb who had to be guilty of something to save the narrative of a fascistic effort to sabotage the Constitution.

Perhaps before the second-degree-murder charge is thrown out, the prosecution can so entangle Zimmerman in testimony that they can recharge him with perjury or conspiracy and then plea bargain him down to a year or two. The case is now not concerned with justice, but with politics, defusing threats of violence, and salvaging the careers of so many who so foolishly rushed to judgment.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage produced using a modified Shutterstock.com element.)