Politics, et Cetera

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

They Said It:

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.

T.E. Lawrence,Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1922.

 

THE OTHER DREAM WORLD.

You may recall that just two weeks ago, we mentioned – yet again – contemporary liberalism’s fulfillment of Eric Voegelin’s commentary on Gnosticism and especially on the Gnostic dream world.  In the liberal dream world, of course, “nonrecognition of reality is the first principle . . . .”  The Left denies reality and, based on this denial, constructs a fantasy world, complete with its own fantasy morality.  Or, as Voegelin put it:

As a consequence, types of action which in the real world would be considered as morally insane, because of the real effects which they have, will be considered moral in the dream world, because they intended an entirely different effect.  The gap between intended and real effect will be imputed not to the Gnostic immorality of ignoring the structure of reality but to the immorality of some other person or society that does not behave as it should behave according to the dream conception of cause and effect.

Right on cue – almost as if we knew this was coming – the Democrats in Washington sallied forth valiantly to prove our point, insisting that the budget deal passed last week by the House was patently “immoral” because it failed to extend long-term unemployment benefits.  Before the House adjourned on Friday, 166 Democratic members sent a letter to the Speaker of the House John Boehner, excoriating him and his party for their cruelty and their “unconscionable” actions, which would “decimate” the people of this country.

The former Speaker and current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, never one to let a “crisis” pass without adding her two cents, declared, “this is so unconscionable, it’s practically at the level of immoral to do.”  We’ll admit that we are not fluent speakers of Pelosish, which is to say that we’re not sure how to translate this into English, but it strikes us that what Mrs. Pelosi meant here is that “Republicans are evil” – at least by the moral standards of the dream world.

As we noted two weeks ago, almost all of the existing empirical data show that long-term unemployment benefits and the repeated extension thereof actually hurt workers and hurt the broader labor market.  Meanwhile, the alleged economic benefits of long-term unemployment insurance, which are based on the much ballyhooed Keynesian “multiplier,” and which the mobster’s daughter, Mrs. Pelosi, mentioned in her lecture on morality, have proven mysteriously elusive.  Somehow, five years of center-Left unemployment policy, including repeated extensions of long-term benefits, has failed either to heal the jobs market or to produce any noticeable economic benefit.  All of which is to say that any normal person – any rational person – would by now understand that all of this yammering about the moral and economic necessity of yet another extension of unemployment benefits is both foolish and economically enervating.

And yet the Democrats push on, insisting courageously that their insanity is moral and, moreover, that its failure to deliver expected results is exclusively the fault of the Republicans who are, of course, not behaving as they should according to the Democrats’ conception of cause and effect.

Can Voegelin call ‘em, or can Voegelin call ‘em?

Not that anyone should be surprised by any of this.  After all, Voegelin’s The New Science of Politics is some six decades old, which means that the political Left has been operating in this Gnostic dream world for at least a century now, long enough for Voegelin to have noticed, studied, and written a book on the phenomenon 61 years ago.  The Democrats’ ongoing nonrecognition of reality is, in fact, the political status quo in contemporary America.  Or to put this in another way, Voegelin’s dream world is the world in which our political discussions have taken place for as long as anyone can remember.

Unfortunately – and as has become painfully clear over the last several weeks – Voegelin’s conception of the dream world is not the only conception of such a state that applies to our vaunted political class in general and the to adolescents who currently occupy the White House more specifically.  The Obamanauts inhabit not just the Gnostic dream world, but what we’ll call the “Inverse Truman dream world” as well.

For the record, the Truman in question here is not, as you might think, the 33rd President of the United States and the pride of Kansas City, Harry Truman.  Rather, it’s Truman Burbank, the main character in a 15 year-old movie called “The Truman Show.”

For those of you who may not recall, or who had the good sense not to waste your time being creeped out by Jim Carey for two hours, “The Truman Show” tells the story of a man whose entire life, from before birth right up through his thirtieth birthday, is a scripted television show.  Everyone in his life is an actor.  Everything that happens to him is planned.  Everybody in the world – save Truman – knows that the whole thing is a set-up and is either playing along or sitting at home watching the show as it unfolds live on TV.  Eventually – on his thirtieth birthday – Truman starts to figure things out and the entire charade comes crashing down.  But that’s, more or less, beside the point for our purposes today.  What matters here is the basic premise, that of a man who thinks he is living real life but is, in fact, part of a major entertainment project, the world’s biggest and most fabulous production.

Despite the fact that he is played by Jim Carey, easily one of the least likeable men in Hollywood, if not the world, Truman Burbank is the protagonist of the film.  The audience is supposed to like him, to feel for him, to become more and more enamored with him as he starts to figure things out and to put the pieces of the puzzle together, determining the difference between fantasy and reality.  As he emerges from his dream world, we cheer for him and are glad at his fortunes.

Enter Barack Obama.

He is, in so many ways, the inverse of Truman Burbank.  Truman thinks he is living a real life, and when he finds out that his life is really a fantasy, he is disturbed.  Obama, by contrast, loves his fantasy world.  He loves playing the President of the United States to a global audience that is enduringly mesmerized by his every word, deed, and thought.  Recall that when he ran for president in 2008, Republicans mocked him as a celebrity, which seemed to offend everybody but Obama, who enjoyed the notion.

He was happy to go on Leno to talk about bad he is at bowling.  He was happy to discard the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his spiritual mentor for two decades, as long as it gave him the chance to tell the heretofore deprived people of the world of his deepest, innermost thoughts on race in America.  Indeed, the high points of his presidency have been his time on the stage making grand proclamations and informing the world of his thoughts, ideas, and ruminations.

Everything that Barack Obama does; everything that he thinks; everything that he says is scripted.  Not by a writer at some far-off Hollywood studio, mind you, but scripted in his own head, scripted for “the people,” so that they may know what he is doing and thinking at all times, and so that they may know that what he is doing and thinking is truly resplendent.

Think about it for a minute.  When something important happens somewhere in the world, what does the White House do?  What is this President’s instinct reaction?

More often than not, his instinct is to place the event in context of his life and to transmit the seeming importance of that context to the world.  Consider, for example, the White House’s reaction two weeks ago to the death of Nelson Mandela.  The official White House web site posted a picture, NOT of Nelson Mandela, not of Obama meeting Nelson Mandela, not of Obama visiting the cell where Nelson Mandela spent many of his years in prison.  No, the picture the White House released was of Barack Obama, standing in the Oval Office, watching the news reports of Nelson Mandela’s death.

And if the White House didn’t tell us that he was watching the news of Nelson Mandela’s death, Nelson Mandela would not have appeared anywhere in the post.  Obama could, for all we know, have been watching Sportscenter, which is what he likes to do most of the time anyway.  But the point was made:  this is the part that that guy, ol’ wotsisname and whatever happened to him (Did he die?  Break his leg?  Get married?  Who cares?) are to play in the great drama that is BARACK OBAMA’S life story.

Consider as well, Obama’s trip to Mandela’s funeral.  For a change, Obama managed to talk at least a little bit about someone and something other than himself, keeping most of his comments on topic.  But, needless to say, in the end it still came down to explaining how one of the important accomplishments of this remarkable, historic figure during his time on earth was to inspire Barack Obama.  To wit:

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection.  With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask:  How well have I applied his lessons in my own life?  It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President . . .

Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me.  It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.  And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be a better man.

Naturally, Mandela’s funeral was also the perfect occasion for the President to pitch his latest pending-policy-disaster, his newest distraction from the disaster that is Obamacare:

We know that, like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation.  As was true here, it took sacrifice — the sacrifice of countless people, known and unknown, to see the dawn of a new day.  Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle.  (Applause.)  But in America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done . . . .

And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.

You hear that, Republicans?  Even at Mandela’s funeral, you suck – at least in comparison to “the one!”

And then, of course, there was the “selfie.”

A man whom Obama claims to have admired is dead.  Obama is in South Africa, both in a professional capacity and a personal capacity, to pay his respects to a moral and political giant.  He, perhaps more than any other world leader, represents the same spirit of racial progress as South Africa’s now-deceased first black president.  But there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever that any of that should keep a guy from having a good time, yucking it up with the other dignitaries, and snapping pictures of himself to text out around the globe.  Who’s the attraction here, after all, some stiff or the real life, still breathing “one we’ve been waiting for?”

The interesting thing about the selfie is that the pretty blonde in between Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron is a perfect cast member for “The Obama Show.”  Danish Prime Minister Helen Thorning-Schmidt is, after all, her country’s version of Obama.  She too is a celebrity, a politician who thinks that politics is a show and that she’s the main character.  She too is a “first,” Denmark’s first woman Prime Minister.  She too has no idea what she’s talking about when discussing economics.  (Her big economic proposal while running for election in 2011 was to compel all workers to work 12 minutes longer every day, thereby boosting economic production.)  She too is considered the “cool” candidate by a fawning national press.  She too is exceptionally concerned about appearances; National Review reports that her obsession with fashion has earned her the nickname “Gucci Helle.”  And she too thinks that celebrity life is much more interesting that real life.  Again according to National Review, Mrs. Thorning-Schmidt, who is a HUGE fan of the vile HBO show “Sex and the City,” once stopped her limo on the streets of Oslo, Norway so that she could beg for an autograph from that show’s star, Sarah Jessica Parker.  All things considered, in short, Obama couldn’t have found a more appropriate woman with whom to share a picture at the . . . uhhh . . . place . . . you know, that thingy that they all attended together.

Some commentators have responded to the hubbub surrounding Barack Obama’s clear obsession with Barack Obama by insisting that he is not the only politician who is really impressed with himself and thinks that others should be as well.  This, unfortunately, is a truism.  Of course, they’re all self-absorbed.  How else do you get to the point where you think to yourself, “You know what the world could use right now?  A little more me!”?

Even so, some on the Left insisted that Obama wasn’t the only politician who behaved badly and self-interestedly at Mandela’s funeral.  The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, for example, decided that Senator Ted Cruz was just as guilty as Obama of allowing his personal predilections to overshadow the solemnity of the occasion in South Africa last week.  Milbank wrote:

Our first Selfie should be awarded to Sen. Ted Cruz.  The Texas Republican was so self-centered that he staged a one-man walkout at the Mandela memorial service when [Cuban Dictator/President Raul] Castro spoke.  Never mind that Mandela had preached the virtues of reconciliation: Cruz was going to use the memorial to reaffirm his anti-Cuba bona fides.

On the one hand, it’s kind of comical that Milbank would call Cruz’s position “anti-Cuba.”  Given that Cruz is himself of Cuban descent and that his father was a refugee from the Castro regime, Milbank might have thought of a better way to describe the Senator’s distaste for that nation’s murderous, Communist thugs.  On the other hand, Milbank is largely right.  Cruz knew that Castro was going to speak.  He knew that Mandela was friends with the Castro brothers.  He knew that he could not attend the funeral without being subjected to Raul’s inane commentary.  And yet he chose to go anyway.  And he chose to make a production of getting up and walking out during Castro’s address.  In short, he too planned his actions based almost exclusively on how they would appear to his target audience.  He went to look inclusive, and walked out to look tough.

But so what?  Yes, Cruz is a self-absorbed oddball.  Others in Washington are self-absorbed oddballs.  Frankly, anyone who’d want to be a “leader” in Washington these days has to be something of a self-absorbed oddball.  But that doesn’t absolve Obama, far from it.  The fact that he stands out as truly odd among all these other oddballs is significant.

Fifteen years ago, just after the six-year midterms and after the whole impeachment mess, the American press began noting that Bill Clinton was obsessed with his “legacy.”  He had served the majority of his presidency, overseen the rebirth of free trade, witnessed an above-average period of economic growth, and had worked with the new Republican majority to reform welfare.  His presidency was one that was characterized by “peace and prosperity,” by a return to balance in the nation’s budget, and by a growing and contented middle class.  The country was in good shape.  The people were pleased.  The markets were soaring.  And yet Bill was miffed.  HE wasn’t happy.  HE was unsure how he would be remembered.  HE didn’t appreciate the fact that some people thought that he was lucky, rather than good.  As Paul Bedard put it during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan:

The press wasn’t the only group in Washington obsessed with how Bill Clinton, just reelected in 1996, was going to build a lasting legacy.  So was Clinton and his staff.

In the new memos released today by the Clinton library regarding President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, there are two series of never-before-seen memos that show just how devoted Bubba’s staff was to building him a lasting legacy . . . .

A second series is titled “The Pillar Project,” and reviews the 14 pillars of legacy initiatives the administration hoped to live on after it left the White House.  An August 26, 1997 memo in Box 14-001 suggests that the White House was hungry for new legacy ideas, bluntly asking: “What will he get credit for, now and in the future?  What successes will people notice and care about?  What successes will they attribute to the president?”

To Bill, it was all about Bill.  All the time.  He hated that he would be remembered for Monica Lewinsky.  He hated that George W. Bush, not he, would be remembered as the guy who chose to fight al Qaeda.  He hated that he hadn’t been given the “opportunity” to be great, hadn’t faced a crisis that he could overcome.  He hated that his presidency would always be thought of as, in the searing words of Charles Krauthammer, a “holiday from history.”  The country was fine.  But what about him?

The catch here, the real problem that the nation faces right now, is that even despite all of this, Clinton’s narcissism pales, both in intensity and complexion to Obama’s.  When it comes to self-absorption, self-delusion, and self-reverence, Obama is on a completely different level than anyone else who has ever wielded as much power as he does – at least in this country.

Indeed, many of those around him behave as if they are acting out a role, as if they believe that this is how heroes or heroines like them should behave in a liberal fantasy.  Recall that last year, during the campaign, David Maraniss, a best-selling author, a Pulitzer-Prizewinning journalist, an associate editor at The Washington Post and one of this nation’s premier biographers, published a book called Barack Obama:  The Story.  In it, Maraniss referred to Obama’s official biography as “literature,” which is to say a work of fiction, scripted so that the hero would appear as intrepid and wonderful as humanly possible.  Ben Smith, another former Post writer and the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, reviewed Maraniss’s book, noting the following:

That the core narrative of Dreams could have survived this long into Obama’s public life is the product in part of an inadvertent conspiracy between the president and his enemies.  His memoir evokes an angry, misspent youth; a deep and lifelong obsession with race; foreign and strongly Muslim heritage; and roots in the 20th Century’s self-consciously leftist anti-colonial struggle . . .

Maraniss’s deep and entertaining biography will serve as a corrective both to Obama’s mythmaking and his enemies’.  Maraniss finds that Obama’s young life was basically conventional, his personal struggles prosaic and later exaggerated.  He finds that race, central to Obama’s later thought and included in the subtitle of his memoir, wasn’t a central factor in his Hawaii youth or the existential struggles of his young adulthood.  And he concludes that attempts, which Obama encouraged in his memoir, to view him through the prism of race “can lead to a misinterpretation” of the sense of “outsiderness” that Maraniss puts at the core of Obama’s identity and ambition. . .

“The character creations and rearrangements of the book are not merely a matter of style, devices of compression, but are also substantive,” Maraniss responds in his own introduction.  The book belongs in the category of “literature and memoir, not history and autobiography,” he writes, and “the themes of the book control character and chronology.” . . .

In Dreams, for instance, Obama writes of a friend named “Regina,” who is a symbol of the authentic African-American experience that Obama hungers for (and which he would later find in Michelle Robinson).  Maraniss discovers, however, that Regina was based on a student leader at Occidental College, Caroline Boss, who was white.  Regina was the name of her working-class Swiss grandmother, who also seems to make a cameo in Dreams . . .

Some of Maraniss’s most surprising debunking, though, comes in the area of family lore, where he disputes a long string of stories on three continents, though perhaps no more than most of us have picked up from garrulous grandparents and great uncles.  And his corrections are, at times, a bit harsh.  Obama grandfather “Stanley [Dunham]’s two defining stories were that he found his mother after her suicide and that he punched his principal and got expelled from El Dorado High.  That second story seems to be in the same fictitious realm as the first,” Maraniss writes.  As for Dunham’s tale of a 1935 car ride with Herbert Hoover, it’s a “preposterous . . .fabrication.”

As for a legacy of racism in his mother’s Kansas childhood, “Stanley was a teller of tales, and it appears that his grandson got these stories mostly from him,” Maraniss writes.

Across the ocean, the family story that Hussein Onyango, Obama’s paternal grandfather, had been whipped and tortured by the British is “unlikely”: “five people who had close connections to Hussein Onyango said they doubted the story or were certain that it did not happen,” Maraniss writes.  The memory that the father of his Indonesian stepfather, Soewarno Martodihardjo, was killed by Dutch soldiers in the fight for independence is “a concocted myth in almost all respects.”  In fact, Martodihardjo “fell off a chair at his home while trying to hang drapes, presumable suffering a heart attack.”

Most families exaggerate ancestors’ deeds.  A more difficult category of correction comes in Maraniss’s treatment of Obama’s father and namesake.  Barack Obama Sr., in this telling, quickly sheds whatever sympathy his intelligence and squandered promise should carry.  He’s the son of a man, one relative told Maraniss, who is required to pay an extra dowry for one wife “because he was a bad person.”

He was also a domestic abuser.

“His father Hussein Onyango, was a man who hit women, and it turned out that Obama was no different,” Maraniss writes.  “I thought he would kill me,” one ex-wife tells him; he also gave her sexually-transmitted diseases from extramarital relationships.

It’s in that context that Maraniss corrects a central element of Obama’s own biography, debunking a story that Obama’s mother may well have invented: That she and her son were abandoned in Hawaii in 1963.

Obama’s real life was interesting enough, we suppose.  But it wasn’t quite what he and his handlers wanted it to be.  So they punched it up a little.  And why not?  Who was going to care . . . or even notice?  This story has a happy ending, after all, with the hero conquering the world and making it a better place for all men, women, and children.  Why would anyone care about a few fudged details here and there?

We are not, we should note, the only ones who see this tendency in the Obama White House, this propensity of everyone to behave as if he is merely playing a role in the great Obama drama.  Two weeks ago, for example, Peggy Noonan, herself a veteran of two White Houses, wrote the following:

Here I will say something harsh, and it’s connected to the thing about words but also images.

From what I have seen the administration is full of young people who’ve seen the movie but not read the book.  They act bright, they know the reference, they’re credentialed.  But they’ve only seen the movie about, say, the Cuban missile crisis, and then they get into a foreign-policy question and they’re seeing movies in their heads.  They haven’t read the histories, the texts, which carry more information, more texture, data and subtlety, and different points of view.  They’ve only seen the movie — the Cubans had the missiles and Jack said “Not another war” and Bobby said “Pearl Harbor in reverse” and dreadful old Curtis LeMay chomped his cigar and said “We can fry a million of ‘em by this afternoon, Mr. President.”  Grrr, grrr, good guys beat bad guys.

It’s as if history isn’t real to them.  They run around tweeting, all of them, even those in substantial positions.  “Darfur government inadequate.  Genocide unacceptable.”  They share their feelings – that happens to be one of the things they seem to think is real, what they feel.  “Unjust treatment of women — scourge that hurts my heart.”  This is the dialogue to the movies in their heads.

There’s a sense that they’re all freelancing, not really part of anything coherent.

Part of this, we suppose, is, as Noonan suggests, a consequence of these young men and women, from Obama on down, being credentialed, but not educated.  They know the Hollywood version of history and only the Hollywood version.  They don’t read books.  They don’t study history.  And what they do study is stilted, biased, and woefully inadequate.  All they really know is how “history” played out on film.  And they are bound and determined to see that it plays out just that way again.  They’ve seen it a thousand times.  They know all the lines by heart.  So why shouldn’t they repeat what they’ve learned and apply these lessons to a new crisis, a new problem, a new policy?  Jeez.  How hard can this be?  You sit down in the war room, make a wise remark or a witty quip, fix the world’s problems and then sit back and try to decide who you want to play you in the Disney Sunday night movie.

Another, related part of the problem here is that this incomplete and dramatized version of history that our young wannabe wonks have absorbed is also depressingly biased, which is to say that it is history in the grand American post-Vietnam tradition, prejudiced in favor of the heroic Left and against the sinister dead white males.

In a recent essay for PJMedia, Roger L. Simon called Obama our “First Hippie President,” but noted that he is a specific kind of hippie:

[M]ost of us grew out of it.  Obama, however, was late to the party and, like many latecomers, didn’t quite see it for what it was.  The hippie period latecomers I have noticed were envious of their forebears and didn’t quite grasp that the whole might have been mere teenage rebellion.  Lost in a nostalgia for what they never quite had, they took it all a bit too seriously.

Similarly, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the inimitable PJ O’Rourke discussed his generation, the Baby Boomers, and the qualities that distinguished Obama’s “class” of the Boomer generation from its predecessors:

[D]istinctions among varieties of baby boomers need to be made.  Geographical distinctions are peripatetically moot for us.  Distinctions according to race, class, gender or sexual orientation would be offensive to baby-boom sensitivities.  Furthermore, they’d be beside the point, because the author — much as he endeavors to be as different from everyone else as a member of the baby boom should be — finds himself to be hopelessly ordinary in matters of race, class, gender identification and which section of Playboy he turned to first when he was 16.  But time is a distinction we all have to endure.  And there are temporal variations in the baby boom . . . .

The freshmen were born in the early 1960s.  They felt no visceral effects from the events that formed the baby boom.  To freshmen, the Vietnam War was just something that was inexplicably on TV all the time, like Ed McMahon.  Feminism had gone from a pressing social issue to a Bea Arthur comedy show that their parents liked, and, by the time the freshmen were in college, feminism was an essay topic for the “Reading Shakespeare in Cultural Context” course. Hint: Lady Macbeth hit that glass ceiling hard.

Obama and his ilk – his supporters, friends, and likeminded activists – missed all the fun that guys like Bill Clinton had.  Obama didn’t get to tell the damned National Guard where they could stick it.  He didn’t get to burn his draft card and loathe the military.  He didn’t get to have any fun.  In a clear and yet pathetic echo of Bill Clinton’s whine about not being president during hard times, Obama regrets that he didn’t get to be world-changing progressive during the dark days when “the Man” was pushing world-changing progressives around.  He didn’t get to fight the damned British colonialists like his gramps and his pops.  He didn’t get to march with Martin Luther King or integrate the schools of Little Rock.  He didn’t get to party, protest, and push that evil Nixon out of the White House.  Sure, he got to teach con. Law at the U of C, but Hillary got to draw up impeachment charges against Tricky Dick.  How cool is that?  Obama, of course, knows all about all of this “glorious,” – if abbreviated and prejudiced – history.  And so the script he has written will ensure that his story, his movie, his epic tale will be every bit as magnificent.

This is, of course, bizarre and tragic.  But it is also incredibly consequential.  A president playing to the cameras or attempting to pre-write the history books will make radically different choices than a president who understands that reality is neither heroic nor exciting.  A man reprising the role of president originally played by Martin Sheen on “The West Wing” will do things far differently from an actual president who understands that the function of government is mundane and unexciting.

In the Inverse Truman Dream World, a president will push for a radical overhaul of the nation’s health care system, not because he has a better way to run things, but because that will allow him to fulfill a leftist fantasy at least a century old.  In the Inverse Truman Dream World, a president will abandon friends and negotiate a “peace” with the Mad Mullahs of Iran, not because the peace will be enduring or even substantive, but because that will make him a hero to the anti-warriors and the anti-Western post modernists; it will make him the man who succeeded where Carter, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes failed.  In the Inverse Truman Dream World, a president will push higher taxes on “the rich,” and greater discretionary spending; he will push “stimulus” bills and omnibus reform bills of every shape and sort; and of course, he will push for constant extensions of long-term unemployment benefits, citing both the moral and the economic case for doing so.  And he will do all of this not because it makes any economic sense, but because that’s what the script says a heroic leftist president should do.

It makes us uncomfortable that the country – indeed the world – will suffer three more years of the Inverse Truman Dream World.  It makes us even more uncomfortable to think that those three years could be merely the beginning of this specific dream world, rather than the end.  Obama is the most delusional of the dreamers today.  But, as we noted above, he is hardly the only one.  Given the temperament, education, upbringing, and predilections of those who surround Obama in this country’s ruling class, we’re not exactly sanguine about the future of that class.  We suspect that the Inverse Truman Dream World will persist for some time, right alongside the Gnostic version.

Thank God that the Founders, in their wisdom, provided biennial and quadrennial opportunities for the people of this country to remedy this situation.  Our only fear is that too many of them are themselves trapped in this dream world to do much good.

 

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