On The Transition And Its Consequences
Introductory note: as this is published, polls vary, with McCain in position to stage a surprise, come-from-not-too-far-behind win — maybe. In the event that Obama does not defeat his GOP opponent, this issue of the Penguin Post will be the “Dewey Defeats Truman” number. That’s acceptable. Sooner or later, everyone is wrong about something. But never let it be said that this newsletter is afraid to go out on a limb.
The ballots have been counted, and Barack Hussein Obama has just defeated John McCain. This event should be an opportunity to strengthen the nation and secure a better future. Unfortunately it is yet another negative development in an era of cultural discord that began some years ago.
While one can neither see the end of this era nor predict how severe the approaching problems will be, it is clear that Obama’s presidency will intensify the nation’s distress. Various policies, attitudes, goals and strategies of the Obama team, along with the inevitable implications of the new president’s tenure, can be identified today as causes of anguish tomorrow. They include:
1. Obama’s sensitivity and unwise responses to criticism and opposition. It’s been documented in this newsletter: the new president displays an angry, vituperative intolerance of contrary opinion, too often resorting to attempted censorship and accusations of racism. Shades of Nixon’s infamous enemies list! This irritable, elitist authoritarianism, though contrary to the US concepts of free speech and fair play, will be in evidence in years to come, as the White House tries to find ways to impose silence — and penalties for apostasy. We have here a Democrat who is not a democrat.
2. The fact that Congress now has control of the White House (regarding which claim, see explanatory comments below). This is not just a partnership, but a reversal of constitutional functions, especially in foreign relations. Because the current Congress…is riddled with corruption; considers itself not only all-wise but above the law; is unwilling to free itself of the malignant practice of secret “earmarks;” is addicted to excessive spending (“pork”); has systematically refused to rein in lunatic financial institutions that have caused a near-collapse of the banking system; and is led by stuck-on-stupid lawyers with a severely restricted appreciation for reality, the prospects for the next two (and probably four) years are breathtakingly dismal. Not for nothing has this Congress earned the distinction of being the least respected since polling of public opinion began. Yet it is to this malformed, anti-democratic, greedy, imperious and incompetent coven of cynical predators and simple-minded ideologues that the voters have unwittingly consigned the fortunes of the nation.
3. The response of the world. Most nations do not understand the federal system of the USA, the Enlightenment values that underlie the nation’s eighteenth-century (subsequently updated) constitution, or the attitudes of the various voting blocs in the fifty states. That is as it has always been, and while it is a problem, it is one the USA can live with. The new and critical element is the astronomical number of Muslims in the world who take a proprietary interest in the outcome of the recent election, and are eager to read their meaning into it. Our new president is perceived across the globe as “one of us” by a group that sincerely desires to destroy our value system. Vital truth: the Muslims’ bloodthirsty deity can never tolerate our ethos. The full implications of these facts have so far evaded recognition, let alone contemplation. Their consequences, while unpredictable in detail, can’t possibly be good, and could be horrifying.
4. The tacit Utopianism of Obama’s naive economic fantasies. “Hope” and “change” remain vague, with few specifics that have passed vetting by thoughtful economists. Taxes remain an unsettled issue, and while Obama promises to redistribute the wealth, few question how he can accomplish this nineteenth-century goal without shredding Liberty — and common sense. Does he mean to bring capitalism itself down? Was he not defeated in a thirty second debate with a plumber (who, for daring to ask Obama some hard questions, has been subjected to literally more investigation than has the candidate, mockery and a good deal of punitive harassment, as well)? We forget that the New Deal prolonged the Great Depression and deepened it in 1938. Simple solutions that resort to governmental power over markets seldom benefit anyone but the powerful, and Obama is not immune to that truth. Iatrogenic distress is not just likely — it is certain. We are in for hard times.
Part of those hard times will stem from the attempt to bring universal “free” health care to the USA. This will be a failure on multiple levels. Recall, please: Hillary noisily announced she would draft a plan to care for all of us, and then, on studying the issue, quietly folded her tent. Obama cannot do better. That will not be blamed on him, however, but on an assortment of villains such as “capitalism,” the profit motive, the AMA and Middle America. The problem: the longer Obama tries to push that rope, the more money will be wasted and the worse the care of the ill and injured will be.
5. The status of the US military. No culture that is everywhere pressed by fanatical enemies that lust to eradicate it can afford the luxury of unilateral disarmament. What will be left after the new president has eliminated research, development and deployment of selected weapons remains beyond our ken, of course. But if the overall thrust of Obama’s campaign was honest, we can expect to become weaker — and therefore a more attractive target. Asymmetrical warfare will be more effective against us.
6.”Go anywhere, talk to anyone without preconditions.” The victim who utters those words concedes ground to the bully, and invites assault. Make no mistake about it: Obama has told those who would destroy our Liberty that he is unwilling to match their violence. He expects to converse, convince, convert, concede — and thereby conclude matters with lunatics. Obama ignores Clinton’s eye-opening experience with Arafat; the old terrorist was a pussycat, compared to the tigers Obama thinks he can charm. The novice president’s Through The Looking Glass mindset makes him blind to the fact that Muslims are under heavenly orders to convert or enslave or slay us — one of the three — and that too many of them welcome a chance to die in the attempt. Obama’s fundamental principles of foreign policy are literally insane.
7. Israel. It is far too early to know what the Obama policy will be toward the Jewish state, but the possibilities must cause hand-wringing in Jerusalem. Consider the following carefully:
There is on the US political left a virulent, stealthy strain of Jew-hatred that promotes an “even-handed” foreign policy that “does not alienate the large and important Arab world.” This is of course just undead Ku Klux Klan propaganda, now risen from the grave to haunt us again. It has cloaked itself in academic robes, and now masquerades as a decent alternative to long-standing US policy. The advocates of this resurrected monstrosity blame Israel not only for the “Palestinian” imbroglio, but for virtually all other distress in the region. Will this zombie be welcome in the new administration? Will we once again hear the bleating of unadmitted bigots as they warn of the “reaction of the Arab street” (do you remember that claptrap)?
For many in the USA, the fate of Israel is of unique importance; in more than a few cases, it is considered a religious issue. What are Obama’s gut reactions to Jews and issues that concern them? We don’t know. Perhaps the only hint we have is his religious behavior so far. How much sense has he displayed regarding religious teachings? Do his religious affiliations and links to religious authorities raise questions about his judgment? Is he susceptible to doctrinally-inspired hatreds? The electorate has answered those questions to its satisfaction, of course, so raising them at this time may be grossly inappropriate. As true as that is, the Israelis may be fretting over these issues, and praying for a continuation of traditional US policy.
We shall just have to wait and see how the new president responds when the inevitable — and probably early — Islamofascist test comes. That means we’ll be sweating through some scary times…
…and if you don’t believe that, here’s a taste of the coming horror: an Iranian ship that seems to have been sent to kill hundreds of thousands of Israelis. What if things had turned out as they might well have, instead of being aborted by pirates? What do you think Obama would do, if it had happened in the first week of his presidency? — Honestly, now: if this news does not frighten you, then…what in the world does?
Well, those are some of the problems and difficulties that will plague us. The voters have chosen, so there can be no wondering now what McCain would do. Whether his instincts are more informed by harsh experience with evil — and might therefore prove wiser — is no longer relevant.
Next, what about the attitudes of the folks who lost this election? Yes, those people matter, if only because they will be waiting to take their revenge.
The bitterness of the defeated will feed on a number of issues that can already be discerned. Among them:
1. The widespread, systematic election fraud that has long remained outside the interests of the politically correct Justice Department. This is the DOJ which Bush tried to bring under control, you will recall, by firing those prosecutors; now you have some insight into why he did it, and why he landed in hot water for doing it. See this. During this new administration, the criminals who perpetrated the recent election fraud will stroll about boldly, unmolested and unperturbed. Justice will not be served — Obama will be.
2. The elitist snobbery of the winning side that has alienated millions of voters.
3. The deceitful positions Obama has taken on the second amendment. They prove the man can not be believed or trusted, and that will not be forgotten as the years go by. Gun nuts will stand firm, and there could be violence if Obama fails to respect the express intent of the founding fathers. The second amendment means what it says, and says what the framers meant. Obama knows better, unfortunately.
4. The savaging of Sarah Palin. This will become a symbol of the contempt the victors have for small-town USA. Palin can take it, and laugh it off — but “flyover country,” most of which admires her, will never forgive and forget.
5. The virtually total commitment of all news media to the Obama cause. This prostitution of journalism has produced bigoted reporting that was documented in detail, and all that will be remembered.
6. Triumphalist rejoicing on the political left. Along with the symbol of the abused Alaska governor, this will particularly infuriate the losers. That said, let it be noted as well that the overall attitude of both sides in the election is that victory for one amounts to a metaphorical death for the other. Now that left has vanquished right, there will be dancing on graves. Big mistake. It’s sowing dragon’s teeth.
7. Obama’s people are not at all likely to make a sincere effort to unite the nation. Combine that with the fact that GOP stalwarts will not be disposed to graceful acceptance of defeat, and you have durable discord. This is absolutely not mere politics. The two cultures genuinely hate each other.
With this transfer of power, we see something more disturbing and foreboding than took place in any other US political triumph in recent memory. Traditionally, the party that loses withdraws, tries to reorganize, casts about for new stars to represent the cause to the public, and lays the groundwork for the next campaign. This time is different. The defeat of the GOP is a lot more than political, and the trauma is not just to the party. A way of life, an ethos, has been spitefully condemned as backward, moronic and unethical.
This is not consonant with the requisites of democracy. It is neither wise nor humane, and it will have consequences.
Again and again, this newsletter has tried to make the point that the USA is fighting a culture war.
The evidence for that contention remains obscure to many. Nevertheless, it is present. People have been explained and stigmatized as virtually psychopathic. Mockery, ridicule and contempt have distinguished the assault on a way of life. No aspect of the culture of “flyover country” remains unstained by the calumny — and don’t think for a minute the people besmirched don’t know it. To them, the Obama machine is an alien presence that regards them as serfs.
The nation is burdened with divisions and hatreds that might, in other times and places, spark a civil war. Yes, the differences go that deep and the feelings are that intense. History cautions us not to trivialize our circumstance.
It is particularly distressing that at this time of cultural division and dispute, the voters have decided to hand political power to the agency that least deserves it: the Congress.
That is literally what has happened, though many will deny it. Expect Pelosi and Reid to explain the facts of life to the White House staff, which will be busy inventing itself as it goes along. The Clinton era holdovers will be few in number, untrusted and suspect. Where will the expertise and insight come from? Obama brims with enthusiasm and half-baked generalizations, not wisdom; he’s an apprentice without a master, a DIY trainee president. By nature, he’s a cheerleader, not a philosopher — if he ever had a novel idea, we have been deliberately prevented from learning what it was. His connections to the Chicago Machine are exploitive, and of no value in foreign policy planning (though they may be useful in domestic policy, as they could build new conduits for graft).
So for policy and strategy and tactics, it’s the Democratic establishment or nobody, and that means it’s the Congressional Democrats. They will remind the president from time to time who the real boss is.
Unfortunately it gets worse.
Many millions in the USA will be thinking, “He’s not my president.”
Question: Why this man? Answer: Because the nation has voted.
Voted, yes — but why, and along what lines? The fact is, many will come to believe this election has been decided by race. Consider this question: What if over 90% of all white voters had said that they intended to vote for John McCain?
No, no: don’t back away from the question. Don’t try to obscure it, or rationalize it, or mangle it with sophistry. Deal with it honestly!
What if over 90% of white voters had said they refused to vote for Obama??
That is the opening question that will be asked by bigots who can “explain” how Obama won. So let us deal with it candidly, and now, rather than later. How are we to respond?
The demographics and dynamics of this election may offer assistance. The facts will very probably show that Obama’s race was less of an advantage than many will ignorantly assume. In many states, Obama’s large majority would not have been achieved if black voters had not been almost all behind him, but he would have won even if as much as forty percent of the black vote had gone to McCain. A win by one vote is a win, and you get all the state’s electors.
Will that common sense quell bigotry? Probably not, and partly because it does not deal with all the ramifications of the question. That means we may very well have to contend with a mini-revival of race hatred in the USA. Some folks will feel cheated by an ignorant and prejudiced segment of the electorate that votes according to skin color alone (which just happens to be the way black folks felt not too many years ago). “Is this right, is this what democracy is about, is this what your civil rights legislation has created?” they will ask. “Why is thisracism, and that not? Aren’t they the same?”
What is the convincing response to that bitter protest? Is there one?
Unfortunately we must add this difficulty — renewed racist militancy, this time an attempt to use civil rights judo on the establishment — to the unhappy consequences listed above.
No, race has not brought us to this sorry pass, which is a cultural, not genetic, divide. Those who cherish their bigotry will never agree with that characterization, of course. They will make their case in spite of everything. All right; we’ll just have to cope. Meanwhile our real problem is based in the culture war, and we must not lose sight of that truth.
The effects of that war will be intensified partly because we suffer from a dearth of effective politicians in high executive office — state governors, in other words. The talent is lacking.
We are badly served at all political levels. Our leaders are too often greedy charlatans — flawed but glib, blind but smug, and withal ideologically tainted. That is probably because politics itself has such a bad reputation that few with both intelligence and integrity choose to enter it. Who, after all, wants to have to try to make the likes of Barney Frank see reason?
So we wind up with “leaders” like Nancy Pelosi. This nannyish scold, a bad parody of a stereotypical elementary school librarian, is behind the vice president in line to the presidency. High official or no, she should be under investigation by the FBI for corruption, and she would be, if the laws were just (but they aren’t, thanks to Congress). She has secretly awarded government contracts worth millions of dollars to her husband, all without bidding — and that’s just part of her venality.
She’s a caution. When the FBI arrived with a search warrant for a congressional office, Pelosi exploded in fury, screeching that her colleagues were exempt from standard law enforcement. She did not note that a judge had signed the warrant, nor could she quote the section of the constitution that backed her (because there is no such passage in the document). She merely asserted the absolute right of a congressman to use his offices with impunity in the commission of multiple felonies. For Pelosi, Congress is a pirates’ haven. Her most memorable quote is, “I’m trying to save the planet, I’m trying to save the planet!” If this walking, talking mockery of a political leader is the best we can do, we deserve no relief from our misery.
We are in for rough, dangerous times. The distress won’t be over quickly, either, for a lot of consequences are on their way.
And If McCain Had Won?
The culture war would flare up even more intensely. In the frustrated, exasperated leftist elite, heads would explode. Aesthetes and trendsetters would once again weep into their fair trade coffee and proclaim their intent to emigrate to Canada. Columbia University would announce its intent to deconstruct Utah, NY Times shareholders would sell their stock as ideologically ineffective, and Maureen Dowd would be found wandering barefoot in the Lincoln tunnel, suffering from amnesia.
In the real world, the fury of the left would be a wonder to behold. McCain, who is not the incendiary, diabolical symbol that Palin is, would be a secondary target of the invective. The physical safety of the next vice president would be a heightened concern.
Then: civil liberties, especially in the area of politics, would be at risk; other nations would be leery of sudden, impulsive shifts in US foreign policy; Congress would dig in its heels and refuse to reform itself; the news media would frantically try to find ways to discredit the White House and hamstring every White House initiative; Al Qaeda would announce that now the USA is in real trouble for having not seen the light; more Birkenstock Brigadiers would recommit to “direct action;” Al Gore would consider a comeback; Sandra Bernhard and Whoopi Goldberg would revamp their routines, and interest in the old Weathermen would wax on college campuses.
When “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson was president, he was a single-issue loser; his civil rights legislation passed smoothly, preventing him from being a total failure. McCain, by contrast, would not be able to do anything. His every effort, no matter how brilliant, would be sabotaged by Congress, press, academe and labor. Unite the nation? Make policy? Reform politics? Appoint judges? Lead the free world? Might as well expect a UFO to land in Central Park and drop off Judge Crater.
In a few years, some people will turn their attention to brokering a truce in the culture war. Not yet; the nation has to travel a long and painful road first, learning some lessons that we thought we learned in the Civil War. We are not ready for peace. We can’t handle it.