October 18, 2010

“Parson Obama”


Americans do not like being lectured at, much less when those sermons are misdirected and lead to higher taxes, the creation of a preachy, Ivy-League overseeing class, and legions of federal employees whose prime directive is to vote in more politicians that give them more money with less accountability.


Are you disappointed with Barack Obama’s leadership so far, and worried about building an Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 attacks? If so, you are, well, captive to your fears: “At a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then, you know, fears can surface — suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And so I think that plays a role in it.” We have here a reincarnated Massachusetts churchman railing about the sins of those south of the Mason-Dixon line, but this time without either a god or a noble cause.

Perhaps you are worried about record annual deficits, federalized take-overs of everything from health care to the auto industry, or the specter of 10% unemployment, and therefore might question the present policies. No problem, you simply do not “always think clearly” when “scared.” Note the following: “Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does [sic] not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.” (A confession: actually I am scared. The Obama deficits are unsustainable. I think health care will be ruined. The demonized job-hiring classes are in hiding. An entire generation of young people is relegated to second-class employment status. The world abroad is heating up in expectation that the U.S. is tired and through. And race relations under the divisive Obama have worsened.)

On the other hand, maybe you are a hard-core liberal. You voted for Obama because he promised an executive solution to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the closure of Guantanamo, no more rendition and tribunals, a public mandated socialized medical program akin to Europe’s, withdrawal from Iraq — and instead he’s triangulating on all those issues and you’re worried. No problem. Preacher Obama says that you weren’t serious leftists in the first place: “If people now want to take their ball and go home that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place. If you’re serious, now’s exactly the time that people have to step up.”

But does Parson Obama follow his own protocols?

1) Obama apparently was so fearful of losing the 2008 election that he “lashed” out at the public financing of campaigns, becoming the first president since the law was enacted to renounce it — after saying he would not. In other words, he took his ball and went home.

2) Since neither science nor argument could prove that ObamaCare would lower health care prices while extending coverage, Obama apparently thought he could push the bill through on the false argument that it would save money while expanding entitlements — all on the premise that the country was “scared.”

3) You would think that America would say “thank you” to President Obama for running up nearly $3 trillion in additional debt that will require a new health care surcharge, a return to the Clinton income tax rates, increases in capital gains taxes, and more talk about lifting caps off income subject to payroll taxes and a possible VAT tax. Or maybe we should praise him for taking the unemployment rate to nearly 10%? Surely we are grateful that he gave us Van Jones and tried to turn NASA into a Muslim outreach organization.

4) When “suspicions and divisions can surface” in America, it becomes possible to scapegoat a) George Bush, b) Rush Limbaugh, c) the police, d) surgeons, e) the Chrysler creditors, f) Justice Roberts, g) Fox News, h) the people of Arizona, i) John Boehner, j) the Chamber of Commerce, k) opponents of the Ground Zero mosque, and l) Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie — suggesting that they all engage in some sort of nefarious activity harmful to the state.

When Ronald Reagan descended to a 35% approval rating, he went out and told jokes, made fun of himself, smiled — and praised America. When Bill Clinton hit 37%, he charmed the public, bit his lip, felt our pain, and drawled that the era of big government was over and welfare as we knew it was gone. When Barack Obama arrived at 43%, he began telling us that we, the disenchanted with him, are scared, frustrated, and simply not able to fathom his arguments or even basic science — to the end an angry northern parson thundering at us from his pulpit.

To reinforce just how out of his depth Obama is — while, ironically, assuming an air of privileged authority and ideological confidence — one need only listen to his assessment of the coming tax increases, made before a hardly-hostile, hand-picked MTV audience. The problem, Obama told the crowd, was that the Bush administration had put in place a tax plan that they “didn’t pay for” — the idea being that your money, which the Bush tax cuts gave back to all those who paid federal taxes, actually belongs to the government, and that by letting you keep your money, what the Bushies were doing was in effect stealing from the government what is rightly theirs, to disburse as they see fit.

That’s not how it’s supposed to work. And I suspect that even those kids at Obama’s “non-political” campaign event understand that, and are less interested these days in backing a politician simply because they dig the symbolism of his ascendancy.

So maybe there’s hope yet.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:07pm

Comments (26)

  1. If there’s hope yet it’s not a particularly large amount of hope it’s a wee bit of hope at best.

  2. Obama’s too right-wing and that’s why the Dems are going to lose.

    The tea partiers are significant but they are still an electoral minority that wouldn’t have any chances if there wasn’t an enthusiasm gap from the disenfranchised left.

  3. but will it go round in circles?

  4. Obama’s too right-wing and that’s why the Dems are going to lose.

    That’s exactly right. Pass this on to all your friends.

  5. Obama says “a tax plan that they ‘didn’t pay for'”. In fairness, isn’t he suggesting that the government didn’t cut spending in order to keep the budget balanced? I didn’t listen (I’d like to keep lunch down, as a general rule) so maybe I’m giving him more credit than he deserves.

    It’s also fairly rich he would be preaching fiscal restraint. There were plenty of people on the R side of the aisle critical of the last administration’s spending habits, including many people here. If the guy is making a fair criticism – even if he’s an enormous hypocrite – let’s at least give him that small measure of credit.

  6. All I do is spout talking points I read elsewhere. The last time I had an original thought, my brain seized up.

  7. Letting the taxes increase again would not pay for the kind of spending the Fed is doing these days.

  8. My wife can get preachy at times, but at least when she screws me I like it.

    Obama, not so much.

  9. Exactly right, cranky.

    Linked this before but I’m nothing if not annoyingly repetitive.

  10. In fairness, isn’t he suggesting that the government didn’t cut spending in order to keep the budget balanced?

    With respect, that’s not the point. The point is, we shouldn’t have to “pay” for tax cuts. His rhetorical formulation bespeaks his ideology.

    The money that the feds don’t receive as a result of tax cuts not theirs to begin with — and as his own spending shows, he is little concerned with having the money in the budget to pay for programs he insists on passing.

    Too, the tax cutting isn’t the problem. The spending is. You don’t have to “pay” for tax cuts. You have to “pay” for spending.

  11. With respect, that’s not the point. The point is, we shouldn’t have to “pay” for tax cuts. The money that they don’t receive as a result is not theirs to begin with — a
    Damn right. It’s not their farking money. They should only be able to spend what they are getting from us, like every on in this country.

    they spend, then decide how they’re going to come up with the money. That’s why they can’t fucking pay for tax cuts.

    grr. now I’m all pumped up for my workout.

  12. everyone. I apologized for the typos, but I think everyone here is used to that from me.

  13. Just watch it, ma’am.

  14. By the way, he’s right to be mad at Ed Gillespie.

    Rigging the census doesn’t play out so well when you don’t have the statehouses for the gerrymandering. Ooops.

  15. My wife can get preachy at times, but at least when she screws me I like it.

    Obama, not so much.

    Does she at least kiss you first, Joe? Because Obumblefuck seems to like Australian foreplay.

  16. “The Government owns everything and the electorate is just here to support the Government, and we’re privileged to be ‘allowed’ to do so”, is at the very heart of the Socialist theology.

    (yes I said theology – deal with it)

    – Which, if you want a good place to start re-establishing the country, that’s the first thing that has to change. As long as that is the accepted mindset of the ruling class, no matter who they are, this idea opens us up to and endless spiral of everybodies favorite sacred cows.

    – That is, for instance, why you’d practically need a palace overthrow to get Congress too ever pass a flat income tax, tied directly to job force and GNP. Limits on spending, transparancy, oversight, justifications, all those things would be under a constant spotlight if revenues were specific and limited.

    – They could never expand government unless it was the will of the people with that system. Bumbblefucks would never get out of the strting gate.

    – So have at it. The path is clear.

  17. Meantime, Obama’s own peculiar cleverness — a combination of inattention and mal-attention — has resulted in a means to screw up a practically sure good thing.

  18. This word, ‘fear,’ that is repeated here in this discourse I believe is the wrong word to use to describe the feelings that motivate the events witnessed presently. I see no phobia involved. Substitute the word ‘anger’ and the truth is more closely approached. I understand it is a very well controlled anger, politically speaking, one that will hand the present representatives their asses and ignores the machinery that selects them.

  19. Substitute the word ‘anger’

    Also see: disgust, outrage, umbrage (including Dolores), affront, righteous indignation, pique, choler, ire, exasperation, disapprobation, dander-up, and rankling.

    Speaking of Dolores Umbridge, HP 5 is a fantastic demonstration of tyranny by a smiling bureaucracy. The students eventually shrug her off through all kinds of creative rebellion and subversion. My fave of the seven.

  20. To #2 I can say I got a packet in the mail from my company telling me that thanks to Obamacare I will no longer be able to keep my high-deductible plan… scratch that… my deductible will still be high, I just won’t have the plan I like… and I’ll be paying triple.

  21. BTW… this is also a “good thing” according to the scared stiff corporate policy wonks.

    If you’ve ever worked for a public company that is dying of terminal cancer of the market, you know the kind of corporate communication I mean. “The government just outlawed buggy whips! This is a great opportunity for our company to re-trench and concentrate on our enthusiast market! We’ll be moving our headquarters to Columbia over the next several months, here’s a picture of our new headquarters in paradise! We’ll be selling all of our machinery to certain shady Pakistani gentlemen, this will enable us to save millions for our shareholders! This is an EXCITING TIME! If you got this newsletter you are one of the lucky people who will be with us until we fail!”

  22. Ron Radosh on Stanley Kurtz’s new book Radical-in-Chief.

  23. LMC, should you need to, check zurichna.com, “careers”… we actually hire once in a while.

  24. Obama’s too right-wing and that’s why the Dems are going to lose.

    Yep, if only Dunham had picked Angela Davis as his vice-presidential candidate instead of Plugs, he’d be sitting in the catbird seat now.

  25. Thx John. Appreciate it. Having one of those days, Got my open enrollment packet with said changes, bill for the car, found out that 40% of the kids involved in school activities never pay the fees (so I feel like a chump for shelling out the money and the time and etc) and the school won’t do anything but raise the fees on those who actually pay the fees, and I just fixed my glasses with model glue for the millionth time and just remembered that the last time my glasses were a priority spending item was when I bought these, six years ago.

    I am whining, in other words. But it’s OK, because I am going to sniff this model glue and things will seem better for it.

  26. Stanley Kurtz discusses his new book with John Miller on a podcast.