Horowitz attacks anti-Obama conservatives

David Horowitz, who emerged as an Obama supporter at the time of the inauguration, lashes into conservatives who are too anti-Obama. Below is his article with my interpolated comments.

Obama Derangement Syndrome
By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 30, 2009

I have been watching an interesting phenomenon on the Right, which is beginning to cause me concern. I am referring to the over-the-top hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president, which distinctly reminds me of the “Bush Is Hitler” crowd on the Left.

Speaking of this crowd, have you seen any “I am so sorry” postings from that quarter as Obama continues and even escalates the former president’s war policy in Afghanistan and attempts to consolidate his military occupation of Iraq? [Fair enough. I’ve noted how, after Obama became president, Ralph Peters and at least one other Bush supporter began calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan, something they had never done while Bush was president. So Horowitz is at least being consistent in supporting our endless involvement in those two countries.]

Conservatives, please. Let’s not duplicate the manias of the Left as we figure out how to deal with Mr. Obama. He is not exactly the anti-Christ, although a disturbing number of people on the Right are convinced he is.

I have recently received commentaries that claim that “Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history” and “never has a politician in this land had such a quasi-religious impact on so many people” and “Obama is a narcissist,” which leads the author to then compare Obama to David Koresh, Charles Manson, Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Excuse me while I blow my nose. [But Obama had a quasi-religious impact on Horowitz himself. Consider his worshipful response to Obama’s inauguration, how he switched from Obama opponent to Obama lover at the sight of millions of nonwhites greeting Obama’s presidency, and how this led him to drop his one-time, loudly touted belief in race-blindness and embrace non-white race consciousness as an organizing principle in American politics.]

This fellow has failed to notice that all politicians are narcissists—and that a recent American president was a world-class exponent of the imperial me. So what? [Did Horowitz ever say that Bush was a narcissist?] Political egos are one of the reasons the Founders put checks and balances on executive power. As for serial lying, is there a politician that cannot be accused of that? [So now, in order to justify Obama’s non-stop lying, Horowitz says that every president is a serial liar. This was exactly the argument Clinton supporters used: “Everyone does it. All presidents behave as Clinton did with Monica.” According to Horowitz, there are no standards, all presidents are non-stop liars, and we should just accept. But, again, did Horowitz ever say that Bush was a liar?] And once, the same recent president set a pretty a high bar in this category, and we survived it. [What does “we survived it” mean? Of course, we’re still here physically, so we “survived it” in that sense. But Clinton degraded America, the American ethos, the things that Americans would allow and tolerate in their public life and their private lives, in profound ways from which we still have not recovered. Something essential, some quality of collective moral conscience, went out of America during the Clinton years and has not returned. American life became immeasurably more coarsened. For example, fallatio—Clinton’s favorite sexual activity—became a common, taken-for-granted practice among U.S. teenagers in the 1990s. Horowitz doesn’t care about any of this, it’s not even on his radar screen, because, for all that he calls himself a conservative, in his soul he’s a secular leftist Jew who is indifferent to moral values and cares only about power and politics. Yes, he doesn’t like leftist totalitarianism. But any leftism short of that he will go along with.] As for Obama’s speeches, they are hardly in the Huey Long, Louie Farrakhan, Fidel Castro vein. They are in fact eloquently and cleverly centrist and sober.

So what’s the panic? [I guess Horowitz hasn’t noticed, e.g., the spectacular, unprecedented spending on pork. Also notice how, instead of dealing with the other side’s arguments, he keeps throwing these cheap rhetorical questions at them: “So what?” “So what’s the panic?” Such rhetorical questions are a typical leftist device that have the effect of sweeping away the other side’s concerns without actually responding to them. In a speech in the 1990s, Midge Decter’s discussed the leftist use of the similar phrase, “Why not?” to ridicule and dismiss all conservative concerns about the sexual revolution and other leftist innovations.] It is true that Obama has shown surprising ineptitude in his first months in office, but he’s not a zero with no accomplishments as many conservatives seem to think—unless you regard beating the Clinton machine and winning the presidency as nothing. But in doing this you fall into the “Bush-is-an-idiot” bag of liberal miasmas.

It is also true Obama has ceded his domestic economic agenda to the House Democrats and spent a lot of money in the process. But what’s the surprise in this? After all, Bush and McCain both proposed (and in Bush’s case pushed through) massive government giveaways (which amount to government takeovers as well). This is bad, but it doesn’t make Obama a closet Mussolini, however deplorable the conservatives among us may regard it. [Is it really true that the porkulus bill is nothing but a continuation of what Bush was doing?] Moreover, he’s already run into political resistance even within his own party. Charlie Rangel has made it clear that the itemized deduction tax hike is not going through his committee—and that should tell you that the American system, the one the Founders created, is still in place.

Even as astute a conservative thinker as Mark Steyn has been swept up in the tide that thinks Obama is a “transformative” radical. But look again at his approach to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In both cases, as noted, he is carrying out the Bush policies—the same that he once joined his fellow Democrats in condemning. And that should be reassuring to anyone concerned about where he is heading as commander-in-chief. [But conservatives haven’t said that Obama is a transformative radical on Afghanistan and Iraq; they’ve said he’s a transformative radical on domestic policy, so this is a non sequitur.]

In other words, while it’s reasonable to be unhappy with a Democratic administration and even concerned because the Democrats are now a socialist party in the European sense, we are not witnessing the coming of the anti-Christ. A good strategy for political conflicts is to understand your opponent first—not to underestimate him, but not to overestimate him either. [So now, after several paragraphs of dismissing the warnings about Obama, Horowitz casually admits that the Democrats, including Obama, are indeed European-style socialists who are presumably seeking to turn America into a European-style socialist country. Why then isn’t Horowitz on the barricades against Obama too, instead of defending him? Could the answer be that Horowitz has no problem with European style socialism? Also notice how Horowitz, after conceding that the Obamacrats are European-type socialists, switches his argument to, “Obama’s not the anti-Christ.”]

Once conservatives do that, they will find some silver linings in the first moves of the Obama administration. Through a combination of ineptitude and zeal, Obama has in two short months locked down the conservative and Republican base. On fetal stem-cell research, on borders (e-verification), on spending, on unions, on shutting down talk radio, Obama has flexed the leftist muscle so nakedly and unmistakably that there isn’t a conservative left who will vote Democratic in the next election (and there were many who did so in the last). [This is bizarre argumentation which suggests a disordered thinking process. Horowitz’s justification for his idea that Obama is not so terrible from a conservative point of view, is that Obama is so terrible from a conservative point of view that he’s turned all conservatives into his enemies.]

As we move forward, Obama faces increasingly tough choices in the wars against Islamic fascism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza and Iran. Hopefully, he will make the right choices, and should he do so conservatives will need to be there to support him. If he makes the wrong choices, conservatives will need to be there to oppose him. But neither our support nor our opposition should be based on hysterical responses to policies that we just don’t like. Let’s leave that kind of behavior to the liberals who invented it.

[end of Horowitz article]

My overall take on the article is that it shows Horowitz once again as a mind driven by endless, zealous energy, but without any principles guiding the zealotry. Seriously, what principles can we say Horowitz has consistently held to over the years? He’s always passionate about something, but what is he passionate about?

Here are some comments at FP on Horowitz’s article

Obama Arrangement Syndromereoconnot 3/31/2009 8:32 AM

As Obama’s attacks on capitalism, the nation’s grandchildren and unborn and Bush’s defense of America continue at a feverish pace David Horowitz demonstrates he is suffering from Obama Arrangement Syndrome. Everything is arranged to minimize the threat “Moderate” Obama’s policies pose to the American way of life.

The annoyingly inept helter skelter format of this comments thread is revealing of a confused mind.

Hear, hear. I especially agree on the remark about the comments section at FP.]

Now here’s a perceptive comment from the left, which I’ve edited:

When good dogs go badtimmee 3/30/2009 11:15 PM

Oh Horowitz…are we getting a tad nervous that one of these redneck loonies you have help miseducate is going to do something rash..McVeigh style?

Look no further than some of the people who post on this board who are in a continual tizzy about Obama destroying America…their core values and the founders ideals…their bodily fluids.

You helped create this pathology…you helped create these people that think of everything in the world as left vs. right…EVERYTHING. […] now you want to say don’t take it too far?

- end of initial entry -

April 1

LA writes:

Worth reading in conjunction with Horowitz’s attack on Obama critics is his article last fall telling conservatives to “shut up” about the Obama birth certificate issue.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 31, 2009 10:33 AM | Send

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