Why Obama has fallen

Reader Jim C. sent me Peter Wehner’s article at the Commentary blog, “The Once-Appealing Barack Obama,” with the note that it was the best thing on Obama worship that he had read. It’s an excellent piece, but not on Obama worship. It’s on why he’s fallen from the heights. He truly betrayed what he stood for. His main thing as a candidate was that he had the ability to bridge divides (he was in his own person the bridge between the races) and bring the country together. Yet as soon as he became president, he began forcing horrible things on the country, doing things that made him seem like an anti-American leftist who actively desired to hurt the country (bringing KSM to trial in New York!), and acting in the most polarizing manner possible. He was the Alinskyite president, “fundamentally transforming America.” His presidency could not have been more different from the benign and all -embracing presidency he promised. He revealed himself to be coldly, spectacularly false and acting from a bad will. And that’s why he has fallen.

If he had been more skillful, perhaps he could have gotten away with this bait and switch, or a more moderate version of it, but he didn’t have that in him. And that’s where his “black empty suit” aspect comes in. He thought that he could successfully carry out this incredible betrayal, just on the strength of “being himself.” Now it’s one thing to say, “I’m just going to be myself as president, and that’s enough, people will love me and everyone will bask in the wonderful warmth of the first nonwhite in the White House.” I always presented that scenario as one of the five or so possible scenarios of an Obama presidency. Instead, he trashed his benign nonwhite messiah persona and turned into the most in-your-face polarizer in the history of the country, seeking to force something down the throats of the people that threatened and frightened them, and telling obvious lies about it every step of the way, even as he imagined that “just being himself” would cover the bait and switch and allow him to pull it off. And that’s where his staggering hubris (leading to his downfall) is seen most clearly.

In short, he thought that he could be both (a) a likable, unifying, extremely popular, transcendent figure, AND (b) the leader of a radical leftist transformation of the country. This was delusion of the highest order.

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Jim C. writes:

Wonderful analysis.

“A delusion of the highest order”—I like that for O’s epitaph.

A mediocrity of the lowest order also works.

LA writes:

An additional irony is that his raison d’etre, his main selling point was that he was the un-Bush. Now what characterized Bush, especially in the eyes of the left? It was that he had run as a unifier but governed as a divider, doing things the left hated, mainly invading Iraq, and thus turning America into a (as the left saw it) unilateralist, bullying, aggressive, imperialist power, which put the left into a state of anguish and helpless fury. But what did Obama, the un-Bush, do? He was elected as a unifier but as president began pushing down the throats of the American people the most far-reaching, ill-thought-out, nation-changing, freedom-destroying bill in American history, putting conservatives (and lots of liberals too) into a state of anguish and helpless fury. Did he think that there would be no consequences from turning himself from Oba-Wan Kenobi into Vladimir Lenin? Again, he must have thought that the Obi-Wan part would provide a cover for the Lenin part. He didn’t realize that the Lenin part was the total contradiction of the Obi-Wan part and revealed it to be a deliberate lie.

So, among the many unprecedented things about Obama, there is this. No president before him ever engaged in deception and betrayal of this order.

Finally, there’s the question, why did he engage in such gross deception and act in such bad faith? The answer is two-fold: one, he’s a typical leftist, who believes that the only way to change gun-clinging, God-hopping, conservative-leaning America into leftist America is by lying to it—lying to it without compunction, without a shred of conscience; and, two, he’s a racially mixed non-white who feels profoundly alienated from America; therefore he does not relate to America sincerely, but manipulatively; and he does not seek to preserve and protect America, but to change it into something completely different.

Jim C. writes:

You wrote:

“So, among the many unprecedented things about Obama, there is this. No president before him ever engaged in deception and betrayal of this order.”

You took the words right out of Thomas Jefferson’s mouth. What I’d like to know is, why isn’t Obama’s duplicity grounds for impeachment?

Two predictions:

1. Because of all his sleazy knuckleheadedness (let’s not forget Quota Sotomayor), Obama will not be the Democratic nominee in ‘12.

2. Obama won’t even bother to triangulate—after all he’s Messianus Interruptus.

James N. writes:

Sorry, but I don’t buy the “broken promises” line of argument.

There were three pre-election things that defined Obama sharply and clearly:

1) The fact that he was “electrified” when he heard Jeremiah Wright speak the words, “White folks’ greed runs a world in need”, so much so that it determined the future course of his life (he decided to go into politics).

2) The taped interview wherein he said that what was needed was to “build coalitions of power to bring about redistributive change”.

3) His repeated promises to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”.

These things were available to all voters long before Election Day. The fact that millions of white idiots fantasized that he DIDN’T write, say, or mean those things is not Obama’s fault, it’s THEIR fault.

Obama has been crystal clear as to his (emotional and political) antecedents, his revolutionary praxis, and his intentions. He never misrepresented himself (except that he allowed stupid voters to believe something untrue).=

LA replies:

This is a complex issue. As I pointed out many times during the ‘08 campaign, there was a profound ambiguity about Obama that could only be resolved once he became president. The ambiguity consisted of (1) the fact that he was unquestionably a man of the radical left, and (2) the contrary impression that he wanted to be a unifying figure, a rallying symbol of the new, trans-racial America that he supposedly embodied in his own person.

Given the latter message, given Obama’s cool, non-confrontational manner, it was understandable that many people believed that though he was on the left and would probably try to move the country to the left, he would strive to do so in a non-polarizing way, trying to bring the whole country along with him with his trademark thoughtful manner.

And that was the expectation that he absolutely shattered once he became president. He didn’t just govern from the left, he showed a complete contempt for the right half of the country—a contempt for the country itself, that he had not shown as candidate. The extreme irresponsibility and the utter indifference to the public good shown in of the porkulus bill was not something that even his critics would have expected. The stunningly audacious lies he kept telling on behalf of the health care bill, the report saying that our veterans were a main source of possible domestic terrorism, his extravagant bowing to non-Western leaders, his knee jerk criticism of a white police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, his monstrous decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in federal court in New York City—even those who had expected Obama to be a leftist or left-leaning president had not expected such extravagantly polarizing and antagonistic actions coming from a man whose hallmark as a politician had been his calm, non-angry, non-polarizing personality.

It is certainly true that people who profess to have had no idea that Obama was on the left, such as then New York Daily News columnist and now New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin, are without excuse. But in my view people can be excused for thinking that Obama, notwithstanding his radical past, would try to govern in a non-polarizing way once he became president.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Send

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