Newsweek calls for Obama’s defeat; and a discussion of Niall Ferguson’s weird reversal on the Arab Spring

The big news is that the leftist magazine Newsweek has a cover article by Niall Ferguson—and a rudely worded cover illustration—urging in the strongest terms the necessity of removing Obama from the White House:


The article itself is entitled:

Obama’s Gotta Go
Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope.

The message is that Obama has been so disastrous, particularly in the areas of the economy and government debt, that even the junk-leftist editors of Newsweek, led by Tina Brown, agree with Ferguson that Obama simply must be replaced.

That’s extraordinary. And a hopeful sign that maybe Obama will be replaced.

Along with that good news, there also are a couple of annoying side points.

First, Ferguson is not an American. He is a British national. Who the heck is he to be declaring that “we” don’t want Obama any more?

Second, the article begins:

I was a good loser four years ago. “In the grand scheme of history,” I wrote the day after Barack Obama’s election as president, “four decades is not an especially long time. Yet in that brief period America has gone from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the apotheosis of Barack Obama. You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.”

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t greatly rejoice at Obama’s election? Well, lah-di-dah, this arrogant snot Ferguson, who is not even a citizen of this country, has just read me and many millions of other Americans out of the human race because we did not have the requisite politically correct response to the election of our current president. I almost stopped reading at that point, but, given the importance of such an article in such a magazine, I had to continue.

- end of initial entry -

August 20

James P. writes:

But … but … Newsweek is niggerizing Obama!

“Hit the road, Barack!” is what they would say in a Sundown Town.

Paul K. writes:

The article provides a stunning compilation of the promises Obama made as candidate and president that have gone unfulfilled, some because they were grandiose impossibilities and others because he had no serious intention of fulfilling them in the first place (i.e., cutting the deficit).

Unfortunately, at about the three-quarters mark, Ferguson, a McCain adviser, goes into a neo-con critique of the president’s Middle East policies, as if under a President McCain the Arab Spring would have been managed to our benefit. That is foolish talk and it undercuts the article’s many devastating points.

LA replies:

Yes. He comes off like a Commentary apparatchik when he writes:

In Egypt he tried to have it both ways, exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, then drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.” The result was a foreign-policy debacle.

In other words, after Obama had forced Mubarak out, which led to elections for a new governmemt, it was somehow within Obama’s power to control the results of those elections. If we had pulled the right levers, the secular democratic youth would have won, instead of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ferguson, like the neocons, believes in Muslim democracy—and simultaneously believes in a Muslim democracy controlled by the United States. Like the neocons, he seems not to recognize that if Muslims have democratic elections, they are going to elect the governments they want. And, because they are Muslims, the governments they want are going to be Islamic-law governments. So much for Ferguson’s supposed tough-mindedness.

LA writes:

In February 2011, I praised Ferguson for his appearance on the “Spitzer and Parker” program on MSNBC in which he mercilessly derided the naïve belief in the “Arab Spring.” I wrote:

In the end, he presented three scenarios. The most probable outcome is that the military remains in charge. The second most probable outcome is that the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, and Egypt undergoes a ruinous revolution along the lines of the Russian or Iranian revolutions. The third most likely is that some sort of secular democratic government is formed. He gave strong reasons why the secular democratic happy ending, which so many people believe in, cannot happen.

So if Ferguson thought in February 2011 that there was no chance the secular democrats could gain power, why is he, in August 2012, blaming Obama for not having done enough to help the secular democrats gain power? The reality is that once Obama pushed out Mubarak, which was to be followed by free elections, the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood was a foregone conclusion, as I and other Islam-realists have been clearly; stating since January/February 2011 (all of us being totally ignored by America’s mindless mainstream).

But Ferguson now seems to support Obama’s ousting of Mubarak (which made the Muslim Brotherhood ascendancy inevitable), while he lambastes Obama for not helping the secular democrats gain power (which in reality Obama had no ability to do). So Ferguson is all over the place.

To repeat: in February 2011 Ferguson thought the victory of the secular democrats was an impossibility. But in August 2012 he is blaming Obama for the defeat of the secular democrats at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Why is he doing this? It looks like sheer opportunism. The main thrust of his critique of Obama has to do with the economy and government spending. But in order for his rejection of Obama to hit all bases, he also needed to attack Obama on foreign policy. He could not, in conformity with his anti-Arab Spring position as of February 2011, attack Obama for supporting the Arab Spring, because that would have been too anti-liberal for Newsweek to publish. (Remember, both liberals and Republicans/neocons support the Arab Spring.) So instead he turned neocon and attacked Obama for not backing the Arab Spring with sufficient zeal.

Leonard K. writes:

Ferguson wrote:

“You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.”

His rejoicing about the black president was so great, that he decided to dump his white wife of 24 years, with three children, and marry … no other than Ayaan Hirsi Ali!

LA replies:

Here is VFR’s February 2010 entry on Ferguson’s affair with Hirsi Ali and his break-up of his marriage.

Carol Iannone writes:

Re your comment about Ferguson’s previously stated view of the Arab Spring:

Strange reversal. Either he forgot his own view back then, or he’s an opportunist and now he’s attacking everything about Barack Obama. Meanwhile, great news, his article on Obama got 16K likes!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 19, 2012 10:35 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):