Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why I was wrong... and what we have lost

The results of last week's presidential election put me in mind of an old joke about second marriages being a triumph of hope over experience. Such was the the nature of Barack Obama's victory over John McCain. Any understanding of how a man who effected so little change and contributed so little to the conduct of politics at any point during his eight years in office could be a mere 72 days away from assuming leadership of the Free World remains "above my pay grade." For better or worse - and by my lights, it will be for the worse - a nation of Paula Abduls has selected its first American Idol president, complete with the requisite glittering smile, tasteful wardrobe and salient absence of longstanding professional accomplishment.

As I hereby openly acknowledge, my days of being a reliable political pundit have ended even before they began in earnest. Though few ever made note of it, I faithfully and repeatedly opined that "barring a terrorist attack of some significance or a spectacular flame-out on the part of one or more of the Republican candidates, the American people can expect to have four more years of GOP governance after the 2008 election." As events have played themselves out, I have been proven more wrong than I had ever would have thought at the time; I can only hope that I will be as wrong about Obama's ability to lead and govern.

But I am hardly alone. Joining me in my mosh pit of misapprehension are all of those who assumed that Obama would conduct himself as anything other than a partisan hack of the worst stripe. As part of the Q&A of his first press conference as President-elect, Obama could not restrain himself from taking a cheap shot at an ailing Nancy Reagan. (In the first irony that this post will make note of, it was Mary Todd Lincoln - wife of the American president after whom Obama most obviously patterned his highly stylized campaign - who reportedly used seances to contact two dead children.)

In my own defense, it could be argued that I was not wrong at all, as Americans were in fact the victims of a terrorist attack. The caveat of course is that we were terrorized by Osama bin Couric of al Katie. That the entire MSM seized upon a relatively minor increase in unemployment (particularly as compared with the early 1980s) and a foreclosure crisis widely acknowledged to have been enabled by the actions of "affordable housing" advocates in order to portray this as "the worst economy since the Great Depression", and thereby torpedo McCain's candidacy indicates that
we have lost any sort of free and unbiased press in America.

Indeed, the media have reverted back to their traditional role as house organs for political parties, with today's incarnations having become wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Democratic Party (although there is some belated recognition of the fact that Obama has created - as Newsweek's Evan Thomas described - a "creepy cult of personality.") One need only look at the ratio of newspaper endorsements for Obama versus McCain, the L.A.Times' unwillingness to release a videotape of Obama heaping praise on a former PLO spokesman and the N.Y. Times' alacrity in publishing unsubstantiated rumors about a McCain dalliance with a female lobbyist to understand the gravity of the situation.

And whether we know it or not, the nation has sacrificed much more than its fourth estate. As evidenced by our newfound affection for taxing the "rich", Americans have seemingly abandoned any esteem for striving toward high achievement. Instead, we have become a nation of would-be victims, in hot pursuit of happiness by way of indemnification from the negative results of our own choices. It appears that the bailout of Wall Street will beget bailouts of distressed homeowners, the infrastructure of big cities, the entire automotive industry and the State of California. Budget deficits be damned; a new generation of Keynesians has their hands on the levers of the economy and their fingers on our wallets.

But worst of all is the bloody mess that has been made of the idea that African Americans can succeed based on demonstrable and substantive accomplishment as opposed to slickly playing on white (liberal) guilt.
As discussed elsewhere, the history of Africans in America is rife with achievement (the better part of which was done without benefit of affirmative action.)* Unfortunately (Oprah's and Rev. Jesse Jackson's tears to the contrary), this does not represent a civil rights victory in any classic sense, as blacks can make no legitimate claim to having fostered Obama's rise. (Indeed, a good many African Americans were not particularly supportive of Obama's candidacy at the outset, with one noteworthy civil rights leader counseling Obama to wait for his turn in 2016.) Doubtless, Obama's ascent to the Oval Office was as much midwifed by white liberal elites (even Bill Ayers admits he hosted the first fundraiser for Obama's state Senate campaign) as it was aided and abetted by the MSM.

Sadly, for most progressives what the nation has lost pales in comparison to what they have gained. With the possibility of filling to Supreme Court seats, as well as countless on the lower courts, the Left now has the opportunity to enshrine liberalism as a de facto state religion. And having gained control of the upper and lower houses of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and all of the other limousine leftists will have full control of all things grand and petty. In short, in a mere two and a half months, every notion of what it means to be an American will be put to the sword.

Is it 2012 yet?

*Ironically, much of that history was made by one Colin Powell, one of Obama's most stalwart supporters. The idea of Powell waxing effusively over Obama is a post-modernist's wet dream. A certain talk radio host was lambasted for implying that Powell's endorsement of Obama was solely about race, but when one contrasts the extensive record of the former versus the void surrounding the latter, one can reasonably conclude that it was scarcely about anything else.

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