David Solway manages, in a critique at once scathing and erudite, to strip what’s left of the tarnished silver plating from the American Idol presidency of Barack Obama:
[…] I cannot help but react with angry disbelief when I turn the pages of Harvard academic James Kloppenberg’s Reading Obama, an example of the menial sycophancy that burdened America with Obama in the first place. Kloppenberg argues that “Obama has demonstrated an exceptionally sophisticated and sustained engagement with the history of American thought and culture,” a claim for which there is not the slightest iota of evidence in any of Obama’s utterances and productions, including his boast of having campaigned in 57 states, with one left to visit. This is historical erudition?
Kloppenberg writes that Obama is acquainted “with the venerable tradition of American democracy,” but his actions — e.g., the appointment of “czars” to circumvent Congress, the dropping of the New Black Panther case and using his appointment powers to frustrate the investigation of the travesty, the refusal to police rampant voter fraud, the takeover of much of the auto industry and banking sector, the gross violation of investment protocol in the Chrysler affair at the expense of legally secured bondholders, the forcing of an unread health care bill into law in the dead of night and against the wishes of the majority of Americans, the dispatching of his political operation, Organizing for America, to agitate on the side of the unions against the Wisconsin state government’s legitimate effort to put its financial house in order, the friendly relation with the Muslim Brotherhood — prove decisively otherwise. As Barry Rubin comments in a review of Reading Obama, “The professors in too many cases have become the village idiots of America, as much out of touch with their own country and reality as the French aristocracy was at the time of the revolution there.” Amen. Meanwhile, the urge to combat the groveling follies of the Kloppenbergs of the liberal peloton tends to keep me in the race.
Nor can I quite detach myself from the mesmerizing spectacle of an American president and his party bent on weakening and impoverishing a once-great country and transforming it into a socialist caricature of good governance. The fascination with so noisome and preposterous a burlesque is not easily dismissed. There were moments when it seemed I was witnessing a performance, suitably updated, from the Commedia dell’arte, with Joe Biden as the feeble-minded Pantaloon, the now-departed Rahm Emanuel as the mischievous Harlequin and his brother Ezekiel as the ignorant and ostentatious Doctor Balanzone, a grizzled Nancy Pelosi as an aging Columbine, Valerie Jarrett, clever, self-important and a lover of intrigue, as the Soubrette, the necrotic George Soros as the miles gloriosus Captain Courageous, and of course Obama as the braggart and fool Scaramouche, clownish purveyor of slapstick exploits and vainglorious language. The cast can be expanded at will to include many of the other dolts and lightweights cluttering the stage.
But, once again, we should not be deceived into thinking that this Scaramouche is merely a wretched prankster whose escapades leave no lasting indentation in our lives. After all, this is the man who promised five million new green jobs if elected in 2008 and has so far not only failed to provide them, even in part, but has lost four million red and blue jobs into the bargain. Before he powers off, he will have wrought enormous havoc. Observing the spectacle of Obama from a transatlantic distance, which affords a degree of perspective, French philosopher Guy Millière writes in La Résistible Ascension de Barack Obama: “Barack Obama est un homme dangereux…C’est un ancien agiteur social d’extrême-gauche…un homme qui fait tout pour détraquer l’economie américaine [et] créer une ordre international propice aux dictatures et à la destruction de la liberté.” (“Barack Obama is a dangerous man….He’s an old agitator of the extreme left…a man who does all to destabilize the American economy [and] to create an international order hospitable to dictatorships and to the destruction of liberty.”) The Obama theater may be laughable, but it is also socially, politically and economically disastrous.
And militarily as well. His geopolitical adversaries in Russia, China, Latin America and the Islamic world chuckle incredulously, scarcely able to believe their luck. They have taken Obama’s measure and understood the field is theirs. “All the bad boys,” writes commentator David Hornik, “have figured out by now that there’s no cop anymore” (personal correspondence). Fear of Obama did not prevent a Chinese submarine from allegedly launching an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) “test” attack on November 8, 2010, some 200 miles off the coast of California, crippling the cruise ship Carnival Splendor. The anomalous event noted that day of a missile streak in the sky, implausibly dismissed by the Pentagon as a jet contrail, was likely due to the American response, a Tomahawk cruise missile fired eleven hours later. Reported in precise detail by the Russian Federal Space Agency which monitors the coastal regions of the United States, this episode does not seem to be merely another conspiracy hoax in the making.
[…] Ideally, such errancy will change as 2012 approaches and chastened electors start to recollect the way back home. Obama may not be a god, but he might be a godsend insofar as his destructive tenure should serve to warn Americans of the folly of electing a rhetorical windbag of a Marxist persuasion to the highest office in the land, without having done their due diligence. Or will they succumb yet again to what Mike McDaniel describes as “the rhetoric of the community organizer, the union boss, the black liberation theologian, the socialist”? The issue is moot. Perhaps there is still time for a course correction and for recognizing that a used ideology salesman is not to be trusted.
Read the full article, Obama and Me, at Pajamas Media