Obama’s Cipher Legacy
Conservatives and Progressives both hate him. We will do well to be rid of him.
I thought Obama’s agenda of pushing class warfare, economic disaster, anti-American ideals, and chaos-promoting foreign policy, was “progressive”. Then I read this interview with Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency.” Wow.
A few things emerged from this eye-opening interview with a real progressive. West said,
The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair.
I now more clearly see the veins into which Obama tapped in 2008: the youth wanting “hope and change”, the progressives seeing a Messiah who will give them the vengeance they’ve craved for 20 years. And to be sure, it’s vengeance they are after. Talk of Wall Street executives “go free”, war criminals (I’m ignoring the gratuitous shot at Israel) “go free”, torturers “go free”. West and his ilk clearly wanted heads on platters. Show trials. Jail time. I’ve compared Obama’s acolytes to Jacobins before, and here’s one in the flesh, who can’t stand Obama.
And on this, Cornel West and I agree:
And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.
Echoes of Ailinsky, but dead on target. It is sad. Then I read David Horowitz’s piece The Hell That is the Obama White House.
…Obama is behind every major scandal of his administration from Benghazi to the I.R.S. disgrace. How can one know this? Because the culprits haven’t been fired. [emphasis mine]
The culprits haven’t been fired. In fact, nobody’s been fired. There’s been a few department heads leaving, most notably General Shineski’s departure from the Department of Vererans Affairs. But nobody has been fired. Even Lois Lerner retired.
Obama’s been playing a game of Martian Blackjack for his entire term. In George Jetson’s Sergeant Uniblab’s words: everybody wins, everybody wins. That is, except the American people. Except the Honduran children who trek 1,500 miles for their permiso—if they make it. Except the Ukrainians, Sudanese, Iraqis, Afghans, Georgians, Koreans, Israelis, and even Gazans who have been betrayed by this milquetoast presidency.
It’s no wonder Obama administration posts have been so attractive to hacks of all stripes, but mostly liberals, who flock to the beltway like raccoons to a garbage can. Obama’s administration bestows scraps to all the critters who dive into the rotting putrescence that is the Obama plan, a mishmash of dead policies, half-baked ideas, and monstrous carcasses like Obamacare. In Obama’s world, nobody ever collects the garbage, and nobody is ever held accountable for raiding the People’s treasury, spilling the People’s blood, or conducting a Torquemada-style inquisition with themselves as Inquisitor.
I am shocked, yet mildly impressed, that Obama’s administration has fallen to a level so deep, so beyond the light of knowledge and wisdom, that it has brought political thought’s East to meet West in the darkness: David Horowitz and Cornel West both agree that Obama has hurt the cause of freedom, justice, and American values viewed from the lens of progressives and conservatives alike. I can’t even call it an achievement, as it didn’t take a Herculean effort to achieve this result. It’s simply the product of a do-nothing, say-anything, self-enriching, self-aggrandizing administration, which at its heart, cares only for the improved welfare of those it blesses with its imprimatur.
History is unlikely to find a bigger kleptocracy focused on misdirection and shedding of responsibility in America. The true progressive Left is left with nothing to show for its support of Obama. Millennials who were led to believe in Obama as the purveyor of a better future are left jobless, disillusioned, and saddled with the debt of a thousand bailouts. Old-line Democrats who supported Clinton and are now at retirement age are faced with impossible medical bills and the erosion of any retirement hopes. Peace-lovers who hoped for a president who closed GITMO, ended wars and used diplomacy to make America loved are left with overwhelming threats, worldwide hatred of America, and all the jackbooted trappings of a militarized state they oppose. Those who sought racial justice and harmony from our first black president are left with beer summits and riots in Ferguson.
The dishonesty and betrayal of the very tenets Obama campaigned upon is now becoming apparent to even his most ardent supporters. The press only keeps covering for him because he feeds them regularly and keeps alive the hope of a revolving door of perks, jobs, and power for the press elite who bow to Obama’s image.
Of course, conservatives have opposed Obama from the get-go. That he is dishonest and opportunistic is no surprise to us. What is shocking is the level of know-nothing incompetence, unaccountability, and graft of which the Obama administration is capable. Utter contempt of law, Constitutional checks and balances, and Congressional powers for no purpose other than enriching those they wish to enrich, at the cost of public funds, is beyond political. This is the stuff of tin-hat, third-world dictators.
To quote Horowitz: “This devious, deceitful, power hungry administration is just as James Woods described it,” (referring to a Tweet by Woods “The Hell that is the Obama White House”). I think Horowitz, as most on the Right, goes too far in ascribing an actual political motive to the many scandals and disasters we’ve seen in the last six years.
I’d like to compare of Obama’s terms in office with that of another failed Democrat: Grover Cleveland. President Cleveland was a Democrat who appealed to conservatives, but was out of his depth in the White House. In his second term (his two terms were separated by the four-year one-term of Benjamin Harrison), Cleveland was overwhelmed by a bank panic and resulting depression of 1893. As much as Cleveland was committed to ideals opposite to Obama: cleaning up corruption, integrity in government, free trade, and fiscal restraint, he simply didn’t have a grasp of how to use those tools to improve the country, and left a legacy of inaction and failure. He ruined the Democratic party for years afterward.
Obama is not really a progressive. He’s not really representative of the Democratic party either. He’s more an icon, an idol, of Washington D.C.’s political elite class. Those who are in it, establishment-types, defend him, whether they do it vocally like Nancy Pelosi, or simply with their lack of real opposition, like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. Obama’s “achievements” are nothing but pork, pork, and more pork. His regulatory feudal lordships, from the EPA to the IRS, to NASA, do nothing but move money from the pockets of taxpayers to large corporations, politically-connected magnates, and union bosses. These people have literally gotten rich off Obama.
Touchstone issues such as global warming (oh, sorry it’s now “climate change”), American military power, foreign security threats, fighting terrorism, and “job creation” are nothing but totems for Obama. He sets them up so others can kneel in fealty to them, but he himself has no commitment to them other than using them to dispense benefits to those in his orbit, those whose loyalty he treats like currency to be spent, and once bankrupted, they are discarded.
President Obama’s legacy will be a cancelled check made by himself to himself: a net zero. He has ensured that he will become a cipher in the history of American presidents, both from the Left and the Right. From the time he surfaced as a do-nothing Senator from the Chicago Way, to his current push to play more rounds of golf than any president since Eisenhower, this man has wrought chaos, failure and disappointment, even to his one-time supporters.
We will do well, both America and the world in general, to be rid of him as president. I was once against impeachment, for several reasons: first, for the good of the country, having such a sideshow may not be in our best interests. Second, because, if successful, we would have to put up with President Biden, which in my opinion might not have been much better. Third, that it might hurt the Republican Party’s chances of electing a conservative to the White House in 2016.
I’ve changed my mind. There is no more sacred cause, and no time soon enough, to impeach Obama. There is no consequence worse than two more years of his destructive rule. Having Horowitz and West agree on this is enough for me. As Cornel West concluded,
It’s not pessimistic, brother, because this is the blues. We are blues people. The blues aren’t pessimistic. We’re prisoners of hope but we tell the truth and the truth is dark. That’s different.