There's a special quality of clarity to the early-morning hours. The world is as close to silent as it usually gets; the pressures of the work day haven't yet converged upon us; and the usual battery of obligations and imperatives can be held, for a time, at a distance. There's room for long thoughts, blue-sky conjectures, and the all too infrequent mental operation of examining one's premises.
Now and then, that provides an opportunity for a breakthrough.
An ever greater fraction of the Internet Commentariat has been asking repeatedly what Barack Hussein Obama, pretender to the throne of the United States, could possibly have in mind with all his recent moves. (What's that? Why do I omit the worthies of the dead-tree Punditocracy? C'mon! Who reads them any more?) The preponderance of The Won's most recent initiatives, both as legislation and as executive orders, appear badly focused, oriented in directions so unpopular that they amount to lost causes. Surely, the logic runs, a politician as intelligent and adroit as Obama would know better than to squander his political capital on efforts with so little chance of success.
The logic is fine. It's the premise that needs work.
The premise, which normally goes unstated, is that a politician's initiative is intended to bring about policy changes in the direction implied by the initiative. Governor X declaims about his state's deficit? He wants more revenue. Senator Y orates about pornography? He wants a censorship regime. President Z rattles about gun control? He wants gun control.
Pardon me for saying so, Gentle Reader, as I'm fully aware how many preconceptions this will shatter, but that's not necessarily the case. Moreover, we should know it already.
Many a politician will "lay down a marker" not because he has any reasonable expectation of getting his way, but as a tactical stroke in preparation for a campaign for higher office. This is especially often the case with members of the lower house of a bicameral legislature. It's damned near always the case with a sitting governor, as they all want to be president some day.
However, this fails as a proposed explanation for Obama's most recent moves. He's in his second term as president, and is unlikely afterward to hold public office ever again. Granted that it's possible and has happened: John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives after he lost the presidency. But The Won is highly unlikely to be satisfied, after leaving the Oval Office, with any post of lesser stature. So future political ambition fails as a serviceable premise.
Fortunately, there remains an explanation that fits the facts like a custom-made glove.
It's high time Americans recognized the full and exact nature of Barack Hussein Obama. He's not a genius. He's not a master orator. He's not a mirror. He's certainly not a practitioner of governance (consider all those "present" votes and refusals to participate in negotiations before you disagree). He's not even an unusually skilled political tactician.
He's a weapon.
Via Nice Deb, we have the following:
Rush made this observation on his show, yesterday:President Obama today is taking action that a majority of Americans disagree with. He’s going down a road a majority of people disagree with. He knows it. The question is, why? Why is Barack Obama literally trying to push people to snap? Why is he doing this? It’s as though in some way he’s attacking the very sanity of people in this country. Why is he doing this? Why is he deliberately making people so upset? What is driving him?
A lifelong antipathy toward the Constitution?
Obama might well harbor such an antipathy, but it would be insufficient to explain the seemingly erratic quality of his recent moves. Personal motives don't fit well against the sort of peregrinations Obama has exhibited since the elections, which make him appear unfocused and personally ineffective. The assumption of strategic motives, however, provides a better starting point.
But the strategy involved is not Obama's. It's that of the Democratic Party.
The United States has been in a condition of political warfare since the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The combatants are the major parties. The prize sought is enduring, unchallengeable hegemony over an unlimited federal government. The weapons are varied; the rounds several of them fire are easily mistaken for something else.
The Democrats' strategists have recently achieved a breakthrough of their own. Aware that their uber-strategy of coalition politics is vulnerable to the 50%-plus-one effect -- the point at which every member of the coalition realizes that it can "comparison shop" between the parties, inducing them to bid against one another -- they've chosen to induce division among Republican voters. A Republican Party riven by internal strife would be unable to compete for national hegemony regardless of the fractiousness of the Democrats' coalition. More, the ideological and tactical disarray on the Right suggests strongly that the Left could fragment it fatally with a few well-placed jabs.
That disarray has a number of geneses:
- For many voters, the GOP isn't a partisan allegiance but the lesser of two evils;
- Republican candidates are prone to departing from the party platform in search of votes;
- Many Republican politicians still believe they can "win the media over" by acceding to certain Leftist nostrums;
- Certain scurrilous accusations, such as racism and xenophobia, still have an unjustifiably powerful effect on Right-leaning voters and candidates;
- There's already a tussle in progress between the "socio-cons" and the "econo-cons," over which set of issues shall be given precedence in GOP campaigns for federal offices;
- Many Republican candidates and Right-leaning voters are unwilling to take definite stands on certain key issues (e.g., gun rights, abortion, same-sex marriage, wealth redistribution, the progressive income tax) when challenged with other "issues" that appear to countervail them.
If, the Democrats' strategists reasoned, those fault lines can be pressed hard enough, the Republican Party will come apart completely, leaving the Democrats in uncontested control of Washington until a new major political force should rise from the rubble.
They've seen this since 2000 at least. The delivery system for their flurry of divisive punches came onto the national scene in 2004. He's been carefully groomed and primed for his role ever since.
Barack Hussein Obama could not be a more perfect weapon for inducing division among Americans of generally conservative inclinations:
- He has no moral convictions worth mentioning;
- He's entirely in sympathy with the political aims of the Left;
- He's a mulatto, and happily plays the race card against his critics;
- His record prior to the Oval Office is essentially a blank slate;
- He's comfortable defaming and vilifying his opponents;
- He's unabashed about the employment of the most dishonest and vicious demagogic tactics;
- He lies and evades with exceptional skill.
His masters must have wept for joy at discovering so pliable and useful a tool. They knew from the start that he would require careful preparation for his task, and they saw to it that he received it. His elevation to the White House did benefit from some cooperation from the GOP -- the Stupid Party excels at blowing off its toes when confronted by certain kinds of candidates and issues -- but once there, he was ready to set to work, and knew what his work was to be: the destruction of all coherent opposition to the "progressive" crony-capitalist / Euro-socialist goal of the Democratic Party and its principal backers.
And thus has he labored, to frightening effect.
If I'm correct in this surmise, we have been gravely wrong to treat Obama as anything but an item of ordnance. Certain technicalities of counterbattery artillery fire notwithstanding, one focuses on the opponent, not the opponent's weapons. (Cf. "Guns don't kill people; people kill people.") Therefore, by concentrating our own rhetoric on the figure of Obama, we have deflected ourselves from our proper aim point: the masterminds of "progressive" political strategy who have deployed The Won as their "big gun" in the ongoing war of political ideas.
Food for thought.