Friday, January 18, 2013

Epiphanies: The Arsenal

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.


Anonymous said...

But that doesn't explain why he chose this particular battle. Democrats have nothing to gain from antagonizing gun owners. The NRA is more popular than Obama, right now.

Francis W. Porretto said...

I see it as consistent with the larger strategy, Deb. I know a fair number of conservatives, and the ones whose station in life allows them a degree of security in luxury -- gated residential compounds, high-rise apartment buildings with doormen, and so forth -- are largely opposed to the broadening of firearms rights or ownership. They're almost as afraid of weapons in citizens' hands as liberals are. So the issue can be used to create further division among persons who lean Rightward, even if it seems counter-intuitive at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I see the Republicans and Democrats as part of the same political oligarchy. The Dem branch has gone on the attack with Rep elite support. Consider: Patriot Act, DHS, NDAA, drone killings, multiple expensive wars...get approved by both parties and no matter who is president.

Anonymous said...

They are advancing their gun control position to the next ratchet click. After the next horrific gun incident, they will advance it another click or two. Every year another crop of indoctrinated kids turns eighteen and is eligible to vote.

Anonymous said...

It is rough times for the 2nd amendment (in fact the entire constitution) and gun owners. But there is a bright spot in this "crisis"; the anti-America, anti-constitution politicians and pundits have exposed themselves for who they are. We always suspected, we assumed now we know. Vote them out, demand impeachment, demand a recall election, demand your local media reports the "other" wrongdoings of these politicians. Boycott media outlets that are focusing their efforts on gun control. Support politicians and groups opposed to gun control. VOTE. Too many good and productive people don't vote or throw away their vote because their union tells them which politicians will reward them. Vote on this one issue the hell with other issues. Fight (verbally not physically), demonstrate, show up at meetings of your congressmen and speak up. And don't EVER forget which of these sleaze bags advocated for gun controls. Make them pay, fire them, don't ever let them work in government again.

A Reader said...

I hope, Mr Poretto, that you will forgive a near approach to No True Scotsman fallacy. While it is true that opposing a change in firearms laws would preserve the status quo, I have to question the Conservatism of any man who would seriously argue for the disarmament of others. If Conservatives believe in liberty, or personal responsibility, then a man who would deny another man the means of exercising either is something else.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Your point is well taken, Reader, but nevertheless, there are persons who share virtually every tenet of the freedom philosophy with you and me, but who dread the proliferation of firearms in private hands. They style themselves conservatives, and who are we to deny them the moniker?

There's a cleavage in the use of the word "conservative" that has often hobbled it politically. It's well captured by the old gag definition: "One who never wants anything to be done for the first time." That aspect of vulgar conservatism is often used against political conservatism to devastating effect.

RegT said...

Fran, I think it is actually our _duty_ to deny them the moniker. We have been allowing the Left - and the near-Left of the mainstream Republican Party - to re-define our language to their benefit.

A conservative would not do what these faux-conservatives _would_ do. Allowing them to continue to characterize themselves as conservatives is as wrong as allowing the Left to characterize us as domestic terrorists.

We allow them to redefine our language, our referents, at our own peril. Accepting it is not something that provides any moral cachet for us. It is one of the reasons we have been losing, politically.

Devynsdad said...

Could it be that our Dear Leader is, in fact, placing a marker for a higher office? There has been a great deal of rumbling about him ascending to a leadership role in the United Nations.

Just think of the hijinks which woud ensue if the Exalted One were able to rally the simpletons to support the International Firearms Treaty.

William Stout said...

The left has never given up on radically remaking America. They have never given up replacing the American Constitution. But in order to bring this about they have to neutralize the last defenders of both, the armed public. Through mission creep they seek to slowly strip away the 2nd amendment until they can scrap it entirely along with the rest of the bill of rights.

Woodrow Wilson hated the constitution because it limited his power and Obama now finds himself in Wilson's shoes. He rammed healthcare down our throats and he is fully prepared to do the same with his attack on the armed citizen. He will legislate in the dark, he will deny the Republicans access to the legislation, and if he cannot get his way in Congress he will use the stroke of a pen to strip us of our rights.

The man is on an arrogant power trip as is his liberal handlers. They will lie, obfuscate, and do whatever they have to do in order to get their way and the American people and their opinions be damned. Obama is not to be trusted nor is the Democrats because they are on his side as they were when Obamacare was foisted upon us. To believe otherwise would be a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Forgive the digression:

A lot of attention is focused on what law enforcement at the local, state and federal level may or may not do should they receive the order to disarm Americans. That's all to the good, but what about gangs?

If this is to be their move against our liberties, why wouldn't the el duce nera regime just send their gangbanger friends to take out whomever the regime considers, um, uncooperative?

They've already armed the cartels via the pentagon and fast and furious. And according to this piece - US commandos boost numbers to train Mexican forces - - they're training the mexican "military" like they did the zetas. And how'd that work out?

And I'm referring to the cities.

I'm in chicago, a city packed with black and hispanic gangbangers neatly stashed in their respective enclaves. Why would the malignant dwarf and commissioner mcmoron put their unionized government employees into harms way when they could just as easily send savages to do their dirty work? I mean,any government employees get killed and the city's gotta pay the families right?

it's the chicago way - dirty underhanded brutality orchestrated by them which allows them to clamp down harder while looking like heroes to the not too bright.

As Americans, we tend to ascribe things like honor, integrity, honesty and courage to those in opposition.

But these guys are the dregs.

Again. I'm in chicago and I'm nervous. To say the least.