Skip to comments.Where Did These Guys Come From? The Origins of Obamism [Victor Davis Hanson]
Posted on 12/24/2009 4:32:10 AM PST by Tolik
The Origins of Obamism
I do not think it will be easy to delay Obamism. It is not just that both houses of Congress are under liberal leadership with ample majorities, with a White House and captive media egging them on. The problem is that now the entire engine of the federal government is harnessed in the most unapologetic way to pushing through a far left agenda. There is no shame, no hesitancy in using the full powers of the state.
How does that work out? Without qualification (remember we are in a new age of transparency and ethical reform) votes are bought with hundred-million-dollar earmarks; the attorney general predicates judicial action on the political ramifications of indicting or not indicting; federal bureaucracies (watch the EPA if cap and trade stalls) are devoted to the new Caesar rather than the letter of the law.
Such a strange scenario we have found ourselves ina clear majority of Americans is opposed to almost everything Obama has to offer; congressional representatives know they are acting against the will of the people, but know too that they are offered all sorts of borrowed money for their districts to compensate for their unpopular actions. And a charismatic commander in chief believes that he can charm even the angriest of critics, and that anything he promises (Irans deadlines, closing of Guantanamo, new transparency, no more lobbyists, etc) means zilch and can be contextualized by another let me be perfectly clear speech spiced with a couple of the usual it would have been impossible for someone as unlikely as me to have become President just (fill in the blanks) years ago
No, I would not count Obama out. So what drives his agenda? What are its origins?
Here are the three most prominent catalysts.
Equality of Result
What Barack Obama advocates is as old as Platos Republic and Aristotles Politics, the agenda of the classical dêmos and Roman turba.
It is why the French Revolution emphasized égalité and fraternité, while the Founding Fathers instead championed the freedom of the individual from the despotism of the state. In short, equality of result doctrine ignores the role of markets, of skills, of tragedy itself that renders some of us ill, others in perfect health, some born gifted, others less so, some evil by nature, others good, and instead promises that the state can even us all out through its power of material redistribution. Give us all the same amount of money and perks at the end of the day, and then utopia reigns under the benevolent watch of Ivy-League professors and organizers.
It is a given that what we make is not our own, but predicated on the liberality of society. Thus, for those who were too greedy, too conniving, or even too lucky, the state must step in to ensure that we end up the same.
In its most benign form, we know this as progressivism or communitarianism, a big government, high tax philosophy that co-exists within democracy. Its more pernicious strains are socialist, in which the state ensures, through bureaucratic fiat and a labyrinth of laws that curb free expression, that redistribution is institutionalized. And the virulent form (thankfully with the fall of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China not so global-threatening any more) is, of course, a murderous communism, in which any means necessary are justified to ensure the desire ends and the rule of anointed apparat. Remember, historys greatest killers (Stalin and Mao) do it all for the people.
But there is another element to Barack Obama besides progressive statism. A number of contemporary isms and ologies (multiculturalism, moral equivalence, utopian pacifism, post-modernism) also help to explain Obamism, especially in cultural terms. Our universities subscribe to race/class/gender theory of exploitation, in which much of the unhappiness of todays women, of todays nonwhite, and of todays poor originates with the privileges of the white Christian Western male that are predicated on oppression.
It works like this: The ghetto resident, the denizen of the barrio, the abandoned and divorced waitress with three young children, can all chart their poverty and unhappiness not to accident, fate, bad luck, bad decisions, poor judgment, illegality or drug use, or simple tragedy, but rather exclusively to a system that is rigged to ensure oppression on the basis of race, class, and genderoften insidious and unfathomable except to the sensitive and gifted academic or community organizer.
So Obama combines the age-old belief that the state is there to level the playing field (rather than protect the rights of the individual and secure the safety of the people from foreign threats), with the postmodern notion that government must recompensate those by fiat on the basis on their race or class or gender. Remember all that, and everything from the Professor Gates incident, to the dutiful attendance at the foot of Rev. Wright to Van Jones become logical rather than aberrant. Michelle Obama could make $300,000 and she will always be more a victim than the Appalachian coal miner who earns $30,000, by virtue of her race and gender.
The Chicago Way
A third and final ingredient to Obamism is the Chicago way. Here we see an interesting updated version of the old big-city, Daley thuggery. Rahm Emanuel threatens recalcitrant congressmen with reminders of the long Obama memory. The Axelrod/Jarrett clique ensures that the government channels stimuli to blue-states, that key Congress people are bought off with tens of millions of government largess, that every campaign promisefrom no lobbyists and airing on C-span health care debates to posting impending legislation on the Internet for set durations and reaching across the aisleis simply cynical fluff that no sane person would take seriously.
In short, we have a traditional statist bent on redistribution (Obamas words, not mine), updated with the postmodern belief that race/class/gender oppressions require government affirmative reactions (which also abroad explains why we reach out to enemies and shun allies), all energized by an ends justify the means Chicago bare-knuckles apparat.
These true believers, then, dont really care that the Blue Dogs (if such really exist) bite the dust in 2010, if Harry Reid goes up in smoke, or indeed, if Barack Obama is reelected. Instead, they will institutionalize an agenda that will affect America for generations, move it sharply to the left, and earn a spot in the academic pantheon of American heroes.
Asking why would Obama & Co. be so self-destructive to push through an array of proposals that have no more than 45% of the publics support is like asking whether the English Prof who teaches incomprehensible Foucauldian theory worries whether he has only 2 students, or whether the well-off union boss is all that upset that membership has sunk to 30% of the workforce, or multimillion-dollar-earning Sarah Palin-interviewing Katie Couric is worried about her sinking ratings, or whether the New York Times columnists are upset that their mother paper is broke with subscription and readership down, and laying off thousands of blue-collar employees.
Instead, for the true believer, it is all about the self, and the sense of the selfand damn all other considerations. (We saw that with Jimmy Carter as well; that he destroyed liberal Democrat politics for a generation meant nothing; that he won prizes and jet-setted the world for thirty years meant everything. For these people, it is always about themall the time. Let us eat cake as they end up liberal icons for the duration).
What Are We Left With?
The most blatant cynicism in recent American political historya man who ran as a bipartisan who is the most partisan weve seen, a healer whose even flippant comments are designed to offend, a statist who assumes that the sheared sheep cannot stampede somewhere else, a reformer who trusts his honey-laced rhetoric can disguise Daley style-corruption.
On that happy note.
Everything, as my dear late mother lectured me, happens for a reason, or at least presents a sort of logicirony, paradox, karma, and nemesis being the best ways of interpreting our unfathomable existences. It took messianic narcissistic Barack Obama to expose the full extent of the mess that a once noble tradition of 19th-century liberalism had devolved into. Only he could have rammed it down the throats of the American people, and when he is done, we will suffer, but also sicken of it for quite a while.
Otherwise, Merry Christmas! And thanks again to the most informed, articulate, and outspoken commentators in the blogosphere!
Just a partial list: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index:
Just a partial list. Much more at the link: http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/victordavishanson/index
The War Against the Wannabe Rich. Why attack the productive classes who want to be rich? The Long March From California to Copenhagen [Hanson on debate between capitalism and socialism] Obama and the Malleability of History. In pursuit of noble goals, Obama ignobly twists the truth. Our Flip-Flopping Wars - Iraq was never lost and Afghanistan was never quite the easy good war The Palin Wonder Obamas Wheel of Fortune. The presidents luck has changed and he doesnt seem to have noticed Why Are We Tiring of Obama? Has War Really Changed? War always involves a military solution. Change, Weakness, Disaster, Obama: Answers from Victor Davis Hanson If Iran Refuses To Cooperate, Block Its Ports Resetting the Reset Button [Victor Davis Hanson dissects 0's pathetic diplomacy] Dean Obama [Victor Davis Hanson dissects 0's West Point speech on Afghanistan] Change We Can Believe In [Victor Davis Hanson: A list of modest suggestions for REAL change] Riding the Back of the Tiger [Victor Davis Hanson on Obama not understanding What Causes Wars...] We Ain't Seen Nothing Yet The New War against Reason - Medieval heretic-hunters had nothing on Obama when it comes to closed-mindedness Circling Sharks Smell American Blood: America should keep quieter abroad and try finding a bigger stick Palin-Odes? What Drives the Fear and Loathing of Sarah Palin? Obamas Prissy America - Why does Obamas tolerant, apologetic America seem so very self-centered? What Bush Inherited, and What He Left Left Behind Who Are They? To Obama, they are responsible for all our troubles. Problem is, they are most of us Afghan Mythologies. We have everything we need to defeat the Taliban. The Discreet Charm of the Left-wing Plutocracy Truman and the Principles of U.S. Foreign Policy. Jimmy Carter rejected the postwar consensus. President Obama appears to be following a similar path Americas Obama Obsession - Anatomy of a passing hysteria The Kitty-Cat Who Roared - The loud reformer Obama himself proves even emptier in his promises than Bush Dr. Barack and Mr. Obama - The backlash is sharp as voters learn that Obama is not the man they thought he was Obama and "Redistributive Change". His real agenda Bullying Israel-only country with which the U.S. has worse relations since Obama took office The War Against the Producers President Palins First 100 Days. Imagine if Sarah Palin had Obamas record Thoughts About Depressed Americans Our Battered American [gets angrier - Must Read Rant]
Combined PING to 2 ping lists
I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention.
You are welcome to browse the list of truly exceptional articles I pinged to lately. Updated on November 15, 2009. on my page.
Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.
A powerful article. I appreciate VDH’s optimism at the end - just a slim cord for a lifeline, but I’ll hang on to it.
I assure you, that will not be the case.
This health care bill is the icing on the socialist cake, only they will only make you pay for it and you wont get to eat it.
I wrote this opinion below in February of 2009.
Add in to your thoughts when you read it, that today, at 0712 E.S.T., our nation became Socialist when they had their 51st vote for Health Care.
May God Have Mercy on America.
Subject: Points to ponder about our new President: Somber reading
As Marines, we did NOT swear an oath to the President in the first sentence, we swore it to the Constitution.Our founding fathers made clear distinctions between the 3 powers of government: Executive, Legislative, Judicial.
While the President leads, he has the Congress to enact laws and the Court to make sure the law is upheld. For ANY of those three to go AGAINST the Constitution, that is treason itself.
Bush’s enactment of the Patriot Act was to save our country, while Clinton’s spying on her domestic enemies by acquiring over 1800 FBI files on private American citizens was treasonous, illegal, and laughed away as a silly mistake, just like Democrats not paying taxes and becoming Treasury Secretary. TO be so bold and blatant against the laws of the country, and to have a political party defend these criminalities is treason in itself.
Our founding fathers gave us the SECOND AMENDMENT for just that reason, that if our government ever became so tyrannical, we the people would have the power to overthrow it if need be, by force, by arms, with guns.
The greatest problem here is the absolute hypocrisy of democrats when it comes to politicians upholding the law. Example: Scooter Libby did NOT reveal Valerie Plame’s name to the media, Democrat Richard Armitage did and the special counsel knew that on the 3rd day of the trial from Robert Novak, yet the Special Counsel pushed and pushed until he found Libby make a mis-statement so he could hang someone in the Bush administration for something.
That is a complete political abuse of power. When we compare the crimes of the Clinton administration against Bush, Bush is a boy scout, yet Bush never prosecuted Clinton for sending missile technology to China in exchange for campaign donations, never prosecuted Clinton for allowing Iran to arm the KLA in Serbia against UN resolutions while the rest of the world was stunned, never prosecuted Clinton for allowing the war against Serbia in the first place since it was the Serbs fighting against MUSLIMS who were slaughtering Serbs that started the whole thing over there.
The list goes on.
It is the Democrats who had over a dozen personnel who were known Soviet Spies in the Roosevelt Administration, proven by the Venona papers;
The democrats who defended Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for decades after their execution only to have their other spy friend and conspirator, Morton Sobell, admit on his death bed 3 months ago that they actually did it;
And not just nuclear secrets, too, but according to the article cited: “Not only did they try their best to give the Soviets top atomic secrets from the Manhattan Project, they succeeded in handing over top military data on sonar and on radar that was used by the Russians to shoot down American planes in the Korean and Vietnam wars.”
Books have been written about the democrats complicity with Soviet policies and plans by men such as John Stormer,
FDR’s reckless economics and corruption detailed by John Flynn http://www.rooseveltmyth.com/book/hbzfrm.htm ,
This dalliance with Communism is also Obama’s favorite topic apparently.
The democrat platform is almost identical to the Communist Party Goals:
The democrats want to take over your 401K...ITS YOUR MONEY:
Obama supporters flew the Soviet Flag in DC when protesting:
Obama plainly stated that he will allow a company to build a coal plant, but that he intends to cause them such absurd costs to keep it environmentally friendly that it will intentionally bankrupt the company trying to build it:
Audio of Obama declaring he wants to redistribute the wealth JUST LIKE COMMUNISTS do:
The Democrats SOCIALISTS had a dinner where Obama was lead speaker:
Internet Archives confirmed Obama was a member of the openly Socialist NEW PARTY of Illinois in 1996:
Obama’s economic team says they want to create jobs that intentionally exclude White males:
Obama lied to the Illinois Court system when he was asked if he ever went by any other name. His real name was Barry Soetoro in Indonesia:
While campaigning in New Hampshire, Obama cancelled the singing of the national Anthem to make room for more ‘speakers’:
Obama clearly said he wants a Civilian Security force as well funded as the Military.
That is what every secret police force ever started like in all dictatorships, such as:NICARAGUA Ortegas Councils of Citizen Power; CUBA Fidels Committees For Defense of the Revolution; PANAMA Noriegas Dignity Battalions; VENEZUELA Chavezs Popular Defense Units; HAITI Papa Doc’s National Security Volunteers, commonly called the Tonton Macoutes; CHINA Mao’s Red Guards; IRAN Ayatollah’s Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution; Soviet Komsomol or “Communist Union of Youth”:
Recent documents and proclamations of his own President-Elect status show his agenda is similar to Soviet/Nazi history in their control and organization of the youth and the population. The following is a Communist Youth program information found here:
“”Of all other tasks, some of the outstanding ones are outlined. The widest degree of activity of the youth in the class struggles of the day is imperative, it goes without saying. Nevertheless, it would be a decidedly short-sighted and opportunistic approach if the communist youth movement allowed itself to be involved, under pressure or pretexts of all sorts, in all kinds of routine activity, and to be made into a wagging or running tail of other bodies, political, trade union, etc. in order to achieve a name for activities. There are some, perhaps, who believe that this very routine work, doing some of the distasteful work for the adult comrades, is the task of the youth.
But it is in the communist youth organization that the youth (young worker or student) must make their major opportunity to learn thoroughly the fundamental principles and theory of the communist movement, its history, etc. in order really to be prepared for intelligent participation and leadership, at a later period, in the adult organization, the Party. It has to be said plainly that in the adult organization, the opportunities are often too limited for serious and necessary study by the ranks. Lack of time and the need to carry through numberless concrete tasks after working hours are the main reasons therefore. The adult members have to place a great reliance, perhaps too much, on experience and the theoretical back-ground can or should to a large degree be obtained by the youth in the years they are apart of the communist youth organization. This knowledge, coupled with their activities otherwise, will serve as a strong safeguard against opportunism and adventurism.In the above sense, the slogan of Clarity and Action sums up the attitude of the communist youth. While stressing education and class struggle activity, a youth movement, communist or otherwise, cannot live by these alone, especially so if the communist youth organization is to attract the wider strata of the youth to its own banner or around its bona-fide sympathetic auxiliary bodies. Social, sport, and cultural activities need to be systematically developed. The youth movement needs to build its dramatic and musical groups and like mediums which attract the youth. It can be done; who says otherwise needlessly narrows the possibilities for rallying youth elements to the communist cause through diverse methods. Particularly must the communist youth foster a broad workers sport movement of which it must be a guiding participant. The insidious and malevolent influence of the bourgeois sport movements, both professional and amateur is immense, and systematic efforts are required to counter-act this influence on the mass of American youth. A general social and cultural life, in addition to the basic tasks outlined before, will tend to attract young workers and students around us. If the new forces are approached sympathetically, made to realize our genuineness, they will either join the communist youth organization, or at least remain sympathetic, even if not ready to accept the entire outlook of communism. Numerous other tasks for the youth can be posed, but space forbids.”
Obama’s campaign clearly tried to silence dissent of any criticism of Obama while claiming his higher moral authority, going so far as to claiming Obama is THE MESSIAH:
When visiting troops overseas, Obama refused to meet with wounded troops in Germany and also Afghanistan, something NO responsible politician would ever do, even if he was just pandering for votes, they would have visited the wounded troops:
Obama openly praises a racist pastor whose church he attended for over 20 years:
Obama openly makes racist jokes that his white half will be confused as who to vote for:
Obama’s prayer leaders at his inauguration included someone associated with Islamic terror group HAMAS:
Percy Sutton (Malcolm X’s Lawyer) Says Barack Obama Knows And Was Financed By The Racist Radical Muslim And Saudi Advisor Dr. Khalid Al-Mansour:
There were a number of known, public, and extremely violent terrorist organizations that openly endorsed Obama. Would they have endorsed a Republican Conservative?
Mohammed Al-Churbaji, Dad of Obama Fundraiser, worked for Azzam, Bin Laden.
Obama traveled to Africa and openly campaigned with his cousin, Raila Odinga who lost the election, and whose followers murdered hundreds when he lost and burned down over 100 churches and zero Mosques:
We are dealing with someone who wants to take over our present system of economics, our present system of civil rights, and even change our Constitution as he plainly said when he said it was a flawed document. In conclusion, we are dealing with a man whose associations include but are not limited to the following:
1.) Kenyan opposition candidates whose followers murdered hundreds when he lost and burned down over 100 churches and zero Mosques.
2.) Domestic terrorists who murdered up to 6 Americans in bombings, robberies, shootings and other murders to include Police Officers and the bombing of civilian houses own and occupied by a Lawyer and family who thankfully escaped death that night.
3.) proven 20 years of association with a racist theologian and the associations that go along with that man and theologian; the standard blame white America first sentiment, regardless of how true it was 150 years ago, the changes made in our own lifetime are disregarded and only demand more.
4.) His own family’s statements of what his supposed moral foundation is and how his own statements declare that he will side with a religion that is historically known to kill their opponents first and refuse to negotiate until their opponents are subdued and begging for mercy
5.) His campaign received millions of dollars that are untraceable to the original donors, and of the millions that are traceable that came from overseas, a FEDERAL CRIME, and how his campaign removed the Credit Card checking of names and account numbers to verify the credit cards were valid
6.) His association with known supporters of Islamic Terrorism, of groups known as Hamas and Hizbullah.
7.) Of his party’s refusal to demand he release his personal records for examination by the American people so as to know the candidate better, while they themselves have a history to demand documents from 40 years ago that pertained to President Bush. His party’s refusal to demand the Military records of John Kerry and the College records of Barak Obama are a part of his political party’s hypocrisy.
8.) The re-introduction of THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE, a form of censorship written by the Democrats to silence the effects of Talk Radio. NOT ONCE has the Democrat Party ever referred to the massive ideological outnumbering of Liberals to Conservatives in the mainstream media, and only refer to ‘fairness’ when considering Talk Radio and the Internet.
As anyone knows, who has been paying attention, this can only mean Conservative Talk Radio and open Internet communication.Knowing that Obama associate Bill Ayers freely referred to Saul Alinsky, and Knowing that the writings off Saul Alinsky openly promote Communism and radical overthrow, who dedicated his book RULES FOR RADICALS to SATAN only confirms what I call the criminality of this administration.
We all took a vow to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America, Against ALL Enemies, Foreign and Domestic...Will Obama be a Patriot after all or an enemy of the Constitution is a sad question that the informed can only be saddened to think of the answer.
So, just what is treason then? Overthrowing our entire economic system to one that is proven to have failed worldwide is treason? or Americanism?
Submitting to and apologizing to Islamic terrorists who have repeatedly threatened to KILL US, ME AND YOU if we don’t become Muslim? Is that Treason? or Americanism?
Taking ALL YOUR MONEY in the bank to be kept by the government to use as the government sees fit, is that treason or Americanism?
Jim Bancroft Feb 3, 2009
If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves. WINSTON CHURCHILL
Should Obamacare become law, I will not support any candidate for office that does not vow to immediately repeal this criminal conspiracy of a bill. And I don't want to hear any crap about amending this monster. The WHOLE bill must be repealed, if signed into law.
I have always enjoyed Victor Davis Hansen. This has to be one of his best articles. It is time to head to the book store and buy some of his books. He really understands what is going on.
But if it is any consolation, the harder we have to fight to rid ourselves of it, the more the victory will mean to us and to the country...and the greater will be our defense against its return.
Succint summation. My hope is a complete overturn of Congress. Read your history - Kansas - Nebraska Act of 1854. Of course, the next ten years were pretty rough.
I don't see what VDH means here...why does government affirmative action lead to reaching out to our enemies and shunning our friends?
The Origins of Obamism
I'm sorry but 'Obamism' sounds like a dirty word.
I think I'll go bathe in lye.
Harvard, Berkley, UC Davis
They call it "solarity" based on race / economic condition. It's, at root, a perversion of the Christian virtue of compassion and love for all God's creation, based on His image and likeness.
EqualityOfResults vs EqualityOfOpportunity
Only one is true equality.
Wow....lots of reading! Thank You!
Obama is flipping the existing (Judeo/Christian) value system on its head (calling evil, good and good, evil) and this results in a flipping of our friends and enemies accordingly.
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