Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Obama's Philosophically Fascist State of the Union Address
by Ben Shapiro
There sure is something different about President Obama. Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy. Not for President Obama.
President Obama's State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn't. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn't (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).
President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms -- not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.
It would be pointless to discuss at length the dictatorial, demagogic nature of much of Obama's address -- the attacks on the banking system; the unprecedented personal assault on the Supreme Court justices; the dictatorial demands ("I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay"); the scornful looks and high-handed put-downs directed at his political opponents. It would be even more pointless to discuss the incomprehensible stupidity of Obama's policy proposals. (Export more of our goods? Why didn't anyone else think of that?)
It is worth examining, however, the deeper philosophy evident from Obama's address. From the outset, his speech was an ode to himself. He opened, bizarrely, by comparing this moment in history to past American crises: "when the Union was turned back at Bull Run …" He suggested that "America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people." This, of course, is unmitigated, self-serving rubbish -- 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War because we didn't move forward as one nation. But that is irrelevant to Obama -- in his mind, today's crisis is just like the Civil War. He is a modern-day Lincoln, and those who oppose him are benighted rebels. What's more, only his powerful leadership can lead us through.
Then it was on to his critique of American politics. It should be noted at the outset that American politics is designed to produce gridlock. The governmental structure was carefully calibrated to thwart grand, ambitious programs like Obama's socialist remolding of America; the founders deliberately shackled government by pitting interest against interest. Obama does not accept that, and so he despises the American system of republicanism. He acknowledged that political debate is deeply entrenched: "These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, they've been taking place for over 200 years. They're the very essence of democracy." Then he dismissed the very essence of democracy in a single stroke: "But we still need to govern."
Obama's alternative is government as a single blunt instrument wielded by him. "What the American people hope -- what they deserve -- is for us … to overcome the numbing weight of our politics … it's time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength." This is 100 percent wrong. The American government is designed to be limited precisely so that the individual decency and strength of Americans can be unleashed. The government does not embody us -- it serves us.
But in Obama's mind, it is not even the government that embodies us -- it is Obama himself who encapsulates our hopes, dreams and spirit. "What keeps me going -- what keeps me fighting," he blathered, as though we were all deeply interested in the state of his psyche, "is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on."
After noting several Americans in whom the spirit of America lives, Obama turned to the camera in maudlin fashion and noted, "It lives on in you." (Note: quoting the Broadway version of "The Lion King" is heavy-handed theatrics.) Then he capped his sickening papal benediction with this note: "We don't quit. I don't quit."
We are not he. The American spirit is not the Obama spirit. America is not defined by our collective desire to bring about political utopia through abdication of representative democracy to a body of "wise pragmatists." America is defined by Americans -- individuals fighting to support their families, to preserve their values and their freedoms. And that Americanism stands in direct opposition not only to the Obama agenda, but also to Obama's vision of himself.
A Reuters journalist who will be looking for a new job soon
Sometimes, the truth hurts. In the case of an article they published yesterday at 4:04 p.m. Eastern, it appears Reuters editors were afraid writer Terri Cullen’s adventure into truthful journalism might hurt their news agency’s relationship with President Barack Obama — so they pulled it.
Published under the headline, Backdoor taxes hit middle class, the article opened by describing the Obama Administration’s plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade as relying “heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families.” Four hours and three minutes after it hit the wire, the story was “withdrawn” with a promise that “A replacement story will run alter in the week.”
Why did Reuters pull the story? Business Insider cited a Reuters rep as saying the piece was withdrawn “due to significant errors of fact” and “should not have gone out.” I think it was the language used in the article that prompted Reuters to pull it. In particular, it was a series of phrases shown below that, combined with the one mentioned above, must have made the hair stand up on the back of Rahm Emanuel’s neck:
“…effectively a tax hike by stealth.”
“middle-class families will face a slew of these backdoor increases.”
Perhaps the largest contributing factor to the article being yanked is a list of tax break provisions popular among middle-class families that Obama might allow to expire:
* Taxpayers who itemize will lose the option to deduct state sales-tax payments instead of state and local income taxes;
* The $250 teacher tax credit for classroom supplies;
* The tax deduction for up to $4,000 of college tuition and expenses;
* Individuals who don’t itemize will no longer be able to increase their standard deduction by up to $1,000 for property taxes paid;
* The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits are taxable, in 2009 that amount was tax-free.
The last line of the story was, perhaps, the proverbial “nail in the coffin” for the Reuter’s piece:
SOURCE (See the original for links)
The false gospel of liberalism: "How can liberalism — an egregiously false and destructive worldview — be so wildly popular? Granted, some oddballs are attracted to an idea because it’s false and destructive, but most liberals are basically normal people. How can tens of millions of regular Joes and Janes be so enthusiastic about legitimizing homosexuality, killing unborn babies and flooding America with unassimilable and hostile foreigners? A partial answer is that Americans are surrounded from cradle to grave by liberal indoctrination.”
High-speed rail: Fast track to the poorhouse: "It must be a sickness. Perhaps the superb doctors at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., can give President Barack Obama something to cure his delusional state. On Thursday, a day after a State of the Union address in which St. Barack made silly promises such as a spending freeze that might save $250 billion if maintained for 10 years, he handed out $8 billion for a high-speed rail project that will be a further drain on our already fragile economy.”
Millions of US passengers fly on unsafe planes: "US airlines permitted at least 65,000 flights with millions of passengers on planes that were not fit for takeoff over the past six years. USA Today reported today after a six-month investigation that flights were allowed to take off after problems ranging from damaged rudders to faulty engines were subject to substandard repairs by unaccredited mechanics or simply went unreported or unchecked. Passengers would have been unaware of any problem with their plane, and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is not always notified of issues by airlines, said the newspaper. Over the time period investigated, the FAA levied $US28.2 million ($32 million) in fines and fees against US airlines who had violated safety standards, but reports indicate the airlines often continued to fly faulty plans after paying the fine."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 11:43 PM