Friday, October 30, 2009

Obama Hates Us, This We Know

Back in November, the Obama election machine was brimming with love, peace, brotherhood and fair reason, promising us a government that was both transparent and nonpartisan. Kumbaya! We're all going to join hands and skip into the Promised Land. Those who did not vote for him would be welcome at the table, and a new era of fraternity would begin. To paraphrase Dinah Washington, "what a difference a year makes."

The Obamassiah has turned out to be the most thin-skinned, doctrinaire, suppressor of dissent and disagrement since the paranoid Richard Nixon prepared his enemies list. Now I've been around a very long time in the political arena, and I know that politics ain't beanbag. Any man (or woman) with the ego to run for president is not going to be your average choirboy. It's tough, it's mean, and you're going to step on toes and have your own toes stepped on. So if a president develops an animosity towards those who have treated him unfairly, or at least who he thinks have treated him unfairly, it's understandable. Any president who pretends to love everyone is a liar, and is planning on finding a way to stick the knife in if the opportunity presents itself.

Truman publicly denounced anyone who didn't think his daughter was the greatest opera diva of all time. Eisenhower was a vocal foe of the military-industrial complex. JFK had an ongoing grudge against the Washington Post. LBJ was a notorious slapper-downer of those who got in his way. Carter could be very nasty toward those who didn't take his piety seriously enough. Reagan was extremely affable, but he was not above the use of "there he goes again" when confronted with an opponent who spouted left wing nonsense. Clinton had an ongoing donnybrook with The American Spectator and anyone else who accused him of serial womanizing. Bush II was not above insulting or temporarily banishing news reporters whom he considered to be falsely undermining his war efforts.

But Obama and Nixon are the only ones in my memory where the dislike translated into the concept of "enemies." The enemies are out to get them, professionally, politically and personally. And Obama seems to go even one step farther. His lock on the mainstream media is almost perfection, but there are still a few enemies who just won't go away, and they need to be gotten rid of by any means necessary. So Fox News Channel has been marginalized as an enemy, and not even a legitimate news organization. Rush Limbaugh is an enemy who speaks in no uncertain terms of hoping Obama fails (meaning he hopes his policies fail). News radio is an enemy which must be destroyed by curing it with a "fairness" doctrine and back door maneuvering to kill the free speech of those who oppose the president.

Obama has "community organizations" working hard to silence the nay-sayers, threatens lawsuits and even criminal prosecutions against those who disagree with his politics, and has even gone so far as to set up a national e-mail snitch list to get citizens to rat on each other in order to ferret out the enemies who would bear false witness.

All those other presidents knew that it was all politics, and that if someone got personal about it, they'd hit back personally whenever possible. But they never saw an opponent as an enemy of both the president and the state. And they never spent so much valuable time and presidential currency on trying to deligitimize the enemies they imagined in their paranoid heads. Only Nixon and Obama have made this so personal, so vicious, and so dishonest. They both exhibit an absolute lack of comprehension of the concept of a "loyal opposition."

The problem has become so acute that Senator Lamar Alexander, a very gentle sort of moderate/conservative Republican actually addressed the issue on the Senate floor. He urged Obama to lay off on the assaults on those who disagree with the White House. Alexander pleaded with the president to quit squandering every opportunity to "work together on the truly presidential issues--creating jobs, reducing health care costs, reducing the debt, creating clean energy." And then he dropped the comparison bomb: "I have an uneasy feeling only ten months into this new administration that we are beginning to see the symptoms of this same kind of animus displayed by Nixon developing in the Obama administration."

As Gary Andres at The Weekly Standard has said: "After ten months in office, a clear pattern has emerged. Instead of hope and change, it's blame and attack. Obama rarely gives a speech about a pressing national problem without blaming George W. Bush. For many Americans, it's getting old. It makes the president look small and petty. Does he want America's respect or its pity?"

Nixon developed his paranoid style during the McCarthy era, taking a real issue of communists in government and using it to tar his political rivals as enemies. He won his Senate Seat in California from Helen Gehagan Douglas by accusing her of communist sympathies even though all proof was that she was nothing more than a lifelong liberal. He had deep feelings of inadequacy because he wasn't part of the Ivy League intelligentsia which he so often had to face with his Duke University credentials. Obama has the Ivy League record, but his real credentials remain obscure, his academic career a complete secret and therefore a complete mystery, and seems to be covering up his own feelings of inadequacy by high-falluting speeches and pretensions to elegance. Underneath, he's just another sneaky politician who got his political training in the dirty politics of Chicago. Not exactly the Harvard Yard. Add a belief in the concept that if you don't agree you're dangerous and out to get me, and you have a formula for enemies lists.

Presidents with this kind of philosophy regarding the opposition hire aides who see things the same way and are willing to do what the president wants to rid the nation of the enemies. Nixon had John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman, Obama has Rahm Emmanuel and Valerie Jarrett. This president even considers people in his own party to be enemies if they disagree with his pet projects. "We routinely hear about phone calls from the president's staff to congressional Democrats expressing White House dissatisfaction if someone says anything out of line with Obama's policies," said an unidentified Congressional aide to Gary Andres in his Weekly Standard article.

I can't tell you about hope, but I am pretty sure that this style of ad hominem politics isn't going to change while Obama remains in office. His inability to compromise or see the other guy's point of view is deeply ingrained and probably unalterable. It will be interesting to see at what point in the Obama presidency the situation will have deteriorated so badly for him that he announces to the American public "I'm no socialist (despite all the mounting evidence to the contrary)." And considering his nearly open hostility to Israel, I am even left wondering if he will blame the failure of his administration on "a group which stabbed us in the back."


HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I've probably been around even longer than you (LOL). If Obama can get a "hate crimes bill" attached to a defense appropriations bill in order to get his way, maybe he'll try getting a new "sedition act" attached to the next one. I can see his scheming little Chicago group now convincing him to ask Congress for funds to support McChrystal's 40,000 additional troops, and then slipping an attachment in which says "it shall be a treasonous hate crime to disagree publicly with the president on anything."

Unknown said...

HamiltonsGhost: Many a true word is said in jest. You were jesting, weren't you? Or maybe not.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, When Obama first got elected, I remember drawing up a list of about two dozen parallels between Obama and Nixon. One of them was his enemies list. Since that time, he's really stepped up the hostility of how he deals with the people on that list. As you say, he is well beyond Nixon now.

Sadly for him, treating the opposition as an enemy always ends up being more self-destructive than helpful.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I think you're right. Nixon's enemies list came as a revelation, something entirely new. Obama came to the presidency in more cynical times, and despite the MSM's fawning acceptance of everything he does, there is a huge population out there who went through Watergate and know what a president is capable of. Most of us conservatives saw it coming. I have my framed Certificate of Membership in Obama's Enemies List from last year.

Obama's testiness is increasing with the growing American recognition that this man simply doesn't like the First Amendment or the rules of fair politics. If we're really lucky, he'll finally pick the wrong enemy to mess with, and end up shooting himself in the foot once and for all. He may already have done so by going after Fox News.

AndrewPrice said...

Good point about Fox. Despite their political differences, journalists all view each other as an elite class and they rally to defend each other from all who would attack them.

The other thing to consider about the attacks is that even if people in the middle don't notice them, people on the right will only get angrier and angrier. Thus, all he's doing is energizing his opposition.

Joel Farnham said...


Remember when Nixon grabbed his PR man and threw him towards a group of protestors? That was the end of Nixon. I wonder when Obama will make that same mistake.

Unknown said...

Andrew: It was a joy to behold. The mainstream press has been very slow to go on the attack, but that exclusion of Fox from the press pool was apparently one bridge too far. They reacted honorably, for a change, even if the motivation behind it was more selfish. They didn't really defend Fox or freedom of the press, simply their own realization that they could be next if they said something that disagreed with the touchy president. Still, I'll take what I can get.

Unknown said...

Joel: I had nearly forgotten that incident until you brought it up. Now it's in my mind as fresh as the day it happened. Obama wouldn't have the stones to do the same thing, but when he has Rahm Emmanuel do it for him, the result will still be the same.

StanH said...

Barry is a sheltered child. He has never heard the word no so often, and his keepers are going to find it hard to shield him from the political, and public ridicule that’s building daily . The more defensive and paranoid he becomes the weaker his presidency will be. The country is beginning to laugh at him, even the MSM in places are beginning to double take the White House babble.

As comparisons go with Nixon. Watergate was stupid, he beat McGovern in a landslide. His paranoia in the end is what cost him his presidency. We will see if Barry goes this far, the difference will be IMO Barry will lose by a landslide for his second term. So his paranoia could be more dangerous, with his bunker mentality? We’ll see!

Unknown said...

StanH: Good analysis. I think the difference here works very much to our advantage. Nobody envisioned Nixon as a messiah, so there was no major disappointment when he turned out to be a flawed human being. That means Obama's base is being weakened. Nixon had already been re-elected before the worst of Watergate broke. And as a sitting president, the only way to get rid of him was full investigation, and impeachment. Fortunately, he spared us that agony by resigning.

Obama's already in deep poo-poo less than a year into his first term. And we have three years to hammer him with his paranoia and lack of ethics. Then the ultimate impeachment comes: Election day, 2012. And if he does go to the bunker, we have much more sophisticated ways of shining the light on that than we did in the 70s. It's hard to hide in the bunker when your only asset is that empty suit making great-sounding and meaningless speeches.

Writer X said...

From "hope and change" to "blame and attack" is so true. I'm not sure a politician ever recovers once he's been branded a whiner. He's become the Drama-Queen-in-Chief.

As an aside, he sunk to a brand-new low for me when he showed up at Dover, with the press and cameras in tow, to salute the coffins of fallen soldiers. That was disturbing on so many levels.

Unknown said...

WriterX: I always got a twinge when I saw Bill Clinton saluting. This is an entirely different thing. I don't begrudge a Commander In Chief attending ceremonies (Bush did it all the time because he really cared deeply about the troops). But this lowlife Chicago political opportunist ordered these funeral ceremonies open to TV coverage for the first time in many years, and then rushes to look solemn, saluting the fallen. This was cynical and dishonest beyond all belief. I was sickened by the spectacle, and devastated for the families of the fallen troops who had come to grieve while welcoming home for the last time their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers only to have the moment snatched from them by a camera-grabbing phony. Appalling.

StanH said...

I’m learning useful legal terms from you and Andrew today, “bite me & poo-poo.” LOL!

I expect all of Washington to be near hysterics as 2010 and 2012 come around. Many political fiefdoms are in trouble they just are in denial at the moment. Barry can do a lot of damage to this country by “executive order.” He must be watched closely with all of his czars.

I understand at Barry’s photo op with our dead heroes, many of the families refused to be photographed with the false Messiah.

patti said...

it sickens me that I'M the one being called a hater, or from the younger crowd: hata, when it's abundantly clear who hates the best. Barry's middle initial isn't "H" by mistake.

writer x: i read that as "dairy queen" and thought now why does anyone want to hate on dairy queen. they have delicious ice cream on a stick there....

Writer X said...

Patti, I would never disparage Dairy Queen, not when they make the best, creamiest vanilla ice cream ever! Throw some sprinkles on it and I've pretty much died and gone to heaven. ;-)

Unknown said...

StanH: Andrew and I have both dedicated ourselves to increasing the vocabularies of our readers. LOL

I hadn't heard that about the families, but I can only say "God love them."

Unknown said...

Patti: I've gotten used to it. I've been called a racist or a hater (or both) so many times by the know-nothings whose faces are screwed up like gargoyles from their own hatred that I just dismiss it.

For those of you who haven't seen it, you should go to Patti's site and view the video that shows who the real liars are in the "public option" debate. Go to our main page, and click on NOT A WONK.

Post a Comment