Sitting down to
parse President Barack Obama’s second inaugural
address of January 21st, one’s eyes begin to glaze over while
scanning the transcript of the speech. There again are the same old platitudes,
bromides, and catch phrases and secret coded messages. There again is the
sanctimonious delivery of a person who wants to be remembered for something,
because otherwise he is a zero who can only recite a speech someone else wrote
and polished and ensured that no gaffes or unintended meanings were in the
text. But he read the speech, he vetted it and approved of it, and he delivered
it, so, it’s his speech. He owns it, for better or for worse. And the
unrelenting theme is worse.
country, because he means to “transform” it. Which, to anyone who
values freedom and governing his own destiny, means to damage it, perhaps irreparably.
Service tut-tuts, you really want the chance, instead of laboriously construing
the content of his inaugural spiel, to slap the man silly and hard across that
smug, arrogant phiz of his for uttering words like “liberty,” and
“free markets,” and “We hold these truths to be
self-evident…” and other words and phrases that occur in the speech. Why? Because
the words mean nothing but trouble to him. They meant nothing to the
speechwriter. He is an enemy of those words. He is a power-luster. Liberty,
free markets, freedom, and self-evident truths are his nemesis. He worked hard
in his first term to denigrate and diminish them. He will work harder in his
second term to eradicate them altogether.
so. “I’m here, and I’m going to do
as I please – ‘transform’ the nation from a mixed economy/welfare state – which
was bad enough (chuckle, chuckle) – into a full-scale Progressive/Socialist
utopia, and what’re you gonna do about it?” Boil away all the rhetoric,
and that’s thug talk. That’s Chicago talk, the Rahm Emanuel gangster persona and approach to politics that never
left the White House when the master of expletives and crisis-exploiter
departed to return to his old stomping grounds.
is no one to oppose him. The Republicans may as well charter themselves as a
dues-paying affiliate of the Democratic Party. The appellation
“republican” for these compromisers and appeasers is undeserved and
obscene. The Republican Party has, for just about a century now, behaved like a
Chihuahua riding on the back of a Doberman. It goes wherever the Doberman goes,
and yaps when the Doberman barks, and dares not jump off, because the Doberman
will have it for lunch.
after all, helped to midwife the birth of the Progressives and the inauguration
of socialism in the nation and of its economy in 1912,
by Teddy Roosevelt’s split with William Howard Taft over Taft’s using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
to break up U.S. Steel, a pet of Roosevelt’s. The conflict between the
conservative and Progressive Republicans handed Woodrow Wilson, a committed
advocate of nascent fascism, the election of 1912. Virtually everything on the
Republican Progressive platform – such as an income tax, the direct election
of Senators, an inheritance tax, and so on – comported easily with the official
Democratic Progressive agenda. That’s bipartisanship with a capital B.
Republicans and the conservatives for lunch is what is explicitly advocated by John
political director of CBS News, in his battle plan that would allow Obama to
consolidate his autocratic powers.
office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only
cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics,
he must go for the throat.”
can divide and conquer the Republicans by abandoning attempts at bipartisanship,
remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or
not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents.
Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force
Republicans to either side with their coalition’s most extreme elements or
cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in
Dickerson suggests, should be so demonized that the Republicans will disavow
any connection with them. Obama, he writes, has an opportunity “to hasten
the demise of the old order by increasing the political cost of having the GOP coalition
defined by Second Amendment absolutists, climate science deniers, supporters of
‘self-deportation’ [of illegal immigrants], and the pure no-tax wing.”
agenda has that precisely in mind, and more. Dickerson needn’t hold his breath.
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin
agrees with Dickerson’s assessment of the state of the “Grand Old
Party” and its inability to block the Obama agenda:
that agenda? Levin said the answer certainly doesn’t lie in the current
Republican Party leadership. “I think the Republican Party, its apparatus, its
so-called leadership, the parasitic consultants, represent an institution that
is tired, old, almost decrepit, full of cowardice and vision-less. It has
abandoned the Declaration of Independence and any serious defense of
constitutional republicanism. The Democrat Party is now a radical 1960s party;
it’s the anti-Constitution, anti-capitalism, anti-individual party. It largely
controls the federal government, including the massive bureaucracy and much of
the judiciary — what I call the permanent branches of the federal government.
The Democrat Party represents the federal government, and the federal government
expands the power of the Democrat Party.
that comic line from Monty Python’s The
Life of Brian (“What have the Romans ever done for us?”), what
have the Republicans ever done for us? Levin nails it:
hand, the GOP today stands for capitulation, timidity, delusion — so mostly
nothing. Republicans may speak of the Constitution, limited government, low
taxes, etc., but what have they done about them? Next to nothing if not
nothing. Even when Bush 43 was president and the Republicans controlled
Congress. What did they do? They went on a spending binge. They expanded
Medicare, the federal role in local education, drove up the debt, etc.
Meanwhile, we are lectured by putative Republicans like Colin Powell,
Condoleezza Rice, Tom Ridge, and a conga line of others trashing often
viciously NOT Obama and what the Democrats are doing to our nation, but
conservatives, constitutionalists, and tea party activists who are the only
people left standing for liberty against tyranny in this country.”
Republicans go on spending binges and expand the role and scope of government? Because
they are morally and politically bankrupt. That was evident in 1912. They have
been too obsessed with measuring up to the Democrats’ and Progressives’ notions
of an ideal moral polity – which is collectivist, socialist, and ultimately
fascist. But this would be news to the Republicans. When the Democrats bark,
most Republicans yap in concurrence. Levin also nails Obama and his ideological
origins and commitments:
Obama sees himself as correcting historic wrongs in this country, as delivering
the fruits of the labor of other people to people who he believes have
historically been put upon. I think there’s a lot of perverse thinking that
goes on in his mind, radical left-wing thinking. He was indoctrinated with Marx
and Alinksy [sic] propaganda. You not
only see it in his agenda but in his words — class warfare; degrading
successful people unless, of course, they help finance his elections, causes,
and organizations; pretending to speak for the so-called middle class when, in
fact, he is destroying their jobs, savings, and future. Obama’s war on our
society is intended to be an onslaught in which the system is overwhelmed.”
number of historical figures who saw themselves as “correcting historical
wrongs”: Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hugo Chavez,
the Perons. And I think I can count on the fingers of one hand who have had the
temerity to compare Obama with any one of them. Levin, perceptive as he is, is
not of that number. It takes a species of honesty to make that comparison. I have
heard no Republican or conservative courageous enough to make it.
Party reveals that the
“executive orders” concerning guns was just a lot of official puffery,
being little more than toothless presidential “proclamations.”
presidential memoranda and proclamations that have no binding effect of law
sure to help him making them lawfully binding in some form. No is not an operative verb in its
lexicon. Maybe is. So, on to a little
parsing of Obama’s inaugural address. There is a wealth of assertions and
statements that one can highlight. While not focusing how many times Obama said
we (61 times) and together (seven) – he had to make sure
that his audience identifies with his aims and that they will “share”
the struggle with him – let’s analyze a few, beginning with:
that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles
requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual
freedoms ultimately requires collective action.
principles” no longer apply in the modern world. Reality is in flux and we
must adapt to its new requisites. “New responses” are called for, such
as abandoning those principles in favor of “collective action.” Which
means surrendering one’s freedom as individuals for the sweaty warmth of the
populist mob. It’s just like squeezing into a packed subway car during rush
hour. We’re all going in the same direction, and have a right to be in that
subway car. Fidelity to principles must
be replaced with loyalty to the state. To the leader. To the Führer.
for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.
“seize” it before it disappears again. “We are made for this
moment” because we are all shapeless, malleable, interchangeable hunks of
protoplasm, with no special claims on life. And if we “seize it together,”
that will make things all right.
that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing
many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the
broad shoulders of a rising middle class.
watered-down Marxism, omitting to mention that anyone connected with government
contracts and lobbying and special interests comprise the new “shrinking
few,” except that the shrinkage is actually the unchecked growth of an oligarchy
of a federal elite, in and out of government. Fox
News reports on the locus of class:
nation’s top 10 wealthiest counties now surround Washington, D.C. They include
Loudoun County, Va., ranked No. 1, with a median household income over $119,000
dollars a year. Fairfax County, Va., was second with $105,000 and Arlington
County, Va., third with just over $100,000 a year in median household income.
middle class” is chiefly a class of unproductive parasites of almost
limitless description, from Congressional interns and staffers to Congressmen
and Senators and lawyers and lobbyists and their staffers and thousands of
organizations that have the ear of the power dispensers. I’ve left out the
brigades of White House staffers and their sumptuous salaries and perks, as
well as those of the Cabinet.
programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and
technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools,
and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more,
and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a
nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That
is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
is to “move forward,” shoulder to shoulder, in lockstep, and he will
reward us with higher taxes, more money for indoctrination camps otherwise
known as “our schools,” and special programs to enable “our
citizens” to work harder and know more so they can become toiling tax
cows. The “moment” requires that everyone surrender his individuality
and become the one of the many, the Seven of Nine, the Sixteen of Two Million,
and a loyal cipher unable to breathe free.
that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must
make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our
deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for
the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that
will build its future.
measure of security and dignity” means the welfare state, government-guaranteed
golden parachutes, and the dodgy trampolines of safety nets. As for the
“generation that will build” the future? It’s already saddled with a
debt that can never, ever be paid off – “fiscal cliff” or no fiscal
cliff – yet the government expects everyone to be happy and to whistle while
they work in a state of indentured servitude. Let’s see, the $700,000 share of
the national debt has been assigned to five-year-olds, but that figure won’t remain
static, it will grow. Their generation – should it survive – will be asked to
make more sacrifices. As for working, productive adults today – they’re screwed
already, so there’s no need to make any appeals to them. The next time a doorbell rings, it’s the government
calling on your kids.
“together,” you see. All for the common good. Forward!March!