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It Was the Power, Stupid!


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I. Power—Always Was and Always Will Be

In my dumber days, between 2001-2008, I used to wonder why the Left relentlessly hammered the war on terror (e.g., renditions, tribunals, predators, preventative detention, Patriot Act, intercepts, wiretaps, Guantanamo Bay) when these measures had not only proven quite useful in preventing another 9/11-like attack, but had been sanctioned by both the Congress and the courts. In those ancient times, I was not as cynical as I am now. So I assumed that Harold Koh and MoveOn.org, though mistaken, were worried about civil liberties, or measures that they felt were both illegal and without utility.

But, of course, the Obama (who attacked each and every element of the war on terror as a legislator and senator) Left never had any principled objection at all. Instead, whatever Bush was for, they were in Pavlovian fashion against. I can say that without a charge of cynicism, because after January 2009, Obama embraced or expanded every Bush-Cheney protocol that he inherited. In response, the anti-war Left simply kept silent, or indeed vanished, or went to work extending the anti-terrorism agenda. Guantanamo Bay, in other words, was a national sin until the mid-morning of January 20, 2009.


II. The Year 4

We are in the year four of our lord, when darkness was made light, the seas gently receded, and the planet cooled. In the space of 24 hours in January 2009 the world was turned upside down: massive deficits were no longer “unpatriotic”; 5% (heck, even 9%) unemployment was no longer to be seen as a “jobless recovery”; $4 plus gasoline no longer would become “intolerable.” Filibusters suddenly became ossified obstructionism. Recess appointments were now quite legitimate; lecturing the media about the myth of objective fairness was salutary. Pay-for-play time with the president was consulting; attacking the “unelected” courts was progressive. Voter fraud was not thugs eyeing polling monitors with clubs, but officials asking voters to present a picture ID—and mentioning any of these inconsistencies or writing about the Trostkyzation of American life was either racism or Palinism.

Around March 2008, the Ministry of Truth had issued new edicts about campaign financing, big Wall Street money, and the supposedly pernicious role of contributions: all bad if Bush trumped Kerry, all now good if Obama trumped McCain. So when Obama became the first candidate in the history of the law to renounce public campaign financing in order to shake down $1 billion, there was silence. The Left never really worried about Big Money, but only if more Big Money went to conservatives than to themselves. (Consider the current shameless money grubbing of Jon Corzine to raise cash for Obama after Corzine’s looting of thousands of individuals’ lifetime investments, or the shrillness over Mitt Romney’s supposed mansion in La Jolla juxtaposed to the prior silence about the Kerry mansions, the multiple Gore residences, or “John’s room,” as in the huge and crass Edwards estate.) What was interesting about Hilary Rosen was not her stupid thoughts on Ann Romney, but her cursus honorum that led to hired-gun riches by parlaying political contacts into commerce.Scissors-32x32.png

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VIII. Only Power?


Does that mean Obama does not care about ideology? Not necessarily. You can be cynical about trashing fat cats while enjoying Martha’s Vineyard—and still believe in nationalizing health care on principled grounds. A sort of medical TSA is a win-win situation in that we all line up for bypasses and antibiotics in the way the line at the airport snakes back and forth; health officers with epaulettes will take our blood pressure and pop us pills in the way unionized TSA officers so assiduously screen our luggage, five or six to a console. Just as you see a small crowd consult whether granny’s wheelchair is laced with plastic explosives, so too the Obamacare GS-10 examiners will huddle to see whether that appendix of yours really is all that close to rupturing, as you, the paranoid and greedy, suspect.


“Share the wealth” and “fairness for all” are not incompatible with a power-hungry technocratic class, an apparat to oversee all this liberality. As recompense for their noble sacrifice, a complete exemption is granted from the consequences of their own mandates. If Michelle is exhausted from trying to make us eat well, why should she not go to Costa del Sol or R&R or Vegas? If Barack Obama is worn out trying to win for us the Buffett rule, why should he pay 30% on his $760,000 in income? If Tim Geithner is fighting on our behalf to make us pay a “premium” tax for being privileged Americans, why should he have to pay his FICA? If Steven Chu takes the heat for trying to get us $8 a gallon gas in our best interest, why should he have to buy a car and drive?



Two Point

A. In regards to the lefts oppostion to GWOT & Iraq, it was never about why we invaded/liberated Iraq. No their criticism can be found in Nov.-Dec. of 2000 and Bush V. Gore.


B. In the modern (post 1968) Democratic Party it is all about power, it always has been and always will be, until the counter revolution takes place.

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