Liddick: Europe burns, Obama fiddles with legacy
January 20, 2015
No, I don't think the entire Obama Administration is on drugs. The president might have inhaled a few decades back, but the actions we're seeing now are not those of a group of aging adolescents hitting the loco weed a bit too hard. They are instead a product of something profoundly more dangerous: the president's unconcern for the security, reputation and well-being of this country, coupled with a fierce desire to write his name large in the history books at whatever cost. From such ill intent springs catastrophe.
The president may have preferred a quiet weekend at home recuperating from the exertions of his two-week Christmas vacation, but his refusal to appear in the largest demonstration Paris has seen since the end of World War II sends important messages. First, the United States does not stand with Western Europe in opposition to Islamist terrorism — words our administration cannot bring itself to utter in conjunction. Despite John Kerry's embarrassingly looney serenade last Saturday, the distance the administration has created between our country and our former friends in Europe was abundantly clear.
Second, the president's reputation is all that matters to him. He has often said the threat of Islamic extremism is receding, so — mirable dictu — the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the events following are insignificant, the march against extremism merely a public relations event. But in this struggle optics matter both to friends and foes. Do not doubt, Barack Obama's absence was noted not only in Paris, Berlin and London, but in Tehran, Pyongyang and Aden as well. This is not a development that advances the security of our nation or people.
Later this evening the president will deliver his State of the Union message, in which he will attempt further division of the country, his primary task since 2009. After spending much of the latter half of 2014 enhancing conflict between sundry minorities and citizens of European ancestry, whose support twice gained him the presidency, he will turn to economics. Arguing that all Americans have an equal right to succeed, a theme foreshadowed in annual messages from several Democrat state governors, he will once again attack "the rich," meaning anyone with an annual income over $100,000. He will then propose tax "reforms" which will demand more money from the successful to fund giveaways for those who are not, based on the divisive progressive canard that "the rich" are somehow un-American and undeserving.
This ignores history: Attempting to establish a "right" to succeed, instead of honoring the right to attempt to do so will destroy success through allowing government to decide how much is enough. So great is his inability to see natural consequences that he will later curse American capital for seeking more welcoming climes, and for remaining beyond his grasp.
Enhancing the unhelpful provocations of his proposals is the method through which they were developed. Since an important component of the speech will deal with taxes, one might think that a president intent on furthering his proposals would previously consult with the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees prior to announcing them. Not Barack Obama. He knows better; he wants political gain, not compromise. His plans and approach are designed to engender rejection or at least modification by Congress so his sock-puppet surrogates Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can thwart attempts to move them in the direction of sanity; Democrats may thereby continue the counterfactual squeal that Republicans are "the party of no." Clever, if one doesn't mind driving a stake through the heart of bipartisan cooperation at the outset.
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This president doesn't mind that at all. Remember "elections have consequences?" Well, at least they do when things go his way. When they don't, he can use "his pen and his phone;" elections not fitting the Liberal template can be explained away as the result of low turnout dominated by those stupid people from flyover country — the "bitter clingers" of an earlier campaign. People too dumb to recognize his brilliance. Too old to grasp his cosmic cool. Too mulish to be lead around by the enlightened elite, of which he is the chief example. In other words, us.
Ego. Churlishness. Contempt. Divisiveness. Obsession with image. Inability to understand reactions to his penchant for creating enemies. Indifference to his effect on the country and its citizens. It will be in full view later today. All we can do is grit our teeth for another two years, knowing that his name, his party and his philosophy will be writ large in our history. Just not in the way he expects.
Then, we must make certain his legacy evaporates like the rope of sand it is.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily News.
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