David Horowitz has a piece titled Obama Derangement Syndrome. He makes two basic points. First, that Obama is not the anti-Christ, and that treating him as such makes us little better than the “Bush is Hitler” crowd we despised for eight years. Second, that Obama’s policies aren’t really that radical or worrying.
I agree with the first point and strongly disagree with the second. Horowitz mushes these two issues together into one global “Obama isn’t that bad” thesis, which is a mistake, because it gives Obama a pass on his radical socialist policies.
Let’s start with the part that will upset the conservatives:
I have recently received commentaries that claim that “Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history” and “never has a politician in this land had such a quasi-religious impact on so many people” and “Obama is a narcissist,” which leads the author to then compare Obama to David Koresh, Charles Manson, Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Excuse me while I blow my nose.
This fellow has failed to notice that all politicians are narcissists – and that a recent American president was a world-class exponent of the imperial me. So what? Political egos are one of the reasons the Founders put checks and balances on executive power. As for serial lying, is there a politician that cannot be accused of that?
I think that when people start comparing Obama to David Koresh, Charles Manson, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein, we are indeed in “Bush is Hitler” territory.
I spent eight years watching a crazy set of people on the left use every trick in the book to attack and tear down President Bush on a personal level. They seized on every maladroit turn of phrase to suggest that he was a moron. They distorted his policy pronouncements, trumped up phony issues, and displayed an unyielding self-righteousness that justified literally any tactic used in service of their political ends. This is why they felt comfortable demonizing Bush to the point where they compared him to Hitler.
Remember how we hated that?
Now that our guy is out of power, we have to decide: did we hate those tactics because they were wrong? Or only because they were used in service of the other guy?
I do not want to see us becoming the conservative nutroots. It is not, as some suggest, that I am some “country club Republican.” I despise those people.* It is because I do not want to become that which I hate. When we make a mountain out of the molehill of Obama’s birth certificate; when we seize on a “Special Olympics” joke as the Height of Outrage and manufacture trumped-up howling rather than dismissing it as a dumb thing to say; when we insist on comparing Obama to mass murderers . . . when these things happen, we are becoming what we hated.
There are those who stand up against such nonsense; people like David Horowitz, or in the blogosphere: Allah, Ace, Charles Johnson, and others. We can start drawing up a growing list of Insufficiently Pure Conservatives and cast them out as apostates — or we can recognize that they have performed years of valuable service in support of the conservative cause, and that they are trying to keep us from taking on the worst traits of our enemy.
It’s seductive to take on those traits because of the justifiable anger we feel over Obama’s policies, which are ruining this country. And this is where I disagree with Horowitz. Horowitz says:
So what’s the panic? It is true that Obama has shown surprising ineptitude in his first months in office, but he’s not a zero with no accomplishments as many conservatives seem to think – unless you regard beating the Clinton machine and winning the presidency as nothing. But in doing this you fall into the “Bush-is-an-idiot” bag of liberal miasmas.
It is also true Obama has ceded his domestic economic agenda to the House Democrats and spent a lot of money in the process. But what’s the surprise in this?
No, it’s no surprise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. We now have a situation where the CEO of a major American car company is resigning at the behest of the American president, and everyone is nodding their heads as though it makes perfect sense. It doesn’t. This is insanity. Putting the government in charge of our economy is socialism. It represents the end of capitalism, and without capitalism, there is no freedom.
FDR started to ruin this country with the New Deal, which gave us huge unsustainable government programs. LBJ kept the path of destruction going with the Great Society, which gave us new programs which essentially created a new underclass of people who maintain an irresponsible and criminal lifestyle using government funds. Obama is putting the final nail in the coffin, with trillions of irresponsible spending that will cripple our children financially, and with a mindset of centralized control of economic decisionmaking.
We have to fight it, and the first step is recognizing it for what it is — and how dangerous it is.