A Feature, not a Bug

posted at 4:05 pm on June 19, 2010 by Steven Den Beste

Just some comments on a bunch of things I saw yesterday. A number of people see Obama and the left acting in curious ways and don’t seem to understand them.

Let’s get the groundwork out of the way. To the left, it’s an article of faith that America is too powerful. America is too influential. America is too rich. America consumes too much. Americans as a group are too independent, too rowdy, not controlled enough. Americans are too nationalistic, too unwilling to give up part or all of their sovereignty to “emerging world governance”.

America needs to be humbled. Americans need to have their confidence shattered, to become introspective, to consider (finally, at long last) “why they hate us”. America needs to bow to world opinion.

All of this is necessary in order to advance the single paramount social good: equality (of outcome). Equality is more important than anything else. In particulaar, equality is more important than freedom. Creating a state of equality, and maintaining it, will require government control and if individual liberty opposes that, then liberty shall have to give way.

With Obama, the left finally has a president who is in tune with this philosophy.

Investor’s Business Daily writes about “Losing ‘The War That Has To Be Won’“.

So the military solution the president was so confident of in Afghanistan — the “smart war,” the “good war,” as Democrats portrayed in the 2006 and 2008 elections that brought them to power — could slip through America’s fingers.

And Michael Cohen asks, “Why has the Left been so silent on Afghanistan?” He then talks about how it was a lefty talking point that we should cut-and-run from Iraq so that we could concentrate on and win the war in Afghanistan, which they always claimed was the most important one. Yet now we’ve largely won in Iraq, and things are going badly in Afghanistan, the left hasn’t been making any sound.

He lists some explanations, but I think misses the most important reason: the American left deeply wants America to lose a war. They wanted it to be Iraq, but that doesn’t seem to be possible any longer. The damnable Bush managed to win it before leaving office. So it’ll have to be Afghanistan.

Losing a war will (it is hoped) chasten Americans, take them down a notch, cause them to lose self confidence, make them introspective. All that would be to the good.

John Hinderaker asks,

If the federal government artificially inflates the price of fossil fuels through taxation and thereby forces Americans to use less desirable sources of energy, while at the same time other countries continue to use more efficient fossil fuels, it will raise the relative price of all American products and devastate our economy. Is it possible that Barack Obama does not know this? I’m not sure; his grasp of even the most basic economic principles seems shaky at best.

Devastating our economy and making us economically uncompetitive is a feature, not a bug. The whole “global warming” scam has been about throttling the industrialized world, especially the US, by restricting use of energy. It was never really about saving the world climate, it was always about trying to bring about international equality. You could tell that because the Kyoto accord restricted use of energy by rich nations, but permitted poor ones to increase their use of energy.

Imposing taxes on fossil fuels will make them more expensive, and it’s a basic economic principle that when things cost more, people use less. To the left, this is a good thing. (And as an added benefit it will bring more money into government coffers which can be used to Do Good Works.)

And if the American economy gets devastated, then necessarily Americans will consume less, which is something deeply to be desired.

Ramesh Ponnuru and Michael Cannon talk about current Republican efforts to repeal the “individual mandate”, a deeply unpopular aspect of the Health Care bill. Cannon seems to assume that the Democrats won’t let that one part be repealed, but I’m not so sure.

Remember the story, “The Tar Baby“? The real lefty goal when it comes to health care is “single payer”, full government control over medicine. If the individual mandate gets repealed, then the private business of health insurance will become economically impossible. Insurance companies will get out of the business, or they’ll go out of business. And in the end, the only solution will be for the government to step in and take the whole thing over — leading to “single payer”.

Born and bred in the briar patch, Republicans, born and bred in the briar patch…

Finally, Carol Platt Liebau asks, about Obama:

He has more power than anyone in the world. He could have used it to waive the Jones Act quickly (though it would upset the unions), or to order barrier walls to be built to guard the Louisiana shore (now, Gov. Jindal has done the latter — at least someone’s acting like a Chief Executive around here!).

But he’s got no experience in acting . . . just in talking, visioning, and legislating. In other words, we’ve got a Chief Executive who’s not . . . an executive.

The American Left is thinks teleologically. To a Teleologist, “visioning” is how you make things happen. If Obama can only care enough, then the problem will solve itself.

That’s how it works for community organizers, you know.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

You have the left’s number my friend.

Sharke on June 19, 2010 at 4:14 PM

America needs to be humbled. Americans need to have their confidence shattered, to become introspective, to consider (finally, at long last) “why they hate us”. America needs to bow to world opinion.

Well, for liberals, humble socialist repression for thee, arrogant crony capitalism for me.

Mud huts gathered at the low end of a gigantic estate.

Speakup on June 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

It seems obvious to me that Ojesus has a big hard-on for bringing America to its knees.

Otherwise, he would be making decisions to our benefit.

hillbillyjim on June 19, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Yes , it’s envy led to self hate. Utopian vanity.

the_nile on June 19, 2010 at 4:18 PM

ji’Qlllework – Devastating our economy and making us economically uncompetitive is a feature, not a bug.

Seven Percent Solution on June 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

If the federal government artificially inflates the price of fossil fuels through taxation and thereby forces Americans to use less desirable sources of energy…

…then only the rich will be able to afford to drive their cars… or heat their homes.

But never mind the hardship to fellow Americans. To a radical zealot like Øbama, it’s bringing the country down a notch and the ideological purity that counts.

petefrt on June 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Well, for liberals, humble socialist repression for thee, arrogant crony capitalism for me.

Mud huts gathered at the low end of a gigantic estate.

Speakup on June 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Some are more equal , they have to get richly awarded for creating social justice.

the_nile on June 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM

For Obama and his socialist friends, freedom is the bug. Freedom provides equality of opportunity, but that’s the last thing they want. They want equality of outcome, and that requires loss of freedom. That requires that somebody have a “boot on their throat”…just to make it “fair.” Let people just do whatever they want, and pretty soon somebody is going to get “too rich.” Can’t have that.

RBMN on June 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM

It seems the core basic philosophy that runs in the veins in the run of the mill leftists is pure guilt, and the veins in the ruling class of leftists is exploitation of guilt.

veni vidi vici on June 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM

You have this right, Steven. I know lots of leftists and they all think this way. They want us taken down a notch or six.

They hate white people, too, especially males. This despite the fact that half of them ARE white males. White people, especially males, are “bad.”

Alana on June 19, 2010 at 4:32 PM

If we’re all going to be equal, when do I get my $18,000 per month office at taxpayer expense, like Nancy?

fogw on June 19, 2010 at 4:34 PM

And Communism/Progressivism/or whatever you want to call them roll all these leftists together to gain/maintain power. Islam, Leftism, all of these are means to an end,it makes no difference that the means may be the roots of the fall,,,,,,no long term view involved here, or even a hint of any history,,,,a completely insane view of politics and human nature.

retiredeagle on June 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM

The Agenda is going to devastate us economically. That is the point. The point is to take jobs away from people in the hope that those now jobless people will vote Democrat to be fed.

In order to take down the Capitalist system, you must weaken it from within.

Holger on June 19, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Well, for liberals, humble socialist repression for thee, arrogant crony capitalism for me.

Speakup on June 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Last week a commenter here suggested that Øbama should be treated like Hale’s Man Without a Country. Fitting, I thought. The order might read something like this:

You will receive the person of Barack Obama, late a President of the United States. This person on his term as President repeatedly compromised his country to its foes, willfully subverted its Constitutional precepts, and otherwise governed defiantly against the expressed will of the people. The court sentences him as follows.
You will take the prisoner on board your ship, and keep him there with such precautions as shall prevent his escape. He is to be exposed to no indignity of any kind, nor is he ever unnecessarily to be reminded that he is a prisoner. But under no circumstances is he ever to hear of his country or to see any information regarding it; and you will especially caution all the officers under your command to take care that, in the various indulgences which may be granted, this rule, in which his punishment is involved, shall not be broken. It is the intention of the Government that he shall never again see the country which he has disdained.
For the duration of his life, he shall be transferred from ship to ship as they approach the U.S. coast, he never hearing aught of the States and his books and newspapers having all reference to America carefully excised.
– Adapted from Man Without a Country

petefrt on June 19, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Man Without a Country,,,have not read that since parochial grammar school.. Outstanding

retiredeagle on June 19, 2010 at 4:47 PM

John Hinderaker asks,

If the federal government artificially inflates the price of fossil fuels through taxation and thereby forces Americans to use less desirable sources of energy, while at the same time other countries continue to use more efficient fossil fuels, it will raise the relative price of all American products and devastate our economy. Is it possible that Barack Obama does not know this? I’m not sure; his grasp of even the most basic economic principles seems shaky at best.

Obama has stated clearly that it will increase costs, on several occasions. Of course he understands that point. I don’t think the issue is so much whether he understands economic principles or not, but whether he cares about them.

stldave on June 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM

The defeatist project of the Left reeks of unconscious self-loathing, projected onto the rest of us. It is one thing for such people to walk among us advocating our demise; it is entirely more serious when they are in power. I don’t want someone with that mindset driving a bus, let alone making foreign policy.

Kenosha Kid on June 19, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Great minds…and all that.

My piece from yesterday on the same issue.

Ragspierre on June 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The lefties already lost a war for America: Viet Nam. I guess each generation of lefties wants the ‘thrill’ of losing a war to humble America. It didn’t work last time and won’t this time either. We’ll come roaring back at some point in full jingoistic fashion just like we did after Carter when President Reagan took COMMAND.

JimP on June 19, 2010 at 5:09 PM

You have to go one step further. “Equality” is only the argument not the goal. If things we reversed, would they be stepping down so others would rise up. Did the Mongols give a crap about the good that Rome brought to the world. It is always about one thing overthrow.

serendip2b on June 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

How the Road to Socialism is Paved

One of the more insidious aspects of the government takeover is how such takeovers are pitched as reforms. Of course reform traditionally applies to institutions reforming themselves or being reformed by their constituents or shareholders. The idea of government reforming the private sector smacks of unlimited authority, which is exactly what it is. And so a government that cannot reform itself, that cannot stop its out of control spending, its constant legislative corruption, its culture of pork and kickbacks, its compulsive need to appropriate power, sets out to instead take over every aspect of life within the country in the name of reform.

Tav on June 19, 2010 at 5:34 PM

He Knows, He Just Doesn’t Care

The most damning thing about Obama’s response to the Gulf Crisis (the other Gulf Crisis) is not what it reveals about his lack of competence, but what it reveals about his lack of interest. And it has forced many liberals to recognize, what so many conservatives knew all along. That Obama just doesn’t care.

Politicians who don’t care what happens to the little people are nothing new. But Bill Clinton was a master at pretending to care. His performance in that infamous funeral clip testifies to a man who could turn on the facade of emotions in the blink of an eye. Obama isn’t very good at that. Where Clinton was a natural actor, Obama is an unnatural one. Unlike most politicians, he lacks that instinct, because he lacks any degree of empathy. And so Obama needs extensive prep time to get his show on the road. Without prep time and a teleprompter, the mask begins to slip and the man underneath is cold and distant delivering a mechanical performance.

Look at Obama and you see the mirror of liberal expectations. No sooner does Bill Maher deliver his black man line then Obama begins talking about kicking ass. As always Obama tries to manipulate people by becoming what they want him to be. But underneath it, the fate of Americans means nothing to him.

Tav on June 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Party of Children

Now that Obama managed to interrupt his golf game long enough to deliver an emotional high profile speech in the Oval Office with a stealth push for Carbon Credits, a crisis is once again on the way to being co-opted as an opportunity. Not that it’s much of an opportunity for Obama who is polling worse than ever. The left is growing to resent him almost as much as the right, for not being the liberal messiah they expected him to be.

The irony is that no matter how immature Obama may be, and out of touch with political realities in a democratic society– his followers are even more so. Their impatience, their frustration and their constant demands that Obama meet their emotional needs, all scream of more Peter Pans who never grew up. Don’t bother them with the facts, or what is and isn’t possible. They just want what they want– and of course, they WANT IT NOW. RIGHT NOW!

Obama is the mirror of the worst flaws of an ideological generation. His moodiness and laziness. His bipolar emotional shifts from active to passive. His constant need for attention and sense of entitlement. And his inability to tolerate any disagreement or resistance. But he’s already old enough that his flaws are worse in his followers, than they are in him.

While the left keeps calling for the heads of his more politically realistic associates, particularly the Clinton people, who are about the only reason that he isn’t polling in the low teens or in the middle of a civil war, Obama seems stuck in failure mode. The BP spill won’t destroy him. ObamaCare already did that. He sacrificed his appeal to anyone outside the liberal plantation, for ObamaCare– only to have the left shriek that it isn’t enough. And so as a candidate who began by posturing as a savior, must now feel that he is becoming a martyr.

Tav on June 19, 2010 at 5:37 PM

I few months ago I was asked why I don’t like Obama…
.
Here is my response
.
It’s nice to see I’m not alone in my conclusion :)
.
cnredd
Political Wrinkles
http://politicalwrinkles.com

cnredd on June 19, 2010 at 5:46 PM

People are assuming that Obama truly has a concern for equality…or socialism. I have my doubts. I think he’s more of a despot. He likes his own comforts too much (golfing, flying in Air Force One, private chefs, meeting with sports elites, etc.) I think he uses socialism as a cover because that’s what those on the left want. He talks the talk, but doesn’t really walk the walk. I believed Carter was more what people are attributing Obama to be. Obama and his Chicago group like the high life and discovered that community agitating was their means to an end. They don’t have the business savvy or creative or athletic talents to get it otherwise.

texabama on June 19, 2010 at 6:12 PM

My niece says she is a “diehard lefty”. Never mind the fact she happens to live in New Orleans, which is getting clobbered economically by the oil spill that her Idol, The One, is doing more to improve his golf swing than he is trying to solve the issue.

Try and bring this up to her, she turns a proverbial deaf ear.

Which, if you think about is, is one of the characteristic traits of a “diehard lefty”.

pilamaye on June 19, 2010 at 6:33 PM

To the Left, “success” is a code word used only by members of the failed capitalist ideology.

ignatzk on June 19, 2010 at 6:36 PM

Remember the story, “The Tar Baby“? The real lefty goal when it comes to health care is “single payer”, full government control over medicine. If the individual mandate gets repealed, then the private business of health insurance will become economically impossible. Insurance companies will get out of the business, or they’ll go out of business. And in the end, the only solution will be for the government to step in and take the whole thing over — leading to “single payer”.

The American Left is thinks teleologically. To a Teleologist, “visioning” is how you make things happen. If Obama can only care enough, then the problem will solve itself.

Point one: then the whole thing must be repealed. Tax-free private accounts have to begin taking the place of state-provided medical payments.

Two: then is the right for socialism in 25 years rather than 5? If we are not, then our vision has to be not some status quo that shifts left every year, but restoration of free market capitalism.

AshleyTKing on June 19, 2010 at 6:40 PM

For me a capitalist society expelling all socialists is
“social justice”.

tim c on June 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

This, too, we have heard whispered before, from Oswald Spengler, The Oswald Spengler Collection: Biographical Essay; Extracts From The Decline Of The West: The Hour of Decision:

Added to all this is the universal dread of reality. We “pale-faces” have it, all of us, although we are seldom, and most of us never, conscious of it. It is the spiritual weakness of the “Late” man of the higher civilizations, who lives in his cities cut off from the peasant and the soil and thereby from the natural experiencing of destiny, time, and death. He has become too wide awake, too accustomed to ponder perpetually over yesterday and tomorrow, and cannot bear that which he sees and is forced to see: the relentless course of things, senseless chance, and real history striding pitilessly through the centuries into which the individual with his tiny scrap of private life is irrevocably born at the appointed place. That is what he longs to forget, refute, or contest. He takes flight from history into solitude, into imaginary far-away systems, into some faith or another, or into suicide. Like a grotesque ostrich he buries his head in hopes, ideals, and cowardly optimism: it is so, but it ought not to be, therefore it is otherwise. We sing in the woods at night because we are afraid. Similarly, the cowardice of cities shouts its apparent optimism to the world for very fear. Reality is no longer to be borne. The wish-picture of the future is set in place of facts – although fate has never taken any notice of human fancies – from the children’s Land of Do-Nothing to the World Peace and Workers’ Paradise of the grown-ups.

The Romantics of the previous era changed their name, not their credo, and continue on with their lovely idea of a future of perfect equality in all things… and forget that it is the land of children they play in when they seek that.

Looking at this amongst the pointless journey of the Left the only thing that is found is that strange concept that if we can just make a law about each and everything then all will be well. Instead man adapts and goes around such laws that are ill-suited to actually living life and we slip from homo sapiens to homo urbanis to homo criminalis as the fleeting order of cities cannot be sustained even in them when all things are dictated by law. That is when we move from the rule of law to the law of rules, and ill-suited is man for that latter as has been demonstrated time and again.

It is not only the removal of honor and pride that the Left seeks, but the sterile regimentation of all things to absolute rules from mere relative outlook. Without a firm grounding in any morals or ethics, laws become relative in all ways and man adapts by relatively ignoring those that can’t be figured out or worked with in any way, shape or form. When the scripted law becomes an absolute script for life, then life itself becomes meaningless, pointless and fruitless: the Leftist nirvana which they dare not face nor speak about.

All such lovely talk by the Left is not an indiciation of advanced civilized behavior, but one of decadence and decline of any ability to want to lead a good life for oneself. That is decay of civilization, not refinement of it, as the thought that more power to fewer people leads to greater freedom is just the opposite of what does happen: tyranny, despotism and encroaching slavery.

Now the Left has the grand chance to put their head in the sand dreams to the test of the actual world… and get whacked up the backside by that world that truly does exist outside of talk and hand waving platitudes. Yet sweet talk is always the great reminder that it is not peace and prosperity that lies ahead, but the meat grinder. The appeasers and peace at any price folk always forget that those cowardly outlooks lead only to war, and to death. And right afterwards they cry ‘never again’ and then take up those exact, same paths that lead right back to destruction. How deep the disdain for their fellow man to seek power at all costs to doom all to violence they so detest. How deep their hatred of freedom, to seek to put chains on their fellow man and thusly forge the links of their own destiny in servitude. How decadent they become when they forget that supporting society is the great good of each of us as individual responsibility.

And how sad it is that those ones seek to deaden us to that actual history that points out such folly… until it is repeated yet again.

ajacksonian on June 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM

Excellent piece, Steven – good to read such clarity again.

Wind Rider on June 19, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Your Briar Patch Theory is intriguing, Br’er Steven. But even with the individual mandate you still get this:

Administration: 51% Of Companies’ Health Plans Won’t Pass Muster

By Sean Higgins & David Hogberg

Internal White House documents reveal that 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage by 2013 due to ObamaCare. That numbers soars to 66% for small-business employers.

The documents — product of a joint project of the Labor Department, the Health and Human Services Department and the IRS — examine the effects new regulations would have on existing, or “grandfathered,” employer-based health care plans.

Draft copies of the documents were reportedly leaked to House Republicans earlier in the week.

And the individual mandate has huge intrinsic value to the Left; if Gumment can claim that power, there is nothing they cannot mandate.

I guess you could say either way (with an individual mandate or with single payer), they win.

Noel on June 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM

And the individual mandate has huge intrinsic value to the Left; if Gumment can claim that power, there is nothing they cannot mandate.

I guess you could say either way (with an individual mandate or with single payer), they win.

Noel on June 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM

In the case of the lefties, I think it is now a case of be wary of what you wish for.. America is broke… Social Security is broke, Medicare is broke. ObamaCare will make us more broke.

Dasher on June 19, 2010 at 10:23 PM

He knows what he does; we are on the eve of destruction.

Dhuka on June 20, 2010 at 12:04 AM

All of this is necessary in order to advance the single paramount social good: equality (of outcome).

Silly winger. The paramount social good is for the Left to be in control.

The downstream effects of their being in power are inconsequential. Their holding all the levers of power means that the universe has finally ordered itself properly: narcissists in the center, everyone else gone to hell.

dicentra63 on June 20, 2010 at 1:19 AM

We need to be humbled because a humbled country is easier to control. The free, strong, innovative, ambitious, self-reliant America some of us grew up in is resistant to the total government the Left wants (yea, needs) to impose on us.

It’s their narcissistic supply. They can’t help themselves. So the rest of us will have to stop them cold by wresting the levers of power from their well-manicured hands and decentralizing power the way God intended.

dicentra63 on June 20, 2010 at 1:23 AM

No matter how much I “vision” that wall over to my right is not there, every time I make a run at it to go outside I get hurt. No amount of vision changes hard reality. Vision is what gets me to look to my left to see the door in the wall through which I can exit. Vision is looking around for opportunities and seizing them.

{^_^}

herself on June 20, 2010 at 3:10 AM

He Knows, He Just Doesn’t Care

Tav on June 19, 2010 at 5:35 PM

[Since Tav repeated that quote from the Ramirez cartoon thread, I'll repeat my comment, too:]

I think it’s worse than that. Obambi is a puppet, a Manchurian President. He has no managerial nor administrative experience. The one thing he is good at is campaigning, using a stump speech and a resonant voice to promote himself.

The people behind him have more real-world experience, but they are ideologues, and view problems only through a lens that asks, “How can we use this to pursue our agenda?” So on the one hand, Obambi is bombarded by the press and the public with demands that he step up to the role of President; on the other, he is told to ‘look Presidential’ but use the current crisis to further The Agenda. At best he comes off looking confused, and incompetent; at worst, utterly lost.

We have more than two years of this guy to get through.

MrLynn on June 20, 2010 at 8:01 AM

All of this is necessary in order to advance the single paramount social good: equality (of outcome).

Silly winger. The paramount social good is for the Left to be in control.

I think that’s right, given how Obama has ratified much of the Bush WoT, or how the Eco-Left is mostly silent while he’s paving the Gulf of Mexico.

“We are the Agenda we’ve been waiting for.”

Noel on June 20, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Hey guys, I am willing to go along with the Lefty’s on one condition: they must destroy their cars/planes/televisions/radios/computers and stop using electricity, running water and limit themselves to one sheet of toilet paper. Makes sense to me!

sharinlite on June 20, 2010 at 7:09 PM