Camille Paglia writes in today’s Salon that she’s still glad she voted for Barack Obama, mainly because of his expert foreign policy — an argument we’ll leave for another time. She pronounces herself shocked, shocked! at the amateurish attempts at handling domestic policy by the White House thus far, however, and blames the hard-Left wing of the Democratic Party for the most part. Paglia focuses her ire more on Nancy Pelosi rather than Barack Obama, and demands a new Speaker of the House:
I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and hope it’s a harbinger of things to come. …
Case in point: the administration’s grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.
But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.
Gee, who would have thought that a Senator with three years’ experience in national politics, with almost no track record of accomplishment in the Senate or the state legislature before that, would have proposed nothing concrete but “vague and slippery promises”? Who could have predicted that? I’ll name a few: Joe Scarborough. Allahpundit. Ed Morrissey. John McCain. Hillary Clinton. In fact, just about every critic of Obama noted his lack of accomplishment prior to running for office, but the media couldn’t be bothered to report on it — although they spent millions making the same argument about Sarah Palin.
Paglia wonders why Obama was in such a rush to get a bill passed:
I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.
She then answers her own question:
But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.
They rushed the bill through Congress because they knew how Americans would react to a government takeover of health care: angrily. They want to have government take over everything, including energy production through cap-and-trade, because liberalism is an elitist philosophy. They don’t care what the American people think except only to the extent that it affects the vote. They believe that Americans can’t act in their own best interests as individuals, and so government must have a small cadre of experts making those choices for them.
Paglia gets high marks for pointing out the obvious (at Salon, no less). The motives of the Democrats pushing massive legislation at break-neck speed are becoming too obvious for even the media and independents to ignore. As for her sudden discovery of amateurishness in the White House, I’ll give Paglia a Captain Louis Renault Award, in an affectionate spirit: