Friday, August 29, 2008

The Mask Is Slipping

Obama's much-heralded speech last night, seen by most in attendance on the jumbo-tron from between the classical columns--eerily like scenes from the movie Metropolis--did not outshine either of the Clinton speeches, the benchmark I rather brilliantly established in my last post, Stand and Deliver. But all seriousness aside, Obama looked and sounded to me quite small, despite the Hollywood staging and production. Vaguely fascistic (see Metropolis link above) in scale and tone, tending toward his real nature as mean and vindictive, Obama let slip the new politics, above it all neo-savour mask and got back to his bare-knuckle Chicago instincts. This I believe is the real Obama, as the actual history of his shoving aside five rivals for the Illinois State Senate, including one party stalwart much more deserving of the slot shows; nor is that instance just ancient history, as his campaign's recent attempts to intimidate all who would point to the true depth of the association with William Ayers, America's Homegrown Terrorist, shows. (By the way, remember the total freakout by the media over "homegrown terrorists" after the Oklahoma City bombing happened? Oh, that's right...they thought it was right wing terrorism. Violence from the left is always excusable because the intention is always valid. And did you see the Chicago cops roughing up and then arresting--for what? the ABC News producer outside the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver? Hitler's Brown Shirts are looking on with approval: intimidation is the collective tool for the individually weak).

Back to the speech: Jennifer Rubin has a nice compendium of analysis of it here, but none of which makes the following point. Which is why I am going to make it now.

Despite the standard campaign stories of American families toughing out hard times with staunch American values and durable American strength, of hardy parents and grandparents imparting hard-won wisdom to the nascent candidate in the making, despite the cloaking of themselves with the virtues of hard work, tenacity, and traditional American spirit, both Obama and Biden then immediately proceeded to decry the present conditions--greatly exaggerated of course-that might call these virtues up in the people they claim to stand for. Obama explicitly characterized the Republican stance as leaving people to go it alone, to pull themselves up by the bootstraps--as if this is unparalleled cruelty. Why is it inspiring and virtuous in their forebears but not suitable to today's audience? Is it because the Democratic party is a party of whiners? The party of Euro-socialist envy? For every problem, discomfort, phobia, dislike, and jealousy, the Democrats have a government department to create, a lawsuit to bring, and a government spending program to bring to bear. The socialist strains in all this lay right on the surface; the go-it-alone culture of the Republicans is mean, selfish, and all about the rich getting richer on the backs of the poor. Democrats want to do for the working class masses what they have done for the inner city family--push government programs in and push individual virtues and cultural institutions out. As government programs, entitlements, and invention of rights proliferate, personal responsibility and even opportunity are smothered. The clear import is that the collective is prior to and more important than the individuals of which it is composed.

And that is what I saw last night at the Forum. The truthful motto of this campaign and party is "Seeking Power. Denying Liberty." The mindless applause of socialist and fascist ideas that would efface the individuality of every person there makes another discomfiting allusion to mass rallies as a political tactic.

The mask of the post-partisan Messiah, of the One soaring above the quotidian political fray, has slipped, unveiling a street tough schooled in the use of the Saul Alinski-formulated tactics of lying, bullying, name calling, dishonest infiltration and institutional subversion. The hard left must be pleased as their god-like candidate descends from the blessed heights of Mt Olympus to the rhetorical means streets of political radicalism.


Keith said...

I am disappointed by your use of the word "fascist" to describe the Democratic party ideas. I find even accurate uses of that word (defined by Merriam-Webster as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.") bring political discussion to a low and ugly end. It's the equivalent of kicking somebody in the groin. It may be an effective way to end a fight, but is dishonorable as it is easy to execute. I've come to expect intelligent and honorable political discussion from Principalities and Powers.

Anonymous said...

Kieth, with the possible exception of a dictatorial leader, which is not possible in the US at this time, the other dictionary-defined components are in place on the Left right now.

I agree "Facsist" is an ugly term; but it is accurate when speaking of the American Left. Have you heard of Jonah Goldberg's book, 'Liberal Fascism'? A big best seller. I suggest you buy it and read it. Then come back and speak with some knowledge.


Anonymous said...

"Have you heard of Jonah Goldberg's book, 'Liberal Fascism'? A big best seller. I suggest you buy it and read it. Then come back and speak with some knowledge."

You speak of this book as if it's the complete unbias encyclopedia of political fact. Somehow I don't get the feeling that 'Liberal Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left' presents an unbias view. Furthermore, inferring that anyone who disagrees with this book or hasn't read it doesn't have any knowledge is guilty of two mistakes:

1) Giving way too much credit to a book published less than a year ago.

2) Blindly assuming that because someone doesn't share an opinion that they don't have knowledge. Surely someone as intelligent and well read as yourself would remember how to pass Socrates' first test in coming to knowledge: admitting that you don't have it. Needless to say you aren't passing with flying colors.

Anonymous said...

I recommended the Goldberg book because of my considered judgement of him as a writer and thinker. If I thought an encyclopedia article would help, I would have mentioned one. The length of time that has passed since publication has nothing to do with a book's veracity or trustworthiness. Some old books are total crocks, some new ones are. What's your point?

I'm assuming you dont have any knowledge of fascism based on your comments. You seem offended by the word "fascism" itself regardless of who wields it. The fact that it does apply to some thought, even long after its rise in the 1930's, is not my fault, nor is it wrong to point it out where it does exist. And I am telling you that the basic impulses of fascism exist in today's left wing of the Democrat party. Open your eyes--I'm not the blind one here.


Citizen.VII said...


I just came back and read this. Just so you know, I am a bold man, and always own up to the things I say. The anonymous comment was not me. For the record, I do know the book, although, as a busy college student, have not had opportunity to read it.

Also, it's nice that an anonymous person took my side in the matter, but I didn't need it, and I didn't really want it. My goal is to raise the level of the political dialogue, not degrade it.

Keith (Citizen.VII)