What Happened to Obama? Absolutely Nothing.
He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president.
The whole article
What Happened to Obama? Absolutely Nothing.
He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president.
The whole article
I have never been to a Tea party rally. But I would. That makes me delusional and psychotic. That’s me. I think almost daily about putting Pelosi in a mosquito infested deep forest that she could not escape from. Slow torture. I really like the idea. She is putting it to me every day. Just payback.
Just when you thought the bias couldn’t get any more egregious over at MSNBC, Martin Bashir topped himself yet again when he encouraged one of his recent guests to psychologically analyze Tea Party members. And Stanton Peele, the psychologist and addiction “expert” being interviewed, certainly didn’t disappoint Bashir, delivering his rather patronizing “professional” opinion in a segment affectionately titled the “Mind of the Tea Party.”
The diagnosis? It’s pretty grim. Tea Party members are apparently suffering “psychosis.” What’s more, according to the good psychologist, they are also the equivalent of drug addicts seeking a euphoric high, who will stop at nothing to achieve that high, and who will lash out like Anders Breivik did in Norway if they fail to attain that high. Peele follows up his grave prognostication with the assertion that what the Tea Party wants is unattainable, hence, they will (you guessed it) lash out like the killer did in Norway.
“It reminds us of addiction because addicts are seeking something that they can’t have,” Peele said. “They [Tea Party members] want a state of happiness or nirvana that can’t be achievedexcept through an artificial substance and reminds us of the Norway situation, when people are thwarted at obtaining something they can’t, have they often strike out and Norway is one kind of example to one kind of reaction to that kind of a frustration.”
Relishing the moment, Bashir then asked, “so you’re saying that they are delusional about the past and adamant about the future?”
“They are adamant about achieving something that’s unachievable, which reminds us of a couple of things. It reminds us of delusion and psychosis,” Peele stated rather self-assuredly.
Snapshots from President Obama's efforts to improve America's standing in the world, 923 days into his administration:
A is for the Arab world, and our standing in it: This year, Zogby International found that 5% of Egyptians had a favorable view of the U.S. In 2008, when George W. Bush was president, it was 9%.
B is for the federal budget deficit, which is estimated to come in at around 11% of GDP in 2011, up from about 3% in 2008.
C is for China's military budget. For 2012, Beijing plans to increase spending on defense by 12.7%. The Obama administration, by contrast, proposed Pentagon cuts in April averaging out to $40 billion per year over the next decade, and Congress may soon cut a lot more.
D is for—what else—the federal debt, which grew to $14.3 trillion this month from $10.7 trillion at the end of 2008. D is also for the dollar, which has lost almost half its value against gold since Aug. 2008.
E is for energy. The average retail price of a gallon of gas hovered near the $1.80 mark when Mr. Obama was inaugurated. It has since more than doubled. E is also for ethanol, the non-wonder fuel the U.S. continues to subsidize to the tune of $5 billion a year.
F is for free trade. Bill Clinton signed Nafta in 1994, which facilitates $1.6 trillion in the trade of goods and services between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. George W. Bush midwifed more than a dozen FTAs, from Australia to Singapore to Morocco to Bahrain. Number of FTA's signed by the current president: zero.
G is for Guantanamo, which remains open, and for Gadhafi, who remains in power, and for Greece, which offers a vision of America's future if we don't reform our entitlement state.
H is for Hillary Clinton, who—I can't believe I'm writing this—would have made a better president than Mr. Obama.
I is for Israel, a Middle Eastern country the president claims to support even as he routinely disses its prime minister, seeks to shrink its borders and—why not?—divide its capital.
J is for jobs. In November 2008, president-elect Obama promised he would create 2.5 million jobs by 2011. By October 2010 the economy had shed 3.3 million jobs.
K is for Karzai, Hamid, Afghanistan's feckless leader. Still, the Obama administration probably did itself no favors by publicly dumping on the man, leading him to seek new best friends in Tehran.
L is for Laden, Osama bin. The president's greatest triumph, which will forever put him one notch—if only one notch—above Jimmy Carter.
M is for Mexico, a country that manages 5.4% unemployment and 4.2% annual growth even as it fights a war against the drug cartels.
N is for NATO, once a pillar of Western security, which Mr. Obama is in the process of destroying through his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and his refusal to give NATO the push it needs to win in Libya.
O is for ObamaCare, which goes far to explain B, D, J as well as the Greek part of G.
P is for Pyongyang, whose ruler the administration is once again attempting to engage in the six-party talks. This is after the Kim regime welcomed Mr. Obama's plea for a nuclear-free world by testing a nuclear bomb, torpedoing a South Korean ship, shelling a South Korean village, and unveiling a state-of-the-art uranium enrichment facility.
Q is for QE2, the most disastrous experiment in monetary policy since Fed Chairman William Miller's low-interest rate policy crashed the dollar in 1978.
R is for the reset with Russia, the principal result of which is an arms-control treaty that brings us to parity in strategic nuclear weapons, leaves us behind in the tactical category, and ill-equips us for the challenge of a proliferating world.
S is for shovel-ready. Enough said.
T is for taxes, which Mr. Obama would like to see raised for "millionaires and billionaires"—curiously defined as people making $200K and up.
U is for Iran's uranium enrichment. When Mr. Obama came to office promising to extend his hand to the mullahs, Iran had enriched 1,000 kilos of uranium. Today they have produced more than 4,000 kilos.
V is for Venezuela, a country whose extensive subterranean links to Iran the administration has consistently downplayed.
W is for the Dubya, whose presidency now looks like a model of spending restraint.
X is for Liu Xiaobo, an example of what a deserving winner of the Nobel Peace Prize looks like. X is also for Xanax, likely to be remembered as the drug of choice of the Obama years.
Y is for Yes, We Can! Unfortunately, it's also for Yemen.
Z is for zero, which is the likelihood that one of the current GOP hopefuls will defeat Mr. Obama in 2012.
In one of the illuminating, unscripted moments of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama said—much to the dismay of his core constituency—that the Reagan presidency had been "transformational" in a way that Bill Clinton's hadn't. Needless to say, Mr. Obama aspired to a transformational presidency of his own.
He had risen against the background of a deep economic recession, amid unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; he could be forgiven the conviction that the country was ready for an economic and political overhaul. He gave it a mighty try. But the transformational dream was not to be. The country had limits. Mr. Obama couldn't convince enough Americans that the twin pillars of his political program—redistribution at home, retrenchment abroad—are worthy of this country's ambitions and vocation.
Temperament mattered. Ronald Reagan was the quintessential optimist, his faith in America boundless. He had been given his mandate amid economic distress—the great inflation of the 1970s, high unemployment and taxation—and a collapse of American authority abroad. Through two terms and a time of great challenges, he had pulled off one of the great deeds of political-economic restoration. He made tax cuts and economic growth the cornerstone of that recovery. Economic freedom at home had a corollary in foreign affairs—the pursuit of liberty, a course that secured a victorious end to the Cold War. The "captive nations" were never in doubt, American power was on the side of liberty.
By that Reagan standard, Mr. Obama has been a singular failure. The crippling truth of the Obama presidency is the pessimism of the man, the low expectations he has for this republic. He had not come forth to awaken this country to its stirring first principles, but to manage its decline at home and abroad. So odd an outcome, a man with an inspiring biography who provides no inspiration, a personal story of "The Audacity of Hope" yielding a leader who deep down believes that America's best days are behind it.
Amid the enthusiasm of his ascent to power, the choreography of a brilliant campaign, and a justifiable sense of pride that an African-American had risen to the summit of political power, it had been hard to tease out the pessimism at the core of Mr. Obama's vision. His economic program—the vaunted stimulus, the bailout of the automobile industry, the determination to overhaul the entire health-care system—gave away a bureaucratic vision: It was rule by emergency decree, as it were. No Reaganesque faith in the society for this leader.
In the nature of things, Mr. Obama could not take the American people into his confidence; he could not openly take up the thesis of America's decline. But there was an early signal, in April 2009 in Strasbourg, during a celebration of NATO's 60th anniversary, when he was confronted with the cherished principle of American "exceptionalism."
Asked whether he believed in the school of "American exceptionalism" that sees America as "uniquely qualified to lead the world," he gave a lawyerly answer: "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." We were not always going to be right, he added, "all have to compromise and that includes us."
Events would supply evidence of Mr. Obama's break with the history of America's faith in liberty in distant lands. The herald of change was at heart a man who doubted the ability of political freedom to skip borders, and to bring about the emancipation of peoples subjected to brutal tyrannies. The great upheaval in Iran in the first summer of his presidency exposed the flaws and contradictions of the Obama diplomacy.
A people had risen against their tyrannical rulers, but Mr. Obama was out to conciliate these rulers. America's support wouldn't have altered that cruel balance of force on the ground. But henceforth it would become part of the narrative of liberty that when Iran rose in rebellion, the pre-eminent liberal power sat out a seminal moment in Middle Eastern history.
In his encounters with the foreign world, Mr. Obama gave voice to a steady and unsettling expression of penance. We had made our own poor bed in distant lands, Mr. Obama believed. We had been aggressive and imperial in the wars we waged, and in our steady insistence that our way held out the promise for other nations. In that narrative of American guilt, the Islamic world was of central importance. It was in that vast, tormented world that Mr. Obama sought to make his mark, it was there he believed we had been particularly egregious.
But the truth of it, a truth that would erupt with fury in the upheaval of that Arab Spring now upon us, is that the peoples of that region needed our assistance and example. This was the Arabs' 1989, their supreme moment of historical agency, a time when younger people broke with their culture's history of evasion and scapegoating. For once the "Arab Street" was not gripped by anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism, for once it wasn't looking beyond its geography for alien demons. But we could not really aid these rebellions, for our touch, Mr. Obama insisted, would sully them. These rebellions, his administration lamely asserted, had to be thoroughly indigenous.
We had created—and were spooked by—phantoms of our own making. A visit last month to Syria's embattled city of Hama by U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford ought to have shattered, once and for all, the thesis of a rampant anti-Americanism in Arab lands. The American envoy was given a moving reception, he was met with flowers and olive branches by those struggling to end the tyranny of the Assad family. News of America's decline had not reached the streets of Hama. The regime may have denied them air and light and knowledge, but they knew that in our order of nations America remains unrivalled in the hope it holds out for thwarted populations.
Americans' confident belief in the uniqueness, yes the exceptionalism, of their country, rested on an essential faith in liberty, and individualism and anti-statism at home, and in the power of our example, and muscle now and then, in foreign lands. Mr. Obama is ill-at-ease with that worldview. Our country has had pessimism on offer and has invariably rejected it. At crucial points in its history, it has remained unshaken in the belief that tomorrow can be better.
In 2008, shaken by a severe economic recession and disillusioned by a difficult war in Iraq, Americans voted for charisma and biography. The electorate could not be certain of the bet it made, for Mr. Obama had been agile, by his own admission he had been a blank slate onto which his varied supporters could project their hopes and preferences. Next time around, it should be easier. The man at the helm has now played his hand.
Mr. Ajami is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and co-chairman of Hoover's Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.
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