The opening paragraph of George Will’s latest is great, sure, but…a little off.
With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first. Then his overreaching involved health care — expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics. The occasion is the misnamed “fiscal cliff,” the proper name for which is: the Democratic Party’s agenda.
Yeah, he better not repeat that “mistake”; grabbing the brass ring of liberal-fascism will no doubt destroy his chances for re-election, already slim since he can’t run on his economic MIRACLE™ and doesn’t dare mention the incredibly unpopular Obamacare and this is a center-right nation and…uhh…yeah.
Krauthammer continues working that delusion:
On tonight’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer argued that, having in essence conceded on the tax issue, Republicans should not cave on the issue of entitlement reform. If they do, he says, President Obama will play them for fools. “Now, [the president] says, after Republicans give up their one issue on taxes, ‘I’ll discuss a bargain next year,’” Krauthammer said. “Of course he wants that, because that’ll be at a time when Republicans are defrocked, disrobed, and disarmed, they will have nothing to bargain with…any Republican who buys this is a fool.”
Krauthammer insisted that Republicans have more bargaining power in this process than meets the eye, because President Obama “wants a successful second term” and “if it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession, two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term.”
And that will mean more people dependent on government for their subsistence, which will mean more people reliably voting Democrat Socialist and calling for bigger and more powerful government to take care of them, and of course Obama can’t POSSIBLY want that. Being a reasonable, moderate liberal and all, I mean.
Keep fucking that chicken, guys. Mike Walsh at least seems to know that he’s clinging to unreality:
As usual, I’m on board with Andy in thinking that Benghazi may well be an impeachable offense, as highly unlikely as that is. And why Mitt Romney chose to accept his second-debate whipping at the hands of the Obama/Candy Crowley tag team and never once mention this national disgrace in the third debate is something known only to the defeated candidate and his krack kadre of kampaign konsultants. But unless this country has completely gone to the dogs, it’s inconceivable to me that a majority can stomach the notion that four Americans were murdered on sovereign American territory while the president of the United States took note, then rolled over and went to bed before flying to Las Vegas on a campaign swing, secure in the knowledge that the truth would never come out because it didn’t fit his media protectors’ beloved “narrative” that GM was alive and Osama bin Laden was dead.
Better get to conceivin’, Mike, because it couldn’t be more clear that that is EXACTLY the way things stand. Nobody cares about Benghazi, and the investigation is going precisely nowhere. His Majesty will never be touched by his dereliction of duty and gross unconcern over the outrage, and the most that will happen is some minor functionary will be scapegoated into oblivion as Obama continues the business-as-usual of finalizing the transformation of the United States from a Constitutional Republic into a third-world socialist shitrapy, with the full knowledge and compliance of most of its benighted serfs. Sad as it is, infuriating as it is, that’s the long and the short of it. Bryan Preston sees the writing on the wall well enough:
But what if the president isn’t actually interested in getting things done? Or, to focus in a bit, what if the things the president wants to get done are not the things presidents usually want to get done?
President Obama essentially campaigned for another four years in office on the promise that he would tell us what he wants to do once he has won. He didn’t run on getting any specific things done, other than one thing: Raising taxes on the rich. That’s point one in the conventional wisdom points above. He explicitly said that he would view winning re-election as a mandate to raise taxes on the rich. Four years prior, he explicitly said that he wanted to raise taxes on the rich “for the purpose of fairness,” not because hiking those taxes would lead to more government revenue or stronger economic growth. He doesn’t care about those latter two things as much as he cares about hiking taxes on the rich. He rightly believes that much of his own base puts taxing the rich above economic growth and sound fiscal policy. They all know that hiking taxes on the rich does nothing to fix our fiscal problems. But they don’t care.
Hennessey’s first point is probably true. Going over the fiscal cliff without a deal will probably result in a recession. But his second point may not be true. While a recession would be terrible for the country, it may not be terrible for the Obama presidency. Obama knows that he has the media standing by to blame Republicans for any failure to reach a deal, and he knows that there are enough low-information voters out there to believe whatever the media says. The media covered for him both on Benghazi and the fiscal cliff during the elections; it’s likely to keep covering for him. He also knows, based on his own re-election victory, that a terrible economy leads to more dependency on government, which leads to more people seeing him and his party as the guarantors of their government benefits. This dynamic is a very effective way to kill arguments favoring smaller government. Who needs abstractions and Milton Friedman when there’s no food on the table?
Exactly. I’ve been railing about this for a long time now, and, to borrow from Walsh, it is inconceivable to me that so many of our supposedly smarter pundits seem not to get it: “success” does not mean the same thing to Obama as it does to the rest of us. He is precisely who and what we “unreasonable,” uncivil, immoderate types have been saying he was all along, to the extreme annoyance of the collegial class of politicians and opinion-makers. He is a socialist. He is a tyrant. He is not just un- but actively anti-American. And we will never rid ourselves of him and his despicable ilk without violent upheaval.
They aren’t just winning; they’ve won. I don’t have any easy answers as to where we go next in the battle against them, but I do know that it’s long past time to recognize and openly acknowledge the truth, at the very least. Politely, effetely averting our eyes from it has gotten us nowhere; time for a change, I think.
Update! A way out. Probably the only one that doesn’t involve bullets, and blood running in the streets, and other highly distasteful things.
“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms,” the poet Muriel Rukeyser once said. Stories, not facts, are the way people process information. Screenplays, plays, scripts, and stories are packed not with hard data but with something more powerful and human: emotional data. That’s why we remember stories long after we’ve forgotten facts. Stories stir our souls.
And we’re not talking about the anecdotal stories politicians deploy to inject humanity into their stump speeches. We’re talking about the narrative of our nation. The story of America. The story of who we are, how we got here, and what we’re to become.
It is extremely serious business, that kind of storytelling.
Plato understood the power of storytellers. It’s why he wanted to ban them in his dream society. Wisely, the Left understands the importance of storytelling and dominates almost every aspect of it in the culture, from content creation to distribution. Regrettably, too few conservatives think storytelling matters.
We’ve invested billions in our great think tanks but little in the task of translating that work into stories the average American will care about. Yes, we have Fox News and political talk radio — important outlets, but outlets that narrowcast to the conservative base and are driven by politics and opinion, not storytelling.
What we don’t have is an alternative to NPR. Or The Daily Show. Or 60 Minutes. Or The Charlie Rose Show. Or Frontline. Or Ken Burns. Content that doesn’t scream its politics at the audience but that lures America in with great storylines, not lectures.
Conservatives have a profound storytelling deficit, yet all we do is whine and complain about it. It’s part of our DNA, our whining about the culture, as if we’re incapable of reverse-engineering the Left’s success.
There is a reason why people of every ethnic background in the world risk everything to come to America. It isn’t bigger government. It’s opportunity and freedom.
“In the Soviet Union, the future is predictable,” goes an old dissident joke. “It’s the past that keeps changing.” There’s great truth in that joke; it’s the storytellers who determine a nation’s future — and it’s past, too.
So as we study the gender gap, the marriage gap, and the other various gaps in the electorate over the coming months, we need to tackle the most important gap of them all: the storytelling gap. We are on America’s side. We’re on the side of the little guy. We’re on the side of men and women of every age, ethnicity, and class, and of the principles that have drawn people here for centuries.
Too many Americans just don’t know it yet.
It may sound trite to some, but I really think these guys are onto something–something huge. It took the Progressivists over a hundred years to completely take over the government, the culture, the institutions, and the country at large and create a bleating sheeple class of mindless drones. It will take a while to get it back on track, if it can be done at all. Yes, Habeeb and Leven are definitely onto something.