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Conservative Willful Blindness

10 September 2012 @ 13:55

Michael Knox Beran is an author and columnist whose work I respect. He writes for conservative publications, like National Review and City Journal. His book on RFK, The Last Patrician: Bobby Kennedy and the End of American Aristocracy, is well-worth a read for the theory he has as to what drove the man to do what he did, although I don’t buy all of it, but it did provide me with a better understanding of the man.

He has written an essay for NRO, entitled Decline And Fall: The Tragedy Of Barack Obama, that offers his perspective on why Obama is failing and flailing at the present time.

Reading Mr. Beran’s work, one sees that he is a man of conservative temperament, but, I believe, like so many others, his theories on Barack Hussein Obama are off because he, in his generous nature [aka: conservative nature] blinds himself to who and what Obama is.

What follows are my criticisms of the essay, but I want to stress that my disagreements with Mr. Beran are not so much made in anger, but, rather, in frustration. You will notice that I sometimes criticize directly those who Mr. Beran quotes rather then the essay’s author. When I do so, I want it understood that I am indirectly criticizing him as well because it seems he agrees with those he quotes [who are all, interestingly, Leftists].

This is not so much a Fisking as a plea for such conservatives to take the steps to cure their willful blindness.

Please take the time to read his essay by clicking here.

My Critique [it's a long one, so you might want to pop some popcorn or pour yourself a tall one]…

-Mr. Beran writes:

In The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber shows that in his first year in office, “Obama was loath to accept that the economy was singularly important.” The “Obama White House never grasped quite how closely its fate was tied to the labor market. This misunderstanding dated all the way back to the transition, when the president-elect stuck with his otherwise noble ambitions on health care and the environment rather than switching his focus to jobs.” Scheiber portrays an out-of-touch, self-absorbed chief executive who devoted his efforts not to healing the economy but to enacting a health-care law that the bulk of the country didn’t want and saw as irrelevant to its needs.

But ‘healing the economy’ was never Obama’s goal. In light of the work done by Stanley Kurtz and many others, we know that Barack Hussein Obama is an avid student of Saul Alinsky and Cloward/Piven. He is a Committed Leftist who believes that the only way a true and pure Leftist paradise can be built is on the ruins of The West. Every single thing Western Civilization stands for is antithetical to what the Leftist seeks to accomplish, therefore, the whole structure must be reduced to rubble if a real and lasting Utopia is to be built [these are the people who, when confronted with the fact that Communism has never worked wherever it has been tried, respond with: 'Communism has never be really tried'].

Since the whole structure of The West must be brought down, the Committed [ie: hardcore] Leftist wants to bring down the Western Economies, especially the American version which is the most successful. Obama is a hardcore Leftist and he has been quite successful in sowing Chaos in the markets and seizing control of businesses. He never intended to cure and heal the ailing patient. Rather, he has acted like those Angels Of Death who administer fatal doses of respiratory-inhibiting drugs to patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

-Mr. Beran, at one point, quotes Camille Paglia:

Who “would have thought,” Camille Paglia wrote,

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?…

Many of us conservatives ‘would have thought’ — and we did — because we knew that Obama was a raging Narcissist and committed Revolutionary — a mix of Maoist, Leninist, and Marxist. There was no evidence beyond the PR image created around him that ever marked him as either sober or deliberative. In fact, it was quite clear in 2008 that Obama was a cipher skilled in reciting the bromides he had been taught by mentors such as Frank Marshall Davis and handlers such as Valerie Jarrett.

-The rest of that quote from Miss Paglia is worth a comment:

…House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end….

No, she was just showing her true face — Pelosi, like some many other Leftists in 2009-2010 felt — FINALLY!!! — unleashed, no longer compelled to having to pretend that she [and they] were anything other than Committed Revolutionaries.

-Mr. Beran:

To understand what happened, go back to February 2010, when opposition to Obamacare was hardening. The midnight roll calls and cynical deals that led to the Senate vote on Christmas Eve 2009 had disgusted millions, and in January Scott Brown, declaring “I can stop it,” defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in the election for the late Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat.

Obama considered changing course. In February 2010 Rahm Emanuel, then the White House chief of staff, proposed what Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Carrie Budoff Brown describe as “a smaller, piecemeal approach” to reform rather than an all-encompassing grand design.

The battle of the two Obamas began. In The Audacity of Hope Obama portrayed himself as an ambitious striver who, chastened by failure to win a seat in Congress, became reconciled to modesty and “came to appreciate how the earth rotated around the sun and the seasons came and went without any particular exertions on my part.” Skilled in listening to people and building consensus, he disdained the “winner-take-all” politics of zealots who felt “no need to compromise” and whose fatal overreaching nourished “tribal hatreds.”

There is absolutely no evidence that Obama ever ‘reconciled to modesty and “came to appreciate how the earth rotated around the sun and the seasons came and went without any particular exertions on my part”’. In fact, he did what all Leftists do when confronted with defeat: Obama and his handlers devised new ways to deceive and bamboozle. They, it seems, learned from the lessons defeat taught, but their learning was not noble in any way. Their approach contained no humility, but, rather, cold, ruthless calculation. There was no rejection of zealotry. What occurred was devising new schemes to hid their zealotry beneath a facade of compassion.

There has only ever been one Obama — the Revolutionary.

-Further along, Mr. Beran writes [emphasis mine]:

Obama looked upon his mystical passion for transformation as wholly benign and selfless. Like all tragic characters who slenderly know themselves, he was blind to the hard kernel of will in his soul. As a result, he was scarcely conscious of the disconnection between the politic consensus-builder in him and the willful lawgiver. His candidacy for the White House did nothing to enlighten him on this score. Campaigns flourish in spite of, indeed because of, internal contradictions. Presidencies don’t. It was only after he reached the Oval Office that the inexorable pressures of governing revealed his two personas to be irreconcilable.

But the former ['consensus builder'] was never within him in the way that Michael Knox Beran means. Sure, Obama [and his handlers] could bring the various factions of the Left together, but his [and his handlers] utter contempt and total hatred for anyone not a Revolutionary meant that those to his Right would never be considered as worthy of dealing with as equals or even as Fellow Travellers.

Obama has always believed that he the highest member of an elite of high priests who are the only ones who possess True Enlightenment — THE ANSWER — who are the only people [demi-gods] illuminated with the True Vision.

-At several points in his essay, Mr. Beran quotes, appropriately I think, from Macbeth. But in the following case, he gets it very wrong:

A chorus of Democratic lawmakers counseled restraint [in pushing for 'a centrally planned, state-run behemoth like Obamacare']. Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Barney Frank, Politico reported, wanted Obama to put health care on a “back burner” and concentrate on jobs. The president hesitated. In his divided state, he resembled the Macbeth whom Lady Macbeth describes in Act I:

. . . thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it: what though wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false.
And yet wouldst strongly win.

Obama, too, would “strongly win,” but at the beginning of February he was as reluctant as Macbeth to “play false” with his principles. Fondly as he cherished the idea of doing what no other president before him had done, a part of him shrunk from forcing health-care reform on the nation by means of the “winner-take-all” politics he had long deplored.

Pardon me MNB, but: are you nuts?

Barack Hussein Obama does not believe that he or any other of his fellow Illuminated Ones are subject to any moral restraints on their behavior. This is because they have rejected Morality and a belief in Absolute Truth for Relativity, for the conviction in the belief of ‘by any means necessary’. Obama never deplored anything — that would require making a moral judgement, something he was incapable of, something totally incompatible with his Cold Pragmatism. For the Leftist, the ends always justify the means because they are not bound by any constraints, having rejected all tradition and custom, having ‘freed’ themselves from a belief in Prudence.

-Regarding Obama’s decision to go all-out for that ‘centrally planned, state-run behemoth like Obamacare’, Mr Beran writes:

Obama was settled; the deed was done. The candidate who preached consensus, restraint, and humility became the president who imposed an unpopular and intrusive law on a reluctant and uncomprehending people.

Mr. Beran: Here you’re letting that desperate hope within your soul, which Obama possesses [or possessed before this moment] a single molecule of nobility, overcome the Reality, plain for all with clear eyes to see, that Obama is a man without a shred of dignity or virtue.

-Further on:

In 2008 Obama promised to restore balance and proportion to a national politics that seemed in the eyes of many to vacillate between unsavory extremes. The candidate’s personal qualities marked him out as a healer, a peacemaker, a bridge-builder. An amalgam of Kansas and Kenya, he moved easily between different worlds. He projected a sense of detachment from the passionate follies of ordinary politics; he was thoughtful, cool, perhaps ascetic, and in his withdrawn aloofness he was sometimes compared to an adept of one the Eastern philosophies, liberated from the wheel of gross material life. That a man who appeared so wise, so balanced, so self-knowing should upon attaining power have fallen into the very error he condemned, that of overreaching hubris, may be ironic, but it is not comic. The degeneration of the hero of 2008 into the smaller, meaner figure we see today is not funny: There is always something tragic in the sight of a brilliant and gifted man sinking beneath himself.

There never — ever — was a ‘beneath’ to be found in such a Committed Nihilist and full-on Narcissist that ever existed.

The tragedy that is Barack Hussein Obama is one that began in his early years, not once he took the Oath Of Office. Unlike, say, the tragedy of Macbeth, Obama’s is a long and drawn-out one that is, frankly, tiresome and boring. It most certainly is one that should have never been played out on the national stage where, literally, lives are at stake — that makes what is happening not so much a tragedy, but a horror.

-I’ll break the next paragraph down in two sections [emphasis mine]…

Once Obama spoke of the “shared understandings that pull us together as Americans.” Today he stirs up the resentment of various classes of citizens. Once he refused to prey upon Americans’ doubts and fears. Today his surrogates suggest that his opponent is a criminal….

Actually, praying upon the people’s doubts and fears is the sine qua non of the Leftist.

Also, his surrogates don’t ‘suggest’ at all.

…Once he deplored George Bush’s arrogance. Now he acts like an English king before the revolution of 1688, dispensing with statutes he doesn’t like and flouting his constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Like a good Communist — (begin-sarc) go figure (end-sarc). What did you expect? This is what Leftists do — they’re some of the best flouters around.

-This sentence starts off the next paragraph:

Conventional politicians might stoop to low arts; but the whole point of Barack Obama’s candidacy was that he was supposed to be different from the others….

He was: Obama was the first fully Communist serious candidate for the Presidency. Anyone who believed the sham show wasn’t doing the research.

-Further on:

The president’s face tells a different story. Try as he might, he cannot hide his soul’s desperation before the chasm that separates what he once was from what he now is. Like all blinded heroes “exiled from light,” he does not see — cannot admit — that his tragedy lies precisely in this, that he is himself the prime cause of what he now suffers.

His face wears the expression of a spoiled brat who is quite upset that he is not getting his way like he always has, the aspect of a perfumed prince who has been pampered all of his life, of the man-child who has always been the recipient of undeserved praise and, thus, has developed a fierce unearned self-esteem. That expression on Obama’s face is nothing but a pout that reflects the inner tantrum he’s throwing.

Why is everyone so afraid to tell it like it is: Barack Hussein Obama is immature. He’s a spoiled juvenile delinquent.

-Mr Beran writes:

He knows his record is an unsatisfactory one, and his pride recoils from the stigma of having failed….

If Obama believes he has failed, he sees himself has failed only in his grand hoodwinking of the American People. No Leftist really wants to unite the people of a country he is trying to conquer — unification [by force, at the point of a gun] comes after the revolution. All of the Intellectuals the Leftist believes in and holds dear — be it Marx or Mao or Lenin or Stalin or Harrington or Alinsky or de Sade, etc. [or any combination, thereof] — all advocate the Balkanization of the peoples to be conquered. In order for the existing Society to be destroyed, Chaos must be employed, law and disorder must be fostered.

-One final quote:

…[Obama] comforts himself with the thought that if by hook or crook he can win reelection, all will be well; the stain of his first term will be washed clean by his second. In pursuing this mirage the president has sacrificed even the pretense of possessing a special nobility of character. Once he said he would be content with a single term of office. Today he passionately covets another four years. To justify his undignified avidity, he pretends that he is running as hard as he is only because his opponent is uniquely terrible. Obama’s “mostly joyless campaign,” PoliticosThrush writes, is motivated not by devotion to “a hard-fought cause,” but by the president’s “own burning competitiveness” and “his remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney — an opponent he genuinely views with contempt and fears will be unfit to run the country.” This, of course, is the delusion of every desperate candidate whose fancy would tenderly coddle his unhappy conscience.A campaign based on so little comes perilously close to being an exercise in self-pity and a study in the very nearly pathological egotism of a man afraid to lose. Yet however “remorseless” a campaign the president wages, victory in November will not restore him to the place from which he fell. He would, indeed, be a greater man, and truer to his original idea of himself, were he to undergo the purifying loss with dignity rather than evade it through arts he once disdained.

Obama does not stand a chance of ever being the ‘greater man’ in anything because he has never believed in anything noble. Any nobility that he thinks he possesses is a perverted, mutated version of the real and true thing.

Obama is a Leftist — and to be a real, ‘legitimate’ Leftist requires that one reject all that is truly noble and decent and moral. It means that one must commit oneself to destroying the existing order utterly because that is the only way, the Leftist believes, that a real and true Utopia can rise-up — such a Heaven On Earth can only emerge out of the ruins of what is.

Anyone who believes that this the proper course that reform should follow is someone who hates Life, who refuses to accept Reality as it is.

There is a name for such a person: Nihilist.

11 Comments
  1. 10 September 2012 @ 20:03 20:03

    Outstanding! I almost blew a blood vessel while reading the essay. I found it interesting that in his essay, the author linked to a previous piece he had written in 2008 before the election, where he appeared to have Obama’s number – I guess he didn’t.. I wonder if Christopher Buckley & other conservatives who “left the fold” are similarly hood-winked that Obama fell from imagined grace.

    • Rosalie permalink
      10 September 2012 @ 20:53 20:53

      Those so-called intellectuals like Christoper Buckley were so enthralled with an imposter/agitator/hoax.

      • 11 September 2012 @ 20:01 20:01

        To paraphrase Bernie Goldberg, it was ‘a slobbering love affair’.

    • 11 September 2012 @ 20:05 20:05

      I, thought, Mr Beran ‘got it’ – tragic.

      Buckley and the others, Peggy ‘Lava Lamp’ Noonan are trying to restore their cred, but it won’t fly with me – I’m through with the whole bunch.

  2. 10 September 2012 @ 20:42 20:42

    Well Bob, I went and played golf today. I found out where you threw the empty bottle away …trash can on the twelfth hole. I didn’t know you drank Jack Black…a half gallon to write this most excellent article.

    • 11 September 2012 @ 20:02 20:02

      Obviously it wasn’t me. I only drink Maker’s Mark.

  3. 10 September 2012 @ 20:44 20:44

    Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog and commented:
    A most excellent article by our friend Bob. As he says, fix yourself a tall drink before sitting down to read this one.

  4. M. Thompson permalink
    10 September 2012 @ 20:57 20:57

    Part of it was the success in hiding the real Mr. Obama in 2008.

    We saw him as the speaker at Boston in 2004, and running against the highly unpopular Mr. Bush in 2008. I admit, in 2008 there was the perfect conditions for the Democrats to win. Mrs. Clinton was by far and away the hoped for candidate to win (by a good number of people), and Mr. Obama was an unknown.

    I admit that I was tepid for the first few months of Mr. Obama’s administration, hoping he’d be something that he would not be a typical Chicago Democrat. Instead, he’s worse.

    And we’re all holding the bag for this now.

    • 11 September 2012 @ 20:01 20:01

      I don’t think there’s any excuse now, in 2012, for not knowing just who and what he is.

  5. 11 September 2012 @ 15:35 15:35

    Wow, Bob! If you’re right, we conservatives had better open our eyes fast, and see the light, which is what I said here in linking your piece: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2012/09/are-we-willfully-blind-or-just-too.html

    • 11 September 2012 @ 19:59 19:59

      Thanks for the link, Bob. I tried to leave a comment on your post, but I don’t know if it went through.

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