Nobody expected that Barack Obama would be so inept. What to make of his astonishingly clumsy performance as President of the United States; his blatant reluctance to govern; his open disdain for Congress and the Constitution; his ill manners hardly befitting a national leader and reeking of a street tough; his open preference for infantile fun over grown-up duty; the arrogance he doesn’t even try to hide (indeed he seems to relish flaunting it); his whoppers, so numerous and blatant he could give the Clintons a run for their money… We were promised the moon and the sky, let alone receding oceans - and got a big, fat dud instead. Watching all these unmistakable signs of a man way in over his head, it is tempting to suspect it’s all an act. Could anybody so widely touted as a gift to mankind be so pathetic? Surely Obama only pretends to be a clown; there must be a method to this madness. Rush Limbaugh is the most visible exponent of the theory that Obama knows exactly what he is doing, that his real goal is to ruin America as we know it, and everything he does is strategically geared to his destructive objective.
I yield to no one in my respect for Mount Rushbo. But on this point, I beg to disagree with him. I think Rush is trying to break down an open door. Of course, Obama is a revolutionary communist (whether card-carrying or not), and of course, his aim is to demolish the capitalist system of which America is the foremost paragon. Everything we know about him, everything he does, points in this direction. As a matter of fact, he has never concealed his real intentions. Didn’t he promise, mere days before the 2008 election, to fundamentally transform America if elected? To radically transform the country after extolling it, on the campaign trail, as the envy of the world means exactly that - to destroy it. Thus you might say that a child trampling the flowers is fundamentally transforming the flower bed, or that American and British flyers leveling the Ruhr were fundamentally transforming the industrial landscape of Nazi Germany.
So I wholeheartedly concur with Limbaugh’s theory as to Barack Obama’s real agenda. But where I part ways with Rush is regarding his insistence that Obama’s pratfalls are calculated ploys, means to the heinous end and evidence of his diabolical cleverness. Why mix apples and oranges? The Occam’s razor rule stipulates that the simplest explanation is often the likeliest one. Sometimes a spade is just a spade. I can see no contradiction between Obama’s destructive goal and his stupendous incompetence. That is to say, while clearly harboring evil designs, Obama is genuinely inept in implementing his plans.
His presidency looks like a new installment of the Keystone Kops. Sure, creating chaos is part and parcel of the revolutionaries’ rule book. They aim to bring down the power structure, create an atmosphere of total lawlessness, scare the populace into clamoring for a strong hand capable of restoring order, and, under the cover of chaos, storm the ramparts and seize the levers of power. But Obama IS the power structure. He doesn’t need chaos. In fact, chaos is inimical to his objective as it raises alarm and breeds resistance. It would be far more beneficial to his cause if he could implement his far-reaching plans smoothly and efficiently instead of doing a credible imitation of a bull in a china shop.
The consensus opinion of the pundits right and left is that Obama has put all his eggs in one basket; that now his overriding objective is to win the 2014 Congressional elections and gain control of both houses of Congress so as to be able to accomplish his tasks unimpeded during the last two years of his second term. But wouldn’t his plan have come a lot closer to fruition if he had avoided the electoral debacle in 2010 when his ham-handed tactics threw the House to the Republicans? Had he been more circumspect and taken care to let the sleeping dogs lie, he might have prevented the rise of the Tea Party and avoided the political disaster.
After all, conservatives are constitutionally averse to power games. They are notoriously reluctant to join the political fray and do it only under duress, when they are really scared and really angry. Obama’s antics woke up the "silent majority", frightening and infuriating a large segment of the middle class. Instead of wielding a scalpel, he took a sledgehammer approach to health care reform and stampeded the electorate. Voltaire boasted that he enjoyed acquiring new enemies. But what’s good for a publicity-hungry writer is poison for a power-hungry politician. Obama paid a stiff political price for his ineptitude; he lost the House and as a result his agenda ground to a halt amid the hopelessly divided government. Is shooting oneself in the foot a mark of political genius?
You can’t tell me that he lost that election by design, throwing a monkey wrench in the works to his own detriment. Does this inordinately vain and shallow man really enjoy hits to his popularity due to his policy blunders? Is the incredibly stupid order to bar access to the open-air World War II Memorial for a group of aged, wheel-chair-bound veterans while throwing the Mall open to an illegal immigrants’ rally proof of his political adroitness? Does the amazingly mean-spirited idea to withhold the military death benefits from the families of deceased soldiers, a PR blunder of Homeric proportions, evidence of a nimble mind or sound political judgment? Sometimes what seems to be dumb is actually dumb. Obama behaves the way he does simply because that’s the way he is. He just doesn’t know any better.
This is not to say that Obama’s failure as chief executive should come as a surprise. Revolutionaries - and he is unmistakably a died-in-the-wool revolutionary - are never good at governance - or at any other form of constructive endeavor for that matter. They are a specialized breed adapted, by dint of temperament and inclinations, to breaking things and to nothing else. They incessantly prattle about compassion and justice, but in fact the lofty slogans are merely a smoke screen disguising their obsessive lust for power. They are driven by outsized capacity for envy and hatred; power for power’s sake is their only true, if sometimes subconscious, goal. Their ideology and ambition blind them to reality and shut off whatever remnants of common sense might still linger in their minds.
But beware of what you wish, as the saying goes. That single-minded pursuit of power is a recipe for failure once they achieve their dream. Having seized power, they suddenly find out that they just don’t know what to do with it other than luxuriate in the loot. They lurch from blunder to blunder, while inexorably leading the captive country down the path of disaster. It has never taken the assorted Lenins, Maos or Castros long to thoroughly foul the nest, undermine the economic and civil foundations of the land they have enslaved, and bring it to utter ruin. This kind of outcome is preordained. After all, you can’t build anything with a wrecking ball; it exists only as a demolition tool.
In sum, to repeat my contention: Barack Obama does indeed yearn to destroy America, no question about it. At the same time, he is flagrantly incompetent in going about it, no question about it either. Which brings to mind Heinrich Heine’s acid barb, "Oh, nightingale, you are known by your hooves."