Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Excellent Assessment

Last few paragraphs of an excellent assessment     

 Excerpted from:

Conan the Campaigner

By Jeffrey Folks

...The Obama that one sees on the campaign trail, in other words, is more partisan, more tone-deaf, more simplistic, and, yes, more delusional than anything we have seen in Washington itself. Does the President have any sense that his policies are not working? That they are driving up the cost of food and fuel? That the economic recovery has been slower than that of any previous recession? That job growth has been anemic and wage growth non-existent?

None of these facts appear to have registered, and as he takes to the campaign trail, Obama is finding ways to dodge them entirely. Speaking in front of friendly and intellectually lame audiences, he doesn't need to address anything. On campaign stops in Palo Alto and Chicago, Obama can escape into the fantasy of his own grandiose delusions. For while campaigning it is not necessary to actually do anything. All he need do is smile and strut, act pompous and petulant by turns, and accept the adulation of young followers on whom he believes his reelection hinges.

Beneath this smiling persona, however, there lies a political barbarian.  Despite whatever he may say about the "higher tone" of his campaign, the barbaric impulses to which Obama appeals are those primitive impulses of greed and fear.  There is the self-interest of union workers, especially public services employees and teachers, to whom he promises lifetime employment at ever-increasing and ever more unrealistic wage and benefit levels.  There are the young voters, for whom he promises free tuition, free medical care, and the veiled suggestion of income transfers from "the rich."  There are the senior citizens whom he frightens with false charges that the GOP will take away their Social Security and Medicare.  There are the welfare recipients, whom he promises more cash benefits with no work requirements.

Altogether, this is not the vision of a better America.  It is an appeal to the worst instincts of greed and fear. It is not the new politics of hope and change but the old, old politics of patronage and reaction. It is not civilized, or even civil behavior, but that of a barbarian.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and article on American culture.