By NAN MILLER | Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:00 pm
Missing from the new film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” is a line I quote often. In the eyes of a besotted Gatsby, Daisy floats “safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor.” Change “poor” to “populace” and you have the perch from which Obama still rallies his besotted minions, who, even now, will keep their idol aloft. Experts say it takes 12 steps to cure an addiction. The Hard Left, on the other hand, has induced an addiction in just six steps.
The first step for any sect that aims to hook us on a brand, especially one that has imperiled the economies of European nations, is to find just the right dealer, someone whose style could gild the message — rather, whose style would become the message. In Obama, the Hard Left found its Orpheus ascending, a demigod whose music was so spellbinding that half of us didn’t quite catch the lyrics.
For example, when Obama first announced his candidacy for president and slipped in the imperative “Let us transform this nation,” the stargazers never connected the verb “transform” with its synonym
“convert” or noticed that Obama’s real aim was to transform an electorate, to make it over in his own image, smugly confident that we can goosestep our way to equality here at home and genuflect our way to peace with our enemies.
When the Hard Left saw that style could indeed pass for competence, it took Step Two — assuring voters that to fall for Obama was to lay claim to a superior insight and virtue that needn’t think past what made them feel righteous when their idol held forth. And no slogan proved too daft to alarm new recruits.
When candidate Obama told ABC’s Charles Gibson he would raise the tax rate on capital gains “for purposes of fairness” — despite evidence showing that revenue would go down as a result — then and there, he defined his economic policy and set the precedent whereby sophistry could trump common sense. For the newly besotted heard only the word “fairness,” which became their mantra, while the rest
of us caught the subtext: “It’s not revenue I want, Charlie — it’s revenge against the scoundrels who have it!”
To say that out loud, however, was to risk being skewered by the “fairness” sword, which proved mightier than the pen of any free-market economist. Within a year of his election, Obama had completed Step Three, what had been the Hard Left’s mission for about a century. He had persuaded about half of us that prosperity is a vice — unless it could be used to subvert the very system that had allowed a Soros, Buffett, or Gates to amass unspeakable, untouchable wealth.
Long before Obama beguiled that trio, Marxism had become a profitable enterprise in universities nationwide. It was Obama who made Marxism — or rather code words for Marxism de rigueur. The diktat “Pay your fair share!” allowed Obama to sidestep the Simpson-Bowles plan to lower some tax rates and spending — and to propose instead an increase in spending of $61 billion this year and $160 billion next year. If the same logic drives Obamacare, doctors will be telling patients they can lower
blood sugar by eating more Twizzlers and fudge — then blaming Republicans for the disastrous results.
And it’s not just obstructionist Republicans who’ve become scapegoats for Obama failures. Enacted during his first campaign, perfected during his second, Step Four made any defection from Camp Obama tantamount to villainy. In the absence of the Alien and Sedition Acts, which would have allowed Obama to deport dissenters — or internment camps, which would have allowed him to corral them — Obama
has opted for subtler means of suppressing opposition.
From the outset the Tea Partiers were impugned as a loathsome mix of bigots, zealots, and vigilantes, but only now do we know they’d also been targeted for IRS delays and dissections, the full range of which is still not clear. Nor do we know the full range of the hacking scheme the Justice Department authorized for journalists who leaked stories before they’d been spun to fit the Obama narrative. It seems the only sure way an outlier can escape this administration’s stateside kill list is to self-impose a policy of don’t ask don’t tell — then sit quietly on that side of the Rubicon.
When state legislators failed to sit quietly, the Justice Department enacted Step Five, which can best be described as skullduggery-in-progress because the DOJ’s War on the States is still being fought. What has been settled, however, is the question about who our real enemy is. The Obamaholics now know that the real enemy is not terrorism spawned abroad; rather, it’s political incorrectness spawned here at home
— especially that which calls for secure borders or voter I.D. Rogue states — that is, states whose legislators would represent in-state interests — have found themselves up against the sue-happy Eric Holder, while the attorney general invokes executive privilege, misleads Congress, or recuses himself from testifying when testifying might expose his own malfeasance. And in the bizarro world we now inhabit, Attorney General Holder still operates with impunity while no rogue state will go unpunished.
When it comes to terrorism, however, the Obama/Holder pas de deux treads lightly because Obama has made clear his accord with those who rank us as the most menacing nation on earth and who see himself as our only hope for redemption. That world view hasn’t “reset” relations with any of our enemies, but it has caught on here with Leftists who now see anti-Americanism as the quintessence of enlightenment — even as they claim all the rights that come with being American.
By stressing our perceived inhumanity rather than our merits, the Left set the stage for Obama to take Step Six, which Obamaholics and jihadists alike see as his coup de grace. On May 23, our commander- in-chief declared that the War on Terror “like all wars, must end” — as though one side’s decision to
retreat would end the other side’s will to defeat us. One can only imagine the glee with which al-Zawahiri greeted that announcement, which came just weeks after he had, once again, exhorted jihadists to fight on against the “satanic American program.”
But it’s Obama’s other pledge that has given his minions their best fix yet. On May 23, Obama also announced that he’ll “refine, and ultimately repeal,” the post 9/11 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and address instead “the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism” — even as jihadists continue to exploit Obama’s pride in the downsizing of American power. But our
president has yet to vindicate the one program that realists say is inevitable and justified — so long as the
NSA uses domestic surveillance to track down threats to our safety rather than threats to the Obama supremacy.
The first clue that Obama aimed to transcend us came from Obama himself in October, 2007. Speaking before a South Carolina congregation, candidate Obama proclaimed, “I am confident that we can create a kingdom right here on earth,” and there was no mistaking who would wear the crown in that kingdom. When Shakespeare’s King Henry said, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” he never imagined a ruler who could reverse that claim. King Henry never imagined an Obama — safe, proud, and unassailable.
Miller is a part-time resident of Whitefish, MT