July 25, 2011

The Obama Zone

Let's take a journey, a journey into a dimension of self-delusion and inattention, a dimension of false hope and unwanted change. We're taking a trip to: The Obama Zone!

Consider these excerpts from a piece by Mike Allen at Politico via Jim Geraghty at National Review (via me):

"FLY ON THE WALL: Fifty of the most prized donors in national politics, including several hedge-fund billionaires who are among the richest people in the world, schlepped to a Manhattan office or hovered around speakerphones Tuesday afternoon [July 19, 2011] as their host, venture capitalist Ken Langone (pronounced LAN-goan), a co-founder of The Home Depot, implored New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider and seek the GOP presidential nomination…"

"Langone backed Rudy Giuliani in 2008, and his guests came from both parties, although most were moderate Republicans. Most are uncommitted in the presidential race. Participants who rank on the Forbes list of richest Americans included Bernie Marcus, Paul Tudor Jones (hedge funds; $3.3 billion), Stan Druckenmiller (hedge funds; $2.5 billion) and Bernie Marcus (Home Depot; $1.9 billion). Several of them said: I’m Republican but I voted for President Obama, because I couldn’t live with Sarah Palin. Many said they were severely disappointed in the president. The biggest complaint was what several called “class warfare.” They said they didn’t understand what they had done to deserve that: If you want to have a conversation about taxation, have a conversation. But a president shouldn’t attack his constituents — he’s not the president of some people, he’s president of all the people…"

Can you can sing, without error in note or lyric, the theme from Gilligan's Island? If, like me, you can, then you remember Thurston Howe III and his wife, Lovey. Howe III was billed as "the millionaire" ("and his wife") in the opening ditty. Now, of course, millions are little more than pocket change. Like Dr. Evil awakening after decades and trying to extort a million dollars, it seems innocent and quaint in our world of debts so large their adjectives defy the imagination. What does a trillion of anything look like anyway?

But on Gilligan's Island and in America today, the very rich are very different. They must be very different—almost alien--for how else can Allen's report make the slightest sense? I don't mean that they always wear ascots, yachting caps and blazers and talk as though their jaws are wired shut like Thurston Howe III. I'm talking about altered perceptions; very altered perceptions.

People who were paying attention during the 2008 campaign must have been aware of:

(1) Mr. Obama's ranking as the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate, to the left even of Bernie Sanders, the only self-identified Socialist in the Congress. In a Congress controlled by Democrats, leaning further left than any in recent memory that was quite an accomplishment.

(2) Mr. Obama's inadvertent bit of honesty in telling Joe The Plumber that he thought "spreading the wealth around" was a good thing.

(3) Mr. Obama's fervent desire to ensure that energy prices should "necessarily skyrocket."

(4) Mr. Obama's threat to bankrupt the coal industry.

(5) This charming off-the-teleprompter rant: "We can’t drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we’re living in the desert or we’re living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world’s energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us. That’s not leadership."

(6) Mr. Obama's close association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, proponent of Black Liberation Theology the foundation of which is militant Marxism.

(7) The fact that Mr. Obama had no business or real world experience at all.

(8) A wide variety of comments and indicators revealing Mr. Obama's compulsion to tax, particularly the wealthy.

(9) The use, by Mr. Obama and his surrogates, of Socialist terms like "social justice," and "redistributive change."

(10) Mr. Obama's often stated promise to "fundamentally change America."

I could extend the list virtually to infinity, but the question remains: how could these people have been surprised by anything Barack Obama has done? I have to believe that most of them are not old money. They made their money in the real world, paying bills, making payroll, working with actual people, God and gun clinging people who live in Flyover Country. They understand that without the free enterprise system and democracy, they would immediately find themselves the victims of the redistributive change and social justice built into Mr. Obama's DNA. So how did they overlook in 2008 what is now so obvious in 2011? Unlike Thurston Howe III, they don't have the excuse of being marooned on a desert island for years.

And I'm afraid the referees have ruled the Sarah Palin excuse out of bounds. Apart from Bush 43, virtually every President has treated the Vice Presidency as though it was, in the words of FDR's VP, Texan John Nance Garner: "not worth a bucket of warm spit."

It never occurred to these people that Mr. Obama would not be business-friendly? They were unaware that Marxism and Socialism are all about class warfare and inherently hostile to democracy, capitalism and America? Did they think that when Mr. Obama repeatedly and fervently promised to fundamentally change America that he was talking about changing the color of blue jeans? Presumably these people are intelligent, or did people simply give them billions because they had kind faces?

Perhaps, having been slapped in their respective well-heeled faces by hope and change, they are now firmly living in the real world, in our normal, capitalistic, democratic, American dimension. And in that world, three things don't change: death, taxes and Barack Obama's socialistic designs on America. Hopefully, this time they'll put their money where reality is.

Posted by MikeM at July 25, 2011 12:04 AM

The ignorance of the elites is not easily recognized but just because they have succeeded in one area doesn't mean they are qualified to even comment on another.

Posted by: Jack at July 25, 2011 06:43 AM

What a bunch of chumps. How did they ever manage to amass great wealth while being so gullible and ignorant of life around them?

I can only imagine that the whole story of these guys on a conference call is a fabrication of some media hack trying to keep his anti-Palin cred fresh. "if only the GOP had nominated someone REASONABLE for VP, things would have been different".

Posted by: Professor Hale at July 25, 2011 06:48 AM

I have nothing but foul things to say to anyone who claims to be republican but voted for Obama because they couldn't stand the thought of Palin being VICE PRESIDENT! Really?
Glad to see they "saved" us from that snowbilly hick, think of how awful that would have been.

Posted by: Larry at July 25, 2011 07:27 AM

What does a trillion of anything look like? I taught my math students statistics and large numbers by random sampling grass on a football field - we figured that there's just about half a billion blades of grass on one field.

So, 2 fields = 1 billion blades of grass.

2,000 fields is a trillion blades of grass.

So, for our national debt, imagine about 28,000 football fields with every blade of grass being a dollar bill. That's how much we OWE.


Posted by: Orion at July 25, 2011 09:24 AM

Must be like that commercial: "Mr. So-And-So are you a bright man? No I'm not!"

Posted by: garfish at July 26, 2011 02:36 PM