Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why the Obama Administration is Out of Touch and In Danger of Imploding

Wow, Camile Paglia really unloads in on her own party. Her analysis is crystal clear and compelling. My comments below.

"This column has been calling for heads to roll at the White House from the
get-go. Thankfully, they do seem to be falling faster -- as witness the
middle-of-the-night bum's rush given to "green jobs" czar Van Jones last week --
but there's a long way to go. An example of the provincial amateurism of current
White House operations was the way the president's innocuous back-to-school pep
talk got sandbagged by imbecilic support materials soliciting students to write
fantasy letters to "help" the president (a coercive directive quickly withdrawn
under pressure). Even worse, the entire project was stupidly scheduled to
conflict with the busy opening days of class this week, when harried teachers
already have their hands full. Comically, some major school districts, including
New York City, were not even open yet. And this is the gang who wants to revamp
national healthcare?

Why did it take so long for Democrats to realize that this year's tea party
and town hall uprisings were a genuine barometer of widespread public discontent
and not simply a staged scenario by kooks and conspirators? First of all, too
many political analysts still think that network and cable TV chat shows are the
central forums of national debate. But the truly transformative political energy
is coming from talk radio and the Web -- both of which Democrat-sponsored
proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees
in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows,
history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was
blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael
Jackson and Ted Kennedy -- I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on
talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the
healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly
from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of
national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged,
manipulated TV shows.

Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from
ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed,
Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class
professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one
reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills).
Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized
self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these
days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger
in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is,
I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment
principles of authentic 1960s leftism.

How has "liberty" become the inspirational code word of conservatives
rather than liberals? (A prominent example is radio host Mark Levin's book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto," which was No.
1 on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly three months without
receiving major reviews, including in the Times.) I always thought that the
Democratic Party is the freedom party -- but I must be living in the nostalgic

. . .

"But affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile
toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them.
Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically
institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument
are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly
line of competitive college application to schools where ideological
brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy
League on down, promote "critical thinking," which sounds good but is in fact
just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms ("racism, sexism,
homophobia") when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has
been marinating so long in those clichés that it's positively pickled."

__________________ Comments ____________________

1. She is right to point to incompetence in the White House and especially in the vetting of radical leftists for key administration posts.

2. She is right on with regard to the increasing irrelevence of TV, compared to talk radio and the internet. And this explanation of why the Democrats were fooled into thinking that August's Town Hall anger was staged and phoney.

3. To zero in on Nancy Pelosi as the single most responsible figure (besides Obama) for the mess is accurate.

4. It is delightful to hear from a Democratic Party supporter the truth that the Democratic Party has become the party, not of liberty, but of servile conformity and group think as exhibited in political correctness and unblinking faith in statism. These are people who actually believe that, if only Obama can get his way on health care there will be cost savings as a result.

5. However, if she still believes that "authentic 1960s leftism" was ever anti-big government or anything but statist, she is deluding herself.

Summary: The problem is that this administration believes in big government in a way that two thirds of the American people does not.

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