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Monday, March 01, 2010

Running against Bush, Running from Themselves

With his ratings plummeting and his administration coming undone, the Great Savior of the Democrats in the White House is more focused on finding ways to blame Bush and congressional Republicans for the current mess, than anything else. And that is predictable enough because the progressive left has built its identity around opposition more than anything else.

Even when in power, the left draws a picture of itself as perpetually embattled. That is the case in a democracy and even in a tyranny, such as the USSR or Cuba, which remained focused on fighting increasingly imaginary enemies. It is no surprise then that Obama can't put down the left's well-worn security blanket, because it is too much a part of his movement's ideological identity.

The left's identity is built on uprooting tradition, in the same way that the identity of the right is built on preserving it. The left's love for "reform" and "revolution" are just different ways of expressing their desire to dramatically overthrown and overturn society and nations. Their core identity is tied into their belief that they are the revolutionary vanguard of the class struggle against the established powers. And when they are in power, they cling even harder to that identity, fighting new "established powers" to wage war against.

Like Saturn, the revolution devours its own children. This is the cycle of perpetual revolution, as we could clearly see with the French Revolution. Such is the fate of every ideological revolution, whose goal is a pseudo-religious state of perpetual liberation through a new state of national and global consciousness, as opposed to one grounded in a desire for personal liberties and property rights, as the American Revolution was.

The American left is the long echo of the America revolution's own ideological radicals, such as Paine and Jefferson, who did not get their way, but who helped create the American left's ideology which contended that a true revolution had been thwarted by a small moneyed elite. That charge would gain new force with the rise of Communism, which promised to overthrow those elites in favor of a people's dictatorship.

The struggle between the American Right and the American Left is the old argument between the American Revolution and the French Revolution, of freedom as grounded in individual liberties and property rights, or in a transcendent fellowship of the state. FDR, JFK and Obama are all typical of the messianic figures of the transcendent state of government meant to tear down all barriers in a perfect unity of government.

And since such a state can never be achieved, the "dream must die", because of the interference of the "established powers" and become transformed into a struggle against the reactionaries and the right who killed the dream. With FDR, the struggle itself was aborted by the rise of Hitler, which forced a global war. With JFK, it was an assassin's bullet. As a result the failures of the New Deal were swept under the rug, overshadowed by the largest war in human history. As a result, the failures of the JFK administration were overshadowed by the myth of Camelot, and passed down to LBJ, who would collapse under them.

The Dream of Obama however offers no such grand exit. His is simply a myth gone sour. Scott Brown's victory provided some breathing room by breaking the Democratic party's Supermajority, which saved the faithful from asking the uncomfortable questions about why a party with a Supermajority was still unable to achieve that transcendent state of government and elevate America with it. And Brown's victory has enabled Obama and his admirers to refocus his spite on the Republicans, blaming the superminority for his own failures.

But all the tirades being broadcast now by Democrats against the rules and procedures of the Senate serve as a useful safety valve, allowing them to return to their roots, agitating against the "powerful interests" standing in their way. Despite the fact that their rise to power was the product of a great many powerful interests converging to supply them with unheard of amounts of money and influence, the average liberal still likes to pretend he's at Woodstock or outside the 1968 Democratic Convention shaking his fist at the man. Even when he is "the man".

If Obama loses in 2012, history will still record yet another progressive dream killed by the right. It is a more comfortable version of the historical record, than admitting that the left had embraced another myth, that its instincts are totalitarian, and that it is far better at scheming, than at legislating. That it is hopelessly out of touch with the people it claims to want to help, and worse yet, that it has no interest in actually listening to them.

The left has never had a great deal of use for Democracy. Like Islam, the left views popular elections as a useful tool for implementing their own rise to power, at which point popular elections are no longer relevant, because the popular will has already been asserted with their own victory. Which naturally makes them very sore losers, blaming election victories on either their own lack of radicalism or the "powerful interests" who are always standing in their way with their "vast right wing conspiracies".

And so the Democrats constantly need to run against Bush, when they aren't running against Nixon, because it is much easier than looking in a mirror and confronting themselves. A son's rebellion ends when he realizes that he is much like his father and that is how it should be. So does a daughter's. But the left has been fueled by the endless revolutions of those who never wanted to grow up, become adults and make the difficult choices. Who always wanted to blame the increasingly shadowy figures standing in their way for their own failures.

The left's history of the world is a long narrative of conspiracy theories, best exemplified by Howard Zinn, in which the progressive forces are constantly stymied by increasingly byzantine conspiracies meant to fool and manipulate the people. The only people you can find living by a more arcane conspiratorial worldview would be in the Muslim Middle East... and that is no coincidence at all.

The left's inability to recognize its own hubris and totalitarian habits, their faith in organizational over representative government, and their tolerance for their own extremism has made it impossible for it to transform in a positive direction. Instead boiled down to the basics, the left's voice consists of tantrums and thrown fists. Once in power its agenda self-destructs quickly in a democratic system, and self-destructs slowly in a totalitarian system in which they have absolute power-- so naturally the left wants absolute power in order to "get things done".

By the time the USSR and North Korea "got things done", neither country could produce enough food to feed its own citizens, or produce much of anything else for that matter, except second rate military equipment. An ironic but not unexpected turn of events for the left, which constantly protests against the "military industrial complex" which focuses on making weapons instead of feeding the people.

But of course this too is an inevitable effect of the cycle of revolutions, whose only domestic product is bureaucracy and repression, and whose only export is war. The left cannot break the cycle because it refuses to acknowledge that it is the source of the problem, instead always turning to a shadowy network of conspiracies and powerful interests who are in their way. Who are always to blame for their failures.

And so Obama is back to running against Bush and the Republicans. Just as he always will be. Because to do otherwise would be to admit his own inexperience and the feuding egos and agendas of the Democratic congress, the same sort of pettiness that has toppled many a revolution before. And such an admission for an ideology that venerates the redemptive powers of government and transcendent messianic leaders is a dangerous one. It would almost be blasphemy.

11 comments:

Lemon said...

Poor them. Sad how it's all going.
Well at least Obama looks very nice in his white tie and tux.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

yes, off to waltz with himself

Aharon said...

Yes, scary to think that this garbage goes on in the public. It is so obvious that I think people go against their better judgment and their own common sense for fear that they might be wrong. If they allowed themselves to believe that they can make estute decissions about our failing gov't then they would have confidence and they would speak up and speak up more strongly against the obvious failings that are going on.......

Mikec said...

Socialism is Very, Very expensive and this is the inherent weak spot of any 'left' agenda. The only people who are going to pay for it are those who lack enough 'influence' to divert the tax bill away from themselves.

Hence the poor have to pay for poverty relief.....

Plus a huge number of public employees to administer the 'solution'.

But this does not matter because the religious rituals have been observed, and the gods of socialism have been appeased; this time.

But next time the gods will want a blood sacrifice, The 'butchers bill' of socialism and (national socialism) has been enormous, and yet again it has to be paid by those without enough 'influence'.

DP111 said...

the average liberal still likes to pretend he's at Woodstock or outside the 1968 Democratic Convention shaking his fist at the man. Even when he is "the man".

This reminds me of the story in 'The Little World of Don Camillo'. The communist mayor Peppone, is enthusiastically protesting at the evil of city hall, and shaking his fists at it, until he is reminded that he himself is the mayor.

Chrysler 300M said...

hard to understand how so many honest jews were tricked to vote for this islamic frankenstein

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

the secular religion is liberalism, which means faith in government reform

Keli Ata said...

Yep.

The religion of government whose messiah is the ultimate chameleon.

Anonymous said...

I amost feel sorry for Obama.
Almost.
He's just so ... pathetic.

Mike_W

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I know what you mean. Of course Hitler was pathetic too. Kim Jong Il is pathetic.

Tyrants or would be tyrants tend to be.

Maia said...

I'm pretty sure Obama is not Muslim...

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