At first, I started frothing at the mouth about his audacity. Then I started to read them. Excuse me, but a lot of these are will o’ the wisps. Some (those dealing with mental health) I actually agree on.
Don’t get me wrong, some of these EOs are idiotic, especially those which seek to dragoon the medical profession into asking questions about gun ownership. In fact, they’re pretty infantile. They remind me not so much about a Soviet commissar looking menacingly at you but as a Mr Rogers-type figure asking you questions that have nothing to do with your health. (“If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”) Others however are risible as they intrude on the patient-doctor relationship since the gathering of this information is to turn it over to a third party.
Of course we shouldn’t be surprised as Obamacare in its essence was about controlling the people from cradle-to-grave. One way to do this was by gathering as much information about patients in general and placing it in national data bases.
Regardless, the fact remains that the Congress will not allow the banning of semi-automatic “assault” weapons. Senate Democrats from Red States like Max Baucus of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have said as much publicly. Even Sen Jay Rockefeller –who is a proponent of gun-confiscation–read the tea leaves and announced that he’s not going to run for reelection. The votes just ain’t there, even in a Democratically controlled Senate.
So what was this really about? Two words: political theater. Obama needs a bogeyman to rail against. What better way than by a massive, non-stop Oprahfication in which scared women and adorable children are the props. Also, it’s a great diversion from the Debt Ceiling and the fact that a comatose recovery is heading back into recession.
The numbers are troubling. In 2008, unemployment numbers were grim and painted the picture of a recession. In 2012, the unemployment numbers are essentially the same, although if you tease out the demographic components, they have gotten much worse for African Americans. If America is in a recession, it could reasonably said that black unemployment is no different than a depression. Is it any wonder then that Pew Research did a poll and found out that twenty percent of black men under the age of thirty voted for Romney? (What do they know that we don’t?)
Anyway, it’s all going to backfire (forgive the pun) on the President. Rather than govern as a uniter, he’s decided to pick fights a la FDR and Nixon. That’s his right, after all he won reelection. Trouble is fewer people voted for him the second time around. Even George W Bush increased his vote share by 2 percent when he was reelected. Be that as it may, there is a method to this madness.
As Pat Buchanan recently wrote, these strategically planned fights were designed to create lasting coalitions which outlived their originators. Unlike Roosevelt and Nixon though, the Democrats have now proven that they can make this coalition without the votes of whites. As such, predominantly white, vaguely right-wing groups have been focus-grouped as being useful foils. People like Evangelicals, Christians who believe in traditional marriage, Mormons, Observant Jews, entrepreneurs, and Tea Party activists.
The trouble with this strategy is manifold. First, when you demonize groups they tend to coalesce into an intense opposition. Second, the people who are coalescing know a thing or two about fighting. After all, they built this country; in fact, they built Western Civilization. Third, the previous coalitions mentioned were made up in large part by these very same people.
Let’s be honest, grievance groups were just along for the ride. You think FDR would have won reelection three times without The Solid South? Ever wonder why he soft-pedaled civil rights or ignored Jewish activists who begged him to loosen immigration laws? Does anybody really think that Nixon and Reagan likewise would have won forty-nine states without the solid support of the Historic American Nation?
Now I’m not foolish enough to not believe that frothing-at-the-mouth Liberals, milquetoast metrosexuals, and upscale country-clubbers and their wives will get all weak in the knees every time Obama shows up with weepy-looking children in front of a poster with scary-looking “assault weapons” splattered all over them. It’s all about emotion for these types. They’ll actually think he’s doing something, or would be accomplishing something if it wasn’t for the Wascally Wepublicans who hate black people, Jews, and Hispanics, and won’t let gays get married.
Wishful thinking though is all they’ll have. There is no way that real gun laws that actually make a difference are going to pass. And if the Executive Orders really have any bite to them, then it’s going to get mighty lonely in the West Wing.
Molon labe – μολὼν λαβέ.
P.S. The guy who painted the above poster? Once he saw how wonderful Lenin’s rule was, he high-tailed it back to Latvia. Then when Hitler invaded Russia, he went to work for the Nazis, making the same type of posters.