The Obama Presidency, Scheme or Scandal?


For those on the right, the central question concerning the Obama presidency is whether he’s an incompetent boob getting everything wrong or a political and ideological mastermind who’s simply letting us believe that he’s failing at the goals that Americans assume an American president will share with them.  The blogger at Neo-Neocon is of the mastermind school of thought:

Obama is here to punish America for its sins, and he’s been very successful at that. That the left and many liberals continue to love him, continue to support him, is a puzzlement to many people. But why wouldn’t those who have been successfully taught that America is a great evil in the world—birthed in evil, steeped in evil, and empowered by evil; especially racial evil but also countless other evils big and small—applaud his efforts?

Allow me to characterize myself as a moderate on this question.  Yes, President Obama is overtly bringing the United States down a few pegs, but his thinking is sufficiently deluded that he believes everybody will be better off for it.  When that belief runs into the contrary evidence of reality, it’s somebody else’s fault or temporary turbulence, and as for the belief’s internal contradictions, well, those progressives just ignore.  In their view, of course you can knock somebody down a few pegs and still make him better off, at least where it counts, just like you can throw restraints around the private sector and still expect to collect the wealth that it throws off when it moves.

I guess I just don’t see any mystery in the fact that a leader acting with fundamentally flawed ideas would do damage.  For Obama to be knowingly imposing a penance on the American people, he’d have to understand both that his ideas are flawed and that they will inevitably do harm.  Human nature is such that we don’t need to go to such lengths of deliberate conspiracy to explain events.

To some extent, my Christianity may be a prerequisite of my sense of the question.  No person is evil, and yet our actions make evil palpable in the world.  The agency of evil isn’t the individual perpetrating it, but something much broader and more powerful.  Its advantage comes in setting up the game so that failure and incompetence — by the standards of the good and virtuous — bring about its desired ends.

I find this interpretation not only more satisfying on the counts of hope and charity, but also more explanatory.  Con artist though he may be, the election of Barack Obama required decades of cultural preparation and impossible coordination.  The damage that he’s managed to do has owed much to complicity in the judiciary and the bureaucracy and to the failure of the people’s remedy — a legislature controlled by the opposing party — to offer the check that voters wanted (although some might argue that Obama lucked into having Congress offer enough of a check to avoid a more-rapid disaster).  Maybe they’re in on the scheme, but more likely, they’re just following the incentives that have developed in the rigged game at the behest of dark forces.

In brief, Obama’s not usurping the progressive groundwork; he’s fulfilling it. Some will look for evil masterminds who put the avalanche into motion, but I think it was more a matter of the internal logic of a few key tenets of progressivism, which drew together people acting with diverse intentions and led us to this moment.

These matters inevitably reach a spiritual plane, and inasmuch as God allows us space for free will, one can construct a worldview to fit the pieces with or without a belief in Him or the demons who work against Him.  Whichever view one takes, however, I’d argue for the importance of the broader interpretation.  If Obama is just some rare political genius, then we can just wait until he’s off the stage and rebuild.  I don’t think we get off that easy.

  • ShannonEntropy

    Obozo and every other ‘Progressive’ are suffering from extreme cases of Confirmation Bias

    Conservatives are not immune from this disorder, either … it’s just that Conservatives have a better basic understanding of human nature

    When some nut·job shoots up a school or movie theater, progressives interpret the event as showing that gun control laws aren’t strict enough. A conservative notes that these incidents always occur where guns are prohibited — even at Fort Hood, the carrying on firearms on post by anyone but MPs is prohibited — and see *more* firearms as the answer

    Which side is correct ?? The answer seems to lie in the incidents themselves … the first time a mass shooter shoots up a police station, I might take another look at the progressive POV

    • Mike678

      Well stated.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I happened to find myself in a police station several weeks ago. The degree of “security” is shocking, I found myself speaking with someone through bullet proof glass. About two inches thick. It is not comforting to think the police are afraid of the public. Somewhere, at the back of my memory, I recall that to obtain “aid” for the construction of a police station federal “guidelines” have be met. Those guidelines were drawn up by the FBI. Let us not forget that FBI headquarters has a “moat”. I never checked for “sally ports”. I have it on some authority that the trees in front of it are disguised tank traps.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    I harbor the opinion that it is incompetnece, let’s face it, his experience is in “community organization”. That might be defined as “whipping them up”.

  • D. S. Crockett

    BHO is following a libertarian like foreign policy such as that advocated by Ron Paul except he refuses to explain his non-intervention stance as a leader should. Thus, 65-years of US foreign policy is overturned without explanation. The military-industrial complex crowd is having a hissy fit fearing American defense spending will eventually suffer as it did between the two world wars. While, I somewhat agree that non-interventionism should be America’s stance I am reminded that the America’s non-intervention gave rise to WW I and WWII. Will Obama’s withdrawal from the world stage plant the seeds for the next WW? Only time will tell, but BHO is a totally derelict in his duties for not explaining the rationale of his policy to the nation. In fact, he is acting like a dictator instead of a chief executive. The Honorable, David Crockett.

    • OceanStateCurrent

      I’m not sure I agree with that. A libertarian foreign policy would include at least some measure of security at home and guarantee of action against threat. With Obama, it’s a provocative weakness overseas and an open border at home.

      • D. S. Crockett

        Justin: My comments addressed foreign policy. Ron Paul, the libertarian of our era, has advocated a non-interventionist policy for decades. I agree, BHO is also absent on domestic policy. His primary mode of operation is to spread chaos, that’s why I like to call him Captain Chaos.

  • chuck roscoe

    Soros and his crowd are organizing and directing our puppet president. It appears that they will complete their mission before Obama is out of office.