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Some questions for a post-Obama era

Some questions for a post-Obama era

Here are some questions from Victor Davis Hanson on how the precedents Obama has set could result in a changed America even after he leaves office:

The nation has grown used to the idea that what the president says is probably either untrue or irrelevant — and yet it does not really any more care which.

The people also assume that it doesn’t matter if our pundits talk of the person in the White House as a “messiah” who prompts tingling legs, or if they take notice of perfect pant-leg creases, or, of course, if they declare that he is the smartest president ever.

The result, in the Age of Obama, is a deeply rooted cynicism that works out something like the following: The president of the United States is now an iconic figure and thus cannot be held to the minimal standards of veracity demanded of other Americans. The press is an advocate of his agenda and picks and chooses which scandals can be half-heartedly pursued without endangering their shared vision.

How could the media possibly repair its sullied reputation without appearing abjectly hypocritical or artificially zealous? How can the next president resist assuming the extra-constitutional prerogatives of the current one?

These dangers loom large, although it’s not so clear that people have become quite as blasé as all that. Also, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if this distrust of a president were to lead to less willingness in the future to turn power over to the central government.

But what Hanson is saying is that the combination of distrust, acceptance of it, a president willing to abuse his power by extending it in extra-constitutional ways, and a press inclined to give him a pass on his abuses bodes very ill for the republic.

I would reassure him on one score, though: if a Republican is elected as our next president, we’ll see the press immediately snap back to its traditional role as critic and gadfly. This will help shape many people’s perceptions of that president even though some may see it as a hypocritical double standard on the part of the press.

It is only with a Democrat (such as, for example, Hillary Clinton, who would also be the first woman president) that the press will continue to go all weak with admiration, although I don’t know if we’ll ever again see quite the extreme degree of worship its members extended to Obama.

For starters, there can be no second first African-American president. What’s more, Obama cast a spell over them in some additional ways which are not completely understood even now, despite all the thinking and writing we on the right have been doing on the subject for the last six years. Even Obama’s Democratic successors may have difficulty duplicating that strong an effect.

So the campaign slogan for the next Republican candidate for president could be: “Vote for me, and help the press start doing its job again!”

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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JimMtnViewCaUSA | December 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

One understands how the press has reached “Peak A$$-kissing”. At least the current admin is razor-focused on our country’s true enemies.
A group of 51 school children in Texas spent the week before Christmas making Christmas cards for veterans. According to the VA, the kids made a mistake by saying “Merry Christmas”.
Two weeks ago, a routine meeting was held at the Mississippi base with various leaders of the 158th Infantry Brigade. During the meeting, they discussed an upcoming Christmas football tournament. The equal opportunity officer immediately objected to the usage of the word “Christmas.”
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas…”

The minute we have a GOP President – the Press will be on him like white on rice. They will attack him with twice the vigor as a way of making up for Obama complicity.

The real question is if we get a Hillary president – will the MSM continue to bow down and like her toes like quivering lap dogs?

I tend to think if President Clinton 2.0 comes to fruition, the media will question only insofar as to keep her on the progressive track, since that’s the main criticism of both Clintonian success and Obama’s supposed lack of success is that they caved too much. Now if Elizabeth Warren runs, she will get messiah treatment as a true believer.

Whoever the next President is, it will be important to recognize that it is changing popular perceptions that is now seen as the responsibility of education, preschool, K-12, and higher ed, and the media. That media and education planners like supers and profs are working in tandem under a broader strategy called communication theory. We have politicians and bureaucrats who have declared transformational plans for all of us that are intended to survive this Presidency and to occur all over the West. is a good example of what is going on but not being covered. And with John Podesta now back at the White House directing policy from the inside, his work on both the UN’s the World We Want post-2015 and the CAP’s All-in-Nation: An America that Works For All are more important than ever. But still nobody is decribing all this taxpayer funded transformative initiatives intended to irretrievably alter the America the next President is in charge of.

Hillary, to address Musson’s point, was deeply involved in these sought changes during the 90s attempts. She is intimately involved in the Clinton Global Initiative’s current transformational plans. Only a Rep has any intentions of stopping these transformations and quite a few of them are speaking at too many of the stealth transformational summits.

The problem is this vision is centered on combining economic and political power under a planned State Capitalism vision. People who go into politics under either party’s banner tend to be fond of maximizing political power. They do not recognize, or care, how parasitic it all is. The media is the same. State capitalism works just fine for it.

    Rick in reply to Robin. | December 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Excellent, accurate, and presciently foreboding.

    JoAnne in reply to Robin. | December 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    You’re scaring me.

      Musson in reply to JoAnne. | December 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      More frightening to me is that Francis Gianfrocca of Coffee and Markets admited in his podcast that his rich friends are concerned with a French Revolution event coming to America. “The middle class is being pushed down again and again. At some point they will be pushed to a point where they will no longer yield.”

    Icepilot in reply to Robin. | December 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    To your point: Local schools are attempting to expand the feeding of children from 2.5 meals a day during the week, to add backpacks full of food to take home for the weekends. Mothers who feed their children are viewed as stupid for not availing themselves of the free food. Via the state education systems, the left is trying to break the natural instinct of a mother (or father) to feed and care for their offspring.

The next Republican president should mimic Obama’s executive power abuse and, when called on it as he or she most certainly will be, explain why such power is dangerous, and offer to sign a bill that limits executive overreach very specifically, constitutionally, and in unambiguous language that even Obama couldn’t get away with. He or she should also seek a binding remedy to the bureaucratic juggernaut, through similar means.

Liberals don’t feel threatened by unconstrained governance when it’s their side doing the governing. It isn’t enough for Republicans to restrain themselves from bad behavior. They have to be willing to restrain the Dems as well. The Dems won’t sign up for it until they’ve felt the rough side of a unrestrained administration.

>>”How could the media possibly repair its sullied reputation without appearing abjectly hypocritical or artificially zealous?”

I’m not sure how they appear is of much concern anymore, either to them or to the people. Hanson’s broader point is that we’re inured to their behaviors, right? So I don’t expect a scintilla of self-reflection or shame as they whiplash-pivot from Obama worship to their next jihad against a Republican.

So the campaign slogan for the next Republican candidate for president could be: “Vote for me, and help the press start doing its job again!”

And their job, as they see it, is to attack conservatives.

As for how it can be done, check out “Century of the Self,” a BBC documentary.

Obama decried cynicism, yet practiced it more than any politician to manipulate voters, especially the young, who now mistrust, even as they are still being indoctrinated.

I am starting a movement of one. From now on I will refer to the D.C. government folk as the Government Mafia. For that is what D.C. has become. I’ve been watching Mob City – I think it has relocated to Washington, D.C..

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I see two things that disturb me. Neither good. The first is that once presidents over-reach, the public very quickly becomes accustomed to it and adapts. Remember the PATRIOT Act fight? It was very contentious. Republican House Majority Leader Dick Army publicly called out the Justice Department run by his own party. I think the word he used was “insane”, but it’s been so long ago I may have that part wrong. But the point is that he strongly opposed what he considered unconstitutional over-reach by his own party and made sure it was fully aired and the public knew what was going on. As I recall, he finally came around and supported it after a sunset provision was included. But here’s the thing. It’s been up for renewal twice since that initial contentious debate. Both times it’s been renewed with barely a peep and near unanimous Congressional support – once when Bush was president once by Obama. That’s just one example of how even after an initial contentious public debate, and the government gives itself new controversial authorities bordering on overreach, becomes institutionalized and the public seemingly adapts to it.

But the second thing that disturbs me is that in the Obama era, Democrat voters simply refuse to hold him accountable for his abuses. Any time there’s a scandal, the strategy is to run to the media and declare it’s not really a scandal. They make the press believe it is simply Republicans politicizing the event for their own political gain. And that’s how the press treats it. So Democrat voters are conditioned to see nothing much wrong with Fast & Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, snooping on the AP phone records, the James Rosen incident – let alone the unprecedented onslaught of unanimous 9-0 Supreme Court decisions against executive overreach and the multitude of other clearly unconstitutional, lawless, executive overreaches. One of the guys at Volokh Conspiracy actually compiled a Top Ten list of Obama’s unconstitutional presidential abuses of power. Something so outrageous that you’d think it is a parody article from The Onion. But it is serious. And Democrats mostly yawn.

None of it seems to matter to rank and file Democrat voters. They just don’t care. He’s still got over 50% approval among self described Democrats despite the scandals, the Obamare rollout failure, and being called Liar of the Year by Politifact. Nothing matters to these people. Not integrity. Not character. Not competence. Not unconstitutional over-reach. Nothing.

To top it off, Democrat voters mostly cheered as Harry Reid used a shady parliamentary trick called budget reconciliation to ram Obamacare through on a one party vote, and cheered him again when he destroyed two centuries of Senate procedure to nuke the filibuster in order to give Obama unprecedented executive power to nominate to the judiciary the most radical left wing judges he can find. For all intents and purposes, Democrat voters are watching the checks and balances that have been necessary to deter a tyrannical presidency dismantled before their eyes. And they don’t care.

    “Don’t care” suggests ambivalence. I think they do care. I think they are all-in for the removal of checks and balances under the assumption that the Democrat majority is now permanent. They will of course come around when they discover that their assumptions were incorrect. There is “win” in politics, but there is no “won”.

    “For all intents and purposes, Democrat voters are watching the checks and balances that have been necessary to deter a tyrannical presidency dismantled before their eyes. And they don’t care.”

    They don’t care because they sincerely believe that they will always be in charge — the permanent majority. Too bad for them that Republicans will one day, some day, hold the presidency again, along with one or both houses of Congress. Too bad for us that Republicans won’t do much of anything, certainly nothing effective, that will restore the checks and balances in whole or even in part, not even for the short term.

    We are doomed.

I’ll point out some other truths that happened during the Obama era.

1. The rich got richer.
2. The poor got poorer.
3. Guns became a household necessity.

Some might see this as negative. I do not.

1- So long as rich people doing rich people kinds of things gets you richer….America will thrive.
2- So long as doing poor people kinds of things makes you poorer… (and not richer, or even staying the same)… America is alive and well.
3- So long as Americans know that a well armed civilian populace may end up being the last line of defense, America will be just fine.

People are getting a taste of what happens when you attempt to feather your nest with the comfort of big government, and they don’t like it (Obamacare). They are rejecting it. For that I have hope.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Andy. | December 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t mind the rich getting richer when it’s the result of hard work, free enterprise and innovation. The poor become less poor as a result.

    I do mind the rich getting richer when it’s the result of crony capitalism, rent-seeking and bending the rules. When that happens the poor do indeed become poorer.

    It seems that’s been happening more the last four years (though the last four decades are not blameless). Wealthy people have figured out that the Obama administration in particular can be bought. I guess it’s the Chicago background that gave them the idea.

    Income inequity is up the last four years. I don’t think it’s a coincidence given the politics. We have a lot of people in Washington and Wall Street who appear to be me-first types, and it shows.

    What VDH notes about the media is absolutely right. But if we don’t fix the cronyism and rent seeking, the media will be the least of our problems.

After reading Victor Davis Hanson’s description of this President’s legacy, you can’t not think it perfectly describes out first “Affirmative Action” president. Mr. Obama is reduced to the perfect amalgamation of all the horrors of Affirmative Action. I fully expect to see an asterisk placed next to his name in the history books.

I dunno. Who knows what will happen. Who would have guessed obamacare would have turned so fast. We don’t know what’s ahead. Hanson is brilliant and usually right but we don’t know the end of the story yet.

“Some questions for a post-Obama era”

Of course, this begs the question whether we survive until the post-Obama era. The first question to pop into my mind was “is there anyone left?”

Why am I so pessimistic? Because bad domestic policy hurts people, bad foreign policy kills people, and we have both.

[…] an amazing piece by Victor Davis Hanson. In fact, I had forgotten it until Neo-Neocon posted it at Legal Insurrection […]

Easy. Here’s how it’s going to work:
Day 1) President Palin (or fill in whoever you think will win) announces her administration will use power X that Obama used so liberally during his term. The press will then go into full howl mode about how the Right claimed this power was Unconstitutional and what fiends they all are.
Day 2) President Palin announces her administration will discontinue power Y that Obama used because it is unconstitutional. The press will remain totally silent until the next time a Democrat is President, at which time they will encourage them to use power Y just like Obama.

In short: The more power used by a Democrat, the better. Once given to the govenment, it shall never be taken away. So sayeth the gods of the media.