A Beautiful Friendship

A relative sent me the following “updated” version of a scene from Casablanca:

Louis: Rick, we’ll leverage credit default swaps, cook the books using offshore entities, award ourselves enormous bonuses based on phony numbers, then claim to be shocked when the shareholders lose everything.

Here’s my version of the famous ending:

Rick: Louis, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Louis: What are we gonna do now?

Rick: After the war, I’m gonna run for president of Casablanca.

Louis: That’s cool. How are you going to win?

Rick: Well, I’ll promise to change Casablanca into, er, France.

Louis: How so?

Rick: I’ll promise to “reduce taxes” on 95% of the voters and raise taxes on the “rich.” And I’ll promise to send checks to those who don’t actually pay income taxes (49%, under my plan). When I get to the point where a majority of voters receive more in freebies, I mean entitlements, than they pay in taxes, I’ll have cemented myself and you in power.

Louis: Sounds good to me. So what else?

Rick: I have this great plan to payoff my very loyal African-Casablancan supporters. I’ll pass a law called the Community Reinvestment Act, which will require the banks, I mean the rich, to make mortgage loans to my African-Casablancan supporters according to steadily rising quotas.

Louis: But wait a minute, what if your African-Casablancan supporters can’t pay back the loans?

Rick: You racist swine! You don’t care about African-Casablancan poor people?

Louis: Oops, sorry Rick. I’ll never bring that up again.

Rick: Besides, I’m going to set up a Government Sponsored Entity called Francoise Mae. Wink, Wink. The banks will know that if their loans go sud, the taxpayers, I mean the government, will pick up the tab.

Louis: Yeh, but what if the “rich” who have to pay for this rebel and leave Casablanca and go, or send their money, to, say, Monte Carlo or Costa Rica?

Rick: Yeah, that’s the one fly in the ointment. Well , we can certainly keep this scheme going for a while by getting the Americans to pay for our defense. But yes, this can’t work for very long. Still, by the time the whole thing collapses, we’ll either be dead or we can move to Switzerland and visit our money.

Louis: But if we tax the rich to finance this, who will pay for our campaigns?

Rick: Non to worry, my friend. Remember all those “middle class” voters to whom we “spread the wealth”? They’ll be expected to do their part. And of course, I will cut out a huge exemption for my rich supporters in the entertainment industry and other guilt-ridden Jewish liberals, aka, Useful Idiots. They’ll be “asked” to kick back or lose their exemptions. Brilliant, n’est-ce pas?

Louis: Rick, I can’t wait. How do you say, a sure thing?

Tony Blankley on which Barry we might get:

…throughout history when dangerous, radical men have offered themselves up for leadership, their moderate supporters have rationalized their early support by hoping that the dangerous man is really a sensible man like them and doesn’t believe some of those wild things he has said to his more fervent followers.

But as the campaign clock ticks down to its last days and hours, prudent people have to consider the possibility that beneath that easy manner and calming voice is the pulsating heart of a genuine man of the radical left.

For example, according to Ryan Lizza of the liberal New Republic, Obama’s early mentor in the Alinsky method of social agitation was Mike Kruglik, whom Lizza paraphrased as saying: “(Obama) was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better.”

As Kyle-Anne Shiver in the American Thinker explained after quoting those words: “The agitator’s job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the ‘realization’ that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent ‘self-interest’ in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

“In these methods, euphemistically labeled ‘community organizing,’ Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.”

And now we have Obama’s genuinely shocking words from a 2001 National Public Radio interview: “But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical.

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. …And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was — because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. … The Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day. … The Framers had that same blind spot … the fundamental flaw of this country.”

Now, just as the left often baselessly throws around the word “racist,” the right is often extravagant with its charge of Marxism. But those accurate, in context words of Obama must raise in the mind of any reasonable person the suspicion that Obama’s heart and soul is dangerously close — if not fully seized of — a Marxist (or perhaps Marxist Christian liberation theology) view of human and economic relations.

Consider that these words came from a man who has urged his followers to “get in the face” of his opponents and has exalted recently — in an uncharacteristic moment of lack of restraint — that he has “a righteous wind” at his back. That is a revealing word, righteous. It suggests that a person’s actions have been “judged” or “reckoned” as leading a life that is pleasing to God. A verse in the Bible’s book of Psalms speaks of one being shielded by God and receiving favor because of righteousness.

We live in dangerous days. The world economy teeters on the edge of the abyss. The exiting American president is a failed thing. An envious world smells a momentarily vulnerable America. The political beneficiary of Republican failure believes our Constitution is fatally flawed. He may be a committed Marxist. And if he held the presidency for four years, it would be the longest stretch that he ever held a full-time job. God save the republic.

And Melanie Phillips analyzes Obama’s views on the Constituion:

[Obama’s words in a recently discovered 2001 NPR interview ] “…To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that… “(my emphasis).

Obama dismisses negative liberties and wants ‘positive rights’ instead. This would mean, quite simply, the replacement of individual autonomy by state power. It would mean the end of individual freedom and the end of America’s founding value system.

This is because negative liberty is liberty. It means that everything is permitted unless it is actively prohibited. ‘Positive liberty’, by contrast, means that individual rights consist instead of what the state hands down to the individual. Presented as a means of expanding ‘rights’, what it actually expands is state control and what it shrinks is individual freedom. It thus also opens up the way to the exercise of group rights, delivered by the state, which trump the rights of the individual in a society dominated by the belief that minorities are systematically oppressed by the majority and that therefore minority or group demands must always trump majority or civilisational values. It descends directly from the dictum of Rousseau that people must be ‘forced to be free’ — a doctrine which ran from the French Revolution all the way to Hitler and Stalin.

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