Obama’s Republic of Resentment

Michael Ramirez

Our current president is the most politically (as opposed to sexually) irresponsible individual to hold that office in my lifetime.

Now, I can hear some saying, “Even more irresponsible than Nixon?” Yes. Nixon conspired to coverup the Watergate break-in and thus deserved to be impeached and removed from office which he avoided by resigning (responsibly, I might add). But Nixon was faced with the task of cleaning up the mess created by the Kennedy and Johnson administrations:the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the paranoia unleashed by the Kennedy family’s successful attempt to turn JFK into a civil rights martyr rather than the victim of a pro-Castro communist, and of course Vietnam.

Nixon’s daunting task was to extricate the country from Vietnam while still maintaining American credibility as the only entity capable of keeping the forces of tyranny at bay and thus allowing the Europeans and much of the rest of the world to recover from a disastrous world war while creating ultimately unsustainable welfare states.

Nixon’s idiotic (if not traitorous) opponents in the so-called peace movement were determined to thwart this effort to maintain American credibility; they wanted an unalloyed American defeat which is what they got and which, ever since, has encouraged murderers and tyrants the world over, from bin Laden to the mullahs in Iran. Probably Reagan would have handled the job a lot better than Nixon, but it would not have been easy.

But back to Obama’s scary demagoguery. His non-stop politics of resentment and envy is, you’ll excuse the expression, down right un-American. A few years ago, a British actor whose name I have forgotten won a Tony Award for his work in a Broadway play. In his acceptance speech, he recalled the first time he met Americans, in a World War II prisoner of war camp. He had never encountered people like Americans, he said. Unlike the class obsessed British, Americans were actually happy for other people’s success.

And I once saw an interview with actor Michael Caine who explained the difference between Americans and Brits thusly: A Brit sees a guy driving a Rolls Royce and becomes angry; an American feels admiration and the desire to maybe one day buy one of his own. Now the sophisticates out there scoff at the dumb, naive American, but that simple minded American optimism is what has made America the envy of the world.

Obama wants to “transform” America into a European social welfare state: very high taxes and citizens dependent on government supplied entitlements. In order to do this, he needs to get most Americans thinking like Europeans, that is, resentful and envious, which is the Obama campaign in a nutshell.

Let’s hope that the voters recognize the future Obama and the Democrats are campaigning for will look like present-day Europe – mountains of debt and riots in the streets.

Victor Davis Hanson describes the Obama-induced mindset:

…The ancient idea of the limited good once again rules. Someone who has more, by definition, took unfairly more from someone else with less, one who nobly chose not to do that in turn to others. Fairness, not poverty, is our national obsession. My 48-inch screen television gets wonderful reception and offers sharp quality, but only if I know that someone else does not (and should not) have a 52-inch screen. I liked my Accord until I found out “he” parked a BMW next to me. But at least I can console myself that I choose not to do the sort of things that the BMW owner succumbed to. As is true in every peasant-minded society, wealth is as collectively scorned as it is privately lusted after…

Borrowing right now has no connection with repaying eons later. At some future date, inflation, debt reduction, write-down, higher taxes on “them,” growing the economy, a computer meltdown, those not born, a few “fat cats,” or a German will somehow step in to erase what is owed — some $16 trillion in collective debt. Borrowing and spending win friends and foster admiration; cutting and repaying alienate and earn antipathy. Do we adore more the politician who enacts another entitlement with someone else’s money than we do hate the curmudgeon who wants to see how it is paid for? Close call. Just as a billion in 2009 instantly became a trillion, then why cannot a trillion in 2012 likewise become a zillion? What do a few zeros matter anyway?…

Collective national wealth is natural; private wealth is unnatural. Barack Obama flies on sophisticated jets because as an American president he deserves that birthright; Boeing, which makes such wonderful planes for profit, does so only by the exploitation of non-union workers. Shut down a Boeing plant, and the planes will still materialize out of the upper air. iPhones, gas, and brain surgery spontaneously appear for all our benefit; engineers, oil company CEOs, and doctors deliberately profit at all our expense. Good things appear on trees; bad people claimed they made them. The gas in your L.A. Mercedes never should come from the oil off your coast. The driver is a refined sort; the refiner is not. Those who use things are to be given more credit for their existence than those who provide them. The consumer, never the supplier, is king: dive into the steps of a swimming pool, and we will curse the negligent or conniving builder who out of greed or ignorance put steps there in the first place…

Saying one thing, while doing another, is no longer hypocrisy, but rather logical, given that sinning is finessed by prior qualification. Deploring racial profiling ensures that you do not have to visit Detroit too often — and never feel guilt in avoiding it. Warren Buffett circumventing inheritance taxes, or fighting the IRS, requires him duly to whine about the soft tax treatment accorded billionaires like himself. Barack Obama can shake down Wall Street donors, but only if he has first branded them fat cats and corporate jet owners. Deriding super-PACsis requisite to creating them. You can keep Guantanamo open only if you damn those who opened it…

Owing in our new millennium shall be less stressful than saving. The man with a little money in the bank is more worried that he thereby will be taxed more, earn no interest, or have his small sum expropriated, than the borrower is worried that he will have to pay back the full amount of quite a lot that he borrowed for his mortgage, credit card, or student loan. The saver is suspect of doing something bad to the borrower; savers are always active-voice beneficiaries, debtors passive-voice victims. An American without debt or a federal program to relieve it is not really an American. Before this Greek mess is over with, the press and elite opinion will have convinced us that the Germans who lost nearly $400 billion really are merciless and conniving and the Greeks who squandered it really are victims and largely innocent. In the modern age, the history of lending and borrowing does not count; the present ledger book trumps all: why do poor Greeks have to pay back rich Germans? Or better yet, if the defaulter of mortgage, credit card, and tuition bills is still poorer than those who lent him the money or others who did not take out such loans, why, then, should he become even poorer paying the richer back?…

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