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Where Obama Fear and Loathing Comes From

| September 30, 2012

Brilliant opening to Mark Lilla’s review of Charles Kesler’s new book on Barack Obama: “Once upon a time there was a radical president who tried to remake American society through government action. In his first term he created a vast network of federal grants to state and local governments for social programs that cost billions. He set up an imposing agency to regulate air and water emissions, and another to regulate workers’ health and safety. Had Congress not stood in his way he would have gone much further. He tried to establish a guaranteed minimum income for all working families and, to top it off, proposed a national health plan that would have provided government insurance for low-income families, required employers to cover all their workers and set standards for private insurance. Thankfully for the country, his second term was cut short and his collectivist dreams were never realized. His name was Richard Nixon.”

The rest of the review isn’t a bad read either, summing up conservatives’ fear and loathing of liberalism in the Obama mantle more wittily than I usually see it done by liberals, who tend to be more dour than necessary (the brooders Lilla calls “the crybabies at MSNBC and Harper’s Magazine”). Kestler is a professor at Claremont McKenna College, a temple of conservative ideology, where he also edits The Claremont Review of Books. Lilla demoloshes his book with praise: “A sense of proportion, once the conservative virtue, is considered treasonous on the right today, and Kesler cannot be accused of harboring one. But his systematic exaggerations demonstrate that the right’s rage against Obama, which has seeped out into the general public, has very little to do with anything the president has or hasn’t done. It’s really directed against the historical process they believe has made America what it is today. The conservative mind, a repository of fresh ideas just two decades ago, is now little more than a click-click slide projector holding a tray of apocalyptic images of modern life that keeps spinning around, raising the viewer’s fever with every rotation. If you want to experience what it’s like to be within that mind on a better day, then you need to visit I Am the Change.”

And if you don’t have time for 276 pages of the stuff (at my literacy-challenged 25-pages-an-hour reading rate, that works out to an investment of 11 hours, not counting the scream-in-the-pillow breaks), Lilla’s 2,800 words (a 15-minute read) should be plenty. Here. Treat yourself.

–Pierre Tristam

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3 Responses for “Where Obama Fear and Loathing Comes From”

  1. Magnolia says:

    Fear and loathing of liberalism? I don’t think it has anything to do with liberalism or change. This is not liberalism, this is marxism. Call it rule by dictator, I don’t care who is in the White House.

    Our society does not operate by force. And “Once upon a time” is putting it mildly.

  2. Ben Blakely says:

    How could a president disclaim almost all responsibility for the fact that during his administration, the deficit increased $5.2 trillion? Answer: The press lets him get away with it.

    How could a president who campaigned on the need to change Washington from the inside now say change has to come from outside? Answer: The press lets him get away with it.

    How could a president’s spokespeople say the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was a protest against a YouTube video, when his own intelligence community believed it likely was a terrorist attack? Answer: The press suppresses the truth, covers for Obama and lets him get away with it.
    The mystery of why Obama was elected and remains popular lies squarely with the leftist press’ allegiance and obedience to him. While there are exceptions, the media overall downplay Obam’s failures, feeble executive behavior, and his dishonesty. The press covers Obama’s distortions, erors and mistakes and fail to go on the attack, as reporters did with President Bush and now do to Romney.

    There is is honor or integrity in the leftist media in America. This is a terrible tragedy for the country.

    obama said: “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

    Unfortunately, we all now know that obama is a serial liar and highly dishonest so whatever he said, cannot ever be believed. Too bad. His 4 years of abysmal failure must indicate he is uniquely unqualified to be president.

    Obama adviser admits: ‘We need death panels’

    A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of heath services under Obamacare is “inevitable.”

    Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.” Rattner singled out elderly patients for benefit cuts.

  3. The Geode says:

    RACISM. Pure and simple. Even when “W” plunged us into two frivolous wars and watched the economy tank he was revered. He was called innocuous names like “dullard” and “un-polished” but NEVER nigger. He wasn’t treated like a out-cast and never was the OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES called into question when it came to citizenship, religion OR the taking of base civil rights. I know. I am going to be labeled a racist and I look high and low for reasons to play the “race card”, but, let’s call a spade a spade. (slight pun intended for comedic effect)
    Happily, I am confident in knowing that the Country as a whole is evolving past the rhetoric and acceptance is the new “IT” word. That being said, get ready for ANOTHER term of “O-Beasy”! …hate that you hate it, yo!

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