I had observed a few days ago that we are in our era's equivalent of the "contending states" period of history. One of the hallmarks I noted was that the real leaders operated behind the scenes, while the public leader was "a dummy ruler chosen for low intelligence and complete moral plasticity, who amuses himself and keeps the masses distracted from their troubles with bread, circuses, and brushfire-wars."
Well, we certainly have our leader "chosen for his low intelligence and complete moral plasticity." Consider this:
(1) "Chosen" -- While I'm not going to get into the "birther" debate (my own belief is that Obama was born in Hawaii, but claimed foreign citizenship when it benefited him), we know less about Obama than any other American president.
Researchers have discovered that Obama’s autobiographical books are little more than PR stunts, as they have little to do with the actual events of his life. The fact is we know less about President Obama than perhaps any other president in American history and much of this is due to actual efforts to hide his record. This should concern all Americans.(2) "Low intelligence" -- Roger L. Simon writes this about Obama:
A nation-wide network of researchers has sprung up to attempt to fill in the blanks, but at every opportunity Obama’s high-priced lawyers have built walls around various records or simply made them disappear. It is estimated that Obama’s legal team has now spent well over $1.4 million dollars blocking access to documents every American should have access to. The question is why would he spend so much money to do this?
The president who campaigned for a more “open government” and “full disclosure” will not unseal his medical records, his school records, his birth records or his passport records. He will not release his Harvard records, his Columbia College records, or his Occidental College records—he will not even release his Columbia College thesis. All his legislative records from the Illinois State Senate are missing and he claims his scheduling records during those State Senate years are lost as well. In addition, no one can find his school records for the elite K-12 college prep school, Punahou School, he attended in Hawaii.
The point is, as Putin threatens Ukraine and who knows what else, China moves on the Japanese islands, the Iranian mullahs jaw on while moving ever closer to nuclear capability, the already nuclear North Koreans improve their ballistics while starving their people, Venezuela approaches civil war, al-Qaeda and its myriad cousins metastasize across North Africa, the Levant, and beyond, the West has at its helm someone who is not only a documented liar (“if you like your plan,” etc., etc.) but who is also essentially a blowhard. Even worse, and ultimately even more dangerous to our health and/or survival, our president is a monumentally poor judge of character. He is clueless.I could go into specifics--the "57 states" comment, the wrong Russian word on the "reset" button, his bowing and scraping on his worldwide "apology" tour, his inability to speak without a teleprompter, but this could go on forever. I would just note that we have no proof of his intelligence--no great intellectual accomplishments in school or public life.
(3) "Complete moral plasticity"--Well, there is Obama's "Lie of the Year Award" from Politico. We could get into the various scandals--the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Gun Walker--which all involve lies and immoral behavior. We could also discuss his constant siding with tyrants. His desire to be a tyrant himself and bypass Congress. His association with a known terrorist (Ayers). His association with outspoken racists (Wright, Holder, etc.). I am sure that there are countless other examples--far worse--that we do not know about. However, John Fund sums it up pretty well at the National Review, noting that Obama is a produce of the corrupt Chicago political machine:
The scandals swirling around the Obama administration have many journalists scratching their heads as to how “hope and change” seem to have been supplanted by “arrogance and fear.” Perhaps it’s time they revisit one of their original premises about Barack Obama: that he wasn’t influenced by the Chicago Daley machine. You know: the machine that boosted his career and whose protégés — including Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, and his wife, Michelle — he brought to Washington with him.
... The machine’s core principle, laid out in an illuminating Chicago Independent Examiner primer on “the Chicago Way,” is that at all times elections are too important to be left to chance. John Kass, the muckraking columnist for the Chicago Tribune who for years has warned that Obama was bringing “the Chicago way” to Washington, sums up his city like this: “Once there were old bosses. Now there are new bosses. And shopkeepers still keep their mouths shut. Tavern owners still keep their mouths shut. Even billionaires keep their mouths shut.”
... Conservatives in Chicago, an embattled breed, say the Obama scandals now coming to light — the IRS, the intimidation of journalists, the green-energy boondoggles such as Solyndra — could have been anticipated. “The 2008 Obama campaign perpetrated a fraud that he was a reformer,” says Chris Robling, a former journalist who has served as a Republican election commissioner. “All of the complaints — from the lack of transparency to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s shaking down corporations to promote Obamacare — stem from the culture of the Daley Machine.” For decades, Robling says, Mayor Daley “encouraged” contributions to his favorite charities, with the implicit understanding that the “encourager” controlled the city’s inspectors and regulators. “That sounds an awful lot like what Sebelius was doing to prop up Obamacare,” Robling notes. “Obama’s ideology may come from Saul Alinsky’s acolytes, but his political tactics come straight from the Daley playbook.” Indeed, friends of Bill Daley, Mayor Daley’s brother, say that one reason Bill left his post as Obama’s White House chief of staff after only one year was that even he thought Team Obama was too much “all politics, all of the time” and not enough about governance.(4) "Who amuses himself"-- As of today, Obama has golfed 162 rounds, even though he was not much of a golfer prior to becoming president. There are also the lavish parties, vacations, dinners, separate aircraft for Obama and his mooch wife. As Keith Farrell writes:
Does America have royalty? It may not, but we certainly have elected aristocrats who live a lavish lifestyle on the taxpayer dime. President Barack Obama and his family have become the go-to example for irresponsible, audacious behavior, while the nation suffers economic hardship.Mychal Massie similarly observes:
You may have read about some of Obama’s lavish vacations, most recently his wife’s Hawaii vacation which cost taxpayers over $350,000. The White House balked when asked how much Michelle Obama’s extravagant birthday party cost taxpayers. Then there was her trip to Aspen, while her husband took in rounds of golf with Tiger Woods.
Of course, the president and his family deserve to be able to take vacations and security is needed when they do. The point is they routinely gallivant around, smiling for cameras, as they spend taxpayer money, and all while President Obama is lecturing the nation about sacrifice and frugality.
Now we’ve learned that the Obama family pets, as if the first family were channeling pre-revolutionary French aristocrats, dine off of fine china and crystal. A picture of Michelle Obama’s dogs decked out in fine jewelry about to enjoy a first class feast off of fine china was tweeted on the First Lady’s Twitter account with a title of “Bon appétit!”
It’s an ironic use of the French term, since it was French Queen Marie Antoinette who famously responded to food shortages and inflation which were causing starvation amongst her people by saying “let them eat cake!” Antoinette and the French aristocrats are routinely referenced as an example of parasitic government, living fat off of the people while the people starve.
In America, 47 million Americans are on food stamps, poverty and unemployment are near all-time highs, and the debacle that is the Affordable Care Act has added additional costs to already struggling households.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama’s dogs are living better than most Americans.
We the People of America are the ones who paid $10 million in 2010 for her [Michelle Obama's] lavish vacations. We the taxpayers are the ones who pay for lavish five-star hotels, the most exclusive and expensive vodka that she cannot do without, as well as for her expensive massages. It is We the People of America who are paying the $1.4 billion-plus that it cost to maintain her and her family’s extravagant lifestyle (which is far more than we’ve paid for any other presidential family). Michelle Obama will soon be living in a $35 million Hawaiian mansion that is being purchased for her and her family by billionairess Penny Pritzker who is heir to her father’s vast holdings, which include the Hyatt Hotel chain.(5) "Bread" -- Obamacare, record numbers of people on foodstamps, etc.
(6) Circuses -- I doubt I could put it better than the author of this peace entitled "Everything is Awesome, for Barack Obama."
Obama and his administration can’t wait to inject themselves into pop culture as it suits their narratives. If Lego Movie is number one at the box office, the Secretary of State is referencing global warming to 3D movies. If the Super Bowl is trending on social media, out come the football analogies. Michelle Obama is on Jimmy Fallon’s new Tonight Show and Joe Biden on Seth Meyer’s follow up. Actors pushing health care that they themselves refuse to sign up for. What message does it send the world when cries for democracy in Ukraine and Venezuela are met with silence, but tweeting about a cable show is paramount?Read the whole thing.
(7) Brush-fire wars -- Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, North Africa, and all the other little places special forces and other troops are going.