Recycling We Can Believe In

28 10 2008

Is Barack Obama’s mantra of “change” really anything new? As I’ve noted before, it’s more of a recycling of old-time socialism first brought to political life by Woodrow Wilson and perfected by FDR and his New Deal. 

Voters who are so disgusted with George W. Bush that they will take any candidate of the opposing party need to understand what they are getting in exchange for their loathing. The fact that Obama appears charming lulls these voters into an even deeper trance. But neither hatred of Bush nor sleep-walking with the Pied Piper of Politics is an excuse for the facts.

Jonah Goldberg‘s column in the LA Times today is worth the read:

Wilson, Roosevelt and now Obama — all their ideas sprung forth from the work of John Dewey, the most important liberal philosopher of the 20th century. Dewey held that “natural rights and natural liberties exist only in the kingdom of mythological social zoology,” and that “organized social control” via a “socialized economy” was the only means to create “free” individuals. Dewey proposed that statism be taught as a kind of civic religion in our schools so that Americans could be raised to see the government as the solution to all of our problems. 

Dewey lives on too in the education reform ideas espoused by former Weatherman Bill Ayers. Ayers, now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, often invokes Dewey when justifying his own dream of indoctrinating public school students in “social justice.” Obama doesn’t condone Ayers’ ’70s-era bombings, but he certainly subscribes to Ayers’ educational vision. In fact, Ayers’ educational work is the primary defense for the candidate’s association with an unrepentant terrorist. 

Much has been made of Obama’s comment to “Joe the Plumber” that things are better when we “spread the wealth around.” The Obama campaign, with the usual willing accomplices, has rebuffed charges of “socialism” or “radicalism” with the usual eye-rolling.

But Obama’s words that day in Ohio were perfectly consistent with his past statements…

Read the rest. It’s a must-read.


The New Deal 2.0

7 07 2008

If Barack Obama wins the presidency in November and retains majorities in Congress, this country will make a hard turn to the left not seen since the New Deal. Seventy-five years ago, Franklin Roosevelt’s first 100 days began with his March 4, 1933, inaugural, and culminated June 16 with his big push for the National Recovery Administration (NRA).

I should preface this by pointing out that the material depression was far greater in 1933 than today. Americans needed Roosevelt to act, and he did. Like Barack Obama today, Roosevelt used his rhetoric to bring Americans into his camp. But his NRA programs, plowing through Congress exploiting a 313 to 117 Democrat to Republican ratio, only exacerbated the Great Depression. 

Roosevelt pushed his unprecedented, government-growing legislation through not only because of his majority in Congress, but like Obama today, he appealed to the emotions of voters using biblical falsifications such as the government’s “duty” to seize control and expand all forms of transportation, communication, and other utilities.

Barack Obama’s vision for an increase in government power carries a Rooseveltian harmony. As evidence, I submit any supporter of Barack Obama who can’t explain his position on any major issue. These types of voters are more numerous than you might imagine. Just about every late night and political talk show has interviewed such persons on numerous occasions. They have been beguiled by the mellifluous notes of The Pied Piper’s Barack Obama’s flute. And to top it all off, they have no excuse. First, they have the failures of Roosevelt’s New Deal to look back on and learn from, and second, we are not in a depression and do not need our next president to expand government in order to survive. Obama’s ideals for government power are for his personal benefit and the good of his party, not the American people. 

In 1935, thanks to a conservative Supreme Court, the NRA was found to be an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty, resulting in FDR backing off. But he cranked it back up after his reelection. And since the voters during those depression years preferred the hope the NRA paraded to the medicine GOP candidate Alf Landon offered, Roosevelt enjoyed a second term with another majority in both houses of Congress and no opposition to obstruct his liberal programs. 

What can conservatives do this year to prevent The New Deal 2.0? One way is obvious: work to elect John McCain. But if McCain appears headed for defeat, Republicans will have one other viable option: prevent a sizable Democrat majority in Congress. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund recalls what happened in 1996 when Bob Dole’s loss was imminent:

The Republican National Committee decided to take bold action by directly appealing to the public’s fondness for divided government and fear of one-party rule. It rook out ads that featured a fortuneteller staring into a crystal ball showing scenes of Biblical devastation, plague and conflict were seen. The announcer warned what could happen if Democrats swept the elections:

“Remember the last time Democrats ran everything? The largest tax increase in history. Government-run health care. More wasteful spending. Who wants that again? Don’t let (insert local state) down. Don’t let the media stop you from voting. And don’t hand Bill Clinton a blank check.”

It worked. Republicans gained two seats in the Senate and lost only a handful in the House.

Fortunately, McCain is running close enough in the polls that option one is still highly possible. But if Obama’s daily flip flops have the intended consequence of duping more voters into believing his words today over yesterday, then plan B may be our only hope for survival.