Semi-conservative radio host Michael Medved had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago in which he defended President Obama from those who believe he’s dragging the country down the financial septic tank intentionally.
Here’s just a snippet:
On his radio show last July 2, the most influential conservative commentator of them all reaffirmed his frequent charge that the president seeks economic suffering “on purpose.” Rush Limbaugh explained: “I think we face something we’ve never faced before in the countryâ€”and that is, we’re now governed by people who do not like the country.” In his view, this hostility to the United States relates to a grudge connected to Mr. Obama’s black identity. “There’s no question that payback is what this administration is all about, presiding over the decline of the United States of America, and doing so happily.”
Regardless of the questionable pop psychology of this analysis, as a political strategy it qualifies as almost perfectly imbecilic.
Let’s assume for a moment that Limbaugh’s “pop psychology” analysis is correct (since at the moment it’s not easy for anybody except perhaps Austan Goolsbee to argue that the nation is economically ascending rather than declining): Gladly presiding over and perpetuating a decline is not politically imbecilic. As a strategy it’s tried-and-true. People made to be dependent upon government will naturally vote for those politicians who pledge to keep throwing them just barely enough trough scraps on which to eek out an existence.
Does Medved think voters such as the infamous Peggy the Moocher are turned off by the fact that wild spending is driving America into an almost unrecoverable financial death spiral, or that she couldn’t care less because “it’s the entitlement, stupid”? Using Medved’s “ruining something on purpose would be dumb because they’ll turn on you” logic, Detroit should be a hotbed of conservative politics by now.
Michael Medved must think the president is an idiot. Is solving the problem of record deficits with more record deficits and ending unsustainable spending via unsustainable spending destined to do anything except weaken America? Obama either has other designs, or he’s the new poster politician for the definition of insanity and is a total dim-wit. I don’t believe the latter to be the case, but Medved must (yes, I’m defending Obama’s intellect — I can be bipartisan when the truth calls).
For the most part, any “grudge” against Obama is connected to his past statements. Would somebody look forward to the opportunity to “fundamentally transform” something they already like? And how is the casual observer supposed to view somebody who remained a member of a church whose longtime pastor said things like “God damn America”? As a flag-waiving old-school America-lover?
It’s really a matter of definitions. To Obama and his like-minded progressives, creating a gigantic dependency class along with insane spending shams, health care takeovers, “green” boondoggles and scratching union backs with taxpayer money strengthens America — their vision of America — the one they’re working to “fundamentally transform.” To more conservative types, this is a detriment to the country, is weakening America, and Michael Medved thinks it’s just an accident.
But as Bill Clinton might say, “It depends on what your definition of ‘weaken’ is.”