The politics of the surreal

An article, “Brave New World“, by Victor Davis Hanson. Here’s the final para, but you should read all of the paras that come before:

Panta rhei — ‘everything is in flux’ — Heraclitus says. The world we knew is not the one we wake up to after a short nap. January 2009 now seems like a far-off dream, in a way that 2016 may be a nightmare.

A surreal journey through recent times. If I hadn’t been there myself, it would be impossible to believe it was true.

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11 Responses to The politics of the surreal

  1. Journalists are now Photoshoppers of news

    Yes. Exactly. In a nutshell.

    O tempora o mores, as we are wont to remark in these situations. But there are more points of continuity than Hanson allows – for example, FDR was a rich bastard who played at expensive resorts with other rich bastards, while at the same time building the ground floor of the American welfare state. The cult of FDR was the template for the cult of Obama.

  2. JamesK

    4 Star combat Generals McKernan, McChrystal, Petraeus, Mattis and Allen have resigned in the last 30 months as well.

    The Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff is Dempsey who says nada with DADT, women in combat, etc and is pc in the socio-political context – social change by fiat – the only reason the military is liked by the Left

    That was the job Petraeus wanted and moreover he wanted to remain in uniform for Head of CIA and was denied.

    And now the pathetic anti-semite, pro-Iranian, pro-North Korea Chuck hagel a former GOP Senator is Obummer’s nomination for Sec of Defense.

  3. JamesK

    Simpson Says: Debt Could Make Obama a “Failed” President

    Deficit gurus Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have upped the ante on President Obama, but it’s unlikely their latest debt reduction plan announced Tuesday will ever get past the drawing board

    The former chairmen of Obama’s own National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform said the debt must be trimmed by $2.4 trillion over the next decade, about $900 billion more than what the president committed to during his State of the Union address last week.

    But neither Simpson nor Bowles knows the magic trick to bridge political differences about the debt in what is their fourth public proposal on the matter. Their multi-year road show has attracted attention without getting the needed traction inside the White House or on Capitol Hill.

    Both warn about bond markets deserting federal debt at some point down the road, sparking higher interest rates and inflation that pinches middle class Americans. Yet the markets are remarkably placid thus far about the more than $16.4 trillion national debt, equal in total size to the annual Gross Domestic Product.

    So Simpson is pursuing another motivator—Obama’s legacy.

    If Obama doesn’t reform entitlement and Social Security spending—the long-term drivers of debt—“he will have a failed presidency,” the former Wyoming Republican senator said at Tuesday breakfast sponsored by POLITICO. “I don’t think he wants that at all. He’s too smart.”

    Simpson repeated what passes in DC as the f-word—failed—for much of the event. They have access to White House staff to push their plan and claim the president is on their side, but Simpson hasn’t talked with Obama for 18 months and Bowles, the former White House chief of Staff for Bill Clinton, last spoke him right before the November election.

    Bowles played something of the good cop, saying of Obama, “I believe that he’s willing to make these cuts in the entitlement programs that we have to make.”

    Even Obama’s own fiscal commission selection of Simspson and Bowles are starting to guess – reading between the lines – that Obummer loathes his own country as we have known it throughout the 20th century.

  4. You realise that the further you push a pendulum from centre, JamesK, the more viciously it will re center itself?

  5. JamesK

    You realise that the further you push a pendulum from centre, JamesK, the more viciously it will re center itself?

    20% of Russians still love their Uncle Joe and more recently under Putin the younger generation are being taught to, Winston

  6. Alfonso

    Gitmo…… evil under Bush, unmentionable under Oby.
    And how does one get Their ABC to mention the place in the next four, long, long years.

  7. Fisky

    20% of Russians still love their Uncle Joe and more recently under Putin the younger generation are being taught to, Winston

    And all because of gay marriage, no less!

  8. MattR

    Quite depressing, at least we live in Australia! Our political culture has been FINE the last 5 years!

    Oh wait…

    Damnit…

  9. Ant

    The key words uttered by Obama over recent years are that he wants to “fundamentally transform” America.

    He and his fellow Democrat vandals in the US Senate, aided by too many career time servers in the Republican Party, are busying themselves with transforming the American economy into a house of cards.

    Once that’s accomplished, they’ll let the fundamental transformation stuff take care of itself.

    As the great Mark Levin asks “how is it possible to claim that you love your country while at the same time say that you want to see its fundamental transformation?”

    The really depressing thing for me in all of it is that Obama is on his path of destruction with near impunity from those whose job it should be to look critically at his motivations and methods. Namely the media class. Instead they’re his key facilitators who ensure his behaviour is lauded and his critics, such as the brilliant Ted Cruz, are demonised.

    But, let’s face it, are they any better here?

  10. Oh come on

    I’m not so pessimistic. America’s strategic adversaries have problems of their own that dwarf America’s, but they keep them well hidden. Trouble is is that hiding those problems from the world’s gaze doesn’t make them go away; they simply fester unnoticed and then – probably when Thomas Friedman has just sent an op-ed to the NYT about how China does everything better – they suddenly and unpredictably catastrophically explode in everyone’s faces. I suspect the anti-America chorus will be rather silent at this time, and for some time thereon in.

    I think America’s coming energy boom will save their economy. Americans are temporarily gravitating towards a welfare state solution, but this is not in their cultural DNA, and when things pick up they will abandon this with extreme prejudice.

    OK, so we have 4 years of Obama in office. But that isn’t that long. And by the time Obama’s out of office, his Euro welfare state zeitgeist will be completely old hat and both Republicans and Democrats will be competing to appear the spawn of Reagan – best case scenario Coolidge – and the national conversation will be totally different from the gloom the MSM is presently thrusting on Americans because they’re doing it tough and are thus vulnerable to the message. That dog won’t hunt when everyone starts minting it again.

    There’s a lot of ruin in a nation. And America has barely started chipping away at the edifice.

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