Two Hundred Days of Hope and Change

Today, America is 200 days into Obama's much ballyhooed "Hope and Change."  What is the scorecard so far?  The administration of the government has largely passed from the constitutional cabinet offices which require Senate approval into a nebulous system of "Czars." 

I suppose some people might consider a return to the rule of the Czars a positive step in human history, but there is no system of accountability:  America was a constitutional republic in which chief officers were vetted and approved by the Senate.  The other workable system has been parliamentary democracy in which responsible ministers resign when their departments screw up.

What is the Obama system?  Who knows?  Overly inquisitive inspectors, we know, get fired, but that's about all we know. 

The president convenes federal legislators, as if they were his employees and not our protectors from executive abuses and tell them to come up with plans to submit to him.  His floor leaders present unreadable and unread bills and twist arms to get congressmen and senators to vote for the bills -- how this is intended to mimic a legislative process is not clear:  Why not just ask for a vote on Obama's Four Year Plan, details to come later?

One area in which we all had reason to pine for hope and change is in the area of political responsibility.  President Bush was not very popular when he left office, but he left more than half a year ago and still the CIA seems to remain in his hands, not in the hands of Obama.  The Bush CIA in 2009 is still misleading Congress, the President, and who knows whom else.  The economy, it seems, is still the responsibility of Bush, despite the fact that Democrats controlled Congress during the last two years of his presidency.

The President of the United States now, apparently, picks the President of General Motors.  The idea that government and business ought to hold each other at arm's length, apparently, vanished as soon as Obama became The Leader.  The sort of healthy separation of powers and functions and wealth that keeps societies free has been melted into blind trust in The Leader.

The real policy of Obama -- to have his image as ubiquitous in America as Stalin's in Russia or Mao's in China -- is working, but people still seem to question his infinite wisdom.  It was clever to sit quietly while political thugs in Iran beat, arrested, tortured, and raped women.  It was prudent to support a Leftist brute's effort to hold onto power in Honduras, despite his unsavory gang of allies or the constitutional decision by that nation's supreme court that he was breaking the law.  It is smart thinking to sit down with Medvedev, presidential hand-puppet of Putin (Obama does read history -- right? -- does he know that the particular office in Russia means much less than who the strong man is? Of course he does!  He's The Leader!)

Obama has followed the Fascist line, or, if you will, the Alinsky line, all the way:  Action!  Constant motion!   Each day a new program!  Each week a new Czar of something!  He and Benito, who like him was a family loving pragmatist demagogue, see that everything must be brought in line.  All must serve the state, and the state will care for them. 

Our president has essentially given up on the rule of law and ordered liberty.  He is no Hitler, no Stalin, and no Mao.  He is, instead, very much a Mussolini.   He will push business, labor, local governments, and other social institutions into the vague directions which seem best to him.  He will make business do what it should (and he knows best) and he will create a bewildering array of grand and petite officers to watch this and regulate that. 

We are almost there -- we have come so far! -- when members of Congress can vote on legislation which could be called the "Blank Check Bill" and when even the failures of his own party can be blamed, retroactively, on the failures of the party out of power, then we are close to that fairly tame totalitarianism, Fascism.  When Obama can almost dictate the questions he will be asked in any forum, then we are near to having our Duce. 

Having done, as Mussolini did, nothing really at all (he did not, as some said, make the trains run on time), but having created the grand perception of constant motion, continual action, his presence everywhere, this man, so personable and glib like Mussolini, may succeed where so many others failed. 

People can vote away their liberties in perfectly free elections.  Italians did.  Germans did.  Until now, we have always elected men who understood that the Presidency was bigger than them.  Now, we have man who conceives of nothing grander than his ambition.  And it has only been 200 days.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
Today, America is 200 days into Obama's much ballyhooed "Hope and Change."  What is the scorecard so far?  The administration of the government has largely passed from the constitutional cabinet offices which require Senate approval into a nebulous system of "Czars." 

I suppose some people might consider a return to the rule of the Czars a positive step in human history, but there is no system of accountability:  America was a constitutional republic in which chief officers were vetted and approved by the Senate.  The other workable system has been parliamentary democracy in which responsible ministers resign when their departments screw up.

What is the Obama system?  Who knows?  Overly inquisitive inspectors, we know, get fired, but that's about all we know. 

The president convenes federal legislators, as if they were his employees and not our protectors from executive abuses and tell them to come up with plans to submit to him.  His floor leaders present unreadable and unread bills and twist arms to get congressmen and senators to vote for the bills -- how this is intended to mimic a legislative process is not clear:  Why not just ask for a vote on Obama's Four Year Plan, details to come later?

One area in which we all had reason to pine for hope and change is in the area of political responsibility.  President Bush was not very popular when he left office, but he left more than half a year ago and still the CIA seems to remain in his hands, not in the hands of Obama.  The Bush CIA in 2009 is still misleading Congress, the President, and who knows whom else.  The economy, it seems, is still the responsibility of Bush, despite the fact that Democrats controlled Congress during the last two years of his presidency.

The President of the United States now, apparently, picks the President of General Motors.  The idea that government and business ought to hold each other at arm's length, apparently, vanished as soon as Obama became The Leader.  The sort of healthy separation of powers and functions and wealth that keeps societies free has been melted into blind trust in The Leader.

The real policy of Obama -- to have his image as ubiquitous in America as Stalin's in Russia or Mao's in China -- is working, but people still seem to question his infinite wisdom.  It was clever to sit quietly while political thugs in Iran beat, arrested, tortured, and raped women.  It was prudent to support a Leftist brute's effort to hold onto power in Honduras, despite his unsavory gang of allies or the constitutional decision by that nation's supreme court that he was breaking the law.  It is smart thinking to sit down with Medvedev, presidential hand-puppet of Putin (Obama does read history -- right? -- does he know that the particular office in Russia means much less than who the strong man is? Of course he does!  He's The Leader!)

Obama has followed the Fascist line, or, if you will, the Alinsky line, all the way:  Action!  Constant motion!   Each day a new program!  Each week a new Czar of something!  He and Benito, who like him was a family loving pragmatist demagogue, see that everything must be brought in line.  All must serve the state, and the state will care for them. 

Our president has essentially given up on the rule of law and ordered liberty.  He is no Hitler, no Stalin, and no Mao.  He is, instead, very much a Mussolini.   He will push business, labor, local governments, and other social institutions into the vague directions which seem best to him.  He will make business do what it should (and he knows best) and he will create a bewildering array of grand and petite officers to watch this and regulate that. 

We are almost there -- we have come so far! -- when members of Congress can vote on legislation which could be called the "Blank Check Bill" and when even the failures of his own party can be blamed, retroactively, on the failures of the party out of power, then we are close to that fairly tame totalitarianism, Fascism.  When Obama can almost dictate the questions he will be asked in any forum, then we are near to having our Duce. 

Having done, as Mussolini did, nothing really at all (he did not, as some said, make the trains run on time), but having created the grand perception of constant motion, continual action, his presence everywhere, this man, so personable and glib like Mussolini, may succeed where so many others failed. 

People can vote away their liberties in perfectly free elections.  Italians did.  Germans did.  Until now, we have always elected men who understood that the Presidency was bigger than them.  Now, we have man who conceives of nothing grander than his ambition.  And it has only been 200 days.

Bruce Walker is the author of two books:  Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and his recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.