Let me hasten to make it clear before the Secret Service kicks the door in: we're not speaking of the three-dimensional, physical Obama, but the image of Obama created by the DNC, the media, and assorted political mercenaries to sell him and his agenda to an unsuspecting nation. We need to rid ourselves of Obama as an influence, as an example, as a lens through which to view the world, as a figure to look up to, admire, or emulate in any sense.
Simply put, there must be no "Obama legacy." Obama the man is avidly digging himself deeper into his own personal hole and will soon vanish into the depths of the earth. It is Obama the legend that must be buried.
Every liberal president fails. The more "successful" he is, in the sense of actually putting his policies in place, the more clearly he reveals the emptiness of that bastard combination of socialism, Marxism, fascism, and Progressivism that goes under the name "liberalism." Franklin Roosevelt triggered a second dip in the Great Depression in 1937, delivering America to the same wretchedness in which he found it upon taking office. Lyndon Johnson threw the country into abject chaos for fifteen years with his "Great Society," essentially "New Deal, the Sequel." Jimmy Carter... well, where do we start?
Yet every liberal president leaves a "legacy," a vast and complicated myth that erases his failures, magnifies his successes (if any), and acts as a glowing mythological reframing of the triumph and promise of liberalism. These myths are as stereotyped as the plot of a Noh play, with the heroic figure of the president acting on behalf of the stock poor working family against a cast of enemies that includes reactionaries, businessmen, and uncaring bourgeoisie. In each case the president is about obtain a complete triumph, to create the new liberal Jerusalem on this American earth, when he is cut short by the bleak machinations of the enemies of the people.
Of course, a little reworking is required in order to make the narrative fit the circumstances. FDR was lucky enough to have WWII, which made it appear that his policies had in fact worked. For a half century and more the myth that Roosevelt's policies ended the Depression and saved the country were taken as a given on all levels, and still prevails among the offhandedly educated. Only in recent years has the story of the false recovery generated by deficit spending followed by the collapse of 1937 and the ensuing double-dip been excavated. (Does this sound familiar?) The war saved FDR, and also saved the myth of American liberalism.
Lyndon B. Johnson was more problematic. Through an accident of history, Johnson was handed more power than any president up to his day. Taking office with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Johnson inherited a nation eager to honor the dead president by fulfilling his agenda. Congress simply rubber-stamped any bills put before it that could be argued as "what Jack would want." Johnson did exactly what might be expected with that level of power -- he abused it. He immediately instituted a program of deficit spending in support of something he called the "Great Society," which was no more than an extension of the New Deal. Along with an ill-executed civil rights program and a badly planned and fought medium-sized war, LBJ drove the nation onto the rocks in less than two years. There it remained for a decade and half. Jimmy Carter, often disdained as the worst of presidents, is in truth merely a footnote to the Johnson saga.
The Johnson legacy was split, with the construction of a myth of a "good" LBJ who acted as a progressive saint as opposed to the "evil" LBJ who suppressed riots in American cities and fought a war of extermination in Vietnam. Nobody hated Johnson more than American liberals, but liberalism and the progressive ideal had to go on, so Johnson's reputation was at least in part rehabilitated. The Great Society in truth discredited the New Deal for all time -- but that's not how the narrative was written. The myth of the New Deal survived, awaiting a new prophet.
The equivalent Obama myth is already taking shape. The Tea Parties, half demented backwoodsmen, half Children of the Damned, emerging from the primeval forest beyond the Hudson to force S&P to issue the "Tea Party downgrade" --- that's right; it was the Tea Parties that sacked away all those trillions in deficits. You wouldn't know that if you didn't watch MSNBC. Then there are the Koch brothers, plotting in their private atomic-powered zeppelin high above the Great Plains, committing such unimaginable atrocities as (don't let the children see this) supporting politicians and funding political organizations. Imagine such things happening in America. And Fox News, embedding right-wing code-phrases in the Twitter threads of innocent, simple-minded American proles, going so far as to actually report what the Dems say and do. All of them working to undermine Obama, sabotage his programs, and wreck his vision of a new collectivized America, marching as one into the radiant future.
It's unlikely such a construct will be so easily believed this time around. People are not as naive as they were in the 30s, or as obedient as they were in the early 60s. We live in a different world, in which people have seen certain things and drawn certain conclusions. One of them is that the reign of Obama comprises liberalism's third failure. Three times liberals have tried to impose their system, three times it has collapsed. Games like this do not go on forever. Somewhere deep in the subconscious, there is an ancient subroutine that cuts off at three -- there is a reason why three strikes make an out.
There are plenty of signs that people are wising up. The phenomenon of the Tea Parties alone speaks volumes. The idea of a large fraction of the working middle class defying FDR or LBJ would have been simply unimaginable. Today it's business as usual. We are also living in a far more democratic society -- in the classic political sense -- than previous generations did.
But we can't expect liberalism to simply to pack it in. This kind of dream narrative is all they have left. They will never allow the liberal agenda to be damaged by public acknowledgement of failure. So the legendary Obama must be destroyed, his halo shattered, his white robes besmirched, his book of prophecies rent and scattered to the winds. Destroying the reputation of any individual is a terrible thing, and must be considered under presumption of error. But Obama has been and continues to be a disaster for this country, one that will affect us for the next twenty years or more. He has threatened our well-being and has destroyed lives, all under the cloak of a false mythology.
How do we defeat the Obama myth? By assuring that reality takes the place that it is designed to fill. By continually and repeatedly putting forward the facts about the man behind the myth. The man who led a conga line as the country shuddered in fear of economic catastrophe. The man who, with nothing else to offer, threatens to degrade the religious beliefs of an honorable opponent. The man who had an "uplifting" photograph of himself at a ceremony marking the return of dead heroes taken and published, in defiance of the wishes of surviving relatives who asked that no photos be taken.
And that's only one week. There will be plenty more to come. I think I can promise you that.
Obama will inevitably have the larger contingent working in his favor. Not only the hired flacks and the legacy media, but the kindergarten civics class types who will hear no criticism of "Our President," the weird political hermaphrodites such as Brooks, Parker, and Sullivan, who will follow the straight pants crease wherever it leads, and not the least, the paid trolls who slip into our sites and programs to throw as much spin as they can without exposing themselves. Just over the past week we've seen endless comments from people who are "no fan of Obama" (in that precise wording) but wish to see no further criticism or attacks for specious reasons or none. Somebody at NRO (don't have the link - sorry) identified that "no fan" opening as the newest tag line for undercover lefties. Be advised.
There's something different about this new millennial epoch, something that cannot be explained simply by the passage of a few years. The forces that held this country in a viselike grip for decades are losing their hold, while small, dispersed organizations grow in effectiveness and capability. We are seeing subtle changes in our politics that we do not yet fully understand. Consider Wisconsin, where the vast and powerful liberal superstructure consisting of the unions through the media through the judiciary all the way up to the shadowy and malefic Soros organizations was utterly humiliated, in a way for which it's difficult to find an equivalent in earlier epochs.
We need to ride that change. I have a feeling -- almost but not quite a conviction -- that it will take us out of the spot we find ourselves in today to somewhere closer to where we'd rather be.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and the author of Death by Liberalism.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and the author of Death by Liberalism.