Barry's Angels: Obama's Amazonian Guard
Since the 1980s Moammar Gaddafi has surrounded himself with a specially trained corps of female guards, popularly known as the Amazonian guard. It is believed that Gaddafi chose to employ women in this capacity on the theory that potential Arab assassins would refuse to fire on women. In other words, he has been using them as human shields.
For whatever reasons, President Obama seems to be emulating Gaddafi in this respect. The President of the United States can rely on the Secret Service to protect his person, but he requires more than that to insulate himself from the sort of criticism that comes with implementing his radical policies. For this protection he relies on his own Amazonian guard, a group of women who seem just as fanatical as Gaddafi's hand-picked bodyguards.
This troop of loyalists includes Valerie Jarrett, the most influential of the president's female advisers. If it is true, as reported, that Jarrett has greater influence on the president than anyone else, then she has done him little good. Obama's intense partisanship, his instinct for attacking and labeling his political opponents and negotiating only on his own terms, is unbecoming to a president. It has had the effect of dividing the country just at the point when a unifying presence is most needed. The president has doubled down on his unholy alliance with unions, environmentalists, and trial lawyers, and presumably it is Jarrett, working behind the scenes, who is egging him on.
The number of influential women in the Obama administration is striking, but it is not just that they are female; it is that they are women who so much resemble Obama himself. They are not really advisers so much as they are disciples, selected not for their independent thinking as for the unlikelihood of their ever challenging the president.
In this regard, once again, they resemble Gaddafi's Amazons, who are so fanatically loyal to their boss as to have taken a vow of chastity. In the case of Obama's Amazons, it is not chastity but obedience that is required. Not once has Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, consumer affairs czar Elizabeth Warren, or former climate czar Carol Browner publically challenged the president, even on the most trivial of issues. Not once did former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair perform other than as expected. Not once has EPA Chair Lisa Jackson moderated her views in line with the wishes of mainstream America. They have behaved in just the way one would expect a palace guard to behave: shielding the president at whatever cost to the nation.
That is what one would expect of a troop of Amazons who were selected largely because they shared the president's left-wing views. Nearly all of Obama's female advisers followed exactly the same course as he did, graduating from law school and entering government service with little if any experience in the private sector. With this background, and with an identification with Marxist ideology stretching back to their student days, Obama's palace guard can be relied on to parrot his views.
Even those who are no longer serve in his administration, such as Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagan (Obama's Solicitor General before her appointment), continue to ape the president's opinions. Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's other Supreme Court appointee, has proved a reliable liberal as well, voting in the Citizens United case to disallow the free speech rights of corporations. In fact, she has voted in lockstep with the liberal wing of the Court since casting her first vote -- an effort to stay the execution of an Ohio man convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme.
It is not surprising that in her Princeton senior thesis (entitled "To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1930-33"), Kagan seemed to lament the failure of socialism in America and hinted at her determination to "change" America in line with socialist ideology. In the case of Sotomayor, who has referred to herself as "the perfect affirmative action baby," the obsession with changing America seems to focus on race.
Other than the Amazons, the only influential figures in the Obama administration are blacks (and even there, black females rather than males), longstanding comrades from the Chicago mafia and unions, and obedient stooges like Timothy Geithner. The president's aversion to independent-minded white male advisers is palpable. The irony is that it is just such an adviser, someone who would play Dick Morris to Obama's Bill Clinton, who is needed to save his presidency.
No worries -- there will be no triangulation in this White House. If anything, Obama of late has been doubling down on the big spending, taxing, and regulating that are the hallmarks of his administration. No reasonable adviser would go along with this strategy, which is like flooring the bus as you approach the precipice. But Obama's Amazons are just fine with flooring the bus. They did not come to Washington to advance government of the people, by the people, for the people. They came to Washington, to paraphrase Energy Secretary Steven Chu, to "take away the people's choice" because they believe the people are too stupid to know what's good for them.
Taking away choices comes naturally to Obama's Amazons because they too do not trust the American people. Like the president himself, they represent a self-anointed elite who stand outside American culture criticizing a society that stands in need of change, or so they believe. Obama's Amazons feel no more sympathy with America's capitalist and Judeo-Christian foundations than he does.
The truth is that Obama and his Amazons come across as cold and callous for the very reason that they are cold and callous. They have little sympathy for the way of life embraced by most Americans, nor can they truly understand that way of life. They have made change the cornerstone of their politics because they have no sympathy for American as it exists.
It is no accident that Obama has surrounded himself with a palace guard of Amazons. His political outlook is based on a shallow education in a hostile black liberation theology and a jejune Ivy League Marxism. This outlook is radically antagonistic to mainstream American culture, and in this Obama's perspective mirrors the antagonistic relation of his Amazon guard toward what they view as a white male power structure. Obama shares this distrust, which is why disaffection with America is practically a job qualification for those in his administration.
Viewed in this light, it is understandable that the president should choose to surround himself with an Amazonian guard. It was inevitable that he should be drawn toward those who share his own sense of animosity toward what America has stood for in the past.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture and politics.