Obama - the two dimensional president

Rick Moran
Mark Steyn is one of freedom's treasures. Funny, provocative, fearless, and with a pitch perfect sense of what matters to the reader, Steyn's latest is a real gem of a column.

He riffs off of a story out of Tokyo where some nutcase wanted permission to marry a character out of a comic book:

In Tokyo last week, over a thousand people signed a new petition asking the Japanese government to permit marriages between human beings and cartoon characters. “I am no longer interested in three dimensions. I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world,” explained Taichi Takashita. “Therefore, at the very least, would it be possible to legally authorize marriage with a two-dimensional character?”

Get back to me on that Tuesday night. We’ll know by then whether an entire constitutional republic has decided to contract marriage with a two-dimensional character and to attempt to take up residence in the two-dimensional world. For many of his supporters, Barack Obama is an idea. He offers “hope, not fear”. “Hope” of what? “Hope” of “change.” Okay, but “change” to what? Ah, well, there you go again, getting all hung up on three-dimensional reality, when we’ve moved way beyond that. I don’t know which cartoon character Taichi Takashita is eyeing as his betrothed, but up in the sky Obamaman is flying high, fighting for Hope, Change, and a kind of Post-Modern American Way.

The two-dimensional idea of President Obama is seductive: To elect a young black man of Kenyan extraction and Indonesian upbringing offers redemption both for America’s original sin (slavery) and for the more recent perceived sins of President Bush — his supposed enthusiasm for sticking it to foreigners generally, and the Muslim world in particular. And no, I’m not saying he’s Muslim. It’s worse than that: He’s a pasty-faced European — at least in his view of state power, welfare, and taxation.

But, in a sense, he’s not anything in particular, so much as everything in general. The media dispatched legions of reporters to hoot and jeer at Sarah Palin’s Wasilla without ever wondering: Where would we go to do this to Obama? Where’s his “home town?” Bill Clinton was famously (if not entirely accuratel y) from “a place called Hope.” Barack Obama is from an idea called hope. What’s the area code? 1-800-HOPE4CHANGE. The 1-800 candidate offers the hope of electing a younger Morgan Freeman, the cool, reserved, dignified black man who, when he’s not literally God walking among us (as in Bruce Almighty), is always the conscience of the movie.

Steyn offers a brilliant counterpoint to Obama's redistributive ideas - a paragraph that should be plastered on the statue of liberty, the Constitution, and anywhere else we need reminding what freedom means:

The Senator and his doting Obots in the media have gone to great lengths to obscure what Barack Obama does when he’s not being a symbol: his v oting record, his friends, his patrons, his life outside the soft-focus memoirs is deemed non-relevant to the general hopey-changey vibe. But occasionally we get a glimpse. The offhand aside to Joe the Plumber about “spreading the wealth around” was revealing because it suggests a crude redistributive view of “social justice.” Yet the nimble Hope-a-Dope sidestepper brushed it aside, telling a crowd in Raleigh that next John McCain will be “accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.”

But that too is revealing. As John Hood pointed out at National Review, communism is not “sharing.” In a free society, the citizen chooses whether to share his Lego, trade it for some Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks, or keep it to himself. From that freedom of action grow mighty Playmobile cities. Communism is compulsion. It’s the government confiscating your Elmo to “share” it with someone of its choice. Joe the Plumber is free to spread his ow n wealth around — hiring employees, buying supplies from local businesses, enjoying surf’n’turf night at his favorite eatery. But, in Obama’s world view, that’s not good enough: the state is the best judge of how to spread Joe the Plumber’s wealth around.

Under Obama and the Democrats, the state will determine what is "fair" when it comes to your property. They will decide whether you have more than your "fair share" and take it from you and spread it around.

Obama calls our resistance to this anti-democratic idea "selfish." He is making a moral judgment on the perfectly utilitarian idea of private property being sacrosanct in a free society and that government better have a damn good reason to ask us to part with some of it. Fund programs for the needy? Fine, I'll pay taxes for that. But taking from someone who has more and giving it to someone for the sole reason that they have less (not that they need it to survive) is an open invitation for the many to grab what they can from the few for no other reason than they have been enabled to do so.

That, as Steyn points out, is the real radicalism that Obama and the Democrats represent.



Mark Steyn is one of freedom's treasures. Funny, provocative, fearless, and with a pitch perfect sense of what matters to the reader, Steyn's latest is a real gem of a column.

He riffs off of a story out of Tokyo where some nutcase wanted permission to marry a character out of a comic book:

In Tokyo last week, over a thousand people signed a new petition asking the Japanese government to permit marriages between human beings and cartoon characters. “I am no longer interested in three dimensions. I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world,” explained Taichi Takashita. “Therefore, at the very least, would it be possible to legally authorize marriage with a two-dimensional character?”

Get back to me on that Tuesday night. We’ll know by then whether an entire constitutional republic has decided to contract marriage with a two-dimensional character and to attempt to take up residence in the two-dimensional world. For many of his supporters, Barack Obama is an idea. He offers “hope, not fear”. “Hope” of what? “Hope” of “change.” Okay, but “change” to what? Ah, well, there you go again, getting all hung up on three-dimensional reality, when we’ve moved way beyond that. I don’t know which cartoon character Taichi Takashita is eyeing as his betrothed, but up in the sky Obamaman is flying high, fighting for Hope, Change, and a kind of Post-Modern American Way.

The two-dimensional idea of President Obama is seductive: To elect a young black man of Kenyan extraction and Indonesian upbringing offers redemption both for America’s original sin (slavery) and for the more recent perceived sins of President Bush — his supposed enthusiasm for sticking it to foreigners generally, and the Muslim world in particular. And no, I’m not saying he’s Muslim. It’s worse than that: He’s a pasty-faced European — at least in his view of state power, welfare, and taxation.

But, in a sense, he’s not anything in particular, so much as everything in general. The media dispatched legions of reporters to hoot and jeer at Sarah Palin’s Wasilla without ever wondering: Where would we go to do this to Obama? Where’s his “home town?” Bill Clinton was famously (if not entirely accuratel y) from “a place called Hope.” Barack Obama is from an idea called hope. What’s the area code? 1-800-HOPE4CHANGE. The 1-800 candidate offers the hope of electing a younger Morgan Freeman, the cool, reserved, dignified black man who, when he’s not literally God walking among us (as in Bruce Almighty), is always the conscience of the movie.

Steyn offers a brilliant counterpoint to Obama's redistributive ideas - a paragraph that should be plastered on the statue of liberty, the Constitution, and anywhere else we need reminding what freedom means:

The Senator and his doting Obots in the media have gone to great lengths to obscure what Barack Obama does when he’s not being a symbol: his v oting record, his friends, his patrons, his life outside the soft-focus memoirs is deemed non-relevant to the general hopey-changey vibe. But occasionally we get a glimpse. The offhand aside to Joe the Plumber about “spreading the wealth around” was revealing because it suggests a crude redistributive view of “social justice.” Yet the nimble Hope-a-Dope sidestepper brushed it aside, telling a crowd in Raleigh that next John McCain will be “accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.”

But that too is revealing. As John Hood pointed out at National Review, communism is not “sharing.” In a free society, the citizen chooses whether to share his Lego, trade it for some Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks, or keep it to himself. From that freedom of action grow mighty Playmobile cities. Communism is compulsion. It’s the government confiscating your Elmo to “share” it with someone of its choice. Joe the Plumber is free to spread his ow n wealth around — hiring employees, buying supplies from local businesses, enjoying surf’n’turf night at his favorite eatery. But, in Obama’s world view, that’s not good enough: the state is the best judge of how to spread Joe the Plumber’s wealth around.

Under Obama and the Democrats, the state will determine what is "fair" when it comes to your property. They will decide whether you have more than your "fair share" and take it from you and spread it around.

Obama calls our resistance to this anti-democratic idea "selfish." He is making a moral judgment on the perfectly utilitarian idea of private property being sacrosanct in a free society and that government better have a damn good reason to ask us to part with some of it. Fund programs for the needy? Fine, I'll pay taxes for that. But taking from someone who has more and giving it to someone for the sole reason that they have less (not that they need it to survive) is an open invitation for the many to grab what they can from the few for no other reason than they have been enabled to do so.

That, as Steyn points out, is the real radicalism that Obama and the Democrats represent.