Quoting Obama as We Fly Off the Fiscal Cliff

Ron Lipsman
Many pundits on both sides of the spectrum postulate that we're going to plunge off the fiscal cliff in part because that is what Obama wants us to do. But too little ink has been devoted to an explanation of why he would harbor that desire. The answer is contained in his most memorable phrase - one whose precise meaning is almost never examined carefully by the American public

On October 31, 2008, Barack Obama declared: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Actually, despite his reputation for eloquence, the President has uttered precious few memorable phrases. But the 2008 utterance was indeed memorable. Why? It does not appear that anyone has ever asked him to clarify exactly what transformation he envisioned. From what to what? By what means? And to what effect?

The Left was content that one of their own would occupy the White House and surely, after policies advocated by the new president were implemented, America would look more like the statist, redistributionist, multi-cultural, multi-lateral, Euro-style social welfare state of which they dreamed. The Right understood the remark in exactly the same manner - but in place of joy at the prospect, they were filled with foreboding. However, a huge percentage of Americans - presumably in the middle politically - paid the quote little mind except as it saw Obama's election heralding the advent of a post-racial, post-partisan, cool new administration, about which they were quite pleased. Those people didn't give the political ramifications a second thought. And so, amazingly, Obama was not asked to explicate the altered nature of America that he envisioned and which he was determined to bring about.

Even more amazingly, four years later - now that the vision is abundantly clear - a plurality of America is either not paying attention or subscribes to the vision. Furthermore, the vision is brought closer by falling off the cliff. For the vision certainly involves: far higher taxes, even greater government spending, an eviscerated military, government control of business, a "fairer" distribution of wealth and a diminished America. All of which are abetted by our falling off of the fiscal cliff. So why in heaven's name should Obama strike a deal with his Republican arch-enemies to forestall our plunge? A precipitous dive off the cliff suits his interests, promotes his vision and furthers his transformation of America. Put on your swim goggles and put in your ear plugs. We are all going to be more than a little bit poorer when we hit the water.


Many pundits on both sides of the spectrum postulate that we're going to plunge off the fiscal cliff in part because that is what Obama wants us to do. But too little ink has been devoted to an explanation of why he would harbor that desire. The answer is contained in his most memorable phrase - one whose precise meaning is almost never examined carefully by the American public

On October 31, 2008, Barack Obama declared: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." Actually, despite his reputation for eloquence, the President has uttered precious few memorable phrases. But the 2008 utterance was indeed memorable. Why? It does not appear that anyone has ever asked him to clarify exactly what transformation he envisioned. From what to what? By what means? And to what effect?

The Left was content that one of their own would occupy the White House and surely, after policies advocated by the new president were implemented, America would look more like the statist, redistributionist, multi-cultural, multi-lateral, Euro-style social welfare state of which they dreamed. The Right understood the remark in exactly the same manner - but in place of joy at the prospect, they were filled with foreboding. However, a huge percentage of Americans - presumably in the middle politically - paid the quote little mind except as it saw Obama's election heralding the advent of a post-racial, post-partisan, cool new administration, about which they were quite pleased. Those people didn't give the political ramifications a second thought. And so, amazingly, Obama was not asked to explicate the altered nature of America that he envisioned and which he was determined to bring about.

Even more amazingly, four years later - now that the vision is abundantly clear - a plurality of America is either not paying attention or subscribes to the vision. Furthermore, the vision is brought closer by falling off the cliff. For the vision certainly involves: far higher taxes, even greater government spending, an eviscerated military, government control of business, a "fairer" distribution of wealth and a diminished America. All of which are abetted by our falling off of the fiscal cliff. So why in heaven's name should Obama strike a deal with his Republican arch-enemies to forestall our plunge? A precipitous dive off the cliff suits his interests, promotes his vision and furthers his transformation of America. Put on your swim goggles and put in your ear plugs. We are all going to be more than a little bit poorer when we hit the water.