Clarice's Pieces: The Philosophical Pragmatist's Passage to India

 A certain Harvard professor named Kloppenberg (which my rusty Yiddish indicates means "meatball hill") has written a forthcoming book about Obama. When an article on it was published in the New York Times, this piece invited derision of Kloppenberg, the paper, and the object of his foolish hagiography.

Kloppenberg argues that Barack is a "philosophical pragmatist" and a "true intellectual," though one who would, the sage professor suggests, deny he is an intellectual because the term "is frequently considered an epithet among populists with a robust suspicion of Ivy League elites."

I don't know that Obama would deny being an intellectual, except as an insincere attempt at humility. He thinks he's very bright, and he persuaded hordes of academics and media stars that he was one based on no evidence. The lack of proof of his intellectual prowess has not been rectified in the two years since his election.

As the Wall Street Journal's Taranto observes,

Professors imagine Obama is one of them because he shares their attitudes: their politically correct opinions, their condescending view of ordinary Americans, their belief in their own authority as an intellectual elite. He is the ideal product of the homogeneous world of contemporary academia. In his importance, they see a reflection of their self-importance.

Kloppenberg's thesis reminds us of another elaborate attempt at explaining Obama: Dinesh D'Souza's "The Roots of Obama's Rage." D'Souza, like Kloppenberg, imputes to Obama a coherent philosophy, in D'Souza's case "anti-colonialism." It is a needlessly elaborate explanation for an unremarkable set of facts.

Occam's razor suggests that Obama is a mere conformist--someone who absorbed every left-wing platitude he encountered in college and never seems to have seriously questioned any of them. Kloppenberg characterizes Obama as a skeptic, not a true believer. We're not sure he has an active enough mind to be either.

If anything, Obama's record either validates the professor's notion about the peoples' view of "intellectuals" (i.e., that they are fools) or establishes, as Taranto argues, that the intellectual strengths of the president were fables.

The Tuesday midterms look as though they will prove as historic as the election of a chief executive with no prior executive experience, no significant accomplishments to speak of, and no personal history that can be independently verified. This is a man so unable to speak what he says is his native tongue that he cannot even travel to an elementary school event unaccompanied by his teleprompter. In any rare off-the-cuff remark, he almost always reveals that he cannot speak standard English and does not know much about economics, the law, history, or even the geography of the nation he heads.

On Tuesday, it appears that the "philosophical pragmatist" who began his term with majorities in both houses of Congress will have succeeded in the ruination of his party, the loss of its House majority, and possibly the loss of the Senate as well.

As my friend Rick Ballard notes, on Wednesday morning, this pragmatist will doubtless have the following facts to contemplate: his party no longer will hold the seat in Congress of his putative birthplace, nor his former Senate seat in Illinois. He will have lost his Senate Majority Leader and his House majority. Further, Rick reminds me, next month, the census will report, and it is likely that the report will result (given the loss of population in Democrat population centers and the effect of the 1975 extension of the Voting Rights Act) in a major internecine battle in Obama's certain-to-have-been-already-decimated party. That is, whatever moderate congressional democrats manage to survive the November tsunami will be redistricted out of existence to save the seats of  minority candidates designated by law for preferential treatment in redistricting.

The Democrats got control of Congress by running lots of blue dog candidates; they then forced them to support an extreme agenda which sealed their doom. After December, the remainder of the party still standing will be increasingly out of the mainstream of our right-center nation, will retire to spend more time with their families  or will try to switch parties altogether.

The "philosophical pragmatist" has turned off almost all of the blocs that normally support his party and which worked so hard for his election. If Obama hasn't turned off blacks and Hispanic voters yet, his minuet with Bill Clinton in which they tried to force out the black democratic senatorial candidate in favor of the turncoat Republican Crist, to prevent the election of the Hispanic Republican Marco Rubio, should open some previously shut-tight eyes.

Rumors are flying that Nancy Pelosi will not remain in the House as a member when her party loses its majority. Heck, since she, along with the president, bears so much responsibility for this disaster, I'd even advise her (bearing in mind how Caesar was treated) to stay out of the cloakroom. But when she leaves, she may find the trip home less sumptuous than the fancy jet and service she commandeered for the past two years, a ferrying service which has cost taxpayers over $2 million.

I say that because almost immediately after the election, Obama is planning a passage to India for which it is estimated that he will take forty aircraft, including both Air Force 1 planes, six armored cars, three Marine One helicopters, enough gadgetry t o establish two Secret Service command centers, and apparently his entire staff of cooks, wardrobe masters, make up artists, dressers, hairstylists, lap dogs, sniffer dogs, food tasters, czars, his wife, two kids, and the teleprompter. It's not altogether clear whether this is a stealth invasion or a self-imposed exile.