How Obama Betrayed His Constituents, and Why They Won't Care

Sometimes, when a governing body betrays its indoctrinated masses, the betrayal is easily spun to be for their benefit.

We witness a stark allegorical example of this in George Orwell's Animal Farm.  In the novel, the ruling class of pigs comes to gain the animals' favor by vilifying the farmer, who, like the other humans he associates with, is the embodiment of gluttony and greed, eating the fruits of the farm animals' labor, trading away what he cannot eat, and living in his opulent farmhouse paid for by those profits. Being thoroughly convinced of the truth in these claims, the animals are shocked to find in Chapter 6 that the pigs, now in administrative control, have begun to interact and trade with those same humans, a crime that had once been unpardonable. To justify the course of action domestically, the pigs claim refuge in the "greater good," saying that all profits will go to continue building the farm's windmill -- the construction of which had proven troublesome and more costly than expected, but the completion of which would benefit all the animals of the farm as promised by the pigs. And while some young pigs timidly try to point out the betrayal of principles, they are intimidated into silence by growling dogs and bleating sheep.

Juxtaposing this fictional scenario alongside the tragically real scenario we've witnessed in the last four years is not a daunting task.  The driving motif, if not the defining one, of Barack Obama's administration has been the vilification of George W. Bush and the other rich fat cats with whom he'd been swindling the American people of their hard-earned wealth. The purpose of these efforts is to construct a new, redistributive economic machine in America that would "spread the wealth around" and "be good for everybody." Of course, like the windmill, the construction of that machine has been slow, inefficient, and oh, so costly. So like the pigs, the Obama administration is now courting the class that he had once convinced his followers is the source of America's woes -- the rich fat cats.

The upcoming and imperative Democratic National Convention has run into some snags in collecting the $36.6 million necessary to pay for it, particularly within the confines of the party rhetoric. Looking to capture what's left of the intensity from the Occupy farce, party leaders have promoted the event with a "no rich-guys except politicians" theme, initially promising "to refuse donations from corporations, lobbyists, or other special interest groups." 

"But living up to these self-imposed rules is proving more difficult than party leaders expected," the Washington Free Beacon reports.  "Local sources say the DNC is approaching wealthy Bank of America executives in an effort to unload some of its premier convention packages," some of which cost upwards of $1 million.

These executives are reported to have been shocked at the "audacity of this proposition." And should they be otherwise? Bank of America has been a particular target of Obama's attacks against financial institutions. And as rich executives, they've been painted as villains in a public smear campaign orchestrated by Obama's administration, so we can't blame them for being surprised at the invitation to attend the public event.

But as shocking as that must be for every executive who gets a call from the White House inviting them to the DNC, one would have to imagine it would be utterly disillusioning to Obama's supporters.  His flock, many of whom proudly call themselves "the 99%" regardless of whether they've attended an Occupy protest, have come to view him as a vindicator of the people, sent to take down the evil corporations and lobbies that had for far too long looked down upon the masses.  Now, Obama is inviting the 1% over for dinner to sit in skyboxes overlooking, yet among, the masses that wholeheartedly adhere to the party line.

There is a lesson here that will undoubtedly be lost on Obama's minions that scream and cheer at the DNC.  Yes, they have been betrayed on the level of their deepest principles, but he will take to the stage, and he will continue selling his followers on the dream of the "windmill" -- that perfect economic machine where the government sees to it that rich pay more, the poor get more, and everyone is happy.  After all, that's what the DNC is for, and why he's courting these rich guys in the first place -- to ensure that he can continue building it for the good of the whole.  And that will be good enough for the indoctrinated, just as it is for the animals on Orwell's farm. 

But the rest of us looking on know that there is no windmill, and there never will be for the same reason Orwell's animals never see its completion.  There exists an economic reality that believers in such nonsense overlook.  A ruling body cannot administrate happiness. As our founders knew, the best a ruling class can do is allow individuals to seek it without trying to manipulate those individuals as one would the cogs of a machine. 

We can only hope that this truth holds more weight with voters this year than Utopian fallacies, and that reason can drown out the growling dogs in the media and the bleating sheep in Obama's corner. 

William Sullivan blogs at: He can now be followed on Twitter.