Obama's Dying Vision: The Only Card in the Democratic Deck
As the Democratic Party continues to scrum ahead of the 2018 midterm elections – and ultimately the 2020 presidential election – Democrats of all stripes are eager to see who will be squeezed out of the pack and step up to articulate some kind of unified Progressive vision to challenge the Trump presidency.
Yet, even at this late date, Democrats appear rudderless and out of ideas – still clinging to their relentless intifada of resistance to shake off Donald Trump's occupation of the American government. As this approach hasn't proven to be an altogether winning strategy, recently, the DNC brain trust announced their intention to enlist the advice of Hollywood writers, directors, and producers to craft Tinseltown-style messaging in the hope of generating Democratic victories. Given the four-letter tirades of Robert De Niro, the vulgar tweets of Peter Fonda, the nightly broadsides of talk show hosts, and the rallying cries and rants of entertainment elites everywhere, the Hollywood message is loud and clear and can be reduced to two words: F--- you!
What Democrats don't seem to understand is that Hollywood is not a "messaging" apparatus, nor is parading Trump-hating celebrities into the spotlight a winning substitute for a clear enunciation of what the Democratic Party stands for and whom it represents. Let us not forget the bawdy conga line of Hollywood royalty who stepped up noisily during Hillary's 2016 campaign – and delivered nothing. Employing a "long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." approach to a TV political ad or get-out-the-vote appeal bereft of a lucid, straightforward liberal message is, as former Democratic Texas governor Ann Richards once remarked, like this: "you can put lipstick on a hog and call it Monique, but it is still a pig."
The truth is, the Democrats have no message. There is no vision. There is no agenda. There is no Democratic counter to "Make America Great Again." Nor is there a leader to voice such a vision and stamp it with his imprimatur if there were one.
And therein lies the rub. Who is the leader of the Democratic Party? Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Perez, Ellison, Sanders, Clinton, Gillibrand, Feinstein, Warren, Durbin, Booker, Waters? This is a motley crew, to say the least, and hardly visionaries, and nary a one who has an electable, national cachet that can inspire transformative change.
Curiously, one name is absent: the Democrat who is the architect of the American anti-capitalist movement and the godfather of the ongoing anti-Trump resistance – former president Barack Obama.
Make no mistake: Barack Obama is still the supreme head of the Democratic Party, and his radical reconfiguring of America remains the sole Democratic vision: redistribution of wealth through vilification and increased taxation of the rich; control of America's production through executive orders and regulations; expansion of the welfare state through entitlements, identity politics, and social realignment; foreign policy through apology and appeasement; and economic equality through racial enmity and class conflict.
Since his college days and perhaps even before, Obama has doggedly sought to reconstruct America from an individual rights-based society where government is answerable to moral law to a left-wing, European-style social state where the individual and his achievements are subordinate to the collective good and the authority of government. According to Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, "Obama has made concerted efforts to hide his socialist convictions from the voters who put him in office. Had the American public known the truth, Obama would never have risen to the U.S. Senate, much less the presidency. That sort of systematic deception corrodes democracy itself."
Or as Jonah Goldberg characterized it in the National Review after Obama's first term, "[t]he president thinks America would be better off if it was no longer America."
To achieve that end, what better fuel to run his collectivist engine than on America's greatest sin: racism? In speech after speech at home and abroad (so much for politics stopping at the water's edge); in Rose Garden press conferences with foreign dignitaries; even at the dais of the United Nations, President Obama rarely missed an opportunity to portray America as a place stained with bigotry, injustice, and discrimination. Along the way, he managed to slander and discredit virtually every institution in our society – the police system, the criminal justice system, the educational system, the economic system, the judicial system, the corporate system, not to mention racist malignancies in employment, opportunity, housing, entertainment, sports...even the words we use.
As a result, the Obama Vision has wrought an America deeply fractured along political and racial lines with a measure of animus not seen since the 1950s – an America where racial and ethnic identity are the primary elements to an individual's self-worth and sense of himself. In the process, Obama has systematically institutionalized the concept of white racism as a felony, while black or other "colored" forms of racism are declarations of cultural pride and legitimate responses to oppression – which whites can never understand and aren't truly racist because minorities lack political power.
As reported by Politico, in an attempt to reconstitute his vision from the devastating Clinton defeat, as far back as early last year, Obama has been conducting secret one-on-one meetings in his D.C. office in the World Wildlife Fund building – holding court with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Deval Patrick, Chris Coons, Eric Holder, Harry Reid, et. al. Even lesser lights like Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana mayor; Jason Kander, 2016 Missouri Senate candidate (lost); Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti; and former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu have all sat at Obama's knee and sought counsel.
But the sad truth is that Obama's unfulfilled strategy of "fundamentally transforming the United States of America" along racial and collectivist lines is in free fall and has engendered the current ugly Democratic lurch to the far left – where every slight, every hurt, every grief, every rainy day elicits cries of "racist" and "Nazi" and is a call for a national dialogue, a special counsel, or an independent investigation.
Given this trajectory and with no unifying Democratic leader on the horizon with a developed political agenda, President Donald Trump will continue to dismantle the Obama Vision like Hal the Computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey – and Democrats will soon find themselves singing "Daisy" all the way to the mid-terms and beyond.