A New Chorus for the Mob
"Pass this bill!"
Have you been keeping count of how many times since The Jobs Speech you've heard Obama and his team repeat that command?
The day after Obama's address, the blogosphere lit up with links to National Journal's video "remix" highlighting the multiple times he said some form of that phrase during his 30-plus minutes of what seemed to be campaigning on the Congressional podium.
"Pass this bill!"
That was just the beginning. In the days since, Obama, his staff, and other Democrats continue to pound "Pass this bill!" in our eardrums nonstop.
While forcing myself to sit still and listen to Obama's jobs speech, every time I heard him repeat some form of "pass this bill," I alternated between embarrassment for him and anger at him. At times he sounded like a frustrated preschool teacher admonishing us to "Sit still now!" (Could he see me fidgeting, pacing and throwing things at the TV?) And I was annoyed that he dared to treat his audience like we were just that -- preschoolers needing repetitive, simple phrases to understand his message.
And then I recalled Ann Coulter's brilliant opening chapter in her new book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America. (Most of the remainder of the book is equally amazing, and I only say "most" because I although I heartily agreed with her logic, I thoroughly disagreed with her sidetrack in a couple of chapters that slammed the "birthers," as I wrote about here.)
When Demonic was first released, The Daily Caller published the first chapter in its entirety. Read the whole thing. And the next time you hear another politician or pundit rant, "Pass this bill" or some other slogan, you will recognize the timely wisdom of Ann Coulter.
You see, Obama wasn't telling Congress to "pass this bill." He was simply teaching a new chorus to the mob.
In Demonic, Coulter explains that liberals behave like a mob. Citing Gustave Le Bon, "the first to identify the phenomenon of mass psychology" and his book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, she writes:
All the characteristics of mob behavior set forth by Le Bon in 1895 are evident in modern liberalism...extreme black-and-white thinking...inability to follow logical arguments...a religious worship of their leaders, and a blind hatred of their opponents.
Many of liberals' peculiarities are understandable only when one realizes that they are a mob. For example, a crowd's ability to grasp only the simplest ideas is reflected in the interminable slogans...
Conservatives don't cotton to slogans. When they finally produce one, it's never the sort of rallying cry capable of sending people to the ramparts, such as "Yes We Can!" or "Bush Lied, Kids Died!" "27 Million Americans Can't Be Wrong" is a wry observation, not an urgent call to battle...
Conservatives write books and articles, make arguments, and seek debates, but are perplexed by slogans.
We're also amused by them.
Liberals have produced, by the hundreds, slogans that fit perfectly on bumper stickers. Most conservative writers have a hard time condensing an idea into an article under 1200 words.
Coulter adds: "By contrast, liberals thrive on jargon as a substitute for thought."
Conservatives have discussed and published multiple articles and in-depth analyses on the proposed jobs bill across the media and the blogosphere, and typically, liberals have responded with more slogans and phrases, including "pay their fair share," "the rrrich," and "moms are late for football practice," supported by the usual straw men.
We can only wonder how much time Obama spent during his Martha's Vineyard vacation practicing the proper voice inflection and facial expressions to go with the phrase "Pass this bill!" although he once humbly admitted he does "have a gift, Harry."
I read that Aldous Huxley's Brave New World was on Obama's reading list for that "working" vacation. I picked up a copy myself, and was interested to read the following passage in Huxley's analysis, "Brave New World Revisited":
In their propaganda today's dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization -- the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in the interests of the Party or the State.
We don't know whether the brave, new and fundamentally transformed America of Obama's dreams would install him as "dictator," but his physical demeanor doesn't exactly emit an air of humble servitude, his community organizing has been firmly grounded on the "arousal of passions," and his speeches certainly include lots of "catchwords."
"Yes we can."
"Winning the Future."
"Pass this bill."
Don't read it first, analyze it, or think about it. Just pass it with "the fierce urgency of now." Then we can find out what's in it.
So if you really love Obama, you'll help him "pass this bill!"
Meanwhile, Obama and his team pass out the pitchforks.