Skip to comments.After Obama Fails
Posted on 06/18/2009 3:38:48 AM PDT by Man50D
A failed presidency for Barack Obama could turn into liberalism's worst nightmare. Barely six months into his term, the 44th president has succeeded in generating the most widespread and serious discussion of secession since the Civil War. Despite what Newsweek's Evan Thomas may claim, Obama is not the "God" who will bring us together but the autocratic sponsor of an overbearing, oppressive leviathan from which a growing number of Americans are seeking refuge.
That refuge, according to author Paul Starobin, will come in the form of several regional republics that reflect the diverse character of Americans no longer bound in any meaningful way by our unrecognizable Federal government. In a riveting exploration of America 's coming breakup, Starobin writes in a recent Wall Street Journal article:
"Picture an America that is run not, as now, by a top-heavy Washington autocracy but, in freewheeling style, by an assemblage of largely autonomous regional republics reflecting the eclectic economic and cultural character of the society."
Starobin chronicles in fascinating detail the historical basis for America 's future balkanization. He provides a snapshot of today's most viable and vocal secessionist organizations. Starobin goes on to argue that the overbearing and stifling "Obama planners and their ilk" will probably be doomed to fail in a land replete with the Jeffersonian impulse of radical self-determination. Obama's extreme power grab, in other words, will cause a correspondingly extreme backlash:
"All of this adds up to a federal power grab that might make even FDR's New Dealers blush. But that's just the point: Not surprisingly, a lot of folks in the land of Jefferson are taking a stand against an approach that stands to make an indebted citizenry yet more dependent on an already immense federal power. The backlash, already under way, is a prime stimulus for a neo-secessionist movement, the most extreme manifestation of a broader push for some form of devolution."
By focusing most of his attention on how big unwieldy entities devolve into creative little ones, Starobin's analysis misses however the more direct personal role Barack Obama himself has played in fracturing America.
Back in March of last year for example New York Times columnist Roger Cohen told his audience he could "understand the rage" of Obama's former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Without missing a beat Cohen then concluded in his essay that the "clamoring now in the United States for a presidency that uplifts rather than demeans is a reflection of the intellectual desert of the Bush years."
Has Barack Obama's been an "uplifting" presidency? Mr. Obama knew full well that his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, dismissed the test results of white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut, entitled to promotion but denied because they were of the wrong race. Surely her decision is demeaning to both white males and to those who study diligently for exams. Did the black firefighters feel uplifted or demeaned when Sotomayor ruled in their favor? Was the New Haven firehouse more unified or more divided after Sotomayor's ruling? Was Obama's Sotomayor choice uplifting or demeaning?
Indeed, from the Sotomayor pick and anti-business rhetoric to the endless lecturing about America 's sins, Mr. Obama is starting to sound a lot like his former pastor. To be sure Obama is not as grating and shrill as Mr. Wright but closer to something more like Jeremiah-lite. In other words, Mr. Obama's strategy seems to be to convince Americans to drink his socialist tonic out of sheer guilt. I'm not sure what is so inspiring about all of this.
Maybe this is why Starobin claims to be witnessing a lot of neo-secessionist activity. Wouldn't a new American devolution however be a liberal's worst nightmare? Beyond the psychosis most liberals would have to endure at the thought of losing any kind of control, the prospect of vibrant, happy, and successful conservative republics in places like Texas, South Carolina or Utah would be an inescapable spotlight forever exposing the failure of liberal ideology in a Republic of California.
But this brings up another problem. When the framers of the American Constitution favored a multi-state solution to the problem of centralized tyranny they argued that an additional benefit would be that each state could become a unique laboratory displaying the policy successes and failures to its neighbors. If the Republic of Texas chooses a classics curriculum for its youngsters, celebrates the family and tradition in its media, encourages personal responsibility in lieu of a nanny state, rewards citizens on the basis of merit, is tough on criminals, sends its politicians home after brief excursions to the capitol, is business friendly and generally leaves its citizens alone, how are those controlling the politically liberal Republics like California going to react?
What most liberals fail to understand is that their leisurely dabbling in progressive politics and moral equivalency is made possible by the existence of accumulated conservative moral capital. Remove the conservative anchor and progressive societies become dangerously seasick. I guess the lesson here is that liberals need conservatives more than conservatives need liberals (although society needs them on occasion). There is much in progressive ideology that simply seeks to undermine -- a strange method of establishing an identity.
While reading "A Little History of the World" to my kids the other day I came across an interesting observation by the author, E.H. Gombrich:
"Because the Egyptians were so wise and so powerful their empire lasted for a very long time. Longer than any empire the world has ever known: nearly three thousand years. And they took just as much care of their corpses, when they preserved them from rotting away, in preserving all their ancient traditions over the centuries. Their priests made quite sure that no son did anything his father had not done before him. To them, everything old was sacred."
When Obama fails it will be because he's convinced enough Americans to tire, as he has, of what used to be known as "America." Imagine what would have happened in Egypt had their priests adopted "liberation theology" rather than the standard of their fathers. A mere footnote in the pages of history.
Like a penny in a fusebox, Obama’s too big to fail.
Something is going to blow. Whether it’s secession or outright revolution or something in between is anyone’s guess, but the United States as we once knew it is over, and only a cataclysmic action will be able to restore it, and neither secession nor revolution is that cataclysmic. Hence, the America anyone over the age of fifty remembers is no more.
I would love a new America that covers the Southeast and includes Texas, Oklahoma and Kanasas. Oh and we get Alaska as well.
This is one of the reasons that Europe and the West in general raced ahead of China. No oppressive centralization. China had central control, their very alphabet was designed to work across all dialects and languages, which when spoken, could not be understood, but when written down, anyone in the kingdom could understand anyone else.
Europe was always pulling in 100 different directions, so if something was not allowed in one locality, you simply moved to someplace where it was allowed, and like today, you still have more freedom in Europe than in America, just not all in the same place.
The Obamunists are going to screw down the lid tight, and the steam is already building.
What most liberals fail to understand is that their leisurely dabbling in progressive politics and moral equivalency is made possible by the existence of accumulated conservative moral capital. Remove the conservative anchor and progressive societies become dangerously seasick. I guess the lesson here is that liberals need conservatives more than conservatives need liberals (although society needs them on occasion).
I wholeheartedly agree.
Cataclysmic change is in the works, how or when it all plays out is anybody's guess, but Obamunism is steering our leaky boat right into the storm, and it's looking like "The Perfect Storm".
Ping for homw reading.
FR is composed of older people raised in different times. Most young Americans are thumbsuckers, and saps for drivel coming from the media. There are not a lot of government minimalists among the young generation.
The common thinking among them is that government has to be better run, not that it should be tasked for fewer things. The latter is a foreign concept, and not even seriously considered.
I fear you are correct.
Not only the truth, but a simple talking point when talking to brain dead liberals.
The occasions where society needs liberals eludes me....and I'm willing to try, despite the warning....
If the Republic of Texas chooses a classics curriculum for its youngsters,
How about being even more radical?
What if Texas complete privatized the education of its children and youth.
Just had to respond. I'm 52, and back when I was a young teenager, I had a pump action, single shot .22 caliber Crossman pellet rifle. Very powerful for an air gun, with a beautiful wood stock. It looked just like any other hunting rifle, especially when I had my scope on it. Any way, I used to go target practicing quite often in the nearby woods, and mind you, I'm in north east Massachusetts, so we're not talking about the boondocks here. I used to walk down the main drag with that rifle, on my way to the woods, and the cops would never bother me. They'd just drive by. Of course, I knew how to carry a weapon correctly, from an NRA Safe Hunter's Course, since I was about eight or nine, and as I said, so long as you weren't swinging it around by the barrel, the cops would just leave you alone. I never had a problem, ever. Not from the Police, not any neighbor. No one.
Now, forgetaboutit. Stuff like that is a thing of the past and won't likely ever come back. Too bad. I had a ball doing it and it was good prep for shooting expert in the Marines.
I'll tel you what, I wouldn't want to be a kid growing up now. I'm glad I was able to experience some real constitutional freedoms.
Yep, definitely don't like what's happening to my country...
I have first hand experience in doing battle with Libertation Theology proponents while I lived in NM. (in the early 1980's)
Liberation Theology = Communism in a religious wrapper
This is exactly how the Sandanista's came to power in Nicaragua, but infiltrating an element of the Catholic Church there. (over the extreme condemnation of the Pope)
FR is pretty mixed. Lots of folks under 40 here. Your later statement is true. We just finished a 26 year run where the majority voted consistently for smaller government, lower taxes, and strong foreign policy. Surveys show this has not changed in philosophy, but it has changed in voting behavior.
I believe now that every generation needs a Carter to teach us what failure is. The question is whether the political/media machine in place right now can maintain public opinion long enough to keep a majority Dem party through the 2010 mid terms and give Obama a 2nd term. If they can hold enough people ignorant to give them another 2-6 years, we are screwed. If not, our ideas will prevail as usual.
What is brewing is a bit more explosive than steam.
Not so fast! What about the blue counties and cities in the red states? Have you noticed that one of Utah's representatives is a Democrat? ( Thanks to Salt Lake City.)
Even within the red states there is quite a bit of tension between the inner cities and the suburbs and rural areas.
If you're right, then for the first time in his life, obama is fully qualified for the role that has fallen in his lap.
“The common thinking among them is that government has to be better run, not that it should be tasked for fewer things. The latter is a foreign concept, and not even seriously considered.”
Every generation of Americans needs to relearn this lesson. I remember the 70’s well. The performance of the left (which dominated US politics far more than it does now—much of that supported by callow youngsters), created the groundwork for the Reagan revolution.
It’s like saying cancer is needed every once in a while...Progressives are a cancer on a free society...and it’s time to remove the tumor.
Every generation of Americans needs to relearn this lesson. I remember the 70s well.
I graduated from my graduate school in 1979 smack into double digit inflation, and burdened with unexpected debt. While in school my tuition increased 500% ( Yep! From $1,000 a year to $5,000). I went to the bank to see about a loan for starting a practice and was told the interest rate would be 21%. Even as things improved we still paid 15% on our home in 1982.
Remember the gas rationing and “even and odd” days?
I never voted for a Democrat again. And....May God bless the memory of Ronald Reagan.
It is unfortunate that the author mentions ancient Egypt as an example. A free society is dynamic and allows for change, but usually of an ordered kind. This change is, however, organic - it comes from the people who adopt what works and reject things that don’t work. The goal of the left is a static society, like ancient Egypt, where everything is predetermined by an elite and everyone knows his place. A place where innovation is prohibited. We think of the leftists as wanting a lot of change because they want to undermine things that work (the family, education, etc.). But once they are done with the chaos of overthrowing traditional society, the left will impose a strict, inflexible Marxist orthodoxy that will not tolerate any innovation or change.
You mean, the one the founders intended?
Those riverboat boilers used to blow up quite impressively.
Agreed. The 18 to 30 year old of today doesn't remember what a disaster Jimmy Carter was. Clinton was riding the wave of tax cuts enacted by Reagan with a Republican controlled congress that hadn't totally lost their spine. This age group hasn't experienced massive inflation, high unemployment. It is foreign territory for them.
My 27 and 24 yr old kids are extremely conservative and question anything the media spits out.
The really Big Stuff blows-in (implodes) before it blows-out.
Hahahaha. Where did this myth begin that most young Americans are all liberals? I’m younger than thirty.
Most of the liberals are the older people. Just look at the protests over the ‘Iraq War’. Bunch of old hippies had to go out with walkers.
The misconception that younger people being liberal is due to polls on college campuses which are dominated by women. Most young people don’t really care about voting anyway. All those young people that were supposed to show up in 2008 never did so.
There are only two main differences I see with young people. The first is that, unlike most liberals, they have no faith in Social Security or Medicare. They are for reforming Social Security. This is huge. FDR’s hold is finally broken.
Second, the education of young people is from an era of the Industrial Revolution. The problem is that we are now in the Silicon Revolution. The expensive university degrees are not going to lead anywhere. Many young people are frustrated. Frustration often has them end up wanting to dissolve themselves into a ‘mass movement’.
The first reason shows why there will be no long term liberal future. A good example of this phenomenon is in Europe as young people see the fraud of Socialism and don’t want to live their lives support old people. The second reason illustrates how young frustrated people can be easily manipulated.
However, mass movements cut both ways. When people got tired of being Nazis, they became Communists. When they got tired of being Communists, they became Anti-Communists. You get the picture. When Paul got tired of persecuting Christians, he became the most pious ‘believer’ of that faith.
In the long term, young people will end up siding against the government due to Social Security et all which they ALL understand. They don’t want to be taxed to pay for baby boomers.
Older people should stop being pessimistic (including Rush Limbaugh). America’s best days are ahead of it. Do you think greater than 50% of people being Pro-Life might have something to do with the young people? Do you think the destruction of newspapers and unions has something to do with young people?
Always remember that the mission of Barack Obama is to recreate the past. It is no mistake of why he is using Industrial Age era rhetoric. However, that time is long past. Such sayings are not working anymore.
Obama is liked only because of his personality. People disagree with his policies. Presidents are chosen more based on their personality (such as Clinton).
The big, big problem with Obama is that he has no grassroots. He has grassblades, but not grassroots. He didn’t get to his position in office based on the popularity of his policies. He got there by no one knowing what he stood for and him actively lying about what he was going to do.
Obama thinks that the President’s relationship to the people is like that of the potter and the clay. He will MOLD people to be what he wants! He literally believes life, liberty, and society exist because politicians made laws (instead of acknowledging the opposite, that politicians made laws because life, liberty, and society existed beforehand).
People love the teleprompter. But nothing Obama is doing is making him any popular but the opposite. Obama isn’t changing any minds on his policies. He isn’t going to reshape anything.
Obama Presidency will be, to historians, a classic example of rejection of Rousseau in Lockean America.
Because of your influence most likely. Way too many of our young are buying into going into debt to be brain washed by our progressive controlled colleges. Then the real world hits.
Please include Nebraska also! We are a red state and don’t want to be left with the liberal losers!
ping for later read
“He will appear to be a man of distinguished character, but will ultimately become a king of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23). With imperious decree he will facilitate a one-world government, universal religion, and global socialism. Those who refuse his New World Order will inevitably be imprisoned or destroyed until at last he exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thess. 2:4).”
I wonder how you, or anyone else here, thinks it is going to be "removed." The problem is that a huge number of people here believe they are "entitled" and they are not going to go away until and unless food distribution stops here. (I'm not talking about distribution to soup kitchens. I'm talking about distribution period.) When things begin to break down the government will probably be the last distributor and they will continue for as long as possible to distribute to the entitled. It will be a crime to hoard food. The end won't be pretty.
Two words: Term Limits. Why Franklin didn’t convince Jefferson and Madison of this is beyond me. I believe they just never dreamed of career politicians.
you touched on some very interesting points.
I think his popularity is largely due to his cult of personality. As soon as the conservatives (note I didn’t say Republicans) figure out a way to market their platform I think they will be a winner. I remember back to being a college student and thinking that the last thing I wanted to be was a robot following the dictates of “the system”. To be conservative in this climate is to be a true rebel and that is how we have to market this movement. We do not want to be molded/ we are not lumps of clay!
That’s the whole point of globalism. We will have nowhere to go if they succeed.
Just do not surrender your guns, under any circumstances.
They represent the last battlefield for Americans.
The people in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia regretted doing it prior to being killed.
The South Shall Rise Again!
Because of SR media snowjobberol, vote fraud, and a dumbed-down electorate.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.