Far-left ide­ol­ogy tri­umphs

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

It is now clear that the far left ide­o­log­i­cal side of Pres­i­dent Obama has tri­umphed over his Chicago ma­chine per­sona. Saul Alin­sky has won out over Mayor Richard Da­ley.

Po­lit­i­cal ma­chines are all about winning, which means be­ing re­spon­sive to the de­sires of their elec­torate. It means pay­ing at­ten­tion to the views and at­ti­tudes of the peo­ple.

Ide­o­logues, by con­trast, pay lip ser­vice to pop­u­lar opin­ion, but are far more in­ter­ested in sat­is­fy­ing a pre­or­dained agenda, which may or may not be sup­ported by the peo­ple. Ide­o­logues ra­tio­nal­ize this dis­con­nect by ar­gu­ing that their op­po­si­tion to con­stituents‘ views un­der­line the sheer self­less­ness of their ac­tions. Lib­er­als be­lieve in noth­ing if not the moral su­pe­ri­or­ity of their mo­tives.

Con­sider the pres­i­dent’s health care plan. The House bill that he sup­ports vi­o­lates many of his own cam­paign prom­ises. The bill raises taxes and not just on those mak­ing more than $250,000. It pro­poses ma­jor cuts in Medi­care, a pro­gram al­ready on life sup­port.

Pri­vate stud­ies and at least one gov­ern­ment study have found that the bill would not “bend the cost curve” as Mr. Obama promised. Most every­one be­lieves pas­sage of the plan would make the deficit worse, not bet­ter.

It is also mas­sively un­pop­u­lar. Ev­ery sur­vey shows the pub­lic is op­posed to this bill. Vot­ers who turned out to cast bal­lots in re­cent elec­tions in New Jer­sey and Vir­ginia, two states won by Mr. Obama just one year ago, strongly op­posed the mea­sure.

Yet the pres­i­dent and the Demo­cratic lead­er­ship re­main com­mit­ted to its pas­sage. They per­sist de­spite pub­lic op­po­si­tion, de­spite po­ten­tial cat­a­strophic loss of seats for their own party (not theirs of course).

They per­sist be­cause of a long-stand­ing ide­o­log­i­cal im­per­a­tive of left­ist Democrats that every­one ev­ery­where in Amer­ica must have gov­ern­ment-ap­proved health in­sur­ance. Never mind that most Amer­i­cans do not share the ob­jec­tive, or that the means cho­sen to achieve it are hideously ex­pen­sive. Their pre­or­dained agenda dic­tates that it must pass.

Look at the pres­i­dent’s $787 bil­lion stim­u­lus bill. Mr. Obama con­tin­ues to in­sist that it has cre­ated thou­sands of new jobs. This de­spite over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence to the con­trary, es­pe­cially the rise in un­em­ploy­ment now ex­ceed­ing 10 per­cent.

Yet, ac­cord­ing to his ide­ol­ogy, gov­ern­ment spending is the source of pros­per­ity. It must work. There­fore it has worked. It has worked so well there is not a hint of irony in the at­tempts of lib­er­als to be­gin de­bate on an­other “jobs cre­ation” bill in the dy­ing days of this ses­sion of Congress.

Fi­nally, con­sider the de­ci­sion by the ad­min­is­tra­tion to try Khalid Shaikh Mo­hammed, the mas­ter­mind of the at­tacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in a civil­ian court in New York City. Never mind that the con­sti­tu­tion­ally per­mis­si­ble al­ter­na­tive of mil­i­tary tribunals is avail­able. Never mind that the bill for such a pub­lic trial will run into the mil­lions of dol­lars for court costs, se­cu­rity and pos­si­bly force the dis­clo­sure of classified in­for­ma­tion. Never mind that Mo­hammed could ac­tu­ally walk on pro­ce­dural grounds be­cause of the harsh in­ter­ro­ga­tion meth­ods used and the lack of Mi­randa warn­ings. Never mind that a sub­stan­tial num­ber and pos­si­bly a ma­jor­ity of New York­ers op­pose this move.

Mr. Obama, the ide­o­logue, is fully in­vested in con­vinc­ing “world opin­ion” that we re­ally do care about the rule of law. As Demo­cratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Is­land put it, “We need to show that we are bet- ter than they are.”

Mr. Obama’s ide­ol­ogy de­mands that Amer­ica must con­sis­tently demon­strate good in­ten­tions to in­flu­ence world pub­lic opin­ion and the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly. That’s how he won the No­bel Peace Prize af­ter all. In “Obama World,” if Amer­i­cans don’t un­der­stand all of this, they will. They must. At least he is try­ing to make Amer­ica bet­ter.

Early in his ten­ure, the pres­i­dent jour­neyed to Capi­tol Hill for his only meet­ing to date with the House Repub­li­can cau­cus. Ac­cord­ing to one par­tic­i­pant, the pres­i­dent ac­knowl­edged that he would ac­cept be­ing a one-term pres­i­dent if he could en­act his core agenda. He is well on his way to get­ting his wish.

Frank Donatelli is chair­man of GOPAC, a cen­ter for train­ing and elect­ing new Repub­li­can leaders.

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