My latest is up at PJ Media - another gangbusters article about the paranoid right and how some of their beliefs have entered the mainstream of conservative Obama critiques. This is especially true of the “Obama is deliberately trying to destroy the country” theme that is so prevalent on the right.
One of the most confounding critiques of President Obama from the right has been the expressed belief that the president of the United States has deliberately initiated policies that he knew would injure the economy and the country. In short, Barack Obama wants to destroy America.
Several different motivations are given for this traitorous behavior. Rush Limbaugh thinks it’s because Obama wants as much of the population as possible to fall into dependency on government, thus giving Democrats a permanent majority because everyone knows poor people vote Democratic. Others believe it’s because the president is a socialist/Communist and in order to remake America, it must first be destroyed.
Darker conspiracies that combine the most paranoid parts of the birther narrative with Cold War revanchist nightmares involving a plot line ripped from the film The Manchurian Candidate (the sublime Frank Sinatra version, not the Denzel Washington turkey) provide a little comic relief to the dourness of the subject matter. Obama as the unholy offspring of Frank Davis or Malcolm X, groomed from birth by the international Communist conspiracy to become leader of the free world, programmed to remake America into a Marxist dictatorship, gives the entire proposition of Obama as Destroyer of America a slightly hysterical tinge.
Thankfully, most on the right don’t go quite that far over the cliff in positing the notion that President Obama has deliberately set out to bring America down. Still, there is a desperate paranoia at work among some conservatives if one were to take the notion seriously that this president — any president — would purposefully set the nation on a course where America’s destruction would be the end result. In order to believe that proposition, you have to also believe that the president is not just an incompetent, indecisive, empty suit in way over his head as chief executive, but that he is the personification of evil.
Conservative film critic, talk show host, and political commentator Michael Medved recently penned an article for the Wall Street Journal that attempted to address this phenomenon and place it in a realistic political context:
None of the attacks on Mr. Obama’s intentions offers an even vaguely plausible explanation of how the evil genius, once he has ruined our “strength, influence and standard of living,” hopes to get himself re-elected.
I also take conservatives to task for believing in the Cloward-Piven nonsense as well as thinking that the White House is following the Saul Alinksy playbook found in Rules for Radicals. Both critiques descend into the paranoid conspiracy level by making the claim that Obama wants to destroy America.
As you can imagine, I am getting slammed in the comments. Apparently, I am some sort of liberal Obama-lover. This points up a related issue for those conservatives who go off the reservation and think as I do; we are accused of not hating Obama enough.
We can strenuously oppose his policies, even think him personally arrogant, incompetent, narcissistic, and in over his head. That doesn’t matter to the paranoids. Unless you hate the president with every fiber of your being - and believe the absolute worst about his motives - your fealty to conservatism is openly questioned.
Is this a way to judge someone’s philosophy? If you’re a right wing fanatical hater of Obama, I guess so.
I take comfort in the fact that I am smarter, prettier, richer, and more grounded in objective reality than most of my critics.