Commenter “janetoo” asked a good question in the thread about Obama’s Cuba “negotiations”:
What I want to know is this: what is Obama’s end game? What does he want from all this discourse with our enemies?
My answer, which I will expand on a bit now, was this:
The transformation of America, just as he said. He wants to transform it by weakening it and its allies, and strengthening its enemies (particularly those on the left), and he wants to do it so thoroughly that there’s no turning back.
It’s easier to wreck than to build. A president whose attitude towards this country and its power is malignant, who has the support of the press (as Obama has most of the time), and who is immune from worrying about any election consequences (which he is now), can do a lot of damage in the two years he has remaining.
His motive is both ideological and personal. His ideology is leftist, his methods Alinskyite plus Orwellian rhetoric. He knows the attitude of the press towards him, plus his race, has made him immune from the usual checks and balances.
Some think he is also a closet Muslim, and that is part of it. I don’t know; that has never seemed quite right to me, although he does identify with Muslims because of his upbringing. I see him as an agnostic or atheist, however, who sees religion as a prop to use politically, rather than a believer of any sort.
Why does he want revenge on the US? Dinesh D’Souza has a theory about anti-colonialism that may have some validity, but I’m not at all sure about that one either, not as the leading motivator anyway. Leftism (and even liberalism, as I’ve observed it in recent years) involves hatred of America in general and seeing it as the source of much of the grief in the world. When I write “as I’ve observed” I’m not just talking about Obama or the more leftist members of Congress, I’m also talking about my relatively non-political friends and acquaintances who trash America with a certain kneejerk regularity. That attitude, writ large and augmented by true venom, appears to be the viewpoint Obama holds.
Obama could never have gotten elected if he’d been upfront about this in 2008. And even though discerning people realized it in 2008, and more realized it by 2012, even then not enough were paying close attention and/or not enough were discerning enough. Obama knows that, and was counting on it. Obama is the first president who didn’t merely disappoint and fail to follow through on certain issues, but who fundamentally lied about who he was in the most basic sense, and about what he had planned (sometimes he was just vague; “hope and change” doesn’t tell you what the hope is for or what the change is to).
I challenge you to find a president who offered a more basic lie about the self than this one from Obama in 2008, for example:
The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.
I called it a lie. But it was not necessarily a lie, it may have been one of those cleverly ironic hidden Orwellian messages. From David Bernstein at Volokh:
Some foolish voters thought that Obama meant that the big problem was that George Bush was bringing more and more power into the executive branch and not go[ing] through Congress. In fact, Obama obviously meant that the big problem was George Bush bringing more and more power into the executive branch and not go[ing] through Congress. So Obama kept his promise. George Bush is no longer bringing more and more power into the executive branch and ignoring Congress. President Obama is.
Here’s another comment worth discussing:
Sometimes I think we give Obama too much credit. He wouldn’t be able to transform America if she hadn’t already been teetering on the edge. He was just the right guy at the right time. If he was as talented as people make him out to be, what he is doing wouldn’t be so obvious (to those not willfully blind).
I completely agree that Obama took advantage of already-existing weaknesses, many of them the result of the left’s Gramscian march through our institutions (education, media, entertainment, religion, etc.).
But he is also politically brilliant, or at least very very smart. Politics is his focus and almost nothing else, and in that regard he has finessed his opposition nearly every time.
Even the 2014 election meant absolutely nothing to him in terms of his ability to wreak havoc. He has understood that a very audacious president can trump Congress every time unless they have the votes to override his veto. Most of the time when government is split and the president is one party and Congress another, Congress lacks a supermajority. Previous presidents in that position have been more interested than Obama in public opinion and catering to it, in part because of fear of impeachment, in part because they are patriots, in part because they care about the election prospects of fellow party members, in part because of fear of the press’s criticism. Obama has no such reservations, and thereby exposed a weakness in our entire system of government (a weakness the Founders realized was there, but which was unavoidable).
And by the way, what Obama is doing still doesn’t seem to be obvious to the majority of people, although they may have some vague sense of unease and disapproval. The rest approve, because they believe the ends justifies the means.