Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Camille Paglia: an Obama fan and a devastating critic

I think I'll be adding Camille Paglia's columns in Salon.com to my reading list. Her column today is an excellent critique of the mess that Obama and his administration have made in their first 6 months in the White House. She's an entertaining writer and an astute, objective observer of the political scene, and I'd like to see a lot more Democrats like her. Below are some excerpts, but be sure to read the whole thing. And don't miss glancing through some of the violent hate mail she has received from fellow Democrats in response to the column. They will not tolerate any criticism of The One. Reason, logic, and a respect for free markets and individual liberties have gone missing from the party, and that is one reason we are witnessing a slow-motion Democratic train wreck in progress.

I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton's megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993, Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.

But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises -- or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama's aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

I just don't get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way?

As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support.

Somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills.

8 comments:

Public Library said...

"It's the economy stupid"

It does not surprise to see such left wing radical action from our President considering the extreme right wing radical action from our prior President.

America is on one serious roller coaster ride.

MW said...

"Reason, logic, and a respect for free markets and individual liberties have gone missing from the party..."

Implying they were once present? From what I can see, those values are anathema to the Left, whose philosophy seems to be based on the notions that government is better at allocating resources than the market (i.e. bureaucrats are smarter than the rest of us) and that people need saved from themselves.

Scott Grannis said...

MW: To be fair, I think economic policies in the Clinton years were decent. He was a strong advocate of free trade and that was very important. He gave full backing to the ideal of a strong dollar and an independent Fed, and for a supply-sider it doesn't get much better than that. To be sure, Congress prevented him from doing some stupid things, but by and large he respected the free market and business. He was certainly not the socialist that Obama is.

Brian said...

"...extreme right wing action from our prior president." ??? More extreme than Reagan? I respect Pres. Bush, but I would hardly call him extreme right wing...

Public Library said...

Brian, the mere fact you respect Bush is answer enough for me.

CDLIC said...

Public Library,

What is your definition of "left wing radical actions" and "extreme right wing radical action" other than replying our present and prior President. I want to become calibrated as to how you define things.

Brian said...

Public Library:
More to the right than Reagan? Bush, who signed onto expanded medicare prescription coverage and the government bloating stimulus plan?

From a Differemt Angle said...

This "left wing vs. right wing birdie" that each of you are pounding out in a badminton game of name calling is beneath all of you. This is not a third grade school yard frenzy. I mention third grade, since that's where Ms. Florence gave us out first lesson in tactics used by people who chose to appeal to your emotions and illogic vs. treating you with respect and providing data and reason regarding the issues irrespective of the author. The namecalling, yellow press, and innuendos, tag you not as folks that are working to solve a problem, but alas as adults that appear not to have grown up.