Gerald Warner: Rhetoric can’t disguise emptiness at heart of Obama’s presidency

President Barack Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Picture: Getty
President Barack Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Picture: Getty
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THERE is something morbidly mesmerising about watching a great nation in the grip of a power-crazed but incompetent charlatan.

Intelligent observers overseas must have regarded Britain in that light during the Blair regime, though the overwhelming majority of foreigners fell for the hype as moronically as British voters. The inauguration of Barack Obama last week was a similar spectacle, though the glitter has faded on this latest political imposter faster than it did in Blair’s case. The wheels are coming off the Obama bandwagon: last week saw Hillary Clinton rolling downhill, crazily bouncing off ­obstacles, impelled on her way by a kick from Senator Rand Paul.

Obama’s Second Coming was a less dramatic event than his coronation in January 2009. The BBC reported his speech as irenic and bipartisan, so one knew immediately – so quickly are British listeners developing the interpretative skills employed by East European helots listening to Moscow Radio circa 1951 – that it was violently partisan, aggressively ideological and sneeringly contemptuous of infidels who do not share the Frankfurt Marxist agenda. The BBC broadcast a religious service the previous day in honour of Obama’s inauguration, confirming that in the demented mindset of the dysfunctional Corporation, the Chicago political ­huckster has attained apotheosis. His great weakness, however, is that he has no sense of the ridiculous: if his rhetoric ­becomes any more inflated he will levitate.

“Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword,” he borrowed from Abraham Lincoln (a fellow snake-oil marketing executive) – guess who had a ­private showing in the White House of Spielberg’s latest opus. Behind the corny soundbites the message amounted to: “I have the train set to play with for the next four years; I cannot stand for election again so I no longer have to pay lip service to public opinion; and my agenda is to employ a scorched-earth policy in destroying everything that characterises traditional America. My fellow Americans – spin on this.” Obama’s second term is designed to be the ideological equivalent of Sherman’s March to the Sea.

Or would have been, if he controlled Congress. “We will respond to the threat of climate change.” So now he is going to regulate, presumably by presidential executive order, solar activity; the last leader on the American continent who aspired to that feat was an Inca emperor. If he proposes to operate through the humbler medium of a renewed Cap-and-Trade Bill he will fail, as the Democrats did even with a Senate ­super-majority, now lost. The US liberal mainstream media like to pretend that ­extremists have taken over the Republican Party, while ignoring the real-life hijacking of the Democratic Party by the political wing of the Tooth Fairy Tendency. Even Bill Clinton acknowledged the need for entitlement reform; now, any such suggestion would be regarded as fascist individualism (yes indeed, but when did any liberal ­notion ever have intellectual coherence?).

House Speaker John Boehner has revealed that the President recently told him: “We don’t have a spending problem.” (He can’t be taking his medication.) Hell, no, just a small-change increase in America’s debt, racked up exclusively on Obama’s watch, of more than $5 trillion. No US president has ever presided over such an increase – not even Dubya over eight years.

Not that sordid financial statistics, or jobs, or other sublunary distractions from green energy and enshrining same-sex marriage as a constitutional right intruded greatly into this inaugural speech. It was understandably short on foreign ­policy too, though we already know the programme for the second term: bullying Third World countries into embracing abortion, homosexuality and any other “equality” issue, while deferring to larger powers. Obama memorably assured Vladimir Putin he would be more ­“flexible” in his second term.

Meanwhile, at a Senate hearing, the “brilliant” outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reeling from evasion to half-truth on the Benghazi debacle, with sadistic Rand Paul dipping her pigtails in the inkwell and pulling the head off her rag doll. The B-word will return increasingly to haunt the Obama administration. La Clinton is to be succeeded by John 
Kerry who, like all failed presidential hopefuls, is being reinvented as “respected”, “veteran” and “statesman”. Unfortunately, to some of us, he still looks as much like the weirdo in the upstairs apartment who keeps lizards as he did during his presidential bid.

The ultimate test of Obama’s failing grip on reality will come if he takes on the NRA on gun control. They could sell ­tickets for that match. Four years ago it was possible to feel sympathy for American voters who had been deceived by this charlatan; but this time round they voted, if narrowly, knowing what was in the tin. So hell mend them, but God help the rest of the world. «

Twitter: @GeraldWarner1