Obama, C.S. Lewis and The Boy Who Cried Wolf

As should be obvious, I have a number of very grave concerns about the Obama Administration.  Allow me to enumerate them:

1. Its absolute and total love affair with abortion, up to and including support for murdering children who have already been born.  In this, it expresses the sole non-negotiable core value of the Dem leadership.

2. Its obvious and deep hostility to the Catholic Church, expressed in the HHS Mandate, which aims to tell Catholics “Stay out of our bedrooms” while simultaneously frogmarching us in and forcing us to pay for what is done there.  I’m happy to stay out of everybody’ bedroom.  But don’t then stick a .45 in my ribs and make me buy your contraceptives for you.  Buy your own contraceptives.

3. Its utterly arrogant claim to be able to secretly and unilaterally decree the murder of anybody on planet earth it decides is an enemy of the state, including American citizens.

4. Its utterly arrogant claim to be able to secretly and unilaterally decree the indefinite detainment of anybody on planet earth it decides is an enemy of the state, including American citizens.

5. It is utterly arrogant for the IRS, on Obama’s watch, to be intimidating political enemies with demands that they not protest at abortion clinics and with inquiries into the content of their prayers.

6. It is utterly arrogant for the Obama administration DOJ to be leaking information to smear whistleblowers.

7. It is utterly arrogant for the Obama Administration to spy on and intimidate the press.

There are other things, but these things alone are sufficient, I believe, for anybody who cares about American liberty and about the Catholic faith to be adamantly opposed to this Administration.

Why do I mention this?  Because Peg Noonan is wondering where the outrage is about the very serious abuses of power committed on Obama’s watch that are now coming to light.  It’s not like the MSM is not covering it all over the place.  Its just that the Man in the Street is not reacting all that much.

May I gently suggest that part of the problem lies in relentless exposure to things like this 24/7/365 for five years?:

Umbrella-gate stirs outrage

Because everybody needs to have hysterics when a Marine holds an umbrella for the Prez during a speech!

Because we must all reaffirm Unit Cohesion with a Two Minute Hate About his Motor Skills and Declare His Wife a Shrew!

Because we have to have hysterics for months about the fantasy of Obama’s Kenyan birth!

Because we to have hysterics about ObamaHitler!

Because we have to have hysterics about Obama coming to confiscate a gazillion guns!

Because we have to have hysterics about the fact that Obama said “You didn’t build that” (even though he was obviously talking about things like the highway infrastructure and not the business you built)!

Because we must loudly denounce him as unmasculine and weak to reaffirm Unit Cohesion in our United Hatred of Obama!
Because we must hate him since he is just plain stupid and a tool of the Jews!
Because we must have hysterics that he is secretly a Muslim and hates the Jews!
Because we must have hysterics that in addition to being a devout Muslim, he is also an atheistic Communist!
Because we must have hysterics that Obama is sending a subliminal message to America, which he hates!
….and on and on and on, 24/7/365 for five solid years.  Dip into FB on any given day and there is a shining and unbroken stream of this stuff.

Here’s the thing, Peg: the Right Wing Noise Machine’s relentless habit of dialing up every. single. gripe about Obama to 11 results in Boy Who Cried Wolf syndrome for the average non-political man on the street who has long ago tuned out the hysterics and therefore has trouble telling when a really serious problem has appeared.

And the irony?  The RWNM could have learned this simple psychological fact from the Left Wing Noise Machine.  Remember the screaming about BushHITLER?  Remember how effective that was in defeating Bush in 2004?  Remember how the anti-war Left exhausted itself finding fault with every little thing Bush said and did till you tuned them out?

This sort of thing is, by the way, more than merely politically stupid.  It is spiritually corrosive and profoundly dangerous to the soul.  Here’s C.S. Lewis:

“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything — God and our friends and ourselves included — as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”

I limit my animosity to the Obama Administration as much as possible for two reasons.  By far the most important is given by Lewis.  The second is given by Aesop in the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

  • Dave G.

    I’m not sure that the Left’s anti-Bush hysterics were as ineffective as all that. Ask people who’s to blame for things, even now, five years later, and it’s Bush. Seems that the hysterics actually worked like a charm. The Right’s problem is it doesn’t seem to get the missing factor in the equation. And that’s the press. Which is why I think restraint in my criticisms of Obama is not just right, it’s smart. But it’s also why my criticisms of the right are every bit as restrained, even if the most over the top criticisms meet with so little resistance in our modern media culture.

    • chezami

      Um, yes, that’s because Bush so totally screwed things up that the GOP has flushed his administration down the memory hole and live in total denial of his existence. Sure it’s stupid for Obama to constantly blame Bush. But it’s not at all stupid for Americans to remember the manifold catastrophes Bush inflicted on the country. That’s not hysterics. That’s history. Part of the reason he could do it is because the Left Wing Noise Machine couldn’t stick to the big issues and had to shriek at full volume about every stupid thing. It wasn’t till the economy imploded that people started realizing they had better pay attention.

      • Dave G.

        I think if you say Bush was a disastrous president who royally screwed things up, then you’re speaking from the facts and events as they happened. I think if people say ‘it’s Bush’s fault’, they’re speaking from the media/zealotry gang. After all, the problems we’re facing, while certainly Bush’s fault in many ways, are also the fault of others. Democrats. Clinton. Obama. Republicans in congress. You name it. Bush screwed up! Yeah, since I lobbied against him in 2000 I didn’t imagine he’d do much else. It’s Bush’s fault! No, that’s the media talking, and the radical anti-Bush crowd getting a free microphone courtesy of the media.

    • The Deuce

      Even now, this is the sort of “coverage” the media is giving these outrages: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/340214.php

  • Rochelle Odom

    Mark, I think you’re hysterical, over these so-called ” hysterics “! The majority of the country ARE responding, now, somewhat, to these scandals, but not to the degree that many conservatives would like, because A) the main-stream media is covering them more like ” partisan squabbles “, or controversies; instead of, actual, abuses of power, committed by the administration, and, actual, laws, having been broken, and, because B) like it, or not, our country, and culture is NOT the same as it was thirty years-ago–or even thirteen years ago! ( meaning, lack of education, cultural-rot, increased government-dependency, and a dramatic change in ethnic make-up ) Yes, I agree that it’s not wise to, publicly demonize Barack Obama in front of anyone, but your friends, who think like yourself. However, there’s PLENTY of evidence out there, pointing to the possibility that Barack Hussein Obama may, in fact, be a muslim. And also, more importantly, if there should, ever, turn-out to be, absolute, ” smoking gun ” evidence that Obama was, indeed, NOT a legal citizen–therefore, not qualified to be president, that would not, only, develop into a Constitutional crises, but that would pose all sorts of, unprecedented, complicated, problems, crises, and ramifications for our country that we could NEVER have forseen! But whatever, Mark, go-on with your endless, gratuitous, knee-kicking of Catholic conservatives, and, ‘see how well that works for you!

    • Dan C

      1. Your anti-Muslim bigotry is showing.
      2. Your paranoid indulgence in conspiracy theories about his citizenship is also warping your logic and temperament.
      3. I am interested in understanding further your comment on “ethnic make-up.” This seems to have negative implications for you.

      I for one am glad to be out of the anti-Catholic stifling days of Reagan’s America. In Reagan’s America, official foreign policy was hostile to the Church in Latin America, resulting in a persecuted Church.

      • The Deuce

        I don’t agree with her Obama-as-Muslim comment (though he’s got a weird attitude about Muslim terrorism, and consistently avoids acknowledging Muslim terrorists for what they are, from Fort Hood to Benghazi to “human-made disasters”), or her Obama-born-in-Kenya comment (though Obama created that rumor himself by lying that he was born in Kenya before he was President).

        However, her comment about the country’s ethnic make-up, and the political implications of it, are both true and undeniable: http://minx.cc/?post=340120

        There’s just no two ways about it. Hispanics (and most other immigrant groups to a lesser degree) are far more in favor of big, socialist government than the rest of the population, and less bothered by government corruption (both of which are utterly commonplace in their nations of origin), and so the greater the proportion of the country that is made up of that demographic, the more American attitudes will reflect that. Hence it’s hardly surprising that a scandal involving massive government corruption, particularly one aimed almost exclusively at those who oppose state encroachment, would gain less outrage than it would have a mere 10 years ago.

        • Rich_Olszewski

          “less bothered by government corruption”? Nice bit of anti-Latino bigotry, there. As in Uruguay and Chile and in most of South America?

          • The Deuce

            Look, Richard, I’m just stating what the facts clearly show. Latino voters are, on average, far less dissuaded away from big government by considerations of government corruption. If it were not so, if they considered it to be a major issue, then they would be as reticent about giving the government much more power as the rest of the population is.

            And yes – like in most of South America (and Central America too). People overwhelmingly support socialist policies there, despite the obvious and omni-present government corruption in those places, and the surveys clearly show that they overwhelmingly maintain the voting preference for socialism (and the relative lack of concern for government corruption entailed in that preference) when they come to the United States. That’s not a judgement that they are bad people. It’s just the data that we have to work with.

    • Rich_Olszewski

      Horror of horrors! Obama “may, in fact, be a muslim.” Christians, thank God that Obama isn’t a Catholic plotting to put the Pope in power in the U.S.

      • Mike

        Nice piece of bigotry richard

    • chezami

      Rochelle: Enjoy life inside the bubble. Your post is a living laboratory demonstration of everything I’m talking about. It’s not enough that I am deeply opposed to the Administration on a wide number of issues. I. don’t. hate. him. ENOUGH! And so, for you in your malice, I am a suspected enemy. Malice is a sin, Rochelle. And sin makes you stupid.

      • Newp Ort

        just the response I’d expect from a secret Muslim. That’s right, Mark is a secret Muslim!

        (Secret to us anyway. to the fellas down at the mosque he’s a secret Catholic)

    • Newp Ort

      Did u accidentally put the wrong pic for your profile? aren’t u supposed to b an angry old dude?

    • $8525311

      Muslim aside, how would he not be a legal citizen? Plenty of conservatives say Ted Cruz would be a legitimate candidate, despite being born in Canada, because his mother is a US citizen. Well, there is no dispute that Obama’s mother was born in the US. Which is it?

  • The Deuce

    I don’t know. I think those stupid little nits tend not to have much effect, because most people just ignore them. They don’t prevent the harping on big things from having an effect, as they eventually did under Bush, who remains extremely unpopular, and if you ask the average person why, they’ll repeat the major points the Left made against him.

    While there’s been a lot of petty outrage over little things, as under Bush, the Obama administration has been spotted with more serious scandals throughout its tenure, such as Fast & Furious, the HHS mandate, the Black Panthers voter intimidation case, and the early revelation that the DHS was planning to focus on the supposedly upcoming surge in “homegrown right-wing terrorism.”

    In each case, the media played it down. What I think is happening now, more than anything, is that the media’s ho-humming of previous major scandals has inured people to current major scandals. Even now the media’s reporting rushes to assure us that none of Benghazi, the IRS scandal, or the spying on reporters has anything to do with Obama himself.

    There’s also the problem that criminalizing ungoodthink, and trying to create a new “narrative” about reality via contrived consensus, has been the Left’s modus operandi since the French revolution. I think that most people who vote left subscribe to that basic gnostic premise to some degree whether they are consciously aware of it or not. Sad to say, I think your average Man On The Street Liberal hears that the Obama administration is abolishing equality under the law to bring the power of the IRS and other federal agencies down on conservatives and people with religious beliefs he doesn’t like in an arbitrary manner, and he doesn’t think about the repercussions of that much beyond “Good, somebody should tell those bigots to shut up!”

    • Newp Ort

      Black Panther intimidation case, huh? Yeah, you’re kinda part of the problem here.

      • The Deuce

        Please elaborate.

    • Kathleen Lundquist

      Here in Oregon, the letters to the editor of our major newspaper that are being published on the topic of the IRS scandal consistently say exactly this – i.e., “What scandal? Those idiots deserved it.” http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2013/05/letters_oregon_sales_tax_savin.html (scroll down to “IRS scrutiny criticized”) :( Sad proof of “free speech for me, but not for thee.”

      • The Deuce

        For Leftists who pay lip service to free speech, it’s kind of like Henry Ford’s maxim regarding freedom in choice of Model T color (“You should be allowed to legally espouse any opinion you want… as long as it’s mine!”)

  • Mike

    Sorry but there is no comparison here at all to Bush or ANY other POTUS in the history of the country and this ain’ t hysterics Mark. No other POTUS has signed a law that suspends the Constitutional right of American citizens to Habeus Corpus. But the mindless zombies out there either have no clue or don’t give a darn that they are less free today under this POTUS than ever before because of his signing of this legislation (see NDAA 2013). Combine that with his EO 13603 from 2012 and its scary… And this has nothing to do with anyone noise machine. Wake up!

    • Andy

      Mike

      Abraham Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus, the Patriot Act suspended it for foreign nationals. He signed NDAA 2013 as it was part of a bill from Congress. EO 13603 is a restatement of what has been in place since the late 1930s.

      Obama has done a lot of things that are onerous at best, but there is precedent for what you describe. By the way I am not a zombie, and our freedoms have been eroding since 9/11.
      Mark’s 1-4 are more frightening as they are new and without precedent. 5-7 are troubling, but have been done in one form or another in modern politics for a long time.

      • Mike

        Andy. There is a difference between suspending it and signing legislation to remove it as a Constitutional right which is what has been done. And if you think that EO 13603 is an extension of what has been done before then sorry I respectfully disagree

        • chezami

          Do note that the legislation was co-sponsored by Carl Levin and John McCain. The erasure of our legal rights is a bipartisan effort.

          • Mike

            Not sure what your point is? I’m only pointing out that NDDA 2013 is significantly different and much more serious than previous suspension of HC. Thou dost protest rather vigorously when it involves Obama and despite your assertions shows your bias. But hey it’s ok…it’s your political blog. Don’t get the Catholic part nor how you could possibly consider this enjoyable.

            • Andy

              The point is that Obama did not do this alone – it came from the congress – with bipartisan support – to blame Obama for this is foolhardy and ignores legislative – he had lots of help getting there.

              • Mike

                I’m not arguing that point but if Obama was truly opposed then he could/should have vetoed it. Again, the point is unlike Lincoln this is not a temporary suspension of HC and despite the assertions to the contrary even Bush did not sign legislation that vioates one of our most important Constitutional rights.

                • Andy

                  Obama can’t veto part of a bill – it all o nothing – that is why congress puts unpalatable items on bills – to force a signature.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Mark isn’t downplaying any of the very real problems (an understatement) with this administration.

      He’s pointing out that no one is listening because for the last 5 years the Right has been screaming so loud about every non-issue that comes up every 2 weeks that simply no one cares anymore.

    • Rich_Olszewski

      Pure bullshit, Mike. “No other POTUS…”? Abraham Lincoln suspended the right to Habeus Corpus during the American Civil War.

      • Mike

        Hi Richard, thanks for your charitable reply. The key word in your reply is “suspended” . Further the suspension occurred during war time. Obama signed legislation , a Law, the quite frankly IMO is not constitutional as it codifes the loss of HC. Further this eradication of a Constitutional right can be enforced. ANYTIME the POTUS choses.

    • chezami

      A) I noted all this and agree.
      B) Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus
      C) The point of the Boy Who Cried Wolf is not “There’s no such thing as wolves.” You get that, right?

      • Mike

        Of course there are wolves. That’s not the point here. A comparison was made to Bush and I’m not here defending him, but I’m pointing out that Obama has seriously screwed with the Constitution.

        • chezami

          I know. It’s what I said in my introductory remarks. It’s what we should focus on. Not Umbrellagate and all the other stupid crap.

          • Newp Ort

            If you post it, they will come: The kooks! the poor-reading-comprehension folks! It’s comedy gold!

            Don’t ever change, Mark.

            • Mike

              Thanks Newp, another charitable follower of Mark.

              • Newp Ort

                The butthurt is strong with this one.

                Your reading comprehension is improving, you recognized I was talking about you! ;) Lighten up, Mike – it’s the internet! I’m sure you’re an OK guy, but you have to expect a bit of ribbing when you repeat all of Mark’s points back to him as an argument against him.

  • Imp the Vladaler

    Remember how effective that was in defeating Bush in 2004? Remember how
    the anti-war Left exhausted itself finding fault with every little
    thing Bush said and did till you tuned them out?

    I’d say it worked pretty well. Bush very narrowly won re-election (120,000 votes in Ohio) against effete Frenchman John Kerry of all people. During wartime. Having prosecuted what had been, to that point, two successful and popular wars, including the capture of Saddam Hussein. With a 5.4% unemployment rate and an economy had had weathered the 2001 recession and the 9/11 hit to the economy and was growing.

    The anti-war Left then helped the Democrats win impressively in 2006, and in 2008 it caused the election of a cypher whose primary qualification was that he was the most anti-Bush candidate the Democrats could put up there.

    These sort of shrill, goes-to-eleven attacks on the president worked. But they’re not working for the right because – as Dave G noted below – the left had the establishment press and the entertainment media on its side.

  • AnsonEddy

    Nice try, Mark! All of the furious arm waving can only mean one thing, we’re closer to the truth than we know:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_Man_(JFK_assassination)

    There is a joke about two JFK conspiracy theorists that die and go to heaven. They finally ask God to once and for all settle for them who it was that killed JFK. God sighs and patiently and lovingly admonishes them, “You’ve spent so much of your lives chasing after this conspiracy. You’ve sacrificed time with your families, allowed yourselves to be overcome by paranoia. You’ve wasted so much of the time and energy that I gave you. Oswald killed Kennedy. He was acting on his own and all of the evidence you needed to satisfy yourselves of that was their the whole time, if only you had looked with open hearts and minds.” The one conspiracy theorist turns to the other and whispers, “This goes higher than we thought.”

    • chezami

      Hah!

    • Newp Ort

      LOL that’s good! you maybe heard this one:

      Q: How can one be certain the CIA was not involved in the JFK assassination?
      A: well he’s dead, isn’t he?

  • chas

    I think a good question is: how has Obama managed to maintain his approval rating while his policies are consistently opposed by the majority of the public? People seem not to associate him with anything that is happening. He is continually campaigning, and viewed as if he is not governing. How did that happen?

    • chezami

      Because, not being animated by a deep loathing of him, they find him basically likeable, unflappable, funny, and smart in his publc persona. These are the same sorts of “Why can’t we get anything to *stick* questions that enemies of Reagan asked. Hating his guts, they could. not. conceive how anybody else could not have a big problem with him. Hatred does that to you.

      • rmichaelj

        It is also a problem with a lack of critical thinking skills. As you stated above, people react to his personality instead of his actual policies. When the Presidency of the United States is a popularity contest, then the Republic is in deep trouble.

        • Dan C

          Reagan was a similar matter. He had lots of “issues.” Nothing would stick. That was a generation ago.

      • Newp Ort

        I hated his presidency, but George W I think is probably a pretty nice guy. I’d like to spend a weekend with him at the ranch, drive the brush hog, attempt to ride a horse without looking like a total idiot (and fail). I’m not joking! He could give me a goofy nickname, it’d be great!

        I’d also like to hang with Obama. We could go to a Sox game, and afterwards he could put me in indefinite detention for making a Hussein joke. But then he’d have em let me out after only 72hrs. Then he’d invite me to Camp David. I bet Barack’s a kidder like that. One minute you’re on an unmarked plane in a foreign country while interrogators are beating the soles of your feet with fiberglass tent poles, next minute you’re having a cold drink on air force one en route to a weekend in the Lincoln bedroom.

    • Rich_Olszewski

      Remember Ronald Reagan, the Teflon President? That’s one answer to your question, Chas.

    • The Deuce

      Cults of personality are like that.

  • ivan_the_mad

    This is why Russell Kirk continually distinguished between the ideologue and the thinking conservative. Not everything needs to be fodder for a two-minute hate.

    • Newp Ort

      Just as Kurt Russell distinguished between “you can go rule the universe from beyond the grave” and “or check into a nut house, whichever comes first”

      • ivan_the_mad

        Classic. The 80s were a golden era indeed.

  • fondatorey

    “May I gently suggest that part of the problem lies in relentless exposure to things like this 24/7/365 for five years?”

    Realistically the overlap between goofs on the internet coming up with photoshops or leaving poor historical analogies in comboxes and the real world is slight. Most people don’t pay attention to politics.

    Unfortunately most people that do pay attention seem only to care about their side winning and not other things like general respect for institutions and persons. So a scandal becomes either a case of: ‘how can I use this to win’ or ‘how can I minimize the losses to my side.’ Meanwhile we’ve become a banana republic where the politicians use the government to hurt political enemies as if it were their own property.

  • Newp Ort

    How does this administration support killing living babies that are already born? do you mean by opposing laws placing limits on late term abortion? not arguing with u (well not right here, anyway), just want to know your reasoning

  • Jessie

    I haven’t been able to abide the lawlessness since our President declared that it was ok to try terrorists in domestic courts because even if they were found innocent he wouldn’t release them. Our President seems to believe in “evolving” on whether anyone has any right to life. Fetus…baby….teenager with wrong parents….American citizens…

  • R Flaum

    I’m inclined to think that, in the IRS case especially, the lack of outrage is just because of the time factor. Most people don’t pay much attention to the news, so it takes a while for the details to become common knowledge. Give it a couple of months.


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