Here is Obama yesterday lampooning the Republican Convention, coming up with the laugh line that not only are Republicans offering no new ideas, you could be watching their platform "on black and white t.v."
Funny - at least to a crowd of the historically ignorant. Virtually Obama's entire "progressive agenda" predates the commercial introduction of the television, circa 1930. It is an agenda that has already been tried and failed.
- The welfare programs Obama is protecting against any reform - despite the fact that they threaten to destroy our economy within one to two decades - date back to Bismark in the 1880's. Trying to maintain this over century old system in its same form is, as Janet Daley opines in the Telegraph, fiscally unsustainable, and as Nicholas Eberstadt opines in the WSJ today, rotting the soul of our nation.
- Obama's often lawless favoritism towards the unions, be it with GM, Boeing, or the massive funding for the teachers unions, is central to his Presidency. Unions are an anachronism of the dawning of the industrial age, circa 1750, and, as Marx opined in 1848, they are the building blocks of communism.
- Obama's crony capitalism has its roots in the ancient era of monarchies when the king dealt out the spoils to his supporters and divested his opponents of their property. Where once there was William the Bastard the Norman knights and the Saxons, there is now Obama and GE, Solyandra, and Phizer, while GM bond holders and Delphi non-union employees were divested.
- Obama's war on disfavored industries (insurance, oil), disfavored groups (GM bond holders) and on the rich ("fairness") resembles nothing so much as Lenin's 1920 war on the Kulaks, whom Lenin regularly demonized as "class enemies" and "plunderers of the people."
- Obama's complete embrace of identity politics is the very essence of Marx's 1848 theory, that all of history is to be viewed through the distorting and simplistic rubric of the oppressed and the oppressors, with the latter being our modern permanent victim classes entitled to special treatment in perpetuity. (Interestingly, in Time Magazine this week, leftie Joe Klein argues that the left should give up identity politics on wholly pragmatic grounds, that blue collar whites - traditional supporters of Democrats - are starting to feel far less guilt and more anger at their unequal treatment as permanent sinners.)
- Obama's war on Christianity and the pushing of contraception for all have their radical roots, respectively, in the 1798 French Revolution and the work of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, circa 1915.
- The Keynsian economic theory Obama has fully embraced (and quite arguably bastardized) actually does post-date the commercial introduction of black and white t.v. - by about three years.
- Massive deficit spending coupled with a major contraction of defense spending dates back over a millennium to the fall of the Roman Empire. As Prof. Niall Ferguson pointed out, it is "quite a short ride from here . . ."
". . . to here."
No one is more backward looking than Obama and the rest of the progressives. Indeed, they haven't had a new idea since 1933. If you want to compare it to the Republican plank:
- True, the theory of capitalism and the view of wealth creation as positive forces predates the t.v. by several hundred years. Not surprisingly, where it has been close to fully implemented, it has been the success story of history. As an aside, Friedrich Hayek, the most famous modern intellectual opponent of Keynsian economics, wrote his seminal work, The Road To Serfdom, in 1944.
- The idea that tax cuts might stimulate our economy most famously dates back to JFK, circa 1961.
- The idea that unions are a threat to our economy and need to be divested of power dates to Margaret Thatcher, circa 1984, who led her country to an economic boom and away from socialism. Unlike the U.S., there are no more "closed shops" in Britain.
- Fighting against an ever expanding regulatory regime that strangles our economy is most closely associated with Ronald Reagan, who likewise led us out of a severe economic downturn into a rapidly expanding economy for over a decade.
So, when it comes to ideas, Obama is not presenting new ones, he is fully embracing old ones that have virtually all failed. You couldn't watch Obama's plank on black and white t.v. - you would have to hear about over the telegram or get it by special delivery from the pony express. Moreover, not only does Obama have no new ideas, even his schtik is old:
(H/T Jammie Wearing Fool and Instapundit)
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