September 14, 2009

Obama: Asshole, Progressive, or Merely a Radical

Let’s face it assholes are ubiquitous and few of us are immune from occasional bouts of this malady. This may come as a surprise but even I have been called one from time to time. In his now infamous video, formerly unknown radical Van Jones made it clear that while republicans are assholes "Barrack Obama is definitely not an asshole." Roll Tape. Van Jones may be right.

After a long raucous month of meeting with their constituents our representatives returned to Washington with the message that healthcare reform and its associated costs is unacceptable in its present form. Last Wednesday in a speech before congress President Obama made it clear that he didn’t really care what those crowds thought or what their concerns are, he is going to create a public health care system in the United States and you all need to sit down and shut up.

Also, in another show of arrogance that would have made Caesar blush the White House claimed that Obama was not aware that a million of his constituents were coming to town to visit on Saturday. I can picture the President giving the crowd his patented cheek scratch with his middle finger when Marine One passed over the crowd as he jetted off to friendlier territory. Arrogance and Disrespect are always joined at the hip.

There is no better definition of asshole than a person in power who acts in total disregard of your interests just because they think they can. I’m sure we can all recall someone who lorded over us whose entire leadership philosophy was based on this model. From this perspective Barrack Obama appears to be the epitome of asshole-ism. Van Jones however doesn't see this as an Obama trait and he obviously has an abundance of asshole identification experience as he identified not only Republicans but himself as one. Perhaps then the proper, what Jones terms, “technical political science term” should be Progressive.

Historian Elliot Gorn* writes: “The early years of the 20th century were marked by great political ferment, but Progressivism, the dominant political trend at the time was more reformist than radical. Progressives tended to be middle class, native born Americans, from Protestant backgrounds who tinkered with the system in order to save it.” You may recall Hillary Clinton making the claim during the campaign that she was a throwback to the early 20th century progressive movement. Few people grasped that she was trying to differentiate her brand of reform from what she recognized as the radicalism of her opponent.

Progressives traditionally didn’t believe that you should restructure society to make as the name implies, progress. Conserving American values and institutions was important. This is why progressivism appealed to both Democrats and Republicans of the day. Few remember that Theodore Roosevelt ran as a progressive in 1912.

Out of this turmoil there was also a proliferation of radicalism that produced populists, socialists, syndicalists, and anarchists.* It is this same latent far left radicalism that spawned Barrack Obama. His flaws go deeper than just being a progressive or an asshole.

To Be Continued….

*Mother Jones: The most dangerous woman in America. By Elliot J. Gorn (2001)

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