On a few occasions, here and elsewhere, I compared the recent spasm of monument desecration by the American Left to what we are seeing with ISIS in the Near East. It is an easy comparison. One group of fanatics is attacking the monuments of the past because Allah commands it. Another is attacking symbols from the past because the void where God used to exist in their cosmology commands it.
Look, the primary attraction of the comparison is it makes Progressives nuts when you point out this comparison. Their near total lack of self-awareness coupled with total ignorance of their ideological movement causes them to think they are pure logic machines, the exact opposite of the sky-god worshiping barbarians. It’s a classic example of the hive mentality of cults. Hold a mirror up to them and they shriek in horror.
The joking aside, I do think the Left has jumped the fence and is no longer simply a political ideology. This is fairly obvious with the reaction to Bernie Sanders, who is an old school commie. Bernie is focused on economics, not culture. When pressed, he mouths the Cult-Marx platitudes, but he’s clearly not into it. His defense of American jobs with regards to immigration sent the Vox boys into hysterics.
It’s tempting to think of the modern Progressives as tarted up commies from the previous age, but there are a different breed of cat. Theirs is a spiritual movement, more than economics or even ideology. They see salvation through egalitarianism and multiculturalism. Leveling the economic playing field is simply not important to them, especially since most are in the managerial elite.
An example of what I mean is early on in Obama’s tenure, he talked about creating a domestic army to address the laundry list of ills he thought needed attention. He was not thinking about a teacher corp pr civilian conservation corp. He had something closer to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in mind, an army of young people scolding the non-believers. In other words, they were building a mass movement.
That has eventually turned in Organizing for America, the off-the-books campaign operation that Team Obama used to coordinate, outside the view of Congress, their operations of the 2012 election. Presidents have campaign operations, but this was a radical departure in that it was intended to live on long after Obama left office. It would allow him to co-opt future campaigns by maintaining a private agit-prop operation coordinating with groups like the SEIU and the vast army of non-profits like Planned Parenthood.
This story in the Times about how Obama is doing something different folds in nicely with his dreams of being the spiritual leader of global liberalism, defining the morality of the New Religion and by extension, the nation.
Publicly, Mr. Obama betrays little urgency about his future. Privately, he is preparing for his postpresidency with the same fierce discipline and fund-raising ambition that characterized the 2008 campaign that got him to the White House.
The long-running dinner this past February is part of a methodical effort taking place inside and outside the White House as the president, first lady and a cadre of top aides map out a postpresidential infrastructure and endowment they estimate could cost as much as $1 billion. The president’s aides did not ask any of the guests for library contributions after the dinner, but a number of those at the table could be donors in the future.
The $1 billion — double what George W. Bush raised for his library and its various programs — would be used for what one adviser called a “digital-first” presidential library loaded with modern technologies, and to establish a foundation with a worldwide reach.
Supporters have urged Mr. Obama to avoid the mistake made by Bill Clinton, whose associates raised just enough money to build his library in Little Rock, Ark., forcing Mr. Clinton to pursue high-dollar donors for years to come. Including construction costs, Mr. Obama’s associates set a goal of raising at least $800 million — enough money, they say, to avoid never-ending fund-raising. One top adviser said that $800 million was a floor rather than a ceiling.
What Obama does not want to be doing in his retirement is grubbing for money. What he enjoys most is standing in front of adoring crowds telling them his inner thoughts. Obama speeches have always been an interior monologue broadcast to whoever is within earshot. If the Obama Foundation is a self-perpetuating financial engine that keeps him and his wife in a lifestyle they believe they deserve, Obama is free to spread the gospel.
One top aide said Mr. Obama respected Mr. Bush’s decision to limit his time in public after leaving office, but also admired Mr. Clinton’s aggressive use of the spotlight to press his agenda.
“My sense is that he’s probably a blend of the two,”’ said David Plouffe, one of Mr. Obama’s closest former aides and a member of the library foundation board.
In response to a question from Mr. Doerr at the February White House dinner, the president told the group that he wanted to focus on civic engagement and opportunities for youths, pushing guests for ideas about how to make government work better, Mr. Hoffman recalled in an interview. The president asked if social networks could improve the way society confronted problems.
In their conversations with Mr. Obama and his advisers, people from Silicon Valley and Hollywood are pressing for a heavy reliance on cutting-edge technology in the library that would help spread the story of Mr. Obama’s presidency across the globe. Ideally, one adviser said, a person in Kenya could put on a pair of virtual reality goggles and be transported to Mr. Obama’s 2008 speech on race in Philadelphia.
Some discussions at the dinners have focused on the role Mr. Obama might play internationally after the diplomatic opening with Cuba, the nuclear deal with Iran, the confrontations with Russia and the drawdown of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama is not the hardest working guy in the world, something I actually admire about him, so I question whether he will really want to be the spiritual leader of his own cult. His people clearly think that is his future. Undoubtedly, Organizing for Action will be a part of this initiative. That will allow Obama to control the Democrat Party by wielding financial and spiritual power long after he is gone from office.
Progressive Awakenings tend to run out of steam after a decade or so. The reason is the charismatic leaders tend to die off. Wilson was a vegetable at the end. FDR dropped dead. JFK, MLK and RFK were all shot in the 60’s and there was no one to pick up the torch.
Obama is young and in good health so he could possible keep the torch lit well beyond the normal active phase. He could set himself up in New York City and a mountain lair in Hawaii, where he can direct his followers and issue encyclicals to the faithful. Another book is on the way so it could perhaps be the Dianetics of the Left.
I think one thing you will find, post-Obumble, is that he will be venerated because he won elections. If — and I admit I think this long shot — the Republicans (or even third party) get their act together and win the next two elections, say. there will be fond memories of what the Man Allegedly From Africa achieved.
We have the same thing here. Tony Bliar may be despised since he left office but there is a grudging admiration on the left that he did what Brown and Miliband couldn’t do: he actually stood and won. In the great game of political power, being able to first win and subsequently hold office is pretty much the best badge you can get.
FDR was quite senile at the end also. Marshall didn’t even try to spin it otherwise.
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Or, he could fall over dead at any time, just like any normal person.
He will never go away-he needs adoration too much even if it’s from sycophants. You think Carter was bad? He is going to be sticking his nose into everything.
Moonbattery is an interesting condition. The Moonbats I know (and where I live, in a northeastern latte town, I know plenty) usually have no conception of what right wingers think- and by right wingers I guess I mean everyone from us dissident -right types to Conservative, Inc neocons. They lump us all together, and have no real answers to anything other than, I guess, “more government control of everything.” As for Barry-O I think he’s predisposed toward moonbattery, but I think at heart he’s just a hack. Hacks want money- he’ll be happy with money (it would, of course, have to be way more money than the average hack is satisfied with) and Michelle will be happy to live the life of Mrs Hack. Barry will also give speeches for big bucks to adoring crowds- they’ll pay for his membership at Winged Foot or some such place.
I could be wrong, but maybe he will lose relevancy post White House.. Maybe everyone has heard enough of his blather and will begin to see him as the empty suit he is. Oh sure, for a while, the faithful will grant alms but without another accomplishment ie. “first black president”, he might just fade away to all but the faithful. Naw, the idiots will keep him and mooch afloat for quite a while. He might be like Sharpton/Jackson and go on forever. Sigh.
He will be perfectly happy being the figurehead of his cult. As long as not much is requires and the checks roll in, he will be okay with that.
If we are lucky we can look forward to at least three more autobiographies written by Bill Ayers.
It’s the religion of the people who hate religion, and who obviously don’t get irony. They love Islam, but Islam is not a religion. It’s a police state in the guise of a religion, and if there’s anything the Cult loves it’s a police state. They only wish they could have one here.