Bread 'n' Circuses Looking past Obama's song 'n' dance.

Dan Kennedy

9/11/2009 4:55:00 PM - Dan Kennedy
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact," said Sherlock Holmes. This explains, I guess, how so many independent voters, moderate Democrats and even moderate Republicans were deceived by the Obama who campaigned for the presidency.

The outrageous, obscenely anti-American radical Van Jones has been driven from the White House, tail tucked between his legs, and, yes, that's something to celebrate. It suggests there is a limit even to what President Obama can get away with. It should encourage opposition to other such far-left ideologues, czars with criminal or Communist backgrounds, and policy experiments promising the destruction of entire segments of American society or business, such as the health care takeover.

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But we shouldn't be popping champagne corks just yet. As I pointed out in my column here a few weeks back, Obama has amassed the most amazing political slush fund in history; a mountain of money with which to influence the upcoming 2010 elections. That slush fund is an estimated $600-billion of, incredibly, still unspent emergency stimulus funds plus $200-million repaid TARP funds, and it’s only growing.

Obama is still surrounded by, and committed to, advisors from the lunatic fringe of radically liberal politics. His illusory coalition of international support for his enthusiastically adopted Afghanistan war is rapidly collapsing. And the war is entirely absent of mission clarity or exit strategy. We pour in money and ship home body bags. We remain mired in two wars, and Obama remains unfocused on managing them. Instead, he's busying himself with the most ambitious agenda any president has ever advanced all at once, plus micro activities like speeches to the country's school-children and town halls hither and yon, and more TV pitching than the late Billy Mays at his peak.

Much about him is painfully obvious. One need listen to Obama only briefly to recognize his arrogance is undiminished, his determination to be dictator to rather than servant of the American public unchecked, his disdain for Congress and Constitution clear. He has learned nothing from the rise of opposition to his threatened "fundamental transformation of America." Demands for the transparency he promised and objections to his turning government over to radical leftists more in sympathy with Castro and Chavez than us are something to be beaten back and tamped down, ignored.

Maybe he thought the American public could be easily distracted with bread and circuses; cash for clunkers and his song 'n dance act televised daily. The problem with buying support with free hand-outs is the same as with feeding bears your box of picnic food. The bears seem friendly enough until you run out of goodies. Then they eat you. The trouble with the circus is it can't long hide something so much bigger than it. And the vast majority of Americans have not been so easily distracted or bought off. We remain alarmed at his shadow government, his massive spending binge, his international bungling, his threats against our rights and property. The Van Jones incident has shown that we can still succeed as David against his Goliath. There is hope, that yes-we-can may still turn into no-YOU-can't.

Back to Van Jones. On Fox News Sunday this week, Bill Kristol stated - accurately - that the mainstream media failed America with this story. They refused to address this until forced by bloggers, until Jones' departure already a fait accompli.

This story is about more than this one advisor's incredible collection of anti-American, anti-free enterprise, racist and downright weird viewpoints. It's about more even than the obvious, unanswered questions: What did Obama and his top team-members who chose Jones know about his background and views, and when did they know it? And if surprised by the revelations, what does that say about their competence? Or, to what extent are they in whole-hearted agreement?

The story is about the leaders in the news media. When will they get back to serving us as watchdogs? When did honest investigative journalism leave the building?

You can judge a man by those he chooses to associate with and glorify. How many more Reverend Wright and William Ayers and Van Jones need be revealed before everybody admits the truth about Obama? Tip to any remaining investigative journalists: for Woodward and Bernstein, it was "follow the money." Now it's follow the radicals who hate America, wish to destroy it, and replace it with a socialist state. "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact," said Sherlock Holmes.