People often say the success of democracy depends on an informed electorate. Given his record, that's the last strategy Obama can afford to embrace. Short of a fortuitous economic miracle falling into his lap, his only hope for re-election is that enough voters are misinformed.
From day one, Obama has been savaging George W. Bush for bequeathing him "the worst economy since the Great Depression." But he hasn't scapegoated Bush alone. He also impugned "fat cat bankers" on Wall Street and other evil corporations for "creating the mess" and for being its primary beneficiaries while everyone else was hurting. Conveniently, he didn't point his accusing finger at the real culprit, the liberal affordable housing policy that he supported.
He leveraged his vague slander against Wall Street to bolster his case against free markets and "crony capitalism" and to lubricate the public for his statist remedies across the board.
His goal was to fundamentally change America -- almost overnight -- with an accelerated push toward socialism, all while insisting he was a "fierce advocate of the free market" and committed to the American ideal. He just loved capitalism, but it couldn't possibly work when all the powerful and moneyed interests were loading the dice.
So he presented himself as the great reformer who would save capitalism, which was just an unsophisticated recycling of the case that history revisionists have argued since the 1930s and '40s to rationalize Franklin D. Roosevelt's socialist crusade. (One of my college history professors actually contended that FDR was the quintessential capitalist because he only expanded government to save capitalism.)
The scope of Obama's undertaking has been breathtaking, as has been his level of deceit in promoting and implementing it. Borrowing from both the Saul Alinsky and Cloward-Piven models, he excused the real culprits and demonized false ones to saddle the nation with historically reckless spending programs.
He didn't just give us his stimulus bill on the heels of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which he decried despite having his fingerprints all over it. He loaded his omnibus spending bill with earmarks after promising he'd radically reduce them, took over auto companies, crammed through socialized medicine and pushed through a staggeringly problematic financial reform bill that further empowered the government to engage in the same types of tyranny that led to all this. Though he failed to pass his cap-and-trade measure, his Environmental Protection Agency has engaged in a systematic pattern of circumventing Congress to impose further smothering regulations on American businesses.
Despite his profound incompetence on many levels, Obama has been an adept propagandist who has blamed capitalism for problems caused and magnified by socialist remedies to justify further socialist solutions. He's now doing the same thing all over again as his new socialist solutions are failing.
Obama not only eschews responsibility for his primary role in the nation's economic and debt catastrophes but also is using class warfare to foment unrest in his malcontent leftist base and marshaling union thug muscle to attach a veneer of authenticity to Occupy Wall Street, a largely AstroTurf-like phenomenon. Indeed, Obama practically expressed common cause with the protesters at his recent presser and certainly did nothing to calm their ostensible fears.
To appreciate the surreal nature of Occupy Wall Street, you have to watch a few video interviews of some of the protesters and review a laundry list of their complaints. These misguided people are like probation violators castigating their probation officers for catering to their pleas for leniency.
They are taking up all the popular causes of liberalism as they protest against problems spawned by those very causes. They shake their fists at Wall Street, banks, corporations and the wealthy "1 percent," which had little to do with our national nightmare. But they give a complete pass to government and even demand that it be given more power to further destroy what still does work in America.
Nothing illustrates their collective cluelessness more than their fulminating against the national debt while demanding a redoubling of the policies and programs that caused it and will make it immeasurably worse.
Obama is laughing all the way to the evil bank, hoping he can continue to capitalize on this very type of chaos and class envy to eke out re-election in 2012. Obama's protesters are occupying Wall Street while he is occupying America.