If Barack Obama and I agreed on one thing after his coronation, it was that Americans had at long last forgotten how to be Americans, something that tethered my despair to his rapturous ascension on the shoulders of John and Jane Q. Public as they seemingly clamored to be fitted for their nice fuzzy, socialist straitjackets.
Turns out, however, that we were wrong. And now, in the wake of Tuesday’s election, even Obama admits that buckling those harnesses around the American people has proved more “costly” than he expected. He told 60 Minutes:
“I made the decision to go ahead and do it [Healthcare Reform], and it proved as costly politically as we expected — probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically.”
Who can blame him? Obama wasn’t the only one misreading the national mood in early 2009. Many conservatives were eulogizing traditional center-right America following the jubilant inauguration of our first hard-left president. After all, we had long been warned that America wouldn’t likely relinquish her trademark liberty at the end of a sword, but at the end of a long con job carried out by a succession of ingratiating hucksters until she fell on her own volition like Nikita Khrushchev’s overripe fruit.
Clearly the prophecy had been fulfilled into the waiting hand of a haloed, messianic wonder-boy who immediately set about guiding his glassy-eyed flock with admonitions not to read blogs or watch cable news, don’t blow their savings at Las Vegas, make their children do their homework, and unquestioningly welcome big fat federal elephants into their living rooms, bank accounts, and medical records.
It wasn’t as if candidate Obama’s background and philosophies weren’t clearly vetted in the national dialogue. It was common knowledge that he was a left-wing rabble-rouser from Chicago who went to Washington and voted to the left of Senator Ted Kennedy — after cutting his teeth at the feet of socialists, communists, Marxists, and all-around whack-job America-haters like his “mentor” Reverend Jeremiah “G*d damn America” Wright.
And the voters swooned over his chic help-mate, Michelle, even when she bashed the system that had propelled her to the top of the world, citing her husband’s ascension as the only thing to recommend a shame-inspiring America filled with hoggish capitalists swilling gobs of the socialist pie – after financing the educations of countless young women like her, of course.
For Pete’s sake, there was so much yammering about empathy gaps, fairness issues, economic justice, being each other’s keepers, and spreading wealth that I’m surprised Obama wasn’t hit with copyright infringement from Karl Marx himself. That those socialist code-words would exercise a seemingly primed electorate into the sort of raptures we saw during the 2008 campaign, was clear evidence of a pronounced leftward list in our national psyche… wasn’t it?
Happily no. Reports of the American spirit’s demise proved to be greatly exaggerated; when the brand new president’s aggressive power grabs brought it, Lazarus-like, to town halls, Tea Parties, and polls in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts. Perhaps the formerly tranquilized masses had finally started palming their daily happy pill. I don’t know. But Tuesday obliterated any doubt that the America is back with a vengeance, leaving me and poor little Wonder Boy wondering how we got it so wrong.
Isn’t it wonderful?