Friday, August 14, 2009
Left-wing radio commentator Ed Schultze -- whose voice and delivery, at least in the linked clip, bear a bizarre resemblance to Rush Limbaugh's -- claims he "sometimes think[s]" that conservative pundits "would love to see Obama taken out," because they "fear socialism [and] Marxism."
Another link at RealClear Politics claims that Schultze himself had once "Wishe[d] Death On Dick Cheney."
For this post, I will leave aside the lowness of this insult on Schultze's part. He is basically attempting to dehumanize his opponents by claiming that we have no regard for human life, and cannot see our political opponents as human beings. I am sorry, but this is still a civilized country. I want Obama to go down in flames, politically, but I have no desire to see him murdered.
That said, I will address a few other aspects of Schultze's remarks...
Although I am no conservative, I share with the likes of Rush Limbaugh a fear Obama's agenda of government control of the economy. If fact, I would say I fear it even more than many conservatives do because I understand it better than they do. In fact, I understand it so much better than they do that I am very ambivalent about the prospect of the Republicans returning to power in Congress in 2010, only perhaps to save Obama's healthcare agenda, among other things.
The GOP, still a party of intrusive government and, as such, no friend of individual rights or capitalism, only opposes Obama controlling the reigns of improper government power, and not, as it ought, anyone having such power on principle. Nevertheless, I doubt many conservatives want "Obama Clause" shot for this very reason. He is saving the GOP from having to do what it cannot do at present: make a positive appeal to the American voter. One would need command of a set of principles consistent with freedom to do that. (Sadly, too many conservative pundits do not appreciate how ineffective the GOP may turn out to be in putting the brakes on Obama's anti-American agenda.)
That said, Schultze's charge is still ludicrous on its face. This is the first peep I have heard of such an idea, and I am more familiar with conservatives by far than with leftists.
Speaking for myself, as one whom Schultze has inexcusably smeared, I have to say that the murderous impulse he projects onto people like me -- people who abhor tyranny -- is not only unjust, but objectively incompatible with our goals and the current political context.
We still have freedom of speech here in America, and Barack Obama has done wonders for making certain issues so clear that Americans can finally discuss them intelligently. I, for one, am thrilled that I now no longer have to start almost any discussion with something like, "Bush's policies are not really capitalist because, ..." Not only that, but Obama has opened up the debate on ethics!
The two parties are both against individual rights anyway -- just like all the major political parties of an earlier time once supported slavery. What the United States must have, as history shows, is an intellectual debate, and the resulting rise of a pro-individual rights group of voters that the parties ignore only at their own peril. Obama has unintentionally accelerated progress in this crucial debate, rather than allowing the United States to continue sleepwalking towards the same fascist measures under a "pro-capitalist" Republican President.
In addition to the above, the event Schultze claims Obama's opponents want could end public debate even more effectively than Obama's threats or the Democrats' "enact first, read later" approach to government. Obama would become a martyr, and the timid Republicans, altruists to begin with, would be more likely to cave to an agenda subsequently cast as a way to honor the legacy of our First Black President.
Ed Schultze's comment indicates that all he can see in politics is a king-of-the-mountain struggle for momentary power over others. Perhaps that is what he would do were he an opponent of Obama's. But for those of us sincerely interested in freedom, the better part of power -- as with valor -- lies in discretion.
Today: Added third and fourth paragraphs shortly after initial posting.