Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The War on Prosperity and Others

There are three things we know for certain about Barrack H. Obama – maybe four. The first is that he is our President; he just won the most expensive bull shit contest in the free world. The second is that he has a good rap; that’s how he won the contest. Indeed, even when he shades or ignores the truth, he is so sincere and so articulate that we give him a pass on candor. A Press corps whelped by Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is unlikely to hold his feet to the fire. NBC’s Chris Matthews admits to being “tingled” by Obama. Stimulus indeed! The third thing we know for certain is that Obama has written two books – mostly about himself. The fourth is a little sensitive; he doesn’t like to use his middle name, a least not in public. Obama seems to be more than a little cagey about his Muslim heritage. If character is destiny, we may be headed for the ego abyss. Picture Carter(D) policies fronted by Kennedy(D) rhetoric.

All of the air in the room is being sucked out by the economy at the moment. For the near term, our dismal science is the sum of bail-outs, stimuli, political pork, affirmative action mortgages and earmarks – although the later, henceforth, will be known as investments. No one seems to know whether a trillion large will work, but let’s not sweat details like effectiveness. Using more deficits and more debt to “stimulate” may be a little like hiring Maynard Keynes to diddle your furnace and expecting it to heat the house.

On a daily basis we are told that draconian measures are necessary to recover from the “mismanagement of the last eight years”. Never mind that Nancy, Harry, Barney, Chris and Maxine were our management in that decade. Does Congress still propose and the President still dispose? If Maxine prevails and we nationalize everything; we will still be the most prosperous nation on earth – until Halloween.

All this economic heat is more notable for smoke than fire. And national security seems to be receding into the miasma. Wars with real bullets have fallen off the radar. Some might argue that the first priority of national security is the domestic piñata. Fair enough, but those gifts are already on their way. Our domestic vector is set. We are going to pig out as far as the eye can see and then make a date with Jenny Craig – a date uncertain. We have launched the war on prosperity and that’s that!

But what about those other wars that were so worrisome during the late great campaign? Is it two or three wars? Harry said we lost one. We need to do the math.

There is the bad war in Iraq that the President ran against; and the good war in Afghanistan he says we should be fighting. Never mind that many of Obamas’s acolytes never met any war they approve of. Then there is the “war on terror” which apparently has fronts in places like New York, Karachi, London, Madrid, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Aden, Somalia, and recently, Mumbai. Let’s end the confusion and call it the “whatever” war. But who the hell are we fighting?

Making war on terror is out; nobody makes war on a tactic. And then there’s the Carlin (bless his soul) corollary: “Beware of those who speak euphemism”; they say not what they mean nor mean what they say. We can’t call it the war on Islamofascists. That’s an affront to National Socialists and Communists every where. After all, Fascism has been in decline while Islam has been growing like, well, the Later Day Saints. National security mavens such as Sally Quinn assure us that terrorists are just a small minority, not representative of Islam – never mind that Islam is exactly what they have in common. Nobody ever asks Ms. Quinn how many followers the Bolsheviks had in 1916 or the Nazis had in 1932.

Now that the Congress and the White House have Democracy and Capitalism on the run, what are we going to do about the enemy whose name we dare not speak? America may be suffering from sacrifice fatigue. What with going from jumbos to hail Mary mortgages, Hummers to hybrids, Deer Valley to the Delaware Shore, Feragamo to flip flops and most worrisome of all, from plastic back to paper. If the President opens another front on the Great Salt Lake, we should put down our dopio, pull up our panty hose and just say no!

Enough is enough!

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