Is President Obama evil or "just" wrong? A Rasputin or a Chamberlain?
Here's a letter I recently received:
"Tuesday morning I happened upon your show. You were so good and I had never heard you before. But alas, you began to extol Obama's recognition that there are certain things he knows he should have done differently. It was a nice hour or so while it lasted.
"Obama deserves no credit for anything. The man is a liar, a manipulator, a narcissist, a psychopath, a control freak, a Marxist, has no depth of knowledge about anything, etc., etc. But there you were, giving him the benefit of the doubt. 'Aw, shucks, he's not so bad after all.' He spewed this garbage right before the election and yet you believed him?! Obama has to have a change of heart, not a change of mind."
Point of clarification: I said and wrote that he would be the most radical, left-wing president in the history of this country — and that the guilt-ridden post-racialists who put him there would rue the day. Unfortunately, Obama has lived down to my expectations.
But calling the President a Hitler without the mustache is an unserious position and one that does nothing to dissuade Obama supporters, many of whom now suffer nearly terminal buyer's remorse. It's as obtuse as saying "Bush Lied, People Died," or that George W. Bush ran for president so he could fabricate the intel to unjustifiably take the country to war to avenge his father and enrich his military contractor friends.
And Obama doesn't act alone. Every Democratic senator voted for the "stimulus" and for ObamaCare. Obama's leftism is mainstream to his party. If Obama is evil, what does this make those who support his agenda?
It's more than enough to say that Obama is an inexperienced, naive, wrongheaded ideologue who, even now, doesn't recognize the harm he is doing to the country.
But with crucial elections looming, Obama has already retreated on his promise to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and now says it's Congress' responsibility to change the law. Meanwhile, his Justice Department defends DADT in court.
He hasn't even raised the issue of another bank bailout or a government-forced cessation of foreclosures — despite the banks' recent admissions of negligence in processing home foreclosures. The Obama of two years ago would have used this as a pretext to intrude, if not take over the banks. What happened to his outgoing chief of staff's admonition to "never allow a crisis to go to waste"?
Obama no longer uses the word "stimulus."
He has exempted a number of businesses and organizations from some ObamaCare regulations.
He no longer talks about cap and trade or union card check.
When was the last time we heard about shutting down Gitmo?
When was the last time we heard about a New York trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
Outreach failed. Islamofascists are still determined to kill us. The Arab and Muslim world has an even lower opinion of America than during the Bush administration. Obama's foolish attack on Israel for building "settlements" in east Jerusalem has made the Palestinians even more intransigent about the "peace process."
To paraphrase Joe Biden, no more "big f---ing deals." It's now small ball. But left-wing small ball is still left-wing.
But come November, things will change.
The next two — or, after he is dragged reluctantly to the center, even six — years of the Obama presidency will be spent trying to keep ObamaCare from unraveling, as opposed to the march toward a Canadian-style single-payer socialized health care system that he truly wants.
The President is an arrogant man with a racial chip on his shoulder. He is a wealth redistributionist who thinks of America as an imperialist power that needs to apologize to the world for its past sins.
But Obama is not evil. He's simply wrong, which in many ways makes him harder to deal with — and even more dangerous. Obama has already made America a weaker nation — both domestically and as a foreign power. That he's not out to intentionally destroy America makes him a larger menace.
Good intentions make it difficult to persuade people to fight against his policies, and to focus not on intentions but rather on consequences and results.
Here's what C.S. Lewis said about people like Obama:
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
Over the next two years, Obama's inevitable retreat toward the middle will be a tactical one, not reflective of a change of heart. It doesn't matter. He will either check himself or be checked.
America, however, will bear the scars for decades.
Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, "What's Race Got to Do with It?" is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at www.WeveGotACountryToSave.com.