The two-horse rider 3

Obama’s effort at pleasing both the Patriots and the Left in his West Point speech (see below, Obama’s grandiose equivocation) has not succeeded. How could it?

Like a circus performer trying to ride two horses with one foot on each saddle as the steeds canter round the ring, he struggled to maintain his balance, but fell off. His speech was a failure. His announcement that he will send more troops and start retreating on a fixed date is derided by both sides.

The Chicago Tribune has had the bright idea of accosting Bill Ayers, an ever dependable mouthpiece for the Left, and asking for his thoughts. You can see him and listen to his reply here. Predictably he excoriates Obama for pursuing the war in Afghanistan at all. (Note also that he seems to think Aghanistan is in the ‘Middle East’. He’s so far on the left himself, this famous educationist, that all middles most probably seem immensely wide to him.)

Ayers is attending an anti-war rally. How does it feel, Mr President, to have your old anti-war comrades demonstrating against you and your war?

Obama’s entire presidency is doomed to be the same impossible struggle: to keep his balance between the long-established realities of American freedom and power on the one hand and his collectivist idealism – the ‘change’ he promised – on the other. It cannot be done, fortunately. But the very struggle to do the impossible could prove disastrous for the nation.

[PS  The reason we didn’t neatly balance ‘Patriots’ with ‘Revolutionaries’ , or ‘the Left’ with ‘the Right’ is that (i) many on the Left deny that they are ‘revolutionaries’ or even ‘socialists’ although they support collectivist policies which are both, such as nationalized health care and cap-and-trade; and (ii) ‘the Right’ can be made to include non-egalitarian collectivists. ‘Libertarians versus Collectivists’ would be good, but would need to be explained, as neither word is commonly used as we use them. ‘Collectivist’ might be easily enough digested, but ‘Libertarian’ as the word is most often used (especially with its anti-war connotation) does not fit with the way most American patriots think of themselves, even though they love liberty.]

Jillian Becker  December 4, 2009

Posted under Afghanistan, Articles, Commentary, Pacifism, Socialism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, December 4, 2009

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