The Obama Watch

AnotherSham.gov

Americans now enjoy the privilege of tracking tyranny online.

By 2.27.09

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That Joe Biden the other day didn't even know the name of Recovery.gov captures the essential tackiness and fraudulence of the website. His blarney was punctured by an unwitting and obscure morning anchor, who asked him innocently: "By the way, do you know the name of the website?" He didn't.

"Your Money at Work," the slapped-together site announces, before serving up a dreary menu of slipshod, third-rate populism. "Share your Recovery Story. Tell us how the Recovery Act is affecting you. What's working? What isn't? We want to hear from you."

So Americans now enjoy the privilege of tracking tyranny online, then cobbling together a feckless e-mail to complain about it. "Transparency" means robbing hapless taxpayers in clear sight.

But why even bother to fake up a site if Senator Chuck Schumer is right? Americans, he says, don't care about this or that "porky" item.

Though a couple of weeks ago Obama had his staff retrieve the phone number of a telegenic grandmother in Florida, this week he wanted to hear from a celebrity. Did you know that Darfur is a "top priority" for this administration? Well, it is; so says celebrity-activist George Clooney. Amidst the buffeting winds of what he tells us is a financial tornado, Obama managed to find some Oval Office time earlier in the week to confer with the actor.

Treating tax dollars like Monopoly money and the globe like a game of Risk played after dinner with visiting stars fits with Obama's Oprahesque political philosophy.  He calls his aphilosophical theory of government "pragmatic"; the Founding Fathers would call it mindless and tyrannical. Any president who says the size of the federal government is an irrelevant question (ask not whether it is "too big," but whether it is "working," he said in his inaugural address) is already a tyrant in embryo.

Is it really this easy to hoodwink the American people, the smugness on Obama's face seems to say? Does it only take a few well-delivered platitudes to nationalize banks, socialize an economy, and compromise a culture?

America is dying but it laughs, as was once said of the Roman Empire. A grinning Obama greets unemployed Americans as they whisk past the memorabilia section of grocery stores in search of Spam to eat on their inaugural commemorative plates.

The State of the Union address was little more than substanceless patter, liberalism at its most fatuous and uncritical. To save our economy, everyone should go to college, according to Obama? Really? Why? I would rather the disinclined take shovel-ready jobs.

Many colleges already resemble glorified high schools. To browbeat a future construction manager into attending college while saddling him with government grants, all so that he can listen to some jackass like Ward Churchill, is just a cruel egalitarian experiment and does nothing for the economy. Who cares if he drops out? The tragedy is that he stays.

The federal government is avarice writ large, yet Obama with a straight face could inveigh against high "executive" salaries. Too bad he didn't consult with honored guest Captain Chesley Sullenberger before delivering that cheap line. Earlier in the day Sullenberger had tried to explain to Congressional nincompoops that talent in the cockpit was evaporating due to industry caps on pilot salaries. Why wouldn't that principle apply to other crucial industries?

The further dishonesty of the line is that through higher taxes Obama wants to sabotage executive salaries even for the honest and productive. His rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Having tossed Tom Daschle under his own limo, Obama could revive the class warfare from the campaign, warming once again to the insane theme of helping wage-earners by destroying wage-payers. Soon to be cashiered from their jobs, these wage-earners will have plenty of time to review Obama's glorious deeds at Recovery.gov.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author, with Phyllis Schlafly, of the new book, No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.