Political Hay

The Unholy Triumvirate

Will Obama, Pelosi, and Reid take their liberal revolution to its conclusion?

By 10.22.08

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If Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid had to write the Declaration of Independence and Constitution from scratch, what would those documents say? Would they read like the current ones? No, they would read like the platform of the Democratic Party.

Barack Obama's America started not in 1776 but around 2006. By letting slip the comment, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country," Michelle Obama said as much.

The only question that remains is: If Obama wins, will the Democrats have the courage of their convictions? Will they hold a sort of ongoing constitutional convention and transform America into the liberal country of their dreams -- the America in their minds which they identify now as the source of true patriotism?

Politics and parasitism would appear to be the only obstacles that could stop them: fearing a backlash, they might temporize and moderate their plans, or like Bill Clinton they might not want to risk total chaos by devouring the conservative host whole. Liberalism, after all, has to feed off the lingering order of conservatism for it to exist at all. Were liberalism implemented fully and purely, the disorder unleashed, as even Clinton sensed, would make life increasingly impossible.

Then again, absolute power could corrupt absolutely and Clinton-era circumspection may now appear to the Democrats hopelessly passé. Debates in D.C. seem to shift ever leftward, with last year's liberal positions becoming this year's unacceptably reactionary ones -- a trend that is bound to accelerate under a Democratic monopoly of all three branches of government.

The extent to which the 1960s counter-culture has become the culture and 1960s anti-Americanism become the new patriotism is amazing. That's why Obama could launch his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist and pay almost no price for it. As Chris Matthews lectured Pat Buchanan on Hardball last Friday night, Ayers was a terrorist with a worthy motivation: he bombed the Pentagon because he wanted America out of Vietnam, a blameless goal indeed. Under the Left's tortured understanding of the new patriotism, even Jeremiah Wright is pro-American: his fulminations had the purpose of drawing America into the light.

Patriotism is now measured not by respect for the conservatism contained in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution but by the level of one's enthusiasm for the America to come.

To be a good American now means you nod vigorously as an Obama supporter at a cocktail party bashes the Boy Scouts as bigots while explaining to you why Obama's association with the "distinguished" education professor (as Congressman Rahm Emanuel put it) Bill Ayers is no big deal. It means you chuckle along with Joe Biden as he tells Ellen DeGeneres that conservative Californians are deluded to oppose gay marriage.

Or it means listening in hushed awe as unimpeachable American hero Colin Powell calls the most liberal Republican presidential nominee ever "narrow" and insufficiently "inclusive," and scolds unnamed Americans for objecting to the notion of a Muslim president. (I was half-expecting him to join Barney Frank in calling for the elimination of the Constitution's prohibition on foreign-born presidents. Surely that's not "inclusive" either.)

What was once considered the anti-American Left now has the power to define who is and who is not a good American. Seeing victory in sight, they grow more bold and unapologetic. Over the last few days, instead of denying charges thrown at Obama, they have readily conceded them and basically said: So what?

To them, Obama's "spreading the wealth around" comment isn't a cringe-inducing gaffe but an appaluse line and sound basis for policy. What's wrong with the state redistributing wealth? more than a few of them have asked, including, by the way, Colin Powell after his Meet the Press appearance before reporters.

Here, too, we see the new Americanism at work: where the founding fathers saw King George III's overtaxation as an occasion to start the country, an enlightened modern American is expected to join Joe Biden in welcoming new taxes as a "patriotic" duty.

Under the unholy triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, good Americans will be expected to entrust their economy to redistributionists, their defense to pacifists, and their culture to proponents of abortion and gay marriage. Expect a crisis within six months should Obama win, promises Joe Biden. Perhaps he is right, but the first one is more likely to be domestic than international.

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