In astrophysics, there is a concept called a “singularity.” Most often discussed in terms of the Big Bang or black holes, a singularity is, among other things, a point in spacetime from which no prior matter or information can escape.
Because pressures and temperatures approached infinity at the moment of the Big Bang, whatever the form of the universe was prior to that can never be seen, measured, or truly known. Likewise, once anything, including light, is drawn into a black hole, it can never escape that singularity’s event horizon; all information about it is lost forever to any future observer. In terms of “what happens there stays there,” Las Vegas doesn’t hold a candle to a black hole. (And if a black hole were holding a candle, you’d never know.)
On Friday, in remarks reminiscent of a supercilious graduate student scolding a class of insufficiently Marxist college freshmen, President Obama spoke as if the recent congressional turmoil and government shutdown was a political singularity.
According to Obama, the shutdown showdown was an event of sufficient pressure and temperature to eliminate all memory of what preceded it during his administration and from which we should move forward in a new way and a new direction — which is to say we should submit to his will and supinely approve his agenda.
Confusing himself with a king or dictator, Obama pronounced: “But to all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change…” Considering that this president is well-known for having approximately zero friends in Congress, even among Democrats, his message was aimed at the rest of us, the mushy-headed electorate, trying to convince us that the shutdown was existential proof of the futility and unwisdom of opposing Him.
Through his indulgence, we are given the opportunity to “understand” the words from on high: if we forget his past, and the past will of the voters who re-elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, we may yet be forgiven for our impudent opposition to his plan to “fundamentally transform” our once-great nation.
Obama continued: “And now that the government has reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do…”
In other words, everything you’ve done or cared about in the past, every source of information you’ve trusted or even just enjoyed, every representative of citizens and organizations who may have legitimate complaints or concerns about the direction of public policy, is now to be ignored because the Community Organizer-in-Chief has inscribed on the newly-blank slate of the will of the people the Truth about “why we’re here” and what “should be our focus.”
Even when it comes to our disastrous level of federal debt, we are urged to forget what we already know. Obama and his propagandists remind us that “our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago.” Yes, the FY 2014 budget deficit, currently estimated at $744 billion, is just over half of 2009’s nose-bloodying $1.41 trillion deficit which, in one year, added 19 percent to all of the federal debt accumulated under all prior presidents combined. (And the next two years were nearly as bad.)
Yet at $744 billion, Obama’s lowest-by-far deficit is more than 60% larger than the largest deficit of the George W. Bush years, and triple Bush’s average deficit.
But who cares about the past when we’ve just had a political singularity prior to which nothing important exists?
When it comes to political negotiation, the event horizon reaches implausibly far from the central reality of this president when Obama implies that it’s something he actually engages in: “Democrats and Republicans are far apart on a lot of issues… We can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith, through the normal democratic process. And sometimes we'll be just too far apart to forge an agreement.”
But the country, even the Obama-loving media, remembers that this is the same president who discussed nothing in good faith and absolutely refused to negotiate with Republicans during the recent turmoil. For Barack Obama, “too far apart” means “doesn’t completely agree with me.” And we all know it. But apparently that history, despite being only short weeks in the past, is to be sucked into the black hole of Obama’s shutdown “victory,” never to be considered, mentioned, or criticized again.
It is not just Obama’s dictatorial style, his dismissal of political opponents as puppets being manipulated by Rush Limbaugh and conservative websites, and his massive federal deficits accumulated through repeated senseless Keynesian waste which the president wants — needs — us to forget.
In order to implement his radical agenda for higher taxes and more spending, Obama needs Republicans and the electorate, including the broad center of the country which might not love the GOP but is also waking up to Leviathan, to forget (or at least be too frightened to remember publicly) everything about him.
We must forget his words to Joe the Plumber, his statement that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” and his promise-lie that “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.”
In order to build trust in his administration, Obama needs us to forget about Fast and Furious (including the recent news about an American hand grenade used to kill three policemen in Mexico), to ignore that his IRS targeted conservative groups, his Justice Department refused to prosecute voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, his Health and Human Services Department gave Obamacare waivers to unions and political cronies and big corporations (but there is no relief in sight for ordinary Americans), and his NSA continues to collect cell phone and Internet data on millions of law-abiding Americans.
In order to garner public support for his reckless and feckless foreign policy including dangerous appeasement of nuclear weapon-bound Iran, the president needs us to forget that he drew a red line and then claimed he didn’t, that he began his presidency by going to Cairo and apologizing for the United States, that he offered sotto voce “flexibility” to Russia and has treated the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood with more respect than he has offered the Israeli Prime Minister.
We must block from our collective memory that he has brought precisely zero terrorists to justice for the murder of Americans in Benghazi, nor disciplined anybody in his own incompetent State Department — sacrificing justice for the victims and the American people in order to protect the political future of Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state with the lowest ratio of accomplishments to miles flown in the history of diplomacy.
But Barack Obama is no Einstein, mastering the political equivalent of General Relativity. The turmoil (and, to be sure, GOP loss) of the recent government shutdown is not a political singularity, blocking our vision of the past.
It did not abruptly nullify the votes of millions of Americans for members of Congress who proudly associate with the Tea Party movement and proudly call themselves conservatives — and who remember that they, even more than a president who was faced with uninspiring Republican opponents following a decade of destruction of the Republican brand, have a mandate from the voters to stand athwart Obama’s radical agenda, yelling “Stop!”
Don’t worry, Mr. President, we remember precisely who you are. And more importantly, we remember who we are.