Is there a limit to self-delusion? And if there is, what happens when the limit is exceeded?
New York Times columnist Gail Collins began her column last week as follows, “When Democrats run into each other on elevators, they exchange glances and sigh. Or make little whimpering sounds.” She went on to observe that “Democrats are going bipolar. Democrats spend all their waking hours thinking about the swing states. If Wisconsin starts looking wobbly, their day is ruined.” It makes you wonder what their days are going to be like if Obama loses the actual election.
Liberals are angry and frustrated with Obama. He, however, is not the real object of their anger. Someone once observed, “Our strongest anger is reserved for ourselves.” (If you doubt that, just ask any golfer.) Liberals are angry and frustrated with themselves because they bought into the fantasy of Barack Obama.
For the past four years conservatives have been asking themselves, “Why can’t more people see what a fraud this guy is?” That may be an impossible question to answer, but the population of those who see him for who and what he is seems to be growing.
One of the things that makes Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” such an enduring parable is how it is both absurd and painfully true. The emperor was naked, but no one wanted to be the first to admit it. A kind of mass hysteria affected the citizens. Once a child spoke the obvious truth, the delusion was shattered. If there were not a lot of truth about human nature reflected in the story, it wouldn’t be such a classic.
Obama’s nakedness is not physical but rather intellectual. Time magazine’s Joe Klein said recently, “Anyone who says Barack Obama is not intelligent is either crazy or bigoted.” What makes Klein so certain that Obama is intelligent? The evidence is all in the opposite direction. Forrest Gump famously said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” The corollary is also true. Smart is as smart does. Was choosing Joe Biden as someone to be a heartbeat away from the presidency a smart decision? If you think so, you need to watch the video of last week’s vice-presidential debate.
Another reality that may be penetrating the liberals’ self-delusion shield is the Benghazi debacle. It’s been said that a liberal is someone who will not take his own side in a fight. A perfect example of that perverse attitude is how Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice were all so eager to take the terrorists’ side in the attacks on our embassies. They used the strongest possible words in condemning the obscure video and its creator. Ms. Clinton said the video was “disgusting and reprehensible” and “truly abhorrent.” By blaming the video so vehemently they effectively implied the attackers were justified. They took the terrorists’ side in the fight. They basically said, “We totally understand why you wanted to kill our ambassador. You don’t like America; neither do we.”
Democrats ridiculed Clint Eastwood for his empty chair speech at the Republican National Convention. In retrospect his metaphor appears to have been spot-on. Eastwood later observed that “Obama is the biggest hoax ever committed on the American people.”
Even if some Democrats are seeing the hollow reality of Barack Obama for the first time, it’s unlikely to affect their overall mind-set. When a liberal has a choice between fantasy and reality, he will choose fantasy every time. There’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon.
Beyond the specific reality of Barack Obama, the Democrats’ fundamental problem is their adherence to liberalism. Obama is a glaring manifestation of liberalism. If he fails to win reelection, Democrats will blame him. They will do everything in their power to deny where the real blame truly belongs.