Sunday, October 3, 2010

Moper Still Hoping For Utopia

Barack Obama has failed to deliver on his promises for Utopian change and Jon Stewart, for one, is extremely p.o.'d about it, reports the Guardian:
...Critics – many of them liberal fans of a man who combines comedy with biting political observation – believe Stewart is going too far. Danielle Belton, an influential culture and politics writer who runs the popular blog The Black Snob, said: "Jon Stewart made the mistake that a lot of liberals did when they got caught up in the romance of the 2008 campaign. People like Stewart want Obama to be an 'imaginary Obama' that they created in their head during the campaign."
Belton said Obama had always run as a moderate who would try to unite American politics, not carry out a difficult liberal agenda. She said that people like Stewart were just damaging the Democrats' cause. "People are taking their eyes off the larger issues here," she said.

But Stewart's anger is only the most high-profile expression of an increasingly widespread dissatisfaction among liberal Democrats with the achievements of the first 18 months of the Obama presidency. Though the White House touts its success in stabilising the economy and bringing in a version of healthcare reform, much of the Democratic base is unhappy at a perceived lack of ambition from a president in whom they had invested many hopes.

"Stewart is reflecting the disillusionment that many voters have for Obama. They elected him for certain reasons that have not exactly worked out for them," said Jack Lule, a journalism professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

To his liberal critics, Obama's healthcare plans were a pale imitation of what might have been. They argue that the White House has spent far too much time trying to appease Republicans with compromises and not enough on pleasing its own supporters with bold plans.

The result, they say, has been a catastrophic collapse in liberal support that promises to hurt the Democrats in November's mid-term elections...
Well, fingers crossed, anyway. Unlike the Stewarts of the land--let's call them totalitaritopians since they'd like to eschew such niceties as "compromise" and get on with societal transformation despite what the people (the uneducated, un-virtuous, unchanging, unwashed hoi polloi) say they want--ordinary Americans--let's call them the common sensical--have had quite enough of "smart" Obama's dumb ideas that aim to turn exceptional America into some place extraordinarily unexceptional, say Belgium.

Update: Stewart's kvetching pertains to Obama's domestic failures. Here's an article by Bruce Thornton in City Journal that accounts for the failure of Obama's foreign policy (and not only Obama's, since George W. Bush, perhaps under the influence of Natan Sharansky's A Case for Democracy, subscribed to the same set of delusions):
The critical intellectual error in this utopian view is the assumption that because all peoples are capable of desiring goods such as freedom and prosperity, then these goods will trump all others. Yet people pursue multiple goods, and can desire even conflicting goods at the same time. As Michael Novak has written, there is “universal hunger for freedom,” one that all peoples can satisfy with the right political values and institutions. But people and nations have other “hungers” as well: to follow God’s will, to get rich, to acquire power and prestige, or to take revenge on an enemy. If we dismiss these goods and national interests as mere illusions from humanity’s benighted past—ghosts to be exorcised by material prosperity or education or diplomatic engagement—then indeed we will construct policies based on illusions, policies doomed to fail and thus compromise our security and interests. Diplomatic engagement demands an effort of imagination to recognize these motivational goods, no matter how strange or repellent, rather than dismiss them or subordinate them to our own.
Hence the pointlessness, not to mention the insanity and danger, of ignoring the sharia imperative and refering to Islam as "a religion of peace."

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