Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Obama: Affirmative Action President

Obama: The Affirmative Action President

by Matt Patterson

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as
an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria
akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder,
did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into
thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's
most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered
into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores
along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer"; a brief career
as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly
devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present") ; and finally an
unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of
which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy
in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator.

And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the
white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's
"spiritual mentor"; a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's
colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian
looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz
addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal:

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken
hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like
Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was
black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out
with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a
bit extreme, he was given a pass.

Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass -- held to a lower standard --
because of the color of his skin. Podhoretz continues:

And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so
articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all
of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and
thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama
phenomenon -- affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But
certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws
and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and
especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on
the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are
not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor
performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if
these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the
emotional devastation and deflated self esteem resulting from the racist
policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist.

Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his
skin -- that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism,
then nothing is. And that is what America did to Obama.

True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why
would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for
Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was
good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was
told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the
Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good
enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What
could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time
Obama speaks?

In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications
nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool
character. Those people -- conservatives included -- ought now to be deeply
embarrassed. The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clich├ęs, and
that's when he has his teleprompter in front of him; when the prompter is
absent he can barely think or speak at all.***Not one original idea has
ever issued from his mouth -- it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that
has failed over and over again for 100 years.*

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and
everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited
this mess. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise
his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. But
really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for
anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small and small-minded man, with neither the
temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. *When you understand that,
and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and
prosperity make sense. It could not have gone otherwise with such a man in
the Oval Office.*

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