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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Revolution

No matter how fervently the professional pooh-poohers pooh their poohs, the mutterings and murmurings continue. People who supported Obama now want to see him replaced. The millionaire tax cut cave-in might have been defensible (on the grounds that a payroll tax cut is a good thing), had not Obama caved on so many previous occasions. The man is more cave than rock.

Revolution is in the air -- a revolution within the Democratic Party.

As you contemplate what is to come and what we should do, ponder the advice of "John Tanner" (a.k.a. GBS). These words come from The Revolutionist's Handbook, published roughly a hundred years ago yet still very relevant:

* * *

A revolutionist is one who desires to discard the existing social order and try another.

The constitution of England is revolutionary. To a Russian or Anglo-Indian bureaucrat, a general election is as much a revolution as a referendum or plebiscite in which the people fight instead of voting. The French Revolution overthrew one set of rulers and substituted another with different interests and different views. That is what a general election enables the people to do in England every seven years if they choose. Revolution is therefore a national institution in England; and its advocacy by an Englishman needs no apology.

Every man is a revolutionist concerning the thing he understands. For example, every person who has mastered a profession is a sceptic concerning it, and consequently a revolutionist.

Every genuine religious person is a heretic and therefore a revolutionist.

All who achieve real distinction in life begin as revolutionists. The most distinguished persons become more revolutionary as they grow older, though they are commonly supposed to become more conservative owing to their loss of faith in conventional methods of reform.

Any person under the age of thirty, who, having any knowledge of the existing social order, is not a revolutionist, is an inferior.

AND YET

Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny: they have only shifted it to another shoulder.
Comments:
Even Keith Olbermann is giving Obama Hell. Keith addressed Obama as "sir" in his latest special comment, which means Keith is going into Samuel Johnson mode. He didn't even make any dippy baseball allusions. This is serious.

Over at HuffPo, Obots have become as rare as Flat Earthers. The very stones of the earth have figured out Obama is a fraud.

What next--apologies to the PUMAs?

Just kidding. My biggest fear is that--when push comes to shove in 2012--progressives and liberals will wimp out and vote for Obama anyway, using all the usual arguments to persuade the rest of us to follow suit. In truth, we lefties are no tougher than our wimpy leaders.
 
Great post, Joseph.

Perry, I have not been able to watch Mr. Obermann regularly since his Hillary in a room remark, so thanks for the update. I suspect that you, like me, did not wimp out in the last election, and I know I won't in the next. I just want a real Democrat who I can vote for.

Some shoulders are better able to bear the burden of responsibility and to resist the lure of tyranny than others. That was what made President Washington so great. ("We loved him like no other.") President Obama's shoulders have proven to be pretty darn weak. (Even worse than many of us feared.) Or he is just a closet Republican, of course.

djmm
 
If we give Obama another four years, who knows what havoc he will wreak on what's left of FDR's legacy?
Looking at it that way would any republican in the White House do worse?
If not why reward Obama for his mischief?
 
I like the Tanner excerpt. I would point out that (as I've heard it persuasively argued) the unique quality of the United States, at it's birth, was largely an exception to the shifting of tyrannies b/w shoulders. The same argument holds that George Washington had the opportunity to become something of a dictator, but rather ceded such authority out of belief in the principles inherent in the revolution. Perhaps our history since that time has been a chronicle of the incessant powers of human exploitation to dissolve that rejection of tyranny... like a page out of Nietzsche.
 
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