The Alien in the White House

Ms. Rabinowitz writes an outstanding article about our country’s 1st ever “post-American” President and the questionable views that shape his policies & appointments.

The Alien in the White House

The distance between the president and the people is beginning to be revealed.

  By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ

The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president’s earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill.

There should have been nothing puzzling about his response to anyone who has paid even modest critical attention to Mr. Obama’s pronouncements. For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans’ leader, a man of them, for them, the nation’s voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn’t lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason.

Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.

A great part of America now understands that this president’s sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

One of his first reforms was to rid the White House of the bust of Winston Churchill—a gift from Tony Blair—by packing it back off to 10 Downing Street. A cloudlet of mystery has surrounded the subject ever since, but the central fact stands clear. The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind. Churchill, face of our shared wartime struggle, dauntless rallier of his nation who continues, so remarkably, to speak to ours. For a president to whom such associations are alien, ridding the White House of Churchill would, of course, have raised no second thoughts.

Far greater strangeness has since flowed steadily from Washington. The president’s appointees, transmitters of policy, go forth with singular passion week after week, delivering the latest inversion of reality. Their work is not easy, focused as it is on a current prime preoccupation of this White House—that is, finding ways to avoid any public mention of the indisputable Islamist identity of the enemy at war with us. No small trick that, but their efforts go forward in public spectacles matchless in their absurdity—unnerving in what they confirm about our current guardians of law and national security.

Consider the hapless Eric Holder, America’s attorney general, confronting the question put to him by Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas) of the House Judicary Committee on May 13.

Did Mr. Holder think that in the last three terrorist attempts on this soil, one of them successful (Maj. Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, preceded by his shout of “Allahu Akbar!”), that radical Islam might have played any role at all? Mr. Holder seemed puzzled by the question. “People have different reasons” he finally answered—a response he repeated three times. He didn’t want “to say anything negative about any religion.”

And who can forget the exhortations on jihad by John Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief adviser on counterterrorism? Mr. Brennan has in the past charged that Americans lack sensitivity to the Muslim world, and that we have particularly failed to credit its peace-loving disposition. In a May 26 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr. Brennan held forth fervently, if not quite comprehensibly, on who our enemy was not: “Our enemy is not terrorism because terrorism is just a tactic. Our enemy is not terror because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear.”

He went on to announce, sternly, that we do not refer to our enemies as Islamists or jihadists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam. How then might we be permitted to describe our enemies? One hint comes from another of Mr. Brennan’s pronouncements in that speech: That “violent extremists are victims of political, economic and social forces.”

Yes, that would work. Consider the news bulletins we could have read: “Police have arrested Faisal Shahzad, victim of political, economic and social forces living in Connecticut, for efforts to set off a car bomb explosion in Times Square.” Plotters in Afghanistan and Yemen, preparing for their next attempt at mass murder in America, could only have listened in wonderment. They must have marvelled in particular on learning that this was the chief counterterrorism adviser to the president of the United States.

Long after Mr. Obama leaves office, it will be this parade of explicators, laboring mightily to sell each new piece of official reality revisionism—Janet Napolitano and her immortal “man-caused disasters” among them—that will stand most memorably as the face of this administration.

It is a White House that has focused consistently on the sensitivities of the world community—as it is euphemistically known—a body of which the president of the United States frequently appears to view himself as a representative at large.

It is what has caused this president and his counterterrorist brain trust to deem it acceptable to insult Americans with nonsensical evasions concerning the enemy we face. It is this focus that caused Mr. Holder to insist on holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in lower Manhattan, despite the rage this decision induced in New Yorkers, and later to insist if not there, then elsewhere in New York. This was all to be a dazzling exhibition for that world community—proof of Mr. Obama’s moral reclamation program and that America had been delivered from the darkness of the Bush years.

It was why this administration tapped officials like Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Among his better known contributions to political discourse was a 2005 address in which he compared the treatment of Muslim-Americans in the United States after 9/11 with the plight of the Japanese-Americans interned in camps after Pearl Harbor. During a human-rights conference held in China this May, Mr. Posner cited the new Arizona immigration law by way of assuring the Chinese, those exemplary guardians of freedom, that the United States too had its problems with discrimination.

So there we were: America and China, in the same boat on human rights, two buddies struggling for reform. For this view of reality, which brought withering criticism in Congress and calls for his resignation, Mr. Posner has been roundly embraced in the State Department as a superbly effective representative.

It is no surprise that Mr. Posner—like numerous of his kind—has found a natural home in this administration. His is a sensibility and political disposition with which Mr. Obama is at home. The beliefs and attitudes that this president has internalized are to be found everywhere—in the salons of the left the world over—and, above all, in the academic establishment, stuffed with tenured radicals and their political progeny. The places where it is held as revealed truth that the United States is now, and has been throughout its history, the chief engine of injustice and oppression in the world.

They are attitudes to be found everywhere, but never before in a president of the United States. Mr. Obama may not hold all, or the more extreme, of these views. But there can be no doubt by now of the influences that have shaped him. They account for his grand apology tour through the capitals of Europe and to the Muslim world, during which he decried America’s moral failures—her arrogance, insensitivity. They were the words of a man to whom reasons for American guilt came naturally. Americans were shocked by this behavior in their newly elected president. But he was telling them something from those lecterns in foreign lands—something about his distant relation to the country he was about to lead.

The truth about that distance is now sinking in, which is all to the good. A country governed by leaders too principled to speak the name of its mortal enemy needs every infusion of reality it can get.

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13 Responses to The Alien in the White House

  1. therealgirlscout says:

    Celtics in 7!!

  2. Hacksaw says:

    You’re dreaming!

    Los Angeles is getting alot of production from several other players not named Kobe Bryant, they were able to win last night even though Kobe had an off night and you know when he’s “on”, the man can take over a game all by himself.

    If “Beantown’s Boys” don’t get their act in gear and find a way to beat the Lakers in Game 4 tomorrow night, then this series might not even go 6 games!

    • therealgirlscout says:

      Well, you had the winning team and I picked the correct number of games! Let’s call it a draw! LOL Seriously though, I’m not a sports fan and no nothing about basketball, but isn’t the whole playoff thing BORING?? Let’s face it. The NBA would be happy if they only had 2 teams, the Celtics and the Lakers. They are almost always in the playoffs and finals, because they have the BIG money. Like I said….BORING.

      • Hacksaw says:

        You were alot closer to being correct than I was, I had picked the series to only go 6 games. When the game started last night, only you had the chance to be correct in your prediction, but I did not.

        I thought you were gonna be right when the Celtics were up by 13 late in the 2nd half, and I was prepared to make a new blog post giving you props for calling it.

  3. therealgirlscout says:

    LOL! I know NOTHING about basketball, the teams or the players! I was just making a short comment to counteract your L-O-N-G blog!!

  4. therealgirlscout says:

    Going off topic again. As I STILL haven’t figured out how to start a post, I’m just going to stick this in here!
    So….I mentioned on Facebook that we were having a garage sale this week. Many of you may remember a blogger from the old Fox8 site and she even joined us for awhile in the last site that princess found for us. Wannabequeen, aka Tina, saw my garage sale comment on facebook, (many of us old Fox8 bloggers are friends on Facebook now), and wanted to come check out all of Retired guy’s nice junk! She came tonight with her husband (he’s cute!) and they even bought a few things! It was SO NICE to meet her after all these years of corresponding on blog sites!! Oh and, she’s REALLY pretty!!

    • polarbear20 says:

      Just look for the “New Post” button in the bar at the top of this page and choose “ClevelandFoxers” from the dropdown menu. The new post page will come up and you just enter your post like our previous blog sites.

  5. polarbear20 says:

    You know it’s people like this that piss me off in the worst way. “Post American President”, eat shit. I understand people don’t like Obama, but it takes away any shred of validity when comments like “alien” are made, or this ridiculous “post american” meme from the right wing echo chamber.

  6. therealgirlscout says:

    I can’t find a “new post” button! The only thing at the top of my page is “ClevelandFoxers” and underneath that is “home” and “about”!

    • polarbear20 says:

      No, look above the Cleveland Foxers. There’s a grey bar that says “My Account”, “My Dashboards”, “New Post”, “Blog Info” and has a search box on the right side of the screen.

  7. therealgirlscout says:

    There is absolutely nothing on the top of ClevelandFoxers except blank, white space!

  8. Hacksaw says:

    You know it’s people like this that piss me off in the worst way. “Post American President”, eat shit. I understand people don’t like Obama, but it takes away any shred of validity when comments like “alien” are made, or this ridiculous “post american” meme from the right wing echo chamber.

    It’s better to be pissed off than to be pissed on, and Barack Obama is America’s 1st ever “post American” President. He does not identify himself with us, instead he travels the World and apologizes for this Nation, bowing to foreign leaders (& even 1 Mayor of an American city) and proclaiming himself as a “citizen of the World” vice as an American. He views himself as “above” us, he always has and I’ve never once heard him defend this great country, he chooses instead (along with many of his appointees) to compare us to other countries who possess terrible track records on human rights and he seems to care a lot more that people personally like him, as opposed to liking or even respecting America & it’s citizens.

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