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July 25, 2013

Rewrite: Obama, Who Once Averred That No One Took the IRS Targeting Scandal More Seriously Than He, Now Claims It's a "Phony Scandal"

I noticed this yesterday and Taranto mentions it too, in a sustained attack on all elements of Obama's economic speech, empty of everything except demagogy. (Link fixed.)

This would be a fruitful question for the press to ask Jay Carney, if they're going to bother with the useless ritual of the press conference in the first place. I imagine that they won't, because, like Jay Carney, the press is devoted to not making any negative news for Obama.

With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball," the president harrumphed. There's an image for you. Where exactly is the ball relative to the parade route?

Also, which scandals exactly are "phony"? The biggest scandal is the one that raises serious questions about the legitimacy of Obama's re-election. Here is what President Asterisk himself had to say on the subject way back on May 13: "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it's got to be fixed. . . . I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it."

We're sure his outrage over the phony scandal was genuine.

So, was the IRS targeting "outrageous" or is it a "phony scandal"? It can't be both. Did Obama evolve, as he did on gay marriage, from a belief that the practice of selectively targeting political opponents for IRS harassment was immoral and contrary to the Constitution, only to grow more comfortable with the practice and find it salutary rather than sick?

Or-- let's just throw this crazy idea out there -- is it that he was never "outraged" by the practice in the first place, but felt he had to lie about it for political reasons? Taking this one step further -- perhaps he was never "outraged" of the targeting because he was actually a prime author of it.

Perhaps he was merely "outraged" that he got caught.

It's a good Taranto column, snarking at the horrible imagery of the speech and the Frankenstein assemblage of poorly-fitting metaphors from the corpses of long-buried speeches, as well as its central emptiness and dishonesty.

And there's this observation, which @rdbrewer4 highlighted in the sidebar:

Obama's certitude about his own superiority, his utter contempt for his political adversaries, even for those whose priorities differ from his--now that's genuine. It is the central feature of his political character, and the proximate cause of--pardon the cliché--Washington's current "dysfunction."

But he didn't build that--which is to say that to understand him, you have to understand the subculture of which he is a product. He is what he is because he has been molded by contemporary left-liberalism. His Manichaean worldview is reinforced every day by media apparatchiks like Sargent and his Washington Post colleague, Matt Miller, who offers this "analysis" of ObamaCare:

At bottom, Obamacare is a moral assertion that it is wrong when a wealthy nation has 50 million people without health insurance, when medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy for families and when millions of luckless souls are unable to get coverage because they have preexisting conditions. The House GOP today says these are not real problems.

See how that works? ObamaCare isn't a law at all, it's something better: a "moral assertion." If you oppose ObamaCare, you disagree with that assertion, and that makes you a bad person.

As Tore Kjeilen has explained: "Central in the Manichaean teaching was dualism, that the world itself, and all creatures, was part of a battle between the good, represented by God, and the bad, the darkness, represented by a power driven by envy and lust."

There's a gnostic idea at the heart of Manichaenism, too: The idea that the world is a false world, merely a illusory construct in which spirits of light and darkness, in which none of our crimes against others matter very much because our bodies are artificial and unreal.

Only The Battle matters, and one needn't shed any tears for genuine Evil one may make against others, because "others" don't actually exist, at least not in the form they appear. Rather exactly like the case in the movie The Matrix, where no one even acknowledges gunning down security guards posted in a lobby as an action whose morality might be of some concern.

"Lives" are false, artificial, ephemeral and meaningless, and count only to the extent they advance the goals of the spirits animating them.

Are Obama and his other Marxist fellow-travelers really gnostic Manichaens? I doubt they really subscribe to the religion, but they sure seem to accept its central principles as true. When you accept all major premises of an ancient cult and act in accordance with it, it seems to be a mere formality as to whether one consciously subscribes to the cult's teaching.

But always remember: it is conservatives who are ideological maniacs, and traditionalists who are blinkered religious morons who believe in all manner of silly things.

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posted by Ace at 02:01 PM

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