Police State


We the American people have been treated by Barack Obama, who promised to bring a new and fresh transparency to government, to a “Scandal Palooza.”  Not since John Mitchell during the Nixon administration coined the chilling phrase “White House horrors” has a President’s tenure in office been characterized by such a dense thicket of lawlessness, arrogance, and ineptitude. Recent disclosures highlight 

  • that news reporters have been under government surveillance and their work product the source of criminal investigation, 
  • that millions of ordinary citizens have suffered “big brother’s” invasion of their privacy by collection of their phone records and monitoring of their email, 
  • that the Internal Revenue Service has vigorously and unrelentingly targeted and discriminated against individuals and groups according to their political persuasion, and
  • that Americans were disturbingly left behind in Benghazi to be murdered by terrorists without meaningful explanation by the administration, (unless one is satisfied by Ms. Clinton’s rhetorical question: “What difference does it make at this point how they died?”) 

The failure of the Obama administration to answer questions in an honest and straightforward way lends itself, after a while, to an impression of arrogance. How long can a chief executive and his aids stonewall the request for information by feigning surprise and ignorance or some other excuse? Asking them about any substantive issue pertinent to a scandal is reminiscent of interrogating post-World War II Germans about the atrocities of the Third Reich – nobody seems to have been at home! A police state is like that.  Horrors are met by ringing silence. 

I guess that it shouldn’t shock us that a President, who has spent millions in tax dollars on regal and lavish vacations as the nation’s unemployment numbers have remained painfully high, would be captured by Caesarian hubris. This mentality is one that permeates his administration. I predict that Lois Lerner, pictured below, presently on paid administrative leave from the IRS, will one day be the administration’s primary poster child.  The world will not soon forget her appearance before Congress as a high-ranking IRS official, with nose thrust into the air insisting upon her innocence, while asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Superciliousness and hypocrisy are prime ingredients in this devil’s brew, otherwise known as the spirit of tyranny.   

The New York Times had it right in its initial editorial:  Mr. Obama has lost all credibility, period.  I confess, and some will call me out for it, that I never thought the man had much credibility in the first place. There's a valid judgment to be made about an individual by the company he keeps.  Consider the character of some of the persons closest to our President. 

Attorney General Eric Holder,  when testifying before Congress, seems unbelievably thick-headed and dull-witted, as when he was asked by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for an example of a case in which an enemy combatant caught on the battlefield was later tried in a civilian court. The Attorney General was stumped by the question, although he was there attempting to argue for the practice.  Now, let me ask you, who would go before a United States Senatorial Committee and submit to questioning on this vital topic without being aware that not a single historical example could be adduced in support of it? 

It doesn't stop with Mr. Holder.  Senior Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett is amateurish in some ways and sinister in others. This is what she is quoted as having said prior to Mr. Obama’s re-election: “After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay.” I wonder if she knows anything about Richard Nixon. 

Then there’s Lisa Jackson, who as director of the Environmental Protection Agency used a secret and fraudulent email address under the name “Richard Windsor” in order to dodge public scrutiny.  Ask Senator David Vitters (R-LA) about her splendid sense of transparency.  

Finally, who can forget the one and only Vice President Joe Biden, who comes across as a farcical laughing stock and one of the most daft officials in the history of American government?  Some believe that he is Mr. Obama’s best insurance against impeachment and that he leads the list of the most impressive gaggle of Dummkopfs anywhere in the world. 

Hannah Arendt wrote about “the banality of evil.”  Her haunting phrase aptly characterizes an aspect of those who preside over a police state. Albert Speer’s Inside the Third Reich  underscores how commonplace and boring the conversation was at Hitler’s dinner table. I can only guess how inspiring it might be to dine with leading members of Mr. Obama’s administration and to listen to their observations concerning philosophy, history, law and government. Yes, I'm laughing. 

But please don’t tar me with the suggestion that I’m comparing our President and his administration to the German Fűhrer and his minions. I’m not.  What I’m attempting to point out is that, as American civil liberties contract (and they are contracting!) and as the “organic Constitution” renders the document’s original intent more an afterthought than ever, those at the helm appear distinctly, almost laughably, unqualified to be there.  It’s as if the American people are background actors in a biting satire, where their political leaders have starring roles as idiots in sartorial dress.  The audience is at a loss whether to laugh or to cry. At the very least there is a profound sense of amusement.

A budding police state evokes conflicting emotions, doesn’t it?

June 10, 2013