Jewish World Review Oct. 4, 2013/ 30 Tishrei, 5774
Obama showing his vindictive streak
By Jonah Goldberg
Shutting down the government in an effort to use a budget fight to get rid of Obamacare is not the strategy I would have recommended for the
Obama has always had a bit of a vindictive streak when it comes to politics. I think it stems from his Manichaean view of America. There are the reasonable people -- who agree with him. And there are the bitter clingers who disagree for irrational or extremist ideological reasons.
In his various statements over the last week, he's insisted that opponents of Obamacare are "ideologues" on an "ideological crusade." Meanwhile, he cast himself as just a reasonable guy interested in solving America's problems. I have no issue with him calling Republican opponents "ideologues" -- they are -- but since when is Obama not an ideologue?
The argument about Obamacare is objectively and irrefutably ideological on both sides -- state-provided health care has been an ideological brass ring for the left for well over a century. But much of the press takes its cues from Democrats and sees this fight -- and most other political fights -- as a contest pitting the forces of moderation, decency and rationality against the ranks of the ideologically brainwashed.
What's unusual is the way Obama sees the government as a tool for his ideological agenda. During the fight over the sequester, Obama ordered the government to make the 2 percent budget cut as painful and scary as possible.
"It's going to be very painful for the flying public," Transportation Secretary
Obama, the avowed problem solver, set out to create problems for the American people, just to prove how great government is and how crazy Republicans were for wanting to cut spending -- much of the money borrowed from
Now, with the government shutdown and the looming fight over the debt ceiling, Obama's doubling down this ideologically perverse strategy.
Still, it cost the government more money to try to keep WWII vets out of an open-air memorial than it would have to just leave it be. In
Far worse, Obama told
Whenever the Bush administration issued terror warnings, Democrats insinuated that it was all a cynical political stunt. But this week, the
When Republicans vote to fund essential or popular parts of the government, the response from Democrats is, in effect, "How dare they?"
In the 17 previous government shutdowns since 1977, presidents have worked to avoid them or lessen their impact. Obama has made no such effort out of an ideological yearning to punish his enemies, regardless of the collateral damage.
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