Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama's Class Warfare

I'm sure many engaged in today's huge controversy over John McCain's houses believe they've found a winning ticket in portraying the Arizona Senator as "elitist" and "out of touch" with average Americans facing economic dislocation.

Barack Obama led the charge himself at a campaign rally today in Chester, Virginia,
where he claimed:

I guess if you think that being rich means you gotta make five million dollars, and if you don’t know how many houses you have, then it’s not surprising that you might think the economy is fundamentally strong.

There's no other way to look at Obama's outburst (and the left's piling on) than anything besides rank class warfare.

Maybe this tack will play well in stoking latent working class resentments at inflation, housing instability, and rising unemployment. Maybe this meme will stick if the American electorate is undergoing a fundamental shift in ideological orientation toward the abandonment of free market competition and opportunity-based upward mobility. Or, perhaps Obama's income-envy will play with
those who harbor genuine revolutionary inclinations, and see the Illinois Senator as the vanguard of the proletariat.

More likely, Obama's attack on McCain's residential non-recollection reveals the candidate's subterranean push to resurrect Great Society liberalism in America.

Note that Obama's quoted in the Wall Street Journal today, regarding his recent statements on health care reform:

'If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system," Barack Obama told an audience in Albuquerque on Monday. He was lauding the idea of a health-care market -- or nonmarket -- entirely run by the government.

Most liberals support single payer, aka "Medicare for All," because it would eliminate the profit motive, which by their lights is the reason Americans are uninsured....

With good reason, critics often call this a back-door route to a centrally planned health-care bureaucracy. For all his lawyerly qualifications, Mr. Obama has essentially admitted that his proposal is really the front door.
Thus, Obama's smears this afternoon are of a piece with his larger shift toward leftist ideological transparency.

Indeed, it's all coming together: Obama has been under fire this week for advocating
an abortion position tantamount to infanticide, which has placed him to the left of NARAL. Obama's also been revealed as nothing more than a two-bit machine politician (rather that some ethereal agent of post-partisan transformation) by reports that he won his first election to the Illinois legislature in 1996 by disqualifying all of his electoral opponents from the ballot. It turns out, moreover, that the Obama camp may be involved in a massive cover up of his failed leadership as board chairman overseeing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

In any case, do the Obama people really think this is smart politics? Obama generated big political trouble previously with his bitter comments on working class resentments (remarks that were
widely perceived to be based in Marxist sensibilities). The candidate himself resides in a million-dollar mansion, in Chicago's tony Hyde Park neighborhood (where few people of color reside, not to mention the lumpen proletariat). He purchased his seven-figure abode through the good offices of convicted felon Tony Rezko. And for good measure, the Obamas provide their children with elite private education, at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where the tuition costs from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school!

The truth is that Obama's had difficulties connecting with average Americans all year, and his appeal to class warfare goes against traditional American support for free markets; current polling indicates that citizens overwhelmingly "prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans."

To top it all off, the left's attack on McCain is essentially dishonest: "McCain himself doesn’t own any property and isn’t “rich”, and Cindy and her family earned their money honestly."

After weeks of collapsing numbers in presidential preference surveys, Obama and his left-wing partisans are naturally pumped at the prospect of a potent smear against John McCain. Unfortunately, class warfare has never been a winner in American politics, and even now, in an ostensibly Democratic year, the left's going to need something bit more powerful than a couple of misplaced condominiums if they hope to retake the White House.