Barack Obama: Finding His Inner Lenin, Finding His Inner Dzerzhinskii

I’ve run a good number of “I told you so” pieces on this blog.  This time, however, it’s more like “It used to be this way, but…” and the subject is national security.  Barack Obama has, at least, cut the left’s Gordian Knot on the issue.

Let me go back to 2006 with this pre-election bloviation:

So the Democrats are stuck. They simply cannot bring themselves to allow our military and intelligence services to do what they have to do. So the vote to keep them weak in the face of public opinion to the contrary. The Democrat Party and the American left is trapped in Dzershinskii’s Dilemma, where if they neglect national security we lose and if they beef it up they get wiped out. They never will find a way out. We vote for such people at our own peril.

Well, as we see these days, they’ve found their (or more accurately Obama has found his) way out of the conundrum that has buffaloed them from Vietnam on.  They’ve done this in three steps:

  1. They’ve “sanitised” the “war on terror” using technology such as drone strikes.  The one exception to this was the killing of Osama bin Laden, and that was because they needed serious proof of the deed.  (By the time we got around to doing that, bin Laden was no longer really leading al-Qaeda, as we learned the hard way in Benghazi).
  2. They redefined the real enemy.  Although they’re content with picking off Islāmic careerists, their real enemy is their domestic political opposition, whom they’ve pursued via the IRS and other national security and police agencies.  This has worked because…
  3. …the left sees its political opposition as an existential threat.  As such they are ready, to varying degrees, to abrogate constitutional protections to insure their own survival and prosperity.  This is buttressed electorally by the immense patronage via various programs handed out by the government.  This isn’t new–FDR and his successors benefited from Social Security in this way–but the scale is unprecedented.

The upshot of all of this is that the left (or at least part of it) is ready to move the revolution forward in the way most revolutions move “forward”, i.e., towards an absolute state.  This is a major shift and should be noted.  Conservatives can appeal to principles all they want, but until we get people–and especially people who don’t agree with them–to understand that they’re next in this process, success will elude them.

There are signs, even before the present scandals broke, that some are starting to figure it out.  But we need to see more.  In the meanwhile we need to get out of the “Pickett’s Charge” mentality and realise this is a long-haul process.

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