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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Becoming more like Kenya

Writers on the Right are warning that if Obama is re-elected America will become more like Europe, pointing out that European welfare policies are failing as those economies run out of other people's money. Those on the Left are trying to drive America in the direction of a European style social welfare state because they admire that model as more compassionate than the individualistic American way.

But why does both the Right and Left assume that Obama admires the European social welfare state? For example, he’s no friend of the British despite their socialized health care system. In fact, in his biography “Dreams From My Father,” he accused the British of torturing his grandfather during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.  Some say that this explains the reason that he returned a bust of Winston Churchill and sent the queen of England a CD that could not be played and an iPod.

Regarding that accusation of British torture, David Maraniss in his book on Obama says the tales that has grandfather was imprisoned and tortured by the British are simply not true.

I have not seen Obama demonstrate any great love for the other European countries. He accused the Dutch of killing members of his stepfather’s relatives. According to this entry in Wikipedia, 
 “Soetoro's father and eldest brother were killed during the Indonesian National Revolution, when Indonesia won independence from the Dutch, and the Dutch army burned the family's home. Soetoro fled with his mother to the countryside.”
The only problem with the story is that it's not true either.

But these tales are part of who Obama imagines himself to be; a victim.  The victim of colonial powers, the victims of brutal racists; and in his present position he’s the victim of George Bush.

Who does he see as the heroes in his life? Well, he’s written an entire book about his biological father. He tells us 
“I realized that who I was, what I cared about, was no longer just a matter of intellect or obligation, no longer a construct of words. I saw that my life in America — the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I'd felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I'd witnessed in Chicago — all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away [Kenya], connected by more than the accident of a name or the color of my skin. The pain I felt was my father's pain. My questions were my brothers' questions. Their struggle, my birthright.”

Obama is obsessed by his black African roots.  Not by European socialism, but by the post-colonial development of Africa. Obama is his father’s son, the son who cried at his father’s grave , despite the fact that his father left his mother, had multiple wives, became an alcoholic failure, lost his legs in a drunken driving accident and died in his third car crash.  This is the man who he admired so greatly that, according to his autobiography, when his father gave him a basketball he became a basketball fanatic and after he took him to a jazz concert, turned him into a jazz fan. It's really no wonder that he would embrace his father's cause: Kenya's development as a Socialist state including wealth re-distribution, nationalization, confiscatory taxation, and dispossession of non-African people. Kenya and its struggle has done much more to create Obama’s self image than Europe, home to those who he says tortured and murdered his grandparents.

So what do we know of Kenya? For most of its post-colonial history it has been a one-party state. His father's problems came about partly because he lost favor with Kenya's post-colonial ruler, Yomo Kenyatta.  Kenya has a number of tribal groupings. Few Kenyans live beyond 65. Unemployment is estimated at 40%. Graft and corruption are a way of life. The rule of law is highly uncertain and the judicial system is mired in incompetence, executive interference, and corruption. The government spends 40% more than it takes in. The government also employs about one-third of the formal labor force, the rest are farmers or are in the “informal” economy. In summary, this is a country in which many of the important economic decisions are made by government functionaries. It’s a country which gives the rulers the opportunity to enrich their allies and punish their enemies.  It's one of the reasons that there have been years of civil strife brought about by the desire of competing factions to control the levers of power and the path to wealth. Individual wealth in countries like Kenya – and much of the rest of Africa – depends on who rules the country.

Obama has taken this model and introduced it into the US. No country is free of corruption, payoffs to favored groups and a little “honest graft.” But on the whole, financial corruption has been modest and has not greatly affected the American economy. The Obama administration has created an entire economic sector - “green energy” - and has turned it into a trillion-dollar pool aimed primarily at enriching its political contributors. You can be sure that the same will be true of the health care sector.  People will be willing to pay any amount for access to the limited health care that will be found under Obamacare.  Health care companies will find out who is favored and who is not and the opportunity for "waivers" and favored status in a national system that includes one-sixth of the nation's economy are gigantic.  Not since the transcontinental railroad was built in the 19th century has there been this much opportunity for wholesale corruption.  At least the result of the gigantic give-away of public land to the railroads resulted in the creation of a major transportation system. Green energy simply leaves empty buildings, bankruptcy filings and higher utility bills in its wake and Obamacare will give us the efficiency of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The European socialist model may be broken , but it is generally considered to be relatively honest.  I'm concerned that Obama may be so much his father's son that his goal is not the unworkable European social model but the corrupt Kenyan model.  There are altogether too many signs that this is the direction we're headed.  Obama's declaration that If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. is the sort of thing the revolutionaries said about the immigrants who owned the shops and ran many of the industries after the Europeans turned their colonies in Africa over to local rulers.  That's why Obama's father believed that a 100% tax rate was not too high.  They believed that these immigrants stole their success from the local population.  It happens to be the belief system of the Left in academia, the press, popular culture and President Obama.  

Regarding America’s legal system, the Obama-Holder team is arguably the most corrupt in my lifetime. It has made a policy decision to apply the law unevenly between the races. It has ignored laws with which it disagrees, and used the legal process to harass its political opponents. It has issued decrees that stand outside of the legal bounds and defied congress and the courts to anything about it. It is widely believed to have placed thousands of American guns in the hands of violent Mexican gangs, resulting in the murder of hundreds of people, simply to create the political climate for more gun control in this country. It has used presidential power to cover up a policy that is so reprehensible that people can’t believe it of an American administration. The last time a President acted in a lawless manner, during the Nixon administration, members of his administration would not carry out his orders and members of his party called on him to resign. Today, his party is solidly behind Obama.

What is the difference between Obama's America and Kenya?  A few years, a few thousand miles and a dream from his father.

UPDATE:  It appears that Marco Rubio agrees with me.  Perhaps his family's experience with Castro makes him particularly sensitive to the noises that third world dictators make. Marco Rubio On Obama’s Florida Speech: ‘Sounds Like Speech By Left Wing 3rd World Leader’

UPDATE 2: Strassel: Obama's Enemies List—Part II
First an Obama campaign website called out Romney donor Frank Vandersloot. Next the IRS moved to audit him—and so did the Labor Department.
As Marco Rubio notes, these appear to be the actions of a Left Wing 3rd World Leader.  

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