Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, February 16, 2008

On The Mountaintop With Obama

The Captain has a powerful post this morning, The Coming Obama 'Theocracy,' which keys off a speech given earlier this month by Michelle Obama that includes this passage:
We have lost the understanding that in a democracy, we have a mutual obligation to one another -- that we cannot measure the greatness of our society by the strongest and richest of us, but we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here, because Barack Obama is the only person in this who understands that. That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.
Imagine if Mike Huckabee had suggested it was his purpose to fix the souls of Americans! We wouldn't have had to wait until later in this month to hear about what he said earlier in the month.

Obama is generating a messianic stirring in the souls of Liberals, and the Libs are responding with religious fervor. They're political born-agains because they can't rationally explain why they like him so; it is a feeling; no, more than a feeling: a faith.

If you think I'm overstating, check out this Ezra Klein quote Mark Steyn found:
"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair."
I know exactly what he's talking about. I've felt that way when a particularly gifted pastor has filled me with the Spirit.

But this is politics, not religion, presidential candidates, not saviors. And we religious folk know that after the "mountain top" experience, we fall back down into the valley; that religious experiences are the peaks that keep us motivated for the slog.

If Obama is elected, however, he will have four years of slogging before him, not a long, four-year mountaintop experience. Many of his followers don't realize this because this is the first time their spirit has been touched, and they don't realize that the awe-inspiring glow is only temporary.

If we turn to our souls over to government, what can we expect? Nirvana? The womb-like warmth of something larger than us taking care of our every need? I don't think so. I think government's soul is better told through this story from Australia's The Age:

POKER machines are creating a new criminal class — pushing law-abiding Victorians into a life of crime to feed gambling addictions that are tearing families apart while the State Government reaps a $1 billion-a-year tax jackpot.

People with no prior criminal records are being jailed for years after succumbing to pokie addictions and resorting to fraud, theft and embezzlement, often after gambling away their life savings.

In one case, a woman was murdered by a colleague for a shop's takings. The killer then went to the casino and within four hours of the May 2006 killing had lost a third of the money.

Lawyers say the Government must act urgently to address the gambling crisis which saw Victorians lose $2.5 billion last year.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week expressed concern that gambling tax contributed more than $5 billion to the states' and territories' annual revenue.

The State Government is set to announce new 20-year poker machine licences within weeks — a once-in-a-generation chance to reduce the number and accessibility of gaming machines, according to Opposition gaming spokesman Michael O'Brien.

He said the State Government was ignoring "the social cost and the economic cost through the criminal justice system, through the health system, through the social welfare system that gambling addiction creates".

His views are backed by senior lawyers. Bernie Balmer, who represented Kate Jamieson, a former Bendigo Bank loans officer and a mother of two who stole $3.5 million to feed her gambling addiction and is now in jail, says poker machines are white-anting ordinary families.

"Once upon a time you didn't have this offending in court — these are mums who have been dragged away from their kids for four years," he said. "The community have got to support them in jail — husbands become single parents, it's just bull****."

Could you ask for better evidence that government has no soul? It can only reflect the souls of those who run it, and if those who run it want massive social programs that deflate industry and self-motivation in the name of the warm blanket of Socialism, then schemes like state-sponsored poker will be needed to keep the necessary money rolling in.

Obama has them all at the mountaintop now, and his followers (especially the young ones) think it's a permanent condition. It's not. The only real question is whether he can keep them there through the convention and on to November, or whether the bummer slogging will chill the glow before we make the horrific mistake of electing a political mystic -- or worse yet, a political televangelist -- to be our president.

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