A.J. DiCintio
Hope run amok
By A.J. DiCintio
February 6, 2010

Among the poems Emily Dickinson wrote under the heading "Life" is one about hope, which the poet imagines as a "little bird" that sings to her even "in the chillest land/And on the strangest sea," never asking "a crumb" in return.

Well, there's no disputing the poem's message because the irrepressible, selfless nature of hope is inarguable.

However, it must be said that the Power who has given us hope asks us to use His gift judiciously by employing our reason and experience to assess not just possibility but probability, no matter how painful or unpleasant the exercise.

Now, all this business is on my mind today as a result of "The Perot Option," a piece which David Brooks opens as follows:

"There is a specter haunting America: the specter of a saner, updated version of Ross Perot. . . lurking out there, ready to ride the free-floating anger and distrust of Washington [caused by selfish politicians who have] put the country on a highway to a fiscal crisis [with] no exit ramps."

It's not, however, Brooks' hope that a new, improved, debt-condemning Ross Perot is actually "out there" that is of concern.

No, the problem arises when an embarrassingly hopeful Brooks asserts that Obama's State of the Union speech represents a "good start" in the president's "reclaim[ing] the mantle of the permanent outsider."

And what a humdinger of a problem it is; for the belief that Obama is capable of making a 180 with respect to becoming an "outsider" who is a fiscally responsible, common sense agent of change must, of necessity, be based entirely upon a foolish, perilous hope.

After all, the simple truth about Barack Obama, who recently proclaimed "I'm not an ideologue," is that he has been an ideologue of the hard left his entire adult life — in his relationships with religious leaders (think Reverend Wright), political strategists (think devotees of Alinsky), journalists (think Frank Marshall Davis), social activists (think Bill Ayres), and political figures (think big shots of the Chicago Machine and its branch in Springfield).

Of course, Obamaphants who feel a thrill running up their legs even when their champion intones a sonorous "the" will argue that Obama is a changed man since he was elected.

Trouble with that fawning lie is that it shuts its mind to the following host of truths about the real President Obama:

He ordered up a "stimulus" bill written entirely by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid so that it could be stuffed with $800 billion worth of the most rancid pork ever earmarked into law.

He socialized two of the nation's auto companies, cutting a very special deal for the union that helped send those corporations under.

He worked with congressional Democrats to provide a 10% "catch-up" increase in funding for Federal agencies and to staff those agencies with additional employees who have sent Federal employment numbers to record levels — while the rest of the country suffers the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

He has tried to Federalize (not reform) healthcare with an insanely expensive, madly unfair plan so full of bureaucratic monstrosities and ugly payoffs to politicians, trial lawyers, and unions that it has caused a political earthquake across the fifty states.

He has sent the nation's debt climbing to levels so menacingly high that only Paul Krugman and his ilk aren't worried about the looming economic and cultural calamity that lies ahead.

He has implemented policies regarding national security and foreign affairs so dangerously dogmatic in their devotion to the notions of the Pollyannish Left that they require enemy combatants to be read their Miranda rights immediately upon being captured and their trails to be held in Federal courts located in our most crowded cities.

He has appointed to important Federal positions radicals so far-left that they make the Radic-Libs of the sixties look like Moderates.

Those are the truths that David Brooks must ignore in a piece that ends with this message to the president:

"He's out there — that saner Ross Perot. He's a-comin'. The country would be better off if it were you."

What is there to say about such hope run amok except to advise Mr. Brooks to think deeply about the wisdom of the Yiddish proverb that observes, "If my grandmother would have had testicles, she would have been my grandfather."

On second thought, there is nothing funny about where Obama is taking the country.

Therefore, it is far more appropriate to suggest Brooks meditate upon the many implications that flow from two other aphorisms, the first of which was coined by the Romans:

Pardus maculas non deponit.

"The leopard does not change his spots."

And the second by the quintessential American named Ben Franklin:

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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