Cliff Deal Settles One Argument at Least: Obama’s No Intentional Destroyer

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The fiscal-cliff deal settled nothing in terms of the desperate, ongoing struggle to bring Washington’s devastating deficits under control, but it should put an end, once and for all, to a bitter debate that’s damaged the conservative movement for the last four years.

With the president participating in successful last-minute efforts to prevent crushing, automatic, across-the-board tax hikes that would have done disastrous damage to the U.S. economy, it’s time for Barack Obama’s angriest critics to finally give up the paranoid fantasy that he’s some sort of alien agent with a secret agenda to wreck capitalism and weaken the United States.

If the president really did nurse a deep-seated desire to ruin the free enterprise system (and the Republican Party along with it), he just missed his golden opportunity.

Had he pushed the nation off the fiscal cliff (as many conservatives feared he would), he could have gained a precious two-fer—savaging the American business community with nightmarish new tax burdens, crushing 30 million new households with the impact of the Alternate Minimum Tax, and blaming stubborn, unyielding Republicans for all the resulting wreckage.

Obama’s willingness to make a deal doesn’t mean that his policies count as wise or far-sighted or beneficial. But his readiness to compromise should prove to anyone but the most deluded nut-case that those policies are not deliberately destructive.

Had the president stood firm on his endlessly re-affirmed determination to raise rates for all households earning more than $250,000, then John Boehner and the rest of the GOP would have refused any deal, taxes would have gone up automatically on every household and business, and the nation would have fallen into severe double-dip recession. Instead of forcing that outcome, the president agreed to exempt the big majority (70 percent) of those well-off families he originally had targeted, freezing tax rates for households majority with reported income between $250,000 and $450,000. Even taxpayers above the $450,000 line will pay far less than they would have paid if the tax system had gone off the cliff—because of big savings on all income earned below that line.

This deliverance from destruction should put to rest—forever—the toxic notion of the populist right that the president of the United States harbors the secret goal of destroying the country he’s been (twice) elected to lead. That idea often connects with idiotic claims about President Obama’s concealed Kenyan birth, hidden Muslim affiliation, radical Communist commitments, descent from Malcolm X or Frank Marshall Davis, control by demonic puppet-masters like George Soros, and so forth and so on ad infinitum (or insane-item).

At its most sophisticated level, the theory of Obama’s destroy-America agenda links to his father’s undeniable anti-colonialist and Third World socialist outlook.  In bestselling books like The Roots of Obama’s Rage and his smash hit movie 2016: OBAMA’S AMERICA, my friend Dinesh D’Souza advanced the idea that the president consciously desired to reduce the nation’s prosperity and power in order to make up for the sins of racist colonialism and to foster a more balanced, multi-polar world order. No less a figure than Newt Gingrich, often hailed as the most influential intellectual in the Republican Party, embraced D’Souza’s analysis as “brilliant” and suggested that it accurately assessed the true motivation of the most powerful political figure on the planet.

In the world of conservative media, Rush Limbaugh has promoted similar arguments since Obama’s earliest days in office, insisting that his famous hope for the president to “fail” meant only failure for the new chief executive’s malevolent nation-wrecking aims.  On countless occasions, this most influential (and generally insightful) voice in right-of-center commentary has explained the economic setbacks of Obama’s first term by insisting that the president meant to damage capitalism “on purpose.” On one memorable occasion Limbaugh suggested that if a hound gets whacked by his master once or twice he might write it off as unintentional, but if the abusive owner punishes the pet every single day then even a dumb dog knows it’s no accident.

The fiscal-cliff crisis may have accomplished almost nothing in settling our most serious policy disputes but it should put to rest the illogical notion that the presiding chief executive somehow advances his own interests through economic devastation.  For 99.4 percent of all U.S. households, the president ended up agreeing to permanent consecration of the same Bush tax cuts he formerly blamed for all the economic reverses of the last decade. He accepted only a third of the new revenue he had demanded as absolutely essential to deficit reduction as recently as a month ago. In the aftermath of the agreement, Democrats seem not only surprised at the scope of the president’s concessions to the GOP, but utterly amazed that most Republicans appear unable to assess the significance of their own gains in the negotiations.

In part, that blindness stems from the lingering fear that any perceived success for Obama involves inevitable harm to America’s prospects for prosperity, because the president yearns to crash the economy as step one of imposing a new socialist system.  Abandoning this delusion will not only allow the GOP to improve its political prospects but will foster a more realistic and constructive role in governance.

Barack Obama remains a standard- issue big-government leftist with dysfunctional assumptions about Washington’s limitless power to solve every problem. Huge fights remain as principled Republicans seek to curb his free-spending excesses and the Democratic Party’s unstoppable instinct to expand federal power.

But those fights will go better when conservatives acknowledge that the president qualifies as a typical, vote-buying Democratic politico in the tradition of FDR, LBJ, Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Dick Daley, seeking power, popularity, and prosperity by spending other people’s money. It’s never helped the cause of limited government or fiscal sanity or effective leadership in Washington for the right to flirt with the inane, offensive idea that Barack Obama is a kamikaze—or commie-kaze—bent on a political suicide mission to steer the most powerful nation on earth toward fiery destruction. With the economy-saving fiscal-cliff compromise now a done deal, that dark vision looks more ridiculous than ever.

This column appeared first in THE DAILY BEAST. 

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Comments (17)

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  1. will  •  Jan 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Who ever wrote this piece of garbage must be in league with the Socialists presently in power here….The best thing we could have done is go over the so called cliff..Then mabe people would wake up and see all the damage these people have already done…Obamma didnt give up anything in any so called compromise deal..the american people lost even more.

  2. Cheryl Smith  •  Jan 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    This piece is ridiculous! I have listend to his show and never realized how left he is..Obama has done everything he can since 2008 to show he thinks he is some sort of dictator! Incredible!

  3. Curt  •  Jan 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Happy New Year Michael,

    In your e-book “Odds Against Obama’s 2nd Term, you weighed heavily on historical data to argue your position. (Okay fine. You were wrong, it happens. Should have factored in the Left smells blood and is on a MISSION to win at ALL costs. Heavy voter fraud included.)

    A degree of foolishness on your part for being so emphatically sure in your op-ed.
    Yes, conservative talking heads should tone it down a bit. They need to be more careful.

    Of course Pres. Obama signed the tax bill… (A crafty tactical move to not draw heavy fire)

    The argument is what is to follow the next four years and the next president, another Leftist that wins the next election that will continue the shift to the Left. Look for other brilliant Leftist chess moves like a VAT tax, new massive spending tricks, wacky/questionable Executive Orders, more Leftist head appointees, Liberal Supreme Court Judges, more regulations in key areas that continue the Leftist slow march on the USA.
    – Large fish are carefully caught by hooking them first… then pulling them in then letting out the line, tricking them they are free to flee and expend their energy and tire only to be slowly pulled in, let out, and finally caught.

    It’s theirs for the taking with the National Leftist Media machine leading the incremental charge and for now, Obama’s needed cover.



    • Curt  •  Jan 6, 2013 at 12:41 am

      This is a gem: Yuri Bezmenov (alias Tomas Schuman), a Soviet KGB defector, as he explains in detail his scheme for the KGB process of subversion and takeover of target societies at a lecture in Los Angeles, 1983.

      Watch taking note and compare our gov’t, media, education, etc. in today’s society…

  4. Cisco Kid  •  Jan 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    The liberals are very patient. They are satisfied to take one step forward and two steps back, to make it look like they care about the average citizen, as long as they are advancing America toward their goal of military and economic destruction. Obama is satisfied with making “permanent” the “Bush tax cuts” and moving on $250K income limit now, because he knows he’ll get it back later. Don’t forget: the payroll tax holiday expired for EVERY wage earner, the Obamacare taxes are gradually being put in place, and we are about to hit yet another debt ceiling. He doesn’t need to push America off a “fiscal cliff” all at once to cripple our economy. Whether he’s the tortoise or the hare, the end goal is the same. He’s only continuing what others before him have started.

    • Charles Merritt  •  Jan 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Dittos. One must not cook the frog too fast. Remember the
      Tortoise and the Hare – “Slow and steady does the job”. The argument that “he is or isn’t” is moot. There doesn’t HAVE to be a Star Chamber – it’s what’s happening and the result will be the same.

  5. Chris  •  Jan 6, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I disagree with you. President Obama knew before he was elected in 2008 that spending trillions of dollars is the wrong thing to do to our economy. I have seen a video clip of President Obama campaigning in 2008 and criticizing George W. Bush for taking a credit card from the bank of China and spending our children and grandchildren’s money. Yet, Obama has spent 5.8 trillion dollars in four years. Even Bill Clinton, for all his faults, didn’t spend our money like that. Obama has not insisted that Congress or the Senate pass a budget in over three years. Clinton at least worked with Republicans to balance the budget. It was a struggle, but it got done. The notion that Obama is ignorant of how the economy works is hogwash.
    Also, Obama has made remarks about spreading the wealth, and redistributing income. Those are Socialist terms. Obama has hired at least two communist sympathizers to his administration: Van Jones and Anita Dunn. Jones admitted being a communist, and Dunn said in a speech that one of her favorite philosophers was Mao Tse Tung. Why would Obama allow such people to work for him? Bill Ayers was clearly a communist in the 1960’s and even today, yet Obama went to a political fundraiser at Ayer’s home during a campaign for state office. Why would Obama choose to go to a function held by the likes of Bill Ayers?
    The Rev Jeremiah Wright thinks highly of Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan was honored as man of the year by Wright’s church publication. Wright and Farrakhan visited Libya in the 1980’s when Libya was our enemy. Why would Obama spend 20 years in a church with a minister who values Louis Farrakhan?
    Why didn’t Obama release both his short form and long form birth certificates in 2009? Why did Obama sit around for two years and not release his long form certificate when apparently, he had it the whole time? The controversy could have been squelched in 2009 if he had.
    I believe these and other questions about Obama are fair and valid.

  6. Russ  •  Jan 6, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Who wrote this column? Obama is a socialist…don’t EVER believe that he wasn’t influenced by his father. Obama’s agenda is to promote socialism and weaken the private sector.

  7. Doug Nelson  •  Jan 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    This column presents no evidence what so ever to disprove
    the conclusions of Dinesh D’Souza’s book and film.

  8. SHEILA CARTER  •  Jan 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm


  9. Niles  •  Jan 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    The “Fiscal Cliff” deal proves nothing except that Obama is willing to achieve the same anti-american goals at a slower pace so as not to risk sharing the blame for the disastrous results of swift, rather than gradual, action. It was a political calculation and nothing more.

  10. Beare  •  Jan 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Of course medved suports obama and defends him like nixon medved is a big government, big corp, big union liberal. obama and medved have the same goal a socialist America the only thing they disagree with is who should be the first class citizens and who should be second class or third class.

  11. Matthias KRIVEC  •  Jan 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Quote from Michael Medved: “Obama seeks power, popularity and prosperity by spending other people’s money.”
    This is an accurate observation and sums up the core belief of the left…

  12. Sharon Branigan  •  Jan 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I have to assume that Michael wrote this since there’s no byline and it’s on his website. It’s disappointing because I really love Michael’s audio history essays. I’ve recommended them to friends and especially homeschoolers; but, no longer. Michael, you have burned a bridge with this supporting document in favor of Barack Obama. If you had any credibility at all, it’s gone with this piece of fantasy.

  13. Paul  •  Jan 12, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Yea, Mike totally blew it here.

  14. Janey S.  •  Jan 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I would believe Obama wasn’t out to destroy this country if he even pretended to want meaningful cuts in spending (besides just from our national defense). Anyone who thinks he’s remotely concerned about America or her citizens is simply blind, or naive, or in denial.

  15. Robbiestien  •  Jan 22, 2013 at 10:00 am

    No mention of:

    This “sweet fiscal cliff deal” does nothing but give big more corporate welfare hand outs from the taxpayers.
    Maybe if the “fiscal cliff boogey man” was not so prevalent, maybe this would have been picked up on by SOMEONE?
    Maybe if we had one competent “representative” and not all “politicians”?

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