Historians disagree on whether or not Nero played some sort of instrument while Rome burned, or whether he might have even set the fires himself in order to clear the canvas, as it were, for shovel-ready projects that included a colossal statue of himself. It is doubtful, however, that history will be quite so ambiguous regarding the current President's role in the many conflagrations that threaten to devour a great country. Barack Obama can forgo the statue, having left a monumental debt for future generations to remember him by. And who needs a fiddle when you have full orchestral accompaniment from a compliant press corps?
At his creative best, Cecil B. DeMille himself couldn't have depicted the sheer cataclysmic scope of President Obama's signature accomplishments. The highest sustained unemployment rates since the Great Depression, a health care law that adds over 16,000 IRS agents but not a single doctor, a national debt to cripple future generations, a downgraded national credit rating, a post-constitutional government that retroactively mocks the Founders, more people added to the disability rolls than to the employment rolls -- these are the offspring fathered by the centralized planning of human fulfillment. But the blessings of progressivism don't stop at our borders.
Thirty-five years ago, Jimmy Carter proclaimed us, "…free of that inordinate fear of communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that fear. …We've fought fire with fire, never thinking that fire is better quenched with water." Carter then picked up the garden hose and watered down American influence, resolve, credibility, intelligence and military power, while managing in the process to germinate a new Soviet outpost in our hemisphere, the Red Army's invasion of Afghanistan, and a bumper crop of Islamic moon bats in Iran who threaten the peace to this day.
Almost four years ago, President Obama announced that, "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken, you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." Such was the President's strength of spirit that he sat dumbstruck and paralyzed when Iran opened fire on pro-democracy civilians, proving that he could indeed outlast their anguished cries for help. But he regained his footing just in time to help the Muslim Brotherhood ascend to power in Egypt, from which position they present new and ominous threats to Israel and stability throughout the region. As Israel finds itself surrounded by a fanatic death cult that straps bombs to its children, while facing a growing nuclear threat, they look to America and see …what exactly? That we've exchanged Jimmy Carter's garden hose of vacillation for a Biblical flood of self destruction?
Meanwhile, America suffers from the Democratic Party's continuing problem of premature capitulation. President Obama undertakes America's retreat in two theatres of war, proving that terrorists can indeed outlast us, a lesson which, when last learned by Osama bin Laden, resulted in mass slaughter on American soil. The President has cancelled the deployment of ballistic missile defenses in Central Europe, to the disappointment of our allies and the cheers of Moscow. And if current trends are any indication, he will reduce America's military strength back to that which is only necessary to secure the breeding ground of the caribou, or fly reconnaissance missions over American farms.
Weakness doesn't go unnoticed, and power, like nature itself, abhors a vacuum. If America will not lead, others who do not share our values of individual liberty and national sovereignty will. Even now, Russia is dispatching its naval craft, complete with arms, equipment, and a unit of its marines, to Syria. Just in the last few months, Russian strategic bombers crossed into US airspace near Alaska and California. We recently learned that a Russian submarine made its way, undetected, into the Gulf of Mexico, sailing alone the US coastline. Meanwhile, China increases its own military spending by 11 percent, and threatens Japan, Vietnam, and even the Philippines. The Middle East is on the verge of what could be a catastrophic war as Israel, yet again, sees its very survival threatened.
What is the President's response? What is the response of his party? To demand Mitt Romney's tax returns, wage class warfare, protect public sector unions at the expense of the people who pay their salaries, and claim that Republicans are waging a war on women even as Democrats prepare to welcome an accused rapist and sexual predator as their keynote speaker. In another generation, William F. Buckley, Jr., quoted Hilaire Belloc, and the statement is as appropriate today as it was then:
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond; and on those faces there is no smile.