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                 The Reactionary Utopian
                    January 15, 2008

by Joe Sobran

     Not long ago, like Napoleon Bonaparte, Hillary 
Clinton took charge of her own coronation. Unfortunately, 
it turned out to be premature. The Democrats in Iowa and 
New Hampshire had their own ideas and withheld the crown 
from her.

     They seem to have felt that she'd been a bit too 
smug a bit too long. In the Iowa caucuses she took a 
stunning defeat from Barack Obama, who is no longer 
confused with Osama bin Laden, not even by the president 
of the United States. She won in the New Hampshire 
primary, but not by the decisive margin she had hoped 
for: her margin of victory there was a measly, 
meaningless 3 per cent.

     The day before the New Hampshire primary Hillary 
already seemed to realize that the end of her imperial 
dream was imminent. We should have seen it coming long 
ago, shouldn't we? The midnight comics have been making 
Hillary jokes for ages, a notorious omen; after a year of 
intense exposure, I can't think of a single Obama joke. 
He just hasn't done anything to make himself risible.

     Experience? Well, if sleeping with Bill Clinton 
counts as experience, Hillary obviously has a lot more of 
it than Obama.

     Meanwhile, Obama has conducted himself with what I 
can only call a durable dignity. He makes no enemies, 
inspires no wisecracks, and seems not even to have any 
eccentricities. His mistakes have been so few and so 
minor that you can hardly remember them. His views are 
orthodox liberal, rigidly so, but he comes across as so 
genially moderate in his manner that nobody resents him. 
He avoids all the more overt mannerisms of the Left.

     The Democrats have been obsessively chanting the 
word "change." After his Iowa victory and elsewhere Obama 
spoke ecstatically of changing the world. The whole 
thing, I guess. They don't feel it necessary to define 
what needs changing, or from what into what, which makes 
their whole debate absurd, though nobody seems to notice. 
I think of G.K. Chesterton's words: "It is futile to 
discuss reform without reference to form."

     If we really want change, we could start by 
observing the U.S. Constitution, as only one candidate, 
Congressman Ron Paul, has proposed to do, thereby making 
himself a pariah to other Republicans. That way 
impeachment lies: a president who actually kept his oath 
of office would outrage nearly everyone in Washington.

     A less ambitious change that would cause nearly as 
much consternation in both political and media circles 
would be to pull all U.S. military forces out of the 
Middle East. Paul would like to do this too, and it is 
hardly deniable that American involvement in that region 
has been extremely costly, disastrous, catastrophic, 
ruinous, unconstitutional, and really, really dumb.

     Only Paul has kept his head and a sense of 
proportion during this mad political season. No matter 
who becomes president, the lawless superstate, which is 
just about everything the Framers of the Constitution 
meant to make impossible, will remain. (The less said 
about the other Republican presidential candidates, the 

     Imagine trying to explain to George Washington or 
Thomas Jefferson how this country adopted such monstrous 
deformations as the income tax, the welfare state, 
nuclear weapons, and legal abortion, to name only four of 
the once-unthinkable evils we have come to take for 
granted. Would they congratulate us on having made 
progress, or on having improved on the original (and 
simple) political system they bequeathed to us?

     Much has been said and written, most of it silly and 
quite irrelevant, about Obama's African genes, as if they 
make him "black," when of course they don't. His speech, 
manners, polish, intelligence, and so on -- these are the 
things that count, not his crude demographic profile, 
which is no more than a curiosity. As Joe Biden once 
observed (so explosively!), he is "clean." Yes, he may be 
literally "African-American," as I suppose a man born in 
Cairo, Tunis, or Capetown would be, but why make a big 
deal of that?

     Has everyone forgotten the most basic things? In 
this country the government is supposed to be confined to 
the few powers and functions specified in its 
Constitution -- such concrete things as coining (not 
printing) money and punishing counterfeiters.

     The hysterical democratic flattery with which the 
news media constantly assure hoi polloi that "you decide" 
(as if the individual vote could make any difference now) 
can only demoralize anyone who grasps what is really 
going on. Despite the plausibility of his surface, Obama 
is no more genuine than the others. He believes in the 
falsehoods as gullibly as anyone. Pitiful fact!


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