Table of failed bills filibustered in U.S. Senate




Conservative columnist Roger Kimball explains just how "transformative" Barack Obama really is.

Columnist Roger Kimball (managing editor of The New Criterion and president of Encounter Books) has written an excellent essay, "Is Obama a “transformational figure”? You don’t know the half of it!" for his Pajamas Media blog. Prompted by former U.S. Army General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama on Meet the Press yesterday, Kimball takes Powell’s complimentary characterization of Obama as a "transformational figure" and explains just what that really means:

Yesterday, Gen. Colin Powell, former Republican Secretary of State, waddled forth on Meet the Press to criticize his former boss [President George W. Bush] and announce his support for [Illinois Senator Barack] Obama. The election of Obama, said Gen. Powell, would “electrify the world.”

I agree with Gen. Powell that Obama would be a “transformational figure.” But what sort of transformation are we talking about? The United States is the richest, freest, most powerful nation in history. What would it look like after Obama, abetted by a Pelosi-Reid Congress, got done with their transformation?

Yes, that’s right, Virginia, it would be poorer, markedly less free, and less powerful.

Kimball cites an excellent Wall Street Journal article from last Friday that explained in great detail exactly what a President Obama and congressional majorities with a filibuster-proof Senate would do. The picture is truly frightening, and I refer you to the original article for the bloody details. Here’s Kimball’s sense of its central meaning:

He, together with a large left-wing majority in Congress, would transform America from the land of the free and the home of the brave into another socialist swamp: the land of the taxed and the home of regulated.

That is a perfectly accurate description not only of the inevitable consequences of Obama’s and the congressional Democrats’ proposed policies but also their intentions. Change the words "socialist swamp" to "haven of social justice" and it’s obvious that this is a highly accurate description of their intent.

The question, then, is whether the voters will actually go through with their alleged intent to elect Obama president, as the polls seem to indicate. The vivid differences between the two candidates—which Kimball accurately describes as "a choice between a liberal, idiosyncratic Republican and an activist left-wing crusader"—definitely provides Americans a choice between two enormously different futures. :

Will it sell? In an earlier post, I said that “Whatever else it is, this election is a referendum on two very different visions of America. Obama’s vision is of country crippled by sin; McCain and Palin’s vision is of a country fired by high ideals and expansive opportunity.”

What the election results will tell us is whether America has already been transformed from a place where people want to be free to pursue happiness or one where they will gladly give up that freedom in exchange for the promise of increasingly meager handouts from an overweening and imperial government. Kimball believes that Obama ultimately won’t make it:

The question is how far outside the precincts of elite opinion that fog has penetrated. I suspect most Americans side with John McCain and Sarah Palin and Joe the plumber against the socialist mandarins who have plotted out a socialist future for America, and one that is inflected, moreover, by the antinomianism of class warriors like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. If I am right, you should not be surprised to wake up on November 5 and find that John McCain has been elected the forty-fourth president of the United States.

And if Kimball is wrong, the results of this election will reflect a profound cultural and social change—indeed, a change of civilizations—that has already taken place, and it will indeed have a transformative effect on America and the world.