October 23, 2009


Lawrence Auster postulates:

As for the stunning laziness he has showed in certain matters such as the stimulus and Guantanamo, here's another theory: that Obama is like Francisco D'Anconia in Atlas Shrugged. That is, he keeps screwing up, because he doesn't give a damn if things get fouled up or not. He's not putting his intelligence into the system, because he doesn't care about the system, even if his failures make him look bad as well. In other words, in some instance he causes damage deliberately, as with his healthcare plan, and in other instance he causes damage by simply not putting his mind into what he's doing.

Via Amritas, that has kept me thinking all day.  Because you know I'm always up for comparing Atlas to real life.

First, I am not sure I agree with Auster's summary of D'Anconia's strategy.  I do indeed think he "gave a damn."  His actions were deliberate and his method was calculating.  He lost everything to bring about the collapse of the system, including the woman he loved.  His sabotage was intensely personal and heartbreaking.  But it was a deliberate choice because he DID give a damn.  And yes, his failures made him look bad, but the trashing of his reputation was deliberate as well.  He sacrificed everything he was in order to stop participating in a system he abhorred.  At least that's the way I remember D'Anconia. 

Conversely, I don't think Pres Obama would ruin his reputation to achieve his ends the way D'Anconia did.  I think all Obama has is his reputation.  I don't think he would give up money and power and his good name to bring about...whatever it is he is working towards (and there is much debate about that.)  In short, I don't think he has half the integrity or fortitude as D'Anconia did.  What Obama wants is wealth redistribution, which is the moral equivalent of stealing from one man and giving it to another, and then patting yourself on the back for helping, as CVG once said.  He's not sacrificing anything of his own for his goals.  Hell, how many times have people pointed out that he could start by helping his aunt and brother if he cares so much about all people living equally?

My opinion is that Pres Obama doesn't have the moral conviction that Francisco D'Anconia did, and that he wouldn't sacrifice one iota of his own wealth or reputation for his worldview.

Posted by: Sarah at 01:31 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 You know, I love your quote: "The US is not one big family with a collective bank account."

Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at October 23, 2009 01:50 PM (irIko)

2 "...the moral equivalent of stealing from one man and giving it to another..." Has anyone else been thinking over the last few months (or hey, maybe longer and I'm just slow) that Robin Hood really isn't a story we should be telling kids?

Posted by: Doug at October 23, 2009 02:23 PM (wTfju)

3 Sarah, you're 100% correct on D'Anconia.  I'd say we have a damn good James Taggart on our hands . . . wants to do nothing but take credit for everything, trusting someone else to keep the engine running.  Sound about right?

Posted by: Lissa at October 23, 2009 03:26 PM (eSfKC)

4 Obama vs. D'Anconia? D'Anconia wins!

Sarah, thanks for analyzing why that comparison doesn't work. It seemed off the wall to me when I forwarded it to you last night and now I clearly see why.

Rand's heroes were not interested in reputations because that would make them dependent on others.

Obama is all about dependence. He's a community organizer. He needs a community to organize ... in other words, other people. Unable to create anything himself, he takes from the haves and gives to the have-nots ... or should that be the want-mores? In turn, they support him ... the greatest haver of them all. They pat his back. They prop him up. They voted for him. And they will vote for others like him.

Doug, good point about Robin Hood. Kids shouldn't admire socialist adventurers. But I can still sympathize with Robin Hood and his Merry Men on one level. Robin Hood was anti-establishment whereas Obama is the ultimate establishment figure. And I can't imagine Robin Hood living the high life without helping his aunt and brother.

Lissa, too bad Michelle Obama is no Dagny. Nor is Palin. Where is our Rearden, much less our John Galt? The Limbaughs and Becks are transmitters, not creators. I fear that the creative class* in the real world is not on our side. Talk radio and Fox News are not enough.

*I am referring to engineers and the like, not Hollyweirdos.

Posted by: Amritas at October 23, 2009 04:04 PM (+nV09)

5 It is a true old saying that charity begins at home. I can't imagine anyone in my family not helping out another member if they were in the condition of Obama's siblings, aunts and uncles. In their country it would take only  a pittance to keep them in good condition.  A person who would not help his relatives is not worthy to ask us to help anyone. Is anyone besides me disgusted with all the talk of volunteers in comic strips and ads going around?  I am a longtime volunteer and manager of other volunteers and I know how ticked they get when someone comes along wanting to be, and getting paid for, the work they have been doing for free for years.  I am speaking specifically of Americorp claiming to be volunteers years ago in Louisiana.
We lost several volunteer tutors in one small town due to their machinations.  (hey, maybe I should have posted that on my own blog)

Posted by: Ruth H at October 23, 2009 08:18 PM (CvvEA)

6 Amritas, I think Robin Hood is a great story for kids.  The story revolves around an anti-establishment vigilante taking back taxes and wealth that were immorally extracted from the public.  What's not to like?  Plus, the Disney movie is really cute   It's a great way to teach kids from a young age that taxes are distasteful!

Posted by: Lissa at October 24, 2009 06:54 AM (mgjM7)


Remember, Robin Hood lived in a feudal society, whose operative principle was "no land without a lord, no man without a lord."

Our present leaders are attempting to restore such a society, a hierarchy in which everybody knows his place (now to be determined by educational credentials and political contacts rather than strictly by birth) and in which all our open "lands" (entrepreneurial opportunities) will be enclosed and placed under the direction of the established nobles.


Posted by: david foster at October 25, 2009 09:44 AM (uWlpq)

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