Minutes after President Obama finished his second inaugural address the World Wide Web was well stocked with the rantings of right wing hacks like Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin. The president’s address was a fairly standard attempt to urge Americans to come together and to face our challenges together, but Ms. Rubin apparently heard something very different, something so nefarious that immediate condemnation was required.
For Rubin the speech confirmed that Mr. Obama is a “dogged collectivist with little appreciation for the dangers we face in the world.” She was particularly flummoxed by the president’s claim regarding the need for collective action to protect our personal freedoms. To this Rubin responded, “really?” as if there is no connection between the preservation of liberty (personal or otherwise) and collective action.
Instead, Rubin relies on italics to push her non-existent point writing, “personal freedoms are obtained by limited government, the rule of law and a free market (relatively speaking) where one can achieve his aims and fulfill his personal goals.” Each component of Rubin’s retort is, of course, entirely impossible without effective COLLECTIVE ACTION. She includes a qualification after “free markets” as if to show that she’s not completely irrational, but what she unintentionally confirms is that she really is nuts. “Limited government” and “the rule of law” require just as much collective action as free markets do Ms. Rubin.
There really is a reasonable conservative argument against the President’s agenda and/or approach, but hacks like Rubin are unwilling (or unable) to articulate it. The election is over and Rubin’s party lost, but she insists on doubling down on the absurd mischaracterizations of the president’s record and perspective that were decisively rejected on Election Day. Why?