Our EUropean President

Is our President a EUrolander wannabee? Yes.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard my fellow Americans spout utter nonsense about EUroland.

Hey, they may have visited there and after visiting all the tourist spots and wining and dining in the best tourist restaurants afforded by American salaries and sabbaticals, they come home to proclaim that: “wow”, the food sure was great; the beer and wine were so much better; the museums were so cerebral; the architecture was really, really cool, and the public transportation so much more convenient than back home. And, get this, they have “free” healthcare and “free” retirement and “free” college education…why, EUrolanders must be living in paradise, so why can’t we be like them?

But, hey, what do I know? I just spent all my formative years, communicate with my family there and travel back regularly. No matter: it is so written in the Lefty Booboisie’s Temple of Orthodoxy that we must be more like EUrope, so any information to the contrary cannot be so and must be discounted. All reeeeasonable people know that EUrope is soooo much ahead of us in social justice. Que?

Of course, these fatuous fops of the Leftwing (I say “leftwing” because conservatives tend to be far more America-centric) booboisie never really lived the EUro experience. I maintain, based on experience, that you need to live in a country at least two years as an ordinary citizen to begin to look under the surface and understand it. A tourist’s, academic’s or exchange student’s view of Europe just will not suffice. Try explaining this to the American booboisie, convinced that the grass really is greener in the rest of the world, and you might as well talk to a brick.

Well, along comes Dan Hannan, EUro MP and American observor extraordaire to perfectly encapsulate my own understanding of EUroland (no, “Hannan” does not mean “Lemieux” in ye olde Anglo-Saxon) in a Wall Street Journal editorial.

According to Hannan, a big part of what drives Obama and his supporters is a warped mystical vision of Europe to which they aspire for us to be.

Key outtakes from Hannan’s piece:

  • Europe’s post-war growth was not due to a European miracle but to American largesse.
  • Europe is no longer a Democracy, but a top-down oligarchy that sees the will of the people as an obstacle to be ignored or overcome.
  • If we (the U.S.) need to stop going around the world apologizing for ourselves, we will create irreconcilable rifts not only with other countries but within our country.
  • EUropeanization means economic degradation and high structural unemployment and that, between 1980 and 1992, the EUro economy failed to create a net private-sector job. Whoops! We may already be there.

Hannan says it like it is. Ironically, he was an Obama supporter at first.

Of course, like here, the “free” bennies of EUroland are already unraveling and the mystical fog of Bismark’s socialist democrat visions is beginning to lift, revealing its ugly contradictions and endgames. Financial realities do have a brutal honesty about them.

Hopefully, we will get the message while we still have time to undo the damage of the Obamites and their EUrophilic visions. But, I think that it will be very, very close and at great cost to social and economic wellbeing.

Read the whole thing.

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  • JKB

    The oligarchy is true.  It is the bureaucracy we must combat.  I have for some time felt that bureaucracy is the greatest evil ever made by man.  I used to consider it a benign threat like a small alligator in your tub.  But it is now a monster.  I recently came to this understanding:
    Sometime, in the Twenties or Thirties, the bureaucracy became self-aware, took a look at it’s master and decided that it must save the People from their freedom.  That they must not be permitted to continue making suboptimal decisions when the technocrats can do so much better bringing forth a Utopia for all mankind.  Not only have they slowly usurped the private citizen, they have co-opted the elected representatives with promises of treats for their constituents and diffusion of responsibility through vague authorizing legislation.  How often do we hear those elected to oversee the bureaucracy lamenting at some regulatory action in a way that reveals that they feel powerless to stop the monster.
    That bureaucracy is a necessary evil is our fate but like nuclear reactions, the bureaucracy must be contained, controlled, and monitored.  It must not be permitted to run wild or great destruction will rain down upon us.  It must not be permitted to fall into the hands of the malevolent or horrors will occur (Holocaust).  It must not be left in the hands of the inexperienced or dangerous conditions will not be checked.
    We must force our politicians to regain control of the monster, hobble it and put it in the hands of experienced drovers.  If, in America, the Legislative branch cannot bring this monster to heel, we, the People, must take up our pitchforks and pursue the bureaucracy until it is cornered and can be destroyed.

  • suek

    >>we, the People, must take up our pitchforks and pursue the bureaucracy until it is cornered and can be destroyed.>>
    But how?  I’m _assuming_ (dangerous, I know!) that you mean that we need to eliminate the bureaucratic unions – make each individual responsible for his or her own work capabilities.  That would be a good thing, I think.  I still remember a story my father told us about a secretary he had, and fired.  She was a civil service person, there was a hearing, and they not only reversed the firing, but she was was put back into the exact same position – and then proceeded to “work” by sitting at her desk and polishing her nails – among other time wasting activities. This was in the early 50s, as I recall.  I suspect the situation hasn’t improved since then.
    But you need “bureaucrats” to get stuff done – you can’t just wave a hand and voila!  it takes the skills of many to get stuff actually done.
    I’m not sure what a solution would be.  What suggestions do you have to attack the problem?

  • JKB

    Well, constraining the public unions is a part.  However, more importantly is to tighten, focus and limit the authorizing legislation.  EPA going after CO2, then their authorizing legislation needs to be modified to stop it.  The real problem is that Congresses have given the bureaucrats such vague marching orders, they can seek and destroy anything they want.  They can make what was not prohibited, illegal retroactively.  Bureaucrats, theoretically, cannot do anything they are not authorized to do by law or rules.  Free citizens can do anything not specifically prohibited.  But now, the bureaucrats have been given so much discretionary regulatory power that they’ve turned that on its ear.  Now private citizens much ask for leave before they can do anything and always risk being prosecuted when something they do is decided to be prohibited later.
    Bureaucrats need tight, limiting authority to act to keep them in check.  Congress can do this but it may not happen since at one time or another some politician got some benefit from the power he gave to the bureaucrats.
    Still, do not rail against the EPA or the DMV or some other Agency.  Hold the current legislators and the executive responsible regardless of when the power was handed over.  Only they can Constitutionally recover that power.  The rest of us only have rebellion.  And I am quite aware that when revolution comes, the bureaucrats generally survive intact while the safeguards are destroyed.  That is why we must focus on the underlying evil of the bureaucracy.
    And we all need to decide that when we have the thought, “There ought to be a law..”, we let it go.

  • JKB

    This is kind of scary
    How Mr. Obama manages to do that while also balancing American interests is a question that officials acknowledge will plague this historic president for months to come. Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a President who laments how much easier his life would be if he was a totalitarian communist dictator.  At least so easily none of his people see it as something to be kept for the memoirs

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Liberals argue that government can be made responsive…that growth in the size & scope of government does not imply that our lives will become a bureaucratic nightmare.
    But as Peter Drucker observed 40 years ago, “Any government that is not a government of paper forms rapidly degenerates into a mutual looting society.” (And it doesn’t much matter, of course, whether the forms are paper or electronic.) To the extent that the government officials are given considerable discretion, there can and will be corruption and injustice. To the extent that their discretion is tightly limited, there will be rigidity, inefficiency, and injustice.


    I read this somewhere….
    The regulatory arm of the government is a pickpockets dream.


  • JKB

    The bureaucracy need be neither corrupt or rigid.  It is a thousand individuals making a thousand decisions that appear reasonable and in accordance with guidelines but best serve their interest and have nothing directly to do with an citizen that combine to produce injustice, impositions on freedom and harm to the People.  Most mean well but collectively, they do great damage.

  • jj

    Having lived there I know more about England than anywhere else, and I think you hit the nail squarely on the head with your first graf, Book: I could not believe the number of The Cousins who actually do really, truly, and to the depths of their souls believe that such things as health care and education are indeed free.  It simply never dawns on them that maybe the doctor also has a family to feed and needs to be paid, and maybe so do the teachers.  The obvious question about this wonderful “free” stuff is just simply never asked: wait a minute – how the hell can that work?
    Bureaucracy.  I’m reminded of a story told by retired NATO general Heinz Gaedcke, who before he was a three-star in NATO after the war was a one-star in the Wehrmacht during it.  He was a pretty good general, thus was asked back to the post-war German Army and moved on into NATO in the fifties, where he stayed.  He couldn’t believe the cluster*** of bureaucracy that NATO had turned in to, but he wasn’t really surprised by it.  He wasn’t surprised by it because during the war Eisenhower required a staff of over 1,000 people to lug around with him from chateau to chateau through Europe, and even our “fighting” generals, like Bradley – with the usual exception of Patton, who had a staff of about eight guys –  seemed to need about 500 flunkies to tell him where the men’s room was.
    Gaedcke said: “When I see the enormous staff apparatus that we have now constructed, partly under your influence, I ask myself, ‘my God, how is this going to work?’  Here is how we controlled our divisions in the West and in the East during World War 2: my division commander and I would sit together in a half-track vehicle with the latest information and the maps on our laps, exchange opinions – ‘should we go to the left or to the right, should we do it tonight or tomorrow at dawn’ – then we’d scribble our instructions, give them to the driver next to us, and he’d pass the orders along to a couple of radio operators in the back of our vehicle.  Now we’ve built the division staff into a city with operations centers, communications centers and whatnot – with everything in formal writing and transmitted by teletype machines.  What we now understand the daily command briefing to be – this assembly of 10, 12 or 15 experts ranging from weather to religion – simply didn’t exist.  There are too many disadvantages for a fighting army to these huge staffs.  You get far too many vehicles which are hard to move and attract the attention of enemy aircraft.  The whole apparatus becomes sluggish and slow.”   (He did not say in the 1980 interview – but did say privately – that the only reason for these enormous and most dead-wright  staffs was to allow the man in charge, the commanding general, to always have a supply of other people around to blame for whatever went wrong.  His view was, if you’re going to be the general in command, then be the damn general in command.)
    One might suppose our people in charge never like to feel like they’re solely responsible for decisions.  We love bureaucracy – we always have.  Even when we’re literally falling over our own damn bureaucracy we’re loath to part with it, and would always rather have eight people telling us what to do – and share the blame with if it goes wrong –  than one smart one.

  • Mike Devx

    JKB said: I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a President who laments how much easier his life would be if he was a totalitarian communist dictator.

    That’s always been clear about Obama.  He wants to rule, and he wants rule by Man, not by Law.  I think that’s been clear from day one!  He’s a terrible, monstrous president of a federalist republic.  His adminstration Czars, his deliberate breaking of law after law as he distributes his political largesse to his friends…   The 1000+ ObamaCare waivers granted to political friends, which means the entire law can be used solely as a political bludgeon weapon to punish enemies financially…

    Obama is clearly of a dictatorial, totalitarian mindset.  He always has been.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    During the election that resulted in Obama’s regime, I always expected the Left to produce evil in both mind, body, and product.
    It just wasn’t determined yet by which means it would happen. I had no doubts that Obama was going to carry out the Left’s agenda. But not even I suspected how far they were actually going to go.
    The Left has been on their Long March through our institutions for so long that this in your face power play with not even a hint of trying to make it seem mainstream, surprised me a bit. It did not surprise me, as it surprised many people, because I thought the Left was good hearted, kind, and simply naturally misguided. NO, it surprised me precisely because I knew the Left for the evil that they are. It surprised me that they would show their true colors so soon and so strongly.
    I take it as a premise that the Left is up to no good. That those with ties to the Left, are up to no good. It doesn’t matter who they are. It doesn’t matter to me how innocuous their record is. I don’t care how good they look on the surface. For beneath the surface, I believe they are working to harm more people, destroy more economies, aggregate more power to themselves while abusing power, and creating a rigged game where merit is sub par to political connections.
    ACORN? Up to no good. SEIU? Up to no good. Obama CZARs? Up to no good. Most people, however, will not believe until they have evidence. I don’t need evidence. Not any more than I need evidence that a metal glowing red hot is going to burn if I touch it. I don’t need the evidence of touching it to know that. Evidence is nice for convincing others, but for my own sake, it is no longer necessary.
    It’s why when Andrew Breitbart shows up talking about the NAACP, I assume that what he shows is only 1% of the total evil the NAACP is really up to.
    Evil takes works. Humans tend to do bad things to each other all the time. But it is only when it is organized, that it becomes something of a much greater threat. So I look at the organizations in the Leftist alliance. I look at where the money comes from and goes. I look at the degree of threat as well as the severity of threat. It’s not just enough for people to want to intend evil, they need to have the resources also to do harm. The Left has both.
    In fact, recently people have discovered that the Left is able to make people poor, using poor people’s money. As amazing as that may seem to people, it’s a fact. And it’s only the surface of the Left.

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