On Monday, the New York Review of Books released a feature in which Barack Obama sat down with novelist Marilynne Robinson for a chat about the themes of her work, and a few strains of the president’s commentary were astoundingly hypocritical, even for him.
He can’t be that lacking in self-awareness…can he?
[P]art of our system of government was based on us rejecting an exclusive, inclusive—or an exclusive and tightly controlled sense of who is part of the community and who is not, in favor of a more expansive one.
Like, say, a certain class of people that you have enthusiastically chosen to deprive of their constitutional rights and subject to unthinkable violence based on nothing more than their developmental stage and that a major interest group supporting you wants them dead? How do any instances of “exclusion” – real and imagined alike – that Obama might have in mind possibly compare to gerrymandering children out of every American’s most basic protection as members of the community?
[H]ere in the United States, sometimes Christian interpretation seems to posit an “us versus them,” and those are sometimes the loudest voices […] How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?
Pure demagoguery. Christians—particularly the more pro-life and conservative Christians Obama is maligning here—tend to be more charitable than secular Americans who identify with Obama’s views, and as would go without saying in a more honest media climate, our disagreement with his political ideals has nothing to do with any aversions to people who are different.
More notably, it takes an astounding level of arrogance to lecture people who politically disagree with you on being bad Christians when you willfully disregard Christianity’s far more explicit commands against shedding innocent blood in the womb. Do you infer nothing relevant to abortion from “thou shalt not murder,” “in the image of God has God made mankind,” or “before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Mr. President?
It’s not even that Obama’s interpretation of the Christian life ethic is wrong; it’s that he has no interpretation. Remember when this guy said it was “above my pay grade” to decide when babies get human rights? The best interpretation here is that he’s too lazy to figure out when killing innocent people is wrong, despite seeking a job entailing an oath to uphold innocent people’s constitutional rights.
Lastly, the president shifts gears to a different but just as morally oblivious musing:
OBAMA: We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.
ROBINSON: And also, one of the things that doesn’t take into account is that local governments can be great systems of oppression. And it’s a wonderful thing to have a national government that can intervene in the name of national values.
OBAMA: Well, that was the lesson of the entire movement to abolish slavery and the civil rights movement.
You read that right: slavery’s parallels to abortion are numerous and deep, but despite being an “inclusion” enthusiast, Obama doesn’t take away from it that we shouldn’t deny people their basic humanity based on superficial physical differences, or that we shouldn’t treat humans like property, or that we should strive to more fully include everyone in the Declaration’s promise of equality.
No, to him “the lesson of the entire movement to abolish slavery” is that we need to be less skeptical of big government. Never mind that government had to go through the bloodiest war in American history before getting to the “big thing” of abolition.
The hypocrisy and projection here are almost jarring beyond belief, to the point where one may be forgiven for wondering if for the last seven years the country’s been an unwitting pawn in the world’s most elaborate hidden-camera prank, like a political The Truman Show. Where’s the remote?