"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Woodward, Obama, Sequestration, Strauss

The scandal du jour is apparently the inside baseball bickering between Bob Woodward, liberal lion of the Washington Post, and the Obama White House, over Woodward's article saying the sequestration was Obama's idea all along, and that he's lying now as he demagogues the issue.   The White House apparently "threatened" Woodward, telling him that he would "regret" having taken that position.

While I find it hard to sympathize much with Woodward, who has been a shill for liberalism for forty years, the incident is both instructive and scary.   This is a White House that views dissent as apostasy, disagreement as heresy.   Challenging Obama on facts becomes the greatest sin... it is the treason of saying aloud that the emperor has no clothes.   They will crush anyone who strays from the White House line.  

Increasingly we are living in a one-party state with the MSM as Pravda.

The episode reminds me of Leo Strauss' great essay, "Persecution and the Art of Writing." Strauss writes:
A large section of the people, probably the great majority of the younger generation, accepts the government-sponsored views as true, if not at once, at least after a time. How have they been convinced? And where does the time factor enter? They have not been convinced by compulsion, for compulsion does not produce conviction. It merely paves the way for conviction by silencing contradiction. What is called freedom of thought in a large number of cases amounts to -- and even for all practical purposes consists of -- the ability to choose between two or more different views presented by the small minority of people who are public speakers or writers. If this choice is prevented, the only kind of intellectual independence of which many people are capable is destroyed.

Strauss was writing in 1941, while the Nazi-Soviet Pact was the dominant fact of political life. Totalitarianism was in the ascendance.

Wonder what he'd say about the Obama White House?

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