Wall Street Journal on how Obama is conducting the campaign:
The point is that more than any President we can recall, Mr. Obama isn't trying to persuade voters that he deserves to stay in office because of his philosophy, record or positive vision for the country. Rather, his case is that he deserves re-election because Mr. Romney is worse, and he is so very much worse because of things that were invented in the West Wing but are detached from reality.This is unsurprising because, as I wrote in April 2010, this is the first Po-Mo deconstructed presidency. It's not a long post, so I'll just paste it below:
The entire theory of the Obama campaign seems to be that the more outrageous the claim the better, because the more you repeat it the more the media will talk about it, and the lie will achieve a kind legendary truth.
The Po-Mo Deconstructed Presidency
Last November I explained how climate science had become a political endeavor rather than a scientific discipline.
One of the basic tenets of postmodernist linguistic deconstructionism (which I learned how to do in my postgraduate studies at Vanderbilt) is that all text is tainted by bias and that objective points of view are impossible. Hence, the objective of expression is to exercise power. (Formerly the type of expression so designated has been confined, mostly, to those of history, literature and politics. But now we see that even mathematics may be considered biased and subjective.)Comes now Victor Davis Hansen with, "A Postmodern Presidency - A Pretentious Word for a World Without Rules."
Hence, there is no such as thing as objective truth and statements are never more than propositional in nature. A statement's truth content is never more than opinion, and opinions are nothing but expressions of power. Therefore, in a basic sense, all speech is power directed.
This is a fundamental world view of the Left and is derived directly from Marxism, as reworked by Leninism. Since Marx held that his communist theory was literally scientific, his economic-historical forecasts were not simply likely, they were certain. To understand and partner with this inevitability was to be "on the right side of history" (which is where that overused cliche comes from). As formulated by Lenin et. al., truth is therefore not statements of objective facts, but assertions that move the communist revolution and its fulfillment closer to reality. "Truth" is therefore pliable and impermanent, the concept of truth being only practical. In practice, all of language became subservient to the dominance of the party, a fact recognized by George Orwell in his novel 1984 and its concept of Newspeak.
But the chief characteristic of postmodern thinking is the notion of relativism and the primacy of language over reality. What we signify and brand as “real,” in essence, is no more valid than another’s “truth,” even if we retreat to specious claims of “evidence”— especially if our aim is to perpetuate the nation state, or the primacy of the white male capitalist Westerner who long ago manufactured norms in his own interests.Read the whole thing.
Yet what is the point of postmodern deconstructionism? Well, it is obvious: since the basic - and by basic I mean the truly foundational - tenet of pomo-decon is that using language is nothing but exercising power, then the point of of pomo-decon is power, too. George Orwell understood this quite well in his novelistic but prophetic concept of Newspeak:
... we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." -- 1984Hat tip: Vanderleun.
And that is exactly where we are today, only 28 years later than Orwell thought it would be.