The watchword of Bill Clinton’s administration was: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” That was dubious then. It’s definitely buncombe now, and Barack Obama doesn’t get it.
This president’s preoccupation, along with the leftist media’s compulsive obsession, is with a domestic agenda, currently the dismal state of the economy, for which he and they continue to blame former President George W. Bush.
As that dodge grows thin and more unconvincing to sell, Obama steps up his diversionary forays abroad, effusing one fuzzy one-world speech after another.
Those international side trips profit him little. His opinion-poll numbers, for whatever they may be worth, continue to ebb out to sea. Nothing he says across the sea seems to stanch the receding level of popular support on these shores for his outrageously expensive domestic programs or his latest persona.
So, back he scurries to Andrews Air Force Base, the Marine One helicopter, the Oval Office, and his indefatigable talking teleprompter coaching him on what next to say and what new taxes to propose to pay for whatever larger spending programs he trots out of the barn.
He’s right about one thing. The economy is a problem child, whoever sired or continues to foster it.
But it’s an unmitigated disaster to assume, or act on that assumption, that the prevailing political current is caught up inexorably in “the economy, stupid.”
The author of that catchy shibboleth, James Carville, otherwise remembered as “the Ragin’ Cajun,” is a bright, witty, caring fellow who in his fetching way gave the Clinton administration some of the sparse class it actually had. Carville’s unrelenting focus on politics of the economy might have served his president fairly well, had that president not been who he was. But, Clinton’s misbehavior on government property took most of the starch out of Carville’s genius.
Even so, the slogan stuck, and Democrats, as well as too many Republicans, keep muttering it, to no avail.
Here are reasons why is doesn’t work:
The United States, believe it or not, is at war with radical Islamists who are obsessed with obliterating its culture and its people, hard as that may be to ken.
It is truly a global war, reducing World Wars I and II to regional workouts. Ere it’s done, nations — primarily this one — will be drained of blood and treasure.
There will be a winner and a loser, though today’s grandchildren’s children may not be around to learn who’s who. Politics will eventually embrace that reality, for it must. But in time to position Americans to emerge as the survivors?
Effects of such a war are already being anticipated in capitals around the globe, if not yet recognized along the Potomac River. Far more than economic issues within nation states, that war will define everyone’s economy, the planet over.
So, if the economic outlook concerns you, look first abroad. That’s where the financial and productivity tsunamis are originating, as they always have.
From his ostrich vantage down deep in the sand, Obama doesn’t see this. What celebrated insights he may have are not up to facing such a horrific conflict.
This global onslaught is beginning to pop out in pustules here and there. Larger eruptions will grow rapidly worse, more widespread. Watch out in Iran, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Russia, China, India, East Africa, Indonesia, Latin America . . . and those are just for openers.
If you didn’t buy the Ragin’ Cajun prescription that it’s all about the economy, you weren’t nuts. You were — and this is not always welcome news — right on.
No, it’s not the economy; never was, never will be.
Rather, it’s an asymmetrical, climactic, existential, theocratic jihad to obliterate and replace modern civilization — a war that transcends dollars, jobs, and, yes, even White House little green cars and little red czars.
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com. Read John Perry's columns here.
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