Consider the George W. Bush paradox. According to the attack strategy employed by Michael Moore and his pals, U.S. president #43 was either capable of the most intricate conspiracies the world has ever known or he was a blithering idiot.
How could Bush be both evil genius and town fool? Depending on the day, marshmallow Marxists could cleverly employ one of the Bush piñatas to explain why they were losing the Congress, state legislatures and, finally, the presidency.
It’s been argued that the left has no coherent philosophy beyond getting and retaining power. While power remains its primary goal, it’s a disservice to say that there’s no defining philosophy for the Democrats and their Canadian cousins, the Liberals and New Democrats.
The strategy of the children of the liberal corn can be summed up in a word: Clever. When lost in heavy thinking, a liberal will always ask his/her/other self: What is the clever position? How can I arrive at the most status-seeking, virtue-signaling logic that would give me some tinsel in Tinseltown? How do I amuse my pals in the coastal pods and college campuses? Wear a plastic vagina. Yeah that plays in Peoria.
Clever, says vocabulary.com, “may seem like a compliment, but this adjective boasts a rather broad range of meanings – from ‘intelligent’ and ‘imaginative’ to ‘calculating’ or ‘contrived’.” Sort of like musing about blowing up the White House to criticize Donald Trump.
Clever is shutting down speech you don’t like so that you can save free speech. Clever is opposing greater immigration scrutiny, because you need to import millions of new low-skilled, language-challenged Democrat voters when the rest of the U.S. has left you behind.
Clever is moving goal posts to suit your argument that Trump is not the legitimate president unless he wins the popular vote. Clever is sanctuary cities where local officials can torture the law to deny the constitutional powers of the executive level to deport immigrant criminals. Clever is fighting a pointless guerrilla campaign against the new administration instead of getting on with the business of rebuilding the bond that was just trashed.
Clever is why Barack Obama was a president worshipped by Hollywood and the tech industry. First he became president without doing anything but make up girl friends in his pseudo-biography. Then he appeared on Between Two Ferns with Zak Galifinakis. If that isn’t clever, I defy you to show me what is.
When it came to a crisis, Obama, president #44, would cleverly switch into that slinky walk, smile winsomely and engage a fawning press corps that talked about the cut of his cuffs. When your secretary of state gets an ambassador and three others killed, you tell the parents and widows that it was on account of some poor hack video then you blow out of Washington to shill for donations in Las Vegas. Clever or what?
When it’s safe to stop pandering for the religious votes, you smoothly switch from defender of traditional marriage to gender-bending pioneer (to applause from Cher and Madonna). When you’re caught using the IRS to harass your political enemies, you smile beneficently and say there’s not a “smidgin” of corruption – even before the investigation begins. Smidgin? Is this guy clever or what?
You can tell the clever logic is nonsense, because when Bernie Sanders trots out the Trotsky tripe, he gets spoofed by Larry David.
Clever is being very, very wary of the unseen hand of the market. Anything that can’t be decided by a panel of experts who’ve been in private school together since kindergarten can’t be clever. So liberals create clever Scrooge McDuck fantasies about energy executives rolling in golden coins in the vault.
It is also clever to engage in online psychology to destroy enemies who question whether the left is in the pay of the civil service and teachers unions. So people who don’t know narcissism from Nantucket psycho-analyze Trump in 140-character Twitter bite-diagnoses. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard the tinfoil hat commander, Keith Olbermann, puts on his unctuous, faux-rational voice to offer his professional opinion that Trump is nuts. How clever can you get?
Clever is watching Hollywood award shows and thinking, “I wish I’d said what Meryl Streep just said”. Or “Where do I get one of those pink toques from the Washington march?”
Which brings us back to the Bush Paradox. If class warriors like Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren are so clever, how come the man they call a moron or a narcissist waxed them in the election against St. Hillary?
If they’re so clever, why do they want to get rid of an easy target like Trump? If you somehow force him from office you get Mike Pence. And the majorities in the Senate, the House and 36 of the state houses remain as obdurate as ever. If they’re so clever why are they embracing far-left zealots like Warren and Sanders instead of finding new leaders who can re-capture the middle?
But of course this isn’t about strategy so much as virtue signalling. Who cares if you’re going down with the ship so long as you’re uttering something witty as you slip beneath the waves?
Troy Media columnist Bruce Dowbiggin career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he is also the publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster.