The inauguration is upon us. Washington D.C. is festooned with porta potties, doughnut chains are offering patriotic pastries, consumers can purchase Obama thongs, and the financial crisis has taken a holiday as inauguration expenses are expected to reach $150 million – part of that comprised of emergency spending authorized by the White House.
Barack Obama's face can be seen beaming out at us on nearly every magazine cover (special edition!) at the supermarket checkout. He graced the cover of TIME magazine 14 times in one year. News programs are jockeying to provide the most syrup-laden coverage of this Historic Event. Hollywood and the rest of the left have finally rediscovered their long-lost (well, eight years anyway) patriotism. Cynical journalists removed the neutral blinders from their eyes just long enough to give The One a rousing round of applause and cheering.
And last but certainly not least, Europeans love us again. Finally, I can get a full night's sleep.
Welcome to what I call the "immaculate perception."
He hasn't taken the oath of office yet, but Barack Obama is expected to Do Great Things. What this expectation is based on is anybody's guess, unless you count promising all things to all people on the campaign trail. He is, for many, a new Messiah who can do no wrong. To see the media coverage, one would think his election is the greatest thing this nation has seen since its very inception.
But unlike the immaculate conception, which took place quietly and without fanfare, the immaculate perception is being heralded far and wide as the Greatest Event of the 21st Century. And while Christ was, during his life on earth, a simple man with a simple message that never changed, Obama's message has been obscured by teleprompters and flip-flopping such as: "I don't take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House," which was followed up after the election by his appointing a lobbyist to the number two position at the Defense Department.
But, as Rush is so fond of reminding us, it's not what The One says – it's how he says it. Once "critical" to national security, catching bin Laden is now just a "preference," and if we just weaken his infrastructure, then that'll work just as well. It used to be that "No administration should allow the use of torture, including ‘enhanced interrogation techniques' like waterboarding, head-slapping and extreme temperatures," but now Obama is talking about creating a loophole to allow it in "extraordinary situations."
See, now that he's about to take office, he's either just realizing the enormity of the task of being president or he's just being like many other politicians – making promises and proclamations, then back pedaling as fast as he can once he's clinched the deal. It's probably a combination of both, in this case. Amazingly, the man who ran on a platform of "hope and change" has changed very little, as far as the status quo goes. His cabinet is a throwback to the Clinton ‘90s. He's held on to Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, who was chosen by George Bush to replace Donald Rumsfeld in 2006, but certain members of his national security team should raise plenty of eyebrows:
• Eric Holder for Attorney General – Part of the scandal-ridden Clinton White House, Holder played a large role in the last-minute presidential pardon of commodities trader Marc Rich, who fled the country to avoid prosecution on charges of tax evasion, racketeering and trading with the enemy. (He even admitted to supporting the part of the Patriot Act that allows the FBI to search records from libraries, bookstores and businesses. Interestingly enough, there has been no liberal outrage over this heretofore controversial issue.)
• Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security Director – She may have governed the southern border state of Arizona, but Napolitano is anything but tough on illegal immigration: she opposed the building of a border fence; tried to defeat a 2004 ballot initiative that would deny most non-essential services and benefits to illegals, and signed into law legislation barring Arizona from taking part in the Real ID program.
• Susan Rice for UN Ambassador – From worrying more about the effect of doing nothing about genocide on election results to claiming that Obama had never said he would meet unconditionally with Iran (even though he said it during a nationally televised debate), it's been said she's a "good fit" for the corrupt, anti-American body known as the UN.
Obama's socialistic views have been the subject of much discussion and rightful concern, but equally important is how he plans to keep America safe from the growing threat of Islamic extremism. Al Qaeda's number two was less than impressed with Obama, calling him a "house Negro" and saying that despite his election, America's heart is "full of hate, mind drowning in greed and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always." Obama has promised to close Gitmo immediately, despite the fact that more and more of the detainees are returning upon release to the fight against America and the West. And what does he know of the stealth Jihad that threatens us from within?
What is to be made of the fact that Ingrid Mattson, the Muslim scholar chosen to speak at the inauguration, is part of the Islamic Society of North America – a group discovered to have ties to Hamas and named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror trial. Even if it turns out to be an innocent oversight, can our incoming commander in chief afford such "harmless errors?"
Obama's elusive nature served him well during the election, but will it serve him well during his tenure in the Oval Office? And how long will the media remain complicit in the illusion of the "immaculate perception?"
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.