John Hinderaker over at Powerline does a nice job of examining some of the basic resemblances between the Obama administration and the European National Socialist programs of the 30s. This doesn’t mean Nazi with all their racial horrors; people forget that even outside of Mussolini’s Italy, Fascism was considered the “Wave of the Future” by many useful idiots. And Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism is a tour-de-force on the subject of how fascism was a pathology of the Left, not the right.
Obama’s early personal tours overseas after his election showed him to be completely out of his depth when dealing with foreign leaders, and if Luigi Barzini is to be believed, there was always a substantial segment of the Italian population that never really took him seriously, or at least saw him for the fundamentally unserious leader that he was.
But it was Evita Peron who had the good fortune to have Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice write a musical about her. “Benito on Broadway” probably never got very far because of WWII. Turning the hideously murderous and mentally unstable Che Guevara into a folk-hero Greek chorus is forgivable – barely – only because the music itself is so good, and because nobody takes the actual history in a Broadway music very seriously, anyway.
Obama’s overseas trips also brought to mind Webber’s song about Evita’s “Rainbow Tour,” where she, too, found some popular acclaim with little policy success to show for it. And the Stimulus was always a case of buying people off with their own money, or perhaps their childrens’ and grandchildrens’. The program produced little in the way of actual stimulus, largely amounted to a massive transfer of debt from states and localities to the federal government, and a transfer of wealth from the taxpayers and their progeny to Obama’s political friends.
Now comes word that the various federal inspectors general charged with looking after the Stimulus funds have opened over 1900 separate investigations into potential mischief.
The government’s chief spending watchdogs have already secured nearly 600 convictions and judgments against people and companies accused of misusing stimulus funds and have a whopping 1,900 investigations currently open into possible wrongdoing, officials say.
The wave of scrutiny more than three years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed by Congress early in the Obama administration means the question of how money was managed early in the program is certain to extend well into the next year as many of the current investigations come to conclusion.
When the money keeps rolling out you don’t keep books
You can tell you’ve done well by the happy grateful looks
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way
Never been a lady loved as much as Eva Peron
I know there’s a better-lit version out there with the current cast, but even Mandy Patinkin’s voice projects a desperation, anger, and contempt that Ricky Martin can only conjure up in his worst nightmares.
There is, as yet, no evidence of personal corruption by the Obama, rumors of Hawaiian retirement plans notwithstanding, but Illinois politicians of both parties have a long history of making sure their clients remember them when the time comes. Running that to ground will probably prove impossible, but for me, it’ll be enough to send them into retirement, no matter how plush.