The election of Barack Hussein Obama was the triumph of virtue signaling — specifically, leftist virtue signaling, for Obama was not only “representative” of a “marginalized group” (though there is hardly a plausible case for his personal marginalization), his name itself was also the ne plus ultra of The Other, in that it was of a culture that Americans had been warring with for decades, and quite earnestly for eight years. (Remember that his name was self-chosen. In early years he was called “Barry Soetoro.”)

At the time, I found it hilarious that “Obama” rhymes with “Osama,” “Barack” rhymes with “Iraq” and “Hussein,” his middle name, was identical with the last name of the former dictator whom the U.S. military had just executed less than two years before BHO’s election in 2008.

Now, in light of this astonishing selection — one that I had suggested to my Democratic friends early on in that presidential election cycle upon the Anyone But Hillary rationale — I think we can better understand the nature of left-v-right in modern politics, and the extent to which the Republicans had lost their grip on the culture.

First, it shows the essential power of the “leftward gesture,” that is, the reach outward beyond the in-group to gain moral weight to perform a revolution (or consolidate power) in the State (change the hierarchy) by upholding the outsiders, the others. The Other, Barack the Pumpkin God.

It also shows how badly George Walker Bush/Dick Cheney had managed their war footing towards the mid-East. Americans had ended up hating them in particular as well as American foreign policy in general.

Now, let me interrupt the story, a bit, here. I confess: I may never have actually hated a politician as much as I hated the Bush/Cheney duo. I remember all the hatred Democrats had harbored for Nixon, back in the 1970s, and I thought at the time it was overblown. I had followed his strange ascendancy to the presidency, though very young, and spent a summer watching his fall, on daytime TV (the Watergate hearings were televised). Even so, I saw Nixon as a less repellent figure than his immediate predecessor in office (and recent reading has more than confirmed my youthful intuition). And Reagan, whom Democrats pretended to hate as much as Nixon, I determined to be less obnoxious than Nixon — though I was no fan of either (and never voted for Reagan, though I could have). It was the political success of George Herbert Walker Bush that I saw as the most appalling thing to come out of the Reagan period (other than Iran-Contra and the Social Security pseudo-fix), and my distrust for a CIA man extended to his witless son who surrounded himself with Nixon men. So that slightly unhinged Democratic hatred for Nixon I allowed into my own soul, but directed with greater cause (I reasoned!) to the warmongers and liberticides Bush II and Cheney. Though I am frankly and unapologetically anti-Islamic, I thought their doubling down on the mid-East wars was foolish as well as evil, and I blogged in opposition to their wars from before they began.

But back to the pumpkinification of Obama.

Republican voters themselves were vexed by the politics of Obamafication. Whenever they took an even mildly alarmed note at Barack Obama’s peculiar outsider persona — and it was a persona, not a deep personal truth — they were called “racist.” Not fair, of course, but this predicament set up the current left-v-right antagonism, and why Democrats have in this later epoch lost their once-vaunted moral high ground. They overplayed that particular hand. They got addicted to cheap, philosophically indefensible accusations just as Republicans, in the aughts, had let themselves get addicted to expensive, diplomatically indefensible warfare.

I cannot sympathize with either of these. Warmongering of the chessboard gamesmanship variety is appallingly evil, and a people (Republicans) who supported it committed themselves to that evil. But witless accusations of immorality are perhaps even more corrupting, for they affect the “homeland” society — the nature of the in-group community — in such a deep way as to de-stabilize it, perhaps forever. There may be a way to repair it, but since the federal government itself is de-stabilized by insane finance, I say: disunion. There is no reason to keep the charade of “coming together” (the slimy pols’ favorite slogan) going. America is over as an experiment. It failed. It failed because instead of trying for a union, its political class tried to create a nation, and instead created two. Or more.

Barack Obama was a horrible president, and much of what he did, especially in his second term, set the way for that Asimovian Mule, Donald Trump, and for the civil war that is coming. He also carried on most Bush Era warmongering campaigns, and with his foreign policy “blunders” set up the stage for the invasion of Europe by illegal migrants.

Now, I think the civil war could be civil: we could get excited about disunion — or, more exactly, a receivership in place of Congress, and several smaller unions of states and territories where there now exists the ungainly mess of the Fifty States+Empire We could see it as an achievement to work towards rather than a consequence of failure.

But that’s unlikely.

Either way, we can thank Bush and Barack and The Donald for making this more likely. Biden, there’s no reason to thank him. Somebody that corrupt and that demented needs something other than thanks.

One of the funny things about current politics is the degradation of leadership. Barack Obama is revered as a statesman, but the Democrats, otherwise, have no one. We wound up with Biden not because he was good but because he could be made, with psy-ops in play, to look like a calming figure. But he’s not. He’s actually quite unhinged and radical, and his handlers are more radical yet.

Meanwhile, the Republicans: what have they got? Donald Trump screwed the pooch in his last year, and is unfit for service. And he has the stink of failure about him. De Santis could come out of Florida to lead, but is he ready? He seems about right for a post-Trump, but no one else does. Who?

The reason the leadership pool is so shallow is that none of these mainstream figures have a clue how to navigate between the Scylla of financial collapse and the Charybdis of postmodernist political correctness. Nothing really makes sense in the old terms. The American people themselves — the electorate — were deeply wounded by the pandemic scare, and managing their manias and regrets and suspicions regarding that scare could upset the world order. The elites — those Wardens of the Earth? — don’t even know who to put forward. They have trouble keeping Klaus Schwab from giving away their whole game.

We live in fascinating times.

Perhaps the next president should change his/her/zher name to something that rhymes with (or at least references) COVID, mask, and hyperinflation. Just to pull off an Obamification trick. Ovid Diaperdump Trask? Diaper was actually a British name in past centuries. It could work.