STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Real Reason Obama Is So Lucky?
By Staff News & Analysis - September 26, 2012

Barack Obama: The Luckiest Politician Alive … Why on earth isn't Obama in trouble? Chalk it up to Romney's incessant bumbling—and the greatest streak of good fortune in recent political history. I don't know about you, but if President Obama ever heads to Las Vegas I'm placing my chips wherever he does. Our commander in chief presides over a dismal economy, high unemployment, a turbulent international situation, a massive debt, and comes across as aloof and arrogant even to his friends. And he is leading in most public-opinion polls. Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said that he'd rather have a lucky general than a good one. That's how Democrats are feeling these days about their president. Somewhere Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush are cursing the fates. What's a guy got to do these days to lose an election? – Daily Beast

Dominant Social Theme: He may not be a great president but like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he is surely a lucky – and happy – warrior.

Free-Market Analysis: The sobriquet "Happy Warrior" was actually applied by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to his friend and supporter, Al Smith, the influential and progressive governor of New York in the 1930s and 1940s.

And while this article is about "luck," the photo accompanying it leaves no doubt that Obama is not only lucky but "happy" as well.

It is a photo of President Obama arriving at a campaign event Monday in Cincinnati. Obama, in a white dress shirt with sleeves rolled up, looks positively radiant as he jogs past red-white-and-blue bunting.

One hand is raised as he points at the crowd with a deferential smile – as if to tell the crowd that they are the focal point of the rally. He, Obama, is merely the transformative (lucky/happy) agent.

The photo gives us the impression of tremendous vitality and grace. Here is a man who thrives under the heat of political pressure and mightily enjoys the political battle.

In this we are doubtless supposed to be reminded of the man after whom Obama has consciously patterned himself: FDR. Roosevelt, too, is identified by the nomenclature "Happy Warrior," since Bill Clinton called FDR "the Happy Warrior" in a 1998 speech.

Of course, "Happy Warrior" is a relative term. While the individual may be happy campaigning, the results of such efforts may be far less sanguine.

The mainstream media – owned by elites evidently and obviously attempting to install ever-broader and more invasive government – is ever reinforcing the meme of responsible and vital big government.

FDR, whose many legislative acts can surely be interpreted negatively (especially given the passage of time), took care to be seen as a merry fighter for the common man. Much was made of the way he clenched his cigarette holder between his teeth and uplifted his jaw with a kind of jolly defiance.

Roosevelt, of course, was responsible for the "New Deal" that has given the US a $200 trillion debt and a series of recessions and quasi-depressions. Roosevelt also enabled the military-industrial complex that has given the US and the world a string of serial wars.

As for New York's former governor, Al Smith, he was also a progressive in the mold of Roosevelt, someone who built a career on the idea that politics was a redemptive business that could keep people safe and make their lives better.

In truth, wealth distribution DOES benefit some. But the trick of those who believe in government is to mention the successes but not the failures. It is unfortunately true that when one begins to distribute wealth, the ramifications are necessarily more negative than positive.

One should never forget, for instance, that it was Smith's ally Robert Moses who rebuilt Manhattan and in the process sliced the Bronx in two with great "turnpikes."

Robert Moses's biography was penned by the progressive writer Robert A. Caro in a tome entitled, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York.

This book is one of the most devastating portraits of US politics ever written. Aided and abetted by powerful allies at the New York Times, Moses virtually reshaped the metropolitan region with a series of bold industrial and transportation projects.

An incurable, irredeemable elitist, Moses did much damage. Operating virtually outside the system because of support from such movers and shakers as Al Smith himself, Moses pioneered the idea of governmental authorities (such as the Port Authority) that disbursed funds secretly for purposes that were often not available to public scrutiny.

Abetted by a vast public purse, Moses destroyed the coastline of Manhattan with "expressways" that are today large platforms for traffic jams. (He built his roads close to the Hudson River because he liked the view from the back of his limo, according to Caro.)

Moses also built bridges over his roads in the Long Island area to ensure that buses would not be able to pass – with their contents of Manhattan hoi polloi. This has guaranteed misery to millions caught in traffic jams every day while commuting back and forth between the city and the island.

Moses was generally obsessed with the automobile. He built a vast network of concrete conduits that cobwebs New York to this day.

Ironically, the great conduits that were supposed to relieve New York's chronically overcrowded public transportation did nothing of the sort. There turned out to be an inexhaustible supply of car buyers. Moses's great highways were soon filled up while public transportation remained in a state of quasi-paralysis.

The worst thing Moses probably did was to divide the Bronx in two with his infernal obsession with road building. Here, from the blog called Canon Salute, is a description of the process and its result:

I realized I was mere miles from Moses' most controversial project of all: The Cross-Bronx Expressway. The Power Broker chapter "One Mile," [of Robert Caro's bio] which tells the story of the expressway's planning and construction, reads almost like a mob saga.

In one fell swoop, Moses raised his arms and divided the Bronx in two; despite being told of a more viable option one block south, Moses opted to direct a one-mile stretch of the expressway through the heart of the East Tremont neighborhood, at once displacing 5,000 residents.

Exiting the subway near Pelham Bay Park, I realized I was directly adjacent to the storied expressway, and set out west toward East Tremont. The initial stretch of my trip was fairly residential, snaking through the Westchester Village and Parkchester neighborhoods. I fueled up for the journey by getting over my youthful aversion to ricotta cheese and sampling a white pizza for the first time; appetite satiated, I set out in the direction of Moses' grand, disputed feat of civic engineering.

The effect of the Cross-Bronx Expressway on the borough is a fascinating microcosm of Moses' effect on New York — and American urban planning — as a whole. Beyond the forced displacement of 5,000 people, an additional 10,000 fled the area due to the ensuing blight that overtook the neighborhood.

The effect wasn't limited to Tremont — property values lowered throughout the South Bronx, contributing to the spread of urban decay. Interestingly, the expressway's construction leading to the blight and poverty of the South Bronx makes Moses a sort of foundational figure in the genre of hip-hop — though in the end, I'll have to give DJ Kool Herc more credit.

One had to be a resident of Manhattan in the 1960s and 1970s to realize what Moses had truly wrought. Mile after mile of crumbling buildings populated by hopeless drug addicts and violent criminals made the Bronx a kind of metaphorical poster child for urban decay.

Moses's casual decision to build his roads where he did blighted thousands, even millions of lives and caused the destruction of an entire borough. For every positive personification of political activism there are plenty of others whose lives and property are destroyed by thoughtless bureaucracy.

The political process may be merry or lucky but ultimately it is one of price-fixing, of redistributing wealth from those who make it to those who don't and therefore may not handle it so efficiently.

Obama himself, like presidents before him, may be lucky but his constituents are not. He's presided over continued warfare abroad that has literally killed or injured millions and has endorsed and abetted central banking money printing, inflationary destruction and gathering depression.

He has actively encouraged many perverse US trends while speaking out for the historical processes that have contributed to the country's decay.

There seems little doubt, given the mystery surrounding his background, that he was at least in part a handpicked candidate of the larger elitist grouping that today runs the US and seeks to run the world.

Will Obama win reelection? It would seem that those backing him are determined to give him a second term. What this Daily Beast article (see excerpt above) presents is the idea that Obama's success is "luck."

It seems more likely that he is the chosen agent of a specific elite/political cartel that has determined he will repeat his current term. And as he completes it, he will continue to carry out the destructive agendas of the powers-that-be – those who seek actively to destroy the West in order to rebuild it as part of a larger world government.

After Thoughts

Within this context Obama can certainly be called "lucky," though not for the reasons the article presents. And if Obama is "happy" as well – as he seems to be – it is only because he knows the sources of his luck and is relatively sure for a variety of reasons that it will not run out.

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