Do-Nothing Leninism Is the Worst Kind

Lenin (1870-1924) making a speech in the Red Square at the unveiling of a temporary monument to Stepaz Razin on May 1, 1919.
Lenin, in an eerie precursor to Obama's State of the Union address, proposing tax credits for manufacturers. Photo: G.P.Goldshtein/Wikimedia Commons

Conservative columnist and serial collector of right-wing journalism prizes Charles Krauthammer today begins his column reviewing the State of the Union address by arguing that Barack Obama’s presidency has been reduced to a pitiful state:

Once upon a time, small ball was not Barack Obama’s game. Tuesday, it was the essence of his State of the Union address. The visionary of 2008 — purveyor of hope and change, healer of the earth, tamer of the rising seas — offered an hour of little things: tax-code tweaks to encourage this or that kind of behavior (manufacturing being the flavor of the day), little watchdog agencies to round up Wall Street miscreants and Chinese DVD pirates, even a presidential demand “that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.” Under penalty of what? Jail? The self-proclaimed transformer of America is now playing truant officer?

But then, somewhat discordantly, Krauthammer proceeds to compare Obama with Mao, Lenin, and the Soviet Union:

This being Obama, there was a reach for grandeur. Hope and change are long gone. It’s now equality and fairness.

That certainly is a large idea. Lenin and Mao went pretty far with it. …

Soviet central planners mandated quotas for steel production, regardless of demand. Obama’s industrial policy is a bit more subtle.

Just a bit more subtle!

I think you really have to pick one of these themes and go with it. Trying to merge the “Obama's pathetic little girly man agenda will do nothing” and the “he’s almost a communist” concepts in the same column is really hard to pull off.