The Obama Recovery, The Pope, and the Collective Right Wing Freakout

Despite Republican efforts to slow down, halt, and throw monkey wrenches into the economic recovery at every possible turn, the Obama recovery insists on continuing. Yesterday, two important indicators of growth happened for the economy: US manufacturing growth reached its strongest point in two-and-a-half years, and consumer demand blew the lid off of online sales, growing by as much as 20% year-over-year on Cyber Monday (with online retail giant Amazon.com growing sales by a whopping 44%).

All that is looking to usher in another month with job growth at around 200,000. And like putting salt on the Obamacare naysayers' wound, just as the website was getting fixed, small businesses added jobs for the first time in four months. Oh, and Obamacare is going to cost less than projected.

America is making things again. Small businesses are hiring. Consumers are buying. Obamacare is signing people up while costing less. Syria is disarming. Iran is giving up its nuclear ambitions. Therefore, of course, Republicans are losing their sh*t, now this close to arguing that the Pope, just like Obama, is a Marxist who hates Catholics!

What does the recent good economic and foreign policy news and desperate Republican attempts to undermine the economy and manipulate the media have to do with Rush Limbaugh's crackle with the pontiff, you ask? Everything. The right wing panic of the moment and the Republican obstructionism of President Obama throughout his presidency have the same root: they are afraid that the pragmatic, progressive approach to governance embodied by President Obama will work. And if it works, no amount of Fox News bobbleheading or playing the refs on the rest of the media will end up having lasting effect.

The libertarian belief that now dominates the Republican party and a good part of the Left media - that government does not, cannot, and should not work - is at the core of the knee-jerk obstructionism we have seen. Apart from the skin color of the man in charge of the White House, this is the biggest sticking point with ideological conservatives. In fact the underlying philosophy of of the two beliefs - racism and laissez faire economics - are one and the same. Both are based on the philosophy that sees the privileged as righteous, the underprivileged as morally flawed, and any concept of social equality as antithetical to the natural order of things.

Right wingers simply see Barack Obama - and now, apparently, the Pope - as people in power trying to upend that natural order of things. More than that, Barack Obama is that antithesis personified. If the damned liberals had not already changed America too far in favor of social justice - a concept they abhor like no other - there would be no Barack Obama in the White House. The liberal concepts of nondiscrimination, equal opportunity, a chance to survive and succeed for everyone had to defeat the conservative precepts of social Darwinism for us to even be here and have a president named Obama.

The only way left to defeat the liberal concept of social good, then, is to prove its poster child a failure. If Barack Obama succeeds, liberalism succeeds. If Barack Obama's policies are proven to work, then social justice becomes the new order. Simply put, if Barack Obama succeeds, libertarian conservatism fails.