The most pressing political question today is also the most ancient—that is, the question of Power. One can imagine, for example, that history will recall the previous decade as a question, more or less, of War; along with its auxiliary and loyal nemesis, civil liberty, it can crudely be distilled into the classic quandary: freedom v. security, Stewart v. O’Reilly (comparable clowns and fools). One could hedge one’s partisan bets along those lines. But the promising contenders for today’s Big Issue—race, gender, sexuality, economics—have been swept beneath the ponderous rug of Power. Power in surveillance, Power in regulation, Power in drones . . . these are not the inner tensions of a flawed Administration, but the logical conclusions of a collectivist régime. And the Left, fawning on the lap of the establishment, lacks a fitting vocabulary: if the Power of Obama does not count as hegemony, there is no such thing.
The modus operandi of the Dear Leader is to exert a watchful eye on both the thoughts and deeds of his loyal lapdogs—an America of “shared responsibility.” Why then, in a time when he demands from us utter transparency, does the Beardless One claim for himself the utmost opacity?