Problems, said the Bard, come not single spies, but in whole battalions, and the president's real problem is the onrushing Four Horsemen of the Democalypse.
There is the shambles in the black community. Walter Russell Mead is warning of an Obamageddon in the inner cities. Yes, Obama's election was certainly a "giant step forward for American racial politics," but:
The future, however, may remember this administration as a giant step back for Black America during a period of deepening alienation, anger and despair in America's inner cities.
By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860. For black households, it had plummeted 83 percent to $2,170, a near wipeout.
The problem for the black community is not just jobs, but a triple-threat of "vanishing jobs, shrinking government budgets and a fractured and fragmented leadership." Meanwhile Pat Buchanan retails the numbers on household net worth.
In 2007, best year of the Bush era, white households had a median net worth of $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households.
Of course they did. It was, after all, America's first black president, Bill Clinton, who pushed the sub-prime mortgage drug on the black community, with the help of Fannie Mae kingpin James A. Johnson and the ACORN street dealers. When you lose your sub-prime dream home, your net worth takes a big hit.
Then there's the Atlanta school cheating scandal, where school officials doctored test results, boosting the scores of student standardized testing. If we wanted to blame the proximate cause, it would have to be President Bush and his No Child Left Behind testing regime. But anyone with half a brain can see that the problem is the whole notion of government education and its monstrous Gulag Archipelago of government child custodial facilities. What did liberals expect their "common schools" to produce? Government bureaucrats have always fallen down on the job, and have been a running joke since long before Charles Dickens satirized the Circumlocution Office in Little Dorrit.
Some liberals know there is a problem and they are genuinely worried about the black community. In The New York Times a concerned liberal asked conservative black Shelby Steele and newly minted conservative David Mamet about what people can do to help.
"What can we do for the African-American community?" There was a long pause, and [Steele] said, in the saddest voice [Mamet had] ever heard, "Leave us alone."
It was 150 years ago that Frederick Douglass first pleaded with America to "do nothing" about the Negro.
Surely you must be joking, Messrs. Douglass and Steele! Why, in the last century and a half America has mixed it up with Reconstruction, Jim Crow, red-lining, civil rights, school desegregation, school busing, affirmative action, diversity, the Community Reinvestment Act, "affordable housing," and two "first black presidents." The whole point of politics is to "do something."
The chirping reports of "youths" beating up on harmless pedestrians are the canaries in the coal mine on all this. If you are not a committed liberal partisan you know what to blame: stupid liberal big-government programs and the activists who peddle them.
Charles Murray has a new book coming out soon. In it he's comparing the top 20 percent in income with the bottom 30 percent between 1960 and now: whites only, please, to make it simple. Marriage has gone from 88 percent to 82 percent among the top 20 percent. In the bottom 30 percent marriage has gone from 66 percent to 48 percent. You can imagine what the numbers look like for minority communities.
In the century of the educated elite, the educated elite has done pretty well for itself. No surprise there. When it comes to other people, though, someone might think of writing a book about "losing ground."
In the old days they had a word for this sort of situation. They called it "injustice" and poets imagined the reverberating hills echoing with the lamentations of the ruling class's victims. Not everyone felt that way. Moralists prophesied that the ruling class would roast in Hell for its sins.
If I were President Obama I wouldn't be getting too hot and bothered about impudent Republican legislators committing lèse majesté in the royal presence. I would be worrying about all the other things going wrong on my watch. And I would be hoping against hope that the secularists are right and there is no such thing as Nemesis or divine justice.
The only reality is reelection. Right, Mr. President?