Obama's Ebola Dilemma

An Ebola plague would decimate Obama's staunchest supporters.

Even the furthest left pundits are beginning to notice that Obama is having a rather bad year in which just about everything is going wrong.  We've got a still-flatlined economy after 6 "summers of recovery," a new terrorist state in Iraq conquering all using our own weapons, and now we even have a Biblical plague in the form of Ebola.  As the Dallas Weekly accidentally but memorably put it, "Taste of Africa Comes To Dallas!"

Which raises some pretty fundamental questions.  Ebola is, at this point anyway, an African disease, just as terrorism is 99% a Muslim disease.  America is blessed by not being in Africa and by not being Islamic.

Why, then, haven't we taken the obvious precaution of shutting our borders to people coming from the afflicted parts of the world?  If the FAA has the power to summarily forbid American flights to Israel, one supposes it could do the same to Africa or anywhere else.

But no.  No less than the director of the CDC made the hair-raising claim that quarantining the countries which are the source of the Ebola virus wouldn't help:

"Though we might wish we can seal ourselves off from the world, there are Americans who have the right of return and many other people that have the right to enter this country," Dr. Thomas Frieden told a press conference. "We're not going to be able to get to zero risk no matter what we do unless we control the outbreak in West Africa."

Frieden added that a travel ban could make it difficult to get medical supplies and aid workers to the affected regions in West Africa. 

"We really need to be clear that we don't inadvertently increase the risk to people in this country by making it harder for us to respond to the needs in those countries," he said, "by making it harder to get assistance in and therefore those outbreaks would become worse, go on longer, and paradoxically, something that we did to try and protect ourselves might actually increase our risk."

This statement is a masterpiece of apparent logic that falls apart if you look at it closely.  Dr. Frieden is absolutely right that sealing the borders would not get us to zero risk, but simply reducing the risk is not a sufficient justification?  Isn't that the exact opposite of the "precautionary principle" that we see so often applied to the most extreme regulatory assaults on liberty, such as the manifold rules and taxes that have been proposed to address so-called "climate change"?

We also see that favorite of politicians, the straw-man argument.  Yes, it would be a bad and immoral idea to hamper the efforts of the affected countries to attempt to deal with the disease "by making it harder to get assistance in" - which of course is why exactly nobody is suggesting anything of the sort.  The world is pretty much unanimous about wanting to send aid and experts into the danger zone.  The question is about letting potentially infected people out.

When Politics Blinds You To Reality

It might almost seem that the Obama administration has an ironclad dedication to the principle of open borders no matter what, even at the risk of permitting an apocalyptic epidemic to kill countless Americans.  The train of thought might be that closing our borders to Ebola would inherently demonstrate that our borders can be closed, and then Americans would quickly learn to like the good effects of finally getting rid of the problems that illegal immigration brings, thus preventing any more "undocumented Democrats" from flooding our body politic and our polls.  For any political leader to risk the deaths of his citizens for his own personal political gain is grotesque if not treasonous.

Certainly, some pundits are making this accusation.  We can't speak to what's in Obama's heart, but if that's what he's thinking he's even more deluded than he seems because it won't work out that way.

Consider the facts on the ground.  Ebola spreads like wildfire in places which are poorly educated, badly governed, and technologically unsophisticated.  It can spread to some degree in places like Spain with modern healthcare systems where most people exercise reasonable personal hygiene, but not nearly so quickly and with a tiny fraction of the death toll.

Ebola has been brought to this country by highly educated missionary doctors as well as by ordinary Africans.  The results could not be more different.

The missionary doctors were brought back to America with every possible precaution and taken straight to the world's most advanced medical center.  So far as we know, nobody else has been exposed to their infection.  At least one of them is now cured.

Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who traveled from Monrovia to Dallas, actively lied on his immigration paperwork so as to be allowed into the country, didn't seek medical treatment until he was already very sick, then lied again at the hospital when asked if he'd been anywhere near Ebola.  Where the doctors risked their lives to help the needy, Mr. Duncan risked the lives of countless thousands for his own convenience.

What happened when Mr. Duncan got sick?  He infected his entire neighborhood, and quite understandably many of their neighbors want nothing to do with them.

It gets worse: His bodily filth was left in his apartment where other people were living for most of a week.  Forget Ebola; what sort of people leave blood, feces, and sweat-stained linens lying around their home?  People who have not been properly trained in modern First World hygiene - in other words, Third Worlders and the poor.  Put another way: Obama voters.

Is Ebola going to be the scourge of the country-club set?  Of course not; they'll hole up in their mansions surrounded by bottles of every possible disinfectant, which the CDC says should make them safe enough.

Is Ebola going to ravage the great American middle classes?  For the most part, no: they know enough to stay clean, keep away from the sick, and seek medical treatment immediately if they develop any symptoms.  As we've seen, when promptly and thoroughly treated, Ebola can be cured.

Illegal immigrants and inner-city slum dwellers won't have those advantages.  They may even resist offers of help; there have been reports of attacks on medical teams trying to combat the plague in Africa and it's not unheard of for ambulances to come back with bullet holes in them from ghetto runs in American cities.

In short: the end result of an American Ebola epidemic would mainly affect the Democrats' core constituencies.  Mr. Obama ought to be doing everything within his power to keep Ebola out, out of nothing more than rational self-interest for future elections!

Unshakable Faith in a Lie

Yet he's not.  Does he somehow trust that the CDC can handle anything that might happen?  This faith is touching but the past decade or two would raise concerns about government confidence in the heart of the staunchest socialist.  For sure, a clear majority of Americans don't trust government to protect them.

Even the President of the United States himself has ample cause to doubt the competence of his own guardians.  Has Mr. Obama paid no attention to the recent security scandals with his own Secret Service, in which armed nuts repeatedly ran rings around America's Finest?  If the Secret Service can't effectively protect Mr. Obama from lone gunmen, how can they possibly protect him from an invisible virus?

No, Mr. Obama is not refusing to quarantine Ebola-infested countries as part of some sinister plot to further illegal immigration.  There's no conspiracy here.

There's just that hallmark of the Obama administration for the past six years: total, mindboggling incompetence and not the slightest grasp on reality.  Which, in its own way, is just as bad if not worse: to pull off an effective conspiracy, you have to be competent.  We could do with some competence right now, but the "response" of the Obama administration to both ISIS and Ebola simply demonstrate more of their signature cavalcade of failure.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Immigration.
Reader Comments

Well-written as usual, Petrarch. However, I must respectfully disagree with your conclusion. This would be so much simpler and (at least for me) able to be accepted if it was, indeed, incompetence that plagues the administration. However, can ANY group of people be this wrong this often? I have to believe there is a sinister motive in all of this... if not from our commander-in-chief directly then from whoever pulls his puppet strings.

These are dangerous and troubling times.

October 8, 2014 11:11 AM

Some great analysis here, and I agree with most all of it.

I wouldn't be me, though, if I didn't point out a couple things. First, this:

"We've got a still-flatlined economy after 6 "summers of recovery,"

...is not true. Or to be more specific, the FAR LEFT does not believe that to be true. Just last week, the entire media was buzzing about growth and the new BLS numbers. Your sentence prior to this one says that even the far left has taken notice of a dismal Obama year including this issue. I believe MANY, even in the middle and center-right, believe we have largely recovered or at least are far better off than we were in '08, '09 and '10.

I think it's also a bit of an overstatement to equate Obama's core constituency with the poor and uneducated. A large portion of the educated and wealthy voted for Obama, particularly among women.

Consider some basic voting demographics of the 2012 election, as shown here:


Yes, the "no high school" voted for Obama way more than the alternative, but so did the graduates and college crowds too. At every point in the education ladder, Obama got more votes than the alternative.

If you notice, the same graph shows that the elderly is one of the biggest groups to vote against Obama. If Ebola did spread quickly, the elderly would be another group to get wiped out quickly. So there, Ebola takes out some of Obama's biggest opponents.

Poor uneducated idiots are no longer to blame for liberal policies. Rich educated idiots are now giving them a run for their money.

October 8, 2014 11:23 AM

Rich educated idiots are indeed very loyal to Obama. But there are a good deal fewer of them than poor uneducated idiots.

I'm not really sure how Ebola would play out with the elderly. Elderly people are more likely to succumb to a bad disease, it's true. However, IF as appears to be the case Ebola is not so easily transmitted, then I think it might not be quite as devastating to the elderly. Many of them don't go out much and are wealthy enough to maintain good personal hygiene. Could be wrong there though.

Re the "recovery", you're right as far as the stock market, but as the greatest living politician Bill Clinton said:

"The economy is coming back but nobody believes it yet because you don't feel it."


For most ordinary people that is very much true, as shown in consumer-confidence and consumer-spending stats.


What I find really thought-provoking is themadman0307's point, and it's certainly one I've wrestled with: even Jimmy Carter made some wise decisions that made America better off (eg deregulating trucking and airlines). Can anyone be wrong on every single thing for years on end, without doing on purpose? But if so, why would he do something with such a grave risk of being self-defeating?

Many pundits have theorized that Obama is a puppet - of Valerie Jarrett, of George Soros, of the Bilderbergs, heck, even space aliens, who knows. But if that were the case the same logic applies: what is the objective with which their actions ought to be consistent? Even if it's "destroy the United States" then cranking up the heat on the pot runs the risk of inducing the frog to jump out; why do that when the frog is cooking peacefully already and has been for 50 if not 100 years?

Incompetence still seems a more plausible explanation. But I gotta admit, I do wonder...

October 8, 2014 11:40 AM

For my part, I don't wonder: the president was soaked in anti-Americanism in his youth; he clearly and obviously shows more pride for his "black half" than his "white half;" his party benefits as poverty spreads, as fear spreads, and as demographics are disrupted. I have no problem in confidently stating that we are governed by traitors -- the difference is, until they were able to play the race card at every turn, they weren't so brazen.

As far as immigration and related questions go, the United States has literally *no* need of immigration from anyplace in the world. When real unemployment is something like 15-20%, it's past insane to continue to price American citizens out of the market, continue to erode the work ethic, and wreck what's left of patriotism. Even if there were a need for H-1B visas and other such educated and skilled labor -- and there isn't -- it's still insane to allow any immigration from unskilled, uncivilized, and barbaric parts of the world; those who are "unfamiliar with first-world hygiene" (read: they still sh*t where they eat) ought to be actively excluded.

The first purpose of government -- especially the American Federal government -- is to jealously guard American interests before the world and to defend the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens. There is no one anywhere in that organization acting in the interests of American citizens. Pointing this fact out ought to earn the GOP a veto-proof majority in the Senate -- but, the only alternatives to the traitors are the cowards.

October 8, 2014 2:15 PM
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