Is Michael Ledeen Serious?

Here is his latest effort at The Corner:

Is Obama naive?
I don’t think so. I think that he rather likes tyrants and dislikes America. I think he’d like to be more powerful, I think he is trying to get control over as much of our lives as he can, so that he can put an end to the annoying tumult of our public life. As when he said (about health care) to the Congress, “Okay, you’ve talked enough, now it’s time to do the right thing (my thing).” And he’s trying to end American power in the outside world. He’s saying “I’m going to stop us, before we kill again.”
There is nothing unusual about elitist hatred of freedom. Back in the 18th century, when book publishing really got going, British authors were infuriated that they had to submit to the judgment of a marketplace. They didn’t want to be judged by people who were obviously inferior to them, and there was a great rage among the intelligentsia, including some very famous men. And in modern times, we can all name famous intellectuals who fawned all over Mussolini, Stalin, Fidel, and even Hitler.
American politics are very fractious, and always have been. Leaders are constantly frustrated, and some of them come to yearn for an end to our freedom. They think they know best, they just want to tell us what to do and have us shut up and do it. I think Obama is one of them. He’s not naïve. It’s different. He doesn’t like the way things work here, he thinks he can do much better, and he’s possessed of the belief that America has done a lot of terrible things in the world, and should be prevented from doing such things ever again. The two convictions mesh perfectly. It’s The Best and the Brightest run amok.
Democratic leaders’ envy of tyrants’ power can be understood. But it can’t be forgiven.

This is criticism from the Andy McCarthy and Victor Davis Hanson school. The conceit is that unlike less savvy observers, these men — due to their long experience, clarity of mind, and exceptional discernment — understand the true psychological motivations of President Obama.

So on health care, it may appear to the untrained observer that President Obama is pushing his agenda because he deems it wise to reform health care, and naturally enough judges his own policy preferences to be the correct course. Ah, but Michael Ledeen is knowledgeable about Mussolini, Stalin, Castro, and Hitler, who also thought their policy preferences to be correct, and implemented them, so he can see the true colors of our president. Why, if Hitler were alive today, he’d probably forgo setting buildings afire, instead marching right down to Congress to say, okay, enough talk about health care — now pass my bill!

And of course the neo-fascist Obama also wants to end his country’s influence on the rest of the world, um, just like Mussolini, Stalin, Castro, and Hitler, because that’s what Democrats who envy powerful tyrants do? That explains President Obama’s choice of a radical dove as Secretary of State, his refusal to use force to free American hostages or kill terrorists, and the pacifist attitude he’s taken toward Pakistan.

Yes, if only we could have a president like the one Mr. Ledeen, Mr. Hanson, and Mr. McCarthy last supported, one who doesn’t bully Congress and try to radically increase the power of the executive. Perhaps some of you might object that President Bush asserted the ability to declare American citizens enemy combatants without offering any evidence for his designation, that he secretly wiretapped the conversations of American citizens, that his administration developed an assassination program that it kept secret from Congress — but leaders are not to be judged by their actions! Only a sophisticated analysis of their inner psychology can truly enlighten us as to their character and motivations.

UPDATE: Rich Lowry agrees that Mr. Ledeen’s post is wrongheaded.