Orson Scott Card: More Ridiculous Than You Thought

I didn’t think my opinion of Orson Scott Card could get any lower, but then my former colleague Dave Weigel linked to an essay Card wrote back in May that is just brimming with ignorant claims and some of the most hyperbolic paranoia you’ll ever see.

Obama is, by character and preference, a dictator. He hates the very idea of compromise; he demonizes his critics and despises even his own toadies in the liberal press. He circumvented Congress as soon as he got into office by appointing “czars” who didn’t need Senate approval.

Oh for crying out loud. There are no “czars.” There are White House advisers, which every president for the last 45 years has had and the media sometimes lazily labels them “czars.” And hates the idea of compromise? Weigel demolishes that claim:

Here on Earth, Obama has actually signed off on a series of compromises that fell short of what he demanded—the health care law, the debt limit increases—and he’s only the latest president to appoint a series of advisers who are termed “czars.”

He’s done nothing but compromise in office. He couldn’t get the public option passed, so he signed a compromise that had subsidized private insurance instead. He couldn’t get the top tax rate hiked on income above $250,000, so he compromised on $400,000 instead.

How far might he take his dictatorial disposition? Is there any plausible way for him to remain as president for life, like the dictators he so admires and envies in Russia, China, and the Muslim world?

At first glance, the idea is absurd. The U.S. military would never accept such a thing. Nor would the people. Nor would …

But wait. Let’s think about this. Is there any way that Barack Obama could remain president forever, the way Putin has held on to power in Russia?…

So as a science fiction writer and a student of history, allow me to spin a plausible scenario about how, like Augustus Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, and Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama could become lifetime dictator without any serious internal opposition…

You’d think that such a man could not possibly remain in office past the Constitutional limit of two terms — but I think the plan is already in place.

Look at how Hillary Clinton is being set up as the fall guy on Benghazi. Her lies under oath will destroy her in the run-up to the 2016 election, while the press will never hold Obama’s feet to the fire.

This is because Michelle Obama is going to be Barack’s Lurleen Wallace. Remember how George Wallace got around Alabama’s ban on governors serving two terms in a row? He ran his wife for the office. Everyone knew Wallace would actually be pulling the strings, even though they denied it.

Michelle Obama will be Obama’s designated “successor,” and any Democrat who seriously opposes her will be destroyed in the media the way everyone who contested Obama’s run for the Democratic nomination in 2008 was destroyed.

But wait, this gets even more inane. He’s going to do this by turning urban gangs into his own personal military force:

Barack Obama needs to have a source of military power that is under his direct control. Like Hitler, he needs a powerful domestic army to terrify any opposition that might arise.

Obama called for a “national police force” in 2008, though he never gave a clue about why such a thing would be necessary. We have the National Guard. We have the armed forces. The FBI. The Secret Service. And all the local and state police forces.

The trouble is that all of these groups have long independent histories and none of them is reliably under Barack Obama’s personal control. He needs Brown Shirts — thugs who will do his bidding without any reference to law.

Obama will claim we need a national police force in order to fight terrorism and crime. The Boston bombing is a useful start, especially when combined with random shootings by crazy people.

Where will he get his “national police”? The NaPo will be recruited from “young out-of-work urban men” and it will be hailed as a cure for the economic malaise of the inner cities.

In other words, Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.

Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.

He calls that a “plausible scenario.” That tells you pretty much all you need to know about the dark, fetid imagination of Mr. Card.


  1. laurentweppe says

    OoT: is the new look of the blog a temporary thing? Because not only is it ugly as sin, it makes the whole thing barely readable

  2. blf says

    Sounds like his version The Handmaid’s Tale — a secret army of millions somehow hidden who somehow take over without much of a fight to somehow succeed in imposing a theological dictatorship — and just as stooopid and implausible.

  3. blf says

    laurentweppe, What new look?

    Seems roughly the same to me.

    Perhaps yer on the “mobile” version of the site, which does look appalling (at least on proper equipment, I have no idea how it looks / works on whatever toys it’s supposedly “designed” for). Sometimes, for unclear reasons, you wind up on that “mobile” site. Try a few clicks on the various banners and (in my experience) it goes back to the proper site.

  4. says

    One of my favorite lines (I’m also amused that nearly every political, historical, and statistical claim he makes even about subjects not directly related to Obama is factually wrong) is this:

    It’s hard to imagine how American press coverage would be different if Obama were a Hitler- or Stalin-style dictator, except of course that everyone at Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the Rhinoceros Times would be in jail. Or dead.

    Yes, except that, of course.

  5. says

    He couldn’t get the top tax rate hiked on income above $250,000, so he compromised on $400,000 instead.”

    It was not a “tax hike”. It was “not continuing a Bush-era temporary tax cut”.

  6. RickR says

    Not only a rabid homophobe, but a frothing-at-the-mouth racist to boot.

    This guy is a real piece of work.

    (At this point, Lionsgate Pictures probably wishes Card would fall in front of a train or something.)

  7. DaveL says

    Is there anything more obnoxious than trying to avoid taking responsibility for one’s own mean-spirited stupidity using the “just kidding – wink, wink” canard?

  8. matty1 says

    I’m a little confused the nearest I can find to Obama calling for a ‘national police force’ is a speech where he called for more government support for volunteering and suggested it would help America’s national security by giving a good impression of Americans in other countries.

    It does seem a little unlikely that knowing Americans are being encouraged to volunteer to pick litter would affect international opinion but I’m not seeing the secret police aspect.

  9. raven says

    Hitchens: Religion poisons everything.

    1. It poisoned OS Card’s mind. Thirty years ago he could pass as a normal person. He wrote a few good books. At some point, he became a born again Mormon, meaning got serious about his born into religion. And turned into a monster who writes unreadable books.

    2. A lot of prominient Mormons are monsters. (A few are not.) Glenn Beck, Orson S. Card, Romney, any of the General Authorities that run the Church. And produces monsters routinely that split off and form even uglier cults, FLDS, other polygamist cults, and faith healers full of dead babies and kids.

    This doesn’t make me want to convert to Mormonism. It makes me want to put Utah into a Transporter and send it to planet Kolob where their monster in chief lives with his herd of nameless goddess wives.

  10. raven says

    I stopped reading OS Card’s books decades ago.

    He wrote a few good books long ago. And then they went downhill. And downhill some more. One day I read a short story and said, Well, that was a waste of one hour of my life.

    And this was before he became an out of the closet Mormon monster.

    I won’t pay my money to somone like that. Then again, I wouldn’t have wasted it on him anyway. There are many way better authors existing today.

    Iain Banks, for example, is a far greater person and visionary (yes, I know he just died. Gone but not forgotten.).

  11. John Pieret says

    He’s done nothing but compromise in office.

    To the wingnut mind the only thing that can properly be called a compromise is to impliment the Republican platform in its entirety. Anything less is tyrannical twarting of the will of the people (who count!).

    So as a science fiction writer and a student of history

    A two year old could craft a better dystopian scenerio than that and, as “a student of history,” you should sue to get your tuition back.

  12. says

    And let’s remember, this was the guy who sent out the patronizing plea for “tolerance” when he started to realize that his homophobia might hurt his bottom line. Not that he takes any of it back, just that we should take the high road and spend our hard earned cash on his big budget movie.

    Why can’t we all just recognize his genius and stop oppressing him and his millions of dollars?

  13. says

    John Pieret “To the wingnut mind the only thing that can properly be called a compromise is to impliment the Republican platform in its entirety.”
    Hardly. After five years of watching them vote against what were their own ideas before Obama proffered them, him handing them everything they’re for would make them shout the loudest “No!” ever. At best, Boehner would refer to it as “a start to negotiations” and McConnell would threaten to filibuster “the president’s bitterly divisive agenda”.

    “…as ‘a student of history,’ you should sue to get your tuition back.”
    To be fair, history is an awful teacher. Granted, history was my phys-ed teacher, but still.

  14. John Pieret says


    Granted, history was my phys-ed teacher

    Yeah, mine too. But in the condition I’m in now, I doubt I could run the bitch down in order to get my money back.

  15. says

    So as a science fiction writer and a student of history…

    I can’t tell whether that’s a lame argument from authority, or a lame attempt to avoid responsibility for his own words. Either way, there’s plenty of people who can do both a lot better than him.

    Seriously, Card is part of an old and obsolete generation of SF writers. The rest of the field have long passed him and his “Heinlein Lite” BS by.

  16. exdrone says

    raven at 13: “One day I read a short story and said, Well, that was a waste of one hour of my life.”
    Card could have saved people wasting their time reading this essay if he had started it with “So as a science fiction writer and a student of history [like L. Ron Hubbard], allow me to spin …” Enough said.

  17. whheydt says

    Time to cue Tom Lehrer…

    “…he traded in his old zip gun for a bayonet and a new M-1…”

  18. exdrone says

    Obama will claim we need a national police force in order to fight terrorism and crime.

    The Colombian Army has a strength of 235,000 of which 120,000 are military police. The Colombian government decided that they needed a large police force because of the nature of their struggle with terrorist insurgents such as the FARQ. However, they had problems with the ethical behaviour and public reputation of the police, so they incorporated them into the army in order to professionalize them, which worked to an extent. It certainly improved the effectiveness of joint police-military operations. However, if you are looking for more fodder for your conspiracy theory, Orson, Obama visited Colombia in 2012. Good idea respect no borders. … 2+2 Orson. …

  19. RickR says

    That’s strange. I don’t see the site that way at all (and I’m looking at it in both Safari and Firefox, just to check).

  20. Chiroptera says

    laurentweppe, #1:

    I get the “new look” occassionally, too. Scroll to the bottom of the page. There should be a link that says “switch to desktop version” or something like that. Click it, and I think your problem will be solved.

  21. blf says

    laurentweppe, That is the so-called “mobile” site. What is (currently) working for me to get to the regular site is to scroll to the bottom of page and click on the link Switch to our desktop site.

    Why FtB sometimes to decide to present the “mobile” site is not-known (to me).

  22. lofgren says

    Racists have been suggesting that black street gangs would reorganize as a fascist police force under a black president and/or the UN since at least the 1970s (which is probably when the rumor originates since I don’t think black street gangs were much on the minds of white Americans before then, as the concept of a street gang meant something quite different before the ’70s). There has been a definite resurgence since Obama took office, and I had no idea Card was a subscriber to this brand of lunacy, but it’s not a new theory.

    My impression of Card is that there is a thoughtful, kind, intelligent, even loving man buried deep inside him, but he has been taught by his peers that thoughtfulness, kindness, intelligence, and love are all signs of feminine weakness. He wants to be a big tough man, and that means being mean and vicious. Just an my impression.

  23. says

    Excuse me if I have previously alluded to this and am thus repeating myself.

    Orson Scott Card is an fucking asshole, a vile human being and a hack writer.

    Oh, and he’s a whiny, little prick, too, also.

  24. labman57 says

    Another delusional nut job throws his hat in the ring, vying for the title of President of the Tin Foil Hat Society.

    Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, and Allen West had better step up their game plans.

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