October 28th, 2008

Back when they weren’t afraid to say Obama was a radical

It’s instructive to go back in time and see what was being said about Obama when he was starting out his Presidential race but hadn’t fully invented himself as a moderate yet. It’s especially interesting to look at periodicals with a readership that wouldn’t be afraid of the designation “radical.”

Rolling Stone’s February 2007 profile of Obama is an excellent example. It contains the usual descriptions of the man as both charismatic and somewhat of a soothing blank slate onto which voters could project whatever they might want to see. But looking at Obama’s record, Rolling Stone had this to say:

[Obama] came to the [US] Capitol equipped with his own, swelling celebrity; the Senate was not a perfect fit. Beyond his considerable charm, Obama can be righteous and cocky. He came to Washington pushing the hope that politics could be better—but now he can give the impression that he’d rather be just about anywhere other than in Washington…

This reinforces the perception that Obama really had little interest in the work of being a Senator; it was the steppingstone for his considerable ambition. But certain aspects of Obama’s life that only surfaced to the general public about a year later were already clear to the author, Ben Wallace-Wells, who wrote of Reverend Wright and his fiery sermons, including quotes that clearly show their now-familiar racism. Wallace-Wells adds [emphasis mine]:

This [Wright's church] is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr. Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics. The senator “affirmed” his Christian faith in this church; he uses Wright as a “sounding board” to “make sure I’m not losing myself in the hype and hoopla.” Both the title of Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 come from Wright’s sermons. “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from,” says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left, “just look at Jeremiah Wright.”

Ah, but even discussing Wright, and how influential he actually was in Obama’s life, is now off-limits.

Furthermore [emphasis mine]:

Obama has now spent two years in the Senate and written two books about himself, both remarkably frank: There is a desire to own his story, to be both his own Boswell and his own investigative reporter. When you read his autobiography, the surprising thing—for such a measured politician—is the depth of radical feeling that seeps through, the amount of Jeremiah Wright that’s packed in there

Obama’s life story is a splicing of two different roles, and two different ways of thinking about America’s. One is that of the consummate insider, someone who has been raised believing that he will help to lead America, who believes in this country’s capacity for acts of outstanding virtue. The other is that of a black man who feels very deeply that this country’s exercise of its great inherited wealth and power has been grossly unjust….

Obama is at once an insider and an outsider, a bomb thrower and the class president. “I’m somebody who believes in this country and its institutions,” he tells me. “But I often think they’re broken.”

The rest of the article is basically approving of Obama, while leaving out all the dirty Chicago politics that won him the elections. Not a word there of Hull or Ryan, nor a whisper of Ayers or Alice Palmer.

Now, of course, it’s only those Right-wing nutroots who are calling Obama radical. The press knows how inflammatory this information will be, and would prefer we hear only Obama’s words of soothing reinvention. At least, till after he’s elected.

66 Responses to “Back when they weren’t afraid to say Obama was a radical”

  1. Dave Moelling Says:

    Neo; We need your insight on Obama’s motivations. My reading on his career is that he had ambitions, but seemed to be waiting for someone to promote him. He was always a follower not a leader. So if he’s our next president, can he suddenly become a leader for good or bad? Or will he be the figurehead for more shadowy people, the kind that the left always imagined were behind Bush?

    My experience with people of similar demeanor is that they cannot become leaders because they are incapable of taking the risks to their personal image. Perhaps this is more dangerous if they are frustrated like Obama.

  2. soupcon Says:

    It’s Radical Chic redux, 40 years on, and Barry is a smoother Huey Newton.

  3. gcotharn Says:

    @Dave Moelling: Interesting take about leadership and image. I think Barack is a true believer who will do what he can to move us left. With Harry and Nancy in place, he can do a lot.

    @soupcon: there’s truth in what you are saying, yet I have a gripe: Barack does not come close to measuring up to Huey Newton – either in cool chicness, in intellect, or in action.

    Huey Newton was a man. Huey Newton had the conviction of his principles. Huey Newton got things done. He was a man to be reckoned with. McCain and Palin are like Huey Newton. Barack is a cipher.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I expect, if Barack is elected, the media will soon enough turn on him. Their storyline will be (w/o conscious irony): Who knew? Who knew The One was a boring indecisive Socialist with vindictive totalitarian instincts? Who knew The One – while possessing a decent IQ – lacked wit and warmth and authenticity, and consequently couldn’t sell a meaty bone to a dog? Who knew The One was shockingly ignorant of history, economics, foreign policy? Who knew?

    We know. Everyone on this blog knows – even the commenters here who support Barack are not blind to his flaws.

    The media want Barack in office. They’ve been sitting atop the dirty laundry of his flaws, pressing them down and desperately obscuring them from public view. There will be an unleashing; a gleeful release of pressure. Dirty laundry will trampoline everywhere. The media will return to being media THEN, after the election is over. They will gleefully examine even the laundry which lands – to pick just a random example – in, say … Martinique.

    The media will win. They will get everything they want: Barack elected + Barack instituting leftist policies + nonstop Barack dirt to publicize. The media will win in all the ways they wanted. They will have everything they wished for. It might finally kill off the media as currently constituted.

  4. gcotharn Says:

    Actually, I still think McCain has a chance to win. I got a little carried away in my example above.

  5. GeoPal Says:

    Have to agree with gcotharn’s “Barack is a cipher”.

    Barack Obama is not the keystone in the political structure built around him. He is hand picked by like-minded but clearly radical elements, picked for his unthreatening blackness, and his easy to swallow progressivism. He has an ego and a charm and probably an idea or two that he can call his own, but he is not his own man. Obama is not the radical stalwart that Wright and Ayers are, neither intellectually nor ideologically, but twenty years as fellow traveler have made him a strong and willing DISCIPLE. I believe his pay grade would reflect Evangelist/Tactician.

  6. FredHjr Says:

    Barack Obama is not a natural leader. Community organizers are facilitators and manipulators. Manipulators may try to be leaders, but they lack a core of courage and integrity and enables them to make difficult choices and sacrifices of a high moral nature.

    Obama is part of a nexus of interests. What the American dopes who will put him in office are getting is a NETWORK of alliances and interests, running the gamut from Finance (Soros) to academia to media to law. Thus far, in order to appeal to the Middle Muddle he has been packaged as a moderate or centrist. But once in office the venomous swarm of this network will burst out of the nest and devour the host. You wait and see. And I’m not eager for the moment to say “I told you so.” I really would it be the case that it never happens at all. Why? Because the lives of tens of millions of human beings hang in the balance of this and mushroom clouds on the horizon. I put the value of human life far above my own frustrated rantings.

    And years ago I was once a part of the academic pathways part of this network. I know what these people want and their moral and intellectual mettle. When they bare their fangs it truly is a scary moment.

  7. Sergey Says:

    It seems that almost everybody here assumes that Obama is a human being. Know what? He is not. He is empty shell filled with demonic inspiration. I have seen this type of personality before, and only very tiny shreds of a human soul left in them, mainly serving as a disguise for robotic ideology-driven machines which occupy their corporeal bodies. This is what true believers in secular religions are reduced to by decades of suppressing critical ability, normal human emotions and moral instincts. There is no other explanation to biography and bechavior of Obama except for self-induced profound dehumanization.

  8. br549 Says:

    To save the democrat party, and the city of Chicago, extreme embarrassment, perhaps Senator McCain and Governor Palin will be gracious enough to accept their win and have their party in Chicago.

  9. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    I fear what the others are claiming here, but have another possibility I think equally likely.

    Ambitious people often lose the causes they originally became ambitious for and become only for themselves. Bill Clinton wanted to be re-elected, then he wanted a legacy to be known for. Both of those things caused him to throw absolutely everyone and everything away in the service of those goals. Obama may well do the same. At the moment at least some of him genuinely wants societal change – the changes he wants won’t create the society he hopes for, and I think they’d be a disaster, but I give him credit for at least partially good motives. He willo support those changes until the day that they interfere with his personal ambitions.

    It won’t be pretty. I doubt it’s any better for the country. But the vision of descent into radicalism is probably not the most likely. Expensive self-aggrandising ideas are more likely.

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    I have seen this type of personality before, and only very tiny shreds of a human soul left in them, mainly serving as a disguise for robotic ideology-driven machines which occupy their corporeal bodies. This is what true believers in secular religions are reduced to by decades of suppressing critical ability, normal human emotions and moral instincts. There is no other explanation to biography and bechavior of Obama except for self-induced profound dehumanization.

    i agree…

    but how do you explain that to someone, who as orwell was so good at putting, will not see things that contradict their desires?

    in fact, that could be a measure of their effectiveness as human beings and why they feel that merit is false, and that those who rise must be better criminals than they are. winners are always at a disadvantage given the number of those who want their place.

    if they cant asses thinks without the whale of bias they haev, they cant be effective in the real world. their class dielectics does not lead to competency.

    this is what these types that sergey is mentioned feed off of. obama has his duping delite, his dual mind, his love of being superior… etc.

    such leads to a megalomaniacle person, once they realize that once in office, their keepers cant control them for a short while.

    then the interesting stuff starts to happen…

    i wish i lived on a moon base…

  11. FredHjr Says:

    Actually, I think Nancy Pelosi is more powerful than the President, and having President Obama makes her even more powerful. Speaker of the House has tremendous power, plus she’s THIRD IN LINE for the Presidency if the other two go down in a very improbable event.

    The primary role of POTUS is Commander in Chief, a role which Obama is very unqualified for. He may have a stable of Carter and Clinton retreads for advisers, but even their spotty competence cannot paper over his glaring unsuitability for the role.

    But, since FDR days Americans now have appended to the traditional Constitutional role of POTUS the additional job title: CEO of the American economy. Obama does, per his rhetoric, aspire to that role and so the media has done an exceedingly poor job of vetting his qualifications for that.

    So now, a man who has Communist terrorists for friends, who was mentored by a Communist, has had Arab/Muslim terrorist supporters for friends, and who has no real love for he armed forces is about to get a job that requires him to understand what the tip of the spear is for? A man who could never receive a security clearance for any federal job that would require it?

    The utter insanity of it all beggars belief.

  12. Artfldgr Says:

    I give him credit for at least partially good motives.

    so if hitler was nice to his dog, you would give him credit?

    this “the devil is really good because he did one good thing and wasnt 100% evil”

    thats the modern logic…

    now you know how bad people get to be in office. they tell their people to do one good thing. like the aclu… and eveyrone will ignore the 10 bad things, as long as you do one or two nice things.

    want to hear how similar it sounds.

    moussilini made the trains run on time…

    see… he is good because he did one thing that is approved…

    john gotti was really good, he had a block party every year with free food, liquore, and illegal fireworks…

    and stalin was really nice… did you ever see those films and pictures with all those children aroudn him adoring him?

    the horse is now dead… i can stop beating…

  13. expat Says:

    avi,

    There are certain parallels with Gerhard Schroeder. He too started out as a strong leftist, but as he advanced in his career, he came to like the trappings of the business men with their Brionis and Cohibas and international connections. The economic reforms he enacted were the result of the influence of his new peer group. When the election returns came in and Merkel’s CDU came out ahead, giving Merkel first dibs on the chancellor post, Schroeder completely flipped out on TV, laughing at Merkel and saying she was unqualified. I’ve never seen anything like it: His ego simply couldn’t take it.

    BTW, Schroeder’s father died in the war; his mother married a drunk who beat her; and the family was rejected by other villagers as something like trailer trash. In short, he too had an identity problem.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    I expect, if Barack is elected, the media will soon enough turn on him. Their storyline will be (w/o conscious irony): Who knew? Who knew The One was a boring indecisive Socialist with vindictive totalitarian instincts? Who knew The One – while possessing a decent IQ – lacked wit and warmth and authenticity, and consequently couldn’t sell a meaty bone to a dog? Who knew The One was shockingly ignorant of history, economics, foreign policy? Who knew?

    I agree that Obama would/will be a disaster, but I doubt that the media will turn on him. I think it more likely that they will bemoan “what could have been” had only the Messiah’s grand plans not been thwarted by the evil Americans, who blinded by fear and hate, refused to follow Him to the Promised Land.

    That way 1) they don’t have to admit, even implicitly, that they were wrong, 2) they set themselves up for another later run at creating a socialist utopia, and 3) deflect anger and disappointment from Obama onto their opponents (a la the “affordable housing” fiasco that is playing out now).

  15. FredHjr Says:

    Those who think that the media does not have any ideological agenda invested in Obama’s candidacy, save their own pecuniary interests, is not familiar with the academic culture in the universities out of which the journalists come to the real world.

    They won’t savage Obama’s failures or the crises that will attend. They will try to spin it so as to minimize the damage.

  16. kamper Says:

    “. . . but now he can give the impression that he’d rather be just about anywhere other than in Washington…”

    So this is a bad thing, right? You might want to tell that to Sarah Palin, as it’s the entire gist of her stump speech.

    The reason the “Obama is a radical” meme has not taken hold with the electorate is that it is belied by their own simple observation of the man. He’s about the furthest thing from a ‘radical’ in his demeanor. So this becomes a ‘who you gonna believe, me or your own lyin eyes’ argument.

    Also, continuing to fight the culture war of the 1960s has absolutely no resonance with anyone under, say, 40. For them, say the words Soviet Union and you may as well be talking about the Weimar Republic. It’s not an effective boogeyman anymore.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    He’s about the furthest thing from a ‘radical’ in his demeanor.

    What do you expect him to do, walk around carrying Mao’s Little Red Book? Burst forth into a rousing rendition of “Internationale” at a press conference? Describe a plan for re-education camps? Show up for a speech toting an AK-47? If he did these things, even liberals might privately begin to suspect something was afoot.

    Stupid comment.

  18. Artfldgr Says:

    occam, thats funny… but i think that even that wouldnt work. there is a very smart man i work with, so smart, he thinks this is all good (yes, academia professor). he wants ‘proof’… and i said, what kind of proof do you want? a letter with his fingerprint ink on it and a film showing he wrote it? if you cant accept all the stuff around it, then no proof will be proof to you. anything that would be past doubt, you would then say was a fake (like the birth cert).

    adolf hitler wrote mien kampf, and thats pretty much proof of what he would do later.

    the sad truth is that they think they can spot this change coming, because they think they would see it. but i keep trying to tell the poor man, this time, your inside the elephant, not outside watching it.

    such people when they become the majority have to take us on a wild ride in which they get the proof they THOUGHT they wanted.

    once WWII started, the people got their proof.

    they should think themselves quite priveledged, since they are the few that actually choose to live thorugh the proof.

    want to know the truth? even after proof like that, they will then not get that they were a part of it.

    oh, no, not me, i worked in a small office on the west side… i wasnt a guard, or a planner. i wasnt a general or a captain… a politician… so it really wasnt me who put my grain of sand on the hill to help buld the mountain.

  19. FredHjr Says:

    Artfldgr,

    The kind of people who want the “proof” that you refer to are deflecting, because they already like Obama’s policy preferences and everything else. Kamper’s comment was beyond delusional, since it says that the facts about a man’s alliances and his intellectual development are not as important as his comportment. Utterly insane, if you ask me.

    But the nation has become utterly insane. After eight years of Bushitler and unceasing Left wing attacks on our response to Islamic jihad, the public has been whipped up into a frenzy to hate Republicans. The media and academia have been UNRELENTING. What else can we expect in this sort of climate?

  20. Jamie Says:

    I think journalists – I really want to put that word in quotes – believe that they have a calling. So far, so good: they do, as far as I’m concerned. Their calling is to report what is true, and before that, to dig for the truth. Unfortunately many of them don’t seem to agree that that is their calling; they believe, instead, that they’re called to reshape society. And society is oh, so much easier to report on when the narrative is simple and dramatic. Bush=Hitler – simple, dramatic. Iraq=Vietnam – simple, dramatic. Obama=President, “against the odds” – simple, dramatic, and (joy!) journalists can really help!

    Sigh. I don’t think they’ll abandon him; I think they’ll carry his water forever, either because he’s their guy or because they can’t stomach the idea that he might be wrong or a bad leader and (whisper this) black at the same time.

  21. Alex Bensky Says:

    I read Obama’s first book and skimmed the second, and both reminded me of what someone said about Churchill’s book on World War I: “Winston has written a book about himself and called it ‘The World Crisis.’”

  22. kcom Says:

    If he does sufficiently badly, they’ll abandon him, but it will take quite a lot. They’ll cover as long as is humanly possible but if forced to choose between him and themselves, in the end they will always choose themselves. But if and when that time does come, of course they’ll act like they were onto him all along and had doubts about him from the beginning, and finally everyone else was catching up. Their role in promoting him to his position will be something never discussed.

  23. JR Dogman Says:

    We’re going to win. The polls are B.S. Obama is buying half-hour slots on TV. ACORN is… doing what they do. They know their “lead” is an illusion.

    Look around the web for serious looks at the current polling nonsense. Visit PUMA sites.

    AND GET OUT THE VOTE!

  24. Thomass Says:

    Sergey Says:

    “This is what true believers in secular religions are reduced to by decades of suppressing critical ability, normal human emotions and moral instincts.”

    I also think schizoids and narcissists are attracted to very ideological politics… because it promises a self redemption via outside things (the politics / the movement)… which they will pursue since they started the whole endeavor because of their lack of inner sense of self… I’d note schizoids and one of the two types of narcissists tend towards acting robotic…

  25. kamper Says:

    Well then, allow me to retort.

    What I mean when I say O does not “act” radical is that he is largely unflappable. He is steady, calm, collected, even a bit dull or square. There is an inherent ‘storm the ramparts’ mentality in every radical that is entirely absent in O.

    By the way, love the way I’ve been called stupid and beyond delusional for respectfully disagreeing with the shibboleths sacred to this comment section. Way to make that formerly big tent just a little bit smaller.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    kamper: I think perhaps your comment was misunderstood? I saw it as an observation, and a correct one at that. Barack Obama does not act radical. That is exactly why he had been able to effectively deny his radical associations, his radical past, and arguably his radical plans for the future. If he “acted radical” he would never have gone as far as he has.

    I didn’t get the idea you were saying this meant he couldn’t actually be radical, however. I think the people who criticized you felt that’s what you were saying. At least, that’s my guess.

  27. Occam's Beard Says:

    What I mean when I say O does not “act” radical is that he is largely unflappable. He is steady, calm, collected, even a bit dull or square.

    Calm, collected…kinda like Lenin? Demeanor, without more, is no guide to worthiness of the speaker’s proposals.

    There is an inherent ’storm the ramparts’ mentality in every radical that is entirely absent in O.

    Evidence?

    By the way, love the way I’ve been called stupid and beyond delusional for respectfully disagreeing with the shibboleths sacred to this comment section.

    That reveals your basic problem: reading comprehension. I didn’t call you stupid, but rather your comment. Big difference. Your comment was stupid; the jury is still out on you.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Occam’s Beard: See my comment above. It was posting at the same time as yours.

  29. Gray Says:

    What I mean when I say O does not “act” radical is that he is largely unflappable. He is steady, calm, collected, even a bit dull or square.

    Yeah, I noticed that too. It’s chilling:

    DSM-IV Characteristics of people with antisocial personality disorder may include:

    Persistent lying or stealing
    Recurring difficulties with the law
    Tendency to violate the rights and boundaries of others
    Substance abuse
    Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
    A persistent agitated or depressed feeling (dysphoria)
    Inability to tolerate boredom
    Disregard for the safety of self or others
    A childhood diagnosis of conduct disorders – this is not a symptom but “a history of”
    Lack of remorse, related to hurting others
    Superficial charm
    Impulsiveness
    A sense of extreme entitlement
    Inability to make or keep friends
    Recklessness, impulsivity[5][6]
    People with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder often experience difficulties with authority figures.[7]

    Supporting such a person for President is stupid and beyond delusional.

    He’s not a good person, but he will stick it to:
    Me,
    gun-owners,
    business owners,
    Christians,
    The middle class,
    Rural Americans,
    Security Moms,
    The Military,
    People who work for oil companies
    Defense Contractors,
    Republicans,
    and people with a dollar more than you have,

    which is really why you like Obama.

  30. Kurt Says:

    I read kamper’s comment the same way Neo did. People simply don’t want to learn the truth about Obama’s background because it conflicts with the image that they have of him as being some sort of post-political consensus builder. They have a whole series of defenses that prevent them from recognizing that yes, someone this radical could have been nominated by the Democrats. They tell themselves he has been thoroughly vetted and that he is mainstream. They tell themselves that anyone who thinks his relationships with Ayers meant anything is delusional. They might voice some concern over Wright, but they find reassurance in the fact that when push came to shove, Obama threw him under the bus. It’s an elaborate defense mechanism, an elaborate scheme of denial for ignoring facts that don’t seem to fit with the image that Obama tries to project.

  31. Occam's Beard Says:

    neo, I saw it as an abolutely correct observation, but (in the context of the other comments in the same post, one re Palin and the other re culture wars and the USSR) as a lame attempt to deflect criticism from Obama, hence my characterization of the comment.

    Obama no doubt is calm and collected in delivering a prepared speech. No argument there. I’d say he’s thin-skinned and hot in extemporaneous encounters (“can I just eat my waffle?”) and prone to blurting out disastrous admissions when surprised (“spread the wealth” to Joe the Plumber).

    In any case, I agree that Obama does not pound the lectern and rant. To take that as a basis, without more, to conclude that he is not radical is, in my view, somewhere between stupid and disingenuous.

    Gedanken experiment: suppose Obama, in his nice calm demeanor, proposed that we hold all the women in common, initiate all pre-teens in sex, and begin human sacrifices. Wouldn’t that perhaps qualify him as radical, demeanor notwithstanding? That’s my point. Demeanor is style, nothing more, and only the failure to maintain appropriate demeanor (a la Howard Dean) is significant.

  32. TmjUtah Says:

    Obama is a sapper.

    Not a politician.

    All those scary, inconvenient mentors and associates back there under the bus are passing a jug around, celebrating.

    They may just have gotten their guy through the wire.

  33. kamper Says:

    Not to hide behind the schoolmarm’s skirts, but neo is entirely correct in her characterization of my comment above.

    I have nothing to add to the debate of whether O actually is a radical, which is a Rorschach test at this point (I’m on the no side, btw). My comment narrowly addressed the issue of why the meme hadn’t taken root in the public’s mind.

    Another reason may be that our Republican president just passed legislation that effectively nationalized the banks, so yesterday’s radical position is today’s stimulus package.

  34. Perfected democrat Says:

    Did someone say “Manchurian Candidate 2008″? It’s the politics of envy and vendetta, and where any means (ie. winking at ACORN) is justified by the end. Obama reminds me, more and more, of Hugo Chavez, but this is still America, I hope. Our black culture is going to feel terribly used in four to eight years, when the white democratic elite reasserts their domination and personal power agendas. They will understand why Martin Luther King was a Republican…

  35. John G. Spragge Says:

    I despise and fear people on the Left who define their opponents as not human, mentally diseased, or intrinsically bad. For the same good reasons, I worry about people on the right who do the same things.

    If you analyze the choices you have in this election in terms of effective policy choices (which, to give credit where due, Baklava and some other commentators have attempted), you have a chance to get the answer right. If, on the other hand, you analyze the issue in the context of the personality you project onto a public figure, then logically you will make no real analysis of your situation, and, given the number of options available, you face formidable odds against getting your policy choices right by pure accident.

  36. Perfected democrat Says:

    Also, well put kamper, but there is somewhat of a difference between a “crisis management stimulas package” and a deliberate and open plan for “wealth redistribution”. Also I meant to say in my last comment “Our black culture is going to feel terribly used in four to eight years, when the white democratic “party” elite reasserts their domination and personal power agendas”….

  37. Logern Says:

    Community organizers are facilitators and manipulators. Manipulators may try to be leaders, but they lack a core of courage and integrity and enables them to make difficult choices and sacrifices of a high moral nature.

    Ever hear of Martin Luther King Jr?

  38. Perfected democrat Says:

    “If, on the other hand, you analyze the issue in the context of the personality you project onto a public figure, then logically you will make no real analysis of your situation…”

    Only if you haven’t learned something about the history and nature of demagogues and megalomaniac totalitarians during the last one hundred years…

  39. Gary Rosen Says:

    “he is largely unflappable. He is steady, calm, collected, even a bit dull or square. ”

    I guess you didn’t see the video where he flipped the bird to Hillary.

  40. Beverly Says:

    Here’s a first-rate op-ed from the City Journal (consistently excellent and thoughtful publication). Nails the Overlord’s megalomania rather well.

    “A president who understands that the exclusive Leaders of the Free World Club is powerful yet ultimately limited, prestigious yet not of his own making, is a leader who understands that the majority of his countrymen placed confidence in him to “pass” America “off in good shape one day,” not to spend his time trying personally to mold it and ensure that his beautiful mug kicks Washington’s off the $1 bill.

    “Call me a biased cynic, but candidate Barack Obama doesn’t seem to understand that; or if he does, he seems nevertheless to indulge in a disturbing amount of cult-of-personality marketing and self-celebration that far exceeds historical norms—even for an office that, by definition, demands a lot of ego. It’s as if he doesn’t need to campaign for your vote because he’s already president.

    “We had, of course, the aborted self-made presidential seal. We still have the “O-Force One” plane, with OBAMA ’08 embroidered on the candidate’s seat with the word PRESIDENT immediately beneath it. We also had the candidate’s nonpolitical—wink, wink—summertime stroll through Berlin. A senior foreign policy advisor of Obama’s told reporters at the time, “It is not going to be a political speech. . . . When the president [sic] of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.”

    “Indeed, the Berlin speech was hyped with campaign-produced hagiographic artwork, which looked like a Mao-sanctioned Kraftwerk concert poster with just a sprinkling of American patriotism—the red, white, and blue color scheme—on top. And let’s not forget that at the Democratic National Convention, Denver’s Pepsi Center was good enough for an actual former president, his wife, and the ailing lion of the Senate and Democratic Party, Ted Kennedy, but not for Obama. He demanded another stage, something bigger and better, with fireworks, Greek columns, and 80,000 adoring fans.

    “It’s Obama’s rhetoric that is most telling in this light, especially compared with that of his Republican opponents, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. Palin is far and away the most humble candidate; she rarely speaks of herself as the sitting vice president, but rather disclaims nearly all her hypothetical statements with some form of “If we are so fortunate to serve”—or “privileged,” or “blessed.” The sentiment seems genuine, as did McCain’s during his closing statement of the last presidential debate: serving America, he said, was “the great honor of my life, and I’ve been proud to serve. And I hope you’ll give me an opportunity to serve again. I’d be honored and humbled.”

    “Such phrases are MIA from Obama transcripts. In fact, he drops the “when I’m president” line so often that his electoral win might as well be a foregone conclusion. (As it is, the New York Times reports that former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta is already whipping up Obama’s inaugural address.)

    “Typical Obama speeches include lines like this, uttered during his first debate with McCain: “I reserve the right, as president of the United States, to meet with anybody at a time and place of my choosing if I think it’s going to keep America safe.” The contrast between Obama’s electoral certainty and McCain’s and Palin’s humility (whether concerted or authentic) is undeniable and striking.

    “Big deal, you might say. Pre-election cockiness or humility cannot accurately predict effective leadership. Perhaps. But like Obama’s long line of admitted radical influences, associations, and alliances (from Frank Marshall Davis, to Reverend Wright, to Bill Ayers, to Rashid Khalidi), Obama’s consistent overconfident belief in the power of Obama is troubling. It’s troubling because that focus on the self, has, in fact, shelved political and social advancement for Obama’s own gain time and again.

    “Let’s take his famous “community organizing” days in Chicago. Obama, by his own admission, left the job out of frustration after continually hitting brick walls. Fine. But, said a former organizing coworker of his, Mike Kruglik, to reporter Byron York of National Review: “He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power. . . . He said, ‘I need to go there [Harvard Law School] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?’”

  41. julia Says:

    If we’re talking leadership–the only elected Executive is Palin. Intellectuals are always sitting on syllogisms (what comfort such sweet blessing bring…) on the subject. They get confused.

    So let me say this:

    I’m an atheist. I always enjoy Hitchens and Buckley, and the boy’s club.
    But come on. I would like to ask the likes of Christopher Hitchens what he has to say about Isaac Newton? Newton was a bigger, retro-paleo-eschatological-bible thumper than Palin. His theories on the end of times is a wack job.

    What do you really think of GRAVITY now? Huh? Stupid theory.

    My message (from the great unwashed) : Lighten up, elitists.

    What good is all that education if you throw all the babies out with the bathwater?

    Some REAL leaders are grounded by reality (ever have a baby, boys?), and only buoyed by faith.

    Intellectuals are just grounded these days–and boring–and afraid of women–and full of hot air.

  42. br549 Says:

    Obama is no Martin Luther King, Jr. I truly believe Martin Luther King , Jr. wanted equal rights for blacks in all ways, and otherwise had no hidden agenda. And anyone who can sit down in a chair and think things through realizes that is how it must be – for everyone. And once equal rights and opportunities are truly available for all, the outcome HAS to be up to the individual. This is not new, this is not wrong. We are getting there.

    Obama is a disciple of Saul Alinsky and is every bit as morally bankrupt as that man was. He has been heavily influenced by others we have seen and heard for quite some time now. But, I believe, these influences he did seek out himself, to learn tactics, to find and gather like minded individuals.

    He is not, however, foolish enough to show his real stripes. They do slip out from time to time, as those with eyes to see it, do.

    So, what does Obama really want? What is the outcome he seeks? That is the mystery that concerns me most.

  43. Shouting Thomas Says:

    There is an element of hysteria in these comments…

    I will probably vote for McCain, but I just can’t get into the Obama the Dictator theme.

    Obama’s ethnic politics are old time Chicago. Mayor Daley (the original) did the same act on behalf of the Irish. That past of radical union politics on behalf of beefy white guys who drove trucks is just too ancient for you guys to remember. Obama’s doing for blacks what Daley did for the Irish… bring home the swag in terms of jobs and perks.

    The first major black politician had to be, by definition, too radical for the tastes of assimilated whites. Black political tradition in America is radical. (This, I think, is why the left keeps screaming “racism” whenever the right notes Obama’s radicalism. Where can you find a nice, middle of the road black candidate who actually appeals to blacks?) The real hope of an Obama presidency is that blacks will gain a sense of ownership and, just as Eastern Europeans did, drop the radicalism. I think that this is very likely to happen.

    Something very basic has changed in the American political formula in the past 30 years… we have become enormously, some might even say distastefully, rich.

    So, it is natural to ask some basic questions. Why don’t we have the kind of job security that Europeans enjoy? I’ve noticed that my CEO and executive friends don’t fire themselves when the company spreadsheet goes south. Why don’t we enjoy the same types of benefits and health care guarantees enjoyed by Europeans? We can certainly afford it. Why can’t we encourage greater human freedom by de-coupling having a job from having adequate medical insurance?

    I don’t know exactly where I stand on these issues, but I do know that the extreme, wild wealth that we have created makes the whole equation somehow different. I say, God bless America for creating this extravagant wealth. And, maybe it is time to spread a bit of it around more equally.

    I’m for McCain, as I said… but I’m not entirely against letting the left have its shot to see if their ideas work. What’s the harm? I don’t foresee the disintegration of the American Republic if Obama is elected. We can get rid of him in four years if we have to.

  44. Sergey Says:

    “Why don’t we enjoy the same types of benefits and health care guarantees enjoyed by Europeans?”
    Because it would debilitate economic growth and competitiveness. Now USA is No.1 on a list of competitiveness, while France is No.16, Spain is No.29. Krugman denies validity of the concept on the ground that nations do not compete with each other; that is true that they do not compete on the world consumer market, but they do compete on the market of capital investment, and this is now more important for vigour economic growth than productivity or GDP per capita. Where will world money go – to France, where you can not fire anybody, and most workers have six week vacations and 35 hour working hours week, or in China, where no social security, unions or even vacations exist? That is why France is in chronic stagnation, but China double-digit annual growth rate.

  45. Artfldgr Says:

    kamper,
    I never say that, but perhaps i can put your finger on the pulse of why many might think that, and that your oblivious to.

    love the way I’ve been called stupid and beyond delusional for respectfully disagreeing with the shibboleths sacred to this comment section. Way to make that formerly big tent just a little bit smaller.

    this is the words of someone who doesnt realize that debate is a competition, and that all ideas are not equal, and that specifics matter. they usually cross equate having a bad point of logic, or some other something wrong with their point, as the other side just not playing fair and cutting them out of the party.

    What I mean when I say O does not “act” radical is that he is largely unflappable. He is steady, calm, collected, even a bit dull or square. There is an inherent ’storm the ramparts’ mentality in every radical that is entirely absent in O.

    what might be construed as not to bright in the minds of many is your declaration of a radical type that kind of harkens to the false pseudo science of adorno and his authoritarian mind.

    are we referring to useful idiots, fellow travelers, red diaper babies, or key movers at the pinnical of the top?

    well, your confusing the hyped up uber ass that is the pawn with the ones that have the “true radical mind”.

    the storm the ramparts mentality that is in the front line cannon fodder is ALWAYS absent in the rear guard generals.

    so basically, you are asserting that the mainiacle figher in the front who is a pawn that can be wasted and thrown away at will, with all of the radical structure in which the top people move those people as pieces.

    sounds pretty dumb that your way of judging that a leader of the masses would be a mental nut job that would be willing to sacrifice all for the cause the way their useful idiots are. no different than mullahs using suicide bombers. do the mullahs act like radicals or are they very moderate and conservative behaving? both types destroy the lives of followers by giving the followers false license to act.

    lenin, stalin, hitler, mao, castro, etc… all of them were quiet commanders, not wacked out radicals.

    [and most of them are foreigners that took over countries! so think of that when wondering if someone is really a native]

    perhaps they are considering your by the merit of your argument, not by the side your argument takes. all truths are not equal, and respecting all ideas whether valid, or invald as the same, is not somethign that effective people do. in fact, they tend to think that those that think that throwing sound bites and not thinking about what theya re saying themselves tends to lower their opinon of said person.

    even worse, you try to point it out, or you dont accept the argumetn and instead of thinking that their argumetn is faulty, and that they should examine it, reform it, adjust it, and resubmit it, they go to the “all you are one sided” concept. which is a plea to a higher power to judge you right and smote the wrongs…

    i will set forth the truth that the world does not operate by physics but by little pink elephants and seraphim that push stuff around making it all work.

    now in the idea that all truths are equal, i then develope the idea that when i throw that hat into the pile, everyone should ooh and awe at it equally! (for merit is not an equality proposition, it says things are not equal, and that some things are much better than otehr things).

    the left who has internalized this kind of thing, always get bent when they cant get their argumetns about pink elephants listened to without some form of mass force. in the absence of that, they get huffy, and such and then attack the others as if striking out would cause them to see the error of their ways and then accept the idea as valid.

    if this sounds like a child who has been raised under a concept of false self confidence where everyone in the group is equally right, and that there are no competitive winners, and that the teaceher (now adult expectation found real in politics), makes sure that no ones ideas no matter how bad or not based in merit get equal time.

    then take your kewpie doll and move to the head of the class… this is exactly what that kind of schooling brings up. a mentality that constantly strives and reaches out for an external solution to their internal problems. if only the world would cahnge to be better for me.

    a perversion of the concept that the reasonable man expects to adopt to the world, and the unreasonable man expects the world to adopt to them. thererfore the unreasonable man is responsible for all progress as he will change the world, rather than accept it.

    however, as i said its a perversion of it. its the manufacvturing of unreasonable people, who then look up to a savior to deliver them to a world that is cahnged for them.

    makes the politics of this and the reason we ahve moved like this clearer, no?

  46. Sergey Says:

    If these guaranties were established by law in USA, most of corporations would outsource the jobs overseas, where tax burden is less ruinous and regulatins more lax. You will have double-digit unemployment, as in France or Germany, and will pay more for every consumer good because increased tax burden to fund these benefits would rise production costs. Now, you can buy medical insurance plan which fits your needs, or risk and save these money, if you feel that your health is good enough to take this risk. Under universal health care you would loose this flexibility but still would need to pay by your taxes, or by job loss, or by increased prices.

  47. Artfldgr Says:

    br549 Obama is no Martin Luther King, Jr. I truly believe Martin Luther King , Jr. wanted equal rights for blacks in all ways, and otherwise had no hidden agenda.

    Marting luthor king and rosa parks (with pete seeger) attended the communist subversive highlander school. his ‘movement’ was created and fomented by actions of the leaders of taht school who purchased houses in southern white neighborhoods and moved blacks into them. when the southerners werent racist, they then bombed them, which was what led to the sediton charges. his closest associate leaders of other organizations were what type of organization?

    dont also forget operation pandora, where they proceeded to plant bombs in black neighborhoods and then make calls claiming the jewish defense league was responsible.

    nope… no agenda…
    bet you never knew this history…

    like the eugenic margret sanger, they tend to leave out the bad stuff… that way you think that communist actions which MAKE HISTORY rather than REACTING TO HISTORY, are naturally occuring things.

    before the publically and widely known concept of astroturfing, one might think that grass roots orgs were actually grass rooots. we never thought that the people who falsely claim nooses, swastikas, b’s on the face, etc… they are the people who come up with a false grassroots kind of making history, but are poor at it… the ones that are good at it, we dont question, we swallow and accept it.

    time to do some history research, no?

    by the way… such facts then make it easier to understand how odinga in kenya helped open a school funded by communists (like the highlander school) that within a few weeks educated people and coordinated the overthrow of the state and the president that gave permission for the school! thats why kenya is communist today… its free state was overthrown wiht the complicity of obamas family member.

    the history of the black community is a hsitory of people using them over and over, including their own people being used to used them too.

    in other words, they tend to choose people who use them as trusted leaders.

    ever notice that all the leaders in the black community are tightly aligned with religion? REVEREND jesse jackson, REVEREND al sharpton…, obama close to reverend wright as proxy, REVEREND marthin luthor king jr, etc…

    they are either reverends, or they are very close to key reverends…

    so read this by sanger and then what?

    “The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” — Margaret Sanger, letter to Clarence Gamble, Dec. 10,1939. – Sanger manuscripts, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College. (Dec. 10 is the correct date of the letter. There is a different date circulated, e.g. Oct. 19, 1939; but Dec. 10 is the correct date of Ms Sanger’s letter to Mr. Gamble.)

    if one wants an interesing explanation of the kind of decline one can expect, and one can learn from i would suggest reading thsi one. (not because its comparing rule before and after caucasians. THAT IS NOT THE POINT since appointing anyone of any color arbitrarily to positions of merit, will get the same outcome…. the point is that they use ideology to choose who to appoint, and so the result is what it is. if they didnt do this, then the situation would be as competent as the preceeding decidedly negative regime, and not a new regime even more negative, racial, and inane)

    A Simple Example Of Communal Decline
    A Letter From South Africa by Jim Peron (September 1998)
    http://www.ourcivilisation.com/die.htm

    When a country begins sliding into oblivion it really is the little things that get to you. You wake up in the morning and turn to see what time it is. The clock is off. The electricity is off again. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours, but it seems to happen more regularly than before.

    You pick up the phone at work to make a call. Nothing. Your neighborhood is without telephone service again. You breathe a sigh of relief—at least if all the phones are out, they’ll do something relatively soon to fix it. If it’s just your own line, it can take days before they’ll do anything.

    After the power comes on, you turn on the television to watch a favorite program, and hope you get the right sound with the right picture. Sometimes you get the sound of one show with the picture of another. Sometimes it’s just the one or the other. Or a radio station instead of the soundtrack. You’ve read the papers—a large number of the “old” employees have walked out of the broadcasting studios. They couldn’t take it anymore. And since television is an arm of the government, their replacements are appointed politically, not because of their experience or ability.

    You drive home after going out for dinner. Entire neighborhoods are without street lights. Well, to be more accurate they are without lights that work. And the lights have been out for months. The city has said it won’t fix them.

    These are the little things in South Africa today. These are the things that annoy. The big things are too frightening even to consider.

    similar now in zimbabwe, and kenya, and the other places…

  48. BeckoningChasm Says:

    There are a lot of comments that the media will gleefully turn on Obama should he be elected.

    I disagree. He is, in effect, one of their children–there’s no way he could have gotten as far as he has without their complicit support in covering up his past. One does not turn on one’s children, instead, one goes the extra mile to shield them from criticism.

    As long as Republicans and conservatives exist, the press will continue to demonize them and treat them as the Enemy. Why shouldn’t they? If Obama wins, then the press has proven that its tactics work. No one abandons a winning formula.

    If Obama should be foolish enough to turn on the media, then, then you might see them wake up. But I doubt Obama is that stupid or egocentric.

  49. Artfldgr Says:

    Shouting Thomas…
    your comments dont reflect whats being said here, and there are some of us with families that remember someone else and their works from the INSIDE that are more similar to obama than the daly machine. the daly machine was in a free state, the daly machine was chrony not socialist, etc.

    obama is a person vaulted up to the top at high speed. this is usually a sign of a lot of dirt, and passing through things fast before the dirt collects is how its done. this means that he was put up by others, and until he has the commanders seat, he is totally beholden to others.

    however, there is little to compare to the daly machine. was the daly machine a mass collective movement? (not even amoung the irish!). was daly a cult of personality, or a briber of the public?

    Nazis, whether white (National Socialist German Workers Party) or black(black national socialism), are both NATIONAL socialists…

    communists of all stripes are INTERNATIONAL socialists…

    they are the same thing..

    here is how close they were BEFORE They differentiated themselves in the publics mind to compete for the same constituency (these thanks to the new documentary soviet story)

    http://www.sovietstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/stalin-hitler.jpg

    http://www.sovietstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/nazi-soviet-posters.jpg

    there are some of us that know about movements that are even worse and more planned and dangerous than the selfish greedy self interested daly machine…

  50. harry McHitlerburtonstein the Conservative Extremist Says:

    Nobody can say what the world will throw at Barry Obama once elected, but I fully expect the MSM to run interference for him come what may. If Obama is more the convictionless political opportunist than the radical some think of him, then he should do as well as Clinton. Not much of a legacy, but safely mediocre and un-upsetting.

    If Berry ends up governing much farther left of that, or is thrown a foreign crisis that illustrates his inexperience and naivete, I dont know that the press can effectively cover for him. There should be some serious buyers remorse then.

    Here’s hoping Barry is more 5the narcissist than radical.

  51. J. Peden Says:

    If you analyze the choices you have in this election in terms of effective policy choices (which, to give credit where due, Baklava and some other commentators have attempted), you have a chance to get the answer right.

    Just more of your efette tripe, Spragge, now through the mouth of the deranged, “where’s the outrage!” in regard to the Abu Ghraib, etc., “torture” from publius.

    Contrary to Progressive dogma, the Iraq Sunni were obviously never the AQ/Taliban Sunni, a fact which was revealed by their split from the latter under the duress of AQ given our assault upon them.

    Then Patraeus “talked” with them. The general idea that the Bush adm. was not available to talk with everyone and anyone is nonsense. At lower levels, it would be nearly insane to not interact, if only as an opportunity to glean whatever is possible to glean from one’s enemy, in order to use it against them. But that’s what Progressives such as publius want us to believe about the Bush adm. – that it is virtually insane. But, if so, then why did Patraeus talk to the Iraqi Sunni?

    Why? Because the conditions became ripe for us to get something very important to our being victorious over AQ, and specifically not to surrender to terrorists, which is what Progressives such as the ones I know and people such as Albright, Carter, and Obama seem to mean by “talking” to terrorists.

    Btw, in regard to NoKo, Bush specifically did not do what Progressives wanted him to do, and this is why the six party talks had any success at all.

    So this news that we might “talk” to the Taliban in Afghanistan is amost certainly not what you and publius envision by the term.

    Why are Progressives so eager to surrender to fascists? Have they learned nothing from Neville Chamberlain? Or do they instead see in the Islamofascists their psychological soul brothers, with whom they can proceed to rule the World. If the latter, they certainly don’t understand Islamos, and will only end up acting as their dhimmis.

    And btw, Spragge, just to make it crystal clear, who would you vote for in this American Election?

  52. The Thunder Run Says:

    Web Reconnaissance for 10/29/2008…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often….

  53. John G. Spragge Says:

    Perfected democrat: From history, we know that dictators and demagogues tend to make their intentions known; that distinguishes them from ordinary ambitious politicians. Before 1933, for example, Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill might both have looked like ambitious, strongly nationalist politicians, until you read Mein Kampf, where Hitler talked explicitly about gassing Jews and conquering Russia. Since Senator Obama has written two books, assuming, as you claim, he resembles other dangerous demagogues, you should have no difficulty pointing to the passages where he expresses a desire for conquest, or a disposition to undermine democracy in the United States (or anywhere else).

  54. Occam's Beard Says:

    I have nothing to add to the debate of whether O actually is a radical, which is a Rorschach test at this point (I’m on the no side, btw). My comment narrowly addressed the issue of why the meme hadn’t taken root in the public’s mind.

    OK, fair enough.

    Another reason may be that our Republican president just passed legislation that effectively nationalized the banks, so yesterday’s radical position is today’s stimulus package.

    Notwithstanding the fact that Presidents don’t pass legislation, there’s a big difference between reluctantly nationalizing businesses in exigent circumstances, and desiring to do so before such circumstances exist.

    Ever hear of Martin Luther King Jr?

    Ever hear of Al Sharpton? Saul Alinsky?

  55. Occam's Beard Says:

    Why don’t we have the kind of job security that Europeans enjoy? Why don’t we enjoy the same types of benefits and health care guarantees enjoyed by Europeans? We can certainly afford it.

    I lived in Europe for many years, and I don’t think you appreciate the reality on the ground. “Job security” means that the system favors producers over consumers. (This will astonish Americans.) Employees consider themselves above customers; as one said to me once, “I work here; you’re just a customer here.” You can imagine the quality of service that results. (For example, at least at the time, grocery shoppers who wanted their groceries bagged used to be invited to pick up a bag from a pile on the floor and bag them themselves. Employees couldn’t be bothered.) Firing someone triggered an industrial tribunal that typically reinstated the employee.

    In some European countries, it is impossible to fire someone, for practically any reason (including malfeasance). In France, for example, a recent proposal to allow layoffs of employees up until age 26 sparked demonstrations.

    Result? Companies think long and hard about hiring, even in good times, because they can’t shed employees in bad times. Upshot: chronically high unemployment. Sure, employees get six weeks of vacation – if they can get a job in the first place. (And pay is between low and very low, by American standards.) Economic opportunity and prospects for advancement are minimal, since job-changing is rare by American standards; an employee’s best shot at advancement occurs when his boss retires or dies (“dead mens’ shoes”).

    Free health care? Woo-hoo! Except, of course, it isn’t free. People are taxed heavily for it. (One of Thatcher’s Cabinet ministers pointed out that the NHS was the second largest employer in Europe, after the Red Army.) Non-critical surgery puts you on the waiting list. For months. Many months. Sometimes years.

    The bottom line is that as Sergey points out, the European system debilitates economic growth and competitiveness. Europe today stays afloat in part because we subsidize them by paying for their defense.

    Why can’t we encourage greater human freedom by de-coupling having a job from having adequate medical insurance?

    I agree 100% with this. We don’t get auto insurance through our employers, why should we get health insurance? The practice began during WWII as a way of circumventing wage controls to attract the most desirable employees. It’s exerts a perverse influence now.

    Bush recently proposed phasing out the tax deduction businesses enjoy for providing health insurance. It met with the usual howls of outrage from the left, but it was a sensible suggestion (it began by taxing benefits over $15 K, IIRC) that I wish had been implemented. If you want to find out what health care insurance

    really

    costs, become self-employed. Most employees have no idea of the true costs (ca. $12 K/yr for a family of four).

    So where to spend money? That experiment has been done. After WWII, Britain and Germany were both devastated. Germany (then run by the Allies) spent Marshall Plan money on industrial redevelopment. Result: Wirtschaftswunder. Britain (under a Labour government) spent hers (a larger sum than Germany’s, btw) on the NHS and public housing. Result: postwar economic stagnation.

    Sorry for the long rant, but Americans looking only at what they see as the good parts of the European system are a pet peeve.

  56. J. Peden Says:

    Why don’t we enjoy the same types of benefits and health care guarantees enjoyed by Europeans?

    In brief, because we have better health care than the Europeans do – so far, the sky is still mostly the limit, people get treated pretty quickly, and everyone can obtain obligatory care simply by presenting to an E.R., where, btw, I worked for 28 years.

    No one was refused care of any kind, and the care was usually even more efficient, especially in terms of the time taken to deliver it.

    But if you want to go down the road of rationing both as to the quality of treatment and the timing of treatment, then you will probably get the same types of “benefits and guarantees” as the Europeans have – that is, you will tend more toward VA care.

    Not that the pressure is not really on here, as we speak, to go further upon that Socialist route, so that Health Care and its money can be “managed” by bureaucrats/Politicians, and so that we can at least feel good about ourselves in spite of our Health Care’s actual decline.

    [The only reason even the Canadian Nat. Health Care system is able to pretend to stay afloat is because the U.S. acts as a pressure release valve or safety net below it.]

  57. J. Peden Says:

    you should have no difficulty pointing to the passages where he [Obama] expresses a desire for conquest, or a disposition to undermine democracy in the United States (or anywhere else).

    For God’s sake, give it up, Spragge. Are you blind?

  58. br549 Says:

    Artfldgr:

    That’s for the mound of information. I do have some reading to do, eh?

    Thank god I’m good looking. That makes up for the lack of knowledge.

    All this time I was hopeful MLMJR was the saint he has been painted to be. I wonder sometimes though, if people pursue some of these groups just to learn tactics, not ideology………….naaaaaaaa.

  59. br549 Says:

    “Thanks” for the mound of information

  60. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Shouting Thomas said: I say, God bless America for creating this extravagant wealth. And, maybe it is time to spread a bit of it around more equally.

    The problem is that these two statements contradict each other. History teaches that societies that try to spread the wealth “more equally” as you suggest — that is, socialist and communist societies — are no good at all at creating extravagant wealth. The societies that are good at that are the ones that spread wealth around not according to a government-manufactured standard of “equality” but instead, by allowing individuals equal freedom to create their own wealth. If we put the government in charge of “spreading wealth equally” we will lose our extravagant wealth not long after we lose our entrepreneurial freedom to create it. It’s fundamental economics, fundamental history. The two concepts cannot exist side by side for long in one society without one destroying the other.

  61. stumbley Says:

    For God’s sake, give it up, Spragge. Are you blind?

    Indeed. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

  62. Bent Notes » Blog Archive » When one of your own call you that, it’s an expression of admiration Says:

    [...] Neo-neocon points out that Rolling Stone was quite up-front about Rev. Wright and The Chicago Marxis… Neo-neocon has highlighted in boldface the most telling passages ffrom the description. [...]

  63. thomass Says:

    Something else no one has mentioned, you can’t ‘fool’ the market. If you take money from one group (that tends to save and invest it) and give it to another, it will push forward inflation. All the extra money running around chasing existing consumer goods.

    I’m not claiming it will be a wash or anything, but it will push forward inflation that will wipe out part of the economic gains the lefties expect the poor to get out of ‘spreading the wealth’… You’ll notice the lefty redistributive countries always have crazy inflation issues that they can never seem to get a handle on….

  64. thomass Says:

    Sergey Says:

    “but they do compete on the market of capital investment”

    And for the best and brightest people. The US attracts the world’s best professionals and even workers… they want to come here not only for the social stability but also the taxes are reasonable (for now)… If they do great work, they can do well or even better than well… So, we end up with the best people and it has really helped our economy. Now, why move here when the taxes are going to be higher than France? Answer: you won’t.

  65. John G. Spragge Says:

    J. Peden: You ask me who I would vote for. I can’t tell you that, because to have a vote in an American election, to have American citizenship, I would have to have had a whole different life, which means I would look at the world differently.

    In any case, who I “would” vote for makes no difference at all. In the long run, the success of your system, or any system, depends on the actions of millions of individuals, not on policies set at the top. You can vote for someone who will promise to implement your favored policies, but votes alone will not make them succeed. And right now, your economic policies have produced chronic and accelerating debt at all levels: government debt, which has now reached 76% of your GDP; accelerating commercial and household debt, which totals to $23 trillion dollars.

    Overall, foreigners hold over $12 trillion dollars of US IOUs. To pay that off at your current rates of exports, you would have to import nothing for eight and a half years (no beamers, no cheap toys from China to sell at WalMart, no imported oil) and export at your 2006 rate of 1.4 trillion. Just to stop digging yourself into the hole, you would have to consume three quarters of a trillion dollars less in goods and services.

    To put this in more perspective: you say the Canadian system only succeeds because the US provides a safety valve (unless you have specific facts of figures to back up your use of the word “pretend” in this context, it only reveals your emotional reaction to the facts). The Canadian Health Insurance systems do, in fact, contract services to American providers when Canadian hospitals experience a surge in demand, or a Canadian patient needs a highly specialized procedure or service. In other words, we practice socialized medicine, not North Korean autarky. Just as Americans (and Canadians) go to India for medical care, some Canadians go to the United States. When we do so, we pay for what we get; if you have evidence that Canadians get any kind of free ride on health care, please post a reference. But your system depends on the willingness of the Chinese (and others) to go on lending you money. In that sense, your system, not ours, cannot continue forever.

    One further comment: if you respond to my request for an actual reference by saying you don’t have one, but you’ll look it up, then I have to assume you might find a reference. If you tell me to give it up and question my eyesight, then I know you have no reference, and I assume you haven’t enough confidence in your own case to look for one.

  66. John G. Spragge Says:

    Sorry… my last comment left out the interest rate. To dig yourself out from your external debt, you would have to double your exports or swear off imports for 11.5 years, assuming a 5% interest rate on your debts.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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