March 2nd, 2009

Obama: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

The war to divide Americans continues, with explicitly and purposely combative language from the no-longer-conciliatory Obama. The Obama who’s showing up now is the same guy who crowed “I won” when challenged by Congressional Republicans during a supposedly bipartisan closed-door meeting about the stimulus bill.

Obama has taken the gloves off—the kid ones, that is—and put on the boxing gloves. Now we know that when he said “change,” he really meant it:

…[Obama] will fight to change health care, energy and education in dramatic ways that will upset the status quo.

“The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long,” Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. “But I don’t. I work for the American people.”

The strain of populism that was always present in the Obama campaign is now coming to the fore. Flush with the victory of the nonpartisan stimulus bill, he is throwing down the gauntlet (more glove figures of sppech) and fighting for truth, justice, and the American way against the shadowy special interest groups that protect the wealthy and the status quo and hurt the common man/woman:

“I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight…My message to them is this: So am I.”

Forget the fact that Obama is rewarding powerful special interest groups and lobbyists as well—they just happen to be the ones he and his party define as the “good guys.” So if other interest groups and lobbyists are against his policies it must be because they are against change, you see, and everybody knows that change is good—especially if it’s the sort of change proposed by Obama.

There’s no room in Obama’s mind for the idea that many of those who oppose him might merely disagree about the best way to help the economy, or that some of their arguments might have merit, or that certain of their actions might benefit as all, although not in a direct welfare-state sort of way. He’d rather cast all of his opponents as the selfish enemy opposing the good, which is defined as his mantra of “change.”

And never mind that the change Obama is proposing is radical change. After all, he says he gave us fair warning, and if we voted for him we were giving him carte blanche to follow the most radical of all the many conflicting policies he outlined during his campaign (in the quote that follows, I’d omit the word “almost”):

Some analysts say Obama’s proposals are almost radical. But he said all of them were included in his campaign promises. “It is the change the American people voted for in November,” he said.

Obama must know, of course, that this is because almost everything was included in his campaign promises. That was part of his m.o.; to say many things at once, some of them contradictory. To seem centrist at one moment and radical at another. To change his mind. To deny what he’d said when he deemed it strategic to do so, and/or to “clarify” (read: reverse) his position.

And so I am virtually certain that most of what he is proposing now was indeed mentioned somewhere during his campaign. Back then, many of us bloggers on the right tried to highlight his more worrisome proposals and to mention his myriad radical associations. But Obama counted on the fact that a great many of the people who were about to vote for him weren’t paying attention to his more radical side, and would be lulled into a false sense of security by his centrist pose.

And if you retain doubt that it was a pose, then I fear you’re in deep denial. As Clive Crook (who is basically an Obama supporter) writes in this piece in Financial Times, Obama’s true nature has been revealed [emphasis mine]:

…I feel I owe Republicans an apology.

As you recall, in the debate over the fiscal stimulus, Republicans accused the president of presenting a measure they could not support, disguising this with an empty show of co-operation. Bipartisanship, they said, is more than inviting your opponents round for coffee and a chat. I did not buy it: I accused them, in effect, of brainless rejectionism and a refusal to compromise, and congratulated the president for trying to come to terms with the other side.

This budget says the Republicans had Mr Obama right all along. The draft contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal

Take this budget at face value, and when Mr Obama talks about “a new era of responsibility” he does not mean: “We are all in this together.” He means: “The rich are responsible for this mess and it is payback time.”

According to Obama, if you’re against the radical restructuring that he’s proposing, then you’re just a rich bloodsucker trying to get richer at the expense of the working stiff. Of course, this is the case for some of his opponents. But certainly far from all of them; much of the opposition is principled.

Obama continues:

Insurance companies will dislike having “to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs,” the president said. “I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy.”

Passing the budget, even with a Democratic-controlled Congress, “won’t be easy,” Obama said. “Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington.”

But there are reasons to object to his proposals other than defending business as usual in Washington. There’s the huge deficit they will run up. There’s the tax burden that is almost bound to worsen the recession and discourage investment in new business—and which might not even raise much revenue, certainly nowhere near as much as would be needed. There’s a reduction in the quality of health care for the elderly. There’s a rise in gas prices because the taxes will be passed along to all of us.

I don’t usually quote Andrew Sullivan, but something he wrote on the subject recently caught my eye. It appears that even Obamaphile Sullivan is wrestling with discomfort over the radical nature of Obama’s policy proposals. For example, here’s Sullivan writing on February 25th:

[The]…question about Obama is whether the crises we are all confronting require or demand a seismic shift, to keep the American ship afloat. I have felt a deep ambivalence about this since one of my first posts absorbing what Obama meant.

I would love to know when that “first post” was written. When did Sullilvan first begin to “absorb what Obama meant?” During the campaign? Or during the lead up to the stimulus bill? Or even more recently than that? Did the fact that Sullivan fell wholly under the spell of the charismatic orator originally blind him to what the man was actually saying he would do? Did Sulllivan only hear what he wanted to hear, as one often does when in the first flush of infatuation? And is he starting to come to? If so, how long will it take, and how many others might do the same?

Here’s more from the same Sullivan piece:

Do I worry that government will over-reach? You bet I do. Is my instinct and inclination to do less than Obama plans? You bet it is.

Now read what Sullivan has to say two days later, on February 27. After an intro that lauds Obama’s tactical genius, he writes:

[A]fter presenting such a centrist, bi-partisan, moderate and personally trustworthy front, he gets to unveil a radical long-term agenda that really will soak the very rich and invest in the poor. Given the crisis, he has seized this moment for more radicalism than might have seemed possible only a couple of months ago.

Sullivan goes on to discuss whether Obama’s proposals will be successful or not; he’s still agnostic on that. But it is deeply troubling to me how Sullivan can describe the bait and switch tactic by which Obama won the election and yet ignore the fundamental indecency of such deceptiveness. And how can Obama claim the American people knew about his far liberal plans all the time, when they were purposely obscured and muffled by his centrist rhetoric? And is this not at variance with “personal trustworthiness?”

In the February 25th piece, Sulllivan quotes Ross Douthat on Obama’s speech to Congress the evening before. Once again, see how the evaluation is of Obama’s style and strategy rather than his substance, and how the duplicity of the man is considered clever rather than problematic:

Obama was fantastic…He laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda of any Democratic President since LBJ, and did it so smoothly that you’d think he was just selling an incremental center-left pragmatism…It was the speech of a man seeking to turn a moment of crisis into a domestic-policy revolution, and oozing confidence from every pore along the way. Now all he has to do is find a way to pay for it …

Oh, is that all?

It’s a repellent picture, whether Douthat realizes it or not: Obama as smooth salesman, deceiving the American people about his revolution, and all for their own good. And as for that confidence that “oozes from every pore,” it’s disturbing in its arrogance. For all of Obama’s failure to project optimism about the economy, he has tremendous confidence in one thing: his ability to ram his program through Congress before the American people even know what hit them.

One of the most chilling quotes from Obama that I’ve ever read is this one, reported by Fred Barnes recently:

When Barack Obama met with TV anchors at a White House lunch last week, he assured them he likes being president. “And it turns out I’m very good at it,” he added.

Let that one sink in for a moment. President for only a little over a month and he’s “very good at it.” The stock market falling every day (as I write this, it’s in the 6800s) and he’s “very good at it.”

Confidence is one thing. Untrammeled, unashamed hubris is another. The worrisome signs have been there from the start with Obama.

Remember this McCain campaign ad? It seems like a long time ago, but it bears repeating (note especially the brief exchange at :29 in which the interviewer asks Obama “Do you ever have any doubts?” and he responds with a firm and chilling “Never”):

The American people—along with Andrew Sullivan and Clive Crook—should be having some doubts about Obama right about now. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

73 Responses to “Obama: “Don’t say I didn’t warn you!””

  1. Will the Dow hit 5,000? - UPDATE | The Anchoress Says:

    […] Neoneocon looks at the Revelation of Obama and wonders if it is too late. For […]

  2. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Democrats continually use the language “I will fight for you.” Republicans say “I will work for you.” This is entirely revealing of how each views the world.

    Not that either is being entirely honest about the “for you” part. But Democrats are unable to conceive of American society except in terms of fights. While claiming to fight for the powerless against the powerful, they are actually only fighting for their power groups against other power groups. (See also Class Envy; Wall St; Government Unions; Trial Lawyers)

  3. huxley Says:

    “And it turns out I’m very good at it,” he added.

    I saw that elsewhere today and was chilled by it.

    I voted against Obama and I feel like I owe an apology for not being more active and circumspect about the possiblility of Obama’s presidency.

  4. Mark in Portland Says:

    For once I agree with Obama. He’s doing exactly what anyone should have thought he would do. Act like the activist socialist that he always has been. This is what America voted for. We’ve screwed ourselves with open eyes.

  5. gcotharn Says:

    Limbaugh at CPAC:

    Do you know that President Obama, in six weeks of his administration, has proposed more spending than from the founding of the country to his inauguration?

    Rove on Sunday(yesterday):

    Unless he is stopped, Pres. Obama is on track to add more to the national debt in the next 20 months than was added during entire 8 years of the Bush Administration. Pres. Obama is on track to increase the size of the government 29% during his first term. If re-elected, he is on track to increase the size of the government by 53% increase before leaving office.

    Peter Orszag, WH Budget Director, on Friday, when asked about Barack reneging on his campaing promise to fight earmarks:

    “This is last year’s business…We just need to move on.”

    Text excerpts of the best (imo) of Limbaugh’s comments at CPAC.

  6. soupcon Says:

    It’s all there in the character.These people revert to type eventually, and he’s never been anything but a street hustling punk,Chicago style.

  7. GeoPal Says:

    Now we’ll see just how serious “the people” are about their country and their freedom. Will they (we) be content with having staged an hour-long dress up tea party to show their (our) displeasure or are they (we) in earnest and ready to make a knock down fight of this. This is going to be interesting.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    When I read Douthat’s “and oozing confidence from every pore along the way.” I could not help but think of the lyric (Noel Coward’s I believe) that goes,

    “Oozing charm from every pore,
    he oiled his way across the floor.”

  9. craig Says:

    “It is impossible to con an honest man,” or so the con artists say in self-justification. Anyone who voted for Obama but is already having second thoughts should look hard in the mirror.

    It is plain by now that the politics of envy is Obama’s modus operandi. In my more pessimistic moments I fear he may end up becoming America’s Robert Mugabe (once viewed by Africans as an erudite reformer and a moderate), one leading the country along a path from liberalism through personality-cult authoritarianism and on to complete social breakdown, all the while remaining comfortably aloof and insulated from the misery he inflicts.

  10. gcotharn Says:

    Jindal and Tea Party protesters should take a boat into the Mississippi River near the Statehouse and dump $80M in Monopoly money into the water.

    That is, I believe, the amount of federal funding for unemployment insurance which Jindal is turning down.

  11. ERB Says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled onto this site. I am also a life-long Democrat who stopped dead in my tracks when confronted with an Obama presidency. I’m also surrounded by rabid Obama fans, but I saw right through this man fairly early on. With each passing day, I believe that people are starting to realize what is happening and who they really voted for. I join you in hoping it’s not too late.

  12. Robohobo Says:

    Read this: http://www.faithfreedom.org/obama.html

    Obama is afflicted with the same failings as other megalomaniacs from history.

  13. FredHjr Says:

    I am one of the few on this forum and on three others I participate in who consistently stated the opinion that Obama would govern from the collectivist end of the spectrum (I’m not using “Left” anymore because the fascist “Right” is also socialist). There were some who thought his socialist/Marxist grounding was just some kind of phase he would pass through as he moved into the big time: that he was more defined by pragmatic and corrupt Chicago politics. I think the Chicago style was a method, not his ideology.

    I’m sure some have snickered at my characterization of him as a Red Diaper Baby, given his entire family (turns out even grandma, who worked in a capitalist enterprise as a bank executive, had been attracted to socialist thought in her youth along with her husband) culture. There is also Frank Marshall Davis, and then others who came after him. Obama was a prominent member of The New Party (Democratic Socialists of America, founded by Michael Harrington) along with Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders. His voting record is to the Left of Bernie Sanders, which is saying something.

    I don’t think at this point he cares about getting reelected in four years. I think he knows there’s a chance he won’t, but he sees his mission is to transform a capitalist, right of center nation into a European-style, socialist nation.

    My nagging question is not about Obama at all: it’s about us. Are we a center-right nation OR have we been gravitating in the past couple of decades towards a left-of-center nation?

  14. Baklava Says:

    Robohobo,

    I could never link to that link as anything persuasive. omg

    I profoundly disagree with every policy/solution that Obama has signed thus far – this disagreement is based on years of knowledge and research not kneejerk ‘feelings’.

    We cannot win this debate by impugning Obama or his motives.

    We simply can’t.

    As Neo has done – it is a process of reviewing policies and results and matching up Obama’s words to current events and history.

    It’ll look like ODS otherwise.

  15. Baklava Says:

    Fred wrote, “I’m not using “Left” anymore because the fascist “Right” is also socialist

    Please do not let misinformed people have you be misinformed.

    Fascism IS on the left. It is big government. The further you get to the right of center the less government you are for. The extreme right are anarchists. The extreme left are total government people.

    I don’t know why this confusion other than the people in power (negligent drive by journalists) defining things improperly.

  16. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    I’m not using “Left” anymore because the fascist “Right” is also socialist

    The only real difference between a fascist and a marxist is the means by which they implement their governance. The marxist directly uses the power of the state, while the fascist retains the corporations and influences them to assist the direct power of the state.

    I am afraid, folks, that the immortal words of Jayne Cobb we’re humped.

  17. Crisis + Danger = Obama’s Opportunity « Blog Entry « Dr. Melissa Clouthier Says:

    […] says “Don’t say I didn’t warn you”: Now read what Sullivan has to say two days later, on February 27. After an intro that lauds […]

  18. Baklava Says:

    Look folks,

    Corporations are not “to the right”.

    No matter the method, big government and total government is on the left.

    Individual freedom, liberty is concepts on the right. Private property rights is on the right.

    It is not good to have anarchy but it isn’t good to have total or big government.

    The center would be a government that stays the same size each year. That’s were I am. Unfortunately we have two parties that have expanded the size of government (governed to the left).

    As our government has grown each year for over 80+ years we should keep that in mind that it is voters getting what they want.

    They seem to want more and more goodies.

    It’ll take principled conservatism to roll back this government in any way.

    Republicans did not govern with conservative principles. And now the left is hammering us with that fact.

  19. Paul Gordon Says:

    vanderleun Says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    When I read Douthat’s “and oozing confidence from every pore along the way.” I could not help but think of the lyric (Noel Coward’s I believe) that goes,

    “Oozing charm from every pore,
    he oiled his way across the floor.”

    I believe that was Rex Harrison (as Professor Henry Higgins) in “my Fair Lady”.

    Don’t know if Coward had anything to do with it (unless he played the same role on stage).

  20. CV Says:

    I’d just like to point out that Ross Douthat, better than many, realizes just how repellent Obama-as-smooth-salesman is.

    He is no Obama booster.

  21. Robohobo Says:

    Baklava said:

    “I could never link to that link as anything persuasive. omg”

    Huh? What do you mean? That Ali Sina makes a very good case that The Won is essentially mentally ill is not persuasive? That he has the same character defects as some of the worst of the last century?

  22. rachel Says:

    It’s no consolation, but it is fascinating & somewhat gratifying to see, already, expressions of dawning, queasy realization from pro-Obama pundits… especially those Obama-endorsing conservatives (who were so enamored of his brilliant, sophisticated, pragmatic centrism; so contemptuous of the paranoid alarmism of a Palin or Joe the Plumber– simple-minded rabble-rousers…).

    For example, see Christopher Buckley squirm: The Audacity of Nope.

  23. br549 Says:

    We stand upon new ground. I don’t believe it can be denied any longer.

    The left has no choice, they are exposed. They cannot stop now. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, are exposed.
    They believe this will not affect them, their positions, their finances, their futures. Oh, they are wrong.

    We are stuck with Obama until 2012. His total agenda will be fast tracked, because he will not be elected twice. This is already plainly evident. At least not without a hell of a lot more “change” than what we’ve seen in the last few weeks.

    The first lefty has spoken out against him (to a degree). Now, more will be able to follow. I am hopeful they will.

  24. Baklava Says:

    Robohobo wrote, “That Ali Sina makes a very good case that The Won is essentially mentally ill

    It may be.

    That isn’t what matters.

    What matters is how you will be persuasive. Identity politics is not a good way to move people into adopting conservative principles and solutions.

    Please hear me.

  25. Baklava Says:

    You may actually turn people off and make them mad. That isn’t good for our cause.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’m with Baklava; argue on a factual, reasoned basis. We don’t want to descend to the level of leftists, and engage in ODS.

    The only person happy today is Jimmy Carter, who looks like he may dump the horse collar of being the worst President of the last hundred years.

    The good news (and it takes some looking to find some) is that Obama’s travails, arising from his now painfully apparent inexperience and weakness, may vaccinate a generation of Americans against liberal/leftist rubbish – much as Carter did.

    But it’s gonna be a long four years…

  27. Baklava Says:

    Occam,

    Correction:

    long two years… 🙂

    We can turn 2010 into a 1994 redo. This time we can do better than the Gingrich revolution.

  28. Baklava Says:

    What would be so horrible about a Congress that passes Obama bill after bill that Obama veto’s 🙂

  29. FredHjr Says:

    Baklava,

    I’m perfectly prepared to explain conservative principles to those who will listen. Policy specifics flow out of your philosophy/principles. Where the Republican Party failed after the Eighties was after they got the majority in Congress from ’94 to ’06 they were caught up in the usual horse trading that goes on in Congress. They forgot what got them there in the first place. They started behaving like Democrats. Part of what happened during the Nineties was the reality of the Presidential veto. But when they had Congress and the White House and got very little done, they blew their opportunity.

    A large part of what was behind the major sea change in politics in 1980 was a reaction against the Seventies. Stagflation. Foreign policy failure and crisis. The decadent hedonism of the Seventies. A lot of kids I knew when I was in college became conservatives and religious in reaction to the decadence around them. Plus, they saw the welfare state as choking investment and job creation. It will be very interesting to see how the under-30 crowd will react to these next four years, which I think will be a lot like the Carter years.

    We can talk policy with our opponents regarding socializing health care. We can cite how in every country it has been in place has experienced rationing and falling quality of care. It dis-incentivizes innovation and new drugs and technologies.

    Talking education… we can show the statistics about falling skills and knowledge as we throw more money into the money pit of the NEA.

  30. Occam's Beard Says:

    Baklava, yep, let’s hope 2010 turns the tide domestically. There’s still telling how much damage Obama can do to foreign policy in the next four years. We’re still suffering from sequelae of the Carter fiasco.

  31. Baklava Says:

    Agreed.

  32. Mrs. Whatsit Says:

    Obama’s self-assessment as “good at it” barely a month into his presidency — while the Dow was falling to its lowest close since 1997, with no hint that it won’t go lower — reminds me of that study that came out a few years ago to the effect that competent people tend to underestimate their own competence, while the incompetent are so clueless as to what success actually looks like that they wildly overestimate their own abilities. In short, they think they’re “good at it.”

    I am trying hard not to fall victim to ODS. Really I am. But here’s the URL for the study:
    http://tinyurl.com/962k8

  33. Karl the Krud Says:

    Where is it guaranteed that elections will even occur in 2010 or 2012? Do you really suppose this arrogant Monster in Chief and his lackeys are incapable of eliminating all threats to their power? This Leftist junta will readily march down the Chavezesque path of destruction that will declare all opposition as contrary to the “public good”, and declare all opponents to have sacrificed their rights (and are thus outside the law). Freedom will be lost in little bits at first, and then will come the deluge of true oppression. History is rife with such travesties and it CAN happen here.

  34. M.E. Says:

    This is why I wept on election night. He’s a communist and a corrupt Chicago thug, and this presidency will be a nightmare for the nation.

  35. FredHjr Says:

    Karl,

    Hundreds of thousands of armed citizens like me and most of the military will make short work of Obama if he tries to pull a Chavez. And they won’t get our weapons and ammo because there are too many of us preparing to disobey the government. Expect the military and law enforcement to collaborate with US as well. The military despises Obama, but they have to put up appearances because… well, in the military you have to respect the rank not the person.

  36. jon baker Says:

    “According to Obama, if you’re against the radical restructuring that he’s proposing, then you’re just a rich bloodsucker trying to get richer at the expense of the working stiff.”
    I currently make less than $30,000 a year and I am against the radical restructuring that he is proposing. Made more in the military than I do now. Oh well… Better to be a poor free man than a socialist peasant. -“…lives, fortune and sacred honor…”

  37. Karl the Krud Says:

    Within this year Obama could severely downsize the military, force out all but the most obedient officers and then establish his “Youth Corps”, which could morph into an internal security force. This is after at least one or two conservative Supreme Court justices is hounded out of his chair by a manufactured controversy howled by a compliant press.

    Don’t call me paranoid. Listen to the sounds being made by the new masters and how they compare with things said elsewhere in the past.

  38. huxley Says:

    What it comes down to … how far to the left have we drifted as a people?

    I’m hoping it was only a perfect storm of electoral circumstances combined with reverse racism and Obama’s “blank slate” talents that got him elected.

  39. SteveH Says:

    Somewhere there are decent black folks weeping for this President and for the stigma they’ll end up burdening.

  40. br549 Says:

    There are scores of right of center blogs, filled with bloggers and commenters who foresaw all of this. There are millions of voters who foresaw all of this. I agree that saying “I told you so” will make his followers and other hard core left of center types dig in their heels. Even the Hiilary people.

    Just as there was nothing they could say to make me vote for Hillary when she was first pick, or Obama as he rose to the top, I have no false hopes about any eyes being opened, minds changed, by anything that anyone on the right could say or do. Obama himself will have to do that.

    So far, not enough newspapers have failed for the government to bail them all out and create our own Pravda. We’ll see how that goes, too.

  41. Occam's Beard Says:

    To Mrs. Whatsit’s point, how narcissitic does Obama have to be ever to characterize himself as President as “good at it,” but particularly at this juncture?

    It’s boorish to praise oneself under almost any circumstances, but this is ridiculous. Considering he’s been in office less than two months, and those months have been, shall we say, less than stellar, perhaps dialing back the self-congratulation might be in order.

  42. br549 Says:

    The government TV and radio networks, however, have been in place for quite some time.

  43. FredHjr Says:

    Karl,

    Are you a veteran? I am (and I suspect you may be too) and so I know how acutely sensitive nco’s and officers are to the cues coming from above, if they want their careers to survive. Now, I only did a three year hitch and was an SP4 when I got out. NCO’s and officers were extremely closed-mouthed about politics when I was in. It may have changed since ’76, but I rather suspect that while military members are generally more conservative by most polls taken, these guys are not going to out themselves to superiors who may be looking to form a Praetorian Guard. They will say whatever they need to say, and keep their true views close to the vest.

    What you are suggesting Obama would do is an enormous undertaking. Also, he and his people really have no clue how to run the military. And I doubt his retired generals and admirals are going to want to preside over the politicization of the armed forces. Mark my words, this could backfire on Obama and his lackeys. These guys who would politicize the U.S. military could make themselves dead men walking.

  44. Oblio Says:

    I think that backing out of Durban II might be an indication that White House internal polls are showing eroding support, and that now is a bad time to antagonize American Jews.

    Obama benefited from powerful social pressure that created flocking behavior, but he was never even that good a speaker, and he wouldn’t own up to his agenda during the campaign. It won’t be surprising if a fair number of supporters now say, “I never signed up for that” and start to flock away from him. This should lead to interesting behavior in the White House, since Obama is already “all-in” and now he is trading on the perception of political invincibility. If he loses the budget fight, it’s going to be a dispiriting and divided couple of years in Washington.

    The question is whether the Republicans can establish a message and the organizational discipline to take the fight back to the Democrats and hang their radicalism around their necks. I hope the Democrats believe their press, for example comments by E.J. Dionne that “radical is the new moderate.”

  45. njcommuter Says:

    How do we stop this man? We gather our principles, we find a message, we get good at declaring it, declaiming it, trumpeting it, and we convince people to kick his allies out of Congress. Even if they win re-election, they may think twice about their next election. Three or four more Republicans in the Senate would do wonders. Forty-five more in the House, combined with a few Dems either principled or scared, and … if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and limps about on crutches, it’s a lame duck.

  46. Occam's Beard Says:

    Again, to look on the bright side (which right now takes powerful binoculars), the left has no excuses for the brewing fiasco. They control the White House and both house of Congress, and so can do pretty much whatever they want. They won’t be able to claim that their policies would have worked, if only those truculent Americans hadn’t obstructed them.

    I think our most effective tack in debate is extrapolation from the fate of liberal-controlled cities, such as Detroit. A story in today’s Chicago Tribune claims that the median house price there is $7500 (!).

    One can argue about the precise number (mean, median, mode, etc.) but the point is that 40 years of unfettered liberal policies have created a hellhole of crime, poverty, despair, and a hollowed out tax base. It’s not hard to realize that the whole country could follow Detroit down the tubes simply by following the same discredited policies.

    California is an especially trenchant case in point. From the Golden State that was an economic powerhouse to one circling the bowl of bankruptcy…thanks to a generation of Democratic control of the legislature.

    Drawing those parallels might help even special needs liberals to realize all is not well. A thought-provoking question for them: what liberal-run city/state is their model?

  47. FredHjr Says:

    Really good points, Oblio and Occam. I was thinking about California a lot today, as I worked from my home office while the snow had piled up outside and the kids were home from school. California, the hotbed of liberal to radical policies that have resulted in economic disaster and no hope. California, the hotbed of the support for the AGW shuck and jive and the carbon tax regime. California, the hotbed of post-modernist rejection of sensible morals and stable family life.

    California is the PERFECT example of what Euro style socialism will accomplish for the nation.

    California is in the toilet bowl and circling the hole.

  48. Occam's Beard Says:

    Yeah, and I’m here watching my beloved California go into a power dive to perdition.

    It’s tough to watch for Californians who remember the state before the liberal infestation.

  49. Oblio Says:

    You can take it as read that RICH (or formerly rich) Democrats are not feeling sanguine right about now. Losing their money makes them fear the Evil Eye a lot less. They have figured out that they won’t be able to avoid all the taxes.

  50. Artfldgr Says:

    The Obama who’s showing up now is the same guy who crowed “I won” when challenged

    This is a very key thing about him, it proves that he is cargo cult. He thinks he gets to lead because he gets in the drivers seat, but the truth is that winning is only the ability to start leading. not that you win and they all follow…

    this is the cargo cult sociopathic mentality. they cant discern the real from the image. they are made to cheat by this distinction since they are the type that gets the prize by not doing the work, and promoting the image of it. this does not mean that they are not smart, they can be, but it means that they have a character fault in which it doesnt matter if they could succeed honestly or with substance.

    cargo cult here has two definitions… one is the real cargo cult, which comes from ignorance clashing with experience and no means of knowlege.

    while the cargo cult usage i make is a different form of ignorance. in the old days, sociopathy was called moral imbicility, and i think this term fit better. the other term hides what it is, but moral imbicils will cheat when they could succeed honestly just as a habitual liar will lie when its not needed but out of a habit.

    his thinking he is a great president is also a form of moral imbicility… if you watch carefully he will do odd things because he has no moral judgment of his own, but becomes a foil of others moralilty and so can present form without substance.

    he has no way of actually assessing his ablity since he isnt doing things out of ability of merit, but ability of ‘going through the motions’.

    this can be very dangerous because he has no care as to what he actually does. its all motions, not methods. his motions will all be from ideology, since to him reality is arbitrary (he is a foil), and he was raised that way.

    if the public likes him, then everything he does is ok.
    and if the public doesnt like him, its breaking eggs kind of thing and doesnt matter, and everything he does is ok.

    no limits, as there is no one else in the room that cares what he does or that means enough to him other than himself. he operates from ideology not merit, principals, and outcomes… and the above logic means he will keep on steamrolling as there are no breaks in that kind of person. they could even be good intentioned, but that doesnt matter as the logic is set that there is an answer for each point that says go on.

    if things are good, go on. if things are bad, go on. conditions are irrelevent, and no one likes change, so there is no need to stop because people whine, etc.

    and populism is how they hooked him… there is a great and interesting dichotomy between populism by itself on wiki, and black populism on wiki.. i will leave it up to the curious to notice it.

    everything is there for the bad condition that people call despotism. it doesnt come from where we think it does, it coems from this kind of thing. inexperience, self esteem too large, rising too fast. thats the start. the heady days when yelling i won, gets people to cooperate.

    but, VERY soon, they run too far, too fast, things start not to work as they are not choices made through principal, but ideology. things start to crowd on him. it cant be him, it has to be something else, some faction etc… thats when things start to change toward the way that we classically see.

    to watch the Amin movie, and also knowing things about the states that play games, is it any wonder that small states without good agencies end up having paranoid leaders as the other larger states all play games with their minds as to telling them things about the others?

    now i am giving him the benifit of the doubt that despite his upbringing, he is intentioned well. but given all i have said, what would it mean if this was MORE than good intentions and bad upbringing..

    utlimately its not going to be the easy orders in the begning that will show leadership. no. its when things start going south as a result of his actions, and people start trying to get around his games, and so on… then paranoia of a sort, and more force is ordered… and stanford experiment dont look too far off.

    [note that you ahve to go to UK to find this one out]

    Schene told investigators through an e-mail conversation with his lawyer that once he was assaulted by the girl kicking her shoe at him, he entered the cell to ‘prevent another assault,’ according to court documents. Schene also said the girl failed to comply with instructions in the holding area. Prosecutors said Schene did not explain why he struck the girl after he had her in a holding position on the floor.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1158263/Pictured-The-moment-police-officers-assault-15-year-old-girl-cell.html

    the video below is about the incident and you can see where she flips her shoe out the door..

    but look how brutal our new police with their new training is all too often like.

    Pictured: The moment two police officers assault a 15-year-old girl in a cell
    see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl67FmVRjYs

    the new training they recieve does not make them into the kind of peace keepers that is in the childrens books and like they were… they are more paramilitary, and are trained to voilently respond to any slight to authority…

    so when things go south for obama, his tensions and things will trickle down…

    just as his thug class is bombing researchers and other forms of terror at peoples homes. but since is people doing this voluntarily, like ayers, the terror is not directly tied to the leader.

    so now we are seeing that it isnt the jack boots that start the terror. the terror started a long while ago and we normalized it… now, we arent paying attention to the political side, and the actions and arent much outraged when greenies firebomb a reseacher at 5 am and his family has to escape by leaping… or that people who have donated politically now have their lives upended by being attacked by political thugs…

    the earliest thugs of germany after the election was not the SA, it was the young people themselves. the youth orgs, the left groups, and such who all felt empowered by their leaders… they created the terror, and stopped opposition to such things.

    the rest, as they say, is history.

  51. Occam's Beard Says:

    Oblio, you forget: Democrats don’t pay taxes.

    We got another one today. So naturally they don’t care what the tax rate is.

    Yet again looking on the bright side, Obama is working wonders for tax compliance, one appointee at a time.

  52. M Says:

    That initial quote of Obama’s smacks of irony. The “powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long” exist precisely because of the strength of government. So now Obama is going to concentrate more power and money in the federal government and expect that these interests are just going to disappear and expect that the American people will consider themselves served?

    Hmmm…

  53. FredHjr Says:

    I almost never pay attention to what The Big Mack Daddy has to say, because my long experience with Marxists is that their word is not worth anything. It’s what they DO that matters. So, I’ll pay attention to what he and his minions do, not what they say. Although what they (and he) have to say sometimes will convey a sense of how they are reacting to their environment. And right now their hyper attention to Rush Limbaugh indicates panic that they are trying to turn into opportunity. Tonight on O’Reilly his guest Bernie Goldberg explained what Obama’s strategy might be with Limbaugh. As Goldberg explains, it won’t work on people who are politically savvy and informed, but will work on the sheeple. The Democrats are betting they can hold the Middle Muddle by making Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” – taken out of its context and the surrounding explanation by Limbaugh – the defining characteristic of the opposition. Or perhaps they are trying to split the Republican Party. There’s clearly a game on and they are frenetic in trying to play it out.

    But no one ever hung on them their desire to see us lose a war and for our troops to keep on getting blown up. That makes my blood boil and was but one more brick in a thick and high wall I already had built enroute to burning my bridges from the Left-of-Center after 9/11.

    It will be fun to see the crack whores go down with their Mack Daddy when all is said and done.

  54. Oblio Says:

    OB, I believe you are right. Wretchard reports Roland Burriss II has a little tax problem back in Illinois, too.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/03/02/a-little-further-yet/#more-2421

    Do any Democrats pay their taxes?

  55. Julia NYC Says:

    I was a democrat my whole life until Obama. His resume was so weak, and disturbing with all of the un-American socialistMarxist activity,that Obama single handedly turned me into a conservative. If I could become conservative, so can a lot of current liberals. So, I feel this is encouraging. Well, give the Democrats enough rope…. He is troubling, and perhaps, because he’s probably not even American, he does’t realize that President does not mean King. However, what can we do for now?

  56. Baklava Says:

    Welcome Home Julia.

    I too was a liberal in 1991. I had a huge core belief change that year.

    Never looked back.

    Keep this in mind.

    DO NOT LET PEOPLE misdefine and malign conservatism. They will come at you with so much hate and disdain.

    Proudly beaming at them will make them come unglued.

    It is always better to teach a man to fish than give him fish.

    And for that reason you know your ideas are born of love.

    Life
    Liberty
    and the pursuit of happiness.

    Not dependency for me and dependency for thee.

  57. csimon Says:

    So glad I’m not the only one feeling as neo expressed in her post. And a great post it was, not only identifying the lightning moves of the Obama administration in an effort to effect change before the American people can realize exactly what is happening, but also noting the unflagging arrogance and personal hubris and duplicity of Obama. Even experienced pundits seem unable to keep up and produce conflicting opinions day to day.

    I admit to having lost faith in recent weeks, but realize that there must be more people than not who love this country as it is with it’s work ethic and equal opportunity for all. I agree with FredHjr — the answer lies with us, the people of this country. And I agree that a perfect storm resulted from a combination of fickle public opinion, an enormously biased MSM, and short attention span and little patience for ugly necessities like maintaining a defense against terrorism — yes!! there is need for a war on terror even if our current President believes that if you ignore it or fail to acknowledge it, it will go away — and created circumstances which allowed for the election of a man who finds fault with everything in our system, and persuaded a majority of voters that we have been in dire need of wholesale change.

    I do find Obama’s inflexibility and self-righteousness frightening and have sometimes wondered what limits he might resort to should he feel his support waning (i.e. could a totalitarian govt. take over our United States? Oh, silly me! Never, never…….never. Right?) But it is remarkable how similar his use of an economical crisis to further his populist plans are similar to those used by Chavez…and Castro before him…and, well, another whose name is rather inflammatory.

    I will hope that our love of the freedoms we cherish and want our children and grandchildren to enjoy as we have, will ultimately stymie Obama’s methods, and what appears to be runaway madness.

  58. njcommuter Says:

    What really hurts is that conservatives are right so often, and people who ought to learn, the center and center-left, never do. I don’t expect the hard left to learn, of course; they are immune to reality of any kind.

  59. Oblio Says:

    Correcting myself at 8.59 pm, Dionne said “progressive,” not “radical.” I misremembered.

  60. Perfected democrat Says:

    The coming ODS is going to make BDS pale by comparison. There is a legitimate place for both Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh in the scheme of things, so-to-speak, the important thing is that the Dem’s brazen betrayal of America be confronted in such fashion that people discern that this is well beyond the realm of typical “politics”…

  61. Oblio Says:

    Perfected democrat, the “D” must not stand for “derangement.”

  62. Oblio Says:

    It might stand for disenchantment, disgust, distrust, or dismay, especially once people see him in action on foreign policy:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/03/02/the-secret-letter/

    Wretchard is a tremendous open source intelligence analyst.

  63. Perfected democrat Says:

    Oblio, getting “technical” about the “D”, I don’t disagree with your point; Though by the time we’re done with this, our anger will finally morph into derangement, especially if there is another major Islamist domestic terror attack here, over and above the left-wing orchestrated stockmarket crash, that has robbed us blind…

  64. R.C. Says:

    Okay, granted: We’re humped.

    No surprise, there.

    Democrats have, generally speaking, been incorrect in their signature policy prescriptions on (so far as I’m aware) every matter of every kind, for the last forty years. (The GOP, for all their problems, have generally either been correct, or more often, less incorrect.)

    So, no surprise that putting them simultaneously in charge of the Executive Branch, and both houses of the Legislature, would seriously damage the country, reducing it to something like, well, France.

    No surprise that, in fifty years, Americans will be like the French: ineffectually walking the earth, sounding arrogant and grumbling and effete, because that is the usual reaction of a once-great power which is no longer great but still wants to believe it is: Strutting about like a forty-nine year old former glamour model still trying to dine out on her face.

    The first nuclear detonation in an American city is now perhaps ten years distant, give or take. And, then, because in our time of crisis we responded to too much debt with a healthy dose of socialism — like a drunk curing his hangover with heroin — we will neither succeed in deterring it, nor be able to adequately weather the storm economically as we did 9/11, nor have the cultural confidence and unity to respond to the event in a way that keeps the jackals at bay. The organized crooks and psychopaths of the world will have an free rein, because the cop on the beat is on psych leave, and who knows if he’ll ever return to the job?

    What can we do?

    Well, were it possible to forcibly lobotomize the more extreme half of all the leftists in the U.S., especially the academics, the result would would be a pull-back from the brink. They’d no longer be able to vote, of course, and without political support, Obama & Pelosi would be less capable of doing damage, and soon removed from office. And that segment of the population would be largely no less productive than they were before.

    But, you see, libertarians and conservatives won’t bring themselves to do that, or anything else similar. They’re too responsible, too aware of the consequences of actually doing radical or violent things, too middle-class.

    So the answer is: We can’t do anything. (More precisely, we won’t do anything; that is, we’re unwilling to undergo the short-term civil war which in the long run might prevent or lessen our downfall.)

    What we’ll do, in fact, is watch it happen and remember how it used to be. I don’t know how much fun a slow-motion train wreck really is, especially when it’s happening to you and some folks you care about. But maybe it’ll be marginally entertaining, for those who can adopt the right mindset.

    We’re certainly going to find out.

  65. NJCon Says:

    Visiting from the Anchoress! I enjoyed your post very much. Living in NJ I am surrounded by Democrats (not sure what to call these people anymore…liberals, socialists, communists, leftists, definitely not progressive) and this past election was pure torture for me. I was consistently laughed at in attempting to warn my family and friends about Obama’s true radical nature. I have friends who are now angry with me because I was right. However, now that people are beginning to actually listen it’s not the economy we need to be worried about folks. While we are all worried about the economy Obama is quietly causing a schism within the American R. Catholic Church and to dismiss this because you are not Catholic is foolish. These are only two areas that I am personally keeping an eye on which makes me wonder what other pillars of our society is he quietly working to destroy.

  66. soupcon Says:

    Canadians have seen this before.Bob Rae was elected as premier of Ontario in 1990 and proceeded over the next 5 years to cripple the engine of Canada.He was at war with his own hard left base of unions,merrily tripled the budget deficit in 3 years, and almost drove Ontario Hydro to the point of insolvency and saddled it with the most debt of any agency anywhere in the G-7.

    Ontario only recovered it’s lustre once the Tories were elected on a tax cutting platform and led by a genial conservative named Mike Harris.

  67. The Catholic Libertarian Says:

    I am convinced that many of the intellectual conservatives who decided to vote for Obama (wuch as Christopher Buckley) did so inspite of Obama’s stated plans. They were all out there.

    So why did they support him? Class solidarity. The bobo class (to use David Brooks term) is now in the driver’s seat. Obama was from that class. Clutured, well spoken, great schools, well traveled.

    The voted for one of their own.

  68. Hong Says:

    Since the Dems have annointed Rush as the head of the RNC maybe we should look out for Rush Derangement Syndrome-actually note what’s already out there. lol

    I think the first bellweather to look for is the House seat of Gillebrand in NY. If we regain that seat by a wide margin (10+ points) than it might portend a brighter Republican future. If it’s a close election than we’ll be wandering the desert for awhile longer than 2012 I say.

    As for Obama not seeking another term: of course he will. No Lefty or Democrat is satisfied with half of what they can take. If things go wrong, they’ll just blame the ‘obstructionist’ Republicans. It’ll fool enough people (ie ‘centrists’). A liberal I know likes to call himself a ‘moderate’ but we know what they are even when they don’t.

  69. Artfldgr Says:

    as i said, its almost a done deal, and this article lays out how much a done deal it is.

    remember, the CPUSA removed their candidate years ago because, as they said, you cant distinguiesh the CPUSA from the democratic party.

    this read should scare people.

    [and lee, note the notes to those who like to dash things off as tin hat]

    CPUSA’s National Chair, Sam Webb, was quoted in the People’s Weekly World:

    “The ‘biggest challenge’ now, he told the meeting, is to ‘resist efforts by reaction and some on the left’ to advocate a break in the coalition that elected Obama and is now led by him. ‘We will have our differences but they have to be handled so as not to break the overall unity,’ he said.”

    [see american thinker, the url is being blocked with the odd softwaer filters]

    the revolution has happened…

    the talk of preventing it is like people around the dinner table talking about keeping the horses in the barn, and have yet to check the barn with its doors open.

    NOW, we are moving into the area i said would happen where the people with him will make terro for all, and in response, a clamp down.

    during this time, those that sided and changed minds are the ones who become key victims… they are the ones who, as converts, become the force of the counter-revolutni, and must be crushed and killed in order for them to finalize and cement the silent coupe that they have already done.

    talking this way is akin to talking about hitler and how its not going to be good AFTER he was elected.

    the game is changed…

    it changed the day he was elected….

    NOT now, when we cant do anything for four years except acept all the restructuring they will do and the misery and starvation they will cause.

    NOTHING. since they are all ready for the couter revolution… even if the people that would make up such, dont even know that its started.

  70. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    I’m hearing a lot of doom and gloom here, and I don’t want to say it’s misplaced; we are indeed in for some rough times.

    But it feels to me as though people are taking the trend of the past month, extending it indefinitely into the future in a straight line, and frightening themselves when they see where it leads.

    History doesn’t go in a straight line; certainly American history doesn’t. With rare exceptions, we have our cycles and our pendulum-swings. Liberalism rules for a while, until the people have had enough change and just want to relax for a while, at which point conservatism makes a comeback.

    (That’s with respect to domestic policies, of course. For international diplomacy it’s more complex than that; for issues of defense it’s considerably simpler. An American government that cannot keep Americans safe will not last long.)

    President Obama cannot roll back the tides with his charisma, and his legions will not follow him everywhere. So in the long run, there are limits to what he can do.

    I imagine one of several possibilities:

    a) President Obama seriously overreaches, learns a lesson of sorts, and tries to govern more from the center. (I’m not counting on this.)

    b) President Obama seriously overreaches, is stopped, does not learn his lesson, and effectively becomes a lame-duck President in 2010.

    c) President Obama pushes through his agenda fast enough and hard enough that it can’t be stopped, resulting in a real sea-change. This is the sort of gloomy scenario some of us here are talking about; I don’t think it will work that way, given the number of Democrats that are starting to express serious doubts about the man they voted for.

    Just for the record, there’s also this:

    d) President Obama has his eyes opened (akin to the way GWB did on 9/11), grows to fill the challenges of the office he holds in these difficult times, and surprises us all by being a reasonably good President (for a Democrat…). This, of course, would be wonderful, and I pray it wouldn’t take another 9/11 to bring it about.

    Personally, based on past track records, I think (b) is the most likely. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for (d).

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  71. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Oh, and one more thing —

    I’m encouraged by the fact that, in 70-odd comments, no one has even raised the subject of “impeachment”. I’m glad. I don’t want to run the man out of office, unless someday we can actually prove, God forbid, that he’s willfully selling out America to foreign interests.

    Fighting it out with lawyers, in my opinion, is a second-to-last resort (with open violence and revolution being the last resort). Nor would it solve the problem; all it would accomplish is to demonize the man, leaving us ripe for another smooth-talker to come along and take his place.

    (Besides, from what I hear, the vast majority of lawyers are Obama supporters…)

    Our Republic is tough, and gives us the freedom to do a great many things. Let’s not lose hope yet.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  72. Occam's Beard Says:

    Daniel, I’m pleased by that too. No extraordinary legal or straight-up extralegal means of changing government need apply, thank you very much. We’ll wait for the next election.

    Liberals please note, for the next time you don’t get everything your way.

  73. Crisis + Danger = Obama’s Opportunity « Dirty Democrats Says:

    […] says ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you’: Now read what Sullivan has to say two days later, on February 27. After an intro that lauds […]

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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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