March 30th, 2013

Take Obama seriously

Boy, am I ever in agreement with this piece by John Podhoretz. For the most part, it echoes what I’ve been saying for a long time—which is that Obama is an excellent, ruthless, and very smart politician (please see this for one of my posts on the subject).

I agree with almost every point Podhoretz is making except that, unlike him, I think Obama actually is far more a radical than a typical liberal politician; I think he does have a far left agenda. But I agree with Podhoretz that since most people find that idea preposterous, those who’ve been saying it sound nuts and it therefore backfires against them.

Podhoretz also says those who urged people to vote for Romney because he would be a good manager were wrong. I agree that was probably wrong, but I was not one of those people. I thought people should vote for Romney because (a) he was better than Obama in almost every way; (b) he was more conservative than most people thought; and (c) he would create a good climate for business and economic recovery.

At any rate, the Romney part is moot now. The Obama part is still important because (as I’ve also said many times) the right underestimates him at their peril.

While strolling down memory lane to write this post I did, however, come across another passage I wrote in early October, 2012, that I think bears repeating:

One thing I believe is that, if Romney loses this election, the right will start tearing itself apart in anger. That’s another thing the left banks on, and—if indeed some of the polls are being rigged to favor Obama at present—it would also be one of the goals of such deception: to demoralize the right and cause the usual circular firing squad to begin. I already see some evidence of it in articles and comments from the right that accuse Romney of not wanting to win, of not going on the attack enough (as though that would elude the negative media spin), of not doing whatever it might be that the brilliant armchair strategists would be doing if they were running for president, an election they of course would win by dint of their brilliant strategy. If Romney loses, the RINO theme will rise again undiminished, and the hatred of the “Republican establishment.”

My opinion of what’s going on is quite different: if the American people re-elect Obama despite his failures, lies, betrayals, immaturity, gaffes, arrogance, destructive foreign policy, demonstrated leftism, small-mindedness, lack of leadership, executive power-grabs, fiscal irresponsibility, and a host of other negatives I may have forgotten to list but which have been operating for the last four years, then it will prove that the American people have fundamentally changed in the direction they want this country to take, and it will require some major upheaval to reverse that trend. We can’t wait around for the perfect candidate; a good-enough candidate like Romney should be good-enough to beat Obama, and if that’s not possible it says more about the country than the candidate.

Yep. It has.

32 Responses to “Take Obama seriously”

  1. George Pal Says:

    John Podhoretz:
    “He has much of the media in his pocket; he has his party in his thrall; he escapes responsibility for failures that would sink other politicians; he muscled the most important piece of legislation in decades into law; and with a 20 percent increase in federal spending levels, he has ended the political age in which a Democrat would say “the era of big government is over” (Bill Clinton, 1996). That isn’t luck. It’s skill. Rare skill. Political genius of a kind.”

    This is as much as writing:

    He had the pit bosses in his pocket; he had his crew in his thrall; when he lost the house covered the losses; he’d gamed the game by giving himself the percentage edge; he had the table limits raised; and he won. That isn’t luck. It’s skill, Rare skill. He was a gambling genius of a kind.

    This is hyperbole of the worst sort – hyperbole with a legitimizing clause. He could not lose. He didn’t lose. Genius!

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: but other Democrats, who had the same advantages (including Bill Clinton), were not able to do the same thing.

    I think part of Obama’s “genius” (which I’ve talked about elsewhere) is his use of the race card while remaining supposedly race-neutral, his ability to be a nasty piece of work while appearing pleasant and “nice” to a lot of people, and his campaign savvy in terms of organizing and the use of the internet and the hiring of clever internet-savvy people to work for him.

    Those are skills of a political sort, and he is better than any Democrat or liberal I’ve ever seen—even the supposedly brilliant politicians Bill or Hillary Clinton—at using that sort of skill. Yes, the media and his party certainly helped, as did changing demographics and his status as the first black president. But he used those things brilliantly in the political sense, and in the face of a terrible terrible record that would have felled anyone else.

    So I don’t think the Podhoretz piece is really hyperbole. Perhaps he should have explained it better, but it’s not hyperbole, it’s speaking of something real and important and which (as I’ve said) it’s a bad idea to ignore or minimize.

  3. blert Says:

    George,

    Agreed.

    The lift that the MSM agitprop engine gives him is simply not addressed.

    As for corruption of the vote: this is the President who took the US Census inside the Pink House.

    Thence to data-mine it. There are s o many tells that the tabulation was corrupted — one is left breathless.

    I’m reminded of the neutral experts who visited Theresienstadt — the way station for death — who were gulled by the SS, entirely.

    They came in wanting to not see evil. So, they didn’t. Of those they saw, all were liquidated within two weeks, to be replaced by ‘fresh ones.’

    This blindness was possible because the full horror of what was happening was repressed by the neutrals. They were able to look past E V E R Y instance of genocidal race hatred and official pronouncement — and buy in to the zany idea that teenage Jews were living a wonder life in wartime Germany!

    What we’ve witnessed is the same level of tabulation corruption so endemic to Chicago. We now have world class corruption on the Potomac.

    That is all,

    The Wan, Buraq, is still a Gonnabee. That is his psychological grand arc. The ultimate bottle-rocket, his fate is to go up like a rocket and fall back like a stick.

    And let’s not forget how many spoke of Adolf’s ‘genius.’ The reality was that he was a full blown mental case — evidencing fourth stage syphilis — according to the only two doctors to have personally examined him. (!)

    It only gets worse when reviewing Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam, et. al. All had fawning press clippings — and belonged in mental institutions.

  4. expat Says:

    Blert,

    I agree that it’s more than just political brilliance. It has something to do with his pathological fixation on his own greatness. And the most “sophisticated” of our society are blind to it.

  5. George Pal Says:

    Neo-noecon:

    See Expat re pathological.

    I am steadfast in attributing his ‘skills’ not to genius, political or otherwise, but a deformed, aberrant personality namely his preternatural gift at lying. I would say of him what had been said of another character in the bible:

    “When he lies, he speaks his native language” John 8:44 (NIV)

    I would agree there had never been anyone before him with such a gift, skill, or genius for misrepresenting himself or reality.

  6. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    He’s diabolical. In the original sense of the word.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: but we are not in disagreement.

    Maybe the problem is the word “brilliant” or “genius” (the latter of which I’ve only used for Obama with scare quotes, and the former of which I’ve only used very sparingly to modify “politician”). A “brilliant politician” and your words—”deformed, aberrant personality namely his preternatural gift at lying”—are in no basic constradiction whatsoever. Au contraire.

    blert: my response to you is basically the same. There is no contradiction there. Stalin, Hitler, et all were political geniuses and psychopaths.

    But I disagree about whether Obama is cruising for a fall. I hope you’re correct, but I have nothing like your certainty about it. It depends who is victorious and gets to write the histories.

  8. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Hannity regularly plays videos of Obama pledging to cut the deficit, to drive down healthcare costs, to not raise taxes, to work tirelessly to create jobs, and much, much more. All delivered earnestly as if he really believed what he was saying. Yet he delivers on none of those things. When he calls for higher taxes, when he reverses his stand on same sex marriage, when job creation languishes, when healthcare costs rise, and many other things don’t go as he has pledged, there is no call to accountability by the MSM. In fact there isn’t that much call to accountability by the Republicans. What he has done is so breathtakingly dishonest and audacious that reasonable, honorable people can’t quite seem to fathom it.

    I, for one, don’t believe he has orchestrated all the clever and duplicitous campaign strategies he has employed. David Axelrod and many others are the power behind the throne. Obama is the front man, the face of this progressive cabal that is trying t turn us into a South American style Banana Republic. He is the perfect front man. A pathological narcissist who revels in power, he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt.

    Yes, he is a deadly serious man backed by a deadly serious organization, and it will take a deadly serious effort to stop this progressive express.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    It puzzles me that so many people don’t seem to get the fact that in politics, “genius” and “pathology” are hardly mutually exclusive.

  10. neo-neocon Says:

    J.J.: yes, of course Obama is not responsible for every single campaign move. But I see absolutely no indication that he’s just a front man. I think he is very much in charge—and as I think I indicated, he’s good at choosing the right people to help him accomplish his goals.

    One of the first things I ever noticed about Obama was the caliber of the advisors close to him. It is no coincidence that they are unusually unpleasant, ruthless, really unappealing people. He is a “genius” at choosing people who are loyal, worshipful, nonthreatening (to him, anyway), willing to do dirty work, and/or mediocre in their own personal accomplishments, to be his helpers and bask in his reflected glory and power. He almost unerringly is able to choose, and keep the sycophantic loyalty of, people such as that. It is very chilling and singularly unprecedented, I think, in modern American presidential history (Nixon comes a bit close) and maybe even in American history.

    Before Obama had Axelrod et. al. as advisors, he did what he did to Alice Palmer (the original Chicago Tribune article about this is now mysteriously unavailable, but some of the story can be found here). When I first learned about that, long ago, I realized what sort of person we were dealing with. It reminded me of the Godfather movies—only without the murders. How Obama approached the Palmer “problem” involved Obama’s own political calculations, and his political “genius”—ruthless, cold, throw-anyone-under-the-bus, and covered over with a veneer of “niceness” and excuses.

    He got away with it (the people had no choice, since he got rid of all his opponents), and that was the beginning of his political career.

  11. George Pal Says:

    Neo-neocon:

    “… in politics, “genius” and “pathology” are hardly mutually exclusive.”

    It’s always been my understanding that ‘genius’, even for its nativeness has to it a requirement for thought and/or work. The great geniuses, for example Einstein, worked, thought, incessantly. Perhaps I’ve been too much influenced by the ’10% inspiriation – 90% perspiration’ saw but I think it an accurate observation. Obama, as far as I can see, has no such inclination, unless we are to believe that when he’s golfing, the wheels are turning. Pathology makes none of the demands that genius does. I would very much like to see an end to the use of ‘genius’ as it is used with Obama, especially by ‘our’ side as though his was a great politically Machiavellian mind and more use of pathological, which fits him jot and tittle – a natural but queer ingratiating charm, an incapacity to recognize, sympathize, or empathize with the ‘other’, and a fixation and hyperactive sensitivity on self. Left to his own devices and without a vast array of patrons, I just can’t see Machiavelli or Moriarty. Maybe a Tom Ripley.

  12. Ann Says:

    I noted in that article you linked to that Emil Jones Jr., a Democratic mover and shaker in Illinois and one of the two people Palmer came in behind in that Congressional primary, became Obama’s mentor after Obama was elected to fill Palmer’s Illinois Senate seat. Which leads me to wonder if he had a hand in how Obama dealt with Palmer and how much of Obama’s subsequent political moves were influenced by Jones. Wikipedia says that he played a large part in Obama’s 2004 election as U.S. senator, for instance.

    I do believe Obama is totally without scruples, but I’m loath to give him credit for anything more than average smarts, so I hope I’m not just grasping at straws here!

    As to other U.S. presidents having “unusually unpleasant, ruthless, really unappealing people” around to be loyal and “willing to do dirty work”, FDR’s relationship with Louis Howe comes to mind.

  13. tillurdizzy Says:

    Was reading some comments at another blog concerning the Jim Carrey video, in which a liberal commentator said “If Fox is #1 why do you tea baggers complain about media bias so much?” I don’t know why this statement struck me as it did, but it really drove home the point we are dealing with ignorance on a massive scale. Not just ignorance, but an inability to even think coherently, reasonably and logically.
    The conservative comments in reply to this were kind and thoughtful, patiently explaining what a rating means and how Fox is only 1 out of dozens of news outlets.
    Why are we putting up with this? Why are we so kind to these delusional ignoramuses? Why aren’t THEY the laughing stock?
    We need to quit being so damn nice to these people, quit being afraid of what they are going to call us and accuse of.
    The consensus on why Romney lost is because the base stayed home. They are tired of this mamsy-pamsy coddling of these ignorant fools. We should be wiping the floor with them.

  14. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    The race thing is key. The Dems intend to keep race and racism alive forever. Here’s a little experiment I asked my wife to do. Watch television commercials (big national products) and you will see diversity up the wazoo but NO interracial families. This includes blacks, hispanics and asians. These ads were crafted by the top national ad agencies who are fully in support of the left/Democrat machine. Ditto for current MSM TV sitcoms etc. Few or no interracial couples, but plenty of Gays.

    By being the non-white guy this carefully stoked racial campaign ensures he got large majorities of non-white voters. The nation is not as it is

  15. Mike Says:

    The smart people say now what we average people have said from before Day 1: That Obama is wicked, harmful and menacing. That he may very well be the end of America and everything we were an thought we would be.

    There are such leaders in world history. There once was a Lenin, a Napoleon, a Hitler, a Castro. The “nations” and “peoples” they “represented” were never the same and were mostly worse off after them.

    There are leaders on the other side too: Washington, Lincoln, maybe even Calvin Coolidge. They do good and improve the people and their nations.

    We must suffer Obama, and truth be told we deserve him. We are the ones who decided it was okay to get money and not work; to lie and call it a virtue (the latest of a thousand examples being the existence of terms like “gay marriage” and “abortions of so-called fetuses born alive”). I am sure Hell has special rooms reserved for us. They will,be called those places where you can call Hell Heaven and pretend for eternity you are really there while knowing you are not.

    The fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves. Obama is our eternal and religious life expressed in a horrid and wicked man. The deduction is pretty clear and it is what we were told from the day we were born and from time immemorial: that we get the government we deserve; that out of the heart of man proceeds all its wickedness; that when you kill “fetuses” by the 10s of millions for a lark, and then conscript the surviving children into a pay scheme for your leisurely retirement…..

    We are getting of way easier than, by rights, we should.

    Of course, give Obama a chance and he will rectify that too.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    tillurdizzy: although comments like the one you cite could very well demonstrate math ignorance on the part of the commenter, they also could (and often do) represent purposefully misleading propaganda. In other words, the commenter may well know that what he/she is saying doesn’t make sense, but hopes and trusts that others don’t know it. It’s polemical and/or taunting in its aim.

  17. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Dan 8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
    Dan 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

  18. davisbr Says:

    BS.

    …without the media’s learned guilt from several decades of the leftist products of the 60′s radicalism (who became their professors) teaching them that guilt, there would be no such creature possible.

    Genius? Bah.

    He’s a “genius” on the order of the Oz the Great and Powerful.

    …the media provide the smoke and mirrors. He basks in the adulation of a mis-taught and mislead generation of useful idiots who cannot see past the color of his skin (yes, that makes them racists in the classical sense: they’re unable to see the irony in that, either).

    Hitler was a mad and evil genius.

    Barack Obama is merley a pathetic carpet-bagging charlatan, by the numbers.

    Nothing else.

  19. Ron Says:

    Benjamin Netanyahu sees right through him though. Why is “everyone else” so blind?

  20. G Joubert Says:

    Do we really know Obama well enough to assess his level of brilliance? The man has done so little in his life when you get right down to it. Everything he is is based on his finagling his way into Columbia as an undergrad and then into Harvard Law School, and then to president of the law review. All else flows from that, even though his record and bona fides as a student and a legal writer are not anywhere in evidence, and never have been. Nor has his career afterwards been noteworthy, other than trumpeting his status as a black man who went to Columbia U, Harvard Law, and president of the law review.

    How did he pull all that off and use it to springboard all the way to the White House? Who helped him chart that course, or charted it for him, given that it began when he was a self-admitted member of the choom gang hanging on the beach?

    He compares –albiet favorably– to Chauncey Gardener.

    That said, he definitely should not be underestimated. He has consistently surrounded himself with the most radicalized leftist elements, and whether it is he, they, or all of them who put the political juggernaut that he is together, there’s no doubting the agenda or their intentions.

  21. neo-neocon Says:

    G Jourbet: this is not about academic smarts, this is about another type of intelligence.

    I can see I’m going to have to write another post explaining more about what I’m basing this on. The short version is that of course he had help from allies and supporters who saw in him a way to further their own ends. But he brought a lot of intelligence coupled with ruthlessness to the game. And he was/is VERY intelligent about political matters, propaganda, and the use of his own persona to further the cause of his political rise and the causes he supports. I’m not talking about his gift for calculus, or even how well he does on a history test. He knows the history that matters to him, cold.

    I don’t know why people continue to ignore this and/or underestimate his skills and his political intelligence.

  22. G Joubert Says:

    And he was/is VERY intelligent about political matters, propaganda, and the use of his own persona…

    How do we know, Neo? How d we know all that emanates from him? It might, but what, other than the mere correlation with his presence, says it was him?

    We know Bill Ayers (and spouse), David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, et al were also there. Who else?

    Color me not yet awed.

  23. neo-neocon Says:

    C. Joubert: I have a big post coming on the topic, although not today. Believe me, if you do your homework, there’s plenty of evidence.

    But for starters, see this. Yes, he had helpers and operatives and all that, but the evidence is that he was also a major player in his own political trajectory.

    I’ve read a great deal about that era of Obama’s life.

  24. Ann Says:

    Martin van Buren would probably today be called a “genius” as well. The “Little Magician” was quite the kingmaker in his day and a terrific political organizer. But back then they used terms like wily, shrewd, and manipulative to describe him. Folks didn’t seem as prone to awe as they are today. Maybe because they were just more well grounded all around.

    But van Buren himself liked the “genius” thing:

    “Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude. The first is the resource of intrigue and produces only secondary results, the second is the resort of genius and transforms the face of the universe.”

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann: I don’t think “genius” of the negative sort really conveys awe. That said, it’s not a word I ordinarily use for Obama. I use phrases like “very intelligent” or even “brilliant politician,” but I don’t think I’ve used “genius” except when quoting others or in scare quotes (ironically).

  26. davisbr Says:

    …not convinced …looking for the next installment though, so giving you the benefit of a doubt (even so: at a moderate level).

    My core argument? – I think he’s an accident of history.

    …with adept handlers. I suspect the inner circle hate him one-and-all.

    I don’t even know him, and I find him to obviously be a preening idiot at a distance: how much more so for those close by?

  27. davisbr Says:

    To elucidate: familiarity breeds contempt

  28. G Joubert Says:

    It strkes me that sometime before 2008 somebody, or more like it, somebodies (as in plural), invested no small amount of time and energy grooming Obama for his big run. Among other things, when campaign 2008 got underway, Obama was ready to rock and roll on the teleprompter, to get up in front of huge crowds and make them swoon, to be The One out there that they’d all been waiting for.

    Where did that come from? In my life experience great orators are every bit as much taught as made. It takes practice and experience. So where did Obama get his practice and experience? In the Illinois Senate, when he was voting “present” 129 times? Or maybe it was on the debate team at Columbia, except there is NOBODY that was there who remembers him there. Or was it at Harvard, where (according to L Tribe) he was “treated like a rock star,” and where there is no record of him ever writing anything or of him delivering any orations? Where and how did he get so tightly scripted?

    Things I wonder about.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    G Jourbet: I believe you are a bit in denial.

    Obama always had that sort of presence, even back in his Harvard Law days. He impressed a lot of people who were simpatico and willing to be impressed, not just with his smarts (as they saw it) but with his ability to present himself. You or I might be impervious to his charms, but many many many people see those charms and saw them long long ago.

    As for oration, most people who graduate from Harvard Law have an excellent ability to speak, and certainly to read from a teleprompter and sound forceful. That’s the sum total of Obama’s oratorical skills as far as I can see; they are good, but hardly extraordinary.

    Choosing the right speechmakers was probably his strongest gift in that direction—and again, objectively, there was nothing special about the content of his speeches either, to those who weren’t already spellbound by him.

    His special skills are in his personality and ability to shape his persona to fit the audience, and to appeal to voters, win elections, and savage opponents, as I think I’ve said many times before, not in oration or eloquence itself.

    And of course he had helpers and what you might call “groomers.” Many politicians have that, and take instruction in speech and persuasion. Why should Obama be different? He had an aptitude for it, though, that is pretty strong (Bush, on the other hand, completely lacked that aptitude). And certainly, as I’ve said many times, there were plenty of people who saw in Obama a golden opportunity as a great and very smooth vehicle with which to achieve their goals. That doesn’t mean he was some sort of empty puppet under their command. He was a full participant, fully cooperative and on-board, who brought a lot to the table himself. That’s my point.

    Nothing you write contradicts anything I’m saying. Am I saying he was a great writer at Harvard? No, a thousand times no. He was “treated like a rock star” because people saw certain qualities in him that could go far, because he impressed them, because he agreed ideologically and because they thought him smart. There were and are plenty of black liberal/left students at Harvard Law, then and now. Why did so many professors and others glom onto Obama in particular? Because they saw his special gifts. Those gifts are not the conventional ones you’re referring to, academic ones; they are political and strategic. Under the old system based on grade point, Obama would not have become the Harvard Law Review president. Under the newer one, which made it an elective office, he did.

    His skills, I repeat, are political, and although he had helpers, those skills are his own. He is not the sort of personality who merely reflects the will of others, or does what they tell him. I am really mystified as to why so many people think he is; I see nothing in either his personality or his history that would indicate that.

  30. Ann Says:

    Very interesting 2010 piece in the New Republic about David Axelrod’s relationship with Obama that pretty much supports Neo’s contention that Obama is the one who calls the shots.

    At the same time, this quote with regard to Obama’s 2004 campaign for the Senate makes me wonder if it actually does hold:

    “ ‘Barack would go everywhere but to negative. Rahm would cut your heart out. Axelrod is in the middle of that triangle,’ says Jim Cauley, who managed Obama’s 2004 Senate race.”

    That bit about Obama not going negative is surprising, especially considering the 2012 campaign.

    In any event, the guy scares me.

  31. G Joubert Says:

    Except for one huge thing. Left to his own devices Obama is not Columbia or Harvard Law material. Where are his HS transcripts, SAT scores, undergrad transcripts, and LSAT scores? Do you believe for even a nanosecond that if Obama had acquitted himself well at any of those that they’d be buried?

    Obama was manufactured. I will give him credit for being malleable, and for learning and remembering his cues and lines (for the most part). But here’s the bottom line: if Obama was all that smart and capable there’d be a lot more –a whole lot more– to show for it. Everything we see with Obama was given to him for all intents and purposes as a gift-wrapped present. I see nothing he earned or accomplished.

    So, is this opportunity for students get to play around with teleprompters strictly a HLS thing, or is it an Ivy League thing? At the small west coast law school I went to the closest thing to it we had to any of that was a mockup courtroom which was wired like a movie or TV studio, but it was for use in sharpening courtroom skills, not for jumpstarting a presidential campaign. And there were no teleprompters.

    You say I’m in denial. I say you’ve drank the kool-aid.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    G Jourbet: I don’t know how much you know about academia, but I have had a great deal of experience with it, and I believe that left to his own devices, plus (as he himself has said) the benefits of affirmative action (being a black person from Hawaii with an exotic and interesting background and family), Obama absolutely could have gotten into Columbia et al. He was never left completely to his own devices; he always had those advantages, plus most likely recommendations from teachers and professors who had gotten that same feeling that here was a guy who was destined to go places. Recommendations from leftists with connections could have helped, too, but that was not at all necessary.

    I have spent many long years in academia, some of it at very elite institutions, and especially back when Obama was going to school it would not have strained credulity in the least that he got into these schools without some special puppeteer conspiracy, given all the factors working in his favor. It doesn’t take academic genius to do it, it just takes a certain baseline of smarts, which Obama definitely possesses, a modicum of persuasive charm, and some good recommendations.

    It is not that hard. I have seen plenty of people (black or white or whatever) who are in elite institutions and don’t have any special academic brilliance. What they do have is the ability to do well in tests and a gift for BSing.

    And it’s simply bizarre that you characterize me as having drunk the kool-aid. My position is based on a rather deep familiarity with academia, and quite a bit of general cynicism about academic achievement. You seem to think it takes a great deal more brilliance than I think it takes.

    I have looked at Obama very cold-bloodedly, nearly from the start. I have no illusions about his personality or his intentions. I have never said he’s an intellectual or academic genius, or great orator, or anything other than smart in a politically strategic and manipulative way, and very intelligent about those things plus how to get power, win elections, and make people think he’s exactly what they’re looking for, whatever it may be. It’s a great skill, to make people believe in you and trust you, and it’s very difficult to learn if a person doesn’t have an aptitude for it. Obama has an aptitude for all these things. He is also one of the most calculated people I’ve ever seen.

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About Me

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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NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

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