August 27th, 2014

Obama the aloof

Obama’s supporters seem surprised and perplexed at his growing isolation, even from them.

Or maybe, especially from them:

Nearly six years into his term, with his popularity at the lowest of his presidency, Mr. Obama appears remarkably distant from his own party on Capitol Hill, with his long neglect of would-be allies catching up to him.

In interviews, nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers and senior congressional aides suggested that Mr. Obama’s approach has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.

But what did they expect? Even before Obama’s first term, it was known that he had a famously cool style, few friends, and a history of being emotionally removed. His allies may not have done their homework on the character of the man they were electing, but his personality was no secret whatsoever.

One of the few people who knew him during his Harvard Law Review president days and was willing to speak out about it in 2008, Carol Platt Liebau, said [emphasis mine]:

I knew him reasonably well — as well as most people knew him, if not better — because quite in contrast to this image that Barack tries to project, as someone who is warm and all-embracing and all that kind of stuff,” Liebau said…

“Quite in contrast to this all-embracing kind of ‘earth father’ image — this sort of messianic blaze of glory with which he’s deemed to envelope our television screens — he was a pretty cold fish,” she said.

“He was not a warm person. He was not the type of person that gave you a warm and fuzzy [feeling]. And you got the sense that he even wasn’t even terribly fixated or focused on what he was doing.

Liebau also describe Obama as a guy “whose eyes were always looking over your shoulder to see if anyone more important is in the room” and that he was always looking for “bigger and better things.”

There was also this lengthy article that appeared in the NY Times in July of 2008. It featured Richard Epstein, who was a colleague at the University of Chicago Law School during Obama’s teaching days there.

Even the headline tells the tale: “Teaching Law, Testing Ideas, Obama Stood Slightly Apart.” Everything Epstein says about Obama dovetails nicely with what Liebau said, and what we know about Obama today. The operative word is “removed.”

It’s not that lots of people other than Liebau and Epstein were talking about what a warm and friendly man Obama was, either. They were not. They were talking about how brilliant he was, how “presidential” he seemed.

I will never understand those who perceived Obama as “likeable,” as anything other than a cold guy. And I don’t think his high likeability scores were merely a function of people giving him the benefit of the doubt because of his race; I know plenty of people who really, really liked him. I am better able to understand those who didn’t know he was a leftist (despite all the “tells”), or who thought him so very brilliant (despite his failure to demonstrate anything special in that regard), than those who thought him warm or friendly or engaged with people in the way we’ve grown used to in presidents such as LBJ and Clinton and George W. Bush. Obama’s demeanor has always seemed chilly, offputting, and angry to me, with a thin veneer of affability covering it up.

There was also no evidence whatsoever, pre-election, that Obama would be able to work effectively with people, and certainly none about his warmth or liking of people. The thing was, his supporters either imagined it was there when it was not, or somehow thought its lack wouldn’t matter. His brilliance would override everything.

Well, we’ve seen how that’s worked out.

70 Responses to “Obama the aloof”

  1. George Pal Says:

    Said it before, say it again – alien pod.

  2. Don Carlos Says:

    The issue for me is not what’s wrong with Baraq, but what’s wrong with the millions, our peers, our fellow voters.

  3. Rachelle Says:

    Obama’s “brilliance” is another myth supported by his personality cultists. More and more his supporters seem like Moonies or Hare Krishna types to me – - come to think of it, maybe many of them actually were in those groups at some time or other.

    What is disgusting is that the same people who lectured us for decades that we should value someone for his character rather than the color of his skin (with which I agree) suddenly wanted us to value (and vote for) Obama for the color of his skin and don’t (DON’T!) take a peek at his character.

    I never thought he was brilliant and from the outset I suspected he was a sociopathic leftist with less character than a frog living in a septic tank.

  4. parker Says:

    People who still see him as ‘dear leader’ remind us some will drink the suicide kool-aid. I have long thought bho is mentally ill and unbalanced. As someone noted previously the obsessive rounds of golf are a result of his desire to escape from the fact that his carefully crafted image is crumbling.

  5. KLSmith Says:

    I seem to recall reading an excerpt from a book about him by a NYT reporter that described how BO became engaged to MO. He kind of tossed the ring at her and asked her if that was what she was looking for. Romantic!
    I guess most of his likability points come from his big smile and the media always mentioning how likable he is.

  6. vanderleun Says:

    More and more he is standing revealed as the Oakland of Presidents: “There’s no there there.”

    Another image that always occurs to me is that of a chrome plated robot who has somehow managed to pull a suit of semi-black skin over its cold metal frame.

    ” That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

  7. Don Carlos Says:

    The black whose character withstands the highest degree of pressure without falling back on blackness in defensive response is a rare black indeed, IMO. It is a reflex that whites have never needed to develop. But the times they are achangin’; whites are under assault for whiteness as never before, and many are willing co-dependents.

  8. NeoConScum Says:

    I’ve been morbidly amused at this Dduuuuuuhhh recent discovery of The Infantile Majesty’s lack of warmth, lack of interest, lack of true American core beliefs, etc. Where, oh Whheerrrreeeee, have they f***ing been,’Yo??!!

    Legacy?? Really..?? Seriously..?? (*Thank You, Mark O’Meara.*) Legacy, my arse. How many Obama Shipwrecks can you name in 1-minute?? Just ONE Little Minute??

    Okay, here, I’ll start: Broadcasting American Weakness and Irresoluteness to Enemies and Friends alike. A Loathing of roll yer sleeves up and WORK as Head Exec. When all else fails, Play Golf. The Obama quote of the 6-years:”Show me the size of your balls and I’ll show you the depth of My Vast Testicular Concavity. Socialized Medicine with 100% NO Bi-Partisan Support. Lies, LIES, L*I*E*S… Malignant Narcissisim of a level rarely seen on planet Earth. (**Okay, that’s I-minute’s worth of Legacy.***)

  9. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    I have always felt that there is something quite Nasty about Mr. Obama. A lack of real caring about anyone but himself.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    Check out America’s aristocratic couples. Michelle and B O.

    W and H Clinton.

    Bernadine Do and W Ayers together at last.

    See any similarities?

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    As someone noted previously the obsessive rounds of golf are a result of his desire to escape from the fact that his carefully crafted image is crumbling.

    But he was doing this in 2008. Has his rate increased?

  12. Gringo Says:

    Most commenters here, myself included, were not fooled by the Obama tsunami of 2007-2008, for various reasons. How many of those who were swamped by the Obama tsunami will ever admit their mistake? The mistake is not Obama, but that so many of our fellow citizens fell for him.

    http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2008/01/obama.html

  13. Sharon W Says:

    I agree with Don Carlos and Gringo, the real mystery is how many of our fellow citizens were (are) fooled. Not the leftists, but the kool-aid drinkers who lapped up the MSM hatred of President Bush. BDS is an infection that still lies dormant in their systems, many otherwise nice people. Truly the useful idiots of our times.

  14. Gringo Says:

    Ymarsakar
    Bernadine Do and W Ayers together at last.

    Pray tell, when did Billy and Bernadine ever split up? To the best of my knowledge, they have been a couple for over 40 years.

  15. expat Says:

    Obama can give you a big smile, but there is never any warmth in his eyes. It’s all for show.

  16. GA Says:

    Of the non-leftist members of the fitty-two, how many can afford to admit they screwed up?
    We will presume they honestly wanted better things for the country and they voted for this….
    Can they just admit it to themselves? Be really hard. Admit to others? Also hard.
    Not only are they idiots, they are idiots it was no trouble to fool. They are idiots who colluded in their own IQ dump. How many people could admit that?
    So the defense will be that things are really going well–or would be except for the, say, Tea Party–Or that Romney was so obviously a worse choice who would have done worse things, or that you’re a racist hater.
    And without admission, can these fools learn not to be such suckers?

  17. Tonawanda Says:

    When the appropriate occasion arises (or arose), I ask (or asked) folks if they ever heard a genuinely witty or insightful thing out of Bill Clinton or BO. Have never gotten even a vague positive response.

    BC conveys geniality and BO does not, but what truly insightful or witty observation has either made?

    Many genuinely witty and insightful “liberals”/Leftists exist, no doubt.

    But their adorees BC and BO (to my knowledge) have never said anything publically which is not trite or unimaginative.

    Maybe their deep humanity is something they don’t like to show off because of modesty.

  18. mizpants Says:

    Exactly my sentiments, Tonawanda.JFK was the last Democratic president capable of verbal dexterity or wit. Clinton was intelligent, but apart from low political cunning, his only aptitude was wonkishness.

  19. M J R Says:

    vanderleun, 4:25 pm — “More and more he is standing revealed as the Oakland of Presidents: ‘There’s no there there.’”

    I have long perceived in The One, Chance “Chauncey” Gardner in the movie “Being There”.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_There,

    “Chance’s simple words, often due to confusion or stating the obvious, are often misunderstood as profound; [one benefactor] finds him direct and insightful, qualities which he admires. Chance’s simplistic utterances about gardens and the weather are interpreted as allegorical statements about business and the state of the economy.”

    And so on . . .

  20. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I’ve always been baffled by his success, also – half-African, raised part in Indonesia and in an upper-class enclave in Hawaii … how on earth could the African-American element see him truly as one of their own? He’s got as much in common with the Black-American mainstream experience as I do… possibly even less, since I served with AA military members, as commanders, senior enlisted, as friends, fellow-barracks-members, and co-workers.

    It’s heartbreaking to know that seemingly 90%+ of the AA community looked no farther than the color of his skin, in throwing their political and social support to him.

    I wonder if my next-door-neighbor, who is an AA lady of irreproachable virtue and ferociously middle-class standards – still supports him. She had an Obama tee-shirt, and for a while there was a Obama bumper-sticker on one of the cars. After Katrina, when she was working with her church to help resettle NO refugees, she unloaded on me about how hapless and awful they were.

    Her grandsons are good and hardworking kids. The oldest has held up a job at a local fast-food franchise, and now he is working at the local Walmart. We used to give him rides, when we saw him heading out for work. He is doing so well at it, that this spring, he was able to buy a car for himself. A nice modest, but totally new Mitsubishi Accord. He is a good kid, a sweet, hard-working, responsible and neighborly kid … he helped us move the vintage stove into the shed. No small work, for the darned thing weighed a good few hundred pounds.

    It breaks my heart that good kids like Nick are considered in the same bracket as low-life trash like Michael Brown.

  21. parker Says:

    I applaud your comment 7:32 comment Sgt. Mom. I too, as I imagine many at this blog do, know black families who are fine, responsible, and hard working people who in many ways are conservatives. They fell for bho based solely on the basis of skin tone and honeyed words. They were so proud that an AA was elected president. I can understand how symbolic bho’s elevation to the highest office in the land was for many people both black and white. It made them feel good if not righteous.

    The question for the AA community is what exactly has the messiah done to better the lot of blacks. By all measures the answer to that question is absolutely nothing.

  22. Eric Says:

    Sharon W,

    I think you’ve hit the target. Obama was elected more on the basis of anti-Bush. Pro-Obama was built on the platform of BDS.

    I’ve long maintained that setting the record straight on the Iraq mission and rehabilitating Bush’s legacy are the key to breaking the Dems’ core GOP-auto-worse pegging strategy. Accomplish that piece, which simultaneously exposes the Dems as historic level liars, even now 6 years after Bush, and you can break apart the rest of it.

  23. Don Carlos Says:

    Ahh, shoot.
    I told my responsible black acquaintances, after they voted Baraq in, that blacks should have worked to get the BEST black as the first black Pres. They all voted for him because he was black. They admit it. And even today, when they admit that he’s done a rotten job by their own standards, they stick with him.
    These are not stupid or immoral people. But they stick with Michael Brown and against the Ferguson cop, all of them. The usual, “You’ve never been black, so you can’t know.”
    My days of sounding them out are over. From now on it’ll be about weather.

  24. parker Says:

    Eric,

    There is no cure for the summer time blues and there is no cure for BDS except one, the demise of the msm. The msm is the ebola infecting 200,000,000 minds. Take down the msm and you can have your rehabilitation of Dubya’s image. Until that happens you are p*$$*#& up a rope.

  25. cjm Says:

    Ms Neocon, if you are not already familiar with it, check out Anonymous Conservative’s blog about r/K theory of human behavior. It will allow you to leave Plato’s cave…

  26. kjmontana Says:

    Sadly, all the information about Obama was out there early in 2008, long before the election. The connections to Ayers and Dorn, the phony land deal with Tony Rezko, the 20-year attendance at Jeremiah (Goddamn Amerika) Wright’s church, the lack of academic records, the mysterious trip to Pakistan as an 18-year old, the trashing of the Constitution, the belief in redistribution of wealth, the fact that both MO and BO surrendered their law licenses – ALL of it. The media poo-poo’d it (remember “Bill Ayers is just a guy in my neighborhood”?). Most of the people who voted for BO either refused to believe the evidence, or just voted for him because of skin color. My worst fear is that history will repeat itself and people will vote for Hillary because she’s female and totally disregard the fact that she has even more baggage and no more qualifications than Obama.

  27. NeoConScum Says:

    Anybody around here as tired as I at Entitlement? Victimhood? Gimmes? Self-Pity on a mass scale? Affirmative F***ing Action. 50-Years of The Great Society? Many, Many things for ‘nuthin except to us taxpayer/hard workers?

    ‘Yo?

  28. Francesca Says:

    I completely agree with your assessment that Obama is angry underneath his public persona.

  29. Gringo Says:

    Sgt. Mom

    … how on earth could the African-American element see him truly as one of their own? He’s got as much in common with the Black-American mainstream experience as I do… possibly even less, since I served with AA military members, as commanders, senior enlisted, as friends, fellow-barracks-members, and co-workers.

    In Dreams From My Father, Obama writes about his experience with Kyle, the teenage son of Ruby, a fellow organizer with Obama in Chicago of the 1980s.

    And I liked her son, Kyle Jr. He had just turned fourteen, and in all of his awkwardness-one moment frisky and bumping into me while we shot baskets together in the neighborhood park, the next instant bored and sullen-I could see all the contours of my own youthful struggles. Sometimes Ruby would question me about him, exasperated with a mediocre report card or a cut on his chin, baffled by a young man’s unruly mind.

    “Last week he said he was going to be a rap artist,” she would report. “Today he tells me he’s going to the Air Force Academy to be a fighter pilot. When I ask him why, he just says ‘So I can fly.’ Like I was stupid. I swear, Barack, sometimes I don’t know whether to hug him or beat his skinny behind.”…….

    Several years later, Kyle no longer has the dreams that he once had.

    And what about Kyle: How did one explain what he was going through? I leaned back in my chair, thinking about Ruby’s son. He had just turned sixteen; the two years since my arrival had given him several inches, added bulk, and the shadow above his upper lip, first efforts at a mustache. He was still polite to me, still willing to talk about the Bulls-this’d be the year Jordan took ’em to the finals, he said. But he was usually gone whenever I stopped by, or on his way out with his friends. Some nights, Ruby would call me at home just to talk about him, how she never knew where he was anymore, how his grades had continued to drop in school, how he hid things from her, the door to his room always closed.

    Don’t worry, I would tell her; I was a lot worse at Kyle’s age. I don’t think she believed that particular truth, but hearing the words seemed to make her feel better. One day I volunteered to sound Kyle out, inviting him to join me for a pick-up basketball game at the University of Chicago gym. He was quiet most of the ride up to Hyde Park, fending off questions with a grunt or a shrug. I asked him if he was still thinking about the air force, and he shook his head; he’d stay in Chicago, he said, find a job and get his own place. I asked him what had changed his mind. He said that the air force would never let a black man fly a plane.

    I looked at him crossly. “Who told you that mess?”

    Kyle shrugged. “Don’t need somebody to tell me that. Just is, that’s all.”

    “Man, that’s the wrong attitude. You can do whatever you want if you’re willing to work for it.”

    Kyle smirked and turned his head toward the window, his breath misting the glass. “Yeah, well…how many black pilots do you know?”

    The gym wasn’t crowded when we arrived, and we had to wait only one game before we got onto the court…..

    Barack Obma could give no reply to Kyle’s asking him “Yeah, well…how many black pilots do you know?” In this conversation, Barack Obama showed how woefully ignorant he was about our United States, and about the black experience in our United States. And by the 1970s, Black History Month was in full swing. Guess all that passed by Barry.

    Someone with a minimal knowledge of the history of our United States in the 20th century and about the black experience in our United States could have given the following answer to Kyle.

    “No, I don’t know any black air force pilots. Nor do I know any white air force pilots. But I do know that there have been black air force pilots since World War II. There are plenty of black generals and black officers, and blacks attending all the service academies. The armed forces were desegregated in 1947, and since then the armed forces have given blacks a fairer deal than nearly any other institution in our country. The only thing holding you back from becoming an air force officer are your grades, so that you can be admitted to the Air Force Academy or a ROTC program at a university. Once you are an air force officer, you will need to pass more tests to become a pilot. It isn’t easy- a lot of people wash out. But if you have the ability and work hard, you can do it.”

    I knew about black Air Force pilots before Barack Obama was born, courtesy of the father of one of my elementary school classmates, whom I found out decades later was one of the original Tuskegee airmen. Like many of his generation, he didn’t toot his own horn, so I didn’t find out until decades later that not only was he an Air Force pilot, he had a part in history as one of the Tuskegee airmen. In his old age, he got a fair amount of public recognition for his role in history. If you’re good, you don’t need to toot your own horn so much. I last saw him 5 years before he died.

    Granted, not everyone had a neighbor who was a Tuskegee airmen. In addition, I didn’t find THAT out for decades. But IIRC, by the 1970s, it was pretty common knowledge that there were plenty of black officers in all service branches, including pilots in the Air Force. It appears that Barack Obama had no idea about this, which once again shows how far removed Barack Obama is from the mainstream American experience- black or white.

    But then Barack Obama’s distance from mainstream America is something he has shown time and again.

  30. J.J. Says:

    Barack Obama is a clean, well-dressed, well-spoken (when on teleprompter), black man who has learned how to manipulate people with his appearance and blank slate persona. He has been able to work his way upward in society by recognizing that people look on the image he projects with favor. He has managed to present himself as a blank slate coupled with a lot of clichés and feel good sound bites. In many ways what he has been able to do is similar to what happens to a movie star with just enough acting talent, but a fabulous, winning appearance that attracts the adulation of multitudes of fans. To them, it’s the surface appearance that attracts them, not the actual ability of the star.

    As Obama moved ever higher on the totem pole, his lack of self esteem (coming from being abandoned by both mother and father) has morphed into a an overwhelming narcissism. He has, like many movie stars, begun to believe the press clippings. What’s more he has begun to believe that it’s his due. After all, at one time he was a sad, abandoned child raised by a demanding grandmother who upbraided him regularly. He feels he has suffered. (And he has – psychically) Therefore, he intends to make use of his main chance.

    He hoped his presidency would provide the opportunity for the world to begin to work the way he was told it should work in the leftist halls of academia. He loves giving speeches and believes that he can accomplish big things through oration. With no real talent for organizing or directing an organization like the Federal government, he has given a bunch of unelected czars power and responsibility to do the heavy lifting, while he does the politicking.

    Now, as the policies that he approved are not creating the utopia of hope and change he believed in, he has lost interest in the job, and because of his narcissism, he cannot admit that the policies stink. He intends to go through the motions and be a fierce fund-raiser and campaigner, but do not expect much of substance on the foreign policy or domestic front in the next 2.5 years.

    He already has his eye on the next main chance. He has bought a home in Rancho Mirage (they have a fabulous golf course). Golf and $250,000 a pop speeches lie in his future. He can write his memoirs – “Nightmares From My Mother’s Country” – and depict himself as the Man from La Mancha who bravely tilted at windmills (the eevil Republican House) that could not be defeated.

    Maybe I’m being too kind and naïve. Maybe he is a Manchurian Candidate, selected and groomed by a secret cabal to effect major damage on the country.

    As usual, we don’t quite know what to make of this man – except that we disagree strongly with his policies. His appearance and speeches do not sway us.

  31. parker Says:

    When you reside in the 57th state you are bound to be out of touch with main street America.

  32. parker Says:

    JJ,

    I differ slightly… bho thought the presidency would make the entire globe, all 6+ billion, recognize that he was the most beautiful of them all. Beyond that, he could care less about anything else. He is the supreme pathological narcissist.

  33. AmishDude Says:

    I seem to remember a story about 2009 that told of some liberals representing a charity meeting candidate Obama. (I’m probably butchering the details but go with me.) They mentioned the work they were doing and he was bored and disinterested. But when somebody mentioned getting at the rich, he was suddenly engaged.

    I think he’s got some incredible pent-up rage and a superhuman ability to suppress it.

  34. Boots Says:

    Lucky me, I got to meet Barack Obama at a parade back in 2004 when he was running for US Senate from Illinois.

    The job of a politician at a parade is to smile, shake hands, and say nice things to voters.

    Barack Obama was rude, dismissive, nasty. He clearly did not want to be there, and let everybody know it.

    I remember thinking, how on earth will this guy get elected to anything with this attitude? Silly me, bigger forces were at play than retail politics.

  35. trapeze Says:

    Remember the vintage SNL skit with “Toonces: The Cat Who Could Drive A Car?”

    In the skit there were always two or more adult humans who were convinced that a cat could drive a car and every single time the cat drove the car full of these “believers” over a cliff and the car would explode into flames.

    Welcome to the administration of President Toonces.

  36. NeoConScum Says:

    Funny little moment last night on Megan Kelly’s hour on Fox News. The very impressive and smart show hostess audibly gasped and didn’t hide her complete ‘Stunned’ reaction on-air to the news she’d just received that the hard working…errr…golfing president was spending Friday at a Demo Fund Raiser in Rhode Island. Yep, the world’s on fire and The Boy King needs to push through U.N. Carbon Bullshit without the 2nd Branch and fly to the forum where he can still get some applause. Wet Hole in the Ground, anyone??

  37. GA Says:

    WRT black pilots: Obama should have known. The Tuskegee Airmen saga has been shoved in everybody’s face–unlike that of the 442d RCT–for decades. And since the Sixties, black pilots have been unremarkable. You can’t not know. But it is frequently surprising to find how much zero doesn’t know.
    In the case of Kyle, it was an excuse. Even if Kyle had been instructed in the reality of the pilot situation, it would have made no difference. Kyle had been instructed that nothing he could do would make a difference (because racism) which, in a sense, is a relief. You don’t have to struggle. Thing about struggle is that only in Readers Digest does it pay off without fail.
    Additionally, that bit in the book seems to be one more accusation of racism against America, presuming nobody else who read it could think of how many black pilots there are. Poor Kyle, done down by The Man.

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    Pray tell, when did Billy and Bernadine ever split up?

    They almost got split up by the bomb they built to kill US soldiers and their family.

  39. Ymarsakar Says:

    As for Hussein O being clean, have you ever seen the amount of flies he attracts? That’s clean?

  40. Eric Says:

    parker: “There is no cure for the summer time blues and there is no cure for BDS except one, the demise of the msm. The msm is the ebola infecting 200,000,000 minds. Take down the msm and you can have your rehabilitation of Dubya’s image. Until that happens you are p*$$*#& up a rope.”

    The only way it will happen is to win the activist game, which the Right must win in order to reclaim American society in all facets, including electoral politics.

    Except for Sharon W, the speculation here of why ‘liberals’ have kept supporting Obama in 2008 and even more egregiously in 2012, despite clear evidence of his character, stubbornly overlook that their core value isn’t pro-Obama or pro-Dems, but rather anti-Bush and anti-GOP.

    ‘Othering’, an element of the pegging strategy, is the Dems chief political strategy. They vilify first and then build their affirmative case on top of the disqualification of their opponent.

    As I’m sure others here have experienced, because others here talk about it all the time, for many Dems, their affirmative political views are shallow and not nearly as adamant as their anti-GOP and BDS views.

    The GOP-auto-worse pegging strategy needs to be defeated and achieving that requires neutralizing its basic false premise of anti-GOP which in its current form is based on BDS, which in turn is based chiefly on the false narrative against OIF.

    The 1st step is defeating the Dems’ ‘othering’ and pegging strategy, which also casts the Dems as historic liars. The way to do that is setting the record straight on OIF and rehabilitating Bush’s legacy. Will it be easy? Of course not. It’s the activist game. It’s competition. But the only way to win back American society is to win the activist game. It’s the only way.

  41. Eric Says:

    Add: Said short, the Dems won by convincing many to vote against BDS/GOP more than to vote for Obama. So speculating on why people voted for Obama twice is skipping over the foundational premise of the Dems political strategy. The misdiagnosis in turn prevents proper prescription.

  42. Gringo Says:

    GA
    Kyle had been instructed that nothing he could do would make a difference (because racism) which, in a sense, is a relief. You don’t have to struggle. Thing about struggle is that only in Readers Digest does it pay off without fail.

    That reminds me of an anecdote from my time as a substitute teacher in a geometry class at a mostly black high school. One day we had a guest speaker, a college graduate of the Afro-American persuasion who managed a local retail store. He gave the class a pep talk- you can do it too, etc.

    One student asked the guest speaker about racism impeding the guest speaker’s advancement. The reply came back that while there was some, it was surmountable.

    It appeared to me that the hidden point behind the student’s question was that since there is racism, why try? I then considered this student’s work ethic. He was not a disruptive force- the class was pretty well behaved- but he didn’t work very hard.

    I thought to myself: Unfortunately, this geometry class as previously structured, does very little with proofs. By contrast, the high school geometry class I took required a lot of proofs.

    The construction of a geometry proof makes a very good thinking exercise. It requires sequential thinking, which can help not only in STEM courses, but in such professions as the law. If a student is adept at constructing geometry proofs, odds are that the student will do well in STEM courses. Companies will love to hire blacks who are STEM graduates.
    As I see it, it is lack of practice at geometric proofs – and thus lack of proficiency at same- has a much stronger influence on impeding the production of black STEM graduates than racism does. [I will not get into the "bigotry of low expectations" discussion.]

    I did not say that to the class, because I feared it could be misinterpreted.

  43. GA Says:

    Gringo. That’s a too-bad piece. But I am not sure the situation wrt your student could be overcome.
    Then there’s not knowing how the world works. My daughter had a black student who was not disruptive but did no work whatsoever, being cheerfully content with a string of zeros. Apparently not a lot of pressure on the home front, either.
    His point was that he didn’t need to know this stuff. He was going to go to Hollywood and be a celebrity manager. Not sure whom to blame, but I suspect we could dump a carload of it at his front porch for starters.
    But who would he blame when his dream fails before it gets started?

  44. Gringo Says:

    J.J.
    After all, at one time he was a sad, abandoned child raised by a demanding grandmother who upbraided him regularly.

    Seems to me that you have read blert’s comments about living in the same condo building in Honolulu as Obama’s “typical white” grandmother.

  45. Sharon W Says:

    Eric is right about the antipathy toward Bush, and for that matter Republicans in general. Neo has written about it many times. As for the Jews, our Jewish friends are wonderful people, highly educated, successful and almost exclusively NYT reading liberals. They wear it like a badge. During the worst of BDS and then leading up to the 2008 election, I spoke to a number of them, confronting the nonsense of Bush being stupid. Really? Better grades than Gore & Kerry. A pilot. Ran a business. When making the decision about stem cells, brought in highly regarded authorities for and against and sat in a room listening to them make their case and made a Solomon-like decision. (When have we ever seen anything remotely like that from a Clinton or Obama?) I would also point out that he supported many things that I as a conservative abhorred, policies they as liberals supposedly support. They would get pretty silent as I pressed in as to what rubric they are using to determine intelligence. No answers, no ability to defend their point of view. Truly the average democratic voting liberal is as shallow as this President when it comes to principles and reality.

  46. DNW Says:

    Don Carlos Says:
    August 27th, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    The issue for me is not what’s wrong with Baraq, but what’s wrong with the millions, our peers, our fellow voters.”

    Obama: elected by the Jim Jones Peoples Temple impulse-possessing kind. And therefore “fellow” in only the most purely formal sense.

    But, Obama would never take it to that point if his scam started falling apart. Would he?

  47. DNW Says:

    ” I would also point out that he supported many things that I as a conservative abhorred, policies they as liberals supposedly support. They would get pretty silent as I pressed in as to what rubric they are using to determine intelligence. No answers, no ability to defend their point of view. Truly the average democratic voting liberal is as shallow as this President when it comes to principles and reality.”

    Yeah, I’ve been trying the same thing for years and it doesn’t work. Experienced the same phenomenon; they stop talking and just stare blankly, as if they are operating on a different plane entirely, or from a radically different set of assumptions. You won’t get a stipulated metric or axiom or canon which can be discussed, because that would open the conversation to deductive analysis and a challenge of premisses.

    It’s as if they engage in “reasoning” as some kind of basically empty social nicety, one which fills a social ritual function rather than an intellectual one. When they find out you are actually trying to reason to a conclusion rather than adorning a vocalized urge with the trappings of logic (or whatever else has socially talismanic attributes), they stop communicating.

    I don’t know why I repeatedly react with surprise at this. Most of the literature on persuasion read by non-conservatives, stipulates that suasion is non-rational, and that rhetoric, like reason is merely a tool of appetite.

    Logic is a tool for evaluating the adequacy of claims; rhetoric, for persuading others to yield.

    Which is seen as prior, tells us something about the nature of the one who sees.

  48. J.J. Says:

    Gringo: “Seems to me that you have read blert’s comments about living in the same condo building in Honolulu as Obama’s “typical white” grandmother.”

    Yep.

  49. Ymarsakar Says:

    The only way it will happen is to win the activist game

    You are conveniently forgetting that Death in war is a total final and effective than any activist game.

  50. Ymarsakar Says:

    The “moderate” Democrats people see and talk to are zombies. They have zero individual judgment on the things the Left controls. Only when it comes to things in life that they need to do on their own, do they ever exemplify any kind of individual spark or motivation.

    They are pre programmed hard drives designed to delete any foreign or alien data cluster, constantly and always. Much of their IQ and intellect is spent doing so, hence the “blank stare”. That’s their HDs erasing themselves. What needs logick and judgment to decide, they aren’t allowed to have, hence the Blank Stares. They as zombies, obey the necromancer’s propaganda, so when you hit upon a point they weren’t told to respond with given the Left’s propaganda, you get the Zombie Stare.

    These are once humans who sold their souls to the Left, and all that remains is a HUSK devoid of any human intellect or imagination. They can live life alone, perhaps, just like a cat does, but no more. They may be around people and socialize with them, but at no higher level than a dog.

    That is the Left’s true power, mind control which produces an infinite legion of zombies.

  51. Ymarsakar Says:

    The Left often scorns Christians for being in some kind of 5000-10000 year creation data for the Earth. They say this is irrational and not logickal, not based upon science.

    Have you ever realized that the Left themselves and their zombies don’t even know how science is done? Ever? And there’s no way to convince them, any more than a Christian Fundamentalist can be convinced the Bible is Wrong. Convincing Leftists that their God is wrong or fallible… is the same difficulty level. One religion to another, but they pretend to be exempt and superior to religion.

  52. ConceptJunkie Says:

    > Except for Sharon W, the speculation here of why ‘liberals’ have kept supporting Obama in 2008 and even more egregiously in 2012, despite clear evidence of his character, stubbornly overlook that their core value isn’t pro-Obama or pro-Dems, but rather anti-Bush and anti-GOP.

    Liberals support Obama because he confirms all their biases. He tells them what they want to hear, and his skin color is gravy on top of that. They bought his narrative, and despite 6 years of horrible performance and clear incompetence, most of them are still buying it.

    One of my FB friends is a hotshot California lawyer with whom I share interests in music. He’s very intelligent and has a lot of cool stuff to say about music and food and other cultural stuff, and he’s a successful lawyer as I’ve said. No matter what, you have to have a certain amount of brains to get through law school and pass the bar, but when it comes to politics, he is one of the most LIVs I’ve ever seen and one of the worst debaters I’ve ever encountered. The contrast is baffling. He still insists today that Obama is doing a great job, and there are another 40% (give or take) of the electorate who feel roughly the same way. I cannot imagine what the President would have to do to shake the confidence of these people, but I have no doubt it would have to rival the worst of the 20th century dictatorships, and in all honestly, not even that would do it for a lot of them.

    When he was first elected I heard more than one seemingly-intelligent, seemingly-educated person bemoan the fact that he would be limited by the Constitution and would not be able to Do What It Takes to really fix the country.

    They were literally complaining that he wasn’t a dictator. That 21st century citizens of the United States would say something like this is enough to make one despair for all of humanity, and that’s no exaggeration.

    I don’t care if the President is the second coming of George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, King Solomon, Moses, Pope Leo XIII and King Louis IX, I would never suggest he or she be given that kind of power. Nor would such a leader desire it.

  53. Mary Says:

    This article, from July 2008, also accurately predicted what would occur from an Obama presidency: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/

  54. Artfldgr Says:

    putsch
    a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow a government

  55. Eric Says:

    ConceptJunkie: “Liberals support Obama because he confirms all their biases. He tells them what they want to hear, and his skin color is gravy on top of that. They bought his narrative …”

    I think this is where GOPers and the Right are drawn off track in the diagnosis. You start off right by identifying the source and center of gravity as “their biases” rather than Obama. But then you jump back to Obama with “his narrative” as the center of gravity.

    Identifying Obama, or any individual Dem, as the commanding source is a misdirection. Obama is just an avatar – a company sales rep. He is not the center of gravity. He is not the source. Focusing on him or any individual, eg, an electoral contest, as the whole contest is no more effective than limiting battle to a head of the Hydra. The center of gravity is the Left activist social movement.

    Criticizing Obama and his record is logical and necessary because he is President. However, at the same time, posts and discussion threads like this attempt to diagnosis the larger social political phenomenon. Centering on Obama misses the mark.

    The seemingly irrational support for Obama flows from their rationalization of something else, not Obama. The diagnosis and derived prescription, while factoring the President, need to center on that something else in order to compete effectively in the activist game.

  56. Eric Says:

    Ymarsakar: “You are conveniently forgetting that Death in war is a total final and effective than any activist game.”

    War is just politics by other means and activism is just war by political means.

  57. Ackler Says:

    ConceptJunkie’s comments allude to a topic worth exploring in regards to views and outlooks on Obama’s personality and success.

    African Americans are, largely without a doubt, the most loyal, and most categorical supporters of Obama of almost any demographic delineated by pollsters. However, African Americans have been loyal and categorical supporters of every Democratic President since JFK. And yet, every Democrat president post-Kennedy saw his approval rating plummet into the mid-30’s or below at some point during his administration. Not so, Obama. His numbers simply do not dip below 40 (in multiple polls for any extended period of time). The fact that blacks support him even more enthusiastically than they did Clinton, Carter or LBJ is not enough to explain this discrepancy.

    However, there is another group which is almost as categorical in their support of Obama as are African Americans; indeed, this “demographic” is fiercely defensive and deliberately unreflective about his actual performance; they are most adept at filtering out any type of criticism or any doubt as to his brilliance, benevolence and effectiveness. I used air-quotes, because to the loose group of people of which I speak is rarely measured or considered as a demographic. I refer to people who share all (or maybe all but one) of the following seven characteristics:

    1. College educated (possessing at least a baccalaureate; often graduate education as well).

    · Noteworthy, while there may be some variance, their educational background is disproportionately in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences.

    2. Middle or upper-middle class in income and in socio-cultural inclinations (I am not referring to limousine liberals, do-gooder CEOs, Hollywood celebrities, etc. Nor am I referring to old school blue collar workers, whatever their household income).
    3. White collar; while they may hold any profession, disproportionately they are teachers (K-12), college professors, school administrators (K-College), librarians, lawyers, non-profit managers, or (and often) state or federal government employees in some professional/managerial capacity.

    · Noteworthy, most have never held a professional job in the private, for-profit, sector. Many have never held a job in this sector since high school or college, if it all. Some of the lawyers are the exception, but law firms are a very unique enterprise as far as measuring profit margins.

    4. No military service, with few exceptions. Indeed, they often have no family or close friends who served in the military.
    5. Secular (some may nominally attend church/synagogue, but largely out of habit or for the social aspect of attendance).
    6. Ethnically, while there is variance, they are overwhelmingly white, non-Hispanic.
    7. Family status is of wide variance, but the number who are either single or married/domestic partners but without children is much higher than the national average.

    Note that there is no geographical distinction. This demographic exists in significant numbers in every region, and in large cities, suburbs and small towns (though not too much in rural areas). They are, I think, least likely to be found in the South.

    Note also there is no age distinction. They are of any age from about 25 and above; although the older members are more likely to have military service (or at least be close to someone who had).

    Given the above characteristics, this demographic tends to be highly suspicious of corporations, or “big business” in general. They are inclined to believe any for-profit enterprise larger than a mom-and-pop operation is nefarious and must be curbed. They typically acknowledge governmental waste and blunders but always consider it the lesser of two evils. They will almost reflexive support any regulation that aims at curbing corporate malfeasance.

    This demographic is also highly suspicious of the military, carrying the military-industrial-complex metaphor to extreme degrees. Their views on the social impact of organized religion range from mild wariness to blatant hostility and mockery. Conversely, they tend to exalt “science” (or their conception of science) passionately, even though few have an educational background in the hard sciences or engineering.

    Most important for the topic at hand, a large portion of this demographic suffers from severe status anxiety and envy. Most of them are not extremely wealthy and not terribly influential or significant, even in their own professions. They are intelligent, competent, successful and comfortable; yet they aspire to so much more. Wealth, sure, but more importantly: power, influence and recognition. And if they will never have it, they want to see people like them (not another small minded Babbitt businessman or troglodyte general) get it and keep it.

    This demographic is, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly left of center (strenuous political debates occur, but largely between leftist, progressive/social democrat and liberal positions). Further, they tend to isolate themselves into the comfort of the political echo-chamber. There are exceptions, of course, but many of them are extremely uncomfortable having their beliefs challenged from the right. Indeed, as has been mentioned, their reaction is often little more than a blank stare. So rarely have they encountered a conservative/libertarian position first-hand, not presented ironically or something to be mocked and dismissed, that they are left dumbfounded.

    Nevertheless, many of this demographic had been apathetic to the Democratic Party and its Presidential nominees for years (a disproportionate number of them voted for Nader in 2000). But everything about Obama resonated with them on a visceral level. His educational and professional background, his mannerisms, his personality, his intellect (or what they perceived therein), his eloquence. He was one of them. This fact matters more than all else.

    I offer no empirical data to back up my assertions; just personal experience. I meet all seven of the above criteria and virtually everyone in my professional and personal life meets at least five of the seven. I am surrounded by liberals and leftists on a daily basis (and was a liberal myself for most of my life) and have been exposed to their thinking and reasoning for as long as I can remember. On matters political (in general) and Obama in particular, their arrogance, smugness, blind faith and capacity for self-delusion is utterly remarkable. Their refusal to engage with, or even listen to thoughtful criticism of the President is nearly absolute. Unless and until their faith is shaken, Obama’s approval will never go below 40% for any extended period of time.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  58. neo-neocon Says:

    ackler:

    Excellent description.

  59. Eric Says:

    Sharon W, DNW,

    Indeed, it’s characteristic that their rationalizations are nearly frictionless in their fluidity.

    Case in point is the whirring spinning on the fly reshaping historical narrative for the current state of foreign affairs. Logically, Bush would be vindicated and Obama and the Dems would be excoriated, but no. Instead, reading the news today, suddenly while retaining the BDS narrative, it’s the obstructionist Congress that’s been at fault all along for the foreign policy failures despite Obama’s best efforts. The flexible contortions are acrobatic.

    And that goes to the inadequacy of the view that a better GOP candidate – RINO vs true conservative, fighter vs dignified, etc – is the solution. While a better GOP candidate is always a desirable thing, the social political contest is less party candidate vs party candidate than social movement vs social movement, which right now, is lopsided because the Right still thinks in the restricted terms of electoral politics rather than total activist social movement.

    The challenge of the narrative contest of the activist game is finding a fixed point to anchor the rest of the narrative counter. Obama by himself is not that fixed point. Centering on Obama as the source of the larger social political phenomenon is like trying to grab hold of a hologram.

    I use the Iraq mission as the fixed point because, one, the Dems are all-in on the false narrative against OIF having relied on it heavily to win the Presidency. As much as they can spin and rationalize everything else, they’re committed to the false narrative against OIF. However two, the law and policy of OIF are plainly stated in primary sources that provide a sharp contrast to the false narrative. Three, the truth of OIF highlights both the fundamental lies the Dems adopted in order to sell BDS and, in light of current events, the real-world harms of their lies.

    It’s not enough by itself, of course, but perhaps, it’s compelling enough to anchor the rest of the narrative counter for the narrative contest for the popular zeitgeist in the activist game.

  60. Ackler Says:

    Thanks, neo. :-)

  61. Gringo Says:

    Ackler: very good description. A similar description comes from Assistant Village Idiot, who refers to them as the Arts & Humanities Tribe- though he later admits he would like a different name for them.
    Which would explain your stating that while the group you describe supports “science,” very few have any actual exposure to the hard sciences and engineering. After all, they’re the Arts & Humanities [& Soc"Sci"]Tribe, not the Science & Technology Tribe.

    One of AVI’s commenters calls the A&H Tribe the Functionally Innumerate Tribe. Maybe the “NoSTEM4me Tribe.” [STEM= science, technology, engineering, math]

    Like my parents, I am part of the Science and Technology Tribe.

    One irony about the A&H tribe is while they despised the Yellow Dog Democrats of the Jim Crow era, they are now Yellow Dog Democrats themselves. Guess there are Good Yellow Dog Democrats and there are Bad Yellow Dog Democrats.

    http://assistantvillageidiot.blogspot.com/2007/03/tribes-collection.html

  62. DNW Says:

    ” neo-neocon Says:
    August 28th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    ackler:

    Excellent description.

    Yeah, I almost imagine he has written his description while floating above get togethers where some of my sibs in-laws have been present.

    Master’s degrees and doctoral work both husband and wife; jobs in either school districts or colleges, the “Our family have always been ‘educators’” line of patter, big Obama supporters … push push push in social situations until they either get you to spout their line back to them, or become so affronted by one’s refusal to do so – even a tactful demurrer is enough – that they ….

    And the “competitiveness” factor mentioned is also resonates.

    The couple I have in mind was quite pleasant in mixed family social settings at first, and all seemed very relaxed. The depth and intensity of their political feelings was not appreciated, and they seemed apart from career choices, to be socially similar.

    And of course everybody chooses their own focus in life, right? Just because X likes hunting and the out of doors or has a sailboat and puts resources into those things, it doesn’t mean that Y is obligated or expected to share the same goals or outlets.

    Gradually however, remarks were let slip about how they – let’s call them “the Lundquists” were catching-up to the – we’ll call them the “Carpenters” – cottage for cottage, Fla condo for condo, family circle professional degree for professional degree … as if anyone was keeping, had ever thought to, or would want to, keep track in the first place.

    After all: who really gives a damn how your sister’s in-laws, or your daughter’s in-laws amuse themselves; as long as they keep their noses clean?

    Well, before long it was less a matter of them “letting slip”, than a kind of wearisome on-going comparison which appeared to have a vague social justice theme in back of it.

    Apparently, it is important that “educators” have what business people have jot for jot, tittle for tittle, and that everyone be reminded how important this is.

    And – you must also be made aware in order to appreciate – how gratifying, and how secure it is, to be part of a socially underwritten system of doing good, one uniquely populated by enlightened and socially aware types; one wherein a well-deserved immunity from economic downturns is to be expected and deserved. How unfortunate, then, not everyone had the foresight and elevated moral qualities required to become public school teachers.

    Eventually, it dawns on you that we lousy free market types are being relentlessly assessed and evaluated: for IQ, for income, for social standing, for proper political attitude, for comparative life worthiness, every – bloody – moment – you are in contact with them.

    Is that America?

    It all got to be a bit much for the paterfamilias of the “Carpenter” family, and he unburdened himself with some frank remarks on the current sociopolitical scene.

    As a result the ‘Lundquists”, uhhh, fell out of contact.

    Shrug …

  63. Ymarsakar Says:

    War is just politics by other means and activism is just war by political means.

    War and politics are two very different things. The American mentality has never paired war and politics together, because war was against an external enemy and all politics was domestic for a powerful nation like America.

    That’s why people continue to still think in political terms, even if they are attempting to steal the Left’s playbook. They are still refusing the war mentality, and that will lead to ultimate check mate and a win for the LEft.

  64. Ackler Says:

    Td for years (even before my own shift in socio-political outlook), it was really reading Neo’s early blog posts that clarified and crystallized much if it for me.

    In regard to the “demographic” I described, I do want to add two elaborations:

    First, the insularity. It really is amazing. I understood this a little even when on the left. In a social setting, among a relatively homogenized group, when conversation turned to politics, the tacit assumption everyone largely agreed was palpable. When a lone wolf expressed a conservative viewpoint, rarely did it ignite spirited, yet civil, debate. Occasionally it elicited outraged indignation and mockery, but only occasionally. Most often, silence. Confused, awkward silence. A restrained respect for alternative opinions? Ha! Usually, a genuine astonishment that anyone in “their” social circle could hold such a viewpoint.

    Second, the racial factor. I am uncomfortable discussing it, as a white male, but it cannot be ignored. Simply put, if Obama were white, everything else about him unchanged, I am sure this demographic would defer to him far less. The best comparison I can think of is Howard Dean in 2004. Dean was likewise beloved by this demographic. He seemed “one of them” on many levels. Had Dean become President, he would have received more deference than Clinton, or Gore, or Kerry. But, not nearly as much as Obama. Simply put, this demographic is so inculcated with “white* guilt”. They seem to honestly believe, consciously or subconsciously, that African Americans are entitled to almost categorical deference in their behavior.** As such, most passionately support affirmative action, uncritically support the “correct” view in the Zimmerman and Brown/Wilson controversies and refuse, stringently, to acknowledge even minute criticism of Obama The possibility that in so doing they are, even unintentionally, condescending to blacks, implying that the latter needs special consideration, is often utterly lost on them

    *As I mentioned, my experience is this demographic is overwhelmingly white, non-Hispanic. But the minorities among them are almost entirely Asian, East Indian and a few Latinos. The African American segment is minuscule.
    **This reality was best exemplified years ago, when I was still very much on the left. On the day of the OJ verdict, a professor of mine (who was white) announced, with only the thinnest of veneer, that it really didn’t matter what OJ actually did. He should have been declared innocent to, in some way, atone for the sins of the race of his victims against his race. If I were to pinpoint an event which first lit the spark of doubt in progressivism in my own mind, that would be it. hank you for the accolades everyone. But I should give credit where credit is due. While much of what I posted had been floating around in my disjointed min

  65. Ackler Says:

    I apologize for the previous post. It was jumbled due to me writing it in increments and my computer restarting to install updates in between. :-) Here’s what I meant to say:

    Thank you for the accolades everyone. But I should give credit where credit is due. While much of what I posted had been floating around in my disjointed mind for years (even before my own shift in socio-political outlook), it was really reading Neo’s early blog posts that clarified and crystallized much if it for me.

    In regard to the “demographic” I described, I do want to add two elaborations:

    First, the insularity. It really is amazing. I understood this a little even when on the left. In a social setting, among a relatively homogenized group, when conversation turned to politics, the tacit assumption everyone largely agreed was palpable. When a lone wolf expressed a conservative viewpoint, rarely did it ignite spirited, yet civil, debate. Occasionally it elicited outraged indignation and mockery, but only occasionally. Most often, silence. Confused, awkward silence. A restrained respect for alternative opinions? Ha! Usually, a genuine astonishment that anyone in “their” social circle could hold such a viewpoint.

    Second, the racial factor. I am uncomfortable discussing it, as a white male, but it cannot be ignored. Simply put, if Obama were white, everything else about him unchanged, I am sure this demographic would defer to him far less. The best comparison I can think of is Howard Dean in 2004. Dean was likewise beloved by this demographic. He seemed “one of them” on many levels. Had Dean become President, he would have received more deference than Clinton, or Gore, or Kerry. But, not nearly as much as Obama. Simply put, this demographic is so inculcated with “white* guilt”. They seem to honestly believe, consciously or subconsciously, that African Americans are entitled to almost categorical deference in their behavior.** As such, most passionately support affirmative action, uncritically support the “correct” view in the Zimmerman and Brown/Wilson controversies and refuse, stringently, to acknowledge even minute criticism of Obama The possibility that in so doing they are, even unintentionally, condescending to blacks, implying that the latter needs special consideration, is often utterly lost on them
    *As I mentioned, my experience is this demographic is overwhelmingly white, non-Hispanic. But the minorities among them are almost entirely Asian, East Indian and a few Latinos. The African American segment is minuscule.
    **This reality was best exemplified years ago, when I was still very much on the left. On the day of the OJ verdict, a professor of mine (who was white) announced, with only the thinnest of veneer, that it really didn’t matter what OJ actually did. He should have been declared innocent to, in some way, atone for the sins of the race of his victims against his race. If I were to pinpoint an event which first lit the spark of doubt in progressivism in my own mind, that would be it.

  66. Gringo Says:

    Ackler
    First, the insularity. It really is amazing.

    Yes, it is. In 2004, a cousin and his family were in my city on a business trip. We had dinner together. His wife, whom I have met maybe three times, sent me a Christmas card. There was nothing written about enjoying the dinner or about what they had been doing since the dinner. Instead, there was a political note: “I am so sad that Kerry lost.” Her assumption was that of course, like nearly everyone else she knew, I was a diehard Democrat.

    As I had last voted for a Demo Presidential candidate in 1976, gradually shifting from Independent to Pub, I found her assumptions about me to be rather amusing. I later sent my cousin and his wife a short letter outlining my political changes. Never got a reply.

  67. Ymarsakar Says:

    In a social setting, among a relatively homogenized group, when conversation turned to politics, the tacit assumption everyone largely agreed was palpable.

    It’s the same as being in a cult. People don’t notice this either because they’ve never been in a cult or never looked at the consequences to people being in a cult like Jim JOnes’.

  68. Eric Says:

    Ymarsakar: “That’s why people continue to still think in political terms, even if they are attempting to steal the Left’s playbook. They are still refusing the war mentality, and that will lead to ultimate check mate and a win for the LEft.”

    The competitive activist and war mentalities differ in degree, not kind, per setting.

  69. Ymarsakar Says:

    The competitive activist and war mentalities differ in degree, not kind, per setting.

    I don’t think the people saying that Revolution is impossible and winning a war is impossible, is thinking about winning a war via Life and Death.

    So while it may accelerate in degree, that’s not what people are doing. The Left will accelerate it. Everyone else will just debate until their head comes off, cause they aren’t ready. They won’t be ready until certain things trigger.

    So the people who are right now, here or there, talking about politics and reform as a way to stave off a war they think they won’t win… they’re going to somehow accelerate to the DEGREE of using lethal force later on when their back is against the wall and their assets have been destroyed?

    That’s more like desperation than strategic gamery.

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