February 9th, 2018

Principled liberal

This is the way I remember liberals thinking long ago. Not all of them, of course; but a lot more of them compared to these days, when statements like these from liberals have become awfully scarce [hat tip: Powerline]:

Garrow has also written a biography of Obama. It’s very long; about 1000 pages, and so I very much doubt I’ll read it. He talks about it here, and in my opinion displays a curious naivete about Obama’s early character in politics, despite the fact that he probably knows more than anyone on earth about him:

I’d be curious to know how Garrow treats the Alice Palmer incident in his book. For me, that was the key to Obama’s cold and ruthless character, and it seemed odd to me that not only was it ignored by the left, but also by the right. Another telling moment for me was Obama’s Rev. Wright speech in which he used his grandmother as an example of a racist, something I called “one of the single most revoltingly self-serving statements I’ve ever heard in a speech.”

Trump has certainly provided us with many revolting moments since. But at least everyone on both sides agrees that he’s ruthless and insulting. In contrast, Obama was thought to be a real nice guy, which puzzled me because he’d demonstrated that this was just not true.

25 Responses to “Principled liberal”

  1. Mark Says:

    The Rev Wright speech was a turning point for me regarding Obama. I was not going to vote for him, but had no particular dislike for him up till then. He made the speech just after I finished reading Dreams From My Father (a book many purchased but apparently few read) so I knew he was lying about Rev Wright and was appalled with what he did using his grandmother, who comes across more positively in the book than anyone else in his family. From that point on I had no respect for him.

  2. Dave Says:

    Democrats are like addicts who are deeply addicted to the crack cocaine of identity politics after they have greatly benefitted from it, getting a black Muslim commie into the white by guilt tripping many white people into voting for him as a way to atone America’s sinful history

  3. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Garrow is one of the few liberals who will actually answer Tuckers questions.

  4. parker Says:

    bho is 100% knave and 50% fool.

  5. AesopFan Says:

    I was neutral about Obama in the beginning (like many, I welcomed the candidacy of a black American), but even the little information that surfaced about him turned me away.
    He was demonstrably a jerk, and I have seen nothing to change that opinion, merely added: knave, liar, and arguably traitor (or close enough for government work).

    Read Dreams, just finished the review of Garrow’s book (from PL’s “10 best books” list). Despite its depth and length, however, even Garrow couldn’t get Obama’s grades released.


    “But the revelations about Jager are just the most sensational of innumerable new and often fascinating details Garrow reveals. He interviewed more than a thousand of Obama’s friends and colleagues, and Obama himself for eight hours, and unearthed documents from every stage of the president’s life: his undergraduate poetry and his law school exams, an unpublished policy manuscript he co-wrote, his evaluations as a professor at the University of Chicago, his annual tax payments to the IRS, an opposition-research dossier from his 2004 U.S. Senate primary campaign, letters he wrote to his most serious girlfriends and even the diaries they kept of their years with him, including frank (though not lurid) accounts of sex. What’s more, Garrow’s meticulous reconstructions of Obama’s formative years in Chicago organizing and of his political education as a state senator are unparalleled. It’s a stunning and indispensable work of history.”

  6. huxley Says:

    I wanted to believe Obama was a black Democrat who was off my radar but otherwise a decent enough fellow like Mondale or something.

    In early 2008, when I read about Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright in the same week, I realized Obama was a radical leftist posing as a typical Democrat. I couldn’t imagine he could be elected.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    And the principled liberals had no interest whatsoever in the danger Obama posed.

  7. FOAF Says:

    “I realized Obama was a radical leftist posing as a typical Democrat.”

    It was before Obama, though not long before Obama, when I realized that the Michael Moore wing had taken over the party and now radical leftists were the “typical Democrat”. Which is why I stopped voting for Democrats, especially because party leaders who should have known better went along with it for political reasons. The Obama candidacy and Presidency only confirmed this for me.

  8. blert Says:

    I’ve MET his grandmother… with Barry.

    She was a harridan of the first water.

    A walking nightmare.

    Barry LOVED to tick her off… passive aggressive in the extreme.

    She was as quiet as a Drill Instructor waking up the ‘girls.’

    NOT a whole lot of love between those two.


    BTW, the Black bum she was referencing was a mentally ill dude that REFUSED to bathe. He haunted downtown Honolulu — and was such a PEST that EVERYONE talked about him.

    He (legally) could no longer be kept off the streets, so the police department actually dedicated an elderly ( soon to retire ) police Lieutenant — just to police the bum’s turf — really just to police HIM.

    Her concerns were ANYTHING but racist. The bum was a total creep. He’d impose himself within everyone’s personal space — especially elderly women — like his grandmother — to shake them down for ‘charity.’

    That’s how the bum made his way in the world.

    You could literally smell him ten-yards away… often before you saw him.

    So, Barry’s account couldn’t possibly be MORE wrong.

    [ I lived in her condo building and worked in the office building next to her bank. Hence her commute and mine almost perfectly overlapped. I just happened to commute hours before she did — stockbroker’s hours vs banker’s hours. ]

    So, there you have First Person testimony.

    You’ve got to love the Internet.

  9. Frog Says:

    I disagree that Trump is”ruthless”. Yes, he is insulting.
    But Barack Hussein insulted us all, by his lying and his moral corruption, which I have no doubt was also financially very beneficial. And Barack was much more ruthless in creating the harm from which this country may never recover.

  10. CapnRusty Says:

    When our conversations are dictated by political correctness, anyone speaking the truth will be deemed “insulting.”

    When we are engaged in a battle for the life of our nation, with an enemy that will never give up, we must be “ruthless.”

  11. F Says:

    I have seen reliable (and believable) reports that BHO floated his first candidacy for the White House thinking, just as Bill Clinton apparently did years earlier, that it was just to get his name out there and serve as prep for another run four years later, when he would be older, more seasoned, and better known. Then his candidacy took off, probably fueled in part by white guilt and certainly by the fact that he looks good and speaks well, and he decided to push all his chips onto the table and make a serious run for the office, especially when John McCain was nominated by the GOP.

    My earliest memory of BHO was four years earlier, when I was visiting Illinois for a week just at the same time Jack Ryan’s sealed divorce papers were published by the Chicago Tribune. I didn’t know Obama, but my reaction was that Obama’s campaign was behind the unsealing of those papers, which lead to Ryan’s withdrawal from the race. It was the Chicago way, and Obama had learned from some of the best even though he was not originally from Chicago.

    I would obviously learn in later years just how much of Chicago hardball politics Obama had absorbed, and continues to practice, with his support for groups like OFA and BLM. We have not seen the last of him, and I fully expect what we see in the future will be similarly unsavory.

  12. neo-neocon Says:


    When I call Trump “ruthless,” I’m speaking of his entire life rather than his political life. Before he became president I read not just a lot of articles about him, but a lot of older articles, plus a ton of interviews with him, and a biography. “Ruthlessness” is often a quality of successful businessmen in his particular field. It also—up to a point, and not past that point—is a quality politicians need to have and is not necessarily a negative. Past that point (violating the Constitution, etc.) it is negative.

  13. Irv Says:

    There are so many less pejorative words that can describe his actions rather than ‘ruthlessness’ but those words are never used with Trump because of the constant accusations of the democrats and the mainstream media. With them the louder and more often you say the same thing the more true it is. How sad to fall into their trap that way.

  14. neo-neocon Says:


    I agree somewhat with you and disagree somewhat with you. I’ve heard that theory before about Obama’s 2008 run and I very much disagree with it. His ego is such that he believed he would win, and he certainly went into it intending to win.

    Yes, the Jack Ryan thing indicated he knew how to do Chicago politics. But that wasn’t something he picked up because he was in Chicago. He had a knack for being cutthroat from the start, as indicated by his techniques against Alice Palmer as well as his behavior in many other respects way way back. I believe he chose Chicago because it was copacetic with the gifts and skills he already possessed and with which he was simpatico.

    This is a really good summary of my opinion of Obama in that respect. One of the episodes a lot of people don’t know about is this:

    Take the matter of Emil Jones. If you want to learn a lot about the sort of operator Obama was back in his early political days in Chicago, you’d do well to read this, which also goes into the way that Emil Jones greased the skids for Obama by handing him legislation on a silver platter, and how angry Obama got when anyone suggested he hadn’t accomplished this on his own. And that article I just linked was written by an Obama admirer; I can only imagine what detractors would have written. This information was in the public domain prior to the 2008 election; wonder why so few people have heard of this stuff?…

    …during Obama’s first run for office years later, Obama pulled a really nasty but very effective power move on Jones’ favored candidate, Alice Palmer, and won. This (as I read in more detail in another article that unfortunately I can’t seem to locate right now) really impressed Jones and made him realize that Obama was no soft law school prof but one of the more hardened and ruthless pols around, even though he was just beginning in the trade. The Alice Palmer gambit was what I call Obama’s Godfather move, and Jones understood that he was in the presence of a man with certain gifts: the ability to look like a nice guy and yet who had no reluctance to mow people down, even former friends and mentors, when he needed to do so to get ahead.

    There’s much much more in that post of mine.

  15. TommyJay Says:

    I don’t understand how it is possible that no one has ever unearthed any of 0bama’s academic records. No, no … trust us, he’s a genius!

    The early 0bama is telling. His mother’s nickname was Anarchist Annie. I presume an anarchist of the Bakunin, Blanqui, Proudhon stripe. He spent much of his youth at Frank Marshall Davis’ knee, a closet member of the Communist Party USA. He attended a whole series of courses at Saul Alinski’s school, and later returned as an instructor. Alinsky spent his formative years learning from Frank Nitti, an assassin for the Al Capone mob.

    No wonder 0bama pardoned a number of nonviolent drug offender’s who were convicted of being felons carrying or discharging firearms at a drug deal meet. I guess they only want to disarm law abiding citizens.

    Does the GOPe have any kind of opo research effort that’s not directed at other GOP interlopers?

  16. neo-neocon Says:


    Yes, I remember your tale of Obama and grandma. I also wrote about the real story of his grandmother’s supposed racism, based on a combination of what Obama wrote in his book, what others reported, and what Obama then said in his Rev. Wright speech, and how Obama had distorted the truth. But I can’t seem to find that post now. But I seem to recall that his grandfather was the one who originally characterized the grandmother’s reaction as racist.

  17. Mike K Says:

    I did some research on Obama in 2008 and this is what I found in February 2008.

    I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

    “He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.’”

    “Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

    “Barack Obama.”

    Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

    It was there for anyone who looked.

    I will probably read that biography. Robert Caro is also a liberal Democrat and his biography of Johnson is riveting. My wife and I have listened to the audioboook driving more than once.

    My own opinion is that America was changed by Johnson and the past will be difficult to recover.

    Obama gave us Trump.

    I hope Caro lives long enough to finish his LBJ bio.

  18. Yankee Says:

    Mr. Obama struck me as cold and aloof, and after learning more of his early life, that is less surprising. In some respects, he had a pretty crummy childhood, not really wanted by either of his parents. He seems like a solitary figure, wanting greatness for himself.

    I did see President Obama very briefly in person, when he drove by in his motorcade, waving to the crowd, when he came to Portland, Maine in 2010. A former co-worker once met Bill Clinton, and she described him as tall, very good-looking, and very charismatic in person, a really likeable guy.

  19. Ira Says:

    Assuming for the sake of argument that the signature challenges were handled honestly and appropriately, I have no problem with the Alice Palmer incident.

    On the other hand, Obama has been ruthless AND dishonest.

    Call Trump ruthless if you want (I disagree), but as to honesty, I find him to be pretty much a straight shooter.

  20. neo-neocon Says:


    I have no legal problem with it.

    But it was an act that showed Obama’s character: cold and ruthless. Particularly towards Palmer. He knocked all his opponents out of the running through legal challenges in the very first race he ever ran. He had a habit of doing that (knocking them out of the race, that is), later on with Ryan and Hull. See this and this.

    And meanwhile, Obama was thought to be the nicest guy.

  21. AesopFan Says:

    “And meanwhile, Obama was thought to be the nicest guy.”

    But Brutus is an honorable man…

  22. Dennis Says:

    The big thing that sticks in my mind about Obama was when at a debate, I think in response to some criticism by Clinton, he scratched the right side of his face (the side towards the camera) with his middle finger extended. A minor thing, but so puerile for a man his age that I was shocked. The second example was his appearance on a stage bedecked with Grecian columns. The third was facing away from the flag and refusing to place his hand over his heart. He was a man who would never be seasoned enough to be President of a free country.

  23. Ymar Sakar Says:

    (like many, I welcomed the candidacy of a black American)


    That’s like Joseph Smith welcoming in all the Free Masons he met.

    In 2007, I started compiling my research around why I thought CW 2 was inevitable. I had already figured out it was by then. Presidential elections were merely selections, not elections.

    People underestimate the Leftist alliance at their peril. When the Left bashed their heads in on the ground and concrete, they can no longer say I didn’t warn them.

    For Trum, people got bashed in the head for an entirely different reason.

    As for Trum being ruthless, if he really was ruthess he would have purged DC by getting rid of all the Obamabots and replacing it with clan loyalists and allies. Trum did not do so, and he grabbed a whole bunch of Goldman Sachs boys and CEOs for his admin board.

    Being ruthless as a real estate mogul and gambler, is very different from the ruthlessness practiced in war or in DC.

    P.S. Demoncrats being traitors was well known even before and after CW1. Just look up that Gris guy’s tombstone.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Ymar sakar:

    I only meant that Trump is “ruthless” in the real estate mogul sense, NOT in the Stalin sense.

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Of course, but others aren’t exactly on the same page necessarily.

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

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