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February 23, 2008

Comments

JM Hanes

Clarice:

I only wish I could say as much as they do as succinctly they do. In fact, if I didn't value their perspectives so much, I wouldn't have gone on so long trying to explain my own, alas. If I sounded like I was beating on anyone, I can only apologize for letting my intensity overcome my intentions.

centralcal

I have read and pondered JMH's posts. I don't have any problem with a "black" President who still bore scars of past wrongs -- but I would have a problem with someone who still nurses bitterness over those scars.

It is bitterness that worries me about Michelle Obama.

kim

And Obama, reared ostensibly without the bitterness, progresses by buying into it.
=========================

GMax

If there was any doubt about the NYT having the trick cigar blow up in their face, it is now gone out the door and down the street. Rasmussen has McCain up 2 -3% in the daily tracking polls that have been done since the NYT stick bomb backfires.

So the laws of unintended consequences continue. Think the NYT intended for McCain to raise a ton of cash by pointing out the smear that was done by the NYT? Or have put a chink in the inevitability of the movement of Obamania?

John should send them flowers and ask if they might do him one last favor and rescind their endorsement.

Rick Ballard

"It is bitterness that worries me about Michelle Obama."

The BHO & MO Act will be playing for years and years. Evaluate her schtick in comparison to the generation of race baiters and poverty pimps who are being pushed off the stage in order that she and BHO may shine and you'll feel better. It's kinda tough for either of them to generate the "I was there" anger of Jesse clinging to a bloody shirt.

When you're down to whining about not having had the scores that would have earned admission to an Ivy League you have to know that the game is just about up.

Carrying an open grudge because you recognize the fact that lib segregation isn't much different than Jim Crow isn't necessarily a bad thing. Who knows, perhaps she'll come to the conclusion that honestly insisting on a focus on advancement through merit would be healthier than staring fixedly at the past and whining about the lack of perfection in the present.

I'm not betting on it though. She and BHO are doing far too well with their act as currently produced to send the script off for rewrite.

kim

I love it. Here's Hillary: "Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care?"
========================

centralcal

Well said, Rick.

Now, I must go get ready for work.

boris

There's probably a reason they generally don't put victims of violent crime on juries. Explaining resentment and bitterness is one thing, pretending it's not there or dismissing it as irrelevant is the "hope" that worries me.

One observation is that the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, the party of white privilige is also now the party of minority entitlement and empowerment. They have been very successful at redirecting bitterness and resenment over the past onto others. Perhaps it's simply that party knows the intended marks better based on familiarity. The new marks may not be as blameworthy as the old white privilige marks but any pretension of moral superiority to non-marks of either stripe rings hollow.

My take on this issue dates back before civil rights.

anduril

I support a conflation of JMH and centralcal's views. Everything JMH wrote is true and deeply human, but so is centralcal's concern over bitterness. I will also add that the black take on "white" America is often hopelessly simplistic: whites are no more a monolithic block than are blacks or browns or yellows. The simplistic approach that Obama offers in his speeches is part of his appeal--but the simple solution is an illusion.

Hey, two good links:

The WSJ points out Obama's Finance Ploy:

"Barack Obama is promising to end partisanship in Washington, and here's a place to start: He could stop playing politics with the Federal Election Commission in a way that could hamper John McCain's campaign against, well, Mr. Obama."

And Ed Whelan points out more of McCain's self righteous wrongheadedness:

McCain's (Self-)Righteous Reflex

"The candidate swears off any use of signing statements expressing constitutional misgivings about provisions in statutes he might sign as president. Sign or veto—no third option, says McCain, who needs to take better advice. Clinton and Obama take more sensible positions, it seems.

"Fearless prediction: in a McCain administration, this position will be abandoned."

GMax

She and BHO are doing far too well with their act as currently produced to send the script off for rewrite.

With DEMOCRATS. Some of the least discerning folks on the planet.

I look at Calypso Louie Farakhan endorsement of Barack today and just shake my head. I know that even in the black community, this guy is held with much contempt.

With the exception of the NYT endorsement for a Republican, I can think of a single person who endorsement a Democrat would not rather have than that reprehensible character.

I think it could be interesting as I see the potential for Barack totally and completely dismantling the Democrat coalition.

For example, it one thing for Jews to vote in high numbers for a candidate who party harbors some pretty obvious anti-Semites, Rep Moran, Cynthia McKinney et al. Its quite another for your standard bearer to be a Palestinian sympathizer and longtime support who is enthusiastically endorsed by a unreconstructed bigot.

We have talked about the Hispanic vote previously, and it was drifting right before Barack comes along. He will not arrest the trend and could well accelerate it.

Old people are another of the coalition that would seem to quite unlikely to buy the Change Hope and Paisley Skies message.

And the one constituancy that Barack likely cements in, the Black vote, is the one that was the most reliable Democrat already. And the one that Democrats used all kinds of means to pump turnout in general elections for years. You have to wonder how much further expansion of this demographic remains.

So if students vote is unheard of here to fore numbers, he has indeed increased the coalition in one key area. I remain to be convinced that that happens, and think that by November the novelty and excitement will have left the building.

We shall see.

Appalled Moderate

I do have question -- when is the NYT really going to start taking some hits for the crummy journalism they are propagating here.

They don't have the story they would like us to think they do -- and claiming that McCain supported a "loophole", without defining, in some fahion, that loophole, makes the story real easy to attack.

It looks like the NYT is engaged in trying to sex-up some 10-year old stories in order to have the excuse of running them again. If that's the case, they have managed to make the stories less creditable, because the "sexing -up" is so thinly sourced that it looks like a smear. The NYT wuld have been better advised just to frankly retell the story as a long article in the New York Times magazine. The story would have been roundly ignored -- but, then, the actual ethics allegations against McCain are being lost in the controversy over the unfairness (which is something different than bias, by the way) of the NYT reporting.

kim

I expect, GMax, that by fall the bloom will be off the rose, unless supported in a hothouse, and lots of fertilizer.
=========================

sbw

JMH: You can't learn from history you don't know.

You can be hurt by history you don't know. It sets one up to be victimized by those who manufacture history for their own convenience. Those unprepared cannot defend against it.

Cosseted by their facebook lives, what actually happened yesterday may seem irrelevant, but lack of experience puts one at great risk when trying to project a sound path into the future.

glasater

JMH--You are absolutely correct in that for someone like me--having never lived in the south--will never understand that universe. But I can glean an inkling through your words and thinkiing and can appreciate what you say.

I'm more inclined to think of the economics of what BHO is espousing and that's what is frightening to me.
Why in the world Paul Volker is on board the BHO train is beyond me. Unless there is something more to the picture I'm not seeing.

GMax

Some of the least discerning folks on the planet.

I thought of this point after I posted. My exhibit A for this contention, one Susan Sarandon who gushed last week something like "I am for Barack Obama. I cant wait to hear what he stands for."

You cant make this stuff up, really.

MayBee

JMH- You are wonderful, a wonderful communicator, and I am always happy when I've read what you have to say.

I would never think of telling a Jew it's time to get over the holocaust, I wouldn't think of telling American blacks it's time to forget the past and move along.

How often do we need to tell American Japanese to get over the internment? (not that it was of the same intensity, I know that. But it was recent and hurtful).

There are powerful reasons that black culture is a defensive culture, and that's not easy to change just because the law is no longer an official instrument of oppression.
It's true, but what I'm trying to say- as Jane and sbw have done in better ways than I can- is that although there are good reasons for it, I don't think it is the healthiest way to move forward.
I grew up in MI, in a mid-size city that was well integrated. My schools were about 33% black. As I looked across the state to Detroit, I saw (and see) a city that had suffered through great racism, but that embraced the politics and mindset of victimization. I'm certain most people in that city have reason to remember the racism they have and do suffer, but the solution has been all wrong and created yet another set of problems.

BO has definitely tried to move away from that, I think. I don't know if his elite academic supporters have.

anduril

I know we've all been through this already, but Lawrence Auster has a useful and very succinct summary:

The man of curious father figures and mother figures

Barack Obama's father was a Kenyan Muslim who separated from Obama's mother when Obama was two and went back to Africa where he married other wives. He only saw Obama once again, when Obama was ten. Obama's next father was his mother's second husband, an Indonesian Muslim with whom Obama lived in Indonesia between the ages of six and ten, during which time he attended an Islamic school. When Obama was in high school in Hawaii his mentor was Frank Marshal Davis, a Communist who told Obama "not to forget his 'people' and not to 'start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that s**t." And on the first day of Obama's political career in 1995, when he was introduced by retiring Illinois state senator Alice Palmer to influential Chicago liberals as her chosen successor and gave his first political speech, the meeting took place at the Hyde Park home of the former (and to this day unrepentant) Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

This past should be very worrying to any thinking person. Few people are able to overcome or transcend their upbringing. It's clear from Obama's autobio that his upbringing was profoundly disturbing, even though he is a very talented man. There is no reason, based on his public record, to expect that he has overcome his past, any more than Bill Clinton was able to overcome his own upbringing in a dysfuctional family.

Philip Weiss is also succinct:

[Michelle] Obama's thesis and personal story show that feelings of racial exclusion/separation are wholly understandable when members of that race feel they are not full participants in society. But imagine if Michelle Obama were to express these attitudes now? Well, her husband's campaign would be over. I don't think many white voters would want to be represented by someone who felt alienated from the society and identified mostly with other blacks.

These feelings are deeply human and wholly understandable. But what we are trying to do right now is select a chief executive for this country who can represent the country as a whole. It would be folly to select someone who is deeply alienated from this country for that role--basing that selection on "the audacity of hope," rather than the wisdom of human experience.

hrtshpdbox

JMH, those were some extraordinary thoughts. Blacks, no matter who they are, can't help but feel residual bitterness. Whites, no matter who they are, can not thoroughly appreciate why that is, it is just not possible to understand the experience. The Al Sharptons of this world reinforce and accentuate that bitterness for the sake of politics. So far, although he's a classic muddle-headed lefty, I don't think Obama can be accused of using race like that.

boris

You can't learn from history you don't know.

A history that portrays Clarence and Condi as betrayers of their community is a revised and false history. No amount of "explaining" can undo the poisonous embrace of resentment and bitterness based on lies and directed politically. It really does not matter to me whether it is or is not as bad as historical racism. It's got to go.

clarice

Asia Times' brilliant columnist "Spengler" has an interesting analysis of Obama. He says we can tell a lot about him from the women in his life--his mother and wife--and what we can tell indicates his candidacy has frighting implications for this country:

[quote]Obama's choice of wife is a failsafe indicator of his own sentiments. Spouses do not necessarily share their likes, but they must have their hatreds in common. Obama imbibed this hatred with his mother's milk.

Michelle Obama speaks with greater warmth of her mother-in-law than of her husband. "She was kind of a dreamer, his mother," Michelle Obama was quoted in the January 25 Boston Globe. "She wanted the world to be open to her and her children. And as a result of her naivete, sometimes they lived on food stamps, because sometimes dreams don't pay the rent. But as a result of her naivete, Barack got to see the world like most of us don't in this country." How strong the ideological motivation must be of a mother to raise her children on the thin fair of government assistance in pursuit of a political agenda.

"Naivete" is a euphemism for Ann Dunham's motivation. Friends describe her as a "fellow traveler", that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice. Ann Dunham met and married the Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero. [snip]When Ann Dunham chose to follow Lolo Soetero to Indonesia in 1967, she brought the six-year-old Barack into the kitchen of anti-colonialist outrage, immediate following one of the worst episodes of civil violence in post-war history. [/quote]

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/JB26Aa01.html

clarice

I reject out of hand that it is impossible for one human being to understand the experiences of another absent identical race or gender or ethnicity. It is carperoo of the first oreder which would make all great literature and most of human history nothing more but a series of vignettes which could be taught and comprehended only in separate stations by different groups.

Each of us has experienced in his/her life some instances of unfairness--or perceived unfairness--and only people devoid of all imagination cannot build on those to understand what others have felt.

GMax

I grew up in MI, in a mid-size city that was well integrated. My schools were about 33% black.

Well the truth about Detroit is this from my perspective, having grown up in the first tier suburbs there. Detroit was doomed to a downward spiral from the day the riots broke out in 1967. It was an ugly display and fear had the same impact on whites as it does on blacks, and it was first hand not talked about in legends handed down generations.

Layer on that the school busing orders of that time period, which really never accomplished anything like desegration despite its supposed good intentions and the Whites simply voted with their feet.

Detroit today is somewhere around about 1/2 of the population that it was in the 60s. It is most certainly a FUBU place now, ( For us by Us ) and guess what - its still spiraling down.

The UAW had another big hand in the flushing of what was either the 4 or 5th largest city in the country. But that is another story.

I am so sorry for my high school pals who stayed. But man I am glad I got the hell out of there.

anduril

Agreed, boris. The experiences of Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice could be healing experiences for this country, if the race hustlers (black and white) would allow it.

anduril

There's a real pathology in a marriage like this, man and wife alike. I had an aunt and uncle a bit like MO and BHO, and it's not healthy:

Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record, to which I will return below. But Michelle Obama is a living witness. Her February 18 comment that she felt proud of her country for the first time caused a minor scandal, and was hastily qualified. But she meant it, and more. The video footage of her remarks shows eyes hooded with rage as she declares:

For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.

The desperation, frustration and disappointment visible on Michelle Obama's face are not new to the candidate's wife; as Steve Sailer, Rod Dreher and other commentators have noted, they were the theme of her undergraduate thesis, on the subject of "blackness" at Princeton University. No matter what the good intentions of Princeton, which founded her fortunes as a well-paid corporate lawyer, she wrote, "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong."

Never underestimate the influence of a wife who bitch-slaps her husband in public. Early in Obama's campaign, Michelle Obama could not restrain herself from belittling the senator. "I have some difficulty reconciling the two images I have of Barack Obama. There's Barack Obama the phenomenon. He's an amazing orator, Harvard Law Review, or whatever it was, law professor, best-selling author, Grammy winner. Pretty amazing, right? And then there's the Barack Obama that lives with me in my house, and that guy's a little less impressive," she told a fundraiser in February 2007.

"For some reason this guy still can't manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn't get stale, and his five-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported at the time, "She added that the TV version of Barack Obama sounded really interesting and that she'd like to meet him sometime." Her handlers have convinced her to be more tactful since then.

"Frustration" and "disappointment" have dogged Michelle Obama these past 20 years, despite her US$300,000 a year salary and corporate board memberships.

hrtshpdbox

"Each of us has experienced in his/her life some instances of unfairness--or perceived unfairness--and only people devoid of all imagination cannot build on those to understand what others have felt."
It doesn't matter how wonderful an imagination they possess, a white person is not going to completely and thoroughly be able to understand the black experience. I'm pretty sure that any black will tell you that, and I see no reason to disagree with them.

cathyf
There are powerful reasons that black culture is a defensive culture, and that's not easy to change just because the law is no longer an official instrument of oppression.
Maybe this will help -- I would explain it in terms of a silly story, instead.

I have 3 cats. And they are really bad cats. We joke that we don't have 3 cats, we have 1 cat, 1 dog, and 1 raccoon. The two boys (the "dog" and the "raccoon") are completely food motivated. You cannot turn your back on food for an instant, or they will grab it. If I pour a glass of milk, and turn and put the jug back in the fridge, I turn back and one of the boys already has his face in it. One night at dinner my son was talking, and the cat jumped on to his lap, and while the other three of us are all excitedly yelling "the cat! Ernie! Watch the cat!" Ernie grabbed the remains of my son's steak and headed up the stairs at a dead run. I finally found a (relatively) cat-proof kitchen trash can, so I don't usually come down to chewed-on garbage strewn about the kitchen, but I also don't leave anything too tempting in there, either -- it goes straight outside. But the most "charming" part of it is that the raccoon is a supermodel -- bulemia, you know. He gets into all these things (including jumping into the sink and licking the dirty water up) and then he pukes. The cats bought me a SpotBot for Christmas. The raccoon has this other problem where somehow he got it in his head that every horizontal plastic bag is meant to be used as a litter box. (We wonder if his previous owner didn't use enough kitty litter in the box.) So if I go shopping and drag in a bunch of bags, everything has to be unpacked and put away right away, or bags of stuff need to be hung from doornobs not left on the floor.

So what this means is that I go about my housework constantly on edge. And it doesn't stop when I'm somewhere else, like my mom's house. I'm instantly reacting whenever somebody turns their back on food, or leaves a door open, or I see a bag on the floor. And it doesn't even matter that I (hypothetically) have absolute power over my oppressors. I mean, the law gives me the right to take them to the vet and have the whole lot of them euthanized, after all! (She types, glaring meaningfully at the two dozing cats purring contentedly in her lap...)

Or another equally trivial story... We have a friend who drove a 1988 chevy cavalier up until a couple of years ago. Now for those of you familiar with the term "initial quality" the cavalier didn't have it. And it didn't improve with age. So our friend was always "driving ugly". This means that when he drove, he would be sitting straight upright, tense, waiting for something to break. (Well, also, because the seat was at kind of an odd angle after the bolts holding it down rusted through and he had it welded to the floor.) Even after he bought a new car, a car way better than the cavalier had ever been (he figured that if he was going to keep a car until it was old enough to drive, then he needed to get a carolla), for months he was still "driving ugly" with the new car.

Living with racism was a day-to-day, often minute-by-minute, life, and it permeated everything. Just because the law changes doesn't mean you can instantly give up those habits -- like just because you buy the carolla and have the cavalier towed to the dump doesn't mean that you can instantly give up driving ugly.

clarice

If I can't convey to you how I felt when as a child I read the sign on the hotel near our cabin which said,"No Jews or dogs allowed" or when in law school a professor who had unfairly given me a lower grade approached me, confessed that he'd marked me unfairly and said he couldn't imagine why and BTW why was I in law school anyway, then someone should remove all writing materials from me.

clarice

But cathy--don't those ordinary experiences make it possible for you to understand others' experiences?

And we all have dozens of them.

Jane

When is the next debate?

kim

I'd call it typing purrty with two dozen cats on your lap.
==================================

Pofarmer

As described in the introduction, it consists of "photographs and postcards taken as souvenirs at lynchings throughout America" and it fundamentally altered the historical lens through which I view race and politics in America.

Is that really a proper lense? Granted, it's a powerful one, but it's rather like veiwing your toenails with binoculars. How many lynchings were there in the South??? If I recall correctly, fewer than 100.

Why don't we look at abortion the same way?

souveneir pictures, before and after maybe, of the ultrasound and the dead baby. A movie would be even better.

anduril

Good comparison, Pofarmer. Interesting, too, that abortion is the liberal solution to the "black problem." Jesse Jackson once, before getting the message from the liberal plantation owners, once described the disproportionate effect of abortion on the black community.

Porchlight

Jane - next debate is tomorrow night, I think. In Cleveland, to be broadcast on NBC. Hillary's Last Stand.

GMax

In case you think I WAS just whistling outloud about potential problems for Obama with the Jewish voters:

On Sunday, Ralph Nader, announcing another run for president on NBC's "Meet the Press," was critical of Obama's strong support for Israel, saying Obama "was pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate."

Asked to react, the Obama campaign said, "Barack Obama's long-standing support for Israel's security is rooted in his belief that no civilians should have to live with the threat of terrorism."

The new issue of Newsweek features a story using a familiar expression for a headline, "Good for the Jews? Hillary Clinton's surrogates are questioning Obama's commitment to U.S.-Israeli relations."

MayBee


But cathy--don't those ordinary experiences make it possible for you to understand others' experiences?
And we all have dozens of them.

Yes. Exactly.

What I'm trying to say is, it is up to *you* to decide, when you get the new car, whether you are going to
a)keep driving ugly because that is what you are used to doing and for good reason
or
b)realize that continuing to drive ugly is just going to give you a crick in your neck

I'm not being dismissive. I know it isn't easy.
FWIW, I actually think Obama's politics are more along the lines of telling people they are in a new car now.

GMax

OT

The National Post has this up on the subject of Gorebal Warming:

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back.

GMax

Another poignant part of the article:

Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."

He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon.

The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased.

It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.

Rick Ballard

"I actually think Obama's politics are more along the lines of telling people they are in a new car now."

MayBee,

I tend to separate schtick and politics - BHO's politics are evidenced by his voting record and are very clear. He and MO are tag teaming HOPE and RESENTMENT as schtick and MO just drifted a little too far into RESENTMENT - watch her clamber back with a wink.

GMax

OT but the USA Today editorial today wants to lock the firewater up due to visiting Natives. Here is a snip of the meat:

While it's hard to come up with a precise price tag given the lack of specifics in many of their proposals, these plans are likely to cost the Treasury well into the hundreds of billions of dollars a year. The National Taxpayers Union, a conservative group that favors lower taxes and smaller government, gives a very rough estimate of $287 billion for Obama and $218 billion for Clinton.

How would the candidates pay for all these new programs without driving the deficit to new heights? Some have specific funding sources; some don't. The candidates rather vaguely claim that costs would be covered primarily by repealing President Bush's tax cuts and ending the Iraq war.

This is where the math gets fuzzy.

A rollback of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans could generate perhaps $75 billion next year. The Iraq war savings are much harder to figure. The war has been costing about $100 billion per year. But a Democratic president, once in office, might decide that national security demands a gradual withdrawal, or a redeployment to Afghanistan. Health care for Iraq war veterans will run into the billions for decades. It's unlikely that winding down the war will produce a large, quick peace dividend capable of supporting a host of new programs.

To make matters worse, any tax increases and military reductions might be needed just to cover the government's existing shortfalls caused principally by rising health care costs and the pending baby boomer retirement.

None of this seems to trouble the candidates. Clinton — who also promises to bring back the fiscal responsibility of her husband's administration, when the budget moved into surplus — and Obama present their ideas with a mix of inspirational rhetoric and populist anger.

To be sure, some kind of change is in order. The fiscal polices in Washington under a Republican Congress and a Republican president from 2001 to 2006 featured uncontrolled spending coupled with unaffordable tax cuts. And it's hard not to sense that something is wrong about the growing concentration of wealth and enormous pay packages for bad corporate managers.

It appears, however, that the Democrats have looked at the Bush administration's record and decided that responsibility is no match for the short-term political allure of gifts from the government.

For four decades, Democratic candidates have had to move to the center to have a chance of getting to the White House. But now, sensing a shift in the national mood, both candidates are reverting to liberal orthodoxy.

Perhaps the winner of the nomination will shift to the center somewhat in the general election. If not, the Democratic platform going into November could be one in which the voters are asked to suspend their disbeliefs and ignore fiscal realities. That would be — to paraphrase former president Bill Clinton — one big fairy tale.

Rick Ballard

GMax,

As Rich has pointed out - about half the dough spent on Iraq is payroll. How many soldiers get pink slipped in order to achieve the "defeat dividend"?

Someday, some pol will have the brains to point that about 90% of that $100 billion is actually spent here in the US. Kinda like the Marshall Plan.

GMax

Listen is the USA Today is off the reservation on this, and they are big time, what does that tell you about the scrutiny that all this will get when the general election campaign kicks in? This is a reliably liberal paper and they are not buying the pitch.

Sue

Gmax,

We better get busy. More man-made global warming is called for to offset this trend towards ice. I would rather live in the tropics, thank you.

MayBee

He and MO are tag teaming HOPE and RESENTMENT as schtick and MO just drifted a little too far into RESENTMENT - watch her clamber back with a wink.

That is my fear Rick, although not in regards to racial politics (which we somehow got into here).
I fear that policies will be adopted to help all kinds of victims. I saw it in his economic proposals. Victims that can't afford their mortgage payments anymore. Victims that aren't rich enough to itemize on their taxes to get their mortgage deductions. Victims that can't afford pre-school.

cathyf

But the problem with ghettoization combined with history only covering the politically correct victimology is that we don't have the tools of each others' stories.

My grandmother is descended from the English Catholics who fled to Maryland in the mid-1600's (where they were forbidden to practice their religion in public, and forbidden to hold any public office or serve in the military up until the Revolution) who migrated to Kentucky right after the Revolution, and then migrated to Chicago in the early 20th Century. As an adult, some of her closest friends were a Jewish couple where the husband grew up in Chicago. He had these great stories... One in particular was about how he had to go to the store. His mother had to go further and further away from home to find a store that would give them credit because of the unpaid bills, and then Sam would be sent to the far-off store. Then he would have to get himself home, a pre-teen Jewish boy walking down the Irish block, and the black block, and the Bohemian block, and the hillbilly block (where my grandmother lived), etc. He'd risk getting beat up, and more importantly, getting the groceries damaged in the battle. He relied on a quick tongue and an even faster run.

Michelle Obama graduated from Whitney Young High School, just a few miles away from the neighborhoods where Sam Goldstein had run the gauntlet with his groceries 3/4 of a century before. Michelle Obama graduated from high school the same year I did, and I have good friends who were her classmates, and I have an in-law who was a teacher at her high school when she was there. Whitney Young is a very large urban high school, which sits where 3 neighborhoods come together. In the late 70's (Michelle graduated in 1981), the neighborhoods were far more "ghetto" than today. Chinatown to the east, a large African-American ghetto the south west, and a large latino ghetto to the north west.

When Sam Goldstein told his stories of the rough ethnicly-segregated neighborhoods of early-20th century Chicago it was clear that, while they were divided up, they also saw themselves in each other. Sam knew that the Irish kids thinking of beating him up for daring to come onto their turf would have been trying to safely cross the black neighborhood a few days before. And the black kids who were thinking of beating up those Irish kids would be crossing Sam's Jewish neighborhood the next week.

Michelle went to Whitney Young with Chinese kids and Mexican kids who faced much of the same prejudice as blacks faced. We're talking personal experience here. Somehow she managed to not figure out that her "uniqueness" was, well, not so unique. Barack Obama spent his years from 10-18 in Hawaii, the one truly interracial place in America. (I can still hear that distinctive Hawaiian lilting accent asking about racism on the mainland, "Wow, man, how do you keep track of who you are supposed to hate and who you are supposed to love? It all sounds so complicated! Way too much work...")

Is these two couldn't figure out that there's a whole lot more oppression out there than just blacks-as-victims, then they are seriously flawed people. I mean even Jesse Jackson tried to build a Rainbow Coalition for awhile, and only does race-baiting to pay the bills. Unless, of course, the Obamas' race-baiting is to "pay the bills" too...

kim

Thanks, Gmax. Arctic ice is thicker and more extensive than this time last year. It prawly ain't gonna melt this summer.

We are cooling, folks. For how long, even I don't know.
===============================

bgates

It doesn't matter how wonderful an imagination they possess, a white person is not going to completely and thoroughly be able to understand the black experience. I'm pretty sure that any black will tell you that

Terrific. Ask 'any black' if they feel they have sufficient understanding of 'the police experience' to criticize a cop. Ask if they think they fully comprehend what it means to be Commander-in-Chief, and whether they see any problem deriding Bush.

Ask how they so fully understand you, that they are able to discern the absolute limits of your comprehension.

clarice

Cathy--exactly.
Why is Jane Austin so popular generation after generatiom? Not a soul lives today who lived when her characters did and yet we can fully grasp what she was writing about,understand her characters' dilemmas and cheer their resolution of the dilemmas they faced.

Pofarmer

The fiscal polices in Washington under a Republican Congress and a Republican president from 2001 to 2006 featured uncontrolled spending

Well, if you go to Heritage.org, you can figure out the problems pretty quickly. The problem isn't even Republican overspending. Discretionary spending isn't up all that much. The problem is the Mandatory spending that FDR saddled us with. Best case scenario, we become like Canada or Great Britain, where all of our monies go to supporting social programs and we don't have a dime for anything else. We could actually be there before 2050.

Wish I could post some graphs.

From

http://www.heritage.org/research/features/budgetchartbook/index.cfm

GMax

PO

That is so unhopeful of you. You must change your mind and allow your spirit to be unlifted. (And if dont we have some reeducation camps in the planning stages to deal with miscreants like yourself ).

Rick Ballard

GMax,

Not to worry - Worker Unit Pofarmer's indiscretions have been noted and he has already been assigned to the ANWAR Protection Battalion.

I think your catch on the USA Today piece indicates that Rendell's crayon on butcher paper warning concerning BHO's electability is being heeded. BHO Fever is beginning to break.

glasater

Pofarmer--What are you feeding your critters?

I just took a look at the grain markets and nearly choked!

Pofarmer

glasater

It's a challenge right now. We're scrounging hay and byproducts from over 100 miles away to try to keep feed costs down. Thank goodness for verticle feed mixer technology.

We do both grain and livestock, so it's a good thing, bad thing. Unfortunately, I'm afraid the good thing may yet turn into a bad thing.

If you really wanna scare yourself, you should price some fertilizer or seed.

PeterUK

"It doesn't matter how wonderful an imagination they possess, a white person is not going to completely and thoroughly be able to understand the black experience".

Seems to have airbrushed other non-white races and the disabled,as usual.

RichatUF

bgates-

It doesn't matter-you know, because it is the man...if the Obama Experience is about "Hope" and "Change" how is it that we are stuck discussing the vageries of race politics?

Also lots of good points on the thread, but whenever I think of victimization and "racism" I wonder why no one mentioned the African-American attacks against the South Korean community during the LA riot in 92 . If the "black community" doesn't want to be singled out as a group, maybe the place to start would be to stop acting as a self-conscious, self-segregating group. We see what happens-those that act as individuals and persue academic excellence and professional achievement-they are called Uncle Toms, oreos, and all manner of other ugliness.

I'm trying to find the Harvard study from the early to mid-90's that charted racial attitudes in the US and found that African-Americans were the most prejusticed from anti-semitism to anti-asian bigotry. I also recall that Wrechard had posted up some recent finding that under-cut a great deal of multi-culturalism [maybe middle of last year].

Also wanted to thank Anon for pointing out the official BHO campaign posters-interesting-though I think it maybe going a bit far to say that they are Maoist and "Cultural Revolution" in character. The "Change" poster with BHO in the center with an upturned nose and looking towards the sky [an interesting bit of body language], with storm clouds behind him, is creepy in a 1930's paranoid fiction sort of way and I could see why someone of Chinese ancestry may be put off [that and the font looks like some of the recent Chinese propagandists stuff].

Still trying to dig up some stuff and thumbing through some old dusty books because I am curious if there is some subtle selling of the message in his posters drawing in some themes from the Harlem Renaissance and "The New Negro Movement". The font [and curiously this is a big deal with some] in the posters is Gotham, a new font created for GQ Magazine in 99 or 00 [I've seen both dates]. Interesting bit of trivia...


Neo
The New Republic reports that the Washington bureau chief of the Times, Dean Baquet, played the key managerial role in pushing the story forward, against the skepticism of Times chief editor Bill Keller .. prior to becoming the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, Dean Baquet .. was deeply involved with and a key internal advocate of the late-breaking LA Times story during the 2003 California recall slamming Arnold Schwarzenegger. That story proved to be a major backfire, as Schwarzenegger not only survived but went on to a landslide victory, with most not buying the convenient late timing of the story.
Neo
The New Republic reports that the Washington bureau chief of the Times, Dean Baquet, played the key managerial role in pushing the story forward, against the skepticism of Times chief editor Bill Keller .. prior to becoming the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, Dean Baquet .. was deeply involved with and a key internal advocate of the late-breaking LA Times story during the 2003 California recall slamming Arnold Schwarzenegger. That story proved to be a major backfire, as Schwarzenegger not only survived but went on to a landslide victory, with most not buying the convenient late timing of the story.
clarice

RichUF,That is true in DC,too.The only persons willing to run those low margin/high labor convenience stores in the worst neighborhoods are Korean and they are much beset by the Black community. You should have seen the shock waves when Mayor Fenty put a Lorean woman in charge of the school system which had long been in Black hands. (She's terrific..and the Mayor has proven himself a good jusge in most of his appointments).

In DC the Black activists do not like Hispanics, Asians, Jews, whites gentrifying their neighborhoods. and so on. They now have no real allies because it is clear FUBU is code for graft, corruption, incompetence and high taxes( on everyone and every business not in the corrupt crony circle) and a really disastrous local govt.

clarice

**KOREAN***

GMax

Neo

Hmmm so splodeydope had field experience with exploding cigars yet confidently lit the match anyway? Add that to the fact that one of the 4 named reporters had been caught in a pay for play scandal where a Republican ( Mitch McConnell ) had been targeted by a far left group who funded the research.

Must be that there is only one political party around, that why they can only smear investigate ( ahem ) that one party.

clarice

I expect the Baquet connection is being blabbed by Keller pals.Keller is responsible and whatever Baquet did or didn't do to promote this story and the Arnold one seems a bit irrelevant. It's why Keller has the title and the pay. OTOH it looks like the NYT editors are proving as cohesive under fire as the Hillaryland crowd.

GMax

Well here is one that should make you laugh out loud, to paraphrase the great rocker Bob Seeger " Hell I've known that for 10 years."

Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

...

Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by the two major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

"A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity - as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population - as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state - as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

# creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
# satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
# augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
# rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

"The roots of liberalism - and its associated madness - can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "

kim

Also for filing under something I already knew; the Baquet story demonstrates that the NYT promotes those with an instinct for disinformation rather than a passion for information.
===========================

PeterUK

Yes but what about us Loreans?

RichatUF

GMax-

This is a reliably liberal paper and they are not buying the pitch.

Most of the honest pols know that US forces will be in Iraq at about 75k until 2012. RW thought that she could thread the needle-genuflect to her rapid left support and let the adults handle the policy. BHO has thrown a bit of a wrench into that, though I doubt that he would be foolish enough to actually go through with any type of "Surrender Now!" options [though his foreign policy staff gives me a pause].

In the coming years, the Iraq mission will decline in costs and Iraq will become more self-sufficent and begin expansion plans for their oil industry. The PM recently said that they have an expansion plan to 2012 which will increase production from about 2.3 mil/day to 6.0 mil/day. As McCain said, if US troops are being killed and the Iraq gov't wants them there, why leave?

The other part of the hand-wringing, VA medical costs, is more fear-factor than real. I hate to be goulish about it, but many WWII era and Korean War era soldiers are passing away and Iraq War vets aren't replacing them 1-to-1. In the next decade the VA is going to have to restructure because the number of veterans whom they provide servies to is going to get a lot smaller, even with the bulge of Iraq and Afghanistan War vets going on the rolls.

BHO's and RW's plans won't be funded with any mythical Iraq War savings and they probably cost more than advertised. The other stink bomb in the room is the AMT, which falls disproportinately on Dem constituencies. It is going to get fixed, which will also "cost" somewhere in the neighborhood of $75 billion [funny that, about as much as letting the Bush tax-cuts expire].

MayBee

http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2008/02/25/hoyt_keller.html>Here Jay Rosen approaches the NYT/McCain story with his usual insight.

RichatUF

if US troops are being killed and the Iraq gov't wants them there...

if US troops are NOT being killed and the Iraq gov't wants them there

Sue

http://www.gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/>Please stop doubting the Messiah. Another miracle!

bgates

I hate to be ghoulish about it, but many WWII era and Korean War era soldiers are passing away
Yes, the Greatest Generation was a great generation, but they're the latest generation to be a late generation.

Sue

http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/2008/02/code-pink-fatti.html?cid=104409070#comment-104409070>This is wrong in so many ways. I am trying to muster sympathy but it just ain't there.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

The DVA stats certainly support your contention concerning the WWII vets but take a look at the bottom of the page - they might restructure but they're not giving up a dime. The WWII vets are only about 12% of the total.

cathyf
Yes but what about us Loreans?
Well, just get in your time machine and go back to the future!
PeterUK

cathyF,

If you think I'm going to spoil it all by revealing who wins the election,no chance,remember the time traveler's First Directive - Cash only.

cathyf

As for the VA medical system, it looks to me like the vast majority of people that the VA takes care of are normal aged people, suffering the normal ravages of aging, who are claiming benefits based upon long-ago service. Yes, there are a few vets disabled by war wounds, but the vast majority are aged vets with cancer and heart disease and diabetes and all of the other chronic disabilities of aging.

People think of the VA as the organization that supports the guy who got his leg blown off in battle, or the guy who is a vegetable in a nursing home with the head wound from an IED. Yes, they certainly do that, but the costs of taking care of those few vets in with the service-related disabilities are dwarfed by the costs of taking care of the obese smokers who lost their legs to diabetes. As such, the demographics that matter to the VA in the foreseeable future are the aging baby boomers.

JM Hanes

MayBee:

"FWIW, I actually think Obama's politics are more along the lines of telling people they are in a new car now."

Which is really where I started. I just thought hearing Michelle Obama saying, "Gee, this really is a new car!" wasn't such a bad thing at all.

Topsecretk9
John McCain joined President Bush Monday in condemning Congress for its failure to renew legislation that would provide legal immunity for telecom companies that participate in warantless government wiretapping.

“[It’s] worse than embarrassing,” McCain said at a campaign event in Ohio, it’s “disgraceful” that Congress has not yet approved FISA renewal.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/25/mccain-on-fisa-congress-disgraceful/

Sue

Which is really where I started. I just thought hearing Michelle Obama saying, "Gee, this really is a new car!" wasn't such a bad thing at all.

I read her thesis the day it was released. I didn't see anything that bothered me. In the 80s, as part of affirmative action, she did have a chip on her shoulder. I don't know that I blame her. But that chip is still there, though slightly hidden for the election cycle. I don't know if I blame her for that either. I have never walked in a black person's shoes. I have never gone to the courthouse to research family history and found that my ancestors were listed in the cattle column as assets. That there is still a bitterness there is understandable, IMO.

My problem is how will that bitterness, understandable or not, play out in the highest office in the land? I hope I don't have to find out. I would prefer my first black president, or woman for that matter, be a republican. Republicans, black or female, seem to have overcome the bitterness or they are just able to work past it.

My 2 cents.

Larry

"...the fiscal responsibility of her husband's administration, when the budget moved into surplus..." Posted by: GMax | February 25, 2008 at 12:32 PM

The federal budget was last in surplus in the Ford administration. Federal debt during Clinton admin:

09/29/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86
09/30/1999 $5,656,270,901,615.43
09/30/1998 $5,526,193,008,897.62
09/30/1997 $5,413,146,011,397.34
09/30/1996 $5,224,810,939,135.73
09/29/1995 $4,973,982,900,709.39
09/30/1994 $4,692,749,910,013.32
09/30/1993 $4,411,488,883,139.38
09/30/1992 $4,064,620,655,521.66
SOURCE: BUREAU OF THE PUBLIC DEBT

"...uncontrolled spending coupled with unaffordable tax cuts." Posted by: GMax | February 25, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Federal revenue increased sharply after the '03 tax cuts, something like $300 billion.

Rick Ballard

Larry,

That was a long clip from USA Today that GMax quoted - not his own words.

No one expects USA Today to be conversant with actual facts.

Larry

I know. Just can't let the contentions themselves stand without correction, lest they become "common wisdom." No offense intended, GMax.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame