February 15, 2008

"Andrew, people my age are too young to remember Bill Clinton. All we have is George W. Bush. The office of the President to us is a mockery."

From from an email Andrew Sullivan published today. I hope the 21-year-old emailer has his hopes 'n' dreams fulfilled. Barack Obama is making him feel that the time is near when he will feel proud of his President, and: "Most people my age have never felt proud of our President." But I had to laugh at the idea that mocking the President began in the year 2001. Bill Clinton was not a figure of fun? The first Bush? Reagan? Carter? Ford? Nixon? LBJ? JFK? Eisenhower? That's as far back as I personally can remember. I won't say most people my age have never felt proud of our President. But I never have. And I don't think that's so terrible. Don't worship leaders. Let the mockery flow on. Even if a guy you like who seems pretty good makes it to the White House.

85 comments:

blogging cockroach said...

yes its going to be a laff riot when hillary is elected
and who would mock president obama...

either way the days of making fun of presidents will be over
you will either be a sexist or racist if you do
unless of course the unthinkable happens
and we get president mccain
except then it wouldnt be nice
to make fun of the old gentleman

Palladian said...

Tiresome. The President is a manager. One isn't proud of managers. One can be satisfied with them. One is proud of sons and daughters and friends. The President (except in a very few cases) is not your son or daughter or friend. It's hopemeisters like the tiresome Sullivan and the Obamalamas who keep pushing the embarrassing idea that the President can bring one hope and happiness and pride.

I think the need for Messianic Presidents began when people turned away from God and the church. You know, even if you don't believe in God or Christ or Buddha or Allah, I still think you're better off, and less apt to be disappointed, putting your faith and hope into an imaginary Supreme Being rather than a politician.

So many people are looking for a President that they can be excited about. I am looking for a President I can feel calm about.

XWL said...

Just caught a bit of one of the Pink Panther movies on TCM.

They had a Gerald Ford-a-like in the White House, complete with stumbles, bumbles, and a Wolverine helmet as a lampshade on a table next to his bed.

And is 21 really too young to remember Clinton?

I was aware of the Nixon ridicule, the Ford ridicule, the Carter ridicule, and the Reagan ridicule all throughout K-12, and I was 4 when the Watergate hearings were going on.

A 21 year old would have been 11 during Clinton's impeachment, seems like someone that age should have been plenty aware of what was going on.

But aside from that, the whole "a reader writes" scam that Sullivan perpetuates is such a joke.

Anybody could claim to be receiving emails from people that echo their own point of view.

As a matter of fact, I had a reader email me the other day ... (I quote)

"I am a friend of a friend of a friend of Sully's dog groomer, and according to her, these emails are totally fabricated. Sure, Sully receives some email, but he's too busy changing his mind to ever bother reading it, he works on the assumption that the 'truthiness' of the points he makes with these emails trumps all consideration of the actuality of the existence of these emailers. His belief (as characterized by the dog groomer), is that he's justified in making these emails up, as given the volume of email he receives, in all likelihood there is an email similar, if not identical, to the emails he constantly makes up."

I swear, I just got that email, the other day...

Revenant said...

Was anyone "proud" of Bill Clinton? The people who praise him usually just focus on how good things were during the latter 90s. Bill himself has always been a bit embarrassing -- too much of the horndog good ol' boy.

Bob said...

There can be moments when you are proud of your President. With Reagan, for example, his "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" speech was one of those times.

XWL said...

Speaking of Andrew Sullivan, and his new found adoration of The Obama . . .

Who wants to start a betting pool as to the day he becomes disillusioned with The Obama and begins to attack Him with the same fervor he now praises Him?

My money is on June 19th, 2008 (give or take 2 days).

Palladian said...

"And is 21 really too young to remember Clinton?"

I know, what a loser this 21 year old is. They would have been 12 during the last year of Clinton's presidency. Who isn't at least somewhat aware of the President when they're 12? I have strong memories of Ronald Reagan, from at least as far back as 81 or 82. I wasn't "proud" of him. Actually I was afraid of him. When he came on television I hid in the pantry because I thought that it meant that the world was about to end. To this day, I don't know where I got that notion. Perhaps from my grandmother, who hated every President except for FDR, Jefferson and George Washington, only one of whom she had personal memories.

Middle Class Guy said...

I do not remember being proud of or excited by a president in general. There were moments of great speeches, or events that captured the world where the president acted in a certain way that generated pride, but those were only monemnts in time.

With all the hooplah, we seem to forget these are ordinary people with assets and flaws who we expect to do a difficult job. Unfortunatley we have raised them to the level of celebrities and expect bread and circuses too.

Andy said...

I remember the 1980 election from when I was in elementary school- we had two actors dressed as Carter and Reagan who came in passing out peanuts and jellybeans as a way of teaching us about elections. (Was Anderson ever associated with a snack?)

I think that's probably why he doesn't remember Bill Clinton. Think of how enlightened the current generation of Hannah Montana-heads will be when they learn to associate Clinton, McCain, and Obama with foodstuffs.

George said...

The single most ridiculous comments about Obama come from the joint team of Barbara Ehrenreich and Andrew Sullivan...

"Obama is different, really different, and that in itself represents "change." A Kenyan-Kansan with roots in Indonesia and multiracial Hawaii, he seems to be the perfect answer to the bumper sticker that says, "I love you America, but isn't it time to start seeing other people?" As conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has written, Obama's election could mean the re-branding of America. An anti-war black president with an Arab-sounding name: See, we're not so bad after all, world!

So yes, there's a powerful emotional component to Obama-mania, and not just because he's a far more inspiring speaker than his rival. We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption. All of us, of whatever race, want a fresh start. That's what "change" means right now: Get us out of here!"

White people look to Obama for atonement? Redemption? Wha-?

Maxine Weiss said...

There won't be any mockery, on this blog, if I can't use the word Negro.

Elliott A said...

One can be proud of them at moments. Ronald Reagan interrupting the beginning of a face to face with Gorby to say, "First, let me tell you why we hate you." Gorbachev later said this was the defining moment which led him to trust Reagan. Believe it or not, George Bush. At the memorial at the National Cathedral after 9-11 with tears running down his face and his father placing his hand over his. No matter how inept he may have been in his presidency, I was proud that our leader cared, a lot. He truly represented us at that moment.

rhhardin said...

I remember being with grade-schoolers chanting Dewey Dewey Dewey in the playground while there apparently was an polling place inside the school, and somebody came out and told us to stop.

My early contact with social studies.

Fortunately Truman won and a protest was not needed.

That school today is gone, replaced by extremely upscale housing.

In fact my house is gone, replaced by extremely upscale housing.

When rich people move in, nothing remains.

Meade said...

My daughter was 11 in 1998. When she learned of President Clinton's sexual harassment of an intern and that of previous employees, and then of his lies to the grand jury, she asked me if I had voted for him. I told her I did. She was clearly disappointed but she didn't say she was ashamed of me. Still, I remember feeling a little ashamed that I had helped elect him to office. I certainly was not proud of myself for it.

Three years later, just before my father died, he told me that he was proud to have been my father and that I should be proud of the way I lived my life. Greatest gift and memory he could have left me.

titusvart said...

I was actually more proud of the US in the 90's than today-not necessarily the president.

I would meet people in school from other countries and always belittle them and say welcome to the superpower baby.

I don't feel that way today. I want to belittle foreigners again someday.

titusvart said...

By the way you spend quite a bit of time over at Andrew's house. You kind of likey him don't you?

Jim C. said...

Is Sully's correspondent really feeling pride in Obama? Or is this pride at all?

Sarah said...

I was 7 during most of the George H.W. Bush vs. Dukakis campaign, and I remember clearly that just after the inauguration, our teacher taught us how to say both "I hate broccoli" and "Read my lips, no new taxes" in Latin -- and we spent a LOT of time after that standing on top of the lunch tables shouting "Read my lips, no new broccoli" in both English and Latin, and laughing hysterically about it. Admittedly, it was a "highly gifted" program.

I don't really remember people making fun of President Reagan, but that all happened when I was basically in preschool, and even though my dad and I watched 60 Minutes together, that really wasn't their style.

My younger sister is 18 and she definitely remembers the Clintons. Maybe not the really silly fashion choices Mrs. Clinton was making in 1991-1993, but Monica and people protesting over the bombing of Iraq and the rest of the later stuff. And she (not the least bit interested in politics) remembers all the stuff with Janet Reno -- Waco, Elian Gonzalez, etc. 21 is too old to say you can't remember the Clintons, unless you're willing to admit that you were pretty seriously under-educated on social and political issues despite the current tenor of typical public school content.

newscaper said...

Speaking of presidential mockery, I remember gagging at all the retroactive praise the MSM gave Reagan upon his passing, when they generally despised him at the time.
Of course it was really damning with faint praise by trying to dismiss his appeal as being based merely on his "optimism" instead of his resonant ideas.

When the all the college age moonbats are frothing about Bush, I remember how back in the 80s they frothed over Reagan. Idiots like the Dead Kennedies were absolutely convinced that Reagan was going to have Ed Meese open up the concentration camps any day -- or at least they *acted* like it as part of their schtick.

newscaper said...

Speaking of liberal college student hysterics, also form the '80s I learned up close just how shallow and trendy their big causes were -- I remember how, in short order, the fads were "no nukes", "the homeless" and "divest now", movign on to the next big thing like lemmings.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Grover, Grover, it's all over! (1888)

And plenty before that.

MadisonMan said...

I was 12 -- almost 13 -- when Nixon resigned. There's not a whole lot I remember about it, other than he was obviously a crook, and that he got caught, and that there were people talking about it on TV all the time. Especially Uncle Walter on WFBG (I don't think it was WTAJ by then). LBJ I don't recall at all -- I mean I knew he was President, and I vaguely recall the HHH/RMN race, but only that it happened.

Steven said...

The Lewinsky story broke ten years and one month ago. The Senate acquitted Clinton on February 12th, 1999, almost exactly nine years ago. Clinton left office January 20th, 2001, less than a month more than seven years ago.

So, we have to believe that the letter writer, who was between the ages of 11 and 14 from the breaking of the Lewinsky story to the end of Clinton's term in office, somehow missed all the blue dress, cigar, and oral sex jokes that were being made at the time. That is, the sort of jokes that pubescent boys, fascinated both by sex and by shock value, would be repeating all over the place.

Uh-huh.

So, is Andrew Sullivan 1) making this letter up and doing a really bad job of it, 2) deliberately ignoring that it's utterly phony garbage because it slags Bush, or 3) being amazingly credulous?

Kit Pollard said...

XWL: June 19, 2008 will be my 4th wedding anniversary. I doubt I'll be paying much attention to AS's blog that day (or most others)...but it still might be a funny way to celebrate.

And Palladian: I think you and I might be around the same age (I'm 32). I remember, even when I was young, being full of respect for Reagan...but very, very scared. My sister is 23 (and, BTW, she remembers Clinton's presidency pretty clearly) - and when I talk to her about the very real fear the Cold War presented to elementary school students (especially those of us living within striking distance of DC), she has a hard time comprehending it.

Not to sound like an old lady...but these kids today, they have it so good.

Alan said...

"I think the need for Messianic Presidents began when people turned away from God and the church. You know, even if you don't believe in God or Christ or Buddha or Allah, I still think you're better off, and less apt to be disappointed, putting your faith and hope into an imaginary Supreme Being rather than a politician."

The messianic label put on Obama seems to come more from the Right. The same people who seem to have that God thing cornered. Those of us who like Obama see him as someone fresh and new. The Clintons have gone stale. And many in the country are just plain tired of Republicans. So the political pendulum is swinging left. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.

I don't know though, maybe Tom Delay's plan to take the country back for God will help. Gingrich seems to be on the same page with his book, Rediscovering God in America.

Holly said...

Sully? Credulous? No! You think?

titusvart said...

I get quite a bit of my 411 from cab drivers.

I love to talk to cab drivers. If they are hot I like doing them too.

Always they tell me times were better in the 90's as far as business.

Most always they liked Clinton and hate Bush. I never tell them one way or another my views, just ask them questions.

They tended to think the Lewinsky affair was ridiculous, especially considering that some of the leaders Delay, Gingrich, Livington were all having affairs themselves and you know they old saying straight men are only faithful as their options.

If they had the options of gay men they would be screwing everything in site.

It's because we are all men. Men want sex. Women don't allow men that opportunity whenever they want. Put two men together and you have quite a bit of sex.

Speaking of sex I am horny.

Bill Peschel said...

Didn't somebody say "Don't follow leaders / watch your parking meters"?

Nah, that's too silly.

Maxine Weiss said...

"The aisles leading to the exit were choked with a mad scramble. Some students fell to the floor and were stepped on, while others tried to hurdle the crush."

(How rude. Where are their manners?)

"It didn't even sound like I thought a gun would sound like," said Desiree Smith, a senior from Bolingbrook studying journalism. "It sounded like a cork coming out of a champagne bottle."

(Ms. Smith doesn't have a very empathetic way of describing tragic events.)

titusvart said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Palladian said...

"So the political pendulum is swinging left."

I don't think that's true. I think the political "pendulum" (I keep thinking The Pit and the Pendulum) doesn't swing "left" and "right", rather it swings "this one" and "that one". It's not that most people like anything that Obama believes, it's that he's different. People get tired of one or the other side and vote for the other side because it's "different". Obama seems to be successfully trading on that, and Hillary sees to be suffering from it.

PatCA said...

"Intellectually I understand why Americans love(d) Lincoln.."

Dude, keep reading that history--they hated him. They loved him only in retrospect, which is at it should be.

mschaff said...

Mr. Obama is going to end up a gigantic parody of nothingness unless he starts to talk substantively.

McCain's got a much better shot at winning than most folks believe.

paul a'barge said...

Wait. You mean some zit-ridden waste of flesh who has done nothing in his life aside from live off the largesse and efforts of his parents and whose claim to the right to occupy space in the current reality derives from his inherent slacker-ness has decided to mock the President of the United States?

Well, lah dee dah.

Good luck getting through the Bardos with that load of karma, you worthless sniveling little mutt.

Holly said...

I agree mschaff but I can understand why, at this point, people would think we're delusional for thinking that way. Check us again in August.

Maxine Weiss said...

Unless I'm allowed to use the word Negro, it's going to very unfunny around here.

Negro, negro negro Negro Negro
negro negro negro negro negro negro.

Negro and Negress.

NEGROES

(See how funny that is !)

Lawgiver said...

The office of the President a mockery? Reminds me of a travesty of a mockery of a sham, or maybe not.

Lawgiver said...

Thisshould be Obamas' theme song..

Inspektor Friedrich said...

I don't care what word you use, 'Maxine.' You are very unfunny, indeed.

And what was the point of your earlier comment, 'Maxine?'

That was a very read tragedy, and you're using it for its mock value.

God damn you, 'Maxine.'

I mean it.

God damn you to Hell.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Mr. Obama is going to end up a gigantic parody of nothingness unless he starts to talk substantively.

Read this.

smitty1e said...

Presidents, like all public figures, are the target of japes. Part of the territory.
While Republicans have frequently disappointed, in my memory it was Clinton who triggered real disgust (piling dishonor upon dishonor in his marriage) and Carter who bottomed out at total humiliation (Tehran hostages).
Based upon his lighter-than-air rhetoric, Obama seems to be more in the Carter vein.

Simon said...

I'm inclined to think that someone who actually meant that should think seriously about whether they have the necessary context to meaningfully exercise their right to vote. S/he should really consider sitting this one out until they grow up. If it's not a lie, that is. And if it's a lie, well, maybe they should think seriously about whether America benefits from them voting...

"I never have. And I don't think that's so terrible. Don't worship leaders. "

I've always thought it an unfortunate lapse on the part of America that it lacks a certain healthy level of contempt for politicians - for someone who grew up on political coverage in another country, the fawning relationship between the media and politicians here is really quite bizarre. It's as if the media doesn't get that politicians need the media a lot more than the media needs politicians - that, if the political class had to choose between the media and oxygen, they'd hold their breath. Where o where is Jeremy Paxman when he's needed...

Alan said...

Palladian,

People may not be turning left but many have resolved to the idea that the country will eventually have nationalized health insurance. Even Neal Boortz says it's inevitable. So why not now?

Same goes for energy independence, including less dependancy on oil. Obama is the only Democratic candidate that won't rule out nuclear energy. Many in the country are tired of the Middle East. They want to move on to electric powered vehicles. And frankly, no one trust the auto manufacturers to move forward from concept cars while the GOP is in power.

And people are beginning to distrust the GOP's attachment to laissez-faire economics when they see the banking system run amuck with loans and thus causing the credit crisis.

Yes, Obama represents something different. And people are ready for different. But they are concern with real, true life, issues. Not some emptiness inside that only a messianic character can fill. But judging from what the Right offers, it seems to have a bit more substance than God and family values.

Simon said...

Alan said...
"[M]any have resolved to the idea that the country will eventually have nationalized health insurance. Even Neal Boortz says it's inevitable. So why not now?"

Because it's a dreadful idea that will have catastrophic consequences for our economy, and even if it can't be put six feet under where it belongs, the longer it can be put off, the better. It really isn't an exaggeration to say that there are two kinds of people in America today: those who support nationalized healthcare, and those who are numerate. I honestly have no idea how someone with a grip on reality can read the numbers and be in both camps, and any politician that says otherwise immediately writes themselves off as either too brainless or too dishonest to merit a vote.

Alan said...

John Althouse Cohen,

That will only confuse people. They get their information from Rush and his parodies. All Obama offers is hope and change and change and hope. And if you dig further on Right wing sites it'll supposedly cost something like $850 billion. :)

Alan said...

Simon, get back to me when Europe suffers its impending economic collapse due to its healthcare system. The Right keeps telling me it's going to happen. I've been waiting a long long time.

rcocean said...

Why should we be energy independent?
I thought it was one global economy.
And when have the liberals ever been against 'globalization' and 'free Trade'.

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh lookie, it's John-John !!!!

Hi John !

Hey John, did you know?, .... there are some Creeps who are accessing your Flickr photos and Zooming way in, and can even close-up on your pores!!!

Do you mind if people zoom way in like that?

I figured you don't mind, because there is a function, on Flickr, which disables the Zoom feature. You'd have utilized that by now, if you cared in the least, it seemed to me.

I know I'd feel very uncomfortable having people stare at my pores for hours on end.....

You know, I can tell a Person's whole life story by examing His pores, way up close, in Flickr photos.

I do have the ability. Pretty cool, huh? Just one of my many talents, you could say.

Love,
Maxine

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mschaff said...

"And frankly, no one trust the auto manufacturers to move forward from concept cars while the GOP is in power."


When Americans are ready to move on to alternatives, they will and the market will respond.

So far $3 a gallon gas isn't causing enough pain. I'd be in favor of a huge gas tax but that would be pissed away on pork by our illustrious politicians to buy votes.

Suffice it to say no party or industry will move until the price pain threshold is surpassed.

In the meantime, the conspracy theories are fun to read.

Palladian said...

"People may not be turning left but many have resolved to the idea that the country will eventually have nationalized health insurance. Even Neal Boortz says it's inevitable. So why not now?"

Inevitable. You make it sound like death. Which, of course, it will be, in a literal way, for many people. Socialism always fails, in one way or another.

"Same goes for energy independence, including less dependancy on oil. Obama is the only Democratic candidate that won't rule out nuclear energy. Many in the country are tired of the Middle East."

I agree with Obama on this point then. The sooner we can move our economy away from dependence on foreign oil the better. The electric car, however, is a completely unworkable fantasy.

Chip Ahoy said...

If memory serves, and it does, Reagan initially ran on a platform of the danger of turning over to Panama the canal like we agreed to by treaty. He made it sound like a disastrous thing to do. But we did it anyway and it wasn't disastrous. That and the monkey movies. We tots thought the Panama thing was mean and the monkey thing was funny. Didn't much care for him to be a president at that point. I still don't get the "tear down this wall" thing. Like Gorbachev was really going to get right on that. And yet, when those Germans came pouring over that wall I was deeply moved, but I attributed that to world events generally and to USSR going basically bankrupt. Maybe Star Wars program had something to do with that but I'm not certain. I'm embarrassed for the Right when their deification tendency shows.

Middle Class Guy said...

In re Maxine

When I was young, the preferred term was Negro. Then it was Black. Now it is African American, even though the only Afrcan Americans are those who are actually from Africa, and most people in Africa would not accept our Blacks, Negroes, or whatever, as authentic.

Gee, we should all be able to redefine ourselves every few years.

Alan said...

I'd buy and electric car tomorrow if one were available and at a reasonable price.

Ralph said...

If they had the options of gay men they would be screwing everything in site.
Which is one reason so many don't like gay men--that and the buggery stuff.

Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, the SNL of the late 60's, had a recurring skit with LBJ and Lady Bird in bed, often with other people. "It is with a heavy heart...that Ah ask you...to remove your football from my pajamas" is the only line I can remember. I don't remember seeing the actual LBJ on TV though. Nixon appeared in a recorded clip during the campaign(?) to say "Sock it to me," Goldi Hahn's catch phrase.

Maxine Weiss said...

John Althouse Cohen: It seems as though you are using the word 'intolerable'...

....when a better choice would be 'unbearable'.

I'm assuming you know the difference between intolerable and unbearable.

Ahem.

Also, with respect to the word 'provolone'---actually the 'e' is silent ala "Stallone". We don't pronounce the 'e' on 'Stallone' (Sylvester Stallone), and so neither do we pronounce it with 'provolone'.

Argue with with John ! C'mon let's get combative and confrontational ! You know you want to !

Do you like my exclamatories ?

Love,
Maxine

Simon said...

"Gee, we should all be able to redefine ourselves every few years."

At the heart of liberty is the right to slavishly adhere to someone else's concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Maxine Weiss said...

http://wordie.org/people/comments/jaltcoh

John: that's absolutely inaccurate.

Certain words in Italian have a silent 'e' on the end. In Italian, 'Linguine' is a completely different suffix than provolone, even though they both share a final 'e'. 'Provolone' follows the 'Stallone' pronunciation.

I know Italian, John. But, let's argue all the same !

Love,
Maxine

Ralph said...

The Chevy Volt is supposed to come out in 2010, but it won't be cheap. They think $35,000 minimum, because of the expensive batteries.
It is supposed to run 40 miles on batteries, then a small motor runs a generator to recharge the batteries, or you can plug it in for several hours.

Cedarford said...

"I love you America, but isn't it time to start seeing other people?" As conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has written, Obama's election could mean the re-branding of America. An anti-war black president with an Arab-sounding name: See, we're not so bad after all, world!

In his strange 5-year quest to tie all world issues to the lack of both gay marriage and lack of opportunity of "seeing other people", which is gay shorthand for the thrill of the promiscuous to anally bareback with "strange, uncut meat"....Andrew has become quite the middle-age Queen Limey.

As for minorities proving "rebranding", the Soviet Union, by Sullivan's standards, shouted out Russia's rebranding. The Jewish Bolsheviks, from a minority that was less than 3% of the population, had a majority in the Central Committee in 1922. They also stepped up and had leadership positions in the Red Terror apparatus in the CHeka, NKVD, Gulag ministries. Yagoda and Kaganovich were death list specialists!

If that wasn't enough minority audacity of hope, a Pole, Iron Felixs, ran the KGB, then Lavrenty Beria, a Georgian Azeri! And the Big guy that took over the Frontman job was an ethnic Georgian, Josef Stalin.

What a great blossoming of multiculti values that was! Russians and Georgians and Jews together! Killing Ukranians, Cossacks, Tatars, Lithuanians, Moslems, and any people associated with the Russian Orthodox faith.

Soviets, proud of their diversity, proclaiming to the world: "See, we're not so bad after all, world!"

Joe said...

How is Obama promising to give money away change? Sorry, that's called pandering.

And where are the democratic calls for Obama to explain how he's going to pay for his largess?

Let me say once again for all of you too dense to realize it; Obama is a die-hard socialist. (I can't stand Billary, but that duo is downright moderate compared to this clown.)

Gary Rosen said...

Hey C-fudd, you crying in your beer that your idol Mughniyah got offed? Now tell everybody how much "heart and courage" he had to blow up the Jewish community center in Buenos Aries. Own up, don't lie and deny it like a weasel.

"I'm a veteran and conservative Republican". Sure, lot's of honorable veterans suck off the thugs who blew up the Marine barracks. C-fudd is a proven liar, no reason to believe anything he says.

Crimso said...

"Many in the country are tired of the Middle East. They want to move on to electric powered vehicles."

Do some research on how much of our oil comes from the ME. Then look at what proportion of the oil consumed by Europe and Japan comes from the ME. Then look at the combined navies of Europe and Japan vs. the US. Indeed. Let us disengage from the ME. Let Japan protect their own oil supplies. Of course, the last time they did resulted in some unpleasantness, but at least we can HOPE they have CHANGEd their ways. My point being that these issues are never as simple as people HOPE they are.

JAC: I can't think of a more effective anti-Obama message (at least to anyone who isn't naive or a Marxist) than exposing the substance that exists beneath the rhetoric.

Some Schmuck said...

Believe it or not, after the election in 1992, I saw a panel made up of comedians who were discussing how the election of Bill Clinton would be the death of political comedy because there would be nothing left to make fun of.

I was amazed when I saw it and have since regretted not taping it. I don't recall if it was on C-Span or CNN.

It was absolutely flabbergasting.

I'm really expecting a similar discussion if Obama should win.

Revenant said...

They want to move on to electric powered vehicles.

It isn't that simple. If Europe and Japan's energy supply is threatened, the European and Japanese economies are threatened. That puts several trillion dollars per year of our economy on the chopping block, too, because we trade with Europe and Japan.

Even if the United States could somehow automagically stop using all petroleum tomorrow, we would still have to devote a lot of time and energy to keeping the Middle East in some semblance of order. The cost of not doing so would be too high to bear.

Sure, in an ideal world Europe and Japan would pull their weight. But in reality they don't, and we can't afford to be as feckless as they are.

And frankly, no one trust the auto manufacturers to move forward from concept cars while the GOP is in power.

That's idiotic. The reason automakers don't sell electric cars is that nobody except a tiny minority of wealthy environmentalists is interested in paying $40,000 for an electric car that performs like a $20,000 gas-powered model. The party in power has nothing to do with it, except inasmuch as the high corporate taxes Democrats tend to favor discourage all forms of technological innovation.

rhhardin said...

That was a very real tragedy, and you're using it for its mock value.

It's a media event. More of the same, is their goal.

LoafingOaf said...

I'm a bit older than Sullivan's emailer, and I totally agree with Althouse that we should not worship leaders. But I must say that Obama is the first candidate in my life who has a real shot at winning the White House whom I think is a really good person. I have many disagreements with him on policy as I don't subscribe to a lot of the "progressive" agenda. But Obama is a dude I think is good people. Where I disagree with him...well, we can fight it out after he's prez. But I want this dude to be prez.

Paul Zrimsek said...

There are lots and lots of countries out there where the GOP is not in power. Some of them make cars. What's stopping Alan from moving on to an electric-powered BMW, Peugeot, Saab, or Toyota?

Fen said...

Sullivan has written, Obama's election could mean the re-branding of America. An anti-war black president with an Arab-sounding name: See, we're not so bad after all, world!

There does appear to be this unhealthy desire by some on the Left for America to be "popular", to have the world "like" us. Its as of these people never got over the peer pressure of high school. Remember all the shallow people who jumped onto the we're Sorry, world petition?

I recall that right after 9-11, and after 8 years of Clinton charming the world [by backing the ICC, Kyoto etc], so many of our "friends" were claiming we had it coming that a Canadian writer felt compelled to defend us from them. And those are the people who's good opinion we seek? Its a chimera. Just a way for the powerless to influence with peer pressure: "We'll like you if you do what we want. You can be part of the hip/cool community if you'll sign these treaties".

And I can't recall the last time we were able to bank the "goodwill" of those "friends" into anything tangible.

/does anyone have a link to the Canadian piece? It talked about how much humanitarian support we give the world, how no one bothers to offer help to us when tornadoes and earthquakes flatten our towns. And warns the world to back off and quit poking us with a stick when we're down, because America will get through this and be stronger for it, and will remember those who mocked us in our tragedy. If you have it or can find it, please link, I would like to read it again.

Fen said...

Do some research on how much of our oil comes from the ME...My point being that these issues are never as simple as people HOPE they are.

Exactly. America could switch completely away from oil tomorrow and it wouldn't change the layout of the chessboard on the table [foreign policy]. Wild flucuations in the supply & price of oil would send the economies of Europe and the Pacific Rim into chaos, spiraling into economic recession, the depression, then anarchy. And then there would be China... moving forces into the ME to secure their energy needs.

Anyone who believes all that wouldn't cascade into America isn't looking at the big picture.

Although I agree that if the world despises us so much for being global cop, let them take up the burden instead and see how long they last.

Bob said...

Fen: /does anyone have a link to the Canadian piece?

The Americans by Gordon Sinclair.

Fen said...

Thanks Bob!

Bob said...

Fen: Thanks, Bob!

Happy to help. First time I heard Sinclair's speech was on Paul Harvey's noontime radio show, back in the early '70's when Nixon was imploding. We had the same pattern of leftist hate for the US coming in from all sides, and Paul Harvey was the closest thing to Rush that conservatives had. It's fun to remember those old days, and how similar they are to today.

former law student said...

Re JFK: My parents owned a copy of this satire: http://www.amazon.com/First-Family-Vol-1-2/dp/B00001ZT1M You can listen to part of it.

Republican anti-Grover slogan: Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? (Grover, a bachelor, had been one of several men who were fooling around with a widow who became pregnant. He accepted responsibility for her son.)
Democrat answer: Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!

Hundreds of GM EV1s were leased a decade ago as a prolonged experiment. They were made first with lead-acid batteries, then with NiMH. The lease price was somewhat arbitrarily set, based on a price of $33K-$44K that had little relation to production and development costs.

Maxine: southern Italians do not pronounce the e in provolone, etc. They also say Pro-zoo-toe for the ham, and Gab-a-gol for Capicolla. That doesn't make it right.

Bob said...

Former Law Student:Re JFK: My parents owned a copy of this satire.

Supposedly the night of the Kennedy Assassination, Lenny Bruce came out and did his stand-up routine on what a pity it was that Vaughn Meader's career was over, never mentioning the assassination.

Fen said...

Bob: Happy to help. First time I heard Sinclair's speech was on Paul Harvey's noontime radio show, back in the early '70's when Nixon was imploding.

I didn't even realize it was recycled. I first came across it in an editorial response to our "friends" across the world who were claiming we deserved 9-11.

We had the same pattern of leftist hate for the US coming in from all sides... It's fun to remember those old days, and how similar they are to today.

Yup. The more things change...

inmypajamas said...

former law student - My parents had the same album! I remember listening to it as a child and not having the slightest clue as to what it was about.

I have to say that I was proud of Reagan when he stood up to the Soviets and talked about "peace through strength". There was an almost equivalent degree of animosity towards him as now exists towards Bush but it was mostly limited to Washington elites and the media; the public generally liked Reagan.

In contrast, my memory is that Clinton was popular all around but he was ridiculed regularly. I remember a SNL skit with Clinton in the White House kitchen at 3:00 am ordering stacks of pizzas and desperately phoning around for advice on policy decisions (everyone tells him to get lost and he ends up consulting the pizza delivery guy). I bought several greeting cards that had less than flattering jokes about our Philanderer in Chief. I have to say that I was actually actively ashamed of him during the long months of dodging the truth of his affair with Lewinsky. As a nurse practitioner working in public health trying to prevent teenage pregnancy, I felt like a fool talking about responsible sexual behavior when the TV was recounting nightly our own President's irresponsible sexcapades.

You would think that access to YouTube would educate the younger generation that presidential mockery has been alive and well for much longer then their short lives.

Steven said...

Electric powertrains are inherently better suited for the high-urban-density, smaller/lighter-vehicle, highly-taxed-gasoline auto markets of Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe than they are for the U.S.

But electric powertrains are still sufficiently inferior to gasoline and diesel engines that, even in markets far more suited to them than the U.S., there are essentially no electrics on the road.

This is for a simple physical reason, which cannot be altered by any law or requlation; the useful energy density of a battery is vastly inferior to the useful energy density of liquid hydrocarbons.

If adequate batteries are invented (and remember, the high tech industry is working very hard on high energy density batteries for mobile electronics, so the auto industry could do literally nothing and the R&D would still get funded), the electric car will become viable. And it will of course make its first market inroads in Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe.

If and when electric cars are winning major marketshare in those places, then there will be some point in suggesting U.S. policy changes to encourage adoption of electric vehicles. Until then, you're trying to legislatively circumvent physical reality.

No, the logical approach, if you want a government mandate, is for flex-fuel vehicles. That's a practical technology that can be imposed for minimal cost, and creates the environment for direct competition with petroleum fuels from other types of hydrocarbons.

Fen said...

LoafingOaf: But I must say that Obama is the first candidate in my life who has a real shot at winning the White House whom I think is a really good person. I have many disagreements with him on policy as I don't subscribe to a lot of the "progressive" agenda. But Obama is a dude I think is good people.

Can you elaborate on that further? I'm not looking to fisk you, just curious what you mean by "really good person" and how Obama exemplifies that for you.

I don't see any record of Obama being a "uniter" in Congress, as Bush was with the Texas State Congress. And I don't see any fiery speeches in the congressional record re Iraq.

I HAVE seen his recent bill - putting the UN in charge of how much aid we give the world and deciding who it goes to. Also included is madatory compliance with the International Kangaroo Court and the Kyoto fraud [America has performed better than the signatories].

Bob said...

Fen: I didn't even realize it was recycled. I first came across it in an editorial response to our "friends" across the world who were claiming we deserved 9-11.

The Sinclair speech was indeed referenced after 9/11, but it's possible that you meant this speech, instead.

Thor's Dad said...

For the historically-challenged let's go back to Lincoln for some good old-time presidential mockery and vitriolic humor. (of course we could go back to Washington.) Go here:
http://www.lincolnarchives.us/

Look under "primary sources" for "political cartoons".

John Althouse Cohen said...

To respond to Maxine's various points (warning: this will be of interest to no one else):

- Yes, I know about the option in Flickr to view different sizes. I've chosen to set many of my public photos so anyone can see them at their original size. You can even get a giant reprint made and sent to you in the mail. I'm sure you've noticed (since you clearly scrutinize everything I post to the web, which is fine) that I have a couple thousand public photos, and some of them have thousands of views. So I'm clearly not averse to strangers looking at my photos. I'm always glad when people let me know they like my photos.

- I'm baffled about the "intolerable" quote. Is that supposed to be something I said?

- I don't know what that random pronunciation point has to do with anything, but I think the dictionaries back me up on that.

Ernest said...

In addition to Steven's excellent point about the energy insufficency of battery power, it should be noted that oil would be one of the world's most valuable resources if we never used another drop directly for energy purposes.
Plastics and the modern food industry are two examples that come to mind.

Simon said...

john althouse cohen said...
"I'm always glad when people let me know they like my photos."

I love this one.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Thanks!