March 22, 2008

"How do you rate Obama’s speech? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?"

A Rasmussen poll asked "How do you rate Obama’s speech? Excellent, good, fair, or poor?"
30% Excellent
21% Good
26% Fair
21% Poor
1% Not sure
Rasmussen's own analysis of the poll compresses the "excellent" and "good" responses and highlights the 51% figure, but given the quality of the writing and delivery, the press response to the speech, and the question itself, the answer should be "excellent."

Even people who are deeply disturbed by Obama's connection to Wright and think he should have simply and clearly denounced the man should still think it was an "excellent." "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a excellent speech: We study it 300+ years after it was delivered, but we're not buying the message. I think Americans will study Barack Obama's speech 100 years from now, maybe even 300 years from now, whether he becomes President or not. At the very least it was a good speech, yet 49% would not even concede that.

The important break in the numbers is between "excellent" and the rest, and 70% said the speech fell short of "excellent." This is, I think, disastrous for Obama.

Asked how "concerned" they are "about Obama’s relationship with his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright," only 21% said they were "not at all concerned." 42% were "very concerned." Asked whether the speech was "racially divisive, unifying, or neither," only 30% — 30% again — thought the speech was "unifying," which is what Obama intended it and his entire campaign to be.

Obama's popularity has been built on unifying us and transcending race. If only 30% of us heard unification in that speech, then the speech and the connection to Wright have been massively destructive to what is the chief substance of his reputation.

ADDED: Obama told white people to feel guilty about race just when they'd been so happy thinking that loving him, just him, was the answer to racial problems. When we saw him consorting with someone who seemed to hate us, we needed reassurance that Obama loves us, and loving Obama was enough. But he didn't say that, and now we're confused. Our boyfriend was telling us he needs to see other people, and we don't understand the relationship anymore.

93 comments:

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

Ann --

Personally, I'd rate the speech as "poor" based on its content, not on style.

But then, what do I know -- I'm just a "typical white person".

Meade said...

Middle Class Guy hyperlinked...
Interesting

"The URL contained a malformed video ID."

Not, as Trooper York might say, that there's anything wrong with that.

Joe said...

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is an excellent speech. Obama's speech was not.

Obama's speech might be considered "excellent" next to all the *other* speeches you hear today, but by the standard of history it just doesn't measure up.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken rate the speech with their first instincts, which is completely writing off those blacks as insane. (Mar 18 3PM, starting 4:14 minutes in)

If you don't apply adult standards to a race, the charlatans become its spokesmen.

The rest huddle down and keep quiet.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

"The URL contained a malformed video ID."

Take the trailing slash off of the URL, and it's a link to the 3 AM girl's response to Hillary's 3 AM ad. (Slightly off-topic, but hey, whatever floats your boat & draws your vote.)

***

Obama gave a great speech about race relations -- until you stop and think about what he's actually saying, and about whether he's addressing the concerns that many people have about that long-standing relationship.

Me, I think that this old scene reflects what a lot of Americans are thinking.

downtownlad said...

How many people only heard snippets of the speech from Fox News - and essentially came away thinking that the entire speech was about him using his grandmother for political gain?

A bunch I think - including most of your commenters.

downtownlad said...

The correct answer is that it was a good speech. And it would have been excellent if he had removed that crap about Ashley.

Paddy O. said...

"Sinners" is a great speech because it is a representational speech. It's not even nearly the best of Jonathan Edwards, and I think does him a disservice in a lot of ways by making it seem this is the whole content of his thought. Much of what he wrote and spoke is so hopeful, so giving, so needed, not least his views on religion and science.

Jonathan Edwards was a man who helped shaped his era and beyond. He was a giant of his time, and so we remember his speech.

I can't, honestly, imagine that Obama's speech will be remembered this time next year, except among those who debate campaign strategies after the fact. He's not a great man who has shaped his generation. He's, ultimately, a follower in the whole conversation. He's not saying anything new. He's saying don't mind the old. There's nothing transformational in that.

It seems to be very historically nearsighted to think anyone will remember what Obama has said in 100 years if he doesn't win, or that this speech will somehow last even if he does win. That's more historically desperate than historically likely.

The speech was interesting for this campaign. Historical, not at all. Because like it or not, it really hasn't changed anything, except bottomed out his poll numbers. That we use percentages and polls to gauge it is the best sign at all. We're all asking "was it good?" Great historical speeches are much more obviously evident.

Middle Class Guy said...

Meade said...
Middle Class Guy hyperlinked...
Interesting

"The URL contained a malformed video ID."

Sorry. Now I have to look for it again. Damn!!!

downtownlad said...

Great historical speeches are much more obviously evident. Paddy O.

Oh Really? The Gettysburg address was panned by opponents of Lincoln.

"Reaction to Lincoln’s address was frequently divided along political lines. Newspapers critical of the President had snide things to say about the speech’s brevity and inappropriateness to the occasion. Lincoln supporters, on the other hand, published glowing reviews and noted the classical elegance and heartfelt emotion of the address."

http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/gettysburg/ideas_more.htm

The right decided that they hate Obama's speech before he even gave it, thus they never allowed themselves to actually hear what he was saying. Unfortunately, that reaction has been conveyed to many others (by the likes of Fox News and wingnut blogs) who only heard about the speech second-hand.

Similar to the Rev. Wright actually, as those who only heard his inflammatory words and not his entire sermons - which was definitely within the mainstream of acceptable speech in my opinion.

George said...

I think everybody's made their mind up about "the speech." It's all blather. I don't see how he (or she) gets to 270.

Of the 17 states a Democrat carried in the last four Presidential elections, Clinton won in Massachusetts, California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Michigan, and will probably win Pennsylvania. She’s predicted to take W. Va., Kentucky, and possibly Puerto Rico.

Obama took Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware, Vermont, and Illinois. (And D.C.) He’s expected to win Oregon.

NC is a tie. Maybe Indiana, too.

Look at the big industrial states where he has to win Clinton voters….Mass., Cal., NY, NJ, Mi, and Pa. (All voted Dem. in the past four Presidential elections.)

Va, NC, SC, and Indiana all went to the GOP in the last four Presidential elections. Florida, Ga, TN, and Ariz voted GOP in three of the past four elections.

Looks like a hard row to hoe. How does he expand the Dem. base? (interactive historical map), while holding Pa., which went twice for Reagan? Romney as VP peels off Ma. and Mi.? Or Rice as VP splits the black vote.

P. Rich said...

The Elixir of Hope. Dr. Feelgood's magic concoction, guaranteed to fix what ails ya from hair loss to bunions. Sugar water, food coloring and maybe a tad of some cheap intoxicating substance for effect. Not much has changed over the years, except the price tag.

AllenS said...

Someone's cranky this morning. Why is that?

downtownlad said...

Or Rice as VP splits the black vote.

Yes, Rice as VP running against Obama for President will cause blacks to split their vote. What planet are you living on?

Richard Fagin said...

Obama's entire "reputation" was built on his speeches and intense media hyperbole. For all the statements in his speeches about "unifying" and "transcending race" there was very little substance to support the Senator's ability to deliver on such statements. It is not surprising that his reputation was so vulnerable, because it was biult on nothing.

Trooper York said...

Lovetron.

Richard Fagin said...

...and Mass. voted for the Democrat presidential candiate every time since 1960, and other than '52 and '56, as far back as 1928. I can't believe my home state commie libs voted for Eisenhower the warmonger.

Bob said...

Ann Althouse: I think Americans will study Barack Obama's speech 100 year from now, maybe even 300 years from now, whether he becomes President or not.

I think that's overly optimistic. With the exception, perhaps, of political science majors, Obama's speech will be forgotten by one and all, especially if he fails to become President. Think about it: most Americans learn a few snippets of Revolutionary-era speeches, and a few of Lincoln's, maybe one of FDR's, but that's the limit. I think you're presuming, with the usual Boomer arrogance, that speeches from the post-WWII will have relevance to anyone 100 years from now. Most of the speeches will be forgotten, the events will become cloudy, and only the names of the presidents will be taught to school children, and the thumbnail biographies won't have much to say about them.

rhhardin said...

Calvin Coolidge had a lot of great quips in Reader's Digest.

They were not recognized as great at the time.

downtownlad said...

Ann is right. This is easily the greatest speech in the last 20 years. And as the first black candidate ever for a major party - Obama will be an important figure in political history. Even if he loses, he will go down in the history books as a groundbreaker - just as Al Smith did.

I just think the part about Ashley will get chopped out when people study this.

Dennis said...

As a long-time admirer of Sinners in the Hands, I'm surprised by your comparison of that sermon with Obama's speech. I'm even more surprised by your suggestion that it will last 100 years.

Yes, it was fluent. Those hearing it for the first time, particularly those who weren't familiar with the issues and who were already disposed toward Obama, would naturally eat it up. Watch it a second or third time, thinking carefully about what His specific arguments and about what he did NOT say, and the speech doesn’t hold up.

One problem is false moral equivalency. Equating Ferraro’s assertion that race has helped him in his campaign with Wright’s “God Damn America!” is ridiculous. Worse was his throwing his grandmother under the bus. Equating her private qualms about black men on the street and private use of words that made him cringe with Wright’s hateful public lies about the government inventing the AIDS virus to kill blacks is nothing short of horrifying.

Most important, though, was his omission. Wright has been spewing his racist and hate-America bile for the entire 20 years Obama has known him. Nowhere in the speech does Obama say why he continued to associate with this race-baiter and hater for all that time. Many preachers could offer an uplifting message and provide personal counseling. Why then did Obama choose this character as his mentor, and continue the association so long? Why did he not denounce the hate and bigotry until finally forced to do so by the media?

If the speech can’t withstand those obvious questions, it won’t go down in the rhetoric books as a model. Compare it to MLK’s I Have a Dream or any other recognized model and you’ll see why.

Trooper York said...

The most famous quote from Governor Al Smith:

"No matter how thin you slice it, it's still baloney."

Remembered and quoted to this day.

Moose said...

I have to comment regarding John Edwards - what precisely differentiated him from Obama other than the obvious?

Answer is - nothing. Obama was just more winnable for those same obvious reasons.

Kirby Olson said...

B.O. quoted W.E. Dubois as saying that the color line was the most important problem in America.

I'm sure Hillary would disagree and say it's the gender line.

I'm sure Edwards would disagree and say it's the class line.

I disagree with all three.

For me, it's the fact that Postum has disappeared from grocery store shelves. Kraft discontinued the coffee substitute on January 18, 2008, and now jars of this powdered drink are going for 70 dollars on E-bay. I can't afford to pay 70 dollars, and I stare at it like a boy who can't afford a toy train for Christmas.

Had Obama promised to bring the drink back at its normal price of $3.50 it would have meant a lot to me. Had he promised even to look into the committee decision and see if anything could be done I'd be a lot more thrilled about his candidacy.

As it is, I'm morose. Nothing seems the same. I've been drinking Postum three times a day for thirty years, and they discontinue the drink for its lack of popularity? And Obama thinks the color line is a problem?

An article in the New York Times said Postum only brought in 7.5 million per year, and that the company had even stopped advertising it since 1984 since it had such low market penetration.

I'm desperate. I wish Hillary or McCain or Obama would do SOMETHING about a REAL problem.

Fen said...

In a 100 years, Obama's speech will only serve to highlight the discovery of hate-america-mongering "madrassas" in our own backyard.

Paddy O. said...

"The Gettysburg address was panned by opponents of Lincoln"

The lesson, of course, being that Democrats don't have any ability to recognize good speeches.

Plus, Lincoln's speech came after a great military victory, a victory which helped him, led him, to win the presidency.

If Obama doesn't win, his speeches will go down in history like Geraldine Ferraro's.

This isn't to say I thought it a bad speech. It was a fine speech. He's a great speaker.

History is a lot more than what makes us feel politically justified in the moment.

It just wasn't a transformational speech. We're not changed. We're having the same conversation we had before. Maybe more so, because there's a lot more interest in what these older preachers have been saying for a very long time.

But it's not really new. We don't feel the newness. The lines are still drawn the same. The accusations are still the same.

It didn't redefine the conversation, as your comments so perfectly illustrate.

It was a fine speech, a good speech. Those who like him still like him, those who were on the fence seem to like him less.

MLK's "I have a dream" speech was transformational and will be remembered, even though he didn't win any political office. He led the way. Obama isn't leading the way and that will resonate in how history judges him. Others will step up, who will bring new thoughts, and new hopes and real new changes. They're not here yet, maybe, but they will be, and it will be their speeches who we remember.

We want to remember a speech. We want Obama to be memorable. That's why he's doing so well. We yearn for someone historical to step up and speak to this generation and future generations. We want that so bad.

But he's not it. Not this speech. Maybe he'll have more speeches.

Good speeches, exciting for his followers, doesn't mean historical. Especially since no one is actually quoting what he says. The whole discussion is on how people feel about it. No one is posted these monumental lines, or going on and on about how they see something new. Everyone is talking about what they think everyone else is thinking about what was said, not about what was actually said.

If the speech really was historical we'd be wrestling over the lines, not the impact. We want Obama to be better than he is, we want to invest history into him. History doesn't really care how we feel.

Fen said...

"According to a new poll by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion... Of those who knew about the controversy and the speech, 52% said it made them less likely to vote for him. Moreover, 56% of blacks said the speech made them less likely to vote for him."

http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=11542

rhhardin said...

Really, Postum is gone? I tried it just last year. It gave me a caffeine rush or something, so I threw it out.

I remembered trying it in the 50s and it tasted like cardboard. But maybe it will taste better today, I thought, and I was tired of coffee and tea all the time.

I'll have to check out Kroger and see if it's gone. It's likely to still be there, if it sold so little.

Planter's Big Block is what I miss.

rhhardin said...

It's not a great speech if it sounds stupid to me at the time.

I don't know what other rule to use.

My exact reaction, I think, is to being addressed as a moron.

Kirby Olson said...

Yes, Postum is gone. I realize it's not a big issue in this election cycle, but if someone at the top were to address it, you'd have some 100,000 voters feel that there was still hope in this country. The Audacity of Hope, indeed.

AllenS said...

Soccer is a great sport, until you try watching it.

Middle Class Guy said...

"I am not a crook." RMN

AllenS said...

NASCAR is boring, until there is an accident.

Omaha1 said...

It was a good (don’t know about “great”) speech. Time will tell if it accomplished what it was meant to, namely convincing white middle class voters that Obama is not just another liberal race-baiter.

To the casual observer of politics, it may seem that Obama acknowledged and condemned both white and black racism, and maintained his credibility as a candidate who transcends identity politics.

To the more astute observer, however, his equating of Rev. Wright’s anti-American screeds with Ferraro’s comment about his blackness being an advantage, and his grandmother’s fear of youthful black criminals, seemed to be just another example of moral/cultural relativism. Sure he threw an “affirmative action” bone to white people but it’s hard to say if that will be enough to convince people to vote for him.

To me, it seems that Obama is quite adept at using code words and double-speak that are meant to convey different messages to different audiences. Astute politically, but generally cynical in its exceedingly cautious use of words and anecdotes, the speech was still destructive to his image as a “new” kind of leader who eschews the same-old, same-old of racial and class identity politics.

Middle Class Guy said...

AllenS said...
NASCAR is boring, until there is an accident.


Golf is boring, until there is, ah, eh, uh, golf is boring.

George said...

The colors Sen. Obama needs to talk about are green (as in money) and yellow (as in corn and eggs).

The price of eggs has risen 62 percent in the past two years. In the past year, milk has risen 7 percent, cheese 15 percent, rice/pasta 13 percent. Corn was $2 bushel in July 2006 and over $4 in Jan 08.

"About three-quarters of feed for laying hens is corn, and the price of corn has been driven up in part by government mandates for production of ethanol."

Archer Daniels Midlands HQ is in Illinois. Obama supports ethanol which benefits white farmers in Iowa and hurts everyone of all races, poor Third World people, and poor African-Americans.

Sloanasaurus said...

Ann is right. This is easily the greatest speech in the last 20 years.

Ann is wrong. It is not a great speech. A great speech is one that moves people. This speech will not be rememberd one year from now. This speech only proved that Obama is a racial candidate and not the transracial candidate he claimed to be. Obama moved no one in his speech. He sheds white voters by the hour.

Obama had a chance to bridge the divide. A transracial candidate would be one who rejects the double standard. Someone who thinks its just as wrong for a black person to sit through hate speech by Rev. Wright as it would be for a white person to sit through hate speech by David Duke. A transracial candidate would be one who thinks its just as bad for a black person to make a comment like "typical white person" as it would be for a white person to say "typical black person." A transracial candidate would be splitting the black primary vote among his or her fellow democrats when there is no distinction between issues among those primary candidates. Instead, Obama is getting 95% of the black vote.

Obama has not rejected the double standard. He has embraced it and therefore he has embraced continued racial division.

Obama failed in his speech. Rev. Wright lives on.

Paul said...

"The colors Sen. Obama needs to talk about are green (as in money) and yellow (as in corn and eggs)."

And Red.

As in Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Michelle Obama.

Simon said...

With regard to Ann's prediction about the speech's longevity and the counterpoints made by various commenters - I think Yogi Berra made the apt point, that it's always difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.

Also, I think DTL's comment above noting that the Gettysburg Address received similar reception - panned by critics and adored by those who already adored Lincoln - is very good, and gives me some pause in what I was otherwise going to say in response to the Ann's post.

al said...

Middle Class Guy said...

AllenS said...
NASCAR is boring, until there is an accident.

Golf is boring, until there is, ah, eh, uh, golf is boring.


Nascar rocks. Golf is boring. And golf courses are a waste of perfectly good rifle ranges.

al said...

And to get back on topic - Obama's delivery is excellent. Just no substance.

Zeb Quinn said...

Speech, smeech. Hey, Rev. Wright gives a good speech too. So does Louis Farrakhan for that matter. The quality of Obama's speech isn't the point, and even if it was a stupendous speech it doesn't help the overall situation much, if at all. Speech or no speech, Obama's candidacy has been seriously wounded, perhaps mortally. The good news is it's a long time until November. Further good news is McCain seems like the sort of opponent who will not traffic in this kind of stuff and will not tolerate it in his name. The bad news is others will happily traffic in it, the RNC and other independent PACs, "swiftboating," if you will, and they have from now until Labor Day to cull through Wright's videos and to produce a few devastating spots to run in September and October when everybody is paying attention.

Paul said...

"Also, I think DTL's comment above noting that the Gettysburg Address received similar reception - panned by critics and adored by those who already adored Lincoln - is very good, and gives me some pause in what I was otherwise going to say in response to the Ann's post."

Of course it is lost on DTL and other brain dead liberals that the Democrats hated Lincoln as much as they now hate our current President, and in fact described him in identical terms. There are editorials from the 1860s that could be mistaken for being contemporary they are so similar.

Bob said...

Paul: Of course it is lost on DTL and other brain dead liberals that the Democrats hated Lincoln as much as they now hate our current President, and in fact described him in identical terms. There are editorials from the 1860s that could be mistaken for being contemporary they are so similar.

True, but you're forgetting that the parties have done a 180 degree flip since then. Republicans in 1860 were the liberal party, and the Democrats were the conservatives.

Elliott A said...

The problem with the speech was that there was anticipation of honesty and contrition and what was eloquently delivered was triangulation and excuses. Had Obama been honest with his motives for joining the church, political, and then spoke about the unexpected gift of finding a spiritual home which was an event in his life which overshadowed his pastor's egregious politics, the rest may have been received better. He should have mentioned that his grandmother's fear is the result of the 25% probability that a young black male will be convicted of a crime against an individual by his 25th birthday. That could make an old woman afraid. Had he spoken of a fresh start where the blacks are not victims and the whites not racists and how at this point the blacks need to show they want to be equal partners in America for the "post racial world" to emerge. Americans hate criminals and whiners and can accept just about anything or anyone else.

downtownlad said...

Paul the only one who is brain-dead are people like you who think the modern-day Republican party has anything in common with the party of Lincoln.

Just compare Lincoln's beliefs against the modern Republican party in terms of the following. They are polar opposites.

1) Liberty
2) States Rights (Lincoln opposed)
3) Tarriffs (Lincoln favored)

Etc, etc, etc. The modern day Republican party is diametrically opposed to the views Lincoln's party.

Just look at how many modern-day Republicans despise the 14th amendment, and even come up with crazy theories that it is an illegitimate amendment.

ZPS said...

I was prepared to vote for Obama simply because he was the Democrat and NOT Hillary!. I thought most of what he said was always vague, meaningless catch phrases. Then he gave this speech and I was actually, finally impressed by him. He finally said something substantive, specific, and meaningful.

While he had my support before...now he has my passionate support.

Anyone who feels that his words were "divisive" is obviously vulnerable and susceptible to such division...and THAT is fascinating. I wonder why that is...

Sloanasaurus said...

Just compare Lincoln's beliefs against the modern Republican party in terms of the following. They are polar opposites.

Lincoln is not remembered for these things. He is remembered for sticking it out to victory in the civil war. The democrats at the time were anti-war and wanted to surrender to the south and slavery just like the democrats of today want to surrender to the terrorists.

It's interesting that you bring up Lincolns support for tarrifs. Republicans long supported protectionism. Herbert Hoover passed new tarrifs, Smoot Howley, to try and remedy the great depression. Herbert Hoover also raised taxes, and demanded more regulation of the market to try and solve the depression. These are the same things that the Herbert Hoover Democrats-Obama and Hillary- of 2008 are demanding. How ironic.....

Simon said...

Paul said...
"[I]t is lost on DTL and other brain dead liberals that the Democrats hated Lincoln as much as they now hate our current President, and in fact described him in identical terms. There are editorials from the 1860s that could be mistaken for being contemporary they are so similar."

It's not lost, it just doesn't answer the point. The point was one that Amba eloquently made the other day about "preprogrammed" reactions in reaction to Obama's speech: "Whatever we already believed gets corroborated by what we see. Believing is seeing." DTL's point, I thought, was that people who didn't like Lincoln thought it was a bad speech, and people who already liked him thought it was a good speech. People took it to reinforce their existing view; if they loved Lincoln they loved the speech; if they liked Lincoln, they thought it was okay; if they didn't much like Lincoln they didn't much like the speech; and if they hated Lincoln, they hated the speech. That has even more force with someone like Obama who's a rohrscach candidate who's deliberately invited people to project onto him.

In any event, the point that I think DTL was driving at is that whether a speech lives through the ages has very little to do with how it's received at the time. And that's quite hard to disagree with. Many wonderful speeches by great men have been lost; many mediocre speeches by mediocre men are remembered. Personally I think Obama's speech fell into the latter category, and that it was a total failure on every level (even Ann, while insisting that the speech was "excellent," goes on to say that "the speech and the connection to Wright have been massively destructive to what is the chief substance of his reputation"), but as we've seen, that isn't dispositive as to whether it'll still be taught in a hundred years.

DTL said...
"Just look at how many modern-day Republicans despise the 14th amendment, and even come up with crazy theories that it is an illegitimate amendment."

Actually, that's just a few kooks - well-armed kooks, certainly - on the very, very, very far right, and perhaps a few libertarians with overactive imaginations. They're figures of fun for most of us.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloanasaurus said...

Anyone who feels that his words were "divisive" is obviously vulnerable and susceptible to such division...and THAT is fascinating. I wonder why that is...

Obama told the public that he would never go on the Don Imus show again after Imus' racially charged comment because he did not want to enable that kind of racial hatred. He said all this while he sat in the pews cheering on the hate filled liberation theology of Reverend Wright for 20 years. Obama thinks its okay for a black man to say such things - he is just a crazy Uncle from a different generation. But, Imus, who is actually older, must be condemned.

This is the double standard and division that Obama stands for. Moreover, Obama has been living and embracing the double standard for 20 years.

vnjagvet said...

It would be interesting to note the demographics of those who thought BHO's speech was excellent.

If it was blue dog or ethnic euro-american democrats in Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, California, New York and Massachusetts, it was indeed a great speech, because those are the folks he must convince he is not racist.

If, on the other hand, it was the white liberal democrat intelligencia who thought it excellent, and the group described above thought it unconvincing, it was not such a great speech, IMO.

Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
titusisfeelingzenthankyou said...

I thought it was a good speech.

But I could listen to him recite the phone book and I would cum.

Would any of you be interested in a recording of me taking a dump?

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

Obama's speech is irrelevant.

What matters is his church of 20 years has as it's foundations both Black Liberation Theology -and- Black Value System.

An example from TUCC's own website:

TUCC

"Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness.” Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.

Those so identified are separated from the rest of the people by:

1. Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.

2. Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.

3. Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which, while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us.”

4. So, while it is permissible to chase “middleclassness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method – the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness.” If we avoid this snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright: the leadership, resourcefulness and example of their own talented persons."

...

I had no idea you white people were so well organized as this.

rhhardin said...

Our boyfriend was telling us he needs to see other people, and we don't understand the relationship anymore.

An imaginary circumstance! What guy asks.

It's a woman's line for dropping the guy.

Try upping the frequency of sex.

Lines I'm personally familiar with : Our relationship has to be about more than laughing about jokes.

This was before That's not funny! was a punchline.

Paul said...

My point was the parallel descriptions of Lincoln and Bush.

And if you're implying that modern day Democrats stand for liberty you're crazy. They're simply warmed over socialist-collectivists, steeped in cultural Marxism and trying to railroad America down the road to serfdom.

The Republican Party would do well to get closer to it's original principals, but the Democrats are simply lost and in diametric opposition to the Constitution and the framers intent.

Elliott A said...

Lincoln suspended habeus corpus and imprisoned American citizens indefinitely. He killed hundreds of thousands to keep half a country against its will. He was very fond of the evolving socialist theories of the day What a lover of liberty!

vnjagvet said...

Elliot, he was kind of like Bush without the socialism, I guess.

But please enlighten me. I have read a bunch on Lincoln over the years but somehow missed the socialist aspects of his political and economic philosophy.

Any suggestion of supporting documentation for your assertion?

Middle Class Guy said...

Elliott A said...
Lincoln suspended habeus corpus and imprisoned American citizens



FDR, suspended habeus corpus and imprisoned American citizens...

Smilin' Jack said...

I think Americans will study Barack Obama's speech 100 years from now, maybe even 300 years from now....

Oh God, let's hope not. The thought that our cultural standards could fall that far--well, it's best not to think it.

As a speechmaker, Obama isn't fit to sharpen Jonathan Edwards' goose quill pen. Cotton Mather's, either.

Revenant said...

Nobody's going to remember Obama's speech in 100 years, let alone 300.

The big political speeches of the past that we remember are ones that came at critical moments in history. This isn't a critical moment in race relations. The critical moment in race relations was forty and fifty years ago. The issue has been resolved already. It was resolved while Obama was still in primary school. We, as a nation, believe that people should be treated the same regardless of their race, and we have believed that for decades now. Giving a big speech TODAY about the importance of racial equality is like giving a "slavery is bad" speech in 1905. What's there to say except "duh"? That's the first third or so of Obama's speech -- an eloquent summary of our country's past sins and the importance of seeing past race. Bravo, bravo... but not a word in it that the average American didn't already agree with.

Then we move on to the middle portion of the speech, which is an attempt at explaining his relationship with his race-obsessed and racist church and pastor. This undermines the first third and does nothing to explain why we should trust his "can't we all just get along" schtick. In the end he explicitly refuses to disavow the pastor or his church. He also throws in the lie that segregation was "the law of the land" in the 50s and 60s.

The last third of the speech is just "and of course the solution to all our problems is to do embrace the Democratic Party's way of doing things".

Had Obama stopped after the first third it would have been an excellent, if pointless, speech. But the latter two-thirds of it are just an attempt to defend the indefensible and pitch ideas that have already been tried, unsuccessfully, for decades. Yawn.

You know, it isn't just whites that succeed in America. Asians succeed, hispanics succeed, black immigrants from African and other former slave-owning nations in the Carribean and South America succeed. Yet the native-born black community in America doesn't. Saying that white America needs to change just doesn't fly. We don't need to do anything. Black America's problems are almost entirely black America's fault.

Duscany said...

"Anyone who feels that his words were "divisive" is obviously vulnerable and susceptible to such division...and THAT is fascinating. I wonder why that is..."

Probably because Obama publicly dissed his white grandmother, a blamless, hard-working woman who loved him dearly. I just hope the staff in her nursing home turned down the TV when Obama tried to insulate she was a typical white racist for fearing an aggressive black panhandler on the street.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Lincoln's Gettysburg address was great because it was laconic, humble and delivered the rationale for the war which became the counterpoint to the loss of life at Gettysburg, the first of 'certain unalienable rights' as per the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps Mr. Lincoln's continued greatness is dependent on how his idealizing the liberty of the slave and paying such a terrible price for it works out. Obama's friend Jeremiah suggests it is just one item we are to deliver from the American catalogue. Obama's speech is great in that it raises the question of whether rather than taking the 'unalienable right' of life from so many, perhaps Lincoln should have let the South to leave.

Cedarford said...

George - Or Rice as VP splits the black vote.

Even with Freder around, that is one of the most clueless, deranged political assertions that has ever been posted on Althouse.

Elliott A said...
Lincoln suspended habeus corpus and imprisoned American citizens indefinitely. He killed hundreds of thousands to keep half a country against its will. He was very fond of the evolving socialist theories of the day What a lover of liberty!


So what? I've written that the Civil War was unecessary given slavery ended in the late 1870s in the Americas...but if you believe that a divided America faced major wars as they fought over the Western territories, and would be vulnerable to European powers then hitting Latin America and playing "American sides" while they were then at their peak of colonial expansion and aggressiveness - once the South started down that road, Lincoln had compelling reasons to end it...and ending slavery was not a determinative factor in his decisions.

We have States because they are created in the logic that no rights are sacred in anarchy, and that some natural rights are sacrificed so a Ruler can provide the security necesary to safeguard those riights the Ruler and subjects agree must remain - by compact - except in times of War and Great Emergency.

When you have 1/10th your population off killing or trying to kill another 1/10th - with huge war taxes and mandatory drafts and Gov't control of private property - suspending habeas is a trivial thing in comparison. In a major war involving the possible life or death of the Republic - utter small potatoes compared to forcing every military age young civilian man into an awful, high-risk situation where they have none of the traditional "civil liberties" and face considerable risk of death, maiming, emotional trauma.

What makes the current "war" an exception, like in some ways Vietnam was - is that it is not a war that threatens existence. The casualties are trivial - as real wars go normally - so we can obsess over trivial "rights" violations like terrorist interrogations and listening to what we hope to find are terrorists out to kill infidels.

In a real war, like WWII or the Russian Civil War, there is considerable toleration by the populace for curtailment of liberties while the war is on to save lives...
***************
On Obama's speech - My big objection is how a class of politicians and pundits latched onto the speech itself as a victory over Obama having to answer for his errors in judment and doubts about what he really stands for as more and more of his odious associates are uncovered. Stuff quashed long enough to end Hillary - but stuff that can't be kept from voters in the general election.

Obama's speech was a masterpiece of personal evasion and deflection. He pushed all his mistakes into being national mistakes...that he alone as the grandiose oracle...could heal. And Wright really wasn't so bad...since he was morally equivalent in his "sins" to Geraldine Ferraro and Barry O's own grandmother who raised him after his mother dumped him off and his feckless BioDaddy had long since moved on to better fucks..

It would be like Eliot Spitzer instead of admitting mistakes, distancing himself from his sexual equivalent of Rev Wright perversion - had given a masterful, soaring, lofty speech on male-female relations and the need to move on past Old Bad Destructive male-female relations....
Where Eliot said men (but never mentioning himself) are conflicted by society treating sex as a commodity, yet recognizing the value of relationships even as they fight the influence of crazy old uncles like Hugh Hefner. And women have to be open and honest about their problems with frigidity, sexual unavailability, and putting romance and the man in their lives last behind friends, children, and career. And mentioned two influential women as morally equivalent to Hefner - Betty Freidan was as misleading as Hef, my own mother was cold and aloof and I lacked the love "some men" find elsewhere..
Eliot, whose measured cadences and brilliant choice of words show he had "The Speech" in his pocket for months, then calls for a healing and dialogue that only a man like he can deliver - 1st as Governor, then in 2012 as President, the Man Who Will Deliver Great Relationship speeches and end the male-female divide..

Simon said...

Revenant said:
"In the end he explicitly refuses to disavow the pastor or his church. He also throws in the lie that segregation was 'the law of the land' in the 50s and 60s."

That's not even the half of it. He throws in the outright lie that there are still segregated schools in America: "Segregated schools," his speech proclaims, "were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students."

stylinchicxoxo said...

I truthfully don't understand how so many people can buy into everything Obama has to say which is simply put - nothing. He constantly beats around the bush, saying "change, change, change" and how Americans want something different yet never stating what that "change" is. Is it just the change from caucasian presidents to african american? I'm sorry but I don't think that's enough. And anyone who believes that he will actually bring "honesty and truth to politics" is kidding him/herself.

Elliott A said...

vnjagvet..

Look here tomorrow and I'll get you some references. Gotta go to dinner!

Cedarford said...

Revenent - Great Speech dissection into 1/3rds.
That summarizes exactly what Barry O did in structuring his "Throw Grams Under the Bus, Save Pastor Wright, Speech."

Some exceptions to your last paragraph -
You know, it isn't just whites that succeed in America. Asians succeed, hispanics succeed, black immigrants from African and other former slave-owning nations in the Carribean and South America succeed. Yet the native-born black community in America doesn't. Saying that white America needs to change just doesn't fly. We don't need to do anything. Black America's problems are almost entirely black America's fault.

That ignores the native-born population is split into two parts. The ones that act like human beings, work hard and are now my friends and neighbors and co-workers in the upper middle class, the middle class - and those that are culturally and emotionally predestined to failure that act on only the most bestial and self-gratifying of reasons, that reject civilization and any hard work, disposed to violence.

Chris Rock employed this native black dichotomy well in his comedy skit "I hate niggers!".

Where the decent, law-abiding half of blacks fail is in tribally always defending the "black sheep" of the clan, the failures - by blaming them on anything but the underclass's own actions. Black crime, low educational achievement, being the only minority that destroys cities they move into, black hatred of Latinos & whites, degrading hos & gangbanger culture ---are of course to even a well-fed black accountant 30 years out of college - ALL SOCIETY's FAULT that they haven't come up with the magic law or new taxpayer benefit or superteacher that motivates the unmotivated - TO GIVE HIS PEOPLE THEIR DUE.
In a way similar to how Jews in America that prospered under capitalism and Christian values have a sizable contingent that hates it all and seeks to destroy capitalism, Christian influences.

And I disagree about America not needing to change. We have created a society that has the Corporate Elites both Parties suck up to and pass laws for that have made America one of the least class-mobile democracies in the world in the last 20 years by benefiting the rich over the working poor and lower middle class.
We give more welfare - in pork - to wealthy business owners and landholders than we give welfare to the poor. We have a tax code that means that the rich pay less total tax and have more disposable income on each dollar earned than a middle class worker. We have a society that has more and more made it hard for native Americans to get jobs for those seeking to climb the job ladder and support a dignified life.
We shove our materialism and wealth displays in the poors face as proof of our being winners, superior, of higher status - then are amazed when thugs also begin to strut around claiming money is the ultimate value of their worth as human beings and their wealth displays - 500 buck sneakers, bling, champagne nightclubs and houses 8X what a good drug dealer can afford - show they too are worthy of respect and honor as Americans now measure those attributes.

No, Revenent - America does need to change. It needs to be taken out of the control of the moneyed Elites and back to the People..It is in many ways now a diseased, decaying culture that is a perversion of what the American Dream once was.

Howard said...

The speech as a stand alone, without any connection to a current event, was awfully good; well written and artfully delivered by a guy who has a rare gift for oratory, especially in this time of the completely inarticulate President Bush.

However since it was billed as variously a speech on "race in America," or various tags that had to do with separating himself from the hateful speeches of Wright it largely failed, and in fact caused more controversy, not less. Obama is best at getting us to forget what he is supposed to be saying and "driving around us to the hoop." It's after the basket is made that we start to think about what he has NOT said, and we become disenchanted.

Revenant said...

That's not even the half of it. He throws in the outright lie that there are still segregated schools in America

Well, I didn't want to itemize every false statement he made in the second half of his speech. I'd be here all day. :)

But yeah, his argument there was pretty ridiculous. The problems of inner-city schools have nothing to do with the color of the students' skin. There are three problems, none of them racial in origin:

(1): Lack of respect, by the parents and students, for academic achievement. This is a big problem in America in general, but it is a HUGE problem in much of the black community. Every black classmate I had in my honors classes in high school had to deal with bullshit from his less-gifted black peers about how he was "acting white". I had my problems with white rednecks who thought reading was "for fags", but it wasn't anywhere near the pressure that the black kids faced from members of their own racial group.

(2): Good teachers don't want to teach in crappy schools. No teachers want to teach students who don't care, or students whose parents don't care. So inner-city public schools get stuck with a mix of new teachers who lack the seniority to get a job someplace else -- and tenured dolts.

(3): Change is impossible. The only change which the public school system is interested in is "more money". There's no point in adding money to the system; we're wasting much of what we send in as it is. The DC school system is a classic example of this.

Race has nothing to do with it. If you take a black kid who doesn't care about school, whose parents share a Wrightian disdain for "middle-classness", and you stick him in a school with a bunch of white kids, he isn't going to magically get smarter through osmosis. White people do not give off an aura of academic achievement that other races can benefit from through proximity. Success is based not on skin color, but on values and attitude. If you think school is for suckers and work is something to be avoided, you're going to wind up poor and stupid no matter WHAT color you are.

LarsPorsena said...

The above board is the long-awaited
nation's conversation on race. Said conversation having been duly recorded we now move on to to other matters.

John K. said...

Very well said Cedarford. This comment suggests you may not be a racist after all. If only you wouldn't lace your other comments with gratuituous racism. This comment also suggests that you recognize that our present government is in very many ways a betrayal of the principles upon which it was supposedly founded. If only you in your other comments you weren't such an apologist for wars and every goddamnn thing that might be perpetrated in the course of such wars fought on behalf of that government . . . a government whose policies -- including war policies -- you recognize conform for the most part to the interests of a moneyed elite.

section9 said...

George - Or Rice as VP splits the black vote.

Even with Freder around, that is one of the most clueless, deranged political assertions that has ever been posted on Althouse.


Yeah, look, I"m a fan of Rice and I suspect that McCain is going to pick her as his VP, but that was just dumb. Condi Rice will be one of the 5% of black folks who will be voting for the most centrist Republican to run since Eisenhower, and it's not even McCain's fault, and he knows this. It's McCain's misfortune to run against the First Black Nominee. It's McCain's good fortune that Obama has tried desperately to hide the racialist tendencies of his church, so JMC won't have to say a thing about it.

The funny thing is, the speech itself won't be remembered, I suspect, and here's why. It's a week later and what are we talking about? How he threw his grandmama under the bus.

See, if Obama really wanted a conversation about Race, then the speech would have been about race. But that's not what Barack was trying to do. He was trying to get past the problem of his church so he could win white voters in the fall. If he doesn't do that, McCain will kick his ass.

Period.

In his attempt to make his problem with the Right Reverend Wright the nation's problem, Obama performed a miraculous act of political jiu-jitsu. However, that was a fundamentally dishonest thing to do, and it doesn't make the problem go away.

In a sense, the speech wasn't the soul-searching Come to Jesus moment that the chattering classes think it was-it was more like a device to get from Here to There. And a lot of rank and file voters are starting to get that.

Revenant said...

We have a tax code that means that the rich pay less total tax and have more disposable income on each dollar earned than a middle class worker.

Where income tax is concerned, the rich pay much more than the middle class, both overall and on a per-dollar basis.

Your statement is only true if you include social security tax (and it might not even be true then). But since the amount you pay in social security tax directly determines the benefits you personally receive, faulting "the rich" for not paying extra for benefits they don't get is quite unfair. Social Security is not meant to be a Welfare program for the middle class!

We shove our materialism and wealth displays in the poors face as proof of our being winners, superior, of higher status

Who's this "we" you're talking about? I don't do that. I don't know anybody who does. Are you saying that YOU do those things? You should stop.

No, Revenent - America does need to change. It needs to be taken out of the control of the moneyed Elites and back to the People.

Ugh, can't we get past that Marxist class-warfare nonsense? Unless a person is lazy or stupid they can still die better off than they were born, same as they always could.

Middle Class Guy said...

Cedarford said...
No, Revenent - America does need to change. It needs to be taken out of the control of the moneyed Elites and back to the People.



And the wealthy elite are what? Cyborgs, aliens from another planet, sub-humans? Hey, they are the people to. Just like you, me, the poor, and whoever, they have the same rights.

Look, most people aspire to create more wealth. I know no one who aspires to poverty or to stay in the same economic rut. Even in my retirement I am looking for ways to earn more and enjoy a better lifestyle. The middle class keeps getting screwed because everytime they supposedly raise taxes on the rich, we get it in the neck. We have a government that refuses to create a healthy business environment and an infrastructure that protects economic growth. the only environment they care about is the rain forest. Most people work for businesses, small, medium, and mega corporations. It is in our own benefit to see they prosper, or be out of a job.

John K. said...

I wouldn't put the emphasis, like many Democrats and populists do, on "soaking the rich," although I do think that empirically concentrations of great financial power, like concentrations of great political power, are a threat to liberty. Rather, I would put the emphasis on not soaking the poor and middle class, at all. Every dollar that is confiscated from a poor or middle class person could be better spent -- or saved -- by that person on his or her own financial independence and happiness. And spending these dollars on their own financial independence would have a greater social benefit than what the government proposes to do with those dollars. On the other hand, although I think we'd be better off without any income tax at all, I suppose it's theoretically possible that a well-run government (a hypothetical that does not currently obtain) could make a better social use of 10% of what an individual makes above the mean income.

Adam Smith called taxes on labor the most "absurd" and destructive of all taxes. On the other hand, he considered taxes on the unimproved value of land to be the least offensive and most economically efficient of taxes. Milton Friedman believed the same thing. (I would also point to the inheritance tax as one that could be justified on similar grounds to the property tax on the unimproved value of land.)

Sure, you can still point to Horatio Alger stories out there in the modern world. But there'd surely be a lot more of them we could point to but for "our" unjust tax system. People shouldn't have to bust their balls and work for the government for several months out of every year just to obtain the modest American dream of a home to call their own. There is more to life than work. Telling people they just have to work harder and smarter and they too can overcome the obstacles placed in their way by "our" tax and property system just doesn't cut it.

In this connection, I recommend Thomas Paine's essay on "Agrarian Justice."

Duscany said...

One thing Obama's speech made clear: he intends to be the affirmative action president. He won't call it reparations though. He'll call it making "typical white persons" understand the need to provide blacks with "ladders of opportunity." Or some such thing. Then he'll add a touch of class by quoting Faulkner, Thoreau or Pliny the Younger.

Tim said...

"I think Americans will study Barack Obama's speech 100 years from now, maybe even 300 years from now, whether he becomes President or not."

Uh, sorry, not gonna happen - especially if he doesn't become president.

Granted, my perspective as a typical white person is that his was an exercise in deflection, excuse-making and non-too-subtle racialism. If this speech is remarkable even a year from now, we're doomed. If it's remarkable 100 years from now, all will have been lost.

Revenant said...

The middle class keeps getting screwed because everytime they supposedly raise taxes on the rich, we get it in the neck.

Yep. John K's criticism of income taxes is also pertinent.

You always hear about "the rich" being taxed or "the middle class" being taxed. But we don't tax class; we tax income. In other words, we tax the act of becoming wealthier. And then the same people who advocate higher taxes have the nerve to wonder why it is so hard to get ahead in life.

Elliott A said...

vnjagvet...

The most complete Lincoln economics researcher is Thomas DiLorenzo from Loyola, Maryland Dept of Economics. While he clearly disputes much of what is taught about lincoln, his books have proper cites and footnotes as befitting scholarly rather that opinion work. I found several of the older books cited in the William and Mary Library -Go Tribe-. I'm not an alumnus, but my daughter goes there. There are 28 pages of cites and 7 of bibliography. While not exactly a traditional source, Harry Turtledove has Lincoln becoming a true believer socialist in alternate history where he is not assassinated. Has to come from somewhere. Harry is in History Dept at UCLA. What they teach in school rarely matches reality. For example, I didn't know until I was 40 that teh Emancipation Proclamation only applied to slave states not under Union control, and NOT to the four states still with slaves in the Union. Good luck

Elliott A said...

Revenant...The problem is that the bottom halfpays almost no income tax. They just get benefits. It is logical they would wish to keep the gravy train going, it doesn't cost them anything in the short run. In the long run it costs them their next raise or their job when the small businessman or woman they work for sees their take home drop.

The middle class is just a myth, since these days few stay here for long, as opposed to the 50s and 60s when people's fortunes were pretty much set in stone.

Cedarford said...

Middle Class Guy - And the wealthy elite are what? Cyborgs, aliens from another planet, sub-humans?

No, they are logically described as a Class. They have, by their nature, priorities and goals that differ in minor and significant ways from other groups and would diverge further but for society or faith forcing some measures of convergence on them.
And many, many use exploitation, to use their power to siphon up most gains from productivity boosts or other's labor. People who have less power and ability to control events or distribution of profit.
All economists agree about this capitalist tendency to exploit. Many believe that it is a necessity to drive risk-taking and optimum use of capital and motivate the Elites to benefit all while they grasp for MORE. Others have shown that unfettered greed by the top 1% is not so good - showing societies become more stable and productive when unions, trust&monopoly busting, redistributionist policies broaden the talent pool of those who can train for higher value jobs, who can achieve a more stable and productive society with a broadening middle class and "rung-up" jobs with dignity available for the working poor.

*****************
Revenent - You use the old argument the fatcats employ: "Hey you can't talk about other taxes and fees and other things that make other Americans have far less in disposable wealth for each job earned! The discussion is only open to the Federal Income tax, being treated in total isolation!"

This is of course debunked with the Warren Buffet paradigm - which says that "only the income tax is relevant" is hardly relevant since the actuality is that though he uses no sleazy dodge other megarich do, like writing off his house as a place of business and all his services, he has about 81 cents of each dollar he makes as disposable income.
His exec secretary, punished by the existing state and Fed structure the wealthy have spent billions putting into code = has her higher taxes on labor and all her FICA and regressive taxes eating major parts of her earnings she had in the mid-90s, down to 32 cents or so disposable income on each dollar she earned.
Buffet notes that the Bush tax cuts favoring the rich has substantially decreased his tax & fee load even further in the following decade, compared to his secretary.

The Other argument the rich and their toady boy defenders make, Revenent, is that "We Should All Be Grateful the Rich Pay So Much of the Income Tax of America!" Otherwise known as the Paraguayan Oligarchy Argument. Where the peasants were supposed to be grateful that the 200 families controlling 80% of Paraguays wealth and revenue paid 85% of the "National taxes".
In Paraguay, as in the US, the argument always said that other peasant-crushing taxes like on land, clothing, food, utilities "didn't count".

In return, of course, from the noble rich owners and Elite leaders - the peasants got nice roads to walk from the haciendas and mines and factories they toiled at. The Patrons were happy to share the roads that moved their goods! And provide security as the generous taxpayers that funded a military that helpfully prevented ungrateful peasants from causing trouble.

Give me 85% of America's wealth and I will one-up the Paraguayans.

I will pay 100% of the Federal Income tax.
Of course, with the power to decide what it is spent for....

vnjagvet said...

Elliott:

I must say, I am notimpressed by the citations.

First, I thought socialism was, at best, only a nascent ideology in US political thought in the early 1860's. Am I wrong about that?

Second, where is the the evidence that Lincoln's populism was notably collectivist?

Third, where was any Lincoln advocacy of government ownership of any segment of business?

Revenant said...

Revenent - You use the old argument the fatcats employ

Cedar, there are plenty of countries that try your "blame the rich for everything" approach. You could go try one of them on for size. I hear Venezuela is nice this time of year, and Cuba of course is nice year-round. As for myself, I'm on track to die "rich" despite not having been born that way. So pardon me while I ignore your silly Marxist bullshit, because I'm too busy being enormously successful in the nation you claim the middle-class can't succeed in.

In closing, I'll just note the irony of the fact that Warren Buffet, whom you cite as an example of how the rich screw the middle class, was born middle-class. :)

rcocean said...

Rev-

I think there is a middle ground between letting the rich run the government for their own benefit and a communist dictatorship.

I think rewriting the Tax code to benefit the many (middle class) instead of the few (millionaires and billionaires) would be a start.

The rich are constantly engaging in "class warfare" by lobbying congress and the POTUS for free trade laws, illegal immigration, government subsidies, and tax breaks. Not to mention laws favoring corporate mergers, landlords, creditors, investors, and management.

Elliott A said...

vnjagvet:

Lincoln had goals of centralization . Stephen Douglas described Lincoln's goals as "consolidation and uniformity in our government". He pushed for a National Bank to have the ability to have no limits to where government subsidies could go. The plan was to favor a few corporations through tariff and subsidy, and then control them by holding the purse strings.

Lincoln actually established an income tax which applied to earnings over 10000 which expired in 1872 along with the creation of the Internal Revenue Service within the Treasury department. This provided monies for public projects which he was big on."Internal improvements" created a culture of corruption which lasted through the 19th century.

While not owning busineses outright, many of the railroads were only possible through subsidy yet were private corporations. Corporate welfare is an easier means of state control than outright ownership. The government did take over many activities which had been previously private such as roadbuilding, canal building, etc. until there were no private companies left in these industries.

He was already redistributing wealth and gaining control by the government of transportation. His Marxian views of value of goods only relating to the worker and not demand is another piece of the puzzle showing where he was heading. When socialism took hold in the U.S. later in the century, he would have been right at the front of the movement.

Mitch said...

As a "typical white person" who sees Obama's supporters channeling Bennett Marko ("Barack Obama is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life"), I refer you to The Bard with regard to "The Speech":

Out, out, brief candle!
[Obama's] but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by [a Chicago pol], full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

John K. said...

Cedarford makes some very good points in his last comment and Revenant has one of those lapses in intelligence where he responds with nothing but beside-the-point self-congratulatory bile.

vnjagvet said...

Not much evidence there, Elliott. But kudos for originality of thought and imagination.

Have you read Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals on Lincoln and his war cabinet?

Excellent study of Lincoln's skills managing a group of very able but difficult people, all of whom were older, better educated, wealthier, better connected and outwardly more worldly than Lincoln. But he played them like a violin and in the end, they followed and respected him.

Revenant said...

I think there is a middle ground between letting the rich run the government for their own benefit and a communist dictatorship.

Obviously. We're already in it, and have been for several hundred years.

I think rewriting the Tax code to benefit the many (middle class) instead of the few (millionaires and billionaires) would be a start.

Explain to me how the tax code "benefits the few". The average millionaire pays one or two orders of magnitude more in taxes than the average member of the middle class, in exchange for which he gets... nothing at all. He gets the same benefits as that member of the middle class.

If you rewrite the tax code to screw rich people harder then they're already getting screwed, they'll simply leave the country. That's what happened to the UK when it decided to rewrite the tax code "for the benefit of the middle class" (i.e. to allow the middle class to act like leeches on those more successful than them). You need the wealthy to stay, because they're paying the majority of the tax burden of this country. In other words, rc, you need them -- they don't need you. So act grateful.

colleenjk said...

I would personally rate his speech excellent. "Sinner's in the Hand's of an Angry God" is still studied today because of its rhetorical devices and historical context, not because it was excellent. Obama's speech will stand the test of time because it was personal, honest and he is a great speaker.