September 4, 2009

"[T]he number of people who believe that the President has larded the government with communists (!) was astonishing."

Says Joe Klein, who attended a town hall meeting in Nebraska:
One woman said there were four known communists in the government and that she'd researched it on the internet. When I asked her afterwards, she said environmental adviser Van Jones, legal advisor Cass Sunstein (who was last spotted being excoriated by the left for supporting the FISA revisions), someone named Lloyd and she didn't remember the fourth. And wasn't it suspicious that Obama had all these czars working for him--that was a Russkie commie term, wasn't it? When I asked, the woman admitted that, among other things, she occasionally listened to William Bennett's conservative radio show. I pointed out that Bennett had once been the Drug Czar, appointed by Ronald Reagan. Life sure can be complicated sometimes.
Wow. Joe got a lot out of one woman in Nebraska! But remember, what he asserts is "astonishing" is "the number" of people who think there are communists in the government. I certainly agree that the number one is astonishing. You'd think, by now, a lot more would be plunging ahead and using the inflammatory word.
I was later told by a local observer that many of these vomitous, disgraceful notions were the fruit of Glenn Beck's fruitful imagination. "We are living Glenn Beck's fantasy life," said this audience member. The amazing thing remains not only the unwillingness of responsible Republicans--a term that is in danger of becoming an oxymoron--to call bull-- on this, but also the willingness of many prominent Republicans to join in the slinging of garbage.
Astonishing... amazing... poor Joe is continually surprised by ordinary things. What's amazing? Blech... I have to reread: not only the unwillingness of responsible Republicans... to call bullshit on this, but also the willingness of many prominent Republicans to join in the slinging of garbage. So what's amazing — to plow through Klein's verbiage — is that Republicans use and put up with inflammatory rhetoric.

Yawn. I don't really think Klein is astonished and amazed by any of this. He's just doing the old I'm-surprised-at-you routine beloved of kindergarten teachers. I'm sure he'd love conservatives to stop putting their arguments in such stimulating and colorful terms. (Look out! It's a death panel!)
Michelle Cottle reports that there are Republican-sanctioned efforts afoot to have parents not send their children to school on September 8 because the President is scheduled to address the nation's school-children that day and they are afraid that he will fill their little heads with socialist propaganda. That is somewhere well beyond disgraceful.
No, Joe. Because they are disgusted at the melding of partisan political power and education and the prospect of a child made to accept compulsory school in the form of gazing upon the face of our leader. Imagine if Bush had proposed such an exercise for all of the children on the first day of school. Well, Bush would never have proposed such a thing because: 1. He didn't have the fawning approval of the vast majority of teachers, and 2. He never acquired the idea that his countenance and voice could inspire the masses. But if he did you know very well, Joe, that you'd have been disgusted at Bush, not the people who objected to his absurd display.
Could I just say that the intensity of this getting pretty scary...and dangerous?
Could I just say... may I be so bold... timid little me... can I please just say something... I'm scared! It's dangerous!!!1!!111!
We are heading toward a cliff and the usual brakes of civil discourse are not working.
Get a grip, Joe, you timorous mouse of a man. But that's just a joke. I know you're not really concerned about "civil discourse" in the abstract. You're annoyed that the people have started paying attention and are not sitting back in awed reverence like the most confused and cowed first grader watching that nice man on TV. You thought that when the Democrats won — "I won!" — they'd be able to roll up their preferences into 1000-page bundles and there wouldn't be anything people could do about it. But — lo and behold! — they used speech, free speech, they spoke their minds, sometimes harshly and with hot emotion, but they got themselves heard. If you think that is "heading toward a cliff" without "the usual brakes," then I say you don't believe in a free democratic society.
Indeed, the Republicans have the pedal to the metal--rushing us toward a tragedy far greater than the California health care forum finger-biting Karen describes below.
What tragedy? Not passing a sprawling, amorphous, unproven rearrangement of the way health care is paid for? Who is plying overheated, irrational rhetoric? That lady in Nebraska? Glenn Beck? Or Joe Klein?

127 comments:

Chase said...

The talk in the DC Beltway this am is that Van Jones won't make it to next Tuesday.

Stay tuned . . .

Roger J. said...

Clearly going to be a 200 plus comment thread

elHombre said...

Obama seemed the political equivalent of a rainbow — a sudden preternatural event inspiring awe and ecstasy....There aren’t very many people — ebony, ivory or other — who have Obama’s distinctive portfolio of talents. - Joe Klein, 2006.

As Newsbusters once put it: "Lying Joe Klein" doesn't like anybody "trying to ruin his rainbow."

TexMex said...

It's always good to start off an era of bipartisanship and good will by declaring,"I won!"

*sigh* what could've been...

/sarc

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Who is plying overheated, irrational rhetoric? That lady in Nebraska? Glenn Beck? Or Joe Klein?

Ann Althouse?

Just yesterday Althouse told people to relax and welcome the Obama speech to schoolchildren. Today, it's the "prospect of a child made to accept compulsory school in the form of gazing upon the face of our leader." Yikes!

And, Bush 41 and Reagan also spoke to schoolchildren, in school, but we can't let pesky facts get in the way, now can we?

Richard Dolan said...

I haven't read Klein's stuff in some time, but I see it hasn't changed any. He still comes across as a slightly more civil version of Keith Olberman, and like KO is persuasive only to true believers. I suppose the virtue of paying any attention to him is that he may reflect the perspective of the true believers who currently inhabit the West Wing.

AlmaGarret said...

Posts like this are why we love the Althouse!

garage mahal said...

What tragedy? Not passing a sprawling, amorphous, unproven rearrangement of the way health care is paid for?.

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years on the campaign, if he were elected President. It was the number one topic at dozens of debates. It's been talked about since Harry Truman. And you voted for him. So stop effing whining!

traditionalguy said...

The strange similarity between Communist Ideology and the goals of the Soros Democrats lead by Uncle Obama can no longer be hidden by the legitmate ridicule of the few remaining John Bircher Cult dingbats. The acts of the current American Communists in our government in their attempts to destroy the Honduran government in order to spread Communist revolution at our doostep is not a John Bircher fantasy, it is a cold hard fact.

Joseph said...

Um, someone sounds a bit crazed and over the top here but its not Joe Klein.

So, how exactly is an address by the president to school kids on the first day of school "melding of partisan political power and education"? For all the "sky is falling" criticism of the speech, I haven't seen evidence to suggest that its some kind of partisan indoctrination. In fact I'd expect it to be quite the opposite: completely banal and bland encouragement to "stay in school" and "work hard".

Maguro said...

Does Joe address the question of whether Van Jones is or is not a Marxist revolutionary and/or a 9/11 Truther? I thought not.

I think this is a legitimate line of inquiry and would really like to know the answer. I hope the most transparent administration ever will provide some details on this guy, who wields some significant influence but, as a "czar", is not subject to the Senate confirmation process.

Allay our concerns, Obama, the ball is in your court.

Joan said...

And, Bush 41 and Reagan also spoke to schoolchildren, in school, but we can't let pesky facts get in the way, now can we?

ZPS: don't be an idiot. Bush and Reagan spoke to schoolchildren at one school. Perhaps their appearances were broadcast on CSPAN. There is a world of difference between that and what Obama has done here, having Duncan do an end-run around the school boards, asking that the President's speech be broadcast in every school, simultaneously, and then issuing cult-of-personality fostering lesson plans to go along with it.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Personally, I love it when Ann smacks hysterical writers silly like this.

Chase said...

This conservative has never listened to or watched Glenn Beck, and I don't like the things I hear about him. I can flatly say that he doesn't represent me or most conservative Americans. But I say that to say that Joe Klein is despicable in his attempts to extrapolate what one woman said into some mystically "large number of people".
-----------------------------

And before the "President speaking at school" issue heats up again:

President of the United States addressing school children in a civics manner (avoiding partisan political points): YES

White House / Federal Department of Education directly offering curriculum regarding the President's speech: NO

Pogo said...

Good reading, Althouse.

What I find non-astonishing is the number of people the President has larded the government with who are either socialists or (previously) unapologetic communists.

What find astonishing is the number of Americans who still find this abhorrent.

MadisonMan said...

Joseph, you don't understand. The wingnuttiest of commenters here have taken off their tinfoil hats and can actually predict what Obama is going to say.

AllenS said...

Joe is a pussy.

Henry said...

Indeed, the Republicans have the pedal to the metal--rushing us toward a tragedy far greater than the California health care forum finger-biting...

If Klein slowed down his typing he could have worked a little with that image.

As it is, I see a car plunging into a severed finger. Scary!

How about this instead:

Indeed, the Republicans have the pedal to the metal--rushing us toward a tragedy far greater than a crashed car. Someone's going to get their leather jacket caught on the door handle and die. It's me! It's my rhetorical cuff caught on the hyperbolic handle of the cliche car! Aaaagh!

garage mahal said...

?What I find non-astonishing is the number of people the President has larded the government with who are either socialists or (previously) unapologetic communists..

Bernanke, Paulsen, and Geithner, unbeknown to all of us, were secretly trained as stealth manchurian communists in red diapers - hiding this fact by heading up our largest blue chip wall street brokerage houses - knowing all along that that there would be a higher calling in government 50 years later to take over wall street as communists. Pretty cunning!

Sofa King said...

The wingnuttiest of commenters here have taken off their tinfoil hats and can actually predict what Obama is going to say.


Well that's what happens when the only clues are the slightly concerning "lesson plans" being distributed to correspond.

Let me pose this question: why should we have to predict what he'll say? Is it really so unreasonable that parents want to know in advance just what he'll be telling their kids? And if it's not unreasonable, then why won't the administration do this? That's what's troubling - that they won't, or can't, do this eminently reasonable thing.

Beth said...

ZPS: Reagan also had "acquired the idea that his countenance and voice could inspire the masses" - the Great Communicator, wasn't he?

Dogwood said...

Is it really so unreasonable that parents want to know in advance just what he'll be telling their kids?

The White House is going to post the speech online Monday.

traditionalguy said...

MM...No matter how innocent the words spoken, the act itself is a totally unnecessary ceremonial act of a Supreme Leader commanding the use of governmental resources under a pretended legal authority to speak directly to OUR children, not to Supreme Leader's children, but to OUR children. That is the most offensive and abominable act of an elected American President imaginable because the American people have a government...not the Supreme leader has a people. Do you get it?

Beth said...

Chase @ 11:04 - I agree. Drop the "curriculum."

Roger J. said...

ZPS and others: the difference between previous presidential involvement with school children is this: their Departments of Education did not provide advance notice of curriculum suggestions to the schools--of course you dont see the difference--but please go ahead with your comparisons

Beth said...

What find astonishing is the number of Americans who still find this abhorrent.

But Pogo, it's just the one.

mccullough said...

I don't know why Joe Klein doesn't lump himself in with Glenn Beck.

There's no difference between the two to me.

The hard-left went after Bush mercilessly. The hard-right is going after Obama mercilessly.

This is how it works.

Sofa King said...

Why Monday I wonder? Are we to believe it hasn't been written yet? I wonder if it is being revised.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well President Shortpants admitted in his bestselling autobiography that he was drawn to Marxists and other radical when he was in college. Facts show that didn't change much once he gradudated. Van Jones, one of his advisors is on record saying he was a commie.

Am I not to take their word for it?

Roger J. said...

Chase, Beth and I seem to be on the same page: good that the president cares about kids education; bad that his dept of ed suggests curriculum to accompany the speech. So at least some of us across the political spectrum can agree on that

Chase said...

FLASHBACK

1991: DEMS BLAST BUSH 41 SCHOOL SPEECH

From the Washington Post, published Friday, October 4, 1991:

Democrats assailed the Bush Administration today for spending $26,750 in taxpayer money to hire a production company that oversaw President Bush's telecast from an eighth-grade classroom here to schoolchildren around the country on Tuesday. The money came from the Education Department's salary and expense budget. As a result, Representative William D. Ford, the Michigan Democrat who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, demanded that Education Secretary Lamar Alexander appear before the committee to defend his "spending scarce education dollars to produce a media event." And the House majority leader, Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the President." The President's spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, responded by denying that Mr. Bush's talk to the schoolchildren had been a political event and calling the criticism "nonsense."

rocketeer67 said...

Chase @ 11:04 - I agree. Drop the "curriculum."

The damage - which was almost wholly the result of the stupid and creepy "curriculum" - has been done.

Changing it made it look worse, strengthening the perception that it had indeed been intended to be what it had appeared, and the WH just got caught. Dropping it would make it look worse still.

Beth, you're reasonable. How can you not see this?

Sofa King said...

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years on the campaign, if he were elected President.


Really? I don't recall him talking about taking on 9/11 truthers as advisers.

Shanna said...

I haven't seen evidence to suggest that its some kind of partisan indoctrination.

Well, Joseph, we don't have any evidence about the speech itself (although we do have suggested activities) because Obama hasn't released it. Last I heard, he plans to release it the day before, which is a national holiday. So, we'll see what he actually says.

So, all this is about how much people trust the guy, which is not very much right now. Hopefully, it will be a completely inoccuous speech. I don't have any kids, so I don't really have a decision to make on any of this, it's just watch and wait. I'm sure after all the press, even if it would have been political, it won't be now.

elHombre said...

The wingnuttiest of commenters here have taken off their tinfoil hats and can actually predict what Obama is going to say. (11:04)

Anybody can predict what he will say: "Me, me, me. I, I, I. Education. My, my, my. School. We, we, we. Success. Like me, me, me."

He is a self-promoting propagandist, who is still on the campaign trail. Strange that you can't see that.

WV "calsfea" = Governator's awful constituency.

k*thy said...

Hyperbole meets hyperbole. Next.

The Drill SGT said...

Communists? I don't know.

unapologetic "spread the wealthers", you betcha, including Barry.

Prediction: Van Jones, gone in 5 hours :)

reason, the WH can't stand this question fork.
1. so did you know he was a truther before you hired him?
or
2. are you guys still clueless at vetting potential job seekers?

On the topic of Czars, they are a bad idea, that Barry has carried to an extreme. They are ex-constitutional actors that take power from the Congress by bypassing "advise and consent" and make Cabinet Secretaries into powerless figureheads.

rdkraus said...

Best blog post this year.

Glad I wasn't drinking anything while reading it.

Dogwood said...

I don't have any kids, so I don't really have a decision to make on any of this, it's just watch and wait.

My daughter's kindergarten teacher rolled her eyes when asked about it this morning.

She said the only time politicians get to come into her classroom is when her class watches the inaugural, regardless of who wins, because it is an important event for the country.

The rest of the time, she has more important things to teach our children.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years on the campaign, if he were elected President.

Considering he has massive majorities in the House and Senate, I'm amazed he has to attempt anything. Considering how he could cause thigh tingling at his slightest murmur, one would think we would have had health care reform, an exit in Iraq and Gitmo closed down by now.

Looks like he's a piss poor leader or the Democrat party is having a serious identity crisis. I think its both actually.

Original Mike said...

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years ... And you voted for him. So stop effing whining!

The rare good point.

David Walser said...

If Joe Klein had been willing to call BS on the excesses in rhetoric from the left when Bush was in office, I'd take his concerns about civility in public discourse seriously. He didn't call BS when lefties routinely equated Bush with Hitler back then; I'm not listening to him now.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Althouse, that was an effing brilliant dissection and analysis of Joe Klein's article.

Thanks for reminding me why I stop here.

Hoosier Daddy said...

or
2. are you guys still clueless at vetting potential job seekers?


Well considering that 52% of the electorate glossed over Obama as a candidate and instead considered flowery rhetoric as sufficient vetting of his qualifications, it stands to reason he would think no one would care he was appointing self-avowed communists.

Unless of course Van misspoke like he missread the Truther petition he signed.

Ann Althouse said...

ZPS: "Just yesterday Althouse told people to relax and welcome the Obama speech to schoolchildren. Today, it's the "prospect of a child made to accept compulsory school in the form of gazing upon the face of our leader." Yikes!"

Reread what I said. It contains a big "if." But yeah, my thinking has evolved on this since I wrote that because while I do think that the speech could be used to teach critical thinking, I doubt that it will be.

Ann Althouse said...

"And, Bush 41 and Reagan also spoke to schoolchildren, in school, but we can't let pesky facts get in the way, now can we?"

You mean they visited schools in person? Beaming in the image and making kids sit still for it is a different thing altogether.

Ann Althouse said...

I wish TVs had never been put in schools. And turn off the PA system too.

MadisonMan said...

Beaming in the image and making kids sit still for it is a different thing altogether.

Bush and Reagan were brought in via TV. Making the kids sit still for it? That's a problem any day for anything.

Dogwood said...

I wish TVs had never been put in schools. And turn off the PA system too.

Amen.

Henry said...

Hear hear.

My wife and I disagree on this. I see it as a trivial waste of everyone's time. She sees it as valuable encouragement to students.

We did agree that the best speech Obama could give would be to sing How a Bill Becomes a Law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You mean they visited schools in person? Beaming in the image and making kids sit still for it is a different thing altogether.


After a few 200+ comment threads you would think anyone who isn't a frothing idiot would see the difference between the two.

Not to mention the DOE inspired curriculum.

Ann Althouse said...

"I haven't seen evidence to suggest that its some kind of partisan indoctrination."

Yes, there there probably will be -- though who knows? -- little indoctrination about particular partisan policies. But this is an effort to bond young children with the President. Adore the face of power. What do child psychologists have to say about what this does to young minds? It is very much like religion, I think, and it doesn't belong in compulsory public education, which should be about developing young minds, not inducing passive obedience to authority. Ah! Remember when lefties said things like that!

Ann Althouse said...

And what do education theorists have to say about it? For example, what does Bill Ayers think?

Chase said...

And turn off the PA system too.

WHAT?

The best times in my high school were when we got away with saying things over the PA!

"Mrs. Small, the Principal requests that you see him in his office." Then, pretending that we are still not on the air but were "He sure WOULD like to see her in that short skirt and tight top she always wears".

Don't take away the PA, man!

Eric said...

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years on the campaign, if he were elected President.

Oh please. He was talking about cutting the deficit. Now, granted, nobody on the left or the right actually believed him, but he was saying it.

On the school address... meh. It's tacky and a bit creepy, but it's hardly "communist".

Hoosier Daddy said...

Although I am proud to say that my astute 12 year old daughter did ask me once why Obama looked like he was watching a tennis match when he gave a speech.

She thinks he's a dork and didn't require coaching on my part either. Just goes to show some kids can smell bullshit better than 52% of the electorate.

Chase said...

Man, I wish we could post videos in the comments.

Eric said...

And what do education theorists have to say about it? For example, what does Bill Ayers think?

Oh, now you're just pouring gas on the fire.

Original Mike said...

Shanna: So, all this is about how much people trust the guy, which is not very much right now.

Althouse: while I do think that the speech could be used to teach critical thinking, I doubt that it will be.

He has squandered the reservoir of trust he started with, hasn't he.

froggyprager said...

What I think is funny is that the White House has a ad for the event where NASCAR drivers talk about how important it is to stay in school.

It will be completely non-partician and political but will promote him none the less.

Good find Chase. I like the guy but what bothers me is that this is going to kids of all ages. I don't want my 2nd grander to hear things like "stay in school", she did not know that there was any other option.

Look at the controversial curricium on line, just some very basic helpful ideas for teachers. No big deal.

Dogwood said...

And what do education theorists have to say about it? For example, what does Bill Ayers think?

Oh, now you're just pouring gas on the fire.


LOL! I think she is aiming for 400 comments on this one.

WV: becons: Future legal status of several members of Congress

Hoosier Daddy said...

WV: becons: Future legal status of several members of Congress

You know I was wishing the other day I had the problems of Chollie Rangel. You know the one where you find $500,000 you never knew you had.

Shanna said...

I wish TVs had never been put in schools.

This is one of the reason’s why this instance is different than 1991/1988. Everybody has a tv now. They didn’t then. Pre-channel one it took some doing to get to a working tv so there probably wasn't nearly as much participation. Remember tv's being on carts?

Plus, it just seems less creepy when you are actually visiting a school. Nobody really disagrees with that by itself.

Dogwood said...

You know I was wishing the other day I had the problems of Chollie Rangel. You know the one where you find $500,000 you never knew you had.

Tore the cushions off the couch the other day. Found .25. Checked pockets while doing laundry. Found .35. Found a penny in the street two days ago.

For some reason, I think Rangel was a bit more excited about the lost assets he suddenly found.

Sigh.

PatCA said...

Thank you, Ann, for this post. It's the best critique I've read of the whole situation.

I agree with Krauthammer that calling yourself a communist in this day and age is a pathetic intellectual pose, but it's leftist code for anti-American, and Obama is again revealing himself through his associates.

AJ Lynch said...

I can actually picture this longtime MSM dickweed, Joe Klein, thinking "Harumph..as if these flyover folks had a clue..Harumph".

AJ Lynch said...

Bill Ayers? It was probably his idea. Next up- lower the voting age to 12 years old.

Penny said...

Smacked DOWN! Down to the ground.

Robin said...

Joe Klein is an absolute 100% liar. In his rush to make himself look intelligent and his nameless interviewee look stupid, he has her speculate that czar is a "Russkie commie term". The last time I encountered either "Russkie" or "commie" was on some breathless PBS show whinging on that Bush=McCarthy!!!111! People don't actually use those terms, together, no less. And the way he cleverly traps her into "admitting" she listens to William Bennett and GUESS WHAT???? He was a czar!!! Joe, you're so much smarter than the woman you invented from whole cloth!

Dogwood said...

Smacked DOWN! Down to the ground.

Joe Klein got beat up by a girl. Good job Ann!

Dogwood said...

P.S. Hope you didn't bite his finger off because that is really gross.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann: "But this is an effort to bond young children with the President. Adore the face of power." (Klein is, after all, too tiresome to bother with, so Ann might as well help hijack her own thread onto something else.)

I remember, as a kid growing up in the '50s, that the Howie Doodie Show used to have a segment where they would play 'Hail to the Chief' while the camera stayed on a picture of Ike. The kids in TV-land were supposed to drink a glass of milk during the exercise (we did, at least at our house). Somehow the Republic survived that attempt to brainwash the Youth of America and the Dems even won the next election (although I did turn into a mostly R-voting adult).

The vortex is spinning ever faster around "O's speech to the kids," and will soon reach escape velocity. Irony and parody abound on this trip from Howie Doodie, through 1984 and ending up Caught in the Rye as James Dean rather than HC.

Penny said...

The thing that bothers me the most about Klein's message is that he prefers to wrap the opposition into a neat little package he calls "Republicans".

That's plain bull, and really unfair to those of us who are independents or centrists from either party. We are many, and we are mad.

Dogwood said...

From The Hill today re: Van Jones:

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs would only say Friday that Jones, no stranger to controversial or offensive statements, is still a part of the administration. He declined to say if Jones still has the confidence of the president.

Translation: Dead man walking.

Maguro said...

Translation: Dead man walking.


Not the Van Jones I knew.

Beth said...

It is very much like religion, I think, and it doesn't belong in compulsory public education, which should be about developing young minds, not inducing passive obedience to authority. Ah! Remember when lefties said things like that!

People in power are the authority, so they stop being "lefty" and "rightie" in terms of how either of those positions critique power. For a counter example, see how the GOP rails for small government when they're not in power, and how they spend like drunken sailors when they are. Neither side is truly interested in urging school children to resist authority as a good thing in and of itself, but only when that resistance is to the the values of the "other" - conservatives don't support free speech for the kid wearing a pro-marijuana T-shirt, and liberals aren't coming to the defense of the kid showing up in a Confederate flag T-shirt.


My gut feeling on this one is Obama is buying into that image of himself as the successful black man, an example for school kids to follow. But he's also an egoist, so I understand the critique that this is an exercise in personal glory as well. I don't think it's the fascist mind-control experiment some here are venting about, I just think it's a dumb idea that would have been slightly less dumb without the addition of the Dept. of Education curriculum.

John said...

Greatest Althouse Post Ever!!

Dogwood said...

Not the Van Jones I knew.

LOL!

Would that be the Truther Van Jones or the Commie Van Jones?

Maguro said...

Would that be the Truther Van Jones or the Commie Van Jones?

Yes!

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Althouse: "But yeah, my thinking has evolved on this since I wrote that because while I do think that the speech could be used to teach critical thinking, I doubt that it will be."


So your thinking has evolved from hoping for the hypothetical best to assuming the hypothetical worst. Kind of like your relationship with Obama, November 2008—Today. This must be a very frustrating way to live.

SMGalbraith said...

Glenn Beck is a nut - an irresponsible nut [is there any other kind] who makes nutty statements.

There.

I passed this liberal test where anyone on the right must condemn all of the nutty things said by anyone on the right.

For some reason Klein isn't demanding that Democrat politicians denounce nuts like Olbermann or Michael Moore, et al.

Why this need to demand that one side denounce their nuts while their own loons get a free ride is just one more in the growing list of WTF moments by liberals.

Gawd, liberals have done great things for this country but they are just absurd sometimes.

Dogwood said...

Gawd, liberals have done great things for this country but they are just absurd sometimes.

Liberals have done some great things, but leftists have not.

rdkraus said...

Maguro wins the "comments" of

The Best Blog Post of the Year.

Ya gotta laugh at these people, or kill yourself, or bite off someone's pinky. Something to remain sane.

These people are running the United States of America?

GAAAAAAAAAAA

rdkraus said...

I read my own comment that "These people are running the United States of America?" and I had an enormous urge to apply alcohol. I mean internally. I mean Bourbon.

Aaron said...

Well, Van Jones is a commie. and a truther. i wonder if there is alot of overlap in that--alot of "moronic convergence." beats me. i mean a 9-11 conspiracy theory would fit neatly into the cartoon world of a marxist thinker, but just because it fits theoretically doesn't mean they buy into it.

And then there are alot of people wearing che Tshirts, and alot of sympathy with chavez and not so much for the people of honduras.

I'm not saying i believe it, just that it isn't crazy.

Pogo said...

@Beth: "People in power are the authority, so they stop being "lefty" and "rightie" in terms of how either of those positions critique power".

Not all power is the same.

Certainly, the totalitarian right and totalitarian left have both sought hegemony, but historically, the latter have been far more successful at knocking off their own citizens than the former, by several orders of magnitude. They mechanized state killing; the Henry Fords of State-sponsored murder.

Hence my fear.

SMGalbraith said...

If one is worried about Islamic terrorists committing acts you're a sheeple who gives us his liberty too easily.

But 65-year olds in walkers yelling at a townhall meeting, now there's a threat to the Republic.

Oy.

ethan said...

Hey, what about the guns, Ann?

Oh, I see. You don't think the guns merit mention.

How are you allowed to teach at a public university? It's curious.

garage mahal said...

Well, Van Jones is a commie..

One of the biggest joys of being a conservative must be the pure pleasure and satisfaction calling people commies one gets. It's just irresistible.

rdkraus said...

garage

Some truth to that. I used to love when Ron Kuby would say his mommy was a commie, then they made it part of the intro to his radio show on ABC.

He was pretty interesting. Really. Best lefty talk show guy I've heard, prolly.

One reason we like to call them commies is that they do everything they can to not admit what they really want. See "progressive" or "public option."

Paddy O. said...

You, a public university teacher!

Dogwood said...

One reason we like to call them commies is that they do everything they can to not admit what they really want.

Actually, we call Van Jones a commie because he called himself a commie. So we're not calling him a commie, just respectfully recognizing his self-proclaimed party affiliation.

Dogwood said...

One of the biggest joys of being a conservative must be the pure pleasure and satisfaction calling people commies one gets.

No pleasure involved, more like bewilderment that anyone in the 21st century would self-identify as a commie given the historical record of communists around the world.

Why would one self-identify with a political movement whose singular achievement was mass murder on a scale that would have made Hitler blush?

Shanna said...

One of the biggest joys of being a conservative must be the pure pleasure and satisfaction calling people commies one gets. It's just irresistible.

At least we’re having fun. What else can you do? From the angry, frothing at the mouth comments I’ve heard from people who think republicans are, among other things, racist, nazi, assholes, I think they need to find the fun.

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

From the angry, frothing at the mouth comments I’ve heard from people who think republicans are, among other things, racist, nazi, assholes, I think they need to find the fun.

A perpetual state of rage is what fuels them. It provides them the courage to speak truth to power, except when they're in power. Then the rage is just rage for the sake of rage.

Apparently, this goes on and on until their heads explode, but it can take years for the pressure to build.

Steven said...

Could I just say that the intensity of this getting pretty scary...and dangerous?

No. Not a chance. Fuck you, Mr. Klein. After eight years of Bush=Hitler and assassination fantasies and even cheering an attempt at a direct physical attack against Bush, no one on your side has no right to even think such a thought.

section9 said...

Richard Dolan said:

I remember, as a kid growing up in the '50s, that the Howie Doodie Show used to have a segment where they would play 'Hail to the Chief' while the camera stayed on a picture of Ike. The kids in TV-land were supposed to drink a glass of milk during the exercise (we did, at least at our house). Somehow the Republic survived that attempt to brainwash the Youth of America and the Dems even won the next election (although I did turn into a mostly R-voting adult).


That was different then. The guy being hailed was a Real commander-in-chief. Ike. You know, led the conquest of Northwestern Europe. Accepted the Surrender of the Germans at Reims. Commanded NATO, President of Columbia University....

Then he went on to have eight years of peace and prosperity, with not one death in combat during his entire tenure. Plus, Ike got the Interstate Highway Bill through congress.

BTW, do you know how LONG the Interstate Highway Bill was? 18 pages.

We should have an Ike Day so modern, self-absorbed, whining, post-modernist politicians can take a day to reflect on how a real man governs.

blake said...

AA: And what do education theorists have to say about it? For example, what does Bill Ayers think?

Eric: Oh, now you're just pouring gas on the fire.


Yeah! Ain't it cool?

Nichevo said...

Blogger garage mahal said...

What tragedy? Not passing a sprawling, amorphous, unproven rearrangement of the way health care is paid for?.

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years on the campaign, if he were elected President. It was the number one topic at dozens of debates. It's been talked about since Harry Truman. And you voted for him. So stop effing whining!
9/4/09 11:01 AM

...

Ann, a personal question: Does "shut up and suck it" work on you?

TW: "mizesses" - what garage does in this line of argument

Richard Dolan said...

section9: "Then he went on to have eight years of peace and prosperity, with not one death in combat during his entire tenure."

I think you're skipping a little too lightly over the unpleasantness in Korea.

Barlycorn, John said...

Obama had such high approval ratings and such goodwill among the American people, then he squandered it on his healthcare jihad. Tsk tsk tks.

Barlycorn, John said...

So garage mahal (that is a funny name because that is what everyone in the neighborhood calls my garage), anyway,

Are you claiming that Van is not a commie? He said himself he was a commie. We didn't call him that. Believe me, I would much rather be enjoying a long weekend secure in the knowledge that the country was in the hands of people who cared about its well being, even if I disagreed with them on some of the hows, but Obama and Ayers

Advisors to the president who have advocated mass sterilization in their public writings.

Medical ethicists who publish a set of "Death Panel" rules in this January's Lancet?

Obama is a whack job surrounded by whack jobs.

Charlie said...

Zachary Paul Sire snarked:

And, Bush 41 and Reagan also spoke to schoolchildren, in school, but we can't let pesky facts get in the way, now can we?

When the Challenger accident happened, schoolchildren all across the nation were tuned in to see the first teacher in space. That was a national trauma, hitting students extra hard, and Reagan's remarks to them served as a needed balm.

For you to liken Reagan's national address to students to Obama's upcoming one... that's just tacky.

GHW Bush, otoh, is a closer comparison (I didn't think much of it at the time myself). ONLY, 1) Bush didn't seem to be scrambling every minute of the day to be getting face time in front of the cameras, 2) Bush's effort didn't have the same community organizer odors to it, complete with teacher materials and assignments, and 3) Bush didn't leave us with the feeling that he was ignoring a disastrous jobs and economy situation.

Florida said...

Van Jones, noted racist, on how only white kids shoot up schools ... in his own words:

http://www.breitbart.tv/van-jones-only-suburbal-white-kids-shoot-up-schools/

The junior varsity is in charge of our nation.

Time to fire them.

jr565 said...

I don't see why when Obama appoints self avowed communists and radicals to posts in the govt that it's somehow beyond the pale to be worried about communists and radicals in govt positions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So your thinking has evolved from hoping for the hypothetical best to assuming the hypothetical worst. Kind of like your relationship with Obama, November 2008—Today. This must be a very frustrating way to live.

Unlike you, ZPS, whose opinions have been preserved in amber, never to change with any experiences you may have in your lifetime. Always stay true to your first impression and refuse to re-evaluate anything.

Mind numbing way to live.

Mark said...

We are heading toward a cliff and the usual brakes of civil discourse are not working.

That might have something to do with the people who cut the brake lines by, for example, accusing the President of engaging in a conspiracy that murdered thousands of Americans.

Once the brake lines are cut, they don't grow back by themselves.

jr565 said...

That might have something to do with the people who cut the brake lines by, for example, accusing the President of engaging in a conspiracy that murdered thousands of Americans.

Not to mention movies about the assassination of Bush and the books about asassinating Bush and the posters with Bush having a bullet hole in his head, or the posters that said that Bush was the biggest terrorist, or the claims that Bush hyped the threat for Halliburton and the Saudis.... I'm getting tired just listing all of the blood libel put out by the left about evil Bush/Hitler and Cheney. All of which apparently Joe Klein was sleeping through or didn't find particularly outrageous for 8 years.
Joe should have gotten out more.

Mumon said...

You'd think, by now, a lot more would be plunging ahead and using the inflammatory word.

If you were a crackpot you would.

Mumon said...

I'm getting tired just listing all of the blood libel put out by the left about evil Bush/Hitler and Cheney.

Well, if you'd just ascent to having them brought to justice I think you wouldn't have to listen to any of it any more.

mockmook said...

Obama is attempting to do EXACTLY what he talked about doing for almost 2 years ... And you voted for him. So stop effing whining!

So he campaingned to pass a 1000+ page bill that congress-critters will neither read, nor understand?

wv=selyp

Yep, 0 apologists are selling

cf said...

section9 said...
"We should have an Ike Day so modern, self-absorbed, whining, post-modernist politicians can take a day to reflect on how a real man governs."

Richard Dolan said:
"I think you're skipping a little too lightly over the unpleasantness in Korea."


Richard, if you check, Ike campaigned on ending that war and had a treaty by July of his first year (compare to current occupant and how his stands have shapeshifted like sand in an Iraqi desert).

Section 9, I agree, an Ike Day! When HE gave a television address, it was to look every American in the eye to say he stood with and would protect the Little Rock students who had enrolled at an all-white school for the first time.

That took enormous moral courage and conviction Then, so unlike the practiced, righteous poses that shuffle-when-tested like we get Now.

And, speaking of other presidents, one other thing I keep mulling: I remember in the later 70s, Carter years perhaps, that a long-running survey of third-graders was showing new results. Up through Nixon, they thought of the President of the United States as powerful and helpful. At some point after Nixon, third graders considered POTUS powerful ... and dangerous!

What a shift. Never been the same since. That made me sad then, and it makes me sad now to see that our current president, despite our best hopes for him, has given us cause to suspect him, too.

PatCA said...

I bet Van Jones sees himself as part of the "collective," the word your diavlog partner inadvertently let slip.

Actually, he probably sees all of us as part of the collective; he himself is a czar.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's trajectory to incompetence has exponentially exceeded Bush's trajectory to incompetence. And that ain't easy to do!

avwh said...

"Obama's trajectory to incompetence has exponentially exceeded Bush's trajectory to incompetence. And that ain't easy to do!"

I KNEW there was a way Obama far surpassed Bush - and this is it: Obama did in 7 months what Bush took 8 long, difficult years to accomplish.

former law student said...

I remember a simpler day, when the compulsorily schooled youth of our nation were made to gaze upon the face of George Herbert Walker Bush:

So looking forward to today, for a few minutes I was a hero with one of my young grandkids, younger guy than you. When I told her I was going to be on television, she thought I'd finally made it on to ``Sesame Street.'' [Laughter]

And as you begin the school year, just think of what you can make of the future. ... And you, the students of today, will help keep America the world's leader. And all of you, if you work hard, but all of you can turn learning into an adventure.

And to do this you have to prepare not just by studying, but by studying hard, especially math and science. And that means doing what I too often fail to do, that means homework. And it means setting goals both for you and for America.

This is why our administration and the Nation's Governors created six national educational goals, one of which is to be the first in the world in math and science.

...Even if you don't end up working in space, what you learn about math and science and all the rest of the subjects you study will help you for the rest of your life. So, do your best. Make America proud. Help achieve a lift-off to learning.

Mr. Bolden. Well, Mr. President, I think they're ready, and we're going to give you two questions from here before we switch down to Texas for some. So, who has a question for the President?

The President. There she goes. What is it?

Q. I go to Stevens Elementary School. My teacher is Miss Hamilton.

The President. Is she a hard teacher?

Q. No.

The President. No? Okay.




Q. Do you want your grandchildren to live and work in space?

The President. Oh, I'd love it if one of them would do that. ... I don't know whether they'll make it, but if they're going to, they've got to start in, as I'm sure some of you are: recognize the importance of school first and then as they get a little older concentrate on that math and science and all the things that Charlie can tell you about that are important to it. But I think it would be wonderful because I think the challenge for our country, a lot of it, lies out there in space.

Mr. Bolden. Next question...

Q. I would like to ask you how is space technology helping you as the President?

The President. Well, there are many ways it helps. I'm not sure exactly in terms of my day-to-day responsibilities as President, but space technology helps in so many practical ways. One I think of is, and I guess it affects whether you're President or whether you're just a plain citizen, is in medicine. Some of the research that they have done has a direct application to medicine. Other parts of research that interest me, I guess, again, not just because I'm President, but citizen, is what they learn about weather, what they learn about crops internationally in terms of feeding the world.

One of the worries I have is there are a lot of hungry people in the world. And how do we, as the United States, use our advanced science that NASA taught us so much about to help other people? And we've got to help people at home, but we also have an obligation. Somebody is hungry halfway around the world, we need to help them. And the science that comes out of the space program in terms of agriculture is very, very important.

So, that is just a couple of ways, but I'm sure there are many, many more.

Did you notice how he tried to bond with America's youth as their friendly grampa, instead of the lipless ex-spook he was in reality? And this "feeding the hungry" BS. The GHW Bush I knew was no limp Commie peace-and-love-nik. Surely this represented near-Nixonian levels of Machiavellianism.

But seriously folks, when I was a kid we were taught to respect all Presidents -- yes, even the non-crook Nixon. And TVs were dragged into our classrooms so we could watch the Mercury space shots, live. Later, the coverage of the Kennedy assassination. Everyone I knew had a TV in 1960, by the way.

Robert said...

Help me understand this - the President wants to give a speech about the importance of staying in school to kids that are already in school? Is it me, or is that a colossal waste of time? Why not find a bunch of drop outs and tell them to go back to school?

Better still, where are the parents in this? My daughter is 12, and she is not ging to be inspired or motivated by the President. She is going to be motivated by the prospect of having to deal with me regarding her performance in school. More than anything, education is a parental responsibility, and can someone please tell the President that I got it covered?

former law student said...

Why not find a bunch of drop outs and tell them to go back to school?

Why not find a bunch of prostitutes and try to convince them of the virtues of virginity? Once they've dropped out, they've made their decision.

Better still, where are the parents in this? My daughter is 12, and she is not ging to be inspired or motivated by the President.

I'm sure liberals kept their children from watching W. on TV, so right-wingers are well within their rights to change the channel when Obama comes on with his powerful rhetorical skills. Obama == Pied Piper of Hyde Park. Any kid who hears him will succumb to his siren's song.

Beth said...

For you to liken Reagan's national address to students to Obama's upcoming one... that's just tacky.

Charlie, can you explain how Reagan comforted the students who watched Challenger blow up with tales of the wonders of lower taxes?

Charlie said...

Beth snarked too:

Charlie, can you explain how Reagan comforted the students who watched Challenger blow up with tales of the wonders of lower taxes?

As I recall, Beth, he didn't mention taxes at all, but you can google away if you want to be sure.

Beth said...

Google it yourself: It was Nov. 14, 1988, and the text is all over the place. He doesn't mention Challenger, but since the shuttle went down in 1986, that's not surprising.

Barlycorn, John said...

"Ike campaigned on ending that war and had a treaty by July of his first year"

Yeah, and how has that worked out for us? 10,000 artillery tubes pointed a Seoul that could be fired off in a second, and a people living in slavery to a royal family in all but name?

miller said...

Definitely need a higher class of trolls. Actual facts would help, too.

If Van Jones calls himself a communist, who am I to disagree?

Unless it's impolite to call someone by what they call themselves.

WV: untivali, as in "I went to Cobenhabn, and hated the Tivoli Gardens."

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse is defending Glenn Beck.

Amazing. She has no standards.

amba said...

I'm still trying to get my head around what a couple of reliable people have told me: that many their leftie friends and acquaintances now proudly call themselves Communists.

blake said...

Amba,

They were just hiding. Communism was so thoroughly discredited in the '90s, you really had to be, you know, stupid to be one.

Somehow they think the financial meltdown and Obama's victory means it's cool to be a Commie again.

amba said...

Having been a close-up witness to the death throes of Communism throughout the 70s and 80s, I am completely flabbergasted by that. Speechless. I would have thought it impossible.

But here's one of the people who blithely says it's quite true.