November 22, 2009

"Like Reagan, Obama is a detached loner with a strong, savvy wife."

"But unlike Reagan, he doesn’t have the acting skills to project concern about what’s happening to people."

Wow. That's Maureen Dowd. (Obama's in trouble!) She's writing about the importance of reaching people on a "visceral" level, the way Sarah Palin does.

Dowd quotes a "spiritual therapist": "[Palin's] alive inside, and that radiates energy, and people who are not psychologically alive inside are fascinated by that."

Obama's admirers have loved his thoughtful thinkiness, his cerebreality. But that's getting old and cold.
Dither, dither, speech. Foreign trip, bow, reassure. Seminar, summit. Shoot a jump shot with the guys, throw out the first pitch in mom jeans. Compromise, concede, close the deal. Dither, dither, water down, news conference.....
Where is the animal fire inside the clammily cool Prez? Maureen wants to know. Was it ever really there?
The animating spirit that electrified his political movement has sputtered out.
The animating spirit...

Whose animating spirit provided the electricity back then? Did it come from him, or did we generate it from within as we looked at him and fell in love?

You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was. Shake him all you want, Maureen, but you're like some Star Trek extra (in tights and a tunic) trying to coax heat out of the body of Mr. Spock. I'm afraid these earnest efforts are futile.

180 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

The end is near!

Not because of above, because I am actually finding Maureen Dowd's most recent columns telling. I disagree with her, but they are very revealing about Maureen herself. The one about Palin last week was especially so.

kent said...

as we looked at him and fell in love?

"We?" "WE" -- ?!?

Please, Professor. ;)

Jeff with one 'f' said...

She presumes that Reagan only pretended to concern about people.

Project much, Maureen?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

but you're like some Star Trek extra (in tights and a tunic) trying to coax heat out of the body of Mr. Spock. I'm afraid these earnest efforts are futile.


HA HA HA. Perfect visual image.

Perhaps if the media, and that includes YOU Maureen, had done their job of actually investigating and exploring who Obama was/is they wouldn't be so shocked shocked shocked that he really doesn't command the unicorn and rainbow brigade.

miller said...

Maureen Dowd is The Most Important Political Writer in the World.sp

miller said...

But who am I kidding?

traditionalguy said...

Oh my! The sensitive Maureen is leveling with us. The Great Obama Spell of 2008 has been broken and lost its power to compel obedient thoughts in hearts and minds. That means a greater animating spirit must have defeated it wherever spirits do battle. Some one has to stop the Alaskan facebook practitioner before she causes Americans to awake in their right minds again and throw out the Mighty Obamacan Destroyers. Will the NYT also wake up?

miller said...

Dowd will swoon to whomever will pay her attention.

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

Maureen Dowd: "The Journalistic Equivalent of Forrest Gump. In Red Pumps." ;)

Jason (the commenter) said...

A few months ago Obama had four years to prove himself, we were supposed to hold off judgment and give him time. I guess his time is up.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Obama will just say that during his campaign many people said he was finished and he still managed to win. Then he'll ban Maureen Dowd from all press events. That seems to be how he deals with things.

ricpic said...

Michelle Antoinette is savvy? If she's so savvy how come she's so transparent? Heart of darkness, that's what she is.

bearbee said...

Obama is a lonely, insecure, defensive, thin-skinned man who has no clear view of himself or of how others perceive him. He has no particular 'brilliance' other than a survival talent for being opportunistic.

I just do not understand how voters could not clearly see him.

But then, I may be an anomaly in that the rhetoric of so few people have the power to move me.

jag said...

The photo of Obama at the Great Wall of China is uncomfortably telling of his leadership style: a solitary man lost in thought wandering the stage of history.

jeff said...

IS he lost in thought? Or does he just appear to be?

knox said...

"Cold," yes. "Cold and Calculating," even.

I think that every move in this adminstration is so coached and orchestrated and strategized (by Axelrod and Emanuel) that there's likely no opportunity for our president to *actually* process and deal with anything in a meaningful way.

You know how when people say it's harder to lie because it's difficult to keep track of the details of your story--as opposed to simply recalling actual events? Sort of like that. Was the visit with the troops a "photo op"? Maybe not, but they're trying so hard to spin it that Obama makes a clueless and insensitive joke about it a week later. Everything's part of some big strategory (to borrow a term we've all become familiar with).

Incidentally, this is also why he comes across as overwhelmed and incompetent. Too many things to keep track of, which aren't based on principle, but some last minute, half-baked, ever shifting strategy.

HelenParr said...

I agree with Tammy Bruce: Obama = Urkel.

LYNNDH said...

I think that there is a lot of anger under that thin skin. It will come out the more he is opposed. It may come out at a very bad moment, for him.

careen said...

Going by his bio, underneath the frigid exterior, he seemed to be constantly judging the people in his past and finding them wanting - and he was belatedly angry about it. If he didn't show emotion in real time, but simply buried it for decades until he could write a book - there's your lost visceral.

ContraMan said...

Say it ain't so, Mo.

The upper west side of NYC and 85% of the left coast are in state of shock this morning; their tea grows cold, their muffins go uneaten. They are sick at heart. "Did she have to use the "dither" word?" they cry. "Et tu, Maureen?"

Particularly sickening for them is this Dowd perfidy comes on the heels of SNL's devastating takedown of the OMan last night. These critiques of the Great Leader from left field must be too surreal for liberals to comprehend. They're almost Palinesque for them.

Take a liberal to lunch. Comfort them with the sure knowledge that Frank Rich and Keith Oberman, like cockroaches after a nuclear attack, will always be there for them.…………Maybe.

Steve Pierson said...

Knox @ 12:09 - You nailed it.

pm317 said...

People who are intellectually honest (like the good professor) may actually confess one day they made a mistake. People like MoDO who are not intellectually honest will lament and turn it into a what was "always was" into a "became" to save their face and ass and people who are dumb like that woman the professor had on bloggerheads will bury their puny little brains in the sand and declare he is the finest we ever had.

Me, I feel pretty good right now because every little bit of my assessment of this nincompoop is coming true (no, winning a campaign based on cheating, threats and deception does not count as smart in my book) -- in fact Palin and Obama are identical many respects which is to manipulate the vulnerable by any means and in Palin's case it is by being who/what she is and in Obama's case, it is by pretending to be who/what he is not.

Quayle said...

This isn't going to change because this is Obama, and this is how he got to where he is.

He hung around and be'ed Obama, which meant that he hung around and said lots of intelligent sounding things, and then moved on to the next gig.

Paul said...

Anyone who cared to look could see he has dead eyes. He's been transparent to me from the start. But then I have what is apparently a strange lack of a capacity for wishful thinking.

rcocean said...

Yep, O's been a disaster. But Captain McQueeg would have been even worse. Unstable, angry, belligerent, "reaching across the aisle", Wondering how to obtain the approval of the NYT Op-ed page.

And of course, implicating the Republican party in all his deals with Reid and Pelosi.

Yes, O's bad. But McCain, man, we dodged a bullet on that, my friends.

AJ Lynch said...

By 2012, when the economy is still in shambles, a boring but competent Mitt Romney will look like a real Messiah to the voters.

pm317 said...

McCain was not the real choice against Obama, Hillary was. People who are not familiar with what happened in the Dem primary should learn about what happened then. Hillary with all her awkward campaign style would have been a better choice than either of these two nincompoops. People who fell for the superficial (something happening with Palin again) are paying the price along with the rest of us. Is that democracy? Perhaps. Perceptions (as false they are) will deliver the final outcome.

elHombre said...

People need to understand what the president is thinking as he maneuvers the treacherous terrain of a lopsided economic recovery and two depleting wars.

Well, Maureen, it's difficult to think of anything more frightening than this -- sort of like the making of laws and sausages

edutcher said...

Not piling on (Ann has said she was wrong about all this - and few people are that honest publicly), but those who opposed the Messiah were talking about this sort of thing about 18 months ago. If MoDo is only now realizing it, one wonders where she was when people noticed the lack of a sense of humor, the record of voting present, etc.

As for Nancy Reagan being savvy, it never seemed so at the time; if Mrs. O was ever that savvy, it has also never showed.

AJ Lynch said...

By 2012, when the economy is still in shambles, a boring but competent Mitt Romney will look like a real Messiah to the voters.

By 2012, when the economy is really in shambles, anybody will look like a real Messiah to the voters.

Sorry, AJ, I just don't think Milton is going to make it past the first round in the primaries.

pm317 said...

...

Hillary with all her awkward campaign style would have been a better choice than either of these two nincompoops.


Sorry, Hillary had many of the same problems O has - indecisive, etc. She was going to fall, regardless, and we're better off without her.

PS Truth in advertising, I was a Rudy guy in the primaries - I was willing to look past his stands on social issues because he was right on the big stuff. If he'd only run a better campaign...

Or any campaign.

WV "freud" What comes after schauden

elHombre said...

Actually, Maureen, what is "a lopsided economic recovery" exactly. (1:08)

AJ Lynch said...

I agree - Hillary would have done much of the same things as Obama. They are two doctrinaire peas in a pod.

kathleen said...

Obama is sooooo 2008.

Floydster said...

Althouse has been reduced to two kinds of banal and utterly predictable posts: (1) Obama is in trouble, and (2) the sky is falling.

Today, Obama is in trouble.

When the most significant health care reform in 60 years passes, it will be "the sky is falling."

Followed, no doubt, by new claims that Obama is in trouble.

I guess it feeds the site meter.

It also makes you predictable and boring.

pm317 said...

Sorry, edutcher, we have to agree to disagree about Hillary. Rudy didn't even come close to winning your primary whereas by republican rules (winner take all) Hillary would have won the Dem primary by a mile (that is another "trick" Obama DNC supporters put in place for him to be dragged to the finish line -- proportional delegates). She is smarter than any of these other politicians and she would have done things deliberately and with care (of course in line with Dem principles which would not suit you, tough). Instead what are you getting now with Obama? What would you have with McCain? We needed a policy wonk and a detail oriented person who can make her case to the public without mincing meat to get us out of the morass Bush put us in but you all got Obama now. Hurray!!

vbspurs said...

Have you guys read today's (London) Sunday Times piece on Obama?

"TOP FLOPS

Israel — Obama wanted: A freeze on settlement building as a precondition for the resumption of Palestinian peace talks.

He got: An Israeli brush-off. Construction of a new Jewish housing complex began last week.

Iran — Obama wanted: A deal to ship low-enriched uranium to Russia to curb Iran’s ability to make nuclear weapons.

He got: Another brush-off. Tehran reneged last week.

China — Obama wanted: Concessions on climate, currency rates, trade and human rights.

He got: A bland statement with no firm commitments and no mention of internet censorship or Tibet."

It's been the most wonderful November I can remember as a conservative IN YEARS. Ever since 4 November, it's bang-bang-bang. The Myth is dead.

Cheers,
Victoria

AC245 said...

I don't think anyone here will dispute Floydster's expertise on predictable and boring.

class-factotum said...

He’s a highly intelligent man

And we have proof of that from what? Grades? SAT? Accomplishments prior to being elected President because of course being elected President isn't enough because Reagan and Bush were elected.

vbspurs said...

It will come out the more he is opposed. It may come out at a very bad moment, for him.

I don't think he can call Medvedev a pig with lipstick, or surreptiously give Wen Jiabao the finger like he did with Hillary, without the whole world noticing.

But that's what he does when he's cornered, upset, and frustrated -- so we'll see.

I'm sure Greg Craig thinks he got more than the finger from his old pal (remember, he played the role of John McCain in the prep debates -- they were very close).

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

And we have proof of that from what? Grades? SAT?

Because he speaks purty. And no writer, ghost or otherwise, ever ever put words into his mouth. No sir. Every word he's ever said, he's written he himself and I.

vbspurs said...

wv: uppit!

WHOA. That is really disgusting.

jaltcoh said...

Maureen Dowd writes: "Obama so values pragmatism, and is so immersed in the thorny details of legislative compromises, that he may be undervaluing the connective bonds of simpler truths."

The criticism used to be that he's too uninvolved in the legislative process. Did he overcorrect this problem? I suppose once he finds the sweet spot between too uninvolved and too involved, then we'll all praise him for reaching the perfect middle ground of involvement.

class-factotum said...

Oh Victoria I've missed you.

vbspurs said...

Yes, O's bad. But McCain, man, we dodged a bullet on that, my friends.

McCain is too unpredictable to know exactly what he would've done. And he wouldn't have left our troops with their backs against the wall in Afghanistan, going on months now.

If all things stay as they are now, with the Obama administration unable to alter anything in our system significantly (no NHS, no cap-and-trade, not even a measely Fairness Doctrine implementation, then I'll take your opinion as mine, Rocean.

Until then, as much as I personally regret having voted for a RINO, he's still miles better than President Obama.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Hey Class-Factotum! I delurked a fortnight ago, thanks to Ann's salooboobies. :)

HOPE YOU ARE WELL!!

pm317 said...

What is happening with Palin and what happened with Obama is over-personalization of the candidates by the electorate gladly facilitated by the handlers (or the candidate themselves) who are in it for all the wrong reasons. Rationality and clear thinking on merits can go to hell.

There is much danger in personalizing a situation/candidate in a democracy. Especially when the media is not on your side to give you all the facts. You are on your own.

David said...

Dither, dither, speech. Foreign trip, bow, reassure. Seminar, summit. Shoot a jump shot with the guys, throw out the first pitch in mom jeans. Compromise, concede, close the deal. Dither, dither, water down, news conference.....

Wow!

Mo knows O.

Or something.

Don't get too excited, folks.

Mo's been feeling a little eclipsed lately. By Sarah Palin, for God's sake.

What better way for Mo to get back in the conversation.

MagicalPat said...

Shake him all you want, Maureen

He is an awful lot like a snow globe. It's only pretty and interesting when someone shakes it up. Then it's good for about 2 minutes before it returns to its previous state of nothingness.

Sounds like Obama to me.

vbspurs said...

Maureen Dowd wrote and quoted:

Yet Democrats would be foolish to write off her visceral power.

As Judith Doctor, a 69-year-old spiritual therapist, told The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz at Palin’s book signing in Grand Rapids, Mich., “She’s alive inside, and that radiates energy, and people who are not psychologically alive inside are fascinated by that.”


You can write this on a marble tablet as the textbook example of present-day liberal attitudes about conservatives. It contains every hint of nervousness, scoffing dismissal, personal attack, and finally, ends with a sucker punch at the end. "People who are not psychologically alive inside" is just lib-speak for "mindless boring drones".

Look, you really want to know why liberals detest and yet fear Sarah Palin? Forget Madison Man's quasi-cute suggestion of her accent and all the rest of it. It's actually very simple, and something which I should've figured out much earlier.

The salient characteristic of modern-day progressives is a distrust of their fellow man.

They are not confident that your average American will come to the "right" decision about anything. That's why they would much rather let government impose laws, strictures and to set up programmes to make sure they do everything "just right".

And whilst every liberal from here to Madison, Wisconsin will say that they WANT Sarah Palin to be out there garnering attention, that it's super-good for them since she's such a lightweight and a clown...they not so-secretly fear her and that attention.

Because ultimately, the inconceivable could happen -- Americans could elect her president one day, just like they did those mindless boring drones, Reagan and Bush.

'Cause they just don't trust Americans to do the "right thing".

Cheers,
Victoria

Brian said...

The "thoughtful thinkiness, his cerebreality" thing was always a conceit, and it was always false. There's a reason why neither Althouse nor anyone else can provide examples of Obama's alleged intellectuality.

Obama is a bullshit artist, nothing more.

Patm said...

Obama was always the blank slate upon which everyone saw what they wanted to see.

Palin seems too much like him, for my money. She's just the rightwing Obama; pithy platitudes, thin-skin and all-too happy to be the idol in the cult of personality.

BUT...at least one does believe she loves the country and the troops. So that is something.

vbspurs said...

There is much danger in personalizing a situation/candidate in a democracy. Especially when the media is not on your side to give you all the facts. You are on your own.

I love Sarah Palin, but conservatives rarely fall so love with a candidate, that it trumps the love and passion for AMERICA.

I can't speak for any other conservative, but if she's not good enough, if she doesn't step it up politically and show me she's learnt from the past, and is willing to offer more than her 2008 incarnation, then I don't want her as my president.

Any cult of personality is beyond creepy. But there is a huge difference when one defends someone one perceives has been railroaded unfairly by elites in every medium of culture, from the newspapers, television, academia, and pop culture, to being genuinely blind to someone's shortcomings.

That's what liberals did with Obama, in my estimation, and now, one year hence, they are paying the price for having elected an incompetent executive.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chris said...

Obama = Dukakis

DCPI said...

Obama is Tuvok, not Spock.

vbspurs said...

Obama = Wilson.

The ego-centric academic with a Messianic world healer complex, who surrounds himself with fawning minions to bolster his political ideals. Rahm Emanuel is even his Colonel House. And socialised health care seems to be his League of Nations, to boot.

Although I'm personally amused by my own analogy, as Sarah Palin seems to be cast in the role of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Hehe.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Magical Pat wins the thread.

johnny said...

This is just another Modo column. The same kind that
spawned "Obambi". It doesnt mean "Obama is in trouble"....it means it is Sunday, and Maureen Dowd has managed to stay on at the NYT.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama created the Tea Party movement which should be the Person of The Year for 2009.

McCain would not have engendered as much voter energy nor the Tea Party movement but Obama did.

The Tea Parties may be Obama's greatest achievement.

rcocean said...

If all things stay as they are now, with the Obama administration unable to alter anything in our system significantly (no NHS, no cap-and-trade, not even a measely Fairness Doctrine implementation, then I'll take your opinion as mine, Rocean.


If we can run out the clock until 2012 we'll be OK. Fortunately, BHO seems to have no ability to rally the American public to his side. I've been shocked at how distant and elitist he's been.

vbspurs said...

Who will be the Time Person of the Year, I wonder? Obama could repeat you know. I'm sure if Time had their druthers, he would be a fourpeat, at least.

The cast of Mad Men should receive some votes.

vbspurs said...

I've been shocked at how distant and elitist he's been.

The thing Clinton had going for him, is that no matter how many Hilton Head and Martha's Vineyard vacations he took, he still had pasty white legs and liked to pig out on Mickey D's. Obama can shoot hoops all he wants. He's still remote and unrelatable.

kent said...

... and, in related news: looks like somebody's finally gotten over his massive man-crush. ;)

Brian said...

Victoria,

With all the commentary on Obama & Sarah Palin, I found the 2 people who in my opinion got it right not in articles or even in blog posts, but in the comment sections of blog posts.

You say about progressives:

"They are not confident that your average American will come to the 'right' decision about anything. That's why they would much rather let government impose laws, strictures and to set up programmes to make sure they do everything 'just right'."

Obama, of course, is a progressive, who gave his opinion of the thinking and coping skills of average Americans - and revealed his contempt for average Americans - when he said:

"[I]t's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Contrast Sarah Palin, who sees herself as the equal of ordinary Americans, which is not a self-esteem problem, because she genuinely esteems Americans. Another commenter on another blog put it this way:

"She seems flattered to be in the presence of ordinary Americans." (Comment by getfitnow | 2009-11-19 13:31:31)

Paul said...

"Palin seems too much like him, for my money. She's just the rightwing Obama; pithy platitudes, thin-skin and all-too happy to be the idol in the cult of personality."

I disagree. I don't see the same born and bred narcissism in Palin that is stridently obvious in Obama, Hillary, or McCain, and in that order.

She's a small town girl made good. The opposite of the elites that her supporters detest.

All she needs is the right principals and policies, which I think she has, to back up her charisma.

Charisma is only a problem if it hides a flaw in character and motive.

John Salmon said...

It's awfully annoying that people like Althouse who helped foist this non-entity on America haven't apologized.

blogging cockroach said...

Comfort them with the sure knowledge that Frank Rich and Keith Oberman, like cockroaches after a nuclear attack, will always be there for them.…………Maybe.

i resent that

J said...

"But unlike Reagan, he doesn’t have the acting skills to project concern about what’s happening to people."

Reagan was also a considerably more intelligent and accomplished man, with work experience applicable to the job. It also probably helped that his formal education was in economics, not law.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I can't speak for any other conservative, but if she's not good enough, if she doesn't step it up politically and show me she's learnt from the past, and is willing to offer more than her 2008 incarnation, then I don't want her as my president.



Agreed. While I admire the can do spirit and basic common sense that Palin brings, there must be more than just an admiration of her personality.

She does need to show that she has grown politically, while still keeping the qualities that make her different and that the people admire. I certainly don't want her to be morphed into a clone of every other mealy mouthed politician blurting out tired talking points, ad nauseum. She does need to be able to clearly articulate her policies and show a vision for the electorate.....and I don't mean a phony hopey changey vision like Obama.....but a real achievable vision that has the best interests of the American People at its core.

vbspurs said...

"She seems flattered to be in the presence of ordinary Americans." (Comment by getfitnow | 2009-11-19 13:31:31)

Nice "retweet", Brian! I think I've seen that ID, getfitnow, on another blog. And I agree with his or her sentiments.

Obama's attitude reminds me of an old Benny Hill joke, in one of his skits. He plays a super-important politician of the day, being interviewed by a talk show host who greets him enthusiastically:

Talk Show Host: "Welcome to the programme!"

Benny Hill: "It's an honour and a privilege."

Talk Show Host: "It's an honour and a privilege FOR US!"

Benny Hill: "That's what I meant."

vbspurs said...

wv: lipshea!

The "sheeea" that comes out of some policians' lips.

edutcher said...

pm317 said...

Sorry, edutcher, we have to agree to disagree about Hillary. Rudy didn't even come close to winning your primary whereas by republican rules (winner take all) Hillary would have won the Dem primary by a mile (that is another "trick" Obama DNC supporters put in place for him to be dragged to the finish line -- proportional delegates). She is smarter than any of these other politicians and she would have done things deliberately and with care (of course in line with Dem principles which would not suit you, tough).

Coulda, woulda, shoulda is the language of Albert Gore, The Living Redwood. The rules are the rules and Hillary lost. I disagree that she is that smart - witness her performance at State. She had in the primaries the same trouble making decisions as Barry has today and all she really had going for her for three years was the media. When they deserted her, that was the ball game.

vbspurs said...

I don't think he can call Medvedev a pig with lipstick, or surreptiously give Wen Jiabao the finger like he did with Hillary, without the whole world noticing.

But that's what he does when he's cornered, upset, and frustrated -- so we'll see.


That's another point that struck me last year. Giving the Single Wing Peace Sign first to Hillary, and then to McCain, and then the lipstick crack made me see one other trait (maybe two) about him.

He's a punk - and a coward. He can't get up in somebody's face and say (or do) something like that. He's does it in a way where it's not 100% overt and people ask, "Did he...?". And, of course, when he did those things, he was winning. Which leaves the question, "What does he do when he's cornered?".

class-factotum said...

And we have proof of that from what? Grades? SAT? Accomplishments prior to being elected President because of course being elected President isn't enough because Reagan and Bush were elected.

That's what should really interest people, not his birth cert. How accomplished is he? As he noted in his (Ayers'?) book, he got where he was by gaming the system and playing off "typical white persons", especially if they were guilt-ridden, dumb leftists.

To answer one of the trolls, I'm willing to bet the birth cert has his name as Stanley Dunham, Jr. or something equally ridiculous, which is the real reason we've never seen it. Except for his health records (remember when the media screamed to see Reagan's?), the only thing I'd dearly love to see is his transcripts.

WV "revula" The planet next to Remulac and just past Melmac.

Paul said...

The reason the left despises Palin is because she comes from a humble background. She represents ordinary middle Americans which liberals detest.

The unwashed masses are either viewed as children or barbarians and must be kept from power at all costs. Thus the hysteria with which a Sarah Palin is met, because she has the qualities that can lead her to accumulate the political power that the left believes rightfully belongs to them alone.

The philosophy upon which the left is predicated demands that society be run by elites and experts. Such a society is inherently totalitarian and this explains the amorality and ends justify any means tactics of the left.

The inevitable catastrophe that rises from totalitarianism was recognized by Hayek decades ago:

"Just as the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans, so the totalitarian dictator would soon have to choose between disregard of ordinary morals and failure. It is for this reason that the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending toward totalitarianism."

(F.A. Hayek, "The Road To Serfdom", chapter X, "Why The Worst Get On Top", p. 135)

So it can be logically deduced that modern day "liberalism" actually selects for sociopaths and dictators and the deadly concentration of power that the founders warned against.

pm317 said...

@Brian, that is the age old dichotomy of wanting too little government (because average folks know better) to wanting too much government (because average folks don't know better), the two extremes. Neither is good enough for me. I want someone truly smart about achieving the right balance for the role of govt in a democracy. Someone who has thought long and hard about what that balance is and makes a case for their views and vision during the campaign. The only person in the last go around who would have made a good case for what that balance should be when asked would have been Hillary. People calling Obama thoughtful and brilliant make me laugh and they probably snoozed through all the Dem debates.

vbspurs said...

Oh crap, we really do have Carter back as president and it's really 1979 again.

There's been a possible radiation leak at Three Mile island! 150 workers have been sent home as investigators are on scene to investigate.

God hoping all is okay...

vbspurs said...

The philosophy upon which the left is predicated demands that society be run by elites and experts. Such a society is inherently totalitarian and this explains the amorality and ends justify any means tactics of the left.

Paul, I'm not exactly sure it's only liberals who think this way. Remember, it was Thatcher and Reagan who believed in meritocracies -- which is another way of saying "experts who become the new elites".

section9 said...

Palin reminds me not so much of Reagan as Truman.

The flinty personality, the small size, the willingness to stand up and pick a fight with the opposition party at the drop of a hat, the eagerness to have a go at the press: those are Trumanisms.

Reagan was all stature and class. He was Lace Curtain Irish. Sarah Palin is, for all her upbringing and religiosity, shanty Irish. She's like Maureen O'Hara's character in The Quiet Man, without the need for John Wayne to come in and fight her brother for her Fortune.

Palin doesn't know how to rise above her enemies gracefully, as Reagan did. She fights. Nor, like Obama, she can't hire hitmen like Axelrod and Plouffe to kneecap her opponents. That wouldn't be right. She fights her own battles. Like Truman did.

Dowd, being a Lace Curtain Irish woman herself and a daughter of the Church, gets this in spades and resents a lapsed Catholic like Sarah Heath rising up so far and so fast. Dowd does, I suspect, get what the D's were doing to Palin and partially resents it. She has been noticibly easing up on Palin. Perhaps blood is thicker than ideology?

pm317 said...

edutcher, there is no convincing smart people like you. Hurray!! for Obama.

vbspurs said...

Palin doesn't know how to rise above her enemies gracefully, as Reagan did. She fights. Nor, like Obama, she can't hire hitmen like Axelrod and Plouffe to kneecap her opponents. That wouldn't be right. She fights her own battles. Like Truman did.

I totally agree, and blogged about the comparison when she was rolled out in Ohio.

This is what I love about her (the folksy pitbull attitude) and yet find it as unpresidential as Obama's shoutouts and all the rest.

vbspurs said...

Whoa! Previous wv: "sonsa" which means idiot woman in Spanish

AND AND AND this one is:

oreout!!!!!! Out with the oreo!!

Will Cate said...

It was never Obama's energy to begin with. It all came from the people projecting their hopes, dreams and images upon him during the campaign.

vbspurs said...

Maureen Dowd seems to acknowledge your very wise comment, Will. Perhaps they were hoping the man would catch on fire if they collectively stamped their feet on the embers.

vbspurs said...

Well, I must dash for the moment, but just to finish with this thought.

Can you imagine if Obama had Palin's energy and feistiness?

Now THAT would be a scary progressive.

Cheers,
Victoria

wv: blamba. Blah-blah-bamba. Teehee.

garage mahal said...

Yet again, delusional, but fascinating thread! Palin as Truman or Reagan? LOL. Try Peg Bundy. And yes! Liberals are slitting their wrists after reading a Maureen Down column. She never writes anything about major Dems.

victoria said...

Paul, Plain excuse me Palin is the worst sort of narcissist, they type the exudes "folksiness" and "common peopleness" and on the inside is saying, "I'm better than all of you, I know what's right." Everytime I see her I am reminded of "A face in the crowd" and that frightens me.


A populist does not necessarily make a good leader. Would you vote for Joe the Plumber or Carrie Prejean? Empty vessels used by the righties for their own ends.


Vicki from Pasadena

Joe said...

Reagan had several political positions that he had developed over the years. Many were based on actual experiences he had as an actor, a union boss and a governor. He gave hundreds, if not thousands, of speeches honing those political points.

This is where Obama and Palin fail. They don't have a mature, long developed political philosophy, but merely a combination of talking points and comebacks. Both were thrust to the front earlier than they expected and simply aren't equipped to act instinctively due to their beliefs.

Brian said...

Apropo of nothing (and that's the 1st time I've ever written "apropo"), I think Maureen Dowd sucks, and her column today sucked too, but I did LOL at the Obama-as-Palin-as-Yoda lines at the end. Maybe the first time that I laughed when reading Dowd, other than in derision.

What irritated be most about today's column was idiot conceit that Obama is so reflective & intelligent. I'm not even sure the people who say this believe it. It might be just a reflexive tribalism.

Paul said...

"Paul, I'm not exactly sure it's only liberals who think this way. Remember, it was Thatcher and Reagan who believed in meritocracies -- which is another way of saying "experts who become the new elites"."

There is nothing wrong with meritocracy or experts. Having them run society from a Politburo with unchecked power is the problem.

"A Conflict Of Visions" by Thomas Sowell is an excellent primer on the distinctions between the constrained and unconstrained visions that animate all our modern political struggles.

America was founded by people who subscribed to the constrained vision. Reagan and Thacher also believed in that vision.

Modern day liberals and the left throughout history base their worldview on the unconstrained vision. Thus when Obama asks us to help him remake America he ultimately means to abandon our system of representative democracy and a free market for a progressive system of central planning and rule by the edicts of a bureaucracy, which is by nature totalitarian.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Did it come from him, or did we generate it from within as we looked at him and fell in love?"

Are you not in a position to answer this?

Jason (the commenter) said...

A detached loner dominated by the women around him. Sounds the description of a serial killer.

Jason (the commenter) said...

He's also strangely unemotional. I almost forgot that bit. Dowd paints an ugly portrait.

Gary Rosen said...

"Palin reminds me not so much of Reagan as Truman."

We could do a hell of a lot worse - and we are right now.

Paul said...

"He's also strangely unemotional."

Dead eyes reflecting a person who is dead inside. The only thing that animates a malignant narcissist is his self image. He becomes emotional only when he is lauded or criticized. Otherwise he's "strangely unemotional".

Foolish people see this as a calm and reflective nature.

miller said...

I liked Reagan. I like Palin.

Reagan was ready for the presidency in 1976.

As much as I'm fond of Palin, she has a lot of political maturing ahead of her.

Not 2012. Maybe 2016.

vbspurs said...

I was driving in my car right now, when I tuned into the local Fox News radio station. I don't listen to Rush during the week, so I was catching the "Weekend Roundup" of his show -- I was able to hear his Palin interview of Wednesday.

Afterwards, he had three callers. One, lady visibly nervous with tremolo voice was like "Yay, Sarah is a fighter." Next guy was like, "Yay, go Sarah. She's great".

BUT THE NEXT GUY gave a rambling account of how he loved his grannie, a strong woman, and how his dad gave him his hard-working values...but then dropped the boom on Palin. He said as a 24 year-old, he has been greatly affected by feminists, in a negative way. And he doesn't necessarily think conservatives are thinking of that when they are gung-ho into making Palin their most vocal champion.

He all but said that he didn't like the idea of a woman president.

Rush was as shocked as I was listening to this, because it's the first time I've ever heard any conservative profess (publically) that this woman-thing was still an issue for them.

I went to two McCain rallies last year, and attended several fundraisers, and I swear to you, the men were as enthusiastic if not more than the woman to have Sarah Palin as a co-leader of the Party.

So you know what?

I'd like to pat you conservative guys on the back. Conservative males don't get ENOUGH credit for making her gender a total non-issue in terms of leadership.

And I think that's partly what totally disorients liberals who have as gospel truth that men couldn't possibly like a woman leader, even less a knuckledragging Republican male.

You may not like Palin for many reasons, but her being female ain't one of them. That's awesome.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Paul wrote:

Dead eyes reflecting a person who is dead inside. The only thing that animates a malignant narcissist is his self image. He becomes emotional only when he is lauded or criticized. Otherwise he's "strangely unemotional".

You know of whom it was said the same thing? JFK. I think it was his pal Ben Bradlee who wrote in his memoir about Camelot that Kennedy had "strangely hooded eyes" hiding opaque eyes.

Let's compare them.

President Kennedy (RIP 46 year anniversary of death today)

President Obama

In the official JFK portrait, I don't see a navelgazer in love with himself, and mind, Jack Kennedy had quite an ego. No, he stares at the viewer, removing himself and his ego from the quotient -- unlike Obama's portrait where it's all about him. His power tie, his flag, his gaze.

Cheers,
Victoria

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'd like to pat you conservative guys on the back. Conservative males don't get ENOUGH credit for making her gender a total non-issue in terms of leadership.

My hubby, who is as conservative politically as they come, and I were discussing the possibility of a 2012 election where Obama doesn't run. Obama actually hinted at this in a recent interview.

I said: "Wouldn't it be interesting to have a Hillary versus Palin match. A woman president no matter which way it went."

His response: "The men have so far fucked it all up pretty good, maybe it is time to let the women be in control."

Liberals are all about identity politics. Are you the right gender, skin color, demographic? If not you are ostracized and hounded out of public life.

Conservatives are about the results. Can you do the job? Will you get the results that we have elected you to do? Cool, then we will vote for you.

Kirby Olson said...

We've seen the real Obama once or twice:

"The Cambridge Police were acting stupidly."

And when he bowed to the emperor of Japan.

Whenever he goes off script, that's him.

The other guy is an actor.

miller said...

I would pay money to have a competent conservative run for President.

The problem is that there are lots of people who think they're conservative (McCain e.g.) or competent (Huckabee e.g.).

I think one reason Palin gets so much gooseflesh is that she seems constitutionally (in so many ways) conservative. I doubt she'd sign a TARP or bail out GM.

And she'd certainly not kow-tow to the Emperor of Japan. I think she'd more likely say "Hello and how are you today?"

I think that if she stood in front of 1500 troops she'd say something like "I'm so honored to be here today, and so aware of the challenges of leadership. I hope that America stays strong, and I am confident that with brave men and women like you we will achieve a peaceful and just solution."

Rather than "Hey, lookit me up here!"

vbspurs said...

DBQ wrote:

Conservatives are about the results. Can you do the job? Will you get the results that we have elected you to do? Cool, then we will vote for you.

I'm reading this like a blogger version of Meg Ryan. Yes. YES. YESSS.

Tell your husband, Dust Bunny Queen, that (a) he's awesome (b) that it must hurt to be British or German, knowing your first woman national leader was a conservative.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE, liberals must shriek. Mind you, Beth did say during the 2008 election that she always knew the first woman President would be Republican.

I don't know if that will be Palin or not (I think not), but she's closer than Hillary at this point.

P.S.: I had a dream on Friday night that Hillary Clinton resigned JUST prior to the 2012 election, resigning on a point of principle so she could run against Obama and WIN this time, the nomination. Apparently, members of Obama's cabinet was embroiled in a corruption scandal, a la Grant and Harding.

Cheers,
Victoria

Oscar Schneegans said...

"we looked at him [Obama] and fell in love"

Woah, woah, speak for yourself! I knew the man was an empty suit 3 years ago when he anounced his candidacy.

ken in sc said...

VBSPURS- Obama does NOT = Wilson. Although Wilson was not a good president, I think, because he promised to keep us out of war and went back on that promise, and instituted some of the most tyrannical big-government policies ever seen in America. My grandmother hated him, even though she married a Wilson. Obama does not equal Wilson because Wilson actually had some accomplishments and qualifications. He had a PHD and had been president of Princeton University. He had a Christian upbringing as the son of a Presbyterian minister. No matter how badly Wilson turned out, at least a reasonable person would have had a good excuse for voting for him. Not so with Obama.

vbspurs said...

Ken, touché. But you know, of the presidents I would say Wilson came closest in background and touchy ego. Ironic considering Wilson was a racist.

miller said...

I would love to see Palin == Lodge in the sense of running the Senate and stopping a President.

I fear that the two women from Maine will fall in love with Obama and vote for this monstrous health bill.

ken in sc said...

Also, Through his Navy Sec. Josephus Daniels, Wilson ended the daily rum ration in the US Navy. That's enough for me to think he's a bad president. BTW, Josephus substituted coffee for rum. That's why a cup of coffee is called a cup of joe.

wuzzagrunt said...

Obama's "brilliance" appears limited to adopting the poses and shibboleths of a thoughtful intellectual and, not incidentally, walking through doors others have opened for him.

How does that saying go? Obama-ism is an idea so preposterous, only an intellectual would fall for it.

miller said...

Ken, that's interesting. I knew it was no alcohol on the ships, but never knew why.

Wilson thought he'd push the Senate to do his will. Senate's reply was "not so fast, mister."

Same thing with FDR's 1937 court-packing plan. That didn't get over, and it meant that in the next 8 years FDR didn't get much more of his agenda through the Senate.

vbspurs said...

I always wondered about "cup of Joe"! Similarly rum rations were watered down by (our) Admiral Edward Vernon, nicknamed Old Grog. That's why watered down alcohol is still to this day called grog.

Paul said...

"Ironic considering Wilson was a racist."

So is Obama.

Wilson was indeed more accomplished yet equally unfit for the Presidency.

People put too much emphasis on raw intelligence and not enough on common sense, character, and respect for tradition. Their have been plenty of highly intelligent and thoroughly evil men throughout history.

vbspurs said...

Miller wrote:

Same thing with FDR's 1937 court-packing plan. That didn't get over, and it meant that in the next 8 years FDR didn't get much more of his agenda through the Senate.

Want a quick anecdote about this? Here goes anyway. ;)

I was attending Clerk of Polling Station training ahead of the 2004 presidential elections. Next to me was an older lady, who soon introduced herself as a retired Judge. I commented about civic responsibility, to which she immediately responded:

"I think all Americans should participate civically and to be vigilant about the perversion of the legal justice system under this president."

"(pause) I'm a Republican."

She paused, and said, "WHY?", looking at me as if I were deranged. I'll never as long as I live will forget her expression. Then I asked.

"Did you think the same thing when you read in your history books that FDR tried up the tally of Supreme Court Justices to 15? Were you concerned about the possible perversion of the legal justice system in that case?"

She looked at me in even more startled disgust, like I had just revealed that Mary Poppins masturbates.

Cheers,
Victoria

David WL said...

We told you, We told you, We told you, We told you, We told you, We told you, We told you, We told you......

So suck it up, deal with it, let's have a pity party.

The only question is, how many lives does the United States of America have?

And is it still true that God watches out for children, drunks, and the US of A?

vbspurs said...

People put too much emphasis on raw intelligence and not enough on common sense, character, and respect for tradition.

It's because this country was founded by one of the greatest collective assemblages of intellects in the history of the world.

In Britain we have a deep suspicion, almost loathing of intellectuals. In our case, it's because it seems like boasting, which is our greatest cultural taboo (other than being fat).

In America's case, you guys think common sense should prevail over raw intellect, but you are mindful of the brilliance of the Founding Fathers, and are always seeking to strike gold again governmentally.

Adele Mundy said...

You can trace the first big influence of Meade on this blog by this very post. I do not think that Ann is a Star Trek nerd so this has to be Meade’s construct.

Of course she does look a lot like Kes.

miller said...

I wasn't around for the court-packing plan. (!) I read anecdotes about it over the years, but didn't think much of it. Then I read more about it in Robert Caro's books about Lyndon Johnson; Caro mentioned FDR in passing when describing the Senate. And it boiled down to a supine Senate that did whatever the President wanted until this risky scheme.

At some point I hope the Senate recovers its senses to realize it's not the junior manager to the Executive Branch.

Martin said...

Dowd says Obama is highly intelligent; lots of people seem to agree. I've never seen the basis for that. He's not a dummy, but no evidence he's a genius, either... probably a run-of-the -mill Presidential IQ in the 120 range.

She says Reagan faked caring about people. Basis?

As for all the rest, it was all there well before election day---Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, racialism, socialism, lack of depth on economy or foreign policy, throwing Grandma under the bus as example of his character, redistribution, serial lies, financial corruption (Rezko and his house deal), Chicago pol... all of it well proven for anyone who wanted to look.

Now everyone acts surprised so they don't have to admit they blew it. Including you, Ann.

Paul said...

"It's because this country was founded by one of the greatest collective assemblages of intellects in the history of the world"

And yet they chose a constitutional republic, which relies on the common sense of the common people to make the wisest decisions.

vbspurs said...

Dowd says Obama is highly intelligent; lots of people seem to agree. I've never seen the basis for that. He's not a dummy, but no evidence he's a genius, either...

This "lots of people agree" comment reminds me that many Republican eggheads like Brooks, Buckley Jr and Peggy Noonan were in love with Obama last year.

It's not that they felt Obama was conservative, or because they're RINOs and more amenable to liberals (which they are); it has more to do with the fact that they recognise him as one of "theirs".

Just the fact that Brooks absent-mindedly in the middle of a phone conversation mentioned Reinhold Niebuhr and Obama didn't blink. He was able to discuss him at length with Brooks, totally charming the intellectual pants off of him.

To give Obama his due, I don't think you need to show people WHY are you smart. If you have a good sixth sense about people, you'll know.

vbspurs said...

And yet they chose a constitutional republic, which relies on the common sense of the common people to make the wisest decisions.

Well said, Paul. And this is also a reason why the Founding Fathers had a more conservative spirit, no matter how liberal they were for their era.

Because (to reiterate my point above) conservatives trust in Americans to make the "right" decisions, more often than not.

Mind you, they also made sure there were checks and balances. As Reagan said of that Russian proverb to Gorbachev -- TRUST...but verify.

Penny said...

"Obama-ism is an idea so preposterous, only an intellectual would fall for it."

Oh?

It seems to me that the majority of Americans fell for this "preposterous man" and his 'ism'.

Perhaps we Americans would do best by looking inside ourselves. Why is it we have a penchant for presidential candidates and even potential presidential candidates who offer us their "ISM"?

vbspurs said...

Penny, -ism self-belief often masquerades as upbeat and confident. Americans eat that up.

Penny said...

"Because (to reiterate my point above) conservatives trust in Americans to make the "right" decisions, more often than not."

Oh?

If you meant that most Americans trust other Americans to generally make the right decisions, I can buy that.

If you meant that conservative legislators trust Americans to make the right decisions, I'd say you were dead wrong.

Ironically AND unfortunately, neither conservative legislators nor liberal legislators believe any such thing.

Therein lay the rub.

Greg Hlatky said...

To paraphrase Churchill on Clement Attlee, an empty car drove up and Barack Obama got out.

WV: Liers. What Andy thinks Palin and Althouse are.

vbspurs said...

Penny, I meant more in the spirit of all Americans, so more point A than point B (although I concede I made it sound more like point B). ;)

wv: lesbloa! A Hawaiian lesbian snake.

former law student said...

Look, you really want to know why liberals detest and yet fear Sarah Palin? ...

Because ultimately, the inconceivable could happen -- Americans could elect her president one day, just like they did those mindless boring drones, Reagan and Bush.

'Cause they just don't trust Americans to do the "right thing".

Pretty much true, except it's not Americans liberals distrust, but Republicans, with their fascination with shiny objects.

The reason liberals flinch from Palin goes back to high school. Instead of running for Homecoming Queen, the hot, popular girl decided she wants to be Student Council President. Even though she quit as Class President because it interfered with her mani-pedis.

Reagan and W showed that Republicans would nominate literally anyone for President. Reagan, an actor, knew how to act like a Presidential candidate. And so, Republicans nominated him. Disgust (well-deserved) with Carter did the rest.

Now, how did W. get nominated? His nomination was essentially sewn up in 1999. There was really no point for McCain to run at all. But why did the party rulers decide to go with W.?

The answer lies in a stroke of genius by the underappreciated GHW Bush. He selected a doofus to be VP, a rich man's kid who sat out the war stateside, keeping Indianapolis safe from the Viet Cong, and barely making it through higher education.

And America bought it! No wonder GHW thought his own kid, formed in the same mold as Quayle, could become President. W. lost the election, of course, but because of our antiquated electoral college system, and voter suppression in W's brother-controlled state of Florida, W. became President after all.

Tom Spaulding said...

“She’s alive inside, and that radiates energy, and people who are not psychologically alive inside are fascinated by that.”

The good New Age Doctor is talking about the Left and THEIR fascination with Palin...right?

Penny said...

"Penny, -ism self-belief often masquerades as upbeat and confident. Americans eat that up."

"ISM" hasn't one thing to do with self-belief. Obama didn't create his "ISM", any more than Palin has created hers.

"ISM's" are created by handlers and the media, mainstream or otherwise. Yes, I am including internet news aggregators and bloggers as well.

Americans love the "WOW" factor, and the "KAPOW"! factor... because we've been raised on it. Unfortunately, way too many of us are "addicted" in a world FULL of suppliers.

Vicioussss said...

It really doesn't matter if Palin runs in 2012 -- she'll still be a kingmaker. No RINO, elitist "mavericks" this time.

RebeccaH said...

You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.

Duh. Some of us knew that even before the election.

Paul said...

"Pretty much true, except it's not Americans liberals distrust, but Republicans, with their fascination with shiny objects."

Project much? If ever there was a "shiny object" president it's the empty suit in office now.

The left, here and in Europe, have always distrusted the common people to run things. That is the nature of the unconstrained vision. That is why the left is always looking to grow government bureaucracy and have the government make more and more decisions for us. That's why they insist on the government displacing more and more of the free market with government administered fair market policies. That's why they insist on more and more entitlement programs funded by the confiscation of more and more of the wealth of the citizenry.

So yes, liberals distrust the American people and since Woodrow Wilson the progressive movement has been working to undermine the founding principals of the nation in order to take power away from the citizens and put it in the hands of technocrats and bureaucrats.

Vicioussss said...

"He's not a dummy, but no evidence he's a genius, either... probably a run-of-the -mill Presidential IQ in the 120 range."

He's sufficiently bright with an IQ of at most 125, acting talent and a good vocabulary -- enough to snow the academics, media and other assorted elites *cough*.

I see little evidence that he has anything beyond an average grasp of mathematics or the impressive general knowledge you'd expect from a very superior IQ type.

His vaunted intellectual brilliance is a myth created by his followers and supporters and unquestioningly disseminated by the mainstream media. People with IQs he's SUPPOSED TO HAVE are often highly competent in several fields, and are quick enough studies to grasp the fundamentals of any subject they wish (higher maths, physical sciences, economics, medicine, etc.) There's certainly no evidence he resembles one of these types.

Elliott A said...

Palin may be visceral, but she is not presidential. The left always tries to minimize Reagan because they refuse to admit that he was our greatest modern president. He wasn't really a loner, he liked people. Nixon was a loner, and perhaps he is a better analog to Obama. Of course, Obama is no Nixon either, with an incredibly successful record overshadowed by the Watergate mess.

Palladian said...

"Because (to reiterate my point above) conservatives trust in Americans to make the "right" decisions, more often than not."

The sad part is that Americans are increasingly unable to make any decisions, the right ones or otherwise. Our political process seems to have devolved into the appearance of a democratic republic with ossified incumbents then proceeding to do what they want, which is usually what they've been paid off to do by some lobbyist or group. The decisions affecting the life and health of our Republic are no longer being made by American voters at all.

Part of the problem is that Americans are significantly stupider and lazier than they used to be, thanks to the accidental and deliberate failures of the politicized educational system and the anesthetizing dross that the media has been intravenously injecting into the blood of Americans for decades now. Increasingly the electorate no longer has the tools to make the "right" decisions, just as an illiterate person is robbed of the tools needed to think deeply and express themselves. The political decisions Americans are invited to make (at least on the national level) are now merely beauty pageant level decisions, with little emphasis on the talent segment of the competition.

And then there's the issue of poor black Americans, who were once denied the tools of literacy and education out of racist malice and now are denied those tools out of political greed. The unfortunate tribalism that dictates the thinking of many black American, especially poor and uneducated people, is exploited by the Democrat establishment. There is nothing about Barack Obama that most urban black men and women could relate to other than his racial identity. Face it, Obama acts whiter than I do, and has spent most of his life in circles of white, privileged Americans and non-black foreigners. But the Democrat party understood that no matter what Barack Obama was like as a person or candidate, black Americans would vote for him in droves, and indeed they did. They correctly understood the thinking (or more accurately, the emotional reactions) of a dependent population that they've cultivated through years of poor education and the exploitation of black America's once entirely justified feelings of resentment and persecution.

And of course, now they're doing the same thing with Mexican illegals, cultivating a resentful and dependent population that they know will vote Democrat 99% of the time, forever.

I fear that the Republican party is falling into the same pattern of malignant exploitation of tribal affiliation and superficial appeal over substance with the rise of Sarah Palin. They did it when they played the social conservatives off the gays, knowing full well that George W. Bush's actual policies regarding gay rights were no different than Clinton's or now Obama's.

There's nothing new about this kind of political trickery, but in the dangerous, transitional world of the 21st century, it's running us into the ground for the sake of a few people's political satisfaction and greed for money and power.

miller said...

I don't know that we can judge MC President's IQ without access to his testing records. He might be smarter than he lets on.

He's certainly inept in picking assistants or administration officials. I mean, really - hiring a tax cheat as the head of the Treasury?

That has got to be the most egregiously bone-headed move of all time.

To me, he isn't smart - he's smooth, and charming. He has convinced a large portion of America to think that a $12T debt and adding another $1T to it for "health care" enforced by jail and fines is perfectly OK.

In fact, he's convinced these same people that he's a smooth talker, when he is not. When you hear him speak apart from a teleprompter, he's hesitant, stumbling, and says incredibly stupid, stupid things (such as his reactions to the police officer in Boston).

I'm surprised he doesn't need a teleprompter at the dinner table.

Smart? Maybe. Smooth and charming? Yes.

He's President Flim-Flam Man.

Palladian said...

"Of course, Obama is no Nixon either, with an incredibly successful record overshadowed by the Watergate mess."

Nixon may have been the most brilliant man to have held the office of President in the 20th century. But like Clinton, another incredibly brilliant ex-President, his character flaws destroyed him.

Obama seems like a person of slightly above average intelligence. But everything he does seems stage-managed and pretend. He's marginally good at seeming smart and thoughtful to average people, but there's no there there. Nothing he's ever said or done has led me to believe that he thinks about or even remotely cares about anything other than performing the part of Barack Obama. And lately he can't even seem to do that very well.

It's not enough to play smart when your adversaries in the world are actually smart and perceptive enough to know that you're a phony.

As for Palin, the world is too dangerous and transitory to allow us the old-fashioned luxury of putting an average, folksy, likable person in charge. Hopefully after sitting through a three-and-a-half-year long performance of Obama's one man show "President Barack Obama", people will realize how damaging voting on hope and identity is to our Republic. As much as people like and identify with the Sarah Palins or Barack Obamas, that is not enough to trust them with our lives, freedom and prosperity.

Palladian said...

"I'm surprised he doesn't need a teleprompter at the dinner table."

Don't be so sure he doesn't. They can pop up in the most surprising places....

wv: enchan, the current, diminished state of enchantment over Barack Obama.

JAL said...

The whole thing is so --- Being There.

JAL said...

Only with post movie notes on the DVD which reveal it didn't actually last forever.

JAL said...

@ miller In fact, he's convinced these same people that he's a smooth talker, when he is not.

Isn't that one of the most amazing thing about the whole charade?

JAL said...

fls -- what do you know about Reagan besides the liberal scripting?

Penny said...

"There's nothing new about this kind of political trickery,.."

Why stop with "political trickery"?

Well, OK. I suppose there is good reason not to give up all that is "magical" in one swell foop.

Jim Treacher said...

You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.

Some of us actually figured that out before the election. But better late than never.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeez FLS, if Reagan, a two-term Califrnia governor and onetime union president, was just an actor to you- what does that say about Obama's experience?

Kansas City said...

GREAT POST AND THREAD.

Ann is on target. Dowd actually is interesting, not because of any insight by her, but because she reflects the liberal mind -- Obama is so weak that even liberals can recognize it. It is hilarious that a month ago Cheney accuses Obama of "dithering," the liberal media erupts in horror and now Dowd and Chris Matthews are calling him dithering.

As to intelligence, I think Obama is above average. The estimate of around 120-25 is probably about right. You know if he was higher, his test scores would have been leaked. Actually, his scores may be lower.

As to his beliefs, they are obviously far left. Look at what he did for the last 25 years. He just does not have quite enough political power to implement his views.

Bearbee said above: "Obama is a lonely, insecure, defensive, thin-skinned man who has no clear view of himself or of how others perceive him. He has no particular 'brilliance' other than a survival talent for being opportunistic."

I'm no fan of Obama, but isn't that overly harsh? He is a far left guy doing everything he can to achieve far left objectives and glory for himself.

VangelV said...

Nasim Taleb called smart people, who think that they know a lot more than they do, empty suits. That description fits Obama perfectly. He is a constitutional lawyer who seems to have trouble what is in the constitution and believes that he is smart enough to pick people to manage something as dynamic and non-linear as the national economy. Well, no matter how intelligent one is and how good the people picked, it can't be done. Look out America, your currency is about to go the way of Argentina.

miller said...

Palladian, that can't possibly be a real photo, could it?

Ann Althouse said...

Adele Mundy said..."You can trace the first big influence of Meade on this blog by this very post. I do not think that Ann is a Star Trek nerd so this has to be Meade’s construct."

No, that came from me. That I ever watched the show is due to the influence of a husband, but that was my first husband, not Meade, and it happened 30 years ago.

Palladian said...

"Palladian, that can't possibly be a real photo, could it?"

Well it's technically a real photo. I just made some... alterations.

Kirk Parker said...

Wow, when you've lost MoDo you've lost....
....
....
nothing of any importance.

victoria said...

Brian, I am surprised no one said it, it is actually apropos.


Vicki from Pasadena

Marcia said...

Victoria said: Who will be the Time Person of the Year, I wonder? Obama could repeat you know. I'm sure if Time had their druthers, he would be a fourpeat, at least."

I've been predicting that it will be Obama, so he could be the first person to be named 2 consecutive years.

But I just looked it up. There has already been someone who was Time's Man of the Year two years running:

Richard Nixon.

wv: tasxcr, which my mind read as "tax csar."

Palladian said...

That teleprompter pops up everywhere...

Palladian said...

I mean, where does the teleprompter cabling go??

PatCA said...

The only time I have seen him anything but phlegmatic is when he was rallying SEIU.

Now, that's scary.

Kansas City said...

PatCa is correct. I saw that SEIU video and it is scary. It really looks like Obama is expressing his true convictions, and they are aligned with the far left SEIU.

Paul said...

ken in sc--Snopes says the story about Woodrow Wilson and the "Cup of Joe" is not correct.

http://www.snopes.com/language/eponyms/cupofjoe.asp

Too bad, hate to be a wet blanket

former law student said...

The left, here and in Europe, have always distrusted the common people to run things.

Considering the professor's blog emanates from historically leftist Madison, Wisconsin, this sentence is particularly nonsensical. Progressives, led by the great "Fighting Bob" LaFollette, originated the tools of direct democracy that citizens can wield against the vested interests: the initiative, the referendum, and the recall.

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

Historical notes: The left wing of the Democratic Party during the Truman Administration felt that Chiang Kai Shek and Syngman Rhee were corrupt dictators. They felt that the US fleet should be removed from the Straits of Formosa in order to avoid any risk of engagement with Red China. The Nationalist regime on Taiwan was fascist and not worth protecting. They felt with equal fervor that the defense of Rhee's regime was not worth a single American life. Truman was a man to bite into the soft parts of the Democratic Party and spit them out. I don't see that resolve with Obama. Karzai and Maliki are no bouquet of roses, but maybe something good will develop. Nothing good could have possibly come from Saddam and the Taliban. Liberals should contemplate the current democratic regimes in Taiwan and South Korea and go fuck themselves......I agree with the sane Victoria that Wilson offers the closest parallel to Obama among American Presidents. Like Obama he overvalued his own intellect and his pretentious ideals were as much a part of his narcissism as a body builder's overdevoloped deltoids. Wilson, who could not institute a just peace among the warring dining clubs at Princeton, felt that his wing-dang League of Nations wound bring about an era of endless peace. Perhaps no man could have established a just peace at the end of WWI, but Wilson's Fourteen Points had the distinction of making everyone, even the victors, feel cheated. Domestically, he made no attempt to involve the Republicans in the Treaty writing process and no attempt to take cognizance of their objections to some of the clauses in the League Treaty....There are several parallels to be drawn here with Obama and his health care program. But it's time to go to bed.

Paul said...

As noted above Nixon and Clinton were probably the most intellectually gifted presidents. That just reaffirms my point that character is more important that intelligence. It is the elitist who thinks otherwise.

Kirk Parker said...

"Because (to reiterate my point above) conservatives trust in Americans to make the "right" decisions, more often than not."

I think, rather, that real (American-style) conservatives (a.k.a. classical liberals) think that people more generally have the "right" to make their own decisions.

Dave S. said...

"You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was."

Welcome to the party, pal!

Dessert Survivor said...

When Obama was elected, I knew that we were in for some interesting times. We had just elected a guy who palled around with the terrorist Billy Ayers, a guy completely unqualified for the presidency. I had to watch to see how long it would be before buyer's remorse set in, so I have spent way too much time reading about politics for the past year. Now that the majority is finally realizing what a disaster we have in store, I hope I can forget politics and go back to my regular, boring life.

vbspurs said...

"ISM" hasn't one thing to do with self-belief. Obama didn't create his "ISM", any more than Palin has created hers.

That's only because compared to Reaganism and Thatcherism, they are light-weights. -isms are very much about image-projection based on the belief of one's ideals.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

RebeccaH quoted/wrote:

You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.

Duh. Some of us knew that even before the election.


DaveS quoted/wrote:

"You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was."

Welcome to the party, pal!


The next sounds you will hear are primordial screeching from a frustrated vbspurs.

Two full years to get to where we were on February 2007, when he launched his campaign. ARGH.

vbspurs said...

Palladian wrote:

Part of the problem is that Americans are significantly stupider and lazier than they used to be, thanks to the accidental and deliberate failures of the politicized educational system and the anesthetizing dross that the media has been intravenously injecting into the blood of Americans for decades now.

Oh, Palladian. You're my commenting hero, but if you really believe that Americans have never been dumber than they are now, at the height of the technological revolution, with the average American having more schooling under their belts, with more higher education degrees in our history, then what can I say.

The problem with America's image has always been that if every single American doesn't speak and write perfectly, with flawless grammar, and SAT words pouring forth from their mouths, with a masterful grasp of geography, culture, and world history, that somehow they are the stupidest people on earth.

It's a particular European and leftist conceit to think this way, especially. I absolutely hate it, because some of the most conventional thinkers, who are convinced of their cultural superiority whilst innovating NOTHING for the past 60 years have been Europeans. And leftists are ossified intellectually since the days of Ms Magazine.

But I will say this and it may make me the most unpopular person in the history of Althouse, but I have a confession to make. Americans do not shine conversationally.

But when they WRITE, you see the depth of intellect and the energy of purpose which SO MANY Americans have.

You are the post-modern people par excellence, and it kills the world to even think it.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Dessert Survivor wrote:

Now that the majority is finally realizing what a disaster we have in store, I hope I can forget politics and go back to my regular, boring life.

DS, you are the exact opposite of me! I have spent a whole year largely away from television and the political side of the internet. Not one Politico or Drudge pageview during the whole time. But ever since the Olympic Committee figuratively threw up on Obama, I have slowly returned. I actually have the television in the background as I type, on low volume, in typical American style.

I actually don't even care if this president ends up a success. I am just only too happy that enough people notice at last that he's not an unicorn-and-candyapples world changer like he was made out to be.

vbspurs said...

Marcia, if Obama orders a pull-out of American troops from Afghanistan, it'll happen.

Incidentally, Obama could be a threepeat and break the record. Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and heaven knows how this happened, GWBush all got at least two Time nods.

Palladian said...

"Oh, Palladian. You're my commenting hero, but if you really believe that Americans have never been dumber than they are now, at the height of the technological revolution, with the average American having more schooling under their belts, with more higher education degrees in our history, then what can I say."

You're talking quantity and I'm talking quality. The quantity of education may have risen but the overall quality, especially primary education, is abysmal. Fewer and fewer young Americans are studying maths, sciences, engineering; we may be at the height of the technological revolution (I don't think such a revolution actually ever has a height, unless there is a regressive decline ahead of us, a distinct possibility), but that revolution is increasingly not being led by us, but by countries whose populations still have a sense of drive and purpose and the discipline necessary to innovate. We're partly a victim of our own success, which contributed to our softening and loss of ambition. We may have lots of gadgets and know how to use them, but we're losing the ability to create those gadgets. This is the decline I'm referring to. The same fate is befalling old Europe, and your homeland, sad to say, seems to be on an unavoidable plunge into a paranoid surveillance state with a growing underclass of degenerate dependent citizens being demographically overwhelmed by radical Muslims. As an Anglophile, it pains me that Britons can't stand up and put a stop to their degradation, just as it pains me as an American that my country can't do the same thing. Maybe I need to replace the word "can't" with the words "hasn't yet" in regards to citizens taking back control of the government and the political process.

And I'm a wonderful conversationalist, especially after a bottle of first-growth claret from a good vintage. Or a few pink gins, with Plymouth gin, naturally. Maybe that's what I need right now.

Kev said...

A Hawaiian lesbian snake? Mary Poppins masturbating? Victoria (the vbspurs one, of course), you're on a roll tonight--literally making me LOL. I'm so glad you're back...

vbspurs said...

You're talking quantity and I'm talking quality. The quantity of education may have risen but the overall quality, especially primary education, is abysmal.

Palladian, I owe myself a dollar after having made a bet you (as would many people) would make that argument in retort.

I know traditionally classical education is in peril as well as realising its watered down in general. Kids in high school do not study Virgil, Milton or Hume any more (at least outside of AP classes and even then a few lines of a chapter at a time).

But for pete's sake. In many countries of the world, we're talking in EUROPE not Africa, the overwhelming majority of kids stop their formal education at the age of 16, when they take their school-leaving diploma and run. This is true of the UK and of Ireland especially. That's after 12 years of mind-numbing State school education, where electives are as foreign as mafia dons. In Germany, your path in life is usually decided by the time you are 10. That's when you have to choose either a vocational/technical education or a sstrictly "intellectual" one. France is more flexible, but if you don't get into one of the grandes écoles, you're doomed to mediocrity in the eyes of your countrymen and snooty ENA graduates who populate the bureaucracies.

My lefty father scoffs about the quality of education in America too, and I only have to ask him how many soccer players around the world have gotten even within sniffing distance of an university degree, like almost all American athletes do in the NCAA-driven sports system. He retorts that others take tests for them, and then I tell him, how many thousands of sports scholarship kids actually graduate without you even hearing of them, because they're not drafted into an NBA franchise? Hell, even Shaq went back to school and got his degree. Try that in Greece.

So yes, I understand what you're saying. But I just do not totally agree.

The world could only wish to have the educational opportunities Americans have, and many exploit to the fullest.

vbspurs said...

Thank you, Kev! I had forgotten about the Mary Poppins visual. Eww. Hehe. ;)

Penny said...

"And I'm a wonderful conversationalist, especially after a bottle of first-growth claret from a good vintage. Or a few pink gins, with Plymouth gin, naturally. Maybe that's what I need right now."

I agree. You need "something", honey.

Perhaps you should take Althouse's lead here? She said that, "Like Reagan, Obama is a detached lover with a strong, savvy wife."

I, myself, am entirely too polite to ask her just how she knows about both Reagan's and Obama's lovemaking?

Are we to believe that Reagan liked young and nubile blonds, while Obama fell to the wiles of a more experienced woman?

I suppose it's possible. But is it likely?

Particularly given that both men were married to "strong, savvy" women.

Were Nancy and Michelle lifting weights at the library while Althouse merely extended her hand to their husbands in "greeting"?

Hell, I don't know? No telling what detached loners will do.

vbspurs said...

I agree. You need "something", honey.

A real woman would never phrase it like that, Penny.

Hmm.

Ralph L said...

Curiously, Josephus Daniels was a newspaper editor (Raleigh News and Observer), a profession not known for its sobriety (or its nautical knowledge).

The Navy didn't resent the prohibition so much that they couldn't name a ship after him.

AllenS said...

Obama is the poster boy for everything that is wrong with affirmative action.

M. Simon said...

You know, I think what Obama seems to have become, he always was.

Some of us noticed it a very long time ago (in internet years).

I was certain by the time the Rev. Wright story broke.

And I tried to warn you. Maybe next time you will listen to me.

former law student said...

That just reaffirms my point that character is more important that intelligence.

If you believe that you'd know why I fear a President Palin, who has neither, beyond being fiercely protective of her family, and a high degree of street smarts.

miller said...

"...you'd know why I fear a President Palin, who has neither..."

Yawn.

What a lazy argument.

Micha Elyi said...

I agree. You need "something", honey.

vbspurs replied... A real woman would never phrase it like that, Penny.

What else do you know about Mae West that you're not telling, vbspurs?

Paul said...

Leftist idealist gave us Lenin, Mao, the National Socialist Workers Party's Hitler, Paris schooled Pol Pot, and the ever in 1950's US Army fatigues, Castro.

So, don't feel bad my lefty friends about your Obabicon figure.

You've ( world wide lefty 'you' ) have dreamed up far worse nightmares than our man child President. He' way more stylish than Carter, and corruption wise not worse than the Clintons, and not as totally nutter as LBJ.

You could of had John 'Two American Families' Edwards, or Al 'Don't do calculus' Gore.

I bet a third term for Bill Clinton looks real good right now.

VangelV said...

You've ( world wide lefty 'you' ) have dreamed up far worse nightmares than our man child President.

Why would anyone blame the 'left' for Obama's victory? From what I can see there were plenty of people from across the political spectrum that voted for him and the voters got the person they wanted. The Republicans certainly have nobody to blame but themselves because they selected a candidate who also stood for big government interventionism and advocated very similar policies as Obama. They got their butts kicked as they should have. Hopefully, the voters will figure things out and hit back against the mainstream party leadership on the major political parties and will allow the election of candidates that support limited government.