January 27, 2010

"Is Barack Obama headed for some sort of meltdown?"

The Anchoress asks:
Is he clinging to his podium and teleprompters because he has lost his protective shields and does not trust himself without them? The starry-eyed adulation of the press has simmered down to a mere gaze of hopefulness and longing, accompanied by the barest of criticisms, and Obama translates that as the press being “against” him.
She's analyzing a lot of those photos at the WH Flickr page:
... I keep seeing these awful White House approved photos, and they daily jar me because they seem to reveal the president in very unflattering, troubling ways, like the work of an obsessed and Obama-hating photoshop expert.
They are mostly unflattering when seen by people who don't like Obama — admittedly, that's an increasing group. People who like him look at those pics and think they are wonderful.

And this reminds me of something I was saying the other day about liberals. Liberals — I'm generalizing — are so engulfed in their belief that they are the good people, the smart people, that they forget to step back and look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them.

Because of that they present not just photographs but ideas in ways that provide raw material for their critics. For example, when Obama enthused about the "blue pill"...



... he made it easy for Sarah Palin to make the devastating "death panel" charge.

Now, you might want to say that conservatives do the same thing — and cite Sarah Palin's "death panels" as an example. But the 2 things are really quite different. Obama thought he was being smart and reasonable and persuasive and imagined everyone feeling lifted up by the enlightenment he bestowed. But Sarah Palin — I think — knew she was inciting the other side. Sarah-haters would grab that stink bomb and run with it. They'd assume that she is an idiot who'd said something terribly stupid. Plunging forward with arguments they believed were — as usual — thoroughly smart and good, they'd propagate a phrase and thereby hurt themselves. Which is what happened.

It's ironic that liberals are the ones who like to say they are nuanced. But it's the opposite of nuanced to be so convinced of the goodness and the smartness of your words and your very being. It's simplistic and cartoonish. And dangerous. It leaves you open to attack when you don't anticipate how your words (and pictures) will appear to your opponents. And then when those opponents take your pretty pictures and words and turn them against you, oh, how it must hurt.

Poor Obama!

123 comments:

mariner said...

Awww.

I feel so sorry for that Marxist POS.

Not!

XWL said...

Hey, quit pointing out how much trouble the Whitehouse Flickr Photostream can be for Pres. Obama.

At some point they may not only stop updating with new photos, but they may pull all the old photos from the service.

That would suck for my LOL Obama, Daily feature.

Word Verification: unduched

(no comment)

Larry J said...

Liberals — I'm generalizing — are so engulfed in their belief that they are the good people, the smart people, that they forget to step back and look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them.

For people with such high opinions of their own intelligence (and such low opinions of everyone else's), they sure are ignorant of so many things. They're ignorant of economics. They're ignorant of history. They're ignorant of what others actually believe. Face it; the self-proclaimed "smart people" are really pretty dumb.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Excellent post, Professor!

I have had this problem many times with liberals- I am constantly shocked that they cannot, or refuse to even try to, wrap their heads around the other side of the argument.

Not that I want to bring up the world's single most inflammatory topic, but I especially see this when it comes to abortion. Yes, I know that they don't believe it's a "life," but why can't they at least accept that I do? They approach it as if it's some kind of conspiracy that cannot possibly have another argument.

peter hoh said...

Dude should try hiking the Appalachian Trail. It does wonders for the psyche, or so I've heard.

The Drill SGT said...

There are two types of people involved in getting those official photos to the WH Flickr site.

1. The official Photog, who's job it is to document the President period. For better or worse to capture the historical record. Like those shots of LBJ pouring over casualty lists or picking bombing targets, all furrowed brows.

2. Then there is somebody in the PAO's office who ought to know better, who's job it is to pick photos out for the Flickr site that support the President's agenda and message. That clown ought to be fired.

peter hoh said...

And who was that other guy from South Carolina -- the one with the finely tuned sense of how other people might perceive what one says -- you know, the one who compared helping the poor with feeding stray animals?

info said...

Headed for???

The dude is acting and looking like a candle left burning 3 times its lifespan...

I predict he cries tonight...

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Althouse said: "liberals . . . are so engulfed in their belief that they are the good people, the smart people, that they forget to step back and look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them."

This also ties in with a point I tried to make on an earlier thread (that I think I entered too late- the one from this morning about Above the Law in Wisc.). The writer in an article Althouse linked made a completely irrelevant, mean-spirited crack about Michelle Bachmann.

I've been hearing these sort of cracks over and over lately against Rep. Bachmann, but I've never heard anyone make any sort of an argument or give any example that supports it. No one has ever explained to me anything that is particularly objectionable about this woman, but liberals seem to take it as gospel that she is stupid and horrible, and assume their readers/listeners will do the same. They don't need to support it and they don't need to provide examples, it just is because they believe it so.

pm317 said...

To add to the first link, here is the video:

Here he is talking to his Middle Class Taskforce, that would be Biden and his own cabinet members, the video is 40+ minutes long and his part is under 5 minutes long at the very end (starts at the 37:00 mark) and he needs his TOTUS!! Look at his robotic rendition of the teleprompter speech for HIS OWN CABINET MEMBERS. This is really something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYS1yae9CLk

Richard Dolan said...

"They are mostly unflattering when seen by people who don't like Obama — admittedly, that's an increasing group. People who like him look at those pics and think they are wonderful."

Perhaps reactions to some of the other photos of O on the WH website might divide along those lines, but I don't think that's true about the three pix Anchoress talks about -- the two Obamaprompta shots (one at an elementary school and the other at a glorified staff meeting), or the pix of O looking at himself in a mirror. If the WH flaks who posted these pix think that they are flattering, then they're living in a different world than most of us inhabit. While the Althousian take-down of lefty smugness is spot-on, I don't think that even those super-smarties are so cocooned that they could possibly think that the Obamaprompta shots were all that flattering.

Big Mike said...

Wow. What an insightful post (if not inciteful, at least in certain quarters).

I guess living in Madison you have a unique opportunity to observe h. sapiens liberalis in action. Especially about the subspecies being utterly engulfed by their mistaken belief in their own goodness and intelligence.

Though I will differ with you on one small point. To me the problem is not that liberals cannot look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them. The problem is that they cannot bring themselves to consider that they might be wrong.

traditionalguy said...

Obama is trained in Harvard intellectualSpeak. It is encouraging to hear a smart guy talk about the worst problems known and invent a better vocabulary to analyse them that implies to his hearers that the speaker has answers since he is so confident about what the problem is that he professing about. David Brooks at the NYT is enamored of these types, and he LOVED Obama's skills. The fatal flaw is when it all turns out to be the latest and greatest urban myth...like Green Jobs. Then Obama cannot come back and admit his failures and correct himself in a better intellectualSpeak. He is a rookie.He reverts to his North Star belief called "Redistribution" and stubbornly says he was right about that being the problem all along. But fair observers say he is reacting like a narcissistic liar. Poor Obama indeed.

phx said...

You guys ever get tired of your self-serving generalizations?

garage mahal said...

I'm weird, and I'm staring at these Flickr photos extracting some deep unknown meaning from them. Oh that must hurt. Suck it liberals!

Mark O said...

There may be a meltdown, but he won't know it. To borrow from an NFL sage, "He is who we thought he was:" unprepared, sublimely unqualified, unknown and perfectly narcissistic.

Do you really think Jimmy Carter ever thinks for one minute he was a bad president or that Nixon felt he was a crook? Obama is a ten on this scale of delusion to their fives.

He will not rid us of himself. But, that "one term president" quote of his looks like the beginning of a different protective strategy in his makeup. It could also signal that he remains so sure of himslef that he doesn't really care about anything else. Come to think of it, that's always been so.

madawaskan said...
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ricpic said...

Obama will not melt down. He is a rather shallow individual who was successfully programmed early in life into a certainty about the correct historical path and his vanguard role in taking the rest of us down that path. Therefor what will happen will be an increased impatience and then rage on Obama's part with the benighted bitter clingers out there in the hinterland who just. don't. get. it.

madawaskan said...

Probably.

Obama ended the space program today, yet kept alive the 8 billion dollar Bullet Train to Barstow {California}...

America was founded as a Great Frontier and always perpetuated that.

The Louisiana Purchase, The Wild West , Alaska, Space-the Last Frontier.

America has always been about exploration, aspirations and pushing the envelope.

Obama has triangulated the left and the curmudgeon right to end it.

Obama is just the man to get us past all of that.

Being America, being "exceptional"....

Maybe it was time to get past all that...and Obama is just the man to do it.

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

It's ironic that liberals are the ones who like to say they are nuanced. But it's the opposite of nuanced to be so convinced of the goodness and the smartness of your words and your very being. It's simplistic and cartoonish. And dangerous.


Ann, this is not irony, this is how liberals and leftists really think. All you're doing is highlighting the absolute shallow thinking that they partake in on a daily basis as a function of their belief in their ideology. In total, this is the summation of their ideology; a simplistic, cartoonish, and dangerous ideology because it is rooted in one of the beliefs that platitudes and lip service will make them manifest. That their intentions to do good is what really matters. That if the outcomes of their intentions do end up being good, then all the better, and when they fail, it isn't really their fault because they only went as far as to outline their good intentions. You are couching it from the inner machinations of a political mind, but tell you that their ideology is their politics.

People are somehow treating politics and the way politicians use it as some sort of independent tool. Like a hammer or a screwdriver, that it doesn't have a life of it's own if the user doesn't use it. That they really don't believe in what they are saying or doing, but are just using the politics of the day as nothing more than a tool to forward some agenda they disconnectedly believe in for their constituency. I'm saying the complete opposite. Ideology for a leftist is the politics they bring to bear. It is their skin, they live it and they breath it as wrong as a skin it is.

Quayle said...
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Methadras said...

madawaskan said...

Being America, being "exceptional"....

Maybe it was time to get past all that...and Obama is just the man to do it.


Obama is the man that does want to and will kill American exceptionalism, not because he thinks it's a tired or old sentiment, but because he inherently believes in the badness or wrongness that America is. He's maturated and saturated his belief system in this by the associations he has kept. He's exemplified this sentiment by the apology tour he took throughout the world. He wants to bring down America so it can be on an equal playing field with the rest of the world, so that in that equality America will be no different because in his mind, being different with respect to a nation is what causes problems for that nation. When that nation is exceptional, then injustice is created and he can't see because he is either willfully blind or a complete ignoramus, that America is at the point it is in short history because of that exceptionalism and that the irony is through that struggle, it put someone like him in the position he is in today. He is biting the hand that has fed him.

Michael said...

It seems that the Prez really does think the USA should be less wealthy and more humble.
Remember "What's the Matter with Kansas?". Turns out all those flyover hicks really did know what was best for themself.

Quayle said...

Ann is touching on a point that I believe is actually more profound than Ann or the rest of us may recognize or admit.

And that is that the critical divide in America is NOT between party affiliation.

The critical divide in America is between people that are humble and deprecating and people that are arrogant and proud.

Seeing and attempting to describe the world through any other model is a waste of time.

The key factor in what people do, and the core motivator that eventually causes us all to be impacted by others is not their party politics, it's whether they think they are better than others or not.

We should stop talking about Democrat or Republican, and start analyzing and evaluating people where they really live - their internal level of pride or humility.

madawaskan said...

What's weird is he probably did it without grasping the enormity of it, understanding the meaning of it, without batting an eye...

So maybe he has no conscience or feeling about it.

Bringing America to mediocrity, maybe it even felt good-in that case maybe he's incapable of a "meltdown".

Harsh Pencil said...

lyssalovelyredhead said...
The writer in an article Althouse linked made a completely irrelevant, mean-spirited crack about Michelle Bachmann.

I've been hearing these sort of cracks over and over lately against Rep. Bachmann, but I've never heard anyone make any sort of an argument or give any example that supports it. No one has ever explained to me anything that is particularly objectionable about this woman, but liberals seem to take it as gospel that she is stupid and horrible, and assume their readers/listeners will do the same. They don't need to support it and they don't need to provide examples, it just is because they believe it so.

Same thing with Dick Cheney and/or the Patriot Act. Somehow Cheney is awful, but I never get to hear what specifically he did or what part of the Patriot Act was so terrible.

Maguro said...

A meltdown? I hope not.

Unless he decides to jump on Oprah's couch. That might be kind of funny.

mariner said...

Feminists told us, "The personal is political."

Now it seems the political is personal -- and if it isn't already, "liberals" make it that way.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama has a highly aggrieved view of America. Hence his wacky economic ideas and tendency to demonize business and for-profit activities.

This is a huge character flaw for any president. It will cause the political downfall of Obama.

BJM said...

That these incredibly dumb photos keep appearing on WH sites is puzzling. I'm beginning to wonder if they aren't designed to make his critics seem petty. Thus far Obama has been very artful with rhetorical slight of hand; focusing public attention on one hand while the other deals from the bottom of the deck.

As to Palin; she is to the left as Roadrunner is to Wil E. Coyote. She hands them an anvil and they run off the cliff.

G Joubert said...

Until they get somebody with an objective eye to manage it, the WH Flickr page gives us a little window to the inside of this presidency, the narcissism, and the obsequious sycophants beset with groupthink surrounding the president. They are clueless about how unflattering it is.

As for your point about liberals' self-perception and their failure to anticipate how their words (and pictures) appear, and how opponents take the pictures and words and turn them against them, I flashed on the 1988 Dukakis candidacy. From his response to the question in the first debate about the how if Kitty was raped and murdered it might change his attitude about the death penalty to the goofy photo of him riding on the tank, Dukakis was a case study in what you are talking about.

Scott M said...

The 2008 Democratic primary convinced me that the people with the least amount of nuance are the liberals accusing people of about the lack thereof.

In general, it seems, the left doth protest too much.

Kensington said...

BJM:
"As to Palin; she is to the left as Roadrunner is to Wil E. Coyote. She hands them an anvil and they run off the cliff."

Ha ha, I love this, and I love Palin, but it should be acknowledged that, in the case of election day '08, Wil E. did manage to devour the road runner. Maybe that was because she had an avil of her own named John McCain, but it did unfortunately happen.

Synova said...

Bachmann is that Congresswoman from Minnesota? Sort of looks just a little like Palin? Maybe has a touch of a Minnesota accent?

And not to "go there" either Lyssa, but I can handle someone disagreeing with me about the status of a fetus far easier than I can handle the interpretation that I'm lying about considering a fetus a human life and I just hate women and want to forcibly impregnate them and make them pop out babies. There is definitely a separation from reality going on there.

Which I guess does tie in to the difference in perception of pictures of Obama.

I think that they're going for gravitas. Instead of seeing somber and serious, I'm seeing tired and defeated. (And I'd thought Althouse was over reacting before.) And the president above it all with the podium looks tiny and isolated. He's a big man... is the podium too large, while looking slender so there is an optical illusion of smallness that de-sizes Obama? Is the photographer doing something strange with angles or perspective?

And yes, certainly, when Palin used the term "death panels" she was agitating on purpose.

Obama telling Joe the Plumber his fabulous plans to redistribute wealth... not so much. Blue pill, red pill. Oh, lordy. At least he knew to express his thoughts about those who cling bitterly to their guns and their religion in a closed session of like minded people.

Lincolntf said...

Ann, you voted for Obama. He was your choice. Why did you choose him? Were you somehow unable to obtain copies of his books?
Rest assured that the literate among the electorate were not surprised one bit by Obama's plotzing all over the Constitution.

Scott M said...

I think it's hysterical that phx said,

"You guys ever get tired of your self-serving generalizations?"

...and the very next comment is by garage mahal. I haven't even clicked on garage's comment yet to read it, but I'm still laughing my ass off.

c3 said...

Every politician has a "schtick". How many times did McCain get criticized for overusing the war hero bit.

In BO's case its the need to appear presidential and thoughful and all with a lot of production (remember the faux Greek columns?)

Not to over-analyze and psychogize this all seems consistent for a guy who spent much of his youth in "non-black"settings and at some point in High School or early college learned from friends that he was black and had potential and thereafter had consistent reinforcement of his status as the One (i.e. editor of Harvard Law Review, giver of the "great speech" in '04...). That's not conducive of a "health self-image".

I still see him struggle/get confused when "reasonable" people disagree with him or when public attitudes about one of his policies change.

EDH said...

We define our own hell.

That was the theme of Hell's Bells, a 1970 episode of Night Gallery by Rod Serling. John Astin plays a "with it" hippy whose decent to Hell entails spending eternity with a very un-hip grandpa Hank Worden.

The only clip I could find (58 sec).

Obama, meet America.

wv-"hyped" = honestly, that was it

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirby Olson said...

He managed to bite the bullet and respond with pseudo-civility when what he wanted was to drive right over that granny with the healthcare bus.

Quayle said...

Why are we calling it the "State of the Union" address?

It won't be a state of the 'union' if he spends time telling one set of Americans that other Americans are evil, greedy, self-serving parasites.

That would be a "State of the Dis-union" address.

Likely, it will end up being a "State of the Me, Barak Obama" address.

Which is why I'm not going to bother watching.

garage mahal said...

...and the very next comment is by garage mahal. I haven't even clicked on garage's comment yet to read it, but I'm still laughing my ass off.

We get a post about conservatives critiquing Flickr photos, and criticism of the "left" about them not getting the criticism, without naming a sole liberal who isn't getting the criticism, and a link about a thin skinned Obama , but no Obama in the video at the link, but instead Mark Halperin yapping about something with Charlie Rose. And then you guys pick it up from there going on and on about it. It's just bizarre.

Scott M said...

No, what's bizarre is your constant and sophomoric use of generalization as fact and/or in defense of a previously made generalization. I make them too, from time to time, but you seem to breath them in and out.

I'm sure you're a fun guy to have a beer with, but ordered, rational debate doesn't seem to be your forte.

Unfortunately, Althouse hasn't got a tap going...

DADvocate said...

...so engulfed in their belief that they are the good people, the smart people, that they forget to step back and look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them.

Well said. A point I've tried to make many times. Of course, the point is lost on liberals and the others already understand it. It reminds me of Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

garage mahal said...

No, what's bizarre is your constant and sophomoric use of generalization as fact and/or in defense of a previously made generalization.

This post is about generalization!

ricpic said...

Slightly OT - Since this thread is based on an Anchoress post I would urge all of you who have the time to read an Anchoress post of December 23, 2009, titled The Art Of The Painless Coup. It can easily be accessed in her archives.

BJM said...

@Kensington

Agreed, McCain was probably the worst nationally known, politically connected, presidential candidate since Humphrey.

However, without Big Media running interference, Hillary would be POTUS, not Obama.

Now Big Media is beginning to hedge, which is why Obama's message is ineffective and he appears weak.

Will Big Media salvage his presidency or triangulate between the Dems and populist movements to recoup their own street cred and commercial viability?

Scott M said...

However, without Big Media running interference, Hillary would be POTUS, not Obama.

This is an excellent point, regardless of how many sniper bullets she would have had to have dodged to make it happen.

Will Big Media salvage his presidency or triangulate between the Dems and populist movements to recoup their own street cred and commercial viability?

I don't believe so simply because the MSM is experiencing it's own weakening, currently seeming ambling along like a WWZ plague victim. The online media, of all stripes, is pounding it to death.

rhhardin said...

The way ethics works, phenomenologically speaking, is that the other guy has every claim on you, without limit.

Nobody is able to live up to that standard.

Conservatives more or less accept that, and go as high as they can.

Liberals are frightened to death of that sort of life, and want to redirect every future ethical claim on themselves to the state, that is to other people, as protection of themselves against elementary ethics itself.

Obama's fantasy is the fantasy of the ethical state, and those are his symbols.

Lefties go along with that.

k*thy said...

I like the Wil E. Coyote comment, BJM. What can I say, most of us that lean left are suckers earnest-ness. It’s in our wheelhouse. Yes, we can have a strong tendency to take ourselves way too seriously (Carter, Gore, Kerry). In general, I agree that the left is convinced of their own goodness, as I suspect the right is convinced of their own goodness (it's why we pick sides, right?), but this is about messaging, isn't it? Marketing? Even in seeing the world differently, to effectively sell, you have to accept the rationality of your potential customers – meet them where they are, not where you are. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that yet.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse and the crazy talk:

Liberals — I'm generalizing — are so engulfed in their belief that they are the good people, the smart people, that they forget to step back and look at things from the perspective of people who don't agree with them. .

Wow. That's really crazy. I come here to this site to see what the right wing is thinking/saying and how they respond to new facts. the opposite of what Althouse says

A major weakness among liberals, throughout my life has been that they are too quick to see things from another person's perspective.

Look at Obama (not so liberal, actually) and Bush. Obama wants to hear all views, sits down with the opposition, deliberates. Bush? "Not so much."

This is also backed up by several sociological studies.

Then there's Althouse. She knows what people are thinking, even when she doesn't have a clue.

not seeing it!

AlphaLiberal said...

Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions. .

Source

JAL said...

For tonight:
SOTU bingo cards over on Town Hall

BJM said...

@AL

not seeing it!

Of course you wouldn't, see K*thy's cogent comment above.

Synova said...

"...without naming a sole liberal who isn't getting the criticism,"

I meant to ask you. Do you "get" the criticism? If you were picking out photos for the White House Flicker account would you look at the one of Obama in a big empty space surrounded by his teleprompters and the rug and the podium and think... his detractors are going to look at that picture and think he looks small and isolated? Would you think that people will think it odd that he had that whole set up, set up, when he had gone to talk to kids?

You know which picture I've seen lately that I actually sort of like? The one where Obama is under his desk looking for the secret door and it's just his butt sticking out there. I could think of ways to make fun of it, but it actually portrays him as *not* obsessively concerned with his image, and curious and even delighted. Unlike the "serious pondering" picture or the "who am I" reflection picture, or "all the kings men in a row" picture.

So... are you a liberal who *does* get it?

Or are you an example of the liberal who does not?

Synova said...

Heh... thanks for the link AL, but we already knew that liberals were wishy-washy.

BJM said...

@ K*thy

Even in seeing the world differently, to effectively sell, you have to accept the rationality of your potential customers – meet them where they are, not where you are.

This is exactly why the WH/Dems and the media misread the spreading anger in the country and the mood of independents in NJ, VA and MA. To paraphrase AL; they aren't seeing it.

Comrade X said...

not seeing it!

that's the whole point. just because you and michelle goldberg can't conceive things doesn't mean they are not real

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, astounding that AA would claim liberals are close-minded when seeing the thousands of time a liberal will disagree with conservatives on an issue and the response is some variant of "you're a moran" (sic), "you're an idiot," etc.

Ann just wants liberals to be pushovers and not stick to their principles. Of course, she has a completely different standard for conservatives!

AlphaLiberal said...

Comrade X:

that's the whole point. just because you and michelle goldberg can't conceive things doesn't mean they are not real .

I don't know who that is.

See how you did not respond at all to the points I made? I offered examples for my view.

You can came back with a simplistic assertion. To your credit you did not insult.

K*thy:
Even in seeing the world differently, to effectively sell, you have to accept the rationality of your potential customers – meet them where they are, not where you are. .

There's been a long running discussion about "framing" on the left, going back many years and addressing exactly this point in exactly this context. Suggest you look for George Lakoff, maybe start with "Don't Think of an Elephant."

Comrade X said...

michelle goldberg did a bloggingheads with althouse or matt welch where she asserted that people were lying about their reasons for opposing Obamacare and that it only could be racism.

Synova said...

I think it's clear that k*thy gets it.

Understanding how the other side thinks and feels... putting yourself in their shoes... you know, it really is supposed to be a liberal specialty. (Not that conservatives don't, but it's not exactly the central pillar of conservative identity.)

But a person has to sort of wonder when instead of "Tea Party protesters are sincere people who think that this will make the economy worse and degrade liberty" we get "They're racists who oppose Obama because he is black." Or... "No one could possibly not support ACORN unless they hate poor people and don't want them to have houses."

Synova said...

And liberals do a fab job of seeing the SSM issue from the other side's perspective. Fab job.

Kensington said...

Alpha Liberal:
"Look at Obama (not so liberal, actually) and Bush. Obama wants to hear all views, sits down with the opposition, deliberates. Bush? "Not so much.""

Obama the non-liberal who entertains opposition perspectives!?! Bush the man who never entertained opposition perspective!?!

Good lord, we really don't live in the same universe, do we? I don't recognize the one AL describes at all.

AlphaLiberal said...

I agree with Synova! Kinda!

Heh... thanks for the link AL, but we already knew that liberals were wishy-washy..

Yes, and those wishy-washy liberals get that way because they are always seeing the other person's perspective.

The opposite of Althouse's hypothesis.

I've tried to understand how Ann Althouse thinks. Near as I can tell she has a strong craving for approval from authority figures. In her brain that means the party of Authoritarianism, the Republicans. That's why she's a a Dittohead, for example, hoping for some Limbaugh love.

She also has some deep-seated insecurities which lead her to support "bomb first and ask questions later" philosophies.

She doesn't especially value core American legal values as much as these needs. The whole legal professor gig is more a matter of opportunity that a passion for justice.

That's the best I can understand her perspective after much observation.

Comrade X said...

AL

are you saying you don't think people oppose Obamacare because of racism or that they don't oppose SSM because they hate gays or that Tea Partiers are not racist?

Becaue that would make you different than what AA is talking about.

Big Mike said...

Also, astounding that AA would claim liberals are close-minded when seeing the thousands of time a liberal will disagree with conservatives on an issue and the response is some variant of "you're a moran" (sic), "you're an idiot," etc.

Funny, Alpha, but my recollection is that your responses to me tend towards the obscene and scatalogical. Which I regard as a clear step below calling someone a moron or an idiot.

And that "study" you linked to at 4:34. It's been debunked.

AlphaLiberal said...

Kensington, you also don't read well:

Obama the non-liberal who entertains opposition perspectives!?! .

I did not say he was not a liberal. Just not very.

Another example: foreign policy.

Liberals: Understand our enemies and their motivations so we can better use non-violent means to deal with them.

Conservatives: understanding our enemies is for pussies. BOMB THEM!

Kensington said...

Alpha, would you mind explaining to us, in the most generous terms you can, some of the reasons why conservatives supported the War in Iraq and why they oppose, on the whole, same-sex marriage?

Thanks!

AlphaLiberal said...

So does Althouse imply that conservatives don't "they are the good people?"

Who believes that crap?

Patm said...

Like Kensington, I too wonder at the work I read of here. Obama locked the GOP out of both the stimulus and the healthcare debate, told them "I won" and then turned his back on them. That's not "sitting down with the opposition" and "listening."

Meanwhile Bush let Kennedy write the education bill, and promptly got backhanded for it.

Kensington said...

Alpha, being able to offer a caricature of your opposition's perspective isn't the same thing as understanding them or seeing their perspective.

So far, you aren't demonstrating any real understanding at all.

Shanna said...

The pictures at that Anchoress post really do look like bad photoshops, especially the one at the elementary school and the one at the staff meeting. Good lord that man has some sort of weird insecurity! You'd think being president would be enough.

Kirby Olson said...

Run over granny with the healthcare bus! She's so old she won't know what hit her!

Kensington said...

I'm still amazed those recent TOTUS pictures aren't photoshops. All they're missing are the LOLcaptions.

Comrade X said...

Conservatives: understanding our enemies is for pussies. BOMB THEM!

dude

Larry J said...

Also, astounding that AA would claim liberals are close-minded when seeing the thousands of time a liberal will disagree with conservatives on an issue and the response is some variant of "you're a moran" (sic), "you're an idiot," etc.

And how many times do liberals call conservatives fascists, nazis, bigots, racists, homophobes, etc.? Why do so many liberals automatically assume that anyone who isn't a liberal has to be stupid, hateful and mean-spirited?

Kensington said...

Comrade X:
"dude"

That's just Alpha Liberal demonstrating that liberals are "too quick to see things from another person's perspective."

It's a "major weakness" among liberals, he says.

They're just too darn quick to see the other side's point.

AlphaLiberal said...

Patm:

Obama locked the GOP out of both the stimulus and the healthcare debate, told them "I won" and then turned his back on them. .

What?!?!? What the fricken frick?

We lost months on health care chasing R votes - Snow, Collins, LIEberman, etc.

On the stimulus, Obama chased R votes and gave them what they wanted (tax cuts!) and they still wouldn't support it.

Liberals have been telling him to stop chasing R votes for the past 12 months. then you guys invent this line that up is down. Bullshit.

Really, how do you guys come up with this stuff?

Big Mike said...

Really, how do you guys come up with this stuff?

Hmmm. Maybe because it's true?

BTW, Lieberman is not a Republican. He is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Really.

You could look it up.

Peter V. Bella said...

Alphaliberal babbled:
We lost months on health care...

You lost period. It was not just the Republicans. It was the American people. You liberals seemed to forget something- the majority of the American people, you know the actual tax payers- and voters were against this beast of a plan.

Liberals are the truly handicapped- they are deaf. Or they refuse to listen.

Then they did everything in secret. We hate Nixonian secrecy.

So you lost. Sore loser.

Oh, and the number just went up- now it is supposedly 50 million without insurance. WHere oh where do they make this garbage up? No pity.

AlphaLiberal said...

LarryJ:

And how many times do liberals call conservatives fascists, nazis, bigots, racists, homophobes, etc.? .

Uh, pay attention much? It's the right wing calling Obama a fascist, communist, socialist, etc, etc.

The homophobe charge is actually very accurate given that a central organizing concept for conservatives is to strip homosexuals of the rights of citizenship.

Why do so many liberals automatically assume that anyone who isn't a liberal has to be stupid, hateful and mean-spirited? .

We don't. We judge you by your words and actions. If you act "stupid, hateful and mean-spirited" expect to be called on it.

AlphaLiberal said...

Okay, we had the assertion earlier that Obama refused to work with Republicans.

FoxNews disagrees:

Obama Tries to Build Bipartisan Support for Stimulus

President-elect Barack Obama is trying to build bipartisan support for a massive economic stimulus package as he issues dire warnings about the consequences of inaction in the run-up to Inauguration Day.

Obama continued his meetings Monday with lawmakers on Capitol Hill looking to restore an economy that Obama describes as "bad. And the situation is getting worse."

"We have to act and act now," in order to break what he called the "momentum of this recession," Obama said before meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He met with key Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but also reached out to Republicans.
.

January 05, 2009

Synova said...

Months were spent chasing the votes of the some Republicans generally considered left of quite a few junior Democrats *because* Republicans were snubbed and shut out of the Health Care debate and nothing that they could have supported was even considered.

It was a Dem bill on purpose.

So no crying over the spilt milk.

Patm said...

"We lost months on health care chasing R votes - Snow, Collins, LIEberman, etc. "

You've GOT to be kidding me. Lieberman (real mature, your typo) is not an R, and Snow and Collins are BARELY R's, and they were the only two Obama tried to sway, because they are so swayable.

Obama could have HAD a successful healthcare bill signed and in the can, to brag about at this SOTU address, if he'd managed to do WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO, and actually worked with the opposition (not just "chase" the two most easily persuadable), and allowed some of their concerns to be addressed in the bill, instead of just delegating it to Pelosi/Reid (who LOCKED the GOP out) and ignoring those in the GOP who TRIED to share ideas about making the healthcare bill practical. Obama went hard left, so hard that Snow and Collins did not dare follow him.

Obama has enough votes to pass anything he wants, and yet he hasn't. He hasn't because he's got a CRAP Healthcare bill that no one in the country wants, and the GOP will not give the Dems the necessary "cover" they need in order to pass the bill and call it "bi-partisan." Obama doesn't have a healthcare bill to brag about, because he would not create one that both parties could vote on, and he and the Dems WON'T pass one that they can take all the blame on.

Not very good leadership, I say.

Obama has forgotten that he is supposed to be the president of all of us, not just the hard left. His bill served the hard left and that's all. So, now he will speak to us tonight with pretty much empty hands. His stimulus did not work. His bailouts scared the nation. And worse than any of that, he has revealed his whole candidacy to have been a bait and switch.

You love the guy? Good. You can have him.

Patm said...

GOogle Obama to GOP: I WON.

Sure, he "tried" to build bi-partisanship when it became clear his H/C bill was so unpopular he needed GOP cover. But he gave them nothing.

Comrade X said...

he's not a moby folks. you can't fake the sincerity. he merely lacks self-awareness.

AlphaLiberal said...

Peter, I was talking about the Obama efforts to court Republican votes for the health care bill.

Clearly you don't care to see things from the liberal perspective.

Thanks for proving my point!

Synova said...

So... Obama tried, really *tried* to get bipartisan support for the stimulous?

You know... asking people to do it your way doesn't really count.

Synova said...

We lost months on Health Care because anyone who said, "Hey, I have an idea. How about we look at this?" got accused of being against Health Care. Any suggestion that wasn't some other reform or action than the preferred one got accused of being *against* Health Care. The Whole Foods guy wrote a nice op-ed full of ideas to actively reform Health Care and got accused of being against Health Care.

How this equates to some fantasy where the opposition was *invited* to contribute ideas about what should be done, I really don't know.

AlphaLiberal said...

Patm:

Yeah, Obama told the Republicans he won the election. Because they think they should run the country, despite the will of the people.

To your other false claim, I give you a fact, reported in TIME magazine May 5, 2009:

So, right there in the Cabinet Room, the President put a proposal on the table, according to two people who were present. Obama said he was willing to curb malpractice awards, a move long sought by Republicans that is certain to bring strong opposition from the trial lawyers who fund the Democratic Party.

What, he wanted to know, did the Republicans have to offer in return?

Nothing, it turned out. Republicans were unprepared to make any concessions, if they had any to make.
.

There. A fact showing the latest Republican talking point is false.

Will you own up that you were wrong? Do facts matter?

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova:

We lost months on Health Care because anyone who said, "Hey, I have an idea. How about we look at this?" .

Man, this is too easy.

A) The Republicans did not offer an alternative health care plan. They had nothing.

b) Republicans controlled Congress with an iron fist for years. Why didn't they pass these ideas?

Really, that's a pale attempt.

AlphaLiberal said...

Synova:

You know... asking people to do it your way doesn't really count. .

Wrong again.

GOP Wields More Influence Over the Stimulus Bill - The Wall Street Journal

February 5, 2009

WASHINGTON-Republicans are exercising increasing influence over President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus plan in the Senate, with Maine Sen. Susan Collins emerging as a leader of efforts to trim the initiative and sharpen its focus on job creation.
.

Obama/Dems gave Republicans:

* An arbitrary cap on the size of the stimulus.
* 1/3 of the stimulus used for tax breaks.
* A bunch of things left out of the bill, like pandemic preparedness.

See? It is useless to reach out to Republicans. they will give you no credit for doing so.

DirtCrashr said...

That's where all that self-esteem kicks-in, with the un-ironic and deeply intrinsic knowledge that you ARE good, smart, clever, nuanced, flattering, and beautiful - and that your criticisms are meant to help, and do. Stuart Smalley writ large and everywhere at once. how else could Al Franken keep from drowning himself on a daily basis?

Meanwhile the real-life Rethuglican Enemy twirls his Snidely Whiplash moustache and with a cackle goes to dive into his swimming pool of dollars, just like Scrooge McDuck - the nuances are so fine it's painfully real...

Synova said...

Attempt at what?

You, yourself, just posted a quote that the Republicans (who, according to Jon Stewart, haven't had a majority like the Democrats have now since 1923) had "long wanted" limits on malpractice awards.

So you've contradicted your own self on one point. The Republicans did have at least one idea for what they thought would help. (They had others, of course, you even know what they are.)

And apparently, according to you, getting given that one idea (with no indication what the limit would be) they are supposed to go for the whole 2k pages of a bill no one has read that is based on the idea of nationalized health care that their constituents do not want.

Why should they? Let the Democrats pass it and take all the credit for themselves.

Obama had more than enough votes without them.

What happened?

john said...

Krauthammer just described Obama being in clinical denial.

Synova said...

"...Maine Sen. Susan Collins emerging as a leader of efforts to trim the initiative and sharpen its focus on job creation."

Losing Susan Collins would be pretty impressive. Far right she is not.

But I do have to ask, AL. I do have a question...

WHY did it take a liberal Republican to sharpen the focus of the stimulous on job creation or "trim" the stimulous bill?

Why weren't Democrats going full bore to make sure that the bill was as "trim" as it could be, using tax money efficiently, and focusing tightly on projects specifically designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs?

I'm glad someone was doing it... but how is it that those elements had to come from the opposition?

We still ended up with a bill that had no greater *intent* than to throw a ginormous amount of money at a wall and see if any of it stuck by accident.

And no... a few concessions for what should have been foundational principles rather than *concessions* for pete's sake... does not lead to the moral necessity to thank The One for making them.

john said...

Krauthammer just described Obama being in clinical denial.

john said...

sorry for the double post

I must have multiple personalities, at least with Google.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Peterson said...

That many of these photos make Obama look small and foolish is self-evident. Althouse and the Anchoress are right to wonder about President Obama's psyche.

But I also think these photos are fantastic - they appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities, taken at interesting angles and perspectives, with nary a concern for political impact. The person who vets these photos for the White House eyes them like a photographer and a historian, not a publicist. I think that we should be thankful that in an administration that has broken so many promises concerning openness, that we have such a wonderful and clear window in which to view our President.

Tom Spaulding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Spaulding said...

Facts are stubborn things, AL.


Rep. Paul Ryan is re-introducing legislation in Congress today — amid criticism that his is ‘a party of no’ — to offer Republican alternatives to health care and spending the same day President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress.

Ryan, the House Budget Committee Ranking Republican and chief sponsor of the bill, said the legislation will “restore our long-held legacy of leaving the next generation of Americans better off.”

The legislation, “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” was initially introduced in 2008, yet the version introduced today “will reflect the dramatic decline in our nation’s economic and fiscal condition” since then, according to a release from Ryan’s office.

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Clearly you don't care to see things from the liberal perspective.


Anyone can see from a liberal/leftist perspective, but they don't have to like it. I can perceive things from the liberal/leftism perspective, but I don't have to like it either. It's not about summarily ignoring it, it's running it through the filter of common sense. Liberalism and leftism make zero sense. On any level.

It's easy for you to be a liberal. You don't have to take a stand on anything, or you can easily agree on everything else. In reality you simply end up becoming a contrarian.

Thanks for proving my point!

You are incapable of proving a point and you fail at it with your "I'm here to watch my enemy" bullshit. You are a weak-minded thinker. You are a weak-minded person. You are just weak-minded. You stand for nothing and you never did because if you did, that would require you to render judgment and apply principals. You are incapable of either.

Bruce Hayden said...

What is always interesting about AL is his belief that if he just says something enough times, it will become true, or at least accepted by many people as being true. And, thus, his contention that President Obama has governed in a non-partisan way, and it is just those recalcitrant Republicans who keep trying to obscure all of his calls for bipartisanship.

Of course, the reality is that because of his big majorities in both Houses of Congress, he hasn't done anything more than pretend on occasion to almost listen to those who would be so bold as to not agree with his reality. But, just like he cut out the Republicans and most physicians in health care reform, he has cut out small business and the Chamber of Commerce from any discussion about employment.

I think that AL, and a lot more on the left, do this because it worked with George W. Bush. Eight years of hearing how horrible he was paid off. Never mind that many of those horrible decisions by Bush in prosecuting the War on Terror, etc. have been accepted and adopted by Obama, after finally learning all the relevant facts. A lot of the American people actually believe that President Bush routinely lied to them, despite the inability of those pushing that meme to actually show anywhere near the mendacity that President Obama has shown. All as a result of an eight year campaign of disinformation.

AL's problem here is that President Obama actually does lie a lot more than his predecessor, and so continuing to yell about Bush a year into his term is looking more and more questionable by the American People. Add to this that things are moving fairly fast right now, in terms of political movements, and the type of disinformation being pushed by AL takes a long time to be effective. The liberals just don't have that time right now, with elections coming up in just a bit over 9 months where they have a possibility right now of losing both Houses of Congress.

pinkmonkeybird said...

I think the time is ripe now for conservatives and for independents to gently nudge their more liberal family members.

We live in a very polarized society. Many of us, having love for our hard left family members, shy away from any discussion of politics.

That time is passed. Open a dialog with your liberal friends and family. Tell them of your objections to Obama and this Democratic Party in power. Only you know the best way to do that; be it with humor, be it with serious concern,you know best.

I think a lot of folks who voted for Obama and the radical left wing Democrats in power now, are holding out hope that they may be able to ride it out. But deep down inside, they need us to nudge them and say, "It's okay. A lot of smart people were suckered. He was a mistake. Let's move on."

JorgXMcKie said...

I've decided garage must be practicing for the Obtuse PointMissing event at the Winter Olympics and AL is some sort of computer constructed worst example of precisely what Ann was talking about.

Guess we're just lucky to see them in action. Kind of like going to the zoo.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Conservatives are so open to criticism and the possibility that they might be wrong that they wait until their opponents are away for 48 hours to attack them!!!

Nothing makes someone more convinced of the rightness of their own words than their opponents' inability to hear them, let alone refute them.

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

@AL

Republicans controlled Congress with an iron fist for years. Why didn't they pass these ideas?

You mean like the 43 years the Dems controlled congress prior to the Repubs? why didn't the Dems pass universal healthcare then? (a silly game isn't it?)

It's amusing that the Left's ideological blinkers have prevented them from noticing (and/or acknowledging) that Obama has morphed into Bush Lite, replete with incoherent syntax, crony deals and stubborn refusal to change course.

BTW- how's rolling back the Patriot Act, closing Gitmo and drawing down troops in the 'Stan working for you?

BJM said...

@JorgXmcKie

Five 9's here.

traditionalguy said...

The liberals meme for the month is how very, very cruel the Tea Partying GOP leaders have been to our sensitive and sincere populist President that only needs a little help to continue his fight for his beloved middle class (like JTP) against the Wall Street Fat Cats who despise his showing loving care for people. The best portrayal of that meme will be awarded an Emmy.

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...Welcome back to the Ultimate Cage Fighting Blog. No snivelling allowed

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It's funny you look at it that way, TG. Because the only lesson I was able to take home from Dr. Althouse's sneak attack on me was... "Wow! Look at how incredibly sensitive these people are!"

Sensitivity is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it can be good to be personally sensitive, and I think that must be part of what I appreciate about this place. But I just can't understand why more people can't be as sensitive about the arguments they come across and come up with to refute them as they are about their own feelings.

JAL said...

A) The Republicans did not offer an alternative health care plan. They had nothing.

Not true. They could not get the Dems to even LOOK at what they had. Never could make it to the start of the process.

A number of those ideas have been presented here informally -- we are not Congress.

{crickets}

exhelodrvr1 said...

ALpha Liberal,
"Man, this is too easy.

A) The Republicans did not offer an alternative health care plan. They had nothing."

DO you actually believe that?

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

A) The Republicans did not offer an alternative health care plan. They had nothing.


Honestly, do you even know when you are lying? Go read H.R. 3400, moron and stop being a liar. You have no credibility.

Beth said...

It leaves you open to attack when you don't anticipate how your words (and pictures) will appear to your opponents. And then when those opponents take your pretty pictures and words and turn them against you, oh, how it must hurt.

This I agree with. Conservatives love to grab a phrase, preferably it fits on a bumpersticker, like Death Panels, or Blame it on Bush! and so on, and use taunt for argument. That's pretty much everything I dislike about conservatism, and liberalism, all summed up here. Liberals are unable to slug it out and let themselves be led into swamps of bullshit over and over. Bush had less of a majority than Obama has in Congress but earnest liberals couldn't stop themselves from agreeably signing on with his agenda - otherwise, they'd be unpatriotic, friends of terrorists, whatever. Conservatives are much better at being the opposition party because while the liberals have no perspective, they have no shame.

Synova said...

There are several things that Bush tried to do that he simply gave up on. After that, other than the Iraq war his "agenda" was essentially "whatever Congress wants." Did he veto anything at all? I don't think he did.

This left Congress, even after the Democrats gained the majority, with nothing to oppose *except* the Iraq war.

And yes, it's pretty easy to portray people as unpatriotic when the only thing they have to oppose are measures in an ongoing war they initially voted to approve.

Synova said...

Obama, on the other hand, chose to tie his fortune directly to passing a number of really huge things in his first year, counting on being unopposed.

And really... how does the rhetoric of Pelosi and others who tried to dismiss the Tea Parties by portraying the people as thugs or even terrorists or all of those who called the people's opposition (as opposed to the political opposition) racists, portray any sense of shame?

Beth said...

the people's opposition

What? Of course the Tea people are political opposition. They're no more "the people" than I am - that's exactly the lack of shame I mean. Conservatives believe they're "the people" and the rest of us are I don't know, something else.

Synova said...

Okay... grass roots.

Not established political insiders, but citizens expressing themselves.

You may have been talking about the lack of shame of suggesting that the Tea Party represents some element of "the people"... I was talking about the lack of shame in calling them racists, as if no possible real disagreement could exist.

Beth said...

You're seriously saying there are no political insiders in the Tea Party? I don't believe that.

I must have missed "some of" - all I saw was "the people."

Some of them are racists - photos of the parties show that. But anyone who dismisses them overall as racist is foolish. The same way anyone dismisses all liberals as ANSWER clones is silly, because ANSWER showed up at anti-war rallies.