April 10, 2013

Clarence Thomas was not surprised that a black man was elected President...

... but "he always thought a black president would have to be 'approved by the elites' in the media and in society." And: "If I was going to have hard feelings, it’d be mostly on race issues."

61 comments:

Widmerpool said...

"Thomas noted that he voted for Democrats Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election and George McGovern in 1972, but said he just doesn’t like politics.

'I don’t know how you tell somebody something that is obviously wrong, and you make them believe it,' he said, drawing laughter from the crowd."

madAsHell said...

"If I was going to have hard feelings, it’d be mostly on race issues."

I wonder if Thomas elaborated, or did the reporter just overlook the specifics....cuz they didn't fit the narrative.

edutcher said...

And who gets glorified?

Jessuh "Hymietown" Jackson and Al "Crown Heights" Sharpton.

Robert Cook said...

Isn't it obvious that Obama was elected because he was vetted and approved by the elites?

Obama is as loyal a vassal to the American Empire as any of his predecessors. He is the proverbial wolf in emperor's new clothes, if I may mix metaphors.

I mean by this that Obama's alignment with the agenda of the financial, political, and military elites and institutions is nakedly apparent to any who see clearly, and his "disguise," such as it is, exists only in the preconceptions of those who badly (mis)perceive him, whether it be they who see him as a corrective to the depredations of the past 30 years or they who see him as the culmination of imaginary "socialist"--or "communist"--forces that have somehow usurped government's power.

Widmerpool said...

Robert Cook,

That is Thomas's point. Obama is no iconoclast - he is an utterly conventional creature of the elites.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

Isn't it obvious that Obama was elected because he was vetted and approved by the elites?

Hardly.

He was seen as an empty suit who would do whatever he was told if there was money in it.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, that is an excellent metaphor mix. Well said.

However, I think I disagree with you. It is not inconsistent to view Obama as a socialist/communist when he in fact is a statist. That is the nature of socialism and communism.

The ultimate goal is power, not liberty or equality or health or anything so lofty. Only power.

Marshal said...

Obama's alignment with the agenda of the financial, political, and military elites and institutions is nakedly apparent to any who see clearly


Cook's error is not understanding this is equally true of all socialists.

Amartel said...

"Isn't it obvious that Obama was elected because he was vetted and approved by the elites?"

No shit! He was selected. He was fast-tracked. He was express routed around the presumptive heir to the throne. He was clean and articulate and didn't sound at all like a negro. He was snuggled in the capacious d├ęcolletage between the sagging bosoms of the elite.

(This Secretary of State Clinton creature is probably a robot, the real Mrs. Clinton having been killed for being inconvenient.)

Larry J said...

Robert Cook said...
Isn't it obvious that Obama was elected because he was vetted and approved by the elites?


Of course he was. They all saw that he had the right educational pedigree. They saw that he was, how did Biden put it, "Clean and bright and well-spoken" or something to that effect.

That was all they needed to see. He was one of them. It didn't matter that he had zero executive experience, very little in the way of legislative experience and truth be told, hadn't done anything of consequence before running for president.

Obama wasn't Bush and he wasn't McCain. That's all that really mattered. That, and the fact that a lot of his cronies got very rich off of political deals.

Amartel said...

Herman Cain, on the other hand. Well, he slept with a wahtt womin.

Richard Dolan said...

Justice Thomas is a gentleman, and a very classy guy. He always sounds upbeat, and never stoops to return the personal nastiness that has so often be directed against him. When he was our circuit justice, he used to come to the winter meeting of the Federal Bar Council (a NY lawyer's group), which is a week-long event. Always approachable, always looking to put the other person at ease.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Widmerpool, I think you're right. I reacted only to the pull quote and did not first read it in context in the original link.

But then, how was Thomas any less vetted and approved by the elites? He's on the friggin' Supreme Court! He is largely a rubber stamp for the wing of the court that serves largely as a rubber stamp for the elites! (Not that there is much of a wing on the court presently that is greatly independent of the agenda of the elites.)

chrisnavin.com said...

Don't feed the socialists. They just come back next year with more brochures (copied at Kinko's').

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, I think we need a fuller definition of what you think are "elites".

Robert Cook said...

Marshall said:

"Cook's error is not understanding this is equally true of all socialists."

Marshall swiftly demonstrates the truth of my remark regarding those who badly misperceive Obama.

Michael said...

Widmerpool. Brilliant irony that Robert Cook banters with Widmerpool the very model of the modern backbiting goal obsessed achiever!! Well played.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, let me try to understand. You speak of the "depredations of the past 30 years" and of how Obama is a false prophet. Am I right in assuming that you think thus?

1) Reagan started a change in politics and culture that was bad.

2) Obama is insufficiently leftist.

3) In a just world, we would move toward greater government control of industry.

Amartel said...

Thomas and Cain have something in common: white liberals made sure everyone thinks they are oversexed.

Vetting!

Widmerpool said...

Robert Cook,

I think of Obama as a "gentry liberal" in Joel Kotkin's terms.

As Kotkin explains:

"Gentry liberalism combines four basic elements: faith in postindustrial "creative" financial capitalism, cultural liberalism, Gore-ite environmentalism and the backing of the nation's arguably best-organized political force, public employee unions. Obama rose to power on the back of all these forces and has governed as their tribune."

Clarence Thomas is decidedly not a gentry liberal.

garage mahal said...

I mean by this that Obama's alignment with the agenda of the financial, political, and military elites and institutions is nakedly apparent to any who see clearly, and his "disguise," such as it is, exists only in the preconceptions of those who badly (mis)perceive him, whether it be they who see him as a corrective to the depredations of the past 30 years or they who see him as the culmination of imaginary "socialist"--or "communist"--forces that have somehow usurped government's power.

Evidenced by the absurd spectacle of Obama being to the right of Paul Ryan on SS & Medicare on his budget proposal.

Obama's neo-liberal bona fides should have been predicted upon learning that the very first person Obama sought out in the Senate was....... Joe Fucking Lieberman.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


Robert Cook said...


But then, how was Thomas any less vetted and approved by the elites?

Thomas said 'approved by the elites' in the media and in society.

The elites in media certainly never approved of Thomas. I'm not sure exactly whom to include in the elites of society beyond the media. Maybe academia, which certainly didn't support Thomas.

The president nominated him, and a majority of senators confirmed him, but that's about it.

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
Marshall swiftly demonstrates the truth of my remark regarding those who badly misperceive Obama


An odd position since I agreed with you about Obama. If I'm misperceiving him you must be also.

But working reality into your fantasy solution is bound to create internal discord, hence the lashing out.

Hagar said...

Barack Obama most probably is a post-socialist '60s hippie-Bill Ayers-Derrick Bell by way of Chicago City Hall product.

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal, you speak of "Obama's neo-liberal bona fides". Can I assume that you think he's a free-trading capitalist? Is he too far right for you?

Widmerpool said...

Garage,

Entitlement changes are inevitable. I'm surprised you're surprised. Did you really think Bernie Sanders and his like would carry the day?

garage mahal said...

Is he too far right for you?

Yes. But it's all the deception that really irks. Just so done with the guy, I can't stand seeing/hearing him.

Robert Cook said...

Marshall,

I apologize if I misread you, but I understood you to assert that Obama is a socialist.

Obama is not in the least a socialist.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook said "Obama is not in the least a socialist."

And Lenin was not a communist. Neither was Mao.

At some point, you must choose your team.

I hear from garage mahal that lefties really hate Obama at this point. Is that true?

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
Marshall,

I apologize if I misread you, but I understood you to assert that Obama is a socialist.

Obama is not in the least a socialist.


Put other socialists in his place and you'll immediately find out they no longer meet your definition either. Socialism cannot function without the very connections you claim distinguish Obama from socialism. It isn't Obama you have wrong, it's socialism.

Robert Cook said...

Bob Ellison said,

Robert Cook, let me try to understand. You speak of the 'depredations of the past 30 years' and of how Obama is a false prophet. Am I right in assuming that you think thus?

"1) Reagan started a change in politics and culture that was bad.

"2) Obama is insufficiently leftist.

"3) In a just world, we would move toward greater government control of industry."


1.) Yes

2.) Well...yes, given that not only do I think Obama is "insufficiently leftist" but that I think he is not a leftist in the least...expect perhaps rhetorically, when he panders to (i.e., deceives) those who voted for him.

3.) I believe there should be sufficient government oversight and regulation of industry to insure we, the people--as workers, consumers, or citizens--are not being exploited, cheated, poisoned, raped or robbed in the course of industry doing its business. Rather than our valorizing business and excusing their behavior with the attitude of caveat emptor, we should assert: caveat venditor!

Bob Ellison said...

"Obama is not a socialist" seems to be a slogan on the left. "Socialist" is a wrong-seeming word, so some on the left are running away from it, without understanding what it means.

Others, like garage mahal, cling to the "it just hasn't yet been done right!" philosophy. If only we had the right leaders! If only they had the correct ideas!

Is there a schism on the left?

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, thank you for your response.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

For any who care, the vetting (sorry, read 'hype') for 2016 has already begun.

Inauguration Party hangovers have scarcely begun to wear off, and the hot topic of the media is Hillary in 2016.

(Tag:disconnectTVcable)

The power and money controlled by Government must be reduced!

Robert Cook said...

"I hear from garage mahal that lefties really hate Obama at this point. Is that true?"

Most of Obama's supporters, as far as I know, still support him.

Most of those who see through him now saw through him in 2008.

I have scorned Obama since his vote for the revised FISA law in late 2008, prior to the November election, and I did not vote for him then or later. He not only has proved I was right not to have voted for him, he has been worse than I anticipated. Not only is as much a friend to the financial elites as was Bush (or Clinton), he has joined with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest and is, as they are, a mass murderer and war criminal.

Bob Ellison said...

Robert Cook, your statements are consistent, philosophically. They are not, however, consistent with America's political culture. Are you OK with that? "I am in the minority who sees the truth." That could work. Or maybe "The populace will come to realize the wisdom of my views."

Which is it? I don't see an alternative within a moral framework.

Bob Ellison said...

Uh, maybe "I am the only moral person in the room."

Bob Ellison said...

Or "with enough dog biscuits, everything will be fine no matter what government controls."

garage mahal said...

You fought in one of our stupid wars?

Your needs you again. Hope you like catfood!

Paul said...

Well the 'hard feelings' is not on race but on having a fucking stupid president who is vain and shallow beyond words.

Craig Landon said...

I must say, this thread, considering the players, is one of the most civilized exchanges I've seen in some time. Were it ever thus.

Tom said...

"If I was going to have hard feelings, the mostly be on race issues." But which way would those hard feelings go? I think Thomas probably sees the potential of what American could be and what it has become in the last 50 years. And he sees who has been left in poverty and and he knows why. And it's sad.

Nathan Alexander said...

garage.
You are 100% correct.

Democrats hate cutting even one penny of spending, so if entitlements are ever cut, Democrats will make sure the cuts fall squarely on military veterans.

Just look at how Obama cuts White House tours for middle school students but continues his daughters' expensive vacations and his own swank parties.

Democrats are assholes when it comes to money. Democrats will never willingly give up a penny of other people's money, and will do their best to hurt anyone/everyone rather than lose one dime of taxpayer-funded crony payouts.

Garage, you must be so proud to be a heartless, cutthroat, unreasonable Democrat.

Revenant said...

Cook,

Why is it that you think "socialist" and "communist" are incompatible with "imperialist"? Certainly there are examples of socialist and communist empires in history.

In any event, you are correct that Obama is neither. Economically and socially he is a progressive corporatist, like FDR (or Mussolini).

Revenant said...

Aren't we long past the point at which left-wingers can legitimately complain that left-wing candidates have abused power and/or become cozy with the rich and influential?

The whole philosophy is about giving more power to government. Government is run by people. People are bastards. How can you say "look at how these bastards are abusing their power" and not feel like a prize idiot? It ranks up there with "I let my two-year-old play with road flares and the house burned down". Yeah, no shit.

I Callahan said...

I think you guys are WAY too nice about Obama's philosophy. My opinion: he agrees with Robert Cook on about 99% of what he believes, only he's not as honest as Cook, and if he were, he'd be run out of DC on a rail.

Come on, the guy's biggest mentors were (and probably still are) avowed, unapologetic communists. How can you grow up in an environment like that and not be? There are very few who change their views (David Horowitz comes to mind).

Robert Cook said...

"Why is it that you think "socialist" and 'communist' are incompatible with 'imperialist'?"

I don't think that; why do you think I do? I assert Obama is not a socialist not because he is a tool of American Empire and its agents, but because he has done nothing to demonstrate that he is even a "kind-of" socialist. One might as well call him an agent of the Illuminati or an operative for the He-Man Woman Haters Club. It's name-calling without relation to reality.

Bob Ellison said...

Gotta choose a team, Robert Cook.

Bob Ellison said...

This discussion fascinates me. Robert Cook and garage mahal think Obama is too far right! Does that not seem strange?

There are crazy people out there with crazy ideas; there are people who think, for example, that Elvis is still alive, possibly somewhere in South America. But these are frequent commenters on this prominent blog. They write with lucidity, and they don't appear to lose track of the topic of discussion. Yet they fail to grasp obvious facts.

What label can we use to describe such insanity?

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
but because he has done nothing to demonstrate that he is even a "kind-of" socialist.


It's amazing how you manage to not see the relevant facts when they interfere with your narrative. Obamacare formalizes government control over the largest industry in America. You like to pretend the involvement of insurance companies transfers blame to capitalism, but in truth Obamacare establishes the government's right to decide what is covered.

This was just after the government effectively purchased a majority of GM and gave it the UAW.

But according to you this never happened. Obama has done nothing to advance socialism.

Robert Cook said...

"Obamacare formalizes government control over the largest industry in America. You like to pretend the involvement of insurance companies transfers blame to capitalism, but in truth Obamacare establishes the government's right to decide what is covered."

No, it doesn't.

Hagar said...

Socialism is so 19th century.

We do lack a word to describe the post-socialist socialists.

EMD said...

This is a really good thread. I don't have much to add that hasn't been said, except I think that the description of Obama as a progressive corporatist is the most apt descriptor.

If I were throwing around the big words, I'd say Obama is more of a fascist (which can exist on either side of the left/right political schism).

It's a fascism that exists to advance the state, but lacks the jingoism or national-exaltations normally associated with historic fascism. It's not the military-industrial complex at work, but the government-corporation complex.

Too big too fail?

EMD said...

No, it doesn't.

But it probably will, over time.

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
No, it doesn't.


The IPAB board has exactly this role but you simply close your eyes and pretend it doesn't exist. When you have to deny reality to sustain your philosophy it's clue your philosophy is wrong.

Robert Cook said...

"This was just after the government effectively purchased a majority of GM and gave it the UAW."

Hmmm...no wonder you used the qualifier "effectively." Your statement is a simplification and distortion of what happened.

Robert Cook said...

"Gotta choose a team, Robert Cook."

Why?

Marshal said...

Robert Cook said...
Hmmm...no wonder you used the qualifier "effectively." Your statement is a simplification and distortion of what happened.


There's a theory in finance (and applicable to other fields) called "substance over form". It means a transaction that has all the effects of one class of transaction is considered that class of transaction even if those engaging in the transaction use a different label.

This happens often as those involved try to mislead others. You'd think someone so focused on the ethical failures of business would understand this. But it seems in this as with so much else everything you decry in business you support as soon as the agency changes from business to government.

Marshal said...

The District of Columbia’s Obamacare czars — the board that sets rules for the phony insurance marketplace, or “exchange,” that the law creates — have decided that henceforth insurers shall be forbidden by law to charge smokers higher rates than non-smokers. Smoking, as it turns out, “is a preexisting medical condition,” according to Dr. Mohammad Akhter, the chairman of the D.C. Health Exchange Board. Two liberal states, California and Connecticut, have decided likewise, while Colorado and Alaska have rejected the idea.

What a shock, here's another instance of government's primacy over business. But Cook has told us this isn't happenning.

Who to believe?

Robert Cook said...

Marshall,

You haven't indicated where this language came from so interested readers can read further. How can Obamneycare czars just "decide" what "henceforth" the law will forbid or allow? Is this just a matter of interpretation, subject to challenge? Or will there be legislation formalizing this restriction/requirement?

If we could see the larger source from which this is drawn we can make a bit more sense of what it means.

Also, government has long had a regulatory role over matters of business and commerce, and I have never said otherwise. In fact, I believe that is good and necessary. I did deny your assertion that Obamneycare "formalizes control" over the insurance industry. Rather, it is a gift to the insurance industry of a new captive customer base.