March 29, 2014

Obama and the Pope.

Questions asked by reporters about Obama's meeting with Pope Francis and the closest approximation of an answer received from Obama:

The first questioner asks 3 questions, which I'm paraphrasing: 1. Did they talk about the Obamacare and the requirement of birth control coverage? 2. Did they talk about gay rights? and 3. Did they talk about Putin? 

Obama utters about 500 nonresponsive words: He says that they spent most of the time talking about income inequality and world peace, that "the theme that stitched our conversation... was... empathy," and that he explained American immigration reform to the Pope who Obama thinks must be "very mindful of the plight of so many immigrants" because the Pope "came from Latin America."

Finally, Obama gets to question 1 and says he didn't talk about it "in detail" with the Pope, which means that they did talk about it, but he's not saying what was said. Probably something Catholic from the Pope, I'm guessing, since the Pope is Catholic and as such he's likely to be very mindful of the plight of so many unborn children. Obama quickly shifts to the conversation he had with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, who seems to have wanted to be "sure that conscience and religious freedom was observed in the context of applying" the Affordable Care Act. Here, again, we learn what Obama explained to his interlocutor, not how he might have been schooled on Catholic doctrine.  What he explained was that "most religious organizations are entirely exempt," and "Religiously affiliated hospitals or universities or NGOs simply have to attest that they have a religious objection," which is to say, he seems to have explained the U.S. government's position in the Hobby Lobby case, which is that exemptions should not go to for-profit corporations.

Obama fails to mention gay rights or Putin (questions 2 and 3) before proceeding to the next questioner, who takes the opportunity to follow up by asking: "Do you think some of the schisms that [the first questioner] referenced on social issues would stand in the way of you and Pope Francis collaborating or forming a strategic alliance to tackle income inequality?"

That seemed like a softball to me. There's an easy answer: No. But Obama is prickled: "[M]aybe it wasn’t clear from my answer to Jim -- that we actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms in my conversations with His Holiness."

Maybe it wasn't clear! Like the reporter is dumb for not accepting Obama's unresponsive verbiage to mean that he and the Pope got along just fine. That word "schisms" seems to have hurt, and Obama doesn't deny that the Pope talked about "social schisms." They just didn't talk "a whole lot," which, of course, means that they did talk about it, possibly a lot. Just not a whole lot. Obama seems to catch his implicit concession and restates it:
In fact, that really was not a topic of conversation.  
So it was not a topic... not really... not really a topic.... That drips with lawyer sauce. They talked about it, but as a subtopic or perhaps as a theme — perhaps as much of a theme as empathy, which stitched their conversation. ("Stitched," like "empathy," is a dog-whistle to women, you realize, don't you?)

Obama then runs out the clock with 337 unresponsive words — I counted — including "envisions," "elevated," "profane," "higher powers,""potential convergence," "shining," :the teachings of Jesus Christ and other religions," and "care deeply."

Pablum. Papacy pablum.

118 comments:

Big Mike said...

since the Pope is Catholic

Which may be more than Obama knows!

David said...

MAN WITH FLAMING PANTS VISITS POPE.

Details at . . . . oh, never mind.

surfed said...

I don't get it. The man has never said anything in his Presidency that wasn't lawyer pabulum speak or soft jello ersatz hippy dippy tropes and we're still parsing it now? For someone like the Professor that's equivalent to moving the bulls eye target to a distance of 5 feet.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't like the coopting of the Pope.

Tank said...

Con man. Always with the con. Always. It may be interesting to listen to/dissect, but there's no reason to believe any of it.

PB Reader said...

We've never known this Pope to lie, but Obama is almost a pathological liar.

I'll go with the Pope.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
I don't like the coopting of the Pope.


This is ridiculous.

The Pope is Argentinian, with a deep concern for the poor. If anything his economic views will be to the left of Obama's. And, as the Pope has already indicated very clearly, he is down-playing the the divisive social issues so beloved of the right-wingers. There is no co-option here. If anything the Pope will have more 'leftiist' views on wealth inequality than Obama, who by any sane analysis is middle of the road or somewhat biased towards capital over labor, based on the results of his policies.

Seeing Red said...

Did they talk about Barry wanting to move our Vatican ambassador to the Italian embassy because of "safety" issues? Or was he just going to remove that ambassadorship?

I'll say it again. Any religious org can talk about helping the poor, but they'd better remember they are tax-exempt. So are they part of the problem or solution?

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
I don't like the coopting of the Pope.

This is ridiculous.


I think she may mean Obama's predilection to make everything about himself and to leech popularity from various world celebrities. (e.g. Making his Mandela trip and the funeral all about Obama. Wanting to use the Brandenburg Gate for a campaign rally, etc)

Everything is a photo op...

As Texans would say, "Obama is all hat and no cattle"

Bob Boyd said...

Stupid juice mixed with lawyer sauce is coming over tops of the national hip waders.

FWBuff said...

Obama: "[M]aybe it wasn’t clear from my answer to Jim -- that we actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms in my conversations with His Holiness."

Reporter: "No, Mr. President. I wasn't asking whether you were talking to yourself."

Michael K said...

"And, as the Pope has already indicated very clearly, he is down-playing the the divisive social issues so beloved of the right-wingers."

Oh, you mean Catholic doctrine ? The stuff the Pope is supposed to be infallible on ?

Argentina has been a kleptocracy since 1944. Obama should feel right at home with his Holiness. Neither has any idea of economics.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Oh, you mean Catholic doctrine ? The stuff the Pope is supposed to be infallible on ?


You are apparently not Catholic. If you were you would know that the Church's teaching on contraception has been almost universally ignored by the laity for decades. Not all doctrines receive equal attention or weight from different pontiffs, but then this should be self-evident.

Michael K said...

"You are apparently not Catholic. "

Other than 12 years of Catholic school, I don't know as much about it as you obviously do.

"the Church's teaching on contraception has been almost universally ignored by the laity for decades."

And so the Pope should ?

Obama said he was opposed to gay marriage so the Pope should "evolve" too ? Is that what you mean by Catholic Doctrine ?

I knew that the left was very un-self aware but you have reached new heights.

Roughcoat said...


The Drill SGT is right. Althouse is right too.

I like Althouse's new pic. The long hair--very Teutonic, in a good way. Reminds me of pics of my Grossma Melhorn, taken when she was a teenager (in the 1890s). A Saxon beauty all the way through.

Hagar said...

You expected something else from Captain Styrofoam?

grackle said...

Pablum. Papacy pablum.

Which goes along with healthcare pablum, Afghanistan "good war" pablum, various "red line" pablums, the current "weak Putin" pablum, etc. It's all pablum from Obama.

YoungHegelian said...

Maybe Obama doesn't want to say that he got read the Actus Riotus by the Vatican.

Saint Croix said...

I think there's a lot of stress in trying to lie about your conversation with the Pope.

Unknown said...

----And, as the Pope has already indicated very clearly, he is down-playing the the divisive social issues so beloved of the right-wingers.

And the media has distorted the Pope's messages to suggest he is downplaying social issues so beloved of people with humanity and conscience.

There - fixed it for you!

MayBee said...

and that he explained American immigration reform to the Pope who Obama thinks must be "very mindful of the plight of so many immigrants" because the Pope "came from Latin America."

I would like to know what he means by this.

Because Latin America takes In so many immigrants?

Where is the plight of the immigrants taking place, and what kind of immigrants did they discuss?

Unknown said...

---Maybe Obama doesn't want to say that he got read the Actus Riotus by the Vatican.---

Tore him a Rectum Novus.

gk1 said...

Its sad watching Obama shuffle around trying to glom popularity from other figures. Sort of like a salt monster from Star Trek. He will assume any shape to get his "fix". We have 2 more years of this putz. Oy.

jimbino said...

I wonder if Obama is has the inclination and balls to nominate a Protestant or, God-forbid, an Atheist to the Jew-Roman Catholic axis of the Supreme Court.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...

I knew that the left was very un-self aware but you have reached new heights.


As usual, you have no actual point, just weak invective.

Saint Croix said...

the Jew-Roman Catholic axis

No warning bells at all, huh? No little voice that says, "Maybe I need another word?"

Hagar said...

Said the pot to the kettle.

AReasonableMan said...

jimbino said...
I wonder if Obama is has the inclination and balls to nominate a Protestant or, God-forbid, an Atheist to the Jew-Roman Catholic axis of the Supreme Court.


Never gonna happen.

Atheists are the Roma of the US, despised by everyone and illegible for any elective or judicial position.

EDH said...

This is Obama's version of Nixon talking to the portraits in the White House.

Both thinking of themselves as having had a conversation with great men, but each only "hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

La, la, la, la, la, la.

(Never thought of that la, la, la... lyric from "The Boxer" as somebody with their fingers in their ears in a tantrum trying not to hear, until I thought of Obama singing it.)

Deirdre Mundy said...

We really need immigration reform because of all those illegal Argentinians streaming across the border to take American jobs in the ranching and leather-working industries.

Glad the pope is on it.

Wait... "Latin America" isn't a single monolithic entity but rather a collection of nations that were colonized by Spaniards (but which also immigrant populations from Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Japan, among other nations?)

Huh. Maybe someone should tell the president that everything south of Texas isn't 'Mexico.'

harrogate said...

"I think she may mean Obama's predilection to make everything about himself and to leech popularity from various world celebrities. (e.g. Making his Mandela trip and the funeral all about Obama. Wanting to use the Brandenburg Gate for a campaign rally, etc)"

Freeman, that *may* be right. But AReasonableMan is also right as rain, to point out that Francis is far to the left of Obama on economic issues. Obama is slightly to the left of the previous administration on these issues however, which to libertarians makess him a communist. But to non ideologues Obama looks like a garden variety corporate & finance friendly politico.


harrogate said...

"I wonder if Obama is has the inclination and balls to nominate a Protestant or, God-forbid, an Atheist to the Jew-Roman Catholic axis of the Supreme Court."

Hell of a good question.

Unknown said...

--Not all doctrines receive equal attention or weight from different pontiffs

If you know anything about Catholicism, you would known that abortion (not contraception which you love to conflate with it) is a doctrine that does stand as fundamental. You are aware that American Catholic hierarchy have floated the threat of closing Catholic hospitals rather than comply with providing abortions.

You liberals cannot recognize key elements of Islam or any other religion because your liberal religion has robbed you of discernment.

dc said...

"If anything his economic views will be to the left of Obama's."I wonder.To reform the Vatican finances,he brought in what liberals would call a right winger,Cardinal George Pell and not a Cardinal Paul Krugman.

Hagar said...

MayBee is right. The crack about the Pope should be concerned about our immigration problems "because he came from Latin America" stuck in my craw too. This is very shallow and patronizing reasoning by the President.

Argentina has had its own immigration problems in the past with the character of some of its immigrants arriving from Europe, especially after WWII, but they were/are not similar to our problems.

The Pope may indeed be concerned about our policies on a number of issues ex officio, not just because he is "a Latino," and it is more than a little insulting to world's Catholics to suggest such.

MayBee said...

" But to non ideologues Obama looks like a garden variety corporate & finance friendly politico."

Ha! Yes, this is how he looks to "non-ideologues"

Ps.. Why should anybody care about thenPope's economic stances? he is a religious leader, and his expertise is Catholicism

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
I don't like the coopting of the Pope.

This is ridiculous.

The Pope is Argentinian, with a deep concern for the poor. If anything his economic views will be to the left of Obama's...


Obvious that you are not familiar with the regime of the Kirchners in Argentina. Very leftist in ideology and practice. Ergo, Argentina's economy is withering. Making lots more people poor.

rhhardin said...

Do I detect a pope/poop theme.

Drago said...

Hagar: "This is very shallow and patronizing reasoning by the President."

If the reasoning wasn't shallow and patronizing, it would be impossible for obama to utter it.

Luke Lea said...

" "the theme that stitched our conversation... was... empathy,""

I wonder if Obama confessed which large ethnic groups he had least empathy with? Maybe the Pope should have helped him here?

Drago said...

harrogate: " But to non ideologues Obama looks like a garden variety corporate & finance friendly politico."

LOL

You know, 'non-ideologues" harrogate, ARM and Robert Cook.

Too funny.

Luke Lea said...

Let me amend that last comment. I wonder which large population groups Obama has the least empathy with? Hint: they are descendants of his Kansas forbears, like that Cambridge blue-collar cop who turned out to be a model of racial sensitivity.

MayBee said...

Exactly, Hagar. At what point does it become kind of racist to assume everyone with a Spanish-speaking heritage is pro- illegal immigration in the US?

AReasonableMan said...

dc said...
"If anything his economic views will be to the left of Obama's."I wonder.To reform the Vatican finances,he brought in what liberals would call a right winger,Cardinal George Pell


First, you are conflating narrow issues of corruption within the Vatican Bank with broader economic equality issues.

Second, Pell is of Australian-Irish descent, by US standards generally leftist on economic issues. He was viewed as right-wing in Australia because Australians generally are extremely liberal on social issues. Simply being a church goer generally makes you right wing in Australia, except, of course, if you are a Methodist.

somefeller said...

"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."

--Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium

Sounds like a dangerous radical. Someone needs to keep an eye on him.

rhhardin said...

The pope is an economic moron.

Maybe Obama and the pope talked economics.

somefeller said...

The sad part is, rhhardin, as an unmarried celibate, the Pope still probably knows more about and has had more success with women than you ever will.

AReasonableMan said...

somefeller said...
Pope still probably knows more about and has had more success with women than you ever will.


The Pope started out in life as a bouncer in a bar, so it is fair to assume that he is not completely naive regarding the ways of the world.

William said...

I heard a historian discussing relations between the Vatican and Mussolini's Italy. Their representatives sat down for a conference to hash out the issues. The number one issue on the Vatican agenda was the Church's opposition to too much skin being shown in lingerie ads in magazines........The Pope doesn't come from a different place than Obama. He comes from a different dimension.

Michael K said...

"As usual, you have no actual point, just weak invective."

Another example of unselfawareness.

You think Obama is "slightly to the left of the previous administration. I will grant that Bush and Hastert failed to control spending but your characterization of Obama, the most leftist US president in history, with the possible exception of Fascist Wilson, is amusing.

The Pope has no experience with anything resembling normal democracy or even normal government. Argentina was the richest country in the world before World War II. Peron and his fascist party have pauperized them. Venezuela had a wide disparity of wealth before Chavez but Argentina had no such problem. The left has succeeded in making rich countries poor and we are in the middle of such an effort now.

The malice with which Obama approaches basic Catholic doctrine is chilling. The "contraception" matter is of no significance, especially since the Church accepted the principle of limiting family size by the "rhythm method" decades ago. I am personally pro-choice and thus not a good Catholic but I know the situation, which you ignore or are lying about.

somefeller said...

Good detail, ARM. That only bolsters my point. Anyone (left or right) who thinks this Pope is a naïf will have their lunch eaten.

EMD said...

The sad part is, rhhardin, as an unmarried celibate, the Pope still probably knows more about and has had more success with women than you ever will.

I'm sorry, did rhhardin insult you?

AReasonableMan said...

William said...
I heard a historian discussing relations between the Vatican and Mussolini's Italy.


Mussolini had, and to some extent still has, broad support in Italy. Italian fascism was very different in character to German or even Spanish fascism. It was tied to Italian nationalism, a then still emerging force, and, improbably for most fascist movements, to avant-garde artists, the Futurists.

elkh1 said...

Dear Leader spilt buckets of dog poop.

n.n said...

The government's prime directive is, in part, to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity". It is not the government's legitimate authority to normalize (i.e. promote or sponsor) dysfunctional behaviors, including contraception and abortion.

The individual is separable from their behavior, when the latter is a conscious choice. Most behaviors, including dysfunctional behaviors, are tolerated, but not normalized, because we respect individual dignity, while recognizing that their behavior has no redeeming value to society or humanity.

Putin missed the unannounced regime assassination and change in Libya. He blocked its sequel in Syria. He offered a measured response in the Ukraine to a coup and its ensuing chaos.

As for immigration, or rather emigration, the causes and motives of large scale emigration need to be addressed at their source. The problems exist principally in Central and South American nations. Promoting converged migration and native displacement is an immoral enterprise.

SOJO said...

I'm guessing the Pope would have been more interested in universal healthcare (the plight of the poor) and income inequality than abortion or birth control since they are related in any case.

Unless they were affected by each other's presence alone, it'd be pretty useless anyway. How long do these meetings last? Is it like a doctor's office visit or a meet and greet where everyone is so busy you just race through the top three talking points in a faux relaxed voice and try to recalibrate your positioning? You'd need at least an entire night out alone to have a proper talk about anything.

Archie said...

It's disappointing if not alarming that no one has brought up Galileo yet. Get with it folks.

C R Krieger said...

Am I the only one who thinks that economic views are not laid out on a ruler, going only left or right?

Regards  —  Cliff

C R Krieger said...

Archie brought up the "G" fellow.  Didn't the "G" fellow fudge on comets?

Regards  —  Cliff

cubanbob said...

somefeller said...
"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."

--Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium

Sounds like a dangerous radical. Someone needs to keep an eye on him.

3/29/14, 11:48 AM"

No. I sounds like someone who has no clue of economics and actually economic performance and shouldn't pontificate on economics. Having lived in Argentina he should have learned by now after seeing it practice that socialist methods along with cronyism and protectionism is that they don't work and that any Argentinian that has or had the resources to open a foreign bank accounts does have those accounts. Especially the political leadership.

Titus said...

The sad part is, rhhardin, as an unmarried celibate, the Pope still probably knows more about and has had

lol.

Titus said...

has rhardin ever had sex with a woman ever?

the thought of it is too depressing to contemplate.

but he has Don Imus and some other old, dried up looking thing that was fired from national review, to quote all the time.

pathetic.

Michael K said...

"This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."

There is a world of economic experience that the Pope is unaware of that proves a free market to be the best system and there is even more evidence that socialism and its variants make people miserable.

One would think communism would have proven this if nothing else would. Even Putin knows better although, like Wilson and Obama, he seems to prefer fascism.

Saint Croix said...

Said the pot to the kettle.

Hagar, are you talking to me? I like the Jews.

Kaptain Kellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Please find below the full English text of the statement released by the Holy See press office on Thursday:

This morning, 27 March 2014, the Hon. Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, was received in audience by His Holiness Pope Francis, after which he met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial meetings, views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved.

In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the common commitment to the eradication of trafficking of human persons in the world was stated.

St. George said...

"Obama and the Pope"

Sounds like a sitcom.

"The Pontiff overhears Barack chatting with a Saudi prince and thinks he's a closet Muslim. Hilarity ensues."

AReasonableMan said...

Unknown said...

If you know anything about Catholicism, you would known that abortion (not contraception which you love to conflate with it) is a doctrine that does stand as fundamental.



It is this narrow kind of thinking that made me question Althouse's comment on co-option by Obama. For decades now the right in this country has done its best to co-opt the Church on a very narrow range of Church teachings, while ignoring broad swathes of the Church's teaching on poverty and inequality. The current Pope has made this strategy untenable. The right now seem very bitter that the Pope is no longer their pet poodle.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Obama, he seems to prefer fascism.


This hysterical hyperbole undermines what little intellectual integrity you have left.

Hagar said...

Sorry, St, C,
You got one in between ARM and mine.

As for liking or disliking Jews, that surely depends on just which Jews are being considered, doesn't it?

garage mahal said...

When I hear the Pope speak about what our priorities should I'm just stunned how much he sounds like a Progressive Democrat.

Patrick O said...

"When I hear the Pope speak about what our priorities should I'm just stunned how much he sounds like a Progressive Democrat."

The difference is he actually lives like he believes it.

Progressive Democrats use the poor to become wealthy and powerful, using politics to further corruption.

Saint Croix said...

Sorry, St, C

no worries

Smilin' Jack said...

This sure seems like a lot of to-do about a guy who shits in the woods.

AReasonableMan said...

Patrick O said...
Progressive Democrats use the poor to become wealthy and powerful, using politics to further corruption.


Your complaint about politicians would have more validity if it were not so partisan. Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds.

SOJO said...

If Pope Francis says he spent all his time on contraception/abortion/whathaveyou, then I'll believe it.

But if the Vatican legal/PR dept. says so, I do not. In fact, it makes me believe the opposite given their history of correcting this Pope.

Every time Pope Francis says anything controversial, they "correct" it by issuing a statement telling us what he meant to say, which is always quite far off from what everyone heard with their own ears in his streamed or televised speeches.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
Sorry, St, C,


Friendly fire weak invective.

dc said...

The right has been trying to co-opt the church?I always thought it was the left that has been trying to move the church in a progressive direction.For a while after Vatican II they probably thought they were going to pull it off.The church doesn't move.Pope Francis will end up a bitter disappointent to the left.

garage mahal said...

Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds.

After close to four years of Scott Walker I can tell you conservatives pretty much don't care about corruption. Or maybe they think their corruption is necessary because they think Democrats are doing the same thing. Either way they just do not care. Not to mention the un-holy, un-biblical cruelty to the poor.

Seeing Red said...

As Barry pointed out, the pope is from Latin America. Economics isn't their strong suit. Strongmen are.

Seeing Red said...

Barry has to glom on to the pope. The pope is more popular.

Seeing Red said...

You're rich, GM. Spend your money.

Tom Gallagher said...

The Pope and Obama are both in favor or redistribution with one big distinction; the Pope's version involves faith and acceptance of the gospel. Obama's version is... well just look how obamacare has been promoted and managed and you get a pretty good idea.

Rusty said...

Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds.

Name the last republican mayor of Chicago.

Big Mike said...

After close to four years of Scott Walker I can tell you conservatives pretty much don't care about corruption. Or maybe they think their corruption is necessary because they think Democrats are doing the same thing. Either way they just do not care. Not to mention the un-holy, un-biblical cruelty to the poor.

Well, we don't much care about allegations of corruption that turn out upon investigation to exist only in the minds of left wing nut jobs. And telling able-bodied poor people to get up off their hind ends and get a job is neither unholy nor cruel.

If you want an example of cruelty, consider the person who lost his insurance due to Obamacare, signed up with Obamacare for worse coverage and higher premiums, paid those premiums, and now has to fork over $400K for life-saving surgery because a bureaucratic glitch failed to record his registration and payments. That's extreme cruelty, I think.

Paul said...

Banjo Obama has on TV LIED to the nation on Obamacare repeatedly, FACT.

He was lied and stonewalled on Benghazi, on Fast and Furious, and on IRSGATE. All proven facts.

Now when as the Pope been proven to have lied, period? None? Am I right?

So who do we believe, a proven serial liar or the Pope?

avwh said...

" Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds."

Oh, really, ARM? More projection much, ARM?

Just this past week, the Dem Speaker of the House in RI, the #2 Dem in Sacramento (and the 3rd Dem in Sacramento busted this year) who was running for state office, and the Dem mayor of Charlotte (only in office 4 months) all were busted and resigned or took "paid leaves of absence".

Of course, you probably ignored all those, or only read the MSM accounts that curiously ignored their party affiliation.

wildswan said...

The Pope said the bishops were complaining about the effect of the contraceptive mandate and Obama just quietly said:
If you like your church, you can keep your church.

Michael K said...

"Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds."

You'd think so if you read the NYT or watch NBC. No Democrats allowed on CNN, either

or even Senator Yee.

AReasonableMan said...

I am not saying Democrat politicians are a group of angels but there is no shortage of Republican devils:

Rick Renzi (R-AZ) on June 12, 2013 was found guilty of 17 counts against him, which included wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators.

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) was arrested on December 23, 2012 and later pled guilty to drinking and driving in a Virginia court. The court fined him 250 dollars. He was sentenced to 180 days in prison, but served no time.

Trey Radel (R-FL) was arrested on October 29, 2013 in Washington, D.C. for possession of cocaine after purchasing the drug from an undercover law enforcement officer.

John Ensign (R-NV) resigned his Senate seat on May 3, 2011, just before the Senate Ethics Committee could examine possible fiscal violations in connection with his extramarital affair with Cynthia Hampton.

In May 2012, aide Doug Hampton (R) in what became the John Ensign scandal reached a plea deal with prosecutors, the details of which have not yet been released.

These are the trivial crimes. The big crimes are the way these fuckers sell their soul to business interests to further the careers and their finances and both sides are guilty as hell.

Hyphenated American said...
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Hyphenated American said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hyphenated American said...

""Republican politicians take a back seat to no one when it comes to corruption - both the legal and illegal kinds.""

Does anyone remember that Obama got a criminal help him buy a house? True fact. But that's. To corruption, cause he is Obama. Or when obama's website disabled all credit card protections, so that Obama could get untraceable contributions from god knows who.

Rusty said...

When was the last republican mayor of Detroit?

Covered California just sent out voter registration cards premarked Democrat.

I'm not talking individual Democrats ARM, I'm talking your whole Democrat party.

Drago said...

ARM: "The big crimes are the way these fuckers sell their soul to business interests to further the careers and their finances and both sides are guilty as hell."

LOL

Yes, if only we removed the profit motive/capitalism our politics could be as pristine as the Soviet Union, Castros Cuba, Chavez' Venezuela, etc.

It's not like we talking about a human condition here.

Nosirree.

It's those darn "business interests" that get in the way of achieving utopia on this planet.

Oh ARM, do regale us with tales of wonder of what could be achieved if we rid ourselves of these meddlesome businessmen and women.

Hyphenated American said...

"These are the trivial crimes. The big crimes are the way these fuckers sell their soul to business interests to further the careers and their finances and both sides are guilty as hell."

ARe we talking about liberals who sold their souls to corrupt unions, environmental groups and race-haters like al sharpton?
Everyone knows that obama's bailout of gm and Chrysler were corrupt, right? And how about obama's waivers to unions from obamacare?

Drago said...

Rusty: "When was the last republican mayor of Detroit?"

Rusty, as garage could explain to you, there is nothing wrong with Detroit that couldn't be cured with a billion dollar transfer of funds from unscrewed up places to the Detroit-alinos.

A billion dollars is all it would take to reestablish democrat paradise.

A billion dollars.

A year.

AReasonableMan said...

Hyphenated American said...
Everyone knows that obama's bailout of gm and Chrysler were corrupt, right?


No everyone doesn't 'know' this. To lose the US car industry because of the incompetence of the Fed and the corruption and greed of the Wall Street would have been insane. Ford backed the bailout of their competitors because they would have gone down too.

Why not focus on Wall Street, the "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." There is plenty to get legitimately outraged about there.

CWJ said...

ARM @ 8:21

What?

I don't know which sentence with which to start. That was one of the most incoherent comments I've read on Althouse.

AReasonableMan said...

CWJ said...
I don't know which sentence with which to start. That was one of the most incoherent comments I've read on Althouse.


Go on give it a shot. We wait with bated breath.

John said...

Reasonable man said:

Mussolini had, and to some extent still has, broad support in Italy. Italian fascism was very different in character to German or even Spanish fascism.

Well, yeah.

In Italy it was "Fascism" and was a political party and its philosophy.

In National Socialist Germany and in Franco's Spain, it was not "Fascism" or even "fascism".

Except perhaps in the modern sense of being an all purpose pejorative for politics one doesn't like.

Sort of like "asshole"

John Henry

John said...

I wonder if Obie, knowing that the Pope comes from "Latin" America, thinks the Pope speaks Latin.

Oh, wait, he's the Pope. Never mind.

My number 1 question to ask the Pontiff would have been:

"So Frank, I've always wanted to know: Does the Pope shit in the woods?"

Then I'd want to find out if Meade cleans it up.

Try the veal and don't forget to tip the serving wench.

John Henry

John said...

CR Kreiger wrote:

Am I the only one who thinks that economic views are not laid out on a ruler, going only left or right?

Nope. you are not alone.

I am a proud liberal (or libertarian, minarchist, classical liberal if you prefer) and believe that this left/right thing is bullshit.

Politics should be about maximizing personal liberty.

John Henry

AReasonableMan said...

John said...
In National Socialist Germany and in Franco's Spain, it was not "Fascism" or even "fascism".


I'm not giving you this one without a fight. Not many people would argue that Hitler wasn't a fascist. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Quotes from that nitwit Jonah Goldberg do not count. The desire to sell books is not an argument.

Drago said...

ARM: "Quotes from that nitwit Jonah Goldberg do not count."

LOL

Assertions of any sort coming from ARM certainly do not count.

Not in the real world.

Perhaps in some upper west side coffee house, but that would be about it.

John said...

Reasonable Man

Thanks for the link. It tends to support what I said about Fascism being an Italian political philosophy held by the Italian Fascist party under Mussolini.

To use it in any other context makes as little sense as talking about Republican politics in Japan, Tory politics in Iran or Democrat politics in Norway. (Note the caps).

The main reason for calling the Germans fascists was the same as the reason for calling them Nazis. It was to avoid calling them what they were and what they called themselves:

National Socialists.

They were perceived as giving socialism a bad name and could not be permitted to use the word.

Goldberg's book is pretty good. have you actually read it? But the above is not based on it. It is based on my readings over the years of several bios each of Hitler and Mussolini as well as many books of history from various perspectives on Fascist Italy, National Socialist Germany and their politics.

John Henry

John Henry

Saint Croix said...

Not many people would argue that Hitler wasn't a fascist.

Hitler was a National Socialist, as opposed to an international Socialist (i.e. a Communist).

Yes, Hitler was quite similar to Franco and Mussolini. But he was also quite similar to Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot.

If you're going to take "fascist" out of its natural context (Mussolini's Italy) and apply it to Hitler and Franco and every other dictator, you ought to apply it to Stalin, too.

All these guys are fascists. Fascism is just watered-down Communism. Indeed, as Goldberg points out, when Mussolini came to power, fascism was understood to be a left-wing, socialist phenomenon.

A lot of progressives (including the New Republic, and FDR) admired Mussolini. Precisely because they wanted to increase state power.

See this, for instance.

I think Goldberg's journalism is very good. But I am really happy there are historians who are echoing what Goldberg has written.

Kaptain Kellen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RecChief said...


"the way these fuckers sell their soul to business interests to further the careers and their finances and both sides are guilty as hell."

you guys don't get it, ARM came close with this statement. There IS a class war going on at the moment. The Ruling Class and the rest of us. Cronyism all the way down. But go ahead and bash the Tea Party some more for trying to root it out.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

There IS a class war going on at the moment. The Ruling Class and the rest of us. Cronyism all the way down. But go ahead and bash the Tea Party some more for trying to root it out.

Yup. The Establishment Party (E). Doesn't matter if they have an R or D after their name.

AReasonableMan said...

Saint Croix said...
Indeed, as Goldberg points out, when Mussolini came to power, fascism was understood to be a left-wing, socialist phenomenon.


This is nonsense and shows you have no understanding whatsoever of Italian politics. And, didn't I say Goldberg quotes don't count?

Hagar said...

I probably do not understand either.

If Mussolini was not a socialist, why did he proclaim himself to be one all his adult life?

And "Nazi" is slang for National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. Why that name if they did not consider themselves an alternative form of "socialist"?

Unknown said...

----"the way these fuckers sell their soul to business interests to further the careers and their finances and both sides are guilty as hell."

you guys don't get it, ARM came close with this statement. ----

Absolutely. Arm nails it. So what's the next step in political logic. Reduce the power of these f..s to reward business interests!!!

Get the government out of mortgage markets, telling banks who they must lend to, licensing unskilled positions (need a license to do fingernail polishing), seizing private property for developers, giving students loans to get basket weaving degrees..

Its become a bloated corrupt entity and the answer is to make it smaller and constitution limited. (Hmm Tea Party!)

Unknown said...

More on ARMs conservative posting!

OWS had it right. Government's melding with Wall Street has destroyed young people's future. What they got wrong was the fix. They wanted bigger government to give them jobs. Just the opposite of the real fix.
'
'
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BTW. It is just plain obvious that Hitler = Stalin = Pol Pot = Cosceqqu = Kim Jun IL (or whoever the new Jun is) as Socialist tolitarian monsters. You can't get social equality without coercive government, there is too much diversity (hah) in the population.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...

If Mussolini was not a socialist, why did he proclaim himself to be one all his adult life?

And "Nazi" is slang for National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. Why that name if they did not consider themselves an alternative form of "socialist"?


So your 'analysis' seems to be that once you see the word socialist your brain stops working - much like Goldberg.

exhelodrvr1 said...

He didn't fool me.

John said...

Since you've not read Goldberg, probably futile to discuss why you think he is wrong.

So far you've not provided us any info on where you are getting this idea that Mussolini and Hitler were not socialists.

What of Hitler or Mussolini's fairly copius writing would you refer us to?

Any other references to back up your assertion that you have quite a bit of knowledge about Italian politics will be helpful.

John Henry