November 26, 2014

"Though I understand why you might have yelled at me a month ago... it doesn't make much sense to yell at me now..."

Says Obama, appeasing a heckling crowd that was supposed to be good scenery for his immigration action.



Or was the heckling from the left a planned part of the show? Were these people meant to be scenery or were they meant to step up into bit parts?

I don't know anymore. Anything political might be theater — scripted drama — even the heckling from the right, in places like The Weekly Standard, which features that clip for the line "I just took an action to change the law" and pedantically informs us of the supposed rigidity of the separation of powers: "The United States Constitution says the legislative power is held by Congress, not by the president."

I'm just going to guess that President Obama decided to triangulate on immigration, and he anticipated and sought this drama from the left and the right as he strutted back and forth a few times on the political stage.

85 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Do you really think he is smart enough to get past his ideological blinders? I don't. If he were smarter about that, he would never have lost Congress ramming through an unpopular bill, then lost the Senate, partly by killing Keystone XL, supported by 2/3 of Americans, and hugely symbolic in coal states like Kentucky and West Virginia and energy states like Louisiana and North Dakota. Do those states sound familiar to anybody? 4 Senate seats right there. Democrats lost the Senate by how many?

traditionalguy said...

He's the man! Everybody knows that borders are only hateful as jails that keep the sweet, poor, innocent, baby bearers that know how to speak beautiful Spanish Jailed in Central and South America to preserve White Anglo-Saxon Privilege.

Wait, wait... I am a white Anglo-Saxon.

Ann Althouse said...

@tim

The Obama-is-dumb meme is... dumb.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
@tim

The Obama-is-dumb meme is... dumb.


Let me restate Tim's premise.

Obama is a calculating SOB. Everything he does is seemingly done for short term political gain. However, if Obama is sheltered inside a WH Bubble and blinded by his ideological views, what he perceives as political reality may not be so.

Garbage in, garbage out.

The finest political mind, operating on assumptions that are not true, will make stunningly bad mistakes.

jacksonjay said...

I predict someone will faint at one of these campaign rallies. Swaggy will tell everyone to give her some air and a bottle of water. Then he will flash that Smile. Oh that Smile! Lady parts can't resist the Smile.

Maybe he needs to go back to the bullshit about the car in the ditch and the Republicans sippin on a Slurpee.

The more he bullshits, the more he loses the argument. And the funny thing is that Valerie never does figure it out.

The Drill SGT said...

On the issue at hand, I love the clip because it illustrates:

1. How ungrateful the Illegal Lobby is going to be
2. How big a lying SOS Obama is. "He changed the Law". No, he refuses to enforce the law. a difference with a distinction. Note the part about he really has applied new restraints in deporting all the Illegals.
3. He is really bad when off script.

jacksonjay said...

Obama voters is dumb. Now that is a meme! I heard that from an MIT professor.

tim in vermont said...

Well, if he can't see past his own biases, he is effectively stupid. He has brought his current state of powerlessness on himself.

It is hard to tell if he is smart or stupid because he is so rigidly ideological.

tim maguire said...

The "Bush is dumb" meme was dumb. I'm inclined to take a more generous view of the "Obama is dumb"ists because their claim arises at least in part from frustration with the equally dumb "Obama has a fine analytic mind" meme.

I have never seen evidence that Obama possesses more than a thoroughly pedestrian intellect. The endless repetition of claims of his brilliance do not change that.

Scott M said...

I honestly don't think it was anything but a thin-skinned gaffe. He got mad and off message...his true feelings about it bubbled forth.

Opinh Bombay said...

On the other hand, what if the Obama administration is getting everything exactly the way it wants it?

What conclusion does that assumption lead to?

madAsHell said...

It was political theater. He doesn't do spontaneous very well. The heckle and response were coordinated ahead of time.

He likes to do call-n-response with the audience. How many times did you hear "I love you back"?

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=barack+obama+i+love+you+back

Lucien said...

Proof that Ann's been thinking about Macbeth: in the jail building post she calls something just a slogan "signifying nothing", and now she's got Obama strutting on a stage.

Robert G. said...

My daughter and several of her sixth grade classmates were in the audience at the Copernicus Center for the speech and afterwards even the kids were theorizing that the heckling seemed like a set-up.

Browndog said...

@Drill SGT-
1. How ungrateful the Illegal Lobby is going to be

Not grateful, just not finished.

No leftist cause is ever finished, because they are not causes at all. They are tools. Means to an end. We all know what "end" they seek, but it cannot be spoken of. Publicly, it doesn't even exist.

MathMom said...

The comedic stylings of Barack Obama. "You should be thanking me!"

Big Mike said...

... as he strutted back and forth a few times on the political stage.

@Althouse, you've captured the man in a single phrase.

tim in vermont said...

Plus, as other commenters have pointed out, he was sold to us as some kind of preternatural intellect.

The Drill SGT said...

If only he strutted and fretted an hour upon the stage, then was heard no more

Original Mike said...

What evidence do we have that Obama is smart? Seriously. He got himself elected, but what else is there?

garage mahal said...

Or was the heckling from the left a planned part of the show? Were these people meant to be scenery or were they meant to step up into bit parts?

United We Dream. They follow Obama *everywhere*. Very effective group.

BrianE said...

I too noticed his assertion that the deportation policy changed for everyone. That is noteworthy and not what most Americans understand about the changes.

I agree they were likely plants, but it is possible these are those that thought he didn't go far enough.

We need to mock his actions as those of a tin horn despot, and remind everyone the policy is temporary, subject to review by the next president. Make the next election a referendum on defacto amnesty. It's not real amnesty, but fake amnesty.

Ann Althouse said...

"Let me restate Tim's premise. Obama is a calculating SOB. Everything he does is seemingly done for short term political gain. However, if Obama is sheltered inside a WH Bubble and blinded by his ideological views, what he perceives as political reality may not be so. Garbage in, garbage out. The finest political mind, operating on assumptions that are not true, will make stunningly bad mistakes."

I think that's a different premise. These are failings characteristic of some of the smartest people, a good portion of whom are held safely in the sanctuary of academia so they don't do so much damage. The failing you see in Obama is our failing — and by "our," I mean the American majority who voted for him twice — in seeing capacities in him that he could not completely fulfill.

No one is really capable of being President. All Presidents fall short in their own way.

FleetUSA said...

I'll be glad when he exits the stage and maybe walker walks on.

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...
@tim

The Obama-is-dumb meme is... dumb.


And yet evidence of his intelligence is lacking. Do you have any?

Pookie Number 2 said...

The failing you see in Obama is our failing — and by "our," I mean the American majority who voted for him twice — in seeing capacities in him that he could not completely fulfill.

Agree, and not in a snarky way. But I would quibble with the 'completely fulfill' aspect. He never ran on competence, he ran on inspiration, and his arrogant, unpleasant character have produced something well short of incomplete fulfillment.

Original Mike said...

How do you measure "smart"? In the sciences it's reasonably straightforward, but in politics, how? Isn't a complete inability to wok with your opponents a negative indicator? Isn't a world view that completely fails when enacted as foreign policy a negative indicator? An engineer who builds a complicated Rube Goldberg contraption that fails to function in the real world will not be labelled smart. Why do people continue to label Barack Obama smart? The evidence is otherwise.

Original Mike said...

"The failing you see in Obama is our failing"

It may be "ours" but it most certainly is also his.

Drago said...

Original Mike said...
How do you measure "smart"?

There is a simple mainstream media and academic formula you can use after answering a couple questions:

Is the politician a democrat? If so, add 50 points.

Is the politician a female democrat? If so add 100 points.

Is the politician a minority democrat? if so, add 200 points.

No other questions or permutations are necessary.

Steven Wilson said...

I agree that he is not dumb, but I've never bought into the "Super Genius" appraisal that were made of him prior to coronation. Maybe two standard deviations above the norm, and a hypnotic, to some, baritone. Link that to a thin resume and a rigid and erroneous world view and you have the most divisive and inadequate presidency since Carter at least and perhaps we have to reach bsck to Buchanan.

I am reminded of Thurber's modernized fable about the "Owl." I recommend highly. I only hope it's not too prophetic.

No one is capable of being president? Interesting take and while that may well be true, it is unquestionably true that some are far less capable of being president than others.

And I will not accept any of the collective responsibility for this presidency. I argued against it, worked against it, donated against it, and I am not, sorry to say, the least surprised by how bad it has been. I await with some trepidation what enormities he may, in his massive and thorough unsuitableness, have in store for this country.

Drago said...

Althouse: "The failing you see in Obama is our failing — and by "our," I mean the American majority who voted for him twice — in seeing capacities in him that he could not completely fulfill."

Actually, you assigned capabilities to him (not degree of capability but actual basic capabilities) that he had never demonstrated and then when the realists asked for evidence of said genius those who voted for "the Light Bringer" started in with the charges of "racists" and "ugly".

And nothing has changed since obama's elevation.

Original Mike said...

"Ours" is an attempt to spread and dilute the blame. There were lots of us who warned against this path.

Writ Small said...

The Obama-is-dumb meme is... dumb.

But the Andrew-Sullivan-patented Obama-is-playing-3D-chess-five-moves-ahead-of-everyone-else meme is also. . . equally dumb.

My take is this. Obama is following the standard political playbook of doing the unpopular-now-but-beneficial-later thing right after the election on the mostly correct assumption that passions and memories fade. O's team probably also calculated that R's would say some dumb things that the media would cooperate in amplifying, which would keep the left distracted. That this didn't play out as predicted given media fatigue and frustration plus the R establishment-tea party detente that contributed to the recent electoral success does not mean his overall strategy was wrong.

Ann Althouse said...

I voted for Obama when the choice was between him and McCain. As an issue of comparable capacity, I think America made the right choice with the information we had at the time. I do think we made a mistake not switching to Romney. But people have a hard time voting against someone they've voted for. They want to believe they made the right choice the first time, and agreeing with one's own prior opinion comes naturally to most people.

tim in vermont said...

Except the "unpopular but beneficial" things he is doing is costing him tremendous political power.

Had he not rammed through Obamacare, and had he not blocked Keystone, he might have had a chance to do some other stuff that was both more popular first, stuff that might have worked and that created a trust with America that he could have then used to lead in other areas.

I am not sure he is stupid either. I just have never seen the first piece of evidence that he is particularly bright, or at least has any original thoughts. Lots of smart people become rigid partisan ideologues. Academia is full of them.

tim in vermont said...

Now McCain.. He did manage to save all but two unlucky cadets from finishing below him in class rank at Annapolis.

I think he is genuinely not bright.

Original Mike said...

I voted for McCain specifically because of the danger of handing over the Presidency and Congress to the liberal/progressives. That fear was born out when they rammed ObamaCare down our throats.

traditionalguy said...

A Community Organizer is simply a middleman trying to raise a hostile Army that he then can use to intimidate an Other group.

After bullying that Other group in power into a settlement that gives the Organizer's army half of what they said they said they wanted, it surprises the Organizer that he just left both sided wounded and mad and ready to fight.

A favorite Mad Magazine quote from the 1950s was Nikita Krushchev at the UN offering to all Americans eternal Soviet friendship in exchange for the Eastern half of the United States.

In Obama that offer repeats itself.

Brando said...

I give people a pass if they voted for Obama over McCain--these votes don't take place in a vacuum. Obama had no real record at that point, and his main campaign theme was technocracy and bipartisanship--unlike say Hillary it was plausible that he would be able to reach across the aisle. It did not work that way, but it wasn't foreordained.

McCain on the other hand offered warmed over mush, which was insane because (1) he had a reputation for bipartisanship; (2) the economy was in bad shape; and (3) he had a lot of credibility as a critic and rival of Bush. He easily could have triangulated and run as a reasonable reformer, and offered his own prescription for the economy and the war, and beat Obama at that. Instead, he just tiredly went on about how "He will raise your taxes" (which, even if true, isn't the biggest worry for a lot of swing voters who are more worried about not having a job, in which cases their taxes are irrelevant) and reaching out to the party's right wing which never really accepted him anyway. Then he undercuts his strongest argument against Obama (his experience) by picking a running mate who had served less than two years as Governor.

McCain and the GOP had a tough year in 2008 due to fundamentals, but they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly. I can't blame anyone for rejecting them and trying out the untested new guy.

Voting for Obama in 2012 is a different story though.

Richard Taylor said...

I do think the "Obama is dumb" meme is dumb. Just because he's attempting to buck the trend of lame duck presidents that have been repudiated at the polls doesn't mean he's dumb at all.

He likely understands that the next two years of gridlock will be blamed on the Republicans and is betting they'll overreach. Not a bad assumption, I'd say (and I'm saying this as a supporter of the Republican.

I predict that the next big "red meat" issue that he'll take up is Federal legislation to required "cop cameras" on all police officers. The Republicans will likely (and rightly, in my view) resist this as an unfunded mandate and not the Federal government's business. Of course, that will be painted as supporting killer cops...

n.n said...

Obama's DRAT Act is not well received. Who would have guessed that Displace, Replace, Abort, and Tax would not be popular. I expect national warming to far exceed 2 degrees within the coming weeks and months.

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: "I voted for Obama when the choice was between him and McCain. As an issue of comparable capacity, I think America made the right choice with the information we had at the time."

Now it's "comparable capacity" eh?

I'm saying that the obama voters assigned to obama capacities he had never demonstrated.

You made assumptions about capacities obama had never demonstrated.

So you made a judgement call about McCains perceived capacities and then you had to simply assume obama was going to be better in those areas because there sure wasn't anything in obama's record that could possibly clue you in (in a positive way) that he was all that much better.

And you got what you voted for: a guy with zero capacities in all those areas in which you made assumptions.

Plus, Republicans/conservatives = "ugly".

BarrySanders20 said...

I am surprised Althouse dismisses the "I changed the law" as pedantic.

You, a law professor! And a Rule Follower!

He did not say he was exercising discretion to interpret the law differently, or just exercising discretion to prioritize which lawbreakers to prosecute. He said he, one person, changed the law. He said it to get accolades and applause from the audience, but it shows he believes he has the right and the power to unilaterally change the laws of our nation.

That is not allowed, and it is not pedantic to point it out using Obama's own words.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

No, Obama's not dumb. He just does dumb shit, and says dumb shit, and instead of learning not to do dumb shit and say dumb shit, he says more dumb shit and does more dumb shit. Because Obama is a progressive, or in other words, a dumb ass. What is a dumb ass going to produce, but dumb shit?

mtrobertsattorney said...

Let's restate the "Obama is dumb meme" this way:

Obama's intelligence is superficial--he doesn't know what he doesn't know. And there are many important things that he doesn't know.

Socrates publically exposed these kinds of people and it got him into big trouble.

Original Mike said...

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director"

This does not say "smart" to me. It screams the opposite.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...All Presidents fall short in their own way.

Potential candidates for President are all alike; every actual President is a failure in his own way.

Original Mike said...

We may soon see a test of Obama's assertion of exceptional competence. Given that all the candidates for Secretary of Defense seem to be running for the hills, he may have to do the job himself.

Brando said...

"“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director"

This does not say "smart" to me. It screams the opposite."

To me it screams "I really need to hire better staff."

Jason said...

Obama is dumb.

Not in the sub-100 IQ sense. I'm sure he can solve a puzzle just fine. And he can construct a reasonably coherent sentence. He's certainly much better in that regard than Kerry.

Obama is dumb because he is a spectacularly arrogant individual who is also a lazy, slovenly thinker with poor staffing and executive skills. He doesn't know how to use a staff - which is why he is constantly painting himself and his administration into corners they can't get out of.

For example, right off the bat: Issuing an order to close Gitmo while having no idea how such a thing could be done. And here we are, six years later, still sitting on Gitmo.

Samething with Libya... he took us pell mell into Libya in violation of the War Powers Act with damn little staffing of what would happen afterwards. It was foolish and obviously so at the time.

He got Obamacare done, but that was other peoples' staffs. Not his...

The executive order allowing millions of illegals to stay in the country without stopping to think that allowing them to stay but excluding them from the employer mandate INCREASED the incentive to hire illegals by about $3k per head.

Coming out in public and making broad pronouncements about ISIS and setting a priori limits on our responses from the podium, rather than keeping his mouth shut and letting the NSC, CENTCOM and SECDEF develop some options for him to choose from.

Issuing an executive order like the last one without regard for what future presidents might do, as Snuffalupagus cornered him with when he asked the President "what if a future president issued an executive order directing the IRS to cease enforcement of capital gains taxes."

Obama's administration is a FIRE - READY - AIM administration precisely because of the combination of lazy, sloppy thinking at the top and a breathtaking arrogance about his own abilities.

This is what makes him stupid. He isn't stupid compared to most run-of-the-mill ambulance chasing lawyers, maybe. But compared to the intellectual depth and maturity we normally expect of senior leadership at the national and global level?

Stupid stupid stupid.


jacksonjay said...

Choosing Slow Joe was dumb.

bbkingfish said...

If Obama is dumb, what does that make GOP leadership?

Less than a month in the majority, and Obama is making them look like clueless jellyfish.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said.. I do think we made a mistake not switching to Romney. But people have a hard time voting against someone they've voted for. They want to believe they made the right choice the first time, and agreeing with one's own prior opinion comes naturally to most people.

That's interesting and the effect is certainly something behavioral economics has examined. It's axiomatically true that habitual actions (or repeated decisions, etc) strengthen habit (or your conviction, etc). With something like voting every 4 years, though, I'd think this would be muted quite a bit, such that it would definitely explain someone choosing not to vote against a candidate they've voted for once--and choosing instead to not vote at all, but I'm not sure it can explain affirmatively voting again 4 years later. It'd be interesting to see how many registered voters in 2012 also voted in 2008 but did not vote in 2010 (or 2006, etc). You'd then have to compare that to the normal drop-off between midterm and Pres election years, and to do a good experiment you'd really want to see if that difference varied between counties that went heavily for the Pres and those that didn't.

In non-behavioral econ the lock-in effect means that actions that are inefficient compared to an alternative when change costs are excluded may be efficient when change costs are included, so the seemingly-inefficient actions will continue to be taken. The concept is related to both path-dependence and returns to scale--I think for the political analogy path dependence is most closely related, and a "don't change horses in midstream" appeal plays a bit on that idea.

tim in vermont said...

"Slow Joe" was right on Iraq. Had we listened to him, ISIS would probably not have arisen.

Original Mike said...

"Less than a month in the majority, and Obama is making them look like clueless jellyfish."

The last I looked, the Republicans were not in the majority. But putting that aside I don't see what you're talking about.

Rusty said...

Obama might not be dumb but he sure as hell thinks you are. He lies. he doesn't even lie with persuasiveness. he knows he's lying. And Grubers dumb assed electorate just keep on truckin'

jacksonjay said...

tim in vermont said: "Slow Joe" was right on Iraq.

As Rummy would say, that's a known unknown.

We do know that Slow Joe opposed the Bush 41 Iraq War, supported the Bush 43 Iraq War, opposed the surge in Iraq, and then claimed that removing our warriors from Iraq would be a crowning achievement for Swaggy! Sooooooooo, I'm not sure what you are talking about, unless you mean the partitioning of Iraq. Again, known unknown.

So do you mean to suggest that ISIS would respect a partitioned Iraq? Huh? Maybe not releasing Baghdadi would have prevented the rise of ISIS.

Anonymous said...

I went to a small Catholic grammar school. In the fifth grade a new young nun who used her own name opposed to the Sister Mary standard, lectured us on words and their meaning. Dumb meant not being able to speak not unintelligent. Bunch was for grapes and bananas. So everytime I read something like,"The Obama-is-dumb meme is... dumb," I cringe.

And Althouse, no matter how many times you make the excuse that you voted for middle-name-hussein because of the choices, I cringe.

Original Mike said...

"Obama might not be dumb but he sure as hell thinks you are. He lies."

Any analysis of Obama's intelligence, Althouse, has to deal with "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." What the fuck was that?

Birkel said...

Why should anybody defend the choice in 2008 knowing what is known now? How can one avoid admitting, at the least, that the decision has proven unwise? Or perhaps one could claim the press misled potential voters and escape responsibility for the 2008 vote?

But to defend the 2008 vote based on what was known at that time while ignoring all that has happened since cannot be justified, to me.

Obama has failed or is on the other side. Because what he would call successes can only be deemed success if Obama is hoping for America's comeuppance.

Drago said...

Original Mike: "The last I looked, the Republicans were not in the majority. But putting that aside I don't see what you're talking about."

To be fair, neither does bbkingfish.

Hagel alone puts the lie to bbkingfish silly assertion.

In fact, as we speak, the Schumer/Warren led distancing from obamacare and obama continues apace.

But the true believers really do still believe, despite the global reality feedback loop, that obama is playing n-dimensional (insert your own number here) chess while the other mere mortals are running around clueless and unable to fathom obama's genius.

The good news? The obama "is sort of a God" crew is getting smaller by the day.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Obama was clearly a stupid choice in 2008, unless your sole objective was to get a black person into the White House.

There was NEVER ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOVER that he had those capabilities that you now claim he isn't fulfilling. NONE. There was, on the other hand, pleanty of evidence that he would lie reflexively, use politically dirty tricks to a much greater extent than is typical, was unwilling to work with others, did not understand politics in the real world, and the role, and extreme significance of that role, of the United States in the real world.

Original Mike said...

"Obama was clearly a stupid choice in 2008, unless your sole objective was to get a black person into the White House."

I have always believed that that's the nub of the matter. And I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. I started out wanting to vote for Obama because he was black, but I think by the time we got to the voting he was, at best, a crap shoot. He had no experience. As it's turned out I think it's very unfortunate that it is Barack Obama who holds the mantle of the first black President. The guy's an embarrassment.

Birkel said...

My Democrat friends would not see Obama giving Hillary the finger as Obama giving Hillary the finger. They will not admit Obamacare is unpopular. They will not see. They are willfully blind and willfully ignorant.

Some of my Democrat friends are smart. None can be deemed wise.

Obama is not wise. That is the appropriate frame.

Brando said...

"Obama was clearly a stupid choice in 2008, unless your sole objective was to get a black person into the White House."

His race certainly played a part, but he also won because:

1) Many voters were going to vote Democratic no matter what, just as a core of voters will vote GOP no matter what.

2) Then you have, in the middle, those who:

a) Didn't think much of the Democrats, but found the GOP more repulsive. Not unlike moderates who voted, holding their nose, for Bush because they couldn't stand the Democrats in 2000 or 2004;

b) Suffered Bush fatigue, which was significant by 2008;

c) Were more repulsed by McCain/Palin.

It wasn't pre-ordained that Obama would let Reid and Pelosi dominate his agenda for the first two years, and do nothing to reach out to the GOP for health reform, financial reform or the stimulus. That's the way it turned out, but he could have taken any direction when he took office.

I didn't vote for either of those clowns, as Obama seemed to have no experience and McCain seemed genuinely insane. I won't hold it against anyone who held their nose and picked what they saw as the lesser of two evils, particularly as we don't know just how bad McCain would have been if he'd taken office.

mccullough said...

Don't judge all black people by Barack Obama. It was obvious he was not up to the job. He had never run anything but his mouth and wrote two books of tripe about himself that were as insightful as a football interview.

Ignorance has a price. Hopefully the people who voted for him learned their lesson. It has been a costly one.

That goes for the people who voted for W as well. You don't vote for a guy who didn't have a full time job until his 40s.

Drago said...

mccullough: "That goes for the people who voted for W as well. You don't vote for a guy who didn't have a full time job until his 40s"

It takes approximately 2 years of full-time active duty to complete the basic flight training needed to become a fighter pilot in the Air National Guard.

Unless you believe that they just hand "wings" over to just anybody and let them single-seat a multi-million dollar fighter interceptor into the air simply for grins.

mccullough said...

Drago,

The Air National Guard? Why didn't he join the Navy or the Air Force?

Who gets a DUI at age 30? W was irresponsible and was an embarrament to his family. His Dad had to keep bailing him out. It's nice he finally got his act together in his early 40s, but he wasn't presidential material. He was not a good president. He was a bad president. Just like Obama.

This is obvious to non partisans.

Birkel said...

mcculloug:
I agree Bush was not a good president. I disagree Bush was a bad president.

The expansion of the federal government under Bush 43 was a net negative. The muscular defense of the country was a net positive. Choosing not to defend himself against the constant MSM assault was imbecilic.

Bush's New England, big goverment view of Republican governance will always be his greatest failing. Fighting AIDS in Africa, killing terrorists and marshaling allies were strengths.

Drago said...

mccullough: "Drago,

The Air National Guard? Why didn't he join the Navy or the Air Force?"

Irrelevant to your false assertion that W did not have a fulltime job before he was 40.

mccullough: "Who gets a DUI at age 30? W was irresponsible and was an embarrament to his family. His Dad had to keep bailing him out. It's nice he finally got his act together in his early 40s, but he wasn't presidential material. He was not a good president. He was a bad president. Just like Obama. This is obvious to non partisans."

Again, all irrelevant to your false assertion that W did not have a fulltime job before he was 40.

We can agree on many things, but I didn't want anyone to think that you get to be a fighter pilot just by showing up part-time.

Is that really so hard to understand?

mccullough said...

Invading Iraq was a huge blunder as was the massive increase in the scope and size of the federal government.

When the QB keeps throwing interceptions in football, we say he is a bad quarterback. It doesn't mean he's a bad human being.

mccullough said...

W was not a fighter pilot. He did not get into an fights.

Eddie Rickenbacker was a fighter pilot. So was Ted Williams. So was McCain.

So is any pilot that actually went into combat. W never did and was never too going to. That was why he was in the air national guard. If you think training for something you will never do is a full time job then great. I don't

Original Mike said...

"Invading Iraq was a huge blunder..."

That's not known. Just as we did not have the privilege of witnessing a history with John McCain as President, we also do not know what would have unfolded leaving Sadam in power with the crumbling sanctions regime.

"...as was the massive increase in the scope and size of the federal government."

No argument here.

Drago said...

mccullough: "W was not a fighter pilot. He did not get into an fights."

This is absurd. He was trained in, and flew, single-seat fighter interceptors. If you knew my background you would realize I don't require lectures from you on military aviation history and tactics.

To say that a trained fighter pilot who has not seen combat is not a fighter pilot is really quite moronic.

Further, to say that it wasn't a full-time job for 2 years to become qualified to fly a military single-seat interceptor is, in a word, stupid.

You should stop digging now.

Anonymous said...

I think she dismisses the I changed the law aspect of this because she sees it as polticial manipulation. Not a true faux pa.

I, on the other hand, believe King Putt to be unbelievably lazy, intellectually and otherwise. He believes his own hype. Thinks he is smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, he doesn't bother to prepare himself. He doesn't need to attend meetings. Just send him the notes and he will read them later, maybe. Usually he doesn't need to though because he already knows enough about it.

Lazy.

Laziness explains everything about this man.

Drago said...

mccullough: "So is any pilot that actually went into combat. W never did and was never too going to. That was why he was in the air national guard."

I wonder if I should get upset on behalf of the many Air National Guardsmen units who served in air combat in Vietnam beginning at precisely the time GWBush signed up for Pilot training in the ANG in Texas (1968)?

How about this:http://www.ang.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100324-046.pdf

snip: "Out of these eight activated tactical fighter groups, the SECDEF alerted four Air Guard F-100C fighter squadrons in late April, 1968, for deployment to South Vietnam. Each squadron deployed to South Vietnam and spent approximately one year valiantly fighting and dying alongside their active duty counterparts.

These units were Denver’s
120th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), Sioux City’s 174th TFS, Albuquerque’s 188th
TFS, and Niagara Falls’ 136th TFS. In addition, the 355th TFS, an active Air Force unit
deployed to South Vietnam, was approximately 75 percent manned by air guardsmen from mid-1968 to mid-1969 and contributed mightily, and professionally, to the war
effort. Collectively, these Air Guard units flew approximately 30,000 combat sorties and 50,000 combat hours in SEA"

Drago said...

Note again that these Air Guard units were called up for service in Vietnam in April, 1968.

GWBush did not sign the papers to join the Air National Guard until late May, 1968, which means he signed up knowing Air Guard units were being called up.

He could have no way of knowing what the future held in terms of our future involvement.

So, now, mccullough may think that 2 years of full-time figher pilot training is no big deal and shouldn't qualify as a full-time job, but I think that more reasonable readers will come to a different conclusion.

Jason said...

McCullough,

The Air National Guard? Why didn't he join the Navy or the Air Force?"

The Air National Guard IS the Air Force, you imbecile.

You should shut your piehole before you say something else stupid, though it would be tough for you to top that one, fool.


Drago said...

eric: "I, on the other hand, believe King Putt to be unbelievably lazy, intellectually and otherwise. He believes his own hype. Thinks he is smarter than the rest of us. Therefore, he doesn't bother to prepare himself. He doesn't need to attend meetings. Just send him the notes and he will read them later, maybe. Usually he doesn't need to though because he already knows enough about it."

I agree.

I think obama tips us off in many ways that his supporters (who are desperate not to have to admit they allowed themselves to be taken in by obama's dreamy smile and (in Sean Penn's words) "elegance") or former supporters blow off as just talkin'.

Drago said...

mccullough: "The Air National Guard? Why didn't he join the Navy or the Air Force?""

Would you believe that GW Bush once told me why he didn't join the Navy?

You do? Okay. So now I will tell you a bit of the first time I met GW Bush.

Prior to his first election as Governor of Tejas, I attended a fundraiser for a local Houston politician that I once worked for.

GW was making the rounds and building up support (yes, Rove was there as well).

I was early (naturally) but so were they and there I was standing in middle of a cordoned off strip mall in North Houston standing next to GW and Rove.

GW leans over and asks me: "How do you like serving under my father?" with that patented GW sly grin.

I answered appropriately and then he asked me "Do you want to know why I didn't want to fly in the Navy?"

I said "sure".

His answer: "I was too afraid to land on aircraft carriers."

I told him that was nothing to be ashamed off. The Air Force is full of those guys (that's a joke "blue" guys!)

And that was that.

Off he and Rove wandered to the bigger texas fish that were starting to arrive.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Think, too, about more than just Vietnam - look at what was going on with the USSR back then. The invasion of Czechoslovakia, the extremely high tension between the Warsaw Pact and NATO, in particular East and West Germany, the very frequent extremely close encounters between Soviet and American military units, the 1967 Arab-Israeli war with the Soviets and US closely supporting the opposing sides, etc. There was very strong potential for those relations to become significantly worse very quickly, which would result in long-term call up of the Reserves. So being an ANG fighter pilot was quite far from taking a safe, easy way out.

Jason said...

Then there's the accident/fatality rate on that particular air platform.

Unknown said...

--W was not a fighter pilot. He did not get into an fights.

Well that’s the monumentally dumb comment of the thread.

tim maguire said...

Original Mike said...
"Obama was clearly a stupid choice in 2008, unless your sole objective was to get a black person into the White House."

I have always believed that that's the nub of the matter.


I distinctly recall (but cannot find) an exchange in the Althouse comments section a few years ago where a commenter took a guess at the Professor's motivation in voting for Obama and that guess amounted to a very pretty way of saying she thought it would be cool to vote for the black guy.

Shortly after, Meade posted: (??) nailed it.

Shortly after, the professor posted: what Meade said.

I cannot be as generous as Original Mike, I cannot overlook people who give the most powerful and important job in the world to an unqualified person for unserious reasons. People have suffered, people have died because of this self-indulgence.

Goju said...

"...agreeing with one's own prior opinion comes naturally to most people." Should you not be above that? You certainly had enough counter arguments to his being competent to judge him accurately. Yet you went with a previous - now admittedly questionable - set of false conclusions.
As for the whole BS nonsense that all presidents fail, the job is too much for one person, etc - just a cowardly evasion of the truth of Obama's incompetence.