November 3, 2017

I had a dream about Obama.

I was walking with him in a group of people through some pleasant cityscape. He was looking great, showing his classic relaxed, happy demeanor. I said out loud "This is the Democrats' secret weapon." He heard me and wanted an explanation. I said: "Whatever happens, the Democrats need only bring you out again and parade you around and people will think 'This was a President. This is what a President should be,' and that will be enough." I saw the reaction on his face and added: "But if you ever believe that, it won't work anymore."

This dream was probably caused by something I'd been reading in Scott Adams's book yesterday. I'm thinking this:
On social media, and sometimes even in the mainstream media, Clinton’s supporters relentlessly compared Trump to Hitler. It was brutally effective persuasion when packaged with related accusations about his “temperament” and his strongman vibe. Fear is the strongest level of persuasion, and the Persuasion Filter would say the Hitler-related persuasion made a difference in the election.

You might wonder why I say analogies do not persuade while at the same time I say the comparisons of Trump to Hitler were effective.... Remember, analogies are great for explaining a new concept. And this concept of Trump as a new Hitler was filling an empty space for lots of voters who didn’t know much about Trump...

74 comments:

Michael K said...

There is so much magical thinking on the left that there is no room for anything else.

rhhardin said...

Women's minds don't work like men's minds.

Probably two books are needed.

rehajm said...

And this concept of Trump as a new Hitler was filling an empty space...

Don’t have to ve Freud to know what happened in the dream after the elllipsis.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

But all R's are Hitler. Until they succumb to the faux D-moderate media template and go McCain.

tcrosse said...

Last night I dreamt I went to Madison again....

CJinPA said...

Or maybe you saw coverage of this tweet by liberal commentator Sally Kohn, which accompanied a photo of Obama:

"Once, this great human being was our President. We didn't deserve him."

I imagine her writing "great man" and backspacing over it..."great person"...[backspace]..."great entity"....[backspace]....

Sydney said...

A lot of people were harmed by Obama's policies. Enough of the harmed are aware enough of his portion of the responsibility that his superficial demeanor no longer persuades. There's a reason for the fable of the emperor and his new clothes.

Ann Althouse said...

"Women's minds don't work like men's minds."

Is Scott Adams a woman in your man-mind?

glenn said...

The only Republican candidate since Thomas Dewey who wasn’t smeared as a Nazi was *Eisenhower. That’s only because Ike was the one who stuffed Hitler back under the rock he called home.

*Maybe Bob Dole. Don’t remember. Same reason.

rhhardin said...

The hidden message of the Emperor's New Clothes is that there are hidden messages.

chickelit said...

Ugh

dreams said...

I've has crazy dreams too, we all have them.

chickelit said...

Obama triggered a lot of fantasies for a lot of women.

rhhardin said...

Is Scott Adams a woman in your man-mind?

He's a man. He's working off a theory and applying it to everything.

How well it fits in a particular case in fact would be an unimportant detail to him, but not to a woman.

WisRich said...

Effective as long as he doesn't talk or else the illusion is shattered.

Ferananidinande said...

That is one creepy nightmare.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Now Meade's Halloween costume makes sense!!

Carol said...

Obama was very cool in affect. I do give him that.

Carol said...

....funny we would end up with Obama's exact opposite: blond, whitey white and totally uncool...lol

rhhardin said...

The great lit crit essays are by men.

They've got the feelings but analyze them into a system. Women just add feelings and keep them all.

dreams said...

Is this the female equivalent of a wet dream?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

To me Obama always seemed smug and condescending. I mean the guy gave a speech after he won the nomination stating that history would record it as the moment the seas began to recede. I am astounded that he won the presidency, twice.

On the plus side, between him and Hillary the Democrat party is being destroyed and thanks to Trump the Republican party is being transformed from a plaything of the plutocrats to one that addresses actual voter concerns.

Unknown said...

i put my money on trump in an actual vote election of trump v. obama. obama could not handle a trump like attack. no way

he could barely handle joe the plumber and bill clinton

William said...

Not everyone has dreams that include a literate paradox. Most women dream of Obama as a plumed serpent who takes them riding through the night skies. The closer they cling to the puppy fur on his back the higher he climbs. It's a frequent dream. Younger women have it several times a night,

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And if it wasn't for Obama there is a good chance that Hillary would have won in 2008. Just thinking about that should make you shudder.

Nonapod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

I'd like to see what Scott Adams would make of Empson's _The Structure of Complex Words_, about hidden doctrines imported into words by connecting the head meaning and the chief meaning in context in various ways. As I recall there are five ways, one of which does not occur.

Or rather occurs only as a joke

Where Bentley late tempestuous wont to sport
In troubled waters, but now sleeps in port. (Pope)

The word being port.

Nonapod said...

'This was a President. This is what a President should be,' and that will be enough." I saw the reaction on his face and added: "But if you ever believe that, it won't work anymore."

If the President was simply just a figurehead with no real authority or power, who only ever talked in banalities and feel goodisms, Obama would be the ultimate President since he represents an hopeful ideal. But as an actual President he was and would be a nightmare.

Ann Althouse said...

"How well it fits in a particular case in fact would be an unimportant detail to him, but not to a woman."

He seems pretty damned interested in the particularities as he Periscopes all the time.

And he wouldn't have been able to generate a whole book if he refused to come off the level of high abstraction. He's continually using examples of things, including many examples from his own life.

If you just mean to say he overgeneralizes and deludes himself into thinking that everything supports his big theories, that's a serious criticism of his book.

Interestingly, you're conceding that women are MORE scientific and rational. Sure you want to do that?

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

Those who say Trump is unfit to be President really mean that he's miscast.

dreams said...

Obama is a superficial fa├žade reflecting the desire of others, an empty vessel.

rhhardin said...

Men see confirmation of theories everywhere. That's how they come up with them. That's why men like them. It controls everything.

If the theories are awful, they drop them. If they do okay, they're fine with them.

Women don't care about the theories at all. They go by the situation and how it feels. Women can do theories but theories do not interest them so it's not an obsessions.

Women's confirmation bias occurs more with grudges than theories. You could say the grudge is the woman's theory. It stays pretty local.

rhhardin said...

You abstract by abstracting away from details. Women don't like to abstract. Men do.

rcocean said...

What's funny is that the National Review and Weekly Standard were calling Trump "Hitler" too.

And if you think fuzzy emotional thinking, and personalizing everything is a "Woman's way of thinking" then Bill Kristol should start wearing a dress - and not just in private.

RNB said...

"The only Republican candidate since Thomas Dewey who wasn’t smeared as a Nazi was *Eisenhower. That’s only because Ike was the one who stuffed Hitler back under the rock he called home. / *Maybe Bob Dole. Don’t remember. Same reason."

The Clinton / Dole election was the first time I heard a gay friend, in a panic, tell me that if the Republican won gay people would be rounded up and shipped to concentration camps in Montana.

Really? Bob Dole?

AReasonableMan said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
And if it wasn't for Obama there is a good chance that Hillary would have won in 2008. Just thinking about that should make you shudder.


Actually, thinking about this brings joy to my heart.

tcrosse said...

Obama is so dreamy.

rcocean said...

Calling Trump "Hitler" and "racist" etc. is just a way to shut down the debate.

The Power elite doesn't feel it has to address the concerns of the American people on Illegal Immigration, border security, bad trade deals, or wars in the middle east.

So any dissent is labeled "racist" "Nazi" "Populist" "Protectionist" "Xenophobe" etc.

rhhardin said...

There's nothing wrong with Adams's theories. They're theories. They do as well as theories do in the psychological realm, which overlaps lit crit.

You get isntance after instance you can write about. Whether it seems to be a good reading of what happened is another matter, and puts you at the mercy of a better reading. Men tend to come up with the better reading though. Women simply ignore it if it seems wwrong. Who cares about the theory after all, not women.

Empson, though few realize it, has very mechanical theories that he puts forth seriously but also as a joke; the idea is look how well I can do with this mechanical theory, it's pretty amazing, in giving good accounts of things. They assist his readings by organizing them but he's still doing the readings fresh, as it were.

rcocean said...

A lot of Leftists (and i include the girly-men at NR) are natural born hysterics.

I had Gay friends in college, who thought AIDS was a plot by Reagan to kill them off, with the survivors to be sent to Re-education camps.

On 2nd thought, mindless Hysteria or projection?

rhhardin said...

Adams, in contrast to Empson, is going to the theory as explanation for anything at all, without caring much whether it's a good reading of what happened.

Rob said...

Damn, now I realize what my dreams are missing: A-listers!

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

"There is so much magical thinking on the left that there is no room for anything else"

That certainly seems to be the case. Obama was a retreat for the Left, an attempt to widen the cocoon. It worked for a while, but it was still just a cocoon.

"Really? Bob Dole?"

I remember a former boss saying Dole was "too extreme". Ah, the good old days. When people still believed what the MSM was peddling.

rhhardin said...

Adams's value is an independent but popular voice against the idiotic media and their target audience, not as a theorizer. It's a little more sand in the gears of the MSM.

I, like most people, can deplore the MSM but who cares about me. Adams has a following.

stever said...

When I think about Obama now its just wondering how many packs a day. Quitting can be hard. An actual, big accomplishment.

rhhardin said...

What Adams misses, in readings, is who the audience is for the MSM persuasion. It's not everybody.

Most people think the MSM stinks, but they're kept in business by their target audience, not everybody.

There's no mention of humor in Adam's theories, as far as I can tell from the periscopes, but he correctly reads Trump as using a sense of humor on the left, that the right gets and the left doesn't.

33% of the population doesn't have a sense of humor is a nice line.

narciso said...

When he want on every talk show of note, and those of notoriety like bubba the love sponge, casting his march madness pics while throwing more kindling on the fire re Sanford and fergysin

William Chadwick said...

"To me Obama always seemed smug and condescending." The Mussolini chin-tilt whenever he was at a podium certainly enhanced that.

Amadeus 48 said...

The Economic Club of Chicago is having a surprisingly difficult time filling all the seats to Obama's upcoming appearance. I have received two emails spaced a week apart reminding me that guest seats are still available. Usually seats for big deal speakers sell out in a week--sometimes in a day-- and a waiting list is established. And this is in the most blue city in the most blue state in the Midwest.

Obama overload? I can't think of any topic that I'd want to hear him on. David Axelrod, yes. Obama, no.

On the other hand, I don't think I'd want to hear Trump, Clinton, or Bush, either.

AReasonableMan said...

William Chadwick said...
The Mussolini chin-tilt whenever he was at a podium certainly enhanced that.


At least he wasn't Hitler.

AReasonableMan said...

Some good news.

Amadeus 48 said...

I had a dream about ARM last night. I said, "He looks so reasonable." When I saw the look on his face when he heard me, I said, "If you actually are reasonable, you'll spoil it."

He said, "Don't worry."

dreams said...

Sometimes female lust is just not a pretty thing to see.

rhhardin said...

People should be judged by the content of their dreams.

A handy list of sexual symbols should help in prosecutions.

Comanche Voter said...

Ms. Althouse if that really was your dream last night (or any other night)--viewing Obama as "this was a President" etc, I'd advise laying off the sauce for an hour or two before getting into bed. I'd give the same advice to anyone else who had that particular dream.

Obama was President; he sure as heck didn't get my vote, but I recognized and accepted the fact of the voter's decision. That said he wasn't a particularly good President. In fact it's hard to believe that he was particularly good at anything except self promotion.

I once did have a dream of a sort of Obama back in 2010 or so; I woke up at three in the morning and uttered a single word (not one that I'd repeat in mixed company). My wife was awake and said, "You were thinking of Obama, weren't you." It wasn't a question--it was a simple, and correct, statement of fact.

dreams said...

Martin Luther King had a dream too, his dream went unfulfilled also.

buwaya said...

I have a weakness for port.
If it werent for the #%$$%& diabetes I would be sleeping in port too.

sparrow said...

It's not a woman/man split but rather a left/right split. Obama hasn't been featured as a positive in my thoughts or dreams at any time.

buwaya said...

The MSM is kept in business because they are, collectively, a subsidized monopoly. They dont really make money through any normal commercial means. They are maintained for political purposes by a small number of large funders, some of the funding is under the cover of advertising. Advertising which is not economically justifiable as advertising, if the intent is simply to sell commercial products.

Its well known, for instance, that the TV news never made money, it was always regarded as a loser, that had to be retained for the sake of regulatory compliance and political value to these highly regulated enterprises. Whats new-ish today is that all the MSM is the same.

Any discussion of the MSM has to start from there, or it immediately gets into bizarre, much like an insistence on circular orbits required concepts such as epicycles.

Michael K said...

If the President was simply just a figurehead with no real authority or power, who only ever talked in banalities and feel goodisms, Obama would be the ultimate President since he represents an hopeful ideal. But as an actual President he was and would be a nightmare.

He is the living Manchurian Candidate. Not that he was preprogramed or any of that stuff. He was just an ideological cipher elected because he looked like a nice black man who was eager to heal the wounds of racism.

He wasn't any of those things. He was evasive about his relationship to Muslims, especially Iran. The LA Times continues to hide his remarks at a gathering for a Muslim activist. His political activities included stirring up racist hatred to stimulate black turnout.

He has been extremely divisive and may have begun a black-white civil war.

buwaya said...

The "good news" guy is obviously waiting on his great-aunts legacy, most likely a considerable parcel he intends to sell for development as soon as he gets hold of it. Its quite common actually, quite a lot of seemingly-unlikely people are land-rich. Its a thing.

Actually its always been a thing.

Bruce Hayden said...

“If the President was simply just a figurehead with no real authority or power, who only ever talked in banalities and feel goodisms, Obama would be the ultimate President since he represents an hopeful ideal. But as an actual President he was and would be a nightmare.”

The problem, of course, was that the President can wield real power, and Obama did horribly at that. He had no training or experience managing or delegating, and it showed. He divied up the cabinet posts as a Chicago pol would do when elected mayor, to the various constituencies that elected him, then let them run their departments as private fiefdoms. And, yes, I found it scary that he found out about what they were doing on the evening news. That isn’t management, rather the opposite. About all he seemed to have had time for was playing golf, shooting hoops with celebrities, picking brackets, and selecting targets for drone strikes.

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
The "good news" guy is obviously waiting on his great-aunts legacy


In this parable is he a 'maker' or a 'taker'?

William Chadwick said...

Stupid Leftist: "Trump is Hitler!"

Stupider Leftist: "That's why it's more important than ever to increase the power of the federal government and disarm the populace!"

buwaya said...

In this parable he is a person.
Its a thing, as I said. Fortune smiles on the worthy and the unworthy alike. And who is to say, beforehand, who is worthy and who is not?
The image is full of objects that are supposedly loaded with meaning, marking the man as "unworthy", as belonging to a caste of the unclean. To the culturally-left haut-bourgeois this all is supposed to indicate an untouchable. That tells us immediately that the message is meant for just that culturally-left haut-bourgeois, in order to reinforce their sense of superiority and increase their contempt for the lower orders.

rhhardin said...

Epicycles are the fourier series for the orbits.

rhhardin said...

News became a profit center in the 70s, instead of a public service cost of doing business. That meant entertainment value, and that meant finding an audience, which came out to be soap opera women.

Jessica in the well was the fatal moment when everybody discovered what women would watch.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said...
"Epicycles are the fourier series for the orbits."

Von Neumann put it a little differently. "Give me four parameters and I'll give you an elephant. Give me five parameters and I'll make the elephant fly".


But you realize that positivism is another name for nihilism, right?

AReasonableMan said...

Pretty sure 'makers' or 'takers' were the only options we were getting a while back, none of this wishy-washy 'who is to say, beforehand, who is worthy and who is not?'. Only the 'makers' were worthy.

With respect to the semiotics, I say 'check your privilege'. What you see is not necessarily what I see. I see a proud white man.

walter said...

I hope you thanked him for being the great uniter he was.
Did he seem at all worried about recent allegations?
How was his crease?

Ken B said...

Analogies huh? I'm thinking of a 13 year old girl swooning when Tom Jones throws her his sweat-soaked boa.

Bruce Gee said...

“….I went to the doctor the very next day.
He said it was a bad dream. “I wouldn’t worry about it much though.
Them ole dreams are only in your head…"

George Spix said...

re: collusion vice conspiracy. Turns out one is always illegal, the other may not be.
http://grammarist.com/usage/conspiracy-vs-collusion/
Could it be that someone advising these folks paid attention during their eighth grade English class? I can see an elderly gray haired English teacher patiently sifting thru essays and correcting the misuse of one term or the other. so, to say that these people colluded is to say they were intending to do something illegal. Perhaps you and your friends over coffee say “I sure would like to have that new iPhone. Maybe I can steal one is not the same as stealing one. Or, “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” Looks bad but is not illegal. Unless certain speech is illegal.
is it just me or has the word "Policy" become the equivalent of "science" as in "It must be so because it's science." So not having a policy is bad. Last I looked the 10 commandments were a policy. Why would anyone want to propagate another religion? Create altars to sacrifice the people's best interests. Which reminds me when someone says, "I'm doing it for the good of the country, they should be saying "I'm doing this for the good of the people" One of these is not like the other. Which is why Andrew Jackson was able to burn down both parties and their establishments and send them to their corner and say, "don't come out for a decade, until after you've learned to behave yourself." He ran as "the representative of the people because no one else was, he didn't say representative of the country. His opponents hated that and tried to have him to be deposed. One of them cried every day until Jackson's inauguration. And is it just me, or does Bannon have the same profile as Jackson? I wonder if the recent step back of "I'm going to war." means he knows he has already won. Bannon’s head feint worked. Retire now and be remembered as a winner not a loser. Like running a campaign on tweets costs that force the MSM to create click-bait news and not do reporting costs little if any money. Because T. can use the threat to the deduction of SLT, which means the red states carry most of the burden of blue state tax increases for things like sanctuary cities and the like because the hole in treasury that this deduction creates must be filled by somebody. Ditto any mechanism disproportionately more beneficial to people with more income. Like IRAs and 401ks. The hole they create in the budget must be filled by someone. To say the deduction is available to everyone is disingenuous. Which can be read as denying those people the vote. the blue state gets to vote for a tax increase for their Stadium which the red state can’t use, and still has the pleasure of paying for part of it. When that’s finally phased out, phased because that’s the only way to get these things done, since congress is and has been broken for so long we All will be singing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihGHltBuBBI&feature=youtu.be&t=21