Thursday, February 11, 2010
Seven Huge Flaws in the Way Liberals Think
1) Liberals believe they can change human nature. Sure, human beings can be shaped and molded to a certain extent. Any parent who has spanked a child can tell you that. However, most people care more about what they're having for lunch today than an earthquake that kills ten thousand people on the other side of the world. We're just built that way and no amount of sensitivity training, preschool classes, or Michael Moore documentaries is going to "fix" it.
2) Liberals believe we can talk everything out with our enemies. One of the weirder quirks of liberalism is their belief that many of our bitterest enemies have rational reasons for disliking us and that can easily be talked away if they realize we're good people. Hence, the common liberal refrain of, "Why do they hate us?" The reason this is a particularly odd belief is that liberals don't even believe this about conservatives in the United States. The average liberal thinks that if we're nice enough, we can reach an understanding with Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck can't be reasoned with.
3) Liberals don't have enough respect for our culture and traditions: To liberals, our cultural, economic, and political norms were formed by backwards troglodytes making arbitrary decisions based on superstition and racism. Unfortunately for them, as a general rule, that's not so and proceeding as if it is, will often lead to exactly the same difficulties that our ancestors already dealt with in times past. No matter how smart we are, as Thomas Sowell would say, our wisdom is often no match for the "distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before." Truly wise people are aware that there is a great deal that they do not know.
4) Liberalism is a fundamentally immoral political philosophy. Ironically, given all their talk about "shades of gray," liberals have a very Manichean view of the world. They consider their fellow travelers to be on the side of the angels, while the people who disagree with them are treated as evil. This leads to an "anything goes" mentality when dealing with their foes: ignoring the law via a "living constitution," politically based prosecutions, shouting down opposing speakers, and treating lying about their agenda or opponents to be moral. On the other hand, liberals will support other libs, no matter how corrupt, sleazy, or vile they are as long as they're politically useful to the left. See Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, John Murtha, and Robert Byrd for examples of that. In other words, as Margaret Thatcher has said of the Left, "For them, the end always seems to justify the means."
5) Liberals believe merely being liberal makes them good people. Liberals who're obsessed with money think they're compassionate because they give away other people's tax dollars. They believe they care more about the earth than other people, even as they fly around in private jets, because they babble on about global warming. They can be dumb as a rock, but believe they're smarter than most other people because they're liberals. In other words, in the minds of most liberals, liberalism is an all-purpose substitute for actual virtue instead of just another political philosophy.
6) Liberals have too much faith in government. Even most liberals would admit that government regularly fails the people. If you don't believe that, just ask them about the Bush Administration and they'll give you an earful. However, liberals tend to believe that with the right person in charge, government won't be so slow, stupid, inefficient, and badly run. Human history proves that they're wrong about that.
7) Liberals have minimal interest in whether the programs they support work or not. To most liberals, whether a government program betters people's lives is completely irrelevant to whether they'll support it. A program that doesn't work and costs billions, but sounds compassionate and helps Democrats politically is a huge success in the eyes of the Left. Once you understand that liberals think this way, their baffling support for programs that make no "common sense" is much easier to understand.
He’s a Yuppie: Why Obama can’t connect with the working class
By John B. Judis
I never thought I would be reproducing anything from TNR or John B. Judis but even a stopped clock is right twice a day and the analysis of Obama below seems spot-on to me. This may be one case where Judis's Marxist background has sharpened his perceptions. Marxists are obsessed by social class -- JR
Here is a fact: Barack Obama has trouble generating enthusiasm among white working class voters. That’s not because they are white. He would have had trouble winning support among black working class voters if they had been unable to identify with him because he was black. He has trouble with working class voters because he appears to them as coming from a different world, a different realm of experience, a different class, if you like. And that’s because he does.
I have recently read several stories about Obama that treat these difficulties as if they were paradoxical. The latest is from The Washington Post. “Despite his roots,” the article is headlined, “Obama struggles to show he’s connected to middle class.” And the story—which seems to use middle class, working class, and blue collar interchangeably—describes his supposedly non-elitist roots as follows: “He turned down high-paying jobs after graduating from Harvard Law School and became a community organizer, compelled by the experience of growing up with a single mother who sometimes lived on food stamps. He married a woman from a working-class family on the South Side of Chicago, and they rented a walk-up condominium in Hyde Park.”
The first thing to note about this description is that, like many accounts I have read of Obama’s life, it gets its facts wrong. He didn’t become a community organizer after graduating from Harvard Law School, but after graduating from Columbia. He left community organizing to attend Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, he joined a prestigious Chicago law firm with offices just off Michigan Avenue. In 1991, he began teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago. He was chair of a Chicago branch of the Annenberg Foundation. Obama’s wife, who admittedly did grow up working-class, nevertheless graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law School. And Hyde Park is a pricey upper-middle-class section of Chicago.
The second thing to note is something about class in America. By Marx’s definition, what we have in America, and in other developed capitalist countries, is a large, diversified working class that ranges from low-paid laborers and clerks to engineers and teachers, all of whom work for someone else, and cannot claim to own or control the means of production. But even if one accepts this account of the working class, there can be enormous social divisions between parts of it. Race and income are important, of course, but so is function, which separates people who perform routine or menial or manual tasks from people who produce ideas and complex services. College professors do not always make more money than electricians; but they live in a different world. In census terms, it is the world of professionals compared to that of operatives, laborers, clerical workers, and technicians.
Obama’s parents were professionals—his mother was an anthropology PhD and his father was a Harvard-trained economist. How much money they made was immaterial. His grandmother, who raised him in Hawaii, was a bank vice-president. He went to a fancy private school and to prestigious colleges (Occidental and Columbia) that turn out professionals and managers. He clearly was not obsessed with making money, but with performing a public service—yet that doesn’t distinguish him from other professionals or other Columbia graduates. It does distinguish him from a working- or middle-class American for whom being a civil rights lawyer or professor or politician is at best a passing fantasy.
It is admirable that Obama spent three years after graduating as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, but many graduates of elite colleges spend several years after college doing something unusual, before returning to graduate school or settling into a profession. Some travel around the world; some join the Peace Corps; some try to write novels. In the days of Theodore Roosevelt or George H.W. Bush, some became cowboys or oil wildcatters. It’s a tradition that goes back over a century. It’s called “sowing your wild oats.” Afterwards, they usually return to more sober and sedate occupations appropriate to their social background and education. That’s what Obama did. As I wrote of his community organizing period, he became weary of the life of the community organizer. He doubted he was accomplishing much, and decided to go to law school. He didn’t choose to go to Kent College of Law or John Marshall Law School—schools where he could have retained his ties with working class Chicago—but to Harvard Law School.
Once out of law school, Obama lived and worked over the next decade in a grey area between the very upper reaches of professional America and the country’s managers, owners, and rulers. He didn’t just have access to more money and live differently from ordinary Americans; he possessed power and authority that they didn’t have. He was of a different world, even if as a politician he would occasionally visit theirs.
There is no paradox, therefore, in Obama’s distance from white working class voters. What would be unusual is if he were able to echo their concerns in a deeply moving rather than in a somewhat mechanical way. Yes, there have been some gifted politicians of an upper class or professional background who have been able to do so. Some, like Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, or Ronald Reagan, could draw upon their working class childhoods; others, like Franklin Roosevelt or Edward Kennedy, could evince a kind of upper-class paternalism. This made them great politicians. It didn’t necessarily make them great men or great Americans. Barack Obama is, by any fair measure, a great American, and he could turn out to be a great president. But he is not yet a great politician. He has not been able to transcend the political limits of his own social background. And that has been one of his problems as he attempts to extricate America from the mess he inherited.
Obama begs GOP to accept some Democrat policies
Why should they? Doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing
President Obama made a surprise appearance at the White House press briefing, taking several questions from reporters. President Obama declared today that “a sense of purpose that transcends petty politics” must be forged by Democrats and Republicans to create more jobs, reduce the deficit and find at least some common ground on health care. “We can’t afford grandstanding at the expense of actually getting something done,” Mr. Obama said as he made a surprise appearance at the daily White House briefing for the media only hours after he convened his first monthly bipartisan meeting he called for in the State of the Union address.
The president praised Republican leaders for coming to the White House on a snowy day in Washington. He said the meeting went so well that Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, were “out doing snow angels together on the South Lawn.”
But his laughter gave way to a forceful message, saying that bipartisanship was a two-way street and neither side – including Democrats – could get their way. He said there needed to be at least some cooperation, but he offered no specific path for the legislative way forward. “Bipartisan can’t be that I agree to all the things that they believe in or want and they agree to none of the things that I want,” Mr. Obama said.
The president took several questions from behind the lectern in the White House briefing room, the first time he has appeared before reporters in a formal setting in months. The appearance by Mr. Obama had the effect of giving him the final word after the bipartisan meeting of lawmakers a few hours earlier.
It was the latest effort in a revised White House approach for the president to appear more transparent and more bipartisan in the second year of his term. He touched upon health care, saying that he would be willing to consider tort reform [But the Democrat Congresscritters won't. They need the lawyers' huge campaign contributions] in the overall debate on expanding coverage and bringing down the costs of health care, but he said Republicans needed to consider some of the Democratic ideas. “Bipartisanship cannot mean simply that Democrats give up everything that they believe in,” Mr. Obama said. He added, “That’s not how it works in any other realm of life. That’s certainly not how it works in my marriage with Michelle. There’s got to be some give and take.”
The president said he looked forward to the bipartisan health care session on Feb. 25, an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to sit down together – in a televised session – and share ideas on health care. He said he would be willing to start from scratch [A big backdown. But he had to do so or the Republicans would have boycotted the meeting], but only if the goals of the legislation remained the same.
Mr. Obama said the meeting should be a serious discussion, which ultimately included cracking down on insurance industry practices, lowering health are costs and expanding access to coverage. “My hope is this doesn’t end up being political theater,” Mr. Obama said. He added, “We have an obligation, both parties, to tackle this issue in a serious way.”
The Left is instinctively authoritarian: "The left would much rather rule than govern. It is certainly easier. And it tends to agree more with their authoritarian bent. Governing is a messy and hard business in which they must listen and react to constituents. It means they actually are servants to the public. On the other hand, ruling means the elite choose what the constituency should live with since it is believed by them that the elite know best what that should be. Those they represent exist only to justify the presence of their rulers. The only difference between our left wing and that which founded the USSR is ours haven’t ever had the chance to effect the change those in Soviet Russia did. To this point, our system has mostly prevented it.”
The Obama Administration is vindicating Bush antiterror policy: "Dick Cheney is not the most popular of politicians, but when he offered a harsh assessment of the Obama Administration's approach to terrorism last May, his criticism stung— so much that the President gave a speech the same day that was widely seen as a direct response. Though neither man would admit it, eight months later political and security realities are forcing Mr. Obama's antiterror policies ever-closer to the former Vice President's.... Meanwhile, one of Scott Brown's most potent campaign themes in Massachusetts was his line that "Some people believe our Constitution exists to grant rights to terrorists who want to harm us. I disagree." Mr. Brown even endorsed waterboarding. As long as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were responsible for keeping Americans safe, Democrats could pander to the U.S. and European left's anti-antiterror views at little political cost. But now that they are responsible, American voters are able to see what the left really has in mind, and they are saying loud and clear that they prefer the Cheney method."
The McConnell Plan: "Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t claim to have developed an economic stimulus plan of his own. But he does favor a cluster of proposals that, when packaged together, are a simple, sensible program for rejuvenating the economy. I take the liberty of dubbing it the McConnell Plan (without asking the Republican leader’s approval). If enacted, the plan would do a great deal more to boost the economy and increase employment than the ‘jobs bill’ that President Obama and congressional Democrats are cooking up.”
Proposed 45-Percent Death Tax Will Increase Unemployment: "Some Americans have declared 2010 the “best year to die.” Due to the temporary expiration of the estate tax or death tax, all individuals that pass away this year are guaranteed that their loved ones will receive their inheritance in full. Those that pass away are not forced to leave their mourning family with the burden of paying exorbitant taxes on their belongings. Yet, in Obama’s 2011 proposed fiscal budget he plans on reinstating the 45-percent death tax with a $3.5 million exemption. According to the Heritage Foundation, the 2011 proposed 45-percent death tax would disproportionally affect family farms and businesses: Family-owned businesses are often asset-rich but cash-poor. They have equipment, real estate, and inventory that makes them appear valuable on paper. But they have comparatively little cash on hand. When a family member dies, the death tax is an enormous burden on them. Many have to sell their assets, or in some cases the entire business, to pay the tax. Or they must divert the precious cash flow they need to grow the business over many years to pay the tab."
TSA finds study of Arabic suspicious: "A US rights group is suing law enforcement officials and airport security agents in Philadelphia on behalf of a student whom they allegedly "abusively" questioned and handcuffed because he was carrying Arabic flashcards. The complaint alleges Nicholas George, 22, was "detained, abusively interrogated, handcuffed and jailed... because he passed through an airport screening checkpoint with Arabic-English flashcards and a book critical of American foreign policy." The book was "Rogue Nation: American unilateralism and the failure of good intentions" by Clyde Prestowitz. George, who is originally from Pennsylvania, was traveling from Philadelphia back to his university in California where he is in the final year of a "double-major" in physics and Middle Eastern studies, the complaint says. George was allegedly detained by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners at the airport and "abusively interrogated for 15 minutes by a TSA supervisor," who asked him questions about the attacks of September 11, 2001, says the complaint. After that, George says he was handcuffed and taken to the airport police station where he was held in a cell for four hours. He was released after being interviewed by two FBI agents."
Could the Donks lose Obama's old Senate seat too?: "Rasmussen Reports came out with the first public post-Illinois primary poll on Thursday morning. ' Interesting finding in Rasmussen poll: While GOP nominee Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) is ahead of state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias by six points, there is a gender gap: Kirk leads among male voters "but trails his Democratic rival by 13 points among female voters." Rasmussen findings: "Republican Mark Kirk holds a modest 46% to 40% lead over Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in the race for the Illinois Senate following Tuesday's party primaries. "In December, Giannoulias was up by three points over Kirk. In October, the two men were tied at 41% each. In mid-August, Kirk held a modest 41% to 38% lead over Giannoulias."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 8:05 PM