The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
"Thanks, Mark, for telling us what you really think of us pore, ig'nant, Jeebus-freak gun owners! You sound exactly like Obama!"
Hey, they were your words, Kevin, not mine. I live in "flyover" country and you live...where, exactly? Arizona isn't exactly redneck. It is either hip and urban or old and retired.
"Trust me - the outrage ain't fake."
Kevin, if you poured even half of the energy of your outrage into doing something more positive like...getting a candidate nominated who tracks with your values (which I did yesterday in MN-03), helping out in your community, or mentoring a child, think of what you could accomplish. In the case of the latter, at the very least, you could wipe the "liberal elitism," stemming from public education, out of that child:)
"And all three candidates with any chance for the office are elitists who believe that they know better than everyone else how to run our lives."
False. That's not what Senator Obama wants and John McCain has the 5th most conservative (or classically liberal )voting record. That is a fact. The reason why you don't support him confirms my general thesis about the irrationality of some people on the right.
"In Barak's case, the mask slipped - very publicly."
Actually, it was a closed door gathering. I will give you the same recommendation I just gave Sara. Read his books, DOMF first. I doubt you will have the same opinion...that is if you are opened minded.
Obama's remarks were offensive not because people were afraid he might be right, but because he essentially claimed that people do not hold the values or beliefs they do because of any reason they might THINK they do, but because the government hasn't taken good enough care of them. In other words, when Obama (or the audience of statist liberals he was addressing) wants to know what their beliefs are, he'll tell them.
Mark has ALWAYS dismissed what people say they think and believe in favor of what he thinks they do and why. He's even doing it now telling Kevin what his home state is like. Does it seriously surprise ANYBODY that he would not only have a problem with this little gaffe of Obama's, but agree with it whole-heartedly?
Hell, it's even symptomatic in the 10,000th challenge to "just read" the same damn book. If we were ENLIGHTENED (by the same process through which Mark came to Obama), we'd obviously think and believe everything he does. There is no other imaginable path, therefore only closed-minded resitance- and xenophobia, and clinging to God and guns- stands in the way.
I believe Markadelphia did the world a great service by stating that Osama's remarks were delivered to a private gathering and therefore acceptable. Giving us a true vision of what he really believes isn't something to be condemned for, its revealling what was said to his comrades and fellow travellers. Duh?
The Left's worldview is as rabid and bigoted as ever. Service to the community in the Left's faculty lounges and politboros in the real world is defined as "gulag." Thanks again Mark for demonstrating what a smug, biased world the Left inhabits.
I wonder when Osama will explain why he clings to a racist church; labors so hard at class warfare and clings to the Marxist ideas of taxing everyone to death as social justice? Perhaps its bitterness at his failure in a capitalist society to recognize his "true worth" as we have seen from his wife's statements.
The Left just clings to the same old stupid icons and won't move on. Hatred; class warfare; racism; government control and direction; secularism.
Same old, same old.
"The Left's worldview is as rabid and bigoted as ever"
"I wonder when Osama will explain.."
Really? The Left?
Hey Mark can you explain to the rest of us if the Left's religious views depend on your senator's attention to you?
Or does the Left's estimation on the Bill of Rights depend on how your neighbor is doing economically?
Or is the Left envious and bitter when its neighbor buys a new car or your co worker gets a promotion and you don't?
Does the Left blame its situation on those who are differ from it?
Obama is just to politics what Brokeback Mountain is to Westerns.
Read his books
But under no circumstances compare that to his actions or his unscripted, off the cuff remarks.
Or voting record, the minister of his church, his wife's statements, or who endorses him, or the he is ranked the most left of the Senate or ...
I wonder, then, how I became a gun owning, God fearing hunter when I moved from Canada to Seattle?
It's a bum rap against Markadelphia, and a bum rap against Obama.
And it's not like they need them.
Obama really does think that he can 'splain what a rust-belt midwestern cultural consevative thinks...and why he thinks it.
I smell more than a taste of "ghetto projection" in Obama's remarks, frankly.
Because it never seems to occur to Obama that perhaps the bitterness and cynicism stem from a view that it wasn't that government failed to deliver, but that government actively colluded in taking away what they once had.
I give Markadelphia chops for trying to interpret the Hopeful One, but Mark, let the guy step on his own tongue.
Frankly, what this speech will do to his campaign is provide another nice big hook for Democrats who don't really want to vote for him, and never did, to hang their consciences on.
Mark, stop talking about his books. I read them, both of them. They are grade A glurge, hokey crap. I mean really, do you actually believe all those anecdotes? All the perfect little stories with the massive life lessons? If so, you're even more gullible then I thought. It's bullshit. Absolutely made up. He's a liar, a fraud, a snake oil salesman. It's a good thing is that he's bad at it, and that all those damn peasants have the Internet. I don't need the media anymore Mark, I don't need the elites telling me how to think. I can watch all those little screw ups on YouTube. Which means you guys are in trouble. If Obama wins the nomination, he's going to get his world rocked. Those regular people are going to take a look at this silver tongued phony and his grievance mongering wife and reject him. You see, the vast majority of Americans salute the flag and have always been proud of their country. The vast majority of Americans believe in God, and they don't like it when you bad mouth them for it. The vast majority of Americans think that the border means something, and they don't care if you call them racists for it. That vast majority of Americans support gun rights. Oh, and the vast majority of Americans don't like it when you think of them as extras from Deliverance. John McCain will crush Barack Obama in the general, just crush him.
What a strange election. If you'd had told me in April that Hillary Clinton would be the tougher of the Democrats to beat in the general I would have laughed my ass off.
Arizona isn't exactly redneck. It is either hip and urban or old and retired.
Really? So the cattle ranchers, the cotton farmers, the copper miners are either "hip and urban or old and retired"? The guys who run the aggregate plants, work the pecan and pistachio orchards, run the power plants, the cement factories, the construction workers; they're all "hip and urban or old and retired" too?
Kevin, if you poured even half of the energy of your outrage into doing something more positive like...getting a candidate nominated who tracks with your values (which I did yesterday in MN-03), helping out in your community, or mentoring a child, think of what you could accomplish.
Translated: "HEAL YOUR SOUL! - Become a new man! - JUST LIKE ME!"
That's not what Senator Obama wants and John McCain has the 5th most conservative (or classically liberal )voting record. That is a fact.
That's not what you want Obama to want, and McCain? I've quoted McCain before:
"I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government."
Those are the words of someone who is willfully violating his sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States because he knows better.
Actually, it was a closed door gathering.
So what he said was OK because we hoi polloi weren't supposed to hear what he really believes? It's the damned right-wing media's fault? Again?
Keep scrambling, Markadelphia, but you aren't getting any traction.
You keep recommeding his books, give this a read.
You see, the vast majority of Americans salute the flag and have always been proud of their country. The vast majority of Americans believe in God, and they don't like it when you bad mouth them for it. The vast majority of Americans think that the border means something, and they don't care if you call them racists for it. That vast majority of Americans support gun rights. Oh, and the vast majority of Americans don't like it when you think of them as extras from Deliverance. John McCain will crush Barack Obama in the general, just crush him.
Sorry, I don't think so. No matter who wins the Democrat nomination, the Presidential race is going to be the nastiest, dirtiest election this nation has seen since Andrew Jackson ran, and it's going to be noted for two things: extremely low turnout, and it's going to be very, very tight.
Because I think vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the whole fucking mess.
"Sorry, I don't think so. No matter who wins the Democrat nomination, the Presidential race is going to be the nastiest, dirtiest election this nation has seen since Andrew Jackson ran, and it's going to be noted for two things: extremely low turnout, and it's going to be very, very tight."
You would think this would be incorrect, given the enigma surrounding Obama. Texas had a character very similar to him named Kinky Friedman, who basically played on the same enigmatic, hollow role as Obama does. College students flocked to him and his mixed liberal/conservative views. Then came the debates. Once things got down to what his actual policies were, his voting block practically collapsed.
I think we'll see the same thing with Obama. The closer we get to elections, the more concrete he's going to be forced to be. The closer we get, the less enigmatic he can be, and the less he can rely on people to fill in his ideas of "hope" with what they imagine and wish.
I mean, damn, is anyone (other than Mark) dense enough to believe that this guy is really anything but a hollow visage that people project their own views into? He talks of broad, generic change that people can just simply plug their own hopes into.
His agenda is clearly socialist. If you ever needed proof of this, remember that Obama met with the Creative Commons people to discuss intellectual property and copyright changes. That's about as objective as going to PETA to discuss and work out the future of the fishing industry's growth. (This is one of the reasons I identify XKCD as a socialist comment - the guy made a point of supporting Obama in his blog because he's "the real deal" and is going to get rid of those evil, evil patents).
I have to admit, though, that the guy is dead-on about Hillary. His comments on her sudden "pro-gun" stance in light of Pennsylvania are dead-on, but these are the same trite comments I've heard from every politician.
How many damn "good ol' boy" candidates do we have to go through before people realize it's bullshit?
"Because I think vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the whole fucking mess."
It's like a really bad combined case of diarrhea, flue, athlete's foot, and a toothache, that never gets any better and never goes away. It has become continuous; note that Huckabee has already started his 2012 campaign.
The internet-age analogy of the current campaigns is that each is just the demo version. If you want to know what a politician really thinks, then look to what he does when he isn't campaigning.
For example, we have the preposterous spectacle of Hillary Clingon going straight from church to a shooting range, dipping Skoal, and talking tough about the gun she carries concealed everywhere she goes. (Really? Even in DC? Oh, I forget; she's special.)
We KNOW what Hillary Clingon really thinks about guns, about keeping and bearing arms "... as the best insurance against tyrants who would strip our freedoms if they didn’t fear our collective power." She's made that abundantly clear for decades. Her refusal to sign the brief in the Heller case that was filed by her colleages in Congress is squarely at odds with her statements yesterday about guns. The former was real, while her statements yesterday were the demo version, just more campaign lies directed at the local prospective buyers.
Obama is showing us his own demo version, but compared to Clinton and McCain, is is remarkably unskilled at it. I am not impressed by his demo version, and I emphatically reject the socialism he would try to deliver if elected. I don't buy his bullshit any more than I buy hers.
Um, the "dipping Skoal" article was a parody, I'm pretty sure.
But do you buy McCain's?
"Because I think vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the whole fucking mess."
Y'know, the older I get, the more I'm amazed at how clearly George Orwell's vision was.
Obama's remarks reveal the mindset of the Inner Party member...one who really DOES love Big Brother, and who cannot conceptualize that any rational human would hold the concentration of power and wealth that any government represents with suspicion, distrust and skepticism as a normal and rational response.
How far we have come from that other set of cold-eyed realists, the Founding Fathers, who knew quite well what a pack of bastards people are, and how empowering any set of people over any others would amplify and aggravate the worst tendencies of the people who comprise a government.
To the Obamas and other Statists of the world, it would appear that viewing a government with anything less than esteem and affection would indicate a failure of the polis to be the beneficent and omnipotent provider that they truly hold it to be, rather than the bumbling incompetents and self-interested petit-tyrants who send the tax-man and the Fuzz around to collect the tribute at gunpoint.
" No matter who wins the Democrat nomination, the Presidential race is going to be the nastiest, dirtiest election this nation has seen since Andrew Jackson ran, and it's going to be noted for two things: extremely low turnout, and it's going to be very, very tight."
FWIW, I hope you're right. We can survive a Jackson campaign.
I'd be more worried about a repeat of the 1860 election.
We know how the Clintons operate: they will argue with the umpire and rile their partisans to riot in the stands rather than admit that they were out at the plate.
The Obama people are giving nearly every indication of devolving into cult-like Messianic fervor. Fertile ground for a movement of dead-enders.
And I'm not at all and never have been a fan of your "Sellout" senior Senator.
The troubling thing about it, as I've said before, is that the appeal to government-initiated self-betterment is extremely powerful and finds a ready audience every time. There is something in the human psyche that responds to it.
That being the case, small-government conservatism has a built-in flaw in that it does not correspond well to human nature. The flaw is nowhere near as large as that of socialism, which neglected the basic obvious point that people respond to incentives; no, this is more subtle. But it is true nonetheless.
An ideal social system is self-reinforcing and self-regulating at many interrelated points. Small-government conservatism is neither; it is an unstable equilibrium at best, constantly requiring defense against those who would expand government power. It depends for its strength on external social norms such as education and stable families, without doing anything to support them. And here is the flaw that the socialists were able to exploit to devastating effect.
Not that I have anything better yet that could be implemented in a secular society. But I'm thinking about it, and other people should too.
A clearer term than "self-regulating" would be "self-stabilizing," in context.
I'm always reminded of a point Anne McCaffrey made in her Pern series. The problem they realized was that their constitution listed all the rights and limits of government, but no punishment for people who intended or tried to circumvent these.
A senator who pushes legislation that in unconstitutional will, at absolute worst, lose an election (for constitutionality, this is unlikely).
I don't know if this would solve the issue, but sometimes I wonder if a "three attempts at breaking the constitution and we shoot you" rule might help.
How about "tar, feathers, rail, rope - some assembly required"?
"Um, the "dipping Skoal" article was a parody, I'm pretty sure."
So am I, but it will be spread about as if it were real, and that's why I described it as part of a "spectacle". That caricature of her is no more preposterous, or phony, than what she painted herself.
Hugh Hewitt has an interesting entry about Obama. His summation is on point:
"I don't think Obama can persuade the majority of the non-urban U.S. that he will ever understand their communities or their lives. The past 72 hours built on the disconnect many were already feeling about Pastor Wright's anger, and the corrosive effect on Obama's appeal will be profound and prolonged. It may not be enough to resurrect Hillary's campaign given that her distance from ordinary Americans is pretty profound as well, but John McCain's claim on the respect if not the affection of Americans of all backgrounds will contrast sharply and to his favor with Obama's condescending attribution of bitterness all around."
He notes that Obama on Obama stated:
"Because people feel forgotten. They feel as if nobody is listening in Washington."
Yup. They do. What he doesn't understand about much of America is that we think he would take Washington even further in the direction that makes us feel that way.
Remember, to arrive at Obama's (and Mark's) conclusions about economics and culture, one has to buy into leftist/Marxist critiques of culture and theories of economics. ("False consicousness", anyone? I guaran-goddam-tee you that both have read "Alienated Man" and 'recognized' their fellow citizens in Marcuse's theories.) Those critiques and theories have their merits but they are far from the kind of objective understanding of the world as, say, physics.
Plus, as historical and human events prove these theories and critiques wrong again and again, one has to carefully cherry-pick data and continually redefine terms in order to make them even halfway believeable to each successive generation.
The True Believer confuses theory and belief with (however carefully-filtered) reality. One symptom of this is dismissal, condescension and caricature of the Other - because that's the only way the Other fits into the theory.
I would expect a 'reflective practitioner' to understand that.
Well, Mark's made it clear what he thinks of us. I, for one, will remember that.
Oh, and about the AK rifle I just mail-ordered from a company in Arizona: Would that be from the old, retired part or the hip, urban part? Kthxbye!
(I would venture to guess that there is a non-trivial, yea, statistically-significant number of people in AZ who don't fit in either category. Again with the caricature.)
Well said, Rocinante. What Obama is peddling here (and what he is being given a pass on, with the codswallop over "bitter") is warmed-over false consciousness twaddle.
I'd be more worried about a repeat of the 1860 election.
You and me both.
You try to deliver, and you try to deliver, over and over, wearing your bureaucracy down to the bone - and just look at the thanks you get.
It's enough to make a Gubbmint man bitter at the lack of thanks these ungrateful people do not extend when we try to buy them pretty things with their own money...
As a bitter inner-city Gangbanger I'm clinging to my "Nine" and my Moslem Bakery bitter-bean pie - because my experience at Harvarrd taught me it's just a place to taunt me.
Alright, I finally have some time to respond to some of this. Been busy today.
"Well, Mark's made it clear what he thinks of us. I, for one, will remember that."
I have said a number of complementary things about everyone here in addition to the criticisms I have made. None have ever been personal as some of the negative remarks made about myself. Bear that in mind as you judge me...
Hugh Hewitt-gosh, what a shock that he said something like that! Can anyone care to explain to me how a black man who was raised in rural Kansas and just paid off his student loans is elitist? And how Hillary Clinton (109 million $$) and John McCain (meet my wife) are not?
"The Obama people are giving nearly every indication of devolving into cult-like Messianic fervor. Fertile ground for a movement of dead-enders."
I disagree. The people how have gotten out to support Obama are people that have decided that they are going to give a shit again. These are the other 90 million voters that did not vote in the last election. They are tired of Bush Co bullshit and are going to do something about it. They are very motivated and want to see a better government and a better America. Bear in mind, this does not mean MORE government. It means EFFICIENT government...something I think we all want.
"is anyone (other than Mark) dense enough to believe that this guy is really anything but a hollow visage that people project their own views into?"
Obama and Kinky Friedman...wow...that's a stretch. Well, he sort of HAS to be hollow, right? If he is even a smidgen of what he claims to be and does actually improve things, if elected, it invalidates an entire belief system and we can't have that now, can we?
"and it's going to be noted for two things: extremely low turnout, and it's going to be very, very tight."
Completely disagree. Kevin, didn't you vote by absentee? If you hadn't, you would've seen the masses of people voting in the primaries. 4 million people have registered to vote in Penn in the Dem primary...that's 4 times as many in 2004! We had 117 million people vote in 2004 and I predict it will be at least 130. That's being conservative, btw.
I think you need to prepare yourself for a large turnout that will not be favorable to your side. People are sick and tired alright...but of a bullshit ideology that doesn't work. It's going to be a hard nut for some people to swallow but the results of this ideology speak volumes and the voters know it.
"He's a liar, a fraud, a snake oil salesman."
It's simply not true. He's not perfect but he is what he says he is. I know it's hard to deal with but it's true. Sorry, he's actually an honest and decent guy and would make a terrific president.
"John McCain will crush Barack Obama in the general, just crush him. "
Explain to me how that will happen if conservatives stay home because they hate McCain. I would also strongly urge you to check out registration, state by state, with the Democrats and compare it to the Republicans.
"I give Markadelphia chops for trying to interpret the Hopeful One, but Mark, let the guy step on his own tongue."
Thanks, Bilgeman. Yeah, I think you're right. More than likely, he is going to step on it a few more times. I do find it interesting, though, that every time he does have a "scandal" he seems to bring a larger issue to light and people (gasp!) begin to think. This latest one begs the question, as just left on my blog, do you think the Republican Party uses issues like gun control, gay rights, religion, immigration, and trade to distract small town voters from the issues that are truly affecting them in an adverse way?
"Hey Mark can you explain to the rest of us if the Left's religious views depend on your senator's attention to you?"
Not exactly sure what you are asking here.
"Or does the Left's estimation on the Bill of Rights depend on how your neighbor is doing economically?"
Again, not really sure but I would guess that the answer is No.
"Or is the Left envious and bitter when its neighbor buys a new car or your co worker gets a promotion and you don't?"
"Does the Left blame its situation on those who are differ from it?"
Actually, no. And this situation demonstrates how well the right plays the victim...better than the left does...which I find hilarious since the right proclaims unadulterated hatred for victim culture.
Ed Morrissey nails it:
"At times, we have remarked that Obama only really performs well with a script. Once he has to speak extemporaneously, not only does he fare worse as an orator, but he tends to get lost and make unforced errors."
And that's what people say about George W. Bush! But I digress ...
"It’s hard to imagine one worse than this. It’s all the worse because it’s not a gaffe in the normal sense, but a revealing moment that shows how Obama really views Americans. With this statement, it’s not hard to understand why he sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years and heard nothing that moved him to dissent."
"Obama and Kinky Friedman...wow...that's a stretch. Well, he sort of HAS to be hollow, right? If he is even a smidgen of what he claims to be and does actually improve things, if elected, it invalidates an entire belief system and we can't have that now, can we?"
No, that's not a stretch. Most of Friedman's support block came from liberal students of colleges, majoring in liberal arts. Just like Obama. Most of them were actually unfamiliar with his policies, but he spoke broadly of change and so did his supporters. Just like Obama.
My correlation to Friedman is not by similarity of policy. That wouldn't be a valid comparison because we actually know what Friedman's policies were now. I was comparing the enigmatic approach both took (and take) to their political fronts.
I'm not talking about what Friedman claimed to be. What was interesting about Friedman is that he was very open for some of his policies and laid out, in plain text, what they were. Most people did not bother with this, just like most people are not going to bother with Obama's policies (once he, y'know, stops telling us that he's going to change things and announces how). People - students in particular - latched onto his ideology because all they saw was "change."
Claiming disenfranchisement with modern establishment as grounds for identifying with a candidate is fucking ignorant - EOD. Obama has the mistaken belief that anyone who is unhappy with current affairs either does not understand why (which is SURELY why they don't worship him as their political messiah) or already follows him.
Once again, you cherry-pick the pieces of text you reply to and ignore the mainstay of what is said. You seem to think that "countering" a single point in a large array thereof is a valid argumentative method.
"This latest one begs the question, as just left on my blog, do you think the Republican Party uses issues like gun control, gay rights, religion, immigration, and trade to distract small town voters from the issues that are truly affecting them in an adverse way?"
Really? What are the issues that are truly affecting them?
Can you list these? I'd like to see them.
For many people, those ARE the issues that matter.
I really need a damn edit button, because I didn't even touch on this... but... all of that aside...
I love how Obama and his supporters firmly believe they know what issues really matter. The issues that really matter - that REALLY affect them. Because, after all, they don't know any better. Their own views and the issues that they care about aren't what they should be concerned with, right?
Didn't this whole thing start because you were trying to argue against his and your own elitism?
Here is a lesson in apologentsia (a new word?). It's so short, and so succint, I'll just quote the whole thing:
"Ever the eager teacher of Life Lessons for America, Obama obliges us by offering a classic example of the non-apology masquerading as an apology.
"(1) Start with a conditional. “If” is usually best. This reduces the “apology” to meaninglessness at the outset: perhaps an offense occurred, perhaps it did not. It’s all in the eye of the beholderor the ear of the listener. If the speaker has an opinion on whether he/she erred, he/she is certainly keeping it to him/herself.
"(2) Place the locus of the wrongdoing firmly in the perception of the offendee, not the act of the (possible) offender. Never say, “What I said was deeply offensive.” That’s too objective; remember there is no objective truth. The fact that someone took offense is not evidence that what was said was actually offensive.
"(3) Reiterate, if necessary, and defend the content of the remarks while suggesting it was only semantics that caused any possible offense. When you do so, be careful to keep to the conditional so that you are actually saying nothing at all: “I may not have worded it properly…” (see Rule 1).
"Really? What are the issues that are truly affecting them?"
Well, how about we start with the fact that we have a president who has stated that Osama bin Laden, the man behind the worst attack in our country's history, "doesn't matter" and that he "doesn't spend that much time on him." This was six months after 9-11! So, I would say actually going after the people that attacked us would be number one.
Second, how about the economy and the fiscal irresponsibility of those in DC and the corporate world? Honestly, that is what most Americans think about all the time..especially the ones in small towns.
Third, health care and how fucked up it is.
Fourth, Education, specifically the No Child Left Behind act which is systematically fucking over entire swaths of our culture.
Fifth, climate change. More than likely, it's happening and we have to start taking it seriously.
Sixth, human rights. How about the fact that Dick and George seem to think it's cool to flick their bics at the Constitution?
Would you like me to list some more? Those are just the general headings.
"Didn't this whole thing start because you were trying to argue against his and your own elitism?"
Seriously, Obama is an elitist? Even if it were true, so what? When we have brain surgery we want an elite doctor, right? We want the best attorney, the best accountant, the best teacher, and the best athlete on our side, right? So why on earth would we want an AVERAGE person to be president-a job that you would think would demand that you are elite.
DJ, well if the new neo con said it, then it must be true! And you guys pile on me for quoting opinion sources...sheesh...
What absolutely slays me is the outrage you feel about remarks Obama made at a dinner and his explanation of said remarks. Yet you inexplicably feel no outrage at all when our current leader offers no apology whatsoever for the incredible loss of life (American and Iraqi) that he is partially responsible for in the last five years.
Talk about a serious problem with prioritization.
Markadelphia, I'm still puzzled by why you even try arguing. But anyways, if you, a college professor, don't know the difference between elite and elitism... well, that's in perfect standing with my own experiences in college.
Rich is elite. Powerful is elite. Strong, talented, these are elite.
Thinking you are fundamentally better than others - that is elitism.
A skilled doctor is an elite individual. A doctor who refuses to listen to you because he thinks he knows better is an elitist. Elitist doctors, it must be noted, make for very poor doctors. (To paraphrase Dave Barry describing most doctors, if you come in with a broken arm, do NOT tell the doctor you have a broken arm, or you'll leave with a diagnosis of AIDs, a prescription for antibiotics, and no cast.)
And incidentally - you assume Bush owes an apology for the Iraq war. What does he apologize for? For publicizing the intelligence advice of Tenet, who was after all appointed under Clinton's administration? Who does he offer it to? The majority of US citizens whose support he had when he started it?
Are Democrats all then those who pay lip service to Democracy, because in truth they know a better way, and the people - just the ignorant mob, to be ignored if they refuse enlightenment? Why - that's elitism. And that is what you're being accused of, and, without apologies to Piers Anthony, you're doing a very good job of "proving" you aren't a murderer by murdering the accuser. (Or, to spell it out for you, since you're a college professor and probably need a little help, you're responding to accusations of elitism by dismissing the accusers as being inferior people.)
Adirian, he's a school teacher, not a college professor.
...well if the new neo con said it, then it must be true!
In other words "I can't counter her points."
What absolutely slays me is the outrage you feel about remarks Obama made at a dinner and his explanation of said remarks.
Nope, not outrage on my part - vindication.
Yet you inexplicably feel no outrage at all when our current leader offers no apology whatsoever for the incredible loss of life (American and Iraqi) that he is partially responsible for in the last five years.
Uh, it's war? In war people die. And, insofar as I can see, the "incredible loss of life (American and Iraqi)" is incredible because (at least WRT Americans) it's been so low.
You neglect to mention the rather high number of Iranians, Syrians, Egyptians, etc. who have died in Iraq, too. Are we not supposed to care about them?
I am outraged by the number of children deliberately targeted by the terrorists in their effort to disgust us into leaving, however.
"Thanks, Bilgeman. Yeah, I think you're right. More than likely, he is going to step on it a few more times. I do find it interesting, though, that every time he does have a "scandal" he seems to bring a larger issue to light and people (gasp!) begin to think. This latest one begs the question, as just left on my blog, do you think the Republican Party uses issues like gun control, gay rights, religion, immigration, and trade to distract small town voters from the issues that are truly affecting them in an adverse way?"
Okay...first, let's not pull out the "larger issue" straw-man. It stinks when a conservative does it, and it stinks just as much as when a Liberal does it.
When Senator Craig of Idaho got arrested for airport restroom pervertry, it didn't "raise the larger issue" of how wide one's stall stance should be, did it?
(On a side note, just how wide CAN your stance be when your pants around your ankles?).
When Trent Lott seemingly pined for the good ole days of Segregation, it didn't "raise the larger issue" of Republicans as heirs to post-Civil War Democrats' "Jim Crow" policies.
Obama's remarks raise no issue any larger than our opinion of his fitness to be elected to the Oval office.
Based on what he said...
Second part. Does the Republican Party use wedge issues and practice bait and switch to the detriment of the very electorate they claim to want to represent?
Of COURSE they do.
Funny thing is, the Democrats do the exact same thing, and with the exact same issues.
War in Iraq should be coming to an end any day now, right? Pelosi and Reid were elected to be the big swingin' dicks on the Hill two years ago, and shut off the funding...right?
I was twenty years a rank-and-file Union member, and I well recall that Clinton never could get the Striker Replacement Bill out of comittee...but he (and his Democratic controlled Congress) DID manage to "Fast-Track" the NAFTA.
So...who yo' daddy?
The proper answer is:
"None of the above".
Well, he would be in need of even a little more help with the subtleties than I thought, then!
So I'll spell it out a little clearer: By treating your accusers as an inferior quality of individuals who obviously don't know what they're talking about, you're being elitist. (Remember, that's the accusation you're responding to.)
Markadelphia: "Well, how about we start with the fact that we have a president who has stated that Osama bin Laden, the man behind the worst attack in our country's history, "doesn't matter" and that he "doesn't spend that much time on him.""
C'mon Mark! I answered this one months ago! Do you remember the answer? (Or even that I did answer it?)
On a side note, just how wide CAN your stance be when your pants around your ankles?
I believe that would be a function of how wide your waist is - unless you're wearing lycra (an image I refuse to contemplate).
Obama, Clinton and McCain are all elitists. The only difference between them is that only McCain understands that WWIV is real, and is too serious to be left to foreign/military policy lightweights such as the 2 Dems in the race.
The only correct answer as to how when to end the war is "Victory". McCain is the only one of the candidates to come close to understanding this. This is my primary issue, because if we lose this one, our children and their children will suffer and every other issue you bring up will be trivial in comparison.
Holding a bic to the Constitution? All 3 of the current candidates have shown in word and/or past action that they have no problem incinerating it and whatever parts of the Bill of Rights they find inconvenient. But one of these clowns is going to be president, and I have to choose one of them, so, as Kim DuToit eloquently stated "I love my country more than I hate John McCain".
As for the rest of the issues you listed, more government involvement will at best be a waste of resources ("climate change”) and at worst turn a problem into an (even more) unmitigated disaster (health care, education, the economy...).
The last thing in the world I want is more efficient government.
The way to make a better government is to make it smaller. Efficiency has been the mantra of too many tyrannies in history to make it in any way a desirable goal for government.
In fact, my personal question I'd love to ask each candidate in a debate is: "What are you going to do to make the Federal government as irrelevant to my daily life as possible."
Unfortunately no one in the current presidential race, and damn few politicians of any kind, would even understand the question, let alone have an acceptable answer for it.
"if you, a college professor"
I am not a college professor. I am a high school teacher.
"What does he apologize for?"
(cartoon of smoke coming out of Mark's ears)
Kevin, exactly how many innocent people in Iraq do you think have died as a result of this war? Remember, as a RESULT of this war.
"I am outraged by the number of children deliberately targeted by the terrorists in their effort to disgust us into leaving, however."
So am I. The difference between you and I, Kevin, is that you think it's ok for us to act that way as well. We have killed children, largely by accident, and yet somehow it is the fault of the terrorist...and never ours.
"Funny thing is, the Democrats do the exact same thing, and with the exact same issues."
Yep, they do. That's why I still maintain that the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world are going to have just as bad of a time with an Obama presidency as those on the right.
Ed, I was not satisfied with your answer. Imagine if Al Gore or John Kerry had said it...would you react in the same way?
"our children and their children will suffer and every other issue you bring up will be trivial in comparison."
Actually, I agree with you on this one...for different reasons. Our children are going to suffer because our current administration, and its supporters, have a child-like understanding of the region. They also have a terribly false belief that the Democrats will somehow be "weaker" than someone like McCain. It's pure bullshit because if you take the time to look at the facts, it's Bush Co et al that have been truly ineffectual and any continuation of this ideology will only result in a further weakening of our country in multitude of ways.
Our children are going to suffer because our current administration, and its supporters, have a child-like understanding of the region.
I note in passing the obviously condescending tone, and move on.
Mark, I am a supporter of the current policy. I have spent a year in Israel, I have studied the region for most of my life, I live with a roommate whose family escaped from Iran, I studied Arabic for three semesters, and I have a better understanding of the Middle East than you could ever hope to achieve by reading Know-Nothing blogs and the acolytes of Edward Said.
Good day, sir.
That is not to say that my understanding is sufficient. But, deficient as it is, it is far better than the pearls of ignorance you benevolently cast about.
Markadelphia knows exactly why people go to church, why they own guns and why they live their daily lives the way they do.
All that knowledge gained from school textbooks and sitting at his computer at home.
I was starting to write a detailed argument about this, but who am I kidding? Since Mark prefers to make up his own facts, it's impossible to build a fact based argument.
Fact: Al Qaeda's existence and activity is based on Islam and the Koran, not on a single man. That much is so blindingly obvious that I simply cannot comprehend the kind of willful blindness it takes to ignore that fact. Once that simple fact is acknowledged, the truth of President Bush's point then becomes apparent.
Markadelphia has previously claimed in comments posted here that he understands the reasons for the 2nd Amendment and agrees with them. So much for forward progress…
(0.01 steps forward. 20 steps back.)
As much as Mark irritates me, do note that the blog post in question is from February 2006. We may hope that his views have evolved since then.
Though the sheer condescension dripping off of that post is rather familiar…
I was halfway through point-by-point rebuttal of Mark's arguments... but... then I thought to myself, why?
If you're going to make make broad, generic statements about the "corporate world" and make presumptions about everyone's motivations, all I can do in that case is point out his ignorance in these matters. By association, I have to point out my own experience in them for contrast. Then I, too, must make broad, generic statements.
I don't feel like getting into a dick waving contest with a guy who won't even answer or address 99% of the fucking questions or points aimed at him.
I applaud Kevin for putting such effort into his responses. That must be like playing whack-a-mole with a landmine.
Kevin's just about done with that.
In my experience, Markadelphia has only ever admitted being wrong ONCE. That was when he claimed that the Bible doesn't teach against premarital sex. Even then, simply pointing out the words on the page wasn't enough. I also had to answer every single prejudice, argument and spin he could throw out. That took HOURS, often required quoting numerous passages, summarizing others, and even citing dictionary defintions. (For example, he claimed that Paul did not make a particular point in Romans 8, therefore he "agreed" with Markadelphia. I had to point out that it wasn't necessary to make that point in Romans 8 because he had already made it in Romans 6!)
Requiring that level of proof before accepting even so simple a claim as "what the words on the page say" is so extreme that it is literally impossible to provide sufficient evidence to prove any real world event or fact to his satisfaction; unless, of course, he wants to believe something. Then he's all over it at the merest hint of a breath of a possibility.
Of course, he has made similar claims (such as claiming the Bible does not teach the existence of Hell and that Al Qaeda would dry up and blow away if we just killed Bin Laden), but I just don't have the kind of time to repeat the bludgeoning necessary to prove the obvious.
"We have killed children, largely by accident, and yet somehow it is the fault of the terrorist...and never ours. "
Under the international laws of warfare, the UCMJ, and historical tradition, any non-combatant casualties suffered as the result of using said non-combatants as shields or camouflage ARE the responsibility of the persons.
The classic example is placing an Anti-Aircraft gun on top of a hospital. Any casualties suffered as the result of taking out said gun is the responsibility of the people who placed it there, not of the pilots that dropped the bombs.
Any children killed in combat operations by US forces (with a few criminal abberations that are and should be prosecuted) are accidental and totally unintentional. They are NOT policy. Planners and aircrews bend over backwards (and often place themselves at risk) to avoid such situations. As a former targeting officer, I find any hint to the contrary personally offensive and an insult to the troops in contact.
The Islamofacists use civilian shields and target civilians as matter or routine policy.
They celebrate such deaths.
I've known our guys to get physically sick at the possibility they hit civilians.
If you honestly cannot see the difference there, then we truly live in different universes.
It seems that small town xenophobic gun-totin' religious economically disadvantaged bigots made a shift away from the "NOPE" fellow and back into the arms of the UberFrauFuhrer.
Mark: What absolutely slays me is the outrage you feel about remarks Obama made at a dinner and his explanation of said remarks.
Kevin: Nope, not outrage on my part - vindication.
Right there, the entire situation is summed up. See, we were right, and you were wrong.
Obama has (again) proven that our opinions before were right. Your opinion about him was wrong.
Now comes the post-mortem. (For everyone but yourself, since you can't admit to the blindingly obvious truth.) Why was that?
Was that luck? Bias?
Why was our conclusion so (correctly) negative, while yours was so positive?
And what does this say about other subjects and the difference in our analysis?
"It means EFFICIENT government...something I think we all want."
Uh, no. A more efficient government is also much more efficient at taking away your rights.
In either case, Obama is not going to make the government more efficient. He's going to bloat the fuck out of it until it's about ready to explode, then wield it as a fucking club in order to browbeat the rest of us into "changing."
Just take a look at the costs to fund his pet projects. $600 billion +, added to an already massively out of control budget. Obama isn't going to fix Bush's mistakes, he's going to plant an explosive device into the cracks in the foundation and detonate it. Because the only damnable thing worse than a cut and spend president is a tax and spend one.
How many like Markadelphia are teaching your kids? I find that one HELL of a scary thought.
Most of what I would say in response to all this is already posted in my reply to Saturday's QotD. If you give a damn, go read it, I'll wait. If not, it doesn't hurt my feelings any.
Back already? Okay, here's the one thing that the comments here make me feel should be added:
"It means EFFICIENT government...something I think we all want."
Hmmm... Josef Stalin promised efficiency, and delivered. Adolf Hitler promised efficiency, and delivered. Benito Mussolini promised efficiency, and delivered. I haven't done the homework to know, but I'd be very surprised if the same wasn't true of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc. etc. ad nauseam.
Um, no thanks, Mark. I consider government all too efficient already. The problem is its efficiency is in the area of poking its nose into my private business and insisting it can run my life better than I can.
As a case in point, let's consider healthcare. I think everyone will admit that healthcare costs have spiraled out of control, to the point where things are utterly ludicrous. We often disagree as to what should be done about it, and I suspect that's due to a subconscious disagreement as to causes.
Personally I think that the healthcare problem can be ultimately traced to a single common denominator: Government intervention that's already going on.
Consider what a doctor faces (I have known a few doctors as friends, and have *asked them*.) #1. Out of control malpractice insurance. Why? Frivolous lawsuits and outrageous penalty payments. And what is the private sector group most consistently supported by government, up to and including laws *requiring* citizens to patronize a particular industry? Insurance. Thus, insurance companies often don't have to actually serve their customers, the customers are required by law to pay them.
And what is the private sector group least likely to be SERIOUSLY addressed for reform and regulation by the lawyers who make up the majority of Congress? Trial lawyers, the ones who benefit most by runaway lawsuits.
#2. Frivolous doctor visits, people visiting the doctor for minor, bullshit ailments. An obvious result of employer offered insurance, creating a disconnect between the customer and the bill. Again, who benefits by this? People who invest heavily in insurance companies, that's who. And who are the biggest investors? You'll find a LOT of legislators on that list.
I don't know a lot of doctors, I'm not in the same social circles. The very few I have known though, agree 100% on what the problem is: They aren't allowed to just take care of their patients to the best of their ability. They are regulated into the ground, driving up their costs and reducing the time they can spend practicing their craft. They are required to be insured to the eyebrows, driving up their costs and reducing the time they can spend practicing their craft. They are taxed into oblivion, making it cost them MORE to spend more time practicing their craft and taking care of their patients. When they are anything less than 100% perfect in their results, they are sued to the point of being driven out of their careers entirely, and neither legislators, lawyers nor judges show any desire to have that change.
Four major issues, each driving up healthcare costs and lowering both availability and quality, each driven by either direct government action or steadfast government inaction.
Explain to me again how "EFFICIENT government...something I think we all want" is going to make this BETTER?!?
No sir. I think what most of us want is for government to remain as small, helpless and inoffensive as possible, so we can get on with our lives. I think if doctors were not required to spend 2/3 or more (up to around 90%) of their professional careers jumping through the hoops the government requires of them, the vast majority of us would have better healthcare, and the few exceptions would be aberrations so rare as to make front page headlines.
And just for perspective, this was written by someone who has no healthcare, has not been able to afford it for over a decade. And if the government wants to force me to go to *their* doctors, they'll have to catch me first. I'll take someone who has the freedom to be competent, thanks. And when I need them, I'll pay cash.
"I note in passing the obviously condescending tone, and move on."
Well, it's not me that said it. It was Ben Busch, Iraq vet. And don't you think that it might be a good idea to be as intelligent as we can about our enemy?
"I have spent a year in Israel"
Israel is a different story. They have a complete right to do everything they are doing. In fact, I think they are showing incredible restraint and could do more. But then again, they don't force people, economically, to do their bidding as pretty much every other country, including us, do.
"than the pearls of ignorance"
AKA an opinion and some facts that don't not fit with my belief system
"Al Qaeda's existence and activity is based on Islam and the Koran, not on a single man"
Well, that is true, Ed. But doesn't it bother you that both bin Laden and Zawahari are still out there? Think about it...no doubt they are coming up with new ways to kill as many of us as possible and they....don't matter? And six years on and they are still out there, in fact reconstituted to pre 9-11 levels. Seems pretty fucking stupid and weak of us if you ask me to let them flourish in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"Markadelphia has only ever admitted being wrong ONCE"
I also admitted I was wrong about gun activists. Kevin can back me up on that one. Hey, Ed, when have you admitted you were wrong about a conservative position? How about you start with our current strategy against Al Qaeda?
"If you honestly cannot see the difference there, then we truly live in different universes."
I do think there is a difference but everyday I see and hear about things happening in Iraq that show we are moving more towards the bad guys, all in the name of "freedom" and that makes ME physically ill.
Yeah, no shit. She really would make a great Nazi. Don't place too much stock in that poll. Let's see what happens later in the week and he is still up 10 points in a national poll taken in the same time frame.
Unix, I just don't know what to say to you anymore. There are no words...
Will, children aren't drones that I brainwash. You might find this hard to believe but some of them are as challenging as all of you.
Grumpy, you make some good points. But I think you are exaggerating things a little bit. Stalin? I don't think so...
Unix, I just don't know what to say to you anymore. There are no words...
There are plenty of them, Mark.
And if you assign meaning to them, and respect those meanings, you can have a useful conversation.
Obama has discredited all of your descriptions of him.
He's not hopeful, he's not a uniter, he's not a transcendent, above-politics statesman.
You can either admit that your conclusions about him were wrong, and then self-analyze how you were wrong. Or you can insist that you're, after all, right, and then explain and demonstrate how your initial impression wasn't so wrong.
Your insistences on doubling-down on your initial impressions soley on "old evidence" in the face of newer overwhelming evidence to the contrary isn't a position of strength. Then to accuse anyone else of willful blindness is insult to injury.
But you can't demand that we respect you for your conclusions, until you either can give a good run at explaining what's going on. Repeating the old comments, and insisting that you read his books, and only his books, and ignore his voting record, his "service" record, his comments, his church and pastor of choice (who gave him the title for his book, natch) is nonsensical.
We're not voting for the book to be president.
Well, it's not me that said it. It was Ben Busch, Iraq vet. And don't you think that it might be a good idea to be as intelligent as we can about our enemy?
To repeat the statement without qualifiers is to endorse it. Don't tell me that you would let a student get away with quoting inanities, for example, just because someone else said it first.
And re. being intelligent about our enemy: I have just started reading the new US Army/Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual that Gen. Petraeus oversaw. It was developed in close consultation with human rights workers, anthropologists, journalists, and academics (notably Sarah Sewall, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government), along with a collection of experienced and broadly educated military officers from several nations.
It is a true masterpiece of humane, incisive and well-constructed counterinsurgency doctrine. I believe that it will in time join Clausewitz and Sun Tzu on the bookshelf of military classics.
In short, you're uncritically parroting bunk, again.
Mark and the lapdogs on his blog are pretending to be interested in the accuracy of the comments Obama made(Maybe if those small town folks had a government there to take care of them from womb to tomb they wouldn't need to cling to their guns!!).
Anyone can see that the Obama campaign is in damage control over this and Mark knows it. Will this bring down his campaign? No. The bottom line, to me anyway, is that the people who agree with the accuracy of the statements are already on team Obama. These statements will not bring anyone else who may have been on the fence over to their side and they know it. Is it that hard to admit that your guy made a boo-boo here? (something you accuse others of quite often)
The real kicker is that Mark now says that we don't deserve Obama. On his blog he said that he would hold Obama to a higher standard than GWB (notice there sure seems to be a difference between what people say they will do and what they actually do) yet Mark didn't offer up 1 peep about Jeremiah Wright on his blog and now, with regards to this latest speaking gaffe, Obama is now so extraordinarily brilliant that we uneducated peasants out here don't deserve someone as great as he is.
Obama made a mistake and 95% of America knows it (including those who don't question the accuracy of the statement). Obama should just take responsibility and chalk it up as a lesson learned. Our fast food society will be focused on something else entirely in 2 weeks time.
"How many like Markadelphia are teaching your kids? I find that one HELL of a scary thought."
Will, the rest of us began with that thought many weary months ago.
Obama is very big in Palo Alto among all the smartest people where M-delph could easily find a teaching job and his Union Dues would go directly to the party of his choice. Perfect circle.
"Your insistences on doubling-down on your initial impressions soley on "old evidence" in the face of newer overwhelming evidence to the contrary isn't a position of strength. Then to accuse anyone else of willful blindness is insult to injury.
"But you can't demand that we respect you for your conclusions, until you either can give a good run at explaining what's going on. Repeating the old comments, and insisting that you read his books, and only his books, and ignore his voting record, his "service" record, his comments, his church and pastor of choice (who gave him the title for his book, natch) is nonsensical.
"We're not voting for the book to be president."
The Wall Street Journal has an opinion column by John Fund that addresses this issue directly. The lead-in is a bullseye, too:
"Barack Obama's San Francisco-Democrat comment last week about how alienated working-class voters "cling to guns or religion" is already famous. But the fact that his aides tell reporters he is privately bewildered that anybody took offense is even more remarkable.
"Democrats have been worrying about defending Mr. Obama's highly liberal voting record in a general election. Now they need to fret that he makes too many mistakes, from ignoring the Rev. Wright time bomb until the videotapes blew up in front of him, to his careless condescension towards salt-of-the-earth Democrats. Mr. Obama has a tendency to make such cultural miscues. Speaking to small-town voters in Iowa last year, he asked, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?"
Nah, he's not elitist, is he? As the cliché says, he doesn't live in the same world that I do.
Now, let's forecast a bit, shall we? Suppose he wins the nomination of his party. At present, his opposition is between a rock and hard place, because his opposition is (ahem) primarily within his own party. Imagine when the primaries are over and the campaign goes into its final stage, when his opposition will be the opposing party. What do you suppose we'll learn about him then?
The point is that we learn more and more about Obama every day. Overall, the more I learn about him, the more I want him far, far away from gubmint.
they don't force people, economically, to do their bidding as pretty much every other country, including us, do.
"than the pearls of ignorance"
AKA an opinion and some facts that don't not fit with my belief system
Markadelphia - a mind like a steel trap - welded and rusted shut.
Brilliantly summed, sir.
The only problem that I see with the whole bit is kinda endemic of what you are getting at with the "leave me alone" attitude and it definitely hits on the "perfectibility of man" theme is that the Left-Liberal truly believes that you having that attitude of "leave me alone" is something that they MUST correct.
You and I will never win those types over by appealing to any kind of sense of individuality, as they don't have, nor appreciate that quality. They rule by force of law, and will take what they want.
It's all going to go down badly, it's really just a matter of time.
FYI, there are no Whole Food stores in Iowa.
"FYI, there are no Whole Food stores in Iowa."
Yup, which means Obama didn't know what he didn't know. In touch with the heartland, he is.
Yup, it's politics as usual.
Of course, Obama is trying to project an image of something bigger and better than that, but as the mask slips, the gaffes come out when he talks off the cuff and closer to the heart, he's just another politician, grubbing for votes, pandering to his current audience.
Let me, (hopefully), try to wind this thread up with an observation:
Obama's comments on the weltanschauung of small-town America are about as valid as holding the Beastie Boys body of work as being the authentic "Voice of the Ghetto"...and a LOT less entertaining.
Having had a chance to cool down a bit, it strikes me that the real tragedy here is that Mark's style is so abrasive.
The points he raises could, conceivably, lead to an actual discussion. I think we all agree that the conduct of the war had serious flaws over the past few years, flaws that were foreseeable.
For example, many have decried the lack of participation by the State Department in the first few years. But State simply did not have the institutional capacity for the mission before it, thanks to a toxic mix of failures of imagination both inside State and outside of it, State's antagonism towards the President and his retaliation during budget season, and any number of factors. Bush and his advisors certainly bear a share of responsibility for this and other missteps.
But Mark does not carry on the discussion in those terms. Rather than an dispassionate After-Action Report, he wants to hold an inquisitorial trial, where guilt is assigned and the unrighteous are scourged. (Never mind that the real world is often far too messy for that sort of thing to work.) That, and his flawed premises, end up pissing the rest of us off mightily.
It's too bad.
I'm surprised that no one has picked up on how completely silly Obama's comment is on its face. For anyone who has lived or has relatives in the rust belt, it is a bit of a revelation that they are only now embracing guns and Jesus after the economic downturns of the last two decades. I guess it was all in my imagination that my deeply religious, gun owning and very much of a Democrat grandfather had these beliefs long before the economic problems of the late 70's and early 80's.
"He's not hopeful, he's not a uniter, he's not a transcendent, above-politics statesman."
Well, shucks. I guess he lost your vote...which brings up an interesting point. Were any of you going to vote for him anyway? In other words, how can someone hope to be a uniter when one side fervently does not want to unite?
"then explain and demonstrate how your initial impression wasn't so wrong."
Really? With most of these things, it all comes down to interpretation and opinion.
"In short, you're uncritically parroting bunk, again."
Well, I think what Patraues and co have done is great. Unfortunately, his boss is doing the exact opposite
"Anyone can see that the Obama campaign is in damage control over this and Mark knows it."
Really? Might want to take a look at the latest polls and the buzz going around today. One shows him 20 points down and another shows him closing the gap to 3 points. The polls to really pay attention to will be the ones at the end of this week.
"yet Mark didn't offer up 1 peep about Jeremiah Wright"
Wrong. I let Obama speak for himself by putting his speech on race up, with a short comment underneath. What could I say that would be any better?
"Obama made a mistake and 95% of America knows it"
Again, you really need to start paying attention to the political scene a little more. It's possible that all of this could work to his favor, especially since Hillary is overplaying her hand and McCain is all but ignoring it. The game has changed, last. It isn't 2004 anymore and Barack Obama isn't John Kerry.
This, of course, is what will spell the ultimate demise of conservatism as we currently know it. Even people in your own party, like Newt Gingrich, know that the Atwater/Rove tactics won't work anymore. Some of you are operating in a paradigm that is woefully out of step with what the rest of the country is thinking. The Democrats made the same mistakes in 1988, 2000, and 2004.
But, hey, don't take my word for it...like you would anyway...go out there and start talking to people. Expand your base of experience and see what they have to say. You will be surprised.
"go out there and start talking to people."
So... you'd like us to base our knowledge regarding opinions about Obama's actions based on anecdotal evidence?
Not at all surprising, given most of your arguments fall back to your classic "this is why I think they're doing this, therefore it is the case" style of thinking.
"In other words, how can someone hope to be a uniter when one side fervently does not want to unite?"
Ah, yes. The problem must be us. See, you can't file people under a unanimous heading when we blatantly disagree with his policies. Or, at least, when we disagree with the policies that he's actually spoken about rather than the ones people enigmatically hope he has.
I do not wanted to be united with socialist bullshit. You can't get it through your fucking head that people have different values than you, can you?
In other words, how can someone hope to be a uniter when one side fervently does not want to unite?
So you're apologizing for and retracting all of your attacks on Bush for being "divisive"?
This, of course, is what will spell the ultimate demise of conservatism
Yes, Mark, we've been saying this and you've been arguing that it's not what it means.
It's also Hillary's platform.
"Unite with me, or I'll crush your ignorant heads."
Inspiring. But not very "American". Something else we've been trying, in a vain waste of time (to you) trying to get you to understand. (We can only hope others benefitted, instead.)
You just said it again. Obama can't unite those who disagree with him. (Which means, he's not a uniter.) Further, he will demand and insist on crushing "rebellion" against his "unity". Can't be having those uppity "typical white people" and "bitter clingy gun and bible-thumpers" thinking they know better than the crack team of the Obamas. (not-even-1-term senator from a bought-and-paid-for state, with no opposition (No, Mark, Alan Keyes crazy-and-dumb stunt doesn't count). Who's financial acumen doesn't run to paying off student loans with huge (and sometimes suspicious increases in) salary.)
Gee, isn't that exactly what we said 6 months ago? I know we said it at least 4. 2 for damn sure.
Mark, to paraphrase Chris Rock: "It'll be all right if you just admit you got fooled. It'll be all right! Just admit, you got fooled. You were wrong? It'll be all right."
"So you're apologizing for and retracting all of your attacks on Bush for being "divisive"?"
Give us a little warning, willya? Perhaps I should stop drinking and reading at the same time.
And Thomas Sowell weighs in. He leads off with:
"An e-mail from a reader said that, while Hillary Clinton tells lies, Barack Obama is himself a lie. That is becoming painfully apparent with each new revelation of how drastically his carefully crafted image this election year contrasts with what he has actually been saying and doing for many years."
Haven't I been saying as much for some time now?
He goes on:
"There is, of course, not a speck of evidence that Obama has ever transcended party differences in the United States Senate. Voting records analyzed by the National Journal show him to be the farthest left of anyone in the Senate. Nor has he sponsored any significant bipartisan legislation -- nor any other significant legislation, for that matter.
Senator Obama is all talk -- glib talk, exciting talk, confident talk, but still just talk."
But he should be in charge, right? No, this isn't the Post Office. Voting "present", over and over and over again, is just "talk", and mighty thin talk to boot.
He finishes with:
" It is understandable that young people are so strongly attracted to Obama. Youth is another name for inexperience -- and experience is what is most needed when dealing with skillful and charismatic demagogues.
Those of us old enough to have seen the type again and again over the years can no longer find them exciting. Instead, they are as tedious as they are dangerous."
And we'll hear him for almost seven more months. It's gonna be a long summer.
WARNING: Cover your monitor and get a cheap keyboard when reading comments while drinking.
So if I pay attention to the political scene more will I conclude that John Edwards will win the Iowa caucuses because Iowans are too racist to vote for Obama or will I also be able to predict that Obama will win the New Hampshire primary by a wide margin? On your blog you said both those things would happen. Damn, I guess I’m just not tuned in.
I do talk to people. Just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean it doesn't happen. Click here...
Click on the Acheivements section and scroll down to see my dad and the deer he got last fall. My dad also can’t shoot at certain trap shooting events because he shot 100 for 100 at the Grand National trapshoot in Ohio a few years ago.
I hung out there for 3 hours on Sunday morning with my dad. About 20 or so blue collar union folks, many retired and half of them were veterans, spend time there chatting back and forth...including a fellow named Lee who has lived all over the world and speaks 5 languages...he gave me travel advice for upcoming trips to Europe and South America. They are all paying very close attention to the upcoming Supreme Court case about guns and they also talked about Obamas comments a little. I didn’t really participate though...I listened mostly. To say those comments were looked at as favorable by the people in that room would be wrong...not wrong like saying "Oops, I'm a philosophy major"...I'm talking wrong as in "Hey honey its 1997 and I say we invest our entire retirement portfolio in Enron" wrong. The folks there didn’t care much for Republicans either but they at mimimum respected McCain.
Isn’t this how it is summed up Mark?....We liberals are not the cause of the rancor and lack of civil discourse in politics today. We are absolutely ready and willing to find common ground on the issues facing our country today. We only expect that you ("you" being those who are not part of "we") stop opposing the social liberalism that we all support. We know that your "no middle ground" stance is unfair and intrusive; we know that our "no middle ground" stance is fair, so as long as you are willing to accept that, we're ready to be friends.
"I do not wanted to be united with socialist bullshit."
Well, I guess that proves my point.
"So you're apologizing for and retracting all of your attacks on Bush for being "divisive"?"
Well, Bush said he wanted to be a uniter but the game plan a la Rove was a little bit different, don't you think? He also has made it very plain that once he makes up his mind about something, it isn't going to change so where's the fluidity in that? (See this - Ed.)
"Further, he will demand and insist on crushing "rebellion" against his "unity"."
Now that is hilarious. OK, I have to say that I think your are going to the bad place now. Three slices of fear and paranoia pizza, please!
I think all of you might want to take a little time and get some perspective on what you are saying. It is so far from reality that I, a single man, cannot hope to bring you back. What's even more hilarious is that you adhere to NONE of the rigorous standards you expect of me. Example:
"he will demand and insist"
Seriously, how the fuck do you know what he is going to do?
(Michele Obama: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." We're not supposed to believe her? - Ed.)
And you call me...well, all the things you call me....Edited By Siteowner
"WARNING: Cover your monitor and get a cheap keyboard when reading comments while drinking."
I use a Dell notebook, so I'm kinda stuck. I'll just be more careful. Hot tea and reading shouldn't be separated, ya see.
Well, Bush said he wanted to be a uniter but the game plan a la Rove was a little bit different, don't you think?
Only what he says, Mark.
That's your benchmark for Obama.
See how you're bringing in performance, history and outside context for Bush?
According to you, his books (what he says, when he's got a ghost-writer and time) are what's important. It's unfair to then judge Bush with performance, history, and outside context, since that's what you've been fighting us for - such as his church of choice, his slanderous comments...
Are you ready to apologize for your attacks on Bush?
Because if not, you're just a hypocrite. You're judging Bush in a completely different manner from Obama.
He also has made it very plain that once he makes up his mind about something, it isn't going to change so where's the fluidity in that?
Where's the Fluidity with Obama? Once he makes up his mind, he sticks to it - he just says otherwise in public, no?
Last, by your own admission you don't pay attention to politics and are not as interested in it. So, why is it such a huge problem to admit that I am more informed than you are in regards to politics?
You are more informed and talented than I am on a giant laundry list of things-fishing, hunting, salsa dancing, being fiscally responsible, weight training, volleyball, softball, and making women ejaculate just to name a few...
I was happy to wrong about Iowa and I was a one in a sea of people that were wrong. At the end of the day, though, I think I have been right more often than not when it comes to politics. I think I can safely say that I will always have the courage to put myself out there and make political predictions...although not as out there as Ed Schultz who predicted today that Obama would win Pennsylvania. Wow!
As to the rest of your points, I spent the last few days talking to a wide variety of conservatives and most of them don't give a crap about what Obama said. They are more interested in hearing about where he stands on the issues and why they don't like that.
And while liberals are the cause of several problems in our country, they can at least admit when they are wrong and are quite adept at self actualization. It's actually one of their biggest faults because they get into analysis-paralysis mode and can't seem to make a decision. When they do, some times it is terribly ineffectual. Conservatives, however, generally speaking, have demonstrated to me, through their actions in the last eight years, that they never make mistakes and that they are God's favorites. So why don't I just stop with all my socialist crap and fall in line like a good little soldier?
This current political climate was created by Atwater and Rove and, thankfully, we are just about to leave it.
A big bag for you and a wireless keyboard, and you're ready for my rapier wit, or Marks.. err, well, it's not as nice, but you'd be ready for it!
Unix, that's not my benchmark for Obama. If you want to...although I don't why you would...go back and re-read my comments over the past months about him. I judge him based on his words, his life story, his actions, his vision for his country, and his overall capacity to handle the mountains of shit that are continually thrown at him.
I have always said that I judge Bush on his actions, not his personality, which, quite frankly, I would probably enjoy. He and I share a common love/obsession with baseball. If I could take a memory wipe pill and forget all the horrible things he has done, I would probably think he was a great guy.
"Where's the Fluidity with Obama? "
Dude, if you don't see it...well, there's no way I can show it to you.
and making women ejaculate just to name a few...
Maybe you should put the keyboard down for a while, Mark.
Sounds like you need some, err, digital practice of another sort. Trust me. Put the keyboard down, your wife can thank me later. Actually, just, never mind that, I'll remain unappreciated. :)
Unix, that's not my benchmark for Obama.
Yes, it is. Your answer to any question is "read his books!" "Why haven't you read his books!"
That is the final answer that comes from you on any Obama question before you stop answering totally.
"Read. His. Books."
I judge him based on his words, his life story,
No, you judge him based on what he says his life story was.
No, you judge him based on what he says his actions were
his vision for his country
Here this would require words, granted, but you then discount his words that are extemporaneous, that run totally counter to his "prepared vision statement" - yet are legion. Or, pretty much, you judge him based on what he says his vision is.
and his overall capacity to handle the mountains of shit that are continually thrown at him.
No, not really. You thought his Wright essay was a marvelous apology. It was marvelous, but not an apology. It was more proof that you've read him wrong - and when you were pointed to that, you said we were wrong and.... Everybody all together...
"READ HIS BOOKS".
"Where's the Fluidity with Obama? "
Dude, if you don't see it...well, there's no way I can show it to you.
You could, if you could show me any change in his attitude. Obama's apparently good at listening to other people, that I grant you. But there's very little evidence that he changes his mind afterward.
You told me Obama's not going to try and outlaw guns. You didn't remark on his remarkable flip-flops back and forth depending on audiences, and his history. No, you said I had had been "falsely frightened". But now it comes out - again - that "off camera", he's still got the exact same opinion he had before - you know, the one he publicly claimed to have advanced beyond...
But here we come (again... and again...) to the problem: You can't show me because it's just faith and belief to you. The evidence doesn't exist - you've been using his words as proof.
Now that they're demonstrably devalued, you've got no way to "show me" or anyone else who questions him that we could be wrong.
We've been telling you that your fervor and dedication wasn't supported by his life, his history, his actions and his politics, and you've been sputtering and telling us to read his books.
The reason you're floundering so badly now - is that we were right. You can't even begin to comprehend that your Obamessiah fantasy was just that - your projection of what you "wanted" to see.
I'm telling you, the sooner you admit that you were wrong, and were fooled, the sooner you can then try and figure out why, and why we were right.
It could have been luck. Bigotry. Racism. Sure. Coulda been. Or was it we've gone further down the path of critical thinking? Until you honestly evaluate yourself, you won't know.
(And if you were really a "Critical Thinker", would I have to keep explaining this?)
No, I am interested in politics but I don't talk politics to every single person I encounter. Those just happened to be all democrats I talked to last Sunday. I never said I was more informed than anyone...I was just refuting your claim that I needed to start talking to people. I do talk to people, about a wide variety of subjects because politics is not my religion and Washington DC is not the center of my universe (not to mention I don't view people as members of a group based on their differences...I view people as individuals).
Yes, you do watch/read/study politics more than me. Being educated is not the same as being wise. I've seen enough to know that neither political party gives a crap about people like me. They simply care about power and getting elected.
Being happy to be wrong is still being wrong regardless if it acheives an end you find favorable and you haven't made a prediction since New Hampshire. You accused an entire state (Iowa) of being racist and when proven wrong you just brushed it all off and moved on with no consequences whatsoever.
Guess what - I don't really give a crap about what Obama said either. I simply stated that the people I talked to didn't look upon the comments as favorable and that I don't think that is the way to win over those folks whose votes he will need this fall. Obama got beat by 20 points in some parts of rural Ohio and that was before the Jeremiah Wright and the "bitter" comments came out. Do you honestly think the comments as well as the rantings of J Wright will bring those folks over to his side?
Polls are worthless (to me anyway) until the last couple weeks of October. Election results are what I'll pay attention to and until we have those 1 week from today, then and only then can we determine who was right and who was wrong here.
I would never ask anyone to fall in line like a good little soldier. I would simply advise everyone not to attach yourself (to an unhealthy degree) to something outside yourself that you have little to no control over whether it is a political candidate or a professional sports team, to name a couple of examples.
"You can't even begin to comprehend that your Obamessiah fantasy was just that - your projection of what you "wanted" to see."
And THAT, fellow commenters, is the core of Obama's campaign.
With Slick Willie Clinton, the ability to induce the suspension of disbelief is the core of his whole persona and was the driving force of his campaign and his administration. He was damned good at it, too.
Hillary tries to emulate him, but she can't quite bring it off. A friend put it well: She'd have to pay to get laid, but he gets all he can handle on his smile alone.
With Obama, well, we don't really know what drives his persona, now do we? He hasn't yet been on the public stage very long, and we keep learning more and more about him.
But his campaign is another story. It's been front and center for a long time now. His schtick is induce the projection of the voter's fantasies onto whatever he says.
I have a vision in my head of Marty Feldman leaning out the door of the castle and saying, "Blücher!" Obama stands in front of the microphone and says, "Change!" and people project onto that single word all their hopes and dreams of whatever political fantasy stirs their juices. He says one single word and they hear whatever they want to hear.
What does he really mean when he says it? We don't know. He won't say. As long as it keeps on working, he never will.
Sorry, guys, but I can't help myself. Turnabout's fair play, so, Unix, be warned.
I was raised in cattle country, but I've never heard of a post turtle.
Sorry, but I had run out of my soda, and was meaning to get some, when the post turtle came up.
Damn good description. Good thing, I finally got the damn macbook screen cleaned off...
Obama stands in front of the microphone and says, "Change!" and people project onto that single word all their hopes and dreams of whatever political fantasy stirs their juices. He says one single word and they hear whatever they want to hear.
You're saying he really is (was) a political stem-cell?
The version I heard was "crazier than a mule on a ferris wheel"- the mule has no idea how he got up there, but he's damn sure going to bite the first person to try and get him down.
In other words, how can someone hope to be a uniter when one side fervently does not want to unite?
There are two levels to answer this. First, we are all more united then we tend to think we are. This is not as obvious on the internet as it usually is in person; and even in person can require a fair amount of effort to be reminded of our commonality. As much as most commenters here (myself included) differ with Markadelphia, we do in fact have some core commonality - it just isn't as much fun to play with.
Now, the other level in response is that damn straight I don't want to be "united" - with either the religious right or the loony left. There are scores upon scores of people I choose to not associate with; as is my right. Markadelphia's problem - and he shares it with a great many people of both left and right - is his primitive need for tribal unity. It's like the apostles of diversity - we accept everyone (except for...).
You're saying he really is (was) a political stem-cell?"
Sort of. He is demonstrably nothing but a wind-bag, so far, and he will not necessarily turn out to be what anyone, even those who support him, expects him to be.