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Archive for the ‘Primary’ Category

Obama not only wants to define his message, but he wants to be able to characterize each and every one of his remarks.  Anything else would be a “distraction.”  You know, politicians are honest, and it is a cynical rejection of “hope” and optimism to read between the lines of his candid remarks for their leftist, racist, and anti-American implications. 

The funny thing is that all of the bad news is coming out so late in the game when Hillary has only a miniscule chance to pull off a victory.  It’s a campaign akin to East Prussia ’45 consisting of a certain victor whose callousness is more and more apparent and a nihilistic dead-ender .  (Well, maybe that’s a little strong.)  Anyway, he WSJ had a good take on this today:

Yes We Can” has devolved into “Who the Heck Is This Guy?”   Mr. Obama’s political brilliance to date has been to use his message of hope to deflect questions about himself or his record. He’d actually created the perception that to challenge him was to challenge “hope” itself. Think back to that soaring race speech, which so successfully turned the debate toward America’s shared problem, and away from Mr. Obama’s individual Jeremiah Wright problem. But the San Fran comments proved one scandal too many; man and message have now been delinked.

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You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

This is Obama’s latest gaffe. He accidently told the truth that everyone knows: liberal elites don’t love Americans so much as they feel sorry for them. Flush with confidence after dodging the Rev. Wright bullet, Obama has fallen back on the old liberal standby: poor and middle class whites need to recognize their real interests are economic and similar to those of poor minorities. In other words, what they seem to think is important is in fact an illusion at best, a type of vice at worst.

This was Bill Clinton’s New Democrat formula; he wanted to unite the poor and middle class through broad government entitlements, and the key to this was to put the government in charge of health care. He wanted in effect to bribe the middle class to look the other way on government privileges for minorities, women, gays, and the like by making middle class whites part of the group feeding at the trough. Clinton knew that the old canard of “welfare queens getting rich” carries little weight among recipients of Medicare and Social Security, whose beneficiaries consist mostly of people who have worked hard most of their life. He wanted to promote this thinking among younger working people, as well.

Obama’s whining about the mass hysteria of Pennsylvania’s poor whites is obviously selective and results-oriented. Obama is calculating and contradictory in his rhetoric. Obama cares quite a bit about social issues, in particular those involving race. He knows that man does not live by bread alone. That’s why liberal wedge issues are often symbolic in nature and have little to do with over-turning capitalism. It’s why Obama retreats into vague generalities about “hope.” It’s why rich Hollywood moguls and hundred-millionaires like the Clintons support raising taxes on the “rich.” As liberal globalists, they are scared of the the gun-toting Christian peasantry, care a lot about gay marriage, are wedded to sexual politics and feminism, and are very concerned with showing their moral superiority to poor whites by supporting things like affirmative action.

What Obama’s really saying is that the social issues of his supporters are legitimate, while those of whites are the illegitimate epiphenomena of fear, hatred, and resentment against their declining power as a group. Black rage is good; “angry white men” are bad. He wants poor whites only to consider economics (in Obama’s mind the primary culprit), while he wants poor blacks to consider all of their resentments, as their economic circumstances, racism, and the like are all rooted in the same economic forces in his Marxist reasoning. Rich whites, finally, should only consider the wedge social issues of the Democratic Party. In spite of his reputation for sophistication, his philosophy is typical for a politician: whatever you do, vote for him.

It’s why Obama asks us in his great race speech to forgive the rantings of a Reverend Wright, even as we must recognize the intrinsic evil of his white grandmother’s representative fear of black criminals. As for the elephant in the room–the liberal program’s privileging of minority groups against whites–for Obama it’s just a question of understanding and recognizing your own collective guilt. It’s the right thing; economic interests must take a back seat. (Once again, moral considerations must trump economic ones when the power of minorities is involved.) There is also a hedge; Obama promises a payout from the coffers of even richer whites, so he’s really dodging the issue suggesting it won’t be a big problem. Rich whitey will raise all boats, black and poor white alike.
Remember his speech, “Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many.” It’s apparent from his on-again/off-again concern for social issues that Obama only employs his economic rhetoric selectively. Everyone is well within their rights to vote for him for any reason. The poor are promised a payout. They should think with their wallets. Wealthier whites, however, should embrace “hope” and vote for Obama, even if it will hurt their bottom line.

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Liberalism is a very damaging philosophy. It denies the reality of groups. It requires willful ignorance of reality. It demands equality even where inequality is the natural result of free choice. That said, the old liberalism of FDR and MLK was far less damaging than the radical, anti-American leftism of someone like Noam Chomsky or Jeremiah Wright. The former was often a misguided result of a laudable concern for the poor and the incompetent.

Juan Williams, to his credit, calls out Obama for his bad judgment and bad values in standing by someone like Rev. God Damn America for so long. He notes that Obama has failed an important test of leadership by excusing the counterproductive paranoia of many black Americans. He writes:

Last March in Selma, Ala., Mr. Obama appeared on the verge of breaking away from the merchants of black grievance and victimization. At a commemoration of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights, he spoke in a King-like voice. He focused on traditions of black sacrifice, idealism and the need for taking personal responsibility for building strong black families and communities. He said black people should never “deny that its gotten better,” even as the movement goes on to improve schools and provide good health care for all Americans. He then challenged black America, by saying that “government alone can’t solve all those problems . . . it is not enough just to ask what the government can do for us — it’s important for us to ask what we can do for ourselves.”

Mr. Obama added that better education for black students begins with black parents visiting their children’s teachers, as well as turning off the television so children can focus on homework. He expressed alarm over the lack of appreciation for education in the black community: “I don’t know who taught them that reading and writing and conjugating your verbs were something white. We’ve got to get over that mentality.” King, he added later, believed that black America has to first “transform ourselves in order to transform the world.”

But as his campaign made headway with black voters, Mr. Obama no longer spoke about the responsibility and the power of black America to appeal to the conscience and highest ideals of the nation. He no longer asks black people to let go of the grievance culture to transcend racial arguments and transform the world.

He has stopped all mention of government’s inability to create strong black families, while the black community accepts a 70% out-of-wedlock birth rate. Half of black and Hispanic children drop out of high school, but he no longer touches on the need for parents to convey a love of learning to their children. There is no mention in his speeches of the history of expensive but ineffective government programs that encourage dependency. He fails to point out the failures of too many poverty programs, given the 25% poverty rate in black America.

And he chooses not to confront the poisonous “thug life” culture in rap music that glorifies drug use and crime.

Instead the senator, in a full political pander, is busy excusing Rev. Wright’s racial attacks as the right of the Rev.-Wright generation of black Americans to define the nation’s future by their past. He stretches compassion to the breaking point by equating his white grandmother’s private concerns about black men on the street with Rev. Wright’s public stirring of racial division.

Obama is insecure about his identity. Only someone who is 100% black, has been around black people his whole life, and has personal knowledge of the best of black American life–someone like Williams, Bill Cosby, or MLK–finds it natural to criticize his fellow blacks. Such a man can weather the inevitable charges of “airing dirty laundry” or “selling out.” Obama, by contrast, always feels he might not be black enough. And, for him, the black world is authentic and blameless in a way that the white America of his mom and grandparents is not. It should be obvious why we wouldn’t someone like this, someone undergoing a perpetual and adolescent crisis of identity well into adulthood, in any position of power.

I suggested many moons ago that Americans are not so much prejudiced against blacks as they are prejudiced against the last two generations of black leaders, symbolized by agitators like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and by sure failures of leadership as David Dinkins and Ray Nagin.  Obama’s obeissance to these kind of fools shows that while he may be a “race man,” he is not his own man.

Williams points out that as Barack has gained support among blacks, he has abandoned the rhetoric of unity and moderation that he championed earlier in his run, the kind of talk that appeal to NPR listeners and other latte liberals. It was questionable if such a candidate could ever ultimately appeal to the blue collar whites that are swing voters in a national election. But an overt, if dissembling, black power candidate never had a chance. It will be hard for Obama to put that genie back in the bottle.  (Of course, it is remarkable that the Clinton machine, for all of its vaunted “hard ball” tactics, never sent an operative to buy thse videos or look them up on You Tube and get the word out before it was too late.)

As a consequence of this late disclosure of Obama’s knee deep commitment to black nationalism, an angry bully, who has alienated most of the conservatives in his own base, may be propelled to the Presidency. Mccain will win in spite of his unpopular views on Iraq simply because of the Democratic Party’s continued embrace of unpatriotic, divisive figures beholden to minority interests and anti-Americanism of one kind or another. It’s like a combination of Dukakis (unpatriotic), Jesse Jackson (hateful and racist), and John Kerry (academic and pacifistic) finds itself in Obama, whose only saving grace is his rhetorical prowess. Republicans and 527s won’t pull punches the way Democratic primary candidates have thus far. The Democrats’ selection process seems perennially unable to put forward a winning candidate, even during a time of economic insecurity and an ongoing and unpopular war.  Obama, while apparently a winner, was only held together until now by a thin tissue of media incompetence and mistaken impressions.  While much can happen between now and November, I believe he will lose.

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Steve Sailer’s made this point a few times, but considering Obama’s long record as a liberal of the worst kind, it’s worth re-stating:

First, more than anybody else in recent politics, Obama has internalized the rule in all the self-help books on how to win arguments: Restate your opponent’s argument respectfully to show you understand it. Since most people assume their rival disagrees with them only because he is too stupid to understand their reasons, this instantly disarms much opposition. Indeed, Obama’s intelligence and verbal skills allow him often to summarize his opponents’ ideas better than they could themselves.

What his opponents don’t realize is that, although Obama is more than smart enough to grasp their logic, he just doesn’t care about what they care about.

Obama reminds me of a famous incident in Charles De Gaulle’s career. When in 1958 he journeyed to war-torn French Algeria, where the French Army’s mutiny had propelled him back into power, he stared out for a long moment at a waiting throng of European residents, then pronounced four words: “Je vous ai comprisI have understood you.”

The mob went wild with joy. “De Gaulle understands us! He will make everything right.”

Nonetheless, much to the surprise of the pied noir Europeans who cheered De Gaulle that day, the French president then proceeded to give Algeria to the rebels, dooming Algeria’s one million Europeans to exile for life and their Arab allies to death.

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Well, it’s been a tough week for Obama. While most of the week was spent dodging reasonable criticisms of his association with his anti-white minister of 20 years, I want to note something else that is strange about him and his campaign: its artistic style and cultish feel. In my entire life, I’ve only seen one kind of campaign poster for president: an all-graphic red-white-and-blue portrayal of the candidate’s name.

Obama’s supporters have strangely enough made his image part of the schtick in more ways than one, viz.:

This is actually quite creepy and unusual. Nothing like it has appeared in a major political party before, at least nothing that I can remember having seen. It’s reminiscent of the huge images of The Leader in totalitarian regimes, such as in the North Korea parade below:

For Obama, this phenomenon is representative. Along with Obama’s empty and evasive rhetoric, it is a sign of the banality and superficiality of his campaign, its rootedness in image, advertising, manipulation, extensive promises, and a very thin record. It’s one more rung on America’s descent from republic into unrestrained mobocracy.

Comically (or tragically enough), the lyrics to the song Cult of Personality speak directly to Obama’s bamboozling of Americans about his real agenda–an unreformed leftist agenda, coupled with tinges of black nationalism. The popular 80s song was sung by the exposed ventriloquist act, Milli Vanelli popular crossover rock band, Living Color:

Look into my eyes, what do you see?
Cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I’ve been everything you want to be
I’m the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I’m the cult of personality
Cult of personality
Cult of personality

Neon lights, a Nobel prize
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don’t have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your t.v.
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me

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Prominent libertarian columnist Radley Balko gives Barack Obama’s nutty minister a pass.  Balko says, “I don’t begrudge black folks the occasional indulgence in righteous anger–even obviously crazy, raving righteous anger. Particularly within the sanctuary of a church. The indignation from the right over Rev. Wright is ridiculous, and frankly seems manufactured.”  Actually what’s manufactured and remanufactured ad nauseum is black anger over events in the distant past and imaginary white racism in the present.  I doubt Wright saw much segregation in Chicago.  He was born in 1941.  Restrictive covenants ended in 1948.  No one alive today experienced slavery.  He went to integrated schools, served in an integrated military, and witnessed the passage of the 1965 Civil Rights act as a young man. If whites aren’t always nice to him, maybe it has something to do with his saying things like “God Damn America!” from the pulpit.

I have to agree with Ann Coulter, who speaks plainly to all of those who ask for one-sided “national conversations about race”:

We treat blacks like children, constantly talking about their temper tantrums right in front of them with airy phrases about black anger. I will not pat blacks on the head and say, “Isn’t that cute?” As a post-racial American, I do not believe “the legacy of slavery” gives black people the right to be permanently ill-mannered.

Unlike Coulter, Radley’s problem is that he’s a liberal.  Recall that he excorciated Ron Paul for a newsletter written 15 years ago by someone else.  He was offended by the author’s mocking descriptions of black hoodlums in the LA Riots, but feels nothing when Reverend Wright shows glee at 9/11 or fans the flames of black race hatred by waxing eloquent about evil whites.  The new generation of libertarians, it should now be clear, are basically stingy liberals that share their liberal cousins’ guilty views on race and culture, but don’t feel anything should be done by the government to alleviate the plight of poor people . . . unless they’re drug dealers. 

I realize in thinking about Obama, Wright, Jena Six, and my own unease with so-called “white nationalism,” that my views on racism are as follows: the racism of the past was wrong, extreme, and unjust, but it is basically dead, and white America deserves some credit for killing it. The remaining charges of racism are the product of propagandists and race hustlers, people like Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright.  (more…)

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Obama promises to heal our racial divisions in his latest speech.  But, as evidenced by his long association with Jeremiah Wright, he is willing to tolerate gross expressions of race hatred from black associates.  This strange tolerance for race hatred from blacks suggests that his promise of healing may be a chimera.  But in his own mind, I think he can reconcile these contradictions: Americans must become more like Obama himself.  Obama is mixed race, a mulatto.  His description of the racial issues America faces are prefigured in his own identity and behavior.  In the way of a solution, Obama has thoroughly subordinated his white identity in favor of the black.   (more…)

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