Free Markets, Free People
Ok, just being flip, but I’ve never really thought that much of the caucus process and still don’t. All this excitement, work and rhetoric over approximately 225,000 votes. Yes I understand the possibility of winnowing the field (think Newt will finally take the hint?).
So Romney won – by 8 votes out of about 225,000 total. That’s not as surprising to me, frankly, than who came in second. Very disappointing to the Paulbots, I’m sure. But Rick Santorum? Seriously?
And will Huntsman, Bachman, and Perry drop out or hang on through New Hampshire? After all it’s not that long till NH and again, Iowa is a caucus state. I don’t see any of the three doing significantly better there than Iowa, but still they may give it a shot.
Cain was beaten by “no preference”. The only “candidate” missing, as far as I’m concerned, was “none of the above”. My guess is NOTA had a shot at at least 2nd or 3rd, and who knows, with that field, might of pulled out a win.
The first thing I have to wonder is where Obama was during the George W. Bush era if he thinks the criticism he’s getting now is bad. In Iowa yesterday, Obama complained that he took more criticism than Abe Lincoln. A presidential scholar says that is laughingly absurd. Actually Alvin Felzenberg said it “is hysterical … that is really laughable in many respects.”
Why? Because what was said about Lincoln by the opposition is still unprintable today.
But as mentioned, the tone and rhetoric deployed against Obama doesn’t begin to reach the vitriolic level that was leveled at Bush 43. And certainly not Lincoln.
The exchange in which the comment came out was during a little town hall pity party:
“The Congress doesn’t seem to be a good partner. You said so yourself, they’re more interested in seeing you lose than [seeing] the country win,” the questioner lamented.
“Democracy is always a messy business in a big country like this,” Obama responded. “When you listen to what the federalists said about the anti-federalists … those guys were tough. Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”
Obama’s always been sensitive to criticism. To the point of assuming the Presidency, he’d heard little of it, having essentially spent his life teaching, doing community organization and running for office. Suddenly, he’s in charge and under fire. And, given his record – something until this point he’s never had – the criticism is both warranted and mostly on-target.
Obama’s sensitivity to criticism is bound up with his progressive ideology, which sees political disputes as best resolved by experts, said Michael Franc, vice president for government studies at the Heritage Foundation. Obama believes “he has discovered the truth and if you disagree with him, it’s not only against the country, its unpatriotic and anti-Obama,” Franc suggested.
Eric Dezenhall, a former communications aide to President Ronald Reagan, went ever further in an interview with The Daily Caller: Obama’s complaint, he said, “is more grandiose than narcissistic … It’s equating any form of push-back with some sort of giant historical crime.”
Thus the comparison with Lincoln who was president during an incredibly tough era, even compared to this one. And while he won’t say it, it seems clear that Obama and his supporters do indeed think that criticizing him is “against the country…unpatriotic and anti-Obama. This is a guy who walked into office having done nothing and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As was clear, he felt it was his due. Now after almost 3 years and an obviously failing presidency, he’s beginning to whine about criticism and acting as if it is unwarranted.
One thing is for sure, given the economic, fiscal and unemployment situation in this country, the criticism isn’t going to lessen. He signed up for the big-boy job and now he has it. Let’s see if he can actually manage to act like a big-boy and quit whining about criticism.
In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss The Ames Straw Poll and the 2012 election.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Jacob Sullum at Reason brings us the following. It just never ceases to amaze me (although given the proliferation of such legislation I suppose it should) what some people think the purpose of a legislature is:
The Food and Drug Administration can ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages such as Four Loko, but it cannot stop bartenders from mixing Red Bull with vodka, coffee with Irish whiskey, or cola with rum. Fortunately, Iowa state Sen. Brian Schoenjahn (D-Arlington) has proposed a bill that would close this dangerous gap by making it a misdemeanor for any business with a liquor license to "manufacture for sale, sell, offer or keep for sale, import, distribute, transport, or possess any caffeinated alcoholic beverage." The bill defines "caffeinated alcoholic beverage" as "any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, including alcoholic liquor, wine, and beer, to which caffeine is added." Hence it apparently applies not only to drinks with a noticeable caffeine kick but also to coffee-flavored liqueurs with detectable amounts of the stimulant, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria, and any cocktails made with them, such as a Black Russian or a Mudslide. In addition to jail time and fines, violators would face revocation (not just suspension) of their liquor licenses, and therefore loss of their livelihoods—a pretty harsh penalty for following the instructions in a Mr. Boston book.
Another in a long line of those who would tell you what to eat, who you can love, what is “best” for you and remove all choices they find incompatible with their vision of how your life should be lived. And they’re willing to put you in jail if you don’t agree.
Remember, freedom equals choice.
This is the day, one year ago today, that the world was supposed to change with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. Yet, as the New York Times tells us, in Iowa – a heartland state that went for Obama – the reviews of his presidency to this point get decidely mixed reviews.
Take the time to read the article, but what stood out for me were the following:
1. The “blame Bush” response to the problems he’s facing is wearing very thin. If you were wondering what it’s shelf life was, I’d safely guess it expired a couple of months ago.
2. Democrats there are still trying to keep the faith. But it is difficult even though they still think he’s doing a good job. Unfortunately the NYT didn’t bother to ask “with what”. Some do seem to believe he’s changed our image in the world for the better. I’m not sure that’s actually true given some of the situations developing (see Clinton’s latest fiasco in the Middle East, Russia nuking Poland in a simulation after our withdrawal of a defensive missile shield and Iran continuing to manipulate the process while NoKo announces “we have more nukes” – we may be “better liked”, but there isn’t much respect being shown).
3. Those independents and moderate Republicans that supported him seem to have jumped ship. His approval rating in Iowa has dropped from 63% to 54%. And there’s no telling how soft that number is. There’s also a very big question of whether or not they can be wooed back.
4. Obama is suffering from the economic woes as would any president. However, there’s a nagging feeling developing among a number of supporters that he may not be up to the job. The NYT noted that in several interviews he was described as being “cautious, tentative and prone to blame his troubles on others.” Or as one interviewee noted, he seemed more presidential when he was running than he does now.
I think Iowa reflects what many of his supporters feel – at least those who went “all in” on the “transitional political figure” myth. Instead they’re seeing a product of Chicago politics and a continuation of “politics as usual”. As mentioned there’s an underlying current of deep disappointment, manifested in the remarks about the depth of government’s intrusion, his seeming timidity and his penchant to blame others. And the unsaid criticism that is lurking behind every remark is he doesn’t seem to know how to lead and he may be in over his head.
Ironically, Afghanistan may end up being the make or break moment for his political future. Many Democrats said, in the article, that they don’t want to see an escalation in the war there. With moderate Republicans and independents walking away from him now, he might lose further support – this time among Democrats – with a decision that boosts the number of troops committed there.
It is kind of interesting to those who saw through this fellow and had the temerity to point out that his resume was paper thin and his leadership resume was non-existent that those who willingly blinded themselves to that are ruefully discovering that reality has consequences. You can ignore it, but it won’t change it. Unfortunately there’s another reality that isn’t going to change – we’re going to have to live with the consequences of buying into a myth for at least another 3 years.