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Obama’s "Nixon to China" Approach To Governance
Posted by: MichaelW on Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Over at Obsidian Wings, publius theorizes that Obama's cabinet picks are designed less as a means of governing like a centrist than as a means to move the country left:
But a second, more optimistic, interpretation is that Obama is planning big change, and has decided these individuals will be the most politically effective advocates of reform. Let’s call this the “Nixon to China” interpretation.

Let’s assume, for instance, that Obama is in fact “throwing long.” That is, he wants big change – e.g., new multilateral diplomacy; negotiations with Syria and Iran; and even cuts to the grotesquely-large and corrupting military budget. If these are truly his goals, then voices like Clinton and Gates and Jones will be powerful advocates indeed. It’s not merely that they’ll provide political cover across the national political spectrum. They’ll also provide political cover to nervous Democrats who remain afraid of their own shadow on these issues. Winning over the latter is a precondition of winning over the former. (For instance, you can’t have talks with Iran if half the Senate Dems are on TV saying it’s a bad idea).

Same deal with the economic team. Who better to provide political cover (both nationally and within the party) for a massive public works program than a bunch of old Rubinites?

It's an interesting theory. At it's core, publius' idea is that Obama is merely co-opting centrist (and center-right) leaders in order to use their influence to buy the American public into his broad plans for creating a more progressive government. Ironically enough, this is what many on the right feared in the first place (and why a solidly Democratic government was always less tolerable than just Obama taking the White House) — i.e. that Obama would play to the center, but actually govern from the left. Publius may have gleened how the President-Elect intends to accomplish that goal.

However, when you bring potentially rogue players onto your team, you may not be able to execute the game plan you originally intended:
Of course, there is a risk to the Nixon to China strategy – namely, you might get a Nixon without a China. There’s a very real possibility that these individuals (given their prior history and ideological leanings) will thwart this type of reform – or at least hesitate to really push for it. But if – just if – Obama can keep them on board, then these selections will prove to be an enormously savvy and effective strategy.
Regarding that last point, on a recent QandO podcast, Dale, McQ and I pondered why the hyper-partisan, legislation-driving, Rahm Emanuel was made Chief of Staff, which position did not seem particularly suited to his talents. I suggested that as co-ordinator of and liason to the cabinet and agency heads, Emanuel's talents are intended to be employed in corralling support for Obama's policy positions, and minimizing any dissent amongst the ranks. Publius theory would seem to support that idea.

Whatever it is that Obama truly intends to accomplish over the next eight to ten years, can there be any doubt that the direction will be decidedly and sharply left? And when both progressive and conservative bloggers infer the same endgame from Obama's moves, why should we doubt it?

The "Nixon to China" analogy is actually quite apt here, and equally foreboding. Recall that after the Sino-Soviet split, Nixon correctly saw improving relations with the Chinese as a way to gain a distinct advantage in the Cold War. The Soviets realized this too and eventually backed down somewhat (ushering a period of détente), while the new American-Chinese relations fostered an economic partnership that has become quite symbiotic. Similarly, recent GOP infighting has laid bare the thin gruel holding the different factions together, thus creating an opportunity for some of them to be peeled off and bought into Obama's vision. The social conservatives may anticipate that such coalitions will cast them out into the wilderness for a generation or more, but I doubt they will moderate their positions at all. If Obama can effectively trade some support regarding national security positions for the domestic/social engineering policies he wants to enact, there may be little to any formidable resistance to things like universal health care, a new Works Progress Administration, or drastic wealth transfers for quite some time to come.

There's little question at this time that the political pendulum has peaked and begun moving left. Frankly, I would argue than other than parts of Reagan's time in office, the pendulum base was tilted so as to ensure that it never passed much farther than barely center-right before swinging back to the hard left. Either way, there's nothing wrong with this sort of shifting political momentum, and indeed it's probably much more healthy than having to endure sudden and violent lurches to one side or the other. However, I seriously wonder if the electorate knows what's in store over the next several years if Obama gets his (apparent) wish? This swing to left will be quite hard, and accomplished at perhaps a greater velocity than we're used to. Can we withstand the ramped up g-force (as in "government")? I suppose only time will tell.
 
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I’ve no doubt the Obama will move to the left, but how sharply is another question.

Lately when I read the Obama tea leaves, I get the impression, that Obama believes in Obama and that by his presence in the presidency, the country will be transformed to some better place where it will be as it once was (not sure when) or what it might become in the future in accord with its promise in the past, whatever that might be.

More seriously, I think the Obama presidency will be like Clinton’s — he will try to throw long to the left a few times, with mixed results, but will find himself bogged down just trying to run the country, getting the economy off life-support, and dealing with some inevitable explosions in foreign policy.

The real move to the left will result from his appointments and the direction he gives bureacracies.

It’s pathetic that we still have so little idea what he will do.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Oh, I think we know what he’s gonna do.
Nobody so enamoured with FDR wold do anything but mimic him.
And we know where that’s headed.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I had mentioned the "Only Nixon could go to China" theory regarding Obama and Social Security. A Republican will never be allowed to "FIX" Social Security, primarily because proponents of Social Security (also called people who get checks every month, or will in the near future), either don’t trust Republicans to fix it, or can be easily convinced that Republicans really just want to kill it. If Obama tried to fix social security, he would be trusted by Republicans if it was a rational plan, and he would be trusted by Social Security proponents because he’s a liberal.

Unfortunately, solving long term problems is not going to be on the agenda for a while. But, if the idea of a payroll tax moratorium were approved, it might get on the agenda as the taxes were reinstated and people started to realize what this intergenerational ponzi scheme really costs.

By the way, I want SS fixed, and I would like to see private accounts, but I didn’t trust Bush to do it. He seemed to be so easily swayed into supporting theoretically liberal ideas with cash giveaways to his base. Think of the Medicare part D debacle, lots of money going straight into the pharm industry, and Republicans fought any move to allow Medicare to negotiate for better pricing. If I use that kind of logic on Social Security, I’d imagine private accounts with an 8% load for Wall Street. Whether that would be the case or not, Democrats could argue it would be the case, and they would and did, easily convince enough people that a Bush fix was a sham.
It’s pathetic that we still have so little idea what he will do.


We never know what someone will do as President.

We might know their ideologically tendencies, but unless they behave as an ideologue, their policies will either be driven by special interests, advisors, or optimistically, with the use of information and debate, making the best decision possible for the benefit of the nation, regardless of what ideology a solution might be culled from.


 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
CS — We never know exactly what someone will do as President, but usually we have a far better idea than we have with Obama.
I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.
—Barack Obama
That’s a great way to get elected, but a lousy way to govern, and doesn’t give much of a clue as to what Obama will do.

No other candidate has run on such a vague platform. "Hope and change" really sums up Obama’s program.

Obama could head sharply left, go to the center-right, or just wobble about between the two, and no one would be all that surprised.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
CS — Also, presidents usually have track records of what they did or tried to do. Obama has almost no accomplishments other than running for the next office.

Unless Obama is just going to write books, or teach con law part-time, or give inspirational speeches, or vote "Present" or run for President of the World, we don’t know what he is going to do.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.
Every politician attempts to create an image that appeals to everyone, Obama was merely commenting on his success at it.

GWB was the same thing, people heard what they wanted to hear, and if they liked him, they projected how he would support what they wanted supported. Compassionate Conservativism? Come on. He may as well have said he is a liberal conservative, that’s how wide he was trying to cast the net.

Obama will be to the left of Republicans, in general. In some areas he’ll be right of center, some left of center, some perhaps farther to the left. It’s not nothing new, you just made the mistake of accepting opposition talking points for meaningful insight. Saying a politican tries to be all things to all people is like calling water wet, file it under "Duh".
Obama could head sharply left, go to the center-right, or just wobble about between the two, and no one would be all that surprised.


Any new President could do that.
No other candidate has run on such a vague platform. "Hope and change" really sums up Obama’s program.
Lincoln was pretty specific, but I don’t think people got what they thought - Lincoln Campaign Slogan - Vote Yourself a Farm

Grover Cleveland’s was even better, it had nothing to do with him at all, jsut why you shouldn’t vote for his opponent - Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine

Benjamin Harrison had a precursor to compassionate conservatism - Rejuvenated Republicanism

You gotta love Warren "Teapot Dome" Harding, the vacuous - Return to normalcy

Don’t forget - Kinder, Gentler Nation and Reformer with results

You have an idea what Obama is going to do, he is going to try to get left of center policies approved by right of center pols. You know what left of center policies are, and you know who the right of center pols are.

Just sit back and watch.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
If Obama tried to fix social security,
Uh, it isn’t likely that Obama will want to fix SS. His ideology is pretty much commie; positive rights advocate that he is.

He’s much more likely to rape the country with a socialist takeover of the health care industry. I actually hope he overreaches with full blown socialist healthcare, rather than cooking us slowely with a small step approach.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You have an idea what Obama is going to do, he is going to try to get left of center policies approved by right of center pols. You know what left of center policies are, and you know who the right of center pols are.

Just sit back and watch.
If by right of center you mean Hillary, you might be right.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Unfortunately, solving long term problems is not going to be on the agenda for a while. But, if the idea of a payroll tax moratorium were approved, it might get on the agenda as the taxes were reinstated and people started to realize what this intergenerational ponzi scheme really costs.
This was my fist thought as well. It is why they have withholding tax to begin with. It all falls apart when people actually realize how much is being TAKEN from them. Most people only know ’my take home pay’ and the wonderful ’I didn’t pay taxes, I got some back!’

If your average Joe is used to ’taking home’ $750 a week, takes home $1,000 a week for 2 months, and then drops back to $750, he’s going to FREAK.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
If your average Joe is used to ’taking home’ $750 a week, takes home $1,000 a week for 2 months, and then drops back to $750, he’s going to FREAK.
Yep, unfortunately, we’re probably not the only two people in the world that recognize this, and it’s likely the reason why it won’t happen.

Too bad though.

Income taxes are workable, regardless of marginal rates, I rarely pay more than 10% after having my accountant work it over. But I look forward to the part of the year where I hit the SS tax cap and get an nice little raise for a few months.

It’s kind of funny, since I make a bit over the cap, I am more aware of how much the SS hit really is, even though I pay a lower effective tax rate than people who pay it on 100% of their income.

$1300 a month (employee and employer contribution) is not a tiny amount, it’s a flippin’ mint condition pre-owned Viper in my garage, and four car garage to wrap around it. Just the employee contribution is a Viper.

That’s stimulating, economically and otherwise.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
$1300 a month (employee and employer contribution) is not a tiny amount, it’s a flippin’ mint condition pre-owned Viper in my garage, and four car garage to wrap around it. Just the employee contribution is a Viper.
A viper in every pot !
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Fascinating observations.I do think it’s a legitimate move to theorize that he’ll get more leftist agenda accomplished surrounded by "moderates" - but he’s not a short-term thinker. This is chess, not fifty-two card pick-up.

I think conservatives will have to settle down for a long duration of liberal illuminati attempting to foist legislation on the public that will have consequences for years to come. I feel sorry for whoever runs in 2012: it would take a tsunami of momentum to win over a 2012 Obama, barring some extremely unlikely, unforeseen circumstances.
 
Written By: Palinpal
URL: http://
I feel sorry for whoever runs in 2012: it would take a tsunami of momentum to win over a 2012 Obama, barring some extremely unlikely, unforeseen circumstances.
I think it is a wait and see kinda thing. If he really pushes a hard left agenda, he may hand 2012 to the Republicans.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I think it is a wait and see kinda thing. If he really pushes a hard left agenda, he may hand 2012 to the Republicans.
I agree that it is wait and see, but I don’t think the agenda will make the difference. Obama could be a flat out socialist (he’s not) and be loved by Americans if things are looking are good in early 2012.

On the other hand, he could do everything right and still get clobbered in 2012 if people are not happy with the way things are.

The American people, in general, do not vote for policies, they vote their contemporaneous glass volume status. If they are in a half full mode, Obama get’s re-elected, if they are in half empty mode, he doesn’t.
A viper in every pot !
I’ll settle for a Vette.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Obama is setting up a steamroller of power. He can afford to look "centrist" right now because Democrats control both houses of Congress. When the presidential steroids kick in he’ll have all the power and he and the Congress will take turns rolling over for one another. He’ll want it all and they’ll want even more than that, and together they can do enough in their bloody "first 100 days" to turn this place into a collectivist wet dream.

Four years from now you will not recognize this as the United States of America.

Socialized medicine, sovereignty gutted by transnational treaty arrangements, speech codes and thought crimes, liberal activist courts out of control, gun control up the wazoo, environmental police everywhere, and taxes, taxes, taxes, federal taxes, state taxes for federal mandates, local taxes mandated by states to cover federal mandates, teachers unions enforcing political correctness in public schools.

God help us if Obama succeeds in turning this recession into a depression. Then the giant lactating breasts of government will be a mandatory suckle into the next world.

It will be a wonderful free-lunch-from-heaven place if you have just shipped over on a cargo boat from some third-world hellhole. Why, they’ll treat your syphillis at no charge!

Soon enough everyone from America will forget what America was. Americans forget almost everything in the past now. But what they will remember is how wonderful Barack is because they are going to be told half-hourly how wonderful he is. How he really is bringing Change! you can believe in by recreating the worst catastrophes of the 20th Century.

The difference, this time, will be that there will be no United States to come to the rescue of the United States.

But perhaps I paint too rosy a picture.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Martin — I’m not keen on Obama, but I doubt that it will be nearly so grim.

I don’t think Obama stands for much of anything aside from taking paths of least resistance and making himself look good. As such, I don’t think he has the belly for attempting anything as monumental as you describe. Oh, he’ll try a few things, but back off quickly when he encounters resistance.

Of course, I could be wrong because I still don’t have him calibrated.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
There’s nothing that I described in that agenda that isn’t at full implementation in Europe.

What I think you’re missing here, huxley, is that the 60s generation, in the media and a panoply of other institutions, have had their dreams for exactly this agenda put on hold by the 25-year Reagan era. This isn’t just a matter of Obama, but of the Left’s hunger.

Has anyone forgotten the cover that Obama just got in the mainstream media? Pravda and Izvestia were never so efficient.

And look at the people in the bloody Congress. Do I have to even say their names?

With the Republicans as hapless as they have ever been, and plenty of them ready to pitch in and lend a hand in any case, we’re going to get every bit of Change! we can believe in, good and hard.

And I didn’t give you the grim picture; I gave you the happy watercolor.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
And remember that these same people threw themselves in with Obama because he supported their desperate dream to lose in Iraq. They wanted to see the U.S. humiliated and the Middle East thrown into turmoil because they had whipped themselves into a mimetic contagion of hatred for George Bush. They complained about "innocent Iraqis" being killed while had their purpose been fulfilled a quarter of the Iraqi population might have died in factional and terrorist violence before all was said and done.

Do you actually think that their "positive" vision for this country domestically is any less destructive?

Do you recall, for instance, how crime got out of control in the United States starting in the 60’s? It happened precisely the same way that terrorism would get out of control if the Left’s vision is implemented for dealing with terrorism. In fact, it was while a pretty good facsimile of that vision was in control in the 90’s that terrorism started to get out of control.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
It’s awesome how Mac can take any thread into looney-tunes land just by posting!
 
Written By: TomD
URL: http://
It’s awesome how Mac can take any thread into looney-tunes land just by posting!
Well, I’ll return the compliment by saying how awesome it is the way you make yourself the turd in your own punchbowl, TD.

Of course that’s not an unusual strategy for someone like yourself who can’t actually follow any of these discussions and wouldn’t have a clue as to what they are about.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
TomD — Unless you want to ante up some brain power and substance, you are just a tool and snarkmeister here.

 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Here’s the good news, McPhillips’ prognostications have been so amazingly wrong that I would be much more concerned if he were optimistic.
ante up some brain power and substance
\

I can’t say there’s brainpower in evidence here, but lots of substance...


Here’s some of the predictions that the guy painting this rosy picture has made in the past...
Obama, if he is the nominee, will lose the popular vote by ten points. He’ll finish between Dukakis and McGovern. He will not only lose battleground states; he’ll lose states that would be noncompetitive if Hillary was the candidate.
If Obama is the candidate he will definitely have problems in New York and New Jersey, meaning that they will come into play.
Obama is inherently unelectable as long as Americans believe in America. No matter what they think about "Bush," right now, Americans will not elect someone as President of the United States who is a 20 year and counting member of a racist, black supremacist church. It is not going to happen.
I’m willing to make what only appears to be the increasingly bold prediction that Obama will not get the nomination.
You don’t honestly think that the Clintons and their outfit will be unable to handle Obama, do you?
I continue to believe that Obama will not be the nominee. But more about that in a moment.

If he is the nominee the general election fight will break the hold on his image as it is currently being maintained in the mainstream media. His "very unfavorables" will hit 40%, his overall unfavorables will go over 50%. He will lose to McCain by ten points.
By then the classic American response to Obama should have settled into "f**k that guy," and he’ll be dispatched to Dukakisville, which is right down the road from Palookaville.
Of course even a broken clock is right twice a day, wouldn’t it suck if he got this one.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Martin — I’m winging it, but I’ve come to think of Obama as a narcissist with reasonably decent instincts.

IMO, after all the horrific briefings Obama has endured, Obama knows that he is in over his head and if he screws up, millions and maybe billions of people suffer.

Even if Obama was in this for stupid vain reasons—and frankly I think he was—he now knows that it is his reputation, his legacy that will suffer, as well as huge numbers of people, if he screws up.

I believe Obama has been deeply chastened, and he is desperately trying to find some wiser, middle ground. Of course, he is stuck with having to rely upon Clinton people, having no one around him suitable.

We’ll see. The United States is a resiient nation and even a strange breed of cat like Obama can play his part
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
ante up some brain power and substance
CS — Unlike TomD, at least you go through the motions.

I don’t know what my computer will do the next time I boot up! The hard drive may be dead, the motherboard may be fried, the monitor’s pixels may be done, the OS may be afflicted with malware. My computer is just like Obama and all other presidents — anything may happen!

Not.

A classic fallacy I see to my left is the notion that if one can establish two points of correspondence, everything else is equal, i.e. "We never know what someone will do as President."
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
A classic fallacy
There are of course givens, which I showed, but beyond the givens, it’s always new territory for a person, whatever their background, once they get to the big chair.

Obama will be more to the left than Bush.

Beyond that, "we never know what someone will do as President" applies.

Sorry, it’s just the way it is.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
"Soon enough everyone from America will forget what America was."
Half of them right now have no earthly idea, Martin.

There are a lot of them right here.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Here’s some of the predictions that the guy painting this rosy picture has made in the past...
My electoral predictions are always based on something concrete, as opposed to something as dynamically nonexistent as hopeychangitude.

My predictions about Obama being shoved off the national stage were always predicated first on the fact that he did not just have a crazy uncle for a preacher, but that the church he belonged to had a racist and black supremacist philosophy underpinning it. I know that because I took Jeremiah Wright’s recommendations and read the works of his mentor, "theologian" James Cone.

No white candidate would have survived for five minutes with that sort of background. "Black theology," which is what Obama supped on at Trinity United — it being the essential part of the Trinity creed — is roughly equivalent to the teachings of the Aryan Nation, if you need something to compare it to. (I take that as an example because I happened to catch part of a documentary on it yesterday. Very little difference in the racialist basis between it and Obama’s church.)

Now, since my predictions based on that seem to be a continuing theme among the trolls here, Obama’s background in his racist church will continue to be the theme of my responses. Let’s see which garner the greater interest: the wrong electoral predictions of a commentor at this blog, or the black racist background of the next president.

I’ll be heading up to the library to retrieve again some of those "black theology" texts recommended by Jeremiah Wright. I think it’s going to be important for me to show both what I based those predictions on as well as the negligence of the media in reporting on what Obama was required to study as a member of that church.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
All of huxley’s comment, but this in particular:
I believe Obama has been deeply chastened, and he is desperately trying to find some wiser, middle ground. Of course, he is stuck with having to rely upon Clinton people, having no one around him suitable.
Chastened on the issue of terrorist threats? Perhaps a bit. Though senators get to see a great deal and are certainly not virgins on the issue to the extent that a state legislator might be.

What you are essentially saying is "give Obama a break."

No. I say that Obama must be broken, and with the prevailing wind in Washington right now, that will be very difficult.

I even hesitate to say that "Of course Obama will want to protect the U.S.," because I don’t think that he necessarily thinks of the U.S. as a thing that should be protected. I see him as a "where’s my advantage in a terrorist attack" kind of man. That’s how a narcissist thinks: "well, what’s in it for me." He would read grim intelligence both ways, not just "gosh, how can I stop this."

That is indeed my cynical view. I have no hopeychangitude view.

But national security is actually secondary to my point. Great societies are not destroyed from without. They commit suicide. Look at the self-evisceration of the U.K., for instance.

Mark Steyn applies what I’ll call "Steyn’s rule" to the question of when a country surrenders its élan. He marks it as the point where they accept universal health care. He believes it is the point of no return.

It’s going to be sold to Americans as a "savings." "We’ll spend less, get more, everyone covered." You can hear the yapping Pomeranian Paul Begala saying that on Larry King, right?

These people, first of all, believe that Europe is the most wonderful, advanced, civilized place on the planet. America is a backwater, with backwater ways and backwater people. The Obama elite want nothing less than Europe, and probably quite a bit more.

One of the things that I learned about Europe in the aftermath of 9/11 is that it is accelerating in its decline: it is losing its identity faster than it is losing its population. But somehow Europeans believe that if only they can drag the U.S. down into death with them the world will be right.

Well, Obama is their man. Destruction from within.

A friend of mine visiting this summer was very excited about the promise of Obama’s universal health care system. I told her that socialism doesn’t work. Her response: "hasn’t worked yet." All her hopes pinned on her "feelings."

Does anyone here really think that Hillary Clinton will be anything but a catastrophe as Secretary of State? She’s a transnational collectivist, for God’s sake. She posed as a centrist to make herself acceptable to the American electorate and didn’t give herself enough cover with the nutjob base of her own party.

As I wrote here before, the evolutionary divergence between Hillary Clinton and Bernardine Dohrn is vastly overrated.

Karl Rove echoed my sentiments about Hillary precisely: at least she’s a better choice than Richard Holbrooke.

How about a corrupt fixer at DOJ? Eric Holder is a hack who was played by the Clintons on the Marc Rich pardon. You don’t select a hack who can be played unless you want a hack who can be played.

Those who are cheered by the retention of Gates at DOD and by the selection of Jones for National Security Adviser are being thankful for small favors.

But the biggest game in town will be the relentless proclamations from the media about what a genius Obama is. Not just like Lincoln, but bigger than Lincoln. He’ll be FDR, JFK, Lincoln, MLK combined. Why, the Clintons will kneel just to be able to smell his AM BM.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
I’ll be heading up to the library to retrieve again some of those "black theology" texts recommended by Jeremiah Wright. I think it’s going to be important for me to show both what I based those predictions on as well as the negligence of the media in reporting on what Obama was required to study as a member of that church.
Take your time in the library. About four years would be good. On second thought, better make it 8.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
"Soon enough everyone from America will forget what America was."

Half of them right now have no earthly idea, Martin.
The latest civic literacy tests pretty much show that the Long March Through the Institutions has certainly done its best work in the public schools and then up through the universities.

Americans largely do not know anything about America, and it’s getting close to three generations deep now.

I’ve mentioned here before how the stated goal of my local school district is to prepare students to live in a "social democracy."


 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Take your time in the library. About four years would be good. On second thought, better make it 8.
Yes, I know, you people just hate the fact that your vaunted candidate of Change! spent his adult life worshipping in the black equivalent of a white racist Christian Identity church.

But I’m the wrong person to try to wisecrack your way around. I take being an American seriously, and part of that has always been to not cringe in fear on the subject of race. I’ve always wanted everyone to do well in this country, and I take no more kindly to a theology that calls white people "devils" than I do to one that calls blacks "mud people."

And I don’t think that anyone who has stayed a member of a church that does either has any business even running for President of the United States. But our vaunted free press and media ran in fear from the story, and here we are.

But the facts of Obama’s adult life membership in a racist church cannot be altered.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Now, since my predictions based on that seem to be a continuing theme among the trolls here, Obama’s background in his racist church will continue to be the theme of my responses.


Oh God no, the nuclear option, whatever shall I do?

The ghastly pain of Jeremiah Wright will be visited on any who dare to note how wrong you were about how this election would unfold.

I’ll never make mention of your total lack of insight into the American electorate again, the repercussions are too painful.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Did I mention how completely and consistently wrong McPhillips has been for the last 18 months or so?

Oops
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
When McPhillips says something, the opposite is almost sure to happen (he once said Tony Blair would emerge from the Iraq war as the most powerful and important leader in Europe). His fetish with Rev. Wright is silly to the point of amusement.

But seriously, the post does have a point. There is a real threat that whether from the left or right, the current crisis is going to enter us into a very different political era — I called this in a recent post "Fascism, American style."
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://scotterb.wordpress.com
Oh God no, the nuclear option, whatever shall I do?
You’ll sit back and take Obama’s racist background up your rear for the duration. Because that is what you bought into.

His election does nothing to stop it from being an issue going forward. In fact, the vast majority of Americans don’t even grasp that it wasn’t just crazy uncle Jerry Wright spouting off, and that the racist "black theology" of Obama’s church was the real issue.

I’m sure that once the glistening dew has evaporated from his public image that Americans who finally get the full story on him will find it an important element that explains their growing irritation with him.

And its expiration date is so very much more current than the George Bush went AWOL story, and has the added advantage of being completely true.
Did I mention how completely and consistently wrong McPhillips has been for the last 18 months or so?
I’m not afraid of being wrong about electoral predictions. I’m afraid of not having a good basis on which to make them.

But I’ve been right about a lot of other matters, including the efficacy of the Surge in Iraq and related issues.

Your "all the depth of a Roosevelt dime" comments at this blog long ago led me to the conclusion that your problem is that you can’t even get as far as being wrong.

But what would anyone expect from someone calling himself "Captain Sarcastic" who can’t even spell that correctly.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Erb:
When McPhillips says something, the opposite is almost sure to happen (he once said Tony Blair would emerge from the Iraq war as the most powerful and important leader in Europe). His fetish with Rev. Wright is silly to the point of amusement.

But seriously, the post does have a point. There is a real threat that whether from the left or right, the current crisis is going to enter us into a very different political era — I called this in a recent post "Fascism, American style."
So, for starters, Scott, I see that you are done pretending that you never read my posts. Your several recent visits to my blog testify to that as well.

I don’t remember making that comment about Blair, but I do remember you just loved the guy and thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread until he did support Bush in Iraq.

But since I don’t remember saying that about Blair, I can’t take any satisfaction that his name has been bandied about to become the big muck-a-much of the EU. I think he was a disaster for the UK, but that he doesn’t have much to add to the ongoing disaster that is the EU.

NOW, as to the question about Rev. Jerry Wright: that’s exactly how the issue was contained, by limiting it to the idea of a "crazy uncle" pastor, who Obama then took to calling "my former pastor" as if some media mommy had kissed the boo-boo and it was all gone.

In fact, the real issue was and is the underlying "philosophy" or "theology" — specifically "black theology" — of Obama’s church, to which he belonged for most of his adult life. That "theology" is explicitly racist and black supremacist, to wit:
[I]f [white people] are going to be in a relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches. They want God without blackness, Christ without obedience, love without death. What they fail to realize is that in America, God’s revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white. Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man’s depravity. God cannot be white, even though white churches have portrayed him as white. When we look at what whiteness has done to the minds of men in this country, we can see clearly what the New Testament meant when it spoke of the principalities and powers. To speak of Satan and his powers becomes not just a way of speaking but a fact of reality. When we can see a people who are being controlled by an ideology of whiteness, then we know what reconciliation must mean. The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).
That’s from James Cone’s "Black Theology and Black Power" p. 150, and it is hardly the worst of it. It’s very difficult going through it because it’s no different than trying to read white supremacist claptrap.

Not only did Obama never really have to answer for having a racist like Wright as his mentor, he certainly never had to answer for 20-years of explicit awareness of and implicit adherence to "black theology."

So, now he’s elected. His past is not erased. Most Americans will just be discovering it, in fact, thanks to the wonderful job that the media did pretending it didn’t exist for the duration of the campaign.

The overriding issue here is that there can be but one standard when it comes to public life in the United States, let alone when it comes to the highest national office, and that standard is that you cannot be associated with a belief system.

Five minutes after David Duke showed up on the national scene some twenty years ago, we knew who and what he was almost instantaneously. Obama, with the complicity of the media elite, was able to restrict that awareness to the "crazy uncle" scenario.

But an adult lifetime in a racist church doesn’t go away simply because you’ve been elected.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
This sentence:
and that standard is that you cannot be associated with a belief system
Should read:
and that standard is that you cannot be associated with a racist belief system
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
I’m sure that once the glistening dew has evaporated from his public image that Americans who finally get the full story on him will find it an important element that explains their growing irritation with him.
Growing irritation?


Gallop polling, yesterday
December 2, 2008
Sixty-nine percent of Americans favor Barack Obama’s choice of Hillary Clinton for secretary of state and 80% approve of his decision to keep Robert Gates on as secretary of defense. More generally, 78% approve of the way Obama is handling his transition, a better rating than Bill Clinton or George W. Bush received.
Perhaps you meant growing admiration, because Obama’s numbers are going up.

They will go down though, that’s MY prediction, because a President in an economy like this will be lucky to have 45% approval after six months in office if the economy has not turned around, and it’s not likely to turn around in six months.
Your "all the depth of a Roosevelt dime" comments at this blog long ago led me to the conclusion that your problem is that you can’t even get as far as being wrong.
It’s funny that you (of all people) would think to dismiss me, as I have been the one telling you that for all the blather about Wright and Cone, that the American people were just not going to consider it meaningful. If you had listened, you may have learned something.

You are long on opinions, short on substance, and negative on accuracy.
But what would anyone expect from someone calling himself "Captain Sarcastic" who can’t even spell that correctly.
Oh no, resorting to pointing out spelling errors? Isn’t that cute.

It’s a name, (pseudonym) not an actual internet rank.

Should I tell you that you spell MacPhillips wrong?





 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Oh, dear.

Obama hasn’t actually become president yet, so "growing irritation" is obviously a reference to what happens to any president once "the glistening dew has evaporated from his public image."

Correctly inferring a time frame context seems to be another among your missing talents.
I have been the one telling you that for all the blather about Wright and Cone, that the American people were just not going to consider it meaningful.
There’s not one in a thousand American voters who have even heard of Cone, without whom one cannot possibly understand Obama’s church. Most Americans can no longer even tell you who FDR was. That’s one of the reasons we tend to rely on the media to expose the David Dukes and Barack Obamas who come among us seeking political office.

Again, what Americans got and dismissed was the idea that Obama had a "crazy uncle" pastor. They never got the full story. But now that the campaign is over, the fact that Obama belonged to a racist church based on the racist "black theology" remains an issue.

Going forward it can help them understand how flawed Obama’s character is that he would give himself and his money, and take his children to, such a place. It’s no less bizarre, for instance, than white supremacists taking their children to a racist Christian Identity church.

Obama got a free ride in the media on this, because "they" wanted to see an attractive young black man elected president. And eventually many more people than already do will understand why this "anomaly" in Obama’s background always meant that he should never have been president. Just as David Duke’s KKK background immediately disqualified him from any serious consideration.

And as a live political fact it has a thousand times the value of the Bush-was-AWOL story, with the added value of actually being true.

That it got hidden in plain sight during the campaign means nothing going forward, other than that the media betrayed the American public.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
And as a live political fact it has a thousand times the value of the Bush-was-AWOL story, with the added value of actually being true.
So seeing Jeremiah Wright saying "Goddamn America", which 66% of Americans have, is less relevant that knowing the writings of James Cone, because Wright read James Cone, and Obama went to Wright’s church?

And the American people have an attention span of gnat with ADD, and you are going to get them to pay attention to this far less titillating story how?

You are just disappointed that the story you thought was most relevant, was played, and found to be irrelevant.

You are welcome to continue this meme, (not I could stop you, or even want to stop you), but it’s going to lead you exactly where it did last time, totally missing what is, and is not, important to the American people.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Obama hasn’t actually become president yet, so "growing irritation" is obviously a reference to what happens to any president once "the glistening dew has evaporated from his public image."
Oh, my bad, I thought you had decided to be wrong in real time, rather than in future tense.

Oh well, you can be wrong in any tense you choose.
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Yeah, Martin, I enjoy your blog. Really. You’re out of touch with reality, and that is fun to read. Plus, I’ve been right and you’ve been wrong on just about everything the past half decade or so. It’s fun to watch how you react to that. Predictably you dig your heels in, refuse any kind of dialogue, and take hard core positions. And for some reason, I enjoy reading that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://scotterb.wordpress.com

 
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