Free Markets, Free People
Apparently Barack Obama was channeling Elizabeth “Fauxahontas” Warren the other day in a speech when he said:
Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.
The natural angle of attack when one wants to demean accomplishment is to attempt to portray it as something you were given vs. something you earned.
In this case, where Obama denigrates the accomplishments of the successful (and my goodness when did success become something you attack?), he’s attempting to do just that. Because, so the collectivist thinking (oxymoron alert) goes, if he and others helped the successful become successful then they can justify claiming a portion of the pie the successful have.
Of course that requires ignoring how the successful become successful. We heard Elizabeth Warren talk about public works that she claims enabled businesses to succeed. Like roads, power grids, etc. What she would have you believe is everyone else paid for those things but apparently the entrepreneur was just a net beneficiary. Silliness to the extreme.
Also always shunted aside are the sacrifices the “successful” made to reach the stage of success they enjoy. I personally know “successful” people who mortgaged their house to the hilt, cashed in whatever they had in savings and borrowed the rest to start their business.
They took all the risk, and yes, some of them failed. But they didn’t have anyone holding their hand when they set out on their journey to success. They simply worked harder than anyone else, made the additional sacrifices that had to be made (80 hour weeks, little time with the family, etc). to make that success a fact.
The focus for the collectivists starts at the big house the successful have now, not the risk, work and sacrifice they went through to build that house.
And now that they are a success, suddenly they have a bunch of leeches who want to claim a portion of it (remember about 50% of those in this country pay no income taxes at all). It reminds me of the lottery winner who suddenly discovers he has cousins, nieces and nephews he’s never heard of all clamoring for some of the winnings. But in this case, what Obama is trying to justify via this nonsense is not asking for money, but taking it “legally”.
His is the same song the communists sang in 1917 Russia. Those who worked hardest and achieved the most don’t “deserve” what they have accumulated because they did it on the backs of everyone else. We’ve heard variations on the theme quite often from leftist politicians: “It takes a village”, for instance or claiming the successful are simply “the winners of life’s lottery”, etc.
Naturally where Obama wants to strike is precisely where jobs are created. Almost a million of those in the tax bracket he wants to hit with higher taxes are small businesses. You’d think the guy who obviously thinks he’s a economic genius would know that. You’d think a guy who said “the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes” would actually follow through on something he got right.
But no, instead he plays the class warfare card and essentially parrots the communists.
No, I’m not calling him a communist, I’m simply pointing out the irony of what he’s doing. Draw your own conclusions about what he is, but one thing he isn’t is a friend of the free market. He certainly isn’t the economic genius he thinks he is and frankly, he’s leading us down the same path Europe went down years before and we all know how that is turning out.
It is envy cloaked as “fairness”. Class warfare designed empower government even while it cripples business and, in the end, would contribute to increasing our economic woes.
However, there is value in such quotes as his above. When you hear him say things like this, it becomes much clearer as to his true ideological roots and what an additional 4 years would bring. The press may not have done the job of vetting this president before he took office, but quotes like this do as much for that process as any vetting by the press would accomplish There’s no question of where he lives ideologically. And it isn’t an ideology that belongs in the most powerful office in this land.
Michael Barone notes something I’ve been watching happen over the past few months:
As Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it’s alibi time for some of his backers.
His problem, they say, is that some voters don’t like him because he’s black. Or they don’t like his policies because they don’t like having a black president.
Barone goes on to explain what that’s such a bankrupt excuse:
There’s an obvious problem with the racism alibi. Barack Obama has run for president before, and he won. Voters in 2008 knew he was black. Most of them voted for him. He carried 28 states and won 365 electoral votes.
Nationwide, he won 53 percent of the popular vote. That may not sound like a landslide, but it’s a higher percentage than any Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Democratic national conventions have selected nominees 45 times since 1832. In seven cases, they won more than 53 percent of the vote. In 37 cases, they won less.
That means President Obama won a larger percentage of the vote than Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and (though you probably don’t want to bring this up in conversation with him) Bill Clinton.
Those are facts. Those that didn’t vote for him or support him, for whatever reason the last time, are even more unlikely to support him this time, given his record. If race was the reason for not voting for him in 2008, you’re probably going to find 99% of those type people in this bloc of voters in 2012 as well.
So if he loses, he’s going to lose because his support eroded among those who put him over the top the last time. Some aren’t going to vote for him this time and others are going to support the opposition candidate.
Is the left really going to try to sell that as a result of “racism”?
Yes. That is a developing theme. The fear, I suppose, is that the white guilt the race war lords have tried to instill and exploit for years has been assuaged by his election and thus can no longer be exploited for his re-election.
Thus the push to reestablish the meme.
It’s all over the place. Joy Behar and Janeane Garofalo provide a typical example.
How absurd has it gotten. Well, the Congressional Black Caucus is always a good place to go to figure that out:
Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.
"This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during CSPAN’s Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black. You know, whether it’s questioning his intellect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s always either he’s not educated enough or he’s too educated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be successful."
She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.
"There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I don’t know what is.
She added that "even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance]."
“Cool” is racist? Who knew? They’re essentially making this stuff up on the fly. Racism has become, for some, the tool of choice to stifle debate and muffle free speech. Don’t like what you’re hearing? Claim it’s racist and they’ll shut up. How “cool” is that?
By the way, speaking of “blaxploitation”, what would you deem this ad?
More examples of racially charged words you never knew about? Well, consult the ever knowledgeable Ed Shultz for the latest:
On his MSNBC program last night, Schultz referred to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), someone Herman Cain would seriously consider as a running mate, as "the guy who used an old Southern, racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the healthcare debate. Below is the offending statement:
DeMint (Audio, July 9, 2009): "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
“Break” = racism. Of course Ed Shultz, “racism” authority, was also the guy who edited a tape by Governor Perry of Texas to make a perfectly innocent remark sound racist. He later apologized for it.
Chris Matthews is not averse to making the racism excuse, or at least, interviewing those who will:
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown if House Chairman Darrell Issa’s treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder was "ethnic." Brown agreed, and Matthews said some Republicans "talk down to the president and his friends."
Because, you know, lying to Congress and the death of two federal agents as a result of a horrendous operation has nothing at all to do with Issa’s inquiry.
Finally there is this nonsensical “correlation is causation” study that the NYT saw fit to print.
Oh, yes, the racism charge is fully loaded and ready to be used, no question about it.
Obama’s possible failure to be re-elected couldn’t be because he’s been a dismal failure as president and a huge disappointment even to those who elected him could it?
Nope, it has to be because he’s black.
Back to Garafalo and Behar for a wrap up:
“And I don’t understand why so many people are reticent to discuss race in this country. We are not a post-racial society,” she added.
“No, not yet,” Behar said. “Not in our lifetime. There‘s no country in the world that’s post-racial yet, I don’t think.”
“Until the human condition changes, we won’t be,” she added …
Actually, it won’t change until some among us quit finding racism as the primary motive behind everything that happens when there are much more plausible reasons available. The fixation on racism comes from the left and is its fall back position whenever it encounters political or electoral reverses. It is convenient.
But racism is an excuse, not a reason. This goes back to the almost religious belief on the left that it isn’t their message (or performance) that is being rejected, so it must be something else. The means of message delivery must be deficient or the race of the messenger is causing a racist public to reject it.
It couldn’t be because he has been a terrible president or that the message sucks.
Nope, it has to be racism.
As anyone who follows politics knows, MSNBC “leans forward” or, has all but publically announced it is the liberal news network.
Fine. I have no problem with that. In fact, I’m comfortable with it because it allows me to put into context anything they say or report.
However, a disturbing trend has emerged with the network. It’s one thing to have a particular bias to your reporting. It is another thing to report things dishonestly. And MSNBC has been caught red handed doing that at least twice here fairly recently. Ed Shultz edited a tape of Rick Perry in such a way as to make what he said sound like a racial slur. Then there was the edited George Zimmerman tape.
Now we have the “Wawa” tape. In it, Mitt Romney is made to appear “amazed” by some technology in the store with the obvious intent of recreating the George H. W. Bush grocery store scanner moment. The point, of course, was to make Romney look like Bush who, the left contended, was so out of touch that he hadn’t been in a grocery store in so long he was unaware they used scanners.
Of course, as with most things, context is key. In the case of Bush, he indeed hadn’t been in a grocery store and was indeed amazed by the scanner. The “out-of-touch” claim had some validity. And, politically, it also hurt him.
That last sentence is key. And the MSNBC logic seems elementary as well as obviously transparent. If that hurt Bush, let’s gin this up to hurt Romney.
But there were multiple problems with MSNBC’s attempt to smear the presumptive GOP presidential candidate. First and foremost, what they were trying to portray wasn’t true. Secondly, they seem to have forgotten that there are an army of watchdogs in the new media that inspect everything they say or do. Third, they seem unaware they aren’t the only organization with video of the event in question. And finally, they’re arrogant and believe they can pull off crap like this despite one through three.
So how did it go down? Well, in a short clip shown by MSNBC, Romney, who had visited a convenience store named Wawa, talked about ordering a sandwich:
“It’s amazing," Romney said, as the Pennsylvania crowd appeared to laugh. Then viewers saw Romney say, "You have a touchtone keypad, and you touch that, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich.”
It was presented as a Bush moment with both Andrea Mitchell and Chris Cillizza laughing at how out-of-touch Romney was. And, as expected:
Mitchell invoked an old perceived campaign stumble by George Bush, who supposedly marveled at a supermarket scanner at a grocers’ convention during his failed 1992 re-election bid.
But that wasn’t at all the context for Romney’s remark. Here’s what he said prior to that line:
What viewers didn’t see or hear was nearly three minutes of Romney discussing the nightmare of paperwork faced by an optometrist he’d talked to in trying to get the post office to change his address. He expressed mock amazement at Wawa’s efficiency to underscore how the private sector often runs circles around the clumsy bureaucracy.
"We went to Wawas and it was instructive to me, because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have competition,” Romney said in a portion edited out of the segment.
Wow … that sort of context seems pretty important to the story if you’re actually a reporter and not a hack.
And that’s sort of the point of all this. MSNBC continues to damage itself (self- inflicted wounds) to the point that no one is going to take them as a credible news source anymore (many of us already dismiss what they say unless vetted by a more reliable source). Instead, they’ll be considered a propaganda outlet. What they did with the Romney and Perry tapes certainly seem to be attempts at propaganda vs. news.
By the way, it’s not like other cable networks don’t have their own credibility issues (the left views Fox as the right views MSNBC). But MSNBC seems to be the worst of the lot, at least at this point. But, as someone recently said, as their viewership shrinks in the wake of these scandals, the only demographic that may be increasing for them is conservative and GOP viewers. MSNBC has become an entertainment channel for them.
Robert Redford again makes the point that the left simply won’t accept the fact that it is their message that most of the country rejects. Instead, it is believed that the problem is the means, the messaging, the way they present their message, that’s the problem:
“It’s about storytelling,” Redford tells Abe Streep. “The Democratic Party has a good story to tell, but they don’t know how to tell it. And the other side has no story to tell and they tell it loud and clear. People listen to the loud barking dog more than the mewing cat. But one of the advantages of the GOP debate — I’m speaking personally now — as horrible as it is to watch, as horrible as it is to see, at least people who have any sense at all can see, ‘This is what we’re getting? This is what we’re going to get if we elect somebody from that mob? Whoa—’”
The left has a story to tell but doesn’t know how to tell it while the right has no story but somehow tells “it” loud and clear?
Brilliant. Keep on believing that, brother.
Sounds like a sound bite you might hear from, oh I don’t know, Joe Biden?
Today a reporter for the Daily Caller interrupted the President in a Rose Garden announcement about his decision to selectively enforce the law of the land based on his whim (and pure political calculation not to mention a flip-flop).
The guy who saw fit to interrupt twice the President’s address in the Rose Garden on his new immigration policy, which was being carried live by the cable nets, was actually a reporter for The Daily Caller named Neil Munro.
The left is appalled by the reporter’s behavior (apparently deciding what parts of laws you’ll enforce, though, is ok). The
Emperor President was not amused.
Good thing he didn’t throw his shoes at Obama. I’m sure, as they did the last time that happened to a President, the left would have found that hilarious.
I have no idea how the vote in Wisconsin will go today. All polls seem to point to a victory by incumbent governor Scott Walker and my guess is that’s how it will turn out.
But the left, or at leas part of the left in the guise of The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis, is trying to walk back the national significance of a possible Walker victory.
Citing the conventional wisdom that a loss today would bode ill for Obama in Wisconsin and nationally come November, well, he’s not on board with that:
I don’t buy it. And that goes the other way, too — I don’t think Democrats should take away too much optimism for their fall prospects if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett pulls off an upset win. Part of this has to with all the usual reasons why state contests should not be taken as barometers of national sentiment, as listed in a smart guest post by Will Oremus on David Weigel’s Slate blog: "1) It’s a recall. 2) It’s happening in June. 3) The incumbent is a Republican. 4) Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is running. 5) A significant number of states (49 by my count) will not be participating. 6) Need I go on?"
Seems to be missing a few numbers, doesn’t it?
7) the left initiated the recall, has poured millions upon millions of dollars into a state which Obama took by 14 points, and is seemingly failing in its attempt to oust a sitting Republican governor.
8)if the left and unions can’t motivate voters in this state, what does that say about their chances nationally?
9)the left elevated this into an election with “national implications”, not the right.
10)the left began the meme that this would foretell the November national election, not the right.
11)Barack Obama is avoiding WI like the plague because he understands the national implications of being associated with a loss there by the left.
MacGillis is pretty sure he can figure out a way that such a loss would actually be good for Obama.
My colleague Noam Scheiber adds an interesting conjecture on the lessons that the parties will take from the Wisconsin results about the allocation of resources this fall, arguing that a Walker win might also help the Democrats in that regard.
Oh, well, then certainly a loss would be much less biting then (really?). The Democrats would learn a valuable lesson about “the allocation of resources this fall”? Yippee.
But how does MacGillis think this is a good thing for Obama? Well, he manages to ignore 7-11(+) above (and pretty much everything else of significance) and reduces his analysis to the absurd:
So beware the pundits who turn Tuesday’s vote into nothing but a grand partisan referendum and fail to take into account a less cable-ready way of assessing a Walker victory: as a statement of grudging pro-incumbent sentiment in a time of cautious optimism about a painfully gradual economic recovery.
Anyone who actually believes it’s a “grudging pro-incumbent sentiment” being expressed in Wisconsin is doing an admirable and obvious job of whistling past the graveyard. They also don’t have any real clue about what’s happening there today.
Speaking of irony, life for some is just full of it.
Pop star Will.i.am spoke at Oxford University in a climate debate saying:
‘Climate change should be the thing that we are all worried and concerned about as humans on this planet, how we affect the planet, our consumption, and how we treat the place that we live in.’
Indeed. Boilerplate good stuff for the true believers. Of course, living up to his words? Yeah, not so much:
The 37-year-old Black Eyed Peas star arrived for the talk at Oxford University in his private helicopter.
Seemingly oblivious to the furore that it might cause, the pop star even tweeted pictures of the ‘hip.hop.copter’ when he landed.
His trip from London was a total of 286 miles and used 71.5 gallons of fuel, ploughing three-quarters of a tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is the same as the average UK person produces in an entire month.
Now if I believed this mattered significantly I’d be outraged. In the big scheme of things, I really don’t care. But the finer point here is obviously Will.i.am is oblivious to the fact that he’s a grade A hypocrite. It’s hard to believe someone would be this unaware, but apparently he is. Either that, or he just doesn’t care.
But hey, we all know how this works … sacrifice is for the little people. Liberals want wind farms, but not if you can see them off of Martha’s Vineyard.
Our buddy WIll.i.am isn’t any different than the limo liberals we’ve always had to suffer. He’s just adding a new twist.
Q: Why doesn’t Delaware fall into the ocean?
A: Because Maryland sucks.
Q: Why doesn’t California fall into the ocean?
A: Because Maryland really sucks.
I see that your financial picture is looking rather dicey again. Sorry to hear that. Who could have guessed that high taxes, profligate spending and a general hostility to business would lead to such things? No worries, though. I’m sure political leaders will continue to work hard at righting the ship and get Maryland sailing along smoothly again (how is that plan to repeal the laws of economics coming anyway?).
On a related note, I understand that the Maryland legislature, in collaboration with Gov. O’Malley, has passed a new tax on all six-figure income earners in Maryland. Well, bully for you! That’ll teach those nasty capitalists to stop being so productive. And Gaia knows that they really need to pay their fair share (I mean, how is it that the top 20% of earners only pays about 68% of the income taxes? How’s that “fair”?). So, here’s hoping that works out for you (fingers crossed!).
Of course, I seem to recall that the last time you all did something like this (with that “Millionaires Tax” thingy), we here in Virginia experienced a bit of an influx of former Marylanders. Not too many that we couldn’t handle it, mind you, and probably fewer than some thought. But it does raise an issue, especially since the latest tax scheme stands to affect a much larger portion of Maryland’s population. While we’re always happy to welcome you all into the Commonwealth, we’d really appreciate it if you’d leave things here the way you found them.
You see, all too often when Virginia takes in refugees of high tax and high regulation states, they tend to bring a lot of those policies with them. They seem to really like our neighborhoods, schools and business environment, but for some reason they get all worked up about the fact that our government doesn’t spend as much money as they’re used to (in fact, we’ve actually had a budget surplus the past couple of years, and look to do so again this year!). They also tend to push for more state intrusion into our lives. Thing is, we really don’t like that. (In fact, it’s a fairly common complaint in the South.)
You see, before they came, we were doing just fine. Sure, some of us moved to places like New York and California so that we could enjoy that wonderful embrace of the Nanny State, but for the most part it’s been the other way around: people moving from high-tax/high-regulation states to places like Northern Virginia. We completely understand why you would want to leave a place whose policies increase your costs of living, impair your livelihoods, and generally intrude on your lives in unwanted ways. That’s why we try not to do that sort of thing here (albeit, with some annoying exceptions). Problem is, when you all move in, you start enacting all the same policies that made the place you left so bad. We’d all really appreciate it if you wouldn’t do that.
So, like I said, I really hope that whole tax-the-hell-outta-the-rich thing works for you. If it doesn’t, and your looking for change of scenery, you’ll always be welcomed with open arms on this side of the Potomac. Come on over, make yourselves comfortable and set a spell. Just don’t go touching anything.
Michael J. Wade
As the blue social model collapses, it’s most vocal defenders continue their retreat into delusion. This 33 second segment of a video from Reason TV is one of the more jaw-dropping examples.
Communism caused 3/4 of a century of deprivation, misery, and quasi-slavery, and killed 100,000,000 in the bargain. The left still hasn’t come to terms with that. I’m pretty sure they never will.
You could sit the woman in the video down and present her with a mountain of evidence that Cuba is a sick society, a poor society, a repressive society in which citizens who oppose the Cuban government the way she opposes the US government are locked up for most or all their life. It wouldn’t matter. She has constructed an elaborate fantasy in her head.
After all she’s "seen Cuba" and it sounds like she really loved the role of the useful idiot being shown the potemkin society the Cuban appartchiks allowed her to see. She thereby proves to herself how moral she is, and how much better and smarter she is than we skeptics who have seen the pictures of real Cuban healthcare, cockroaches and all, smuggled out by people who would have been shot or imprisoned if they had been caught with those pictures.
You can see it in her face, and hear it in her voice – that condescension that reveals her inner conviction that she’s smart and moral, and other people ought to think exactly the way she thinks, even though to anyone connected to reality, she’s clearly delusional.
Deep down in her own mind, where she never dares go, some part of her knows that it’s a delusion and a fantasy. Because otherwise, she would want to live in this paradise she describes. She and thousands would be taking whatever measures they could come up with to go and live there, instead of it being the exact opposite, with thousands upon thousands risking their lives on makeshift boats to get out. Consciously, she spins her fantasy about how wonderful Cuba is, but subconsciously, she never dares think about actually living there.
One of the main reasons leftists talk this way is partially to convince themselves. Reality intrudes more every day as the blue social model breaks down. But facing that failure means admitting a lifetime of being a gullible fool. Most of them don’t have the psychic strength for that. They can’t admit that there’s a single thing wrong with the leftist worldview.
For example, they’ve also never come to terms with the housing bubble and the government’s role in it. They prefer to believe that a financial industry that had intelligently managed home mortgages for decades just collectively lost its mind and started writing bad loans, and the government actions that took place in the same period are complete coincidences. The pressure towards "affordable housing", the implicit and explicit threats by government to those who didn’t loan to minorities, the pipeline to offload the risk to quasi-government agencies – they look directly at those things, and apparently suffer inattentional blindness because they just can’t see them.
They’ve never come to terms with the fact that the worst areas of the country are those that have been governed by liberal and leftist Democrats for decades – including a crumbling city that was once one of America’s shining success stories, now undone by unions, liberalism, bureaucrats, and corruption.
They look at exponential curves that foretell the collapse of Social Security and Medicare, and bleat about how we just have to make the rich pay their "fair share", blind to the fact that the top ten percent already pay 70% of income taxes.
You can’t even tell them that Bush didn’t really hold a plastic turkey. They formulate their narratives and talking points, and that’s the end of their cognitive effort. They have thereby constructed a fantasy world they prefer to live in.
In that world, Cuba really does have superior healthcare and free elections.
Europe is advanced and stable, a beacon for the rest of the world, not an aging society that is broke, with an unsustainable welfare state and a birth rate that spells disaster in a generation.
China is a sterling example of how wonderful things can be when people like them run things, not a repressive society that hides its pollution and filth, keeps a bubble going by building ghost cities, and is facing demographic problems never seen in history on such a scale.
Israel is a nation of violent butchers, who just happen to save the sick babies of their enemies as a hobby.
And the US is a racist society, holding down minorities with trigger-happy vigilantes, instead of a country that elected a black president and has been the destination for every race and creed on the globe.
OK, let them live in their fantasy world. In the end, reality always wins. And it’s pretty clear that even the reality of a total meltdown of the blue social model isn’t going to make them re-examine their fantasies, any more than the meltdown of the Soviet Union did. As I said, they don’t have the psychic strength to face it.
They prefer groupthink to reality, because confronting reality means confronting their worst fear: that they might be wrong, that they might not be smarter than the rest of us. That they might be frauds who can talk or write, but who can’t think.
So let them be. Laugh at them if you like; there’s plenty of humor to be found in their floundering, and goodness knows we need humor to get through the mess they’ve put us in. But don’t let them induce you to waste your time by trying to disprove their fantasies. That’s a lost cause.