Election 2012: III. Why We Should Vote For Barack Obama (Seriously)

This is the third of five posts I will put up over the two weeks of the conventions, exploring my thoughts on the Presidential election. Parts 1 and 2 were be reasons to vote for and against Mitt Romney; Parts 3 and 4 will be reasons to vote for and against Barack Obama. Part 5 will wrap up. Keep in mind, this is my thinking as we go through the conventions. It’s likely that things will change between now and Election Day.

This isn’t an easy post to write because the radical wing of the Democratic Party is so repugnant to me. As I write this intro, Rahm Emmanuel is on PBS yammering about Citizens United and I want to put an axe throw the TV to shut him up. And I realize a post telling people why they should vote for Obama is going to get my flamed. Eh, I’m used to it.

But if you hate this one, you’ll like what I’m cooking up on reasons to vote against Obama.)

Four years ago, we knew nothing about Barack Obama. Now we’ve had four years with him in power — two with a Democratic Congress and two with a Republican Congress — to judge him on. He’s been liberal but he hasn’t been as radical as he promised. How much of that is him and how much of that is the opposition is up to you.

But there’s something important to remember as we go through this: Obama is not running to be President for the last four years but the next four. So however much credit you might want to give or deny him on the economy, the wars, foreign policy or whatever, that’s all in the past. It tells us what he might do for the next four but past performance is no guarantee of future results. Is he the man we need in Washington for the next four years?

I don’t think so, but I’ll stick to my format and come up with a few reasons why he might be:

The Debt Crisis: As I said in my anti-Romney post, I have little faith in the GOP’s ability to control spending with a Republican President. Obama jacked up spending his first two years; we’re all in agreement on that. But since he’s had a GOP Congress, spending has grown by 1% per year. You don’t need radical cuts to balance the budget (even assuming the GOP could produce them). 1% per year is the kind of spending growth that will bring the budget into balance within the decade.

However, that’s only part of the story. Long term, we have to get control of entitlements. Surely, that’s a good reason to get Paul Ryan a step closer to power rather than Barack Obama, right?

I’m not convinced. Ryan has a plan to control Medicare spending. But the Republicans and Romney have backed away from it in favor of a Mediscare campaign against Obama. We have run this playbook before. Bush was going to privatize Social Security … and nothing ever came of it. Bush was going to reform taxes … and nothing ever came of it. Not in six years of uninterrupted power.

The reason is very simple: no one party can do it. The issue is far too easy to demagogue. The only way progress has even been made on this is when both parties can share the blame. Reagan and the Democrats in the 80’s; Bush I and the Democrats in the 90’s; Clinton and the Republicans in the 90’s.

We were close last year, if reports are to be believed. Who backed out is debated. But a deal that would have overhauled Medicare and Social Security was close. Tom Coburn, in particular, has been leading the Republican charge on this, trying to piece together the Grand Bargain that everyone know is going to have to happen. With Obama in power, we might get that Grand Bargain. We the Republicans in power, I’m extremely dubious.

Only Nixon could go to China. And perhaps only a liberal can rein in Medicare.

(This sideswipes a point I should make separately: the Congressional election this year is far more important than the Presidential one. Far, far more important. If you believe in fiscal discipline, a divided Washington — with the GOP in control of Congress — is the least worst option. And a GOP Congress will be the only way to keep Obama under control should he win a second term.)

Foreign Policy:

Our foreign policy over the last four years has been far from ideal or even unembarrassing. I’ll get into the problems in the next post. But on balance, I would say foreign policy has been a strong point for this Administration. I realize that the GOP considers chest-thumping and saber-rattling to be the only effective foreign policy and is obsessed with bullshit stories like the apology tour. But consider the following: We haven’t had a major conflict erupt. Iran is still isolated. Osama bin Laden is dead and Al-Qaeda is broken. We are out of Iraq (on Bush’s plan, but out nevertheless) and on our way out of Afghanistan. And, for the most part, we have stayed the hell out of the Arab Spring.

A large portion of the credit here goes to Hillary Clinton, who has turned out to be a solid Secretary of State. But after eight years of Foghorn Leghorn foreign policy, having one in which restraint is not a four-letter word is good.

The Supreme Court

As I said in the last post, I don’t want the conservative wing of the Court to get too much power. They’ve shown far too much enthusiasm for War on Terror and War on Drugs excesses and far too little for ordinary civil liberties. The most likely judges to step down over the next four years are Ginsberg and Breyer, two liberals. A Republican Senate would be very useful here just to make sure Obama doesn’t nominate a complete kook.

He’s Done All the Damage He Can: Now He Gets To Live With It

Very few Presidents accomplish much in their second term. A second term is usually about staying the course, keeping whatever they did in place and seeing how it plays out. There’s a lot we don’t want to stay in place under Obama — Obamacare, for example. But I have little faith the GOP will fix any of those things. I’d just as soon Obama take credit for what’s going to happen over the next four years.

There’s some truth to what Bill Clinton said the other night: that the mess Obama inherited was so bad, it will take more than four years to clean it up (well, that’s what they’re saying now; four years ago it would be done by summer). Maybe he deserves the chance to see this through. At the very least, it will teach the American people a lesson they’ll never forget (never being defined as until a Republican president screws up).

—————-

I’m not too sold on any of that, actually. But I promised I’d write it. Next comes the fun part: why we should vote against Obama.

Update: I left out social issues, but there was a reason: I’m doubtful the GOP will actually do anything about them without a veto threat. They didn’t do much under Bush, after all. The ground is also quickly shifting under their feet and I think they will find their positions on gay marriage and abortion to be increasingly untenable.

In any case, I prefer culture issues be resolved at the state level, not the national one.

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    two with a Democratic Congress and two with a Republican Congress — to judge him on.

    A bit misleading, wouldn’t you say? His first two years he had a bullet proof majority in both houses, he could have passed “Jerimiah Wright God Damn America Day”, given Charles Ogletree the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, and made Kenya the 51st state, all in one day, if he wanted. Yes, his second two years was more limited, including working with a divided Congress, the comparisons are not even remotely similar.

    It tells us what he might do for the next four but past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    Results? No; Intentions? You betcha. We have a very good idea of what he wants to do, given the opportunity.

    The Debt Crisis

    I’m going to call “dubious” on this whole section. Re: Ryan/Medicare spending, he has an entire section devoted specifically to doing this in his “Roadmap”.

    It is interesting that Bush’s nickel and dime spending (context) gets broad brushed with Obama’s break the bank spending. Yes, debt is debt and both should be eschewed, but seriously, adding $6 trillion to the debt in 4 years, a debt btw that took 200 plus years to get to $10 trillion, this is like sipping wine coolers to chugging pure grain alcohol.

    I get the argument that both parties spend too much, but which party puts limited government and spending controls at the form front of their platform, which party actually runs on austerity and giving more of your money back to you, which party wants to lower taxes and want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I’m not cheer leading here, and I realize that talk is cheap and it’s the “doing” that counts, but it’s the Dems that wear their welfare stats on their chest as a badge of honor, they actually cackle in glee over the fact that record numbers of folks are on public assistance.

    I realize that the GOP considers chest-thumping and saber-rattling to be the only effective foreign policy

    Wow, pretty condescending, you left out the orgasms they get while bayonetting civilian babies. How about this, not treating your enemies better then your allies, understanding that a strong America (both militarily and financially) is the best insurance for stability in the world, and recognizing Reagan’s brilliance in Peace Through Strength. Yes, all this is anathema to our World Citizen In Chief, but America used to stand for something, our allies are expecting (and deserve) some continuity in this regard.

    we have stayed the hell out of the Arab Spring.

    To a degree

    Oh, and didn’t you mention in an earlier post that Congress writes the checks? Don’t tell Mr. I Don’t Need No Stinking Congress to get what he wants.

    A large portion of the credit here goes to Hillary Clinton, who has turned out to be a solid Secretary of State. But after eight years of Foghorn Leghorn foreign policy, having one in which restraint is not a four-letter word is good.

    If you say so. I know our enemies are thrilled with this new “restraint” direction. I think the “re set” policy is still being debated. We know about his backhand to the Poles and the Czechs by reneging on Missile defense. Goggle “Obama betrays Israel” and your computer will explode. We know how babbly this administration is wrt to an Israeli reply to Iran’s nuclear capability. We know that Obama plays fast and lose with military secrets of our allies. And we know, by way of a treasonous microphone, that Obama will be much more accommodating to Putin in his next term.

    far too little for ordinary civil liberties

    For my money it’s the libs on the court that are the biggest threat to civil liberties, the First and Second Amendments, to be precise.

    He’s Done All the Damage He Can

    You are the eternal optimist. I think the general consensus is that he will go absolutely wild with his progressive agenda, if given half the chance. As your links in the original post attest, there are many things on his plate he did not get done his first term and all of these are bad.

    In any case, I prefer culture issues be resolved at the state level, not the national one.

    And if recent history is any indication, their positions on these matters are not so untenable after all. Somebody here recently mentioned the stat, where each and every time gay marriage has been put forth to the people, each and every time it has been roundly rejected, 30 some states in all I believe.

    The GOP platform will always champion the right to life and DEM platform will always champion the right to abort at the drop of a hat, these will never change. We can argue about specifics, and in each I believe wiggle room is appropriate, but the core tenets will never change. But given the DEM position on abortion, how no restrictions at all should be placed on the practice, I think their position could more easily be described as fringe thinking.

    As an aside, I commend you, Hal, for making the effort and spending the time on this series of posts, I certainly don’t have the time for it.

    Thumb up 10

  2. Seattle Outcast

    You can come up with all the reasons to vote for Obama you want, but for me it’s going to come down to the following:

    1) He’s bought and paid for by various far-left organizations and unions. In other words, he’s a sock puppet for others and while we know who some of them are, we most certainly don’t know all of them. And the ones we do know about aren’t reassuring.

    2) He has no basic, core American values – he has little to nothing in commen with Americans as a whole.

    3) His past is too blocked out, locked up, and deliberately made unavailable for scrutiny. He’s a total fraud with a manufactured image. He isn’t who he is presented to be, and without his teleprompter, he is nothing.

    4) He has managed to insult, estrange, and generally leave in the dark our allies on the world stage. Nobody trusts him.

    5) His economic policies are, at best, a death sentence to our national economy if he is allowed to continue.

    6) If he is to be judged by the company he keeps, we need to look no further than his wife, Axelrod, Jarret, Van Jones, his preacher, and his bomb-building mentor, to condemn him as totally unfit for office of any type.

    Thumb up 7

  3. Thrill

    Hal hasn’t given me a good reason to vote for Obama, but he has at least shown that we could survive four more years of him while keeping the GOP on-task as the limited government party it’s supposed to be.

    Either all of the magic bullshit works in his second term and America prospers or he continues to fail and finishes his great work of ruining the Democratic Party’s prospects for a generation. I could live with the former but fully expect the latter.

    Nicely done, Hal.

    Thumb up 2

  4. Dave D

    Thrill:

    You can’t keep defecit spending at this rate for 4 more years and not show some small, temporary improvement in the economy, can you? My fear is that this will happen AND we will sell even more of our future and/or fuck over our kids. They really want this to happen.

    Thumb up 3

  5. Xetrov

    As an aside, I commend you, Hal, for making the effort and spending the time on this series of posts

    +1

    This most recent post shows how convoluted people can be in their thinking trying to come up with a reason to vote for Obama after four years instead of just voting against the other side.

    Thumb up 3

  6. CM

    His first two years he had a bullet proof majority in both houses,

    Didn’t the Democrats have a 60 seat majority from September 24, 2009 thru to February 4, 2010 (i.e. just 4 months)?

    Yes, his second two years was more limited, including working with a divided Congress, the comparisons are not even remotely similar.

    Especially as the majority of the spending was always going to happen in the first two years, being the time of economic crisis.

    You betcha. We have a very good idea of what he wants to do, given the opportunity.

    Like NOT pass a “Jerimiah Wright God Damn America Day”, give Charles Ogletree the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, or make Kenya the 51st state….;-p

    It is interesting that Bush’s nickel and dime spending (context) gets broad brushed with Obama’s break the bank spending. Yes, debt is debt and both should be eschewed, but seriously, adding $6 trillion to the debt in 4 years, a debt btw that took 200 plus years to get to $10 trillion, this is like sipping wine coolers to chugging pure grain alcohol.

    You mention context, but then throw context out the window.

    Wow, pretty condescending, you left out the orgasms they get while bayonetting civilian babies. How about this, not treating your enemies better then your allies,

    You claim condescension, but then immediate do it yourself.

    I think the general consensus is that he will go absolutely wild with his progressive agenda, if given half the chance.

    Wouldn’t he have already done that in the “2 years” of unrestrained power?
    What makes you think this is the ‘consensus’?

    But given the DEM position on abortion, how no restrictions at all should be placed on the practice, I think their position could more easily be described as fringe thinking.

    I certainly have serious issues with allowing people to have late-term abortions for no reason.

    As an aside, I commend you, Hal, for making the effort and spending the time on this series of posts, I certainly don’t have the time for it.

    +1 from me too.

    Thumb up 1

  7. CM

    2) He has no basic, core American values – he has little to nothing in commen with Americans as a whole.

    Seattle, can you expand on this? What are his values, and how do they differ from “basic, core American values”?
    I know we’ve discussed this a little before, but if he has “little to nothing in common with Americans” then why has he been so popular? Why would so many Americans like someone so much, if that person has little or nothing in common with them?

    My fear is that this will happen AND we will sell even more of our future and/or fuck over our kids. They really want this to happen.

    Why on earth would they want that to happen? How does that make sense politically?

    Thumb up 1

  8. Thrill

    You can’t keep defecit spending at this rate for 4 more years and not show some small, temporary improvement in the economy, can you?

    No, you can’t. We can only hope that Obama will make his long-overdue pivot to the center and that the GOP Congress will be receptive to it. I think both sides have enormous incentive to do so. Obama has a legacy to think of and the GOP congressmen may suffer for perceived obstruction in 2014 if they don’t.

    Or maybe the disaster will finally hit when everybody sees how much trouble we’re really in and they won’t have any choice, I don’t know.

    I’m in the minority on this, but I believe that the country needs one-party dominance during times of crisis to do what needs to be done. This was true of the Republicans in the Civil War and the Democrats during the Great Depression/WW2 era. Most people don’t seem to realize how much of a clusterfuck we’re in now or else they’d be alarmed about the fact that our divided government is so dysfunctional that it can’t even pass a budget.

    On that basis alone, I could support Romney, I suppose. But I do not believe that Obama is the right guy and will vote against him regardless. I’ve seen no evidence that he is capable of governing, plus all the stuff Seattle Outcast said.

    Thumb up 6

  9. repmom

    Why would so many Americans like someone so much, if that person has little or nothing in common with them?

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of Americans who don’t like America. SO is talking about people with “basic, core values”. People who love this great country and what it stands for. People who are proud and not ashamed to wave the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.

    You know – folks who have been proud of this country more than once in their life.

    And then there are people – like my mom – who always vote for Democrats because “they care about the poor people like her”.

    Thumb up 2

  10. Seattle Outcast

    Seattle, can you expand on this? What are his values, and how do they differ from “basic, core American values”?

    Raised primarily outside of the US as a muslim. Attended a “church” that espouses black liberation theology where the preacher was converted Black Muslim.
    Apparently has some serious grudge against the UK – routinely snubs our allies, shows deferrence to foreign leaders
    Fundamentally eurosocialist & anti-business – routinely seeks higher taxes, expanded role of government in all facets of day to day life
    Believes the government is the economic powerhouse of the country, routinely belittles capitalism and savages Wall Street
    Surrounds himself with self-professed marxists and terrorists as advisors and mentors

    That’s just off the top of my head…

    Thumb up 4

  11. CM

    You can’t keep defecit spending at this rate for 4 more years…

    Which rate are you talking about?

    Here is the deficit (year, receipts, outlays, surplus/deficit)

    2008 2,523,991 2,982,544 -458,553
    2009 2,104,989 3,517,677 -1,412,688
    2010 2,162,724 3,456,213 -1,293,489
    2011 2,303,466 3,603,061 -1,299,595
    2012 estimate 2,468,599 3,795,547 -1,326,948
    2013 estimate 2,901,956 3,803,364 -901,408
    2014 estimate 3,215,293 3,883,095 -667,802
    2015 estimate 3,450,153 4,059,866 -609,713
    2016 estimate 3,680,085 4,328,840 -648,755
    2017 estimate 3,919,275 4,531,723 -612,448

    First table here.

    Still going in the wrong direction, but at a slower rate than 2009, and that rate is forecast to half.
    Still the wrong direction though.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of Americans who don’t like America. SO is talking about people with “basic, core values”. People who love this great country and what it stands for. People who are proud and not ashamed to wave the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.

    You know – folks who have been proud of this country more than once in their life.

    And then there are people – like my mom – who always vote for Democrats because “they care about the poor people like her”.

    You honestly, hand on heart, believe that Obama doesn’t like America? Really?
    Half of Americans “don’t like America”?

    Thanks Seattle, I appreciate your comments. I guess to make more sense of this I’d need to see a list of “basic, core values”, so I can compare.

    Thumb up 0

  12. CM

    The poll found more Americans say that Obama has the values that they identify with compared to Mitt Romney.

    According to The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, released Tuesday, 50 percent of Americans say that Obama has the background and values they identify with compared to 42 percent who say they relate more to Romney.

    In the latest poll, 47 percent surveyed said Obama does not share a similar background and values. Fifty-two percent said Romney does not share the same background and values.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/239883-obama-leads-romney-49-percent-to-43-percent-according-to-wsjnbc-poll

    So 50% of Americans don’t hold “basic, core values”? If that’s the case, can they really be claimed as “basic, core values” at all?

    Thumb up 1

  13. CM

    Raised primarily outside of the US as a muslim.

    Wasn’t he living in Indonesia for only 4 years (1967-1971, ages 6 to 10), and rest of the time he was in Hawaii? And when his mother moved back to Indonesia in 1971 he chose to stay in Hawaii?

    He was raised as a Muslim? Really?

    Thumb up 0

  14. West Virginia Rebel

    Reasons for Obama:

    As Hal said, the Republicans could help keep him honest, so to speak, if they gain the Senate.

    If he wins, he’ll have no one to blame the economy on if there’s another recession. He and his party may continue to try and blame Republican “obstructionism,” but it won’t work.

    Hopefully he’ll convince Hillary to stay on if he wins. Making her Secretary of State was probably the smartest thing he ever did. He has also shown that “soft power” and working with others (as with Libya) can work.

    Thumb up 1

  15. Mississippi Yankee

    Why would so many Americans like someone so much, if that person has little or nothing in common with them?

    Let’s see how much they like him come Nov. 6th.

    I truly believe 2008 was a ‘imperfect storm’ of at least these factors:

    Eight years of MSM assault (some deserved) on Bush. Yet no vetting of the Mocha Messiah.
    A faltering economy brought on by things like the burst of the housing bubble, 7 years of war on Terror, and least I mention the mysterious $55 billion stock short sale on Sept. 19th. Soros?
    Liberal “white” guilt
    A vast increase of black voters
    And considerable voter fraud in key district and precincts, mostly in swing states. Hell 5 top ranking donks in Arkansas pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud in 2008.
    A week doesn’t go by that there isn’t an allegation and quite often a admission of voter skullduggery but because it comes in dribs and drabs the numbers don’t accumulate in our conscious. Why do you think the left is still fighting tooth and nail against Voter ID.

    I look for another financial surprise this fall and combined with ballot manipulations on a par with the former Soviet Union.

    CM

    My fear is that this will happen AND we will sell even more of our future and/or fuck over our kids. They really want this to happen.

    Why on earth would they want that to happen? How does that make sense politically?

    A simple review of the “Cloward Piven Strategy” will answer you question.

    Thumb up 2

  16. CM

    A simple review of the “Cloward Piven Strategy” will answer you question.

    I’m afraid a simply review of the Cloward Piven Strategy does no such thing (for me). According to Wikiepedia that strategy centres around making sure everyone who is eligible for benefits gets them, so that the system becomes overwhelmed. Ironically it relies on a lot of those people assumed to be lazy bludgers not actually being lazy bludgers…..

    Hell 5 top ranking donks in Arkansas pleaded guilty yesterday to fraud in 2008.

    Or 2011?

    On the gay marriage thing….

    Somebody here recently mentioned the stat, where each and every time gay marriage has been put forth to the people, each and every time it has been roundly rejected, 30 some states in all I believe.

    31 apparently.
    That was 2009.
    More recent polling (May 2011) has those in favour overtaking those in opposition for the first time:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/First-Time-Majority-Americans-Favor-Legal-Gay-Marriage.aspx
    2012, ahead again:
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/154529/Half-Americans-Support-Legal-Gay-Marriage.aspx

    This is reflected in that fact that for the third year in the row, a majority says gay/lesbian relations are morally acceptable
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/154634/Acceptance-Gay-Lesbian-Relations-New-Normal.aspx

    It’s clearly a generational thing. More than any other issue.
    As time goes by the gap will no doubt grow beyond a few percentage points.

    Thumb up 0

  17. Miguelito

    And then there are people – like my mom – who always vote for Democrats because “they care about the poor people like her”.

    Yeah, my one grandfather and his one brother are similar. They’re die-hard Dems (ironically my grandmother is far more conservative) and always vote party line (or did.. he’s past voting at this point). Yet they grew up during the depression and have huge beliefs in individual achievement and responsibility. How that meshes with continually voting the D line is a mystery to me.

    The 3rd brother is the one R of the group… somewhat ironically, he’s the rocket scientist. :) Ok, I’m not sure exactly what he was, but he was an engineer of some sort for NASA. He was also the youngest of the three.

    Thumb up 0

  18. Miguelito

    You honestly, hand on heart, believe that Obama doesn’t like America? Really?
    Half of Americans “don’t like America”?

    I think it’s really a combination of not liking a basic capitalistic system, coupled with a nation built mostly on individual rights, individual work/success and personal responsibility.

    Yes, nearly 1/2 don’t want to have to work for what they think they deserve. Not coincidentally, about the same percentage of the population doesn’t pay any net federal income taxes while constantly whining that the rich aren’t “paying their fair share.”

    Edit: Bah.. I can’t uncheck the box I forgot to uncheck that does the “.. recently posted” which was like 2 years ago. :-/

    Thumb up 2

  19. ilovecress

    Ooh so close.

    You know the reason that I love this blog and read it nearly every day? It’s for posts like this series here. I love me some political satire, and those usually seem to be of the more liberal bent (to say the least). Which is why I find this blog fascinating – to give the conservative point of view without all the bullshit. Ral reasoned political arguments.

    But then it returns to the caricature that the liberals give you – that rather than talking about the issues, you’re convinced Obama is a secret socialist Muslim non-American, that despite getting a majority of the vote, is out of touch with America. the assumption that liberals don’t love their country (as opposed to simply having a slightly different view on a complex issue) that everything is a conspiracy, cooked up by outsiders to take away something from you. That a man elected the president of the united states is actually consciously trying to destroy it.

    I always promote this blog to my liberal friends to show them the other side of the argument, and these posts are some brilliant examples of why. Unfortunately I always have to warn against reading the comments, as it just confirms the stereotype of the paranoid nut job, convinced of a seret plot. Which means they miss some good posts.

    But, sure, yeah. This is the most important election ever, blah blah blah, save America, blah blah blah, end times, socialist, Kenyan blah blah blah.

    Keep it up Hal.

    Hot! Thumb up 6

  20. CM

    Yet they grew up during the depression and have huge beliefs in individual achievement and responsibility. How that meshes with continually voting the D line is a mystery to me.

    Makes sense to me. I have “huge beliefs in individual achievement and responsibility”. It’s certainly what I’m teaching my kids, above pretty much all else.

    Yes, nearly 1/2 don’t want to have to work for what they think they deserve.

    I think it’s much more of a case that they don’t think the rewards are even remotely proportionate to the ‘work’ put in, anymore. And that the ‘other team’ work hard to keep it that way, and want to make it even more so.

    Thumb up 0

  21. CM

    Mississippi Yankee would I right be thinking you’re a big Glenn Beck fan? Much of what you post seems to be what I remember from watching his old show on Fox. I know he was a big fan of the Cloward Piven Strategy.

    But then it returns to the caricature that the liberals give you – that rather than talking about the issues, you’re convinced Obama is a secret socialist Muslim non-American, that despite getting a majority of the vote, is out of touch with America. the assumption that liberals don’t love their country (as opposed to simply having a slightly different view on a complex issue) that everything is a conspiracy, cooked up by outsiders to take away something from you. That a man elected the president of the united states is actually consciously trying to destroy it.

    Exactly. How can anyone hope to engage in any sort of meaningful political discussion when they hold the view that the other side cannot possibly be sincere in their beliefs?

    Clinton:

    Now — but — but they did it well. They looked good, they sounded good. They convinced me…
    … that they all love their families and their children, and we’re grateful they’ve been born in America, and all — really, I’m not being — they did.
    And this is important. They convinced me they were honorable people who believe what they’ve said and they’re going to keep every commitment they’ve made.
    We’ve just got to make sure the American people know what those commitments are.

    Surely it’s possible for someone to disagree with you but still be honorable? They can still be sincere in the beliefs they hold?

    Thumb up 2

  22. Section8

    Bush was going to privatize Social Security … and nothing ever came of it.

    Indeed nothing ever came of this. Wasn’t this due in part though to some of the senators you’ve defended time and time again like Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins? Plenty to blame on the GOP when they had full control, but this comment seems kind of disingenuous as one of your arguments about GOP failures. I don’t remember your views on this when it was up for votes in committees and such. Were you for it then?

    Thumb up 0

  23. Mississippi Yankee

    Mississippi Yankee would I right be thinking you’re a big Glenn Beck fan? Much of what you post seems to be what I remember from watching his old show on Fox. I know he was a big fan of the Cloward Piven Strategy..

    You’d be quite wrong actually. Just trying to watch Beck raised my BP. Same for Bill O’Reilly. As much as I love, use and appreciate hyperbole Beck, imo, believed the outlandish things he said. But I really don’t think he (Beck) was a fan of the Cloward Piven Strategy. Perhaps you meant just the opposite.

    BYW, I do believe the Democrat Party and this administration are inching this country toward a Cloward Piven situation, or Marxist or a strong socialist one. This president hasn’t acquired the moniker of “Food Stamp President” for nothing. And don’t even get me started about how codewords, dog whistles and innuendo affected us in this counrty since we became “post-racial”

    S

    urely it’s possible for someone to disagree with you but still be honorable? They can still be sincere in the beliefs they hold?

    Certainly, I’ve disagreed in the past with several people right here on a number of issues Alex, Section8, Poosh, richtaylor just to name a few. I just refuse to believe that YOU are honorable nor your intentions. When I call you a ‘loquacious troll’ or an ‘agent provocateur’ I mean it. It is my firmbelief that your bi-purpose for even coming to a libertarian/ right leaning site is to sow dissent and simply feed your own ego. Between your humongous multi paragraphed comments and your google searches for partisan links I’d be surprised if you managed to get adequate sleep and nourishment. (because you won’t ‘get it’ that was hyperbole btw)

    OTOH, salinger, an American, and lovecress, a New Zealander, offer their beliefs honestly. I’m sure there are others too. Some here, probably most, may not always agree with their thoughts but at least count the differences as sincere. You, not so much.

    I hope I have made this all perfectly clear to you CM.

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  24. repmom

    Yeah, my one grandfather and his one brother are similar. They’re die-hard Dems (ironically my grandmother is far more conservative) and always vote party line (or did.. he’s past voting at this point). Yet they grew up during the depression and have huge beliefs in individual achievement and responsibility. How that meshes with continually voting the D line is a mystery to me.

    My mom – and other family members – totally believe in the redistribution of the wealth. In her words – “Why shouldn’t those lucky enough to have lots of money not share it with those of us not so fortunate.”

    It’s that “lucky” word that drives me crazy!

    I think it’s much more of a case that they don’t think the rewards are even remotely proportionate to the ‘work’ put in, anymore.

    So, CM, you’re saying that they don’t get paid enough – in their opinion – for the work they do, so they would choose to stay home instead and get govt. handouts? And you’re okay with that? First off – do they have no pride?

    And that the ‘other team’ work hard to keep it that way, and want to make it even more so.

    How so?

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  25. JimK

    That a man elected the president of the united states is actually consciously trying to destroy it.

    That is a mis-characterization that makes it easy for you to insult and dismiss people, but it’s just another strawman.

    What most people have said when not short-handing it, is that Obama has a vision for what America should be that is inconsistent with the foundations, the history, the social and societal traditions and the basic fabric of what at least half the citizens in this country feel it is to be American. He wants to change, fundamentally, what this country is, and shift it toward more of a European model.

    We were – literally – founded as an antithesis to that style of governance. He’d like to move toward it, and many, if not most, of us would like to move further away from it.

    That’s what people are saying. But if you want to take the Bill O’Reilly route and oversimplify, mis-characterize then yell about that…hey, go ahead and knock yourself out.

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  26. Dave D

    Jim:

    A lot of us think that IS “trying to destroy America.” Not sure why anyone has a problem with that characterization, other than the fact that they might AGREE with “eurosocializing” the US as a goal or might not have thought about it enough. It’s definitely where they (the libs) want us to go. We are watching the euro’s fail right before our eyes and there are clowns here who want to EMULATE that crap……

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  27. Kimpost

    Yes, really. You might want to read his books where he discusses this.

    Ridiculous.

    From The Audicity of Hope:

    During the five years that we would live with my stepfather in Indonesia, I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school, and then to a predominantly Muslim school; in both cases, my mother was less concerned with me learning the cathechism or puzzling out the meaning of the muezzin’s call to evening prayer than she was with whether I was properly learning my multiplication tables.

    The so called Muslim school was a public school. Yes the students there were mostly Muslim (big surprise in Indonesia), but that means nothing.

    Obama on NBC Today Show:

    I think they recognize that the notion that me going to school in Indonesia for two years at a public school there at the age of 7 and 8 is probably not going to be endangering in some way the people of America.

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  28. Kimpost

    We were – literally – founded as an antithesis to that style of governance. He’d like to move toward it, and many, if not most, of us would like to move further away from it.

    Antithesis to which style of governance, now? When you guys founded your country, you weren’t exactly abandoning the 21st century Scandinavian model. It’s almost as if you are saying that you want America to move away from western style democracies, towards what? Feudalism and tyranny?

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  29. JimK

    It’s almost as if you are saying that you want America to move away from western style democracies, towards what? Feudalism and tyranny?

    This, right here, is why I don’t participate very much in the comments anymore.

    This is one of the most fucking ridiculous reactions to what I wrote that a person could have. It’s specifically and exactly creating a strawman that bears very little resemblance to what I wrote, then railing against the strawman.

    I’m so fucking sick of this shit. I used to be such a fan of political blogging and following the news. Shit like this has quite literally beaten that out of me. I don’t have the energy to fight about every word against people who have no intention of having an honest discussion with me.

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  30. Kimpost

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  31. Section8

    I don’t have the energy to fight about every word against people who have no intention of having an honest discussion with me.

    Amen to that. It seems a couple of people here just like to repeat this process over and over. Nothing wrong with having discussions about different styles of government, but when some of those from the left come here “looking for answers”, and immediately discount the idea of limited government, refuse to factor in the concept of handing back power and responsibilities to the states or individuals, then the discussion has already broken down. This is possibly because it is foreign to them and they don’t care to try to understand, or just simply can’t fathom anything other than centralized power. Our ideas are simply written off as wacky, but yet they are still here “looking for answers”. What they are really looking for is provoked response (through that oh so subtle and insulting cleaver way), so then they can milk the hostile reactions. Maybe it would be time to encourage them to “look for answers” elsewhere since they, by their own admission, haven’t been able to find them here for over a year now. If we’re accused of wanting an echo chamber, who gives a shit? I think we’re all in about universal agreement of what the true problem is and it’s not because we want and echo chamber. Just a thought.

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  32. Thrill

    If Britain was then what it is today, chances are that you wouldn’t have left at all.

    Britain hasn’t really changed its style of government though, has it? It was a constitutional monarchy in 1776 and it still is. The monarch is less powerful, but it’s more or less the same.

    What has not changed is the concept that you Britons are subjects and we are citizens. Europe in 1776 was mostly ruled by kings and other royals with a smattering of republics such as those of the Dutch and the Swiss.

    The central concept is supposed to be that while a European is ruled by the government, Americans only consent to be governed by a government with limited, enumerated powers. George III’s government didn’t understand any boundaries on its own power at all: “Pay your taxes or we’ll send troops in to enforce tax collection.”

    You have not changed. Your government disarms the populace, uses its military to enforce the law (meaning that lawbreakers are actually enemies of the state, rather than people with rights–this is dangerous), and in theory can do pretty much whatever the Prime Minister’s party wants as long as it can keep itself in office. You are ruled by that.

    Sometimes, it isn’t necessarily evil, of course. I know you guys like your big national healthcare plan. But Americans (for the most part anyway) don’t like that concept because what the government provides, it can also deny based on its own needs.

    The US isn’t a “Western style democracy”. We’re a constitutional republic. Our elected leaders are supposed to be limited to what the Constitution allows them to do. We’re a LOOOONG way away from that at this point, but Obama unquestionably meant “subject” when he said “citizen”. Our officials swear an oath to defend the Constitution. Yours swear an oath to the queen and it is the Prime Minister who enacts “her” policies.

    We are about limited government. Europe isn’t. Early Americans wanted that because they saw how even the most enlightened European nations at the time (like England) could still exercise coercion and even brutality against its subjects without limits.

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  33. Dave D

    Great post, Thrill. Kimpost cannot understand why we wouldn’t want to emulate eurosocialism (or actually thinks that is what we already are?) and I beet he doesn’t “get” your post, either.

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  34. Thrill

    I see a lot of that from the RTFLCers from outside the US. They can’t imagine why we silly Americans are willing to have dangerous guns all over the place, don’t want to be fully taken care of from cradle to grave (Julia) by big daddy government, and aren’t excited about the idea to give up half of our earnings to support those entitlements for other people.

    Well, half of Americans anyway.

    Modern American liberals don’t really care about the Constitution. They think it’s antiquated, not realistic for our times today. They look at the safety of Europe’s people (which is an illusion, in my opinion) and want that. The Constitution is an impediment to that so they try to pretend like it doesn’t mean what it says.

    I’m not exaggerating either. I’ve discussed it with liberals in my own family and others who firmly believe that the Constitution is wicked because it was written by a bunch of men who were content to allow slavery and restrict the vote to white men. They have no use for the amendment process and prefer to just interpret the Constitution as they see fit by cherry-picking what they like (“…promote the general welfare…”) around what they don’t like (2nd and 10th Amendments).

    Liberty is risky. Obama and Co. want to take the risk out of your life. All you have to do is love your government and give, give, give.

    This election, to me, is really the point that we decide what we’re going to be. A part of me believes that this is what Justice Roberts had in mind when he decided to uphold Obamacare: “You, the People, gave the Democrats control of the elected branches in 2008 knowing full well that this is what they wanted. You don’t want it? Fix it or pay the tax and the consequences.”

    If that’s what he had in mind, it may have been the wake up call we needed. Or he’s a complete idiot, I don’t know.

    It’s 100% up to the voters now.

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  35. Miguelito

    It’s that “lucky” word that drives me crazy!

    Yeah, everyone I know in my family and friends (including myself) that are still doing ok even today, who are all “lucky” are the ones that planned ahead, made sacrifices when necessary, didn’t party away their entire youth, finished school, changed direction when they saw the current one wasn’t working for them, etc.

    Funny how that works out that those who work hard, pay attention, make informed decisions, etc… are the ones that are most often “lucky.”

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  36. Miguelito

    So I listened to a chunk of Obama’s speech last night in the car on the way home (about 15-20min) and it was mostly complete bullshit with tons of magic wand waving as expected. He waved that wand a few times I remember:
    By setting a new fuel efficiency goal, cars will magically be there.
    By decreeing we’ll save money for medicare and such by just magically lowering the cost of healthcare.

    Bah, those are the only 2 I remember off the top of my head. Of course no specifics were given as to how those goals would be met, just that since the goal was set, he’d lead us there. Yeah, ok.

    It seems like he absolutely loves the adoration too.

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  37. Thrill

    I still question whether or not he even wants to be President anymore. That speech was hollow. My own suspicion is that the 2010 midterms broke his heart and destroyed his own faith in himself.

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  38. Kimpost

    Amen to that. It seems a couple of people here just like to repeat this process over and over. Nothing wrong with having discussions about different styles of government, but when some of those from the left come here “looking for answers”, and immediately discount the idea of limited government, refuse to factor in the concept of handing back power and responsibilities to the states or individuals, then the discussion has already broken down. This is possibly because it is foreign to them and they don’t care to try to understand, or just simply can’t fathom anything other than centralized power.

    Weak. I suggest that you stop thinking that understanding Americans, or libertarians for that matter, is soooo damn difficult. I merely objected to JimK’s characterization of the western European model, calling it the antithesis to the US model of governance. That’s a fucking big stretch, that’s all.

    Our ideas are simply written off as wacky, but yet they are still here “looking for answers”. What they are really looking for is provoked response (through that oh so subtle and insulting cleaver way), so then they can milk the hostile reactions.

    I’m not here “looking for answers”. I’m simply reading other people’s views, and sometimes I offer them my own. If, or when, I get hostile reactions, I usually get bored. Internet hostility isn’t all that stimulating. For what it’s worth I don’t generally think that people here are wacky. A select few sometimes hold views I do find wacky, but most people here do not fit that category.

    Maybe it would be time to encourage them to “look for answers” elsewhere since they, by their own admission, haven’t been able to find them here for over a year now. If we’re accused of wanting an echo chamber, who gives a shit? I think we’re all in about universal agreement of what the true problem is and it’s not because we want and echo chamber. Just a thought.

    Nice cry fest you’ve got there. Enlighten me, what is the problem? Me and other thick foreigners who just don’t “get” you?

    Hot! Thumb up 2

  39. Kimpost

    Britain hasn’t really changed its style of government though, has it? It was a constitutional monarchy in 1776 and it still is. The monarch is less powerful, but it’s more or less the same.

    This is just silly, as well as pointless.Yes the UK of today is a constitutional monarchy, just as it was in 1776, but that’s irrelevant for the discussion we are having here, isn’t it?

    You have not changed. Your government disarms the populace, uses its military to enforce the law (meaning that lawbreakers are actually enemies of the state, rather than people with rights–this is dangerous), and in theory can do pretty much whatever the Prime Minister’s party wants as long as it can keep itself in office. You are ruled by that.

    The military enforces the law? Lawbreakers are enemies of the state? You’re not seriously believing that the PM can do whatever he wants?

    The US isn’t a “Western style democracy”. We’re a constitutional republic.

    You are both.

    Our elected leaders are supposed to be limited to what the Constitution allows them to do.

    The US Constitution is just law. It can and have been amended many times. Similarly, most evolved democracies have constitutional law. Granted your system of governance is pretty unique, but having constitutional laws that are more difficult to amend, isn’t.

    We are about limited government. Europe isn’t. Early Americans wanted that because they saw how even the most enlightened European nations at the time (like England) could still exercise coercion and even brutality against its subjects without limits.

    Yet your government isn’t the smallest, nor are your taxes the lowest. Hell, if you’d ask me, I too would subscribe to the idea of limited government. I just want there to be a safety net. And the safety net should be as close to the people in need as possible, which means that I don’t usually think that federal is the way to go. The enlightened European nations of the time, weren’t really that enlightened now where they?

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  40. Thrill

    You start off arguing for argument’s sake. You wanted an explanation on the difference between the Western European styles of government and the US style and you got it.

    Only in your last paragraph did you address the substance of what I was saying. Here we go:

    Yet your government isn’t the smallest, nor are your taxes the lowest.

    You’re right. As I said:

    We’re a LOOOONG way away from that at this point

    Hell, if you’d ask me, I too would subscribe to the idea of limited government. I just want there to be a safety net. And the safety net should be as close to the people in need as possible, which means that I don’t usually think that federal is the way to go.

    Well, then I’d say we’re in agreement. This is not Obama’s belief, of course.

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  41. ilovecress

    That is a mis-characterization that makes it easy for you to insult and dismiss people, but it’s just another strawman.

    Okay – maybe that’s a bit over the top – but my point still stands. Hal gave the reasons to vote for Obama – talking about fiscal and foreign relations and came up with a good reasoned post. A couple of posts in, and he’s a puppet for secret far-left organisations, his policies are a ‘death sentence’, and he has no values, – the 50% of people who vote for him ‘don’t like America’ and are ashamed to wave the flag. What they ‘really want to happen’ is to ‘fuck over our kids’.

    Jim – it’s probably best for another thread, but I think a discussion/post about what people mean by ‘eurosocialism’ would be interesting. What is it about this model that you feel you’re moving towards?

    I have a feeling that there are some misconceptions on both sides that would show up as we’re probably less socialist than you think, and you’re probably more than we think. Happy to write something up and submit it to a contributor if anyone is interested….

    Hot! Thumb up 5

  42. Thrill

    Happy to write something up and submit it to a contributor if anyone is interested….

    I echo his request. I’d like to see it. Will any of the Authors take cress up on this?

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  43. richtaylor365

    . A couple of posts in, and he’s a puppet for secret far-left organisations, his policies are a ‘death sentence’, and he has no values, – the 50% of people who vote for him ‘don’t like America’ and are ashamed to wave the flag. What they ‘really want to happen’ is to ‘fuck over our kids’.

    Jesus cress, you are usually more measured and reasonable then this, is that what you really read? Did you happen to see all the American flags waving at the DNC, did you see the benediction prayer at the end, all the heads bowed ? Did you read the post I wrote a few months ago about all the libs I know in the Bay Area, how by and large they are just as patriotic, love their country just as much and want America to succeed as much as I do? I don’t mind condescension, but sprinkle a little reality on it, OK?

    Happy to write something up and submit it to a contributor if anyone is interested….

    Go for it. It is related to the post and many times we sidetrack a bit, so do it here.

    and you’re probably more than we think

    Much to our embarrassment and disgust. It clear that the world citizen would like us to move in that direction but it isn’t something I’m in favor of.

    Oh, and just so that I understand, you are a Brit but you live in NZ, is that right?

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  44. repmom

    A couple of posts in, and he’s a puppet for secret far-left organisations, his policies are a ‘death sentence’, and he has no values, – the 50% of people who vote for him ‘don’t like America’ and are ashamed to wave the flag. What they ‘really want to happen’ is to ‘fuck over our kids’.

    ilovecress – If you are going to quote some of us here to make your point, would you please at least do it honestly and correctly?

    I said –

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of Americans who don’t like America. SO is talking about people with “basic, core values”. People who love this great country and what it stands for. People who are proud and not ashamed to wave the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.

    How did that become –

    the 50% of people who vote for him ‘don’t like America’ and are ashamed to wave the flag

    I also stated that many – like my own mother – vote for Obama because they feel he cares for them and their needs. She is part of that 50% who support him, but she certainly doesn’t hate America, and has no problem waving the flag.

    Disagree with my comments all you want, but don’t twist my words to fit your objective.

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  45. Mississippi Yankee

    The United States hasn’t been European since 1776,but then again, that was the whole point.

    Why is that concept so hard for non-Americans to grasp?

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  46. ilovecress

    I’m digging myself into a hole here, but feel compelled to defend myself. ;-)

    Repmom - you were writing in reply to a quote

    CM asked why so many people voted for Obama if he didn’t hold ‘core American values’. You gave him the reply that ‘unfortunately there are a lot of Americans who don’t like America.

    I assumed that you meant ‘the reason why so many people voted for Obama is because there are a lot of people who don’t like America’.

    I may have got the wrong end of the stick about your mother too – you stated there are some people who are proud of this country – and then there are people like your mother.

    Now I may be completely wrong about what you meant to say – but surely you can see I wasn’t twisting your words.

    Rich

    Absolutely – it just frustrates me when a really good substantive discussion devolves into a pissing competition over who loves flags more. I probably went over the top.

    As for the Eurosocialism thing – I suspect that we’re actually all talking at cross definitions, and that we agree more than we disagree. I certainly don’t feel that Britain is a socialist state, but I can see how it looks that way from the outside. I fully realise how our monarchy looks like a terrible idea, but the imperfect system strangely works for the peculiarity of the Brits.

    I’m sure there are similar misconceptions going the other way too. Anyway – I’ll try and write something up and send it to you Rich – you can use it if you like, or not at all. Perhaps when we have a quiet week?

    Oh, and yes, expat Brit living in NZ (I spent a year working ion Washington to, so I have a small insight into the US. Well a small insight into a small slice of the US)

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  47. ilovecress

    The United States hasn’t been European since 1776,but then again, that was the whole point.

    Why is that concept so hard for non-Americans to grasp?

    Have you ever had an ex girlfriend go on to become famous? It’s a bit like that. :-)

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  48. Mississippi Yankee

    Have you ever had an ex girlfriend go on to become famous? It’s a bit like that. :-)

    Sorta, I taught one to ……….. Well anyway she became kinda famous for that in the years to come :-)

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