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11/8/2008
ON BEING NOBLE AND OTHER NONSENSICAL IDEAS IN THE AGE OF OBAMA

An interesting back and forth recently between two of my favorite bloggers highlighted a couple of things that needed airing as well as revealing some on the right to have the intellectual capacity of a chipmunk.

Patterico and Goldstein got into it over something I’ve written about at length; the idea that we should not attempt to delegitimize Obama, that he is the clear winner of the election and that in a democracy, once the people have spoken, the minority accepts the will of the majority and takes on the role of “loyal opposition.”

Patterico took this concept one step farther and posited the notion that Obama was a “good man:”

Good men do bad things, and in the pursuit of ambition, they almost always do. Barack Obama is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination.

What’s more, I think he will damage this country with bad policies. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Inevitably, he is going to take actions that I think are disastrous, and somebody will come back and say: “Hey, Patterico! I thought you said Barack Obama was a good man!” Yes, but I never said he wasn’t going to do horrible things. It’s quite clear he will.

What’s more, there is no way in hell he is going to do away with the poisonous atmosphere in Washington, and anyone who thinks that he can is a fool. It will be amusing to watch him try.

But I make no apologies for saying he is a good man. He is my President. He is our President. And while he hasn’t always done good, I do believe he is fundamentally a good man and a patriot who wants to make this country a better place.

Goldstein tried for a shot across the bow in response and ended up hitting the main mast instead:

Precisely the kind of self-righteous civility that fried McCain. Want to be clapped on the back for your decorum? Fine. Just say so.

But let’s not pretend you are being honest or principled. Graciousness is one thing; praise is another.

This “good man” was involved in ACORN blackmail schemes. With an attempt to fraudulently undermine the Second Amendment by gaming court rulings. He got rich off of schemes that led to the mortgage crisis — then stood by and let others fix it in order to keep his hands clean during the final stages of an election. He has thrown in with race hustlers,”reformers” who believe that domestic terrorism was a valid form of expression, odious foreign potentates –

There is nothing at all noble about praising a man and a party who reviles you simply because in doing so you appear noble. Jews have tried that. And it’s often ended with skeletons and ash, or the twisted wreckage of a bus in Tel Aviv.

In this case, it will end with more McCains — and so more Obamas and Reids and Pelosis and Olbermans.

If that’s nobility, I’m not interested. Yes, Obama is my President. But that doesn’t mean I’m forced to forget all he’s done to get there — and all that’s been done on his behalf, either by the savage supporters who went after Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, or by the “objective media” that sold its soul for a shot at establishing the government it desired.

I would agree with Goldstein - to a point. In questioning Pat’s intentions and motives in writing the post, Goldstein goes too far. Unless he has been vouchsafed the ability to peer into the souls of men and glean intent, I would suggest he stick with what he recommends and fights for so tirelessly - a literal interpretation of what is written. In literature, we can extrapolate intent from what we know about the author and his times. Can we not grant the same courtesy to Mr. Frey? Pat has not shown himself to be a link whore in the past nor has he necessarily proven to be the kind of blogger who sets himself up as the conscience of the right. (That job is taken and I will not, under any circumstances, give it up.)

In that, I see no attempt at self-aggrandizement on Pat’s part. If Goldstein wishes to make that argument, he must take me and dozens of other righty bloggers to task for writing basically the same thing. (Note: From what I’ve written about this subject, one could infer that I believe Obama to be a man fatally flawed by hubris and ideology but a man with good qualities.) How Jeff could separate those who genuinely feel that Obama is a “good man” from those who are looking for a “pat on the back” would be an interesting exercise that might even tax the abilities of the brilliant Mr. Goldstein.

But where Jeff nails it is in delineating the difference between “graciousness” in defeat and actual “praise” for what some might see as salutary qualities in the president elect. Patterico makes the age old argument, i.e. good men do bad things in the pursuit of power. Goldstein rightly calls Frey on this by listing a slew of bad things this supposedly “good man” initiated. Not to belabor the point but Hitler liked dogs, was good with kids, and generated enormous loyalty and devotion among his personal staff.

No jerks, I am not comparing Obama to Hitler. I am pointing out that even the worst of men apparently had some good qualities. Obama is not the worst of men but, as Goldstein points out, neither can he be termed a “good man” based on the fact that he exhibited many qualities in common with “bad men.” Good men may not be perfect. But they don’t lie for a living nor do they throw long time friends and associates under the bus because they have become a political millstone.

I have grown quite cynical about all politicians over the years. There are a handful I have met and known or covered closely who could be considered “good men.” Obama ain’t one of them and neither, for that matter, is John McCain. The only good man I thought who has run for president in my lifetime was Paul Simon. Much too guileless, gracious, and cerebral to have any chance whatsoever in 1988, Simon nearly won the Iowa caucuses on a shoe string but faded badly after that. Simon was legendary for his courtliness, believing good manners in politics was essential to a functioning democracy.

Obama ain’t no Paul Simon neither.

Stung to the quick by Goldstein’s broadside, Patterico responded, trying to explain:

I’m sick of people who want to write off entire groups of people as Bad People because of what they believe in. I’ve watched the left do that, and I’m seeing a lot of people on the right doing that now as well. (I’m not talking about Jeff here; I think he’s too smart to demonize all Democrats. But I believe some folks out there are demonizing people for their beliefs.)

When it comes to Obama, we’re obviously talking about a different situation. Many here are calling him a bad man because he has done some bad things and associated with some bad people. It’s true, he has, and I can respect the people who write him off for that reason. I’m simply not going to do it, yet. Like Beldar, I’m

deliberately giving Obama the benefit of the doubt on some of his associations, to call that merely “bad judgment” as opposed to evidence that he, himself, is also a “bad man.”

And like Beldar, I may well end up admitting that I was wrong about that.

But I’m not going to write Obama off as a Bad Man because of his beliefs, contrary to the wishes of my former commenter. And I’m not going to write him off as a Bad Man — or the majority of his supporters as bad People — based on what I’ve seen to date. So far, as I’ve said, I see him as a basically good and decent man who, like many politicians, has engaged in some highly questionable behavior in the pursuit of power.

I don’t think too many people are saying that Obama is a bad man because of what he believes - wrongheaded, dangerous, and even illogical as some of those beliefs are. If I were to believe that, I would have to condemn most of my family who believe many of the things that Obama does and that is something I cannot do. Liberalism may be a horrid ideology but it is not in and of itself evil or bad. A denial of the reality of how humans live and interact, yes. An ignorance of how wealth is created and the efficacious nature of private property rights, absolutely. But it is not fascism or Marxism.

And Frey is wrong in intimating that Goldstein was condemning groups of people for what they believed. In fact, it is something of a mystery where he got that idea from Jeff’s response to his original post.

Goldstein disagrees with me that Obama is no socialist but he does have a point about what is important about fighting the Obama Administration:

Patterico accused me of “demonizing” all Democrats, which is patently absurd. In fact, I dealt specifically with denying the appellation “good man” to someone who, through his actions, has proven to be anything but.

It matters who gets called a “good man.” It matters who we say has this country’s best interests at heart. And yes, it’s possible Obama does, to a certain extent — though what is important to recognize is that, at least so far as his governing principles to this point suggest, he doesn’t hold that view from the perspective of the country as it was founded, and as it was intended to be governed.

Which means that Obama’s best interests for the country are really the best interests for a country he’d like to see this one become — a new text that he’d like us to believe will be but an re-interpretation of the original text.

As someone who believes in the principles upon which this country was founded, I refuse to allow that someone whose ideological predispositions compel him to radically redefine that “imperfect document” that is the Constitution, has this country’s best interests at heart.

And I likewise refuse to allow that a man whose thuggish deeds and unsavory associations have defined him be granted the honor of “good man.” Because to do so is to make a mockery of good men, and to cede yet another bit of our ability to evaluate and describe and conclude in good faith into a bit of “hate speech” that won’t help the GOP regain power.

To which I say, outlaws ain’t team players. And it’s time to be outlaws.

And to which I say, sign me up for the “Hole in the Web” gang.

Goldstein’s point cannot be overstated or overvalued. At bottom, the real war between right and left is the destruction of conventions that facilitate real communication. We have all seen and commented on it. The constantly changing definitions of terms like “racism.” The deliberate textual misinterpretation of what conservatives say and write in order to extract a self-selected “meaning” that advances their argument at the expense of the author’s intent (Glenn Greenwald and Dave Neiwert are absolute masters at this).

Such machinations make it impossible to carry on a dialogue with the left about much of anything. And there are precious few on the right who consistently call the left out for their assassination of the language, taking the battle for intentionalism directly to the source. Goldstein is one of them.

We must refuse to allow Obama and his allies any room to breathe when it comes to opposing their stated intent to “remake” America into something it was never intended to be. But we can and should do it if not “graciously,” then certainly by recognizing that our disagreements should not devolve into the kind of mindless deconstructionism that the left has used against us for the last 8 years. Gleaning intent from Obama’s proposals should not concern us as much as fighting what he will attempt to do.

I believe at bottom, this is what Pat was trying to say. There is nothing “noble” in this construct any more than it is “noble” or “patriotic” to pay taxes. I believe it is self-evident to any conservative which is why I am confident that we would shame the left with our ideas of what constitutes a “loyal opposition”…

If the left could feel shame about anything.

UPDATE: 11/13

Patterico emailed me a few days ago asking me to correct what I had written - that he was condemning people who despised all Democrats - including Jeff Goldstein.

In fact, I misinterpreted what Goldstein had written believing that this was something Patterico had actually said rather than Jeff’s analysis of what Pat had written.

Apologies to Pat for the error.

By: Rick Moran at 9:32 am
33 Responses to “ON BEING NOBLE AND OTHER NONSENSICAL IDEAS IN THE AGE OF OBAMA”
  1. 1
    Pablo Said:
    10:26 am 

    “But we can and should do it if not “graciously,” then certainly by recognizing that our disagreements should not devolve into the kind of mindless deconstructionism that the left has used against us for the last 8 years.”

    True that. There seems to be an idea floating around here that the right must either kiss Obama’s ass or become the mirror opposite of the unhinged left, and Patterico advances it to a degree. This is a false dichotomy. There’s plenty of room between those two poles. rational, reasoned opposition is still

    I hope Obama makes me proud. I hope he makes me glad he’s in office. And I hoped those things about George Bush in 2000 when I didn’t trust him much more than I trust Obama now. Those Obama hopes are awfully thin, and benefit of the doubt is in very short supply as doubt itself is in short supply. I don’t expect Obama to become something very different from what his history tells us he is.

    Obama won, period. He is the next President and I want nothing more than to like the vast majority of what he does in that office. Country first.

    That said, my respect must be earned and prevailing in an election doesn’t do it. His performance will earn him my praise or my ire. Given what I know of him, I expect he’ll get more of the latter.

    I don’t think him an especially good man, nor do I think he’s Satan. We’re finally going to find out just who and what he is, and history will answer that question. What he says matters far less than what he does and being a decent husband/father isn’t enough to make a POTUS a “good man”.

    Nice post, Rick.

  2. 2
    emgersh Said:
    12:38 pm 

    YOu had me until the “Hitler” thing. And, no, I’m not an imbecile who thinks you are “actually” comparing Obama to Hitler but, considering the number of your ideological compatriots who have done and are doing so, I would think such a mention is beneath you and your stated argument.

    I’d suggest you simply drop such mentions unless you do intend to make the comparison. It doesn’t help facilitate the “real communication” you say, and I believe you do, seek.

    Speaking of that communication, Rick, I think you’d do well to acknowledge the role your compatriots have played in traveling the road that led to our current state of mutually assured destruction. Left wing Bush rejectionism didn’t appear from out of the ether without precedent. We had a fair amount of this from the moment of Clinton’s election as well. it does no good to deny it. It just makes us doubt the sincerity of your stated goals.

    Yes, fight the good fight during the election and never stop fighting for your beliefs. I’d be surprised an disappointed if you or anyone else did anything short of that. But draw a line between that and the wholesale demonization of individuals and groups. Too many can’t find that line.

    No on who engages passionately in politics is without this sin. If we can all acknowledge as much, we can settle down between electoral cycles and attempt the communication I think we all do desire. Of course, there is an alternative. . . we can simply extend the election cycle indefinitely and forget about governing at all. From most of what I read online it seems that a majority of the blogosphere would prefer that. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

  3. 3
    P. Aaron Said:
    1:26 pm 

    Obama should be opposed at every turn if he tries to redefine or re-interpret the consitution.

    Good man? Balderdash. He’s just a winner of an election. That does not make anyone whole or moral for past deeds of wrong-doing.

  4. 4
    Mr. Right Said:
    2:42 pm 

    “If the left could feel shame about anything.”

    I only wish I believed many of them capable of shame, but the evidence I have seen the last 8 years would suggest otherwise.

    Lord knows, I have put a great deal of effort into lampooning the angry left, trying to find humor in their frequently childish and at times downright obscene behavior. At times, they became so unbelievably ridiculous, it literally became impossible to engage in satire!

    While I have no intention of imitating their reprehensible behavior, I am also not willing to just forgive and forget and sit in a circle with them singing “Kumbaya” now that they have conquered us with their misguided idea of Utopia.

    Note to the left (and make no mistake, it is the far left extremists that now holds the reins of power): If you intend, as I fear, to set about attempting to destroy the very foundations of this great country and to stifle any and all opposition by interfering with free speech (The “Fairness” Doctrine, Net “Neutrality”, the race card, characterizing all opposing thought as “Hate Speech”) and free and fair elections (ACORN, no ID for voting, gerrymandering, WA Gov race, MN Senate race, etc), you best be prepared to fight because I intend to go down swinging!

    No retreat, no surrender… there is simply far too much at stake!

  5. 5
    ajt Said:
    2:53 pm 

    I want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt and I want him to do well. I agree that we should not “devolve into the mindless destructionism” that the left has used against the right for the last eight years. But when you see and hear the things that are still coming from the left after Obama’s victory and when you remember how short the honeymoon was for W., it’s not easy. Hollywood and the mainstream media will praise this man (Obama) no matter what he does. Chris Matthews is already saying it is his responsibility to make sure Obama is a success. I don’t think too many on the left debated whether President Bush is a good man. And I know Chris Matthews did not feel his job requirements included making sure that President Bush was a success.

  6. 6
    still liberal Said:
    3:29 pm 

    “I believe it is self-evident to any conservative which is why I am confident that we would shame the left with our ideas of what constitutes a “loyal opposition”…”

    Given the crazed, hysterical response to the Clinton White House by conservatives, it is not quite clear upon which you make this statement.

    That said, of course Obama has a vision of what the country is to become. Every President has a vision of the future shape the country will take. The Presidency is far more than just a job (despite Gov. Palin’s insistence that the campaign was a job interview). To develop a vision of the country and its future and make it happen is the highest of political acts. Ronald Reagan was brilliant in visioning a future and setting it in motion. So was Franklin Roosevelt. This is not wrong, but the pinnacle of leadership. Conservatives may not agree with the vision Obama has, but then liberals certainly did not agree with George W. Bush’s vision of the nation, but it appears we may yet survive his presidency.

    Lastly, you say that, “We must refuse to allow Obama and his allies any room to breathe when it comes to opposing their stated intent to “remake” America into something it was never intended to be.” A major point of contention with conservatives is that they “know” the intent of the Founding Fathers. No you don’t. You see their intent through the lenses of conservatism, just as I see the work of the Founding Fathers through liberal lenses. We are both offering interpretations of intent, not fact. Of course conservatives should oppose Obama on points of policy they disagree with. But please don’t think your ideas are the “truth” about the intent of the Founders. This absoluteness is the same thing that makes religion such a poor basis for political argument. It is impossible to negotiate or compromise when you have “the truth.” And of course it is blatently obvious that people can read the same sacred scriptures and find hundreds of different and opposing versions of “absolute truth.” Same with the writings of the Founding Fathers. I respect your opinion and you should fight for it, but don’t elevate it beyond opinion.

  7. 7
    mannning Said:
    4:10 pm 

    Agreed: We should give the new president our support, so long as he deserves it. He should be given the opportunity to earn our trust.

    Asserted: We should watch his every move, every decision, every appointment, every executive order, and every legislative proposal for its impact on the people, the nation, and the Constitution, then act accordingly.

    Agreed: We do not know what is in the heart or mind of this man. All we do know has scored bad associations, little executive experience, ultra liberal ideas, a smooth, mesmerizing delivery, and close support from many dubious political and religious operatives, all of which is not very encouraging.

    We live in dangerous times.

  8. 8
    Patterico Said:
    4:16 pm 

    Rick, you say:

    “And Frey is wrong in intimating that Goldstein was condemning groups of people for what they believed. In fact, it is something of a mystery where he got that idea from Jeff’s response to his original post.”

    In fact, it is something of a mystery where *you* got *that* idea, given that you make this accusation directly on the heels of a blockquote in which I explicitly say the opposite:

    “I’m not talking about Jeff here; I think he’s too smart to demonize all Democrats. But I believe some folks out there are demonizing people for their beliefs.”

    Actually, it’s not such a mystery where you got the idea — you got it from Jeff, who claimed: “Patterico accused me of ‘demonizing’ all Democrats, which is patently absurd.”

    Indeed — but I don’t believe I did that, Jeff’s claim notwithstanding. If anyone thinks otherwise, show me the quote. I can’t find it. All I can find is the one where I said the opposite.

    Jeff, I think, took as an attack on him some comments that I was addressing to other people.

  9. 9
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    4:31 pm 

    Good zinger there at the end Rick.

  10. 10
    P. Aaron Said:
    6:49 pm 

    QUOTE:”YOu had me until the “Hitler” thing. And, no, I’m not an imbecile who thinks you are “actually” comparing Obama to Hitler but, considering the number of your ideological compatriots who have done and are doing so, I would think such a mention is beneath you and your stated argument”.

    Yeah, it’s not like anyone ever called George W. Bush ‘Hitler’ or anything nearly as evil about any of his cabinet people, or Rove.

  11. 11
    CriticalThinker Said:
    6:51 pm 

    I am actually surprised and impressed with the Con-servo-sphere, that there is debate about how to handle reporting on the Obama administration. I would think that back in 2000 or 2004 there was little to no debate by the Left. However, loyal opposition is the way to go. Investigate, understand, and then report it. If it’s the facts then so be it.

    Obama has stepped into something that is far bigger than he realizes. Russia is gearing up for a major comeback, a toxic economic crisis, the GWOT, and a hyper-Liberal Congress that will probably become his worst nightmare. He is inevitably going to screw up, it is the Conservative bloggers’ job to report that fairly and give full accounts of the truth with viable back-up.

    They have to become what the media is not. When you have people like Matthew’s saying they will do whatever it takes help make the Obama administration successful, it’s not hard to figure out where they stand. The media is so far in the toilet they are outwardly admitting they are a propaganda machine. And since no one is going to be opening up another Conservative sided newspaper or news outlet anytime soon, the Right-sided bloggers need to pick up the slack. If you report it, they will come.

  12. 12
    gpbarth Said:
    6:53 pm 

    I believe that someone remarked after the election, “This is only the 2nd time in her life that Michelle Obama haas been proud to be an American.” Well, this is the first time that I will not accept Barack Hussein Obama as MY president. A man who does not have the experience, and a voting record of “present” for most of his short political career, a man who bought the White House with contributions that were made from very dubious sources, many of them from the Middle East (and this after promising that he would adhere to the campaign contribution rules “if the other candidate does’), a man funded by George Soros and tutored by home-grown terrorists and black theology preachers and the Chicago mob, a man who openly disdains the Constitution and will try to abolish the 2nd Amendment and severely damage the First.

    No, this man is NOT my president, and I will do anything within my power to make sure he gets the same respect that he nad his cronies have given to my present President George Bush. I saw a shirt that said, “I’ll keep my religion, guns and the Constitution - You can keep the “Change!” I think that it behooves all of us to resist this presidency as much as possible. A total failure in his first term will assure us that he won’t be around for another one. And I’m open to any suggestions as to what can be done.

    Don’t get me wrong - I’m not condoning any kind of violence, just the most civil disobedience and other methods that can be assembled. For too long now, the left has thrown temper tantrums whenever their plans have been voted down (witness CA and Prop 8 - this is the 2nd time they have been defeated, and they’re off to court again). As Inspector Kemp said to the good people of the village, “A riot iss a fery ugly t’ing…und I t’ink its about time ve had vun!”

  13. 13
    JDM Said:
    10:40 pm 

    And let us not forget, We will have the whole Global Warming BS Shoved right down our necks. Dem control of both houses, the prez elect waiting to sign any such nonsense bill to tax all the more. Ya Know, if GORE says we need it, it must be good. I think we are screwed.
    No sun spots, and No real reporting about it. Call it cooling mayhap. I cant link to the info that I just typed, but it is out there. And it is NOT caused by us. or cows, or…
    I’ts going to be called Global Cooling, And i’ts all our fault.
    effff em I say.

  14. 14
    Owasm Said:
    12:01 am 

    I agree with you about the left mangling definitions. I would say that we don’t really know of Obama is a bad man or a good man with horrible taste in friends and actions. I do know that his major redefinition occurred in endlessly using the term “middle class” for the term he really meant: proletariat.

  15. 15
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    2:01 am 

    Manning said:
    “Asserted: We should watch his every move, every decision, every appointment, every executive order, and every legislative proposal for its impact on the people, the nation, and the Constitution, then act accordingly.”

    Heh. Are you serious?

    “Agreed: We do not know what is in the heart or mind of this man. All we do know has scored bad associations, little executive experience, ultra liberal ideas, a smooth, mesmerizing delivery, and close support from many dubious political and religious operatives, all of which is not very encouraging.”

    You know what finally did it for me? It was the creation of a chief technology official coupled with the fact that all Science Nobel Laureates, plus 73 other Nobel Laureates, endorsed him. Those are literally some of the smartest people on the planet. America does not dominate the world in sci-tech anymore. I see this as a national security issue, as well as an economic one.

    “We live in dangerous times.”

    Fear mongering nonsense. These times are no more or less dangerous than any other times.

  16. 16
    Lawrence Miller Said:
    6:15 am 

    “I am pointing out that even the worst of men apparently had some good qualities.”

    You lost me Rick. Hitler was good to his dog and loved his mother. So what? Implying that somehow overcomes all other monumental flaws is the biggest non sequitur of all time. McCain said the same at a rally noting Obama was a good man, a family man, someone we shouldn’t fear as president. Sorry, but you and John McCain just don’t get it. Obama is not a good man! And giving candy to his daughters won’t change that fact.

    Please read the post - if you are able. I clearly say that a man having good qualities is not the same as someone being a good man. That was the whole point of the Hitler analogy.

    ed.

  17. 17
    The Fly-Man Said:
    7:37 am 

    The Mormons all dance. Try a few orchestrated moves to a beautiful tune instead of the sound of marching in lockstep while saluting.

    Cryptic comment. If you are suggesting Mormons are to blame for the loss of Prop 8, think again. It was socially conservative blacks and hispanics that defeated it.

    What say ye to that? Can’t criticize “The Other” or you’re a racist, right? So instead, you falsely accuse white Chirstians of being responsible.

    What a tool.

    ed.

  18. 18
    Salt Lick Said:
    8:17 am 

    You see their intent through the lenses of conservatism, just as I see the work of the Founding Fathers through liberal lenses. We are both offering interpretations of intent, not fact

    It is a fact that the Founding Fathers did not intend the role of courts as redistributing wealth. Obama’s suggestion to the contrary supports Rick’s statement that Obama apparently intends to “remake” America into something it was never intended to be.”

  19. 19
    Troy Jordan Said:
    10:54 am 

    Obama cannot be a good man. He is a narcissist and could care less about you or me. A good man would not trash his grandmother. A power-hungry narcissist would.

  20. 20
    gpbarth Said:
    11:23 am 

    One reason McCain lost was because he didn’t play dirty enough. While the rest of us were trying to alert the country about Obama’s real dirty laundry, McCain was being too polite.

    And now Obama will do everything in his power to leverage his office into a nation-changing, Constitution-destroying machine. And we’re supposed to be “nice guys” and support him? Give me a freakin’ break! We won’t get anywhere by being “Mr Nice Guy!” The left has won by cheating and playing dirty, and we had better be ready to do the same thing, or we’ll soon be living in Amerika.

  21. 21
    The Fly-Man Said:
    1:12 pm 

    Thanks for the reply. sorry for the lack of clarity but just a few words can be interpreted in many ways. I meant none of the things you have suggested. First off my original comment was related to looking at the GOP in general and how to structure the resurrection of the best parts of the party could be tackled. I was blown away by the Mormon special that PBS did and the fact that they all dance regularly and I thought of that as a metaphor for structure. They all know a well crafted tune and can stay in rhythm with each other and recognize cooperation is not just a loyalty issue but something that can be fulfilling and enjoyable. Contrast that to the ugly side of the GOP, angry old white men SITTING in their lazyboys Clenching their Guns in one hand and the remote in the other. I don’t necessarily agree with the Mormon doctrines regarding their view of Christianity, but I do admire their, though somewhat Stepfordish, demeanor and approach to problem solving big ideas. As far as Prop 8 goes, the people who get the most voters out on the day win. You give it your best shot and live with the results. I know you ascribe to that theory. again, sorry to confuse you, but thanks for the reply, I learned a lot. BTW it does say other Nonsensical ideas in the header. Sincerely, Scott

  22. 22
    Nagarajan Sivakumar Said:
    1:43 pm 

    Chuck,
    “You know what finally did it for me? It was the creation of a chief technology official coupled with the fact that all Science Nobel Laureates, plus 73 other Nobel Laureates, endorsed him. Those are literally some of the smartest people on the planet.”

    I dont really know where to start - but if the most important criteria is Nobel laureates deciding who the President should be, why even have an election ? Why even debate the issues ? After all the wise Nobel laureates need to be consulted and poof.. that does it for me !

    Can you explain to me WHAT exactly the Chief Technology officer for the United States does ? Here, you have a candidate who disabled the Address Verification System while accepting credit card donations to his campaign.
    No private enterprise can get away with such FRAUD and the President elect of the USA just did. Wonder what the CTO of the Government has to say about, you know blase’ issues like website security and criminal violations of FEC regulations?

    “America does not dominate the world in sci-tech anymore. I see this as a national security issue, as well as an economic one.”

    And who exactly are you or for that matter any one lesle to say that ? What experience/authority in hi-tech do you have to spout off such incredible ignorance and nonsense. Where is the proof exactly for these matter of fact statements ?

    It is one thing to be ignorant of facts - and its another thing to open your mouth and show it on the Internet.

    Who in hell came up with Google, Amazon, iPhone and iPod ? Would that be the Germans? Japanese? no it should be those genius Chinese guys right ??

    Name me ONE hi-tech invention/innovation - ONE that Europeans/Asians have come up with in the last 15 years. ONE invention that hit the market and customers went crazy.

    The facts are plain to see - America is still the greatest magnet in the world for the best talent. It STILL has the most innovative thinkers, researchers AND business people who can bring these ideas to the free market. There are people of all nationalities that work in the hi-tech industry in the US. Thanks to that CURSED H1-B visa.

    And yes, it all happened without the blessings of a Chief TEchnology Officer !!

    I wonder how many people who have no experience and background in matters like technology are spouting their profound thoughts with no relevance to the simple, plain old fricking facts.

    Throw in some good old “national security” fear mongering/protectionist nonsense at the end. Geez,I guess this country needs to stop accepting Chinese manufactured PCs in the market.

  23. 23
    Dale in Atlanta Said:
    1:45 pm 

    “Goldstein disagrees with me that Obama is no socialist…”

    Could Goldstein plesase supply me with the phone or pager number of his Crack dealer, I’d like to try some of his stuff as well, it obviously makes one delusional!

    Let’s just review the FACTS, for a second; Historical, immutable, FACTS:

    a) Obama’s Grandfather and Grandmother were at a minimum, Communist Sympathizers
    b) Obama’s Grandparents were friends with Frank Marshall Davis, even before they left Kansas
    c) Obama’s Grandparents, moved to Washington State on purpose, to put Obama’s Mother, in a High School that had many Communist Party members and sympathizers on the Faculty; and she studied the Communist Manifesto in that same school; remember, this was the 1950′!
    d) Obama’s Grandparents and Mother joined a Unitarian Church in that same town, that was known as “The Little Red Church on the Hill”, for obvious reasons..
    e) Obama’s Grandparents, then left Washington State, to move unexpectedly to Hawaii, where interestingly enough, family friend and Anti-White Communist Party Member Frank Marshall Davis had gone to, in order to help the Communist Party organize the Dock Workers
    f) Meanwhile, Obama’s soon to be Father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. is an unrepentent diehard Communist, and a Muslim to boot!
    g) Obama’s mother and father, meet in RUSSIAN language class, in University in Hawaii; remember now, this was in 1960 during the Cold War! Which means, somewhere, there are FBI files on at least Obama’s Mother, and probably the Grandparents; but those will never see the light of day, will they?
    h) when Obama himself was a teenager, his Grandfather, used to take Obama Jr. to meet and talk to Frank Marshall Davis, so Frank Marshall Davis could teach Obama Jr. how to be a “black man”. Obama’s Grandfather and Frank Marshall Davis used to smoke dope during these sessions.
    i) Obama’s mother, at a minimum remained a Socialist, and Anti-American, her whole life; she was referred to as a “fellow traveller”; which was code word for “fellow Communist”.
    j) according to his own words, his own writing, his own “memoires”; Obama radicalized himself, in college; seeking out the Black Nationalists, the Socialists, the Radicals, etc.
    k) Obama was sent to Chicago, by Frank Marshall Davis, who had originally come from Chicago, to become futher indoctrinated.
    l) Obama was almost immediately hooked up with the corrupt Daley Chicago Machine, the Black Nationalist/Anti-American/Anti-White Nation of Islam Machine under Louis Farrakhan, the radical Socialists and Anti-Americans who comprise the Saul Alinksy front in Chicago (also an Anti-American Communist), such as the Gamaliel Foundation, etc.
    m) Obama’s Political Career is jumpstarted by self-admitted Communists and Anti-American Domestic Terrorists, William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
    n) Obama joins the Trinity “Church” under the so-called “Reverand” Jerimiah Wright, a proponent of Black Liberation Theology, which is itself a Marxist ideology!

    ad nauseum….

    So, let’s recap quickly; ALL of the above points are FACTS! The source for most, if not all those Facts, are none other than in-depth articles in the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times; from back in 2007, when those two Newspapers were on the Hillary Bandwagon, and they were still interested in doing semi-respecable journalism.

    After Hillary lost the nomination, and Obama was crowned the new Messiah by the Media, those in-depth Articles for some reason, disappeared from the websites of the Chicago Tribune and the NYT; I however, still HAVE the originals!

    So, I again ask the question of Goldstein; seeing how Obama was raised since BIRTH, around generations of Anti-American/Communists/Marxists/Socialists & Racists; what makes you think that he, himself, Obama, is NOT any of those things, and we’re not even factoring in his wife, who is also Blatantly Anti-American, Anti-White, and a Racist!

    GET A CLUE!

    For 8 years, I’ve had to listen to Leftist Moonbats in this country, demonize President Bush, and accuse him of all manner of things, because according to some book, written by a moonbag, his Great-Grandfather was at a business meeting back in the 1930’s with some guy who later said he’d like to pull off a Coup d’Etat against FDR when he was President.

    That, along with some mysterious meeting of Oil company honchos in the 1920’s, and the fact that Bush’s father did Oil business with a member of Bin Laden’s family in the 1970’s, all PROVED that Bush was some Rightwing Oil-Baron/Anti-US Constitution Manchurian Candidate, put in power to steal our civil liberties, overthrow the constitution, and run the country thru an Oilogarchy, or something like that…

    Okay….fine!

    I admit, it’s all true! And since I just admitted that’s all true about Bush, that immediately validates everything about Obama from the other side, as well!

    And now, we have a PROVEN Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi/Anti-Semitic/Anti-White Racist Marxist Muslim as President-Elect, and I will show him the same respect, the same deference, I will cut him the same slack, and give him the same support and same leeway, as the Leftwing Moonbats have given President Bush for the past 8 years!

    How’s that grab ya?

    You misread or I worded it clumsily. Jeff believes Obama is a quasi-Marxist.

    ed.

  24. 24
    Dale in Atlanta Said:
    2:49 pm 

    You misread or I worded it clumsily. Jeff believes Obama is a quasi-Marxist.

    ed.

    Ed. Okay, touche, that’s not what I thought it said, but to get out of Obama’s background that he’s even a “quasi” Marxist, it still delusional!

    Obama IS an Anti-American Marxist, through and through; there is no “quasi” about it!

  25. 25
    obamathered Said:
    3:20 pm 

    We don’t know whether Obama is a good man or a bad man. The media utterly failed to scrutinize him. What we do know is he has, in unguarded moments, said ghastly things. He has embraced bad policies. His associations sometimes are beyond the pall. None of this portends well. If Obama is not a socialist, I will be surprised. I also use the term “socialist” distinct from “Marxist.” American liberalism has come to resemble the European variety, which is unabashed in its embrace of socialism.

    That said, every president deserves a chance to make his case. You are right, though: there is nothing noble in a failure to rebut a bad case and oppose it vigorously. Quite the opposite, I would think.

  26. 26
    cedarhill Said:
    6:34 pm 

    What’s with this 8 year time line. Liberals have been uncompromising since at least the 1960’s. They’ve just managed to take over the media, the universities, most secondary schools, and most of the permanent government bureaucracies. They started on Nixon, experimented with Ford, tried various strategies with Reagan (they called him “teflon” since mud didn’t seem to stick), ridiculed Bush 1, shielded and support Clinton, almost destroyed Bush 2, and savaged Palin. Have you forgot Judge Bork? How about Clarence Thomas? Maybe Kenneth Star?

    You remind me of an event I observed in my neighborhood some years ago. A neighbor on one side had a two+ year old little girl and our neighbor on the other side had twin two+ year old little boys. They frequently met in our yard to play so both sets of parents could watch them. The girl, Megan, was quite a bit bigger than the boys and tended to physically dominate them. One weekend I heard a huge commotion and looked out our kitchen window. It seems Megan had both boys in a head lock, one under each arm, and was alternately punching each one in the head. The boys, of course, were screaming and crying. From her porch Megan’s mother called out, “Now Megan, you make nice!” Megan stopped (but still held each boy’s head under her arms), smiled the sweetest smile a two year old girl ever smiled and called back, “Yes Mommy”. Then she turned back to the boys and continued punching them.

    I hope your head gets better after you get out of the hospital.

  27. 27
    Jeff G Said:
    10:33 pm 

    In questioning Pat’s intentions and motives in writing the post, Goldstein goes too far. Unless he has been vouchsafed the ability to peer into the souls of men and glean intent, I would suggest he stick with what he recommends and fights for so tirelessly – a literal interpretation of what is written.

    Actually, that would make me a New Critic, and I’m anything but.

    When we read to interpret, we read with an eye to intent. And given that we CAN’T peer into people’s souls in order to be sure, we are left to do our best in reconstructing intent from textual (inter, intra-, meta-, etc) clues, context, and a host of other things, including convention, biography, and on and on.

    In literature, we can extrapolate intent from what we know about the author and his times. Can we not grant the same courtesy to Mr. Frey? Pat has not shown himself to be a link whore in the past nor has he necessarily proven to be the kind of blogger who sets himself up as the conscience of the right. (That job is taken and I will not, under any circumstances, give it up.)

    What we know of an author doesn’t guarantee a proper reading, or else Wifey would be a children’s story.

    I am perfectly willing to grant Patterico any courtesy. But I read his post with an eye toward intent.

    My interpretation relied upon the timing of the piece, the way it deviated from Pat’s prior take on Obama (”pond scum” — but suddenly “good” pond scum), my belief that Patterico is too smart to conflate promises with actions, and my feeling that the piece was written with a political purpose in mind, namely, to pointedly distance itself from the kinds of posts written after the 2004 elections.

    I thought the piece was considered in advance should Obama win.

    Subsequently, Patterico has done nothing to disabuse me of those beliefs. He has talked much of lessons and “how we are being watched” for our reactions. These kinds of defenses only deepen my conviction in that initial reading.

    Where this has all been blown out of proportion, however, is the idea that I think Pat somehow fundamentally dishonest. I don’t. Nor do I think he was looking for links.

    Suffice to say I just thought his post engaged in precisely the kind of political pragmatism that has a tendency to debase language and lends itself to moral equivalence, and I wanted to point that out in a way that caused a bit of a ripple.

    Mission Accomplished, I guess.

  28. 28
    Travis Monitor Said:
    11:28 pm 

    Really it doesn’t matter if Obama is a ‘good man’ or not. So was Carter a “good man”, a good man and Sunday school teacher but the worst President in my lifetime. I kept hearing President Bush call these people that worked for him “a good man” and they ended up being the poster-child stellar examples of incompetence that doomed Bush to basement popularity ratings.

    “Good man” types get people killed, jobs lost, businesses bankrupted, and makes the misery index rocket. If Obama is indeed a “good man” then God help us all.

    I find the question of Obama’s intent no more than a back-story. Goldstein is probably more correct on who Obama really is, but intentions never matter - results do. It’s his agenda and policies that will harm us, and THAT’S where we need to go hammer and tong. Attacking Obama personally will send the Obamanuts on hunts to call the critics racists, etc. So let us be smart in our critiques.

    My honest fear is that obama will surpass the horrible Carter, due to Obama’s ever more radical/left-liberal impulses, combined with an arrogance that surpasses any President in our lifetimes. Am I to stand mute while our property is plundered, our freedom threatened, our prosperity turned to dust, and our children sucked into creepy semi-totalitarian Obama Youth Corps programs?!? I think not!

    Let’s lay aside any aspersions on Obama’s character for now, but focus on Obama’s already discreditable policies. In 2 days the stock market dropped 10% and lost $1 trillion - a huge vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Obama’s economic plans. Who will stand up with me and say “STOP OBAMA’S SOCIALISM” to oppose bailouts without end, tax increases without purpose and spending without accountability?

    Obama put forth in his change.gov the nutty idea of a Federal community service requirement for K-12. Against federalism, and indentured community servitude - no thanks, I will oppose this and defend against the oxymoronic forced-service.

    He is putting the hyper-partisan Rahm Emanuel as COS, sending a clear signal to the Republicans “Screw you, get to the back of the bus.”
    And he put a pro-fairness-doctrine liberal on the FCC transition - Our First Amendment right to listen to unrestricted political programming is under direct threat!

    At this time, we now hear that Obama will reverse drilling policies and restrict domestic drilling further. At a time when we NEED MORE DOMESTIC ENERGY, he is deliberating harming our ability to produce it (and windfall profits tax will make it worse too). Obama’s policies means a higher energy trade deficit and higher energy prices.

    And so it goes, barely a few days into transition, and the word “SOCIALISM” is clearly and sadly becoming *NOT* a hyperbole when describing the Pelosi/Reid/Obama planned future.

    We do the country a grave disservice if we stay mum while the worst policies of this Obama administration are proposed and enacted. I protested the Bush policies that I thought were wrong even though I voted for him, and I will protest every Obama policy I think is wrong. Remember, he ran for the job - he serves us, not us serving him, so anyone who suggests that is ‘unfair’ or ‘not giving him a chance’ I say this: If he cant stand the heat, he shouldnt have run for head chef of the kitchen.

    Don’t forget - the libs told us - DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC!

  29. 29
    Travis Monitor Said:
    11:31 pm 

    NEWT GINGRICH FOR RNC CHAIR:

    http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2008/11/newt-gingrich-for-rnc-chair.html

  30. 30
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    10:33 am 

    Nagarajan : “I dont really know where to start – but if the most important criteria is Nobel laureates deciding who the President should be, why even have an election ? Why even debate the issues ? After all the wise Nobel laureates need to be consulted and poof.. that does it for me !”

    That’s something I get exclusively from the right. Nowhere else am I mocked and belittled for saying that I use the opinions and experiences of Nobel Prize winning scientists to help formulate my own. Your entire rant is a logical fallacy. I said none of that; only that it helped me make up my mind. There are countless other sources and personal experiences that also helped me decide. Don’t put words in my mouth. It’s not nice.

    Nagarajan : “Can you explain to me WHAT exactly the Chief Technology officer for the United States does?”

    The position isn’t fully defined, but some of the responsibilities will include helping to ensure more open government through use of web technology. Helping to formulate intelligent broadband policy for service carriers, especially to rural areas. Helping to produce more competition in the wireless arena by allowing smaller companies to lease spectrum on the 700Mhz band if larger companies do nothing. Supporting, and this is very important to me, network neutrality. Plus there are a myriad of privacy issues that need an advocate.
    I see having a CTO on the cabinet as nothing but a positive thing for the country. That’s not to say that the person filling the position is going to be amazing, but the existence of the position at all is a huge step in the right direction.

    Nagarajan : “Here, you have a candidate who disabled the Address Verification System while accepting credit card donations to his campaign. No private enterprise can get away with such FRAUD and the President elect of the USA just did.”

    This sounds like a terrible injustice. Where are the lawsuits? And if you think for a heartbeat that private enterprise doesn’t get away with fraud, you’re fooling yourself.

    Nagarajan : “Wonder what the CTO of the Government has to say about, you know blase’ issues like website security and criminal violations of FEC regulations?”

    I’m sure he/she would feel strongly about such things.

    Nagarajan :”And who exactly are you or for that matter any one lesle to say that ? What experience/authority in hi-tech do you have to spout off such incredible ignorance and nonsense. Where is the proof exactly for these matter of fact statements ?”

    I work in the hi-tech world. I’m spouting off my personal observations based on years of experience. I’m calling it like I’m seeing it right now. There has been a transition of tech innovation out of this country, in favor of a more middle management role. I think this is pathetic.

    Nagarajan : “It is one thing to be ignorant of facts – and its another thing to open your mouth and show it on the Internet.”

    I wholeheartedly agree with that.

    Nagarajan : “Who in hell came up with Google, Amazon, iPhone and iPod ? Would that be the Germans? Japanese? no it should be those genius Chinese guys right ??”

    Well, I guess your handful of examples beats my argument. You win.

    Nagarajan : “Name me ONE hi-tech invention/innovation – ONE that Europeans/Asians have come up with in the last 15 years. ONE invention that hit the market and customers went crazy.”

    Blue LED’s.

    Nagarajan : “The facts are plain to see – America is still the greatest magnet in the world for the best talent.”

    As I understand, you’re an example of this, right?

    Nagarajan : “ It STILL has the most innovative thinkers, researchers AND business people who can bring these ideas to the free market. There are people of all nationalities that work in the hi-tech industry in the US. Thanks to that CURSED H1-B visa.”

    Sure, I just see it slowly slipping away, and while a CTO isn’t the cure, intelligent tech policy will go a long way to ensuring the United States remains on top, which is right where I want it.

    Nagarajan : “And yes, it all happened without the blessings of a Chief TEchnology Officer !!”

    Nobody ever said that a CTO is a god who can bestow blessings. I simply think that having a CTO as a cabinet position is a very very good idea. It’s nice to know that someone on the cabinet is advocating for positions I strongly believe in.

    Nagarajan : “I wonder how many people who have no experience and background in matters like technology are spouting their profound thoughts with no relevance to the simple, plain old fricking facts.”

    I’ve been working in the tech industry for quite a while. Simply because my observations do not mirror your own doesn’t mean I have no experience or less legitimacy in commenting on tech matters. I have seen large scale shifts in product innovation in everything from consumer electronics to factory automation to pcb design to wireless technology.

    Nagarajan : “Throw in some good old “national security” fear mongering/protectionist nonsense at the end. Geez,I guess this country needs to stop accepting Chinese manufactured PCs in the market.”

    I don’t consider being concerned about the decline of tech innovation and its relationship to national security in my country fear mongering. You mocking me does not change this.

  31. 31
    retire05 Said:
    11:20 am 

    My small $0.02. Is Obama a “good” man? How do I judge a “good” man?

    I judge a man by his actions. Someone who takes a hit when he has done wrong by accepting sole responsibility. Not someone who was comfortable sitting in a church for 20 years, manned with an anti-American, anti-white, pro-Hamas preacher only to throw his own grandmother under the bus to excuse his own actions (the story of his grandmother being afraid of a black man ‘passing her on the street’ is quite different in his own book).

    I judge a man on his friends and associates. A person picks their friends for one of two reasons; they are like minded or the friendship is advantagous for financial, political or social reasons. Now, it is up to us to decide why Obama chose such friends. Any of those reasons speak to the “goodness” of the man. While a “good” man may have occassion to say “Hi” to the man who beats his wife on a regular basis at the golf course, the “good” man doesn’t associate with the wife beater. They have nothing in common. It is commonality that causes us to create friendships.

    Barack Obama is now President Elect. I have no option but to accept that. No one is offering a do-over. So for four years I will have to tolerate a POTUS that thinks the Constitution is a “flawed” document and realize that the damage he will have the ability to do, cheered on by the most far left Congress and Senate in our history, will take decades to undo.
    The mistakes of FDR are still being paid for 70 years later.

    He will attempt to take this nation as far left as he can. You see, it is imperfect, and it is, in his mind, his duty to create that socialistic utopia that he believes he has the ability to acheive. Never mind that socialism has never worked, no matter who was running it.

    In my mind, it is amazing that the race was as close as it was. McCain ran the-worst-campaign-ever. Where was his opposition research? Add to that the kneepad wearing, fawning media, an economy that has never tanked so badly in the last days of an existing administration, the war in Iraq basically won and delegated to page 10A, and Obama should have been 20 points ahead. He was not. I think a lot of people wondered if he was really a “good” man while they knew that “First in, first out” McCain was. But in the end, the “no more Bush” mentality won the day.

    Will I give Obama the benefit of doubt, hoping for the best? No more than I give any person who had shown me that he has a history of “boneheaded” decisions and whose judgement seems to be less that stellar.

  32. 32
    Patterico Said:
    11:01 pm 

    “My interpretation relied upon the timing of the piece, the way it deviated from Pat’s prior take on Obama (“pond scum”—but suddenly “good” pond scum), my belief that Patterico is too smart to conflate promises with actions, and my feeling that the piece was written with a political purpose in mind, namely, to pointedly distance itself from the kinds of posts written after the 2004 elections.

    “I thought the piece was considered in advance should Obama win.”

    It wasn’t.

    As I have said many times.

    Fact is, I haven’t had the time to premeditate that kind of action lately. I’ve been a little busy.

    When someone tells you that flat-out, and you continue to assert it, I start thinking you’re acting like a dick. You don’t want to accept something I tell you flat-out, time and time again, then fine. Then you’re calling me a liar.

    I think I’m capable of “interpreting” that. And I’ll guide my future actions accordingly.

  33. 33
    I.M. Small Said:
    11:16 am 

    NOT NOBLE CORRUPT

    It was not “implemented poorly”
    But bankrupt as begun,
    And though the recognition sorely
    Must come so it was done.

    It was not “noble aims corrupt”
    That somehow took a fumble–
    But with lies was the ante upped,
    Deception, not a stumble.

    In war, by all the evidence
    We have found nothing noble,
    And the war-fervor´s prevalence
    Did nothing but cause trouble.

    In bankruptcy begun and so
    In bankruptcy it ends–
    A course in lies which all did know
    Untruthful, never friends.

    The truth of it no one befriended,
    To tell that which it was,
    And devious aims which it intended–
    So let illusions pass.

    .

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