September 23, 2008

My advice on livening up the Obama-McCain debate

John McCain hasn't mentioned Rev. Jeremiah Wright in months, so I imagine he won't start in Friday's debate ...

But here's something I posted last March on the eve of Obama's 5,000 word oration on the edifying ineffability of his nuanced thoughtfulness about race (which, by the way, happened right after the Bear Stearns collapse):

Keep in mind that the Wright-Obama connection has two interrelated but distinguishable aspects: the black racial angle and leftist ideological angle. My guess is that Obama will play up the black angle of his past (as being both more understandable -- seeing as how Obama, kind of like Jesus, was a poor black child raised by a single mother in the ghetto of Honolulu -- and more untouchable by the press) and totally ignore the leftist angle.

It would be more fun if Obama reversed the polarity and snarled, "Yeah, yeah, for the last 12 years, I forced myself to nod in seeming agreement when all those smug Friedmanite economists at my University of Chicago would ramble on about the magic of the market. But, in my heart, I knew this glorious day would someday come when the capitalist system crumbles in ruins! Nyah-hah-hah-hah!"

That would be cool.

20 comments:

simon said...

Most of the press are moderate leftists the way most Muslims are moderate Muslims.

They don't fully share the views of the radical preachers, but they defer to them as the Authentic Voice of Leftism/Voice of Islam.

So, most of the media aren't as far Left as Obama, but they defer to him and won't criticise him.

______________

Here in the UK, when the BBC finally started criticising the Labour government, it was always for not being left-wing enough.

There are fewer examples of this on the Right, because the Left is so culturally dominant. But plenty of people who don't believe in 6-day Creationism attend Creationist churches and don't criticise the pastor; I suspect Sarah Palin falls into that category judging by her utterances. On the independent Right, personally I don't much share Steve Sailer & The American Conservative's interest in the US Israeli lobby - they're just doing what all lobbies do, only more successfully, and unlike the Saudis their activities don't threaten the survival of Western civilisation - but I don't like to see him/them attacked for it, either.

Tscottme said...

It's only a matter of time before the Dems run a candidate with enough experience, and with a well enough hidden connection to the radical Left, to get elected. That President will find the Congress stuffed with fellow travelers.

halfbreed said...

Only problem with that, the definition of "conservative" has gotten awfully muddied this past decade. Pat Buchanan/Steve Sailer-style conservatism, what is referred to as "paleo-" by the neocons and liberals, is about the only brand of true conservatism left.

Ron Guhname said...

Stanley Kurtz documents how Obama and Ayers worked together to push radical education on kids here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122212856075765367.html

Anonymous said...

"Most of the press are moderate leftists the way most Muslims are moderate Muslims."

Very well put, I'll have to remember that one.

testing99 said...

Obama won't do that -- because the alternative to Capitalism is the landed estate and misery of Fidel Castro's Cuba, or Zimbabwe, or the poisoned milk of Communist China.

Capitalism is like Democracy, the worst system except all the others.

Moreover, on a practical matter, doing so would make mortal political enemies out of: every independent, private practice lawyer, real estate agent, contractor, doctor, and every other small business owner, and likely most medium sized businesses. Examples of the latter would include Adobe Systems, and other mid-tier companies, probably Sun as well.

This is not Cuba, there are too many people in the nation to go for a Communist style take-over immediately.

Big Business is already entangled/in bed with government, so there is little resistance to socialist corporatism along the lines of the German model 1933 in that sector. Not so small and medium sized business.

XXXXXXXXXXXXX said...

simon said...
But plenty of people who don't believe in 6-day Creationism attend Creationist churches and don't criticise the pastor; I suspect Sarah Palin falls into that category judging by her utterances.

What utterances of hers made you suspect this? Sarah Palin is a Young Earth Creationist and a Dispensationalist.

The pastor who clashed with Palin
Another valley activist, Philip Munger, says that Palin also helped push the evangelical drive to take over the Mat-Su Borough school board. "She wanted to get people who believed in creationism on the board," said Munger, a music composer and teacher. "I bumped into her once after my band played at a graduation ceremony at the Assembly of God. I said, 'Sarah, how can you believe in creationism -- your father's a science teacher.' And she said, 'We don't have to agree on everything.'

"I pushed her on the earth's creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she'd seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them."

Munger also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return. "She looked in my eyes and said, 'Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'"


It says a lot about the modern state of American politics when we have presidential candidates who are associated with Black Liberation Theology, dispensational premillennialism, Pentecostalism, Young Earth Creationism and African Witch-Hunters. Religion + politics brings about strange results.

Henry Canaday said...

Or, Obama could open by saying:

"It looks like there won't be any Universal Health Insurance. I really wanted to do it, but we already spent the money helping poor people, especially blacks and Hispanics, buy over-priced housing that they couldn't afford.

Hi, I'm a liberal, and I'm here to help you. Now, can we talk about this card-check program to make the rest of American industry run like Detroit automakers, major airlines and the public schools."

Anonymous said...

BTW,
Contact your rep and two senators and tell them to vote against the bailout.

Anonymous said...

Obama was a “professor” at the Uchicago law school, not the economics department or GSB. The University of Chicago Law school is quite liberal (with a couple of exceptions like Posner). As justice Scalia pointed out:

“I don’t think the University of Chicago is what it was in my time. I would not recommend it to students looking for a law school as I would have years ago. It has changed considerably and intentionally. It has lost the niche it once had as a rigorous and conservative law school.”

http://blog.simplejustice.us/2008/09/18/sixpack-scalia-excoriates-liberal-chicago-law-school.aspx?ref=

simon said...

xxx:
"What utterances of hers made you suspect this? Sarah Palin is a Young Earth Creationist and a Dispensationalist."

You may well be right, but I don't necessarily believe salon.com, I've seen so many lies about her from the left-wing media already. Anyway I'd rather see principled Christian fundamentalists like John Ashcroft in power than unprincipled goons like Alberto Gonzales and John Woo.

mnuez said...

Tscott needn't worry, what halfbreed complains about regarding Conservativism is just as true with regard to its mirror image on the left.

Traditionally, leftism meant socialism (or approximations thereof) but in the United States today that's hardly the case. Sure, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to raise minimum wage some 30 cents every 5 years or to prattle on endlessly (for half a century now) about universal healthcare, but these are hardly the issues that truly animate them, that they consider their priorities or that spend their time and effort to dissipate throughout the electorate.

As with the Right, the Left's message is crafted and disseminated by the moneyed and these people hardly give a rat's tail for social policies. So far as their concerned, dropping some 100K on a garbage hill in Cambodia absolves them from any further need for involvement with the problems of the poor - particularly in their own backyard.

What we call "The Left" today would hardly be recognizable to William Jennings Bryan or Eugene V. Debs. No, today's "Left" reserves its excitement for homosexuality, global warming, the androginization of both men and women toward some sort of center, AIDS activism, something they call a "peace" movement, affirmative action for racial minorities, the importation of non-Europeans and hankering for their citizenship, anti-Christianity, etc.

To whatever degree some in the traditional left cared about some of these issues, they always paled in comparison to their concern for greater health and economic prosperity for the masses of the non-wealthy and the millions of impoverished. Today's "Left" however is little more than a feel good movement for whatever exotic "causes" bored entertainment celebrities and college kids happen to consider in fashion at the moment. And the so-to-speak-Left in Congress dances merrily to whatever tune these "activists" play.

The fact that the "Left" is about to sign off on this taxpayer-funded welfare to the rich even though it will mean that healthcare for the uninsured will yet again be pushed off into the indefinite future, shows what their priorities are. And what they aren't.

So tscott, you needn't worry. If your meaning by "radical left" is anything approximating socialism (such as all of Scandinavia currently enjoys), you're concerns ought to be allayed. We'll have laws banning gender-specific words before we see congress pass Living Wage legislation.

Robert said...

Jesus the child of a single mother? Have they written Joseph out of the Bible? As I remember he stood stauchly by Mary.
And Obama's mother handed him off to her parents, strengthening his cred among the ghetto crowd.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

It's only a matter of time before the Dems run a candidate with enough experience, and with a well enough hidden connection to the radical Left, to get elected. That President will find the Congress stuffed with fellow travelers.

They've found one, only he's not experienced, and his connections aren't hiddden, and yet he still may win.

My guess is that McCain is going to mention Wright, and he's going to mention Ayers, and he's going to mention Rezko. He's just waiting for the last two weeks or so to really start bringing it up. You can't run your entire campaign on Ayers/Wright/Rezko, because voters would tire of it long before the election. So you just try to stay in the game and bring it back into the people's minds right before they walk into the voting booth.

Elections aren't battles. You don't haul out the heavy guns and try to get it over with. They're athletic events, with a fixed ending, and you need to stay in for the entire game.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is like Democracy, the worst system except all the others.

Where do you come up with this stuff? Capitalism is literally the way the world works. It is the only morally justifiable system, and it provides a continual process of subdivision of labor and increasing living standards. Your statement is equivalent to "Heterosexual reproduction is the worst system except all others." It's not something that can be labelled good, bad or indifferent. It's just the way things are. Stop immanentizing the eschaton.

And democracy? You want to try that out on the Saudi peninsula and see how fast all that oil money gets converted into a pile of nukes instead of cocaine and prostitutes for Saudi royals?

Oh, and how's the universal franchise worked out for, say, EVERY major urban area in the US?

Astounding.

--Senor Doug

Reg C├Žsar said...

If your meaning by "radical left" is anything approximating socialism (such as all of Scandinavia currently enjoys)...
--Mnuez

A lot of meaty stuff in that post, but I have to take exception to this. By the traditional definition of "socialism", i.e., public ownership of the means of production, Scandinavia has long qualified as the least socialist corner of Europe.

E.g., the automakers in France, Italy and Spain were long owned by the state; Sweden's were independent, until they sold themselves to Ford and GM. Rather than the usual European state-run airline, SAS is a private company, traded on the bourse, in which only half the stock is held by governments. 90% of business is said to be in private hands.

No, what Scandinavia is, is corporativist. Douglas Casey, in The International Man, called it fascism, albeit a more highly taxed yet lightly controlled, efficient version.

I read a fascinating statistic recently-- whether about Sweden or Finland I forget, but possibly true of both-- that the majority of major corporations today are holdovers founded in the classical-liberal period of the late 1800s. The big tech story, Nokia, is a 19th-century forester. Imagine Intel or Google growing out of Weyerhaeuser!

Considering the love affair between Silicon Valley and neoliberal Democrats, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the kind of system Obama and his allies envision

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2008/09/exfelons_for_ob.php

Three weeks later she received a card from the Board of Elections confirming it did. Because she was an ex-felon, it said, she wasn't eligible... since throwing scalding hot oil on a woman who dissed her seven years earlier, learning that she would never be able to vote again was depressing and humiliating...Trying to help her, the boss looked up the law online and came across the New York Civil Liberties Union's education campaign on felon voting re-enfranchisement called "You Have the Right to Vote."...

"I'm looking forward to voting" ... When asked who she was voting for, Perez asked, "am I allowed to say?" When told it was up to her, she said, "I'm voting for Obama."


http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/23/nation/na-blackvote23

Obama strategists believe they have identified a gold mine of new and potentially decisive Democratic voters in at least five battleground states – voters who failed to turn out in the past but can be mobilized this time because Obama's candidacy is historic and his cash-rich campaign can afford the costly task of identifying and motivating such supporters...

Experts say felons are disproportionately black and, if they can be found, more likely to be Obama backers. This provides a huge potential; about 1.1 million felons in Florida were ineligible to vote in 2004, according to a 2006 book by sociologists Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen. Here too the potential for gains has risk: It could open a door for Republicans to portray Democrats as soft on crime.
The push for new and nontraditional voters is so targeted and aggressive that an NAACP official in Ohio said her organization plans to pursue individuals who are incarcerated but who have not yet been tried or sentenced and, therefore, under state law, remain eligible to vote.

The group is also tracking felons who often don't realize that, in Ohio, they are eligible to vote as soon as they leave prison.

VoodooMan said...

Mneuz:

The modern Left practices reverse fascism, reverse racism, and reverse sexism - rather than anything even remotely progressive or helpful to real people in need.

voodooman said...

Here too the potential for gains has risk: It could open a door for Republicans to portray Democrats as soft on crime.

Since when have the Democrats not been soft on (real) crime?

Blode said...

Charges that the R VP nominee is a Dispensationalist seem not to be matched by charges that the D P nominee is a crypto-gnostic who believes himself the instrument of a poorly-described Monad, in eternal conflict against a Euro/capitalist demiurge.

Charges that Palin lacks Federal / "homeland security" experience seem not to be matched by charges that Barack Heather Obama lacks executive experience. Which Attractive Young Outsider with a Shady Politico-Religious Ideology do you prefer? Or which Big-Government Congressional Warhorse do you prefer?

The country is not doomed because we only have two choices, it is doomed because we THINK we only have two choices. (And why the hell did Paul endorse Baldwin & Castle anyway? The natural choice would have been Barr & Root.)

My advice on livening up the debate would be for Palin to directly address Bernhard. "You seem to be joking about the black-on-white rape crisis as if it was over, or perhaps even as if it never happened! Some say, as a comedian, your jokes should be offensive and provocative. If so, I recommend you tell some funny ones about prison rape - a whole untapped goldmine of noneconomic black-on-white crime. How about school violence, that's a good one. Or the situation for white farmers in Zimbabwe. Everyone in your audience will either roar with laughter, or be so scared that they'll know they have to for your candidate as a way of making amends for whatever it is the leftists who control our history departments are blaming on white people this week."