January 26, 2011

The big thing Obama could do

In the NYT:
Gail Collins: Have you noticed that all the recent presidents could only accomplish a political agenda that belonged to the other side? Bill Clinton got welfare reform and George W. Bush got prescription drugs for Medicare. I’ve always expected that in his third year, Obama would wind up pushing for something like controlling pension costs for school janitors, and there he was, talking about capping spending....

David Brooks: That is a first class observation. It’s true that presidents in recent years have only succeeded by coopting the other party’s issues. Their own party goes along for partisan reasons and the other party goes along grudgingly for substantive reasons. Maybe there is some wisdom in this.

I'm going to keep harping on my theme that Obama could ensure himself a second term and do the country a lot of good using his own personal diversityness to push through a thoroughgoing reform of all the diversity policies that have gone bad over the decades (immigration, disparate impact, Fannie and Freddie quotas, etc etc) because you aren't supposed to talk about diversity policies unless you are diverse yourself.

Granted, he's not going to do this, but that should be held against him, because it's eminently politically feasible for him and it's well worth doing from a good government standpoint.. Right now, however, the entire concept is off the radar.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some don't feel he needs to do much to get re-elected:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/the_40percent_president_obamas.html

I tend to agree. There is absolutely no good reason his approval ratings should have gone up. Yet, there it is. Either people are lying to pollsters or they are willing to give this guy passes they'd give no other President. Perhaps the idea of the first minority President "failing" is an idea too painful for most Americans to accept and that is because they do see him as a symbol. That's always a mistake--seeing a politician as a symbol.

Alan Stewart said...

A real cleaning up of this stuff, no.

But maybe one thing, just one, that he could bring up to foreclose any Republican argument that his Adminstration, working silently through its Executive appointments, has really been the sort of monomaniacal restitution-for-grievances operation the fear of which has prevented most people from supporting black candidates in the past.

How 'bout switching sides in Vulcan. Obama wouldn't even need to renounce disparate-impact or the four-fifths rule, just say that a carefully designed test is sufficient to rebut any presumption of discrimination.

hailtoyou said...

the entire concept is off the radar

Compare and Contrast:

Exhibit A, "Corn Pone Opinions".
Exhibit B, Obama: "I am a product of affirmative action" [and 'immigration', sort of]

RKU said...

Wouldn't that be a little like Ron Paul getting elected, and urging him to switch America over to Communism?...

Anonymous said...

Where Obama has no personal credibility is on issues of job creation and business. Hence he is now surrounding himself with banksters, CEOs, and free trade hucksters. This is bad for the country because corporate profits already reached an all time high last year, and what's good for the Fortune 500 is often bad for the country (e.g., unlimited immigration). Democrats would be smart to find candidates with some business background. American could use someone who is willing to be a traitor to the Davos class.

Anonymous said...

"That is a first class observation. It’s true that presidents in recent years have only succeeded by coopting the other party’s issues."

George W. Bush succeeded?

OneSTDV said...

Right now, however, the entire concept is off the radar.

Or too many mainstream Republicans are afraid of bringing up these "controversial" issues.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
You need to repeat this meme about once a week. It's a no-brainer once you think about it.

However, it won't reach BHO unless you ambush him somehow.

Anonymous said...

you've brought up this topic several times already, i wonder why you do.

surely you must know tat mr. Obama believes in these affirmative action diversity policies.

unless you're accusing him of being a pure empty suit sell-out politician, he's not going to go for it. the man has beliefs and some principles

and to be fair, you're kind of a pro-affirmative action socialist yourself... only you favor affirmative actin for your favored people.

you believe in anti-competitive, anti-freedom policies that help certain classes of people.

you believe it's okay to curb the freedom of the american businessman, you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country.

yeah, you're pretty affimative-action yourself.

Anonymous said...

Politically feasible? You act as if these policies are secondary for the Left. White-hating racism IS the program, it defines the Democratic coalition. It would be the equivalent of the Republicans adopting Maoism.

Luke Lea said...

I'd take immigration reform before an end to affirmative action. A time out to give us a chance to assimilate the 40 million foreign born we already have, like we did in the 1920's. He needn't even harp on the disparate impact immigration has on the wages of the working poor, of all colors, though that might not be such a bad idea.

Obama goes to China! (Speaking of which he might also re-examine the whole issue of tariffs and trade.)

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

First, there has to be some sense that the other party is using the issue against you. Republicans were useing welfare against the Democrats when Bill Clinton caved. Democrats were using healthcare against the Republicans when Bush pushed for RX coverage.

Republicans are too damn cowardly to campaign against affirmative action, especially with a black president.

And, of course, ending AA would entirely contradict Obama's entire purpose for being president. Bill Clinton didn't really have a purpose, not for that matter did Bush. Obama emphatically does, and that purpose is to rape the wealth of the country for the benefit of his owned preferred groups.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said..."That is a first class observation. It’s true that presidents in recent years have only succeeded by coopting the other party’s issues."
George W. Bush succeeded?


Right. Which liberal policies did Reagan adopt to account for his success? Did Bush I succeed by agreeing with the Democrats to raise taxes? How did Bush II's comprehensive immigration reform plan, increased mortgage lending to underqualified Hispanics, and NCLB work out for him? Did the Mdicare Rx plan do Bush II any good whatsoever?

I think what Brooks fails to notice is that it's only when liberals adopt conservative positions that it helps them politically, not the other way around. If Obama took one hot-button conservative stand, such as the one Steve suggests or cutting back on immigration and closing the border, he could lock in the 2012 election. Not that I think he will.

Fred said...

"
you believe it's okay to curb the freedom of the american businessman, you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country.

yeah, you're pretty affimative-action yourself."


Anon (would it kill you to use your first name when you post, or some other unique identifier?),

It's true that Steve is in favor of affirmative action for a certain group -- that group is U.S. citizens. Shouldn't the president of the U.S. be looking out for U.S. citizens too?

Johnson said...

That would be a Nixon goes to China moment.

Even if Obama doesn't, though, doesn't his election itself take away from the racism narrative and weaken society's overall tolerance of AA?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the president of the U.S. be looking out for U.S. citizens too?

Shouldn't the president of the U.S. be a U.S. citizen?

Svigor said...

you've brought up this topic several times already, i wonder why you do.

And you keep calling patriotism "affirmative action," and I wonder why. Do you think we're all going to fall for it if you repeat it long enough?

Patriotism is no more AA than turning one's business over to one's son. You have this problem with property rights and you keep injecting it into the conversation where it doesn't belong.

NO, refusing to let a bum sleep in your guest room is not "AA." It's called the right to property.

you believe in anti-competitive, anti-freedom policies that help certain classes of people.

No, reciprocity is not "anti-competitive" and "anti-freedom." Asia is demographically and economically protectionist; but you never whine about that. Ergo, you're anti-white; you expect things from white people that you don't expect from non-whites, and you criticize whites for doing exactly what non-whites do, and give non-whites a pass. It's actually much worse than that, because the actual status quo, what's actually going on on the ground, is more in line with what you seem to want than what Steve does, yet you're still here fighting the good fight for the winners. Asia actually is demographically and economically protectionist, and you, the self-appointed crusader against protectionism, fight the good fight...here, where we're just discussing it, rather than against the Chinese or Japanese, who are actually walking the walk. So, you're incandescently racist.

you believe it's okay to curb the freedom of the american businessman

Ridiculous. Refusing to let anyone screw the country over for personal gain is no more "curbing the freedom of businessmen" than laws against murder are "curbing the freedom of homicidal maniacs."

you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country.

Translation: "I should be able to kick in your door, clean out your fridge, and sleep in your bed. If not, you're 'anti-freedom' and I've been 'thrown under the bus.'"

yeah, you're pretty affimative-action yourself.

Nope. Wanting to keep what's yours is not "anti-freedom," or "anti-competitive," or "affirmative action." Your game is weak. If you want to compete here and enjoy the benefits of competition, you're going to have to learn some skills.

Anonymous said...

Cut off immigration. As tht child of an immigrant and as a minority, Obama couild do that and not appear racist. Say we arent't creating enough jobs and that, due to that, we have to limit immigration.

Sure, he won't do that...... but one can always hope......

E. Henry Thripshaw said...

The greatest political masterstroke Obama could pull would be a moratorium on legal immigration to reduce unemployment. He'd have to go over the heads of the treason crowd in both parties, but the public would be overwhelmingly supportive. Imagine prioritizing the needs of unemployed Americans over the wishes of foreigners and sleazy cheap labor fatcats? It would be like welfare reform times 100. Takes unemployment off the table for 2012.
Of course, Obama is the traitor-in-chief so it ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama, that arch-traitor, might be able to push the very agenda he despises, but that's a very short-sighted wish. This country will never, ever recover from lively, vibrant and diverse left-wing tyranny until unrepentent White men start telling the open truth as offensively as possible and doing everything they can to do what's good for them and the U.S. Relying on your enemies to do the right thing for you is a losing proposition.

Truth said...

"Perhaps the idea of the first minority President "failing" is an idea too painful for most Americans to accept and that is because they do see him as a symbol."

BRILLIANT THESIS!*





*(Or maybe "we" just like him)

"Shouldn't the president of the U.S. be looking out for U.S. citizens too?"

Who is he looking out for, Lithuanians?

"Where Obama has no personal credibility is on issues of job creation and business."

What president did? Who was out last entrepreneur/president?

Bush; very poor businessman, given business by his father, job destroyer.

Clinton; lifetime bureaucrat.

Bush Sr.; Given the money to begin businesses by his father.

Regan; actor, entertainer, union chief.

Jimmy Carter; family peanut farm.

Gerald Ford; military, bureaucrat.

Richard Nixon; military, bureaucrat...

Every body play along at home.

Truth said...

"And you keep calling patriotism "affirmative action," and I wonder why. Do you think we're all going to fall for it if you repeat it long enough?"

"Great"presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Quincy Adams, etc., instituted policies that were ridiculously unfair to many Americans, how would you characterize them? Patriotic, or A.A.?

Simon in London said...

RKU:
"Wouldn't that be a little like Ron Paul getting elected, and urging him to switch America over to Communism?..."

Yes - I think Steve's argument does not take into account that Obama is a bad person. We can hold it against him that he doesn't renounce Diversity-ness, but that's a lot like holding it against Osama bin Laden for wanting to kill us and institute a global Caliphate. It's 'frog & scorpion' thinking. They can't help being scorpions, it's of their essence.

Anonymous said...

How did Bush II's comprehensive immigration reform plan, increased mortgage lending to underqualified Hispanics, and NCLB work out for him?

For the umpteenth time: As long as the NCLB enforces the NAEP testing standards, it is worth its weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

There is no discussion anywhere in the mainstream about reducing legal immigration even with the employment situation the way it is. It seems like that fact should be surprising, but it isn't.

Big bill said...

"Anonymous", in his no-caps screed above, expressed a leftist argument I have heard several times from the ignorant masses. In effect it erases borders and extends American moral and financial responsbilities to the entire world and not just to the American people.

America can only exist morally for the benefit of the entire world, not for itself or its people. If America enforces borders were are punishing poor little third worlders. If America imposes tariffs we are crushing the Little Brown People worldwide.

This idea is also used by the Black Elite to suppress poor black folks from speaking their minds.

The version employed by the Black Elite against poor black folks goes: "How dare you ask for equal treatment in America for yourself and then fight to keep poor little brown people out of America!"--as though there is some endless stream of goodies that spouts from the ground in America.

For the Black Elite it is still black (or brown) versus white. For regular black folks it is jobs, jobs, jobs.

It is amazingly effective. Consider this: over 70% of black folks are against current immigration policies, more black folks than white folks IIRC, yet the Black Elite never mentions border or immigration enforcement.

But black anger is simmering right under the surface, barely capped by the Black Elite. I can guarantee you that if Obama made immigration and border enforcement an issue he would be reelected by acclamation.

Big bill said...

My goodness, no sooner do I post than "Truth" proves my point.

The subject is immigration and border control.

Yet rather than note the obvious--that free immigration of poor folks is screwing over regular everyday black folks, rather than find common ground with his white enemies (and fellow Americans) Truth goes off into classic black thumbsucking whimpering and grievance mongering.

What the hell does John Quincy Adams have to do with anything we are discussing, Truth? And why do you bring it up? You expect a light bulb to go off over every white man's head and all of a sudden he start crying and shivering, fall on his knees and beg your forgiveness? Ain't gonna happen. Face it, son, you are way too needy for white folks' approval and love when you ought to be looking for manly respect.

White folks respect a black man who can find common ground and makes cogent arguments not one who get whiny and tries to run feeble guilt trips.

Truth, one of the black men I most respect was Booker T. Washington. He could smile, shake the hands of a stone segregationist, sit down and talk about the common goals of both races. He was a man.

Go read his famous speech [esp. para. 4] from the Atlanta Exposition, son, and tell me why border and immigration enforcement and black and white folks helping each other is evil.

Here at Steve Sailer's web site you got white folks who want to enforce the borders and immigration. You got a chance ot bring a black working man's perspective to the mix. You got a chance to advance the Great Conversation.

Wake up, son. Read Booker T. Get a life, and stop sulking and begging the white folks to loooove you. Contribute. Don't act a fool.

It hurts me to say it, but you just reinforce every stereotype that black folks are weak, over-sensitive and ignorant with your irrelevant postings. Don't be a part of the problem, Truth, be a part of the solution.

Anonymous said...

He can't do it because if he did, Michelle would be hell to live with.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country.

Boo effing hoo. I didn't invite them. I don't want to invite them. And I'm under no (none, zip, nada) obligation to invite them.

Also, I keep hearing this term 'artificial,' as if citizens protecting their property is some act of mooching. You protect the value of your house by limiting access--is that 'artificial?'

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

A big problem with finding a "Nixon goes to China" moment for Obama is that most presidents have to be ideologically somewhat fluid to get elected. They seldom stand for much more than themselves.

Obama, however, managed to get elected in spite of his hard left ideological rigidity, because he is black. So this time around we actually managed to get a president who believes in something. The trouble is, that "something" is far to the left of what most Americans really want.

So no matter how many times Obama act's like he's offering up something new, an adjustment, a compromise, it will always just be the same old thing.

His beliefs were fixed long before he came into office. To compromise on any of them would negate the entire point of being there. If he "compromises" on anything, it will be in ways that don't affect the people he cares about. Welfare won't shrink. Affirmative action won't disappear. Funding for Israel and PEPFAR funding are solid.

Cutting Ag subsidies is certainly a possibility - after (and if) he gets re-elected. Military pay (especially for officers) is certainly on the table. And he may yet support adding means testing to social security, because most non-whites would not be affected, although that would severely reduce SS's popular support.

You will never, never, ever get a compromise out of Obama that hurts blacks or Hispanics, or his Jewish contributors like George Soros. He'd throw his own grandma under the bus first.

Oh, wait: he already did.

Anonymous said...

"There is no discussion anywhere in the mainstream about reducing legal immigration even with the employment situation the way it is."

Immigration policy suffers from the ratchet effect. It moves in one way, only - ever upward. I forget the precise numbers, but legal immigration in the last decade (ca. 1.1 million/year) was something like 3 times higher than what it was in the 70s, just 30 years ago. You cannot lower it, because that would be "racism." If Congress were to double it, trying to reduce it back to its current level would again be "racist."

Svigor said...

"Great" presidents such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Quincy Adams, etc., instituted policies that were ridiculously unfair to many Americans, how would you characterize them? Patriotic, or A.A.?

Is this the part where I give you straight answers, which never builds me any credit to where you have to reciprocate?

Okay, I'm game, as usual. Describe the policies, and I'll give you my interpretations.

Svigor said...

There is no discussion anywhere in the mainstream about reducing legal immigration even with the employment situation the way it is. It seems like that fact should be surprising, but it isn't.

That's how you know you're dealing with lowlifes; the arguments vary wildly, but the goal doesn't. I'm not talking refinements, but kitchen-sink turn-on-a-dime stuff. Open borders nuts will tell you "we're booming! Need more immigrants!" when the economy's good. Then they'll turn around and tell you, "we're crashing! We need more immigrants!" when it isn't.

Kylie said...

If Obama could find it within himself to do it, he wouldn't be Obama.

none of the above said...

If anyone here were arguing for reinstating the Jewish quota and legal restrictions on employment of nonwhites in "white" jobs, then yes, that would be arguing for AA. In that case, it would be correct to see this as an argument over the spoils between two different groups.

I've not seen anyone here argue for that, though. What I've seen here is a desire to make employment and admissions to college work the same for everyone. That eliminates AA, and also doesn't reinstate the Jewish quota or prevent blacks from practicing law or medicine or going to college.

Now, if the broad picture of hbd as I've seen it is correct, this will lead to more whites and Asians at top universities, and relatively fewer blacks and hispanics. (On the plus side, the blacks and hispanics who do get into those schools will be at the same level of ability as everyone else at the school, and probably more blacks across the board will go into harder technical subjects, and more will graduate.) But whether that vision is right or wrong, race-blind admissions will guide us to a better outcome than AA.

Anonymous said...

To Truth, who said,

"Or maybe 'we' just like him."

No, see, that's what's off. Of all my friends/colleagues, who voted for him (public school teachers so you can imagine that almost all of them did vote for him), most admit he seems to be a pretty aloof, non-personal kind of guy in personality. True, these are not traits that would keep them from voting for him again, but they are also not characteristics that would *cause* them to vote for him again. They all admit to having been won over by his speaking skills, which now they tend to regard as "the same ole, same ole."

In short, it's not his personality winning him any influence with them, not now after they've had a couple of years with him. They don't like his track record regarding policy, they admit. (His health care mess is the biggie).

Thus, my conclusion? It's the race thingy. Libs are wedded to the belief that if the first minority President is not re-elected, we'll be thrown back in time. Silly of them to have such a Hollywood view of things.

helene edwards said...

Big Bill, you don't really believe any black person wants whites' respect, do you? In the black "community," fear and respect were made synonymous somewhere around 1990.

Mr. Anon said...

"Big bill said...

Yet rather than note the obvious--that free immigration of poor folks is screwing over regular everyday black folks,....."

This argument is often made, but I don't see much evidence for it. Given how many blacks have dropped out of the workforce and into welfare, crime, or prison, perhaps many of them are not especially concerned about mexicans taking the jobs that they themselves had no intention of doing anyway.

Truth said...

"Truth goes off into classic black thumbsucking whimpering and grievance mongering."

Was I. or was I simply stating the truth?

"What the hell does John Quincy Adams have to do with anything we are discussing, Truth"

You were 'no doubt' a National Merit Scholar, please re-read it, it's not overly complicated.

"You expect a light bulb to go off over every white man's head and all of a sudden he start crying and shivering, fall on his knees and beg your forgiveness? "

I think I'd settle for 'occasionally engaging his brain' at this point.

"Truth, one of the black men I most respect was Booker T. Washington."

Well, if YOU respect him, I guess he must be beyond reproach!

"and tell me why border and immigration enforcement and black and white folks helping each other is evil"

I believe they are both good ideas. Especially black and white folks helping each other.

"It hurts me to say it, but you just reinforce every stereotype that black folks are weak, over-sensitive and ignorant..."

Wow, then what is Snoop Dog doing?

Truth said...

"Okay, I'm game, as usual. Describe the policies, and I'll give you my interpretations."

Well, they did own human beings. That's almost as bad as preferential university admissions!

Truth said...

"In short, it's not his personality winning him any influence with them,"

No, John McCain's personality is winning him influence with them, and George Bush's, and Sarah Palin's...

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Given how many blacks have dropped out of the workforce and into welfare, crime, or prison, perhaps many of them are not especially concerned about mexicans taking the jobs that they themselves had no intention of doing anyway."

Well, a $1.48 trillion deficit ensures they won't be able to drop out into welfare for very long. The next version of welfare reform will make the Clinton-era version look rather mild.

Joe said...

"you've brought up this topic several times already, i wonder why you do."

- Because it needs to be said. Because people are interested in it, and it keeps being relevant (as the latest news story shows).

"surely you must know tat mr. Obama believes in these affirmative action diversity policies."

- Of course! He's gotten most of his jobs (community organizer, senator, president) riding the coattails of diversity. And then there's his wife... Not to mention that he has 2 daughters who can benefit from it (and let's just ignore all the benefits they get from an upper class life).

unless you're accusing him of being a pure empty suit sell-out politician, he's not going to go for it. the man has beliefs and some principles

- That's why he throws people under the bus and does U turns whenever its the more convenient path. But then again, if he believes in affirmative action as a virtue, then he can't be too focused on fairness and honesty...

"and to be fair, you're kind of a pro-affirmative action socialist yourself... only you favor affirmative actin for your favored people.

you believe in anti-competitive, anti-freedom policies that help certain classes of people."

- Really? Getting rid of affirmative action is anti-competitive, and socialist? No, it brings things back to a competitive meritocracy, and that's the problem, because some people don't compete well....

"you believe it's okay to curb the freedom of the american businessman, you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country.

yeah, you're pretty affimative-action yourself."


- It's not our responsibility to take care of the third world. It's their responsibility to take care of themselves. As far as the AA, see above...

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

you believe it's okay to curb the freedom of the american businessman, you believe it's okay to throw under the bus, perhaps 10 (or 4 or 2 or whatever) number of families in a dirt poor 3rd world country, all in the name of artificially boosting the wages of a certain group of people in this country. yeah, you're pretty affimative-action yourself."

Say that together you and I are roommates and co-owners of a 3 bedroom house. We split the mortgage 2 ways. I decide to bring in a roommate to occupy the third room and tell you that from now on #3 and I will split my share of the mortgage payment, and that #3 will be entitled to 1/3rd of the equity even though he's never paid a dime of mortgage. Fair?

Of course not.

America is private property. That not owned separately by individuals or corporations is owned in trust by the government for the people - tens of trillions of dollars worth, in fact. We are expected to pay taxes to defend and maintain the land and infrastructure in question, and we are expected to expend blood in its defense, as many of our ancestors have already done.

No one has the right to bring someone here for his personal benefit without permission from the rest.

This is not "affirmative action." It's what every successful country has done throughout history.