September 20, 2011

Obama's experience

NOTA comments:
I fancy myself a pretty bright guy. And yet, put me in at governor of Illinois or CEO of GE or as the captain of a navy ship, and I will make a godawful hash of it, because intelligence isn't enough to do those jobs--you also need to have the experience of running parts of them, or of running comparable operations, and detailed knowledge of how these very complicated organizations work.  
President must be far worse. Everyone who ever talks to you not only has an agenda, they're out on the right end of the intelligence and manipulativeness and people-skills distributions, and you are their main focus. Most of us have been tricked by dishonest people, or felt the unpleasant push of a skilled salesman trying to get us to buy something. Imagine that all the time, except they're world class salesmen, and all your information about what they're selling and what a reasonable price would be is controlled by equally manipulative salesmen.  
Think about a conflict between Obama and Geithner. Obama has few contacts in the financial world, and those are mostly people he's gotten to know only since he was running for office. Geithner has been plugged into that world for his whole professional life. Obama has the authority to fire Geithner, but in many ways, he's much the weaker of the two.  
And that applies everywhere--Obama might have wanted to close down Guantanamo and investigate the guys who ran our illegal domestic spying and torture programs. But when his advisors tell him that doing so will destroy the NSA and CIA, who does he ask for confirmation. He doesn't have a dozen old friends he's worked with for years on these issues, guys he knows well enough that it would be hard for them to lie or spin him much. He probably had some people like that in Illinois politics, but he had no time to find them in Washington--when he arrived, he was already effectively running for president. 


If you are Obama, your main career expertise is in assessing and appeasing the mood of the volcano gods, so when Tim Geithner or Larry Summers tell you you can't do something because, say, the bond market wouldn't like it, what do you know about the bond market? Who do you know in the bond market whom you can trust? You've met a million guys in the bond market at fundraisers who have told you you were amazing and given you money, but, really, when you think about it, do you think they were all totally disinterested? 

The U. of Chicago didn't pay you to lecture on the bond market, they had other guys for that. They wanted you to be their volcano gods expert. That's what you are good at. You wrote an entire autobiography about you and the volcano gods. Then you get to the White House and it turns out that volcano gods analysis isn't really that big of a job requirement after all. 

Who knew?

81 comments:

josh said...

Anybody catch that this "jobs" bill that Obama is so desperate to pass creates a gov. owned corporation to guarantee infrastructure loans made by banks. The language of the bill pretty much states that the corporation must be run by bankers.

Ed said...

Kudos to Steve for being one of the first internet commentators to realize that Obama, while a bad president, is probably clueless instead of evil. And this is not unlike the situation with GW Bush.

I agree that Obama's experience was slight, the only comparable case among recent presidents is Carter and before Carter you have to go back to before the Civil War. However, the nature of what experience he had counts. In addition to his race-focused autobiographical books, he taught constitutional law and served on the Senate Foreign Relations committee. So he pretty much had no contact with economic issues at all.

Now when Obama started running for President, the main issues that the great and the good were concerned about were Iraq, Afghanistan, and other aspects of the War on Terror (including homeland security and civil liberties). The economic meltdown didn't start until two months before the election. And on the Iraq-Afghanistan stuff Obama has mostly kept his campaign promises and has had some success, eg capturing Bin Laden.

On the economic issues, Obama's main policy has been to give the bankers who caused the crisis more taxpayer money. This was precisely the wrong response. Its just one thing to screw up, but its a really big thing. And I think McCain would have been better here, though much worse on the Middle East.

The analogy I like to use is if you put me in charge of a nuclear plant, that was experiencing a meltdown because of actions taken by the engineers who normally ran the plant. I would probably just do what the same engineers told me to do, at least initially, since I have no idea of how to run a nuclear plant and decisions would have to be made rapidly to contain the situation.

catperson said...

And I think McCain would have been better here, though much worse on the Middle East.

I supported Obama because I suspected both McCain and Hillary would have been puppets for the neocons and got American troops to fight Israel's battles for them (probably with Iran since America already invaded Iraq).

I would love to see Ron Paul become president that way the neocons will lose their strangle hold on American foreign policy. But the neocon media will continue to marginalize Ron Paul. Notice how insistent they are that the Republican nomination is now a two person race between Perry and Romney.

Anonymous said...

The problem with your articles on Obama, Sailer, is that you push an agenda of psychological deconstruction through poor-sourcing and, honestly, lack of a paper trail.

Yet the real story is that lack of information about Obama. Namely, where are the documents?

In-depth, the problem with your work --- so far as the lacking psychological analysis and overall thesis of Obama as orator/snake oil salesman versus policy intellect -- is that you tied your horse to circumstantial evidence of time/place, conflated to your self-regard in "actually reading" Obama's 'Dreams', and felt that this was enough to thoroughly vet or explore Obama's psychology.

But it isn't. Not even close. Specifically, you have no real knowledge of any of Obama's time in the 80s -- that is, what little information exists simply creates a larger number of questions -- and it's, even more damningly to your work, become very, very clear that Obama didn't write 'Dreams From My Father'.

You demand absolute proof from anyone that claims Ayers wrote the book, yet your own work has little to nothing concrete backing it up.

The reason why? I think it's pretty simple: facile arrogance. You felt big in writing 'Half-Blood Prince' and "cracking" Obama, but the problem is that a huge amount of sourcing is a pastiche of Ayers' history and postmodern, fictional flourishes matched to his general prose-style.

That is, you mistakenly thought that Obama's book was, indeed, Obama's book. Unfortunately, you were wrong. You were wrong because, far from thoroughly studying and cross-referencing the work of 'Dreams' with Ayers' work, you simply deconstructed the former. Itself leaving you unable to understand Obama, because you hadn't even discovered the identity of the author. That would be Ayers, no matter how much you try to ignore the obvious.

(and the hypocrisy is stark: you deconstruct Obama through the text of 'Dreams', yet ignore all the textual evidence -- wording, construction, thematic elements and overall tone tonal value -- that point to Ayers explicitly as the author. Risible, petty and transparent)

Yet having this as not only the fulcrum of your thesis, but your only published book, you cling to the ideas within it. You're pretty much stuck with it, and now compound this by writing more and more vacuous or poorly-balanced articles, as it was with the lightweight, self-saluting piece on Obama's IQ compared to prior Presidents.

Note the difference there: there's documentation supporting your breakdown of, say, Bush or Kerry's IQ, but no such information exists to equally support your conclusions on Obama.

Willfully, it seems, you want to miss the real story on Obama, and pretend there is enough information.

The truth is 180 degrees counter to your assumptions (sine qua non: Obama is a man with very little documented background, especially compared to any other modern President), and that's why your articles on this subject so often fall short on both fact and logic.

But then, when grandiose claims are made -- such as with 'America's Half-Blood Prince' -- that are questionable at best, fallacious at worst (and the latter is becoming more and more obvious as the answer), I suppose clinging to the original, poorly-sourced theory, is a matter of survival. Otherwise you look like a fool and charlatan, much like your subject.

Sailer Obama articles, particularly on his psychology and IQ, are about as worthwhile as VDare's recent redesign. An eyesore.

Anonymous said...

is probably clueless instead of evil.
he's the guy white liberals have been waiting for since they saw their first sydney poiter movie. He has also fulfilled that role- making whites feel good about themselves. Had he died early in office, before doing anything, he would have become their demi-god. , in fact he would have replaced MLK.

Anonymous said...

Again and again, he does what he's told without questioning it. He's super-unoriginal and incurious. He doesn't know anything about the bond market? Fine, but at least he could have read up about it.

I can't stand listening to him because he talks in clich├ęs even more than most politicians. I don't even remember any serious gaffs from him - think about it, Joe freaking Biden is a more independent thinker, at least as evidenced by his gaffs.

Some have said that his autobiography was well-written. They're idiots. A good writer surprises his readers. He comes to unexpected conclusions, toys with their expectations, lulls them into one mood only to change to another at the least expected point possible, switches registers just when you least expect it, spends hours trying to determine where exactly that point where a reader would least expect such a switch could be located, etc.

His stuff isn't just boring content-wise, it's boring stylistically too.

When I'm pushed by a smooth-talker type type, a sleazeball, towards a decision in an area I don't understand, my first reaction is to do the opposite of what he says. Isn't that the normal reaction?

There are two types of political systems in the world: the WYSIWYG and the figurehead types. One would expect the emotional qualities of the politicians in these two systems to be diametrically opposite. Venezuela and Cuba are WYSIWYG, so the guys at the top are ornery, stubborn alpha SOBs. Khaddafy seems like the kind of guy who would have questioned everything he was ever told by anyone.

In contrast, Obama has the same sorts of qualities required in modern European monarchs. Well, and I guess in prime-ministers too. But he has them to an unusual degree even among those.

Steve Sailer said...

"Yet the real story is that lack of information about Obama. Namely, where are the documents? ... Specifically, you have no real knowledge of any of Obama's time in the 80s"

I know it's fun to fantasize about Obama as a Manchurian Candidate, but the prosaic reality is that we know a lot about what he did during the 1980s from all the people who have been interviewed or who volunteered their memories of him.

For example, a coworker of Obama's at Business International started a blog to point out that Obama was exaggerating by calling himself a consultant there. He was more of a copy editor for a newsletter firm. Lots of their old coworkers wrote in in the blog's comments to reminisce about old times at the BI office.

It could all be a giant disinformation scheme, but it was way too boring.

And that's the overall takeaway: Obama was interesting as a Potential First Black President, which he only became when he got to Harvard Law School. But before he got to HLS, he didn't seem like a PFBP, so he wasn't that interesting to people.

Before HLS, he didn't make that big an impression on people. They tended to see him as a bright guy, aloof, different from the average, sensitive, literary, maybe he could go somewhere in life. But he wasn't accomplishing much.

Then, when he arrives at HLS, there's suddenly a buzz about him that even a cynical, been around the block observer like Jackie Fuchs testifies to. Obama plays off his PFBP status, although his act, being fairly new to him, is rough around the edges.

Getting into HLS vindicated Obama to himself, so he became a much bigger personality. The PFBP stuff just fed on itself.

Jeff said...

I think that it's basically impossible for Obama to find an economic advisor who is motivated by the national interest.

Democrat economists advise more stimulus so as to shovel more money towards the government employee unions.

Republican economists push open borders, "free trade" with China, and bank deregulation in return for campaign cash from multinational corporations and the financial sector.

Economists of both parties support crony capitalist projects, e.g. Solyndra.

Because all prominent economists are whores, it makes it impossible for Obama to find an economic advisor who will speak for the American people.

Anonymous said...

what did regan know about the bond market?

DCThrowback said...

The biggest crime from this post is that commenter NOTA didn't get a complimentary adjective descriptor at the beginning of the post.

My guess: NOTA is not an Isteve contributor. Pony up dude!

Chicago said...

I'm already looking past this inept, ineffectual bozo who has just been a puppet of his advisors. When he leaves it'll be as if he was never there in the first place. Of course, you can't beat somebody with nobody, and there doesn't seem to be much out there to choose from. That could mean four more agonizing years of decline.
I'm puzzled how Perry just leapfrogged into such a prominent position so quickly after he entered contention; it's not as if he was a household name up until now. It seems he's being heavily pushed and promoted from behind the curtain. I don't think he's the one we've all been waiting for though; just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

"what did regan know about the bond market?"

I figure he thought economic matters should be left to people who know that stuff. In that regards, Obama seems to be rather similar to Reagan. But it's more jarring in Obama's case because he promised to end all that--business as usual--because he had a new vision and knew what MUST BE DONE and he had the GUTS, THE MANDATE, AND THE VOTES TO DO IT!! Yet, if anything, he seems to be even more beholden to Wall Street biggies than even Reagan ever was.

I don't know what he knows about the bond market, but he seems to be in bondage to those who rig the market.

David said...

What did George Washington know about the bond market?

The POTUS should not be (or even have a hand in) "running the economy." We move in a dark direction: toward the presumed-omniscient Warrior-God as our Ruler. The man who knows everything, because he is responsible for everything, because he RUNS everything. A totalitarian dictator, in short.

Stalin and his quivering cronies insisted that the Man of Steel was the greatest genius history had ever seen in the following fields.

1. Agriculture
2. Art, including music
3. Physics
4. Economics
5. Philosophy
6. Animal husbandry
7. Military strategy
8. You name it

The Great Black Father in the White House is expected to run the economy of America and keep the peace of the World. We want God. We get Barry, or Jorge Bush. A certain letdown is inevitable.

No one man should or can have such power. Time to reign in the Imperial Presidency - and the imperial government.

Anonymous said...

The very definition of affirmative action is hiring or admitting an applicant with inferior qualifications because of his nonwhite skin.

Obama is our first affirmative action president. But as Steve points out, his feckless presidency isn't necessarily a bad thing. The more time Hopey spends at the beach or on the golf links, the better off we are. For example, Obama will never muster the political juice to amnesty illegal Mexicans so he doesn't bother trying (much), but Perry is another story. Perry could probably cram through an amnesty in his first term. This guy is the second coming of LBJ, preparing to finish off what's left of the white majority.

Voters (especially white ones) need to think strategically. Partisan voting is for chumps. If it looks like we're going to get a Republican Senate and Congress, I'm voting for Hopey. Only a Republicrat government can keep the worst tendencies of both parties in check. Did we learn nothing from the halcyon presidency of Clinton??

W Baker said...

Aren't these arguments that this President isn't very bright when it comes to the financial sector and this one didn't know much about nuclear science - oh, and this one was a dim football cheerleader trying to get out from underneath daddy's shadow - just Straussian arguments for some sort of philosopher/king? I.e., we need a genius manager for a good thirty years to really get a handle on the problems...

Or do they beg the entire question? No human can possibly run this soft fascist, polyglot, fucked up empire? It runs itself in the worst possible way. Byzantium was child's play in comparison.

Anonymous said...

When he leaves it'll be as if he was never there in the first place. ... minus a few trillion dollars, gays in the military, obamacare, stealth amnesty, and probably some form of global warming treaty...

Anonymous said...

Interesting. That is also why Ike's warnings about the M-I-C were so chilling. Since he had extensive military knowledge and experience himself, he knew what the pentagon was up to. Ike also wanted America to begin withdrawing America from NATO in 1959.

Today the M-I-C is vastly bigger then in Ike's time and even though the USSR dissolved into 15 (and counting) countries, the Warsaw pact ended, the Berlin wall fallen, Germany reunited and the iron cutain torn down, America is STILL in NATO. Indeed it has expanded it dramatically and has fought two wars of aggression with it.

We should have listened to Ike.

Currahee said...

Probably would be better if Obama were re-elected, though that seems unlikely at this point.

Only hope for him would be a hard right 3rd party candidate (anti-free trade, border DMZ, end affirmative action, etc.) The only reason Soros won't fund such a thing is the fear of a Frankenstein, that it really would have legs.

I believe that a significant part of the Obama majority in '08 was undecideds (normally politically unmotived people) saying STFU to blacks.

Perry or Romney = Bush. In Obama's
second term he would attempt gun confiscation by executive order (given the appropriate news event).
This would ignite something.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Steve, experience is over-rated for being President & so is being "Smart".

Obama's done terrible because he's a liberal democrat who has all the wrong beliefs and appointed all the wrong people. Not that McCain would've have done any better.

However, I agree that being a proven executive (best of all Governor) is best training for being President.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

First, no man or woman is anywhere near qualified to run the $4 trillion, 4 million employee behemoth that is our federal government.

Second, there is too much fracking money on the line in even a single government decision for the most powerful lobbies to ever let an honest man anywhere near the Oval Office. This nation has simply become too rich and too big for its own good. We will continue to see our freedoms wither away as wealth and power become increasingly concentrated at the top.

beowulf said...

The truth is 180 degrees counter to your assumptions

Want to enlighten the rest of us what you're talking about? If Steve's assumption is that Obama is half white, half black, it sounds like you're making the startling contrarian claim that he's actually half black, half white.
http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/bele_and_lokai_star_trek.jpg

Anonymous said...

"I know it's fun to fantasize about Obama as a Manchurian Candidate,"

To imply that because I question Obama's lack of a paper trail -- and that's truly what remains most notable about him -- I think he's an insidious dictatorial force, is little more than putting words in my mouth.

And that's my problem with the Obama analysis, come to think of it: the process of creating a manic-depressive personality for Obama, off of a book that was not likely his at all. That's what 'Half-Blood Prince' and so many of these articles attempt to do. I just don't see much of a foundation, and so much to contradict what little there is.

I don't particularly see him as a nefarious presence. Well, redact that: I don't see him as being much worse than what's come before.

Policy-wise, the country always moves leftward, even if it has to be pushed through Trotskyite/neocon fifth columnist newspeak.

Obama's terrible on race, immigration, trade, bailouts and wars. In so many ways, it's hard to see how his policies are shifted from GWB's; perhaps he's worse on immigration, but he's better on the international occupation racket.

But how much does this have to do with Obama? How much did it really have to do with Bush? And can male menstruation at a 125 IQ truly be proven without school records and with a biography that is written by and emotionalized through the lens of a Trendy, White Liberal Subversive (Ayers) versus The Tragic Mulatto (TM) it pretends to be about?

That's the problem I have with these articles. Someone recalls Obama as a sullen AA hire, but what is the proof beyond time and place? It's Obama's itinerary, but it tells us little as far as his true intellectual capacity -- 'Dreams' would fill that gap, to large extent, but it's likely a fraud -- or emotional framework in a macro-context (ditto, natch).

Without Ayers' work as Obama('s), there's very little beyond Presidential politics, polemics and policies to tell us about...Obama. And much of that seems a priori, in the sense of a larger agenda that will continue with or without Obama.

Again, the story of Obama is almost completely subjective: a few anecdotes, an autobiography that is just another writing course so far as Ayers' romanticized-punk-rock-poet-terrorist chic, and Obama's "history"-as-an-itinerary of sinecure position after sinecure position.

The latter point is one that suggests Obama, like Bush, has never really faced consequence. There's psychological implication, but nothing truly damning or absolutely illuminating.

How one can conclude Obama's true worldview, without Ayers' work, is hard to figure. And yet by using it, you're pretty much aiding and abetting a lie: that is, the life, times and wisdom of Obama.

And unlike Bush, we have little to no paper trail on him: records are sealed, sealed, sealed. How does one conclude that he's Bush's equal on IQ without any measurable results?

With Obama, the story is the lack of evidence. But instead it seems as if you took his self-hagiograph at face value, and tried to create a profile of Obama from it.

It could be valid, to an extent, but only so far as William Ayers, The Tragedy of Diana Oughton, and the Weather Underground Reading List.

Which means that the work is fatally flawed: it misinterprets its subject completely, because it never truly identifies him.

Anonymous said...

"but the prosaic reality is that we know a lot about what he did during the 1980s from all the people who have been interviewed or who volunteered their memories of him."

It can tell us where Obama was, and what mood he was in with certain acquaintances, and/or what affect he was trying to create with which group (Madonna: ultimate whore, ultimate politician). But tells us little about his internal world, or his intellect.

Men like Reagan, HW, Clinton? There's an understanding of who they truly were by not only time and placement, but their writing, school records and even family backgrounds. With Obama, all these elements are clouded.

He's truly a Tabula Rasa Presidenct. Which, no doubt, has its advantages.

But to assume that he's a sensitive artist with Gerald R. Ford's brains is not something that's really suggested by concrete evidence, let alone proven.

That is, I think it's time to give up the narrative line you attempted to establish with 'America's Half-Blood Prince', which works as a companion volume -- notably accepting the writing and viewpoint as Obama's -- to a book that is itself a fraud.

It's about like being Milli Vanilli's stage manager. Give it up.

Luke Lea said...

Definitely an act of hubris on Obama's part to run for president.

Anonymous said...

"what did regan know about the bond market?"

Maybe a bit, maybe more than that, maybe nothing-but having been the head of a big union, having been the guv of the most important economic engine of the US for 8 years, California, you can bet he knew people who did know the bond market, people whom he could consult and trust...as much as anyone can trust anyone else. He had contacts, experience.

It counts, just as it does in anything else in life.

Anonymous said...

"Perry or Romney = Bush."

And you base that conclusion on what?

Luke Lea said...

"You were wrong because, far from thoroughly studying and cross-referencing the work of 'Dreams' with Ayers' work, you simply deconstructed the former."

I agree that Ayers probably wrote the book -- or, rather, cobbled it together from an unorganized pile of autobiographical notes. I also agree that Steve got Obama wrong early on, along with a lot of other Republicans. Obama was never a real radical on race or any other issue. Those issues were merely pawns in his game of political advance.

Personally I supported Obama because of Dreams (well, that and because my wife and daughter both went ape over him ;) ). It was the literary style that got me. I know, that is a lousy reason for supporting a president, though in my own defense I did worry out loud whether he would be too much of a Hamlet to effectively govern.

I was also taken in by Obama's feigned broad human sympathies, the whole Kansas shtick, not realizing what an elitist he was, how out of touch not only with white working-class realities but with poor black ones too. (What the hell was he doing in Chicago when he was supposed to be a community organizer among the poor? He was obviously AWOL.)

So, yes, I was a victim of Obamaj jive. But I always knew he was a political moderate. The idea he was a radical on race or a socialist on economics was absurd on the face of it. It just never occured to me he would turn out to be such a a wimp, suh a clueless wimp at that, with no backbone and in the pocket of Wall Street.

The crash of 08' was like a magnitude 9 earthquake for America and the world. Now here comes the 100 foot tsunami. With O. at the helm God help us.

P.S. If Sarah Pahlin throws her hat into the ring I predict she will get the Republican nomination. And if the economy doesn't pick-up or seem to pick-up by the fall of 1012I predict she will be the next president of the United States. What's more I, a life-long Yellow Dog Democrat, will vote for her and give her my money. My thinking is, she may be a loose cannon but, hey, with loose cannons there is at least the possibility it might fire in the right direction.

Full disclosure: I am of the opionion that our trade and immigration policies are killing the US, so those are the only two issues for me. The fact that Ms. Palin hasn't been indoctrinated by orthodoxy, and that the Republican establishment doesn't trust her, are plusses in my book.

(Let me also admit I've never been right yet about who is going to win the next election and no one has ever accused me of being a shrewd judge of character. :) )

Anonymous said...

The fact is that Obama has so defined himself that being unoriginal, and having no truly definite ideology, is, by his own lights, a major feature, not a bug.

Since HLS, he has cast himself in the role of the go-between, the person who reconciles people on either side of the divide. This suits him from a narcissistic point of view because it allows him to be cast as a Solomonic figure who solves great, otherwise intractable problems due to unique personal gifts.

One of the remarkable things about Obama has been how much he has stubbornly attached himself to that conception of himself despite its utter failure to bring about any desired result. It has cost him dearly in policy, and, most remarkably, in political clout and popularity. Obama had at his disposal any number of political promises he might, in a pinch, have given up on in order to maintain his political viability. But the one he has stuck to through thick and thin (until, perhaps, the quite desperate current moment) has been his commitment to "bipartisanship".

The problem, of course, is that, as President -- as opposed to as a member of larger body -- conciliation is only a small part of the job. As President, one is expected to have a clear point of view, and to advocate for it. It's what a leader is supposed to do.

Sheila said...

Why are so many so eager to embrace the "stupid" argument versus "stupid and sly but STILL mainly motivated by malevolence?" This is just another variant of "I don't agree with his policies but he seems like a nice guy personally." Let's call it the BORe syndrome (after O'Reilly, that hated "conservative" so many still watch.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
what did regan know about the bond market?


Donald Regan? As Treasury secretary, probably a fair bit.

helene edwards said...

Anayone who says Vdare's new graphics are an "eyesore" (especially compared to the original) probably painted his house mustard yellow.

alonzo portfolio said...

"what did regan know about the bond market?"

You mean, being CEO of Merrill Lynch meant nothing, because it wasn't Goldman?

Anonymous said...

"what did regan know about the bond market?"

More than Goneril.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
what did regan know about the bond market?

9/20/11 5:46 AM

Plenty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Regan

He was Reagan's Treasury Secretary and later Chief of Staff.

He'd previously spent his entire career on Wall Street.

So not only did Regan know all about the markets -- he was entirely plugged into the system -- and could even talk to the President -- at will.

Anonymous said...

"what did Reagan know about the bond market?"

Probably what Volcker told him.

Anonymous said...

McCain was the free trade/open borders candidate. He would have pushed hard for, and gotten free trade deals and amnesties. Thank god all the democrats wanted a black president.

Hunsdon said...

W. Baker said:

Or do they beg the entire question? No human can possibly run this soft fascist, polyglot, fucked up empire? It runs itself in the worst possible way. Byzantium was child's play in comparison.

Hunsdon said:

We need a Suleiman the Magnificent, a Suleiman the Lawgiver. Gee, I just hope we don't have to convert to get one!

Anonymous said...

Volcano Gods?
Perhaps its all more basic and might have been evident back in BHO's high school days? He seems to have a deep intolerance for rational verbal combative exchanges--as in the John Silber type rational disputation. In fact, reportedly, he will not tolerate it. He quickly dissipates rational, if pointed, verbal disagreements arising around a conference table, into carefully moderated discussions. He tends of assemble "his own " position from among those so advanced. There is a very odd aversion to vigorous argument. In his high school days, if some dispute arose over, say, who should "go first" in some game, et., he'd insist that it be quickly arbitrated or otherwise immediately defused. OR, he would leave the scene. Efforts to account for his behavior as something mainly adult-shaped, etc, make gratuitous assumptions. This guy is not OK between the ears or down in the gonad sack.

Anonymous said...

perhaps some of isteve's erudite commentators can answer this:

One 'clueless' move by obama that still baffles me - why did he have that brief 'get tough with israel moment'? was it Obama or someone close to him actually thought Obama could make that decision? how did his handler's ever let that one slip out??

Anonymous said...

The U. of Chicago didn't pay you to lecture on the bond market, they had other guys for that. They wanted you to be their volcano gods expert. That's what you are good at.

And it turns out he's not even a volcano gods expert. (Which, come to think of it, is probably better for the country.)

Anonymous said...

Stalin and his quivering cronies insisted that the Man of Steel was the greatest genius history had ever seen in the following fields.

Sebag-Montefiore thinks that, as a young man, Stalin was at least a competent [and maybe even a pretty good] poet in the Georgian language.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Steve has gotten this exactly right.

Art Deco said...

Today the M-I-C is vastly bigger then in Ike's time

For the record, military expenditure during the Eisenhower Administration varied between 8% and 11.5% of gross domestic product. Military conscription had, at the time of Eisenhower's departure, been in effect for 19 of the previous 20 years.

Military expenditure is currently running at 5.6% of gross domestic product, military manpower levels are lower than they were in 1960 (the Navy in particular has fewer men than it has had at any time since 1941), and military conscription has not been in effect for 38 years.

Anonymous said...

Sailer Obama articles, particularly on his psychology and IQ, are about as worthwhile as VDare's recent redesign.

Yes, both are brilliant things of beauty!

Anonymous said...

Do those of you out there pushing "Ayers wrote Dreams From My Father" realize how stupid it makes you look? The fact that Obama was a black HLS graduate with an interesting and unusual backstory was why he got the book contract in the first place. It was well-reviewed but made very few wider waves when it was published. The idea that some sinister Chicago cabal got an old Weatherman to ghostwrite it, knowing that it would be used a dozen years later as a prop in Obama's wonderful career is about as believable in thinking that an 18 year old single mom flew from Hawaii to Kenya to give birth, then covered it up because she wanted her half-black son to be eligible for president 45 years later.

Art Deco said...

I agree that Obama's experience was slight, the only comparable case among recent presidents is Carter and before Carter you have to go back to before the Civil War.

Mr. Carter had been Governor of Georgia and performed satisfactorily in that capacity. Politics was his third career, after a period as a naval engineer and in agribusiness, in both of which his performance was satisfactory. His executive experience equalled or exceeded that of most post-bellum presidents, including Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Bush-pere, and Obama. His worklife before entering politics professionally was longer and more variegated than most recent presidents (Reagan and Eisenhower and Truman the exceptions).

Baloo said...

You're really humming today, Steve. Ex-Army has LINKED TO YOU AGAIN..

Anonymous said...

as believable in thinking that an 18 year old single mom flew from Hawaii to Kenya to give birth, then covered it up because she wanted her half-black son to be eligible for president 45 years later.

She wasn't single, and she wasn't in Hawaii, and she wasn't 18, and she probably just wanted the kid to be a US citizen.

catperson said...

The idea that some sinister Chicago cabal got an old Weatherman to ghostwrite it, knowing that it would be used a dozen years later as a prop in Obama's wonderful career is about as believable

I certainly don't believe there was any master plan to make Obama president or that some sinister cabal got Ayers to write Obama's book, but I do think it's possible that Obama asked his friend Ayers for some help writing the book, and that Ayers, eager to maintain access to an ambitious young power player clearly on his way up, decided to give him a hand. I really don't think it matters much whether Obama wrote the book or not. What Obama has accomplished in life in equivalent to writing a million books.

alonzo portfolio said...

a larger agenda that will continue with or without Obama

Steve's characterization of your initial post might be unfounded (no opinion) but I think this statement is also without foundation. The practice of filling DOJ with blacks and other crit-law types intent on diluting white civil rights was unknown to me before this administration. Why didn't I hear about blacks intimidating whites at polling places before Obama? Were there flash mob attacks occurring in 2006? It bears repeating that quality of life for non-rich people, such as Steve and me, is inversely proportional to the density of blacks in positions public administration, because blacks are simply unable to conduct themselves other than tribally. If you believe that that process of increasing density would likely continue without Obama, I'd like to hear why.

catperson said...

One 'clueless' move by obama that still baffles me - why did he have that brief 'get tough with israel moment'?

My guess is that Obama was trying to expose how much power the Israel lobby has by showing America and the world that not even a historic president can get Israel to behave.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Art Deco:

Military expenditure may be down in PROPORTIONAL terms, but not in ABSOLUTE terms. The American economy has grown since the 1950's (you think?). Its true the draft is gone, but only because the Vietnam war just made it too unpopular to be enforced, not because the generals in the pentagon had a change of heart. At 5.6%, American militray spending is still obscenely high. The highest in the world. In fact about half of all the military spending in the entire world is by America. May I ask what for? Are an army of Canadians going to invade North Dakota?

Why does the USA keep 28,000 troops in South Korea almost sixty years after the war ended? Why does the USA keep troops in Japan and Okinawa? (where the locals hate them, by the way). Why does America keep 700 overseas military bases in over 100 countries? Why does America keep all those troops in Europe? There is not even the justification of a competing power like the USSR as there was in Ike's time.

smead jolley said...

Ed Rollins told a funny story about Don Regan. Regan was in the Oval Office when he said to Reagan, "you have it, I have it, Meese doesn't. What is it?"

A: Fuck-you money.

Anonymous said...

There is a very odd aversion to vigorous argument. In his high school days, if some dispute arose over, say, who should "go first" in some game, et., he'd insist that it be quickly arbitrated or otherwise immediately defused. OR, he would leave the scene. Efforts to account for his behavior as something mainly adult-shaped, etc, make gratuitous assumptions. This guy is not OK between the ears or down in the gonad sack.

9/20/11 1:17 PM Anon

As I posted previously, his Grandmother was a RAGING, SCREAMING BITCH -- who did so even in a public venue.

As in every time I ever saw her and Barry together.

THAT'S the dynamic.

ANY intense argument brings back those awful memories.

For most of humanity the living hell that a bad bitch can inflict upon her kids/ grandkids is simply beyond imagining.

Trust me -- the impact is profound.

You might benefit from reading Bradshaw on The Family.

-----

His matriarchal upbringing is another reason for his marriage and Jarrett.

The flip side is that harpies really turn him off. And, let's face it, most feminists are raging harpies.

THEY don't see it though.

Hence, the first feminist tell all from the WH portrays the Wan harshly. The reverse is the case. In an administration that truly disdained women -- she'd have never been on staff, period.

People have a very tough time self-evaluating. This goes triple for women -- hence their constant need for social proof pretty much across the board.

Woman: the ultimate pack animal.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Carter had been Governor of Georgia and performed satisfactorily in that capacity. Politics was his third career, after a period as a naval engineer and in agribusiness, in both of which his performance was satisfactory.

Art Deco...

The Nuclear Navy shunted him out -- he was rejected by Rickover. i.e. he failed.

For the good of the Service he was allowed to leave with his head held high. But he NEVER made it as a nuclear sub engineer.

This was brought out during a magazine interview ( Playboy ? ) after he was President. Yes, it was Carter himself that owned up to it.

As for being a peanut farmer -- it's an entirely rigged game. It's a cartel -- NO peanut farmer EVER goes broke. Indeed, many such farmers merely delegate the chores to another -- and hang on to their quota. In this they resemble Taxi Medallion owners in NYC who never have to touch a steering wheel.

If you've never been to NYC... the medallion HAS to be affixed to the hood of the machine AT ALL TIMES -- and they cost a fortune. Their supply is strictly controlled by politicians.

Carter entirely sabotaged Clinton -- they hate each other. Clinton actually mobilized for war with North Korea -- it was kept out of the press -- and then Carter flew in and exposed everything that Clinton was attempting.

Thusly, Clinton's attempt to stop an Atomic North Korea was treasonously thwarted by Carter.

AFTER the fact, the massive staging into South Korea was fobbed off as merely a War Game.

Which is a complete lie.

The flip side is now ever true: every war game around South Korea is proclaimed to be war prep by North Korea.

With a friend like Carter -- you're up a creek. Carter is the NUMBER ONE reason for the feckless foreign policy of Clinton.

( If you're not aware of it: ex-Presidents are on the tight circulation list of highly classified intelligence reports. This is done for the purposes of continuity of government and policy. We can't have foreign powers pulling the wool over a new administration WRT what was really agreed to -- in secret -- before they took office. Beyond that, Presidents like to kick foreign policy options around with their only peers. Nixon counseled Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton! That's why they all attended his funeral. )

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what Biden and Hillary Clinton are for? For their experience and long-term contacts?

If Obama is choosing to listen to the wrong people in his cabinet, the issue could be that he's either a poor judge of character, or may be influenced too much by a rivalry with Clinton and perhaps Biden.

~Risto

Anonymous said...

"First, no man or woman is anywhere near qualified to run the $4 trillion, 4 million employee behemoth that is our federal government."

Just one reason of many that the federal government should be pared down to just a few things, the most important being the defense of the country and its borders.

The states should be relevant again.

Whiskey said...

Final add, being President is not that hard. You need to avoid screwing up the economy by favoring supporters too much, bring in some of the opposition by favors/flattery/power in limited doses (they "earn it") and provide security and stability for most of the American people. In many ways it is like being a super-sized Governor.

If you keep the good times rolling, like Clinton and Reagan, people forgive horn-dog sleaziness, or foreign adventure idiocy. If you don't people toss you out. Bush did OK his first term, and answered the bell on 9/11. But he over promised on Iraq and under-delivered, and Obama at least understood that lesson, and has the Press covering for him.

But Iraq can turn out to be Blackhawk Down II, only supersized, with 3,000 troops only left there, Afghanistan is a mess and THERE Obama has OVERPROMISED and UNDER-DELIVERED, Turkey, Libya, Yemen, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, are all messes waiting to explode.

Just retreating makes a huge mess, a general ME war can push up oil to $200 a barrel easy. How'd you all like to pay $7-10 a gallon for gas? How's that grab you? Obama actually believes if he bad mouths the US, White people, and Western civilization that will head off conflict. He's stupid, as stupid as GWB believing Muslims are just Christians with funny ways.

Anonymous said...

"The U. of Chicago didn't pay you to lecture on the bond market, they had other guys for that. They wanted you to be their volcano gods expert. That's what you are good at."

And recall his law school colleagues weren't impressed
with him--he refused to engage in debate/discussion with them.

Kalim Kassam said...

Re: Obama & Geithner

I don't recall encountering this connection in any of your Obama writings: Timmy Geithner's pops was the guy in charge of handing out Ford Foundation money to Barry Obama's mum for her work in Indonesia.

This and Obama's being "wafted upwards by the establishment" are being discussed at LRC's PT & EPJ.

Kenneth Frequency said...

But I always knew he was a political moderate. The idea he was a radical on race or a socialist on economics was absurd on the face of it.

Yeah, absurd to somebody who never bothered to learn how the man had voted in all the years he'd been a senator in IL and DC. For those of us who did something more than simply admire his vapid prose style, he was obviously a hard-core leftist. And so he's proven to be as president. As the phrase goes, deeds count more than words.

myredbook said...

It seems like it would be so easy for Obama to be a good, and well-remembered, president. All he'd have to do is throw the environmentalist wackos overboard. If he could wipe out the obstacles to energy production and bring gas prices down to 1.50 (making the arabs wince in the bargain), people would forgive just about anything else. Just imagine if he gave a speech in which he said, "it's time for the hippies to leave the stage."

NOTA said...

Kenneth:

What policies enacted by Obama have convinced you that he is a hardcore leftist? What's the evidence?

Perhaps he's simply ineffective at doing what he wants to do, but it looks to me like his goals have mostly been pretty modest (and centrist Democrat), and that he has had a hard time achieving even those limited goals. I dont see where the hard left bit comes in at all.

NOTA said...

Risto:

I'm sure he does draw on his advisors. But there's an interesting problem there--how do you choose which advisors to follow? How do you know these very ambitious people (one of whom clearly is thinking she could follow you into your job) are telling you the truth rather than using their access to you to push you in the directions they desire?

A bigger problem is what Simon Johnson calls ideological capture. If all your economic advisors ultimately come from Wall Street, then they will share a wordlview, including blinds spots and errors. They will likely see a disaster that threatens the big Wall Street players they identify with as being unacceptable and catastrophic, even if preventing it might be worse for the rest of the country.

Anonymous said...

"raging screaming bitch" Madelyn
Payne Dunham toward Barry Obama
"Manchurian candidate"
(1) It is a very interesting observation about her rage toward him, but it is a bit much to assume she was behaving "in character" toward him and yet somehow , with merely a high school diploma (even
some question whether she ever got one ) rose to be
VP of a Bank in Hawaii, had a reasonably successful marriage, and had close blood relatives of considerable accomplishment, also. Barry Obama's blood links were to a borderline schizo mother and a floridly psychopathic father. I don't know the details of what was overheard. This sort of
conduct on her part is regrettable but often with full details is much more easily pardonable than surface impressions would suggest.
After all, until he was about 10 years old--about entering puberty--he had NOT been living with Stan and Madelyn Dunham.
And reportedly it was at his insistence--not that of his mother or grandmother--that he leave his mother and come live with Stan and Madelyn. In fact, his mother did not wish this and herself moved nearby to try to enlist his staying again with her. These facts do not gel too easily with the surface impression that Grandma was all bitch and kid all innocent and wounded, and a simple linear victim of emotional castration by his grandmother in a mainly environmental catastrophe. Maybe. Likely not.
(2) "Manchurian candidate" I assume any such reference has been metaphor and an experiential expression--not something expected to be taken literally, as say, characterizing my brother-in-law as "being from outer space" would not suggest we take him to some special testing facility near...where is it? Roswell?.
OK, the issue appears to be the authenticity, the organic nature of, BHO's ascendancy. This would entail a lot of biographical detail and some general characteristics of the lives of Presidents and near-Presidents , say, since, what?, 1928 or so? The great exception appears to be that BHO was experienced subconsciously ( not unlike an outstanding Madison Avenue TV commercial ) as White in all social appearances that matter and yet Black enough to serve a big purpose that way, too. It has washed out to something captured in the expression: "If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you're not a racist, you should vote for his opponent in 2012 , to prove you're not a fool" All this manipulation at this level of the American national racial subconsciousness is without even remote precedent.\ in Presidential politics. When BHO is extracted from all this exceptionalism--just as a color-blind political object, he doesn't seem to have had the characteristics that would make for ascendancy in American politics. He had a childhood replete with passionate verbalizations linked to momentarily deep feelings,but it never translated into any activity--like a martini, it was all gone in an hour. One of several characteristics suggestive of the complex of dissociative behaviors, narcissistic self worship, etc., and psychopathic disorder is his inability to follow through on his spasmodic "60 minute commitments" His passions thus far known appear to have been narcissistic self-exhibition in basketball, hedonistic abandonment in smoking reefer, and a possible shadow life around Frank Davis that not unlikely had little to do with Marxism and a hell of a lot to do with Oedipus, all surrounding observable behaviors of his that in his teen years are replete with omitted manifestations of heterosexuality and replete with actions consistent with basic homosexual affinities. His resemblance upon scrutiny to a floridly and adroitly functioning psychopath is remarkable.

MQ said...

The notion that Bill Ayers wrote "Dreams From My Father" is utterly inane. Everything is lacking to support the "theory", indeed there's so little evidence that it can hardly even be called a theory as opposed to some weird mix of left-over 1960s paranoia and yearning to demonstrate that a half-black guy has to be illiterate. DFMF is a genuinely somewhat odd, slightly half baked but eloquent book of exactly the type which would be written by a fairly intelligent but unformed guy like Obama. And we have plenty of other evidence that he's a decent writer. Not to mention that lacking a time machine to see where Obama would end up, Ayers would have had zero incentive to write an entire book anonymously for a pretty obscure HLS grad just at the start of his career. DFMF went nowhere in terms of sales and made no contribution to Obama's political career until he ran for Senate in 2004 and folks picked it up again.

The fact is that Obama has so defined himself that being unoriginal is...by his own lights, a major feature, not a bug...Since HLS, he has cast himself in the role of the go-between, the person who reconciles people on either side of the divide. This suits him from a narcissistic point of view...One of the remarkable things about Obama has been how much he has stubbornly attached himself to that conception of himself despite its utter failure to bring about any desired result... The problem, of course, is that, as President -- as opposed to as a member of larger body -- conciliation is only a small part of the job. As President, one is expected to have a clear point of view, and to advocate for it.

Now THIS comment (anonymous, 10:45 AM yesterday) was brilliant and hit the nail on the head. Obama's racial legacy is precisely to be the half-breed who rises above division and sits their above the fray. Doesn't work when we need a tough leader willing to crack heads. Whole comment is worth reading (I just excerpted it).

Half Sigma said...

In 2008 he didn't have much experience, but in 2012 he has more Presidential experience than any other guy in the race, so Republicans would be smart to drop what is now a losing argument for them.

Kylie said...

"But I always knew he was a political moderate. The idea he was a radical on race or a socialist on economics was absurd on the face of it."

Unless, maybe, you listened to the man's own words. Apparently, you were too busy following the lead of your womenfolk to do that.

From a 2001 NPR interview:

"But The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, as least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.

One of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement, was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that."

Anonymous said...

Madelyn Payne Dunham as "screaming bitch" who browbeat Barry Obama
into being aversive to contentious but reasonable argument--etc.
Maybe. But Madelyn's occupational history was quite good. Her next of kin also had impressive careers. Barry Obama from age 10 or so, eagerly and persistently sought to live with her and Stan Dunham in preference to living with his own mother. This is not often found other than in circumstances of a very disordered mother-child relationship. Too, Madelyn's reputation as Bank VP was that she could be as mean as required or as nice as permitted.
The fact is that aside from having obvious Negro features and aside from playing hugely upon this fact of life, the President's biography seems oddly meagre for evidence of leadership potential, task commitment, capacity for close and enduring elective friendships. etc. Viewed up close, much of his conduct conform to the
"Mask of Sanity" concept of modern psychiatry. Kenya and African ancestry in reality appears of no consequence in his life until its electoral potential started to be spun.

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous who types the free-form psychoanalyses of Obama has got the guy nailed.

To. The. Wall.





PS: The other Anonymae, who doubt that Ayers wrote Dreams, are simply clueless.

Honestly, I don't understand how they even make it through Komment Kontrol.

I guess life just isn't fair.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Mr. Carter had been Governor of Georgia and performed satisfactorily in that capacity. Politics was his third career, after a period as a naval engineer and in agribusiness"

Among current Republican candidates this career path best matches whom?

That would be Rick Perry, who spent 5 years as an Air Force pilot, then joined his dad on the cotton farm, then went into politics, eventually becoming governor.

People often suggest that Perry must be smart because he flew "jets." In fact he flew a C-130 turboprop cargo plane, (maximum speed: 320 knots).

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"In 2008 he didn't have much experience, but in 2012 he has more Presidential experience than any other guy in the race, so Republicans would be smart to drop what is now a losing argument for them.

Every doctor, lawyer, pilot, truck driver, or barber facing a malpractice hearing should make such an argument, and see where it gets them.

Barack Obama has four years of experience crashing $200 million airplanes; four years of experience giving crew cuts to women asking for pompadours; four years of experience sewing his rubber gloves to his patients' testicles.

David Davenport said...

Ike also wanted America to begin withdrawing America from NATO in 1959.

Can you give a citation for that claim? I've never heard that before.

If Ike was such an isolationist and/or peacenik, why was he authorizing U2 overflights of the USSR during that era? ... Google "U2 shootdown 1960."

Also:

To John Foster Dulles
Series: EM, AWF, Dulles-Herter Series
The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume XX - The Presidency: Keeping the Peace
Part VII: Berlin and the Chance for a Summit; March 1959 to August 1959
Chapter 16: A "staunch bulwark" resigns


Dear Foster: I hope the Florida weather is being kinder to you than the Washington variety has been today to the NATO visitors. It has rained steadily almost the entire day.1

The meeting this morning seemed to go well; I thought the arrangements made by State were efficiently handled. Before I gave my brief talk of welcome, I listened to the remarks by Herter, President Luns and Spaak. Luns was, as you could have expected, interminable.2

The luncheon seemed to go fairly well and I found myself giving another little talk stressing the fact that the whole destiny of Western civilization is bound up in NATO, and that we were, for our part, proud to be associates with these countries.3


...

The newspapers report that you have been swimming, which ought to be helpful in getting your strength back. Everyone I talked with today asked about you, and sent their very best wishes. You are greatly missed.

With warm regard, As ever

1 After receiving treatment for cancer at Walter Reed Hospital, Secretary Dulles had left on March 30 for the Palm Beach home of Under Secretary of State C. Douglas Dillon. The North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting, which would last for three days, had begun in Washington on this same day.

2 The opening ceremony celebrated the tenth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Eisenhower's remarks as well as those of Acting Secretary of State Herter, Honorary President of the Council and Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Joseph Marie Antoine Hubert Luns, and Secretary General Paul-Henri Spaak are in U.S. Department of State Bulletin 40, no. 1034 [April 20, 1959], 543 - 53. On the conference proceedings see State, Foreign Relations, 1958 - 1960, vol. VII, pt. 1, Western European Integration and Security; Canada, pp. 447 - 54.

3 Eisenhower had hosted a luncheon for the delegates and the ambassadors of the NATO countries (see Ann Whitman memorandum, Apr. 2, 1959, AWF/AWD).

Eisenhower Papers

...


/////////////


Why does the USA keep 28,000 troops in South Korea almost sixty years after the war ended? Why does the USA keep troops in Japan and Okinawa? (where the locals hate them, by the way).

To keep China and China's puppet, North Korea, from invading South Korea, that's why.

NOTA said...

David:

I assume part of our heavy troop presence in many places is to avoid nuclear proliferation. If we withdraw from S Korea and Japan, both countries will openly go nuclear very soon thereafter. It's not like technical accomplishments available to Pakistan and N Korea are out of their reach. Similarly, it's not like the thing keeping Germany from having a nuclear arsenal is its lack of ability.

I'm broadly in favor of pulling back from our finger-in-every-pie foreign policy, but if we're not providing military protection to those countries, they will build bigger and more capable armies themselves. That's fine as far as self defense. But it will include nukes in many cases, and in general big armies in neighboring hostile countries tend to lead to wars. To my mind, that's a far stronger argument against the Ron Paul position than claims that these soldiers all over the world are somehow fighting for or protecting our interests.

Truth said...

"Barack Obama has four years of experience crashing $200 million airplanes;.."

He must be really, REALLY lucky.

Anonymous said...

BHO "resemblance to a floridly and
adroitly functioning psychopath"
"very odd aversion to vigorous argument " (between him and any other)
His maternal grandmother as intimidating "screaming bitch"
***************
A distinction is in order between
viewing the President as (a) someone
determined by this or that cause
and (b) as someone who-- based on his own desires, intentions, (principles?)-- makes choices.
In terms of (b)a central yield to
him in refusing to engage directly
in vigorous disputation is to thereby avoid the revelations that such disputation can contain about one's own quirks of humor, errors of reasoning, performance under stress, fund of accurate information, genuine sensitivity
to an opponent, etc As Gore Vidal
said (maybe inaccurately to the specific instance) of vigorous disputation he had on national TV with the late William F. Buckley, Jr.--"the cuckoo came out of the clock and sang its little song for all to see and hear"
So President Obama happens to be aversive to being a part of vigorous disputation and
also is aversive to making public even a highly redacted version of his transcripts so that--grades omitted--the public can see the where, when, and what of the classrooms he has been present in as a student--
AND is also aversive to making public even a highly redacted copy of his health records...
Behind the "Mask of Sanity" we may have a President who is all "clothing" and no body. Let's hope not.

Svigor said...

"Barack Obama has four years of experience crashing $200 million airplanes;.."

He must be really, REALLY lucky.


Or maybe he has parachutes?

David Davenport said...

I'm broadly in favor of pulling back from our finger-in-every-pie foreign policy, but if we're not providing military protection to those countries, they will build bigger and more capable armies themselves. That's fine as far as self defense. But it will include nukes in many cases, and in general big armies in neighboring hostile countries tend to lead to wars. To my mind, that's a far stronger argument against the Ron Paul position than claims that these soldiers all over the world are somehow fighting for or protecting our interests.

Nota, hello.

I did a poor job last night of explaining my attitude about the Pax Americana in East Asia. I made a hasty "kneejerk" response to your post. I skimmed your post too quickly and assumed that you were the sort of liberal who thinks that the US military in South Korea or Taiwan is entirely up to no good and is only in East Asia to enforce AmeriKKKan Imperialism.

NOTA, my attitude is not that far from your attitude: the US military ought to reduce its land-based footprint in other countries.*

However, reducing US soldiery head count overseas may not bring about the era of peace, love, harmony, and One World-ism that bien pensants hope for.

Instead, the end of the Pax Americana would probably also mean the end of Globalism and of one-sided free free free trade from East Asia. .... those events would be features, not bugs, in my opinion.

Re Ron Paul's Isolationism: his attitude is appropriate for the historical times before atomic bombs and before warplanes and missiles with intercontinental range.

* The US Navy Dept. for years has talked about pulling out of Okinawa and positioning more warships, troop ships, and floating warehouses/supply ships in international waters near South Korea and Taiwan as a substitute for Okinawa. The practical objection to this "from the sea" plan is the additional cost of more ships.

ben tillman said...

"Perry or Romney = Bush."

And you base that conclusion on what?


I didn't realize there was anyone who didn't equate Bush and Perry. Suffice it to say that they say, do, and believe all the same things.

ben tillman said...

What policies enacted by Obama have convinced you that he is a hardcore leftist? What's the evidence?

The stimulus bill and the Wall Street bonanza bill for starters. His military aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. His stupid, incompetent, Marxist Supreme Court appointees. His support for the Dream Act. His refusal to afford Whites the equal protection of the law.

Claverhouse said...

Article:

Obama might have wanted to close down Guantanamo and investigate the guys who ran our illegal domestic spying and torture programs. But when his advisors tell him that doing so will destroy the NSA and CIA, who does he ask for confirmation.[?]


Or he might not have wanted to at all.