Friday, October 22, 2010

 

Who Sucks?


(I wonder how many Google hits that headline will get...)

Frank J., of imao.us fame, has outdone himself.  Here he predicts the outcome of next Tuesday's election, and explains why:




Republicans Kind of Suck ...
Which Is Why They Will Win Huge in November



During the second term of the Bush presidency people just got fed up with Republicans. They were idiots, they were no good at the whole fiscal conservatism thing (which is sort of the whole point of them), we had these wars that seemed to be going nowhere, and the economy was beginning to fail. They sucked, and people were sick and tired of them.

Thus people turned to the Democrats. And Obama.

Let’s just say they also sucked.

AMERICANS: “So, the economy is pretty bad and there’s high employment. You think you can do something about that?”

DEMOCRATS AND OBAMA: “We can spend a trillion dollars we don’t have on pork and stuff.”

AMERICANS: “No ... that’s not what we want. We’d really like you not to do that.”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re stupid. We’re doing it anyway.”

AMERICANS: “That’s not going to help us get jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “Sure it will; millions of them ... though they may be invisible. You’ll have to trust us they exist. And guess what else we’ll do: We’ll create a giant new government program to take over health care.”

AMERICANS: “That has nothing to do with jobs!”

DEMOCRATS: “We don’t care about that anymore. We really want a giant new health care program. We’re sure you’ll love it.”

AMERICANS: “Don’t pass that bill. You hear me? Absolutely do not pass that bill.”

DEMOCRATS: “Believe me; you’ll love it. It has ... well, I don’t know what exactly is in the bill, but we’re sure it’s great.”

AMERICANS: “Listen to me: DO. NOT. PASS. THAT. BILL.”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re not the boss of me! We’re doing it anyway!”

AMERICANS: “Look what you did! Now the economy is way worse, we’re even deeper in debt, and we have a bunch of new laws we don’t want!”

DEMOCRATS: “You’re racist.”

AMERICANS: “Wha ... How is that racist?”

DEMOCRATS: “Now you’re getting violent! Stop being violent and racist, you ignorant hillbillies! And remember to vote Democrat in November.”

So the Democrats sucked. But not just plain old, usual politician sucked, but epic levels of suck where it’s hard to find an analogue in human history that conveys the same level of suckitude. [...] It’s Godzilla-smashing-through-a-city level of suck -- but a really patronizing Godzilla who says you’re just too stupid and hateful to see all the buildings he’s saved or created as he smashes everything apart.

By all means, read the whole thing.  While you're at it, check out the latest (imaginary) antics of my Congressman, and feel free to donate to his opponent.

And don't forget to vote!



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Thursday, October 14, 2010

 

Two Quotes


From an article in Sunday's New York Times magazine, President Obama seems to think that, regardless of the outcome of the mid-term elections on November 2, Republicans will have to work harder with him:
Obama expressed optimism to me that he could make common cause with Republicans after the midterm elections. “It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible,” he said, “either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them, or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”

Please note that the President isn't talking about doing anything to meet Republicans halfway; he expects them to work harder to accommodate him.

That's a pretty incredible statement, coming from him. Remember this?
Challenged by one Republican senator over the contents of the package, the new president, according to participants, replied: “I won.”
That was in January 2009, before he even took the oath of office.  Since then, he's rammed through hugely unpopular health-care reform legislation, without reading it, without the votes of a single Republican.  Clearly, this is a President who expects the mountain to come to him, no matter what.

Actually, have a good look at that New York Times piece; it's got quite a few gems in it that I wouldn't have expected of them.  For example:
That presumes that what he did was the right thing, a matter of considerable debate. The left thinks he did too little; the right too much. But what is striking about Obama’s self-diagnosis is that by his own rendering, the figure of inspiration from 2008 neglected the inspiration after his election.
[...]
Perhaps that should have come as no surprise. When Obama secured the Democratic nomination in June 2008, he told an admiring crowd that someday “we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”

I read that line to Obama and asked how his high-flying rhetoric sounded in these days of low-flying governance. “It sounds ambitious,” he agreed. “But you know what? We’ve made progress on each of those fronts.”  [. . .]  “It would be very hard for people to look back and say, You know what, Obama didn’t do what he’s promised."
How can he say that with a straight face? "Good jobs to the jobless", when unemployment is higher (at 9.6%, at best) than when he took office, and higher than the 8% he was going to save us from with his stimulus package? Does he really believe in his own rhetoric about slowing the rise of the oceans?

And frankly, I don't think it's difficult at all to say about him that he didn't do what he promised.  He promised to close Guántanamo Bay in a year; he promised to meet face-to-face with America's enemies.  These, and other issues, have a good many Democrats criticizing him.

(He also harps on some of his favorite themes -- Republican obstructionism, for example, which sounds utterly ridiculous when he has majorities in both houses of Congress -- and that bit about "throwing bombs", when Republican criticism of him has been tame indeed compared to the way he, and his supporters, talked about George W. Bush.)

The more he talks like that, the more out-of-touch he looks.  And, although Congressional Democrats are distancing themselves from him as much as they possibly can, they still must answer to the voters for supporting President Obama's agenda -- at his insistence -- no matter what it would cost them.

The President will be in for a rude awakening on November 3rd.  The polls have been moving in one direction for months, and it's been towards an ever-larger Republican victory at the midterms.  Once it seemed unthinkable that the House of Representatives would switch to Republican control; now it seems all but inevitable, and people are even speaking glibly about a Republican majority in the Senate.

If they didn't need to work with him when they were in the minority, they sure won't have to as the majority party.  And if they take their cues from him, the "Republican obstructionism" he complains about now will look pleasant indeed in retrospect.



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Monday, October 11, 2010

 

On "Leftism"


With thanks to Instapundit, this article at ChicagoBoyz.net has a lot to say about leftists and leftism:
The single most dangerous thing about leftists is their capacity for self-delusion. Most leftists really do believe that they personally know what is best for everyone.

Beyond their personal intellectual and moral hubris, leftists think they know best because they believe themselves to belong to a line of ideological descent which has always been altruistic, benevolent and always proven correct in the long run. The reason they believe that is because leftists know nothing of their own history. Instead, they take a simplified, cartoonish view of their ideological predecessors that can only be described as hagiographic. Any mistakes or evils perpetrated by anyone that leftists identify with are simply written out of leftists’ history.
And that's just the first two paragraphs...

Personally, I'm reluctant to write off an entire political school of thought so glibly -- particularly since I used to think of myself as politically liberal. (Well, I was a teenager once. As the saying goes, liberal teenagers are the rule, not the exception.)

Then again, I used to take issue with Hugh Hewitt's book "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat", written just before the 2004 Presidential election. At the time, I thought the idea of Democrats cheating to win a Presidential election, just because they could, was far-fetched and offensive. These days I'm not so sure.

In any event, we were talking about leftism... and, when Shannon Love's article "The Left's Power of Self-Delusion" gets past its glib dismissals, it actually has some interesting things to say. Using Che Guevara and Kent State as two examples of the Left rewriting history to suit itself, we then get to some interesting conclusions:
Empiricism is the final test of any idea. This is the fundamental idea of science but it holds true in all fields of human endeavor. An idea must manifest in a physical form and interact with the material world before its truth can be truly verified. Business people have ideas of businesses all the time but the only real test of the idea is to create the business and see if it thrives. Generals create weapons, tactics and doctrines only to see them all disintegrate when real war breaks out. Engineers build objects and machines that must work.

Leftists, however, live in a world isolated from physical consequence. They pay no material consequence for the failure of the ideas. It is not as if any of the leaders of the Kent State rioters ever ended up with hands bound, kneeling in the mud of a Cambodian rice paddy waiting for a raped and brainwashed 12 year old to suffocate them by wrapping a plastic bag tightly over their heads. No radical leftwing radical professor of the era lost his job for failing to predict the psychotic nature of the Khmer Rouge or the consequences of the horrific rule of Cambodia. No American leftists has ever paid a serious material consequence for any error, no matter how sweeping. It is always someone else who pays.

It was the Kulaks, Ukrainians, idealistic communists and others who paid the price for Stalin, not the legions of western leftists who ignored his crimes and cheered him on. It was the Chinese peasants who starved to death during the Great Leap Forward and not the college student with the “Mao more than ever” t-shirt. Less dramatically, it is the poor of America who suffered from crime, permanent joblessness and the disintegration of families because of leftists’ policies, not the ivory-tower intellectuals who created those policies.
A good point indeed -- and a sobering one.

It does, however, beg the question: isn't the same true for the Right, as it is for the Left? Are conservative ideas judged, more than liberal ones, on whether they actually work in the real world?

Well, they are by conservatives. Conservative ideas that have not passed the test of history are abandoned -- but not forgotten -- and attempts to revive them are ridiculed, by conservatives. (Witness Sen. Trent Lott, who lost his role as Senate Minority Leader in 2002, because of an ill-conceived comment suggesting support for segregation. Both segregation and slavery were enshrined in the Constitution, and as such preserving them were conservative ideas... although, in fairness, the efforts to end them both were led by Republicans, not by Democrats.)

So perhaps Ms. Love's point is that liberals, in general, don't test their own ideas in terms of what works in the real world, while conservatives do try to test their ideas. (At any rate, I like that better than her conclusion -- that conservative ideas have to be tested in the real world because conservatives live in the real world, and not in the ivory tower -- her words -- of leftism.)

I'm not sure yet how I feel about this. I welcome comments by my readers, if I still have any.




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