August 17, 2009

Why Barack Obama Is No Bill Clinton, And Why the Press Will Say He Is

While running for president in 1992, Bill Clinton famously repudiated Sister Souljah's statement that we should "have a week and kill White people." This gave rise to the term "Sister Souljah moment" in which a candidate proves that he's not beholden to his base by publicly taking on an extreme member of it. It gave many people confidence in Bill Clinton's determination to govern the nation from the center: that he wasn't your typical Democratic candidate. Clinton had an ability to position himself between the extremes of the two parties and find a Third Way solution to national issues - managing to occupy the central ground while peeling off just enough moderates from each side to maintain his hold on the presidency for two terms.

He and his political advisers poll-tested every position on a daily basis, and that's why it was never possible to nail his feet to the ground ideologically: he didn't have any guiding principles other than maintaining his personal power by doing whatever was the most popular that day. If a conservative position was popular, then Clinton was for it. On issues like NAFTA and welfare reform, he co-opted Republican support and took the more conservative position. His willingness to do so is what made Clinton so dangerous to those on the opposite side of the political aisle. His occasional support on more conservative issues kept him from pigeon-holed as just another "tax and spend" liberal like the candidates which Democrats had nominated before him: Carter, Mondale and Dukakis.

But Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton. He has never taken on the most liberal elements of his party in any meaningful way. In fact the defining feature of his presidency thus far has been to allow those very people to take charge of both the stimulus and cap-and-trade as well as his signature issue, ObamaCare. Since he has yet to make any real attempt at establishing centrist - or even moderate - bona fides to date, there is no public reservoir of public good will to fall back upon in order to cushion him from potential fallout over ObamaCare. Clinton had Sister Souljah, while Obama has Henry Gates; and that tells you everything you need to know about the difference between their presidencies.

So if the reports of a public option for ObamaCare being DOA are accurate, and health care reform passes without it; won't Obama get credit for taking a Clintonian Third Way in order to pass some kind of health care reform? No doubt the press, which is deeply invested in making his presidency seem successful, will spin it that way. They will extol his wisdom in keeping the door open to eliminating the public option, and with deep satisfaction they will proclaim that he "won."

But they will be wrong, and the general public will know it. Unlike Clinton, Obama is an ideologue not a pragmatist. He, to his core, believes that the public option is the only real solution. But if what passes out of Congress doesn't include it, he will sign it anyway. Only in the fevered minds of Axelrod and Emanuel will this be an Obama victory in any sense of the word. He would be signing a bill which clearly isn't what he wanted but is for what he is being forced to settle. And therein lies the difference between him and Clinton.

Bill Clinton and his handlers got out in front of the issue of the day, looking ahead to what the "Third Way" solution to a given problem would likely look like after the sausage-grinding of the legislative process was finished, and tried to push that eventual compromise position as early in the process as possible. Even while they were working behind the scenes to move that legislation leftward, the public face of the president was always one of seeking to bring the two sides together for a bipartisan solution to a pressing problem.

Barack "I Won" Obama has done no such thing. He has sat on the sidelines while Democrats systematically excluded Republicans from having any substantial contributions to ObamaCare. He has urged to his supporters to "punch back twice as hard" when faced with opposition. He has shown exactly zero willingness to listen to any dissenting voices and has shown exactly zero leadership in attempting to craft a bipartisan compromise. His position has been to push as hard as possible, as publicly as possible, as fast as possible, to force Congress to pass the most extreme version of ObamaCare possible. And although the White House spin operation (and their media allies) will ultimately claim otherwise, to achieve anything less than this will be a failure.

Obama and his Chicago Democrats failed to learn the lessons of the 1993-94 Clinton administration which was such a miserable failure that it resulted in the Republican takeover of both Houses of Congress. From then on, Clinton never let himself get led out too far on a significant piece of legislation. He blew in the breeze of popular opinion from one issue to the next, eschewing the most vocal voices from both sides. That way, no matter what ultimately passed, Clinton was always able to claim victory.

Obama, on the other hand, has taken a position from the far Left extreme of his party and championed it - even in the face of rising public opposition. Unlike Clinton who was seen to be sitting in the center while pushing outward on both extremes, Obama is firmly entrenched on the far Left and being pulled kicking and screaming toward the center. To the extent he gets pulled unwillingly from the position he has staked out, he will be a disappointment to his ideological brethren for being weak and ineffectual. And to the extent that he is viewed as being dogmatically tied to that extremist position from which he must be dragged, he will anger (and indeed already is angering) moderates and conservatives for being a hard-core ideological Socialist.

In short, if there is no public option, then Obama will have managed to alienate - to one degree or another - almost everybody who doesn't have a personal stake in making his presidency seem successful. Liberal activists will be disappointed that, even with substantial majorities in Congress, he failed to achieve their Holy Grail of a single-payer system. And moderates and conservatives will still be angry that he attempted to foist it upon them in the first place.

Which brings us back to the press which carried his water so willingly during the 2008 campaign. They sold their souls to get him elected, and they cling to even the most tenuous claim of victory at the end of this process. So they will spin and spin and spin, claiming that his forceful advocacy of the public option was always just an attempt to get something done. Any change at all will be trumpeted as proof of Obama's political genius. And the pundits will dutifully opine that, if not for Obama, nothing would have been done at all; so he should be given credit - even if the thing that he really wanted never happens at all.

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August 14, 2009

Ordering a Pizza In Obama's World

If Obama and the Democrats get their way, here's what ordering a pizza in the future might be like:

What are you complaining about? The government has an obligation to take whatever steps are necessary to "bend the cost curve." Just shut up and take the blue pill. It's half the price of the red one you know...

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Cap-and-Trade Follow-Up: Democratic Senators Want to Wait

Last night I blogged about the failure of the Australian Senate to pass a cap-and-trade system and predicted that it would spell trouble for senators looking to pass a similar system here. So what headline are we seeing from Bloomberg this morning?

"Climate Change Measure Should Be Set Aside, U.S. Senators Say"

Go figure. Also note the bias in the headline which refers to "U.S. Senators" when the article specifically talks about Democratic senators who are the ones pushing for the delay. Republican senators want it killed completely. See the huge difference there?

The Democratic senators want to push it off because they're concerned that passing cap-and-trade so close to the 2010 elections will hurt their re-election chances, but rest assured that once they have safely won another six years in office they will return once again to their ruinous plans to institute some sort of carbon trading scheme. The only way to actually defeat it, rather than just delay it, is to vote the Democrats out of office completely. They only understand the language of the ballot box, and we should never stop reminding them that we speak it fluently.

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What TEA Partiers and Sarah Palin Have In Common

Republicans were sensing momentum earlier in the summer, but events of
the August recess -- specifically, the town hall meetings in which
opponents of the Democratic health care reform plan have turned out in
force -- have changed their view. "This month has opened our eyes,"
says one plugged-in House aide. "We're seeing real people who are fired
up who weren't engaged before -- the first time we've had a popular
movement that could really benefit us electorally.
That's the take this morning from Republican House members talking about their prospects in the upcoming 2010 elections. Both Democratic and Republican insiders are talking about the effect of the TEA Party movement, and there's widespread agreement that it's generally bad news for congressional Democrats.
"I think what's going to happen is Obama's going to be fine, and the
Democrats in Congress are going to get their asses kicked in 2010
says one Democratic strategist who prefers not to be named.
It's only the middle of August and the TEA Party movement is already making itself felt deep inside the halls of Congress. That's why you're seeing people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi ratcheting up their rhetoric against the grassroots who are spontaneously rising up across the country. They're genuinely scared. (They're whistling past the graveyard with regard to the potential impact on Obama, but that's a discussion for another day.)

In mid-term elections, the president's party generally loses seats in Congress as there is generally some pushback against the agenda of an incoming president - no matter what his party is. But this year has been exceptional in that conservatives have taken to the streets, a virtually unheard of phenomenon, early and loudly within months of him taking office. Reid and Pelosi may publicly be dismissing TEA Partiers as "rent-a-mobs" carrying swastikas who only show up at the behest of insurance companies, but privately they understand its true grassroots nature.

This is the second time in less than a year that genuine grassroots enthusiasm from the other side of the aisle has thrown Democrats for a loop, and they are returning to the only thing they really understand: demonizing the opposition. The first instance was the vice presidential nomination of Sarah Palin, and I don't think I need to remind anyone how the Left continues to hound her even today. The fire she lit under the conservative base briefly pushed McCain over Obama in the polls and struck fear into the hearts of Democrats. So they responded with the most vicious smearing of a politician in recent memory, with the active assistance of the mainstream media which has since admitted that they took sides against her.

Even in the last few days, Palin has had an impact on the ObamaCare discussion by forcing the Senate to drop the end-of-life counseling from its version. A recent headline proclaimed that "Sarah Palin Defines the Health Care Debate." When was the last time that the vice presidential candidate on a losing ticket was able to make her voice heard a year later with nothing more than writing a few paragraphs on her Facebook account?

TEA Partiers should look forward to more hate-filled diatribes to be directed their way from both Democratic officeholders and the mainstream media. Like Palin, they will be dismissed as stupid and ill-informed. They will be accused of being tools of nefarious corporate interests and hating poor people. Can you remember an effective opponent of Leftist ideology who they didn't say these exact same things about? There hasn't been an original thought in the Leftist playbook for decades: they go after all their opponents the same way.

But TEA Partiers should take every sling and arrow which is thrown at them with pride. They should recognize that the greater the insults being hurled at them, the closer they are to the mark. There's another saying from the bomber corps that TEA Partiers should keep in mind:

You only take flak when you're over the target.

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August 13, 2009

Ill Omen For Cap and Trade in the USA

In a sure sign that cap-and-trade is in serious trouble here, the Australian Senate has voted down a cap-and-trade system in their country.

Why does it matter what the Aussies are doing? Because one of the primary arguments for a cap-and-trade system in this country is that everybody else is doing it, and we're not living up to our global responsibilities if we don't. It becomes awfully difficult to make that argument if other countries have already rejected similar schemes themselves.

Australians tilt farther left than Americans do as a whole, and if they can't muster enough to support there then it's highly unlikely that it can be done here either. Much as they did with the Kyoto Treaty which was rejected 95-0 in the Senate while Bill Clinton was still president largely because China and India were exempted, senators are highly unlikely to put businesses in their home states at such a disadvantage to their foreign competitors - especially in a recessionary economy.

Hillary Clinton recently tried to get India to do something about their carbon emissions too, only to be told in no uncertain terms that India wasn't buying:
"There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the
lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions," Ramesh
told Clinton. He asserted that "detailed modeling" showed "unambiguous"
results -- that developing country emissions would remain well below
the averages of developed countries even with high growth rates.
Australians understand that cap-and-trade would be an economy killer for them. Indians get it too. Too bad American Democrats still don't. It's going to be up to the American people to explain it to them in a language they DO understand: beat them at the ballot box. The 2010 election season is coming fast. It's never too early to let your representatives know that we're watching and, unlike their paper tigers: we vote.

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My Favorite TEA Partier

"I owe China how much? Thanks a lot, Mr. President."

Blue Dogs On the Edge

Once again doing the job that the mainstream American media refuses to do, the Financial Times has an article about two wavering "Blue Dog" Democrats who are both saying that they could not vote for the House version of ObamaCare in its current form.

If there was any doubt that the TEA Partiers are having a profound effect on the current debate over socialized medicine, this should put an end to it. Just a couple of days ago the junior senator from Maryland, Ben Cardin, got an earful at a townhall meeting he held in Towson - a northern suburb of Baltimore:

Towson is a very liberal area - especially in relation to the far more conservative congressional district that Frank Kratovil, one of the Blue Dogs mentioned in the article, represents. Kratovil won in 2008 by a margin of only 3,000 votes in a traditionally Republican-held district. That puts him on the razor's edge of electability in 2010: he can't afford to be on the wrong side of his constituents. There's no doubt that the massive turnout at Cardin's townhall, someone who Marylanders know is likely going to vote for ObamaCare no matter what, has to have an impact on a vulnerable House freshman without Cardin's political muscle.

The question someone like Kratovil is likely asking himself today is: If a statewide Democratic Party potentate like Cardin can't even maintain control over one of his own townhall meetings, what are the 2010 prospects for a guy representing a conservative district in the face of this level of public anger?

It's not just a matter of being heard: there is a real opportunity for TEA Partiers and others who oppose socialized medicine to actually affect not just the ultimate structure of the House bill, but whether one is passed at all. The pressure is being turned up to 11: it's just a matter of how invested politicians like Kratovil are in having a future in elected office beyond November 2010.

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On Greenhouses and Plants in New Hampshire

After reading the latest updates on the fake doctor at Sheila Jackson Lee's "townhall," I was directed to an article at the Lone Star Times website that covers much of the same ground. What caught my eye was this comment on that article:

I live in new Hampshire and was particularily interested in seeing how well Obama’s staged “town hall” meeting held in Portsmouth, NH, resonated with “Granite Staters”. The wife and I were watching the local news last night and of course, the lead story was the “town hall” meeting. The video clip included a woman who was identified by name and her home town. She had been invited to stand at the podium and provide a short statement as to why she supports Obamacare.

The lady stated, “I have hepatitis-C and I am UNABLE to get healthcare”. Well…that was a lie. And how do I know this? My wife, who is a nurse practitioner, happens to be her primary health care provider!! The woman is enrolled in a health care plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield!

Of course, it would be a HIPPA violation to release this information to the press, so she…and the Obama administration…will get away with this bold faced LIE!!!!!

I also hadn't heard this particular nickname for these phony townhall meetings, but I like it: They aren't "townhalls any more: they're "Greenhouses"...because there are so many plants.

I think I'm going to appropriate it for myself. Feel free to pass it around amongst yourselves.

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But I Thought the Economy Had Been Rescued?

Rahm Emanuel said 3 weeks ago that they had "rescued the economy." At the time, John Boehner took to the floor of the House to disagree:

So who was right, Emanuel or Boehner? Let's look at today's headlines and see, shall we?

Foreclosures Rise 7 Percent in July from June - The filings were up 32 percent from last July, but we're supposed to believe that the housing market is improving and that things have bottomed out. This flies in the face of common sense. Especially when the latest report is that nearly half of all homeowners will owe more on their houses than they are worth by 2011.

Retail Sales Dip Unexpectedly, Jobless Claims Rise - I really have to wonder who these economists are who expected retail sales to increase during July because obviously none of them have been to a mall lately. When K-Mart and Sears are trying to jumpstart Christmas sales in July, on what planet does a serious economist project that sales are going to increase?

As far as the jobless claims rising, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone either. The current 9.4% unemployment rate is an artifice caused by so many workers completely giving up looking for work during July: including discouraged workers, the actual rate is over 10%. Note also that the number of people still receiving benefits dropped by 140,000. Those are people who have been unemployed long enough for their benefits to completely run out. Do you think that a net of 140,000 losing their benefits in one week is likely to have a positive effect on the economy or a negative one?

Oil Rises Above $71 As Dollar Falls - The dollar fell because the Fed is still artificially holding down interest rates by buying up the massive amounts of debt that Obama is incurring with his feckless spending. In the same article, it is noted that gas prices have rised by 13 cents a gallon over the last month. This rise in gas prices is effectively a tax which Obama is imposing on the American people: gas prices are going up because it costs more to buy the oil, and it costs more to buy the oil because the Fed is being forced to buy Obama's debt. So much for not taxing anyone making under $250,000 per year, huh?

What is it with the Obama administration, from the top down, that they can't help but say stupid things that defy common sense? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Boehner clearly has the better of the argument.

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Another Day, Another New Approval Low

It's becoming glaringly obvious why Barack Obama was pushing so hard to have Congress pass ObamaCare before they left for their August recess. By the time they reconvene in September, they're going to be dealing with an unpopular president.

With seemingly every day that passes, Obama is not only losing ground on the debate over his socialized medicine but on his overall job approval rating as well. And since today is a new day, he has predictably set a new personal low in his approval ratings at Rasmussen Reports. (As a reminder, Rasmussen was the most accurate polling operation in 2008.) Whether its his penchant for stepping in it whenever he isn't being told what to say or touring with his travelling AstroTurf band, the more he talks the lower his numbers go.

Do you want proof that it's his mouth that's the problem? Look at the polling trend. Look at where his polling numbers were on 7/31: a net -11 on the passion index, with a 48/51 approve/disapprove split on overall approval. Now look at where they were one week later on 8/7: a net -4 on the passion index, with a 50/49 approve/disapprove split. What happened during that week? Obama shut up for a change. The health care debate didn't stop. TEA Partiers were still protesting, and the talking heads were still talking. The only one who wasn't doing a lot of talking was Obama, and his numbers started to drift upwards a little.

Now he's back on the road, and his approval numbers are starting their predictable nosedive. Only this time, they're starting their nosedive in already negative territory rather than from the stratospheric heights he experienced after his inauguration. And even his current approval ratings - such as they are - are soft as it is.

Rasmussen's polling on Obama includes a section called "By the Numbers" which breaks down his approval over specific policy areas to identify areas of strengths and weakness for the president. They provide an important insight into how solid his overall approval ratings are and where we can expect the numbers are going to be in the future.

I look at 5 "tabs" in the polling: Economy, National Security, Leadership, Energy and Ethics. The other tabs are interesting, but these pretty much cover the range of issues in one way or another. If you take the average approval ratings for these 5 areas, you come up with 45.2. While a president's personal approval ratings may vacillate around their policy approval numbers, the two cannot remain far apart over the long run. No matter how much someone personally likes you, if you're doing an awful job they're eventually going to give you a thumbs down on your job approval. The gap between the personal approval and their policy approval is something I call "the charisma gap." It's the degree to which a politician can artificially inflate their job approval ratings simply because people like them.

When Obama took office, his charisma gap was huge. People liked him even though they weren't necessarily supportive of his policy prescriptions. Fast forward to August, and his charisma gap is down to 2%. That bears repeating: 2%. For all the goodwill he had in the beginning, he has squandered almost every single bit of it in his headlong rush to institute his Leftist agenda.

A month ago, his charisma gap was much higher: not because his policies were more or less popular, because they weren't. His policy numbers have been hovering around 45% for some time. But in the interim, more and more people have decided that the more they see of him, the less they like him.

If Axelrod and Emanuel know what's good for their agenda and for their guy, they'll drop the curtain on his townhall tour ASAP and send the Obamas on vacation for a few weeks. How ironic is it that the best chance for Obama's socialist plan to succeed is for him to shut up about it and go away for a while?

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Obama Lies Making Doctors Mad

Just a couple of weeks ago Barack Obama got himself into hot water with cops across the country by saying that Officer Crowley "acted stupidly." Then a couple of days, he managed to get under the skin of postal workers by pointing out the failures of the Post Office while extolling the performance of UPS and FedEx. Now he's got surgeons angry by lying about them again.

Obama really is beginning to sound like a younger Biden with a better tan every time he speaks without a TelePrompter. He desperately needs to have doctors onboard if he's going to sell the American public his socialized medicine, but he just can't seem to stop insulting them at every turn. First, he claimed that doctors were taking out kids' tonsils purely because it paid better than treating them for allergies. Now he's claiming that surgeons are amputating feet because they're getting tens of thousands of dollars to perform the procedure.

Marc Ambinder calls the press release "amusing," but I really fail to see how it is. It's not amusing that Obama can't stop lying, and it's not amusing that the surgeons are rightfully angry about being accused of what is, in essence, gross malpractice and general inhumanity. Perhaps Marc can explain what he finds so funny...

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August 12, 2009

Is There Anybody NOT Connected to Obama In Favor of ObamaCare?

Yet another townhall meeting. Yet another phony "random audience member."

I'm not even keeping up with all the planted questioners at all the townhalls that Democrats are holding across the country, yet my blogging seems to be becoming one long string of revealing plant after plant at these meetings.

This time it's Sheila Jackson Lee with a student at the university where her husband works who also just happened to have been a Texas delegate for Obama. What are the odds that so many people with ties to Obama's 2008 campaign just happened to be called upon at the townhall meetings and manage to get coverage from the mainstream media?

I'm really beginning to believe that there isn't a single soul who isn't connected to Obama that actually supports his plan for socialized medicine. If there's such a demand for his plan, then why do the Democrats have to keep stacking the audiences with members of his campaign and union thugs?

The Democratic flop sweat is really beginning to show. They're losing ground so quickly that they're getting desperate and sloppy. Keep it up America, they're on the run.

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Answering Back On ObamaCare

I've talked to several people recently about the various lies being told by Barack Obama and the Democrats about ObamaCare, and the constant refrain I hear is that it's difficult to find out what actually is and isn't true about the proposed government takeover of our health care system.

Karl over at HotAir has done some yeoman's work in putting together some highlights of Obama's most outrageous disinformation. It's by no means a comprehensive list of all the ugliness hidden within the depths of 1,000 pages of legislation, but it does provide a good overview of the topic. If you want to find out how Obama's rhetoric really matches up with reality, then do yourself a favor and read his post. Then when you're done, e-mail it to everyone you know: especially those who are currently supporting Obama's latest socialist endeavor. You never know: you might just open a few eyes.

P.S. If you (or those to whom you e-mail his post) have any questions about where he's getting his information, just follow his links within that post.

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Single-Payer Health Advocates Create 'Obama As Hitler' Signs

It's been all over the news: anti-ObamaCare protesters are using Nazi imagery! They're putting Hitleresque mustaches on pictures of Obama and demanding a stop to Obama's "Nazi" Health Care. Those TEA Partiers are just crazy!

One major problem with the narrative: the Obama-Hitler signs aren't from TEA Partiers at all:

The takeaway from the video? LaRouchePAC created the 'Obama as Hitler' signs, and it is a staunch supporter of a single-payer system. They support a government takeover of the healthcare system too: they just want it done on their terms instead of Obama's.

So much for those Democratic talking points that falsely smear TEA Partiers. With the army of citizen-journalists across the nation doing the work that the media won't do, none of their talking points are holding up and their AstroTurfing is being exposed left and right. What desperate tricks does Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their allies have up their sleeves next?

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Obama Can't Find Any Grassroots, Decides to Bus Them In

In response to the grassroots TEA parties that have sprung up around the country, Barack Obama has decided to do a series of townhall meetings where he takes supposedly random questions from the audience about ObamaCare. One problem: he can't find enough supporters of ObamaCare to fill a townhall, so he has to bus them in.

This has become such a debacle for Democrats that Obama's people actually had to plant a 11-year old girl to ask him a question about the "mean signs" that TEA Partiers are holding outside in protest - a little girl who just happens to be the child of one of the organizers from Obama's campaign after Obama. Purely coincidence. Your president wouldn't lie to you, would he?

TEA Partiers should take comfort that they have both Obama and the Democratic Party scrambling. First it was the accusations of AstroTurfing. Then it was the ridiculous swastika business. And now they're reducing to planting young children at Obama's propaganda events.

And still the poll numbers for ObamaCare keep dropping.

If it weren't such a serious subject, it would definitely be worth a big belly-laugh.

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So THIS Is What They Meant By Stimulus

They're just handing out free money for people on welfare in New York.

Silly me. I thought the "stimulus bill" was meant to actually put people back to work or keep them from losing their jobs. Giving people money to keep NOT working is so much more obviously sound economics that it's a wonder no one thought of it sooner.

That's $140 million of your hard-earned money neither you nor your children will ever see again. Are you feeling stimulated yet?

P.S. On a side note, you know the Democrats are having serious PR issues when they have to resort to just straight handing out money to keep their supporters on board. Usually just a few empty platitudes and lip service will do, but Democrats recognize the hole they're digging and they're bound and determined to use your tax dollars to fill it in behind them.

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August 11, 2009

On the Wrong Side of the Racial Divide

Michael Lind published a piece asking "Are Liberals Seceding From Sanity?" in which he argues for the "big tent" approach to the Democratic Party. His argument, naturally, is pure condescension to Southerners who are simply the products of having been economically repressed and so woefully uneducated for so many years. They couldn't possibly hold conservative beliefs because they are worthy of being held: no, they are simply misinformed because those dumb folks don't know any better.

In the course of chastising his fellow liberals for mocking and abusing Southerners, Lind commits his own sins. But I will, at least grant that - unlike his liberal brethren - he doesn't descend into the usual "they're just a bunch of Nazis" trashtalk. But even that's not what's significant about Lind's piece. What's most striking is how he points out over and over again how the socially conservative attitudes and beliefs of Southerners are so very similar to those held by blacks and Latinos.

Yet the Leftist punditry never criticizes blacks and Latinos for being pro-Life or anti-illegal immigrant. And if they ever did, they certainly wouldn't ascribe those beliefs to the evil and racism they ascribe to Southerners. Why? Because blacks and Latinos are on the politically correct side of the racial divide in this country.

For all the claims of tolerance and equality that the Left puts forth, they are neither tolerant and they do not truly believe in equality. Look at the arguments that Lind puts forth for why Southerners believe the things they do: they're just dumb folks who don't know any better. So, by corollary, he is also saying the same about blacks and latinos. The difference is that it's OK to call a white man evil and racist, but political correctness doesn't allow the same outrageous demonization of minorities.

Besides, it's not their fault that they share the same beliefs. Unlike the white man who is evidently fully responsible for his own beliefs, minorities cannot be held to the same standards. Evidently, they're just not capable of being enlightened the way that white men can be with the right effort. Just try to square that assertion with the belief that "all men are created equal" and that a man should be judged on the "content of his character, and not the color of his skin." Go ahead. I dare you.

The truth is that Leftists will tolerate pretty much any belief from the minority community so long as they continue to vote "properly." We've seen what they really think of minorities every time one of them "gets off the plantation." Just ask Clarence Thomas, Condeleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, or any number of other minority conservatives how tolerant and open-minded Leftists really are.

As soon as a minority expresses a non-Leftist thought, all those racial epithets which were supposedly off-limits suddenly become socially acceptable once again: so long as you direct them at the right people, of course. The excuses vary, but the reality is that the racial animus (and anti-Semitism) is never far from boiling to the surface. It only takes the slightest provocation to bring it out, as they have proven time and time again.

Leftists view themselves as benevolent caretakers of minorities: not as their equals. Just let the liberal elitists tell you brown people what to think and when to think it. They'll tell you what causes to take to the streets for and which ones are simply "taken out of context." You brownies just aren't smart enough to think for yourselves, so turn over your free will to the current group of Leftists in charge. Free will is intolerable in a minority. It must be crushed through swift and immediate ridicule and scorn lest other minorities get the idea that it is acceptable to hold an unsanctioned, independent belief.

For the Left the world is quite clear. If you don't agree with them and you are white, then you are an evil racist. If you don't agree with them and you are a minority, then you are a race traitor or even worse. But if you're a minority and are willing to vote for their latest socialist endeavor, then you get a nice pat on the head and a condescending smile...just like the family dog who sits up and begs when offered a treat.

Personally, I'd rather you hated me to my face than treated me like a pet. At least when you hate me, you are forced to acknowledge the free will I have exercised as a fellow human being. If I allow you to treat me as your pet, then I am denying my own humanity. So, to all minorities across the country, I ask: are you a free-thinking human being or are you happy being a Leftist lapdog?

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Does Obama Have An Inherent Right to Lie?

Jeffrey Lord has an interesting piece up over at American Spectator comparing Linda Douglass and Arthur Sylvester, the press secretary for Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War. He contends that Linda Douglass is Sylvester's intellectual descendent in her eagerness to lie to the American people on behalf of Barack Obama about the actions of their government.

He reprints a quote of David Halberstam's, The Best and the Brightest, which seems extraordinarily timely:
In Saigon…Arthur Sylvester, McNamara's press officer, was
arguing with a young New York Times reporter named
Jack Langguth over the government's lack of credibility in its
Vietnam statements. Sylvester said that although it was
unfortunate, there were times when a government official had to
lie, but that he, Sylvester, as a former newsman, had a genuine
objection to lying. Langguth answered that if you had a real
objection to lying, you would quit, and the failure to resign
meant that you had a soft job where you could exercise power,
and that your principles were secondary. Sylvester looked at
him almost shocked. "If you believe that, you're stupid and
naïve, (said Sylvester) and you didn't seem that way at lunch
earlier today."

Pretty damning indictment of Ms. Douglass, wouldn't you say? Shouldn't we expect the truth from our government? Don't we have the right to the truth? Well, Sylvester had something to say about that too:
"Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you
the truth, than you're stupid. Did you hear that? -- Stupid."

Just stop and let that sink in for a minute. So when it comes to ObamaCare, are you really looking into the bills before Congress or are you just being stupid?

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What's Up With Mel?

Cassy's post reminded me about an odd piece of news out of Florida the other day: namely that Mel Martinez wouldn't be returning to his seat in the Senate after the August recess. While she, and others, are rightfully thinking about the implications for Charlie Crist who is the current governor and has already stated his intention to run for the Senate seat, I'm simply struck by the oddity of the announcement itself.

While some people may immediately draw a parallel to Sarah Palin, I fail to see any similarity other than the obvious one that they both resigned their offices after announcing that they would not seek another term. Palin was being subjected to an abuse of the ethics complaint process and had much brighter prospects outside the governor's office anyway. Martinez, on the other hand, has no such prospects and has not been the subject of anything other than the normal level of abuse one would expect as a national officeholder.

It does beg the question: why? I have to believe that he did so for family reasons of one type or another. Whether it was due to the threat of an affair being revealed, an illness or other personal problems, it would be pure speculation to hazard a guess. No matter the reason, he decided that he could no longer do the job that he was elected to do and stepped down. Too bad more politicians don't have the decency to do the same.

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GOP Puts Out a Fishy Ad

The GOP cut together the previous clips of Obama stating his desire for single-payer health care into a web ad:

Somebody needs to turn them in to because Linda Douglass is definitely going to find this fishy. Somebody needs to make that Barack Obama guy quit spreading disinformation about the goals of ObamaCare.

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SEIU Caught Being Un-American

Over the weekend, Nancy Pelosi and her houseboy, Steny Hoyer, declared that attempting to "drown out" opposing viewpoints was un-American. Their position was that TEA Partiers weren't there to call their congressmen to account for their attempt to jam ObamaCare down our collective throats: it was simply to drown out any attempt at health care reform at all. So they called out their SEIU union thug buddies to make sure the TEA Partiers knew their place.

But Mary Katharine Ham has now busted SEIU specifically calling for their members to drown out the opposition - which, as their members, seem to be interpreting it involves blasting them at close range with bullhorns and physically assaulting them.

So we should expect to hear Pelosi and Hoyer denouncing the SEIU any minute now. Right?

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AstroTurfing Accusations Just Make People Angrier

As soon as Nancy Pelosi and her minions started rolling out the latest Democratic talking points about how the TEA Partiers were AstroTurfed crowds who only showed up at the behest of the Republican Party and insurance companies, I knew that it was bound to backfire. Instead of intimidating people into staying away from townhall meetings, such accusations are only redoubling their determination.

Because Leftists are only capable of producing crowds at protests by paying them to attend, they are incapable of understanding that it is possible for a true grassroots effort to exist without corporate and political sponsorship. Having attended a TEA Party myself, I can tell you that not one of those in attendance was paid to be there, they are better informed on the issues than the congressmen they are confronting, and that they are genuinely angry about where Barack Obama and his Democratic allies are taking this country. Just listen to Leah from New Hampshire who called into C-SPAN:

The Democratic arrogance and dismissive attitude toward to their constituents has opened Pandora's Box. And like Pandora, they are going to be extremely sorry they did.

(H/T Smitty @ The Other McCain)

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August 10, 2009

Hillary Clinton Loses It

A translated question from a Congolese student got Hillary Clinton hot under the collar when she thought he asked what Bill Clinton thought about a Chinese trade deal. Her response? "

"My husband is not secretary of state, I am," she replied. "If you want
my opinion I will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling
my husband."
On one hand, I can appreciate that she's perturbed that she's played third fiddle behind both her husband and Barack Obama. I have no doubt that every day she shows up for work as Secretary of State rather than President is like walking into a bad dream from which she just can't seem to awaken. The evidence that she is living her own personal nightmare is written all over her face and in her demeanor as she answers the question. She's looking worn-down and tired: a far cry from the vibrancy she displayed on the campaign trail last year.

On the other hand, she IS the Secretary of State and her JOB is to be diplomatic. I may not be the world's foremost expert on diplomatic niceties, but I'm pretty sure losing your stuff on some student isn't part of the job description. If she can't keep herself under control, then perhaps it's time to return to the Senate where being a Democrat who screams at the "little people" is pretty much par for the course. So much for that Obama "smart diplomacy," huh?

The schadenfreude is delicious, but it gets even better. It turns out that the translator screwed up, and the student wasn't asking about Bill Clinton at all. He was asking what Barack Obama thought. So her answer about "channeling her husband" must certainly have caused quite a bit of confusion when she referred to Obama as "her husband."

In the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy: I don't care who you are: that's funny.

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Illegal Immigration Still Illegal...For Now

Good news on the amnesty front: illegal immigration is still going to be illegal at least through the end of the year.

Barack Obama admitted today that his attempt to grant amnesty is going to have to wait. With Cap-and-Tax still up in the air (and likely dead) and ObamaCare in doubt, he's decided that it would be too much to try to move his amnesty bill this year.

Given the reality of election years, this may kill any attempt to grant amnesty to illegal aliens outright. It's highly unlikely that Obama's Democratic allies are going to be eager to cast yet another risky vote that may wind up costing them their seat in Congress. House Democrats are already on the hook for their vote on Cap-and-Tax, and it remains to be seen if they're going to be willing to walk the plank yet again to vote for ObamaCare. I have no doubt that Obama's been told behind closed doors that no-way, no-how are House Democrats going to be willing to go 0-for-3 after the Senate has already hung them out to dry twice.

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Time for Corporate TEA Parties

The TEA in TEA parties stands for Taxed Enough Already. According to this post from TaxProf, it looks like American businesses should be joining the TEA Partiers on the picket lines.

The US has the second highest corporate taxes in the industrialized world: behind only Japan. And it's not by much, American corporate tax rates are at 39.1% while Japan's are at barely higher rate of 39.6%. Everybody else? Well, their weighted average is 26.5%.

Not only is that putting American businesses at a significant disadvantage in global trade, it's also causing higher prices domestically. Corporate taxes are all ultimately paid by consumers in the form of higher prices. It's just another way that the government is taking a bite out of every dollar you earn.

And now they're coming for your healthcare...

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But Don't Dare Call it AstroTurfing

Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress can't seem to find enough people to get out and hit the streets in support of their government takeover of health care, so now they're advertising on Craigslist to hire them instead.

But remember that it's the TEA Partiers who are supposedly the ones who are "AstroTurfing," right? Not the Leftists who are actually paying people to do the work that no Americans are willing to do voluntarily. I guess it's a good thing that Obama's disastrous economic policies have put so many people out of work. Otherwise they wouldn't have anybody willing to do their dirty work at all.

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Dissent Is Now Officially Un-American

The Botox Queen, Nancy Pelosi, and her court jester, Steny Hoyer, have spoken.

If you're angry that Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress are trying to ram through a government takeover of your healthcare in less time than it took for him to pick out a family dog, then you're un-American.

If you're unwilling to be told what to think by people who are blatantly lying to your face, then you're un-American.

If you're not willing to be beaten into submission, then you're un-American.

I guess that makes me about as un-American as it gets. And you probably are too.

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CNN 'Reliable Sources' Not So Reliable

CNN's Reliable Sources had ABC's Obama mouthpiece turned White House Obama mouthpiece, Linda Douglass, on to discuss the Naked Emperor News YouTube video compilation of Obama repeatedly stated desire for single-payer healthcare.

Fair enough. But only if CNN had actually bothered to actually show the damning portions of the video where Barack Obama actually said over and over again that he wanted single-payer healthcare. Instead, they picked out one of the most innocuous portions possible, and then brought Douglass on to say how they were "out of context."

Since CNN won't actually show you the full NEN video so you can decide for yourself if they were taken out of context, I will:

Do you still think Obama was "taken out of context"? Or do you think CNN took the "Reliable" out of "Reliable Sources"?


Help Wanted: New Congressmen

It seems that some Congressmen still aren't getting the message that people are fed up with government waste, fraud and abuse.

10 members of Congress decided that, in the middle of one of the most contentious public debates in years, they should skip town with their spouses to go on a "global warming fact finding mission" rather than go home and meet with their constituents.

1) If you still believe that man-made global warming is anything other than Leftist snake oil, you have no business representing anyone in Congress.
2) If you believe that the taxpayers should be footing the bill to drag your husband/wife along on a "fact-finding mission," you have no business representing anyone in Congress.
3) If you believe you need to spend half-a-million taxpayer dollars for a glorified sight-seeing tour, you have no business representing anyone in Congress.

Perhaps I'm too idealistic in thinking that we should expect our public servants to be wise stewards of our money, but idealistic or not it doesn't mean that I'm wrong. Just keep this trip in mind when you go to the polls next year to decide who should - and should not - be left in charge of representing you.

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August 8, 2009

ObamaCare to Cost At Least $2 Trillion

Via Hot Air.

A company called Health Systems Innovations has done their own estimates of the cost of ObamaCare, and their numbers show that the CBO estimates of a $1 trillion price tag on ObamaCare are probably inaccurate. To the tune of more than $1 trillion.

They say that the CBO models are based on outdated information from 2000-2001 while theirs is based on more current information from 2006. So why is the CBO using data that's almost a decade old? Because they haven't paid to get the new data.

So, according to the logic of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, we can afford to spend trillions of dollars on health care, but we can't spend anything at all on getting accurate information. But we should trust them with our health care because they have their priorities straight. Right?


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What's a Polimerican?

Since this blog is literally only hours old and the question has already arisen, I thought now would be a good time to explain from where the title, Polimerican, originates.

Polimerican is simply a portmanteau of "Political American." Let me explain.

The vast majority of the American public claims to not be interested in politics at all. In fact, a great number of those same people take enormous pride in their ignorance of the workings of the government, what bills are being debated, or even what happened at the last city council meeting. They are, you see, far too involved in their own lives to be bothered with such "trivial" matters. Leave that those who are far less important with far less busy lives. We are important people, so stop bothering us with such mundane details.

Right up until the point that the government does something they don't like. Then, they're suddenly shocked (SHOCKED!) that the government has decided to seize their property through eminent domain, build a sewage treatment plant behind their house, or even nationalize vast swaths of the nation's economy. Then suddenly they are awakened from their delusion that what's happening in politics has no impact on them. The truth is that they were just always too self-involved to notice.

The Polimerican, on the other hand, realizes that the only true restraint on the empire-building bureaucrat and the corrupt politician is a vigilant citizenry. Perhaps in days gone by, the media could be counted on to act as a check on unrestricted government growth. But that was only because there was sufficient diversity in the media to hold all parties accountable: if one paper overlooked a potential scandal because they held political or personal sympathies for those involved, its ideological opposite across town could be counted on to do the necessary legwork to uncover it. But it's been longer than most of us have been alive since there was any real ideological diversity in the national media. So it's up to us.

Whether it's the guy who takes a video camera to a city council, a lonely blogger digging through public records or a mother who is mindful of the future her children will inherit; it's Average Joe American who is responsible for holding our representatives' feet to the fire on the issues of the day. We each owe it to ourselves, to our neighbors and to future generations to be Polimericans.

That's the purpose of this blog. It is by, and for, Polimericans. That doesn't mean that every post or discussion needs to, or will, be about politics. After all, "all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy." But most forget the last part of that rhyme: "but all play and no work makes Jack a toy." So let's have fun and play, but let's also not forget that there's important work to be done as well.

August 7, 2009

TEA Partiers = Gandhi

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
The arc of the TEA parties brought something to mind today: they are living proof of the truth of this quote from Mahatma Gandhi.
When the TEA parties first began earlier this year, there was a collective yawn from pretty much everybody in the media - with the notable exception of Fox News. Perhaps because they have a greater familiarity with actual conservatives, they immediately recognized the significance of so many of them taking to the streets in protest.
Street protests have long been the domain of the Left. With so many union thugs, students, "community activists," race hustlers and underemployed hippies in their ranks; they have always had the available manpower to take to the streets at even the slightest provocation. On the other hand, conservatives have always had higher priorities: jobs, families, and, you know, actual lives to live. But this year things have changed.
It was pretty much assumed that the Tax Day protests across the country were one-off affairs. Oh sure these impotent losers were a little upset at having to pay taxes, but they'll go back to their regular lives soon enough. If we just ignore them, they'll just go away.
But then a funny thing happened: they didn't. And not only didn't they go away, their numbers quickly grew. And got louder. And got angrier at the obvious bias of media organizations who regularly reported on pseudo-protests by Leftists which consisted of little more than press conferences attended by a few solitary figures outnumbered by the number of reporters on hand but yet pretended that protests by hundreds of ordinary Joes were beneath their notice.
Then the next round of TEA parties was held around the 4th of July. Suddenly there were even more of them, and they were getting more organized. Their events were being covered by bloggers and local news, and they were flooding Congress with phone calls. They were getting too big to ignore any more.
The elite punditry who had previously dismissed these citizens as "tea-baggers" (An obscene little joke that they were oh so proud of themselves for telling.) suddenly were forced to take notice of the growing ranks of the TEA partiers. But did they take them seriously? Of course not. The TEA partiers were noticed all right. But only to the extent of being the butt of jokes for every Leftist pundit and blogger who deigned to mention their existence.
Which brings us to today. Now those TEA partiers are seemingly everywhere a congressmen rears his head in public. They're demanding answers and openly mocking the pitiful attempts to lie away reality. ACORN and the AFL-CIO are holding events and finding themselves outnumbered 3-, 5- or even 10-to-1 by tea partiers. The message of the Leftists is getting drowned out by the voices of citizens who have decided that they're mad as hell and not going to take it any more.
To which the Left has predictably responded by calling out the union thugs to surround their mouthpieces, and Obama has issued an urgent call to his cultists to turn in anyone who says anything "fishy" about his attempts to nationalize large parts of the US economy. Those "tea-baggers" have magically been transformed by their opponents into "mobsters." No longer are they objects of ridicule: they are striking fear into the hearts of Leftists across the country.
With the August recess now upon us, the fight is now on in earnest. Just a few months ago the Left thought they were Mike Tyson in his heyday fighting against the patsy du jour. The smart money wasn't betting on whether or not it was going to be a 1st round knockout: it was how many seconds it would take for their opponent to hit the canvas.
But along the way the TEA partiers started training in earnest. They worked harder, sweated more, and studied their opponent's tactics. Leftists are no longer laboring under the delusion that this is going to be a cakewalk, and like a fighter past his prime they're desperately trying to reach back for last year's glory to pull out another victory.
The outcome isn't certain by any means, but - like Gandhi - the TEA partiers have already achieved more than any of their opponents ever thought was going to be possible. And like Gandhi, they may yet win.

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