Gay Patriot Header Image

Back to Blogging/Obama is no Reagan

A few of you have written, observing that I haven’t written much lately. It’s just that, well, I haven’t been in much of a mood to write lately. As is my wont, I have been scribbling down ideas for posts, but for some reason, just haven’t felt like writing. Maybe it was the full moon had an unusual effect on me last week.

Or maybe I was discouraged by my difficulty accommodating to our new provider. Or maybe I just got out of practice of blogging when the blog was down.

In the past two weeks, since I got back from Vegas, I had endured a cold, had to plan an event (on the fly) for my college alumni association (which I will advertise on the blog later today) and begun serious work on my dissertation, while attempting to clean my apartment and looking for a condo to buy. And I wanted to see as many of the Oscar-nominated films as I could stomach while socializing with my friends.

Today, for some reason, I have been thinking a lot about the apparent Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. As I’ve noted several times on this blog, I find him a compelling figure, an attractive candidate and a good speaker, yet I find his campaign based more on his personality than any great ideas for leading and improving our great nation.

While some may call him a new kind of politician, in many ways, he’s no different from many other charismatic figures who have sought positions of political leadership. He obscures his absence of plan for change in noble-sounding rhetoric about the need for change.

It seems he’s running for president entirely on his personality. To be sure, other candidates for president ran on their presence. But, many of them had already accomplished things in other endeavors, for example, Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 or even H. Ross Perot, forty years later.

Given the power of the Illinios’s Senator’s presence and his gift with words, some have compared this Democratic politician to a Republican with similar gifts–Ronald Wilson Reagan. But, unlike Obama, Reagan had actually accomplished something before he ran for the White House, having served, among other things, two terms as governor of the nation’s largest state.

It’s not just that. As James Pethokoukis wrote earlier this month in U.S. News and World Report, “People knew what they were getting when they voted for Reagan. Obama? I’m not so sure” (Via Instapundit).

The Gipper never denied his conservatism and ran on a set of principles he’d been championing for at least sixteen years before his successful 1980 bid for the White House. Obama, by contrast, seems to be running from his record in elected office, never highlighting in his campaign that he was ranked the most liberal member of the United States Senate.

To be sure, Senator Obama is charismatic figure and good speaker. (Even Victor Davis Hanson calls him “perhaps the best natural orator and politician we’ve seen since Ronald Reagan and JFK.” But, we really don’t know where he stands. So, Senator, you may have the Gipper’s gift for words, but Ronald Reagan was also a man of ideas. In your campaign so far, you’re no Ronald Reagan.

And I wonder if he will be able to sustain a campaign on soaring rhetoric through November or if he’ll have to offer more substantive speeches in the coming days to hold his own against his more accomplished rival from Arizona and convince the American people he has a plan for change and an ability to lead.

UPDATE: Seems my Athena agrees with me (or should I say, I agree with her, given that she published her piece first:

Barack Obama’s biggest draw is not his eloquence. When you watch an Obama speech, you lean forward and listen and think, That’s good. He’s compelling, I like the way he speaks. And afterward all the commentators call him “impossibly eloquent” and say “he gave me thrills and chills.” But, in fact, when you go on the Internet and get a transcript of the speech and print it out and read it–that is, when you remove Mr. Obama from the words and take them on their own–you see the speech wasn’t all that interesting, and was in fact high-class boilerplate.

As with anything by Peggy, just read the whole thing!

Share

45 Comments

  1. I read Peggy this weekend, and she really resonated with me. A good actor or orator can breathe life into stale words.

    We’re looking for a leader, not an actor, and please, don’t get on my case that Reagan was an actor. He was that and so much more, a man with real vision.

    I’m very interested to see what will happen tomorrow, has the messiah started growing clay feet or is he as strong as ever.

    Comment by Leah — February 25, 2008 @ 8:55 pm - February 25, 2008

  2. Yes,Bruce I  agree with you Sen Obama seems to be a political Rorschach (how’s that for German) test upon which different people find different things to love.

    Comment by corwin — February 25, 2008 @ 8:55 pm - February 25, 2008

  3. I don’t recall Reagan threatening to attack allies.

    In other Obama news: as I may have posted in another thread, Samuelson had a good piece last week on The Obama Delusion:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/the_obama_delusion.html

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 25, 2008 @ 9:18 pm - February 25, 2008

  4. (P.S. Obama threatened to attack Pakistan, officially a U.S. ally, hence my remark)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 25, 2008 @ 9:19 pm - February 25, 2008

  5. #2
    That was from Dan.

    To be sure, Senator Obama is charismatic figure and good speaker. (Even Victor Davis Hanson calls him “perhaps the best natural orator and politician we’ve seen since Ronald Reagan and JFK.”

    To be a great speaker or orator or whatever the hell word you want to use, don’t you have to say something in all those pretty, hifalutin words? He talks a lot and says absolutely nothing.

    He especially won’t say what kind of "change" we should "hope" for or even what the hell good hoping does.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 25, 2008 @ 10:40 pm - February 25, 2008

  6. Hmm, Senator Obama is running a vapid candidacy that is a cult of personality bordering on somekind of messiah complex. He can not talk about his record because he has little if any. But it is decidedly left of center. He is a socialist. To the left of Sen. Hillary Clinton. But, he sounds so good. He makes the women faint. Mrs. Michelle Obama tells UCLA students that St. Barack will make you work, disolve "divisions" and that your lives will never be the same.
    Ronald Reagan had a real record and eight years as governor of California. He has been proven to have been a real thinker, not just an ideologe. And, he did not run on a cult of personality. It was, dare I write this, on the ideas of conservatism. I hope that he is the Democrat nominee. I stand by my prediction that he will. I think that his nomination alone will prompt those with reservations about Sen. John "F— You" McCain to rally around his Republican candidacy. He has time to get on track with conservatives. And, I think he has wanted the presidency longer than St. Barack has been alive. Sen. "F— You" McCain will do what it takes to be the next president. But, St. Barack will have to eventually tell us what he stands for. And that may take the bloom off the rose that is St. Barack.

    Comment by Mark J. Goluskin — February 26, 2008 @ 2:20 am - February 26, 2008

  7. Test test
    before I paste a long coment.
    Test
    Test

    Test

    Comment by Vince P — February 26, 2008 @ 4:35 am - February 26, 2008

  8. I think these two comments from another blog (written by someone else) were pretty good:The First: http://rightwingnuthouse.com/archives/2008/02/24/enough-with-all-of-this-obama-is-a-mooslim-crap/
    It isn’t that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim by virtue of his father & step-father’s religion…It isn’t that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim by virtue of his early education…It isn’t that Muslims think Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim…It isn’t the 1/2 dozen Nation Of Islam supporters working at top levels of his campaign…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s “mentor” the race-hater and Farrakhan associate “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright…It isn’t the Carter administration anti-Semites Barack Hussein Obama’s hired to run his foreign policy…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s association with PLO terrorists and apologists like Edward Said…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s ongoing association with domestic terrorists like the Weather Underground’s William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s support, and family ties, to the Al-Qaeda allied Luo tribal leader Odinga and his bloody revolution in Kenya…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s long association with known Communist agitators associated with Communist activist Saul Alinsky…It isn’t Barack Hussein Obama’s #1 ranking as the most Leftist Senator in Congress…It isn’t his refusal to say the pledge of allegiance or Barack Hussein Obama’s dramatic declaration he won’t wear an American flag pin even as he dismisses criticism for flying Che Guevera banners and the Cuban flag in his campaign Headquarters…It isn’t his viciously LibRule spouse who sups at the trough of tax-payer subsidized preferences and then denounces the system that indulged her with hypocritical condemnations as a ‘thesis’…It isn’t that Barack Hussein Obama defends his empty rhetoric with stolen rhetoric…It isn’t the MainStreamMedia’s partisan advocacy that covers up these facts or their blind support for his Orwellian platitudes…It is the cumulative absurdity of a Hawaiian running as the new Messiah.He has done nothing, he has seen nothing, and yet embraces the hate-rhetoric of his LibRule fellows with the intolerant theocratic absolutism of a true believer.Like any “chicken-hawk” he will be clumsy in his execution, of powers he doesn’t understand, to solve problems that only exist in his fellow traveler’s minds, resulting in horrific damage to society at large…Which the faithful will only blame on the rest of us who ‘fail to understand’…==========

    Comment by Vince P — February 26, 2008 @ 4:36 am - February 26, 2008

  9. The point about his name fool, was that his biological father was very much into Islam. That same polygamist father left him at a very early age. After being abandoned,his mother then marries another Muslim! This new stepfather takes him and his mother to Indonesia where he registers Barrack as a muslim child in the Indonesiam public schools. There he was taught the Koran, as was standard practice in Indonesia for a muslim child . In the eyes of the muslim world, he was a muslim. In Islam, once a muslim, always a muslim. The Koran forbids you from leaving the Muslim faith. Once you leave the faith, you are considered an spostate. It is an offense punishable by death under sharia law.

    What I was implying that we don’t kmow how this Muslim experience affected Barrack and what he attitude towards the Muslim World is now .

    His lofty rhetoric is full of feel good platitudes, but is empty and a near carbon copy, often word to word copy of Deval Patrick’s campaign in 2006. It is not original to him, and really doesn’t provide any true take on where he stands. We don’t know really where he stands on the Greater WAr on Terror at all, at least by his rhetoric. We definitely do not know how he proposes to win this War.
    What we do know is that:
    He is uncomfortable with:
    • conventional displays of patriotism

    • the war in Iraq

    • Gitmo

    • Abu Graib

    • FISA

    • Support for Israel
    But is comfortable with:• Repeating lies about the Military in Afgahnistan

    • Associates with ties to IslamicRadicals like Raila Odinga and Tony Rezko.

    • Former violent radicals like the Weather Underground.

    • Leaving the people and all the good we have accomplished in Iraq
    to the depravities of Al QaedaGee, for a the man who is most likely at this point to lead western civilization in the Greater War on Terror, don’t these attitudes seem to be a really big problem ?All Obama and Kerry in 2004 before him, seem to be saying is that all we need to do is sit down with a bunch of Muslim leaders and simply hammer out a peace agreement. Except that the Koran forbids a true peace agreemnent with the Infidel. It only allows a “Hudna”, a temporary truce favorable to Islam. In Islam, the only way to find peace is to submit to the word of Allah.
    This war is mostly a war of Ideas. How exactly do you propose to address the fact that for fundamentalist Islam, Allah has the answers to all things and there is no need for democracy or free thought? How do you reconcile that Islam with our democratic ideals and our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    How do you protect those muslims who want those same democratic Ideals for themselves?
    As George Weigel says, to truly have a meaningful dialogue with Islam, one must first recognize our true differences

    Comment by Vince P — February 26, 2008 @ 4:40 am - February 26, 2008

  10. My previous post was the 2nd comment written by another person that I mentioned in the post I made two posts ago.

    Comment by Vince P — February 26, 2008 @ 4:41 am - February 26, 2008

  11. Obama is leading a crusade to win control of the treasury and the tax system. His ultimate aim is socialism and government enforced egalitarianism. It is no more complicated than that. It leaves McCain being a Scrooge and a windy warrior. Obama perfumes the air with "the audacity of hope" and leaves McCain sputtering about reality. As the bard told us, " The fault……is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." If Obama wins the Beige House I have the audacity of hope that the Congress will not eat out of his hand. I have zero hope for who he would name to the Supreme Court. The lines have never been so clearly drawn.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 26, 2008 @ 10:20 am - February 26, 2008

  12. Dan, not to take exception to your comments, but I think you miss the point in offering that Obama may have the “Gipper’s gift for words” but not Reagan’s ideas.  It’s not the words per se.  It’s the soothing delivery and the optimism of the message that most parallels RonnieR’s pre-Prez campaign style.  Delivery.  Optimism.  In a way, both men have/had a voice made for radio.  Both men are/were appealing to the TV camera.  Both men know/knew instinctively how to work a crowd.  Their gestures are/were natural.  Their confidence is/was abundant.  The DELIVERY is what is most similar.  Not the presence or absence of ideas and lofty phrases.  RR’s pre-1980 campaign speeches were roundly criticized by many as shallow, lacking details, pure political pie-in-the-sky fluff.  Reagan was slaughtered in the press in his run-up to the 1976 challenge of incumbent GOP President Ford’s campaign for being a lightweight, a great speaker on the political circuit but lacking gravitas, grounding, knowledge, substance.  (Of course, they said the same about W, too).  Reagan’s time as CA Gov was characterized THEN as an executive disconnected from governing, a brown suit for the microphone, a quipster and not serious about being a leader.  So it was said… when the spot light hit him, he’d read the speech prepared by the marketing gurus on his staff and delivery the message professionally with the perfect gestures.  Not that that describes Obama.  But Obama’s critics are quick to dismiss ANY parallel with the Great Communicator because, frankly if there another like the Gipper, it makes RonnieR’s uniqueness seem less compelling to his adoring fans.  It’s the delivery and the optimistic message.  PeggyNoonan gets it wrong when she takes apart the false claim that Obama has “eloquence”.  She misses that it’s not the eloquence… it’s the delivery and optimistic message that makes Obama parallel Reagan… that, and the thirst in America for change.  She gets it right in her editorial piece when she raises the tangential issues of Mrs. Obama’s recent comments about now being a proud American.  I think that’s a far more serious part of Noonan’s wisdom.  For one of the reasons that some people seemed to like Reagan, I think Obama will have similar pull.  Soothing delivery and optimistic message, as Reagan proved in 1976 and 1980, can get a political “actor” a long, long way in a time dominated by radio and TV.

    In an interesting aside, I see McCain most natural when he’s taking on a hec

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 26, 2008 @ 11:07 am - February 26, 2008

  13. Sorry, can we try that again?

    Dan, not to take exception to your comments, but I think you miss the point in offering that Obama may have the “Gipper’s gift for words” but not Reagan’s ideas.

    It’s not the words per se. It’s the soothing delivery and the optimism of the message that most parallels RonnieR’s pre-Prez campaign style.

    Delivery. Optimism.

    In a way, both men have/had a voice made for radio. Both men are/were appealing to the TV camera. Both men know/knew instinctively how to work a crowd. Their gestures are/were natural. Their confidence is/was abundant. The DELIVERY is what is most similar.

    Not the presence or absence of ideas and lofty phrases.

    RR’s pre-1980 campaign speeches were roundly criticized by many as shallow, lacking details, pure political pie-in-the-sky fluff. Reagan was slaughtered in the press in his run-up to the 1976 challenge of incumbent GOP President Ford’s campaign for being a lightweight, a great speaker on the political circuit but lacking gravitas, grounding, knowledge, substance. (Of course, they said the same about W, too). Reagan’s time as CA Gov was characterized THEN as an executive disconnected from governing, a brown suit for the microphone, a quipster and not serious about being a leader. So it was said… when the spot light hit him, he’d read the speech prepared by the marketing gurus on his staff and delivery the message professionally with the perfect gestures.

    Not that that describes Obama. But Obama’s critics are quick to dismiss ANY parallel with the Great Communicator because, frankly if there is another like the Gipper, it makes RonnieR’s uniqueness seem less compelling to his adoring fans.

    It’s the delivery and the optimistic message. PeggyNoonan gets it wrong when she takes apart the false claim that Obama has “eloquence”. She misses that it’s not the eloquence… it’s the delivery and optimistic message that makes Obama parallel Reagan… that, and the thirst in America for change. She gets it right in her editorial piece when she raises the tangential issues of Mrs. Obama’s recent comments about now being a proud American. I think that’s a far more serious part of Noonan’s wisdom.

    For one of the reasons that some people seemed to like Reagan, I think Obama will have similar pull. Soothing delivery and optimistic message, as Reagan proved in 1976 and 1980, can get a political “actor” a long, long way in a time dominated by radio and TV.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 26, 2008 @ 11:19 am - February 26, 2008

  14. Again, sorry for the 2nd post

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 26, 2008 @ 11:23 am - February 26, 2008

  15. I dont like this new comments thingie.

    Comment by Vince P — February 26, 2008 @ 11:50 am - February 26, 2008

  16. MM, on the one hand, your comment echoes Dan’s points: that Obama has a good sound, a soothing delivery, but still isn’t a Reagan.  As you stated that point, "The DELIVERY is what is most similar [between Obama and Reagan].  Not the presence or absence of ideas…"  Just so!  And largely echoing what Dan argued.

    On the other hand, Dan made an argument you seem to disagree with.  Dan argued that unlike Obama, (1) Reagan "had actually accomplished something [as a 2-term Governor] before he ran for the White House."  And (2) Reagan actually had ideas: "The Gipper never denied his conservatism and ran on a set of principles he’d been championing for at least sixteen years."

    You seem to disagree with that.  Your comment’s drift would seem to be that (1) you don’t think Reagan accomplished anything before he ran and (2) you don’t think Reagan’s ideas had much importance – in addition to his optimistic presence and soothing delivery – in making people want to vote for him.  I notice you carefully repeat the past charges of Reagan’s politically-liberal critics, that Reagan was empty, blah blah blah.  Interesting choice.

    As your conclusion, you say this: "Soothing delivery and optimistic message, as Reagan proved in 1976 and 1980, can get a political ‘actor’ a long, long way in a time dominated by radio and TV."  Again: On one level, you echo what Dan said: Obviously, Obama is going a long way right now before our very eyes, on his "soothing delivery and optimistic message".  On another level, you imply there was nothing more to Reagan’s appeal to the American people than that; that, again, Reagan’s ideas and principles played little important part in his powerful appeal for the American people, an appeal that ultimately powered him not only to White House victory, but to a 12-year (counting Bush 41, "Reagan’s Third Term") Presidency that literally changed the world.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 12:21 pm - February 26, 2008

  17. P.S. So what’s my own point?  Well, I think that, for a President to be successful, principles and ideas are necessary: otherwise his Administration flails in the wind with each new poll, like Clinton’s did.  And I think Obama does have principles.  And his principles, unfortunately, are strongly leftist.  And, as Dan points out, he is sort of hiding them.  And that could play out a number of ways, as follows.  If Obama continues to offer the majority of Americans nothing on the level of ideas or principles – in addition to his wonderful, optimistic personality and soothing delivery – then no: His appeal probably won’t last through November.  He probably won’t close the sale.  And, if by some miracle he does, he probably won’t have a successful 8-year Presidency that literally changes the world.  Alternatively, if Obama does come out with his actual principles – and gets a majority of Americans to buy them – then he stands a better chance of winning, and of having a coherent Presidency that actually changes things.  But, unfortunately, since his principles will objectively be the wrong ones (i.e., leftist), he will change the world for the worse – not the better.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 12:29 pm - February 26, 2008

  18. So in short, my prediction is:

    (a) either Obama continues to offer the American people no principles / no ideas – and then has a hard time "closing the sale" and/or governing effectively; or

    (b) Obama starts revealing his and Michelle’s actual principles and ideas – and again (but for different reasons) then has a hard time "closing the sale" and/or governing effectively.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 12:33 pm - February 26, 2008

  19. I don’t think Obama is anything like Reagan, but I do think this moment is an awful lot like 1980.  A lot of people are very dissatisfied with how the people in charge of the government have been doing things and want a dramatic change.  It’s a movment.  Obama is just only the person who articulates what a lot of people were already thinking.  It’s not a cult.  That’s ridiculous.  People ARE excited.  It must be baffling to the right just as the Reagan phenom was baffling to the left.

    Comment by Houndentenor — February 26, 2008 @ 12:47 pm - February 26, 2008

  20. Then Houndentenor: Please tell us:

    (1) What Obama stands for.  In real terms.  Not "hope", "change", etc. – but ideas and policy changes.

    (2) What Obama has accomplished in the Senate.

    I think you will come up empty on the second question, and on the first question, you may have several items but it will all be boilerplate extreme / Ted Kennedy leftism.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 1:36 pm - February 26, 2008

  21. I agree that Obama is a good speaker but essentially an empty suit which many voters fill as they please.  This weakness could prove to be his Achille’s heel in November.  I may not care much for McCain but it will be interesting to see how the debates go when defense matters are brought up.  Obama will have to be more specific on that and other issues which may turn off enough voters.  It’s very difficult to say right now because there are a number of unknown variables in this race:

    1.  How many conservatives angry at McCain and the GOP will stay away, vote Obama or Independent?
    2.  How many Clintonistas angry at Obama’s insurgent campaign will stay away, vote Obama or Independent?
    3.  How many voters for all ends of the political spectrum will be drawn to Obama because of his race (i.e., wanting to see the first black president regardless of his stance on issues)?  How many will vote against him because of the opposite?

    Etc.

    I have no predictions for this race right now except that it may be a close one so turnout will be key.  Beats me who’s gonna win and I’m not sure I’ll be happy with either.  Right now I plan on holding my nose and voting for McCain, followed by copious drinking afterwards.

    Comment by John — February 26, 2008 @ 1:37 pm - February 26, 2008

  22. Sorry, I meant vote McCain in #2.

    Comment by John — February 26, 2008 @ 1:39 pm - February 26, 2008

  23. OT-but-related: Hillary wants to change the subject… to national security!

    She thinks she’s striking Obama at his weak point.  And she’s right. But given the fecklessness of the Clinton years, it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Furthermore : nothing would work better for Republicans in November than an election in which the conversation is about national security, and/or, Hillary is the opponent.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 1:47 pm - February 26, 2008

  24. Sorry, but there is little difference between Clinton and Obama, except with the way they each deliver their leftists, anti-American (a.k.a. blame America) message.  It’s rather scary how empty-headed sheep hear words like "hope" and "change", and think that’s worthy of being President.  This Obama character is charismatic alright – so was Hitler.  His glazed-eyed followers remind me of those in Jonestown, and we all know how that turned out. 

    Comment by LesbianNeoCon — February 26, 2008 @ 3:39 pm - February 26, 2008

  25. Another prediction / "delightful" thought for everyone:

    If Hillary loses to Obama this time, and if he in turn loses to McCain: Hillary is back in 2012.

    If Obama loses to Hillary this time, and if she in turn loses to McCain: Obama is back in 2012.

    And of course, one of them could beat McCain this year.  So, one way or another, America is stuck with a raving Saul Alinsky Marxist leading a major party for a long time.  Which is why I left the Democrats.  I saw this coming, when all the nuttiness jumped up a notch around, oh, 2003 or so.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 26, 2008 @ 11:38 pm - February 26, 2008

  26. I’m quite delighted that conservatives are quaking in their boots over the real possibility of Obama becoming president (something that clearly plausible with each passing day).  A few weeks ago I was visiting some relatives; most of whom are life-long, staunch Republicans, big donators, well-to-do, business owners, etc.  When talk turned to politics, I was astounded to hear them talk as if Obama had already been elected president.  The talk was not of how Republicans will keep the White House, but instead how Republicans will get along once a Democrat is president again.  As far as experience?  Well, 8 years ago and 4 years ago Republicans were happy to vote for a person who had not one distinguishable personal achievement on his own until his family surrounded him with political advisers so he could become governor of Texas.  Electing the president is clearly the great equalizer in this country as it is truly the only national office we vote for and the only real requirements are that you are at least 35 years old and US Born citizen.

    Comment by Kevin — February 27, 2008 @ 6:33 am - February 27, 2008

  27. Kevin exemplifies the spitefullness and divisive that runs through the heart of people on the Left.  He "delights" that his family members are stressed out.

    Doesnt’ say much about your character.. you brag about it?  You’re happy your family is unhappy.. just because of politics?

    Comment by Vince P — February 27, 2008 @ 6:50 am - February 27, 2008

  28. Vince, just so.  Further, Kevin misses the point of Dan’s post.  Eight years ago, Republicans elected a fairly successful 2-term Governor… and a man who openly revealed his principles.  Kevin has conceded that, but in twisted language to disguise the fact.

    As for whether Obama – or Hillary – will be elected President: We’re living in a strange historical moment.  Bush has been a success in protecting America from further terrorist attack – ironically making security recede as an issue.  Meanwhile, lots of Americans want something for nothing – a premise Bush has gone along with or allowed to spread, with his big-spending domestic policies – rather than challenging.  Big Government really doesn’t work, but many Americans have forgotten that, or never learned.  There is a "Bush hangover" to be gone through here – just not the one his opponents would think.  One basically-healthy constant in American politics is the alternation of parties.  After 4, 8 or 12 years, for better or worse, the other side gets a chance.  It’s healthy for the system, in the long run.  So maybe a Democrat – a female Clinton, or a young and half-African version of Jimmy Carter / Michael Dukakis- will be elected this year.  Or not.  We’ll see.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 27, 2008 @ 8:49 am - February 27, 2008

  29. ILC offers: "P.S. So what’s my own point?" 

    It’s a question I ask about your comments often, ILC.  (wink)

    Thanks for re-restating my statements but the point I was making is simple enough for a 1st grader to get: Obama and Reagan are similar in more than a few respects… first, in the delivery of the message; second, in the optimism of the message.  A third might be in the message being about change as a political therapy for what ails America (and the world, if Obama’s extension is allowed).  Fourth might be in staying focused on broad themes like hope for a better America than becoming a policy wonk and debating which percentage of the GNP should go to govt.

    And, there are more.  Like the teflon coating that surrounded RonnieR seems to "suit up" (no pun) Obama with something like perfect protection from tough questions by the media or –to use pres-hopeful WallyMondale’s line against prez-hopeless GaryHart: "Where’s the Beef?" after Hart continued to toss out platitudes and warm, fuzzy rhetoric throughout Iowa and NHampshire in 84.

    It’d be interesting to compare further how Obama is like RonnieR.  They aren’t the same in political philospohies, of course.  I think the McCain campaign will point out how liberalLeft Obama truly is… and how he is NOT a compromising, non-partisan, bridge-building politician when the battle ensues this fall.  But that’s for later.

    I first heard Reagan speak at a CPAC meeting back in 1974 (yeah, I was a kid).  My Dad took me to introduce me to a bunch of returning POWs featured at that mtg–John McCain, Wm Lawrence and I forget the name of the other soldier.

    It was a moving dinner/presentation.  My Dad and an unlce were pointing out how Reagan was working the room, deftly using the POW warriors as pawns in his own political gambit, etc.

    Obama and Reagan share more than a little in common when it comes to how people perceive them or receive their message(s).  I’m sorry that Reaganauts fail to apprehend what these "great communicators" have in common because, in that understanding, lies a richer, more fully developed appreciation of the threat Obama poses and the uniqueness that was RonnieR.

    It’s not the words.  It’s not the ideas.  It’s the delivery and the optimism inherent in the message that begins the comparison of Reagan and Obama.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 27, 2008 @ 10:09 am - February 27, 2008

  30. Just cutting and pasting:

    Of the 15 bills Senator Obama sponsored or co-sponsored in 2005-7 that became law:

    Two addressed foreign policy
    Three addressed public health
    Two addressed openness and accountability in government
    Two addressed national security
    One addressed the needs of the Armed Forces

    Of the 570 bills Senator Obama introduced into the Senate during the 109th and 110th Congress they can be summarized as follows:

    25 addressed Energy Efficiency and Climate Change
    21 addressed Health Care
    20 addressed Public Health
    14 address Consumer Protection/Labor
    13 addressed the Needs of Veterans and the Armed Forces
    12 addressed Congressional Ethics and Accountability
    10 addressed Foreign Policy
    9 address Voting/Elections
    11 addressed Education
    6 addressed Hurricane Katrina
    5 addressed the Environment
    4 addressed Discrimination
    4 addressed Homeland Security

    Don’t accept the lie that Obama hasn’t accomplished anything in the Senate.  Bush didn’t really accomplish anything as Governor of Texas (besides running up a deficit).  Besides, the bar for president is so low that almost anyone seems better than what we’ve had for the last eight years.  I realize some here would disagree, but his numbers are very low and it’s the widespread opinion.  (And judging from my email, even among some of the Republicans here *cough no names* who considered voting for Kerry in 2004 because he had done such a bad job.)

    Comment by Houndentenor — February 27, 2008 @ 11:07 am - February 27, 2008

  31. Houndentenor, hate to say it, but you haven’t listed an accomplishment of Obama’s.  "Co-sponsor" means nothing.  "A bill that addressed", means nothing.  The least effective member of the Senate (if it isn’t Obama) could cite the same statistics.  Is there a single piece of legislation in your list, that could not have happened without Obama being the key driver of it?  If so – What did it accomplish?

    And since you try to raise a side issue (changing the subject?) of Bush’s poll numbers: You may as well note also that Bush’s poll numbers, while "low" by your standards, are still approximately double the Democratic Congress’s.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 27, 2008 @ 11:43 am - February 27, 2008

  32. but the point I was making is simple enough for a 1st grader to get: Obama and Reagan are similar in more than a few respects… first, in the delivery of the message; second, in the optimism of the message… [etc.]…

    And as I had noted: points Dan acknowledged in his original argument. Which means you, Dan and I all agree on something. Miracles!

    Another miracle, MM: You didn’t just try to smear me this time! ;-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 27, 2008 @ 11:54 am - February 27, 2008

  33. ILC, I frankly give up.  It is so important to your own sense of self-worth to claim victory where none is needed, nor none exists… then you go ahead.  But it isn’t a miracle in anyone’s book but your own.

    Dan and Noonan and, by your fawning fatuousness, are wrong to discount the parallels between Reagan and Obama.

    And for the smear angle, I loved your little zinger of trying to tie me to "Reagan’s liberal critics" earlier… you never can stop in your one-man march, can you?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 27, 2008 @ 2:45 pm - February 27, 2008

  34. There it is!  MM, thank you for letting me know I made my point.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 27, 2008 @ 5:42 pm - February 27, 2008

  35. Folks, a stellar Obama quote from the other night’s debate:

    "As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests."

    Note the twisted formulation. Not "As commander in chief, I will always look out for American interests." But rather, Obama will reserve the right to look out for American interests. You know. What he normally *won’t* be doing. But might do. If the polls  say so. Or he feels like it, one morning.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 28, 2008 @ 12:27 am - February 28, 2008

  36. You are welcome, ILC, I’m glad the least secure member of this thread can now feel a little more secure in his self-proclaimed victories and miracles.

    Do you think it really matters?  LOL.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2008 @ 9:37 am - February 28, 2008

  37. Keep treading water, MM ;-)  Or offer more insults if you want; you know I like knowing that you don’t change.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 28, 2008 @ 11:33 am - February 28, 2008

  38. ILC, the whole ThreadNanny thing you love to play with dramatic flourish has gotten kind of old.  Can you find a new act; please!

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2008 @ 8:51 pm - February 28, 2008

  39. Keep treading that water, MM ;-) How about still more insults, personal smears, etc.?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 28, 2008 @ 9:17 pm - February 28, 2008

  40. ILC, wow… you play that victim role really well.

    I think a quick review of the thread (isn’t that actually YOUR role given that you think of yourself as a ThreadNanny) would show you started the insults with the little zinger I noted above… I think before you climb up on the soapbox and try preaching to your imaginary fawning crowd, you’d want to be sure you didn’t start the insults flowing.

    Nice try, tho, at playing the victim.  You’ve fooled more here than that stunt has gotten you on other blogs.  Kudos for to a well played victim.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 29, 2008 @ 8:53 am - February 29, 2008

  41. Mmmmmm….. nutty insults!  More please! :-)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 29, 2008 @ 1:08 pm - February 29, 2008

  42. By the way, I do have to clear up one thing for the record.

    You’ve fooled more here than that stunt has gotten you on other blogs.

    No idea what you’re talking about there, champ. What "other blogs"? Please do tell.

    Because, you see, I almost never comment on any other blog. Well, a week or two ago when Gay Patriot had all that down time, I made a couple comments on Independent Gay Forum. But that’s it.  So please spill whatever allegations you have in mind, MM.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 1, 2008 @ 11:35 am - March 1, 2008

  43. 27:  No, I’m happy that the person I’m planning on voting for is very much a real and viable candidate for president.
    28:  Oh, I’m laughing so hard yet again, I’m moved to tears.  Aside from being elected governor of Texas because of the political advisors with which his family surrounded him, what personal achievement did Bush ever attain on his own?  And if being proud of your own idiocy is a principle then yes, he has given us that in spades.

    Comment by Kevin — March 2, 2008 @ 12:46 am - March 2, 2008

  44. 43:  27:  No, I’m happy that the person I’m planning on voting for is very much a real and viable candidate for president.

    Well that’s good.  It would be futile if the person you were going to vote for was not a candidate.

    Comment by Vince P — March 2, 2008 @ 12:00 pm - March 2, 2008

  45. [...] online that I found his remarks frequently empty and often evasive.  Just like Peggy Noonan observed.  When you see him speak, you come away impressed, but when you read the words, you found [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » There’s Something about Barry — March 19, 2008 @ 7:43 pm - March 19, 2008

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.