(H/t: Hot Air)
Archives for September 18, 2009
Drudge linked earlier today to a YouTube video of a protester at an Obama
campaign stop town hall meeting yelling a-la Joe Wilson “You Lie!” and being drowned out by hoots and yells. Eventually he’s led out of the arena by security, all the while suffering the slings and arrows of the sheep there to hear Big Brother pronounce. The spectacle is uncomfortable. The lone man speaking truth to power, the seemingly glazed-over adorers of The One mercilessly thrashing him (and even stealing his hat at one point) on his way out. Kinda pathetic. Here it is, but before you view it, take a second and carefully listen to what the president is saying:
Notice anything curious? Well, as in any
campaign stop health care discussion, it’s a boilerplate speech that’s delivered over and over to audiences regardless of the venue. And yes, you heard the same lame story about the masectomy lady from Texas last week during the president’s stump speech address to the Joint Session of Congress. Here’s what’s actually curious about it: He’s still using it even though it’s a lie.
The woman’s testimony at the June 16 hearing confirms that her surgery was delayed several months. It also suggests that the dermatologist’s chart may have described her skin condition as precancerous, that the insurer also took issue with an apparent failure to disclose an earlier problem with an irregular heartbeat, and that she knowingly underreported her weight on the application.
Keep on-a lyin’, Mr. President. The old-school media sure as hell ain’t going to call you on it. Sheesh.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)
(P.S., I’m leaving out this doozy: “We are the only nation on earth that leaves millions of people without health insurance.” I’ll give it that he either
misread the teleprompter misspoke or was just being a drama queen.)
Given the attempts by many on the left to discredit opponents of Obamacare by tarring them as racists, it does seem so many people are so fixated on race that they assume anyone objecting to the policies of a black politician must needs be racist. And yet, as America moves away from the ugly legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, more and more of us have come to share the vision of Dr. King’s great dream that we be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.
Still, however, all too many remain fixated not just on the color of our skin, but on any identifying characteristic which separates us from the “norm.” And perhaps because that characteristic put us in a disfavored class, we reply by becoming proud of our difference.
With gay people, the pride replaces the shame previous generations thoughts about our difference. Perhaps, had I come of age a decade or so before I did, I might feel proud to be gay, but I don’t. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s just part of who I am. One characteristic among many.
I got to thinking about this notion again when I was reading Tom Maguire’s commentary on the hullabaloo over a recent Rush Limbaugh parody (inspired by a Newsweek article on race). He offers an excerpt from the piece:
That leads to the question that everyone wonders but rarely dares to ask. If “black pride” is good for African-American children, where does that leave white children? It’s horrifying to imagine kids being “proud to be white.”
So, I wondered why we still dwell on such notions of ethnic pride. It is a good thing to be aware of our heritage and the traditions and accomplishments of our forebears and peers. But, sometimes it seems the notion of pride causes us to dwell on the identity of which we are proud and make it the very focus of our being.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Young Padawan offers: “It’s interesting the idea that once what separated people was the shame of being different but now it’s changed to the pride of being different.”
Via Megan McArdle, I learn of another self-important utterance from Andrew Sullivan. Where I once had read his blog on a regular basis, now I only learn of his thoughts when I chance across them in posts by conservative and, as in the current case, libertarian bloggers. This time, Andrew misrepresents both conservatives and the reasons the “conservative coalition” no longer embraces him:
Unlike many of these tea-partiers and their supporters, I actually took on the Bush administration’s big government tendencies, fiscal recklessness and massive expansion of executive power at the time (and was largely cast out of the conservative coalition as a result). I opposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit as unaffordable – and no one can argue that what looks like the current healthcare reform would cripple future finances as profoundly as that Bush entitlement.
I’ll leave it to McArdle for a much defter analysis of legislation than I could ever offer of Andrew’s last point. (Read her post; it’s quite good.) Like her, indeed, like many conservatives, I opposed the prescription drug benefit.
But, Andrew is wrong to suggest he was “cast out” of the conservative coalition for standing up to Bush’s “fiscal recklessness.” Only in his own imagination (and that of a number of left-wingers) were all conservatives complicit in and supportive of Bush’s domestic spending spree.
Indeed, in a matter of 30 minutes in April, I came up with a list of ten posts (9 from 2006 alone) where we criticized the GOP on spending in Bush Era. And we were far from alone. Bloggers like Stephen Green, R.S. McCain, Dan Riehl and Glenn Reynolds (to name the four whose names come most readily to mind) took Bush to task in the same manner Andrew once did. Not to mention the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal.
I’m sure our readers with little thought and a few quick keystrokes can come up with even more. [Read more…]
One of the truly great thinkers of the right, Irving Kristol, died in Washington at the age of 89. Known as the “godfather” of neo-conservatism, his ideas influenced many on the right, including yours truly.
Had more people understood his ideas, neo-conservatism would be in better repute.
Our sympathy goes out to his widow, the distinguished historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, his son Wiliam Kristol, his daughter Elizabeth.
AFTERTHOUGHT: He, like my great Aunt Ruth Friedman died on Erev Roshanah, the last day of the Jewish year. May we take the memory of his good deeds and great ideas with us into the new year.
John Podhoretz offers a wonderful tribute to this great man at Commentary Contentions.
Welcome Instapundit Readers! Thanks readers for catching the mega-typo in the first paragraph, since fixed. Yes, I did mean, “blue” states.
One of the reasons I’ve been bullish on Republican chances against incumbent Democratic Senators in such red blue states as California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin in next fall’s elections, not to mention purple states like Colorado and Nevada (as well as red states like North Dakota) is that in 1992 and 1996, Ross Perot ran better in each state (save California and Colorado in 1996) than he did nationwide. Indeed, in 1992, he ran above 20% in all of those states, capturing nearly one-quarter of the vote in Colorado, Oregon and Washington and exceeding that mark in Nevada.
To be sure, demographics have changed somewhat in the intervening years, but the primary appeal of Perot’s campaign, deficits spiraling out of control, remains salient, given the recent expansion in the federal government undertaken by President Obama and the 111th Congress.
And while I have shared this theory with friends, I have yet to blog on it. Steve Chapman (via Glenn) beat me to the punch in an excellent column on the renewed relevance of the “short, crew-cut scold with a thick twang and a cranky manner“:
. . . his complaints about Washington’s chronic overspending struck a chord with the public. A few months before the election, he was leading both incumbent George H.W. Bush and challenger Bill Clinton in the polls.
Despite Perot’s loss, Chapman believes (and I agree)
His candidacy was not for nothing. It created a new awareness of a risky fiscal policy that, in Perot’s words, was “robbing future generations.” It caused Americans to consider whether fiscal indiscipline was defensible on either economic or moral terms. And it sowed the legitimate fear that deficits would be fatal to prosperity. . . .
Obama’s expensive ambitions have brought the issue back to center stage. He vows to cut the deficit in half. But under his budget blueprint, the government would accumulate some $7 trillion in new debt over the next decade.
With the deficit issue back at center stage, those Perot voters (and their younger ideological kin concerned about their future) will think twice before voting for the incumbent party this fall. And they may, as they did in 1994, vote for Republican congressional candidates in 2010. In Washington State which has not gone Republican in a presidential election since the Reagan landslide of 1984, voters elected Republicans to fill 7 of their 9 House seats.
A wave similar to the, which removed the then-Democratic House Speaker from his Spokane-based seat in eastern Washington, could surely topple Patty Murray.
With the spending/deficit issue continuing to gain traction, Republicans could benefit merely by being the party out of power. The idea which rallied many to the cantankerous Texan could well rally many against the party of the righteous Illinoisian.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Liberty Jane writes (and I pretty much agree), “The Republicans have to embrace a non-establishment candidate. (Something of a non-career politician — someone who has done other things in his or her life).” There’s lots more good stuff in the comments, so I encourage y’all to peruse them and consider the responses. Delighted that my post generated such thoughtful discussion.
toad echoes the point of my post in his succinct remarks:
The interesting thing is not Ross Perot or some other third party candidate but the issue Perot raised. If someone(s) on the Republican side would/could emphasize it it in the same way that Perot did, it could cost the Democrats dearly in 2010.
I’m assuming he means the deficit.
While the percentage of Americans identifying as Democrats has been in steady decline since President Obama’s inauguration, the number of Republicans has remained virtually unchanged. To be sure, there has been a substantial increase in Republican-leaning independents (and a considerable decrease in Democratic-leaning independents).
The trend lines for the GOP among independents provide a sign of hope for the party, but not yet where they need to be if the party wants to recapture the congressional majority next year (which, I believe, remains within the realm of possibility). The key issue for Republicans, as shown in that Gallup poll cited above, is why those independents leaning to the GOP have not yet declared themselves Republicans. (Maybe it’s only a question of time. Maybe it’s ideas.
And we need figure out how we can get those Democrats leaving their party to join the GOP.
They should start by sitting down with California Assemblyman John Arambula (I-Fresno). Initially elected as a Democrat, Arambula, “the son of migrant farmworkers,” had been a thorn in the side of party leaders. In 2006, “then-Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez ordered Arambula to move into the Assembly’s ‘doghouse,’ a shoe-box-sized Capitol office often reserved for lawmakers in disfavor with their party’s leader.”
He has been most at odds with his former party over budget issues, refusing to vote for additional revenues until legislators “had done everything we can to reduce (state government) costs.” He has also faulted Democratic legislators for having to run everything by public employee unions. Like a certain successful Democratic presidential candidate, he’s expressed concern about the influence of special interests, but unlike that politician, he doesn’t seem to be beholden to them.
Still, he refuses to identify as a Republican. And before he retires from public service next year, Republicans need to find out why. Perhaps, it is his willingness to raise taxes should lawmakers make spending cuts. Perhaps, it’s something else.
At least in talking to him, Republicans can learn what the party needs to do to attract men like him, dissatisfied with the direction his former party has been taking.
Given the high percentage of Americans who are satisfied with the current health care, it’s no wonder that polls have repeatedly shown (at least since this summer) that we prefer the status quo to the various health care plans proposed by President Obama and the Democrats. In July, Rasmussen found that a plurality opposed health care reforms which would require a tax hike (as does the Baucus plan which emerged earlier this week, with a solid majority disapproving if the reforms would change their current plan:
Given a choice between health care reform and a tax hike or no health care reform and no tax hike, 47% would prefer to avoid the tax hike and do without reform. Forty-one percent (41%) take the opposite view.
The opposition is stronger when asked about a choice between health care reform that would require changing existing health insurance coverage or no health care reform and no change from current coverage. In that case, voters oppose reform by a 54% to 32% margin.
A new FoxNews poll offers a similar result:
More Americans would rather Congress do nothing than pass Obama’s plan: 46 percent to 37 percent of people polled say they prefer the current health care system to the one the president has proposed.
Not just that, “more people oppose — 48 percent — the health care reform legislation being considered right now than favor it — 38 percent.” Interestingly, this poll seems to skew more pro-Obama than the most recent Gallup poll, with Fox showing the President enjoyed a 54 percent approval rating while Gallup pegs him at 51. [Read more…]
Oftentimes, in L.A., you’ll see an aging Volvo or a new Prius sporting a “Free Tibet” bumper sticker, often alongside a sticker promoting a Democratic candidate or left-wing cause. It seems the many Buddhists in this town ally themselves (at least politically) with the other left-wing denizens of this burg.
Wonder how they’ll react when they read this (if the media bothers to report it):
A new low: Obama refuses to meet with the Dalai Lama to avoid offending the Chinese, gaining the distinction as the only one to break the string of presidential visits dating back to George H.W. Bush. Does he really imagine that the Chinese will give him brownie points for this? Apparently, setting off a trade war over tires is fine (well, Big Labor wanted it), but a visit with the Dalai Lama is too great a “risk” for Obama. You can’t say his priorities aren’t clear.
This is as bad as one of the biggest blunders of the Ford Administration.
Commenting on Obama’s refusal, Michael Goldfarb offers:
Instead of standing up for human rights, cultural autonomy, and the long-suffering Tibetan people, Obama kowtowed to Beijing. Maybe if his name were Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Assad, Tibet’s leader could get a White House meeting.
In May 2005, trying to back away from his statement earlier that year that he hated “Republicans and everything they stand for,” then-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean claimed those remarks were “a little out of context.” He then went on to tell us what he really hated:
But I don’t hate Republicans as individuals. But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I really do. I hate deficits, as you know. When I was governor, I really was very tough on fiscal responsibility. Deficits in the long run aren’t good for the country, and they do lower our standard of living. Every American family knows that you have to pay your bills. I hate the dishonesty, you know, the idea that you’d put a program through Congress without telling people what it costs, I think that’s wrong.
Now, that it’s his party is racking up record deficits, I wonder if the former Vermont Governor still harbors such an animus against deficit spending. And while President Obama may be telling us how much the proposed health care overhaul costs, he, well, hasn’t really explained how he plans on paying for it. Wonder if Mr. Dean finds that dishonest or just plain disingenuous. Or whether it’s okay now that the Democrats are doing it.
Please note the chart below. When Mr. Dean told Americans he hated deficits, we were on the gray side of the chart. Now, we’re on the red (the White House having last month altered its estimate. meaning we should remove the pink).
Maybe the bigger deficits get, the less Mr. Dean hates them.