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So, you think Obama’s a pragmatist?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:30 pm - September 29, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Obama Worship & Indoctrination

Every now and again, I’ll say something in a comment which, on further reflection, I believe, deserves greater prominence on this blog.  Such was my remark to a critic’s point that during the 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Hillary was very much seen as the real liberal by her followers, with Obama as the pragmatist rather than the ideologue

An interesting comment to offer about a woman who, despite her shrill rhetoric as First Lady, earned the respect and forged working relationships with Republicans in the course of her tenure in the United States Senate.  And I can’t think of any partnerships the Illinois Democrat formed with Republican that led to the enactment of significant reforms during his tenure in that legislative body.  Such is what pragmatists do (work with partisan rivals to craft major legislation).  Indeed, his voting record was to the left even of Mrs. Clinton.

A pragmatist would have a record of brokering deals between the parties and would have a voting record, if not to the center of the Senate as a whole, at least to that of his partisan caucus. Barack Obama didn’t even have much of a record of forging compromises during his eight years in the Illinois Senate.

Were he truly a pragmatist, right now, he would be sitting down today with partisans on both sides of the health care debate, trying to forge a compromise palatable to the various interests.  Instead, he has adopted a hands-off approach, outsourcing the deliberation to Democrats in Congress.  Which brings me to the comment I made which, I believe, deserves greater attention:

. . . to call Obama a pragmatist is to rely on his campaign rhetoric as a source of information [while ignoring] his voting record in the [Illinois and United States] Senate and his actions as President.

UPDATE: One more thing, would a pragmatist push legislation for a health care overhaul when the American people were increasingly turning against his proposals.

So, that’s why they call it “climate change”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:59 pm - September 29, 2009.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming)

This sure doesn’t sound like global warming:  U.S. Northeast May Have Coldest Winter in a Decade.

(H/t:  Instapundit)

The Presumption of the Know-it-All Left
Demanding conservatives apologize for rhetoric on the right,
they regularly ignore (if not excuse) on the left

In his various comments to my post, The conservative violence in left-wingers’ heads, william (sic) makes much of the failure of conservatives to denounce the rabid rhetoric of a handful of right-wing extremists.  As he wrote in commenting to a previous post,

Take some moral responsibility for the violent rhetoric of your movement. Maybe if more people on the right actually had the conscience or guts to call out the hyperbole and extremism within their own movement, the rest of the world wouldn’t have to. And it’s not just the left-wing that wonders if you’re all a bunch of foaming crazies, it’s mainstream America that is getting scared of the rage you and your leaders are trafficking in. For most decent Americans, the rabid vitriol and arms-bearing at the August tea-tantrums was unsettling and repugnant . . . .

First, his assumption about mainstream America are far off the mark, with Republicans polling better at the beginning of September than they were at the end of July, and with public support for the President’s health care plans (the issue which go so many of the supposedly foaming crazies so agitated this summer) plummeting.

Second, why is it that conservatives need to denounce the “hyperbole and extremism” of a handful of fringe activists (and one occasionally loose-lipped talk show host), when Democrats and liberals seemed somehow relieved of that obligation during the 1990s?

william is not alone, indeed, he is representative of a certain strand in left-wing thought (see, e.g., left-wing blogs) thundering about conservatives’ silence in the face of angry rhetoric on the right.  And throughout the first eight years of this decade, some of this very same left-wingers remained silent or actively engaged in the same sort of rhetoric they now denounce.

But it takes some presumption for a left-winger to demand that we do so, particularly if he can provide no evidence that he denounced his name-calling fellow travelers who protested so loudly, so angrily, marching alongside those carrying posters advocating violence against the President when a Republican served in the White House.

Comparing the President to Hitler, something that currently gets william et al. so incensed?  A staple of anti-Bush protests (and blog posts) from 2002 onward.  Perhaps I might take his feigned outrage at conservative silence in the face of hateful rhetoric from a handful of extremist more seriously if he could provide evidence that he and liberal bloggers regularly denounced the regular expressions of anti-Bush vitriol and frequent advocacy of violence at left-wing protests in the George W. Bush era. (more…)

When has government intervention increased private sector competition?

Politico reports this morning that “supporters [of the public option] are working hard this week to bring it back, against the odds, with a series of high-profile votes in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.”  While various Democrats are sending mixed signals about whether or not the final bill will include this option, the President clearly wants it in, having told Univision, “I absolutely do not believe that it’s dead.”

Now, oftentimes when I debate health care reform with friends and talk about my experiences getting health care, I tell them that what we need is more competition.  And many of my liberal friends, those most familiar with the Democrats’ talking points quickly reply that, well, that’s what we need a public option.

And that leads to my invariable reply, “When has a government program lead to increased competition, especially one that involves a government entity offering the same product as one already available in the private sector?”

My interlocutors are clearly unaware of the combination of provisions in the proposed health care bills which push people toward the public option (penalties making it cheaper for private companies to drop health care coverage, the requirement that people buy an “accceptable” plan, the government’s ability to offer cheaper plans, given that it is not subject to market forces.)

Not since Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting policies of  the first part of the last century perhaps has any government policy served to increase the number of businesses in a given industry offering goods and services.  With more private sector enterprises able to compete, they struggle to offer the best product at the best price so as to increase their market share (and profit margin). As a result, we see lower prices and increased innovation.

That’s what we need to see in health insurance, private companies freer to offer a diverse array of coverage and not just packages acceptable to the federal government.

Hey America! How’s That Stimulus Working Out For Ya?

Oh, not so good I see

nyt-jobratio-big

That’s a shame since your children and grandchildren are going to be paying off the $787B price tag for decades to come.

If they can even afford to pay taxes that is.

UPDATE: Here’s some more good news (*cough*) in the Era of Hopeandchange.

The number of young Americans without a job has exploded to 52.2 percent — a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. — meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time.

The number represents the flip-side to the Labor Dept.’s report that the employment rate of 16-to-24 year olds has eroded to 47.83 percent — the lowest ratio of working young Americans in that age group, including all but those in the military, since WWII.

And worse, without a clear economic recovery plan aimed at creating entry-level jobs, the odds of many of these young adults — aged 16 to 24, excluding students — getting a job and moving out of their parents’ houses are long. Young workers have been among the hardest hit during the current recession — in which a total of 9.5 million jobs have been lost.

Why do I find it increasingly funny sad that those most supportive of Obama in 2008 were young people and those making over $250,000.  Now they are the ones most likely to get shafted.  LOL. Boo hoo hoo.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)