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Obama creates false choices to exacerbate political divisions

One of our readers observed a Facebook phenomenon among his (liberal) friends that applies to mine as well:

Getting a lot of posts about how sexy the President was singing an Al Greene song. It’s all I can do not to comment how much more sexy he will be when he is the ex-President.

The song, as I noted in a previous post, is all about staying together.   Our friends on the left have crafted this image of Obama as a unifier with their primary evidence being his speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004.  (They conveniently ignore his voting record in the U.S. Senate and his rhetorical outbursts and public statements at odds with his rhetorical flourishes and campaign-created public image.)

Today, Charlie Spiering at the Washington Examiner provided further evidence that the incumbent president seeks to win reelection not by pushing us to stay together, but by creating false choices to tear us apart.  At a campaign fundraiser in New York, he told supporters (including disgraced Congressman Charles Rangel) “that Republicans are more radical than ever“:

The Republicans in Congress, the candidates running for President, they’ve got a very specific idea about where they want to take this country. . . .   They want to reduce the deficit by gutting our investments in education, by gutting our investments in research and technology, by letting our roads and our bridges and our airports deteriorate.

If a Republican president leveled those kind of allegations against his partisan adversaries, our friends in the legacy media would submit his charges to a fact check.

RELATED: More demagoguery from the divider

A certain liberal aversion to discourse/criticism

Ever since college, I have blessed with friends and teachers holding political views opposed to my own.  My favorite political science professor in college was — and remains — a Marxist.  One of my favorite professors in law school has since become one of the leading liberal jurist in the country.

These professors, like many liberals, strive to respond to conservative arguments without insulting the person making them or questioning his motives or his awareness of current events.   They know that people can hold viewpoints different from their own and arrive at them through legitimate means.

All too often, however, we conservatives find that whenever we articulate a politically incorrect viewpoint or express considered opposition to the incumbent administration, our left-of-center interlocutors express incredulity that a supposedly intelligent individual could say such things.  A woman who overheard a visiting reader and I criticizing the president at a Los Angeles restaurant, turned around to accuse us of racism.  She later relented in her rebuke when I explained why the incumbent has failed (she had actually thought the Democrat had cut the federal budget!).

And then there are the reactions when we dare take issue with articles my left-of-center friends link — or arguments they make — on Facebook.  Today, when I said the president’s campaign theme was at odds with a much-linked (by lefties) video of the Democrat singing a song about staying together, dubbing Obama a divider, this friend all but cut and paste the response of other liberal friends when I call a liberal shibboleth into question:  “just because one sees it on fox does not make it true.”  Some, to be sure, call the news network, “FauxNews” (and think they’re so clever in doing so).

Which all leads to the question (repeatedly asked):  why are so many supposedly intelligent people so ready to dismiss opposing arguments without even considering them — and remain ready as well to attack the ideas’ advocates.

Lessons from “The Waiting Place” of LA Traffic

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:36 pm - January 20, 2012.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

Perhaps the main reason I posted my rant yesterday on my travails of LA traffic was because they had so drained me of the creative that had nourished me previously in the day. After dashing out my Iron Lady post, I just couldn’t focus.  And that lack of focus caused me to wonder about the town I now call home and the industry I once aspired to join.

My first thought was about the nature of inspiration–how, for example, the movie Falling Down came to be. Had a writer, delayed on his way to a meeting, thought to just turn off his car and just storm away? Perhaps he related that thought to a producer. And that fellow said he had experienced the same thing. The story grew from there, with that experience, being stuck in traffic, becoming the spark that ignites all a man’s festering frustrations.

My second thought related to the woman I had seen the previous day, throwing a temper tantrum at a gas station. Did she work in the industry? Had she been so frustrated by traffic? Had it turned her creative energies from imagination into aggravation? Could traffic account for the decline of originality in Hollywood? (On a personal note, I love driving cross country because there’s something about traveling the open road which fosters creativity; stop-and-go traffic, on the other hand, seems to have the exact opposite effect.)

Finally, as I cooled down, I thought of LA traffic as a metaphor for life. Sometimes you’re stuck in what Dr. Seuss dubbed “The Waiting Pace“. And you make yourself better equipped to face the frustrations in life in the attitude you adopt to facing the frustration of waiting in LA traffic where your life seems on hold — and opportunities seemingly distant and difficult to reach.

Satisfaction with big government at all-time low

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 pm - January 20, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,We The People

Gallup releases yet another poll showing just how of touch is the incumbent President of the United States with the general tenor of the American people.  According to a Gallup poll released yesterday:

Americans’ satisfaction with the size and power of the federal government is at a record-low 29% and their satisfaction with the size and influence of major corporations remains near the all-time low at 30% — making both highly susceptible targets for politicians and presidential candidates in this election year.

Even Democrats are only barely satisfied with the size and power of the federal government, with 49% satisfied and 47% dissatisfied.

Given the dissatisfaction with big corporations, it is important for Republicans to stress that ours is the party of free enterprise not of big business — and that it is Democratic policies which most benefit big business. Reducing regulation decreases the cost of compliance with government mandates, making it easier for smaller firms to thrive in the marketplace — and requiring bigger companies to invest less in lobbying and more in innovation.

Free markets do not necessarily benefit big business.  And Republicans need make that clear on the campaign trail.

RELATED: Obama running as unabashed corporatist

Newt surging* because he’s standing up to legacy media

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - January 20, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Media Bias

I have yet to watch a single debate, learning about them only through blog reports, on-line transcripts and Youtube clips. I don’t think the format is conducive to a serious discussion of the issues and believe you can learn more about a candidate by considering his record and reviewing his platform.

Having interned for Newt, I come away with two opinions about the man, one a great appreciation, the other a serious concern.  The former Speaker is truly a man of ideas, a visionary, as Rick Perry put it in his endorsement.  He is sharp on the stump and determined in debates, yet he is also full of himself, convinced of his world-historical mission, much like the man he seeks to replace.

He has been surging of late in the polls not so much because of his ideas, but because he alone of the candidates has been standing up to the media.  Just from reading Facebook, I can see how excited my conservatives friends are about how he zinged John King for bringing up his marital issues (more of that distraction journalism–folks like King can’t complain about the state of our political discourse, they’re promoting it).

Standing to the media does not, however, equal the capacity to lead the nation and serve in an executive capa.  Stirring rhetoric, as we have learned these past three years, does not equate to executive competence.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I cannot support for former boss for the Republican nomination — even as I understand and appreciate his appeal.  It’s about time a prominent figure challenged the media head-on.

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