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Why does Obama tend to assume the worst about his critics*?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - March 18, 2012.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Dividing Us

In her post on Friday about President Obama’s speech on energy this past Wednesday, Commentary’s Alana Goodman notes that the Democrat “received some well-deserved mockery for his factually inaccurate swipes at President Rutherford B. Hayes (yes, really) and Christopher Columbus’s contemporaneous critics”, but also finds that his remarks in the speech reveal more about the man than just his historical ignorance:

In Obama’s mind, his critics aren’t just wrong, they’re idiots. Obama, in contrast, is a grand visionary of epic capacity – the type of man who in the past would have ended up on Mt. Rushmore or captaining the voyage that led to the discovery of America.

In that address, the Democrat compared his opponents to flat-earthers and other Luddites throughout history who opposed new technologies.  What Obama failed to mention was that many of his opponents are not opposed per se to the new green technologies he touts, but to using federal subsidies to promote them.

Since he was talking about the telephone, perhaps he should have inquired into Alexander Graham Bell’s sources of funding.  Did that inventor ask for a federal grant so he could continue his research?

Mr. Obama might learn something by reading about a technology pioneer who supported his 2008 campaign.

In his biography of the Apple Founder, Walter Isaacson provides no evidence that that entrepreneur ever sought funding from the federal government (or indeed from any state government).  Fortunately, for that Californian, the federal government hadn’t regulated the computer industry in the 1970s and ’80s as it now regulates the field of energy development.

And there seems to be no evidence that Mr. Obama ever accused Steve Jobs of belonging to the Flat Earth Society.

* (more…)

Is Obama’s silence on Bill Maher’s misogynistic slurs cowardly?

Just caught this from David Axelrod:

Everyone should have stood up and said this was inappropriate as apparently many of Maher’s supporters now have said it was inappropriate.

I was kind of shocked, Anderson, when President Obama, all he had — all he had to say about the thing was, well, that isn’t language I would have used. What about the spirit of what was said? I thought that was a cowardly answer and it was a test of leadership and one that he failed.

. . . .

So I don’t excuse any of it. Now I will say this. There are very few entertainers who are as outspoken in attacking Republicans as Bill Maher does so regularly on his shown. I think one of the reasons why President Obama and others were so timid in speaking out is because Maher is the de facto spokesman for the Democratic Party, so to take him on would be to risk your own standing within the party’s left-wing base. And so that separates him from the others.

Oh, wait, sorry, I just substituted Maher for Rush, President Obama for Governor Romney and Democrat for Republican (with a few other minor changes to improve the flow).

Meanwhile, Axelrod still keeps making excuses for Maher who has yet to apologize for his “inappropriate” language–as Rush has done.  The president couldn’t even bring himself to criticize Maher as Romney criticized Rush, not even in allegedly anodyne language Axelrod called cowardly.

If Romney’s response were cowardly, then Obama’s was more so (by Axelrod’s standard).

Indeed, in his news conference, the Democrat dodged the question on double standards. He would have been wise, Athena writes, to discuss the coarsening of our discourse: (more…)

When a same-sex kiss would have been (most) warranted

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:44 pm - March 18, 2012.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,Romance

Just started watching the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD and have not just been impressed, but have actually been blown away by the production quality of the miniseries.  This is not to say I have some quibbles with the sets (don’t remember there being palm trees in King’s Landing), but just to appreciate what the production designers, etc. have accomplished, creating a truly believable (and fantastic) medieval world.

Last night, I watched Episode 5, The Wolf and the Lion, where we see the first stirrings of romance between Gethin Anthony‘s Renly Baratheon and Finn Jones‘s Knight of the Flowers, Loras Tyrell.  Unfortunately, their, well, intimate moment lacks much evidence of emotional intimacy.  Instead of the two men sharing a kiss, the former suffers the latter to shave his torso.

This would have been the appropriate place to show a same-sex kiss rather than at a political rally.

A window into Obamania

Look no further than Davis Guggenheim.  As you may know this film maker provided an important public service when he, as Ace put it,

wrote, narrated, and “starred” in Waiting for Superman, the documentary that devastates the Teachers Unions and current system of government schools for dooming children to poor educations and poorer lives, and takes as its heroes the charter school and private school people trying to fight the corrupt system.

You would think that this guy would sing the praises of politicians working to create alternatives for underprivileged schoolchildren and condemn those in the pocket of said unions.  Logically then, he couldn’t possibly support Obama because not only did “the nation’s largest teachers union” endorse said Democrat, it announced its support a “year earlier than usual“.  (Pretty enthusiastic they.)  Not just that, the president’s most recent “budget proposal includes no new funding for a private school voucher program for District of Columbia students.”  (The movie lamented the limited availability of such vouchers.)

Instead of criticizing Obama for standing with one of the institutions standing in the way of real education reform, Mr. Guggenhim claims he “can’t find a single fault with Obama“, indeed produces a slick documentary for the president’s reelection campaign, lamenting that the only negative was that Obama had “too many accomplishments” and he had “17 minutes to put them all in there.”

Seems that his enthusiasm for Obama is based not on the incumbent’s record, but on something entirely different.   The facts just don’t matter to those eager to celebrate this Democrat.

Or, maybe as Ace puts it, Davis Guggenheim is about to “denounce his name-making movie Waiting for Superman as fundamentally false?”

Engaging in self-promotion by interrupting Rick Santorum

Can someone tell me why AOL choose to lead the news with this story:

And not say the story about Obama’s economic team underestimateding the deficits in the president’s budget?

Look, I’m no fan of Rick Santorum, but cannot condone this juvenile tactic often deployed by left-wingers of shouting out “mic check” when someone they don’t like is speaking:

Two men interrupted a Rick Santorum event in Illinois with a same-sex kiss, and were promptly ejected by security when the crowd turned on them.

The fracas began in the middle of Santorum’s remarks (at the 3:38 mark in the above video clip), when two protesters, identified as Timothy Tross and Ben Clifford, began yelling “mic check!,” then embraced before bowing showily to the crowd.

There’s one thing to be able to kiss your beloved when you want to kiss him, quite another to kiss him to make a statement. Kissing is a personal and intimate act, not a political one.

Now, the two men would have been wiser to hold up placards criticizing the candidate’s stand on the issues, but then that manner of expressing their opinion might not have generated the headlines they wanted.

That said, how do those headlines advance their cause? (more…)

Romney may be a weak frontrunner, but Obama is a weak incumbent

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:57 am - March 18, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Just read two pieces in the Weekly Standard which, in different ways, provide good insight into the upcoming presidential election, the first, linked by Hugh Hewitt, was Jay Cost’s post explaining why Romney hasn’t “locked up” the GOP nomination the way McCain did in 2008, the second which I chanced upon by reading the aforementioned piece was Michael M. Rosen’s review of Sean Trende‘s The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It.

Some, Cost among them, may bill Mitt Romney as a weak frontrunner, but, as Rosen reminds us, Obama is not as strong a presence as some of his followers suggest:

While Obama’s champions heralded his election as ringing in a permanent progressive majority, they ignored the fact that (as Trende puts it) “in the midst of probably the most favorable election year environment for a party since 1952—if not 1932,” Obama won by a smaller margin than George H. W. Bush in 1988 and Bill Clinton in 1996.

Little wonder, then, that the Democrats in 2010, after governing for two years from the left, sustained the worst midterm losses of any party since 1938, losing the most seats precisely among those suburban, working-class white, and Southern districts Clinton and company had so assiduously pried from Republican hands two decades earlier.

It wasn’t just a favorable environment for Obama, with the market meltdown and the ineptness of his opponent’s campaign, it was also his masterful use of easily manipulated media and his sizable campaign war chest, his expenditures dwarfing McCain’s.

Obama won over many independent voters by promising to end the profligate ways of the Bush Republicans, with his much touted (and never realized) “net spending cut.”   That is perhaps why, with the mainstream media trumpeting an anemic recovery as the equivalent of the Reagan boom, his poll numbers barely reach 50% — in surveys which oversample Democrats. (more…)