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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.

*and their objections to his policies.

NB:  Tweaked the title.

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33 Comments

  1. Obama is just playing to the left-wing’s conceit that progressives are the smartest people, just as Hitler would tell the Germans they were the Master Race. People who think they’re smart, but aren’t actually smart, lap up this crap like sweet cream.

    Just look at the audiences of Bill Maher and Jon Stewart smugly inhaling their own flatulence every time the host makes a snarky comment about the stupidity of conservatives and you will observe precisely this phenomenon.

    Comment by V the K — March 18, 2012 @ 6:55 pm - March 18, 2012

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

    I think it’s because of the Left’s intellectual bankruptcy. Like many lefties, Straw Man tactics are all that He has to go on.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 18, 2012 @ 7:09 pm - March 18, 2012

  3. He grew up in a liberal world where people bathed him in praise and scolded anyone who criticized him. He has been told over and over and over how brilliant he is.

    Is it just me or does anyone else see this :

    Every time I watch him give a speech/talk on the campaign trail, he reminds me of the boy on the playground who never got picked for dodge ball but was assigned to a team by the teacher. The he tries to play “cool” with the “cool” guys and comes off looking/sounding like a nerd/geek/dweeb/loser.

    Comment by TnnsNe1 — March 18, 2012 @ 7:34 pm - March 18, 2012

  4. Bill Clinton had that same vibe, TnnsNe1. Kind of comes with the territory of being a liberal democrat and carrying middle school grudges into middle age.

    Comment by V the K — March 18, 2012 @ 8:00 pm - March 18, 2012

  5. I believe President Obama thinks poorly of his critics because he was never challenged by the right in college or law school. Furthermore, he has been in a liberal bubble his entire life, where almost everyone is to the left. This lack of ideological diversity leads to assumptions about the right that may or may not be correct.

    Comment by davinci — March 19, 2012 @ 8:29 am - March 19, 2012

  6. Obama took his act to a nearby community college where he was sure to have a gaggle of kids just panting to be organized. He held a pep rally for himself and the crowd loved it.

    He has reduced himself to being his own opening act at selected venues where he can buy a vote with a free t-shirt.

    By assuming the worst about his critics, he glorifies his sense of majesty. It amps up the limelight that they drag along with TeleprompTers. It gives him that halo effect when he strikes his Mussolini pose. Its all part of the roadshow he puts on for his roadies.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 9:52 am - March 19, 2012

  7. Why? It’s what the Left does. Permanent, existential war against all competing ideas and institutions is part of what leftism is. The Left cannot abandon this viewpoint and methodology, because totalitarianism is built into the very nature of leftism.

    Comment by pst314 — March 19, 2012 @ 10:02 am - March 19, 2012

  8. Hi Dan,
    As to the flat earth issues. I think that the following quote, from David Frum puts a bit of context into why he might be thinking about that, with regards to some of his critics public comments.

    Conservative disbelief of climate change doesn’t only come from skepticism about the environmental movement. As Michael Stafford writes, many conservatives have a peculiar religious view of the issue. As they see it, climate change can’t be real, because only God is capable of destroying the planet:

    Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, has recently claimed that it is arrogant and “outrageous” to think that humans could alter the planet’s climate – a climate that has been ordained by God. Citing to Genesis 8:22, he has argued that AGW cannot be occurring because “as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest.” For Inhofe, God is firmly in control.

    Rick Santorum, a leading Republican presidential contender and an outspoken opponent of AGW, has expressed similar sentiments, arguing that humans

    “were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit …”

    In essence, the theological argument against AGW maintains, alternatively, that it is impossible because God would never permit it, because God controls climate, or because only God has the capacity to destroy the world. I suppose these individuals have never heard of nuclear weapons.

    Comment by Cas — March 19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm - March 19, 2012

  9. Hi Cas,

    I was watching the Green Network over the weekend and it talked about the droughts that destroyed the Sahara and then the droughts that devestated both Egypt and the Acadian empire. How much human interference is there in climate change there?

    We have had ‘rare’ snow fall for the past few years in Jerusalem. How does Global Warming explain that?

    Record ice in the Pacific Northwest? How does Global Warming explain that?

    Even if you embrace Global warming theory, it doesn’t excuse Obama’s getting facts wrong.

    The “some people look to faith” doesn’t change that Obama’s command of science, history etc, is lacking. Nice try at diversionary tactics.

    Comment by The Livewire — March 19, 2012 @ 3:05 pm - March 19, 2012

  10. Are supposed to “defend” God against the fulminations of David Frum?

    Or, are supposed to argue AGW as the most reasonable consensus theory?

    Or are we supposed to weight the belief in God against the belief in the consensus AGW fan club?

    Or, are we to support Inhofe in his Genesis 8:22 reference or ridicule Inhofe for quoting Genesis in any way, shape of form?

    Alas, Hi Cas just dropped by and made a deposit. She didn’t explain why.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 3:16 pm - March 19, 2012

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

    Not to put too fine a point on it (and at the risk of being called “uncivil”) BECAUSE HE’S AN ASSHOLE.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 19, 2012 @ 3:23 pm - March 19, 2012

  12. Alas, Hi Cas just dropped by and made a deposit.

    And her deposit looks suspiciously like a turd.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 19, 2012 @ 3:25 pm - March 19, 2012

  13. Cas is just trying to distract from (or justify) Obama’s non sequitur (i.e. the flat Earth remark) by introducing an irrelevant piece that appears to mistakenly suggest an anti-science viewpoint is a part of conservatism (which it isn’t, even though some conservatives may view their religious beliefs as more important to them than science).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 19, 2012 @ 3:38 pm - March 19, 2012

  14. Hi Dan,
    As to the flat earth issues. I think that the following quote, from David Frum puts a bit of context into why he might be thinking about that, with regards to some of his critics public comments.

    Comment by Cas — March 19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm – March 19, 2012

    So?

    Obama listens to the voices in his head to tell him what to do.

    Michelle Obama believes in superstitious rituals and magical thinking to keep bad spirits away from her and her family.

    And David Frum and Cas wet their perfectly-creased pants over the intellect and superior reasoning powers of both.

    Once you realize that Cas’s argument is less about science than it is blind partisanship and stupidity, you start to realize that, hey, both Obama and Cas ARE hypocritical bigots!

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 19, 2012 @ 3:41 pm - March 19, 2012

  15. Cas: David Frum does not have a reputation for honesty in debate. He tends to misrepresent and malign those he disagrees with.

    Comment by pst314 — March 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm - March 19, 2012

  16. Yes Leon so true. . .

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/homecoming-photo-of-gay-marine-kissing-boyfriend-goes-viral/

    NOT

    Comment by rusty — March 19, 2012 @ 6:09 pm - March 19, 2012

  17. Oops wrong post. ;(

    Comment by rusty — March 19, 2012 @ 6:14 pm - March 19, 2012

  18. Hi TL & HT,
    The issue I addressed was simply Dan’s critique of Obama as unfairly (I assumed) characterizing some of his opponents as being “flat-earthers.” The evidence I gave, was to suggest that Obama was making points at the expense of some critics, by tweaking the tails of those critics who prefer non-rational modes of argument to support their contentions, and labelling them as “flat-earthers.”

    Comment by Cas — March 19, 2012 @ 6:51 pm - March 19, 2012

  19. Hi RS,
    Ditto

    Comment by Cas — March 19, 2012 @ 6:53 pm - March 19, 2012

  20. those critics who prefer non-rational modes of argument to support their contentions,

    Oh.

    Please, Hi Cas, don’t hold back. Don’t massage your innuendo. Let it all hang out.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 19, 2012 @ 7:11 pm - March 19, 2012

  21. Obama is a thin-skinned bully whose best friend is paranoia to go along with his narcissism. Obama’s world is full of mirrors, walking on broken glass to behold his reflection. To a demagogue like Obama, Republicans & America is the enemy. While Obama himself is nothing.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — March 19, 2012 @ 7:53 pm - March 19, 2012

  22. Hi HT,

    Please, Hi Cas, don’t hold back. Don’t massage your innuendo. Let it all hang out.

    Not a problem HT, 🙂

    Comment by Cas — March 19, 2012 @ 11:47 pm - March 19, 2012

  23. Well,

    I don’t see you stepping out from behind your innuendo. All I see is innuendo. Have you no point? Or are you all in for innuendo? What about a pointless point is worth looking at? When there isn’t any there there why do you take us there?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 20, 2012 @ 10:28 am - March 20, 2012

  24. Hi HT,
    I am unsure of what you speak. What innuendo do you perceive?

    Comment by Cas — March 20, 2012 @ 3:38 pm - March 20, 2012

  25. Hi Dan,
    As to the flat earth issues. I think that the following quote, from David Frum puts a bit of context into why he might be thinking about that, with regards to some of his critics public comments.

    If there is context to be had from what you posted, it flew right past me. I do not glean a single line of the Frum offering that is not either convoluted or pinching some sort of nuance around the edge of an amorphous subject that escapes definition.

    Therefore, since you found the seeds of an epiphany in the piece, I thought it fair to go straight to your reading of what so baffles me and discover how you find it context revealing.

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 20, 2012 @ 6:06 pm - March 20, 2012

  26. Heliotrope, as Cas herself (apparently Cas is female) admitted, there is no context. It is just a distraction or an attempt to justify Obama’s non-sequitur (which it fails to do).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 20, 2012 @ 6:44 pm - March 20, 2012

  27. Hi HT,

    I do not glean a single line of the Frum offering that is not either convoluted or pinching some sort of nuance around the edge of an amorphous subject that escapes definition.

    I am sorry, I have no idea what this means. I am sorry, also, that my comment’s meaning escapes you. I will say that reliance on a religious book to make an argument–based on faith–is a non-rational mode of argumentation, and leave it at that.

    Comment by Cas — March 21, 2012 @ 12:35 am - March 21, 2012

  28. I will say that reliance on a religious book to make an argument–based on faith–is a non-rational mode of argumentation, and leave it at that.

    All righty, then. I was pretty sure you were waving the Genesis flag, but didn’t have the guts to do it openly and take the blowback.

    So, we did word games, with me using “innuendo” and you “feigning” ignorance. But we got there, didn’t we.

    Now, that didn’t hurt, did it? You have actually posed a “debatable” point, rather than run around insisting that people read things to link to and go back and forth until they agree with your interpretation.

    But, congratulations. You have posed a debatable point that is moot. You will not accept Genesis as rational and you consider any reference to Genesis to be irrational.

    Citing to Genesis 8:22, he has argued that AGW cannot be occurring because “as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest.”

    We can not really know that if “earth abides” after, say, AGW Armageddon and that “there will be seed time and harvest” ….. can we? So what is the point of arguing it.

    However, these are the words immediately following that quote:

    For Inhofe, God is firmly in control.

    So, the great genius philosopher Frum apparently wants us to argue the existence of a diety and then to determine the scope of his power and control. Mr. Frum explicitly says “firmly” in control as opposed to “benignly” or “indifferently” or “bumblingly” in control. But benign control or indifferent control or bumbling control are actually oxymorons, are they not? So, control is control and perhaps Frum added “firmly” as a swipe at people who buy into any of this God crap in any way, shape or form.

    Is that your position? People who have religious faith are at least infantile if not idiots?

    I have shown you how to read critically and parse your “argument” in this little exercise. I hope you pay attention. I have also shown you how my mind rejects this type of polemic written by Frum as a waste of ink and space

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 21, 2012 @ 10:33 am - March 21, 2012

  29. Hi HT,

    Is that your position? People who have religious faith are at least infantile if not idiots?

    No. My position is that it is a non-rational form of argumentation.

    Comment by Cas — March 21, 2012 @ 11:42 am - March 21, 2012

  30. Sorry, to finish … in an area that should be argued about in rational ways; i.e., through the use of science. Argue it on that basis (hence, why I await SF’s thoughts on where the evidence lies with great interest.

    Comment by Cas — March 21, 2012 @ 11:48 am - March 21, 2012

  31. 30.Sorry, to finish … in an area that should be argued about in rational ways; i.e., through the use of science. Argue it on that basis (hence, why I await SF’s thoughts on where the evidence lies with great interest.

    Comment by Cas — March 21, 2012 @ 11:48 am – March 21, 2012

    And here’s a fine example:

    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in 2007 — the same year it shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore — that it was “very likely” that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 if current warming trends continued.

    That date has been much quoted and a cause for enormous consternation, since hundreds of millions of people in Asia rely on ice and snow melt from these glaciers for their water supply.

    The panel, the United Nations’ scientific advisory body on climate change, ranks its conclusions using a probability scale in which “very likely” means there is greater than 90 percent chance that an event will occur.

    But it now appears that the estimate about Himalayan glacial melt was based on a decade-old interview of one climate scientist in a science magazine, The New Scientist, and that hard scientific evidence to support that figure is lacking. The scientist, Dr. Syed Hasnain, a glacier specialist with the government of the Indian state of Sikkim and currently a fellow at the TERI research institute in Delhi, said in an e-mail message that he was “misquoted” about the 2035 estimate in The New Scientist article. He has more recently said that his research suggests that only small glaciers could disappear entirely.

    So let’s see: based on one unreviewed and unproven assertion that lacks hard evidence, we have not only science, but consensus-settled science that is published in an international scientific journal and being used to set international and domestic policy as scientific.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 21, 2012 @ 12:29 pm - March 21, 2012

  32. As they see it, climate change can’t be real, because only God is capable of destroying the planet:

    Hi! Cas,

    This is also from the resource you posted in #22. Continuing the lesson on critical thinking, will AGW actually destroy the planet? Or, are the AGW people worried about messing things up for man’s dominion on the planet?

    Comment by Heliotrope — March 21, 2012 @ 3:31 pm - March 21, 2012

  33. Hi HT,

    You will not accept Genesis as rational and you consider any reference to Genesis to be irrational.

    I think you overreach on the “critical thinking lesson” here. “Referencing” something (say Genesis) is not in itself an argument, nor an irrational act of thought; e.g., the Bible says that there will always be a springtime as long as the earth exists. OK, that is what the Bible says. I think that using Genesis to support a claim that God won’t let us change the climate (through human activity) except as “He” deems it to be changed is an irrational argument.

    Comment by Cas — March 21, 2012 @ 5:42 pm - March 21, 2012

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