Circular Reasoning

Glenn Reynolds quotes Stanley Kurtz:

Tea Party moxie and the shellacking notwithstanding, the GOP establishment remains reluctant to highlight Obama’s radicalism. I understand the reasons for this, and they are by no means trivial. While Obama’s policies are opposed by many, he remains personally popular. It seems disrespectful to attribute an ideology to the president that he himself won’t own up to. Words like “radical,” much less “socialist,” sound impolite. Yet, without defining the president in a way that happens to be not only politically advantageous, but true, I doubt Obama can be stopped. Telling the truth about this president is how we shellacked him to begin with. . . . Perhaps I’m wrong and “the president’s abdication of leadership” sound bite will be enough to defeat “the GOP’s heartless cuts.” Even so, as an alternative, I suggest: “Obama’s radical plans are leading us off a cliff.”

I don’t disagree with Kurtz. I’m annoyed by the “but Obama is personally popular” meme because I think it results in part from the failure of mainstream Republicans to call Obama on his arrogance, his dishonesty and his gratuitously nasty behavior toward political opponents and members of groups against which he holds grudges (e.g., British and Israeli officials). He really isn’t a nice guy, but his personal decency gets asserted so often that it seems to have become a kind of big lie that people accept (and, ironically, that some people accept because they reasonably fear Obama’s supporters will accuse them of racism if they say harsh things about him).

8 thoughts on “Circular Reasoning”

  1. In 2008 it was relevant to convince people that BO is a socialist. If so convinced they might have voted against him.

    Of course the donkeys of the MSM brayed loudly about his “first class temperament”, his “willingness to listen to all sides”, his “bipartisan approach”, and his “instinctive fairness”. One MSM pundit, who is thought by his employer to be a conservative, fell in love with the crease on BO’s trousers and wanted to have his baby.

    I was not fooled but a lot of folks were and he was elected. Thank God he turned out to be nasty, cold, vindictive, and not half as smart as he and the MSM thinks he is, because if he had been all of those things, he could have done real damage by now. More even that what he has done.

    But, his personality and ideology are no longer relevant. He has played his cards, and showed that he will not change his course. His budget is “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”. And the real issue is joined. Does this country want to go down that primrose path into the jaws of Hades?

    The nation knows him now, and nothing anyone says about him will change their opinions of his character. But, they seem to have formed an opinion about his policies, and we need to push on that opinion.

    The other problem with attacking BO as a radical is that it gives the Democrats and the media an excuse for their failures. There is nothing wrong with Democrat policies, it was just that Obama was not skillful enough.

    Don’t let them off the hook. Better to make the debate about policies, and let the left deal with that.

  2. I want to be clear about one thing, no one who reads this blog regularly had any cause to be fooled by BO in 2008. Here are some of my comments from that year:

    March 15th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    He Who Must Not Be Middle Named is a hard core leftist. He is charming, but charming does not equal sound political thought. Everything he has done and said over the last couple of years leads me to that conclusion. Even his vaporous speeches have a leftist odor to them. My own belief is that the man has never had a non-leftist thought in his entire life. He has learned to dissemble around the straights, but he is left wing through and through.

    September 4th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Obama is an empty suit who has done absolutely nothing except work on his memoirs and run for office. He is a lawyer who never went to court. A law professor who never wrote an scholarly article. A state senator who voted present. A community organizer? Give me a break that is a meaningless title and job. Oh yes, a US senator, who spent his single term there running for higher office. I assume that if he loses, the next volume of his memoirs (working title: “Why Are Those People So Mean to Me”) will be out next year.

    September 6th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    “Indeed, Alinsky’s first group, the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, had become a bastion of support for segregationist George Wallace in the 1960s.” This lead everyone in Chicago in that era to understand that Alinsky did not have all of the answers.

    Alinsky had hoped to use community organization to build the infra-structure for socialism. That became untenable when Back of the Yards turned out to be “objectively reactionary” The bloom really came off the rose for BHO in the 80’s:

    “Green then brought up a controversial organization, Save our Neighborhoods/Save our City (SON/SOC), that had launched in February 1984 in response to fears that Harold Washington would promote public housing in certain white neighborhoods–leading to an influx of black residents. As Green noted, SON/SOC was organized by Alinsky disciples who were following their mentor’s principle of basing demands on self-interest.”

    Obama drew the correct conclusion. Alinskyism was unworkable and would not create socialism. He then followed the same path (although I have no idea how much history he knows) as Mussolini and Lenin. He set out to use the leadership principle (Fuhrerprinzip) to create socialism. He had determined to become the ONE.

  3. The vast majority of the US voters, including me, are pleased that we elected a black man (however inauthentic) to the presidency. While white America is constantly accused of racism by the usual suspects, the country has enormous goodwill for those minority individuals who seem to follow the American Way and who succeed. That is why the nasty comments about Mr Cain will backfire if given enough publicity. The hostility toward Clarence Thomas comes from the hard left, including the NAACP which has morphed into a rent seeking leftist outfit.

    Mr Obama has been the beneficiary of this good will and will probably continue to be so. His policies are disastrous but, as a role model for young blacks, I hope he does not humiliate himself too obviously. I hear a few express the wish that Hillary Clinton had been elected in his stead. I am certain that she is just as incompetent as Obama but is less likable and probably would be looking out the White House windows at pitchforks and torches about now.

    Republicans have to negotiate the rapids here by attacking his policies while allowing respect for the office and the symbol of a black president to survive. It would be interesting to see Mr Cain as the Republican candidate but it would have to show more capability than Michael Steele’s term as chairman. Affirmative action creates the suspicion of all blacks as beneficiaries of lower standards. I confess that Mr Obama’s many gaffes raise that concern with me. The only place where we can be sure affirmative action is not at work is in private business at the CEO level.

  4. Sarah Palin is a mortal threat to the Left because she is both skilled in framing arguments that undermine leftist projects and has the balls not to back down in the face of attacks. Most prominent Republicans are either unable to make the right arguments or allow the Left to intimidate them. (Krauthammer argues that Palin would be a poor presidential candidate, yet he fell for the “first class temperament” nonsense that most people who were paying attention saw through early on.) Obama’s opponents will have difficulty prevailing politically unless they develop the courage to criticize him squarely, on either ideological or personal grounds, without backing down. I acknowledge that Obama has some positive personal qualities, but those qualities don’t outweigh his bad personal qualities or his terrible political agenda.

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