Fragmentary Thoughts

Last night, at the Democratic National Convention, Elizabeth Warren charged that the system is rigged. She ought to know. She has herself gamed that system, posing as a person of Cherokee ancestry in order to get an advantage in the competition for high-prestige law school jobs.

In 2008 and ever since, Barack Obama has posed as an advocate of bipartisan comity. But, we learn, from excerpts of Bob Woodward’s new book that were leaked to ABC News, that when the Republicans took the House of Representatives in November, 2010, the President and his minions did not even know John Boehner’s telephone number. Pause for a moment and savor that. The man had been President for almost two years, and neither this advocate of bipartisan amity nor those on his staff even knew how to get in touch with the minority leader in the House.

We have heard a lot from Barack Obama and others in his party over the last couple of years about the need for civility, but he appears to have exempted members of his own party from that obligation. He did not speak up in the last few days when prominent Democrats equated Republicans, such as Paul Ryan and Nikki Haley, with members of Hitler’s National Socialist Party. He did not rebuke his Vice-President when he intimated that the Republicans were intent on re-enslaving African-Americans; and yesterday, when the chairman of the Democratic Party in Florida’s Palm Beach County spewed out his hatred for evangelical Christians, he said nothing at all.

In the Age of Obama, words seem to have lost their meaning.

  1. flownover

    As usual, Orwell pegs it.

    from the Principles of Newspeak:

    “…a Party member called upon to make a political or ethical judgment should be able to spray forth the correct opinions as automatically as a machine gun spraying forth bullets.”

  2. KC Mulville

    There’s an internal contradiction in trying to claim that “unity” and “togetherness” are good reasons to elect one party and reject another.

    Logically, you can’t argue that the differences between you and your opponent are so important that only your party deserves political power, but at the same time claim that unity is an important goal. Even more contradictory is claiming that unity is why you should elect Democrats and shun Republicans. All that says is that your opponents aren’t part of the country, so they can be excluded from any attempts at unity.

  3. The Mugwump

    The call for “civility” is just another gambit not unlike politically correct speech.  What it really means is “shut up!”  As per their usual the Democrats expect us to accept a double standard.  Aside from the fact that Obama probably agrees with his minions, he knows the press will cover for him.    

  4. tabula rasa

    Professor Rahe’s post makes an important point.  In Obama’s case, it’s not so much the words he utters as the words he will not say.  He’ll jump in to protect Sandra Fluke from Rush or call a Cambridge police officer’s action stupid. But his tongue goes silent when his guys are saying far worse things about his opponents. 

    He is the completely political animal.  

  5. Sumomitch

    The Woodward excerpts are amazingly damning: utter lack of negotiating skills, or principles that anyone (in either party) could structure around. In the end, after Obama’s last minute demand for anther $400 billion in revenue tanked the deal, he was “voted off the island” by both Democrat and Republicans in Congress cobbling the short-term deal together. And the image of Nancy Pelosi hitting the mute button while Obama drones on about his high-minded abstractions so her caucus could keep working on the Stimulus Bill? Devastating. 

    Turns out Clint Eastwood had it exactly right: an Empty Chair.

  6. ConservativeWanderer

    We have gone Through the Looking-Glass and are now seeing the Humpty-Dumpty party and president:

    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

  7. Paul A. Rahe
    C
    Robert Mitchell: The Woodward excerpts are amazingly damning: utter lack of negotiating skills, or principles that anyone (in either party) could structure around. In the end, after Obama’s last minute demand for anther $400 billion in revenue tanked the deal, he was “voted off the island” by both Democrat and Republicans in Congress cobbling the short-term deal together. And the image of Nancy Pelosi hitting the mute button while Obama drones on about his high-minded abstractions so her caucus could keep working on the Stimulus Bill? Devastating. 

    Turns out Clint Eastwood had it exactly right: an Empty Chair. · 8 minutes ago

    Very nicely put.

  8. Keith Rice

    I think what we’re missing here is the underlying philosophy of entitlement and gaming the system. “The system is rigged” means that we have the right to pervert it by any means to suit our own interest.

    In this mindset, laws are inconsequential and guidelines are less than superfluous, all that matters is getting away with achieving your own goals.

    With power as the primary goal for Democrats we can expect more and more deconstruction of reality and the truth as they pursue their corrupt dreams.

  9. Devereaux

    It is often hard to imagine the depth of depravity that unmitigated arrogance can bring one to.

  10. Devereaux
    Highlama: I think what we’re missing here is the underlying philosophy of entitlement and gaming the system. “The system is rigged” means that we have the right to pervert it by any means to suit our own interest.

    In this mindset, laws are inconsequential and guidelines are less than superfluous, all that matters is getting away with achieving your own goals.

    With power as the primary goal for Democrats we can expect more and more deconstruction of reality and the truth as they pursue their corrupt dreams. · 3 minutes ago

    See the numerous comments by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

  11. Capt. Aubrey

    Doesn’t Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland say “words mean what I say they mean” past time this Humpty was dumped.

  12. J Wesley

    I can’t help but be a little suspicious of the timing of excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book and President Clinton’s case of Obama’s bipartisan approach and Republican intransigence.

    When someone had the “brass” to argue Obama is a moderate and bipartisan man, a book comes out completely refuting it. The same day? How did that work out?

    I also don’t understand why it is good for Obama for Clinton to talk about balancing the budget and high deficits. Not exactly something Obama wants to talk about.

  13. Umbra Fractus

    It’s like Jonah Goldberg said when he was discussing Rousseau in Liberal Fascism, the Will of the People is a proper noun which has little to nothing to do with what the people actually think they want. The system is “rigged” because it empowers actual people and prevents the Will of the People from being done. The idea that an intellectual giant like Barack Obama should have to explain himself to a plumber from Ohio is abhorrent to Ms. Warren and multitudes like her.

  14. Sumomitch
    DocJay: The world is turning upside down around me when I hear the masses lauding a bipartisan Obama.   I have the feeling that if he is voted in again that my identification with a culture and way of life I believed in will go the way of the great awk.   I cannot fathom a country that would reaffirm what he stands for( not what he says he stands for).

    I share the feeling, and increasingly wonder if we aren’t two nations sharing the same government. In this entire Democrat Convention, I hear not a single person address the unsustainable deficits and entitlement programs, except indirectly as an indictment of the heartlessness of Republicans. The entire Democrat polity seems united in its “folk Keynesian” view that there is an endless amount of financing (revenues and debt) available to fund every “investment” imaginable. If those of us who know that the fiscal path we are currently on is mathematically unsustainable are already a minority of the electorate, as you say, not much to be done other than hunker down for the nasty end, move or contemplate secession.

  15. Paul A. Rahe
    C
    Jacob Fox: I can’t help but be a little suspicious of the timing of excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book and President Clinton’s case of Obama’s bipartisan approach and Republican intransigence.

    When someone had the “brass” to argue Obama is a moderate and bipartisan man, a book comes out completely refuting it. The same day? How did that work out? · 32 minutes ago

    Woodward’s books tend to be released (or their substance leaked) when it will get him maximum publicity. This was obviously timed to profit from the focus on the Democratic nominee.

    Did he also have a political intention? My guess is that a study of his publications would suggest strategic timing — with a political as well as a financial aim.

    Woodward may be wayward. But he surely understands the danger of allowing this man to leave the office of President vacant for four more years.

    My bet is that Bill Clinton is no less aware of the danger.

  16. DocJay

    The world is turning upside down around me when I hear the masses lauding a bipartisan Obama.   I have the feeling that if he is voted in again that my identification with a culture and way of life I believed in will go the way of the great awk.   I cannot fathom a country that would reaffirm what he stands for( not what he says he stands for).

    I may very well just hunker down and get ready for something truly horrific but more than likely just profoundly saddening.  The end of decency is what Obama represents to me.  

  17. ConservativeWanderer
    DocJay: The world is turning upside down around me when I hear the masses lauding a bipartisan Obama.   I have the feeling that if he is voted in again that my identification with a culture and way of life I believed in will go the way of the great awk.   I cannot fathom a country that would reaffirm what he stands for( not what he says he stands for).

    I may very well just hunker down and get ready for something truly horrific but more than likely just profoundly saddening.  The end of decency is what Obama represents to me.   · 0 minutes ago

    If he gets re-elected, I’ll be listening for the trumpet and the shout from above, if you get what I mean.

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