The Smartest Guy in the Room

That's who you are, when you're in a room with Barack Obama. That's no slur on the president-elect's intelligence; on the contrary, he seems like a very bright chap. But from everything I've read and heard about people who have dealt with him one on one, including the Reason Foundation's Mike Flynn, the true political genius of Barack Obama is the way that he makes YOU feel like you're the most important, the most intelligent, and doggone it the most independent-minded person in the conversation. Which is always startling, even pleasant, when talking with someone who works in a profession based on narcisissm. Then, after you leave the room, he votes or acts exactly like you thought he was going to before you ever met him. The difference is now you feel like a million bucks.

So keep that in mind, as you read Larry Kudlow say stuff like, "He is charming, he is terribly smart, bright, well-informed, he has a great sense of humor....He is so well-informed, and he loves to deal with both sides of an issue." Or when Andrew Sullivan says, "It's hard to express the relief I feel that this man will be the president soon." More importantly, keep that in mind when you read those guys (or George Will, or Peggy Noonan, or E.J. Dionne, or Maureen Dowd, or whoever else gets the charm offensive treatment this January) assessing Obama two or four years from now. Is the new prez "transcending simplistic and unnecessary partisanship, and at just the pitch-perfect historical moment," or is he finding out just how cheap a date A-list pundits are?

As the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes memorably wrote in defending his galpal Sarah Palin against Republican meanies like Noonan and David Brooks,

it comes down to who is more credible. Is it those who've worked with her, or know her, or have at least met and talked with her? Or those who haven't? The answer is a no-brainer. Okay, I may be biased on the subject of Palin, having been impressed after spending nearly two hours with her on one occasion and an hour on another.

In a country of 300 million people, nothing trumps personal musk in making political assessments. Or does it?

A quarter-century ago (ouch!) the great baseball thinker and writer Bill James planted the flag for a generation of geeky analysts who would eventually revolutionize the game, but were marginal at the time, in a terrific essay extolling the virtues of outsider perspective:

You know the expression about not being able to see the forest for the trees? Let's use that. [...]

The first thing is, the insider has a much better view of the details. He knows what the moss looks like, how light it grows around the base of an oak and how thickly it will cling to a sycamore. He knows the smells in the air and the tracks on the ground; he can guess the age of a redbud by peeling off a layer of bark. The outsider doesn't know any of that. [...]

There will be in this book no new tales about the things that happen on a team flight, no sudden revelations about the way that drugs and sex and money can ruin a championship team. I can't tell you what a locker room smells like, praise the Lord.

But perspective can only be gained when details are lost. A sense of the size of everything and the relationship between everything -- this can never be put together from details. For the most essential fact of a forest is this: The forest itself is immensely larger than anything inside of it. That is why, of course, you can't see the forest for the trees

I am sure we will read many fine words about how thickly moss will cling to Obama's sycamore (sorry!). Meanwhile, we've got a burning forest on our hands, and we here in the cheap seats will continue to examine what no insider perspective can tell us: Is the stuff he's preparing to throw on the fire mixed with gasoline? Ten and 100 years from now, that will likely matter more than Larry Kudlow's dinner last night.

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  • bill||

    They say Hitler had a lot of charisma too.

  • Warty||

    Obama's not a sycamore. He's a gingko.

  • ||

    I can't believe I didn't anticipate that 1st comment.

  • Guy Montag||

    Matt,

    Great take on this! Did you get to go to the Obamaparty at George Will's house yesterday?

    OT: Have you seen Mike Flynn's new commercials? Will miss him from his old hobby (on the right).

    [KIDDING!]

  • Elemenope||

    They say Hitler had a lot of charisma too.

    Actually, one guy they were interviewing for a program on the Hitler History Channel who was there during his rise said that in person he was very uncharismatic. He had a high-pitched whiny voice, a silly mustache, and almost spastically violent body-language.

    FWIW.

  • Guy Montag||

    They say Hitler had a lot of charisma too.

    But Obama does not have a dog. So he has that going for him.

  • ||

    Kudlow.

    *slowly shakes head*

    I used to think that guy was smart.

  • ||

    It will be great having an intelligent president again.

    I know the Bushnecks get lathered up over flat-earthers like Palin but this is no time to placate the Creationist Aborto-freak crowd

  • Mad Max||

    Hitler's mother was white. So was Obama's.

    Coincidence?

    Wake Up, America!!!!

  • Elemenope||

    Hitler's mother was white. So was Obama's.

    Coincidence?

    Wake Up, America!!!!


    ROFL!

  • the innominate one||

    I am sure we will read many fine words about how thickly moss will cling to Obama's sycamore...

    I believe that is the most disgusting metaphor I've ever read at Hit and Run. Congrats, Matt.

  • Matt Welch||

    I was just copying Bill James! And not for the first time!

  • BDB||

    Mad Max FTW.

  • Mad Max||

    'Creationist Aborto-freak crowd'

    I don't know if Palin is any good - I described her as McCain's 'Judas goat' - but I am certainly an 'Aborto-freak.'

    And here's the thing - once legalized abortion has been cast into the dustbin of history, it will suddenly become very hard to find anyone who was ever pro-abortion. Just as it's hard to find white Southerners who admit they supported Jim Crow, even though it was highly popular in its day. Yet none of these old segregationists seem to have survived to the modern age - nobody here but us racial egalitarians!

    It will be like that with legalized abortion - 'I always knew it was wrong,' 'I found it shocking that such a thing could exist in a free country,' 'I can't believe they let this happen!'

  • ||

    I know it's just a metaphor, but

    ..we here in the cheap seats will continue to examine what no insider perspective can tell us..


    brings up images of liverwurst-n-pickle eatin' goombahs throwing out raspberries and loudly offering drunken advice to the professionals on the field.

  • Orange Line Special||

    I'm certainly not anywhere near as slick as BHO, but if I were ever able to get into a back and forth with him I'd try to make Obama look like the dumbest person in the room, and I'd probably succeed.

    Note also that - before the election - a certain Reason buddy was saying similar things about BHO. See comments #31 and 36 here:

    juliansanchez.com/2008/09/30/desperately-seeking-sarah

  • BDB||

    MM, actually, Confederate apologists are a dime a dozen in certain quarters.

  • ||

    Obama professes to respect me; therefore, he is God.

    How simple and self-centered that reaction is.

  • Mad Max||

    BDB,

    I was referring to overt Jim Crow-ites.

    The Confederate nostalgia crowd will tell you that The Civil War Wasn't About Slavery (TM) and Black People Fought for the Confederacy (TM).

    Bless their hearts, they preserve the parts of history which they want to preserve - just like the rest of us.

  • Mad Max||

    Also, the Lincoln adulators rarely speak of his glorious vision of shipping off the free blacks through "voluntary deportation," making America more racially pure.

  • Guy Montag||

    Mad Max,

    Hitler's mother was white. So was Obama's.

    Coincidence?

    Wake Up, America!!!!


    Great, you summoned OLS. Happy now?

  • BDB||

    "Mad Max | January 14, 2009, 5:36pm | #
    Also, the Lincoln adulators rarely speak of his glorious vision of shipping off the free blacks through "voluntary deportation," making America more racially pure."

    You realize he gave this up this idea around 1864, right?

    His last speech (the one that sent John Wilkes Booth into a rage) was one in which he said he would accept citizenship for blacks.

  • Elemenope||

    It will be like that with legalized abortion - 'I always knew it was wrong,' 'I found it shocking that such a thing could exist in a free country,' 'I can't believe they let this happen!'

    I thought that divination was a stoneable offense? No? Hmm.

  • Guy Montag||

    MM, actually, Confederate apologists are a dime a dozen in certain quarters.

    Where are quarters worth $1.20?

  • ||

    LoneWacko,
    The dumbest person in the room changes whenever you enter.

  • BDB||

    But the Vatican was the only foreign entity to recognize the Confederacy, MM.

  • The Chad||

    Far, far too many metaphors in that last paragraph.

  • Reggie||

    If Lincoln had gotten his way, the country would be a lot better off. Detroit would still be livable, the crime rate would be lower, our national test scores would be higher, there would be less welfare, no "Affirmative Action," and, best of all, no rap "music."

    Oh, and Kudlow is clearly homosexual for Obama.

  • Guy Montag||

    I thought that divination was a stoneable offense? No? Hmm.

    I think the last religious pot thread was yesterday.

  • Mad Max||

    BDB,

    Yes, after trying some experiments of settling some freed slaves in Latin America (where they mostly died), Lincoln began to realize that his idea of resettlement might not necessarily be particularly practical. So give him props for making his peace with reality - a reality he didn't necessarily like, because he would have preferred an America cleared black people.

    Here is Lincoln's Last Speech (April 11, 1865). He doesn't seem to go further than he went in some letters indicating that black *Union veterans* and *property* owners could be allowed the vote. The majority of the ex-slaves . . . do you have citations where Lincoln supported votes for them?

  • KT||

    I'm sorry if this makes me another beltway insider, but I'm also relieved that he's about to become president. At least he says things that resemble reality sometimes.

  • ||

    And here's the thing - once legalized abortion has been cast into the dustbin of history, it will suddenly become very hard to find anyone who was ever pro-abortion.

    Wow, what kind of state will that take to police every little town in America for vagina violations? To monitor every doc's office and female's medicine cabinet for an abortifacient?

    But, this is small stuff. Bank of America has approached the Fed for huge bailout money after its ill-guided purchase of Merrill and Countrywide. This could wipe out the Fed's balance sheet in one swoop. We're is serious trouble as a nation.

    This is no time for a trite Bushism from the low-info "conservative" mouth breathers.

  • BDB||

    "The majority of the ex-slaves . . . do you have citations where Lincoln supported votes for them?"

    No, since he was shot before he could move in that direction. Lincoln's views on race relations, through his career, gradually moved in a more liberal direction bit by bit as political conditions allowed (and as people to his left on that issue in his party nudged him).

    He was a politician that talked out of both sides of his mouth, IOW. Surprise surprise. But he got more done than, say, John Brown ever did.

  • ||

    Please, nobody ever quote Kudlow the commie again. After that son of a bitch came out in favor of the bailout for him and his financial cronies (and of course against bailing out anyone else) he deserves to have his flesh torn off with a pair of pliers.

  • REGGIE||

    "I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races," he announced in his Aug. 21, 1858, debate with Stephen Douglas. "I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position." And, "Free them [slaves] and make them politically and socially our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this. We cannot, then, make them equals."

    In Springfield, Ill., on July 17, 1858, Lincoln said, "What I would most desire would be the separation of the white and black races." On Sept. 18, 1858, in Charleston, Ill., he said: "I will to the very last stand by the law of this state, which forbids the marrying of white people with Negroes."

    Lincoln supported the Illinois Constitution, which prohibited the emigration of black people into the state, and he also supported the Illinois Black Codes, which deprived the small number of free blacks in the state any semblance of citizenship. He strongly supported the Fugitive Slave Act, which compelled Northern states to capture runaway slaves and return them to their owners. In his First Inaugural he pledged his support of a proposed constitutional amendment that had just passed the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that would have prohibited the federal government from ever having the power "to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State." In his First Inaugural Lincoln advocated making this amendment "express and irrevocable."

    Lincoln was also a lifelong advocate of "colonization" or shipping all black people to Africa, Central America, Haiti--anywhere but here. "I cannot make it better known than it already is," he stated in a Dec. 1, 1862, Message to Congress, "that I strongly favor colonization." To Lincoln, blacks could be "equal," but not in the United States.

  • Guy Montag||

    No, since he was shot his death was faked before he could move in that direction.

    Fixed :)

  • BDB||

    "Lincoln's views on race relations, through his career, gradually moved in a more liberal direction bit by bit as political conditions allowed (and as people to his left on that issue in his party nudged him).
    "

    Pre-buttal, Reggie. Lincoln in 1865 != Lincoln in 1858.

    Hell, Lincoln speaking in northern IL in 1858 wasn't the same as Lincoln speaking in southern IL in 1858.

  • Elemenope||

    But he got more done than, say, John Brown ever did.

    Considering that Brown and Stowe did their little people parts to precipitate the crisis, I don't think they should be sold short.

  • BDB||

    Was that copied and pasted from LRC, by any chance?

  • BDB||

    "Considering that Brown and Stowe did their little people parts to precipitate the crisis,"

    Stephen Douglass, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and the southern hotheads unwittingly did more.

  • Guy Montag||

    Reggie,

    So would you say that Obama is just like Lincoln in wanting to send the Guantanamo detainees back where they came from?

  • Guy Montag||

    Didn't Dr. Ron Paul have something to say about possibly avoiding the Civil War (and WWII IIRC) during the debates?

  • Mad Max||

    Here is one version of the relations between the Church and the Confederacy. The author is clearly a Confederate sympathizer, but he doesn't go so far as to say that Pope Piux IX officially recognized the Confederacy. He certainly seems to have adopted an "enemy of my enemy" view of the Confederacy, viewing it as a bulwark against liberalism:

    'Throughout its short history, the Confederate government sought earnestly and repeatedly to gain some kind of foreign support. The closest it ever came was in 1863, when His Holiness Pope Pius IX sent a letter addressed to the "Illustrious and Hon. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, Richmond," and concluded with a hope for a union in "perfect friendship."1
    'Davis interpreted this communication as a form of recognition, even though some measure of his interpretation was subject to false expectations. The letter was reported in Southern newspapers with the implication that Pope Pius IX supported the Confederacy.2 The President hoped that this letter would be the first step towards widespread European recognition of the Confederate government, but it proved to be the only such communication, and within two years, the Confederacy would be dead. Still, the letter does raise the question of why the Holy Pontiff would express public friendship to the Confederacy.

    'the Holy See took the curious position of showing sympathy for the slaveholding Confederacy. The reason for this was that the pope, Pius IX, saw the same kinds of threatening tendencies in the American North that had driven him from his papal throne in Italy in 1848. These tendencies in both Italy and America came in the form of progressivism towards a more centralized democracy, economic reform, and opposition to aristocracy. They were considered to be liberal in both Catholic and Southern society, and were viewed as dangerous to the spread of Catholicism. Furthermore, the Church's own political weakness in America severely hindered her ability to attempt to change anything about slavery other than the hearts of those who condoned it. The Catholic Church considered the tendencies of the North to be more dangerous than slavery, and considered the conservative Southern society to be more suitable to the spread of Catholicism than the North.'

    Before anyone throws up their hands in horror, recall which section gave us the Philadelphia riots and the Blaine Amendment, and recall also that President Grant (ex Civil War Commander) who latched onto that amendment.

  • BDB||

    "Guy Montag | January 14, 2009, 5:59pm | #
    Didn't Dr. Ron Paul have something to say about possibly avoiding the Civil War"

    Yes. Preemptive surrender to the slave power.

  • JFK||

    No, since he was shot before he could move in that direction.

    I use that excuse all the time.Especially on Vietnam.

  • BDB||

    "JFK | January 14, 2009, 6:00pm | #
    No, since he was shot before he could move in that direction.

    I use that excuse all the time.Especially on Vietnam."

    You got lucky as shit. Otherwise you'd be like LBJ.

  • Mad Max||

    'Wow, what kind of state will that take to police every little town in America for vagina violations? To monitor every doc's office and female's medicine cabinet for an abortifacient?'

    Yeah, remember how, before *Roe v. Wade,* the cops were always going through everyone's medicine cabinet?

    Remember how the government always violates the Fourth Amendment to check the hospital records in order to catch robbers with gunshot wounds? Best to legalize robbery to avoid that problem!

  • Guy Montag||

    BDB,

    I was misremembering that it was something about victory through free trade and the gold standard for both CW and WWII.

    Will defer to your memory as I don't feel like looking it up. Or for you hippy freak Leftoids, I will spare the tea-water heating cycles of the intertubes.

  • BDB||

    I thought we WERE on the gold standard in 1861! WTF?

  • ||

    He had a high-pitched whiny voice, a silly mustache, and almost spastically violent body-language.

    And worst of all a provincial Austrian accent - it would be as if we had a dumb ass Georgia cracker as...oh,wait, we did have one of those.

  • BDB||

    The guy is a bit senile anyway so...I wouldn't be surprised, GM.

  • Guy Montag||

    And worst of all a provincial Austrian accent - it would be as if we had a dumb ass Georgia cracker as...oh,wait, we did have one of those.

    You are thinking Billy not Jimmy. Jimmy had that elitist plantation owning Georgia accent. Billy was making oil deals with Lybia, Jimmy was learning how good the Soviet Constitution was, etc.

  • Mad Max||

    Guy,

    Wrong Georgia. Unless I miss my guess, vanya was referring to Josef Stalin.

  • Guy Montag||

    MM,

    OH! LOL! Good show!

  • ||

    Yeah, remember how, before *Roe v. Wade,* the cops were always going through everyone's medicine cabinet?

    Easy chemical abortions like RU-486 and Plan-B and even the Pill did not exist before the 60's.

    Actually - it was the Griswold case (1962?) that should have you angry - it was that particular case that established the Right to Privacy (a Libertarian goal).

    But back to the topic - Obama actually reacts to data rather than ignore such and shoot from ideology like Bush has.

    So we have a chance! Small?

    Yes, but a chance!

  • Mad Max||

    'Easy chemical abortions like RU-486 and Plan-B and even the Pill did not exist before the 60's.'

    Arsenic has existed for a long time, and has been the instrument of choice for many poisoners, but somehow the Fourth Amendment hasn't been abolished to allow the cops to search for arsenic.

    'Actually - it was the Griswold case (1962?) that should have you angry'

    It was 1965, and it should make *you* angry, because it focused on the institution of marriage and the right of *marital* privacy. They misconceived the concept of marriage and marital privacy, but they certainly professed support for both. The focus on the rights of *married* couples left 'alternative lifestyles' out in the cold. In fact, key concurring opinions disavowed any intention of legalizing sodomy.

  • Elemenope||

    '[T]he Holy See took the curious position of showing sympathy for the slaveholding Confederacy. The reason for this was that the pope, Pius IX, saw the same kinds of threatening tendencies in the American North that had driven him from his papal throne in Italy in 1848.

    And just so we're clear, MM, you are quoting this passage to *defend* the actions of the Pope?

    Hm. Slavery > Liberalism? That's...fucked up.

  • ||

    What? You're an anti-contraception yet pro-gay sodomy Catholic? I think I missed your point.

    'Lawrence v. Texas' settled the Right to Private Sodomy issue - much to the chagrin of the sickish Scalia/Thomas MORE gayish duo of fictitious "originalism".

    We need case law to remain relevant. Thank Allah/Zeus for modernity.

  • Mad Max||

    shrike,

    I remember you - you're the guy who opposes "Christ Faggotry." Well, good on ya!

  • Guy Montag||

    Yeaaaaa!!!! A post to support the Montag Marriage Amendment: No government entity may distribute property or monies based on 'marriage' status.

    Maybe I jumped the gun . . .

  • BDB||

    RU-486 and other abortificant drugs will make the whole Roe V. Wade thing completely moot in about 20 years when said drugs are widespread.

  • Mad Max||

    LMNOP,

    Not everything done in the name of anti-slavery is necessarily good.

    Looking up the North's record in the Civil War, we see things like conscription, federal central banking, high tariffs, and other fun stuff.

    In other words, you can't hand out white hats to one side and black hats to the other, while cheering the white hats.

    Notice how the U.S. of A was one of the few countries which only got rid of legalized slavery through a bloody civil war?

  • Mad Max||

    BDB,

    Excellent! Since Roe v. Wade will no longer be relevant, it can safely be overruled.

    Right?

  • Elemenope||

    Yeaaaaa!!!! A post to support the Montag Marriage Amendment: No government entity may distribute property or monies based on 'marriage' status.

    That reminds me of Roman "marriage by usage". You fuck in the same bed for a year and you're married, but property does not become intermingled. Then, if you spend three nights apart, you are officially divorced, and all property devolves to the original owner.

  • Elemenope||

    In other words, you can't hand out white hats to one side and black hats to the other, while cheering the white hats.

    I completely agree. But you can put two shades of grey side-by-side and say "well, damnit, Bob. This one looks like snow and this one looks like show that has been intermingled with dogshit."

  • Elemenope||

    Notice how the U.S. of A was one of the few countries which only got rid of legalized slavery through a bloody civil war?

    Please don't tell me you blame the *North* for that.

    [braces for the Confederate fluffers to enter en masse and form a slapping gauntlet]

  • Mad Max||

    'Please don't tell me you blame the *North* for that.'

    You'll be relieved to know I don't.

  • Mad Max||

    I don't blame the North exclusively, because there was too much blame to go around.

  • MNG||

    "Yeah, remember how, before *Roe v. Wade,* the cops were always going through everyone's medicine cabinet?"

    What is this, you want the law passed but hope it won't be enforced all that strongly (wink, wink).

    This is like the conservatives who said "of course we don't want to be harrassing homosexuals, but we don't want the law approving of sodomy either!"

  • MNG||

    "No government entity may distribute property or monies based on 'marriage' status."

    What the fuck? So all the laws of intestacy, out the fucking window with you!

    If someone dies without a current will we just do some kind of lotto thing to divide up his stuff. I knew Montag was dumb, but sheesh.

  • MNG||

    The North did some truly heinous things in waging the war. Lincoln basically took a dump on the Copperheads civil liberties and bent habeas corpus over and had his way with it. And remember the prison camp in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?

    But it still doesn't justify what the South was up to (I'm not saying anyone is taking that view btw).

  • Elemenope||

    You'll be relieved to know I don't.

    I don't blame the North exclusively, because there was too much blame to go around.


    Good. I agree there that there was much incitement on both sides. However, the South

    1. Decided to secede with the specific goal of avoiding the consequences of a legal election

    and

    2. Started hostilities by attempting to possess Federal property (Fort Sumter, and ammo and sundries inside said fort) by force.

    So by two overt acts, they *started* it. Lincoln was a crafty monkey that way.

  • MNG||

    LMNOP

    I don't care who started it in some sense. The South was based on a hideous institution. They did not "deserve" what they got but I for one shed no tears that they got it handed to them.

    And not just the slavery stuff. The whole aristocratic feudalism thing they had going on (the one time very influential conservative Richard Weaver worshiped this stuff, take a read) is better relegated to the dustbin of history.

  • Mad Max||

    'But it still doesn't justify what the South was up to (I'm not saying anyone is taking that view btw).'

    It's so good to know you're not trying any straw-man arguments!

    'What is this, you want the law passed but hope it won't be enforced all that strongly (wink, wink).'

    Are you some kind of Bill O'Reilly supporter? Support for the Fourth Amendment equates, to you, to not being serious about enforcing the law?

    Unless I support warrantless searches of all hospital records after an armed robbery, to find who got admitted to a hospital with bullet wounds, then I'm in favor of a nudge-and-wink approach to enforcing the robbery laws?

    If I don't support warrantless break-ins at the houses of all murder suspects, I must be in favor of a turn-a-blind-eye approach to the enforcement of the laws against murders?

    Sorry if I can't fully acquit you of the use of straw-man tactics.

  • ||

    What was thread about? Oh, right, Obama and dinner.

    I think there's a rather a large difference between the reactions of people like George Will and Larry Kudlow to Obama and the column Fred Barnes wrote about Palin.

    All of the people talking up Palin during that election-season article were Republicans, while she was on the Republican ticket.

  • MNG||

    No, no Max. I'm talking about saying that overturning Roe v. Wade won't lead to stuff like the AG in Kansas was doing (trying to get to medical records of female patients to find evidence of abortions) and the like. And to the strange position I've seen some conservatives take on sodomy laws that I mentioned above. They also take this about Griswold (well of course it wasn't even being enforced! But it shouldn't have been overturned...).

    I give you a great deal of credit on this as you had the courage and principle to admit that you would be for the prosecution of the women seeking abortion as well as the abortionist.

  • MNG||

    George Will=principled conservative
    Fred Barnes=well, ya know

  • Russ 2000||

    I can't wait for the day when baseball statheads begin to lend more credence to the intellectual honesty of someone like Craig Wright over the narcissism of Bill James. I admire James' passion for baseball analysis, but in retrospect too much of his work is half-assed; he's lucky to have started at a time when being half-assed was a vast improvement, but that time has long passed.

  • ||

    Ever since the Democratic Party's primaries it has seemed to me that Obama is a master politician. That is to say: a master liar, manipulator, and conniver.

  • Paul||

    the true political genius of Barack Obama is the way that he makes YOU feel like you're the most important, the most intelligent, and doggone it the most independent-minded person in the conversation.



    Wasn't that supposedly one of Clinton's superpowers?

  • ||

    shrike,

    I remember you - you're the guy who opposes "Christ Faggotry." Well, good on ya!

    The same. The deliriously forlorn get no respect from me.

    It disarms the wingnuts pretty quickly. Once you signal that you don't cotton to their superstition you can focus on "real shit".

  • ||

    MNG,

    Did you see this from Fred Barnes? Ten things George Bush got right.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/986rockt.asp

    1. Global Warming Denial
    2. "Enhanced Interrogation of Terrorists"
    3. "Rebuilding Presidential Authority"
    4. "Bush's unswerving support for Israel"
    5. NCLB

    No, that's not me joking. That's the first half of Barnes' list, and I'm pretty sure he's serious.

  • Elemenope||

    The same. The deliriously forlorn get no respect from me.

    It disarms the wingnuts pretty quickly. Once you signal that you don't cotton to their superstition you can focus on "real shit".


    Not for nothing, shrike, but it is neither appropriate to characterize all belief as "superstition" nor is it particularly accurate to call Mad Max a "wingnut".

  • dhex||

    "[braces for the Confederate fluffers to enter en masse and form a slapping gauntlet]"

    god bless america.

    i sincerely mean that. those fluffers are part of a rich tapestry of maniacs.

  • Mike Farmer||

    "it would be as if we had a dumb ass Georgia cracker as"

    Hey, us dumbass Georgia crackers've gots feelings too.

  • zoltan||

    I'm sure Fred Barnes won't like George Bush's goal #3 once Obama gets ahold of it.

    I thought that divination was a stoneable offense? No? Hmm.


    Also, this is only if you're doing it in Africa around Sarah Palin's preacher/witch-warder-offer.

    And for all the Deadwood fans, didn't Trixie recommend pennyroyal tea as a good abortifacent? I'll have to hoard that shit once MadMax gets his way and make a killing! (Pun wasn't even intentional)

  • Mike Farmer||

    Obama's mendacity is personably intoxicating. We are lucky to witness such proficient manipulation after eight years of painfully inept manipulation. Delusional national episodes are easier to accept when a collective inclusion is skillfully offered in an ostensible sincerity that's close enough to the real thing to enable us to avoid complete despair.

  • ||

    Joe,

    Here is another one from the Barnes article, which I agree with:

    Bush had ten great achievements (and maybe more) in his eight years in the White House, starting with his decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty so loved by Al Gore, the environmental lobby, elite opinion, and Europeans. The treaty was a disaster, with India and China exempted and economic decline the certain result. Everyone knew it. But only Bush said so and acted accordingly.

  • Mad Max||

    Just to clarify that it's possible to be pro-life *and* to support the Fourth Amendment:

    Who is among the most famous pro-life activists in the country? Norma McCorvey, the 'Roe' of Roe v. Wade who converted to the anti-abortion cause and has devoted her life to overturning the decision which bears her pseudonym.

    Who is among the most famous pro-Fourth Amendment advocates in the country? Dr. Ron Paul, of course, famous for opposing the unconstitutional searches promoted by the Bush administration.

    Guess who endorsed Ron Paul for President?

  • zoltan||

    Who gives a shit what some old broad thinks.

  • Mad Max||

    zoltan,

    But remember - it's the pro-life side which is sexist.

    It's important to keep repeating that, because the evidence seems to be otherwise.

  • zoltan||

    Ah, when a woman supports something it's automatically non-sexist. It's all so clear now.

  • Mad Max||

    No, zoltan, dismissing a woman's arguments by calling her an 'old broad' is sexist.

  • Mad Max||

  • Mad Max||

    I mean, this old broad:

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/

  • nobody u no and big fan of joe||

    two of my heros posting brilliant posts on this thread. where is jennifer?

    joe, great comment on that fascist fred barnes. too bad obama is curing global warming or fred barnes would drown when dc floods.

    i think bush is making obama give too much money to banks he should be giving more to the poor.

  • Mad Max||

    How would these three dames react to a supposed follower of the libertarian movement dismissing women as 'old broads'?

  • zoltan||

    I'm not sure how dismissing someone's arguments is sexist. She happens to be an aged female so referring to her as an old broad is appropriate. I just dismissed her arguments after referring to her as such, not because she is.

  • nobody u no and big fan of joe||

    zoltan you are a sexist capitalist pig.

  • Mad Max||

    Interesting, zoltan.

    Here's another example. Alveda King, niece of the later Martin Luther King, preaches against abortion.

    Now, fill in the blank: 'Who gives a shit what some old ------ thinks?"

  • nobody u no and big fan of joe||

    denying women the right to chose is the same as slavery.

  • ||

    McCain would have been worse.

  • zoltan||

    Yes, Mad Max, I certainly see the similarity between the word "broad" and the word "nigger". Maybe those generations of women who were kept down by that word will one day be free of it and use it familiarly amongst each other while not allowing non-women to use it. It seems like no one here but you cares that some senile half-wit doesn't like abortion or whatever the geriatrics are moaning about nonsensically these days.

  • Mad Max||

    zoltan, allow me to interrupt your observance of National Sensitivity Week to post some links.

    Here are some senile old farts who oppose abortion.

    More geriatric pro-lifers. Notice the walkers and canes.

    More drooling old people against abortion. Interesting quote: 'A decade of Pew Research Center polls shows that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22 percent of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15 percent of their parents' generation.'

  • Mad Max||

    To be sure, that last link was from the Las Angeles Times, a notorious Religious Right propaganda organ. So take it with a grain of salt.

  • Mad Max||

    Los Angeles Times

  • zoltan||

    I can see why the 18-29-year-old population favors a total ban on abortion. If their parents could see the type of people they turned out to be, they know they'd be stuck to the side of a vacuum wall. I'm not sure where in any of my comments I showed the slightest bit of curiosity in what any age group prefers politically. Somehow you think putting up a bunch of links I'm not going to click on and saying something cute about the "Las (sic) Angeles Times" makes them somehow relevant to me. At the beginning, I was pointing out that no one really cares about your little pet issue which you are so fervent about. Old broads and hot young conservative Christian chicks who only do anal excluded of course.

  • Mad Max||

    'Old broads and hot young conservative Christian chicks who only do anal'

    I'm sorry I called you a sexist, zoltan :)

  • zoltan||

    Sometimes reality is sexist. It's sad, but true. It's fun to spin it every now and then though.

  • Mad Max||

    'Reality' doesn't seem too enthusiastic about the elderly and the young, either.

  • ||

    This must be the new BO. The one I encountered back in 2003, before he was BO, was a cocky jerk, errr, excuse me, elitist.

    I was bitching about the IL Dems bending over to put Bush on the ballot when he ignored the rule of law, but the IL Dems won't lift a finger to change ballot access laws in Illinois where independents faced the highest signature requirement of any democracy in the world at the time. No independent candidate has been on the ballot for state house in Illinois since 1980 when they upped the requirement. Lee v. Keith later ruled Illinois' election laws unconstitutional.

    But all BO and his backbench Senate buddies wanted to do was make fun of me. A staffer asked me how much Jesse White paid me to bitch about Bush getting on the ballot (in exchange for putting Bush on the ballot the Dems wanted to forgive a $1 million campaign fine against Jesse White and others). Barack Obama chimed in, "Obviously not enough for a decent suit".

    Jerk. He never did anything about Illinois election laws that were ruled unconstitutional in Lee v. Keith even though he was well aware of the issue and supposedly taught a class on election law at U of C.

    He may be a nice, smart guy now, but he was smart ass, better than thou do-nothing jerk as a State Senator.

  • ||

    And a useful tip for anyone that may find themselves having a conversation with BO. Just say this and watch his facial expression. "So I got really drunk with this lobbyist from the Muntu Dance Theater the other day and we talked about some crazy stuff...."

    That'll scare the shit out of him. Great fun just to see his face if you even mention the Muntu Dance theater.

  • ||

    Wow!! 22 percent of a narrow polling sample favors a total abortion ban! That's good enough for me. Let's now turn the country over to a bunch of superstitious savages with plates in their lips, pardon me, dedicated christians who have deeply held beliefs.

  • nobody u no and big fan of joe||

    obama will bring the country together as one. it would be easier if the fascist capitalist corporate stooges would stop resisting it.

  • Mad Max||

    SusanM,

    I suppose you would prefer to turn the country over to people who, while the rest of the country has accustomed itself to the idea of a black President, continue to make racist insults at their opponents.

  • nobody u no and big fan of joe||

    the government is poisoning steve jobs one of the only top progressives in corporateamerica. reason won't write about it either.

  • Guy Montag||

    MNG comes through with his scripted nanny state brilliance:

    What the fuck? So all the laws of intestacy, out the fucking window with you!

    If someone dies without a current will we just do some kind of lotto thing to divide up his stuff. I knew Montag was dumb, but sheesh.


    Same thing that happens when unmarried people die dipshit. You calling people dumb is pretty damn funny too.

    If you care enough to want certain people or orgs to get your stuff then writing it down should not be too much of an individual burden. Need the government to wipe your ass for you too?

  • ||

    Well Obama's certainly achieving his goal with Matt Welch and a lot of the other posters here. Firstly, he's positioning them as mindless obstructionists with a rather nasty and bitter turn of phrase. Then he's sowing dissension between Republican activists and the shills.....er sorry pundits, who carry the GOP's talking points to the masses. Not a bad night's work really. I really don't think most conservatives have begun to comprehend just what a brilliant politician this guy is. They prefer to console themselves with dismissing him as a speechifier, as if that wasn's a pre-eminent qualification in a president, or a community organizer. And that leaves out the totally dismissive stuff. This guy is going to run rings around the Republican party.

  • ||

    There's no need to go all the way back to WW2 to compare Obama to a "charismatic" political leader. W is also said to be a highly engaging figure, in private.

    BTW-otto, no one has ever underestimated Obama's political ruthlessness. But color me unimpressed by this latest move. It's easy to make nice with other politicos before you've actually DONE anything.

    Remember, Bush ran on a platform of being a "uniter, not a divider". 8 years after movie night with Ted Kennedy, Bush is still despised by Democrats. Again, I fail to see why Obama is an upgrade over Bush.

  • ||

    Actually, one guy they were interviewing for a program on the Hitler History Channel who was there during his rise said that in person he was very uncharismatic. He had a high-pitched whiny voice, a silly mustache, and almost spastically violent body-language.

    Yeah it was Stalin who was Charismatic. Hitler was a Dbag.

  • Golem||

    I'm amazed at what I'm reading here.

    Libertarians who voted for Obama are fake libertarians.

    In a nutshell: Libertarians who like liberals and Democrats, but hate conservatives and Republicans, are fake libertarians.

  • Harold||

    This article has been featured at THEWEEK.com as Best Opinion - Great piece!

  • ||

    So what you're telling us is, that like Steve Jobs, Obama has his own version of a, "reality distortion field." He just uses it to sell himself, rather than to hawk computers, and the Washington sycophant corp is eating it up like Christmas pudding. It's nice to know the so-called best and brightest are really nothing more than a bunch of vainglorious consumers of cheap narcissism.

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