Obama: "You're going to destroy my presidency."

President Obama could hardly be described as insecure or lacking in self-confidence. Or could he? A report on CongressDaily this morning suggests that a recent comment by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) hit close to home for the president.

The comment came last Friday while Senate Republicans were discussing Obama's healthcare plan. "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him," said the senator. Now, there is speculation that that comment will hurt any chance for bipartisan support of the healthcare legislation:

[Charles] Grassley said he spoke with a Democratic House member last week who shared Obama's bleak reaction during a private meeting to reports that some factions of House Democrats were lining up to stall or even take down the overhaul unless leaders made major changes.

"Let's just lay everything on the table," Grassley said. "A Democrat congressman last week told me after a conversation with the president that the president had trouble in the House of Representatives, and it wasn't going to pass if there weren't some changes made ... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.


The "Democrat congressman" remains anonymous, but this insider's tip is quite interesting and could alter the debate. If Obama himself is this worried about his public option, Republicans and moderate Democrats are a lot less likely to support it. Maybe Obama's having second thoughts about hanging his presidency on health care reform. Here's hoping Senator DeMint has some more clever comments up his sleeve.

More from Reason on Obama's healthcare plan here, here and here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency."

    I smiled and kind of tingled when I read this. Hopefully, this is exactly what happens.

  • Yahoo Answerer||

    "It isn't about me." is politician for "It's all about me."

  • Kyle Jordan||

    And just because his seemingly frightened response has me so giddy, I'm going to quote the great Sato and say...

    "YOUR FEAR MAKE AIR STINK!!!"

  • Ska||

    Did you just quote Karate Kid II?

    **shakes head**

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I sure did.

  • ||

    "This is not about me. This is not about politics."
    If you're the most powerful politican in the land, how is it not about politics? Shouldn't he look into being a motivational speaker or something?

  • stuartl||

    So you are a Dem president, in trouble with your own party on legislation. How to fix the rift?

    How about getting a Rep senator to say your credibility is on line? Try to rally the troops against the common enemy.

  • Joe M||

    Oh, please please please let this horrible bill fall apart. Also, let his nightmarish presidency fall apart as well.

  • ||

    He's channeling Palin.

  • ||

    Obama-san, never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose.

  • Tomcat1066||

    ... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.'

    Here's hoping.

  • ||

    "How about getting a Rep senator to say your credibility is on line? Try to rally the troops against the common enemy."

    That is no doubt the strategy. Of course it helps that it is also true. If BO doesn't get healthcare and cap and theft, he is a lame duck after less than a year. It would be devistating to his credibility. It would also demoralize the base of the Democratic Party. If they can't get socialized medicine and cap and theft with a far left President and big majorities in both houses of Congress, they will never get them. Considering that he has pretty much left the Bush war on terrorism untouched, what exactly have his base supporters gotten out of the deal beyond the $700 billion McHopey stimulus package?

    This leaves the Dems in Congress in a tough spot. They can pass healthcare and cap and theft and face the wrath of voters in 2010 for passing two huge, poorly thought out and unpopular initiatives. Or, they can vote them down and face the voters in 2010 with a dispirited base and an angry motivated Republican base.

  • ||

    Over at alternatehistory.com there is a thread where people are listing the worst presidents in American history. The usual suspects Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Pierce are showing up a lot. To my pleasure some are mentioning George W. Bush. And I seriously think that for me Obama has earned at least an honorable mention.

    As a person with a congenital heart defect I seriously fear health care "reform." As it is now even living in Indiana I can still go to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where I've had all five of my heart surgeries, when I want to. I'd hate to think of the effect of government run health care.

    If that means destroying the Obama presidency than I'm all for it. Sure liberal pundits will whine right-wing conspiracy and covert racism but oh well. A pouting do nothing Obama would be far better for the nation than the Hope and Spend socialist he is now. Lets end this crap before we become Euro-America or worse.

    Benjamin

  • Mike M.||

    MSNBC must secretly be afraid that the anonymous Congressman is right, because they actually have a countdown clock displayed on the screen ticking down to his press conference tonight, if you can believe it.

  • ||

    Over at alternatehistory.com there is a thread where people are listing the worst presidents in American history. The usual suspects Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Pierce are showing up a lot. To my pleasure some are mentioning George W. Bush. And I seriously think that for me Obama has earned at least an honorable mention.



    How about Woodrow Wilson?

  • ||

    Remember also that BO has yet to have a serious misstep or scandal in his administration. Yet, despite this his administration seems to be going nowhere. Wait until he gets snippy and makes another "gun clinger" type remark or inevitably one of his top officials is caught lying or stealing (that happens to every administration of both parties). Then BO will find out what heat really is.

  • ||

    Oh, ye of little faith!

    After the President appoints himself head of the Federal Reserve, and singlehandedly saves the world economy, you'll pretend you liked him all along.

  • ||

    Funny how things can turn on a dime in politics.
    Remember way back when the Republican party was in shambles and Obama could do no wrong?

  • ||

    John, you ignore another scenario. Obama, faced with the failure of health care reform, rallies the poor, the disenfranchised, the jealous and the retributionists with the battle cry, "The Republicans and their crony capitalist uber wealthy friends are keeping you down!" This results in more dems in '10 and he gets the newly fearful center-dems to tow the lion.

  • ||

    I listened to a little bit of the Presidential Suit's press conference upon his return from his "I'm Saving the World" tour (as I was frantically hunting for the remote); I wonder if any of those G20 guys will ever talk to him again. Egomaniacs don't like being used as props in some upstart egomaniac's morality plays.

  • ||

    Maybe brotherben. But some lions just can't be towed.

  • ||

    P Brooks,

    I bet the European leaders can't stand him privately. If I am Merkel or Sarkozy with my flaming hot wife, I doubt I am impressed with the junior Senator from Illinois lecturing me on world affairs.

  • ev||

    The worst president debate is an interesting one. I am just giving this a cursory thought but I'd have to put Johnson right up there. Nixon,too,although I have respect for his dealings in China.

    The culture in the South that Johnson helped create is his lasting legacy and a terrible one.

    Adams doesn't sit well with me. The great experiment almost ended with him.

    I know nothing of Pierce. Ditto for a lot of post-Jackson/pre-Lincoln prezes.

    Wilson certainly was a dick too.

  • Chris Matthews||

    "I smiled and kind of tingled when I read this"


    That's funny.

    My leg isn't tingling anymore.

  • ||

    I really need to get a podiatrists. I was trying to toe the lion last night and it has really messed me up. Unfortunately I have no health insurance so I will just have to suffer. If only someone would give me free healthcare.

  • ||

    ... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.'

    He's doing that all by himself, with his idiotic economic plans and saying the exact opposite of what he's doing.

    Maybe if the Rs take over the House in 2010 he can pull a Clinton and start acting sensibly.

  • Space Fiend||

    You really need to define your terms for a "superlative president" debate.

    For example, Lincoln, best president for the American state, worst president for the American people.

  • ||

    "Maybe if the Rs take over the House in 2010 he can pull a Clinton and start acting sensibly."

    It will be interesting to see how BO reacts to an ass whipping at the ballot box in 2010. You have to remember Bill Clinton had been a governor who had lost an election only to come back later and win. Clinton had some experience with overcoming adversity and adjusting to a changing political climate.

    McHopey in contrast has never experienced anything like that. He has spent his entire life having his ass kissed by guilty white liberals. He might come around and start acting sensibly like Clinton. Or he might react badly and start blaming people and acting snippy and fall apart. Your guess is as good as mine. Lets hope we find out.

  • ||

    Another scenario is the one with DeMint doing the Argentinian Amore' press conference when the indiscretion "suddenly" finds daylight. If conspiracy theorists are correct about Obama taking out opponents politically.

  • ||

    "For example, Lincoln, best president for the American state, worst president for the American people."

    I think there are a few million slaves and their decendents who would disagree with that assessment.

  • ¢||

    Remember also that BO has yet to have a serious misstep or scandal in his administration.

    "IG-gate" is worse than Nixon, his Supreme Court nominee is retarded, he's trying to start a bloodbath in Honduras, [and fifty more things].

    Then BO will find out what heat really is.

    No, he won't. There's nothing he could do that could get him more than one "cycle" of bad press. Nothing.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    NO! NO ENGAGING THE NEO-CONFEDERATE, JOHN!

    Let it go, for the love of Galt.

  • ||

    "IG-gate" is worse than Nixon, his Supreme Court nominee is retarded, he's trying to start a bloodbath in Honduras, [and fifty more things]."

    All true. But at some point there will be a scandal that even the fawning BO media has to cover. When that happens he will get more than one cycle of bad news.

  • ||

    I'm sure somebody would be happy to blow this theory out of the water, but I have come to regard Wilson as the first truly "Messianic" President.

    Bad. Very, very bad.

  • hmm||

    Where the hell did the towing lions come from?

  • stuartl||

    IG-gate?

  • The Governed||

    "MY" Presidency?

    Sorry, but it's "our" presidency, we just let you fill the position for 4 years. Do your managerial job and check your ego at the door.

  • ||

    My prediction: Health care will fail and it will not be Obama's Waterloo. This is just overblown rhetoric from the capital of gasbaggery. Look how many failures Bush had before he got blown out of the water. And DeMint is a Class A Jesus freak, vindictive, "here let me legislate my religious beliefs for you" whiner who gets some kudos for anti-spending measures.

  • ||

    hmm | July 22, 2009, 1:46pm | #
    Where the hell did the towing lions come from?"

    Detroit. Only way to get em down the field.

  • dfd||

    Where the hell did the towing lions come from?

    It all started when someone once wrote "tow the line" instead of "toe the line." In the discussion of someone correcting him someone else suggested "tow the lion" and it's been all downhill since then.

  • Rahm the Baptist||

    "You're going to destroy my presidency."

    Yes but he will rise three days later.

  • ||

    "My prediction: Health care will fail and it will not be Obama's Waterloo. This is just overblown rhetoric from the capital of gasbaggery."

    I hope you are right about healthcare failing. But if it does, what exactly does McHopey bring to the table at that point? Bush got whatever he wanted, sans social security reform, his first four or five years in office. Think about it. He got the Patriot Act, War in Iraq and Afghanistan, Drug coverage, his tax cuts, No Child Left Behind just to name a few off the top of my head.

    Regardless of the merits of those programs, Bush was able to enact tham, which is a measure of the power of his Presidency until about 2005. Without healthcare and cap and theft, what exactly can McHopey claim credit for beyond a huge deficit and a failing economy. Healthcare failing will be a big deal.

  • ||

    So Bush failed on Social Security and Obama fails (hopefully) on health care. All that other stuff that shows how "successful" Bush was ultimately lead to his downfall. So couldn't it be argued that Obama will be better off without so many dead albatrosses? I don't think health care will doom Obama. Whether he's successful or not is a separate issue.

  • Gunboat Diplomacy||

    " and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.'"

    Bitch is projecting again.

  • Warty||

    Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically "dead" (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a "rift," for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning withouth those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.

  • ||

    "All that other stuff that shows how "successful" Bush was ultimately lead to his downfall. So couldn't it be argued that Obama will be better off without so many dead albatrosses? I don't think health care will doom Obama. Whether he's successful or not is a separate issue."

    Bush had to go to war in Afghanistan. The Patriot Act may not be popular around here but it is in the country as evidenced by the fact that the Dems won't touch it. The only thing that "sealed Bush's doom" was Iraq. Take away Iraq or make the Iraq war short and sweet and Bush is probably still very popular in 2008.

    I see your point that BO is better off getting nothing than his moronic healthcare plan. Perhaps the blue dogs will save BO from himself. That said, a President has to accomplish something to get re-elected. In normal times I could see where BO could keep his head down and not do too much and get re-elected because the Republicans are disorganized and white people love voting for a black man. But these are not normal times. I don't see how with this economy and a huge deficit, McHopey can get by with having his programs all voted down in Congress.

  • ed||

    Mr. Obama is under enormous pressure to do well, being The First Half-Black President© and all that. And I feel his pain. One might say I empathize with him. But his philosophy is bankrupt and his supporters on the left are as odious as anything we've seen since FDR's regime. The country will survive his downfall, if and when that happens. But who is there to succeed him? As a nation we're drifting, philosophically, and that's dangerous. When a charismatic politician comes along, at just the right time, with real power, we're in for it.

  • ||

    Where the hell did the towing lions come from?"

    Detroit. Only way to get em down the field.


    There's an easy fix for that; get yourself some German-made lions. They'll run forever.

  • ||

    "As a nation we're drifting, philosophically, and that's dangerous. When a charismatic politician comes along, at just the right time, with real power, we're in for it."

    I think we are too evenly divided for that. McHopey is charasmatic and gives great speechs. He also has the entire media and entertainment establishment behind him and millions of guilty white people praying he will succeed. Even still at least a third of the country hates his guts and his Presidency is falling apart after six months.

  • General Buck Turgidson||

    Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books.

  • ||

    "Mr. Obama is under enormous pressure to do well,"

    You have no evidence to support this.

  • ||

    "Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books."

    You are asking a lot from a world class narsisist like BO.

  • ed||

    I have the evidence of my senses.

  • ||

    As we learned yesterday (and will hear again from Obama tonight) that anyone who would like to delay the consideration of a health care reform bill is a partisan hack who only wishes to destroy the president, I thought I'd make a list of the destructive fear-mongers the president is up against.

    Charlie Rangel (D- N.Y.): "No one wants to tell the speaker (Nancy Pelosi) that she's moving too fast and they damn sure don't want to tell the president," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., a key committee chairman, told a fellow lawmaker as the two walked into a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

    Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.): "We don't need to box ourselves in with any artificial deadline," Mr. Ross added.

    Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.): "If we get consensus, we'll move on it" next week, Mr. Hoyer said. "If we don't get consensus, I don't think staying in session is necessarily necessary."


    Henry Waxman (D-Calif.): Waxman agreed with Ross that the entire committee - not just the Blue Dogs - "have great concern on the cost of the legislation." "That is a view that is not just theirs, but ours as well," Waxman said.


    Progressives, Blue Dogs, and everybody in between: "I want to make it very clear that there's progressives, Blue Dogs and everybody in between who have expressed concerns, and we're working on that."

    Quite a list. Why do they insist on "destroying his presidency?"

  • Anonymous||

    "You have no evidence to support this."

    Give me a break, man. Have you been living under a rock or something?

  • ||

    "I have the evidence of my senses."

    Here's how I had envisioned this: Person reads your statement (POTUS under pressure to succeed), then my statement (you have no evidence of that), then say to themselves (WTF? All presidents are under enormous pressure to succeed), then realize I was actually calling you out for stating the obvious (I didn't even get to the part about being half-black).

    Don't worry. It isn't the first of my plans to backfire.

  • ||

    Nobody os trying to destroy the Obama presidency. It just happens to be a year without an election, and health care isn't politically expedient. It may be again soon. Costs aren't real important when votes are at stake.

  • ||

    @brotherben

    Don't you mean "costs are real important when votes are at stake"?

    I mean, who doesn't want FREE healthcare?

  • ||

    I kind of agree with Lamar. How is BO under any more pressure to succeed than any other President? If anything he is under less pressure. The media is so full of condescending soft racist that he could do virtually anything and they would talk about how brilliant he is. I mean could the first black President be anything but?

  • ||

    JB Good, I meant that when votes were at stake , politicians sand the chicken in every pot and healthcare in every home song without regard to cost. Now, without elections pressing, suddenly some of them remember that there will be actual costs. Next year, when votes matter again, we will all be subjected to a new liturgy of lies. Obama didn't misjudge the size of the lies, but the size of the stage and the skilz of the opposition. Like Palin, it seems now that he may have been brought up too soon.

  • John||

    "Let's just lay everything on the table," Grassley said. "A Democrat congressman last week told me after a conversation with the president that the president had trouble in the House of Representatives, and it wasn't going to pass if there weren't some changes made ... and the president says, 'You're going to destroy my presidency.

    So we're hearing this quote from a Senator, who heard it from an anonymous congressman, who heard it from the President.

    None of these people are what I would call men of integrity. Color me skeptical.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    pet peeve: Senators are congressmen!.

    Congressmen = Senators and Representatives.

    Yeesh.

  • Space Fiend||

    @ John: Oh, right, you mean the slaves specifically in the south, correct? Because Lincoln never even gave lip service to freeing slaves in the north. To Lincoln (and almost all of his contemporaries) the crime of the confederates was daring to defy that new god, Washington, not the actual crime of human slavery.

    I'm sure we are all much better off, now that the federal government has usurped the power to throw dissenters in prison, draft young men and send them off to die, print unbacked money at its leisure, and invade, burn, slaughter and kill anyone who dares object.

    @ TAO: I'm not a neo-confederate. Not even close. Kansan, born and raised, and I would've been singing "John Brown's Body" with the best of them. Opposition to Lincoln, the man most responsible for the omnipresent federal government of today, is not the same as support for the CSA, and you know it. You're far too smart to go for "if you're not with us, you're against us."

  • phalkor||

    what color is skepticism?

  • kinnath||

    As an Iowan, I want to apologize for being one of those folks that enjoyed watching Obama destroy Clinton in the Iowa Caucaus. I had no idea that the rest of the nation would actually follow that up and elect the dufus.

  • ||

    "The media is so full of condescending soft racist that he could do virtually anything and they would talk about how brilliant he is."

    I agree overall, but if we're going to assume that the media is die hard liberal, we should assume that they are fluffing Obama because he is a liberal, not because of race.

  • ||

    Space Fiend,

    If Lincoln doesn't launch the civil war and win it, slavery continues into the 20th Century and until the slaves finally successfully revolt and burn the entire South down. That is a much worse contingency than the one we live in.

    If you don't like what Lincoln did to the government take it up with the South who both maintained the most odious instiution in our history and went crazy and started a shooting war. The South bears 100% of the blame for the Civil War and its aftermath. You being from Kansas should know that better than anyone. It was in Kansas where southern terrorist murdered and pillaged the state in hopes of making it a slave state. The antebellum South was an agressive, slave holding empire intent on establishing slavery throughout the entire West and eventually all of the Americas.

  • ||

    "I agree overall, but if we're going to assume that the media is die hard liberal, we should assume that they are fluffing Obama because he is a liberal, not because of race."

    It is both although it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

  • ||

    "You're going to destroy my presidency."

    Emo!

  • ||

    "The antebellum South was an agressive, slave holding empire intent on establishing slavery throughout the entire West and eventually all of the Americas."

    Let's not forget that the South wanted to continue slavery despite the fact that almost all western or civilized nations had banned the practice. I think it's bizarre that Iran didn't ban slavery until 1924.

  • Warty||

    Jesus Christ, the Civil War is boring.

  • Sandi||

    I took a shit in Iowa once.

  • ||

    "Jesus Christ, the Civil War is boring."

    Guess ya had to be there.

  • Sandi||

    Never in Iran though.

  • ||

    Photocaption: I can make farty noises with my hands!

  • ||

    Caption:

    "Where are those fucking ducks? I've been calling them for twenty minutes!"

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I don't know why, but it seems like the Civil War is like, libertarian heroin. we keep saying we're over it, but next thing you know, we're tying off in an alley and injecting a straight shot of Ft. Sumter.

  • Space Fiend||

    John, the ends never justify the means.

  • ||

    "If Lincoln doesn't launch the civil war and win it, slavery continues into the 20th Century and until the slaves finally successfully revolt and burn the entire South down."

    Other countries did away with slavery without a war. We could have outlawed slavery and given reparations to the slaveholders as other countries did. Only a quarter of the Southern population owned slaves. With more mechanization, slavery would have withered on the vine.

    "If you don't like what Lincoln did to the government take it up with the South who both maintained the most odious instiution in our history and went crazy and started a shooting war."

    Lincoln provoked it by refusing to remove troops from Fort Sumter.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    ahhh, now that's what I call chasing the Dragon, boys.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The Civil War Threads
    Reviving the tradition
    Haiku for dumb shit

  • Space Fiend||

    The sides in the Civil War are just like the democrats and republicans today (oh, wait, they literally were the democrats and republicans). Both incredibly evil for different reasons. Supporting or hating one does not equate to the opposite for the other, just like in today's political landscape. Taking sides in a war that happened 150 years ago where both sides were terribly wrong is just as stupid as sending money to the RNC or DNC today. I just pick on Lincoln and the north, because they won. If the south had won I would rag on Davis until the end of time.

  • ||

    Sorry to have started this AO. Confederate Defenders drive me nuts. The South was holding 1/3 of its population in bondage. It was trying to spread the practice to the West through terrorism. A Southern dominated Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott that when a southerner took his slave to a free state, that slave was still a slave, which basically meant universal slavery. Lincoln never said he was going to end slavery, just stop its spread. The South upon his election tried to leave the Union and then fired on federal troops. But the war is somehow all the North's fault. UGH!!!

  • ed||

    How is BO under any more pressure to succeed than any other President?

    Are you kidding me, John? Have you spent the last two years under a rock, with no internet or cable connection? Do you think Jesus was under no more pressure than any other half-crazy rabbi?

  • Warty||

    Lincoln provoked it by refusing to remove troops from Fort Sumter.

    Oh come on now, that's just stupid.

    *gets out lighter and spoon*

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Irritating Me
    The NeoConfederates
    Blame Lincoln for All

  • ||

    "Are you kidding me, John? Have you spent the last two years under a rock, with no internet or cable connection? Do you think Jesus was under no more pressure than any other half-crazy rabbi?"

    Maybe. I see your point. It could be that his creepy half crazed followers will be disapointed with anything short of miracles. Or it could be that his creepy half crazed followers are so emotionally invested in him that they will latch on to any success however small as proof of BO's greatness and will blame any failure of the malevelent forces arrayed against him.

    I think it is more likely to be the latter. Expect to see a bunch of thumb sucking post 2012 election pieces explaining how evil forces destroyed the last best hope of America.

  • ||

    You never catch the dragon, Dad.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I suggest you all get back to rubbing your hands with glee over the prospect of Obama's presidency being destroyed instead of yapping about a war that's been over with for over 100 years.

  • ||

    "Do you think Jesus was under no more pressure than any other half-crazy rabbi?"

    Aside from being pure speculation, why would Jesus have been under more pressure than other quack rabbis? Because years after his death people ascribed special meaning to his life? Even if he has more pressure because he's black, he has less pressure because he's good looking, or whatever. Bush had more pressure because he was the son of a president. Or less. I mean, WTF? Are we just making stuff up now?

  • ||

    "But the war is somehow all the North's fault. UGH!!!"

    It's the North's fault because a war wasn't necessary to end slavery.

  • ||

    Well, you probably figured out that I switched from talking about Jesus to Obama in the third sentence up there. But ya gotta be clear these days.

  • ||

    So couldn't it be argued that Obama will be better off without so many dead albatrosses?



    Lamar,

    I'd argue that Obama would be better off if none of this shit passes. Bill Clinton had very few individual sucesses. Even his own party would not let him do very much. If I remember correctly, HillaryCare died while the Dems had a majority in both houses. Yet, overall history will record Bill Clinton as an average president. There is nothing wrong with only being average you followed such luminaries as LBJ & Carter.

  • Warty||

    a war wasn't necessary to end slavery.

    That's correct. It's why it's such a shame that a bunch of touchy Southern aristocrats overconcerned with honor started the war.

  • Seward||

    bookworm,

    Other countries did away with slavery without a war.

    But none ended them without violence. Even in the British case it was open revolts in the Caribbean which pushed the Parliament over the edge into voting for both the end of the slave trade and the end of slavery (respectively).

    We could have outlawed slavery and given reparations to the slaveholders as other countries did.

    That would have taken an amendment to the Constitution, and that seems something that would have been unlikely to happen.

    Only a quarter of the Southern population owned slaves.

    That figure never takes into account all the people who were the spouses and offspring of slaveholders, those who rented slaves, those who supplied the plantations with goods and services, etc.

    With more mechanization, slavery would have withered on the vine.

    That's of course why the cotton gin ended slavery in the South. Cuba successfully adopted all manner of advanced technologies like rail, new types of boilers and chemical processes, etc. to their slave economy in the 19th century. Technology doesn't have a mind of its own; people have control of it and how it is to be used. That would be my anti-determinism rant.

    John,

    Since four out of every five "Confederates" was a slave, the ratio is a bit higher than 1/3.

  • ||

    "It's the North's fault because a war wasn't necessary to end slavery."

    Yes it was. The South had no intention of ever giving up slavery. And they were terrorizing territories (bleeding Kansas) who didn't agree to allow it. Without the civil war things would have ended very badly for the South. The invention of rapid fire small arms would have allowed slaves to launch a no kidding insurgent rebellion and turned the place into Haiti. Instead, the rotten instution was ended and the South was able to turn into the nice place it is today. Lincoln did the South an enormous favor.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    bookworm continues
    blames north for south's aggression
    irritates us more

  • ||

    "John,

    Since four out of every five "Confederates" was a slave, the ratio is a bit higher than 1/3."

    that is jus tnot true. Only 1/3 of the southern population were slaves, not 4/5. You are thinking of the 4/5ths compromise whereby Southern Slave populations were given 4/5ths of their number for purposes of represenation in Congress.

  • ||

    Caption:

    And now, another song from one of my favorite performers, Zamfir.

  • Ska||

    Caption: Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?

  • ||

    "If you take a blade of grass, and hold it just so and blow through your hands, you can make an incredibly annoying noise."

  • ||

    "That's of course why the cotton gin ended slavery in the South."

    I was at the Smithsonian with my brother and two female friends. There was a guy doing a cotton gin demonstration. When he told us that the cotton gin brought an end to the last of the big handjobs, we looked at each other for a moment, walked away in unison, and once out of earshot laughed our asses off.

  • ||

    "bookworm continues
    blames north for south's aggression
    irritates us more"

    Lincoln supported the right of secession over the Mexican War. Why didn't the South have a right to secede? If the US had a right to secede from Great Britain, didn't the South also have a right to secede? The act of aggression was in not allowing the South to secede.

  • ||

    Apparently one thing that's a big problem for the "public option" is abortion. Will the government plan cover it or not? Private insurance doesn't fact this issue as much, since people can sign up for programs that do or don't include it.

  • ||

    Caption: I think Miss Celie spit in my water again.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "slaveholding countries
    have rights too!" yells the southern
    slave apologist

  • ||

    The South had the right to secede from the Union, but they afforded no such right of their slaves to be free from bondage so I give them exactly zero sympathy. Hypocrites.

  • smartass sob||

    Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.

    I've been an avocational blacksmith for twenty-five years and I can tell you that just isn't true. Anvils do break and I've seen more than one that was missing its horn or heel. I've seen others that were badly chipped or had whole chunks broken out of their face, and still others that were so badly worn they were as sway-backed as an old nag. Wale on an anvil in freezing temperatures or with too large a sledge hammer and you're just asking for it to break. That said, hammers too have been known to break - usually at the handle, but sometimes the face.

    I think the original meaning or intent of the phrase "hammer and anvil" was to draw attention to what was placed between hammer and anvil.

  • jj||

    Nick, you speak in people-groupese like a typical liberal. Why not blame slaveholders, not the entire south? Of course I suppose you are a devotee of Democracy and Will of the Majority, so I suppose you won't understand the fallacy.

  • ||

    I was trying to toe the lion last night and it has really messed me up. Unfortunately I have no health insurance so I will just have to suffer.

    Just wait until you see what towing the lion does to your back.

  • John Sabotta||

    Basically, the problem is that Lew Rockwell-ite fascists find it more respectable to pretend to be "libertarians". (See Epstein, Marcus)

    Neo-Confederatism is the rock salt in the zip-lock bag of libertarianism.

  • *||

    The invention of rapid fire small arms would have allowed slaves to launch a no kidding insurgent rebellion and turned the place into Haiti.

    Uh, yeah. How'd that armed uprising thing work out for blacks in Oklahoma in the early part of the twentieth century?

  • Seward||

    John,

    Actually, it is true. I am not thinking of the 4/5ths compromise. This is a well documented figure, BTW, because it based on the 1860 census. You see the figure throughout the secondary literature on the Confederacy.

    Anyway, is roughly 3.6 million enslaved, and the free population was roughly 5.1 million. Thus 42% of the population of the Confederacy was enslaved. Well above 1/3.

    http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/1860.htm

  • ||

    jj, was there a massive movement among Southerners who did not own slaves to end slavery? Or was it pretty much condoned by the vast majority of the southern populace at the time? OK, then, shut the fuck up.

    Did I side with the North or the Union? No, I don't think I did. I just said I have no sympathy for the South because of their hypocrisy of wanting freedom while not being willing to grant it to those they held captive. But, yeah, go ahead and call me what I am not and lump me in with people I disagree with. No sweat off my nads.

  • ||

    "The South had no intention of ever giving up slavery. And they were terrorizing territories (bleeding Kansas) who didn't agree to allow it. Without the civil war things would have ended very badly for the South. The invention of rapid fire small arms would have allowed slaves to launch a no kidding insurgent rebellion and turned the place into Haiti. Instead, the rotten instution was ended and the South was able to turn into the nice place it is today. Lincoln did the South an enormous favor."

    John, are you familiar with Jim Powell's "Greatest Emancipations"? Powell takes the position that Lincoln would have been better off to let the South secede and then in the conclusion he presents a five point plan that the North could have adopted to get the South to set free the slaves. Don't ask me what that five point plan is, because I havn't read the book yet, but I plan to. Suffice it to say, I believe the South would have eventually freed the slaves and I don't think it would have been long in coming. I believe a war was totally unecessary.

  • Seward||

    John,

    Oh, and if you look at wikipedia's page you will see that it states that 39% of the Confederacy's population was enslaved. Again, well, above 1/3.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America#Demographics

  • smartass sob||

    Basically, the problem is that Lew Rockwell-ite fascists find it more respectable to pretend to be "libertarians".

    I read over at that site now and then. They strike me as being anarchists rather than fascists.

  • tekende||

    And yet 42% is nowhere near 4/5, and much closer to 1/3. Nice try.

  • ||

    Does anyone else want to see things speed up? pass Obama's dream healthcare program! pass CO2 legislation! increase the power of the IMF and World Bank to control all monetary decisions in the US....lets see what happens.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    That's of course why the cotton gin ended slavery in the South. Cuba successfully adopted all manner of advanced technologies like rail, new types of boilers and chemical processes, etc. to their slave economy in the 19th century.

    See? Obviously getting rid of slavery wasn't the most economically efficient solution. Since in Libertopia, economics trumps all other considerations, obviously we need to bring it back!

  • Seward||

    tekende,

    I see my problem. That should have read 4/9ths. Anyway, it was not 1/3rd.

  • lung||

    the south will rise again! it will rise from it's grave to serve lung!

    and abraham lincoln! it will be lincoln's undead bitch.

  • Seward||

    Slap,

    There is plenty of research which shows that slavery was not on its way out in 1860 and that it remained viable economically (at least within the political, tariff, etc. structure of the time). Thus I would say that what killed slavery in the British Caribbean wasn't the end of the slave trade there, that could have been overcome; what killed it in large part was the waning political power of the great sugar magnates in Britain (that and all the environmental destruction of cane cultivation). Why that power waned was based on a number of factors.

  • Wicked Witch of Wasilla||

    "You're going to destroy my presidency."

    You betcha!

  • John Sabotta||

    Slap the Enlightened! says:

    Since in Libertopia, economics trumps all other considerations, obviously we need to bring it back!

    Actually, Obama is bringing it back. Except now the sole slave-owner will be the State.

    And no, in "libertopia" justice trumps Commie Obama redistributism.

  • ||

    Obama could be right, and if his presidency was "destroyed" (ala Jimmy Carter), it is a disaster for all Democrats. Looked what happened in 1980. What he is saying, in effect, is: if I go down, many of you are going to come with me. It is an audacious thing to say, but it doesn't make it false.

  • ||

    "39% of the Confederacy's population was enslaved. Again, well, above 1/3 33%."

  • Stacy K||

    I suppose you rightwingers idea of "towing the lion" is chaining him to a truck like another African-American, James Byrd.

  • John Sabotta||

    Lamar nitpicks vigorously:

    "39% of the Confederacy's population was enslaved. Again, well, above 1/3 33%."

    Oh, that's all right, then.

    Man, I hate lying, weaselly, two-faced, neo-Confederate scum. Why can't you stay in your own fetid swamp?

  • John Sabotta||

    Of course, that goes for all the lying liberal scum like "Stacy K."

    Funny thing was, when the Bush regime was in power, the neo-Confederate scum at Lew Rockwell and the liberal scum were on very good terms with each other. They agreed totally on the evil of the neocon conspiracy!

    It was a Bolshenazi alliance! The liberals called the paleofascists "reasonable" and the paleofascists basked in the glow of unaccustomed approval!

  • Space Fiend||

    The south's motive was keeping slavery. The north's motive was keeping the south. Neither one had anything to do with the other, and neither was justified.

  • ||

    Funny how things can turn on a dime in politics.
    Remember way back when the Republican party was in shambles and Obama could do no wrong?



    Pssst... the GOP is still in a shambles. And will be for some time unless a supervirus emerges that kills only people who aren't old, white, and stupid.

  • ||

    If Lincoln doesn't launch the civil war and win it, slavery continues into the 20th Century and until the slaves finally successfully revolt and burn the entire South down. That is a much worse contingency than the one we live in.

    As opposed to being burned downed by the north? So what you suggest is that we would have few dead northerners and a bunch of dead slaveowner? That is a bad thing? A bunch of dead bigots sounds cool to me.

    Seems to me that would have speeded up progress because the south was still pseudo-slavery until the repeal of Jim Crow laws.

    A Southern dominated Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott that when a southerner took his slave to a free state, that slave was still a slave, which basically meant universal slavery.

    Which was, as much as I hate the result, correctly decided pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution which reads.... No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

  • ||

    I think it's bizarre that Iran didn't ban slavery until 1924.



    The last country to formally abolish slavery was Mauritania in 1981.

    Other late comers to the party: 1952 Qatar, 1962 Saudi Arabia, 1962 Yemen, 1963 United Arab Emirates, 1969 Peru (abolishes the encomiendas*), 1970 Oman. Those are all within my lifetime.

    The outrage that greeted the Italian invasion of Ethiopia was curious, given that it was the Italians that ordered the end of slavery there.

    *which IIANM was a form of feudalism, rather than slavery. Could be wrong.

  • ||

    ...an yeah, I know, the 13th amendment repealed that portion of the constitution... but that was still the law of the land at the time.

  • *||

    Pssst... the GOP is still in a shambles. And will be for some time unless a supervirus emerges that kills only people who aren't old, white, and stupid.

    I'd say HIV does that for ya, kid, but come to think of it, it does kill the stupid.

  • ||

    For those Lincoln fans and haters, there is apparently some newly discovered (possibly authentic) correspondence between Lincoln and other Republicans in the 1850s that suggests that Lincoln was a much more radical abolitionist than has been hitherto believed. Sorry no citation.

    If there's anything to this, it could change the way we view the man.

    It certainly does open upo the question about how extensive the scope of his abolitionist plans. The fact is, in spite of his other violations of the constitution (which he argued were temporary) he knew full well he did not have the power to abolish slavery on a national scale and neither could Congress legislate it. That is the reason for his tiptoeing around the issue, not any desire to see slavery continue.

  • ed||

    Lamar | July 22, 2009, 3:14pm | #

    Bush had more pressure because he was the son of a president. Or less.
    I mean, WTF? Are we just making stuff up now?


    "Or less"? This is a blog. Of course we're making things up.

  • ||

    Actually, it is true. I am not thinking of the 4/5ths compromise. This is a well documented figure, BTW, because it based on the 1860 census. You see the figure throughout the secondary literature on the Confederacy.

    What are you people...on dope? The purchased help was counted at a rate of 3/5, not 4/5.

  • The real *||

    " * " stole my handle. I'm the real *. Can I sue or something?

  • *||

    " * " stole my handle. I'm the real *. Can I sue or something?

    Nah, you're just a cipher. ;-)

  • Seward||

    John Sabotta,

    I'm not a neo-Confederate. I just mistyped 4/5ths for 4/9ths (I made a correction for this roughly a half hour before you made your comment). If you actually read every comment I've made in this particular conversation you would definitely notice that I am not a neo-Confederate.

  • Seward||

    bigbigslacker,

    Yeah, 4/5ths is wrong too. Blame John for that one. :)

  • hmm||

    Lincoln was like Hitler.

  • ||

    all of this talk of slavery reminds me that we have 2 million prisoners int his country. More than any other nation in the world. Many of them are in prison on non-violent drug possession/dealing/trafficking or tax evasion charges. We have prison labor work programs...google it. The prison industrial labor complex is a big growth industry check the stocks CXW, GGI, CRN. Prisoners who are forced to work...is there another name for that? Oh ya slavery is still legal....you just have to pay some black people to work at the prisons and it isn't called slavery anymore.

  • ||

    Let people pull a lever on a box every four years and they think they aren't slaves anymore. You lincoln lovers are idiots.

  • alan||

    Did you guys really just turn a thread with the yummy title: Obama: "You're going to destroy my presidency." into a Civil War thread? You guys suck.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Oh ya slavery is still legal....you just have to pay



    HA! Thanks for that, Gabe. That made my evening.

  • ||

    Prison labor camps = slavery? How do figure? The former is punishment for a crime, the latter is kidnapping to start and then forced bondage from there on out through no fault of the detainee.

    I hope you aren't insinuating that making a convicted felon work as part of his sentence (for the sake of argument, let's assume he is guilty of a legitimate crime like armed robbery) is cruel and unusual punishment.

  • Kang||

    It all started when someone once wrote "tow the line" instead of "toe the line." In the discussion of someone correcting him someone else suggested "tow the lion" and it's been all downhill since then.

    It is inevitable that that phrase gets some one killed. It is the human race we are talking about, after all. The surprises are few, and far between.

  • ||

    I have no doubt whatsoever that any congresscritter with possibly two exceptions would happily throw any presidency under the bus if supporting that presidency might damage his re-election prospects.

    Doesn't Obama know that he's completely expendable as far as the Ruling Party is concerned? What a schmuck.

    -jcr

  • ||

    And will be for some time unless a supervirus emerges that kills only people who aren't old, white, and stupid.

    Are you actually hoping for such a thing, and if so, what have you got against Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

    -jcr

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement