Campaigns/Elections

Barack and the Dynasty Card

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"Libertarian Democrat" (and occasional reason contributor) Terry Michael counsels the man who would be our second black president:

Barack, it's time to play the dynasty card.

Nobody's going to fault you for saying it outright. Obviously, you were not to the manner born. You are leading a movement–white, black, brown and more, male and female, gay and straight–which sees the worth of each liberty loving individual as the inspiration for, and strength of our pluralistic democracy.

Courtesans attending the regents Bill and Hillary are seeking a restoration of power for themselves. They demand it. They believe they deserve it. You represent the rest of us, Senator Obama, and you need not be shy about making your charge clear–no matter how down 'n dirty our First Black President wants to get in order to restore himself to that real estate on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Whole thing here.

I'm not sure I follow the arguments swirling around Obama, who remains a good speechifier but pretty much of an empty suit to my mind so far. And it does seem like Hillary Clinton is actually working hard to become president, unlike, say Rudy Giuliani or, before he completely flat-lined, Fred Thompson. (Not that a work ethic is necessarily what you want in a president either.)

But an intra-party slugfest is always kind of fun, and the Barack-Hillary one seems likely to be one of the more entertaining ones we'll see in recent memory.

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  1. Isn’t this what he’s doing by saying “We Need Change” over and over again? Also he’s probably unsure how much attention he wants to call to Bill Clinton cept for when he’s being a jerk (like in S.C.).

    Many democrats want Bill Clinton back in the white house and Obama doesnt know if that number is greater or less than the number that don’t.

  2. I would have loved to see him play the dynasty card today when he was on stage with Caroline, Teddy, and Patrick Kennedy.

  3. Dammit,

    It’s to the manor born, not manner born. What the fuck is manner born anyway? I hope that’s a spellcheck induced typo rather than an indication of Terry Michael’s command of the english language.

    Not as bad as “I could care less” and “tow the line” but its up there.

    I think that Obama will turn out to be like JFK, wrecking the country while, thanks to his charisma, evading any culpability.

  4. Opposition to dynasty isn’t just about some vague “Oh, change is good, let’s have change” mantra. Opposition to dynasty is opposition to the pathologies that can ensue when factions become entrenched.

  5. I would have loved to see him play the dynasty card today when he was on stage with Caroline, Teddy, and Patrick Kennedy.

    Too much irony, perhaps?
    OTOH, Two Adamses, Roosevelts and Bushes, only one President Kennedy.

  6. YOU FORGOT THE HARRISONS!!!

    Know your obscure Presidents, boy!

  7. Opposition to dynasty is opposition to the pathologies that can ensue when factions become entrenched.

    Bhutto.

  8. YOU FORGOT THE HARRISONS!!!

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think they were even remotely related.

  9. Don’t forget the Ghandi’s J sub.

  10. Are you remotely related to your grandfather?

  11. I should have added Daley (Chicago) to my 7:48pm post.

  12. Are you remotely related to your grandfather?

    No shit? I didn’t know that. Time to brush up on the obscure presidents, I guess.

    Oh god, that means a Polk biography.

  13. Don’t forget the Ghandi’s J sub.

    Or the Hoffas. There’s not much more dysfuctional than the Teamsters.

  14. Hey guys, I’ve just been selected to receive two free IPod Nanos. (Nanoes?)

    Thanks reason!

  15. Still, just as the lap dog (Nancy Reagan’s assesment of GHW Bush) became Veep for Ronnie,
    after the dust clears Obama will be Veep for Hillary.

  16. Still, just as the lap dog (Nancy Reagan’s assesment of GHW Bush) became Veep for Ronnie,
    after the dust clears Obama will be Veep for Hillary.

    It will never happen.

  17. Ok, Terry, let’s go over this again. ‘Courtesan’ is a fancy word for a fancy whore. Now, that may describe the Clintons’ inner circle perfectly, but I think you were going for ‘courtier.’ And a ‘regent’ is someone who rules for an incapable head of state. Sure, ‘incapable head of state’ describes Bush pretty well, but in this case, that make Cheney the regent. The Clintons are ‘pretenders.’

  18. Oh god, that means a Polk biography.

    I’ll summarize it for you:

    In 1844, the Democrats were split
    The three nominees for the presidential candidate
    Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
    James Buchanan, a moderate
    Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
    From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
    He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

    Austere, severe, he held few people dear
    His oratory filled his foes with fear
    The factions soon agreed
    He’s just the man we need
    To bring about victory
    Fulfill our manifest destiny
    And annex the land the Mexicans command
    And when the votes were cast the winner was
    Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

    In four short years he met his every goal
    He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
    Made sure the tarriffs fell
    And made the English sell the Oregon territory
    He built an independent treasury
    Having done all this he sought no second term
    But precious few have mourned the passing of
    Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
    Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

  19. Wow! You too, Taktix?? I never win anything!
    Or is it just a fake come-on, made supremely irritating because I now have to engage my computer’s mute button before surfing to reason.com?

    I can’t wait until my morning paper is downloadable on e-paper; then all the ads will scream at me, probably at the same time.

  20. I’ll likely regret saying this, but I haven’t gotten any of the IPod Nano ads.

  21. I’m not sure I follow the arguments swirling around Obama, who remains a good speechifier but pretty much of an empty suit to my mind so far.

    I can’t think of a better qualification to be president. Maybe that will keep him (and thus, us) out of trouble.

    Hey guys, I’ve just been selected to receive two free IPod Nanos.

    Those are my Nanos! I’ve won 26 of them today, at last count. Go get your own!

  22. Woo-hoo! I just won 2 more!

  23. You beat me to the punch, Thoreau.

    And just to inflame the grammar national socialists (of which I am a periodic, noncommittal member), I should say that “beating somebody to the punch” means arriving at the party early and drinking all the booze. It has nothing to do with boxing. I truly believe this. [no I don’t]

  24. but I don’t think they were even remotely related.

    Heh, of course you were right in a wrong kind of way – they were not “remotely” related after all, unlike Hoover and Nixon, who were.

  25. peachy wrote:”Ok, Terry, let’s go over this again. ‘Courtesan’ is a fancy word for a fancy whore. Now, that may describe the Clintons’ inner circle perfectly, but I think you were going for ‘courtier.'”

    To-may-to/Toe-mah-to. Apart from the body fluids part, is there really any difference between a courtesan and a courtier?

  26. “Know your obscure Presidents, boy!”

    Whether or not Hillary is elected Clinton will probably go down in history as ab obscure president who, when remembered at all, will be remembered for having a Lewinsky in the Oval Office. That is some legacy!

  27. It’s to the manor born, not manner born. What the fuck is manner born anyway? I hope that’s a spellcheck induced typo rather than an indication of Terry Michael’s command of the english language.

    “To the manner born” is correct. You’re probably thinking of the Brit-com “To the Manor Born,” which was meant to be a play on words. I believe the idea behind the saying is that someone acts as if he’s of gentle birth, i.e., as if born to the manner (conduct, deportment) of a gentleman.

  28. Well, I hate Hillary as much as the next man (well, probably not as much as many do, but hey, she stinks).

    However, it is really amusing to see how the Bush Dynasty becomes a reason to punk Hillary.

    Vote Bush the father, vote Bush the son. Now that neither is in play, and the second Clinton is up, are’nt we all tired of having the same family in power?

    Sorry, seems disinegeous to me…

  29. I don’t really see myself voting for either Barack or Hillary (then again McCain and Willard don’t look that hot either), but I’d definitely say that I’d get the most Schaudenfraude from Obama’s loss what with supporters including college students who feel like they’re doing something “profound” by voting for him and rich liberal douches and Oprah. Ted Kennedy becoming more irrelevant would be nice too.

  30. And a quick quiz (no googling allowed): Who were the first husband and wife to both run for president?

  31. I think Ted Kennedy’s endorsement is terrible for Obama. Is there anyone who wasn’t going to vote for Obama that now is because of Ted’s endorsement? But a lot of people who hate Ted, and that is a lot of people, and who used to think well of Obama, probably shook their heads…With friends like these…

  32. disingenuous, disingenuous, disingenuous! I am a horrible speller!

  33. Libertarian Democrat

    In contemporary American, that’s pretty much an oxymoron and anyone that has actually looked at Obama’s platform at his website would be pretty much disabused of the notion that Obama resembles a libertarian in any form.

    Nice, I love it that Chappy endorsed Obama…it’s such a slap at St Hill.

  34. Mr. Nice Guy, two points. A lot of Democrats agree with the anti-dynasty movement. Secondly, there is a critical mass of years that many consider intollerable. My limit is 20 years. If Jeb were running I wouldn’t support him either (though he probably would have made a better POTUS than his brother.)

  35. “Who were the first husband and wife to both run for president?”

    At the same time (that would get ugly fast), or different elections? Do Bob and Elizabeth Dole count, given that she barely ran?

    It’s probably some couple a whole lot older than that; I’m just ignorant of my history, like all red-blooded Americans.

  36. “Who were the first husband and wife to both run for president?”

    In the US or Argentina?

    I do remember a certain couple running as “co-presidents”

  37. PIRS-I’m afraid I think the whole meme is manufactured…

    I’m sure Jeb is kicking himself he did not run first. In addition, Bush’s dad was a very capable guy, and he gets one term. His son, bumbling imbecile, two terms…

    The GOP style seems to be to nominate bumbling anti-intellectual types (the C Eureka student

  38. Do Bob and Elizabeth Dole count, given that she barely ran?

    Yep. Of course you’re right that she barely ran as she never made it to the first primary, but she did have a campaign committee, I believe, and filed the necessary paperwork so that counts enough for me.

  39. the C Eureka student (Reagan), Ford, Dubya (at least his C’s were from Harvard)…I’m not sure if any of their current nominees are dumb enough to be a contemporary Republican President

  40. Mr. Nice Guy, I was 18 in 1992 and I voted for Ros Perot partly because of Bush broke his “Read my lips” promise. That and I had not yer discovered libertarianism.

    Bush 41 also got us into the First Gulf War. Do not forget that. He may have been a good technocrat but he was not a good POTUS.

  41. “PIRS-I’m afraid I think the whole meme is manufactured…”

    Democracy you mean? Hans-Herman Hoppe would agree with you on that:
    http://www.mises.org/store/Democracy-The-God-That-Failed-P240C0.aspx

  42. MNG,

    I think the people who really hate Ted Kennedy won’t be much of a problem in the Democratic primary. By the time the general comes, whoever is the Democratic nominee will have Ted Kennedy’s endorsement, but at that point, it won’t be much news. Even the Republicans who tend to have a more positive view of Obama than that which they have of other Democrats will expect the Democratic nominee to have a bunch of endorsements from people they don’t like. On the other hand, I don’t know, but his endorsement might help in the primary. Ted Kennedy probably has some popularity among certain Democratic circles and it could be that these are precisely the Democrats that Obama needs to connect with.

    Really just a guess, but I see a possible upside, and virtually no downside.

  43. Actually, I take that back: upon some research Ford was in the top quarter of his class at Yale Law. And Gore/Kerry were no brainiacs. Clinton though was a legit Rhodes Scholar.

  44. I will say I can’t remember when was the last time that we had a GOP Presidential candidate wanting more debates with the Dem candidate than the Dem candidate wanted with the GOP one…That’s a bad sign for them I should think…

  45. OK, so now the genie’s out of the bottle and the question has to be answered:

    Who was the smartest President IQ wise?

    Adams? Wilson? Hoover?

  46. I do not know what Wilson’s IQ was but he was diagnosed as having a mental ilness by none other than Sigmund Freud.

  47. Wilson was, if I remember, our first and only Phd President…
    Taft was thought by many to be a legal genius…
    Jefferson was a true Renaissance man…

  48. Jefferson seems a likely candidate.

  49. I honestly do not know why anyone who is not in elementry school would want to be POTUS. Whatever you do (at least) half the country will hate you, you will have a bullseye on your back for the rest of your life and you can make more money as the president of a large corporation.

  50. …and get more chicks as a rock star.

  51. (I mean, even considering that you can get a lot of chicks as President – still, I’d trade Bill Clinton’s sex life away to get Mick Jagger’s anyday – minus David Bowie.)

  52. I’d say the era of Presidential sexy time may be over. A sad byproduct of 24/7 news I say.

  53. Thanks to “Webster” for correcting “tarran” on “to the manner born,” and I would suggest to tarran to “look it up” before casting useage stones. Courtesan: yes, perhaps a little harsh, but many of those supporting Clinton II are not far from prostituting themselves; but courtier would have worked, too. As for “regent,” that’s just nit-picking, “peachy.” LOL (Thank you, Jon H.)

    As for Nick’s characterizing Obama as an “empty suit?” And Hillary isn’t an empty pantsuit, Nick, an unbridled bundle of naked ambition?

    None of the candidates for president in either party is a real libertarian, in my purist view, including pro-life Ron Paul. But one of them is going to be president, and we ought to be looking for one who can motivate and lead. And the Tiger Woods of presidential candidates would, immediately on taking office, give lie to the left liberal racism that has permeated the Democratic Party and the left liberal media for several decades. And I’d just as soon “believe again” as be burdened by another Clinton psycho drama at 1600 Penn. or the aging McCain-in-the-ass whose crowning achievements are legislation to suppress free political speech and send more young men and women to die in the desert!

  54. We’re libertarians, dammit – nit-picking is what we do!

  55. From Obama’s “Economy” issues page:

    I believe that America’s free market has been the engine of America’s great progress. It’s created a prosperity that is the envy of the world. It’s led to a standard of living unmatched in history…

    Obviously, those are just words/campaign rhetoric, but it’s coming from a Democrat in a time when protectionism is on the rebound. Obama’s not perfect, but to actually speak so positively about the “free market” (whatever his definition of it is) is more good than bad.

  56. tarran,
    ‘i could care less’ is sarcastic in origin

  57. OK, so now the genie’s out of the bottle and the question has to be answered:

    Who was the smartest President IQ wise?

    Adams? Wilson? Hoover?

    I found one recent (non-hoax) scholarly study that attempts to estimate the IQ of all 42 presidents:

    Simonton, D. K. (2006). Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership: Estimates and correlations for 42 US chief executives. Political Psychology.

    In the paper it looks like he has two sets of estimates each and both sets have uncorrected and corrected values. Since the corrected are about 10 points higher than the uncorrected, and he offers that perhaps they are an overestimate, I have simply averaged all for sets together to get a roughly middle-of-the-road estimate. The overall order is very similar either way. I’m not taking any position on the accuracy of the list, of course, but for what it’s worth here are the rankings based on the averaged estimates of IQ:

    1. J.Q. Adams
    2. Jefferson
    3. Kennedy
    4. Clinton
    5. Wilson
    6. Carter
    7. J. Adams
    8. T. Roosevelt
    9. Garfield
    10. Arthur
    11. Madison
    12. Lincoln
    13. F. Roosevelt
    14. Tyler
    15. Fillmore
    16. Pierce
    17. W. Harrison
    18. Hayes
    19. Van Buren
    20. Washington
    21. B. Harrison
    22. Eisenhower
    23. Nixon
    24. Cleveland
    25. Polk
    26. McKinley
    27. G.H.W. Bush
    28. Reagan
    29. Hoover
    30. L. Johnson
    31. Truman
    32. Coolidge
    33. Ford
    34. Taft
    35. Jackson
    36. Buchanan
    37. Taylor
    38. A. Johnson
    39. G.W. Bush
    40. Harding
    41. Monroe
    42. Grant

    The range of IQ’s is from 169 for J.Q. Adams to 120 for Grant, so even the “dumbest” president would still be a slightly above-average college graduate, which I suppose isn’t all that unreasonable. I guess that means that while lots of us probably think Bush is an idiot, at least technically, that probably isn’t true ( though he does indeed rank near the bottom compared to other presidents).

    I didn’t want to type out all the estimates and tables don’t seem to work, but here are the averaged numbers for presidents from FDR on:

    F. Roosevelt: 140
    Truman: 128
    Eisenhower: 132
    Kennedy: 151
    L. Johnson: 128
    Nixon: 131
    Ford: 127
    Carter: 145
    Reagan: 130
    G.H.W. Bush: 130
    Clinton: 149
    G.W. Bush: 125

    A text only copy of the study is posted here

  58. I think that the liberal fad of pretending that Bill the chubby-chaser was the “first black president” is a rather vicious smear against black people everywhere.

    -jcr

  59. “Obama will be Veep for Hillary”

    I don’t think that Obama’s going to repeat Gore’s mistake.

    -jcr

  60. ” we ought to be looking for one who can motivate and lead.”

    Bite your tongue!

    A free country doesn’t need a leader, it needs a caretaker who will do no more than the constitution allows and requires him to do.

    -jcr

  61. MNG,

    Is there anyone who wasn’t going to vote for Obama that now is because of Ted’s endorsement?

    Yes, quite a few. Union members. Tens of thousands of Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and other northeastern states.

    And if you believe a Republican analyst I saw on MSNBC last night, lots of Hispanics.

  62. You are leading a movement–white, black, brown and more, male and female, gay and straight–which sees the worth of each liberty loving individual as the inspiration for, and strength of our pluralistic democracy.

    You are leading a movement–white, black, brown and more, male and female, gay and straight–which sees the worth of each liberty loving individual as the inspiration for, and strength of our pluralistic democracy a source of cash needed to run the government.

    It’s to the manor born, not manner born. What the fuck is manner born anyway?

    It’s an American thing. The British have manors. We have manners. Some of us anyway.

    I hope that’s a spellcheck induced typo rather than an indication of Terry Michael’s command of the english language.

    While we’re being pedantic, “English” is usually capitalized.

    I would have loved to see him play the dynasty card today when he was on stage with Caroline, Teddy, and Patrick Kennedy.

    Our World News Tonight interpreted that scene as the Kennedys welcoming O’B to the dynasty.

  63. Brian Courts,
    That looks like a bogus study if I ever saw one.

  64. i’ll say – they forgot the minus sign in front of bush’s IQ score.

    ha ha get it?

  65. I hope that’s a spellcheck induced typo rather than an indication of Terry Michael’s command of the english language.

    While we’re being pedantic, “English” is usually capitalized.

    Joe’z Rule in action.

  66. And Hillary isn’t an empty pantsuit, Nick, an unbridled bundle of naked ambition?

    Ooh, points off for “Hillary”, “unbridled”, and “naked” all in one sentence. That’s a mental image I didn’t need.

  67. Actually, it’s pretty much always misused, one way or the other: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/manor.html

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