Corporate Welfare

Obama Is No Radical

But maybe we'd be better off if he were.

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The conservative firebrand David Horowitz has declared the Obama White House a "radical regime." For the Republican radio host Sean Hannity, the ousted ex-communist "green jobs" czar Van Jones "signifies the radicalism of this administration." Even Andy Williams, the Branson crooner who sang "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses," has joined the chorus, telling Radio Times this week that Barack Obama is "following Marxist theory."

For a chunk of the right—the portion that defines itself by its opposition to "the left"—that's the best explanation for the country's recent political path: Washington has been seized by radicals. But compared to a real radical, Obama is about as middle of the road as Andy Williams' music.

Yes, he gave a job to Van Jones, and if you search his administration you'll find yet more hires whose views are well to the left of most of the country. If you looked through George W. Bush's administration, you'd find hires with views well to the right of most of the country: Eric Keroack, say, the critic of contraception who landed a job atop the family planning office at the Department of Health and Human Services. It's an ideological spoils system, patronage paid to the factions that make up a party's base. And sometimes it has policy consequences, so it's worth monitoring closely.

Yet most people on the right will tell you, quite accurately, that the Bush years didn't do much to shift the country toward greater social or economic conservatism. I expect most people on the left will say something similar when Obama exits office. Thus far, the president's domestic agenda has been many things, but radical it isn't. Radicals make sudden turns. Obama sometimes slams his foot on the accelerator—just look at projected spending for the next few years—but he hardly ever tries to change direction. Radicals tear down centers of power. When Obama is faced with a crumbling institution, his first instinct is to prop it up.

That was most obviously true with the bailouts, a series of corporate preservation programs that began before he took office and have only increased since then. Candidate Obama voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the 2008 bailout for failing financial institutions, and he personally intervened to urge skeptical liberals to support it. After Congress refused to authorize a bailout of the car companies, Obama followed George W. Bush in ignoring the plain language of the law and funneling funds to them anyway. Like Bush before him, Obama took advantage of such moments to adjust the institutional relationship between these nominally private businesses and the state: firing the head of General Motors, urging the company to consolidate brands, pushing for new controls on Wall Street pay. But the institutions themselves were preserved, in some cases enriched. The radical thing to do would have been to let them collapse.

And no, I'm not using "radical" as a euphemism for "free-market libertarian." A radical Obama still might have extended assistance to the people displaced by the corporate failures, perhaps even setting up a generous guaranteed income scheme. He might have broken up the big banks. He might have done all sorts of things, some wiser than others. But he would not have strengthened the corporate-state partnerships bequeathed to him by Bush.

After the bailouts we had the "stimulus" package, which boiled down to this: You're cutting back on unsustainable consumption? Here: Spend more! Around the same time we got the cash for clunkers program, which took that same impulse and added incentives that undermined the salvage business and the second-hand car trade—markets that are far more decentralized, dynamic, and open to the participation of the poor than the automakers that accepted Obama's largesse.

Now we have health care reform. Here you might actually expect the president to veer in a new direction and let a powerful institution die. After all, it's been only six years since he described himself as "a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care plan," and if he were serious about that it would mean the end of the private health insurance industry. Single payer isn't on the table right now, but liberal Democrats are trying to push a "public option"—a government-run alternative for people who'd like to opt out of the available private plans—into the legislation. And the public option is, in the words of single-payer advocate Mark Schmitt, "a kind of stealth single-payer." So in health care at least, Obama's a radical, right?

I don't think so, for two reasons. First, it's increasingly unlikely that a public option will be a part of the bill that emerges, in which case we'll be left with an enormous boondoggle for the industry: a law requiring every American to buy health insurance or else face legal sanctions. Every other powerful institution in the health sector already supports the president's proposals. Indeed, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Medical Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals are sponsoring a multi-million-dollar ad campaign on the measures' behalf. If the public-option-free version of ObamaCare becomes the face of reform, don't be surprised if the insurers join them.

Second, and more important, a system with more government-provided insurance, even one with only government-provided insurance, would still accept the institutional premises of the present medical system. Consider the typical American health care transaction. On one side of the exchange you'll have one of an artificially limited number of providers, many of them concentrated in those enormous, faceless institutions called hospitals. On the other side, making the purchase, is not a patient but one of those enormous, faceless institutions called insurers. The insurers, some of which are actual arms of the government and some of which merely owe their customers to the government's tax incentives and shape their coverage to fit the government's mandates, are expected to pay all or a share of even routine medical expenses. The result is higher costs, less competition, less transparency, and, in general, a system where the consumer gets about as much autonomy and respect as the stethoscope. Radical reform would restore power to the patient. Instead, the issue on the table is whether the behemoths we answer to will be purely public or public-private partnerships.

So I can't agree with Horowitz, Hannity, or Andy Williams. The president could pal around with militiamen, hook a money hose from the Treasury to ACORN HQ, and sleep each night with a Zapatista plush doll, but as long as his chief concern is preserving and protecting the country's largest corporate enterprises, the biggest beneficiaries of his reign will be at the core of the American establishment.

Jesse Walker is managing editor of Reason magazine.

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58 responses to “Obama Is No Radical

  1. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Researchers of America

    Wrong order. It’s Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Has the clever acronym PhRMA that way, instead of PhMRA.

  2. Centrist, my ass.

  3. I don’t know about “centrist,” but then, i don’t believe in the conventional political spectrum anyway. Yo, fuck wherever Obama’s coming from.

  4. Wrong order. It’s Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Has the clever acronym PhRMA that way, instead of PhMRA.

    Whoops! Thanks for catching that. Fixed now.

  5. A radical might actually allow crumbling institutions to fail.

    Or might keep those institutions from failing because doing so extends his radical agenda.

    For example, a radical free marketer would allow GM to fail, but a radical leftist would not pass up the opportunity to take over GM.

    What has Obama not done that a serious lefty bent on extending government control as far as possible would have done? I can’t think of anything. His whole agenda is straight out of the academic lefty agenda, with a heaping helping of greasing the unions on the side.

    And, of course, the fact that he wasn’t able to jam through crypto-single-payer doesn’t mean he isn’t a hard lefty. It just means he’s a hard lefty who couldn’t get part of his agenda through before the rubes caught on.

  6. A radical might actually allow crumbling institutions to fail.

    I haven’t RTFA yet, but this sentence sums it up pretty well. However… however one could argue that the radical might engage in the rapid creation of entirely new institutions. See: Department of Homeland Security. See also: Healthcare ReformOverhaul See also: Cyber Czar and FCC control of the Interwebs, A.K.A. U.S. Ident.

  7. That picture is racist.

  8. ” It just means he’s a hard lefty who couldn’t get part of his agenda through before the rubes caught on.”

    Exactly.

    He is indeed a radical leftist in his beliefs.
    His is only constrained by political realities of how hard he can push and in what timeframe.

  9. Finally, what the world was waiting for: an “It’s only ‘radical’ if no one does it” spin on “B-b-but–Bush!”

    Because that’s so rare.

  10. He is indeed a radical leftist in his beliefs.

    We don’t know. He was a radical leftist when surrounded by other radical leftists. Perhaps he’s just a chameleon who adopts the views of whatever establishment he’s in? (Again, not that makes him different from other politicians.)

  11. “It just means he’s a hard lefty who couldn’t get part of his agenda through before the rubes caught on”

    Yes.

  12. “A radical might actually allow crumbling institutions to fail.”

    This is true. Hugo Chavez is a radical and in his country a lot of newspapers and television / radio stations have gone out of business and he did nothing to prevent it.

  13. Labels don’t make much sense with Obama. He’s more corporatist than leftist or centrist. By and large, his agenda is more centrist than Dubya’s. E.G. Pre-emptive war is far more radical than reforming health care.

  14. Could a radical Al Queda plant bent on sending the US to financial ruin done a better job than Obama has?

    Possibly, though I can’t say for certain.

  15. At this point in time, it’s worth reviewing my non-partisan case against Obama from 10/29/08. It’s like a road map of what’s currently happening. The VideosOfSingingKids and the SpeechToSchoolkids, the TripForTheOlympics, and on and on.

    And, regarding BHO being a radical, think through #10 and #16. A couple of the more interesting hires were from CAP, and another is Cecilia Munoz, someone who you’ve probably never heard of.

    And, of course, our newest SC justice was a member of her group: Sonia Sotomayor. She’s going to have an influence on your life for decades, and your leaders barely lifted a finger to cause her to withdraw.

  16. “At this point in time”

    You DO know that’s redundant, right?

  17. He’s more corporatist than leftist or centrist. By and large, his agenda is more centrist than Dubya’s. E.G. Pre-emptive war is far more radical than reforming health care.

    I think I agree with this, except (and yes, this goes for healthcare, too) all of this radical agenda stuff does require the tacid nod from congress. You know, a bill or authorization to be passed?

  18. Quite the little conductor. ALL ABOARD! Woo-oo-oooo chugga chugga chugga chugga chugg Woo-oo-ooooooooooo

  19. You DO know that’s redundant, right?

    You do know that’s redundant?

  20. He was a radical leftist when surrounded by other radical leftists. Perhaps he’s just a chameleon who adopts the views of whatever establishment he’s in? (Again, not that makes him different from other politicians.)

    If you read and pay attention to his autobiography, he makes it perfectly clear in there that he has always gone out of his way to seek out and associate with hard leftists wherever he has been. Though maybe that was really just Bill Ayers talking (rimshot).

    Nope, not a chameleon, a typical hard lefty academic. In the words of Bill Parcells, you are what your record says you are.

  21. “You do know that’s redundant?”

    Thanks for making me smile.

  22. I fucking hate it when people refer to Obama as a “Marxist”. They have no fucking clue what they are talking about! They probably heard the term once in History class, and figured it was synonamous with Communism and Socialsim and Liberal. Fucking morons!

  23. Labels don’t make much sense with Obama. He’s more corporatist than leftist or centrist.

    And which president would this not apply to?

    Clinton was a corporatist, Bush I and II were corporatist, so was Reagan.

    Hell Reason and Cato are corporatist.

  24. A key point missing from this essay is Obama’s views on the U.S. Constitution. His views on economics notwithstanding, his views on the Constitution are certainly radical. He has well publicized positions outlining a basic disagreement with the Constitution and what it permits government to do. His objection with how the Constitution reads seems to be it restricts government and does not outline what government can or should do. In other words, he wants a manual and not a discrete set of rules for we all can do and a central is prohibited from doing. This attitude is reflected in the socialized healthcare bill being pushed through congress. At over 1,000 pages, it is indeed a detailed instruction manual on the operation and control of one sixth of the U.S. economy. This is a radical departure from our foundation of government which offers no reason or justification for a strong central authority to be exercising any influence in a personal relationship between an individual and their doctor.
    Barak Obama has expressed no apparent interest in preserving and protecting the country’s largest corporate enterprises. He has expressed an interest in manipulating and debilitating such enterprises in the name of well known social engineering goals. He is intent on maintaining these institutions not as engines of free enterprise and capitalism but rather as cash cows to be corralled, put in stanchions in the barn of socialism and milked until of no use. He clearly does not act alone and as long as he is aided by a complicit wealthy class guilt ridden over their success and affluence, he will have will cows to milk. Barak Obama’s success as a radical socialist will last as long as he has the acquiescent support of similarly liberal fellow travelers who can afford the cost of statism and are willing to foist it on a captive public.

  25. What has Obama not done that a serious lefty bent on extending government control as far as possible would have done? I can’t think of anything. His whole agenda is straight out of the academic lefty agenda, with a heaping helping of greasing the unions on the side.

    Yes such a lefty. That’s why there is no pressure on him from the left.

    That’s why he supported those lefty causes like immunity for telecoms, and use of state secrets to hide government misconduct, and continuing to keep people locked up without charge/judicial review at places like Bagram.

    He’s such a Radical lefty that he is continuing or expanding what that other radical lefty, GWB was doing.

    Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing thing.

  26. And which president would this not apply to?

    Few of them, but then that kind of fucks up the “Hope/Change” meme, wouldn’t you agree?

    Hell Reason and Cato are corporatist.

    No, we’re pro-free enterprise. Very much against the highly odious marriage of public and private entities for which progressives have such a hard on.

  27. Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing thing.

    Yyyeeesssss… it is.

  28. Hell Reason and Cato are corporatist.

    Another thrilling entry into “ChicagoTom FAIL: The Compendium”.

  29. Another thrilling entry into “ChicagoTom FAIL: The Compendium”..

    Another thrilling entry into “TAO: The denier of reality chronicles”

  30. “Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing thing.”

    Precedent! Prez. FDR. Pretty much steamrollered his agenda through for the most part and tried to pack the court so’s they’d agree w/ him.

  31. The left loooves the first amendment.
    They can’t get enough of that second amendment.
    The fourth amendment? They’re just not that into you, either.
    Oh, and that 10th amendment? They’re all tingly over that one.

  32. make your case, ChicagoTom. Blithely stating it as if it’s fact may work with the dumber folks, but that ain’t us. So go on and prove it.

  33. “For a chunk of the right-the portion that defines itself by its opposition to ‘the left’ …”

    I believe that would be the Spite Right.

  34. Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing presidential thing.

    The last President to seriously reduce his own power was Gerald Ford.

  35. Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing thing.

    Its certainly not only a left-wing thing, but since the essence of leftism is central control, I tend to associate it with lefties.

    That’s why he supported those lefty causes like immunity for telecoms,

    Immunity to allow the state to continue monitoring our communications. I don’t see how enabling that is inconsistent with hard left goals and tactics.

    and use of state secrets to hide government misconduct

    You got me there. No left-wing government has ever tried to hide its own misconduct.

    continuing to keep people locked up without charge/judicial review at places like Bagram.

    See previous snark.

    My question remains: Has Obama done one single that was inconsistent with a hard-left agenda? And I include any consolidation and expansion of state power as the essence of the hard-left agenda.

  36. There is nothing wrong with the comment that I just made. Why did you censor it? I’m taking this site off of my speed dial and I will not be using it in the future!

  37. Hell Reason and Cato are corporatist.

    No, we’re pro-free enterprise.

    Get real. Ron Bailey would tell you the Earth was flat if the Flat Earth Society cut him a check.

  38. “Cuz you know, consolidating and amassing power is a left-wing thing.”

    Yeah, actually, it is. You need to do that before you can “organize” or “plan” society.

    “Hell Reason and Cato are corporatist.”

    I think you might want to check that word’s meaning:

    “[Corporatism: T]he organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction.”

    The definition of “corporatism” is in diametric opposition to the views espoused by Cato and Reason.

  39. If ‘radical’ means more ‘advanced’ than the popular masses, then as a general rule I would say Obama is not *governing* as a radical whatever he thinks in his heart of hearts. Of course there are exceptions – I would consider his abortion policy radical, for instance. But everyone knows abortion is simply a Distraction From the Real Issues(TM).

    If the ‘center’ is where the average voter is, then the average voter has generally shown a willingness to put up with a lot of radical stuff in the economic field, at least by the standards of American traditions. Most recently, the people helped get Bush and Obama elected. So the center has moved left, and Obama’s trying to govern a bit to the left of that, not always with success.

  40. I would really like to see ChicagoTom’s defense of leftists as not into massive power grabs. I’m pretty sure that’s basically all I’ve seen from them both in my personal life, watching the spectacle that is national politics which naturally includes basically the biggest expanders of central power of all time; FDR being right at the tippy top… and of course my cursory world-history review that includes the Chavez’, Maos, Pol Pots, Stalins, Lenins, Guevaras, Castros, etc.

    So no really Tom, go ahead…

    ALSO… I’m comfortable calling Obama a “Marxist”, in the sense that Marx’ ideas of centralized control of the “means of production” are precisely and clearly on display with GM, Chrysler, and the attempts on health care – That seems pretty Marx-like to me. Also applies to many on the right, unfortunately.

  41. Rather than make a counter argument, I’ll just refer you to Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. The term I’ve been hearing more of late is “statist,” which is more accurate than the names the left chooses for itself.

    “Radical” itself is a reference to roots or theoretical fundamentalism. In that sense, Obama’s not a conscious radical Marxist, but he’s headed toward a European socialist model, which is bad for the economy, the Constitution, the sovereignty of the United States and the freedoms of all of us. Quibbling over the term “radical” is pointless. We might as well call him a “compassionate conservative.”

    Another sense of the term “radical” is the violent overthrow of the existing order and the creation of a new one. In this case, the violence isn’t there, but the overthrow is underway, albeit opposed by conservatives and libertarians. The reason it hasn’t proceeded faster is that the voters who put him in office, the independents and swing voters, are abandoning him in droves with elections a year away. That doesn’t make him less radical, it just hampers his ability to achieve his program.

    The real issue is the direction and how fast he’s taking us, and both are too radical for me. The problem for me is whether Republicans would reverse much. They haven’t in my lifetime, and we need a true reversal in many areas. Maybe we need more radical conservatives, bent on restoring the original principles of the republic.

  42. Sophistry anyone?

    This kind of stuff from Reason really annoys me. The desire to be controversial for its own sake happens regularly, and really dilutes the Libertarian position, making us seem like crackpot contrarians. It’s not insightful in the least, it’s just a writer trying to show how clever he is by taking a “fresh” position and trying to exploit it. It’s a novelty act, nothing more.

    Obama is not a centrist. He’s very, very far left–perhaps a Marxist, definitely a socialist.

  43. Obama, as far as his rule and radicalism goes, is a mediocre Tutankhamen with delusions of being Akhenaten.

    Would a true disciple of Saul Alinsky do the Copenhagen strut? That being the most embarrassing political stunt since Bush landed on the aircraft carrier.

    No, this is pretty much a reactionary trying to set the political economy back to 1950, and the cult of personality aspects of governing back even further, 2500 years or so.

  44. There’s a name for what Obama is. It’s an ugly name. Not many people are willing to throw it around, but I am.

    He’s a Democrat!

  45. He’s very, very far left–perhaps a Marxist

    So declares the commenter who says she doesn’t want to be mistaken for a crackpot.

  46. I like Karl Hess’s view of the left-right spectrum. The far left is anarchy and the far right is complete centralization of power. This puts Republicans and Democrats both to the right of center, with each being more or less statist than the other depending on the issue.

    So, viewing it this way, a “real” radical would be somebody who pushed for massive decentralization. This is obviously not Obama, who’s just another statist politician, just like W. was.

  47. Wow. I’ve read a lot of great articles on Reason.com, but this certainly isn’t one of them.

    I won’t dissect the entire article, since there’s already plenty written about Obama and his administration, some of it here. I’ll just discuss the final paragraph:

    “So I can’t agree with Horowitz, Hannity, or Andy Williams. The president could pal around with militiamen, hook a money hose from the Treasury to ACORN HQ, and sleep each night with a Zapatista plush doll, but as long as his chief concern is preserving and protecting the country’s largest corporate enterprises, the biggest beneficiaries of his reign will be at the core of the American establishment.”

    Let’s see the guys that President Obama has been palling around with. These are people he has actively engaged more closely than our allies, who he has proposed engaging more actively than our allies, or has indirectly favored: Iran’s Ahmadinejad, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Venezuela’s Hugo Ch?vez, Russia’s Putin and Medvedev. All thuggish militiamen.

    The only reason he doesn’t have a money hose hooked to ACORN at this point is because they’re irredeemably tainted. But he has quite actively supported them, as they have done so for him. Let’s look at something related: his personal involvement in trying to get the Olympics into Chicago. The city is broke, and the Olympics is almost always a vast money losing event. So why? To benefit his cronies, of course.

    And the only benefit to “corporate” America is the statist-supporting enterprises and smothering unions who will play ball with his ever-expanding state.

    Sorry, the article is dead wrong.

  48. Oh, and I feel compelled to add that George Dubya Bush was no champion of small government, either. He may look like a conservative zealot in comparison to Obama, but Dubya was definitely a friend of vast government expansion.

    1. Yes, Bush’s greatest problem was hw liberal he really was.

  49. [Revised to insert citations]

    It seems to me that the usually insightful Jesse Walker is way off the mark in his assessment that “Obama Is No Radical — But maybe we’d be better off if he were.”

    He states, “A radical Obama still might have extended assistance to the people displaced by the corporate failures, perhaps even setting up a generous guaranteed income scheme. He might have broken up the big banks. He might have done all sorts of things, some wiser than others. But he would not have strengthened the corporate-state partnerships bequeathed to him by Bush.”

    But it seems to me that Obama’s no less radical than Bill Ayers and ACORN — even if he also supports statism and crony-capitalism in addition to his consistent support of such special interests as big labor, ACORN — and his far-reaching efforts to stampede the Congress to take over major parts of the U.S. economy. Obama’s selective support of corporate-state partnerships hardly means that Obama’s not as radical as David Horowitz suggests.

    Instead of Walker’s dismissing David Horowitz’s views, I believe that Horowitz’s insights about Obama and Saul Alinsky are important and deserve a wide audience. See his post, “Obama’s Communist Advisor and His Billion-Dollar Army” — http://97.74.65.51/readBlog.aspx?BLOGID=1054 — and his six-part series on Saul Alinsky, the strategy guru of the Obama era, at FrontPageMag.com: http://97.74.65.51/readBlog.aspx?BLOGID=1053.

    Are there ANY areas where Obama supports lower taxes — or less regulation — or otherwise supports expanding liberty?

    How should we react to Obama’s support for giving the UAW — and the U.S. — a big chunk of equity in Chrysler, and denying more favorable terms to the secured bondholders in the Chrysler bankruptcy reorganization?

    How does Walker explain Obama’s support of reducing tax deductions for charitable donations by wealthy taxpayers at a time of massive turmoil among many nonprofits?

    How does Walker view Obama’s support of government regulation of private sector salaries?

    Can Walker identify a significant number of his political allies or close friends who are not radicals?

    Isn’t there ample evidence to show that Obamba’s agenda is to ruthlessly pursue his anti-capitalist, anti-private-sector agenda as quickly as practicable — including his simultaneous pursuit of crony-capitalism and Saul Alinsky’s radical program to use orchestrated chaos to destroy the established order in the name of “the people”?

    Based on his performance so far, and his prior writings and associations, isn’t it likely that Obama’s core beliefs are completely antithetical to those who cherish Free Minds and Free Markets?

    1. To some extent, Manny, we may be talking past each other. I agree that the bulk of Obama’s agenda is bad for Free Minds and Free Markets. But I think the worst things he’s doing amount to taking the trends already in place before he took office — the bailouts, the runaway spending, the medical system skewed toward insurance — and making them worse. Obviously there are ways that he’s to the left of his predecessor, but they’re the ways most Democrats are to the left of most Republicans: He’s friendlier to organized labor and his patronage is more likely to go to a lefty than a righty. But if radicalism means a serious shift in direction, as opposed to intensifying what is already in place, then I don’t see any radicalism in this presidency, no matter who he associates with. (As far as Obama’s allies who aren’t radicals go, I’d start the list with Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, and Christina Romer.)

      By the way, I’ve written in the past that I wish Obama were more of an Alinskyite. Quoting myself: Saul Alinsky distrusted government planners, and while he was by no means opposed to redistribution in itself he was an acute critic of the welfare state as it functioned in practice. He regularly denounced “welfare colonialism” and in one speech described LBJ’s poverty program as “a huge political pork barrel and a feeding trough for the welfare industry, surrounded by sanctimonious, hypocritical, phony, moralistic crap.” He argued that effective political action had to be driven by the people directly affected, not by professionals (including professional activists) acting on their behalf. A left that paid him more than lip service would be decentralist and anti-bureaucratic. Sounds like an improvement to me.

  50. Obama was mentored by Communists as a boy

    Obama chose to align himself with the Marxist fantasy-land in academia

    He was a member of a literal socialist party in Chicago

    He has absolutely no problem saying Day is Night and Night is Day within minutes of each other and people rarely even realize he’s done it.

    There’s so much in his past that it’s simply irrational to maintain the notion that he isn’t who his friends are.

  51. I can’t imagine anybody, liberal or conservative, being elected President who is *radical*. The liberal/conservative, democrat/republican two party system is just like a thanksgiving pick-up game of football amongst cousins: there are winners and losers but everybody is really just part of the same clan. Guys like Obama and Clinton are let into the Elite’s ‘club’ – but only after they demonstrate (through the Elites educational system, with financial aid, etc.) that they are going to play ball by the rules of the Elite. Hence, you have a ‘liberal’ dishing out unbelievable amounts of money from the pockets of the non-Elite classes to bail out the richest of the rich – a scheme that was devised by republicans but immediately endorsed by Obama and the democrats. Now you have the democrats taking over political wars from the republicans (in Vietnam things were reversed). Same old same old etc.

  52. People who vote for Republicans love the free market. The actual representatives they vote for, however, really don’t give a shit.

    Dems and Reps are all quasi-centrist monopolists, interested in consolidating and centralizing economic and political power.

    You’re fucked no matter who you vote for. Saying one party is better than the other is like picking a favorite brand of bottled water.

  53. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

  54. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets

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