Economics

Obama's Lack of Faith

It's time to start trusting the American people

|

With midterm elections approaching, President Barack Obama has gone on the charm offensive, claiming Republicans are demonstrating a "lack of faith in the American people."

"Faith" often is defined as "having confidence or trust in a person or thing." In this case, though, faith means adding another $35 billion in unemployment benefits to the infinite intergenerational tab—sometimes referred to as the budget—and mailing out as many checks as possible before Election Day.

Yet the jab is revealing in other ways. To begin with, what mysterious brand of public policy has Obama employed that exemplifies this sacred trust between public officials and the common citizen?

Was it the administration's faith in the wisdom of the American parent that persuaded it to shut down the voucher program in Washington, D.C., and continue the left's decades-long campaign denying school choice for kids and parents? Or was that just faith in public-sector unions?

Was faith in American industry behind the Democrats' support of a stimulus bill that was predicated almost entirely on preserving swollen government spending at the expense of private-sector growth?

Is this hallowed faith in the citizenry also what compels the administration to dictate what kind of car we will be driving in the future, what kind of energy we will be filling these "cars" with, and what amounts of that energy will be acceptable?

Is faith in American know-how why Washington funnels billions of tax dollars each year to its hand-picked industry favorites rather than allow the best and brightest to—please pardon the pun—organically figure out what the most sensible energy policy is, as we have in every other sector?

It must be that deep confidence in conscientious Americans that persuades the left to fight against the rights of gun owners who want nothing more than to defend life and property.

The same faith in Americans surely precipitates the administration's defense of censorship (even book banning) to ensure that the citizenry is protected from the despicable reach of political ads funded by corporations. People, you see, are too gullible and too uninformed to withstand the force of Fox News—much less Wal-Mart.

Similarly, that faith has led to the 20-year explosion of paternalistic regulations (often with the help of Republicans) that propose to regulate everything from the size of candy to tanning salons to fast-food restaurants to the pressure in your shower head. A faith that the American citizen has the self-control of a deprived toddler.

It was faith in the American people that led to health care legislation that denies you the right to buy insurance outside of state lines or have any useful portability or even enjoy the same tax break that corporations are afforded. The left has so much faith in Americans that it has to force you to purchase a government-approved plan.

One only needs to propose the idea that citizens be allowed to allocate portions of their Social Security retirement funds—extracted from their paychecks and deposited in faith-based government accounts—to witness the level of faith many on the left have in your decision-making abilities.

Republicans may not have faith in the American people, but in this instance, Obama probably is confusing faith in people with faith in power. Because as hard as one tries, it is difficult to find any instances of choices expanding under this administration. That's the true test of confidence in the citizenry.

Then again, progressives regard government as a moral enterprise. And in church, you gotta have faith.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 THE DENVER POST
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

NEXT: Recently at Reason.tv: Obscenity vs. Freedom of Expression

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.

  1. When he stopped going to Rev. Wright’s Church it was the beginning of the end.

    1. If Obama’s lack of faith were referring to religious faith….that would be a point in his favor.

  2. Caption Contest!

    “Hey Sherryl, great speech!”

    1. That would be Shirley, not Sherryl. Those names all look alike to me.

      1. Either way, Obama and the NAACP threw her under the back of the bus.

        1. Well done sir.

        2. You know something, if Obama were truly the uniting, healing, post-racial force that his liberal media lickspittles (falsely) made him out to be before the election, he would take this opportunity to address the American people to tell everyone on both sides to cool it right now with all the accusatory racial vitriolic stuff.

          Sadly, he can’t do this because he is nothing at all like what he what he was portrayed, and the truth is that the hatred and divisiveness suits him very well politically.

          1. I don’t remember any uniting, healing or post-racial talk by the liberal media back in the months before the election.

            Nobody believes that stuff. The Republicans and Neo-Cons fucked-up big time and ended up paying for it.

            1. In fact, I remember mostly right-wing DJs and talking heads fret about Obama’s election empowering street thugz to take it out on Whitey without the fear of the law.

            2. I do. I was a fairly avid watcher of MSNBC with Matthews and the like (I still catch Matthews from time to time), and that was the gist near every time they talked about him. If you don’t remember it, you probably weren’t paying any attention.

              In fact, it’s about that time I noticed Chris Matthews seems to slobber a lot during his show.

              1. I didn’t have cable back then — no MSNBC but I can imagine Chris’s slobberin’.

                C’mon — I voted for Obama but had no expectations of a racial anything.

                1. Mongo….STUPID!!!

          2. Obama may be half white and the president but he still has dark skin- non-white have always had to be concerned with what the white culture thinks of them. we white people have the luaxary to tell people to go fuck themselves. the rest doesn’t.

  3. Obama’s only “faith” is in the collective. Individuals are his least concern, unless he can use them as props to shill for more handouts.

    But, then, McCain would be doing the same thing had he won the right to sit in The Big Comfy Chair.

    We’re so fucked.

    1. But I voted for Kang

      (Says Homer as Konos whips Marge).

      Yeah – hell of a choice. Big fuck head statist with the “D” label, big fuck head statist with the “R” label.

      In a slightly less snarky tone….

      It’s typical of the so called elites of the left and right to have little faith in the individual. After all, they’re (the individuals) too stupid to be trusted to save for a rainy day, their own retirement, ingest what ever mind altering substances they choose too, be able to figure out if they’re getting screwed by a particular airline and switch to one that better suits them, decide how fuel efficient a car they want (or perhaps, screw economy, since they have to haul around 4 kids and a dog), to decide on their own to use, or not, a credit card and on what terms, take out a loan to buy a house, check out porn on the net or at the new stand, etc, etc, etc.

      Fucking statist nannies of the left and right – go fuck off and leave me the hell alone.

      1. Well said sir. /golfclap

      2. “…leave me the hell alone.” Ah, one of the two Libertarian laments, preceded by a long version of the other: “You can’t tell me what to do.” We all saved for a rainy day, and the unregulated banks stole it. We deregulated the airlines and the industry hasn’t made a profit in decades, we deregulated credit cards and you KNOW you haven’t read the fine print in the contracts on any of yours either. Christ, grow up. Libertarians are just emotional 17-year-olds. Remember, the first word in the Constitution is WE, not I. Deal with it.

      3. With slobs like you and Mongo and The Libertarian Guy around it is a wonder anyone has any faith in anybody these days. Clean up your lingo you neanderthals

    2. “Obama’s only ‘faith’ is in the collective. Individuals are his least concern”

      Of course he’s concerned with the individual. He knows that he has to feed something to the collective and, to him, the individual is the perfect nutritious meal. He doesn’t see it as cannibalism because he doesn’t accept that the collective is made up of individuals.

  4. Just because he comes out and says something that is completely at odds with his own words and deeds doesn’t mean it won’t work.

  5. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

    1. I would have preferred an Obi Wan quote.

      1. “We must be cautious.”

        1. “Who is more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

          1. “Why do I get the feeling that we’ve picked up another pathetic life form?”

            1. “I find your lack of faith disturbing”

              1. Hey, do we have any of that Plutonium Nyborg left?

                1. Nose dive!

                2. Perfect landing.

                  1. You Nazi

      2. I find this lack of faith disturbing.

  6. “Faith in the American People” is a vague concept. Generally speaking, the Republicans have more faith in the private sector; Obama places his faith in the Public Sector.

    Both sectors are made up of “American People” although a greater portion of the most competent and hardworking ones are in the private sector

    1. Good point. This article makes it seem like regulating giant corporations somehow translates to a lack of faith in the American people.

      Recent history has pretty clearly shown that a reasonable amount of regulation is often necessary to keep the free market on track. Corporations are legally bound to put the gains of their shareholders ahead of broader social well being and moral responsibility, and acknowledging this obvious truth certainly doesn’t translate to a lack of faith in the population at large.

      1. Just out of curiousity, what is moral responsibility? Who is responsible for it and whose morals do we use? No sir, I am not trying to be a dick. (I am admittedly very good at it. Or so I’m told quite often)

      2. Unless the shareholders care about the “broader well being and moral responsibility”. You are assuming shareholders who are allowed to voice their concerns don’t care and don’t vote accordingly.BTW how are they “legally bound” ?

        1. Both fair points – there are definitely lots of differing views of morality, and hopefully shareholders DO care about those issues.

          But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that big industries (oil, insurance, finance, etc) tend to behave in a way that the majority of us would consider immoral in their pursuit of profits. See Enron, Goldman, BP, AIG, etc.

          And while I’d also love to believe that shareholders demand better behavior from companies and this demand curbs their behavior, it just doesn’t seem to be true in the real world. Or at least, there are enough instances where it isn’t (see above) that forces beyond the market seem to be necessary to curb a corporation’s tendency toward socially harmful behavior.

          I’m not assuming that shareholders don’t care, I’m observing that industries actually behave in destructive ways, and that’s why they require regulation or policing.

          1. Corperations are evil! Moeney make people do bad things to each other. We need to control this to maek sure that doesn’t happen. Because when money taken out of equation all things work prefect like in USSR.

            1. Yes, because Google slaughtered 6 million Jews, 60 million Russians, millions of Cambodians, millions of Chinese, etc.

              We need to regulate the gov’t. Unbridled gov’t greed needs to be stopped.

              1. You missed the obvious snark.

          2. Do Enron, AIG, etc really represent the “majority” of corporations? Don’t all of those “evil” corporations have some tie to the government that gives/gave them special privileges? The whole banking sector is allowed to do what nobody else can, i.e. offer more than one warehouse receipt for each unit of product. Enron is referred to as a being born of energy “deregulation,” which was more of a corporate giveaway rather than true deregulation in a meaningful sense.

            I would also argue that even though corporations do things that we don’t like, at least corporations, in the absence of government handouts, are the amalgamation of voluntary exchanges. A stockholder voluntarily becomes one. A customer voluntarily purchases a product or service. A worker voluntarily contracts with the employer. Shareholders choose a CEO and board of directors voluntarily, with the decision being made by the shareholders taking the largest portion of the risk. Even smaller, non voting shareholders have the ability to withdraw their investment setting off a train reaction that can destroy a company. In government, we are fed a line of “social contract” and “democracy” BS to make us all feel like we have input. Considering that government officials are career lawyers and rich kids, they have little actual knowledge in anything important. They constantly defer decisions to experts, advisers, and appointments. The bigger government becomes, the less democracy even plays a role.

            1. Interesting points, tk, thanks for the insightful and respectful reply.

              First, while AIG, Enron, etc probably don’t represent the majority of corporations, that’s not the point. Criminals don’t represent the majority of citizens, but their existence still justifies policing. A few bad apples spoils the bunch, as the saying goes.

              Second, I think you make a valid point – Government is often just as corrupt and evil and inept as any corporation. I wish it wasn’t, but that’s an awful truth. Still, I can’t help thinking back to the pre-regulation world of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and feeling that, despite government’s flaws, its power to impose checks onto the privatized world is valuable to society… in moderation.

              It seems clear that when businesses reach a certain level of size and power, they are drawn towards increasingly egregious behaviors. More power, more money, etc. And the bigger they get, the less the “small shareholder” that you mentioned matters, so the less influence they have on the company’s behavior. The market doesn’t seem to self regulate the Too Big To Fail phenomenon – do you disagree?

              In my thinking, this can’t be a black and white issue – socialism vs free market. A healthy balance is necessary – our government is deeply flawed (I think we can all agree on that), but an unregulated free market can be as well.

              1. And what was the world like before Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”? Working in dirty factories sucked, but it was certainly preferable tilling fields 13 hours a day only to starve to death during a mild drought.

                Besides, it wasn’t the government regulation that improved working conditions. It was competition and wealth creation.

              2. And TBTF was a fiction that politicians created to bail out their Wall Street buddies and screw over American taxpayers.

                1. Actually, it was government regulation that improved working conditions, specifically the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. As demonstrated then, and again by the New Deal policies, government regulation CAN improve social conditions.

                  That doesn’t mean that big government always or even usually works. But sometimes it does. And regulating an industry is neither eliminating free choice nor demonstrating a lack of faith in the American people, as asserted by Mr. Harsanyl in the article.

                  1. Yes, gov’t improved food technology. You know, if you pass a law against gravity, people will fly. Businesses really do want to kill their consumers. Best business ever!

                    1. Sooner what makes you think that an acceptable level of safety would emerge merely based on profit calculations? Maybe the sweet spot lets more people die than the people care to tolerate.

                    2. Because it seems to me that far from being totally informed rational consumers of food, most people actively ignore food preparation realities.

                    3. Whose problem is that? Get informed!

                    4. My local butcher shop has yet to have a meat recall, but that dosen’t stop the government from doing its best to put them out of business with burdensome regulation. And make us buy meat from one of the larger packing plants that do have recalls!

          3. “But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that big industries (oil, insurance, finance, etc) tend to behave in a way that the majority of us would consider immoral in their pursuit of profits. See Enron, Goldman, BP, AIG, etc.”

            You are confusing the actions of those few people at the top of those company’s with the people that actually work for, or, are shareholders of said corporations. To say a whole industry is immoral, is way to much of a blanket statement for my liking.

            I work in the oil biz and I work on location when they drill the wells. I have never seen anyone act in a way I thought was immoral. If spills happen, we clean them up. Everyone cares because it IS important to most people. Regulation get enforced because the worker cares.Not because a politician writes some bullshit on a piece of paper.

            Are you/we immoral because you/we are driving the demand for oil?

            Is it immoral for a company to fill that need?

            Is it moral for you send men with guns to enforce your morality on me?

            When we get off oil.Is it moral to send men with guns to China or India to make them get off oil?

            Enron went down because a few at the very top were crooks. They are still around, they just changed the name to EOG. They employ a lot of people at very nice wages. Those workers enjoy a very high standard of living.

            Goldman’s and AIG were bailed out by phony crony capitalism. In a free market, they would have had to eat the horrific losses with the ludicrous profits they made on the way up. Instead, because of so called government regulation and unending free money they keep the profits and you schmucks eat the losses.

            BP is a good company that has been demonized effectively. They own every other oil well on the planet and employ hundreds of thousands of people. They treat their employee’s very well and have an excellent track record on safety and environmental issues. They could be trying to seek shelter in the courts but instead those “greedy” shareholder voted to sell off BP’s Alaskan assets(huge) to Apache, so they would have cash to pay for cleanup efforts and for people affected. What company can you think of that has stepped up to the plate like BP has? They do not seem to be acting in an immoral way at all to me.

      3. Recent history has pretty clearly shown that a reasonable amount of regulation is often necessary to keep the free market on track.

        The latest Obama quote was something like replacing “old and poorly written regulations” (the recent ‘reform’). My first thought, was “yes, with NEW and poorly written regulations”. (Simple is better.)

        1. Laws and regulations are written in such a way as to make them virtually impossible to understand, thus requiring the services of armies of highly paid lawyers to decipher it.

          The purpose of law is to employ lawyers.

          If laws and regulations were simple and easy to understand, then hoards of lawyers would be forced to find productive and honorable means of employment.

          This is what happens when we elect lawyers to positions of power.

  7. Didn’t you run this same column last week? Or did Dave just write the same column last week? And the week before? Where is Cathy Young when you need her?

    1. Beat it, herpes.

    2. Shouldn’t you be at home working on your next Mike Hammer book?

      1. Of course this was me, but I am absolutely floored that a guy who writes Sherlock Holmes book (which is akin to being in a cover-band) would have such a total lack of self-awareness not to realize just how hypocritical it is to accuse another writer of lacking originality.

        Seriously, Vanneman, go fuck your mother, just as your father did before you.

        BTW, Windows spellchecker does not recognize the name Vanneman. However, it does recognize both Mickey and Spillane.

        1. And Gobbler.

  8. Obama will never trust the great unwashed masses. He thinks they are racist gun nuts who spend their days drinking Bud and beating their wives. In short, he is a liberal. No way people like that start trusting people who are actually out working hard to feed their kids and along the way manage to run a pretty good country.

  9. What a lying sack of shit. He also said that the new financial regs will foster innovation and that “there will be no more tax-funded bailouts…period.”

    What a complete and utter tool. But of course, no one really cares, because a black man finally became president, and if you disagree with him you’re a racist. At least that’s the feeling I get from my more ‘progressive’ friends.

    We may not be fucked, but it’s not getting better any time soon.

    1. Whaaat!? No way man, 2012 the republicans are gonna come and fix everything once every single incumbent politician that can be voted out, impeached, intimidated(or otherwise silenced, heh heh) is… dealt with.
      Then(provided the world doesn’t end) the Right’s glorious rise to power will take us back to simpler age,
      an age of Hoover and McCarthyism
      UNBRIDLED UNCONTROLLABLE NATIONALISM AND CENTRAL UNLIMITED POWER!!!
      Erstwhile the “Tea Party” will continue to fornicate with the GOP and besmirch the Libertarian/Limited Government movement to the point of Reason being shut down and a SWAT Team at every subscribers home, as our beloved magazine is labeled a godless, communist organization orchestrating a plot corrupting the feeble minds of “Joe Six pack and Friends”.
      What have we to worry about my fellow godless communists?

      1. I took a shit in Smurf Village once.

      2. I realize that feeding a troll is a bad idea, but keep in mind that Hoover’s policies were eventually vindicated by the failure of the New Deal to do anything for the recovery. McCarthy may have been a tool and he definitely oversold his position, but there were IN FACT communists in Hollywood and in the State Department that were either actively spying for the Russians or were useful idiots for the Russians. So his Red Scare turned out to be more truthful than many of the attempts at revisionist history to paint him as a psycho.

        1. But we have subjectively determined consolidation of power that may happen! That’s why we need objectively determined consolidation of leftist power NOW!

        2. “Hoover’s policies were eventually vindicated by the failure of the New Deal”

          Hoover’s policies were the same as the New Policies.

        3. FDR’s policies were Hoover’s policies, only with a big dose of steroids.

          1. Interesting. Sort of like how Obama’s policies are Bush’s policies, also with a big dose of steroids.

        4. Hoover STARTED the new deal. How does its failure vindicate Hoover?

          1. My bad. I meant the restriction of federal spending at the beginning of the crisis. Later spending, especially the New Deal was seen as a great savior, but later shown to have had no benefit, and may have made the Depression last longer.

            1. I’m a Smurf not a troll.
              My post was just building off his and trying to show that Obama’s successors’ vision for America is hardly a superior alternative.

              I just ate too much sarsparilla and got carried away

      3. too much capitalization;didn’t read

  10. From here:

    Consider … the most basic function of the “welfare state”: care for the needy. What justifies the concentration of all “welfare” dollars into the hands of government except the notion that society will starve the poor but the State won’t? Yes, the government — essentially, a handful of guys with guns — will be more compassionate and generous with the people’s money than the people themselves — the entirety of the population — will. With that as a concession, is it any wonder that this limited welfare state continues to grow beyond its limits (possibly with socialized medicine as the next domino)?

  11. I am confident the American People will ignore the warnings of impending doom until it’s too late to do anything. Does that count as me having faith or not?

    1. Faith in reality

  12. Guys. Don’t you get it? He sees life through the “perception of time” as one goof put it. You “don’t get” what he’s doing but no worries, in the future he will be vindicated as you will all see the error of your short sighted ways. I mean, COME ON, FDR! F.D.FUCKING.R!

    It’s really not hard to get into his mindset. You’re too stupid to understand but wait down the road when you’ll be addicted to whatever collective plan he has in store.

    Obama has no faith; just faith in himself and power.

    He’s fucking Yoda and Lou Lamouriello rolled into one! Don’t you racists get it? Don’t you? Oh please tell me you do?

    Over to you Tony.

    1. “”You “don’t get” what he’s doing but no worries, in the future he will be vindicated as you will all see the error of your short sighted ways. “”

      History will vindicate? Didn’t Bush say that too? Maybe Obama is just Bush in makeup.

  13. This is just another example of that progressive arrogance we love so much. The idea that “I can make good decisions, but ‘Other People’ can’t. Those Other People aren’t my family or friends or colleagues, and I can’t actually point them out, but they are out there.”

    1. Kind of like the people I encountered back in DC when I was at a social function. I was commanded by the XYL to not engage them, so I just listened. What they said about conservatives and people from the midwest was about what you would expect the Klan to say about Blacks.

  14. I can’t believe David left out medical marijuana.

    OTOH, there are so many other examples…

  15. No, I’m pretty sure we’re fucked…

  16. Sorry. Didn’t know how to link it.

  17. The day Obama has faith in the private sector will be the day Pat Buchanan stops screaming about immigration.

    1. Is Pat Buchanan relevant anymore?

      1. “”Is Pat Buchanan relevant anymore?””

        No, and that doesn’t make LibertyBill wrong.

  18. “Republicans are demonstrating a lack of faith in the American people.”, said the nation’s Projector-in-Chief

    1. BTW, “said the nation’s Projector-in-Chief” pretty much punctuates everything that comes out of his mouth.

  19. Anyway, Robert Gibbs’ upcoming press briefing should be a laugh riot. That man will be a stuttering, stammering fool. I wonder if he’ll call on Major Garrett? I’m making popcorn.

    1. Am I the only one who thinks Robert Gibbs has done wonders to rehabilitate Scott McClellan?

  20. My faith is in human nature. Human nature is put the needs of yourself and those closest to you above those of everyone else, and to want more of whatever you have.

    This notion that if you give the right people enough power that they can put things right directly conflicts with human nature.

    Give people power and they will use it to enrich themselves and those closest to them, and they will want more of it.

    It never works.

    We’re so fucked.

  21. Obama’s Lack of Faith

    This is an oxymoron – Government OPERATES on a basis of a total LACK of FAITH in individuals to solve their own problems. Otherwise, there would be NO GOVERNMENT to BEGIN WITH!

    So of course Obama, the Republirats and the Demagogues show a total lack of faith in the American people. That’s what they do, like the scorpion.

    1. Pshh, this guy… might be right. Or a racist.

  22. And, of course, we can all trust corporations without question…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_Dots#Recall

    1. No, but thanks for playing.

    2. New here? Because the folks arond these parts are all in favor of the Underwiters Labratory model.

    3. If you are trying to get a fallacy named after yourself, you are too late: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

  23. If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.- Ludwig von Mises

    1. Old Ludwig Von is chock full of gems like that.

    2. Holy crap. Good one, and don’t remember ever seeing that one before. Much more succinct than the Jefferson one about angels and stuff.

      1. Poetry has its place.

      2. Thanks CrackeryAssCracker. LOL!

        1. Crackerty

      3. “Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.”
        Thomas Jefferson

    3. Is he claiming that people are infallible and morally pure? The whole point of elections and checks and balances it to defend against the weaknesses of human beings (who will be governed in one form or another). Why should the marketplace be a free-for-all?

      1. Because it has worked so great up till this point.

      2. Why do Re-, er, Progressives insist that we subordinate large portions of our decision-making authority and resources — with only the thinnest threads of recourse available to remediate errors — to a small subset of fallible, morally-impure humanity … under the assumption that they have the omniscience necessary to make the right decisions on even highly-individualized matters?

        Compared to that paradigm, the Apollo program was a mere exercise in LEGO(TM)-building. It is folly to task government to solve “a problem” for us that is actually 310 million variants of a general problem. To believe in the assumption of omniscience above requires more blind faith than this evangelical Christan applies to his God.

        I have no problem with the government wearing the striped shirt of the referee in the arena of commerce, to enforce honesty and integrity in transactions … problem is, it keeps trying to put on the coach’s jacket while still wearing the striped shirt.

        And without an invasive government to collude with, corporate America’s power over us is quite limited … if it was not, do you think that Sears and JC Penney would have ever let Sam Walton build his second store … or would American Airlines let its Texas neighbor, Southwest Airlines, operate and actually make a profit in an otherwise-unprofitable industry?

  24. EXXXXXXXXXTERRRRRRRRRRRNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

  25. When I first heard Obama say this, I could help chuckle a bit. However, it’s really a matter of perspective. I think Obama means faith in the American people choosing the best and brightest among us to decide how we should all behave (which, oddly enough, would include how to select the ‘best and brightest among us’).

  26. Obama’s Lack of Faith in the American People

    Right back at ya, Barry.

  27. Since
    1)all Harsanyi’s pieces are completely sarcastic until the very end and
    2)he has no problem throwing a word or two on a second page for shameless extra clicks,

    I think he should just write the ironic part followed by a “…” and the second page should look like this

    P.2

    …….NOT!!!!

  28. David, we get it: you don’t like Obama.
    Enough already.

  29. The faith comment was directed at Republicans’ mean-spirited and nonfactual excuse for blocking unemployment insurance–that jobless Americans are only jobless because they’re lazy, and that unemployment checks encourage them to continue being lazy. Their position on the deficit is indefensible, so they had to go even lower and slimier. You can’t be against unemployment for deficit reasons when you’re attacking any plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire, which are ten times more costly.

    1. On Planet Tony, pointing out the perfectly obvious — i.e., that if you subsidize joblessness you get more of it — is “mean-spirited and nonfactual”.

      You can’t be against unemployment for deficit reasons when you’re attacking any plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire, which are ten times more costly.

      I’m not against unemployment benefits for deficit reasons. I’m against unemployment benefits for beating the shit out of Democrats for their worthless PAYGO promises reasons, and for fuck people who are still demanding handouts after being on the dole for nearly two calendar years reasons.

      1. So you’re for letting the Bush tax cuts expire? Since you’re so interested in paying for the things we buy and all.

        And point to the facts that support the allegation that people who are unemployed because there aren’t enough jobs for them are encouraged not to seek work in significant enough numbers to justify no unemployment checks. Most people who are out of work are not in that position because of anything they did. The elites of capitalism are at fault, and I don’t see how anyone with a moral compass, even a libertarian, can justify keeping their tax rates low to the tune of adding $3 trillion to the deficit over ten years, but not supporting their victims, the unemployed, by one cent.

        1. And here we go with the class warfare piece. Taking more from those that spend and create more is clearly the answer.

          1. We have had a constant trend toward concentrated wealth for a half century, and it’s class warfare to tax the wealthy a little more? If it’s war, they’ve been winning.

            1. Thats the thing its not a war… fitting economic policy and taxation to fit the subjective whims of whoever’s running the show idea of “social justice” seems like a bad idea.

              1. Therefore, we should accept economic and tax policy that fits your subjective definition of social justice?

                1. No, thats not what I am saying and I think you know it. I am saying that no one’s I idea of social justice belongs in government policy (esp. economic policy).

                  1. Not doing something is still a choice with consequences. Your views on social justice are every bit as strong as mine, they’re just less just.

                    1. Yes it is a choice. A choice that maximizes freedom while limiting the capacity of the nanny state.

                      I take whatever consequences follow that choice.

            2. Wealth-envy is the better term here… and you, Tony, are dishing it out by the spoonful, as usual.

              1. Fine if I have wealth envy then you have genocidal bigotry against the poor.

                1. No, Tony, we want to see that subset of the poor that are poor because they are addicted to low expectations, reinforced by assistance (moral and material) that allows them to be irresponsible and still “get by” …

                  … liberated from their dependence upon their Re-, er, Progressive “betters” and — utilizing other forms of assistance that are less likely to create dependence — join the rest of us as responsible and productive citizens.

                  The relative few who are doing the best they can, will have more resources available to help them as a result … so EVERYONE benefits.

                  And probably the best way to help the unemployed … is to stop threatening businesses with a future of being America’s cash cows … social-services surrogates … and scapegoats for class envy. THAT is why they are maintaining heavy cash positions at present, instead of expanding and hiring — not “greed” — for these new “responsibilities” make hiring a lot more expensive proposition for employers.

                  You can thank your Re-, er, Progressive leaders for this … employment was growing and the deficit was being reduced, until the Dim Congress was seated in January 2007 and the above threats began … and employment growth flattened immediately afterwards.

                  You talk about the need to curb wealth concentration … well, like Islamic “freedom fighters”, your skills at target acquisition stink. The biggest corporations will now be able to collude with the New Order and get richer … while smaller corporations, like the one I work for where the owner pays a competitive base salary combined with generous bonuses for EVERY employee as incentive pay, get treated as if they are the next Enron.

                  Under the progressive paradigm for business, “equal protection under the law” becomes “equal oppression under the law … except for the firms big enough to make it worth the government’s while to collude with them.”

                  Progressive-mandated “equality” is, in terms of control systems, dominant-pole compensation — reducing everyone to the most sluggish rate of economic advancement. And it is anything but equal, as long as fallible, flawed bureaucratic humans and fallible, flawed corporate leaders can collude and DISTORT the market.

        2. The “elites of capitalism” are to blame for this clusterfuck only if you define the term to include the crony capitalists who try to privatize profit but socialize risk, and the government central-planners who enable them. And since I’m on record as stating that all of those fuckers can burn, you can fold the class warfare up into a nice tight wad and shove it straight up your ass. You and yours demanded a bailout of those pieces of shit to the tune of more than a trillion dollars, when I’d have been perfectly happy to let them discharge their debts in bankruptcy.

          As for the long-term unemployed, fuck them, too. We already “support the victims” of the economic crisis for 99 weeks worth of unemployment insurance benefits — a good deal more than one cent, as it happens. These lazy bastards have had nearly two calendar years to locate a job. Anybody who can’t find work after two years of looking clearly isn’t looking hard enough; if nothing else, there are always toilets that need scrubbing.

          As for paying for the things “we” buy, I’d be happy to be billed for the things I actually consented to pay for. Since that includes no government expenditure or program since approximatly 1980, I’ll be expecting a big fat refund in the mail any day now.

  30. This is just another example of a Liberal projecting his behavior and beliefs on conservatives.

    There have only been two Presidents in the past century who believed in the American People. One was Reagan, the other was Roosevelt. It’s no coincidence they remain the most popular Presidents with the Public.

    Obama and his handlers and minions are convinced that you cannot accomplish anything without guidance from above. Why pass Obamacare against the will of the Public if the Public can be trusted to do the right thing? Why cast the Tea Partiers as dangerous racists?

    This idea that the masses are dangerous without elite guidance started with Sigmund Freud. It was first implemented as policy by Woodrow Wilson.

    There has been a debate in intellectual circles ever since as to whether the Public is rational or irrational, but the debaters never confront the fact that it is wrong to psychologically manipulate people in the first place.

    1. You and Glenn beck and a bag of cheetos isn’t “intellectual circles.”

      1. I am not a huge acolyte of Sir Weepy Beck, but point of fact, Beck is most definitely NOT a fan of FDR. He attributes the our present National problems to both FDR and Woodrow Wilson.

        1. FDR hired George Gallup to do his political polling for him. That fact is a matter of public record.

          FDR used to say things like, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”

          Politicians today and the MSM (including Fox) are constantly warning us about crises and threats.

          The solutions they offer are always Authoritarian.

          1. FDR interred Japanese Americans and grew government bigger than anyone else. Despite the bad, I agree that he’s one of our greatest presidents. I don’t see how current policy endeavors are any more “authoritarian” than his were, though certainly some of the last administration were disturbingly so.

            1. All I am asserting here is that FDR was popular, and that the reason he was and remains popular was his attitude toward the American people.

              1. I think winning WWII and ending the Great Depression are probably more important to his popularity.

                Obama’s accomplished several Rooseveltian tasks in less than half a term. You’re complaining about his attitude? I dunno, seems trivial. And I don’t understand by what you mean when you say he doesn’t believe in the American people. Have you ever even listened to him speak? There’s more than enough patriotism and reassurance, which anyway is tangential to what we really need from him: not being a senile weapons & cocaine trafficking radical like Ronald Reagan.

                1. You are arguing to an irrelevant conclusion.

                  The tone of the propaganda coming from this administration and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate is one of distrust for the Public’s judgment if ever the Public disagrees with the Democrat party line.

                  The economic policies and the “Rooseveltian” tasks he has accomplished are broadly unpopular and ill advised.

                  To understand what I mean about attitudes toward the Public, you need to inform yourself about the nature of public relations in politics in the U.S. I suggest reading Edward Bernays.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

              2. Wrong. The reason he was and remains so popular was that he kicked some Nazi ass.

        2. I think you might be misunderstanding my position. I am of the same mind, to some degree, regarding FDR. I am just not one, as are many of the denizens of Reason, the sort that take the word of any talking head as gospel.

          1. Shoeless Chris, I honestly have no idea what Glenn Beck thinks about anything. That was pure misdirection on Tony’s part and revelatory of his profound ignorance. He his not the only one here who plays that false assumption game though. Seems to be a folly of youth.

            I get my ideas from books and documentaries then process them through my wetware. Been doing that since the seventies. I don’t watch TV except for movies, sports, Bloomberg, Stossel, and Judge Nap. I can’t bear to listen to or watch most advertising and try to tune it out.

            I came across Adam Curtis’s documentaries on Amazon I think. I disagree with many of his conclusions. I think he makes a compelling case against himself as often as not.

      2. Once again you make a false assumption.

        I never watch Glenn Beck.

        1. Yeah apparently I’m the only one, despite the fact that his (your) nonsense can be found verbatim everywhere. It does tend to get spread around the right-wing fact universe like an STD though.

          1. Right wing?

            I guess you never heard of Adam Curtis of the BBC?
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/

          2. Instead of making fallacious statements why don’t you address his assertion with a reasoned argument? If it is so self evidently and patently false, please explain it to us, the great unwashed masses?

            1. that was @ Tony

              1. Ten Four. Peace Out!

            2. Sorry, I immediately go to Beck every time someone mentions President Wilson, as I believe he was the first to start bloviating about him. I fail to see how he’s particularly relevant to anything today, or how “Wilson was the first to implement to policy of elites controlling everyone” is serious historical analysis.

              1. I’d like to politely suggest that if you can get your hands on an affordable copy of “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis, or rent a copy or stream one, that you watch it, then we can continue the discussion. It’s rather involved and really too much info for a blog.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

  31. “The same faith in Americans surely precipitates the administration’s defense of censorship (even book banning) to ensure that the citizenry is protected from the despicable reach of political ads funded by corporations. ”

    Which books?

    1. None in particular. During oral args for Citizens United (where the brouhaha was over a documentary movie, not a book), it was the government’s position (as delivered via… Elena Kagan) that it also had the authority to ban books.

      1. More on this, from several perspectives:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..Background
        https://reason.com/archives/201…..llow-books

        1. And since Reason apparently limits a poster to no more than two links per post, I had to split them up. Here are the other two I tried to post in the above comment:
          http://www.politico.com/blogs/…..nited.html
          http://www.slate.com/id/2254830

  32. “I have faith in the American People” is Obamaspeak for “I have faith in the federal government,” since to a collectivist like Obama the will of the government is the will of the governed.

    The Obamabots have repeatedly attempted to silence desent by reminding their critics that “we won.” While it is true that elections have consequences, the frightening truth is these idiots really believe they should be able to do whatever they want without having to answer to anyone.

    And when they do get called on the carpet they throw a hissy-fit and hurl the “we’re taking names” threat.

    Obama and company have elevated national politics to new heights of adolescent vindictiveness.

    It is beyond time to dump these losers.

    1. Yup. It’s not much different than Hillary’s “It takes a village to raise a child.” By “village,” she means “federal government.” By “American people,” Obama means “federal government.”

  33. I have been waiting for someone else to see this!
    Liberalism is based on a lack of belief in the capability of Americans. They demonstrate this through programs and policy designed to absolve those, seen as incapable, from accountability. If you perceive people as incapable of making good decisions for their children, you will take away their choice. People are incapable of preparing for retirement you will prevent them from any control over their social security.

  34. Odd that the left has no faith in the masses to exercise benevolence due to our fundimental “flaw,” primal self-interest–something we happen to have in common with every other creature on the planet. But magically, when elected to office with a D behind our name, we suddenly become indifferent to what might be advantageous to ourselves an blossom into fountains of benevolence!

    Me? I think basic survival requires us to seek advantages. Quality of life drives us to cooperate collectively, which drives interest in our neighbors advantages as well. Ruling authority, on the other hand, is a narcotic that, absent clear limitations, crowds out any sense of what true quality of life is–only the craving for ever more authority seems to register as important.

  35. It is not so much that Obama distrusts Americans as that he detests Americans.

  36. So many half truths in the this article. Its a shame.

  37. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT—-Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows TO Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.REPOST THIS

  38. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets////////07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, Televised “Meet the Press” THEN Senator //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, was asked about his stance on the
    American Flag.

    General Bill Ginn USAF (ret.) asked //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, to explain WHY he doesn’t follow protocol when the National Anthem is played. The General stated to Obama that according to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171 “?During rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present (except those in uniform) are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Or, at the very least, ‘Stand and Face It’.”

    NOW GET THIS!! ? – ? – –
    ‘Senator’ //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, replied:

    “As I’ve said about the flag pin, I don’t want to be perceived as taking sides”.
    “There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression..”
    “The anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all that sort of thing.”

    (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS???)

    //Mmslim Barack Hussein Obama, continued: “The National Anthem should be ‘swapped’ for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song ‘I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing’. If that were our anthem, then, I might salute it. In my opinion, we should consider reinventing our National Anthem as well as ‘redesign’ our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It’s my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we, as a Nation of warring people, conduct ourselves like the nations of Islam, where peace prevails ? – ? perhaps a state or period of mutual accord could exist between our governments.”

    “When I become President, I will seek a pact of agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation, have placed upon the nations of Islam, an unfair injustice which is WHY my wife disrespects the Flag and she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past”.

    “Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put my hatred aside. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path? My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country’s First black Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America “INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.//////For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.the commander
    REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE

  39. OBAMA goes about his business by speaking the lie. II Thessalonians 2 says that he comes “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” Revelation 13:12 says, “and he spoke as a dragon?.” Revelation 17 tells us that he was a false prophet, a prophet being one whose calling it is to speak and to teach. The armies of the world may have guns and tanks and bombs to bring people into submission; but the power of speech and ideas is a mighty power. In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God, OBAMA used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: “You will be like God.” Now he uses a “dragon” who speaks crafty, lying words. His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric. The content as well as the form of his speech will attract. Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate. But he is a liar. He adds dashes of truth to the mix, so that his lie tastes like truth. He will use all the right catchwords, using the language of the church, even throwing in a Bible text or two. But he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
    OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach ?quot; men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    THE COMMANDER,,, REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE .. THE END OF AMERICA

  40. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER

  41. THE IRON HEEL OF OBAMA

    IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, OBAMA HAS LASHED OUT AGAINST CONSERVATIVES IN A WAY THAT SHOWS THEY ARE ABOUT TO CRACK DOWN ON ALL DISSENT IN THIS COUNTRY. LAST WEEK, BILL CLINTON CLAIMED SAID THAT THOSE ON THE RIGHT SHOULD TONE DOWN THEIR RHETORIC. A HACK WRITER NAMED JOE KLEIN GOT ON NBC AND SAID THAT REMARKS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BY SARAH PALIN AND OTHER CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATORS CONSTITUTE SEDITION.

    OBAMA HAS BEEN GETTING BOLDER AND BOLDER. FIRST THEY PUT FORWARD THE IDEA OF REVIVING THE UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE, WHICH WOULD DESTROY CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO. THEN THEY CLAIMED THAT TOO MUCH “HATE” WAS COMING FROM THE TEA PARTIES AND THE RIGHT. AND NOW THEY’RE PUTTING IT IN TERMS OF ACTUAL SEDITION. THEY ARE TRYING TO ESTABLISH A LEGAL BASIS FOR SHUTTING UP THOSE THAT THEY DISAGREE WITH.

    THE IRON HEEL OF OBAMA IS COMING DOWN QUICKLY. IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE OBAMA USES SOME EXTRA-CONSTITUTIONAL MEANS OF SILENCING HIS OPPONENTS. IT MAY COME AS AN EXECUTIVE ORDER. IT MAY COME AS A BILL FORCED THROUGH THE CONGRESS BY RECONCILIATION. OR IT MAY BE SOMETHING ELSE. BUT BE ASSURED THAT IT WILL COME. AND WHEN IT DOES, DON’T COUNT ON THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT IN CONGRESS TO PROTECT YOU. THEY SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING, AND THEY’RE GOING ALONG TO GET ALONG. ONLY ACTION BY THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES CAN STOP THIS NOW. MAYBE THE TEA PARTIERS, MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE. BUT IF ACTION IS NOT TAKEN SOON, THE IRON HEEL OF THE OBAMA WILL HAVE CRUSHED FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA.
    “INPEACH OBAMA THE COMMUNIST ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.//////For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.the commander
    REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.