Foreign Policy

Obama's Consistency Problem

Like George W. Bush, Barack Obama has abandoned his principles while increasing the power of government.

|

On Tuesday, three days after the U.S. launched military action against Libyan forces, President Obama got around to articulating a rationale for doing so.

"The core principle that has to be upheld here," he explained, "is that when the entire international community, almost unanimously, says that there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place, that a leader who has lost his legitimacy decides to turn his military on his own people, that we can't simply stand by with empty words, that we have to take some sort of action," he said.

This is a rather different core principle from the one Obama articulated to The Boston Globe in 2007, when he said: "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Obama's vice president, Joe Biden, shared that view at the time. He told Chris Matthews that launching a military attack without congressional approval would be an impeachable offense. "I don't say those things lightly," Biden said. "I teach separation of powers and constitutional law. This is something I know."

This is far from the only instance in which the administration has violated its professed principles. As a candidate, Obama promised "no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens." As president, he defended wiretapping in court on state-secrets grounds. As a candidate, he denounced extraordinary rendition, military tribunals, indefinite detention without trial, and the excesses of the PATRIOT Act. As president, he has adopted them wholesale.
Conservatives have criticized Obama for such hypocrisies, and rightly so. But many conservatives were complicit in an equally egregious contravention of constitutional limits on power during the Bush years.

The Bush administration certainly pushed the envelope of executive power in the national-security arena, with the full-throated support of the American right. But it also amplified government's role in social policy: The No Child Left Behind Act and Medicare Part D produced the largest federal incursions into education and health care in decades. Yet conservatives were so busy defending the Bush administration's foreign-policy adventurism that most scarcely bothered to notice, let alone object.

Nor did they make much objection to the rapid growth of federal spending during the Bush years—which mushroomed from $2 trillion in fiscal 2002 to $3.9 trillion in fiscal 2009, a rate of growth faster than any administration since Lyndon Johnson's. If it is generally true that liberals object to infringements on civil liberties only when they are committed by a Republican, then it is equally true that conservatives object to the growth of government only on a Democrat's watch.

Presidents are human, too, and their inconsistent adherence to their professed principles might be forgiven with such an acknowledgement were it not for a curious pattern: Their inconsistencies seem to flow in only one direction.
George W. Bush's departures from conservative orthodoxy always redounded to the benefit of a larger federal role in domestic affairs. They always led to more government, not less. He never disappointed the Republican base by showing too much modesty in foreign affairs, too much reticence about the use of American power abroad, too little belief in the use of executive power for the sake of national security. The result was that government grew when Bush stuck to his principles, and it grew when he abandoned them.

Likewise, Barack Obama's deviations from liberal dogma have not occurred in the domestic realm, where liberals believe in the robust exercise of government power. Nowhere has he suggested the federal government lacks the authority to regulate industry, redistribute wealth, or reorganize the economy. Where he has transgressed, he has done so in matters of national security—and the canons he has trampled are those that would limit or constrain the use of executive power. The result is that government grows when Obama sticks to his principles, and it grows when he abandons them.

Every administration expands power where it wishes, but no power is ever repealed. The result is a one-way ratchet that tightens the grip of government, click after inexorable click. The problem is not that presidents are sometimes inconsistent—but that their apparent inconsistencies turn out to have such a remarkably consistent effect.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This article originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Advertisement

NEXT: Under the Influence

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. “Hey Dubya, lemme shred some Consititution, too! Spread the wealth, man!”

  2. A politician with principles, one of the rarest things in the Universe.

    1. I’ll look for magnetic monopoles instead.

      Not only are they more common, they don’t spontaneously change to the other kind.

    2. The core principle for all politicians is getting elected.
      fresno dan’s correlary is that politicians will always do the opposite of their oft stated principals, except in grave exigencies where doing so would actually be good.

    3. I always use a deep radar pulse to see if I can find one.

      1. It’s easier than finding a radial pulse on a politician. Vampires don’t have cardiac activity.

        1. Holy fuck, what’s up man?

          1. Hiddley ho, cap l! Taken your GRE yet?

            1. I hear they’re changing this spring.

            2. Nope, still have some bullshit classes to grind out. I saved some cash and am going full time now: trying to get done.

              My gf took hers and is starting a phd physics program this fall.

              I hope you got the man off of your back, i.e. being a totally capitalist pig physician. Heartless and immune to the struggles of the poor*…awesome.

              *unless giving to the poor is totally voluntary

        2. long time no hear from, Groovus! Hope all is well.

          1. Back ‘atcha, Almanian. All is, what it is. 🙂

  3. You know who else complained about US military intervention overseas?

    1. Hitler?

      1. *facepalm*

        Henry Ford?

        1. I thought he complained about international Jewery.

          1. Same thing. The Jews are, after all, responsible for all the wars in the world.

  4. We need an un-president.

    1. We will know him by the “6771” birthmark under his hair.

      1. Hah, very nice.

  5. Uh-oh, this article will piss off a lot of our resident statists. It’s not teh pragmatic! The Constitution is not teh suicide pact!

    1. Living document, no newcular weapons when it was written, over 100 years old….ROADZZZ!!

  6. Every administration expands power where it wishes, but no power is ever repealed.

    This is why I don’t take seriously the argument that the way to change things is to vote the “other” party into power.

    1. Exactly. They’re both full of shit, do what they want, and never let go of ANY power.

    2. the one way ratchet claim is not true. the claim that no power is ever repealed – false. it is true that govt. RARELY goes the other direction (voluntarily – SCOTUS etc. decisions aside), but it is not true that it never does it as claims.

      for a small, but heartening example, look at the legalization of home brewing. that was jimmy carter’s doing of all people.

      prior to that, jackbooted govt babyraping thugs could fuck your shit up for brewing your own beer and sharing it with your friends.

      in the words of clouseau… not anymoooore

      there are tons of other examples, too. entirely correct to say govt. rarely and is loathe to open the ratchet and diminish their power. hardly true to say it always happens.

      another example would be the passage of DSHEA.

  7. Your premise assumes facts not in evidence, to wit, that Obama had principles to begin with.

  8. How hideous must ones first name be that Barton is the better choice?

    1. I goggoled it up. It’s very mainstream and common.

      1. Is “goggling” where you smear feces on the inside of swim goggles, take acid, put them on, and have visions?

        1. Is “goggling” where you smear feces on the inside of swim goggles, take acid, put them on, and have visions?

          Nope. But you get points for creativity, you depraved ne’er do well.

        2. Wow. Massive typing fail.

          [note to self: never borrow Epi’s snorkeling equipment]

          1. I’ve seen things…you wouldn’t believe.

            Attack ships burning off the arm of Orion…stuff like that.

            1. Go cry in the rain, emobot.

              1. I’m going to send Daryl Hanna to snap your neck with her legs.

                1. Who’s Darryl Hanna, old man ?

                  1. Didn’t he play ball for the Mets?

              2. But doesn’t that make you a replicant yourself, SugarFree? I don’t remember which ending was canon.

                1. Ridley has said that he considered Deckard a replicant. Given the ending, he would almost have to be.

                  1. I do not understand the Deckard as replicant requirement of the ending…please explain?

                    1. Hmm, well the unicorn dream and the orgami unicorn left by Gaff at the end imply that Edward James Olmos knows what Deckard’s dreams are, implying that like Rachel he’s a replicant with false memories.

                      But at the same time this bothers me because it alters the theme of man vs. machine.

                    2. The unicorn explanation certainly makes sense. I must now re-view the movie.

                    3. the voiceover confuses the movie. ridley didn’t want it, but the studio made him put it in. deckard as replicant makes more sense w/o all the voiceover nonsense

                    4. gaijin97,

                      ASM summed it up nicely.

                      Deckard as replicant also radically alters the text of the book as well.

        3. Not goggling, goggoling. Goggol.org is a search engine that takes you to a spam site close to what you type in.

          Funfact: A goggol is is equal to {10,100,6} in BEAF.

          1. Not to be confused with Gogol Bordello.

    2. How hideous must ones first name be that Barton is the better choice?

      He goes by Bart.

  9. Power seekers have one principle: to maintain and expand power.

    Those who would dismantle power are not going to seek it out.

    Maybe we should replace elections with a lottery.

    1. Throw darts at a phone book.

      1. I provided excellent commentary on the nature of power and who is the most ideal to wield it.

        1. I read all the Dune books.
          Talk about eye opening.

          1. Dune itself, yes.

            The rest were sleep inducing.

            1. The rest were sleep inducing.

              One person’s sleep inducer is another person’s thought provoker.

              1. Yep, I read every, single one as well. My best friend, who’s a HUGE sci fi fan, looked at me like I had two heads when I told him.

                The later books were definitely not as good as the first, but good enough. I enjoyed them.

              2. Shut up.

      2. Like in The Jerk?

        1. He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans!

    2. It would probably be more like a draft. The military kind that no one wants to be selected for, not the fun sports kind. We definitely need people who don’t want the job.

    3. There’s a good song by Clawfinger called, “Power to the One Who Doesn’t Want It”. The band seems pretty leftist, but it’s a good song with good lyrics.

  10. “Nor did they make much objection to the rapid growth of federal spending during the Bush years?which mushroomed from $2 trillion in fiscal 2002 to $3.9 trillion in fiscal 2009, a rate of growth faster than any administration since Lyndon Johnson’s.”

    Im not sure I buy that. As reason has pointed out in the past, the budget didnt really start blowing up until Bush’s second term, and, as I recall, Republicans took a heavy schelacking (sp?) in 2006. If conservatives didnt go out of their way to criticize Bush, they also didnt go out of their way to vote R in the mid terms.

    1. Pelosi and Team Blue made a big show in 2006 about how they were going to trim spending and control earmarks.

      joe was particularly confident that Team Blue would control expenditures. I tried to get him to make a bet about it, but he wouldn’t take the bet.

      1. Which of course, was total fiction. However, my point remains that fiscal conservatives didnt turn a blind eye to the Bush budget mess, they at least tried to change things, which i think is substantially different than the didnt ‘make much objection’ that the author claims.

  11. when the entire international community, almost unanimously, says
    jump off that bridge, ya gotta jump!

    Otherwise they won’t like us anymore.

    1. so clearly Obama’s only problem with the Iraw war then was that France didnt get on board.

  12. How can anyone compare the two of us peas in a pod?

  13. Separated at birth — both of us seem to have been born on another planet.

  14. Say what you want about Bush, I would still take him over Obama any day. I never thought he was trying to distroy America, which is more than you can say about Obama.

    1. Funny.

  15. As a candidate, he denounced extraordinary rendition, military tribunals, indefinite detention without trial, and the excesses of the PATRIOT Act. As president, he has adopted them wholesale.

    Obama dialed back the whole torture as a means to get information thing. May not seem like much, but he deserves credit for it.

    1. Obama dialed back the whole torture as a means to get information thing. May not seem like much, but he deserves credit for it.

      He’s also better at riding unicorns.

    2. Sure, New-eh-bow Chicano, Bush tortured for torture’s sake only. My torturing is strictly for peaceful purposes. Ha!

    3. Does he or does he not still use renditions? If the former, then he has not “dialed back” on torture. He merely disguises it better.

      1. They took r jerbs!

        1. Do you think I would admit it if I was?

    4. no he didnt, the torture policies of Bush were ended in 2003. He kept the same Bush policy that existed when he entered office – which was continuing extraditions so we have no idea what is happening to these people in other countries prisons.

    5. Obama dialed back …

      A case of damning with faint praise if I ever saw one.

      1. “A case of damning with faint praise if I ever saw one.”

        And totally without evidence, besides.

  16. I never thought he was trying to distroy America

    George W Clouseau, then.

    1. “George W Clouseau”

      Thank you for that laugh.

  17. ” a one-way ratchet that tightens the grip of government, click after inexorable click.”

    But isn’t this what people generally want? Given the premise that every issue, every problem, every challenge needs, nay requires, Nay DEMANDS government action, up to and including whole new federal departments, then where will the will come from to stop it.

    1. Maybe if the market stopped proving again and again how massively it can fail, people wouldn’t think this way.

      1. Markets fail when governments fuck with them. The current economic collapse started when the govt. decided it would be a wonderful thing if everyone owned their home, even those who could not afford to do so. So they pressured, coerced, and bribed banks to give mortgages to people who could not repay them. This went on for a few decades with everyone sucking each other off. Then the house of cards collapsed and the govt. gave the banks money to prop them up. The govt. also has been trying, with dubious results, to keep people in artificially overpriced homes they cannot afford. All this is doing is prolonging the pain.

        These things don’t happen in a free market.

        1. Your narrative of the financial crisis has been demonstrated to be false time and again. There’s no excuse for you still believing it.

          1. Ok what do you take issue with?

            1. Well, government encouragement of homeownership certainly contributed to the housing bubble overall, but it’s not even close to the whole story of the collapse. 84% of subprime mortgages prior to the collapse came from private lenders. The share of subprime loans insured by GSEs actually decreased as the bubble got bigger. Low lending standards came from the private sector which was allowed to package what were actually high-risk loans into financial products that were falsely rated low-risk. This was allowed to happen because of deregulation of the financial market, allowing commercial and investment banks to merge.

              Besides, not all bubbles are caused by government (and this one was only partly so), and bubbles themselves are a clear example of where markets fail.

              1. 100% of the money being lent came from the government. The banks are 100% certain that they will be bailed out in the worst case, which they were. This is government failure.

                1. Anything can be a government failure. Government can encourage bad market behavior or it can fail to prevent it. In that sense, I agree with you. The question is what government policies are needed to prevent such behavior. It’s not always going to be less regulation and oversight.

                  1. Anything can be a government failure.

                    Tony, this is the FIRST thing I’ve ever read from you that made ANY sense.

                    Congratulations, and thank you!

              2. All bubbles are caused by distortions in the market. I’m not sure there are any other big enough players to distort markets like government. An even bigger factor in the latest crisis, as well as most others, is the distortion of the interest rate. This is clearly caused by government. It distorts the price information in the market, so no one knows true costs or risk. It gives people cheap money that they will invest somewhere, because they are rational. The last place was real estate; currently it’s fiscal assets. A simplified explanation, to be sure, but true enough. To look at the housing market or derivatives as a cause rather than an effect is to not look deep enough.

                1. Low interest rates were certainly a big factor. I’m perfectly OK putting all the blame on government if you’re talking about it not having the right policies to prevent destructive actions in the market. You can’t really blame finance or any other private sector actors for trying to maximize profits–that’s their job. Even where fraud occurred (and it certainly did), government can be to blame for not preventing or punishing it. We’ve spent 1/10 the amount of money investigating the financial crisis than we did investigating Clinton’s blow job. This too can be a government failure.

                  So where does that leave us? Still discussing what the correct government policies should be–and I think I’m right on these and libertarians are disastrously wrong. If you want to blame government because it happens to exist and didn’t prevent the problems, fine, but it’s always gonna be there so we have to get beyond points scoring and go to policy.

              3. but why were subprime loans issued Tony? perhaps because market participants were reacting to really low interest rates created by the Fed and a bubble that in not small part had been created by government and central bank policies?

                Sub prime loans are perfectly rational in an enviroment of low interest rates and rapidly appreciating asset prices from both a point of the lender and borrower. Its the fact that the latter ended that caused this mess.

                So even if there were no subprime loans, you still had a massive bubble which was the prime reason why we have this recession. Most of the bad mortgages at this point are not subprime, they are normal mortgages where people are under water. Furthemore, demand in the economy falls sharply when households lose a shitload of wealth – you have a negative wealth effect.

                No explanation of this recession and crisis should be taken seriosuly unless you have a theory about why the bubble occured. And the government and Fed were neck deep in helping to create the bubble. Therefore it is virtually impossible to come up with a theory explaining this business cycle without including government policy – the onyl real debate here is the matter of degree.

                Financial services are NOT a free market – so stop the straw man.

                1. And I’ll add that Spain, Ireland, Britain and to a lesser extent Canada also all had housing bubbles in this period. So did the “bushpigs” mythical degresgulation call all those bubbles to happen too Tony?

              4. I agree that government housing policies were not the sole cause of the collapse. It would not have happened without these policies however.

                “84% of subprime mortgages prior to the collapse came from private lenders.” Said lenders would not have loaned that money if they didn’t know the govt. would bail them out.

              5. Let’s grant your points here at face value. 84% of sub-prime loans came from private lenders. Low lending standards in the private sector. Ok. Gotcha. What’s been your (and government’s response) to this? Has it been to let the responsible players fail, opening up opportunities for better business practices? Or has it been to prop up a failed system with billions of dollars and the tacit promise that, if the banks fuck up again, Uncle Sam will bail them out again? You constantly rail against the libertarian response – what do you think it would be in this scenario? Let the bad banks fail (though, had government policies not encouraged them to take such risks in the first place, it’s arguable this crisis would never have happened). Instead, you wish to prop up the very institutions which caused this crisis. Who’s the corporate stooge?

                1. Ok bailouts. I agree that they’ve created all the moral hazard you’re describing. Yes, failure must be an option in the private sector for the market to work. But the premise behind too big to fail isn’t that the firms are too cozy with government (though they are) but that they were literally too big to fail, i.e., their failure would have brought down the entire economy and punished ALL of us for their failure. If you ask me any institution whose failure is a threat to the entire economy should be broken up or nationalized. I don’t think we’ve fixed this particular problem yet.

                  1. —“punished ALL of us for their failure”—

                    With the havoc that the bailouts caused in the economy (currency debasement, deficits, long term debt etc.), I think we have ALL been punished anyway.

              6. bubbles are not an example of market FAILURE. they are a perfectly acceptable part of free markets (not to mention two way auction systems).

                bubbles are not, contrary to the CW, a “bad” thing. they are a thing. they have existed for as long as people have traded – the dutch tulip bulb one being a good example.

                bubbles offer opportunity for smart traders to make $$$ off other people’s mania. they offer value investors a way to get in after the crash and get some real value, after the froth is eliminated. they overcorrect, but they help prices eventually regress to a mean. the housing bubble crash, for instance, finally made houses affordable again for those who weren’t idiots and didn’t overleverage themselves on overpriced crap. heck, i got in a great house for a great price AFTER the crash. general rule – when you see vegas strippers turned real estate speculators on CNBC claiming that real estate is a great investment – it’s time to get the fuck out of the market and wait for a correction.

                again, bubbles are NOT a bad thing, any more than crashes are a bad thing. they aren’t. fuck, the crashing to below 7k was a great longterm investment opportunity for those that didn’t blow their wad “investing” at the top believing greater fool theory works forever.

                if the markets proceeded in an orderly, predictable fashion they wouldn’t be free markets. buy when there is blood in the streets.

          2. I’m curious which parts have been debunked…

            1. Tony: [jams fingers in ears] LALALALALALALALA. I can’t hear you. LALALALALALALALA.

          3. Liar. Do you recite these talking points in your sleep?

      2. The Federal Reserve would not exist in a free market.

      3. Yes in your buffoon world, if the price of milk, Ferraris or health care is too high for your liking then the market has failed.

        As for companies failing, that is not a market failure that is how markets work moron. Learn what the market is, then you will realise that markets failing is like saying gravity fails.

        1. That’s the Marxian conception of a market failure. But what about inefficiencies like monopolies or externalities?

          1. Tell me a monopoly that existed without being a government monopoly. Check out the top 100 corporations and see how rapidly they change over time, the only American company still around after 100 years and is still big is IBM, and that is hardly a monopoly anyway.

            Externalities, are solved if things like property rights, something you oppose, are respected.

            1. case in point, the “nifty fifty” or Xerox. or At&T or …

          2. Go suck a diseased cock, Tony.

            1. You stay class, squeak.

              1. Would you like him to Stay after class or stay classy?

      4. Tony|3.25.11 @ 11:54AM|#
        “Maybe if the market stopped proving again and again how massively it can fail, people wouldn’t think this way.”

        Maybe if you posted anything but lies and brain-dead assertions, you might not be an ignoramus.

      5. How come you don’t turn to markets when government fails, Tony?

  18. fiscal conservatives didnt turn a blind eye to the Bush budget mess, they at least tried to change things

    [citation needed]

  19. One can assume that once you enter the presidency (or vice presidency as the case may be), you become inundated with pretty frightening intelligence reports and such. I don’t think Cheney is evil, I think he was just scared, and from that vantage point it might seem perfectly prudent to err on the side of security over liberty. Surely Obama isn’t unaffected by daily reports of people plotting to blow up stuff in the US. And you can theorize about how liberty is the best security, but if you aren’t actually the one who will be held accountable if something goes wrong, your perspective won’t be the same.

    1. There is a story that Lyndon Johnston was once asked what he knew that the New York Times did not know.

      “A few minor secrets,” he said, “nothing important.”

      Primarily, the President is put in an information hotbox, where people get paid to feed him information (and filter it for him.) Therefore, if the POTUS reads your briefing, you get the POTUS’ attention. One way to do that is to make your briefing as scary as possible.

    2. Tony is a neocon now?

    3. Holy shit! Tony is actually commenting on the content of the article instead of picking a fight about the causes of the financial crisis. Way to go, Tony!

    4. I would agree for the most part, but I don’t think that explains this latest war. Any national security threat Libya posed would have been trotted out as a rationale at the beginning.
      These are also good reasons why we shouldn’t vote in idiots and empty suits into the presidency. It’s too bad the intelligent stay away and the major parties give us no other option.

  20. “Kinetic military action”

    Anyone else think that sounds smutty?

    1. So if China starting lobbing missiles on American air force bases, those same people would refer to it as “Kinetic military action”.

      1. As “Hot Asian Action” they won’t.

        1. Me so tactical
          Me strafe you long time

  21. Folks, I am not buying the “conservatives didn’t object to Bush” argument when it comes to foreign intervention and war. This is not a mere, garden-variety politician’s flip-flop on Obama’s part. The centerpiece of his campaign was his uncompromising rejection of everything Bush had done in this area — if not in the general election, then certainly in the primary against Clinton. His rejection of Bush’s foreign policy was the reason why he won a Nobel Peace Prize simply for taking office. For him not only to emulate Bush, but to go beyond what Bush did in the realm of presidential warmaking, goes far beyond even what a cynic like me expects from politicians.

    1. the reason why he won a Nobel Peace Not George W. Bush Prize simply for taking office

      FTFY

  22. Maybe if the market stopped proving again and again how massively it can fail, people wouldn’t think this way.

    Try harder.

    1. the capital markets are the greatest wealth creation device ever seen by mankind. they are part of the engine of wealth creation that makes this nation great. they are why capitalism has continued to succeed and socialism was a dismal failure of the 20th century (USSR, etc.).

      a market crash, correction, bubble poppage etc. is not “market failure”. they are an integral part of markets. we have had scores of corrections, several major crashes, manias and runs for centuries. this is nothing new. every single fucking time it happens, all the anti-capitalist ninnies say it is the end of capitalism. they said it after the fucking dutch tulip bulb scandal and god knows they said it after the 1929 crash, back when bucket shops were offering 10:1 leverage.

      the market is dead, long live the market.

  23. Leftists don’t have principles. They have goals.

    Obama’s #1 goal right now is to get re-elected in 2012 in order to veto the (by then) Republican-controlled Congress’ efforts to repeal ObamaCare. By doing so, the US “crosses the rubicon”, whereby more than 50% of American households get more from the federal govt than they pay into it. When that happens, the game is up. And Obama and the Left know it.

    Everything Obama does is aimed at the mushy “center” – i.e., the uninformed voters who can actually be led to believe that a Marxist like Obama can change his spots. All the screeching and screaming coming from the Left about his “betrayals” is just so much kabuki theater, meant to lend credence to the lie. Watch as – miraculously! – they all kiss and make up come next year around this time…just in time for the election to heat up.

    Two quotes from a famous Leftist will tell you everything you need to know to interpret the coming year where Obama and the Left are concerned:


    “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

    “To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities; that is not to be taken seriously in politics.” – Vladimir Lenin

    1. Excellent post. Readers PLEASE understand, that only Republican one-party rule can return our country to the vision that the Founders intended.

      1. “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

        “To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities; that is not to be taken seriously in politics.” – Newcular “Titties” Gingrich

        1. Thanks for the perfect illustration of my point that Leftists have no principles, only goals. Your attempt at deflection speaks volumes.

      2. Thanks for the perfect illustration of my point that Leftists have no principles, only goals. Your attempt at deflection speaks volumes.

    2. As a former member of the left, I think you give them way too much credit revastar. There isn’t a great left-wing conspiracy. Just a bunch of yuppies that like to think they are better than their rural brethren.

      What the left wants is to make America more like Europe and they expect the Democratic Party to be their partner in this goal. Obama got into power by blowing a bunch of dog whistles the left interpreted to mean that he would be The One.

      Of course, Europe can’t even afford it’s welfare system anymore. It’s ridiculous to think that America could even pretend to adopt the same policies when we are 14 trillion dollars in debt while also acting as the world’s police force.

      Hillary Clinton understood the reality of this. That’s why she refrained from offering Americans “a unicorn in every garage” and what not. Obama lacked the experience to know that he couldn’t make those types of promises and get away with it.

      Some in the left might still get behind Obama but I’m thinking 2012 will be a lot like 2010. Unless the GOP candidate really fucks it up, or there is some third party candidate that acts as a spoiler, Obama isn’t going to win re-election.

      The left as a real movement is dead in America. Thank god.

      1. “Obama lacked the experience…he couldn’t make those types of promises and get away with it.”

        He, his handlers and many of his minions think they will get away with it.

        “The left as a real movement is dead in America.”

        Not if the opposition serves up the usual bunch of insipid twits to run against the lefties.

  24. This has to be the weakest attempt to wag the dog ever. I mean Clinton blew up a pharmaceutical company in Sudan that made medicine for sick children and nobody gave a shit and his post-Lewinskygate approval rating INCREASED!

    1. “…his post-Lewinskygate approval rating INCREASED!”
      Well of course – he brought back old fat geezers getting blow jobs in the office from young office workers. I can’t think of any more important accomplishment from the Clinton administration.
      I’m too ugly to actually get any blowjobs, but the principal of getting office blowjobs is the foundation of our government.
      I’M SERIOUS

      1. Luckily I’m too young and naive to be that desperate. Plus, I learned a valuable lesson from South Park:

        [after Tammy performs fellatio on Kenny, he contracts syphilis and dies]
        Cartman: I told him. The woman’s mouth is the most germ-ridden place, I said. Statistically the most unsafe place for a man to put his penis, I said.
        Kyle: Well, now we know.
        Cartman: And knowing is half the battle.

  25. Are any of you actually surprised? Godless commiecrats have no consistency in their personal lives, and cannot be elected except through fraud, so why should anyone expect them to behave any differently once in office?

  26. it’s like W. never left office…

    1. “it’s like W. never left office…”

      It’s worse; there would never have been a “Bushcare”.

      1. Medicare Part D and all sorts of medical “compassionate conservative” boondoggle grants come pretty close. I’m pretty convinced if The Shrub didn’t have Iraq and the War on Terror, he would have concocted some medical regulatory scheme very similar, though not as sweeping in scope.

        1. After getting his ass handed to him on SocSec reform, pretty much.

  27. Nothing that Bush did or even tried was anywhere near the scope of Obamacare.

    Also, Bush went on a mini tour touting SS privatization and of course the media (including Reason) poo-pooed it.

    Get over yourselves. There is a difference in the two parties and the two presidents in terms of promoting freedom. A lot of difference.

    Obama has been an unmitigated disaster in terms of domestic freedom for this country.

    Oh, and get off your fucking high moral horses re: torture. British agents were tarred and feathered some 200 years ago. Nothing’s changed. So shut the fuck up, as if anyone cared anyway about the tortorees.

    Real true libertarians care about torture in the same way lefties care about The Poor, The gays, The Blacks– what a great way to beat your political opponents and feel great about yourself while doing it!

    1. “”Obama has been an unmitigated disaster in terms of domestic freedom for this country.””

      What domestic freedom issues are you referring? Most of the ones I can think of, started when Bush was in office, with bi-partisan support.

      1. you must be joking. as one simple example, the VAWA affects more people’s freedom of association, right to carry, etc. than probably any single piece of legislation ever created.

        what other piece of legislation can strip a constitutional right without a trial, but merely a hearing, without jury and where no crime needs be proven at all, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt?

        in terms of the “average joe”, it’s more freedom restricting than any other piece of legislation i can think of – that’s simply a practical reality.

  28. Yes, Bush’s compassionate conservatism was wrong and silly. But it is a drop in the bucket compared to the Left’s bucket of statism that they’ve drenched the country with in the past few years.

    1. Go Team Red! Boo Team Blue!

  29. I think I’m right on these and libertarians are disastrously wrong.

    GAME

    SET

    MATCH,

    MOTHERFUCKERS!!11111

  30. RVA represent!!!

  31. 10 minutes ago, I took a dump utterly epic in both scope and diameter. The part that truly frightens me is, if something that big can come out, then something that big could go in. I’m just sayin’.

    With the above, I have now contributed more to the advancement of this conversation than 1980 Redux.

  32. NEWCULAR TITTIES!!!

    There – I said it.

    1. Cathartic, isn’t it?

  33. Tonight I’ll be defacing the Brandeis Dems’ tribute wall to Obama. Now it’s going to be a tribute to “Bush III”

    1. Bush III. I like the sound of that.

    2. Pics please!

  34. Tricky Vic says: “What domestic freedom issues are you referring? Most of the ones I can think of, started when Bush was in office, with bi-partisan support.”

    HC responds:

    You mean like ObamaCare?
    You mean like Obama’s Cap and Trade runaround to the EPA?

    You mean like the WH’s constant demonization of business, banks, the rich and small govt. advocates? I realize the above aren’t laws.

    But now there’s a huge subset of the country that feels: “small-government=terrorists/racists/haters.” And why do they feel like that? Because The President says so.

    How about the attempted demonization of free speech? See Jared Loughner and the WH’s reaction to Citizens United for more examples.

    Again, no specific laws were passed, but Obama is not using the bully pulpit to promote freedom. In fact, just the opposite.

    What’s the First Lady doing? Running around the country with the message: “you’re too dumb to know what to eat; I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

    Compare Bush’s reaction to Fahrenheit 911 and Obama’s comments about Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, etc.

    Started with Bush? How about started in late 1890s/early 1900s with the rise of Progressivism?

    Once the State runs health care, it’s game, set and match re: freedom. Everything can, and will, be regulated in the name of health.

    So let me say it again: Obama is an unmitigated disaster for freedom.

    Finally: T-Vic, you probably pay close attention to the news, etc.

    Most people don’t. So when they hear the President yapping about tire pressure and nonsense like that, it plants the following seed: “Hmm, maybe the govt. should get involved.”

    1. GO TEAM RED!!!

      1. Why is every criticism of Obama interpreted as an endorsement of the Republican Party?

  35. This has got to be one of the BEST articles I’ve read in a long time. Someone has their head on straight.

  36. This movie has some lebron 9 for sale of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen…That is, it lebron 9 china for sale struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.