Barack Obama

Obama's Warmed-Over Collectivism

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I liked the gay stuff, though. Even if he was a little bit late to the Halloween parade….

Much of President Barack Obama's mercifully brief second inaugural address yesterday was familiar to anyone who has been listening to his rhetoric and policy ideas since 2007.

Once again, the president rejected the false choice between "caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future," a formulation that simultaneously waves aside the relentless growth of entitlement spending (from 37 percent of federal outlays today to a projected 50 percent by 2030) and valorizes Washington's other frequently wasteful expenditures as transactions from which we can expect net financial returns.

Once again, he has made the factually dubious claim that future "economic vitality" depends not only on "sustainable energy sources" that will "power new jobs and new industries," but on making damned sure that America leads the world in this sector. "That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared," he added, oddly.

And once again, Obama has asserted the centrality and indispensability of the federal government to just about everything worth caring about. Here is the passage that best encapsulates the president's post-Bill Clinton ideology, including the feinting, to-be-sure stuff in paragraph four. I have italicized the action words:

Editorial illustration

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. 

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society's ills can be cured through government alone.  Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.  For the American people can no more meet the demands of today's world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.  No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.  Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. […]

My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together

This is a man who literally cannot envision a world in which a Golden Gate Bridge gets built without central planning from Washington, or where the 21st century doesn't rely on a transport technology invented in the 19th. The true fact that "no single person" can train all the teachers and build all the networks is no more a clarion call to collective action than the fact that no single person can make a pencil from scratch. We have an app for that, you know. Maybe the next president will figure that one out.

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  1. Barf, dry heaves.

    1. That picture from Newsweek truly astonishes me. Did conservative papers fawn like this over Bush? I don’t remember.

      1. They were pretty bad in 04, but comparing the President to Jesus? No, not that bad.

        1. Well, I know they weren’t overly enamored with him as he was at first seen as a soft conservative; that is more liberal. I was looking at his executive orders and the more I look back on his record the more I can’t understand the hatred for the guy. He’s a liberal’s wet dream. Do they really only look at Iraq; even then he’s ahead of Obama as he had Congressional approval.

          I don’t get it at all. And I certainly don’t accept him being compared to Jesus. Fuck you Newsweek you extremists.

          1. I can’t even begin to understand what the left thinks. Every time I try it, this happens:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?f…..Y-03vYYAjA

            1. Best Canuck movie of all-time!

          2. Well he did ban the use of Federal money for abortions and tried to eliminate all Federal funding for abortion providers (aka Planned Parenthood), he also was quite fond of using Federal money to support Christian Charities.

            Outside of those two things, and his refusal to apologize for America being American I never understood the liberal hatred of him either.

            1. Didn’t I read somewhere that Obama was continuing, or even expanding the use of Federal money in supporting religious charities?

      2. This is nothing new for the left. Susan McDougal spent over a year in jail rather than testify against Bill Clinton.

      3. No, but liberal papers like the NYT and WaPo fawned over Bush post 9-11. His boots were extra special shiny for a few years.

        1. NYT and WP are more authoritarian than liberal.

          1. In other words, they’re modern liberal.

      4. Newsweek called Michelle Bachman “The Queen of Rage” http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po…..ver-photo/

        Newsweek put a halo over Obama’s head in “The First Gay President” issue.

        See http://www.politico.com/galler…..04076.html

  2. This Just In: Obama is a lying sack of shit.

  3. we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority

    Finally, Obama says something that I’d put on a t-shirt

    1. That t-shirt, you didn’t make that.

    2. we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority

      SERIOUSLY?? WITH A FREAKIN’ STRAIGHT FACE HE SAID THAT?? OMG!!

      1. Obama wasn’t speaking of the President of course. Kind of like when he says he’ll tax that other guy to pay for your benefits, he’s not talking to you.

    3. I’ve come to believe that Obama doesn’t associate words with actual concepts. Hence his ability to say such outrages lies without a hint of self-awareness.

  4. that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges

    Or said another way…to be faithful to principles, I might have to redefine them.

    1. Or another way…we had to destroy the principles in order to save them.

  5. Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

    Please cite source.

    1. PS wrote:

      Please cite source.

      The New York Times, January 21, 2013:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01…..d=all&_r=0

      I guess literacy and google aren’t your strong suits?

  6. The O obviously doesn’t read Coolidge:

    About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

    1. Is there a good Coolidge bio out there?

      1. Amity Shlaes wrote one. I haven’t read it, but other stuff she’s written is decent.

        1. Much appreciated! Just preordered a copy.

    2. How the fuck did we get here from there?

      1. Et tu, Brute?

  7. I just want to know who the fuck “we” is.

    1. shhhhh, you’re harshing his mellow!

    2. Been reading Rand again have we?

    3. Duh, We The People.

      Ever heard of the Preamble to the Constitution. Geez, kids these days.

      1. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

      2. Duh, We The People.

        Ever heard of the Preamble to the Constitution. Geez, kids these days.

        Yeah, but that thing’s like 100 or something years old, man. If Ezra Klein can’t understand it, who can?

        And, the we from over 100 years ago was, like, totally different than us today. They wore funny clothes and talked in strange accents. Why should we care?

    4. “we is”? Really?

      Racist!

  8. no single person can make a pencil from scratch

    As a high school project, my kid set out to prove she could make pencils from scratch from local materials (charcoal lead, hickory barrel, corn fiber gum eraser). They did the job, though they needed to be sharpened often. The erasers were a bit rough on the paper too.

    1. Nice!

      Though in the “I, Pencil” example I think “pencil” is taken to mean “commercial-grade pencil”.

    2. Good for her! To extend the idea though, who made the charcoal? who cut the hickory tree? who turned the hickory barrel? who grew the corn? who made the machines needed for all this, who mined the ore and turned it into metals to make the machines etc. Great learning opportunity.

  9. Um, “caring for the generation that built this country”? So, doing some rough math, if he’s talking about people aged b/w 55 & 75, who were in prime working years b/w 1962 & 2003, that’s when the country was built?

    1. i think he means retrospective entitlements so George Washington can finally get proper false teeth

      1. Nice. We could exhume GW and fit them..

        1. Can’t we have a meeting that doesn’t end with us digging up a corpse.

          1. We had quitters during the Revolution too… we called them Kentuckians.

            1. Kentuckians? I thought they were called Canadians?

          2. I wholeheartedly agree.

            1. My good friend’s wife’s name is Abigail Norman. Now that we know her better we call her ‘Abby Normal.’

          3. No, we can’t.

      2. Upon further review: could it be he was referring to those who brought into being the modern welfare state (i.e. Great Society) and who equated justice with state management? That being the case, then America was built in the 1960s & 1970s.

  10. I managed to avoid all coverage of the event. I might not read the paper today.

    1. I caught a bit of the parade on the break room TV, just long enough to reaffirm how much I despise that smug piece of shit.

    2. I almost made it through Sunday and Monday. Then the wife left the tv on CNN last night just to piss me off.

      1. I know this is not a critique of Obama per se, but does anyone else think the whole inauguration day parade/ball is kinda bullshit? I watched a few minutes of it and it really feels like more of a coronation celebration than anything.

        1. That is exactly what it is. It isnt just the coronation. His entire presidency has been over the top with parties, vacations, pomp and glitter and rubbing elbows with celebrity. It more than just resembles the reign of a king. A narcissistic POS like him living that lifestyle? I doubt he has any connection to reality at all anymore.

          I so hope this all ends badly for him.

          1. Pride comes before the fall?

            With how inexplicably lucky Obama has been in life, I somewhat doubt it.

            1. Debt is a bomb. Given that Obama is pursing policies that have been proven to hurt economic growth, I can’t see this ending well for him.

              Unless, by miracle, it happens just after he gets out of office.

  11. This is a man who literally cannot envision a world in which a Golden Gate Bridge gets built without central planning from Washington, or where the 21st century doesn’t rely on a transport technology invented in the 19th. The true fact that “no single person” can train all the teachers and build all the networks is no more a clarion call to collective action than the fact that no single person can make a pencil from scratch. We have an app for that, you know. Maybe the next president will figure that one out.

    Call me a skeptic, but I doubt it.

    1. The idea of limited government was already on its last leg from the last president. Obama is just hammering the stake in to make sure it stays dead forever.

  12. “But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; ”

    What gaijin said. Ditch the founding principles.

    “that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

    Freedom is Slavery.

    “For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. ”

    Give up your guns, they wont do you any good anyway.

    I think it was Thomas Sowell in 2008 who said ” Obama is so slick he makes an eel look like sandpaper.”

    1. “For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.”

      What the fuck does that even mean? Did Obama confuse a Harry Turtledove book with a history textbook? Does Obama believe that an ideology is tied to technological progress?* Is Obama a wargaming geek who sets up other counterfactuals? Scipio Africanus vs. Shaka Zulu? Napoleon vs. Genghis Khan? Sun Tzu vs. Fredrick the Great?

      *Trick question: Obama’s homeboy, Marx, argued that it did.

      1. Maybe he watches that Spike TV show Deadliest Warrior.

      2. Honestly sometimes I think liberals have just played too much Civilization, and are under the illusion the world can be controlled as easily as a turn based strategy game. Hell the way they talk about “green” energy you’d think its just the next tech on the technology tree they need.

        1. Damn… Rightnut, I think you hit the nail on the fucking head right there. The world to these people is a board game. It goes beyond the “Tech Tree” too. Where does Gold come from in the game? It’s created. Damn, good thought.

      3. “What the fuck does that even mean?”

        Just what I said. He is subliminally slipping in the argument that our guns would be useless against the modern american military rendering the second amendment moot. So just go ahead and give up your guns boys.

        1. our guns would be useless against the modern american military

          I bet our Commander-in-Chief has no clue that some of the Taliban’s best snipers have used 100 year old Lee-Enfields to kill our troops.

          1. Sure he does, but those American troops were mere pawns on the chessboard of Grand Global Progress.

      4. If you cross Shaka Zulu and Genghis Khan, you get Chaka Khan.

        1. If you cross Shaka Zulu and Genghis Khan, you get Chaka Khan.

          By Jove!

  13. the president rejected the false choice between “caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future,”

    Obama uses the false dichotomy a *lot*. Someone really should make a compilation.

    1. That’s his whole shtick. “Let me be clear…false choice… there are those who say…false choice… “

      1. pyromaniac in a field of Strawmen?

  14. I have to say, collectivism left-overs doesn’t go down any better than it did when it was fresh.

    1. Maybe some Tabasco Sauce might help.

  15. But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.

    It’s no wonder I only agreed with this asshole 2% in isidewith.com. He’s pretty much the antithesis of a libertarian.

    1. He has a different definition of fidelity than I do.

      1. duplicity? betrayal, fraud, insincerity, mendacity, hokum?

      2. Of course he does. In his eyes he’s a god. And either you obey or you’re practicing in-fidelity.

        Infidel!

  16. Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

    We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
    Bastiat

    1. +1 for the classics

      Personally, me, I like to end my brief dates with intelligent, highly educated women by invoking the short version of Fred’s Socialist Fallacy

    2. To socialists, government is society. The rest of us are just cows to milk.

  17. Do you finally understand, reason, why all of you shouldn’t have voted for him four years ago?

    1. As I recall, only a few were dumb enough to vote for him. And to be fair, Bob Barr was the LP nominee that election.

      1. WHY MUST YOU RUIN EVERYTHING.

          1. I accept your apology. We the commenters have come to know a truth about the contributors four years ago, and we don’t want anyone to go all snopes on it.

      2. It wasn’t Barr as much as Wayne Allen Root, imo….

      3. Ever heard of a write-in vote?

        1. Ever heard of staying home and drinking all day?

          1. The prospect of being surrounded by a bunch of people who “believe in democracy” for any period of time is more than enough to prevent me from voting.

            Come to think of it, the 1/100,000 chance I might die in a car wreck on the way there is sufficient also.

            Two more good reasons not to vote.

            1. I like to vote to let the politicians know I don’t support them. Given the Democrat and Republican choices, I typically vote Libertarian, else I vote against the incumbent.

          2. + as many days as I am blessed to live

      4. You know saying Bob Barr to a libertarian is kinda like saying Bill Buckner to a Red Sox fan.

    2. “Do you finally understand, reason, why all of you shouldn’t have voted for him four years ago?”

      I think some do.

      Some dont. In my experience his voters live in a dreamworld where they paint him as whatever they want him to be no matter what he demonstrates himself to be. There is nothing he can do that would be too much.

      It truly is a cult of personality supported by glassy-eyed fanatics.

      1. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m ready to hoist the black flag and start slitting throats.

        Which is libertarian-speak for buying everything tax-free off the black market and growing illegal, highly profitable crops on my over-taxed land.

      2. Liberals have a tendency to see the world the way they want it to be, and to ignore reality when it doesn’t fit in their vision. Psychiatrists have written about it, calling liberalism (not classical liberalism) a mental disorder.

        And Obama facilitated that buy painting himself is terms so ambiguous and devoid of policy positions, they saw in him what they were hoping for. For example Obama might say something like “I’m for good and against evil” regardless of its truth.

    3. ‘..the impossibility of, reason..’

    4. Since when did Reason support Obama? I believe Reason trashed both McCain and Obama, and they deserved it. Both are statists.

      McCain married a rich woman with a government guaranteed alcohol distribution business without competition, and Obama married someone drinking from the government cash to hospitals tap (who got a raise for her husband being elected as a Senator).
      None of them have actually produced anything anyone has bought in a free market.

  18. Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

    Wait, what? I must have missed that speech. He should be on TV more often to make sure people hear things like this.

    1. Every speech has a joke or two in it.

  19. “That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared,” he added, oddly.

    Nothing says Pursuit of Happiness like a big fat cost-plus contract from the government.

    1. No, he didn’t say that, did he? And no one picked up on how insufferably narcissistic such a statement is? The entire Declaration of Independence and Constitution are meaningless without his stamp of approval? This is something that, in a sane world, would be parody.

  20. A whole speech to call out the insufferable, laughable narcissism of libertarians. You guys have come a long way!

    1. Sadly, laughing at you became boring long ago, as did feeling pity. Now you’re just completely meaningless. Seems you’ve made a full circle back to where you started.

      Bye!

    2. This douche reminds me of the Farside cartoon, with the dog bragging to his friends as rides by in the car, telling him he is going to get “tutored.”

      1. “insufferable, laughable narcissism”

        Projecting again, I see.

  21. Once again, the president rejected the false choice between “caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future,”

    The Democratic answer to every choice of where to spend money is “let’s spend money on both”.

    They are congenitcally incapable of grasping the concept of limited resources.

    1. congenitally even.

  22. It was a bright cold day in January, and the clocks were striking thirteen

  23. Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

    The only rules you need are liability, contract enforcement, anti-fraud, non-violence, and property rights. Enforce those rules equally and you have fair play.

    Additional rules will be manipulated an abused to bias the market in favor of some politically favored participant.

    1. Isn’t that political favoritism the sole reason today’s politicians enter into politics? Besides unbridled power over others, that is.

      But we shouldn’t expect our masters to remain entertained forever holding their godly powers over us. Nor should we expect them to live in relative poverty like we mere mortals beneath them. That’s where abuse and manipulation of markets, robbing of the treasury, and political favoritism serve their purposes.

    2. No, no, no. “Fair play” comes about from stacks and mountains of thick books packed with arcane regulations and legal terminology, interpreted and enforced by porn-surfing SEC apparatchiks married into the Madoff family.

  24. “Factually dubious” = lie.

  25. School choice is often treated as a cure-all for all our problems. But it is not. Our problems stem from a low-IQ, lazy populace. It doesn’t matter how great the teacher is if all the student does is throw paper airplanes at them. Even if the student does try hard most students with IQs below 110 simply cannot master the subjects necessary to run the so-called “21st century economy.” Much of the problem in terms of test scores stems from our nations great diversity. Asians in America do better than Asians in Asia, whites in America do better than whites in Europe.

    1. Oops, wrong article.

  26. “They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
    Because last year a local single mother welfare leech started a business and “built that.” You didn’t build that!

  27. or where the 21st century doesn’t rely on a transport technology invented in the 19th.

    The only transportation technology we have that wasn’t invented in the 19th century or earlier is hovercraft and heavier-than-air flight. Fixed-wing aircraft are only in the 20th century by a few years.

    So unless the 21st century relies on hovercrafts and helicopters for our transport technology, you’re really splitting hairs.

    1. Not sure it applies, but jet (turbine) propulsion tech was mid-20th century.

  28. Shall we tay tuned for the segue from “sustainable energy sources” that will “power new jobs and new industries, into a post-depression NRA, or ‘Nuclear Renaissance Authority’ , as Franklin Delanobama might have styled it in Rexford Tugwell’s day.

  29. MORE COLLECTIGASMIC DRIVEL FROM THE INAUSEATION SPEECH:

    “to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”

    This Mother Gaia mystic collectivist turd gatling is more appropriate to a script for Avatar II than a policy blueprint. President Fairy Fart Dust needs an individualism lesson:

    1. Individuals can reason.
    2. Groups can’t reason any better than a computer can reason, and often much worse.
    3. Leaders of groups can listen to various individuals and make a decision, but the group, as a whole, is dirt fackin stupid.

    This feces bag doesnt understand that all great achievements are collections efforts by individuals, each of which agreed to act by using his/her reason to adapt AGREED goals to an individual adaptation of task execution to meet the goals.

    This Marxist weasel thinks ideas and processes and orders and tasks are initiated and only done well by government guidance and oversight, and that nothing worthy ever gets done without indirect help, therefore all successful people owe most of their “excess” earnings to everyone else.

    Well I’m inviting the Parasite-in Chief to chew the cheese off my sweaty rockbag, then maybe he’ll learn, by mystical collectivist trans-junkular magic, how the fackin world really works, then hopefully he will die of scrotal cheese infection and rid the world of the biggest wealth killer since the Third schtupping Reich.

  30. “Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority,”

    I suppose it’s true that Barack has never relinquished skepticism of central authority; you can’t relinquish what you’ve never had.

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