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Archive for December 11th, 2009

This wouldn’t have happened except for a ridiculous post, and a challenge.

Now, in the interest of fairness,  I have to say that I like Rutherford.  Yes, I know he’s a lib.  Yes, I know that he is hopelessly wedded to the Left’s agenda, but he does two things I have NEVER seen another liberal do:

1.  He’ll actually debate you…at least some of the time, which is more of the time than I have ever gotten from any other American lib; and

2.  Sometimes, when he just can’t help himself and when he rides that MSNBC/Rachel Maddow/Keith Olberman train way out past the last stop in the country of reason, he will sometimes snap out of it and admit that he was wrong.

Ths doesn’t mean that he doesn’t frequently say things that cause me to check his glass to confirm that the contents aren’t 120 proof, but given his political persuasion and prior avoidance of any serious study of the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and other writings that would provide useful guidance for interpreting the law and its limitations, it can hardly be helped.

The other thing that impairs his ability to see clearly is his unbridled admiration for Barack Hussein Obama.  No matter the evidence before him, Rutherford simply cannot quit Barack.  His latest example is this post, in which he gives the Neophyte-In-Chief such a tongue bath that all I could do initially was register my disgust:

Geez, R.

Stop already. You pushed Chris Mathews out of his common “position of respect” on his knees before Obama’s open fly.

*vomits*

I may or may not be back to comment specifically on some of the inanities in this embarrassing piece of hero worship. We were sure you couldn’t quit him, but I didn’t need to see the “behind closed doors” stuff either. It’s overkill, especially when applied to one so incompetent.

I know, I know.  I should have said more, but I had just completed the post below on Obama-appointee, and degenerate Kevin Jennings and the formerly criminal activities of members of the group he founded and was Executive Director of for years.  Had I unloaded, it would not have been pretty.  Predictably, I was called out for it:

You realize this is the kind of drop-a-turd-and-run stuff you constantly accuse Sensico of. I don’t think you can refute my premise.

Rutherford, old buddy, be careful what you wish for.

Premise: 

1.  a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion.

3.  a basis, stated or assumed, on which reasoning proceeds.

Is Barack Obama an American?

No, I have not lost my mind. I have not become a “birther”. President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 (incidentally the same year I was born in New York City), is a citizen of these United States and is a legitimate President. What I want to address here goes beyond the facts of his birth. I want to get an angle on the constant “he’s not one of us” theme that we hear. I want to get beyond the obvious suspicions of racism and go a bit deeper, or since the argument is fairly obvious, perhaps not that deep. You be the judge.

So far, so good. 

On Sean Hannity’s Fox News broadcast former Vice President Dick Cheney made the usual ass of himself but one of the things he said can be examined more closely.

*Breathes deep, relishes the Cheney hatred* 

 Good, good.  Your hate makes Darth Cheney strong.  Give into your hate, let it drop that mask of “tolerance”…good.

Cheney says, “this is a guy who … does not share that view of American exceptionalism that most of us believe in.” Let’s put aside the disrespect inherent in “this is a guy” (he’s your damn President DICK), and look at the statement.

Hearing a ferverent Obama supporter express OUTRAGE!!!!11!! over what he perceives to be a disrespectful comment by Dick Cheney just gave me my USDA allotment of Irony for this year, and the following one.  You know better, Rutherford, and I’m disappointed.  Respect has to be given in order to be received.  President Obama isn’t really good with that, at least domestically, (he’ll be happy to bow to most  foreign leaders), but again, you knew that when you registered your complaint.

And when it comes right down to it, after hearing the President continue to avoid ownership of his failures of the last year by childishly blaming it on the previous administration, shows a lack of respect.  Not just for his predecessors, but for the people who elected him because they wanted HOPE! and CHANGE!, but only got a prevaricator who has elevated the blame game to high art.  Given the knocks that he apparently cannot prevent himself from taking, Cheney (and Bush) are perfectly entitled to be somewhat less than respectful to the man.  He campaigned for the job.  He won the election, he kept making promises (pass this stimulus plan right now, and unemployment won’t top [fill in the blank] percent), and he got what he asked for.  Now he has to take ownership of it, rather than continuing to blame it all on his predecessor.  It was never fresh, and it demonstrates a poor character on the part of a man who can point to no real accomplishment other than getting elected, fighting tooth and nail to keep records private, voting present as he moves up the political ladder, writing two books, and talking about himself whenever the opportunity presents itself.

 Obama does not believe that America is exceptional.

And he doesn’t.  Whether reading in his book as he holds forth on “typical white people”, or lectures us about everything we can’t do…drive SUVs, keep our thermostats set where we want them, or continually railing against the free market system that helped to build this nation, and apologizing in foreign lands for our shortcomings to people we owe no apology to, there simply is nothing to cause one to believe that he has any real appreciation for this people he campaigned so hard to lead.

 One could look, as MSNBC’s Chris Matthews did, at Obama’s keynote speech at the Democratic convention in 2004 where he says that his story could only happen in America, and see that Obama thinks our country is special. But does he see this in an academic, almost clinical way? Does he feel it viscerally?

Here’s where I have to do two things in the spirit of intellectual honesty.  The first is to admit that he wrote a good speech, that actually evoked images of some of the things that are right and good about America.  The second is to admit that he delivered it well, and that as long as the teleprompter is on, he is the best speaker going.

However, I look at what he said in his books.  I look at what he said on the campaign trail.  What American Presidential Candidate who loves his country tells an entire industry that he will bankrupt them?  What American Presidential Candidate tells Americans that they have to settle for less.  What American President tells Americans who want to own their own business some day that if they do, they’ll have to pay more in taxes to “spread the wealth around”?  I look at how he bows to other leaders (and spin all you want, it’s bowing).  I’m an American.  A proud American, and right now, I’m not feeling his love for this country.

Let’s rewind a few months to see Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz’s assessment:

The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds—he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country’s heart and character.

And I’m sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that crowds rarely expect specifics.  He can employ glittering generalities, and soaring rhetoric.  He can glad hand, and kiss babies, and no one will expect him to do anything more than smile, wave, and say something predictable.  He doesn’t have to look any one person in the eye, and demonstrate that he understands their life, or that the two of them have a common heritage.

He seems unable to grasp what runs counter to its nature. That Americans don’t take well, for instance, to bullying, especially of the moralizing kind, implicit in those speeches on health care for everybody. Neither do they wish to be taken where they don’t know they want to go and being told it’s good for them.

And yet he continues.  Firm in his belief that it is not only appropriate for government to dictate to the people what it believes to be good for them, he believes that it is government’s duty to do so.  He believes that government should dictate the miles per gallon your car should get, and even though this kind of government meddling was a huge contributing factor to the failure of General Motors (getcher Chevy Aveo here!) and Chrysler, his answer was more government.  The average American instinctively knows that if government is the answer, it was an onerous question.  Nobody likes being told what to do, and it is less appreciated when the directives come from government, when people who produce nothing start telling those that do how to do it.  This nation pioneered limited government, and it wasn’t until the progressive agenda aggressively changed the moral basis of law and conduct in this nation that people increasingly looked to government to help regulate conduct, thereby empowering it to grow and intrude further and further into the life of everyday Americans.  We now suffer these intolerable assaults on our liberties daily because someone lacked the courage and the foresight to speak the truth when their neighbors started crying out “There ought to be a law!” at every slight and petty outrage.  Now, the President, his functionaries, and Congressional leaders all fume and fumble at the suggestion that their powers to act in the nature of what they categorize as “our own good” might actually be limited, and he positively bristles at the fact that the Constitution [rightly] doesn’t contain any mechanism for redistributing wealth.

Dorothy says Obama is a “stranger to the country’s heart and character.” A similar perception to that of the former Vice President. Is Obama simply a victim of this assessment or has he contributed to it in some way?

Nonsense.  Cheney is neither.  Cheney has actually run a business…a sucessful business.  He has a clue what business has to put up with from government.  He knows the struggles businesses can have to make payroll.  He’s an outdoorsman.  He hunts.  He speaks plainly, and he expresses irritation with self-important government functionaries when he feels it.  He did not serve in the military, but he never once demonstrated a belief that he knew better than the professionals.  There is a lot more there for people to identify with then a candidate who stood before them and complained about the price of arugula, or who managed to write not one, but two books about his life and paper-thin resume before hitting his 40’s.  I don’t think there is any doubt he contributes to that assessment that he is a stranger to the country’s heart and character.

I think there is an intuitive answer that demonstrates Obama’s contribution to this perception. From the time he was born until he graduated from high school, Barack Obama lived outside the mainland United States. I would argue that Hawaii, just barely a state in 1961, was hardly representative of the “American experience” and of course, Obama spent several years in Jakarta, Indonesia. Twenty years after his graduation from an exclusive Hawaiian high school, he wrote in their bulletin, “The opportunity that Hawaii offered — to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect — became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” [1] I think we could safely argue that although mostly raised by his Kansas bred grandparents, Barack Obama got anything but a typical mid-west white bread view of America.

Do you understand how condescending that last sentence sounds?  Putting aside the racial connotation, (Yes, I know it isn’t racist when a person of color says it, but our intellectually stunted Attorney General castigated we Americans for failing to have “an honest conversation about race”, so I believe I’m doing a patriotic solid by pointing out the examples I see in the hopes that we can all eventually decide that NONE of us will decide to be victims over it, or we ALL can be victims over it, and we can tear ourselves apart in the process.) I can successfully argue that he is hardly the first who didn’t have a “typical mid-west white bread view of America”.   Clinton spent time abroad as a student.  LBJ’s upbringing could hardly be referred to as “typical”.  FDR and Kennedy were bluebloods.  Yet their lack of a “typical mid-west white bread view of America” didn’t prevent them from actually demonstrating an understanding of and connection to the people they sought to lead.

I believe that having not lived in the mainland United States until college, that Obama had an objective view of our country atypical of most of our other Presidents. In Obama’s world view, America might be special, but not necessarily “better” than other civilized countries. America might be a land of virtue and ideals but not the be-all end-all barometer of morality. On the contrary, America could be capable of doing the wrong thing. America could be imperfect. America could need improvement.

Objective?  By what definition?  As I read and read reread your statement, I compare it to the definitions in Websters Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language.  I think you mean this : 5.  not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiasedan objective opinion.

But after having the excruciating displeasure of listening to his books and speeches, pontifications, and lectures, I think this one is closer to the truth: 7.  Being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject.

I’ve listened to him read ‘Dreams of My Father’.  Have you?  Because if you have, I don’t see how you could begin to say with a straight face that he is in any way not influenced by personal feelings, interpretation or prejudice.  But then, he’s said things as President that show the opposite of this trait you want to apply to him:

As unPresidential and prejudicial as it gets. 

I believe that Obama’s objective view of our country, much from the perspective of an outsider (even more outside than the average black man), makes his love for our country appear less visceral. America likes its Presidents to reek of Americana, whether it’s Abe Lincoln splitting logs or Eisenhower or Kennedy bravely defending their country in war. Obama comes to us with a different story. A story of an outsider who wants to fix the problems that the insiders may be too blind to see. Such outsiders do not usually engender affection from the insiders.

 I think that this says more about you than it does Obama.   I take issue with your implication that “the average black man” is an “outsider”.  Blacks have contributed much to this nation and this society, or so I have been told every February for as long as I can remember.  You might say “they were the exceptions, not the rule.”  I say no one starts on the top.  You can be born with money, but that doesn’t automatically make you an “exception”.  You might start poor and stay that way your whole life.  “The average black man” is not an outsider today.  I have a poster in my office of my class in law school when we started.  There were as many black faces as there were white.  There were as many female as male faces.  While not every person’s contribution is equal, it simply isn’t honest to portray the average black man’s experience in this country to that of an “outsider”.  Stop clinging to victimhood.  It is as much an impediment to “an honest conversation about race” as any other factor in this country, because it allows the holder to avoid taking ownership of their own destiny, and play the blame game when things don’t work out as planned. 

Obama doesn’t come to us as an outsider who wants to fix the problems the insiders may be too blind to see.  He goes to others, and speaks freely in apologetic tones, professing shame for our “flaws”, and basking in the approbation of foreigners who are only too happy to agree with him, while at the same time seeing him as the weak sister he is, and planning what it is they can wheedle out of him by playing to his pathological need to be loved and admired.

Is Barack Obama an American? Well, yes he is but he is a different kind of American. He is an American who believes you can be special and still be equal to your peers, showing them respect and apologizing when you’ve done them wrong. America is a proud country, proud to a fault. Humility, on an international scale runs, as Ms. Rabinowitz puts it “counter to its nature.” Hence she and Dick Cheney will probably never understand what a good American Barack Obama really is.

I hate to break it to you, but our peers are not equal to us.  As they sneered at us, and issued casual condemnations of our policies and previous leaders, they did so in the luxury and safety that we provided for them as the world’s beat cop for more than 50 years.  While they integrated a common market and built lavish welfare states, including the government health rationing systems you so admire, we kept Soviet aggression in check, remained the world’s reserve currency, and provided more medical innovation to more of our own people then they could dream of.  They don’t have the right, in their undeniable jealousy of American Exceptionalism, to condemn us.  And no matter how much he wants to be The World’s President, he doesn’t have the right to be humble on my behalf, and the behalf of my country.  Sucking up, apologizing, and wringing your hands while lamenting to the world about “America’s Failures” is not being a good American, any more than me talking down my family, complaining about how lazy my kids are and what a spendthrift my wife is makes me a good husband and father.  And Ms. Rabinowitz and Dick Cheney know it, as do countless other Americans.

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