Sunday, April 19, 2009
As Obama Derangement Syndrome and condemnation thereof rise in frequency, intensity, and duration, it is useful to remember "the Nazification" of the Bush administration. It will be difficult, even if still possible, for right-wing attacks on Barack Obama to exceed those of the left on Bush for tastelessness, shrillness, and sheer unhinged insanity. The number of supposedly respected and certainly credentialed academics who lost all touch with the meaning of historical comparisons during the Bush years remains one of the great mysteries of our age. That said, the right would do well to stay well above the standard set by the left in the last eight years.
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.
For the life of me, I just do not understand this worry and I think using the term "Obama Derangement Syndrome" establishes a false equivalency right away that your later attempt at proportionality doesn't undo. You are usually way too insightful to fall into a silly trap like this one. All the travel must be getting to you. Time to visit the Adirondacks?
I know there are crazies in every crowd, like that fool on Fox Glen Beck, and there are those on the right who probably think Obama was born in Moscow, but they are hardly worthy of all this fretting and are certainly not worthy of working so hard to establish this nonsense equivalency.
Oh please ... what's it going to take for the Left, Anon? a You Tube video of the man blowing Chavez or some ME leader (which your team will spin as a Presidential backing of same sex marriage)?
The left was all over GWB for 8 years. Now we're watching this idiot lead us to the point where only socialism can save the 45% and growing percentage of those who live on Lady Liberty's once abundant teet (from themselves).
The guy is failing miserably, his policies will leave us with God knows how much more debt, has stumbled with appointments of tax cheats and other scum, is choosing to not prosecute the same types of 'crimes' that made George Bush a 'war criminal', and the list grows and grows.
So far no one wants to admit it, but the ABB crowd that voted in this pretty and oh so hip guy (and did you notice he's also brown) to the most important and powerful office on earth has to be having some buyer's remorse. One can only hope that (a) he doesn't do too much more damage, and (b) people wake up by the mid-term and block anything else he does to lead us from the "failed policices of the Bush administration".
It would be too hard for us Right Wingnuts to match the BDS nuts. We just don't have the time to make those giant paper-mache puppets.
But BDS worked. Bush didn't help himself and the failures of his administration gave his enemies a lot of ammunition but the relentless ferocity of the attacks against him made a difference. They paralyzed his Presidency, especially the last 2 years. We can tsk tsk and vow never to sink to those depths but it worked.
I was reading recently about how the Romans finally put paid to the Carthaginians, slaughtering the city's residents and salting the earth so nothing would ever grow there again. And I thought geesh, that's really horrible. But it worked.
I guess it just depends on how much you want to win. Or how important you consider the prize.
This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 4/20/2009, at The Unreligious Right
Bush Derangement Syndrome did work, and managed to turn millions of people against President Bush. We have to win using reason, logic and the truth. Otherwise, freedom will continue to diminish until it disappears forever. We have actually succeeded in one respect. A significant number of people today "support the President" but don't support his "Spendulus" plan. Now we just have to get our government to dismantle their "Culture of Corruption" and we will be getting somewhere.
Tyree, I agree with your logic and truth argument in the abstract. Unfortunately the people that decide elections, the Politically Ignorant, either aren't listening and/or don't understand how the political process works. I saw a survey a month or so ago that showed Hannity and Limbaugh had the most politically savvy audiences. I think you can safely say that those people follow politics. And yet of those audiences only 50-60% could name their Congressional Rep and which political party was in power. If that is the extent of knowledge in the politically savvy, imagine how tough it will be to break through to the demographic that is not paying attention. Especially with an unfriendly media. The dems have excelled at demonizing conservatives and we can respond in kind with just the truth and logic. We need to fight fire with fire and use all the weapons at our disposal. The stakes are too high to play nice. Will it diminsh freedom in the long run? I don't know, but the chances of freedom diminishing under the current circumstances is far greater, nay, it's a certainty.
Given the comments here in favor of ODS, I take back my criticism of TH. He is obviously correct: people seem to want to create ODS.
I'm against it. I think America is too great to be destroyed by Obama, and so I don't think we need to "salt the earth" by demonizing our political adversaries. It was terrible the left did it, and we should beware of compunding the misery. In fact, we should socially and professionally ostracize those people who did it the first time. It's why I say we shouldn't spend our money on movies with evil stars, or buy the NYT. Vote against the crazies at every opportunity is what I say!
"I think America is too great to be destroyed by Obama, and so I don't think we need to "salt the earth" by demonizing our political adversaries."
I'm not an 'America in Decline' doomsayer, but I'd like to point out that history is full of the ashes of nations that felt the same way. Every civilization has a turning point, and some of those turning points are recognized as the reigns of certain rulers.
Rome was ruled by idiots for much of its history as an empire, yet continued more or less intact throughout them because it was too big for one single ruler to destroy. But Rome fell to barbarians, and it fell because of the accumulated burdens of misrule.
In short, don't underestimate the damage that a country can do to itself through ineptitude or stupidity.
Oh, I don't underestimate the damage nations inflict upon the body politic through naive misrule. Obama is an empty suit and he damages America every day he walks into his office, in my estimation. But Bush did his fair share of evil in making the tax system so progressive and in spending so much money, so cynically. Obama didn't put the Part D drug entitlement into place to win Florida or degrade the dollar in a vain attempt to build industrial exports and win Ohio, after all.
Policies going back years have hurt us, and Obama is not alone in screwing the national pooch. We should be worried about many aspects of our present government and I admit I am worried about our free press becoming monolithic shills for the most extreme elements of the Democrat party, about Congress leaving their responsibility to monitor government to the judiciary, and their responsibility for writing detailed law to the administrative bureaucracy, about our incomprehensible tax system punishing the successful and letting a near majority go without paying a cent in federal tax. I am worried about our national debt burden crowding out productive investment. I worry about the growth of government causing structural deficits to become intractable. I worry about our national defense being eviscerated to pay for welfare. I worry about the administration and the Congress running roughshod over any inconvenient part of the constitution. I worry about the death of individual responsibility and other much needed civic virtues like honesty, integrity and moderation in favor of tax cheating, massive greed-driven public corruption followed by lawyering up and fighting to the last even when caught with cash in the freezer.
But, this country has seen big government progressives before. We have seen foreign policy fools before. Our country has withstood the ravages of unconscionably high taxation before. Obama is setting some new records, certainly, but he will serve his term and another election will come and I believe he will be turned out of office. Sadly, that'll most likely be because of high unemployment more than disgust over his crazier policies, but I'll take it. And we can turn the page. But if we "salt the earth" with bitter nonsensical invective against Obama, if we follow the Kennedy/Biden example and Bork every nominee, if we push for criminalizing every policy disagreement we have with our rulers, then we're making our country worse and not better. We're the problem then. Eventually, like Caesar, some politician will feel himself so aggrieved, so damaged by bills of attainder sorts of policies aimed singularly his way, that he too will be motivated to bring his army south across the Rubicon.
Lets be satisfied to win elections. We don't need to see our opponents ground into the dust in the process, vilified by the world. We shouldn't demagogue with idiocy designed to make any government not our preferred government inherently unstable. We also don't need to play nice, we can and should play tough politics with these clowns. But lets not get deranged about it.
As a reminder that idiot presidents are their own undoing, Ilya Somin reminds us that today was the 30th anniversary of the epic battle between Carter and the Killer Rabbit!
This all assumes that playing nice could still garner a victory.
Given the not-so-subtle attempts to: manipulate the census, payoff loyalists with 'government' money they expect my son to pay for, tar and feather opposition (only three months into the presidency!) with a politically motivated DHS report and a smear campaign, expand government regulation into daily life (which is where the EPA thing is going to go), and browbeat industry into submission, color me cynical.
Three freaking months in. What's America going to look like this time next year?
Of course it will. Congress and the President care about their reelection prospects more than about the success of any single policy. If they start seeing voters working hard against them, giving money, and telling pollsters how ticked off they are, then Obama/Pelosi will start moderating right away.
Lots of people rallied against the Iraq War, but it didn't change the policy.
We just had half a million people rally in the streets a week ago for a common cause, which was alternately smeared or ignored by different members of the Democratic party.
They know better than we do, you see.
The smug elite drives me nuts, in both parties. Lately every time I read Peggy Noonan, for example, I start grinding my teeth. She ought to work in retail for awhile, and she would discover that the parade of Americans marching past her every day is a lot more capable and full of common sense than she seems to realize. Obama is the same, so arrogant and self-certain. That's one trait that just makes me crazy.