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What happens when a political messiah fails?

by Speranza ( 105 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Election 2008, Politics at February 25th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

For me personally I do not believe in political messiahs be they presidents whom I greatly admired such as Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan or those such as two year Senators on Messianic missions, former pizza executives, or one term governors to say nothing about the Kennedy family. Men are perishable and fallible things.

by James W. Ceasar

Every student of American religious history has heard of the event known as “the Great Disappointment.” In 1818 William Miller, a former naval captain turned lay Baptist preacher, developed a new method for calculating biblical chronology to arrive at the conclusion that the millennium would take place sometime between 1842 and 1844. Finally published in 1832, Miller’s thesis quickly drew attention. A sect began to form, spreading from Miller’s home region in Eastern New York to New England and beyond. Millerism was born. The time was drawing nigh, Miller preached, when a dreadful cataclysm would occur, to be followed by a wondrous splendor: “The heavens appear, the great white throne is in sight, amazement fills the universe with awe.” Pressed by followers for an exact date—people wished to settle their affairs before going up to heaven—Miller, after some hesitation and a few unmet deadlines, settled on October 22, 1844. The fateful day came and then went without any visible sign of the Advent, leaving the Millerites disheartened and perplexed.

And what of the Great Disappointment of 2013? In the promiscuous blending of politics and culture that characterizes our age, the launch of the Obama campaign in 2007 marked the beginning of a politico-spiritual movement that promised a new beginning and a transformation of the nation. It was to be the “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal .  .  . [when we] restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” Faith in the leader knew no bounds. Obamaism spilled out from the college campuses and tony enclaves of Manhattan and San Francisco into the mass public to become first an American and then a worldwide phenomenon. The legion of believers included not only the youth in their T-shirts emblazoned with the silk-screen Obama image, but also many of the nation’s most experienced political observers. By early 2009, the five wise persons from Oslo had come bearing the gift of the Nobel Peace Prize. No date was fixed for the fulfillment of all the hopes and promises—extensions were continually asked for under the excuse that “change would never be easy”—but enough time had transpired by the end of 2013 for people to sense that the deadline had come and gone. Like October 22, 1844, the appointed time passed with no visible sign of the advent of a new era.

How believers cope with the trauma of disappointment has long been a theme in the field of social psychology. Modern, positivist research on this topic began with the publication in 1956 of Leon Festinger’s celebrated work When Prophecy Fails, in which Festinger and his colleagues first introduced the theory of “cognitive dissonance.” This theory explores how people deal with the discomfort of confronting conflicting ideas and opposing sentiments (“dissonance”). The model holds that individuals will look for mechanisms to reduce dissonance, be it by avoiding contact with conflicting sources of information (as when readers of The Weekly Standard surf with their remotes past MSNBC) or by restructuring their worldview to reduce or eliminate clashing positions. Three general responses are possible: acceptance, denial, and deflection.

Accepters are those who conclude that they have succumbed to an error or perhaps been victims of a hoax. In the psychologists’ jargon, they admit to “disconfirmation.” Such recognition may come with powerful feelings of pain—a sense of emptiness, the despair of lost hope, or the embarrassment of having been “had” by a confidence man. It is poignant to read the reaction of one of the Millerites in the wake of the Great Disappointment: “Is there no God, no heaven, no golden home city, no paradise? Is all this but a cunningly devised fable?” Yet with acceptance, difficult as it may be, individuals eliminate dissonance and can at least hope to establish a new equilibrium. According to Festinger, who made Millerism one of his main case studies, acceptance turned out to be the Millerites’ predominant, and likely the best, response. [.......]

In the case of the Great Disappointment of 2013, at the elite level there appear to be at least a few individuals who have managed to reboot psychologically and go on to lead normal and productive lives. The most prominent is Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s former press secretary, who is now pursuing his own business career. While he still supports Obama’s political program, Gibbs has recently appeared on television admitting that “2013 was a lost year for the president,” and that the people doubt that Obama’s team is “remotely capable of solving those problems.” He no longer frequents the White House. On the level of the mass public, poll data show a stunning loss of confidence in the leader, as more and more erstwhile followers have come to accept that “the change” was pure fiction. While there are signs of a mild and pervasive depression—nearly two-thirds of the public think the nation is on the wrong track—many seem to be adjusting to life after Obamaism.

Deniers are those who refuse to accept disconfirmation and go on believing. The explanation for deniability, a reaction that seems counterintuitive, is the pride of Festinger’s study. By his account, some followers have invested so much in their adherence that they cannot eliminate the dissonance by adjusting to reality. They instead “effectively blind themselves to the facts” and band together, fortifying their beliefs by the support of others who agree. “If more and more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly it must, after all, be correct.” In brief, to quote another expert, they cling to religion.

Having used the Millerites to illustrate acceptance, Festinger turns to the followers of Sabbatai Zevi to explore deniability. Unknown to most, Zevi represents a remarkable case in religious history. The first half of the seventeenth century was a period of widespread belief among Jews that the Messiah would come—in 1648—and the world would be transformed. Zevi, a student of Kabbalah from Smyrna, proclaimed himself the One to his group of disciples. The appointed year came and went without visible change, but faith in Zevi did not waver. Based on recalculations, acolytes proposed later dates for the Messiah’s arrival. Zevi’s following continued to grow, attracting adherents throughout the whole world of Jewry. Pursuing his mission to go to the Holy Land, Zevi made his way toward Constantinople, where he was arrested by the Turkish authorities. The sultan sought to convert him to Islam, perhaps deploying the threat of death as an inducement. Zevi chose conversion over martyrdom.  [......]

Evidence of deniability inside of Obamaism is strong. Deniers can still be regularly encountered on college campuses and in many sections of the nation’s capital. Even the revelation of Obama’s famous deception about keeping your insurance—a moment worthy of Festingerian “disconfirmation” if ever there was one—was dismissed by HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the grounds that it applied to just “5 percent of Americans,” or about twice the population of New York City. The face of the deniers, shaven or unshaven, is Jay Carney, who gives every indication that he is already beginning to form a Dönmeh sect of his own. Of course, Carney has the excuse of being paid for his services, making his deniability plausible.  [.......]

Deflection is the most interesting of the responses to a crisis of disappointment. Dissonance, according to Festinger, can be reduced if not entirely limited by the mechanism of “inventing ingenious arguments,” of which the “but for” line of reasoning has enjoyed the greatest success. Deflectors admit that the anticipated outcome did not actually occur, which is their concession to reality. But they go on to say that the failure was not the result of a falsehood or a hoax. The prophecy would have been fulfilled but for the existence of a countervailing force that canceled it out. The promise in a sense was kept, only its effects were nullified.  [.......]

Among the remaining Obamaites, deflectors seem to outnumber deniers, though the overlap between the two groups makes measurement difficult. Deflection began early on, when the movement was still growing, as a hedge against the possibility of failure. In the full flush of enthusiasm, deflectors began to caution that the great change might be thwarted by the racism of the American public. Deflection was later perfected by political scientists, who added the authority of supposedly neutral analysis. The failure of the advent, it is now said, has been the result of “polarization” and “dysfunctionality.”  [.......]The inadequacy of such an argument was recognized even by deflectors, who moved on to shore it up by the addition of the theme of dysfunctional government. This term sounds objective, only deflectors have successfully managed to define it as a condition brought on solely by the Republican party. Republicans who oppose the president and his party produce dysfunctionality; Democrats who pass a law fundamentally changing the health care system without reading it are functional. Dysfunctionality is treated as the great alien force; but for it, Obamaism would have succeeded. Here is a faith that can never die.

Social psychologists have concentrated their attention on the followers of false prophets and failed messiahs, not on the principals themselves. Applying to them the same logic of cognitive dissonance, these discredited leaders, having invested so much in their beliefs, should in all probability end up as deniers or deflectors. Such was the case with William Miller. Although he retired from active evangelizing after October 22, 1844, Miller continued to hold out for an imminent Advent and to urge patience among the dwindling number of the faithful. He also offered the excuse that previous biblical scholarship had led him astray, and that the bad results were the product of “forces over which I could have no control.”  [.......]

Barack Obama’s reaction to the Great Disappointment of 2013 remains a matter of much speculation, fueled in part by comments he has made recently in interviews. As is so often the case with this protean figure, his position seems to depend less on the day than the time of day. Many observers thought they detected a weariness, bordering on an attitude of acceptance, in his “small ball” State of the Union address. A readjustment of this kind would indeed be remarkable since the essence of “political messianism” is a program of deep transformation led by a person of destiny. These characteristics were exactly what attracted followers to the original movement in 2008. Yet here was Obama in one of his interviews seeking to backtrack, sounding almost Burkean in likening his task as president to that of “a relay swimmer in a river [that] is history,” and adding that “the things you start may not come to full fruition on your timetable.” In another interview, he told Bill O’Reilly flat out, “I don’t think we have to fundamentally transform the nation.” Messiahs are normally made of sterner stuff. Before taking such comments at face value, however, it is worth recalling that they are of a piece with a longstanding Obama tactic used to dismiss adversaries’ criticisms that he is too radical. The visionary language is dropped and the leader modestly professes to be just a country pragmatist. As he told David Remnick, repeating well-worn phrases, “I’m not a particularly ideological person, .  .  . I’m pretty pragmatic. .  .  . I am comfortable with complexity.”

For the most part, however, Obama follows the predicted model of resolving dissonance by being a denier and deflector. He is still asking followers to have patience, going to the extreme of fighting Providence with executive orders, a tool unavailable to Miller or Zevi, that extend crucial deadlines. Obama appears at his most natural and sincere in the role of deflector-in-chief. All the great things, he suggests, would have happened but for sinister forces working against the change. Even today, he told Remnick, he is being resisted because some “don’t like the idea of a black president.” Looming larger for him are Rush Limbaugh and the scoffers at Fox News. Obama has described his opponents—the disbelievers—as being in the grip of “a fever,” which is the source of the disease of dysfunctionality. For all of his self-analysis about his comfort with complexity, his preferred disposition appears to be Manichean.

Yet the time is quickly arriving when the thoughts and feelings of Barack Obama will matter little for American politics. As the full impact of the Great Disappointment sinks in—a process not yet completed—fascination with the leader of a dying sect is waning. To be sure, Obama remains president, pen in hand and phone in pocket, but Obamaism is now finished. The enthusiasm is gone. Many candidates for office from the former sect are aware of the messiah fatigue that is growing in their states and districts, and they have posted signs suggesting the leader proselytize elsewhere.

For political analysts, the post-disappointment conferences are already underway. Their central task now is to figure out what traces the collapse has left and what the aftermath will be. The landscape is complicated. A part of the American populace was dubious from the start of the Obama awakening, viewing its religious overtones as a dangerous aberration from normal politics. Some were willing to brand it as such, while others, from charity or prudence, chose to await the signs of failure before speaking out. Now these doubters have become bolder. Yet they fall short of a numerical national majority, as the outcome of the last presidential election showed. For victory, Republicans will need to win the votes of some of those who were previously adherents of the faith. Deniers and deflectors will not switch, which means the future of American politics is in the hands of accepters. It is accepters, more than independents, who form the critical swing group. A part of this group is angry enough that it will vote to punish the Democratic party, but a larger portion likely feels only mild dismay or sensitivity, wishing for nothing more than to move on.

Political analysts usually gauge politics in terms of positions, ideology, and reactions to performance. They are generally right to do so since the most important opportunities for electoral change derive from situations in which the incumbent president or party is judged to have badly mismanaged affairs. Yet as much as people make their voting decisions by taking account of these hard realities, it would be an error to dismiss the importance of the more nebulous dimension of the nation’s tenor or mood. Voters are often moved by vague inclinations, such as desire for normalcy, renewal, or stability. Moods are variable, even fickle, and what holds for one election cycle may be forgotten in the next.

Winning any particular election is a matter of a party finding the right fit between message, candidate, and mood. Republicans stand to be the natural beneficiaries of the Great Disappointment, but they paradoxically may be at greater risk than Democrats of mistaking the nation’s mood. The GOP’s champions are those whose judgments of Obamaism have been vindicated. Yet a celebration of vindication is unlikely to fit the temper of most accepters. The overriding sentiment in the post-disappointment period will be a yearning to be done with political messianism and to return politics to the political. Accessing this mood has nothing to do with disowning strong positions. It has everything to do with selecting a candidate in 2016 of steady disposition who has a track record of competently handling the public’s affairs. Republicans would do well to listen to a genuine prophet, Isaiah: “Be calm, have no fear, and do not be fainthearted.”

Read the rest – The great disappointment of 2013

What happened to Obama? Basically nothing

by Speranza ( 96 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Election 2008, Healthcare, Liberal Fascism, Progressives at November 21st, 2013 - 7:00 am

All this hand wringing by conventional liberals about Obama’s pratfalls in the health care debacle are rather amusing. It was obvious to those of us who pursue “truth” – instead of “ideology” – where ever it may lead, that Barack Obama was a hard core leftist and a naif  when it comes to real world economics and was damned serious about remaking America according to the dreams of his neo-Marxist father.

by Norman Podhoretz

It’s open season on President Obama. Which is to say that the usual suspects on the right (among whom I include myself) are increasingly being joined in attacking him by erstwhile worshipers on the left. Even before the S&P downgrade, there were reports of Democrats lamenting that Hillary Clinton had lost to him in 2008. Some were comparing him not, as most of them originally had, to Lincoln and Roosevelt but to the hapless Jimmy Carter. There was even talk of finding a candidate to stage a primary run against him. But since the downgrade, more and more liberal pundits have been deserting what they clearly fear is a sinking ship.

Here, for example, from the Washington Post, is Richard Cohen: “He is the very personification of cognitive dissonance—the gap between what we (especially liberals) expected of the first serious African American presidential candidate and the man he in fact is.” More amazingly yet Mr. Cohen goes on to say of Mr. Obama, who not long ago was almost universally hailed as the greatest orator since Pericles, that he lacks even “the rhetorical qualities of the old-time black politicians.”  [.......]

Overseas it is the same refrain. Everywhere in the world, we read in Germany’s Der Spiegel, not only are the hopes ignited by Mr. Obama being dashed, but his “weakness is a problem for the entire global economy.”

In short, the spell that Mr. Obama once cast—a spell so powerful that instead of ridiculing him when he boasted that he would cause “the oceans to stop rising and the planet to heal,” all of liberaldom fell into a delirious swoon—has now been broken by its traumatic realization that he is neither the “god” Newsweek in all seriousness declared him to be nor even a messianic deliverer.

Hence the question on every lip is—as the title of a much quoted article in the New York Times by Drew Westen of Emory University puts it— “What Happened to Obama?” Attacking from the left, Mr. Westen charges that President Obama has been conciliatory when he should have been aggressively pounding away at all the evildoers on the right.

Of course, unlike Mr. Westen, we villainous conservatives do not see Mr. Obama as conciliatory or as “a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.” On the contrary, we see him as a president who knows all too well what he believes. Furthermore, what Mr. Westen regards as an opportunistic appeal to the center we interpret as a tactic calculated to obfuscate his unshakable strategic objective, which is to turn this country into a European-style social democracy while diminishing the leading role it has played in the world since the end of World War II.  [.......]

This statement, coming on top of his association with radicals like Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Rashid Khalidi, definitively revealed to all who were not wilfully blinding themselves that Mr. Obama was a genuine product of the political culture that had its birth among a marginal group of leftists in the early 1960s and that by the end of the decade had spread metastatically to the universities, the mainstream media, the mainline churches, and the entertainment industry. Like their communist ancestors of the 1930s, the leftist radicals of the ’60s were convinced that the United States was so rotten that only a revolution could save it.

But whereas the communists had in their delusional vision of the Soviet Union a model of the kind of society that would replace the one they were bent on destroying, the new leftists only knew what they were against: America, or Amerika as they spelled it to suggest its kinship to Nazi Germany. Thanks, however, to the unmasking of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian nightmare, they did not know what they were for. Yet once they had pulled off the incredible feat of taking over the Democratic Party behind the presidential candidacy of George McGovern in 1972, they dropped the vain hope of a revolution, and in the social-democratic system most fully developed in Sweden they found an alternative to American capitalism that had a realistic possibility of being achieved through gradual political reform.

Despite Mr. McGovern’s defeat by Richard Nixon in a landslide, the leftists remained a powerful force within the Democratic Party, but for the next three decades the electoral exigencies within which they had chosen to operate prevented them from getting their own man nominated. Thus, not one of the six Democratic presidential candidates who followed Mr. McGovern came out of the party’s left wing, and when Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (the only two of the six who won) tried each in his own way to govern in its spirit, their policies were rejected by the American immune system. It was only with the advent of Barack Obama that the leftists at long last succeeded in nominating one of their own.

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.  [.........]

And so it came about that a faithful scion of the political culture of the ’60s left is now sitting in the White House and doing everything in his power to effect the fundamental transformation of America to which that culture was dedicated and to which he has pledged his own personal allegiance.

I disagree with those of my fellow conservatives who maintain that Mr. Obama is indifferent to “the best interests of the United States” (Thomas Sowell) and is “purposely” out to harm America (Rush Limbaugh). In my opinion, he imagines that he is helping America to repent of its many sins and to become a different and better country.

But I emphatically agree with Messrs. Limbaugh and Sowell about this president’s attitude toward America as it exists and as the Founding Fathers intended it. That is why my own answer to the question, “What Happened to Obama?” is that nothing happened to him. He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president, and it is this rather than inexperience or incompetence or weakness or stupidity that accounts for the richly deserved failure both at home and abroad of the policies stemming from that reprehensible cast of mind.

Read the rest – What happened to Obama? Absolutely nothing

Wonderland Undone Part 1

by Mars ( 189 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Election 2008, Elections 2012, Entertainment, Hillary Clinton, Humor, Satire at November 19th, 2013 - 12:00 pm

Amidst all the hubbub and chaos of Wonderland’s elections the Dormouse was startled awake. Shocked by all the noise and activity he opened one sleepy eye and proclaimed “present”. Given a unique set of circumstances at that exact moment there was a lull, a silence in the general pandemonium so the Dormouse was heard clearly and completely by all in attendance.

The Hatter and the Hare looked at each other and a wry grin began to spread across their faces. Both turned to the Dormouse each raising an arm to the sky (and thus raising the Dormouse himself) and said to the assemblage of citizens before them, “behold your new candidate!” By that point, however, the Dormouse had already drifted back off to sleep.
From that point forward it was battle and chaos. At least for all but the Dormouse who slept through it all, except when called upon to read a speech to the adoring throngs. The Hatter and the Hare sought and received funding from the Jabberwocky, and of course assurances were made.

The Red Queen looked upon all of this with anger and disdain. How dare a lowly Dormouse try for the position for which she was entitled. After all her husband the King of Hearts had ruled the Wonderland for years, with wisdom and insight. (Though his opponents argued that he rules as a jester and cad.) It was her divine right to rule and no upstart Dormouse was going to take that away from her.

On the side of the “loyal opposition” they had another issue entirely. As the battle went on amongst those who would run against the Dormouse or the Queen, it was becoming clear that a creature unique to Wonderland’s Royal environs was going to come out the winner. This being was a unique form of Card Soldier, with no sides and no spine. This enabled the Card to switch suits to suit him whichever suit suited the moment. However, lately he had become stuck more and more in one suit and it was the wrong one for the group to which he belonged.
As all of this played out the Dormouse dreamed of the day he would be ruler and would never miss nap time or tee time again.

Tea Party

The magician’s performance has failed

by Speranza ( 95 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Election 2008, Healthcare, History, Politics, Progressives at November 18th, 2013 - 7:00 am

I think it is interesting that Valerie Jarrett has said that Obama is a man who has been bored all his life.  The inertia of government is not want interests him, he wants to be above it all.

by Fouad Ajami

The current troubles of the Obama presidency can be read back into its beginnings. Rule by personal charisma has met its proper fate. The spell has been broken, and the magician stands exposed. We need no pollsters to tell us of the loss of faith in Mr. Obama’s policies—and, more significantly, in the man himself. Charisma is like that. Crowds come together and they project their needs onto an imagined redeemer. The redeemer leaves the crowd to its imagination: For as long as the charismatic moment lasts—a year, an era—the redeemer is above and beyond judgment. He glides through crises, he knits together groups of varied, often clashing, interests. Always there is that magical moment, and its beauty, as a reference point.

Mr. Obama gave voice to this sentiment in a speech on Nov. 6 in Dallas: “Sometimes I worry because everybody had such a fun experience in ’08, at least that’s how it seemed in retrospect. And, ‘yes we can,’ and the slogans and the posters, et cetera, sometimes I worry that people forget change in this country has always been hard.” It’s a pity we can’t stay in that moment, says the redeemer: The fault lies in the country itself—everywhere, that is, except in the magician’s performance.

Forgive the personal reference, but from the very beginning of Mr. Obama’s astonishing rise, I felt that I was witnessing something old and familiar. My advantage owed nothing to any mastery of American political history. I was guided by my immersion in the political history of the Arab world and of a life studying Third World societies.

In 2008, seeing the Obama crowds in Portland, Denver and St. Louis spurred memories of the spectacles that had attended the rise and fall of Arab political pretenders. I had lived through the era of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser. He had emerged from a military cabal to become a demigod, immune to judgment. His followers clung to him even as he led the Arabs to a catastrophic military defeat in the Six Day War of 1967. He issued a kind of apology for his performance. But his reign was never about policies and performance. It was about political magic.

[.......]
Five years on, we can still recall how the Obama coalition was formed. There were the African-Americans justifiably proud of one of their own. There were upper-class white professionals who were drawn to the candidate’s “cool.” There were Latinos swayed by the promise of immigration reform. The white working class in the Rust Belt was the last bloc to embrace Mr. Obama—he wasn’t one of them, but they put their reservations aside during an economic storm and voted for the redistributive state and its protections. There were no economic or cultural bonds among this coalition. There was the new leader, all things to all people.

A nemesis awaited the promise of this new presidency: Mr. Obama would turn out to be among the most polarizing of American leaders. No, it wasn’t his race, as Harry Reid would contend, that stirred up the opposition to him. It was his exalted views of himself, and his mission. The sharp lines were sharp between those who raised his banners and those who objected to his policies.

America holds presidential elections, we know. But Mr. Obama took his victory as a plebiscite on his reading of the American social contract. A president who constantly reminded his critics that he had won at the ballot box was bound to deepen the opposition of his critics.

A leader who set out to remake the health-care system in the country, a sixth of the national economy, on a razor-thin majority with no support whatsoever from the opposition party, misunderstood the nature of democratic politics. An election victory is the beginning of things, not the culmination. With Air Force One and the other prerogatives of office come the need for compromise, and for the disputations of democracy. A president who sought consensus would have never left his agenda on Capitol Hill in the hands of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Mr. Obama has shown scant regard for precedent in American history. To him, and to the coterie around him, his presidency was a radical discontinuity in American politics. There is no evidence in the record that Mr. Obama read, with discernment and appreciation, of the ordeal and struggles of his predecessors. At best there was a willful reading of that history. Early on, he was Abraham Lincoln resurrected (the new president, who hailed from Illinois, took the oath of office on the Lincoln Bible). [.......]

In the oddest of twists, Mr. Obama claimed that his foreign policy was in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower’s . But Eisenhower knew war and peace, and the foreign world held him in high regard.

During his first campaign, Mr. Obama had paid tribute to Ronald Reagan as a “transformational” president and hinted that he aspired to a presidency of that kind. But the Reagan presidency was about America, and never about Ronald Reagan. Reagan was never a scold or a narcissist. He stood in awe of America, and of its capacity for renewal. There was forgiveness in Reagan, right alongside the belief in the things that mattered about America—free people charting their own path.

[.......]

There are no stars in the Obama cabinet today, men and women of independent stature and outlook. It was after a walk on the White House grounds with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, that Mr. Obama called off the attacks on the Syrian regime that he had threatened. If he had taken that walk with Henry Kissinger or George Shultz, one of those skilled statesmen might have explained to him the consequences of so abject a retreat. But Mr. Obama needs no sage advice, he rules through political handlers.

Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted, probably most powerful, aide, once said in admiration that Mr. Obama has been bored his whole life. The implication was that he is above things, a man alone, and anointed. Perhaps this moment—a presidency coming apart, the incompetent social engineering of an entire health-care system—will now claim Mr. Obama’s attention.

Read the rest – When the Obama magic died

Liberals Seem to be Incapable of Honesty

by Mars ( 6 Comments › )
Filed under Bigotry, Blogmocracy, Breaking News, Censorship, Communism, Crime, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, Election 2008, Elections 2012, Free Speech, Guest Post, Hate Speech, Headlines, Health Care, Liberal Fascism, Links, Marxism, Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, Politics, Progressives, Racism at October 4th, 2013 - 4:30 pm

This is going to kind of take the form of a link dump. BUMR50 posted a link on another thread discussing the fact that the person the press chose to promote Obamacares success was actually a dem operative. This is not a new phenomena. It is also way more prevalent that people think. Tea party rallies, townhall debates, web forums, even political figures, the libs have managed to put plants into all of these situations. They are constantly lying about who and what they are in order to skew the debate and silence opposing opinions. The media is complicit in this, they are always helping to promote and cover for these liberal plants. Even up to refusing to publish retractions when the plant is revealed. Of course that isn’t surprising considering the fact that so much of the press is made up of liberals. Hell, look at Stephanopolous and Matthews. A whole career working for the Democrats, but then we are supposed to believe they are impartial media figures.

Here is a list of links to articles detailing the perfidy of these evil creatures. Presenting the Liberal Plant.

HT BUMR50
 http://weaselzippers.us/2013/10/03/instant-celebrity-obamacare-applicant-turns-out-to-be-ofa-volunteer-president-of-young-democrats-group/

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/phony-rand-supporter-is-democrat-plant/

http://www.jasoncoleman.com/BlogArchives/2007/11/yet_another_democrat_plant.html

http://www.jasoncoleman.com/BlogArchives/2007/11/using_my_green_thumb_to_find_plants.html

http://www.mofopolitics.com/2009/08/12/obama-hitler-protester-at-dingell-town-hall-was-dingell-plant/

http://theconservativereview.com/sandra-fluke-is-not-a-coed-she-is-a-professional-activist-and-democrat-plant/

Remember this blast from the past.  I still hear people today talk about Sandra fluke as a poor student.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=efc_1251346675
This video features several stories on liberal plants.

http://lgfonevolution.blogspot.com/2012/05/democrat-plant-in-tea-party-event.html

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/07/16/far-left-think-progress-fabricates-examples-tea-party-racism-bogus-v

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/08/11/little-girl-at-obama-town-hall-has-not-so-random-political-connections/

http://patriotstatesman.com/2012/08/obama-ad-%E2%80%93republican-women-for-obama-%E2%80%93-shows-mother-daughter-lying-for-obama/

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/10/racist-supporter-at-romney-event-likely-a-liberal-plant

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/08/14/black-man-pleads-guilty-to-posing-as-obama-hating-white-supremacist-on-facebook/?test=latestnews

http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2009/08/27/lol-meet-maurice-schwenkler-left-wing-vandal-of-denver-dem-party-hq-staged-smear-of-gop-obamacare-protesters-video/

http://floppingaces.net/2007/11/29/the-democrat-shills-at-the-gop/
Every presidential debate is loaded with plants, both in the audience and sitting in the moderator chair.

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/video_liberal_infiltrators_attempt_to_bait_tea_partiers_throw_eggs/

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/crash_the_tea_party/
Here’s a group dedicated to helping liberals learn to be plants.

http://teapartiers.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/liberal-infiltrators-at-the-2009-dc-tea-party-are-called-out/

http://wataugarepubs.blogspot.com/p/vandalism-violence-hateful-rhetoric-and.html

http://www.bogushatecrimes.com/040309_KerriDunn.php

She’s a very famous lib liar.

This list doesn’t even cover the massive number of fake hate crime hoaxes perpetrated every year in order to perpetuate the myth of the evils of white America.

This problem is bad and getting worse. It’s gotten to the point that you can probably assume that any individual the media puts forward in support of a liberal plan or program is probably a democrat operative bought and paid for by the DNC if not an individuals campaign.

The Durability of the Democrat Coalition

by Rodan ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, Election 2008, Elections 2012, Elections 2016, Headlines, Republican Party at September 4th, 2013 - 10:32 am

One of the major differences between the Democrats and Republican Party is that that former is based on a coalition and the latter on a “base.” Since 1992, the Democrats have been dominant in Presidential elections thanks to the diverse coalition they have assembled. The Republicans struggle since the base makes a set of demands on Republican candidates, which then hurts them in the general election. Contrary to what many Republicans think, most of the Democrat coalition are not people who want free stuff. Many are wealthy and others are Middle Class. What unites the Democrat coalition is fear of the Republican Party which quite honestly engages in very hostile rhetoric which turns off voters.

Last December, Jennifer Duffy, an election analyst at the Cook Political Report, came up with a particularly tantalizing set of data points, the kind that demand further exploration.

In 1988, the Democratic presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis, carried 26 percent of the nation’s counties, 819 of 3144, on his way to losing the Electoral College 426-111 and the popular vote by seven percentage points. In 2012, President Obama won fewer counties, 690, but he won the popular vote by four points and the Electoral College in a landslide, 332-206.

The forces behind this shift illuminate the internal realignments taking place within the two major political parties. But first let’s look at how a candidate could carry 129 fewer counties but come out way ahead on Election Day.

In the simplest terms, Democrats started to win populous suburban counties in big states with lots of Electoral College votes beginning with Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992, at the same time that they began to lose sparsely populated rural counties, many of which lie in small states with very few Electoral College votes.

Take two states as an illustration of this phenomenon: small, thinly populated West Virginia and populous, relatively suburban Pennsylvania.

In 1988, Dukakis won West Virginia’s 5 Electoral College votes 52-47, carrying 31 of 55 counties, 10 of them with more than 60 percent of the vote. In 2012, Obama was crushed in West Virginia by Mitt Romney 62-38, losing in all 55 counties.

In Pennsylvania in 1988, Dukakis lost the state’s 25 Electoral College votes to George H. W. Bush, 51-48. The four major suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia — Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery — backed Bush over Dukakis by a landslide margin 62-38.

In 2012, Obama beat Romney 52-47 to win Pennsylvania’s 20 Electoral College votes. In the four suburban Philadelphia counties, Obama won by a decisive 55-45 margin.

Until Republicans learn to dismantle this Democrat coalition, they will not win the White House for the foreseeable future. One way to begin winning over elements of the Democrat coalition is stop coming across as nasty angry hostile scolds. Sadly, many Republican voters love the rhetoric and the politicians feel they must engage in this rhetoric. The Republican base needs to stop demanding purity and realize they need to form a coalition in order to win. The GOP of 1952-1988 realized this while sadly today’s base-centric GOP would rather insult people than win voters.

The reliably unreliable Colin Powell

by Speranza ( 118 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, Elections 2012 at August 6th, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Whether it is breaking faith with the Republican Party which advanced his career far above his mediocre talents, or his cyber affair with a Romanian communist sympathizer 30 years his junior (and whose English grammar is amusing) thereby betraying his wife Alma, Colin Powell is not exactly a  pillar of loyalty.

by Jeanne De Angelis

In 2008 and then again in 2012, after retired four-star General Colin Powell endorsed and then voted for Barack Obama, the former Secretary of State’s sanity was already in question. At least now, after having his email account hacked by high-level security-breacher Guccifer, Colin Powell’s besmirching of the Republican Party’s “shift to the right” and “identity crisis” finally makes sense.

It seems that for years the mannerly and always professional Colin Powell has been cyber-comporting with a 46-year-old Romanian European Parliament member, Social Democrat, and past spokesperson for Romanian president Ion Iliescu named Corina Creţu. So it’s safe to say that Colin Powell was probably the one in the throes of an “identity crisis.”

As vice chair of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Corina Creţu, who once called Powell the “love of her life,” had, on occasion, spoken out against cruelty to women worldwide. Yet thanks to her progressive mindset, seducing in hopes of ‘sharing’ someone else’s husband must not be a problem for her.

The fact that Colin Powell would associate with a communist sympathizer, never mind carry on titillating banter with a woman 30 years his junior, indicates risky and immature behavior just a notch above Weinergate. Either way, the revelations do put into context Powell’s ability to support progressive socialist Barack Obama. General Powell lowered standards within his marriage, which apparently translated into lower standards politically.

Not for nothing, but it is kind of ironic that Colin Powell, whom many believed voted for Barack Obama simply because he’s black, cyber-cheated on his African-American wife Alma with a blonde Marxist from Romania.

[.......]

In an older email, Corina Creţu wrote Powell “Good weather to make you come,” to which he responded, “You and the weather could make that happen.” Yikes, General Powell, who knew?

Then, when the famously fickle Powell attempted to end the cyber-canoodling, much like the Republican Party came to realize in 2008 and 2012, Ms. Creţu probably noticed that something about the general had changed.

Clearly dejected and heartbroken, Creţu wrote, “I am sorry, we are completely deplorable as we don’t assume what we had together [sic].” Over the past few years, the spurned Romanian official intermittently provoked the general in emails that indicated that her fluency in English probably wasn’t what attracted the articulate statesman in the first place.

Nonetheless, in late 2011, Corina the Persistent dropped Powell another lovelorn lamentation, where she said she missed him… loved him “too, much, too many years… [and] fond finally a reaistc love [sic].” Included in Creţu’s sentiments was no doubt the same thing that Republicans have been contemplating about Colin Powell for years: “I hope to be at least afriend to you [sic].”

Recently, the notorious Guccifer hacked into Powell’s AOL account. Fearing the worst, the general’s reaction was similar to the one Anthony Weiner had when he requested that Sydney Leathers scrub their erotic exchanges. Allegedly, Colin Powell also asked the Romanian seductress to delete their emails.

Sorry, but only in Obama-supporter circles could you have a Huma and an Alma being cheated on by a Weiner and a Colin.  [..........]

When nabbed, unlike Mr. Weiner the former Secretary of State did not bring up his commitment to the middle class, but he did confess that during his tenure at the State Department, he and Corina “occasionally attended the same diplomatic and international meetings.” The diplomatic nature of the relationship was confirmed in an email in which Corina asked, “Is first time when you tell me, dplomatically, of course, that is better not to speak until the holiday [sic]?”

[.........] Let us consider that this is a two-timing, I mean two-time Obama supporter who pledges faithfulness to the Republican Party and, despite admitted online cheating claims, he’s been faithful to his wife for half a century.

What Colin has failed to explain was how he made the jump from potential Republican presidential candidate to supporting a left-winger like Obama, or how the conversation changed from diplomatic and international affairs to suggestions that Corina lie naked sipping wine with him on a couch.

Mr. Powell clarified: “Those type [sic] of e-mails ended a few years ago. There was no affair then, and there is not one now.”

[........]

To date, the perpetually-conflicted Colin Powell remains married to the very classy Alma, and if you can believe it, as of January 2013 still considered himself a member of the Republican Party. Quintessential Colin Powell: Faithfulness in word, but in deed, evidently not so much.

In the end, the moral of the story is this: after being disloyal to a party that would have supported him all the way to the White House and straying from a wife who has stood by him for 50 years, it’s clear now that Colin Powell’s unfaithfulness is something Americans can count on.

Read the rest -  The dependably undependable Colin Powell

Essential VDH: The Hipsters

by Rodan ( 138 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, Elections 2012, Fascism, Liberal Fascism, Multiculturalism, Progressives, Tranzis at January 10th, 2013 - 2:00 pm

The Hipster movement is one of the least spoken about phenomena in recent times. They are politically the most powerful constituencies in American politics. They help fuel the rise of Obama in 2007 and propelled him to victory over Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination. In 2012, Hipsters were the decisive edge for Obama over Romney.

Hipsters are near the top of the Progressive Caste System. Most of the issues Democrats push are a result of Hipster activism. The push a very Far Left world view, but love the benefit of the free market. Victor Davis Hanson explains the hypocrisy of the Hipster movement.

No longer in our post-modern, post-industrial, metrosexual fantasyland. The nexus of big government, big money, and globalization has created a new creed of squaring the circle of being both liberal and yet elitist, egalitarian-talking but rich-acting, talking like a 99 percenter and living like a 1 percenter. And the rub is not that the two poles are contradictory, but that they are, in fact, necessary for each other: talking about the people means it is OK to live unlike the people.

In short, we can all be just what we profess to be. The key in our world of blue-jeaned billionaires is being hip — or rather at least professing to be hip.

But what is hip? Mostly it is a state of mind, a religion, a talk, a look, an outward persona that is the key that unlocks you from the ramifications of your ideology.

Hip is like “cool”, whose power I wrote about not long ago: a general sense of tapping into the popular youth culture of music, fashion, food, electronics, easy left-wing politics, and adolescent habit. Hipness is a tool designed to justify enjoying the riches and leisure produced by the American brand of Western market capitalism by poking fun at it, teasing it some, dressing it up a bit to suggest ambivalence over its benefits without ever seriously either understanding their source or, much less, losing them. We feel hip at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but not so much in the organic section of Safeway.

Hip also plays out as professed caring — worrying in the abstract about all sorts of endangered species, starving peoples, or degraded environments. It is being loudly angry at retrograde forces — white males, the rich, gun owners, Christians, family types, and suburbanites, the sorts who ostensibly crafted the toxicity of Western civilization that you are forced to use and enjoy. Yet embrace hip, and all things become possible.

[....]

Palestinians are hip in a way that Israelis are not; but pro-Palestinian reporters stay in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv without a clue why the two cities are different from Ramallah.

Hipsters are no laughing matter. They are a very dangerous group who seek to establish a Totalitarian Regime with them at the top. Their ideology is based of Plato’s the Republic. Hipsters view themselves at the forefront of shaping society. They have elected one President and seek to elect another one.

Make no mistake, Hipsters are a political force to be reckoned with.

(Hat Tip: The Osprey)

 

Obama and Mussolini: Is there a difference?

by 1389AD ( 236 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Cult of Obama, Election 2008, Elections 2012, Liberal Fascism, World War II at October 29th, 2012 - 2:00 pm

Mussolini and Obama strike a pose

Says Mars at Blogmocracy:

Obama’s hero FDR was inspired by Mussolini and wanted to institute his style of Fascism here in the US. (Yes, back during the 30s Fascism wasn’t a dirty word amongst liberals.)
[...]
Oh, and by the way, he has already adopted many planks of Mussolini’s third way platform.

Joseph Farah: Benito Obama or Obamalini?

Liberals won’t like this column.

But they should read it.

Because they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Maybe they’ll learn something.

Liberals and “progressives” loved Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator, who achieved power as a socialist and delivered on his promise in the form of fascism. His political maneuvering proved an inspiration to a younger German protégé by the name of Adolf Hitler – who allied with Mussolini in a bid to conquer all of Europe and much of the rest of the world.

Today, liberals hurl the “fascist” expletive around at people like me – freedom lovers, those who value individual freedom, personal responsibility and self-government.

But back in the 1930s, Mussolini was their darling. If you doubt me, take the time to read Jonah Goldberg’s seminal study of the subject, “Liberal Fascism.”

Liberals delude themselves into believing fascism is a “right-wing ideology.” It isn’t and it never was. Mussolini was a leftist. So was Hitler. They were both socialists.

The definition of fascism is quite simple: “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry and commerce.” It sometimes encourages racism.

Sound familiar?

It should.

We have a modern-day practitioner of fascism in Barack Obama.

We should really call him Benito Obama – or maybe just Obamalini.

Obama fits the bill:

  • He has appointed a record number of “czars” to implement his aggressive, top-down management style. “Czar” is the Russian form of the Caesar, which is where Mussolini got his inspiration for fascism – ancient Rome.
  • He has flouted the Constitution by assuming sweeping powers not only unassociated with the office of the presidency but strictly forbidden the occupant of the White House.
  • He has ruthlessly suppressed and demonized his opposition – defined by his administration as liberty lovers and Americans who take the Constitution literally.
  • And most of all he has regimented industry and commerce – wheeling and dealing in ways that extorts special favors by bestowing special favors in a way that would make Mussolini blush.

Mussolini was known reverentially by his supporters as il duce, which means dictator. Obama, too, is worshiped by many of his supporters – mostly members of the controlled corporate media, which understands the way to seek favor in a fascist society.

But the similarities hardly end there.

More and more, I am noticing some physical traits of Obama that remind me of Mussolini.

Have you noticed the posturing, the affectations, the attitudinizing?

Make no mistake about what we are seeing in America today. It is not liberalism, in the traditional sense, the Jeffersonian sense. It is a mean-spirited, vicious, hateful, vengeful and dangerous form of fascism in its infancy. It’s not even “left-wing communism,” which V.I. Lenin described as “an infantile disorder.”

What is developing in America today under the leadership of Obamalini is a bid for brute government force – a political system devoid of the checks and balances our founders so meticulously crafted to avoid tyranny and foster self-government.

If Obama wins re-election in 2012, there will be no stopping him or his fascist ideology – replete with its own form of anti-white racism.

It will be war. Obama and his minions will know no limits to their ambitions. They will have nothing to lose with four more years of power – and perhaps more given their contempt for the Constitution and the law. Their enemies will be persecuted – hunted down like dogs.

This is the way it always begins.

History is repeating itself.

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Photos here.

Similarities: Il Duce Il Douche Mousepad
(h/t: Mars, click image to view original)


A squandered presidency

by Speranza ( 110 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, Elections 2012, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Progressives at October 17th, 2012 - 8:30 am

I think that years down the road the whole Obama 2008 phenomena will be viewed as some sort of collective psychosis.

by Victor Davis Hanson

The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress — while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?

Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of over 70 percent. John McCain’s campaign had been anemic and almost at times seemed as if it was designed to lose nobly to the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee.

One-percenter magnates welcomed Obama. If Steve Wynn, Donald Trump, and Mort Zuckerman now blast Obama, just four years ago they seemed to have found him a relief from George W. Bush. Christopher Buckley and the late Christopher Hitchens openly endorsed him. Republicans like Colin Powell, Scott McClellan, and Doug Kmiec all went public with their support. One got the impression from what David Frum, David Brooks, and Peggy Noonan wrote that with a wink and a nod they had welcomed his election. Never has a president entered office with so much goodwill from so many diverse quarters.

[........]

No prior president had such a supportive media. Sometime in mid-2008, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, AP, Reuters, and hundreds of other mainstream voices had decided that Barack Obama was not just a liberal Democrat whom they would tilt toward, but a messianic figure for whom they gladly sacrificed the last ounce of disinterested coverage.

The financial collapse was four months in the past when Barack Obama took the oath of office, and its immediate aftershocks had been addressed with the October 3, 2008, TARP stabilization protocols. Obama’s chorus simply blamed the entire panic on George Bush; and the idea that government guarantees from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — which the Democrats had backed — had ensured huge loans for the unqualified to buy homes at inflated prices was mostly ignored. The recession was finishing its second year and would end five months into the Obama administration, in June 2009. The stock market had mostly stopped falling before Obama took office. In other words, Obama entered office with all the blame for the bad economy going to his predecessor and with the end of the deep recession in sight.

The president’s own racial heritage was said to be emblematic of the new racial healing. Indeed, it was promised that race itself would become incidental rather than essential to the nation’s persona. Advisers and Cabinet officers like Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hilda Solis, Ken Salazar, Van Jones, Steven Chu, and Hillary Clinton were said to “look like America” far more than the old white guys of the past.

[.........]

Most Americans believed Obama when he made the argument that our current problems abroad had mostly started with George Bush and would end when he left. Iran and Syria were said to be hostile only because they had been gratuitously alienated by Bush. Ditto Putin’s Russia. Our battles with the U.N. were said to be over, as multilateralism was trumpeted as the new cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy — a loud boast sure to win even more goodwill both from allies and from neutrals that had been turned off by the twangy Texan Bush. Just as Obama had wowed thousands at Berlin’s Victory Column, so he would win over the world, as his first interview with Al-Arabiya presaged. Obama was shortly to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the theory of what he represented rather than the facts of what he had done.

Many claimed that Obama was the “true conservative,” as he blasted Bush as unpatriotic for piling up $4 trillion in debt and promised to cut the annual deficit in half by the end of his first term. We heard all sorts of bring-us-together rhetoric: a new bipartisanship, a new civility, a new transparency, a new campaign ethos, a new everything — coupled with lots of “no mores”: no more earmarks, no more revolving doors, no more former lobbyists in government, no more serial fundraisers on the government dime.

Obama had the luxury of enjoying the security benefits that had accrued from George Bush’s controversial protocols like Guantanamo, renditions, military tribunals, preventive detention, intercepts, wiretaps, and drone hits, while not having his own signature upon them. The result was surreal, as Obama embraced or expanded all of what he had earlier blasted as unconstitutional or superfluous — to the sudden quiet of a once-raucous civil-libertarian Left. Somehow Obama managed to blame Bush for providing him with the vital measures that he damned even as he utilized them.

[..........]

In other words, the future seemed to be all Barack Obama’s. Bill Clinton’s second term offered an easy blueprint of what bipartisan centrism might achieve. Balance the budget and create jobs, and the nation will forgive anything, from lying under oath to romancing an intern in the Oval Office.

And what happened?

Barack Obama chose to ram down the nation’s throat a polarizing, statist agenda, energized by the sort of hardball politics he had learned in Chicago. Rather than bring the races, classes, and genders together, he gave us an us-versus-them crusade against the “1 percenters” and the job creators who had not “paid their fair share,” accusations of a Republican “war on women,” and the worst racial polarization in modern memory. Statesmanship degenerated into chronic blame-gaming and “Bush did it,” as he piled up over $5 trillion in new debt.  Financial sobriety was abandoned in favor of creating new entitlement constituencies, and job creation was deemed far less important than nationalizing the health-care system.

And so here we are, three weeks before the election, with a squandered presidency and a president desperately seeking reelection not by defending his record, but by demonizing his predecessor, his opponent — and half of the country.

What, then, was Obama’s first term?

Jimmy Carter’s ends justifying Richard Nixon’s means.

Read the rest – A Presidency squandered