[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: The Failed Experiment?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Failed Experiment?

The Obama administration sure has had trouble keeping their word lately. First, they roll back the snitch program flag@whitehouse.gov. Then they vacillate on the near-dead "public option". Now, Team O (the letter, not the number, if that's what you were thinking...) is re-writing their hopelessly clumsy lesson plan to teachers to use with the president's address to schoolchildren next week.

(An aside: speaking of Obama's address to schools, I have no problem with a president speaking to our kids about the value of education. That's great. Unfortunately, the lesson plan drawn up by the administration and the Department of Education was too much about Obama and not enough about the kids. Hmmm. Must be that cult of personality thing...)

Committed liberals must be going nuts right now at the lack of follow-through in these initiatives. Naturally, the conservative "mob", which I'm happy to be a part of, is a big reason for this, but the guy got 53% of the vote a mere 10 months ago, not to mention a nice, cushy majority in Congress to work with. What past presidents would have done to attain that much influence!

Most probably, much like the case with the lesson plans, the Obama administration has demonstrated an staggering lack of competence. The president himself hasn't helped, as demonstrated by his reliance on an absolutely inept Congress to carry the ball for him on health care. How can someone so smart make so many bad decisions in so many areas (Hmmm. Must be that lack of good judgment thing...)?

Perhaps I'm not properly considering the possibility that Team O knows exactly what they're doing. An experiment, if you will, in how far they can take their agenda before they feel pushback. This is just sheer speculation on my part, no doubt. And I certainly hope it's not this at all.


Blogger Rick said...

Ha! Good post, Robert. I guess if taking credit for these hiccups makes you feel better, than who am I to stand between you and a political party that has been hijacked by cartoon characters screeching into microphones and a leadership that is embarrassingly inept.

I guess I'm an uncommitted liberal because this stuff doesn't bother me a bit. We've got at least 3.5 years left, maybe more, if your mob continues its hysterics instead of offering up solutions.

Then again, some of you guys have already been talking lucidly about what it would take to overthrow the government or "stop" Obama, whatever that implies.

One never knows what the future holds.


8:14 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Too bad it doesn't bother you, Rick. I guess it's easier to hold on to your romantic idealism of Obama than to acknowledge the fact that most Independent Americans have a negative opinion of Obama's policies and are just as concerned as us intolerant and racist mobsters. Perhaps you should be more concerned about Obama's policies and the administration's "hiccups" than who's screaming into a microphone.

9:16 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Actually, I've been disappointed in a couple different policy areas but none which you could, unfortunately of course, take credit for, Robert.

And I never had a "romantic idealism" about President Obama, just a very sobering realistic view of McCain/Palin. It's something that an ideologue like yourself could never, ever bring yourself to accept or probably even recognize.


9:56 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Robert, most of the people you're calling "liberals" would more accurately be called leftists. The real liberals in the classical sense are the people who want limited government and emphasize protection of individual rights as the chief responsibility of government. Such people now are mostly called conservatives and libertarians. To put it more tersely, there's nothing liberal about people who support Zelaya and Chavez. I realize that "liberal" now means leftist in common American usage, but I don't like spotting the Left any advantages by continuing to use a term that some people still mistakenly believe refers to intellectual and political tolerance.

And I agree that the Obama administration is incompetent, but that's not the problem. The problem is that Obama got elected by pretending to be a pragmatic, moderate, left-of-center but nonpartisan guy when he is actually a viciously partisan, race-baiting hard-Left thug. (Not that that wasn't obvious to a lot of us.) So of course he is going to try to propagandize schoolchildren. It's nice that most Americans aren't going along with his program, but it's not for want of trying on his and the Congressional Democrats' part. I'm glad he's failing with this stuff. I hope he fails all the way to retirement in 2012. His agenda, if implemented to a significant degree, would be catastrophically bad for the country.

Also, a note to Rick: The Democrats have controlled the Congress since 2006 and control the entire government now, and anyway the Republicans are too incompetent to get anything done in opposition. The people you stupidly dismiss as a mob include many Democrats and Independents who voted for Obama. It seems to me that they are offering a very good solution to the problems caused by the statist assholes you support: throw the bums out. And I think they will do that on an unprecedented scale unless Obama and the Congressional Democrats stop behaving like we're serfs and they're our masters.

11:14 PM, September 03, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

Jonathan....actually, Robert called your people a mob. I was only repeating his characterization.

And as far as your characterizations of the Obama Administration goes...your memory is extremely short. "Serfs?" "Masters?" Travel back in time to the 1st Bush term and try not to laugh at your hypocrisy.

Besides, when all people want to do is throw tantrums and whine and offer nothing in return, someone has to pick up the ball and run with it.


7:18 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Jonathan - you're right. Liberal isn't an accurate term to describe these people, but I sometimes fall into the trap of applying the common usage of the term without thinking of it's true meaning.

Rick - do I really need to spell out that when I describe conservatives as "mobs", I'm being sarcastic?

Regarding solutions, conservatives and independents have been offering them left and right. There are at least 2 alternative healthcare bills floating around in Congress right now. But when the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress tell people to "punch back twice as hard" instead of seriously considering alternatives, it's natural that the message that our leadership in sending would obscure any rational/reasonable plans. It's also natural and healthy that people would react to the administration's arrogance and contempt with indignation. Thank God we still have the right to speak our minds.

8:09 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

So wait a minute, Robert. When conservatives use all kind of invective to denigrate the President and say that they want him to fail and deliberately mischaracterize what his intentions are to push their message, it's okay. But when Dems say they're going to come back just as hard and push their message, it's tyrannical and arrogant.

BS. Simply BS.

For 8 long, long years, we sat around as BushCo shoved everything down this country's throat in the name of "keeping us safe" and "fighting the War on Terror." You want reasonable? How's "you're either with us or against us" sound?

Elections have consequences, Robert. Some of the consequences of President Obama getting elected by a majority of Americans is that the minority is is going to have to put with things they don't like.

Go ahead. Oppose them. Criticize them. That's what our system is about. But being disingenuous and using terms like "serfs" and "masters" and all that idiotic rhetoric does nothing to advance the conversation and dialogue.

Yes, thank God you can still speak your mind. You might want to tell that to your boys that as they hyperventilate about being on "lists" and having President Obama's minions knock on their doors because of a blog post.


8:33 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

You don't get it, Rick. Or maybe you do and you're just pulling my leg. Honest and ordinary Americans concerned about Obama's healthcare plan speak out, and you somehow find it justifiable for an administration hack advise Democrats to "punch back twice as hard"? Wow.

Bringing up Bush shows that you really have no argument except to bring back the past.

You are absolutely right that elections have consequences. We're paying for the ineptness of our leadership, past and present. But a word to the wise: those same people you dismiss now as mobs and idiots are now becoming the majority. You may want to make a note of this.

8:54 AM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger La Ventanita said...

sat around? Rick, that's not exactly how I'd describe the left during the Bush years - and I'm surrounded by lefties at work.

In any case, there is a lot of hoopla around this Obama speech to kids that has some merit and some that hasn't.

Bush Dad spoke to kids, much to the criticism of some lefties. I think Reagan did too - I think Dean has the video from YouTube.

The problem I see with this speech is twofold: one, the incorporation of this into the classroom in the way described in the first documents - which centered on Obama instead of on the kids.

This should be a message about the importance of education, and telling the kids that they can achieve what they dream of. Whatever exercises are done post-speech, should be around the students, not Obama.

Secondly, 20 minutes? that will be tough to keep a kids attention for 20 minutes. I should know, I teach for a living. I think, which is part of some of the hoopla, that this should be done in a school setting, but that parents should've been invited to participate. That would eliminate the fear of indoctrination at school.

Or at least parents receive a copy of the address too. But I really think this would serve its purpose if parents are included as part of the stay in school education is important message Obama wants to deliver.

deliberately mischaracterize what his intentions are to push their message, it's okay.

Of course its ok Rick, that's politics. That's what Dems do to Reps and vice versa. It, unfortunately, is the way the game is played. 100 years anyone?

12:40 PM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:31 PM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

LV...having a problem with the speech is one thing. Calling it an attempt to indoctrinate kids into socialism, Marxism, Maoism, or any other -ism, as has been done by almost every one on the Right including babalu, is outrageous and wrong. It's the radical and extreme hyperbole that makes talking rationally about this with almost anyone on the Right virtually impossible.

And, yes, Bush I, did it. Reagan did it. And Gingrich did it. And only 'til one week ago was it "indoctrination" and "brainwashing." Like I said before, criticize it, oppose it, but for Pete's sake stop with the stupid hysterics already.

Robert, "the punch back" remark was not made in response to "honest and ordinary Americans." It was directed at organized and coordinated campaigns to mischaraterize elements of the plan. I'm not sure if you're so outraged at them saying "punch back" because you think they meant it literally or what. It's a metaphor. If the opposition throws a punch by disseminating false information, the Administration wants to punch back twice as hard to set the record straight. It's really not that sinister.

I think bringing up Bush is very relevant to to conversation because it reveals the duplicity that that extreme Right loves to practice. Bush rammed things through Congress while Republicans cheered his every move, naturally, but when President Obama indicates that he has an agenda just like every other President in history, all of a sudden that's wrong and something that reeks of "thuggery."

Yes, LV, every President goes through this. Bush had his share of darts thrown at him. But Keith Olbermann comparing the Bush Administration to Nazism is a lot different than the propaganda that mainstream conservatives have been able to muster in the last 8 months against the President. The proof is when some guy calls into the fill-in for Beck and lucidly and calmly claims that President Barack Obama is a terrorist. That happened today. The proof is when parents around the country are considering pulling their kids out of school for a day because they are being bombarded with information indicating that the President is brainwashing their kids. When at least 2 presidents have done the exact same thing in the past.

It's a dangerous ignorance that the extreme right is feeding with great success despite the overwhelming "liberal media."

Lastly, Robert, as you know, politics moves in cycles. Republicans will regain power...maybe in 2010, maybe in 2012, maybe in 2014...but they will regain power. It's the way things work. And the Republic always prevails. Despite the incompetence of presidents. Despite the incompetence of Congress. Despite the outright lies and distortions of the Opposing Party. So, really, it doesn't take a genius stroke of punditry to realize that the President's highest approval rating would come on January 22 and would go lower after having to face the millions of unemployed and uninsured that the previous Administration left on his doorstep.

People are pissed off? You don't say!


7:32 PM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

But Keith Olbermann comparing the Bush Administration to Nazism is a lot different than the propaganda that mainstream conservatives have been able to muster in the last 8 months against the President.

The difference is that Olbermann's Nazi comparison is obviously absurd, since Bush is merely an idiosyncratic social conservative who is well within the American political mainstream (not to mention that if the Bush people were really Nazis, critics such as Olbermann would have been persecuted rather than rewarded with lucrative media jobs). American conservatives, however, have been criticizing Obama for being an authoritarian socialist, which is not an unreasonable characterization given Obama's efforts to nationalize industry, finance and medicine, his bullying of citizens who get in his way (Chrysler bondholders et al), and his support for communist dictators in Latin America.

For 8 long, long years, we sat around as BushCo shoved everything down this country's throat in the name of "keeping us safe" and "fighting the War on Terror." You want reasonable? How's "you're either with us or against us" sound?

They did keep us safe: we haven't been hit again. Note also that the Obama administration has continued the intelligence-intercept and rendition programs, which started under Clinton and were continued under Bush. So whether or not one agrees that these programs are the best ways to accomplish our goals, it's difficult to argue that the threat they attempt to address doesn't exist.

BTW, the "with us or against us" line refers to foreign countries, not to American citizens as you implied. It was directed at countries such as Syria. Do you think Syria is an American ally?

11:10 PM, September 04, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

"Obama's efforts to nationalize industry, finance and medicine"

Boooo, scary! But... Weren't the leaders in finance and industry the ones that came to the government asking for a bailout when their industries went upside down? Didn't the financial bailout started under Bush? (And btw, would love to see the evidence of a government takeout of finance especially now that banks are repaying TARP funds.) Doesn't health reform include two important and multi-billion dollar concession to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries already? Any of this registers in the "obviously absurd" alternate reality Jonathan lives?

2:16 PM, September 05, 2009  
Blogger Rick said...

They did keep us safe: we haven't been hit again.

Isn't that sort of like saying a pitcher threw a no-hitter after giving up a homerun in the 1st inning? And just as inaccurate.


5:02 PM, September 05, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Didn't the financial bailout started under Bush?

Yeah, so? Does that make it a good idea?

Doesn't health reform include two important and multi-billion dollar concession to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries already?

It appears to include all kinds of concessions, payoffs and backroom deals that the public won't find out about until (if) the legislation passes. That's what Obama had to offer to get the industry to go along with his plans. None of it will be good for medical freedom, cost control or R&D. If a Republican president had done such a thing you would have rightly criticized him for selling out the public in favor of special interests.

12:56 AM, September 07, 2009  
Blogger Jonathan said...

They did keep us safe: we haven't been hit again.

Isn't that sort of like saying a pitcher threw a no-hitter after giving up a homerun in the 1st inning? And just as inaccurate.

No, it's like saying that Roosevelt won the Second World War after we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. Or maybe it's like saying we haven't been hit again since 9/11.

1:08 AM, September 07, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

"So" why do you believe it's part of Obama's supposed plan to nationalize finance? And I'm very critical of Obama's concessions to insurance and pharma. So has been the liberal establishment. A cursory reading of the HuffPo and Kos would show you it's one of the two strongest complaints liberals have for Obama, the other being the refusal to prosecute interrogation crimes.

Nice dancing around the argument. You used to be better at this.

9:29 AM, September 07, 2009  

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