Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama seems unable to look to the future

(It is of course normal for psychopaths to live in an eternal present)

Barack Obama is against lifting the ban on drilling for oil offshore because it would not reduce gas prices "this year, next year, five years from now," according to CNN .
"John McCain's proposal, George Bush's proposal to drill offshore here in Florida, and other places around the country, would not provide families with any relief, this year, next year, five years from now... Believe me, if I thought there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money who are struggling to fill up their gas tanks by this summer or the next few years, I would consider it, but it won't."

This sure looks like Obama, the great problem solver according to Al Gore , is not interested in solving any problems that show up only beyond "this summer or the next few years" or that take more than a few years to fix (5 tops, apparently).

Not very forward-looking, is he? In fact, his time window of interest seems to coincide rather perfectly with what would be his first term as President. Any problem that won't show up during his term is not a problem he would try to solve. So much for the vision thing.

Then where does that put global warming, by the way? I was not aware that global warming would have dire consequences this summer or the next few years or that it could be solved within 5 years. According to Senator Obama's logic then, why try to solve it? This would be especially so since even global warmists believe the next decade will involve little or no warming . I also did not know that all the alternative energy sources Senator Obama advocates could be brought on line "this summer". Wow, those windmill guys are good.

I guess that means we can count on a President Obama to ignore the impending bankruptcies of Social Security and Medicare, for example. Or what about levee systems that take more than a few years to put in place to help alleviate flooding that isn't even expected to occur for maybe 100 years? Too bad for the next Katrina victims.

Of course, Obama's logic is based on the premise that gasoline prices would not fall until new oil is actually put in barrels. But as Larry Kudlow points out , oil investors will start bidding down the price as soon as the knowledge of the availability of new oil becomes more certain. That could mean that, if the ban on offshore drilling is lifted this summer, gas prices could fall this summer or the next few years. In the long term we are all dead. For Senator Obama, the long term begins about four years from now.


Obama, the 527 lie (oh, and racism!)

I hadn't been paying much attention to Sen Barack Obama's "flip-flip" on agreeing to use public funds for campaigning. I hadn't thought of it in terms of Obama's rhetoric of "change" and I suspect that for many American's the issue seems like the standard "second tier" sort of lie all politicians tell, the sort of lie we have learned - as this Rasmussen poll demonstrates - to let roll off our backs.

Ed Morrissey opened my eyes this morning, though, by quoting Mark Shields' dismay at Obama's maneuver.. Both pieces are must-reads, but Ed gets the "scathing insight of the day" award:
Obama lied about the 527s. He smeared McCain by accusing him of having fueled his campaign on lobbyist donations. He reversed reality by calling Republicans "masters" of the 527 strategy that his allies George Soros and MoveOn dominated in 2004 and 2000. And Obama didn't even have the courage to negotiate with his political opponent while telling voters that we shouldn't fear negotiating with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Finishes Ed:
Vero Possumus, indeed. - [link to Obama's "Presidential Seal" added - admin]

Seems Obama has also flipped on the FISA bill. Some of this flipping, of course, is merely the insincere step-center that every politician makes once he has secured his party's nomination. What troubles me is the inconsistency of it. He was supposed to be the candidate of UNITY, and yet yesterday he basically insulted half the country by implying that unless they voted for him, they were racists or, at the very least, allowing themselves to be led around by racists. That's a pretty big bomb to throw, especially so early in the campaign, and when some polls say one is riding high. Why toss it? It makes no sense to me. Is it meant to be a "distraction?" Ed Morrissey, again (because the man is firing on all cylinders of logic):
Just as with his untrue statements on Republican financing and 527s, Obama seems content to issue lies and smears in order to inflame the electorate. There is more than a little hint of McCarthyism in this tactic. Joe McCarthy waved pieces of paper around and claimed to have lists of Communists in government that he never substantiated. Obama likes to accuse Republicans of racism without any proof, either, while apparently discounting the real race-card playing in his own party. If he has proof that the Republican Party and/or John McCain plan racist attacks on him, let him show it. If he doesn't, then Obama is guilty of his own racial pandering and should apologize.

Gateway Pundit, meanwhile, highlights what looks to be a bit of fast dishonesty in Obama's first major tv ad. Obama has several times told us that the people he knew yesterday are not the people he knows today. Perhaps the vote he knows today is not the vote he knew yesterday?

What does all of this say about Obama's character? Nothing terrifically impressive, not yet. Apparently some see "change", but I see same old, same old...

Calling "racism" or "sexism" is always easier than dealing with the substance of any issue. Fling those words about and you're going to muddy the waters. Some people will run away, in fear of having the mud smeared upon them; some people will bend over backwards to over-demonstrate how they could not possibly be racists or sexists. I have found that the folks who are fastest to make those accusations are the ones who are fixated on those issues. Their fixations do not make them racists, or sexists, of course. But it does make them the opposite of "color-blind" or "gender-blind". Race and gender become the things they see first and foremost, and - since they're fixated - they think everyone else is, too.


A uniter, not a divider?

The Democratic presidential candidate outlined his understanding of the GOP election strategy at a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida. Reuters:
"It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy.We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid.They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?.he's got a feisty wife.We know the strategy because they've already shown their cards."

It would appear that Senator Obama is not looking to attract too many Republican voters, given his characterization of them and their party.

Leaving aside the slurs offered by Senator Obama, is it now to be considered out of bounds to use the "young and inexperienced" argument too? And why didn't he mention the positive and substantive Drill Now! policy program that appears to have caught fire in Republican circles? Is the GOP not to use the questionable foreign policy views or numerous gaffes, or the willful, easily checkable misstatements and naive foreign policy initiatives that appear to be not only fair game in an election but also the very embodiment of "young and inexperienced"?


Obama on crime

Listening to political talk requires a third ear that hears what is not said. Today's near silence about crime probably is evidence of social improvement. For many reasons, including better policing and more incarceration, Americans feel, and are, safer. The New York Times has not recently repeated such amusing headlines as "Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling" (1997), "Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops" (1998), "Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction" (2000) and "More Inmates, Despite Slight Drop in Crime" (2003).

If crime revives as an issue, it will be through liberal complaints about something that has reduced the salience of the issue -- the incarceration rate. And any revival will be awkward for Barack Obama. Liberalism likes victimization narratives and the related assumption that individuals are blank slates on which "society" writes. Hence liberals locate the cause of crime in flawed social conditions that liberalism supposedly can fix.

Last July, Obama said that "more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities." Actually, there are more than twice as many black men ages 18 to 24 in college as there are in jail. Last September he said, "We have a system that locks away too many young, first-time, nonviolent offenders for the better part of their lives." But Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, writing in the institute's City Journal, notes that from 1999 to 2004, violent offenders accounted for all of the increase in the prison population. Furthermore, Mac Donald cites data indicating that:
"In the overwhelming majority of cases, prison remains a lifetime achievement award for persistence in criminal offending. Absent recidivism or a violent crime, the criminal-justice system will do everything it can to keep you out of the state or federal slammer."

Obama sees racism in the incarceration rate: "We have certain sentences that are based less on the kind of crime you commit than on what you look like and where you come from." Indeed, in 2006, blacks, who are less than 13 percent of the population, were 37.5 percent of all state and federal prisoners. About one in 33 black men was in prison, compared with one in 79 Hispanic men and one in 205 white men....

What Obama leaves out is that most of the victims of those black men in prison were other blacks. The black on black murder rate for young men is a national tragedy. It exceeds the war deaths in Iraq during the height of the war for the equivalent period of time. The fact is that a young black man is more likely to be killed by another young black man than he is likely to be killed in the war.

Obama is spouting the black liberation theology nonsense on victimization. He should be smarter than that. Until those who are committing the crimes change their ways they belong in prison where they cannot create the 10 to 12 real victims a year.


Why do They All Hope He is Lying?

Zenpundit has discussed the boring and mainstream makeup of Obama's newly announced National Security Working Group. Zen links to Matthew Yglesias, whose commenters are not entirely happy with the low quotient of "change" this group represents. But they hope he is just pointing to these people to get elected, and then the real Barack the "change guy" will come to the fore. It is weird how so many who claim to like Obama hope he is lying. Three examples come to mind immediately:

1. People who like free trade hope he was lying to the voters of Ohio about tearing up NAFTA. He can't really have meant that.

2. People who like the idea of bipartisanship ignore the fact that he is the most partisan Senator in the whole chamber.

3. People who want to believe he will be an incarnation of Leftist hopes and dreams will try to believe that this list of stodgy foreign policy advisers is a subterfuge.

Usually you hope someone you want to vote for is telling the truth. You hope that he will carry through consistently with his track record, and that he will do what he says he will do. Why is Obama different?

My speculation: Because Obama's vacuous campaign of "change" is meant to create a blank whiteboard that everyone can project their fantasy scenarios onto. It is a brilliant marketing gimmick. Every time that Obama seems to suggest an actual direction, it jars with the fantasy, and causes cognitive dissonance and irritation, and a pronouncement that the REAL Obama is the one in my head, not the one who intermittently articulates the ghostly outline of a coherent policy position.


Republicans Take Obama's Shady Political Director to Task

More Hope, or Change, or something... The people in Ohio are calling out Barack Obama on his controversial new staff member. PolitickerOH reported:
Republicans are attacking Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and his presidential campaign over his new political director who was accused of using felons to get out the vote for the 2004 presidential election in Ohio.

The Obama campaign announced yesterday that Patrick Gaspard will be its new national political director. Gaspard, a New York labor official, was the national field director for America Coming Together during the 2004 cycle. That year the Associated Press reported that ACT under Gaspard paid convicted felons to canvass homes and solicit private information (including Social Security numbers) from voters as part of its GOTV effort. The AP also noted that it is not illegal for felons to canvass, though they are not allowed to vote.

Patrick Gaspard's liberal organization was hiring murderers and rapists in Missouri to go door to door and sign up the vote. His organization was later fined $750,000 for their crimes. This obviously didn't matter to Obama.



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