Monday, March 03, 2008

Obamanic Depression is a Frustrating Mess (1.20.10)

Manic depression is touching my soul
I know what I want, but I just don't know
How to go about gettin' it
--Jimi Hendrix

I’m trying to imagine what it must feel like for Horizontal Man to win -- or even hope to win -- an election. I know that for me and other verticaloids of my acquaintance, there is no great joy upon winning an election, usually just relief that we have managed to temporarily pull the cultural plane out of its death spiral.

But for Horizontal Man, politics is his religion, which is the whole problem with his politics. The Obama phenemonon is the quintessential example of this. He is almost wholly the product of displaced vertical wishes and dreams onto the horizontal plane. Obama most certainly realizes this, which is why he is running one of the most cynical and manipulative campaigns in living memory.

One way or another, vertical man is born again “from above.” Therefore, he draws his energies from the vertical center and radiates them to the horizontal periphery. But since Horizontal Man is trapped in the bewilderness of his contingent being (i.e., maya), he unconsciously projects the above into the future, and thereby constructs a faux spiritual life that attempts to draw on the psychic energies by this self-created illusion.

In other words, horizontal man (if he isn't just an honest nihilist or self-consistent hedonist) practices the religion of progressivism, in which belief in a transcendent order is immamentized and "nourishes" the vacuum where his soul should be. In so doing, he receives a kind of existential consolation which may be compared to a form of counterfeit grace, in particular, when he imagines that he is in proximity to this heaven and therefore closer to being “saved” from the existential situation that afflicts all humans. Obviously, the Obamaniacs are feeling very "close" to this heaven, which ratchets up their creepy fervor. (The depth of spiritual hopelessness defended against by this false hope is frightening to consider.)

You can clearly recognize this mechanism of hoped-for horizontal salvation in action. For if reality were actually as awful as what the fantasists of the left have been saying for the past seven years, we would not see this manic exaltation among their rank and foul. Rather, we would see great sobriety and moral seriousness, as they brood on the monumental work of undoing the theo-fascist takeover of America, of saving the planet from immanent demise from the Bush-caused weather changes, of repairing our "permanently damaged" standing in the world. After all, if all it takes to undo these problems is to elect a smiling cipher, then they couldn't have been that serious to begin with.

The great psychoanalyst Melanie Klein divided human psychological development into two main stages, which she termed the paranoid-schizoid and the depressive positions. (I will try to avoid pedantry at risk of over-simplification.)

For Klein, the primary goal of development was to move from the former to the latter, although in reality, the relationship between the two is more dialectical than linear, similar to the relationship that exists between the conscious and unconscious minds, or between what might be called mental metabolism (building up) and catabolism (breaking down).

In other words, we no longer think of an unconscious mind per se, but a dialectical relationship between the conscious and unconscious. This dialectic can be fruitful and generative, or stultifying and self-defeating, but you can no more rid yourself of unconscious processes than you could speak without the implicit deep structure of grammar.

Human beings are subject to the nuisance of intrusive thoughts long before they are capable of thinking them. The problem for development is to build a robust psychic structure in which one may think thoughts instead of merely being thought by them. Naturally, our earliest psychological reality is almost wholly fantastic, and it is actually the primary job of the parent to prolong this fantasy until the baby becomes capable of discovering and bearing reality. In the absence of unconscious buffers, reality truly would be unbearable -- something like looking straight into the sun, or trying to live on the surface of mars.

This is why you cannot “spoil” an infant. Rather, you must indulge them until they are resilient enough to tolerate the painful and disappointing discovery of reality. Ironically, this can only be achieved if they have a firm foundation of entitlement and generative fantasy -- for example, the fantasy that one’s painful hunger causes a generous and bountiful breast to magically appear out of nowhere. The baby must imagine that this loving breast is his own creation before he makes the disappointing discovery that it actually belongs to mother (let alone a third interloper!), otherwise reality will have to be rejected or even attacked in some form or fashion. We must be provided with, and then gradually disillusioned of, our infantile omnipotence, on pain of trying to hold on to it or resurrect it for the rest of our lives.

The paranoid-schizoid position takes place in the first year of life. Naturally there is no clear sense of psychological boundaries at this time, which is why the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott made the famous remark that “there is no such thing as an infant.” Rather, there is primarily a harmonious, mixed-up fusion of mother and baby. The baby’s sense of individual selfhood will only gradually emerge from this primordial matrix.

Klein called this the “paranoid-schizoid position” because it is the source of our most primitive psychological defenses -- i.e., denial, splitting, and projection. These defenses are normative for a baby, but only become problematic to the extent that we fail to evolve into the depressive position. At this early age, we shouldn’t even think of them as defenses, but more as primitive modes of "thinking," i.e., of organizing otherwise chaotic mental experience, almost like primitive neurological "categories" or preconceptions.

For example, splitting early experience into a “good” and “bad” breast is analogous to God’s separation of the primordial waters. It is an attempt to achieve safety by placing a distance between what are in reality different aspects of oneself. Projection obviously works the same way, in that it allows the person to evacuate the "bad" or to place the good outside the self for "safekeeping."

End of part 1.

Back-up @ American Thinker:

"The Obama campaign truly has taken on a cult-like quality. His starry-eyed supporters actually believe that simply electing Barack Obama as president will solve, not just this country's, but the world's most difficult problems -- problems that have been with us since the dawn of history.... Witness his messianic campaign slogan, 'We are the ones we've been waiting for,' which is repeated several times near the end of the video. [A fine example of omnipotent infantile solipsism, BTW.]

"Anyone who spends a few minutes thinking about this, knows that a President Obama never will be able to deliver on this [manic] dream of 'change' and 'hope.' And not just because his actual policy prescriptions reflect standard liberal tax-and-spend collectivism. Under any set of policies, the problems facing this country, let alone the world [AKA "reality"], are not going to go away anytime soon. They are part of the human condition. At best, they can be managed and ameliorated.

"Yet how will Obama and his supporters react when they realize that his achievements as president, whatever they may be, will never match his -- or their -- aspirations? Will they react in a mature manner, or will they lash out in anger against those whom they perceive as standing in the way of 'progress'? Will they make a good faith effort to work with independents and conservatives, or will they vilify their political opponents?... Frustrated idealists are not known for their calmness, rationality, and willingness to compromise."

If Melanie Klein is right, I think we know the answer, for frustrated infants are also not known for their calmness, rationality, and willingness to compromise.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make the mistake of assuming there is no cynical distance involved in this rhetoric & candidacy. It should be a clear enough sign that there is a boatload of self-referential irony, bordering on the cynical, when he comes out and says to reject the politics of cynicism. The whole messianic thing is only half serious. Half of it is that ironic edge we have been taught so well by you - thank you for perfecting this style, by the by - and the other half has nothing to do with saving the world so much as making the United States popular. Political parties can't be honestly said to represent their agenda so much as the country's institutions - the military, businesses - and I say that as a good thing; democracy blows and we have a nicely depoliticized democracy going.

At the moment, and entirely fairly, a sizable number of people think the major issue with the US is not its policies but the perception of its policies, and the goal is not some leftist transformation but the renewal of American charisma & style in global affairs. It's not a redeemer to save us so much as a redemption of a political system that has suffered a bit of a crisis of confidence in global affairs. Restoring American popularity is not some worthless pursuit either; the primary lesson of Machiavelli is that it is critical to be perceived as gracious & benevolent.

I would say that when people respond to this kind of double-edged, wink-wink redemption rhetoric, it is their unconscious recognition that this is really a cynical ploy to revitalize global opinion in America. And when it comes to the kind of conscious interaction with the rhetoric, why for example "we're the ones we're waiting for," the attraction is not so as much a nod to new age nonsense than it is Margaret Cho's famed stand-up routine.

Remember the punks for Reagan? They've all gone on to raise kids in the suburbs, go to church, and work as they ought in the economy. They didn't get any destruction of corporate blah blah, they didn't get even a conservative revolution so much as a conservative facelift for a global power. It is the same thing with Obama - preserve American power with a more contemporary stylistic flourish. It has worked dozens of times for America, it will work again.

And don't get me wrong, it's not only money & power. But at this point everything about our country - its freedoms, its spiritual freedom, its tolerance and rights, its preservation of liberty, as well as its powerful economic & military institutions - are all so wrapped up in one another that you do whatever it takes to keep it going. Talk to most informed Obama people, and you'll get this recognition - aka they'll almost readily concede that Obama will fight it out in Iraq and only pursue the "antiwar" position in name only.

3/03/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

As the respeced magazine The Economist recently pointed out, Obama is setting himself up for a fall by portraying the American economy as being in a crisis. The opposite is actually true: The economy is too good to last. If Obama is indeed elected (as seems more likely by the day) then the mighty tides of the economic cycles will come crashing down on him no matter how much he bides them to recede. If people think things are bad now, they will scream bloody murder when an actual recession sets in.

Of course, things will be harder than now even if McCain is elected. But McCain is pretty straight about it being time to end the party and clean up the house. The Dems don't say it outright, but they certainly project the idea that disaster can be averted by electing Superman for president.

3/03/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"...Obama will fight it out in Iraq and only pursue the "antiwar" position in name only."

Riiight.

In other words, he's a liar but that's okay as long as he spouts the right lies, the pretty ones that make them feel all warm and tingly inside.

wv says: kdoofx

3/03/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strictly speaking, it wouldn't be lying. As he has said many times, once you have actually invaded, there are only so many options. His appeal isn't that he is against the war and the war should end, his appeal is he knew better in the first place. This is why he has been public about supporting private military contractors, why he has stated support for counterterrorism operations in Iraq. And this is the meaning of redeployment. I know that making the political appeal to win the office is the reason, but every time the Republicans accused the Democrats of cutting and running, it was kind of funny. For while there are the kind of Ron Paulesque true-believers in both parties, most Democrats have favored redeployment. IE, take the public opposition to the war as a political advantage, and continue the policy of military deployments in the middle east to secure allied governments, weaken enemy governments, and promote liberalization to the extent possible. Redeployment = Democrats will fight the war now.

3/03/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

".....informed Obama people,..."

Bwahahahahahahahahah!

What an oxymoron, how about pulling your head out of your ass and actual looking at his past policies and also listening to what he says he will do in the future.
The man lives in a fantasy world particularly when it comes to international affairs. One word, appeasement. Let's see how that restores American popularity around the world. We'll be digging out from under it yet again.
Have you seen his video on nuclear non-proliferation? Wake up!
Putin, Chavez, Castro the younger, etc. will eat this naive S.O.B. alive and when they do, come back here and talk to us about self-referential-irony.
He's just a charismatic Jimah Carter, and just as clueless.

3/03/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Anonymous, I think you've missed the point of Bob's post, which was in pointing out the psychological nature of the rank and file, messiah-projecting Obama supporter.

Your contention that Obama supporters are on to his supposed "boatload of self-referential irony" is a real stretch. Even supposing that "informed" O supporters have been blessed with this political gnosis, that number would be very wee indeed. And this is assuming that O's "self-referential irony" is an actuality, a stretch in itself.

But let's assume you are right, that your sophisticated political analysis is spot-on. It's still beside the point because all it is is a political analysis. The problem addressed here is the alarmingly infantile, faux-religious ferver of throngs of O supporters and the danger that this could present.

3/03/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

And you must have meant.

"Redeployment = Lying Democrats will fight the war now."

Oh the rationalizations to fit the round world into one's square hole.

3/03/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon,
I'm guessing this is what passes for nuance and sophistication in your circle among those who "get it."
Must be cool to be you. ;*)

3/03/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoarhey, I think it's more an easy going patriotism than edgy anything. Seriousness with a veneer of cool, if anything, but the cool is more incidental.

I am willing to concede that there is something to his argument - but I guess I see that the limit of this argument is there is always this aspect to a politician. Perhaps they pick up on different imagery - George Bush is the rock you build your house upon, Al Gore is St John or whatever - and there is nothing particularly wrong with this. Because I don't think most supporters so much "truly believe" as express an affinity with the deep, religious metaphors that we use to understand ourselves & the world around us.

But for just as many people, it's more about the comparative advantages, and largely informed by the policy expectations. For example, I don't think that most Obama supporters are antiwar pacifists - these are unlikely to support him. Most would probably fall into the camp that says, perhaps in the terms prior to the invasion, it isn't diplomacy or war, it's diplomacy and war.

I think that's why two of the interesting stories that keep popping up are how Obama is perceived in Europe, especially Germany, but also in Japan & South Korea, as popular, and a credit to the alliance. The other is the increasing importance of Africa in the coming decades of foreign policy - Chinese development & security arrangements, on the one hand, Bush's extremely effective African foreign policies & the creation of AFRICOM on the other. You won't see Obama's supporters stress this too much, but they do reference how Obama will be given an enormous boost to pursue these pretty strategic policies. And as always, the foreign policy will be run from the center.

What Obama will probably do is buy off Castro-lite & Chavez, fudge the differences and keep passing the trade deals, the security deals in Colombia, etc. With Russia, you are right, Russia may take the perception of Obama as weak to press ahead in Serbia. But NATO has the boots on the ground & unanimity on Kosovo. And, correct me if I am wrong, but NATO never backs down. Russia may realize this, and decide Medvedev the corporate lawyer would not be an effective saber-rattler.

Conservatives are right on how powerful America is in the world. Nobody in that upper tier, Obama of course included, wants to diminish the power, so much as augment it with a charm offensive. Because it is coming at the right time, I think, is why Obama has really caught on. Well see, on the Carter prediction. I think it will be much more Reagan than Carter. Especially with, say, Dick Lugar at State or Defense.

I know ya'll may never come around, I'm just saying what I see happening.

3/03/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words, the thing he's up to is coopting the critics - much in the same way that many Democrats were just upset that Bush's Iraq policies were based in Clinton precedent. (or alternatively the Medicare prescription drug benefit & No Child Left Behind coopting big Dem agenda items)

3/03/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Anonymous - >>there is always this aspect to a politician . . .George Bush is the rock you build your house upon, Al Gore is St John or whatever - and there is nothing particularly wrong with this<<

I think this is where you're missing the basic meaning and intention of Bob's post, of all Bob's posts, if you've been reading them.

Bob (and others) stress the difference between vertical and horizontal orientation, which while involving politics at a certain level, ultimately transcends the political sphere.

In any event, no conservative, vertically-inclined person confers religious significance on, say, George Bush in the same way that a leftist horizontally-inclined individual is wont to perceive a favored political figure in the usual quasi-religious way.

To brush off or cheapen this difference as you do is to miss the point entirely. It is the difference between false religion and true religion, between the material-minded and those who seek to be guided by the divine,and ultimately between death and life.

Now if this has no significance for you, if you are entirely concerned with politics and have no use for the spiritual, fine. But in that case, this blog is not the place for you.

3/03/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Anonymous, I hasten to add that your political observations and ruminations are interesting - time will tell if they are accurate - plus you seem a civil fellow (or lady), which I believe is appreciated by most who frequent this blog, certainly by me.

But you evidently - very evidently - miss the point of the blog.

3/03/2008 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

RE: Creepy fervor

Is there any precedence for stuff like this?(and I mean outside of so-called higher education)

3/03/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

A good one: Ask Obama"

You’ve stated that as president you’d transcend the sharp partisanship that pervades Washington, but you favor a rapid pullout from Iraq, plan significant tax increases, oppose any and all restrictions on abortions, and favor Supreme Court justices in the mold of Stephen Breyer — positions strongly opposed by most Republicans. Accordingly, on which of these issues would you be willing to compromise, and to what extent? Which Democrats do you think would give a little, and how would you convince them? How would you get interest groups and donors to go along?

2. Do you dispute the National Journal’s assessment that you’re the nation’s most liberal senator? If you do, which senators do you consider to be more liberal, and why?

3. Could you please cite three things you’ve done as senator to help win the war in Iraq?

etc.

3/03/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Mussolini did not believe most of his policy 'positions'. He held them for the purpose of their utility. In fact, he would change them as necessary.

This didn't make him better, it made him WORSE.

3/03/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

I second Will, anon. Your analysis seems thoughtful but is convoluted enough to suggest rationalization rather than a realistic assessment. And here's the point I think you're missing or trying to skate past.

There is a primordial conflict that Bob has repeatedly addressed. To simplify, it is between those who deify matter and those who live and perceive a transcendent reality that they consciously see as emanating from God.

Those in the first camp necessarily slink toward totalitarianism and genocide, as was strikingly evident last century. The Obama candidacy is primarily about matter, even though is cloaks itself in abstractions like "hope" and "global solidarity" and "tolerance". Whether Obama is about matter or not is scarcely relevant, although his Black Liberation Theological background points to Marxism as a world view, and that is an explicitly materialist faith. Clearly, his supporters are entirely about matter, about who has the "stuff", what color someone's skin is, what sex they are, who/what they like to have sex with, and on and on.

Anyway, I was thinking that it seemed like a stretch that what's going on with him could eventually entail, as such movements have in the past, a truly totalitarian and genocidal manifestation. But then I saw that video. As one who stood on the banks of the Potomac and watched Washington burn in the late 60s, it's not that hard for me to imagine a less self-directed uprising in which white "oppressors" are targeted if the delusional multiculturalists don't realize that their fantasies are not going to be fulfilled.

Or, for that matter, even if they are fulfilled. The riots of the 60s, after all, started two weeks after the civil rights act was signed into law. I think people are less likely to go out of control when they feel deprived than when they feel entitled.

3/03/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I do get the focus is the spiritual aspect. What initially drew me to this blog was, after the 2006 election, I was reading around and somehow this blog was linked. The post was something about the psychodynamic at work and I thought "hey this is interesting, I like reading psychoanalysis but this guy is a conservative." I occasionally returned over the next few months and found there to be an esoteric component as well, and actually communicating a lot of concepts that structure a lot of my thinking. Usually when the post he makes is about spirituality I read it and think about it. I tend only to comment when the issue is politics, because I think there is a lot of similarity in how I think but it is, I dunno, kind of amusing, engaging, to see that brought to a different conclusion.

The health of the soul is of course what is important, and I think that a free society is critical to that health. A free society has to be one in which civil order is upheld, and in our world today, free society and civil order are also bound together together with economic growth & unipolarity, so there are a lot of variables at play. Generally the system works, I think, to the extent that people are relatively satisfied, and whatever partisan rhetoric you are using, the fundamentals of statecraft remain the same, so people can get on with their lives. I think this is also why relentlessly optimistic & confident people like Reagan or Obama soar, and more clever or witty kinds of people like Bush & Clinton stumble on their own devices. I just like bringing it up here because there is a superior level of political discourse, and I've always liked the dynamics of politics. It's no more religion to me than baseball or fine dining. But definitely engaging. I'll try to be quiet for a while.

3/03/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...


 In advance of tomorrow's primary in Texas, just want to say, if you haven't already, Texas Raccoons might consider crossing over and pulling the lever for HRC. Like Hoarhey said ['We need to] "keep this thing going on the Dem side. Keep sucking those donors dry. It's just too much fun and I don't want it to end just yet. I'd like to see it go to the convention and watch what horrors manifest from the active promotion of 40 years of divisive feminism and race baiting when the two balkanized camps of hysterics meet in one place to duke it out. Priceless."

3/03/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

"I know that for me and other verticaloids of my acquaintance, there is no great joy upon winning an election, usually just relief that we have managed to temporarily pull the cultural plane out of its death spiral."

Whoa. Is that really all we can hope for?

3/03/2008 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

Sorry, QP, I voted early.
Plus, I think my hand might wither if I actually pulled the lever for her.
Though I am enjoying the ass-between-two-piles-of-hay dilemma Hoarhey cites. Or would that be two piles of potential guilt? All for keeping the party going, but someone else will have to do the dirty work.

3/03/2008 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Maines -

>>Is that really all we can hope for?<<

Ever narrowly escaped death? The relief amounts to, often is, a religious experience.

But yeah, I think it helps to keep in mind that the ideal conservative government is simply rendering unto Caesar and no guarantee of heaven - however, it does allow us the freedom to achieve heaven on our own.

The fascist/totalitarian gov assures, or tries to assure, that the mass of people will not have such freedom.

3/03/2008 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Maineman - well, usually. I felt that way when I voted for Bush the first time 'round. I'll feel that way when I vote for McCain. It's rare that any candidate comes along who actually seems like they'll be really good for this country. Anybody who does fit that description doesn't usually last very long anymore.

3/03/2008 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

"there is primarily a harmonious, mixed-up fusion of mother and baby."

What struck me when reading that paragraph is the possible impact of an abortion on the mother. Are the mother and baby undifferentiated on an unconscious level? And, if so, is abortion a kind of unconscious suicide?

While I haven't considered myself a pro-life advocate, I've more and more begun to think about abortion in terms of the mother's well-being and psychological health. And now I have a really hard time seeing the "right" to choose abortion as somehow liberating for the woman who so chooses. But this doesn't amount to advocating a total prohibition of abortion. If we are going to allow women to make this choice, we have the societal obligation to be honest about it. Get any kind of surgery and you will be required to sign consent forms advising you of the less desirable outcomes that are possible for that particular surgery. If women who have abortions are deeply wounded by killing the unborn, shouldn't we at least tell them that that is a possibility?

Not hard to link this to the Left, who find it impossible to recognize the down-sides of whatever they advocate, from abortion to public school monopoly to the "just say no to war."

3/03/2008 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

Sal - WFB, Jr. gave me the idea. "In this case, it's OK to vote for the other guy" [said re: his endorsement of Lieberman]. I heard Rush was getting the word out to Texans. It'll be interesting to see what happens manana.

3/03/2008 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

Have any of you guys heard this? It's a YouTube that's been generating some buzz lately. The girls harmonize like a chord played on a B3 organ. Highlights are the incredible high note at 1:33 and goosebump-inducing resolution at the end.

3/03/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Anon said,

"And, correct me if I am wrong, but NATO never backs down."

Well I believe you're wrong on most everything you've been saying but as to the above statement, NATO ultimately does what the U.S. says and backs up.

As to my prior question. Have you seen or heard the video where Obama lays out what he will do as far as his nuclear policy, weapons as well as power and his intent to completely scrap SDI just when it has has shown its effectiveness and become a viable deterrent. It's a very revealing bit of video and unambiguous. Well, judging from past posts, you'll probably find it ambiguous. You can give us the wink-wink, nod-nod "real" meaning behind it.
Obama exudes weakness and naivete in the eyes of people who see life as power. The word lightweight comes to mind. These tyrants are just waiting to sprout up like mushrooms once the darkness decends. They've been coordinating with one another and when weakness and appeasement is shown, (i.e. the willingness to negotiate and look for compromise) look out. It's the ONE thing that can be counted on in this world.
If he is elected to office, it will begin on day one, count on it.

3/03/2008 05:43:00 PM  
OpenID aloysiusmiller said...

Anonymous (1st commenter): This is truly disgusting. Obama is the elevation of cynicism to virtue.

3/03/2008 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I do not think it a good idea to prolong the Dem deathmatch: During the internal struggle in the party, candidates will traditionally pander to the flanks, then turn toward the center for the actual election to pick up independents. If McCain moves toward the center while the other two keep moving left, this will project the image that the whole political establishment is moving to the left, on both sides, and that the "new center" is pretty far to the left of what used to be centrist a couple years ago.

3/03/2008 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, I know Obama is against SDI. But I also know the researchers & military are for it, and the tech works out, and in an Obama administration, he'll defer to them. And I think his policy with Lugar is an excellent policy. Good relations with Russia are the best way to contain Russia. Let them have their regional commodities exchange. Europe, Japan, and every other country, will still trade in dollars.

See, what I think is that, you see naivete. All right. But I see that our allies want a popular US to justify their fundamentally pro-American policies. IE, they want a president they can follow - in Europe & Japan & South Korea are the most important (okay I won't forget Australia). But it comes with the added bonus that other nations beyond these that are kind of fence sitters, would be tilted. The only real country that would view the Obama "naivete" as an opportunity is Russia. Venezuela & Iran will jump at the chance to move toward normalization of relations. And that's good policy - normalization leads to investment & in time that means liberalization. Russia, actually, pressed the Serbia & Kosovo issue back in November, and found the EU rallied against them without substantial US prodding. So basically, Russia has no cards to play. And the rest would fall in line.

I'm willing to say if it doesn't work out, that it doesn't work out. It's just my sense that it will. Most of the cosmopolitan world wants US leadership. Regions just outside the cosmopolitan perimeter want US security deals & trade pacts. Even the dead enders in Tehran & Caracas would take the first opportunity to take a deal & save face.

All of this is a testament to the strength of our country. Basically, my view is that, we're already right, so we might as well be popular too.

3/03/2008 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

I still can't comprehend what universe you're living in.
It's all nice and good to say, oh well, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, but something tells me that you won't be one of the ones paying the price of having to dig out from beneath the misguided policies.
Appeasement of tyranny, throughout the history of the world has always had consequences and the price is usually paid by people who don't deserve to be paying it. These are life and death decisions and the way has been clearly shown to us by leaders who were willing to stand on principle in the face of tyranny, all the while being derided as delusional and warmongers. It's happening again with the War on Terror. When Iran gets their nuke(s), what then? Make a new trade deal? Normalize relations? Listen to what they are saying and believe them, take them at face value just like you should be taking Obama.
This pie in the sky, read between the lines is just too cavalier and detached from real life. Not everyone lives lives which avoid the costs and consequences. As always, the best and most courageous among us will be the ones bearing the brunt.

3/04/2008 12:04:00 AM  
Anonymous fm said...

anon,

I'll hate myself in the morning just for responding to you, but why do think the rest of the world (leadership) are a bunch of great guys (and gals) with wonderful motives -- and that it's the US conservative that's flawed? You are so mislead. I've been to Russia as a guest of the Gov., I've spoken with all kinds of personalities there, and you are just plain wrong.

I can't believe you actally wrote: "Venezuela & Iran will jump at the chance to move toward normalization of relations."

So Chavez is just gonna give up his strong arm tactics (the only thing that's keeps him in control) and Armadingyhead is gonna give up mamamamysharia?

I don't know how you were diverted
you were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
no one alerted you. -G. Harrison

I'm a reg. independent (Cal. non-declared), I grew up in a Dem. family (a picture of my father with his arm around HH Humphrey hung on the wall) and I have great respect for it all, but everytime I read one of you looney leftist spout your s@$t, I have no choice but to vote Rep. -

We need an honest-to-God true Democratic Party to replace this crazy one. One that is truely concerned with the average guy instead of one that just says they are in order to fulfill their own sick, socialist, dependent driven agenda where they'll be the king of the give-aways.

3/04/2008 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Anon,

I have a less vitriolic response to your comments than some others here. I kind of like the positive spin you put on things, but I have to agree that it's probably naive. I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

What I was thinking as I was reading what you said was not so much in the Hoarhey vein but in terms of "What if he does do well and is well liked?" To me, that would be an invitation for the Left to surge forward in this country under the cover of that approval. The ACLU, SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, and other splinter groups from what was the heyday of Marxism in this country, have been hard at work undermining our belief in ourselves and our cultural integrity for decades now. I don't know how much more sex education for 6 year-olds, anti-American textbooks, anti-Christian hysteria, and Darwinian materialism we can hold up under.

Watch the video again. The message is clear: they want their world back. They see America as a destructive force. It's an upside-down Marxist view that sees our success as resulting from the deprivation of others. And, as Walt Kelly famously wrote, "...they are us."

It would be nice to be well-liked by the rest of the world, but that would be of little solace if the trade-off is that the cancer spreads.

3/04/2008 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I have to agree that being well-liked by the socialist parts of the world is a mixed blessing at most.

3/04/2008 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

No ad with a red phone ringing at 3 AM, while our children are asleep, just "a televised twelve-second campaign spot aired in Texas, [in which] Senator Obama gives a stirring speech to a standing ovation. It is the predictable litany of American faults he will miraculously correct: literacy, expensive prescription drugs and insufficient civil liberties. However, he seems particularly concerned for Arab-Americans. "If there is an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney, it threatens my civil liberties."

Read the rest at American Thinker

3/04/2008 06:04:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Yes, qp. You might want to contrast that subversive drivel with Wretchard's new post at the Belmont Club, which clarifies the reality that OBH is either too stupid or evil to grasp.

3/04/2008 07:10:00 AM  
Anonymous maineman said...

Er, BHO.

3/04/2008 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Maineman, I'm not finding that post on Belmont. Which is it?

3/04/2008 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think they are wrong, maineman. I just think they were needlessly undiplomatic. I think the public (international, domestic) responds to those who, when waging war, appear humbled and saddened by the necessity of war. Whereas I think this last time around, there was too much triumph before the war was one - that is what I mean. Conservatives are fine on the merits, its the style. These sort of surface considerations do carry weight, so I just think, be as effective as you can. What is the saying - let the velvet glove hide the fist.

3/04/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: Creepy fervor

Is there any precedence for stuff like this?(and I mean outside of so-called higher education)

-- Alan

Islam.
Jonestown.
Beatlemaina.
Ross Perot in 1992.
Ron Paul & Mike Huckabee today.
Apple Macintosh Users.
Young Earth Creationists.
Left Behinders.
Da Vinci Code fanboys.
Furry Lifestylers.
Trekkies.
Otherkin.

3/04/2008 01:50:00 PM  

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