Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama Mama vs. Big Daddy 'Cain

It should come as no surprise that Democrat voters prefer a feminine man to a masculine woman, although both are infinitely preferable to a manly man. It is odd that one of our two major parties has no room for one of the three modes of humanness, manliness (as opposed to mannishness), but it's true. It looks like the coming campaign, underneath it all, will be a contest between male and female energy (as well as child vs. adult).

One of the reasons conservatives have misgivings about McCain is that he does too much business with those crazy Mutha's -- e.g., McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Feingold, the Gang of 14 -- whereas Obama has almost no dealings with Father. His voting record in the senate has a 100% pure liberal rating, meaning that he can hardly honestly present himself as the candidate of political family reunification.

This reminds me of the song I'll Always Love My Mama, by the unheralded soul-greats, The Intruders. Sample lyric:

I'll always love my mama
She's my favourite girl
I'll always love my mama
She brought me in this world

A mother's love is so special
It's something that you can't describe
It's the kind of love that stays with you
Until the day you die

Yes, but what about Pop?

We ain't talking 'bout pop
Now pop he was alright
He wasn't a bad thing
Pop was hanging out, you know
I think pop was drinking more wine
Than we used to (laughing)
I know my papa is
My papa would hang right along with you, boy
Yeah, stay out all night
Come home, clothes all wrinkled up
And lip floss all over him
Yeah (laughing)

Now, language itself has a male and female aspect. On the one hand, words say what they mean and mean what they say. On the other hand, part of the magic of language derives from never fully saying what it means, in order to leave a space for unconscious engagement. Because it draws from unconscious (and supraconscious) sources, words have an infinite plasticity which can be used or abused, depending upon the case.

Creativity is not usually a result of logic, but of the unconscious mind's spontaneous ability to form all kinds of unpredictable connections, just as in a dream. It is a merger of Male and Female in their most abstract essences. Especially in Jungian psychology, the unconscious has always been conceptualized as feminine, the conscious as masculine. Neither alone has unfettered access to truth, but psychological health and happiness depend upon a harmonious dialectic between them -- a marriage of opposites, as it were.

Likewise, we all know that in a highly charged emotional situation, it is possible to argue falsely by recourse to common-sense logic. Just as emotion can be used to distort logical truth, logic can be used to distort emotional (not to mention spiritual) truth. You see this all the time in male-female relations, in which, say, a woman will make an emotionally charged comment, to which the man responds with mere logic, and they're off to the races. The astute man will discern the deeper content of the emotional communication -- the emotional truth that the woman is trying to convey, usually about their relationship -- and not respond to it in a literal manner. It's like two very different forms of communication, and each must learn the other's language.

Freud famously asked, "what does woman want?" I suppose we could ask, "what do Obama's followers really want?"

With the Obama phenomena, we are obviously witnessing "the power of language," but not at all in its semantic or denotative -- let us say, male -- aspect. Obama does not use language to draw sharp distinctions or to foster thought (which amounts to the same thing), but in order to arrest thought at a more primitive -- I would say, maternal, or "pre-oedipal" -- level. If you actually stop to analyze the (explicit) meaning of his words, you interfere with their real (implicit) meaning, which is to prevent the emergence of explicit meaning. The point is to be shielded from unwanted meaning under a warm maternal blanket of undifferentiated change.

Now normally, change is associated with anxiety and apprehension, so how does Obama encircle that square and remove its sharp corners? By promising that this change will not be in the direction of growth, maturity, or independence, but in the opposite direction: a regression toward the maternal realm of entitlement vs. merit, rights vs. expectations, pleasure principle vs. reality principle, Mother vs. Father, Yes vs. No.

Words are analogous to the collapse of the wave function in quantum physics, in that they reduce the infinite potential of consciousness to particularized meaning. If you are something, you can no longer be anything and everything. So the mantra "Yes we can" is an exercise in pure infantile omnipotence.

In this regard, the campaign is a closed circle of unconscious-to-unconscious communication, a mother-infant dyad from which father is excluded. The campaign is not about anything but itself. Yes we can. But how? No, you can't ask that. The whole point is to remain in the realm of the oceanic can, not to come ashore to the dry land of do. So we could also say that the campaign will come down to a lot of cant about Can vs. Can-do.

Because behind all the can, someone still has to actually do. Government doesn't actually produce anything. Free healthcare is not free. Someone else just pays for it. Cue the Intruders again:

Sometimes I feel so bad
When I think of all the things I used to do
How mama used to clean somebody else's house
Just to buy me a new pair of shoes


jwm said...

Lileks has a great post on this today. Go check out the Bleat, if you haven't already done so. I listened to both Hewitt and Medved yesterday as they invited Big0 suporters to call in and say just exactly what it was that the Obamination stood for. It was hillarious. Try it yourself, if you run into a Big0 fan. That one question: "What exactly does Obama stand for?" Is like a magic incantation that instantly turns them into Porky Pig.


NoMo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NoMo said...

So, if Omama were ever to actually give birth to this collective monster that she's carrying, cuttin' the umbilical cord will get real ugly.

Anonymous said...

I forget when but a couple of weeks ago, after watching a news update on Obama win, I told myself that this guy will be the next president in reaction to some big feeling. It was like being sucked into a vortex of inevitablity.

Thank you Bob for your rude postings on Obama so that I could regain my rational objectivity.

In last election, on the day of election, I predicted a narrow win for Bush. One of the reasons why I chose Bush was that MSM was predicting Gore but every Joe around me (many of them immigrants) said that of course Bush would win.

If I use the same logic, there is a big hype around Obama in MSM, therefore I should pick the media-wise neglected candidate.

Another Bob

Lisa said...

Notice how Omama's wife, Michelle, really wears the pants in that family. She is going to be the one that sinks him in the end. He always says nothing charmingly, she on the other hand, lays it all out in black and white saying everything we need to know about those people. If he were smart, he would duct tape her mouth shut until the election is over. He's probably afraid of getting smacked around by her though!
Anchors Away!!!

maineman said...

If they don't get their Maypo, which will have to happen sooner or later, there's going to be one hell of a temper tantrum. And the longer this stuff festers, the bigger the eventual mess will be.

I'm in "I Claudius" mode most of the time these days: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out."

will said...

>>part of the magic of language derives from never fully saying what it means, in order to leave a space for unconscious engagement<<

This is not to compare Obama with Hitler, other than to comment on the persuasiveness of the "sub-text" of the rousing speech, but . . . when I first saw old films of Hitler speech-ifying before entralled throngs - I, not understanding German, assumed that his words, his phrases were pure archtypal sturm und drang poetry, albeit in service of an evil cause. Eventually, I read the English translations and was almost disappointed to find his speeches bland, simplistic to the point of childishness.

Obviously Hitler was a conduit for a militaristic, imperialistic impulse for and by the German people, whereas Obama is the maternal, feminized version of the American village shaman. However, I think both gave, are giving the crowds what they want via some kind of language use in which the simplistic messages take on an incantational power - the sub-text is beyond language, really. It's a manipulation of *feeling*, emotion. And I think that in some sense, the crowds are manipulating themselves. They use the speakers as conduits for their own feelings and emotions, use them to give shape to same.

I think this is an essentially *pagan* phenomenon - it's the magic of the collective, the unconscious collective, to be exact. One could argue that Obama's feminized paganism is benign when compared with Hitler's militancy, but both reduce rationalism, ie., the individual, to nothing.

will said...

I might also suggest that Obama, the actual person of Obama, is more than just a feminized guy to his fans/worshippers.

First, he is In a way a neither-here-nor-there literal fusion of races - the uni-racial ideal made flesh. Many would see this as a spiritual ideal. It's really a new agey faux-spirituality.

Second, though most would not articulate it so, I think many see him as being androgynous, the divinized fusion of male and female. Hmm . . . no, I think something more of the hermaphrodite, which is the materialistic perversion of the holy androgyne.

I mean if you look closely.

julie said...

I was listening to Hewitt briefly yesterday, when he had people call in to talk about why they supported Obama. After about the third caller, he had it figured out: "So this is just a big pep rally?!?" The caller Porkied (to borrow JWM's imagery), but conditionally agreed (all paraphrased, of course): "Well, it's not like that, exactly, but I mean, you know, it's that he makes us want to get involved..."

I read two very interesting observations about today's yute and group dynamics last week. If she's right, and I have no reason to believe she's not, a lot is explained about Omama's popularity among the young (the callers to Hewitt's show had to be 18-25-year-olds). He tells them nothing, except that their team is awesome and can do stuff; they, after a lifetime of being team members, don't just obediently agree, they get excited.

As a culture, we have raised a couple of generations now on the importance of inclusiveness and team building, both of which, in certain times and places, are obviously important and necessary. However, we have also downplayed the importance of individual achievement, lest young'un think they are better than any other. The seeds of mob rule were well sown, and they are starting to bear fruit. And Omama seems to have learned, very well, how to appeal to this particular mob.

julie said...

Will - he is the group...

maineman said...

I've always wondered what it was like to be on the inside of the German culture as the Nazis came to power. I think we imagine everyone was appropriately horrified but too frightened to speak out. It seems more likely, though, that they were so subjectively involved that they didn't even realize that the Beast was taking them all over -- at least until it was too late or maybe not until it ended and the trance was broken.

So, I wonder how far this will go. I can see half of us breathlessly mesmerized, but I'm not sure much of the other half thinks there's anything potentially dangerous happening.

And I don't know if I'm making too much out of it myself, but I know the Devil is going to come in the back door, and this has been creeping me out for about a month now.

jwm said...

Perfect. I've been trying to think up a more deft way of putting it, and you hit the bullseye.
Twenty some odd years ago, when I was in school of education, and later in teaching there was almost ZERO emphasis put on individual accomplishment. In fact, a good part of the yearly evaluation that we got depended on incorporating as much "guided group" effort as possible in the lesson planning. One of the in-service training sessions we had was focused on 'mixed grouping' where low achieving (stupid) kids had to be grouped with kids who actually worked, and produced. Ostensibly, this would benefit the slower kids by exposing them to brighter minds. (You can predict the actual results.) The kicker, though, came when I asked the instructor if they had actually seen any improvement in the slower kids as a result of mixed grouping. She said, "no". But it was still a good idea, and besides, it was disrtict policy, based on State guidelines.


julie said...

I would imagine such grouping would not only make the smarter kids do all the work, I bet the slow kids just got slower; why try at all when someone else will do all the heavy thinking?

River Cocytus said...

Or from the smart kid perspective; why try hard when they'll just group you with 'deadweights' for 'balance'? Underachieve until college when they can't touch you any more.

Robin Starfish said...

the fainters are plants
poppies and windflowers for
a venus flytrap

julie said...

Or a pitcher plant; the smell would be about right...

walt said...

Once Obama receives a mandate from his electoral landslide, his "team" will go to work. This will be what Bob described as: "...behind all the can, someone still has to actually do.

He has his own group of "experts." Here's one of his foreign policy "experts." You'll likely become familiar with her name in due time.

Money quote: "This is, of course, the view of the world one gets from watching too many Christiane Amanpour specials on CNN; but it is also one that has virtually no currency among serious people."

But then, when awash with "infantile omnipotence," as Bob calls it, who's serious?

walt said...

Oops! Should have linked the specific article. Sorry.

QP said...

Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky went after Samantha Power too.

xi said...

Hello folks. I have been reading some of the posts here and while I respect your motives, I have to ask, do you really think that you can ever say, write or think anything genuinely true about Being Itself[call it God or Brahman or what-have-you]?

While we can directly experience Being Itself, attempts to communicate about it, other than to say what it isn't, seem foolish and harmful.

Even the words the greatest so-called sages seem like the ramblings of drunken monkeys when I compare them to experiencing Being Itself. Its like trying to describe Hamlet with only the words 'of' and 'prince'. No matter how clever one is, it simply can't be done.

dilys said...

One term for what is being talked about here is Levy-Strauss' "participation mystique," the pre-individualism "enchanted" world in which there is no separation, in a way, no "fall of man." All the hive just one big nuzzling Mother&Infant.

This is also related to Rene Girard's identification of the tribally-endemic "primitive sacred," in which the beginnings are all, like, full of numinous mutual-warmth triumph over the "Other." But... then, sooner rather than later there will in the nature of it be further fracture and frantic ineptitude, "victims" finding real, undefended victims and descending into accelerating Musical Chairs bloodshed, ever-broader identification of traitors, as the dream fractally dies. Both are intoxication, fervent worship of, well, it's not what the cultures of earth have struggled to discern as a transcendent, in any way benevolent, much less freedom-donating, God.

One knows to expect from the git-go the evident shadow of the collective that cares, this kind of tyranny. The death, physical or spiritual, of the individual is of no importance, so long as the system rolls on. And the individual cannot be permitted to sustain himself, find springing hope, and escape the tribe. This pattern is what Girard identifies as the universal primal sin among men, appearing again in the story of the Passion, that it is good that one man (designated by those in power) should die for the people.

The actual gold-standard nothing-be-lost Good News, literally, is that a Vertical Consciousness can with effort, grace, and the traction of revealed moral codes, manage to avoid the warm jell-o that will congeal overnight. The hazard begins with the juice of the lotus. It's generally not a Feel-Good option, staying awake.

xi said...

I hit 'post' too soon. I meant to cite this posters[from yesterday's comments] as the paradigmatic example of your non-method.

They simply assert that there is this thing 'Being Itself' which exists but they can't say anything about this.

How does this make any sense?

And if you don't think it does, how can you think what you do makes any sense.

dilys said...

True, Xi, insofar as it's not about cleverness, which can back you into a cul-de-sac that will never catch the wind. Really, like the monkey in the trap, let go for a little while.

The names that can be named are not the Name. The word and The Word are not divorced, yet not identical. Sages long past junior college have queried that one. Your sputtering potshots are unlikely to solve it and might put your I out. Strongly recommend you drift with the current, and give the parrot and cutlass and hook, a rest. While Being, reputedly never much preoccupied with "making sense," just smiles on all our little backup bands, humming along do-be-do, luv, do-be-do.

walt said...

Go ahead, you people: Be brave, and click on Dilys' name.

Both times.

I dare ya!

dilys said...

if this is not apophatic enough for Xi, he's bluffing, and I give up....

walmart shopper said...

Right, there's the Orthodox and their apophatic way, but I'll bet they don't claim to be pure logicians. After all, to assert about God that you can't assert anything about God is illogical. The difference is that the Orthodox probably don't get all twisted around the axle by that. In fact, I'd guess that to them it's no big deal, just another paradox among paradoxes. But how can a logical purist like xi admit such a contradiction into his "method"?

Magnus Itland said...

How can America not get its Obama after two generations of raising people in the sincere belief that self confidence without merit is essential to mental health? Two generations of treating teens like toddlers?

Entitlement incarnate must follow.

debass said...

"Is like a magic incantation that instantly turns them into Porky Pig."

Except that after the budeabudea...., that's not all folks. It just keeps going on and on and...

Remember all the great socialist orators. BO isn't alone. We have Fidel, Hugo, and of course Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, FDR. I'm sure you can think of others. They are used car salesmen, selling a 160 year old failed ideology. Empty suits, pimps for Marx. They never learn. The only thing progressive about them is their progress toward totalitarianism. Because of their malignant narcissism, they need to impose their failed ideas on us. If we resist, we can be re-educated.
How many people has the darling of the left Fidel, murdered? How many are languishing in prison for speaking against him? No thanks.
I don't want another great socialist orator in charge of anything.

Magnus Itland said...

I'm speaking relatively, of course. Obama would be mainstream here in Scandinavia, where no one has to work unless they are greedy. (Of course, almost everyone is greedy, so the difference is less than you would expect. But we steadily attract new immigrants with a more relaxed attitude. As one Somali said in the paper today: "I have not sent a job application in two years. I am afraid I might get an answer I wouldn't like." I think he's right in that - I got around 200 answers I didn't like back in the 70es.)

Ricky Raccoon said...

I was just chatting with Winston Smith and he had some good advice. If Obama says change, just imagine your own version of it. I can imagine my own version of it too. We’ll be doing this together. So really there’s nothing keeping me from voting for Obama. Because what’s not to like? I can’t think of a thing.

I love Obama.

debass said...

If BO is elected, all you will have left in your pocket will be change-chump change.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Yes. The change they leave in their wake. The sad truth about leftist’s ideas of “change” is that they are impossible to “unchange”. Let’s nightmare about Universal HealthCare. The moment it is ever “given” to us, is the moment it fails; the point at which it becomes a worse health care system than we have now = the day that one begins. My point is that these same pro-changers will suddenly be all about not changing it; because to change it, would be to fix it, and in this case could only be fixed by an excruciating extraction. So ultimately they are not for change at all. They just don’t ever see it that way. Evidence? Remember when the President tried to fix social security. Where were all these pro-changers then?

ObamaSupporter said...

I can understand why you conservatives are getting so bothered by Barack; he is going to win in November, and win big. He is going to fundamentally change American political reality and move the nation to the left the way Reagan moved it to the right.

What does Barack stand for? Its pretty simple.

-Equality of opportunity
-Competency and Transparency in Governance
-Pragmatism over ideology
-Cooperation over division

These are pretty standard American values and principles. The current ruling junta of the Republican party[and those that enable them] has forgotten them, and Barack is more than happy to remind the country of them.

Barack will not only change the country and the democratic party, but also the republican party. His overwhelming victory will give the Republican party a simple choice; fundamentally change[by excising the far right from the party] or be prepared to spend the next two decades out of power.

QP said...

lo Mutha scammers
inside hallowed hive beget
not Sweetness and Light

Ricky Raccoon said...

As I’ve said here before, the things I don’t like about the Republican Party are not the same things leftists don’t like about it. In other words, it’s not far right enough. Go ahead and use your imagination about what I mean by ‘not far right enough’. You will anyway.

By the way, you forgot to say Halliburton.

Ricky Raccoon said...

“Equality of opportunity
Competency and Transparency in Governance
Pragmatism over ideology
Cooperation over division”

If these are standards, then who isn’t for them?

You forgot to say ‘champion for peace’. I have that bumper sticker on my car.
Oh, and I’m for clean water too. I don’t care what it takes. You’re right, this is pretty simple. Please vote for me.
Clean water-hater.

maineman said...


Run along and play now. But try not to be late for dinner.

julie said...

Every good person wants those things; they are completely generic. The real question is, how does he think they can and should be accomplished?

The devil is in the details...

coonified said...

A poem:

(it's about forging the possible out of the impossible, in the context of ones life)

A broken container is like a root
Burrowed deep within the recesses of the underground
Amidst life’s winters life withdraws in sleep—
Maya, the governess, abounds:
A dreamer confined in the impossible depths,
Compressed within never ending rounds.

The sin is Infinite and demands the All;
To believe is the stirring of the eye.
From the All belief punctures a hole—
A wound on the hand of the omnipotent,
And from which flows a ray of Hope:
Loves gesture of our true abiding eternity.

Hope begets all other things,
For the ray is nurture in and of herself;
And the root drinks the nectar of the infinite sweet,
So that out of the impossible a bloom may grow.

The bloom is the infinite waking to itself,
Hope the morning sun.
Belief is the alter of ourselves,
And the All is all we know.

(I'll just say, Obama is not the morning sun on my sleepy face)

jwm said...

Hoooeee Where do I start here?
So we have an Obamatrollic visitor. Looking forward to stickin' it to the Man are we?
Well perhaps you and yours indeed will have your day. You can quietly set your clock back to 9/10/01, the jihad will go away, and Obamamma will make it all better. Just wait. I remember the Carter years.

Dilys: It does seem like so much of leftist/marxist/progressive thought yearns for the undifferentiated world. The utopia where everything is equal, and no one thing rises above any other.
When all the colors bleed into one...
To that end, current PC dogma has it that men are essentially the same as women; homosexuality is no better or worse than heterosexuality; that the criminal is, after all the victim; that neolithic tribal cultures are the equivalent of Western Civilization; that the American military is no better or worse than muslim terrorists; that Israel is no better than the Paleostinians; that there is no qualitative difference difference between Christianity, Judaeism, Islam, Buddhism, animism, paganism, or atheism. I could go on. And now it would seem, as Will pointed out, that they have their perfectly undifferentiated candidate in the Big0. May we live in interesting times.

And xi:
Rather than throw another flameball your way, I would ask in all sincerity: Why are you coming back? (As the bear said, "It ain't for the huntin'") Do you want to win an argument? Score some zingers against those annoying people of faith? Or are you looking for something else? Perhaps you sense a hole that all the intellectual arguments in the world can't fill. Maybe, no matter how hard you try to build a dam against the religious impulse, some of it comes creeping in like so much holy water under your door.
Maybe you would like to find a point of entry into the Mystery, but pride and a bad case of the Jesus willies stand in your way.
Let down your guard. You won't turn into one of those annoying people who hand out little 'Are You Saved?' comic books at the beach. You aren't stupid. Not by a long shot. But to return to one of my favorite analogies, you can't see the star in the stereogram until you let go and relax your eyes. It's there. It's real. We have all seen it. You can too If you realy want to

ObamaSupporter said...

Sure, every sensible person wants those things. That is why Obama resonates so effectively.

And yes, every politician will say they are for those things.

But the problem is that most of the people in power, and most of the republican party[and some of the democratic party] don't actually want those things, don't fight for them or actually fight against them.

If your critique of Obama is that the things he supports are obviously good, what does it say about the rest of the political establishment that they don't support those things?

Oh, and I forgot one big thing that Obama supports; The Rule of Law. Again, a pretty basic American value, but one that has been absent from American governance for quite a while.

ObamaSupporter said...

We are not looking forward to 'sticking it to the man', as you put it, but keeping the man from sticking it to us. But more than that, we are interested in finding a way so that the man and the rest of us can both succeed cooperatively, yet justly. This is what it means to be interested in cooperation over division.

Also, those of us on the left are not turning our clocks back or forgetting what struggles face us. We simply want to engage in those struggles competently and while respecting the things that make us distinct from our foes, unlike how we have been going about it for the last six years.

We are also not interested in erasing differences, or pretending they don't exist, but in understanding those differences, what they entail and what they don't entail, and not exploiting superficial differences for political expediency.

And more than anything, we are interested in actualizing the promise of the declaration of independence and the 14th amendment, equal treatment under the law.

Cousin Dupree said...

Obama Nation.

walmart shopper said...

In your first post you cast the Obama revolution in explicitly left/right terms, yet we're supposed to believe there's no ideology behind it? Obama votes to the left of Bernie Sanders the socialist for crying out loud. A 100% liberal voting record points to ideology, not pragmatism.

Why not just tell the truth? For you lefties, an Obama victory would be very sweet kind of ideological revenge for the last 28 years. The whole pragmatism thing is an Alinskyite sales pitch.

By the way, Jonah Goldberg in his excellent and truth-filled new book Liberal Fascism makes the point that fascism always claims to transcend ideology, to be pure pragmatism in action.

terrence said...

xi or Theos Negativa,

why did you post exactly the same comment in two threads, under each of those handles (within an hour of each other, in re: Hamlet)? Are you hiding or trying to find a new persona?


are you a former/converted Paulbot? You sure come across like one. Your “enthusiasm” and uninformed ignorance are a sight to behold. It is clear you did not read Gagdad Bob’s post. If you had read it, you MAY know why ObamaBots are such emotional and spirtual children, and you may not have demonstrated it so clearly. Thanks for the demo!

julie said...

You missed the point by such a distance, one wonders if you weren't first blindfolded, then spun around a few times and booted in the ass to get you going the wrong way.

Those things are not in fact good in and of themselves; they are good or evil by virtue of the means used to attain them.

-Equality of opportunity
How? By getting rid of affirmative action or by expanding it?

-Competency and Transparency in Governance
Fairly simple idea, and I'd love to see it happen. How would he accomplish this? Do you really think most elected officials are willing to let their every official deed come to light? What will he do if they fight him? How will he enforce it?

-Pragmatism over ideology
Without some idea of what exactly he thinks needs to be done, this is useless. Sounds nice though.

-Cooperation over division
In order to cooperate, the parties involved must first decide on a goal. If they decide on the wrong goal, or if they decide on the wrong means to attain a good goal, their cooperation was actually worse than useless, it was actively harmful. Better to have a division that achieves nothing than a cooperation that achieves disaster.

hoarhey said...


Are you sure these ideas are what Obama has been speaking of? Are you also sure they're not what you have filled in to his empty outline?
What he wants to acomplish will take an enourmous amount of obfuscation to pull off. Don't kid yourself.

P.S. Have you fainted at a rally yet?

debass said...

Go here:

or to my blog and see if anything sounds familiar. I'm tired of suffering through the failed leftist policies of the likes of BO. Never again.

hoarhey said...

"We are not looking forward to 'sticking it to the man', as you put it, but keeping the man from sticking it to us."

That is NOT what they said in San Fran!

hoarhey said...

"....exploiting superficial differences for political expediency."

Ahh, you've actually touched truth on that one. The perfect definition of the Democrat Party. That is why your vision of kumbahya will never work because you must, at all cost, emphasise the differences.
E Pluribus Unum ain't in your playbook.

Anonymous said...

Just a question that came to me; how much is an obammasupporter like an athletic supporter. Just askin’


jwm said...

You have proven yourself as vacuous as your candidate.
You've had your say. Now slither on back to Kos or DU or whatever slimy rock you hide under.


Anonymous said...

it's not lost in translation.

ObamaSupporter said...

The only way I framed my first post in left/right terms was saying that Obama will correct the catastrophic lunge to the right that Reagan manufactured by bringing us back to the center. To get back to the center, from the right, we need to go to the left.

A 100% consistent voting record strikes me as principled, not ideological. Obama knows what he thinks and values and knows how to get it done.

Pragmatism is about method, not values. Someone is not a pragmatist simply because they vote centrist. Pragmatism is about putting aside issues that aren't relevant to the issue at hand in order to get necessary things done.

Calling your opponents children only makes you look petty and that you don't have a substantive critique.

Equality of opportunity, competence and transparency, pragmatism and cooperation are, in fact, inherent goods. Yes, there needs to be a discussion of how to bring them about, but as goals they are unquestionable. When everyone else bases their work around such ideas, then we can have a more detailed policy discussion. But at this point, instead of everyone else agreeing that Obama has put his finger on significant areas, all he gets is calls that he is a fascist, a know-nothing, a mere rhetorician.

The only thing Goldberg's book has demonstrated, though unintentionally, is that the word Fascist is meaningless in today's political discourse and should be put out to pasture. And yes, I've read the book and listened to him defend it in a number of venues. That someone like him is considered an intellectual by conservatives demonstrates why there are so few conservatives in real intellectual communities.

If you are going to say I am uninformed and ignorant, terrence, perhaps you'd like to back it up with something. I know how much time I spend gathering and digesting information on these issues, so unless you work in politics, the media or academia I can assure you I spend far more time and effort being informed than you do.

And no, I have never been a supporter of Ron Paul. While I respect his consistency and intellectual honesty, I simply don't agree with him on most policy issues. It it telling, though, that the only coherent conservative in the republican race for the nomination is doing so poorly.

The fainting question is really funny. Its interesting how the most common critique of Obama is that people get excited by him. What, exactly, is wrong with excitement?

ObamaSupporter said...

I was motivated to post because you said that no one who supports Obama can ever say what he stands for.

Now that I did, you change your tune, and say that what he stands for is wrong. Well, its obvious you don't agree with him. But that wasn't your point. It was that no one knows why they support him.

I accept that you disagree, but don't get upset because someone met your silly challenge by telling you what Barack supports.

It goes back to what I originally said; you are all upset because the era defined and controlled by your outmoded ideological debates[marx vs smith, right vs left, religion vs secularism, strong vs weak] is being swept away and you know that you are ill equipped to deal with a reality based, pragmatic political discourse.

hoarhey said...


While you have all the obfuscatory buzzwords down, Equality of opportunity, competence and transparency, pragmatism and cooperation, tell me how Obama is any different on policy than Ted Kennedy and how he is going to get people to go along with him any better than Ted ever did. You know, the Ted Kennedy who has been on the wrong side of history on virtually everything from Cold War policy to The Great 'Welfare' Society.
Flesh a few things out for us would you? Though they sound great, these principles do have to become some sort of policy in the 'real' world.
Oh, you said you've read Goldberg's book, have you also read the book 'A Bound Man' by Shelby Steele, and if you have, any comments?

hoarhey said...

"....reality based, pragmatic political discourse."

Heh! you come up empty again.
This rhetoric means NOTHING. What are the policies and the real world steps he will take to accomplish any of this? It has to be put into effect rather than just being discussed as some sort of concept where everyone inserts their own pie in the sky interpretation.
He may be elected on the rhetoric, but when people find out what exactly it means, look out.
Maybe it's better to get it over with now rather than later because this he'll be haunting the political scene for the next 20 years. You think the Clintons are bad.

hoarhey said...


While the others will always be timeless and relavent, what is you interpretation of the outmoded idealogical debate; strong vs weak?

terrence said...

OB-jockstrap (or is that BO-jockstrap)

Thanks for the laughs, if nothing else you made me hoot. My good lord, you are thick. Can you recognise a platitude when you write one, and then another, then another, and another, and another, then yet another? HAH!

debass said...


That useful idiot filter quit working again. Gotta call the super (Dupree) to fix it.

julie said...

(Via Instapundit, of course)

hoarhey said...

"Pragmatism is about method, not values. Someone is not a pragmatist simply because they vote centrist. Pragmatism is about putting aside issues that aren't relevant to the issue at hand in order to get necessary things done."

And those "necessary" things that need to get done will be effected entirely by a persons values regardless of how pragmatic they are.
Obama isn't complete enough to realize how his values and policy decisions will negatively effect what has been attained in this country to this point. But he's going to change America AND the World.
I for one do not want to have to pay the price for his lack of sobriety.
I don't expect you to understand any of what I have just written but if he gets elected, most of the rest of the country will understand in a couple of years. You've drank too deeply of the Kool-aid.
And those outmoded idealogical debates you speak of are quitessentialy American and timeless, which points to your lack of depth in undertanding.
They're not going away regardless of how frantically you sweep.

Magnus Itland said...

America needs a leader who can inspire others to be the change that is needed in their time. Inspire them to become less materialistic, less stuck on money and status; more loving and caring toward others, helping each other reach their fullest potential. Living lives that makes the world - and the neighborhood, and the family - a better place.

Gagdad Bob for President!

Van said...

From your obama link, you can just picture the poster writing party,

I have a Draem...Deram...oh heck with it, poor me a dram please."

Van said...

Sheesh, all the regulars already made all the relevant comments I wanted to make.

I'll just mention to xi, that if your are such a renaissance man, yet calim not to recognize the names I 'dropped' the other day, you really need to look into them, because you are mouthing their ideas almost verbatim. Until you get them and their gimmicks under control, you simply Kant grasp what we're talking about here.

Put your linguistics aside, and concentrate on the meaning of the words you deny have meaning. Look back and read Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and the American Pragmatists with your same alleged desire for clarity, and you may begin to see what you've been missing.

You'll like Kant's idea that we cannot access the "thing-in-itself", more so, from his later prologue to his Critique of Pure Reason, with that eye for clarity of yours, you might begin to get a clear picture of his real point when he says that he 'found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to save faith. That he actually destroyed both in modern philosophy, says it all.

Van said...

"What does Barack stand for? Its pretty simple.
-Equality of opportunity"
(Have you read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights amendments to it? That's already there; the question should be what action(s) is he intending to take under cover of that nice phrase?)

"-Competency and Transparency in Governance"
(Competency... in Government. Yeah, ok. Gov't can be competent in its proper and original founding designs (USA), defending Individual Rights and Economic Rights (which can't really be separated, but it seems to be necessary to name both when talking to the left), from enemies foreign and domestic, and providing objective laws for resolving disputes. Stepping outside those parameters means stepping outside its are of competency, which means incompetence and its close buddy non-transparency. Every Gov't service outside of and on top of those founding principles of the U.S. Constitution, deepen governmental incompetency and opaqueness. No getting around it.)

"-Pragmatism over ideology"
(Pragmatism is a method of experimental action without respecting any strictures of any one Philosophy - which means, doing what you think will work without paying attention to wiser heads who realize the danger of trying to live outside of sound philosophy, which means behaving like enthusiastic agents for change!. Please see the history of 20th century Europe for examples of how well that works out.)

-Cooperation over division
(In conjunction with Pragmatism over ideology, that means taking the actions necessary to force everyone to cooperate, or as Rousseau put it at the start of all of this madness, "We will force them to be free!")

"These are pretty standard American values and principles. "
(These are not principles, they are bromides. Sayings which seem to sound good, but carry no inherent meaning)

"...I accept that you disagree, but don't get upset because someone met your silly challenge by telling you what Barack supports."
(I accept that you are silly enough to believe this pap, and the challenge before you is to explain how they are not silly, while using meaningful words and principles to do so - I disagree that that is possible.)

"It goes back to what I originally said; you are all upset because the era defined and controlled by your outmoded ideological debates[marx vs smith, right vs left, religion vs secularism, strong vs weak] is being swept away and you know that you are ill equipped to deal with a reality based, pragmatic political discourse."
("Outmoded Ideological debates... swept away ...with a reality based, pragmatic political discourse"... if you can't see the writing on that wall, I can't help you. We however, can. Here's a couple items that might enable you to see more clearly. First take a look at what you are calling outmoded, the U.S. Constitution, interlinked with all of the debates and relevant documents they referred to and considered during the debates upon it, can't beat this site for gaining an understanding of what you ignorantly call outmoded:
The Founders Constitution, hosted by the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund at,

and then to see the philosophical underpinnings behind what Goldberg gave the journalistic account of in Liberal Fascism, see:
Ominous Parallels.

Anonymous said...

The only people the Left wants to change are people who believe in hard work, self reliance and personal responsibility.

Drug abusers, child molesters, lazy people, stupid people etc. are all victims of the TR (take responsibility) class.

Their definition of intelligence is the quality that allows someone to take from the TR class and keep most of it for themselves while creating a dependency in all the rest.

River Cocytus said...

I await with some anticipation the day that I get put in chains for what I believe. I think of Ezra Levant's low octane experience of the 'Hate Crimes Star Chamber'

Not because I like the idea of possibly dying, but because there are days I get tired to the claptrap. Show your real nature, Progressive West; stop hiding it.

If I tell you that the real purpose of American democracy is actually to stop both the influential and the mob from changing things, that it was ultimately the will of our people that we put reins on the will of the people? If the people want change, it's too bad? You can't just throw it all out without throwing out the government itself. And that means setting up something new, which you don't want to do. You're not revolutionaries at all; because there is both nothing you believe and nothing you don't believe. You couldn't, like most of the 'revolutions' in mankind's history, be successful because you can't will anything at all. You will break the government and replace it with a frenzied mob (and call it a government like many African nations do) and then what?

The founders saw the success and failure of traditions, and took the best of them and planned a system, a definite system that denied certain things and allowed others. The French failed because they forgot that what works usually has been already tried at some point.

But you guys - what you like about democracy is not our Federal Republic but the rule of the excitable mob; because that excitable mob, like the crowds that called for the execution of Christ, can be made to believe or decide whatever you need it to in service of your whims.

American democracy exists to stop you from doing this. That is it's sole purpose. It exists to preserve the best traditions of man and let men develop them further in peace. That peace comes through a hard law- tit for tat. You mess with your neighbor's belongings? The law punishes you. Why we do we have the ten commandments? Is it because we have a moral law? No, the law is not moral; it is ethical. We use the ten commandments (or have) because they have worked out to promote a free society. I can show you how traditionally America centered around the ten; sometimes too strongly (Treating as a moral law) but overall, over time using them as a compass. Is murder illegal because it is immoral? No. Murder is illegal ultimately because we understand that a society where murder is legal destroys itself. The law does not care at all if murder is moral or immoral; the law can not care. It is blind.

The law of liberty is too hard for you, for in order for you to be free to succeed you must be free to completely fail. Bankruptcy is an example of a law that allows you to fail. In other times your failures would have landed you in indentured servitude for your life. In our law you can declare Jubilee more than once every 40 years.

Shall I go on? Why are there environmental problems? Are not those that are not caused by the dangerous nature of the physical world itself caused ultimately by carelessness and greed? You mouth the words but do not understand. Augustine said, "It is not material things that are the problem, but our immoderate desires." Vegetarianism ultimately solves nothing; Recycling is a wash. For you do these things and yet are still greedy. You buy carbon credits but still want a bigger paycheck. True environmentalism starts from a position where you render yourself desiring nothing; but allowing yourself to attain things as required. And it is something only you do for only you. You can't make anyone else do it. Sorry. I do not tell you this to try to make you do it; through these words it is impossible to attain. I say them only as a witness against you because of your hypocrisy.

If you really want what you say you want (most of us here are more honest with ourselves) then you will be willing to take the first step. That is, disdaining all earthly pleasures. And to top it off, you will not speak of your disdain lest you destroy its value. We were told by a man that he lived in such a way; that he did not waste the earth's resources. He did the thing but made it worthless by telling us. It was clear that while he did the actions any faith behind them was long dead. He simply did them to throw them in the face of his enemies and not for the pleasure of God.

He proved that he was just a more extreme version of what you are.

Come on, progressive West; let the mask slip and show us your teeth. I for one am not afraid of getting bitten.

ObamaSupporter said...

Is that all your collective hive-mind could muster?

Lets summarize what you've given so far;

-Barack only wants to help drug users and lazy, stupid people, and is against hard work.

-Barack is a Fascist

-Equality, competency, transparency, pragmatism, rule of law, these are all all meaningless terms or mere platitudes/they are actually contrary to the constitution and the bill of rights/they are already written in the constitution and bill of rights so we don't need to actualize them in reality or guard against them being dismantled by those who see them as standing in the way of their own power.

-Barack is somehow not sober or grown up and that neither he nor I could possibly understand your profound criticism [despite the fact that Barack graduated from Harvard Law, was editor of the law review, and taught at one of the best law schools in the world].

-That a better candidate would be a hacky blog writer who spouts new age, christian-ish psychobabble.

-Small minded, divisive ideological conflict is timeless, necessary and inherently American

-Barack's ideas sound nice, but they'll never work.

If those are the ideas you want to work with and run on, be my guest.

A few remarks on The Rule of Law, which is to me the most significant principle at stake.

The congress passes retroactive immunity for corporations[who have massive, high paid legal departments who obviously know what the law is] which cooperated with the government in violating the FISA law. This combines with the administration asserting absolute, unilateral power to disregard such congressional oversight via the use of signing statements[which president Bush has used more than all previous presidents combined and in ways never done before].

Even worse, the government has tried to set up Lawless zones[Gauntanamo and CIA black site prisons] not under the jurisdiction of any authority outside itself and has suspended the Universality of Habeus Corpus.

Worse yet, this government has engaged in waterbording and other 'enhanced interrogation techniques', a term coined originally by the gestapo, despite the fact that after World War two we tried, convicted and executed 8 Japanese for waterbording american prisoners.

If you think the Rule of Law is just empty rhetoric, you need to get out of your isolated, delusional bubble.

mushroom said...

Interesting that the Obamasupporter frames Obama is the anti-Reagan. RWR was hardly a saint, yet he clearly recognized the necessity of the vertical. Government is the horizonal. "Government," Reagan said, "is the problem."

The left may mean well, but they consistently fail to recognize that the law of unintended consequences is more fixed -- if occasionally more subtle -- than the law of gravity. Who was it who said that "no man's liberty is safe when Congress is in session"? The only way government can effect change is through coercion. Obviously, coercion is in opposition to freedom, but -- as noted in Van's quote from Rousseau -- the obvious is often lost in the feel-good sophistry of the left.

The whole idea of compassionate conservatism is lost on me. Of course I am moved by suffering, especially when it is not directly the fault of the sufferer. Compassion means that I am a "companion in the passion" of another. Sometimes all a friend needs to do is sit and let the other know they are not alone. When Job's friends arrived, they did the right thing for the first seven days. They just sat and wept with him. They could not heal him. They could not restore his children. In the end, as Job is restored, kind and compassionate friends and relation come and hand Job pieces of money to help him out. I have the horrible feeling that if Job's three friends had been "compassionate conservatives", they would have gone out and forced people to give Job money at the point of a sword. Jackboots had not been invented at the time.

To the left in general, rights are “gifts” from the government. The Founders wrote the Declaration, the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights, not as instruments granting rights, but as an enshrined recognition of inherent rights. The only conditions under which a government may undertake to violate or usurp those rights are when an individual has, purposely and intentionally, so violated the rights of another (criminally) or of the populace in general, i.e., acts of war, that the offender must be restrained. Even then, the effort to restrain must be isolated to the individual offender and not used as a pretext to usurp the rights of the innocent.

The left acquires power by promising to restrain, not criminals or terrorists, but the bogeymen: the fictional rich, the fat cats, the corporations, the racists, the chauvinists, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance. The freedom pushed by the left will ultimately be only the freedom to be one’s worst, to be immoral and unproductive. All the other freedom will have been crushed by a tank with UNITY painted on one side and DIVERSITY painted on the other.

Gagdad Bob said...


River Cocytus said...

OBS: Everyone here already believes in the rule of law. Next thing you'll tell me that Obama is pro- critical thinking, pro justice and pro Federal Republic! He Loves America!

You don't get it; we don't disagree that there should be more transparency, that practicality is a good thing, that Rule of Law is important and necessary. It's just that he's not saying anything by saying that. It's like having a speech on how you like giving speeches. 'I'm very pro-speaking,' you would say. And then people criticize you for that, because it is mostly substanceless; And you would say to them, "You must be anti-speaking!"

No.. they are Pro-Substance, which you obviously aren't.

ObamaSupporter said...

Everyone here will say[as will nearly everyone] that they support the rule of law. But the issue is if you act in such a way to actualize it. If you don't, you professed support of it is empty.

Our current government loves to give lip service to American Principles, but then it goes on its merry way dismantling them with diligence.

This relates to mushroom's post; You assume that because the founders used the words and ideas that they did[a pretty good set, though not perfect] that they actually believed them and/or actualized them in reality. Its not enough to just put the idea of equality and inherent rights into a text. You actually have to act as though those things are true. The fact that a massive portion of the human beings in the United States at the time of ratification were Slaves makes the idea that the founders actually believed in inherent rights which are given by God and not the Government a bit hard to swallow. The actual history of our nation has been a struggle between those who merely pretend to believe in our professed values and those who actually work to make them a reality.

So, while you say that it is the left who wants to take our inherent rights away, historical reality demonstrates the paucity of your account.

If you want substance, you can go to Obama's web site and spend the next three weeks reading the texts of his speeches and reading detailed policy statements. You think that because you are too lazy to seek out the information that it doesn't exist.

hoarhey said...


You never answered any of the questions asked of you.

hoarhey said...

And do you think that the framers of the Constitution were blind to how things would progress over time?

hoarhey said...

And that Obama embodies more wisdom than they did?

mushroom said...

ObamaSupporter, my friend, our disagreement is primarily on this point: who gets to make the decision?

The Founders said, to the extent possible, let the individual decide. Then let the locality decide, then let the state (as in states several) decide. Only in the extreme should the central government become involved.

We are simple people -- not brilliant and elite like the Obamessiah. Hence we ask you to answer a simple question.

Suppose someone could stand up today with the power to “act” and put all those words into practice. What would that person be called?

walmart shopper said...

So, while you say that it is the left who wants to take our inherent rights away, historical reality demonstrates the paucity of your account.

The left would take away our Second Amendment rights in a heartbeat. The left would gladly restrict our First Amendment rights in the name of fairness and tolerance (see Canada). The left wing of the Supreme Court recently ruled to weaken property rights in Kelo -- which isn't surprising since the further left you go, the more contempt you'll find for the right of ownership. The leftist pro-abortion movement has its roots in the eugenics movement (another point that Jonah Goldberg makes well), which is the state deciding who has the right to reproduce. The left's love of taxation (versus conservatives who see it as a necessary evil) follows naturally from its low regard for the right to keep the fruits of one's efforts. Bottom line is that the left's priorities are "social justice", state-enforced equality, and extending the powers of Big Mother. Individual rights are secondary.

Van said...

obama-mama said "The congress passes retroactive immunity for corporations....administration asserting absolute, unilateral power to disregard such congressional oversight via the use of signing ...has suspended the Universality of Habeus Corpus [read the supreme court's decision on this you pernicious idiot, it's on their site, I'm so sick of the intentionally stupid mouthing this nonsense, nonsense which actually is dangerous to spread about]... this government has engaged in waterbording and other 'enhanced interrogation techniques "

Sigh. Not a thought expressed on your part here, not even an attempt at refuting an idea put forwards here, or the attempt to put forward one of your own. such juvenile sniping without content, is a surefire way to remain juvenile for life. Probably the intent.

Summed up – you are a emotional moonbat flitting about the fringes of serious though, being very careful not to come to close to them so as to induce actual thinking on your own part.

"If you think the Rule of Law is just empty rhetoric, you need to get out of your isolated, delusional bubble."

The Rule of Law is the most profound and important of topics, it is merely you who are empty and delusional. You are ready made fascist fodder for whoever might come along with such an interest – fix that. Start with the links I left above… it’s a stretch, but you might learn something.

Van said...

obumma-moo-moo said "This relates to mushroom's post; You assume that because the founders used the words and ideas that they did[a pretty good set, though not perfect] that they actually believed them and/or actualized them in reality."

Just a damn filth bucket moron. Sorry folks, been a long week and I'm deep into a pint, but this pre-chewed chomsky chum bucket is just disgusting.

Van said...

Mushroom said "To the left in general, rights are “gifts” from the government. The Founders wrote the Declaration, the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights, not as instruments granting rights, but as an enshrined recognition of inherent rights. The only conditions under which a government may undertake to violate or usurp those rights are when an individual has, purposely and intentionally, so violated the rights of another (criminally) or of the populace in general, i.e., acts of war, that the offender must be restrained. Even then, the effort to restrain must be isolated to the individual offender and not used as a pretext to usurp the rights of the innocent."

Now There's a Magic Mushroom, well said.