It is not a good thing for a country to have a professional yodeler, a human trombone like Mr. Bryan as secretary of state, nor a college professor with an astute and shifty mind, a hypocritical ability to deceive plain people, unscrupulousness in handling machine leaders, and no real knowledge or wisdom concerning internal and international affairs as the head of the nation.
-Teddy Roosevelt on President Woodrow Wilson and his secretary of state William Jennings Bryan. To apply the same sentiment to our current President does not seem inaccurate.
Spending some time with David Horowitz’s fascinating volume entitled Left Illusions…interesting how the arguments of today’s “progressives” are so similar to those of the New Left and its antecedents. Members of that movement felt that they were misunderstood by most Americans, who were too dumb to realize that the “progressives” were trying to “help” them. “We’re doing this for you!” a young Horowitz cried in his head as he marched in the 1948 May Day parade while being heckled by curious onlookers who denounced the marchers as subversive Communist agitators. Barack Obama, a child of the New Left, seems similarly frustrated by opposition to his misguided attempts to “help” Americans through the institution of “progressive” policies. One hope’s eventually Obama will come to his senses as Horowitz did.
Politico has a poll right now asking respondents to rate Obama’s State of the Union speech. 42% give him an F, 30% give him an A. 2781 Respondents as of 10:45 CST.
It was difficult to watch President Obama’s first addressing of the Congress without noticing the unbridled exuberance Nancy Pelosi exhibited throughout as she popped so energetically out of her chair at each applause line. In contrast, Joe Biden barely paid enough attention so as to know when to clap at all. In light of this memory, it seems appropriate to watch the montage again and have the same kind of laugh we have when we watch Howard Dean’s “I have a Scream” speech for the umpteenth time. Because something [like the fact that healthcare reform is in the ER] tells me Nancy may show more restraint this evening.
Imagine that, Obama the deficit hawk. In what appears to be a political move intended to appease deficit-weary politicos and the public alike, Obama is poised to announce a halt in non-security discretionary spending. Cutting spending and pushing through an aggressive legislative agenda simultaneously will prove to be quite the balancing act, but I suspect the employment of creative fiscal gymnastics by Team Obama will make matters easier.
Obama to propose spending freeze – Glenn Thrush and David Rogers – POLITICO.com.
Here’s what it said:
On Wednesday evening, President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address. It comes at a critical moment.
We must regroup, refocus, and re-engage on the vital work ahead. So let’s watch it together at a State of the Union Watch Party in your neighborhood.
We’ve hit some serious bumps in the road recently in our march toward change. We always knew it would be difficult, but this past week has definitely been a hard one, for all of us.
But this movement didn’t come so far without making it through some challenging times. It’s at moments like these when we need you most. People are hurting. Our country is at a crossroads, and in communities like yours all across America we must all fight for the progress our families and businesses need to thrive.
The President’s resolve has never been stronger to keep fighting for health insurance reform, for lasting job creation, and to rein in the big banks and fight the undue influence of lobbyists. Wednesday’s speech will be a pivotal moment for us all to get on the same page and continue the fight together.
In just two days, OFA supporters like you will be gathering at State of the Union Watch Parties in living rooms and community centers across the country. You can share ideas and experiences — and I’ll be joining on the phone for a special strategy huddle before the speech.
Find and RSVP for a State of the Union Watch Party near you:
I hope you can join us,
P.S. — Volunteers have set up hundreds of Watch Parties over the last few days. But if there isn’t one yet near you, just sign up to host one yourself. It’s easy and fun, local OFA organizers will help you with any questions you have, and it’s an incredibly important way to let supporters near you be part of the action:
Its on now. Bill is going right after national security.
When it comes to Iran, Obama says he will not take the military option off the table. Says he can’t divulge detailed plans for a response to Iran. Diplomatic options and sanctions have not been exhausted. “Maybe” that will work says Bill.
Bill says Obama was right–Iraq was a mistake–but that Obama needs to admit the surge worked. Obama responds that the surge succeeded. But he will not admit he was wrong because we’re still wasting money over there. Bill challenges Obama to get the Iraqis to pay us back with oil money.
Then Bill call out Obama for saying McCain can’t find Bin Ladin. “You won’t invade Pakistan,” Bill says. Obama wiggles out, says time to put more pressure on Pakistan.
And like that, its over. Unlike his two-piece interview with Hillary, this one will be split up over 4 nights!
Let’s face it, the vaunted Clinton machine has shown complete fecklessness in the face of Obamania. The ways in which she has failed to make headway against this force of nature–the rhetoric of Obama–are countless. Its actually staggering the missed opportunities and the inability of her campaign to find weak points to harp on, especially considering the willingness of the Clintons to play dirty.
A new thought occurred to me this afternoon, though. Did Hillary just get unlucky? What if Obama had decided to wait until the next go ’round in ’12? How would the “inevitable candidate” fared in a race without the Illinois senator-cum-rock star/hope-monger/Presidential candidate?
For starters, she would have dispatched all the second-tier candidates with ease. John Edwards would have remained as her chief rival. I suspect that she would have become at some point the clear establishment candidate, meaning all the endorsements and money flowing to Obama would instead have been hers. She would in that case have been able to play by her own rules. She could have hit Edwards with more traditional attacks, since he would be a more symmetrical opponent. Without Obama, it is highly likely she would have all but wrapped up the nomination by now.
Then what? She would face McCain in the general election. Theoretically, she should win, because she would be the “change candidate.” In the general election, her more centrist foreign policy would dilute McCain’s biggest selling point, and she could probably demagogue her way to victory on domestic issues.
But this is 2008. Would the voters really go for the old Clinton tricks this time around? Cynicism directed toward Washington is high, as shown by not only President Bush’s perennially dreadful approval ratings but also the even worse approval rating for the Democratic Congress (which somehow has managed to do worse than the shamefully useless Repubican Congress before it). The Clintons of ’92 and ’96 got away with all manner of semantic gymnastics and fallacy, and developed evasion of tough questions into an art form. They played dirty but never got mud on their clothes. And somehow, they could connect with Americans, who were all too happy to overlook the closets in Arkansas bulging with skeletons.
Methinks today’s voter would be less apt to let them get away with it. The Clinton machine is a 20th century dinosaur that has proven itself inferior to better evolved species. Perhaps she was unlucky in that in her year to shine, Obama also rose. Perhaps, however, she was doomed anyway.
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