Liberal condescension

The Republicans have one hope in the next election: The Democrats’ Achilles heel. Namely, that liberals are SO condescending to typical, normal Americans. That does not wear well for typical, normal voters. Consider what Barack Obama says, as recorded here:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

So THAT’S why we small town yokels are religious. And THAT’S why we “cling to guns” and have problems with illegal immigration. Nothing about beliefs or principles. We are economically depressed and so are in need of Obama’s government programs. Then we wouldn’t have to be religious or like guns anymore.

Obama is saying now he didn’t mean to come across that way. But what is more worrisome is the glimpse of a worldview that the statement reveals. It reflects that old leftist ideology that Obama has up till now done such a good job of trying to transcend, the Marxist and neo-Marxist notion that accounts for beliefs, institutions, and habits of mind as nothing more than covers for economic oppression.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I’m sure Obama is surprised by the responses, because in his mind he was *defending* Middle America. In his political world, the greatest compliment you can pay anyone is to declare them a victim. His statement was intended to include middle Americans in the category of victims, and he’s surprised that many of us don’t want to be treated as victims.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    I’m sure Obama is surprised by the responses, because in his mind he was *defending* Middle America. In his political world, the greatest compliment you can pay anyone is to declare them a victim. His statement was intended to include middle Americans in the category of victims, and he’s surprised that many of us don’t want to be treated as victims.

  • Mary Ann

    This is Obama’s idea of the kinder version of Rev. Wright’s viewpoint perhaps? That man who did not influence him? That man he does not agree with?

  • Mary Ann

    This is Obama’s idea of the kinder version of Rev. Wright’s viewpoint perhaps? That man who did not influence him? That man he does not agree with?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m sure that Clinton does not hold this worldview. It is so nice to know that Obama and Clinton are so different from one another in beliefs and politics :)

    Soooo thankful she’s distancing herself from Obama’s terrible honesty.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m sure that Clinton does not hold this worldview. It is so nice to know that Obama and Clinton are so different from one another in beliefs and politics :)

    Soooo thankful she’s distancing herself from Obama’s terrible honesty.

  • fw

    Heck naw. obama´s comments do not equal marxist materialism as you and william kristol have exageratedly suggested. In his context, what he is saying is that religion etc have been turned into wedge issues. I agree with what he said even if said in a way subject to misinterpretation and artlessly.

    Trust me. I am no marxist and certainly not a materialist. fear drives people to what they know, and drives them to fear things different and other…. immigrants , gays, etc. etc.

    I spent most of my life in a small town of 35oo people in the dakotas.

    there is a way to put the best construction on what barack has said merely by reading the context and by reading and hearing what he has said before and since.

    It does not seem christian to discount the 99% of what he has said saying he has “unmasked ” himself (he has been lying or at least been manipulative in other words…) , and this by using a statement that is not unalterably subject to a kin der interpretation and should be subject to what Barack has said since to explain himself.

    when was the last time you said something unwise and then had others refuse to accept your clarification of that something you said? Is that a christian approach to things?

    c´mon. I think we can do better than this.

  • fw

    Heck naw. obama´s comments do not equal marxist materialism as you and william kristol have exageratedly suggested. In his context, what he is saying is that religion etc have been turned into wedge issues. I agree with what he said even if said in a way subject to misinterpretation and artlessly.

    Trust me. I am no marxist and certainly not a materialist. fear drives people to what they know, and drives them to fear things different and other…. immigrants , gays, etc. etc.

    I spent most of my life in a small town of 35oo people in the dakotas.

    there is a way to put the best construction on what barack has said merely by reading the context and by reading and hearing what he has said before and since.

    It does not seem christian to discount the 99% of what he has said saying he has “unmasked ” himself (he has been lying or at least been manipulative in other words…) , and this by using a statement that is not unalterably subject to a kin der interpretation and should be subject to what Barack has said since to explain himself.

    when was the last time you said something unwise and then had others refuse to accept your clarification of that something you said? Is that a christian approach to things?

    c´mon. I think we can do better than this.

  • Manxman

    I’m not clinging to my religion and Constitutional rights because of economic disappointments. I’m circling the wagons on my faith and American freedoms because people who are not “just like me” who are being empowered by people like Obama and the other presidential candidates have become very adept at using the power of government to get what they want at the expense of my faith, my family, my finances and my freedoms. I am not clinging to my faith – I am defending against its marginalization in our culture because I know that it is the only thing that will get America turned around. In many cases the expansion of government into our lives is the direct result of either the direct efforts or dysfunctionality of people who are not “just like me.” As government expands and becomes more and more expensive, immoral and intrusive, it naturally comes into conflict with faith and Constitutional freedoms.

  • Manxman

    I’m not clinging to my religion and Constitutional rights because of economic disappointments. I’m circling the wagons on my faith and American freedoms because people who are not “just like me” who are being empowered by people like Obama and the other presidential candidates have become very adept at using the power of government to get what they want at the expense of my faith, my family, my finances and my freedoms. I am not clinging to my faith – I am defending against its marginalization in our culture because I know that it is the only thing that will get America turned around. In many cases the expansion of government into our lives is the direct result of either the direct efforts or dysfunctionality of people who are not “just like me.” As government expands and becomes more and more expensive, immoral and intrusive, it naturally comes into conflict with faith and Constitutional freedoms.

  • Joe

    Sorry, Frank but the other 99% of what he has been saying really does not lead me to give him a pass on what he said at about (essentially me) at a fund raiser in San Francisco.

  • Joe

    Sorry, Frank but the other 99% of what he has been saying really does not lead me to give him a pass on what he said at about (essentially me) at a fund raiser in San Francisco.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I too think that the ‘Obama unmasked’ idea is overdrawn, but only because he’s been unmasked to the discerning watcher all along, and often with the help of his wife.
    She expresses more bitterness towards America, in one speech, than rural Americans in their lifetimes. And she encourages such bitterness in her laments over time management and economic difficulties.
    Anyone who’s paid attention to his writings, his and her speeches, and his history as a legislator can see they believe that government is the best solution to individual challenges.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I too think that the ‘Obama unmasked’ idea is overdrawn, but only because he’s been unmasked to the discerning watcher all along, and often with the help of his wife.
    She expresses more bitterness towards America, in one speech, than rural Americans in their lifetimes. And she encourages such bitterness in her laments over time management and economic difficulties.
    Anyone who’s paid attention to his writings, his and her speeches, and his history as a legislator can see they believe that government is the best solution to individual challenges.

  • Greg

    What are these “wedge” issues that the left prattles on about? Moral and social issues such as Abortion or defending traditional marriage are not a wedge but true and sufficent reason to oppose social liberals like Obama and Clinton and Scwartzeneger and Guliani. To refer to these social and cultural issues as “wedges” is to be disrespectful to people commited to natural law and biblical morality.

  • Greg

    What are these “wedge” issues that the left prattles on about? Moral and social issues such as Abortion or defending traditional marriage are not a wedge but true and sufficent reason to oppose social liberals like Obama and Clinton and Scwartzeneger and Guliani. To refer to these social and cultural issues as “wedges” is to be disrespectful to people commited to natural law and biblical morality.

  • Don S

    There is no question that Obama was speaking to his own at that San Francisco fundraiser. I suspect that the talk was “off the record”, because the quality of the recording I heard of his speech was very poor, so he felt free to speak honestly, and try to explain to those funding his campaign why he had to be so solicitious to such backward views about religion and guns.

    The liberal humanist view is that big government is our “god” and protector, and relieves us of the need for both guns and God. The dems have been hurt in the past by being a little bit too upfront about this view, particularly in 2002 and 2004. So they have learned to do the “God talk” thing until these yokels can be properly indoctrinated. Obama’s job in that talk in San Francisco was to remind the more elite liberal types that not everyone is as “advanced” as them, and they need to be more patient with these economically downtrodden Pennsylvanians if they want to win elections.

    Sorry, Frank, if that’s uncharitable, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em. Besides, it doesn’t strike me that the democrats have been particularly “charitable” toward Republican gaffes over the years. Think Bush, on a number of occasions, Cheney’s shotgun incident, Dan Quayle and “pototoe”, and on and on and on………..

  • Don S

    There is no question that Obama was speaking to his own at that San Francisco fundraiser. I suspect that the talk was “off the record”, because the quality of the recording I heard of his speech was very poor, so he felt free to speak honestly, and try to explain to those funding his campaign why he had to be so solicitious to such backward views about religion and guns.

    The liberal humanist view is that big government is our “god” and protector, and relieves us of the need for both guns and God. The dems have been hurt in the past by being a little bit too upfront about this view, particularly in 2002 and 2004. So they have learned to do the “God talk” thing until these yokels can be properly indoctrinated. Obama’s job in that talk in San Francisco was to remind the more elite liberal types that not everyone is as “advanced” as them, and they need to be more patient with these economically downtrodden Pennsylvanians if they want to win elections.

    Sorry, Frank, if that’s uncharitable, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em. Besides, it doesn’t strike me that the democrats have been particularly “charitable” toward Republican gaffes over the years. Think Bush, on a number of occasions, Cheney’s shotgun incident, Dan Quayle and “pototoe”, and on and on and on………..

  • Bruce

    Notwithstanding, Frank my friend, how WE ought to take his words (and I am in agreement with you that no one outside of the Obama camp is trying very hard to understand what he meant.), he’s going to find out that there will be no end to this sort of intentional misconstruing of his “nuanced statements”, until he is perhaps defeated in November.

    Frankly (oh, ok, pun intended!), his biggest problem, PR-wise, will be his wife Michelle, who seems to be a roiling jumble of contradictions. Michelle: “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do. Don’t go into corporate America.”

    Huh? She gets $300,000 a year working for the U of Chicago Hospitals as a lawyer. What part of corporate America did she leave?

    But I digress.

  • Bruce

    Notwithstanding, Frank my friend, how WE ought to take his words (and I am in agreement with you that no one outside of the Obama camp is trying very hard to understand what he meant.), he’s going to find out that there will be no end to this sort of intentional misconstruing of his “nuanced statements”, until he is perhaps defeated in November.

    Frankly (oh, ok, pun intended!), his biggest problem, PR-wise, will be his wife Michelle, who seems to be a roiling jumble of contradictions. Michelle: “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do. Don’t go into corporate America.”

    Huh? She gets $300,000 a year working for the U of Chicago Hospitals as a lawyer. What part of corporate America did she leave?

    But I digress.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Given that 99% of what Obama says is vague, the unfortunate truth is that whatever specifics he gives count a lot more than they otherwise would. So does his very liberal voting record, which he was trying to run away from without actually being seen by his base as running away from it.

    If I were at his church, I’d be asking him some SERIOUS questions about whether his faith is real or not in light of that.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Given that 99% of what Obama says is vague, the unfortunate truth is that whatever specifics he gives count a lot more than they otherwise would. So does his very liberal voting record, which he was trying to run away from without actually being seen by his base as running away from it.

    If I were at his church, I’d be asking him some SERIOUS questions about whether his faith is real or not in light of that.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Frank, what we need to consider is not just his remark, or even the notion that people are ‘bitter,’ but the worldview that it exemplifies. This view is commonplace among the left. I would like to know if he holds that or if he really is, as he promises, offering a new basis for consensus.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Frank, what we need to consider is not just his remark, or even the notion that people are ‘bitter,’ but the worldview that it exemplifies. This view is commonplace among the left. I would like to know if he holds that or if he really is, as he promises, offering a new basis for consensus.

  • fw

    #12 Vieth

    I guess the way I filtered the senator´s comments is as follows:

    Change is happening much faster than anyone can absorb. way to fast to wrap even commonly accepted social etiquette and norms around (cell phone use just one example….What working women has done to conventional family structures and dating rituals is yet another (eg: who pays for the date?)). globalization will not be “fixed” with protectionism or unilaterally by the us government. That sucks doesn´t it? The assumption that life will be better for our children left somewhere in the 70´s.

    This uncontrollable and seemingly irresistable change causes fear, is threatening, and puts people at unease in ways that are not easily expressed or articulated.

    The normal pattern is for people to to retreat to what is known and familiar and usually in a highly symbolic and visceral fashion. (eg page 5 and 15 TLH Lutheran Conservatism). They will do this at the expense of dealing with truly substantive issues that would seem logically to be more pressing. Anglicans deal with homosexuality yet for years failed to deal with the bishops spongs and pikes who denied the very divinity of our Lord (not that homosexuality should not be dealt with. I hope you get my point…..)

    Gay marriage becomes symbolically “THE defense of marriage act” becomes “society as we know it will die if we do not resist and fight this” and total silence about more imminent and real threats to marriage such as divorce, poverty both spiritual and physical and serial polygamy. I dont think anyone seriously sees two homos getting a marriage license as personally and deeply changing their own personal lives or the lives of anyone they know. This is simple Fact. Pure symbolism therefore. finger in the dyke. “I took a stand.” It cost nothing. Taking moral stands that require no personal sacrifice are not moral stands really.

    We rally to issues that can be resolved by vote because substantive issues such as failed marriages hit too close to home, we realize the complexity, we sense the seeming inevitability and so we “cling” just as Obama says.

    The real word that Obama failed to unpack the complexity of was that “cling” word.

    I do “cling” to may faith and retreat many times daily to it. For all the reasons the senator mentioned. Some reasons are more thoughtful. Others are based on inexpressable fears.

    It was not the “bitter” that the post modernists could sink their teeth into. They would be ill equipped to try to bite into that “cling” word. Only people of faith could do that.

    So Dr Veith. I would like to ask you if my worldview “exemplifies” something that does not square with reality or the truth (discounting whether some of my examples are valid examples or not of course)?

  • fw

    #12 Vieth

    I guess the way I filtered the senator´s comments is as follows:

    Change is happening much faster than anyone can absorb. way to fast to wrap even commonly accepted social etiquette and norms around (cell phone use just one example….What working women has done to conventional family structures and dating rituals is yet another (eg: who pays for the date?)). globalization will not be “fixed” with protectionism or unilaterally by the us government. That sucks doesn´t it? The assumption that life will be better for our children left somewhere in the 70´s.

    This uncontrollable and seemingly irresistable change causes fear, is threatening, and puts people at unease in ways that are not easily expressed or articulated.

    The normal pattern is for people to to retreat to what is known and familiar and usually in a highly symbolic and visceral fashion. (eg page 5 and 15 TLH Lutheran Conservatism). They will do this at the expense of dealing with truly substantive issues that would seem logically to be more pressing. Anglicans deal with homosexuality yet for years failed to deal with the bishops spongs and pikes who denied the very divinity of our Lord (not that homosexuality should not be dealt with. I hope you get my point…..)

    Gay marriage becomes symbolically “THE defense of marriage act” becomes “society as we know it will die if we do not resist and fight this” and total silence about more imminent and real threats to marriage such as divorce, poverty both spiritual and physical and serial polygamy. I dont think anyone seriously sees two homos getting a marriage license as personally and deeply changing their own personal lives or the lives of anyone they know. This is simple Fact. Pure symbolism therefore. finger in the dyke. “I took a stand.” It cost nothing. Taking moral stands that require no personal sacrifice are not moral stands really.

    We rally to issues that can be resolved by vote because substantive issues such as failed marriages hit too close to home, we realize the complexity, we sense the seeming inevitability and so we “cling” just as Obama says.

    The real word that Obama failed to unpack the complexity of was that “cling” word.

    I do “cling” to may faith and retreat many times daily to it. For all the reasons the senator mentioned. Some reasons are more thoughtful. Others are based on inexpressable fears.

    It was not the “bitter” that the post modernists could sink their teeth into. They would be ill equipped to try to bite into that “cling” word. Only people of faith could do that.

    So Dr Veith. I would like to ask you if my worldview “exemplifies” something that does not square with reality or the truth (discounting whether some of my examples are valid examples or not of course)?

  • fw

    #12 Here is another place where Senator Obama used the word “cling”:

    “…throughout my years in Springfield, I had clung to the notion that politics could be different, and that the voters wanted something different… ”
    From “The Audacity Of Hope.”

    …”Now Obama is saying now he didn’t mean to come across that way. “…”[the word cling implies that there is] nothing about beliefs or principles…”

    Worry no more my dear Dr Vieth!

  • fw

    #12 Here is another place where Senator Obama used the word “cling”:

    “…throughout my years in Springfield, I had clung to the notion that politics could be different, and that the voters wanted something different… ”
    From “The Audacity Of Hope.”

    …”Now Obama is saying now he didn’t mean to come across that way. “…”[the word cling implies that there is] nothing about beliefs or principles…”

    Worry no more my dear Dr Vieth!

  • fw

    #9 don

    “Sorry, Frank, if that’s uncharitable, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em. Besides, it doesn’t strike me that the democrats have been particularly “charitable” toward Republican gaffes over the years. Think Bush, on a number of occasions, Cheney’s shotgun incident, Dan Quayle and “pototoe”, and on and on and on………..”

    Failing to show our respected officials respect, either Bush or Cheney is inexcusable for a christian. The primary identity is with Jesus and not as democrat or republican. It is a call for sincere repentence and an intent, with the help of God, to bridle one´s tongue and do better. This applies, unfortunately for some, to Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain.

    We should instead sincerely pray for them, speak well of them, put the best construction on everything, and give them respect. This is God´s perfect and good will for us. We should practice and learn to do this cheerfully in fact.

  • fw

    #9 don

    “Sorry, Frank, if that’s uncharitable, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em. Besides, it doesn’t strike me that the democrats have been particularly “charitable” toward Republican gaffes over the years. Think Bush, on a number of occasions, Cheney’s shotgun incident, Dan Quayle and “pototoe”, and on and on and on………..”

    Failing to show our respected officials respect, either Bush or Cheney is inexcusable for a christian. The primary identity is with Jesus and not as democrat or republican. It is a call for sincere repentence and an intent, with the help of God, to bridle one´s tongue and do better. This applies, unfortunately for some, to Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain.

    We should instead sincerely pray for them, speak well of them, put the best construction on everything, and give them respect. This is God´s perfect and good will for us. We should practice and learn to do this cheerfully in fact.

  • Don S

    Frank, obviously we need to respect our public officials in their official capacity. And you are right, we should pray for all of them, particularly that they will seek God first, and honor Him in their public service. We should pray for their souls, and that they will find true joy and salvation in Christ Jesus, or be renewed and refreshed in their relationship with Him if they are already saved. We should pray that they would have the wisdom to serve us honorably, and not to pander behind closed doors to liberal godless San Francisco elites in the pursuit of campaign money.

    I don’t think that means letting them get away with being hypocritical, or obfuscating their record when they are running for office. The voters deserve to know what a candidate truly believes, not what his spinners want the public to think he believes. It is not disrespectful to call someone out for their beliefs and to alert others so that they can vote for the candidate who will truly represent them. The campaign period is the very time that we should be critical and probing regarding all of the candidates. We are vetting our next president, for goodness sake!

  • Don S

    Frank, obviously we need to respect our public officials in their official capacity. And you are right, we should pray for all of them, particularly that they will seek God first, and honor Him in their public service. We should pray for their souls, and that they will find true joy and salvation in Christ Jesus, or be renewed and refreshed in their relationship with Him if they are already saved. We should pray that they would have the wisdom to serve us honorably, and not to pander behind closed doors to liberal godless San Francisco elites in the pursuit of campaign money.

    I don’t think that means letting them get away with being hypocritical, or obfuscating their record when they are running for office. The voters deserve to know what a candidate truly believes, not what his spinners want the public to think he believes. It is not disrespectful to call someone out for their beliefs and to alert others so that they can vote for the candidate who will truly represent them. The campaign period is the very time that we should be critical and probing regarding all of the candidates. We are vetting our next president, for goodness sake!

  • fw

    #16 don s

    “I don’t think that means letting them get away with being hypocritical, or obfuscating their record when they are running for office.”

    “defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.” Dr Luther´s Small Catechism.

    Yet Luther himself spoke out against the Pope and the Jews and “Their lies.” I am not sure he is always the best example for a christian to follow but still….

    It is most proper to combat error publicly spoken and defended. It is indeed a christian virtue and duty. Yet this must still be done reluctantly, with sadness, and in keeping with the 8th commandment.

    Sins of others should not be pointed out with any glee or even righteous anger.
    Even better advice, we should probably not speak to the shortcomings of others where we cannot readily confess to seeing those exact same shortcomings in our own selves.

    …Even when speaking to the obvious tall tails of one senator Clinton on Bosnia. I personally have been known to lie or make myself look good through a half or untruth. I temper my comments imagining that everyone also knows that I am the kettle calling the pot black.

    This would reflect the proper attitude of a christian confronting sin would it not? No “I thank God that I am not a sinner like that!” Better the sinner than the publican. I would prefer to walk away justified…..

  • fw

    #16 don s

    “I don’t think that means letting them get away with being hypocritical, or obfuscating their record when they are running for office.”

    “defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.” Dr Luther´s Small Catechism.

    Yet Luther himself spoke out against the Pope and the Jews and “Their lies.” I am not sure he is always the best example for a christian to follow but still….

    It is most proper to combat error publicly spoken and defended. It is indeed a christian virtue and duty. Yet this must still be done reluctantly, with sadness, and in keeping with the 8th commandment.

    Sins of others should not be pointed out with any glee or even righteous anger.
    Even better advice, we should probably not speak to the shortcomings of others where we cannot readily confess to seeing those exact same shortcomings in our own selves.

    …Even when speaking to the obvious tall tails of one senator Clinton on Bosnia. I personally have been known to lie or make myself look good through a half or untruth. I temper my comments imagining that everyone also knows that I am the kettle calling the pot black.

    This would reflect the proper attitude of a christian confronting sin would it not? No “I thank God that I am not a sinner like that!” Better the sinner than the publican. I would prefer to walk away justified…..

  • fw

    #16 Don S

    By the way. I repent at many of the things I have voiced to others about our President Bush. I repent that I have not prayed sincerely enough for him.

    I am fully complicit in all that I have pointed out as being wrong.

    Please encourage me to do better when you read a remark that does not reflect my better judgement as a christian.

    Call me on my s**t. Please.

  • fw

    #16 Don S

    By the way. I repent at many of the things I have voiced to others about our President Bush. I repent that I have not prayed sincerely enough for him.

    I am fully complicit in all that I have pointed out as being wrong.

    Please encourage me to do better when you read a remark that does not reflect my better judgement as a christian.

    Call me on my s**t. Please.

  • fw

    “Everyone does it” is a poor excuse to sin.

  • fw

    “Everyone does it” is a poor excuse to sin.

  • Don S

    Frank, I don’t believe it is sin to point out the inconsistencies in the positions and statements of a political candidate. It isn’t personal, and it is not even necessarily an accusation of sin. We cannot know how a candidate is going to react to a certain situation while in office, we can only predict. It is our duty during a campaign to gather and share all of the information we can about a candidate in order to ensure that our predictions are as accurate as they can be, and we can be a intelligent of a voter as we can be.

    The standard is different, of course, once a candidate has gained office. So for that reason many folks need to repent of the vitriol they have hurled at President Bush over the years, just as many different folks were as wrong to hurl vitriol and spread rumors about President Clinton.

  • Don S

    Frank, I don’t believe it is sin to point out the inconsistencies in the positions and statements of a political candidate. It isn’t personal, and it is not even necessarily an accusation of sin. We cannot know how a candidate is going to react to a certain situation while in office, we can only predict. It is our duty during a campaign to gather and share all of the information we can about a candidate in order to ensure that our predictions are as accurate as they can be, and we can be a intelligent of a voter as we can be.

    The standard is different, of course, once a candidate has gained office. So for that reason many folks need to repent of the vitriol they have hurled at President Bush over the years, just as many different folks were as wrong to hurl vitriol and spread rumors about President Clinton.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S, hey, I agree with what you wrote (@20)!

    Some points, though. Just because a candidate becomes elected to an office doesn’t mean we stop assessing what they say and do. There is nothing wrong with saying “It was wrong for us to go to war in Bosnia/Iraq.” There is something wrong with saying “Bush/Clinton is a fool/jerk/fake Christian/etc.”

    More to the point though, is the question — and the one that Frank raises here — of whether people here are merely “point[ing] out the inconsistencies in the positions and statements” of Obama.

    This is the second post tying Obama to Marx (and who knows how many commenters have done so). Is that done to put the best construction on Obama’s comments? Does Obama have a position, or has he made any statements, that he wants to lay the groundwork for the United States to eventually transition to a communist state in which the workers control the means of production? Of course not. But when we tie him to Marx, it certainly does make him sound bad.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S, hey, I agree with what you wrote (@20)!

    Some points, though. Just because a candidate becomes elected to an office doesn’t mean we stop assessing what they say and do. There is nothing wrong with saying “It was wrong for us to go to war in Bosnia/Iraq.” There is something wrong with saying “Bush/Clinton is a fool/jerk/fake Christian/etc.”

    More to the point though, is the question — and the one that Frank raises here — of whether people here are merely “point[ing] out the inconsistencies in the positions and statements” of Obama.

    This is the second post tying Obama to Marx (and who knows how many commenters have done so). Is that done to put the best construction on Obama’s comments? Does Obama have a position, or has he made any statements, that he wants to lay the groundwork for the United States to eventually transition to a communist state in which the workers control the means of production? Of course not. But when we tie him to Marx, it certainly does make him sound bad.

  • fw

    #21 #20 :))

  • fw

    #21 #20 :))

  • Don S

    Wow, thanks tODD. And, in the spirit of fair play, I also agree with what you wrote in #21. Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that I believe evaluation should stop just because a candidate gains office, though deference to and respect for the office is a duty of the citizen at that point in time. The evaluation takes a different tack though. Instead of evaluating motivations and personality of the candidate, for purposes of predicting how he/she will respond to circumstances while in office, the evaluation is directed to actual actions, policies, and statements of the office holder related to actual issues being faced. There is nothing wrong with voicing opposition to the policies and actions of the governing party, but it should be done respectfully and graciously, acknowledging that the people have spoken, and the winner has been lawfully elected.

    We haven’t had a president which all of the people of this country considered to be their president, whether or not they voted for him, since at least 1992, and that is wrong. It is up to our political leaders to lead the way in this regard — to acknowledge when a campaign is over, and to unify behind the elected president until the next campaign.

    I doubt very much that Obama is a Marxist. He is a left-wing socialist, in my opinion, and he appears to believe that there are large segments of the population that have been economically and socially oppressed. He is a redistributionist who would place a priority on redressing this oppression through government action. But there is no indication that he wants revolution or nationalization of industry, per se, except for the healthcare industry.

  • Don S

    Wow, thanks tODD. And, in the spirit of fair play, I also agree with what you wrote in #21. Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that I believe evaluation should stop just because a candidate gains office, though deference to and respect for the office is a duty of the citizen at that point in time. The evaluation takes a different tack though. Instead of evaluating motivations and personality of the candidate, for purposes of predicting how he/she will respond to circumstances while in office, the evaluation is directed to actual actions, policies, and statements of the office holder related to actual issues being faced. There is nothing wrong with voicing opposition to the policies and actions of the governing party, but it should be done respectfully and graciously, acknowledging that the people have spoken, and the winner has been lawfully elected.

    We haven’t had a president which all of the people of this country considered to be their president, whether or not they voted for him, since at least 1992, and that is wrong. It is up to our political leaders to lead the way in this regard — to acknowledge when a campaign is over, and to unify behind the elected president until the next campaign.

    I doubt very much that Obama is a Marxist. He is a left-wing socialist, in my opinion, and he appears to believe that there are large segments of the population that have been economically and socially oppressed. He is a redistributionist who would place a priority on redressing this oppression through government action. But there is no indication that he wants revolution or nationalization of industry, per se, except for the healthcare industry.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S (@23), I have yet to hear of a politician who is not a “redistributionist”. They just differ in the reasons they want to take my money and the people to whom they want to give it.

    And say what you will about Obama’s health care plan, but it pretty obviously does not involve the “nationalization” of the health care industry.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Don S (@23), I have yet to hear of a politician who is not a “redistributionist”. They just differ in the reasons they want to take my money and the people to whom they want to give it.

    And say what you will about Obama’s health care plan, but it pretty obviously does not involve the “nationalization” of the health care industry.

  • fw

    I always appreciated that my parents, ardent democrats, promptly and purposefully removed political bumper stickers immediately after an election. “The election is over, we have to accept the results.”

  • fw

    I always appreciated that my parents, ardent democrats, promptly and purposefully removed political bumper stickers immediately after an election. “The election is over, we have to accept the results.”


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