The most arrogant words ever?

Another unpacking of presidential rhetoric, this time by Michael Gerson:

“Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now,” he recently told a group of Democratic donors in Massachusetts, “and facts and science and argument [do] not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.”

Let’s unpack these remarks.

Obama clearly believes that his brand of politics represents “facts and science and argument.” His opponents, in disturbing contrast, are using the more fearful, primitive portion of their brains. Obama views himself as the neocortical leader — the defender, not just of the stimulus package and health-care reform but also of cognitive reasoning. His critics rely on their lizard brains — the location of reptilian ritual and aggression. Some, presumably Democrats, rise above their evolutionary hard-wiring in times of social stress; others, sadly, do not.

Though there is plenty of competition, these are some of the most arrogant words ever uttered by an American president.

The neocortical presidency destroys the possibility of political dialogue. What could Obama possibly learn from voters who are embittered, confused and dominated by subconscious evolutionary fears? They have nothing to teach, nothing to offer to the superior mind. Instead of engaging in debate, Obama resorts to reductionism, explaining his opponents away.

It is ironic that the great defender of “science” should be in the thrall of pseudoscience. Human beings under stress are not hard-wired for stupidity, which would be a distinct evolutionary disadvantage. The calculation of risk and a preference for proven practices are the conservative contributions to the survival of the species. Whatever neuroscience may explain about political behavior, it does not mean that the fears of massive debt and intrusive government are irrational.

via Michael Gerson – Obama the snob.

I don’t know if you can answer this question with your lizard brain, but do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?

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.

  • fws

    I think that what Obama is saying is simply this:

    Demagogues always use fear of things to manipulate the public. Fear works to get votes. Fact.

    In a down economy, fear is everywhere. And it does cloud our thinking.

    Let me put this in Lutheran theological terms now:

    “Worry (which is based on fear) is the Liturgy of an idolator in worship of their false Gods. “

  • fws

    I think that what Obama is saying is simply this:

    Demagogues always use fear of things to manipulate the public. Fear works to get votes. Fact.

    In a down economy, fear is everywhere. And it does cloud our thinking.

    Let me put this in Lutheran theological terms now:

    “Worry (which is based on fear) is the Liturgy of an idolator in worship of their false Gods. “

  • Tom Hering

    More reporting on what Obama has said at recent fundraising speeches (emphases added):

    “A lot of people ask me, they say how do you manage this – people hollering at you all the time – and that’s just the Democrats,” he quipped. Two things keep him going, he said, including letters from Americans whose problems seem to dwarf his own.

    “The other thing that gets me through is the humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,” Obama said. “That makes me confident that we will get through these times and we are going to get where we need to go.”

    Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.

  • Tom Hering

    More reporting on what Obama has said at recent fundraising speeches (emphases added):

    “A lot of people ask me, they say how do you manage this – people hollering at you all the time – and that’s just the Democrats,” he quipped. Two things keep him going, he said, including letters from Americans whose problems seem to dwarf his own.

    “The other thing that gets me through is the humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,” Obama said. “That makes me confident that we will get through these times and we are going to get where we need to go.”

    Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.

  • Carl Vehse

    … do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?

    Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.

  • Carl Vehse

    … do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?

    Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.

  • Tom Hering

    I accept your nomination, and will continue to the best of my ability. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    I accept your nomination, and will continue to the best of my ability. ;-)

  • Dave

    I read. I blinked. Several times. I turned on the heat in my office. Maybe if it’s . . .

    Reptilian brain begins engaging.

    I do think that there are some in academia and the political elite, on both sides of the aisle, who take the attitude that “I’m right and you’re stupid.” It’s my impression that those statements tend to come from the Obama administration more than from other recent administrations. This reminds me a little bit of Felix Frankfurter, the influential law professor and later Supreme Court justice, who seemed to want people to take it easy so the intelligent people, those who agreed with him, could fix their society.

    My unpacking of the compassionate statements Tom quoted? There still seems to be an implicit locus of authority. It’s the administration that will get everyone through these struggles. I’m very glad our President seems to have some compassion for those in struggles. Yet I think his idea of the locus of authority is incorrect.

    To play on what Carl said, it seems every time a candidate says he has the right plan to cure what ails us we should all be shaking in our boots. Politics is, on an important level, the art of being arrogant.

  • Dave

    I read. I blinked. Several times. I turned on the heat in my office. Maybe if it’s . . .

    Reptilian brain begins engaging.

    I do think that there are some in academia and the political elite, on both sides of the aisle, who take the attitude that “I’m right and you’re stupid.” It’s my impression that those statements tend to come from the Obama administration more than from other recent administrations. This reminds me a little bit of Felix Frankfurter, the influential law professor and later Supreme Court justice, who seemed to want people to take it easy so the intelligent people, those who agreed with him, could fix their society.

    My unpacking of the compassionate statements Tom quoted? There still seems to be an implicit locus of authority. It’s the administration that will get everyone through these struggles. I’m very glad our President seems to have some compassion for those in struggles. Yet I think his idea of the locus of authority is incorrect.

    To play on what Carl said, it seems every time a candidate says he has the right plan to cure what ails us we should all be shaking in our boots. Politics is, on an important level, the art of being arrogant.

  • fws

    Tom,

    Come on down with the coffee that you promised, and I will make you a great cup of cappuchino. Good morning!

  • fws

    Tom,

    Come on down with the coffee that you promised, and I will make you a great cup of cappuchino. Good morning!

  • fws

    Dave @ 5

    “there seems to be an implicit locus of authority…..Yet I think his idea of the locus of authority is incorrect.”

    When your body temperature equalizes sufficiently Dave, could you unpack this for me please?

    Ur….Ribbit. Eyes blink once. Rapidly.

    Tongue quicky flashes out (dang. Missed that fly. Again. No protein for bfast this day) thinking of the cappuchino he will prepare when Tom finally does the walk(or flight) and not just talks the talk.

    Thanks.

  • fws

    Dave @ 5

    “there seems to be an implicit locus of authority…..Yet I think his idea of the locus of authority is incorrect.”

    When your body temperature equalizes sufficiently Dave, could you unpack this for me please?

    Ur….Ribbit. Eyes blink once. Rapidly.

    Tongue quicky flashes out (dang. Missed that fly. Again. No protein for bfast this day) thinking of the cappuchino he will prepare when Tom finally does the walk(or flight) and not just talks the talk.

    Thanks.

  • Tom Hering

    “‘I’m right and you’re stupid.’ It’s my impression that those statements tend to come from the Obama administration more than from other recent administrations.” – Dave @ 5.

    Coming from the previous administration, it would have sounded like someone had got things backwards. :-O

    Frank, good morning. Still waiting for your shipping address.

  • Tom Hering

    “‘I’m right and you’re stupid.’ It’s my impression that those statements tend to come from the Obama administration more than from other recent administrations.” – Dave @ 5.

    Coming from the previous administration, it would have sounded like someone had got things backwards. :-O

    Frank, good morning. Still waiting for your shipping address.

  • Dave

    This is fun but I do have to go to work sometime. I agree that the Bush administration had a tendency to say, “I’m stupid and you’re right.” We can play both directions.

    My comment about the locus of authority – it strikes me that we have a fundamental attitude within many of our elected officials, particularly in the higher-ups in the Obama administration, that says the federal government is the body that will save us, that will cure all our woes. The idea of working through your problems and dealing with challenges as individuals or small communities, such as families, seems to be short-changed.

    My first appointment for the day arrived. Time’s fun when you’re having flies.

  • Dave

    This is fun but I do have to go to work sometime. I agree that the Bush administration had a tendency to say, “I’m stupid and you’re right.” We can play both directions.

    My comment about the locus of authority – it strikes me that we have a fundamental attitude within many of our elected officials, particularly in the higher-ups in the Obama administration, that says the federal government is the body that will save us, that will cure all our woes. The idea of working through your problems and dealing with challenges as individuals or small communities, such as families, seems to be short-changed.

    My first appointment for the day arrived. Time’s fun when you’re having flies.

  • http://bethanylc.org Rev. C. D. Trouten

    My favorite boast from any politician comes from a former leader of Israel . . .
    “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” — Moses (Num. 12:3)

  • http://bethanylc.org Rev. C. D. Trouten

    My favorite boast from any politician comes from a former leader of Israel . . .
    “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” — Moses (Num. 12:3)

  • Carl Vehse

    From Michelle Malkin’s Amber Alert Issued for ‘By Their Creator’, here’s another candidate statement of arrogance from… who else, Barry Soetoro:

    It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire, and said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

  • Carl Vehse

    From Michelle Malkin’s Amber Alert Issued for ‘By Their Creator’, here’s another candidate statement of arrogance from… who else, Barry Soetoro:

    It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire, and said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

  • fws

    trouten @ 10

    Ha! Moses sounds just like me and GW Bush!

  • fws

    trouten @ 10

    Ha! Moses sounds just like me and GW Bush!

  • Tom Hering

    “… it strikes me that we have a fundamental attitude within many of our elected officials, particularly in the higher-ups in the Obama administration, that says the federal government is the body that will save us, that will cure all our woes.” – Dave @ 9.

    I’ve heard this asserted repeatedly. How do you go from government trying to solve the problems a majority of voters asked it to solve, to some imagined claim on the part of government that it’s the answer to all our problems? Myself, I keep hearing Dems urging people to get organized at the local level – to make a difference in their communities and their nation. But maybe that’s just because I’m actually listening.

  • Tom Hering

    “… it strikes me that we have a fundamental attitude within many of our elected officials, particularly in the higher-ups in the Obama administration, that says the federal government is the body that will save us, that will cure all our woes.” – Dave @ 9.

    I’ve heard this asserted repeatedly. How do you go from government trying to solve the problems a majority of voters asked it to solve, to some imagined claim on the part of government that it’s the answer to all our problems? Myself, I keep hearing Dems urging people to get organized at the local level – to make a difference in their communities and their nation. But maybe that’s just because I’m actually listening.

  • Carl Vehse

    Under the subcategory of “quips of arrogance” there are the snickering leftist snorts to Sarah Palin’s speech cautioning conservatives to keep working and “not to party like it’s 1773″ (e.g., Gwen Ifill: “party like its [sic] 1773! ummm,”).

    Palin made the comment during the Tea Party Express tour speech.

  • Carl Vehse

    Under the subcategory of “quips of arrogance” there are the snickering leftist snorts to Sarah Palin’s speech cautioning conservatives to keep working and “not to party like it’s 1773″ (e.g., Gwen Ifill: “party like its [sic] 1773! ummm,”).

    Palin made the comment during the Tea Party Express tour speech.

  • SKPeterson

    There is plenty of arrogance and fear-mongering on both sides of the political aisle and the spaces in between. One question back to Obama (and to his predecessor) would be: is it fear that people have when they question the wisdom of the course of action taken by the two administrations that was just as, or even more so, done while both were in a reactionary and reflexive panic. Not fear, which may be the reasonable appraisal of risk and threat, but panic, the complete abandonment of rational thought (I’ll only note with rueful irony the idea of expecting rational thought out of D.C.).

  • SKPeterson

    There is plenty of arrogance and fear-mongering on both sides of the political aisle and the spaces in between. One question back to Obama (and to his predecessor) would be: is it fear that people have when they question the wisdom of the course of action taken by the two administrations that was just as, or even more so, done while both were in a reactionary and reflexive panic. Not fear, which may be the reasonable appraisal of risk and threat, but panic, the complete abandonment of rational thought (I’ll only note with rueful irony the idea of expecting rational thought out of D.C.).

  • Kirk

    I think it’s very important to remember that until Barrack Obama came on the scene, arrogance was unheard of amongst politicians. I mean, the assumption that you are the best person to lead a nation and the years you spend trying to convince people of the same thing in order to get into power just reeks of humility!

  • Kirk

    I think it’s very important to remember that until Barrack Obama came on the scene, arrogance was unheard of amongst politicians. I mean, the assumption that you are the best person to lead a nation and the years you spend trying to convince people of the same thing in order to get into power just reeks of humility!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    My point, which I have expressed numerous times in repeated posts, is that the Democrats are coming across as so condescending that they are alienating lots of voters, to the point of ceding populism–which used to be the Democrat’s bread and butter–to the Republicans! They could take this as helpful advice.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    My point, which I have expressed numerous times in repeated posts, is that the Democrats are coming across as so condescending that they are alienating lots of voters, to the point of ceding populism–which used to be the Democrat’s bread and butter–to the Republicans! They could take this as helpful advice.

  • Carl Vehse

    Barry Soetoro to Richard Wolffe, author of Renegade: The Making of a President (p. 102):

    “You know, I actually believe my own bull____.”

    No wonder Barry also provides a candidate phrase of arrogance: “Shovel-ready”

  • Carl Vehse

    Barry Soetoro to Richard Wolffe, author of Renegade: The Making of a President (p. 102):

    “You know, I actually believe my own bull____.”

    No wonder Barry also provides a candidate phrase of arrogance: “Shovel-ready”

  • fws

    Dr Veith,

    I believe the response to your charge, call it arrogant, is that republican criticism of Democratic policies has devolved to criticizing form (“arrogant attitude”) over substance (“science, ie observable objective facts”) .

    You are saying that this observation reflects arrogance, which is why democrats have lost their base of the “regular folk” who don´t like obama for perceptional reasons. OK.

  • fws

    Dr Veith,

    I believe the response to your charge, call it arrogant, is that republican criticism of Democratic policies has devolved to criticizing form (“arrogant attitude”) over substance (“science, ie observable objective facts”) .

    You are saying that this observation reflects arrogance, which is why democrats have lost their base of the “regular folk” who don´t like obama for perceptional reasons. OK.

  • SKPeterson

    GV @17 Would this be the same phenomena evidenced by the Reagan Democrats? It is interesting that the Party of the People has become increasingly distant and non-reflective of much of the people. Another illustrative, condescending quote, which I can only paraphrase from memory, is Obama’s quip about the bitter people in the country clinging to their God and their guns.

  • SKPeterson

    GV @17 Would this be the same phenomena evidenced by the Reagan Democrats? It is interesting that the Party of the People has become increasingly distant and non-reflective of much of the people. Another illustrative, condescending quote, which I can only paraphrase from memory, is Obama’s quip about the bitter people in the country clinging to their God and their guns.

  • Carl Vehse

    I believe the response to your charge, call it arrogant, is that republican criticism of Democratic policies has devolved to criticizing form (“arrogant attitude”) over substance (“science, ie observable objective facts”).

    Not “devolved”; instead it has expanded to include both criticizing substance and criticizing form. This thread has pointed out the example(s) of the latter.

  • Carl Vehse

    I believe the response to your charge, call it arrogant, is that republican criticism of Democratic policies has devolved to criticizing form (“arrogant attitude”) over substance (“science, ie observable objective facts”).

    Not “devolved”; instead it has expanded to include both criticizing substance and criticizing form. This thread has pointed out the example(s) of the latter.

  • Abby

    FWS @1 Can anyone count to one trillion? I heard on the radio this morning if you compare it to one second (of one minute), one trillion seconds=31,000 years. Now, our national debt is at 13 trillion under Obama. I indeed have a healthy dose of fear. Probably for several generations if we indeed don’t collapse.

  • Abby

    FWS @1 Can anyone count to one trillion? I heard on the radio this morning if you compare it to one second (of one minute), one trillion seconds=31,000 years. Now, our national debt is at 13 trillion under Obama. I indeed have a healthy dose of fear. Probably for several generations if we indeed don’t collapse.

  • Tom Hering

    In a nation as diverse as ours, who exactly are the “common people”?

    Here’s an interesting exercise. What image comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “the common people”? Where do you picture them living? What do their homes look like? What sort of clothes are they wearing? Are there any logos or slogans on their caps and shirts? And being a liberal, I will of course introduce the question: what color are they? Does the first picture that comes to your mind resemble the group of officers on the bridge of the original starship Enterprise? (Vulcans excluded :-) )

  • Tom Hering

    In a nation as diverse as ours, who exactly are the “common people”?

    Here’s an interesting exercise. What image comes to your mind when you hear the phrase “the common people”? Where do you picture them living? What do their homes look like? What sort of clothes are they wearing? Are there any logos or slogans on their caps and shirts? And being a liberal, I will of course introduce the question: what color are they? Does the first picture that comes to your mind resemble the group of officers on the bridge of the original starship Enterprise? (Vulcans excluded :-) )

  • Carl Vehse

    SKPetersen @20,

    It was during the 2008 campaign that Barry Soetoro made this prize-winning arrogant statement on his problem of winning over the working class voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest:

    “And it’s not surprising then that 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.”

    Later, Barry made this arrogant non-apology:

    “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

  • Carl Vehse

    SKPetersen @20,

    It was during the 2008 campaign that Barry Soetoro made this prize-winning arrogant statement on his problem of winning over the working class voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest:

    “And it’s not surprising then that 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.”

    Later, Barry made this arrogant non-apology:

    “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Abby @22: “Can anyone count to one trillion?”

    Don’t worry about that. Better start wearing one of these t-shirts!

  • Carl Vehse

    Abby @22: “Can anyone count to one trillion?”

    Don’t worry about that. Better start wearing one of these t-shirts!

  • http:theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Obama merely stated something that most politicians are all too well aware of – that people make less than savoury choices when driven by fear, and that therefore most political campaigns run on fear. It wasn’t to bright an idea to spell it out like that, though. Cost him some political capital. But face it, when has any politician in recent years run a campaign based on realism? They tend to run on the following:

    1. Fear.
    2. Unrealistic idealism / promises.
    3. Both of the above.

    Reminds me of the story of an election campaign years ago in some dry, rural district in South Africa. There were absolutely no major issues to milk. So, the one fellow came up with the slogan – Vote for Me, and no tax on wool. Thing is, there wasn’t any question of implementing a tax on wool. Nevermind. The local economy was based on sheep farming, so they voted for him en masse.

  • http:theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Obama merely stated something that most politicians are all too well aware of – that people make less than savoury choices when driven by fear, and that therefore most political campaigns run on fear. It wasn’t to bright an idea to spell it out like that, though. Cost him some political capital. But face it, when has any politician in recent years run a campaign based on realism? They tend to run on the following:

    1. Fear.
    2. Unrealistic idealism / promises.
    3. Both of the above.

    Reminds me of the story of an election campaign years ago in some dry, rural district in South Africa. There were absolutely no major issues to milk. So, the one fellow came up with the slogan – Vote for Me, and no tax on wool. Thing is, there wasn’t any question of implementing a tax on wool. Nevermind. The local economy was based on sheep farming, so they voted for him en masse.

  • Abby

    Carl @25 Love it :)

  • Abby

    Carl @25 Love it :)

  • kerner

    “In a nation as diverse as ours, who, exactly are the ‘common people’?” Tom Hering @ 23

    People who agree with me of course. ;)

    But seriously, we have two general philosophies in tension here.

    1) We in the government will engage in “central planning”, which means we will devise solutions for the problems of the whole country. We are so sure we will be right that we will force you to give us the money to impliment those choices. We are so smart and so good that you can trust us to make the right choices for all of you.

    2) We believe in “market forces” which leaves most of the choice making in the hands of the people, and most of the choice providing in the hands of businesses who will have to convince the people to voluntarily part with their money to impliment their choices. We have little confidence in our ability to make choices for other people.

    Which of these two philosophies most lends itself to arrogance, do you think?

  • kerner

    “In a nation as diverse as ours, who, exactly are the ‘common people’?” Tom Hering @ 23

    People who agree with me of course. ;)

    But seriously, we have two general philosophies in tension here.

    1) We in the government will engage in “central planning”, which means we will devise solutions for the problems of the whole country. We are so sure we will be right that we will force you to give us the money to impliment those choices. We are so smart and so good that you can trust us to make the right choices for all of you.

    2) We believe in “market forces” which leaves most of the choice making in the hands of the people, and most of the choice providing in the hands of businesses who will have to convince the people to voluntarily part with their money to impliment their choices. We have little confidence in our ability to make choices for other people.

    Which of these two philosophies most lends itself to arrogance, do you think?

  • SKPeterson

    Kerner @28 – I would twist your positions slightly: each philosophy will have those who are arrogant and believe they are right. Which one, though, mitigates the costs to society and effectively curbs the excess of arrogance?

    And, to our present situation – How can the arrogant holding to both philosophies forge a “consensus” on how to insure themselves from the costs of their arrogance at the expense of others and still maintain power and position?

  • SKPeterson

    Kerner @28 – I would twist your positions slightly: each philosophy will have those who are arrogant and believe they are right. Which one, though, mitigates the costs to society and effectively curbs the excess of arrogance?

    And, to our present situation – How can the arrogant holding to both philosophies forge a “consensus” on how to insure themselves from the costs of their arrogance at the expense of others and still maintain power and position?

  • mark†

    SKPeterson @29. The difference between the two positions is that one utilizes the power of the government to force compliance. I can ignore the other if I choose.

    For example, if there were a state church, say Anglican which utilized the power of the state to force my attendance and utilized my tax dollars in their support, their arrogance impacts me. In this day, I am free to ignore them if I choose.

  • mark†

    SKPeterson @29. The difference between the two positions is that one utilizes the power of the government to force compliance. I can ignore the other if I choose.

    For example, if there were a state church, say Anglican which utilized the power of the state to force my attendance and utilized my tax dollars in their support, their arrogance impacts me. In this day, I am free to ignore them if I choose.

  • WebMonk

    SKPeterson, the problem (actually there are many) is that the arrogant on both sides obviously believe they are right without any valid opposing concern, and so they have no desire nor do they see any need to forge a consensus of any sort.

    markt – you think you can ignore market forces? Well, good luck with that. Jobless, homeless, and living entirely a “self-sufficient” life is about where a person will end up of they decided to work contrary to basic economic forces.

  • WebMonk

    SKPeterson, the problem (actually there are many) is that the arrogant on both sides obviously believe they are right without any valid opposing concern, and so they have no desire nor do they see any need to forge a consensus of any sort.

    markt – you think you can ignore market forces? Well, good luck with that. Jobless, homeless, and living entirely a “self-sufficient” life is about where a person will end up of they decided to work contrary to basic economic forces.

  • CRB

    If I had the opportunity to address the President, I’d say:
    “Jesus Christ is LORD, and your are NOT!!!”

  • CRB

    If I had the opportunity to address the President, I’d say:
    “Jesus Christ is LORD, and your are NOT!!!”

  • fws

    mark @ 30 and kerner @28

    the fallacy is that there exists a political party that has even a slim chance of gaining power that is truly in favor of

    1) reduced spending
    2) eliminating all social programs such as social security and medicare

    Instead what we have here is conservatives who have drunk the republican koolaid and fantasize that the republican party is even slightly more likely to move in that direction.

    Here is really what the choices look like:

    democrats= increase taxes+spend=balanced budget
    republicans=borrow+spend+reduce taxes=heavy debt

    PLUS, as a sweetner, some republicans promise to overturn roe vs wade, escept in cases of rape and incest, which will not, of course even come close to eliminating abortions, but it rallies many who are against abortion, even tho this will merely push things down to the state level and will create fundraising opportunities in each of the 50 states and create a new battlefront that will take even longer to pursue and will be like squeezing a balloon, since then those who want to abort will merely cross a state line….

    there is NO other obvious difference.

    So in practical, real world terms, what is it exactly we are arguing about that will result in voting that will result in any practical difference?

  • fws

    mark @ 30 and kerner @28

    the fallacy is that there exists a political party that has even a slim chance of gaining power that is truly in favor of

    1) reduced spending
    2) eliminating all social programs such as social security and medicare

    Instead what we have here is conservatives who have drunk the republican koolaid and fantasize that the republican party is even slightly more likely to move in that direction.

    Here is really what the choices look like:

    democrats= increase taxes+spend=balanced budget
    republicans=borrow+spend+reduce taxes=heavy debt

    PLUS, as a sweetner, some republicans promise to overturn roe vs wade, escept in cases of rape and incest, which will not, of course even come close to eliminating abortions, but it rallies many who are against abortion, even tho this will merely push things down to the state level and will create fundraising opportunities in each of the 50 states and create a new battlefront that will take even longer to pursue and will be like squeezing a balloon, since then those who want to abort will merely cross a state line….

    there is NO other obvious difference.

    So in practical, real world terms, what is it exactly we are arguing about that will result in voting that will result in any practical difference?

  • Kirk

    @32

    That’d show him

  • Kirk

    @32

    That’d show him

  • SKPeterson

    WebMonk – I think there has been a consensus between the arroganti (if I can abuse the language so): the Wall Street bailouts. Although, this may be a manifestation of those who work in the market economy, but believe strongly in philosophy #1.

    So, mark, lets take your example: “if there were … state-[supported banks], say Goldman which utilized the power of the state to force[ably]… utilize my tax dollars in their support, their arrogance impacts me. In this day, I am [taxed] whether I choose to ignore them, or not.”

  • SKPeterson

    WebMonk – I think there has been a consensus between the arroganti (if I can abuse the language so): the Wall Street bailouts. Although, this may be a manifestation of those who work in the market economy, but believe strongly in philosophy #1.

    So, mark, lets take your example: “if there were … state-[supported banks], say Goldman which utilized the power of the state to force[ably]… utilize my tax dollars in their support, their arrogance impacts me. In this day, I am [taxed] whether I choose to ignore them, or not.”

  • John C

    Perhaps I can defend the President and matters neocortical by quoting Glen Beck.

    ‘I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that is ridiculous’ I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half person yet. Did evolution just stop? There is no other species that is developing into half human yet.’ http://www.washingtonmonthly.com

    In this instance, Beck is using the more fearful, primitive portion of his brain and it’s an argument difficult to refute.

  • John C

    Perhaps I can defend the President and matters neocortical by quoting Glen Beck.

    ‘I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that is ridiculous’ I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half person yet. Did evolution just stop? There is no other species that is developing into half human yet.’ http://www.washingtonmonthly.com

    In this instance, Beck is using the more fearful, primitive portion of his brain and it’s an argument difficult to refute.

  • WebMonk

    No, John C, Beck is just using the stupid part of his brain. Even hard-core YEC groups like AiG don’t use that sort of reasoning. (and rightly so because they recognize it’s extremely dumb)

  • WebMonk

    No, John C, Beck is just using the stupid part of his brain. Even hard-core YEC groups like AiG don’t use that sort of reasoning. (and rightly so because they recognize it’s extremely dumb)

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

    Personally, I think the more arrogant comment by Obama is in the same paragraph, where he assumes that science is on his side. So to deny the basic principles of supply and demand in his health insurance deform bill (by arguing that requiring more coverage will lower premiums) is “science”?

    I’d hate to see what he thinks qualifies as astrology or alchemy, if he thinks that kind of thing is “science”.

    Regarding the comments that Tom suggested we unpack; well, first of all, why start with the accusation that conservatives won’t try when you’ve not given them a chance? Let’s think a little bit here, OK?

    But to the comments, it’s interesting he is painting himself as some sort of martyr held together, effectively, by the letters (let’s call them “prayers”) of the saints, his constituency. He’s not really saying “I’m doing this because it’s right,” but is rather (as he too often did during his campaign) painting himself with themes that rightly belong to Another.

    Yeah, I’d call that “arrogant,” and it makes his comment about “scared stupid” seem like a minor deal in comparison, just like his temple to himself in Denver.

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

    Personally, I think the more arrogant comment by Obama is in the same paragraph, where he assumes that science is on his side. So to deny the basic principles of supply and demand in his health insurance deform bill (by arguing that requiring more coverage will lower premiums) is “science”?

    I’d hate to see what he thinks qualifies as astrology or alchemy, if he thinks that kind of thing is “science”.

    Regarding the comments that Tom suggested we unpack; well, first of all, why start with the accusation that conservatives won’t try when you’ve not given them a chance? Let’s think a little bit here, OK?

    But to the comments, it’s interesting he is painting himself as some sort of martyr held together, effectively, by the letters (let’s call them “prayers”) of the saints, his constituency. He’s not really saying “I’m doing this because it’s right,” but is rather (as he too often did during his campaign) painting himself with themes that rightly belong to Another.

    Yeah, I’d call that “arrogant,” and it makes his comment about “scared stupid” seem like a minor deal in comparison, just like his temple to himself in Denver.

  • mark†

    SKPeterson@34. Good point. Maybe it would have been best to allow the market’s solution, they fail.

  • mark†

    SKPeterson@34. Good point. Maybe it would have been best to allow the market’s solution, they fail.

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

    John, you would have to argue that Beck is fearful to complete that argument and defend Mr. Obama, and you’ve not–and won’t, at least not in any meaningful way.

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

    John, you would have to argue that Beck is fearful to complete that argument and defend Mr. Obama, and you’ve not–and won’t, at least not in any meaningful way.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I find the partisan nature of this pretty boring. Of course “conservatives” will agree that Obama’s are the “most arrogant words ever”. Many of them probably don’t even need to know what the words are to answer that question. So let’s just get it out of the way that “conservatives” don’t like Obama. Okay. Moving on.

    Are people really arguing with the premise that “we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared”? Or the follow-on premise that “the country is scared” right now?

    Have you ever seen a crowd stampede? How do people act when the market takes a nose-dive? Try putting a person who’s scared of wasps in a closed room with one. And then tell me that people do some of their best thinking when they’re scared. It’s like Gerson hasn’t actually met a human.

    Has he already forgotten the completely unwarranted kerfuffle over the “Ground Zero mosque”? Heck yes, that was fear-driven! Maybe not all of it, but plenty of it. The Muslims are building a victory monument! They’re signalling their conquest! Soon we’ll have sharia law! Woman, might as well buy your burkas now! Utter fear-mongering. Don’t tell me there was nothing irrational to it. I had conversations with women who are truly scared of sharia law in the U.S.

    And I’d like to address this gem of a statement:

    It is ironic that the great defender of “science” should be in the thrall of pseudoscience. Human beings under stress are not hard-wired for stupidity, which would be a distinct evolutionary disadvantage.

    I see. So Gerson is attacking Obama’s “pseudoscience” with … pseudoscience of his own? I mean, does Gerson think that humans don’t have any bad qualities? Because, you know, bad qualities would be “a distinct evolutionary disadvantage”.

    Our fear reactions are helpful for many things, but “good reasoning” (i.e. higher order thinking) is not one of them. When people are scared, they can make some really poor choices. Is this really a surprising thing to say?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I find the partisan nature of this pretty boring. Of course “conservatives” will agree that Obama’s are the “most arrogant words ever”. Many of them probably don’t even need to know what the words are to answer that question. So let’s just get it out of the way that “conservatives” don’t like Obama. Okay. Moving on.

    Are people really arguing with the premise that “we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared”? Or the follow-on premise that “the country is scared” right now?

    Have you ever seen a crowd stampede? How do people act when the market takes a nose-dive? Try putting a person who’s scared of wasps in a closed room with one. And then tell me that people do some of their best thinking when they’re scared. It’s like Gerson hasn’t actually met a human.

    Has he already forgotten the completely unwarranted kerfuffle over the “Ground Zero mosque”? Heck yes, that was fear-driven! Maybe not all of it, but plenty of it. The Muslims are building a victory monument! They’re signalling their conquest! Soon we’ll have sharia law! Woman, might as well buy your burkas now! Utter fear-mongering. Don’t tell me there was nothing irrational to it. I had conversations with women who are truly scared of sharia law in the U.S.

    And I’d like to address this gem of a statement:

    It is ironic that the great defender of “science” should be in the thrall of pseudoscience. Human beings under stress are not hard-wired for stupidity, which would be a distinct evolutionary disadvantage.

    I see. So Gerson is attacking Obama’s “pseudoscience” with … pseudoscience of his own? I mean, does Gerson think that humans don’t have any bad qualities? Because, you know, bad qualities would be “a distinct evolutionary disadvantage”.

    Our fear reactions are helpful for many things, but “good reasoning” (i.e. higher order thinking) is not one of them. When people are scared, they can make some really poor choices. Is this really a surprising thing to say?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and it continues to astound me how Veith is able to — somehow — scrape up these anti-Obama tirades in the mainstream media, given its commitment to liberal obeisance.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, and it continues to astound me how Veith is able to — somehow — scrape up these anti-Obama tirades in the mainstream media, given its commitment to liberal obeisance.

  • Carl Vehse

    Another category of arrogant statements is arrogant signs. As expected, Barry wins this hands (or thumbs) down with his 2008 campaign arrogant imitation presidential seal.

  • Carl Vehse

    Another category of arrogant statements is arrogant signs. As expected, Barry wins this hands (or thumbs) down with his 2008 campaign arrogant imitation presidential seal.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@42), are you talking to anybody, or is this just a place where you store your bookmarks?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl (@42), are you talking to anybody, or is this just a place where you store your bookmarks?

  • CRB

    We are headed for an Obama nation! Can’t help but think of
    that passage in Matthew 24:15

  • CRB

    We are headed for an Obama nation! Can’t help but think of
    that passage in Matthew 24:15

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@44), so you think … that Washington, D.C. … is … “the holy place”?

    I believe the reader has not understood.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CRB (@44), so you think … that Washington, D.C. … is … “the holy place”?

    I believe the reader has not understood.

  • Carl Vehse

    … do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?

    Tom @2 has some competition:

    Carl (@42), are you talking to anybody, or is this just a place where you store your bookmarks?

  • Carl Vehse

    … do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?

    Tom @2 has some competition:

    Carl (@42), are you talking to anybody, or is this just a place where you store your bookmarks?

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

    tODD, you’re correct inasmuch you discuss the fight or flight response, but incorrect in suggesting that conservatives will automatically call a liberal arrogant. For example, I call Clinton a liar and Carter incompetent, but I never thought of either one (and I’m old enough to remember both) as particularly arrogant, at least inasmuch as politicians are concerned. Obama, on the other hand, from his campaign logos to his temple to himself in Denver, just exudes “irrational self-esteem,” to put it politely.

    Regarding the MSM; yes, the MSM do have some conservative columnists. However, the complaint is not about editorial content, but rather what’s written when the author is NOT supposed to be inserting his own views. Does anyone remember anyone (outside conservative commentators) calling Obama on his “57 states” gaffe, for example?

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

    tODD, you’re correct inasmuch you discuss the fight or flight response, but incorrect in suggesting that conservatives will automatically call a liberal arrogant. For example, I call Clinton a liar and Carter incompetent, but I never thought of either one (and I’m old enough to remember both) as particularly arrogant, at least inasmuch as politicians are concerned. Obama, on the other hand, from his campaign logos to his temple to himself in Denver, just exudes “irrational self-esteem,” to put it politely.

    Regarding the MSM; yes, the MSM do have some conservative columnists. However, the complaint is not about editorial content, but rather what’s written when the author is NOT supposed to be inserting his own views. Does anyone remember anyone (outside conservative commentators) calling Obama on his “57 states” gaffe, for example?

  • CRB

    tODD,
    Nope, just the term brings to mind the MT. passage.
    “Obama nation” & “Abomination”

  • CRB

    tODD,
    Nope, just the term brings to mind the MT. passage.
    “Obama nation” & “Abomination”

  • CRB

    Bike Bubba,

    This reminds me of a comment I’ve made to my wife:
    “Obama should be the poster boy for narcissism”

  • CRB

    Bike Bubba,

    This reminds me of a comment I’ve made to my wife:
    “Obama should be the poster boy for narcissism”

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    CRB@48 – you know better than that.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    CRB@48 – you know better than that.

  • CRB

    Louis,
    Right!

  • CRB

    Louis,
    Right!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@47) replied that I was “incorrect in suggesting that conservatives will automatically call a liberal arrogant.” If you read my comment, you’ll note I didn’t say that. What I said was, “Of course ‘conservatives’ will agree that Obama’s are the ‘most arrogant words ever’.” Because that’s the meme among “conservatives”. Obama = arrogant (and incompetent). Gore = liar (and wooden). Clinton = liar. And so on.
    According to this (less-than-charitable, as if I had to point that out) line of thinking, everything these Presidents (or candidates) do is interpreted in light of this framework. As you demonstrate yourself, with your allusion to Obama’s “temple to himself in Denver”. If that were really arrogant, you’d also call out Bush’s similar “temple” from his 2004 campaign. But that doesn’t fit into the prescribed framework, so Bush gets off without comment, while it’s just another tick in the “arrogant” column for Obama.

    “Does anyone remember anyone (outside conservative commentators) calling Obama on his ’57 states’ gaffe, for example?” Do “conservatives” ever do any research before they make claims about what the media didn’t cover? I’m just wondering. From the May 10, 2008 Oregonian:

    Obama also showed his fatigue. He told the crowd at Vernier that he had visited “57 states” during his campaign and talked about balancing the federal budget by the second year of his administration. He later told The Oregonian he meant to say he’d balance it “within two terms.”

    You can use Google News (or, better yet, LexisNexis, which I don’t think I have access to) just as well as I can to find other examples. Of course, that reference won’t satisfy you — such evidence almost never does — because you think the remark depicts something much more sinister than a mere fatigue-induced slip-up (instead of saying 47, as his math made clear was what he meant). The “57 state” remark should have been front-page news, am I right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bubba (@47) replied that I was “incorrect in suggesting that conservatives will automatically call a liberal arrogant.” If you read my comment, you’ll note I didn’t say that. What I said was, “Of course ‘conservatives’ will agree that Obama’s are the ‘most arrogant words ever’.” Because that’s the meme among “conservatives”. Obama = arrogant (and incompetent). Gore = liar (and wooden). Clinton = liar. And so on.
    According to this (less-than-charitable, as if I had to point that out) line of thinking, everything these Presidents (or candidates) do is interpreted in light of this framework. As you demonstrate yourself, with your allusion to Obama’s “temple to himself in Denver”. If that were really arrogant, you’d also call out Bush’s similar “temple” from his 2004 campaign. But that doesn’t fit into the prescribed framework, so Bush gets off without comment, while it’s just another tick in the “arrogant” column for Obama.

    “Does anyone remember anyone (outside conservative commentators) calling Obama on his ’57 states’ gaffe, for example?” Do “conservatives” ever do any research before they make claims about what the media didn’t cover? I’m just wondering. From the May 10, 2008 Oregonian:

    Obama also showed his fatigue. He told the crowd at Vernier that he had visited “57 states” during his campaign and talked about balancing the federal budget by the second year of his administration. He later told The Oregonian he meant to say he’d balance it “within two terms.”

    You can use Google News (or, better yet, LexisNexis, which I don’t think I have access to) just as well as I can to find other examples. Of course, that reference won’t satisfy you — such evidence almost never does — because you think the remark depicts something much more sinister than a mere fatigue-induced slip-up (instead of saying 47, as his math made clear was what he meant). The “57 state” remark should have been front-page news, am I right?

  • kerner

    The reason why I find the “central planning” position to be more prone to arrogance is that you have to be especially arrogant to believe that you are so wise and good as to be able to make all these decisions to guide other people’s lives (in our case, 300M people’s lives) in a benevolent and competent manner. That, to me, is such a whole new level of arrogance that it goes beyond any of the arrogance found in the free market position. This is not to say that the free market position is not subject to being more prone to other sins. It is only to say that a willingness to say that “I” am the all wise and benevolent planner for the nation, if only they could see how wise and good I am, is arrogance personified. Turning decision making over to 300M people to do for themselves is not.

  • kerner

    The reason why I find the “central planning” position to be more prone to arrogance is that you have to be especially arrogant to believe that you are so wise and good as to be able to make all these decisions to guide other people’s lives (in our case, 300M people’s lives) in a benevolent and competent manner. That, to me, is such a whole new level of arrogance that it goes beyond any of the arrogance found in the free market position. This is not to say that the free market position is not subject to being more prone to other sins. It is only to say that a willingness to say that “I” am the all wise and benevolent planner for the nation, if only they could see how wise and good I am, is arrogance personified. Turning decision making over to 300M people to do for themselves is not.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@53), is it me, or do we 300M people still get to elect those advocating “central planning”? And is it me, or do corporations also have individual people as their heads?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@53), is it me, or do we 300M people still get to elect those advocating “central planning”? And is it me, or do corporations also have individual people as their heads?

  • Carl Vehse

    Candidate arrogant statements? For Barry, they’re shovel-ready:

    “…I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

    “I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.”

    “I can no more disown (Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

    “The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…”

    “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

    “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest…”

    “…the Cambridge police acted stupidly…”

    “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Candidate arrogant statements? For Barry, they’re shovel-ready:

    “…I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

    “I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying.”

    “I can no more disown (Jeremiah Wright) than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

    “The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…”

    “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

    “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest…”

    “…the Cambridge police acted stupidly…”

    “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

  • CRB

    Here is a very insightful article: (not specifically about arrogance,
    but a cogent commentary on the man in the White House):

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson100210.html

  • CRB

    Here is a very insightful article: (not specifically about arrogance,
    but a cogent commentary on the man in the White House):

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson100210.html

  • Dust

    a few of the most important differences between a corporation and a government:

    1. the sphere of influence is much more focused in a corp.
    2. a corporation does not have a police and judicial system to force compliance
    3. a corporation is not a democracy like ours. the more shares you have the more votes you get.

    nothing wrong with central planning, a family does that afterall, but it should be limited as described in the constitution. if the 300M folks don’t like the constitution, they can change it….and they may elect folks and give them the power to do all the central planning for them.

    on the other hand, if the 300M (or really a simple majority of those showing up at the polls) want to elect folks to scale back the scope or sphere of the central planners, that is a right given to them also, at least for now.

  • Dust

    a few of the most important differences between a corporation and a government:

    1. the sphere of influence is much more focused in a corp.
    2. a corporation does not have a police and judicial system to force compliance
    3. a corporation is not a democracy like ours. the more shares you have the more votes you get.

    nothing wrong with central planning, a family does that afterall, but it should be limited as described in the constitution. if the 300M folks don’t like the constitution, they can change it….and they may elect folks and give them the power to do all the central planning for them.

    on the other hand, if the 300M (or really a simple majority of those showing up at the polls) want to elect folks to scale back the scope or sphere of the central planners, that is a right given to them also, at least for now.

  • kerner

    tODD @54:

    It’s you. ;)

    Just KIDDING!

    Seriously, of course we 300M have the right to elect somene arrogant enough to believe he is good and wise enough to micromanage our lives rom afar better than we ourselves could.

    And yes, corporations have arrogant people as their heads. But as long as they have to convince me to (for example) to keep on using internet explorer when Google Chrome is available to me, they have to curb their arrogance a little bit to get me to close the deal, as do the Google people, or the Opera people, or the Firefox people, etc.

    But it becomes the ultimate in arrogance when one of them says, “I am so good and wise that I should decide on the web browser for for every single person in America and I will impose legal penalties on those who don’t want to use it; no contrary choices allowed. And anyone who thinks that having me make all your decisions for you is an invitation to corruption is just bitter and frustrated.”

  • kerner

    tODD @54:

    It’s you. ;)

    Just KIDDING!

    Seriously, of course we 300M have the right to elect somene arrogant enough to believe he is good and wise enough to micromanage our lives rom afar better than we ourselves could.

    And yes, corporations have arrogant people as their heads. But as long as they have to convince me to (for example) to keep on using internet explorer when Google Chrome is available to me, they have to curb their arrogance a little bit to get me to close the deal, as do the Google people, or the Opera people, or the Firefox people, etc.

    But it becomes the ultimate in arrogance when one of them says, “I am so good and wise that I should decide on the web browser for for every single person in America and I will impose legal penalties on those who don’t want to use it; no contrary choices allowed. And anyone who thinks that having me make all your decisions for you is an invitation to corruption is just bitter and frustrated.”

  • Dust

    thanks Kerner above….add another to my list:

    4. the government is a monopoly

  • Dust

    thanks Kerner above….add another to my list:

    4. the government is a monopoly

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@58), you do remember how the “free market” worked out at one point with regard to browsers, right? The corporation with a near-monopoly on operating systems made contract with nearly every major computer manufacturer to ensure that (1) they would pre-install their OS on said computers and that (2) their browser would have prominent placement on the desktop. They they allowed their browser technology to stagnate.

    People can talk about how the free market worked and Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are proof of that, but let’s not forget how the government stepped in to stop monopolistic actions, allowing those alternative browsers to compete on a more even playing field. Okay, yes, the actual settlement of the lawsuit in question was a slap on the wrist, but things changed after that, all the same.

    I’m just saying, that when corporations reach the monopoly stage (or close enough — and many of them would like to do just that), all your arguments about the free market end. And only the arrogant government can stop that from happening. Which it does. I’m glad.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@58), you do remember how the “free market” worked out at one point with regard to browsers, right? The corporation with a near-monopoly on operating systems made contract with nearly every major computer manufacturer to ensure that (1) they would pre-install their OS on said computers and that (2) their browser would have prominent placement on the desktop. They they allowed their browser technology to stagnate.

    People can talk about how the free market worked and Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are proof of that, but let’s not forget how the government stepped in to stop monopolistic actions, allowing those alternative browsers to compete on a more even playing field. Okay, yes, the actual settlement of the lawsuit in question was a slap on the wrist, but things changed after that, all the same.

    I’m just saying, that when corporations reach the monopoly stage (or close enough — and many of them would like to do just that), all your arguments about the free market end. And only the arrogant government can stop that from happening. Which it does. I’m glad.

  • kerner

    oh yeah. While the arrogance component all this is the desire to make everyone’s decisions, the corruption component develops when the Microsoft people (just as an example, not really) contribute heavily to the all good all wise one’s campaign, and (SURPRISE!!!) Internet Explorer turns out to be the choice the all good all wise decider decides upon. For everybody…too bad if you don’t like it.

    This is how we will get the very worst of both worlds. When access to the market (where people with money to spend might choose to spend it on your company) is limited to those chosen by the all good all wise government, businesses (usually big businesses) will do whatever it takes to gain the favor of the all good all wise ones.

    WHAT!!!! Am I suggesting that the all good all wise decision makers for us all might make decisions based on personal gain rather than their goodness and wisdom? How dare I!!! Surely I am just a bitter frustrated person cherishing my religion and guns to suspect such a thing about the all good all wise decision makers that have only my own good at heart.

    The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest. For politicians to actually BELIEVE they are all good and all wise and not in it for themselves, well, yeah, that is arrogance to the Nth degree.

  • kerner

    oh yeah. While the arrogance component all this is the desire to make everyone’s decisions, the corruption component develops when the Microsoft people (just as an example, not really) contribute heavily to the all good all wise one’s campaign, and (SURPRISE!!!) Internet Explorer turns out to be the choice the all good all wise decider decides upon. For everybody…too bad if you don’t like it.

    This is how we will get the very worst of both worlds. When access to the market (where people with money to spend might choose to spend it on your company) is limited to those chosen by the all good all wise government, businesses (usually big businesses) will do whatever it takes to gain the favor of the all good all wise ones.

    WHAT!!!! Am I suggesting that the all good all wise decision makers for us all might make decisions based on personal gain rather than their goodness and wisdom? How dare I!!! Surely I am just a bitter frustrated person cherishing my religion and guns to suspect such a thing about the all good all wise decision makers that have only my own good at heart.

    The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest. For politicians to actually BELIEVE they are all good and all wise and not in it for themselves, well, yeah, that is arrogance to the Nth degree.

  • trotk

    tODD -

    You are no doubt right about the conservative tendency to call Obama arrogant, and not hold “conservative” leaders like Bush to the same standard. This is evidenced here and now by Carl.

    But this statement is arrogant, inasmuch as Obama insinuates that people who disagree with him don’t have “facts and science and argument” on their side. This is clear from the first phrase about “our politics”. Spoken to Democrats, it would be a stretch to imagine that he meant “American politics” rather than “Democratic/Progressive politics”.

    I appreciate your voice, because it is far more refreshing than the tone of anger and condescension that a couple of the conservatives who speak on this blog use incessantly.

    But, without worrying about who else gets this label, Obama exudes arrogance. Certainly others deserve to have that said of them, but it doesn’t make it any less true of him.

  • trotk

    tODD -

    You are no doubt right about the conservative tendency to call Obama arrogant, and not hold “conservative” leaders like Bush to the same standard. This is evidenced here and now by Carl.

    But this statement is arrogant, inasmuch as Obama insinuates that people who disagree with him don’t have “facts and science and argument” on their side. This is clear from the first phrase about “our politics”. Spoken to Democrats, it would be a stretch to imagine that he meant “American politics” rather than “Democratic/Progressive politics”.

    I appreciate your voice, because it is far more refreshing than the tone of anger and condescension that a couple of the conservatives who speak on this blog use incessantly.

    But, without worrying about who else gets this label, Obama exudes arrogance. Certainly others deserve to have that said of them, but it doesn’t make it any less true of him.

  • kerner

    AARRGHH! tODD, might it be that you actually have me on antitrust law?

    Well, maybe you do. We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coersion to invade the free market system. A market isn’t really “free” when it is influenced by liars and bullies. So, point taken.

  • kerner

    AARRGHH! tODD, might it be that you actually have me on antitrust law?

    Well, maybe you do. We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coersion to invade the free market system. A market isn’t really “free” when it is influenced by liars and bullies. So, point taken.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@61, 63), here’s a good example of why you should tell people what comment number you’re replying to. Am I to understand by your “AARRGHH!” (@63) that your previous comment (@61) was written before you’d read my previous comment (@60)? That’s how it seems to me — and the timestamps make that plausible. But I’m confused about what you’re responding to, regardless.

    Anyhow, I doubt we disagree majorly about many of your points. Sure, man’s sinful nature means that everyone — politicians, CEOs, those in private or public employ — will mainly only be nice, helpful, or good to you if there’s something in it for them.

    “The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest.” Yeah, but corporations, like politicians, both tell you that they’re in it for your good — and no doubt many in both camps even believe it. Not that we can tell the difference between what Obama/Microsoft say and what they truly believe. But I don’t understand your standard here. People are bad. That’s my point.

    “We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coercion to invade the free market system.” Well, legitimate for you and me, sure, though I suspect not a few “conservatives” — even some folks reading this comment right now — would disagree with us about the legitimacy of anti-trust or anti-fraud legislation.

    For my part, the best system is one in which people’s sinful interests are pitted against each other. Which is why I favor a checks-and-balances republic over either socialism or libertarianism. And I favor both a healthy market — though one that is not totally free, but constrained by the selfish interests of politicians, etc.

    I think we agree on all that. It’s just, you know, a matter of hammering out details. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@61, 63), here’s a good example of why you should tell people what comment number you’re replying to. Am I to understand by your “AARRGHH!” (@63) that your previous comment (@61) was written before you’d read my previous comment (@60)? That’s how it seems to me — and the timestamps make that plausible. But I’m confused about what you’re responding to, regardless.

    Anyhow, I doubt we disagree majorly about many of your points. Sure, man’s sinful nature means that everyone — politicians, CEOs, those in private or public employ — will mainly only be nice, helpful, or good to you if there’s something in it for them.

    “The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest.” Yeah, but corporations, like politicians, both tell you that they’re in it for your good — and no doubt many in both camps even believe it. Not that we can tell the difference between what Obama/Microsoft say and what they truly believe. But I don’t understand your standard here. People are bad. That’s my point.

    “We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coercion to invade the free market system.” Well, legitimate for you and me, sure, though I suspect not a few “conservatives” — even some folks reading this comment right now — would disagree with us about the legitimacy of anti-trust or anti-fraud legislation.

    For my part, the best system is one in which people’s sinful interests are pitted against each other. Which is why I favor a checks-and-balances republic over either socialism or libertarianism. And I favor both a healthy market — though one that is not totally free, but constrained by the selfish interests of politicians, etc.

    I think we agree on all that. It’s just, you know, a matter of hammering out details. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@61, 63), here’s a good example of why you should tell people what comment number you’re replying to. Am I to understand by your “AARRGHH!” (@63) that your previous comment (@61) was written before you’d read my previous comment (@60)? That’s how it seems to me — and the timestamps make that plausible. But I’m confused about what you’re responding to, regardless.

    Anyhow, I doubt we disagree majorly about many of your points. Sure, man’s sinful nature means that everyone — politicians, CEOs, those in private or public employ — will mainly only be nice, helpful, or good to you if there’s something in it for them.

    “The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest.” Yeah, but corporations, like politicians, both tell you that they’re in it for your good — and no doubt many in both camps even believe it. Not that we can tell the difference between what Obama/Microsoft say and what they truly believe. But I don’t understand your standard here. People are bad. That’s my point.

    “We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coercion to invade the free market system.” Well, legitimate for you and me, sure, though I suspect not a few “conservatives” — even some folks reading this comment right now — would disagree with us about the legitimacy of anti-trust or anti-fraud legislation.

    For my part, the best system is one in which people’s sinful interests are pitted against each other. Which is why I favor a checks-and-balances republic over either soci@lism or libertarianism. And I favor both a healthy market — though one that is not totally free, but constrained by the selfish interests of politicians, etc.

    I think we agree on all that. It’s just, you know, a matter of hammering out details. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@61, 63), here’s a good example of why you should tell people what comment number you’re replying to. Am I to understand by your “AARRGHH!” (@63) that your previous comment (@61) was written before you’d read my previous comment (@60)? That’s how it seems to me — and the timestamps make that plausible. But I’m confused about what you’re responding to, regardless.

    Anyhow, I doubt we disagree majorly about many of your points. Sure, man’s sinful nature means that everyone — politicians, CEOs, those in private or public employ — will mainly only be nice, helpful, or good to you if there’s something in it for them.

    “The thing is, with businesses, I KNOW they are in business for themselves. But for politicians to pretend otherwise is dishonest.” Yeah, but corporations, like politicians, both tell you that they’re in it for your good — and no doubt many in both camps even believe it. Not that we can tell the difference between what Obama/Microsoft say and what they truly believe. But I don’t understand your standard here. People are bad. That’s my point.

    “We’re getting into the legitimate functions of government, which include preventing fraud, dishonesty, and coercion to invade the free market system.” Well, legitimate for you and me, sure, though I suspect not a few “conservatives” — even some folks reading this comment right now — would disagree with us about the legitimacy of anti-trust or anti-fraud legislation.

    For my part, the best system is one in which people’s sinful interests are pitted against each other. Which is why I favor a checks-and-balances republic over either soci@lism or libertarianism. And I favor both a healthy market — though one that is not totally free, but constrained by the selfish interests of politicians, etc.

    I think we agree on all that. It’s just, you know, a matter of hammering out details. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TrotK (@62), I have yet to see anyone present the full context of this quote, so I don’t know how anyone can say what it meant in light of that. The longest quote I could find are these four paragraphs from USA Today.

    You say that “Spoken to Democrats, it would be a stretch to imagine that he meant ‘American politics’ rather than ‘Democratic/Progressive politics’,” but if you look at that context, the words “our” and “we” do appear to refer only to the Democrats he was addressing. Not that I’m sure why that matters.

    But I’m going to go further out on a limb here and say that, while I understand why people would react to this quote as if it were surely arrogant, I’m not sure that it necessarily is. Here’s my thinking.

    As a Lutheran, I’m quite used to saying that I think non-Lutherans (and not a few would-be “Lutherans”) are wrong. I wouldn’t say they’re not Christians. I wouldn’t say they’re not intelligent. I wouldn’t say they’re not nice. I might think the best of them. And yet I’d be comfortable saying they’re, nonetheless, wrong. Because I believe in Truth. Now, many in this postmodern world do not believe in Truth, and so find anyone claiming to have the Truth to be nothing but pure hubris: “The only truth is there is no Truth!” But I cling to my guns. After all, if I believed that what I believe were wrong, I wouldn’t believe it, right?

    Now, it’s a bit of a stretch to transfer that argument from Scriptural truths to politics. (Insert your cynicism here. I would.) But what if the immediate context of this quote (before or after what USA Today cited) were, say, global warming? Say what you will about it, but the nature of the topic does require “facts and science”. Now, I fully understand that many — many here, especially — disagree strongly about those facts, about the science. That doesn’t mean there aren’t facts. So let’s say that Obama, et al., are convinced by the facts and the science (as presented by mainstream scientific organizations) and think that they know what’s what, and are trying to get people to act based on those facts and science. But they’re not. Would it be “arrogant” for Obama to believe — to say — that he has the facts on his side? Would it be inaccurate, even, to say that many who do not believe in global warming use tactics of fear (oh, say, believing it’s all a one-world-government conspiracy)? Is it “arrogant” to frame things that way?

    Because if so, I’ll stick with the arrogant folks (this will come as a shock to practically no one :) ). Because I think that on the opposite side, those who are wringing their hands about all this “arrogance”, lies postmodern relativism.

    At least, that’s what I’m picking up here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    TrotK (@62), I have yet to see anyone present the full context of this quote, so I don’t know how anyone can say what it meant in light of that. The longest quote I could find are these four paragraphs from USA Today.

    You say that “Spoken to Democrats, it would be a stretch to imagine that he meant ‘American politics’ rather than ‘Democratic/Progressive politics’,” but if you look at that context, the words “our” and “we” do appear to refer only to the Democrats he was addressing. Not that I’m sure why that matters.

    But I’m going to go further out on a limb here and say that, while I understand why people would react to this quote as if it were surely arrogant, I’m not sure that it necessarily is. Here’s my thinking.

    As a Lutheran, I’m quite used to saying that I think non-Lutherans (and not a few would-be “Lutherans”) are wrong. I wouldn’t say they’re not Christians. I wouldn’t say they’re not intelligent. I wouldn’t say they’re not nice. I might think the best of them. And yet I’d be comfortable saying they’re, nonetheless, wrong. Because I believe in Truth. Now, many in this postmodern world do not believe in Truth, and so find anyone claiming to have the Truth to be nothing but pure hubris: “The only truth is there is no Truth!” But I cling to my guns. After all, if I believed that what I believe were wrong, I wouldn’t believe it, right?

    Now, it’s a bit of a stretch to transfer that argument from Scriptural truths to politics. (Insert your cynicism here. I would.) But what if the immediate context of this quote (before or after what USA Today cited) were, say, global warming? Say what you will about it, but the nature of the topic does require “facts and science”. Now, I fully understand that many — many here, especially — disagree strongly about those facts, about the science. That doesn’t mean there aren’t facts. So let’s say that Obama, et al., are convinced by the facts and the science (as presented by mainstream scientific organizations) and think that they know what’s what, and are trying to get people to act based on those facts and science. But they’re not. Would it be “arrogant” for Obama to believe — to say — that he has the facts on his side? Would it be inaccurate, even, to say that many who do not believe in global warming use tactics of fear (oh, say, believing it’s all a one-world-government conspiracy)? Is it “arrogant” to frame things that way?

    Because if so, I’ll stick with the arrogant folks (this will come as a shock to practically no one :) ). Because I think that on the opposite side, those who are wringing their hands about all this “arrogance”, lies postmodern relativism.

    At least, that’s what I’m picking up here.

  • trotk

    I don’t disagree with you about the supposed arrogance of claiming that one is right. I fully agree with you on that. I can’t stand the relativist stance.

    However, what Obama seems to do is, when in a comfortable setting of people who agree with him, basically say that those who disagree with him are fools who don’t know what he knows. This statement is evidence, as is the infamous one about guns and religion. The implied, “There is something wrong with those people and they know nothing,” is where the charge of arrogance sticks.

    I believe in Truth, and I believe in proclaiming it. But treating those who disagree with this little tact and humility is ugly. Especially in a president, just as it is in a pastor (to also use the church to help understand politics). What I want to be, and what I would love to see a president be, is a patient persuader who reveals Truth. Obama, instead, seems to be someone who uses private parties to mock those who don’t agree with him by claiming that they just don’t get it, and the implication is that they don’t know or value facts or science or objective truth.

    Of course we all fall prey to this trap. But it is still arrogant.

  • trotk

    I don’t disagree with you about the supposed arrogance of claiming that one is right. I fully agree with you on that. I can’t stand the relativist stance.

    However, what Obama seems to do is, when in a comfortable setting of people who agree with him, basically say that those who disagree with him are fools who don’t know what he knows. This statement is evidence, as is the infamous one about guns and religion. The implied, “There is something wrong with those people and they know nothing,” is where the charge of arrogance sticks.

    I believe in Truth, and I believe in proclaiming it. But treating those who disagree with this little tact and humility is ugly. Especially in a president, just as it is in a pastor (to also use the church to help understand politics). What I want to be, and what I would love to see a president be, is a patient persuader who reveals Truth. Obama, instead, seems to be someone who uses private parties to mock those who don’t agree with him by claiming that they just don’t get it, and the implication is that they don’t know or value facts or science or objective truth.

    Of course we all fall prey to this trap. But it is still arrogant.

  • John C

    I also believe in Truth, Trotk. But my version of the Truth differs from yours or from that of Glen Beck.
    I know that evolution has not stopped. I know that if I look hard enough, I’m going to find the half-monkey, half-person Beck talks about and prove to him that evolution is True.
    I’ll be off now. ( lizard brain is now fully engaged)
    See you later.
    Wish me luck.

  • John C

    I also believe in Truth, Trotk. But my version of the Truth differs from yours or from that of Glen Beck.
    I know that evolution has not stopped. I know that if I look hard enough, I’m going to find the half-monkey, half-person Beck talks about and prove to him that evolution is True.
    I’ll be off now. ( lizard brain is now fully engaged)
    See you later.
    Wish me luck.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Are people really arguing with the premise that “we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared”? Or the follow-on premise that “the country is scared” right now?”

    This is tangential but interesting. I read a study a few months ago that investigated the different responses to threats. A percentage of folks get more aggressive while others panic. Your results may vary. It also noted differences by sex. More men than women responded aggressively. It wasn’t just a study of observed and reported responses, blood tests assessed levels of some chemical. I should look it up. Anyway, apparently the military is aware of these individual differences and tests for them. Turns out, certain people are almost incapable of panic. They make good personnel for specific situations, as I am sure we can all imagine.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Are people really arguing with the premise that “we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared”? Or the follow-on premise that “the country is scared” right now?”

    This is tangential but interesting. I read a study a few months ago that investigated the different responses to threats. A percentage of folks get more aggressive while others panic. Your results may vary. It also noted differences by sex. More men than women responded aggressively. It wasn’t just a study of observed and reported responses, blood tests assessed levels of some chemical. I should look it up. Anyway, apparently the military is aware of these individual differences and tests for them. Turns out, certain people are almost incapable of panic. They make good personnel for specific situations, as I am sure we can all imagine.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The other thing that gets me through is the humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,” Obama said. “That makes me confident that we will get through these times and we are going to get where we need to go.”

    “Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.”

    I’ll unpack it, although I am not exactly on the right. (more like a mix of far left and far right)

    “humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,”

    Uh, what, the taxpayers can and will endure all kinds of abuse and carry on? Is that what he is counting on?

    It sounds eerily similar to, “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    I guess it was what King George III was counting on, too. It was a miscalculation.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    Mercifully, Americans can now just elect new leaders if they want. We will know soon.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The other thing that gets me through is the humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,” Obama said. “That makes me confident that we will get through these times and we are going to get where we need to go.”

    “Funny how no one on the right seems to want to “unpack” statements like that.”

    I’ll unpack it, although I am not exactly on the right. (more like a mix of far left and far right)

    “humor and the resilience and the love people have for their children and the love people have for this country,”

    Uh, what, the taxpayers can and will endure all kinds of abuse and carry on? Is that what he is counting on?

    It sounds eerily similar to, “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

    I guess it was what King George III was counting on, too. It was a miscalculation.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    Mercifully, Americans can now just elect new leaders if they want. We will know soon.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said:

    My point, which I have expressed numerous times in repeated posts, is that the Democrats are coming across as so condescending that they are alienating lots of voters, to the point of ceding populism–which used to be the Democrat’s bread and butter–to the Republicans! They could take this as helpful advice.

    Here’s the thing, though. The “Obama is arrogant” meme actually predates his election (whether fairly or not), as Bike Bubba’s and Carl Vehse’s comments make clear (whining about campaign logos, seals, convention stages, etc.) If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said:

    My point, which I have expressed numerous times in repeated posts, is that the Democrats are coming across as so condescending that they are alienating lots of voters, to the point of ceding populism–which used to be the Democrat’s bread and butter–to the Republicans! They could take this as helpful advice.

    Here’s the thing, though. The “Obama is arrogant” meme actually predates his election (whether fairly or not), as Bike Bubba’s and Carl Vehse’s comments make clear (whining about campaign logos, seals, convention stages, etc.) If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?

  • fws

    Todd @ 72

    oooohhh! That was a good one.

  • fws

    Todd @ 72

    oooohhh! That was a good one.

  • trotk

    tODD -

    A very valid observation. What I am curious about is whether the percentage of the population who sees Obama as arrogant has grown.

  • trotk

    tODD -

    A very valid observation. What I am curious about is whether the percentage of the population who sees Obama as arrogant has grown.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, Todd, I think a lot of Americans believed Obama really was a superior being. His political speeches were not just arrogant, they were messianic, and many people took him that way. People don’t perceive arrogance if they think the person is really so great. Now they don’t think that, but the superior pose remains. And yet, it isn’t just a matter of ego. It’s the unquestioned assumption that facts, reason, and “science” are all on the side of progressives, even as their policies keep failing.

    But I’m not just referring to Obama’s condescension. I see it across the Democratic party–and even on this blog–the pose that conservatives are ignorant, that Tea Partiers are know-nothings, that Sarah Palin is dumb, that Sarah Palin is of a lower class. Those class attacks–evident in just about every liberal account of the Tea Partiers, making fun of the way the people dress, how they are overweight, how their signs are misspelled– are unworthy of the party that used to be, back when I was a Democrat, the party of the blue collar worker.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, Todd, I think a lot of Americans believed Obama really was a superior being. His political speeches were not just arrogant, they were messianic, and many people took him that way. People don’t perceive arrogance if they think the person is really so great. Now they don’t think that, but the superior pose remains. And yet, it isn’t just a matter of ego. It’s the unquestioned assumption that facts, reason, and “science” are all on the side of progressives, even as their policies keep failing.

    But I’m not just referring to Obama’s condescension. I see it across the Democratic party–and even on this blog–the pose that conservatives are ignorant, that Tea Partiers are know-nothings, that Sarah Palin is dumb, that Sarah Palin is of a lower class. Those class attacks–evident in just about every liberal account of the Tea Partiers, making fun of the way the people dress, how they are overweight, how their signs are misspelled– are unworthy of the party that used to be, back when I was a Democrat, the party of the blue collar worker.

  • Carl Vehse

    The “Obama is arrogant” meme actually predates his election (whether fairly or not)

    The so-called “meme” is actually just an observation of Barry’s statement and a discussion of it, which Dr. Veith provided at the start of this thread, and where he then asked for other candidate arrogant statements. Thus providing other arrogant statements from Barry cannot be considered as “whining” except in a confused sense. And the fact that Barry’s arrogant comments occurred even before he began to soil the Oval Office imply Barry’s arrogance existed even back then.

    Now spindoctors might argue about the accuracy of Michael Gerson’s unpacking of Barry’s statement, but so far none have. And liberal sycophants might argue that the other candidate statements of arrogance are not really arrogant, but none have. And some might claim other arrogant phrases, quips, and slogans as simple campaign rhetoric which no one intended to be truthful, but none have.

    Instead, red herring discussions have been raised, and the question is asked – If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?

    Given Barry’s pre-election statements of arrogance, this is a reasonable question that a number of moderate voters and even some leftwing elitists are now asking. I suspect that the answer will be provided on November 2.

    In the meantime, a likely answer is similar to the answer for the question of why does a woman marry a man she knows beforehand is an alcoholic or a compulsive gambler or a womanizer or a drug addict or violently abusive.

  • Carl Vehse

    The “Obama is arrogant” meme actually predates his election (whether fairly or not)

    The so-called “meme” is actually just an observation of Barry’s statement and a discussion of it, which Dr. Veith provided at the start of this thread, and where he then asked for other candidate arrogant statements. Thus providing other arrogant statements from Barry cannot be considered as “whining” except in a confused sense. And the fact that Barry’s arrogant comments occurred even before he began to soil the Oval Office imply Barry’s arrogance existed even back then.

    Now spindoctors might argue about the accuracy of Michael Gerson’s unpacking of Barry’s statement, but so far none have. And liberal sycophants might argue that the other candidate statements of arrogance are not really arrogant, but none have. And some might claim other arrogant phrases, quips, and slogans as simple campaign rhetoric which no one intended to be truthful, but none have.

    Instead, red herring discussions have been raised, and the question is asked – If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?

    Given Barry’s pre-election statements of arrogance, this is a reasonable question that a number of moderate voters and even some leftwing elitists are now asking. I suspect that the answer will be provided on November 2.

    In the meantime, a likely answer is similar to the answer for the question of why does a woman marry a man she knows beforehand is an alcoholic or a compulsive gambler or a womanizer or a drug addict or violently abusive.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?”

    It is pretty simple. He promised what he couldn’t deliver, like they all do. Also, many people really wanted to end the expensive wars and thought he would. Of course, he couldn’t do that, but some hoped he would. I didn’t vote for him because he is pro abortion, but I did hope he would get us out of the wars faster. Probably all presidents are arrogant. Big deal. My beef with his policies is that they punish those who work and try and manage themselves well and reward those that can’t won’t but anyhow don’t. Honestly I wouldn’t care if he made arrogant and insulting remarks daily, if his policies weren’t so bad. Focusing on his comments is just blah, blah, blah.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “If all this “condescension” is such a problem with the “average” citizen, then why did Obama get elected — and handily, at that?”

    It is pretty simple. He promised what he couldn’t deliver, like they all do. Also, many people really wanted to end the expensive wars and thought he would. Of course, he couldn’t do that, but some hoped he would. I didn’t vote for him because he is pro abortion, but I did hope he would get us out of the wars faster. Probably all presidents are arrogant. Big deal. My beef with his policies is that they punish those who work and try and manage themselves well and reward those that can’t won’t but anyhow don’t. Honestly I wouldn’t care if he made arrogant and insulting remarks daily, if his policies weren’t so bad. Focusing on his comments is just blah, blah, blah.

  • CRB

    Here’s an article that nails it down quite well:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson102110.html

  • CRB

    Here’s an article that nails it down quite well:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson102110.html

  • Carl Vehse

    It is pretty simple. He promised what he couldn’t deliver, like they all do.

    Such promises could be ones Barry thought he could deliver, but couldn’t; or ones his political strategists and advisors thought he could deliver, but couldn’t. Or it could be ones Barry wasn’t sure he could deliver, but said so anyway; or ones his political strategists and advisors weren’t sure he could deliver, but had him say so anyway. Or they could be ones Barry knew he couldn’t deliver, or ones his political strategists and advisors knew he couldn’t deliver, but promised anyway.

    Barry’s arrogant statements, taking into account these alternatives during the 2008 election and now in the 2010 mid-term campaign, are the focus of this thread. The Victor Hanson link in 78 provides even more of Barry’s arrogant statements, along with a substantive discussion of them.

    Another candidate statement of arrogance: “Probably all presidents are arrogant. Big deal.

  • Carl Vehse

    It is pretty simple. He promised what he couldn’t deliver, like they all do.

    Such promises could be ones Barry thought he could deliver, but couldn’t; or ones his political strategists and advisors thought he could deliver, but couldn’t. Or it could be ones Barry wasn’t sure he could deliver, but said so anyway; or ones his political strategists and advisors weren’t sure he could deliver, but had him say so anyway. Or they could be ones Barry knew he couldn’t deliver, or ones his political strategists and advisors knew he couldn’t deliver, but promised anyway.

    Barry’s arrogant statements, taking into account these alternatives during the 2008 election and now in the 2010 mid-term campaign, are the focus of this thread. The Victor Hanson link in 78 provides even more of Barry’s arrogant statements, along with a substantive discussion of them.

    Another candidate statement of arrogance: “Probably all presidents are arrogant. Big deal.

  • Abby

    Quoting Rev. C. D. Trouten@10
    “My favorite boast from any politician comes from a former leader of Israel . . .
    “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” — Moses (Num. 12:3)”

    Carl @79:

    “Arrogant: aggressively assertive or presumptious. If you take pride in your yourself or your accomplishments, it means that you believe in your own worth, merit, or superiority–whether or not that belief is justified.” (The Oxford Dictionary)

    God’s hand-picked man Moses was different “. . . humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” It is indeed a big deal. My own opinion: the best leaders have been the sincere, humble followers of the Judeo Christian God. That is where true freedom comes from, not sham politics.

  • Abby

    Quoting Rev. C. D. Trouten@10
    “My favorite boast from any politician comes from a former leader of Israel . . .
    “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” — Moses (Num. 12:3)”

    Carl @79:

    “Arrogant: aggressively assertive or presumptious. If you take pride in your yourself or your accomplishments, it means that you believe in your own worth, merit, or superiority–whether or not that belief is justified.” (The Oxford Dictionary)

    God’s hand-picked man Moses was different “. . . humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” It is indeed a big deal. My own opinion: the best leaders have been the sincere, humble followers of the Judeo Christian God. That is where true freedom comes from, not sham politics.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “God’s hand-picked man Moses was different “. . . humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” It is indeed a big deal. My own opinion: the best leaders have been the sincere, humble followers of the Judeo Christian God. That is where true freedom comes from, not sham politics.”

    Sounds swell, but could someone like that get elected?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “God’s hand-picked man Moses was different “. . . humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” It is indeed a big deal. My own opinion: the best leaders have been the sincere, humble followers of the Judeo Christian God. That is where true freedom comes from, not sham politics.”

    Sounds swell, but could someone like that get elected?

  • Abby

    sg @81 Well, first we have to find one. Ever since Israel wanted a king to rule them instead of God, it hasn’t worked out too well.

  • Abby

    sg @81 Well, first we have to find one. Ever since Israel wanted a king to rule them instead of God, it hasn’t worked out too well.

  • Dust

    sg at 81……No someone like that could not get elected….but that’s ok, God’s kingdom is not a democracy, anyway, is it?

  • Dust

    sg at 81……No someone like that could not get elected….but that’s ok, God’s kingdom is not a democracy, anyway, is it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith (@75), from my vantage, far more “conservatives” were yammering on about people supposedly thinking Obama was a “superior being” or “messianic” than there were liberals actually believing such things. All of which was just part of the “Obama is arrogant” talking point being driven by the media.

    As to “class attacks” and condescension, again, if that alone were the problem — either ethically or politically — why are you only noting the problem with Democrats? Are you similarly interested in the class attacks and condescension uttered by the would-be New Party of the People?

    Or haven’t you heard the attacks against the “tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show”, as one memorable Club for Growth ad said? Railing against “know-nothings”, calling others “dumb” and mocking the way “they” dress — you think this is just a problem Democrats have, do you?

    I mean, anti-elitism is, itself, a form of elitism (“Why, we good, honest normal folk are better than all those liberal freaks who think they’re better than us!”).

    Arrogance is a problem endemic to politics and politicians. It’s ridiculous to think it’s a problem experienced on only one side of the aisle.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith (@75), from my vantage, far more “conservatives” were yammering on about people supposedly thinking Obama was a “superior being” or “messianic” than there were liberals actually believing such things. All of which was just part of the “Obama is arrogant” talking point being driven by the media.

    As to “class attacks” and condescension, again, if that alone were the problem — either ethically or politically — why are you only noting the problem with Democrats? Are you similarly interested in the class attacks and condescension uttered by the would-be New Party of the People?

    Or haven’t you heard the attacks against the “tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show”, as one memorable Club for Growth ad said? Railing against “know-nothings”, calling others “dumb” and mocking the way “they” dress — you think this is just a problem Democrats have, do you?

    I mean, anti-elitism is, itself, a form of elitism (“Why, we good, honest normal folk are better than all those liberal freaks who think they’re better than us!”).

    Arrogance is a problem endemic to politics and politicians. It’s ridiculous to think it’s a problem experienced on only one side of the aisle.

  • The Jungle Cat

    Once, after a supporter told Adlai Stevenson that every thinking man in America would vote Democrat, Stevenson boneheadedly responded, “That’s not enough. I need a majority!” I’d say that this might be slightly more arrogant, but Obama’s certainly giving Stevenson a run for his money.

  • The Jungle Cat

    Once, after a supporter told Adlai Stevenson that every thinking man in America would vote Democrat, Stevenson boneheadedly responded, “That’s not enough. I need a majority!” I’d say that this might be slightly more arrogant, but Obama’s certainly giving Stevenson a run for his money.

  • Dust

    tODD at 84…..wow, what insight…we ALL are sinners, thanks for clearing that up!

  • Dust

    tODD at 84…..wow, what insight…we ALL are sinners, thanks for clearing that up!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, tODD, you prove my point. The Republican class resentment you cite are against an “upper class.” The Democrats are against a “lower class.” I’m not saying there is not class warfare on both sides, but that the sides are opposite what they used to be. Democrats used to rail against “country club Republicans.” Now they are railing against the vulgar masses. Republicans used to scorn the unwashed multitudes. Now they are worried about elite latte drinkers and Volvo drivers.

    When people on the bottom are resenting those on top, it is not “condescension.” That words describes people on top looking down upon people they think are on the bottom.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, tODD, you prove my point. The Republican class resentment you cite are against an “upper class.” The Democrats are against a “lower class.” I’m not saying there is not class warfare on both sides, but that the sides are opposite what they used to be. Democrats used to rail against “country club Republicans.” Now they are railing against the vulgar masses. Republicans used to scorn the unwashed multitudes. Now they are worried about elite latte drinkers and Volvo drivers.

    When people on the bottom are resenting those on top, it is not “condescension.” That words describes people on top looking down upon people they think are on the bottom.

  • John C

    Gene, most of America’s blue collar workers now live in Mexico and China.
    The Democrats have bungled their response to the Tea Party movement and from afar, it seems that the President has failed to articulate a vision that would rouse citizens to vote for them in the midterms.
    One should not underestimate the challenge. As the primary sponsors of the Tea Party, Beck and the Fox network have promoted ignorance and anti-intellectualism and in the short term, populism is impervious to fact and argument.
    Beck’s half-man, half-monkey comment is a case in point. One should respond with the arguments of science but it is difficult to resist ridicule.
    As for Palin, the overwhelming majority of Americans recognize her talent and would rather not see her run as a presidential candidate.

  • John C

    Gene, most of America’s blue collar workers now live in Mexico and China.
    The Democrats have bungled their response to the Tea Party movement and from afar, it seems that the President has failed to articulate a vision that would rouse citizens to vote for them in the midterms.
    One should not underestimate the challenge. As the primary sponsors of the Tea Party, Beck and the Fox network have promoted ignorance and anti-intellectualism and in the short term, populism is impervious to fact and argument.
    Beck’s half-man, half-monkey comment is a case in point. One should respond with the arguments of science but it is difficult to resist ridicule.
    As for Palin, the overwhelming majority of Americans recognize her talent and would rather not see her run as a presidential candidate.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith (@87), I’m surprised that you’re viewing this entire spectrum along one single (simple) axis. You seem to believe that there really is a one-dimensional scale by which people can be judged on the “bottom” or the “top”, or somewhere in the middle. And this scale is, it would further seem, entirely economic, as you conflate “bottom” with the “lower class” and “top” with “upper class”. (I mean, if Obama were making an argument that simplified everything into a class struggle framed by economics, what would we say? ;) )

    But it doesn’t appear to be that simple. Sure, there are both “upper” and “lower” classes on an economic scale. But people also judge each other on other scales: intellectual, moral, and probably some others I can’t think of right now.

    Now, I will grant you that Obama here, and Democrats in general, have attempted to claim the intellectual high ground (cf. “facts and science and argument”) over against Republicans. What I’m not sure is that this represents any significant change. Haven’t the intelligentsia (would-be or otherwise) always been drawn to the left? Please note: I’m not saying that people on the right are stupid. In fact, there are many intelligent right-wingers on this blog who have caused me to rethink lots of things and pointed me to greater intellectuals on the right, should I ever get around to reading them. Anyhow, would you like to make the argument that Republicans used to try to attract intellectuals, but no longer do?

    And then there is the moral axis. I’m pretty certain that Republicans and right-wingers believe they are on the higher end of this axis, and have perceived themselves there for quite some time (“Moral Majority”, anyone?). I’m too young to remember a time before Roe v. Wade, but it appears to me that, at least since then, or maybe since the 60s, the Republicans have looked down their noses at those damn, dirty hippies on the left. Of course, human morality being what it is, the Democrats have simultaneously looked down their noses at those corrupt, amoral Republicans. Anyhow, I don’t see any major shifts taking place along this axis any time recently.

    Which leaves me with the economic axis. You note that “Democrats used to rail against ‘country club Republicans’”, and I agree, but here’s the thing: they still do. When you think of wealthy businessmen, do you usually imagine them as Democrats? If you do, we simply have different perceptions. And if you were to ask me which party still clamors for the poor against these wealthy businessmen, I couldn’t honestly say, “Oh yeah, that would be the Republicans, for sure.”

    But if we had to pick one of these axes to determine who was “the Common Man” and who wasn’t, sure, I’d agree with you that it’s mainly the economic one. But I don’t agree that the Republicans are now fighting for those lower on that axis, as opposed to what they used to do.

    And I certainly don’t think that arrogance is limited to either party, in light of these multiple axes.

    But I do think that condescension is more than possible along any and all of these axes. More than a few times, I’ve heard right-wingers talk as if country folk were truly better, more normal people than city folk. Definite condescension.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith (@87), I’m surprised that you’re viewing this entire spectrum along one single (simple) axis. You seem to believe that there really is a one-dimensional scale by which people can be judged on the “bottom” or the “top”, or somewhere in the middle. And this scale is, it would further seem, entirely economic, as you conflate “bottom” with the “lower class” and “top” with “upper class”. (I mean, if Obama were making an argument that simplified everything into a class struggle framed by economics, what would we say? ;) )

    But it doesn’t appear to be that simple. Sure, there are both “upper” and “lower” classes on an economic scale. But people also judge each other on other scales: intellectual, moral, and probably some others I can’t think of right now.

    Now, I will grant you that Obama here, and Democrats in general, have attempted to claim the intellectual high ground (cf. “facts and science and argument”) over against Republicans. What I’m not sure is that this represents any significant change. Haven’t the intelligentsia (would-be or otherwise) always been drawn to the left? Please note: I’m not saying that people on the right are stupid. In fact, there are many intelligent right-wingers on this blog who have caused me to rethink lots of things and pointed me to greater intellectuals on the right, should I ever get around to reading them. Anyhow, would you like to make the argument that Republicans used to try to attract intellectuals, but no longer do?

    And then there is the moral axis. I’m pretty certain that Republicans and right-wingers believe they are on the higher end of this axis, and have perceived themselves there for quite some time (“Moral Majority”, anyone?). I’m too young to remember a time before Roe v. Wade, but it appears to me that, at least since then, or maybe since the 60s, the Republicans have looked down their noses at those damn, dirty hippies on the left. Of course, human morality being what it is, the Democrats have simultaneously looked down their noses at those corrupt, amoral Republicans. Anyhow, I don’t see any major shifts taking place along this axis any time recently.

    Which leaves me with the economic axis. You note that “Democrats used to rail against ‘country club Republicans’”, and I agree, but here’s the thing: they still do. When you think of wealthy businessmen, do you usually imagine them as Democrats? If you do, we simply have different perceptions. And if you were to ask me which party still clamors for the poor against these wealthy businessmen, I couldn’t honestly say, “Oh yeah, that would be the Republicans, for sure.”

    But if we had to pick one of these axes to determine who was “the Common Man” and who wasn’t, sure, I’d agree with you that it’s mainly the economic one. But I don’t agree that the Republicans are now fighting for those lower on that axis, as opposed to what they used to do.

    And I certainly don’t think that arrogance is limited to either party, in light of these multiple axes.

    But I do think that condescension is more than possible along any and all of these axes. More than a few times, I’ve heard right-wingers talk as if country folk were truly better, more normal people than city folk. Definite condescension.

  • Dust

    As per the “intellectuals” being associated with the left or liberals, yes that was when their ideas were new and fresh…avant garde, (sp?) if you like…..but now, these all seem so outdated and boring, only those who cannot move on are stuck on them….in my mind, the right has the intellectual advantage….they are coming up with new ideas and clever solutions…..but not wonder the left doesn’t like them, they would have to “let go” of their oh-so-tired answers and perspectives. My guess is this game will go on a few more years, but then reality will set in and then we can know who was really right (er, correct) or wrong….in the meantime, we can huff and puff!

  • Dust

    As per the “intellectuals” being associated with the left or liberals, yes that was when their ideas were new and fresh…avant garde, (sp?) if you like…..but now, these all seem so outdated and boring, only those who cannot move on are stuck on them….in my mind, the right has the intellectual advantage….they are coming up with new ideas and clever solutions…..but not wonder the left doesn’t like them, they would have to “let go” of their oh-so-tired answers and perspectives. My guess is this game will go on a few more years, but then reality will set in and then we can know who was really right (er, correct) or wrong….in the meantime, we can huff and puff!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Which leaves me with the economic axis. You note that “Democrats used to rail against ‘country club Republicans’”, and I agree, but here’s the thing: they still do. When you think of wealthy businessmen, do you usually imagine them as Democrats? If you do, we simply have different perceptions. And if you were to ask me which party still clamors for the poor against these wealthy businessmen, I couldn’t honestly say, “Oh yeah, that would be the Republicans, for sure.”

    Wow. Surprising characterization. My impression from analysts is that it is an alliance of the rich and poor against the middle. Democrats at the very top and very bottom with middle class folks more republican. I think the rich sympathize with the poor not the middle class.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Which leaves me with the economic axis. You note that “Democrats used to rail against ‘country club Republicans’”, and I agree, but here’s the thing: they still do. When you think of wealthy businessmen, do you usually imagine them as Democrats? If you do, we simply have different perceptions. And if you were to ask me which party still clamors for the poor against these wealthy businessmen, I couldn’t honestly say, “Oh yeah, that would be the Republicans, for sure.”

    Wow. Surprising characterization. My impression from analysts is that it is an alliance of the rich and poor against the middle. Democrats at the very top and very bottom with middle class folks more republican. I think the rich sympathize with the poor not the middle class.

  • Stephen

    Late, but maybe this will get through. Sorry I could not respond earlier, but I have enjoyed the many comments. This will be long.

    “The funny thing about being humble, as soon as you know you’re being humble, you’re no longer humble.” – from the song “Trap Door” by T-Bone Burnett

    Why is it that religious folks resort to moral shaming when they can’t take the time to come up with a good argument? I think it is a bad habit, a sign of weakness and sin, and makes religious people look even more intolerant, weak-kneed, and silly. Arrogance is such an emotionally loaded word, often employed to manipulate anyone we think is getting too high-minded (dare I say “uppity” here?). No doubt there is name-calling going on, and a bit of hyperbole, which I would think Dr. Veith is above (below?). I’m sure I’ll take a hit or two for this, but I detect a hint of racism here, completely unconscious and unintended perhaps, but I believe in our country, with our history, and with this particular criticism, it must be in clear view when no other kinds of evidence are present. Simply invoking “arrogance” to criticize assertions being made on appeals to authority, and further, making the claim that this somehow describes this particular president on an essential level is ridiculous. It deserves attention. What is actually going on? Refute the claims! What are they? People do not argue from authority but from emotion because they are scared. I think that is actually sort of correct. Does “our politics” refer only to Dems? I think he is speaking about political dialogue in general, but if the shoe fits . . .

    If arrogance has to do with posturing and an inflated sense of self-importance, I would add that it is worse when actions are permitted, encouraged or directed by that arrogance. Instead of worrying about whose feelings are getting hurt, name some of those and you may be getting somewhere. As a matter of fact, I don’t doubt some might come up with a few when it comes to our president.

    “I don’t know if you can answer this question with your lizard brain, but do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?”

    It seems obvious that Dr. Veith is suggesting that it certainly is the “most arrogant statement ever” but I’ll take a crack at it. What short memories we have.

    My vote goes to “Mission Accomplished” with all its fanfare and the attendant actions of American and Iraqi blood, the concocted lies delivered with bluster and their ruinous effects on American foreign policy, and its yet unaccomplished objectives (whatever those actually were). There is also the arrogance of an administration that believed it had the authority to keep its communications (to this day) secret from the American people through a subverted and cynical use of the email accounts of the Republican National Committee. Remember that whole snafu over a man named Alberto Gonzales? The debacle an economy that was run on arrogance, do we have any memory of the acts of political arrogance we just survived? Shall I go on?

    There are good, reasoned arguments why liberals and secularists have not cornered the market on thoughtfulness and considered positions on everything from economics to foreign policy to art to the need to preserve the family. Make those instead of ad hominem and potentially racist attacks on the president. And even though there will be, I suspect, a quick defense against a charge of racism, in this particular case, there is no avoiding the way the word “arrogance” will grate on the ears of African Americans. It must be considered for their sakes. What is it you would wish them to hear? Too big for his britches? Out of his place? Most arrogant EVER? Really?

    Go ahead and invoke the way we are all being silenced by the denizens of Political Correctness. Or, choose the better part, repent, and come up with something worth saying that opposes the way liberals are not more level-headed. Heck, this entire post practically proves the presidents point. Instead of actually making some kind of argument, conservatives just kick the dirt and give up, saying, “he’s mean, I can’t argue with him. I quit!” Maybe that is because this is just a straw man and there is nothing to argue. This is a persona that is largely being pushed on the president because he is . . . someone that conservatives do not think should be president (for whatever reason).

    What does seem true in the claims about the arrogance of the other is the reverse claim to one’s own (apparently self-evident) humility. What I find interesting is that at a fundamental level there is a basic morality that both sides wish to claim for themselves. It is the aim of each side’s stance on everything, and it is this phenomenon that ticks the other side off so badly. Everyone is fighting for the moral high ground so that they can (arrogantly?) look down on the other, with all humility I’m sure, and “do what’s right” for the country.

    My point is, much like what tODD is saying, that calling someone “arrogant” says just about nothing. It may be a good way to try and get someone to back down and “humiliate” them, but as far as I can tell, it is usually a device for shaming someone who is asserting a point in a forceful or convincing manner that threatens one’s own position. The other tactic would be to actually point out the effects of what they are saying and/or what the other is actually doing rather than just labeling them in a pejorative manner simply because you do not like their style. The acts of an Imperial presidency that behaves unilaterally and nefariously in secret gets my attention as arrogant, but give me a list of arrogant acts perpetuated by this president rather than examples of statements deemed haughty or snobbish (and through the most specious exegesis I might add).

    Like I said, both Dr. Veith and Gerson prove the point the president is making – we don’t make reasoned arguments these days (based on some kind of authority) but decide things based on emotions. That’s basic marketing. In politics, when life gets scary, we just get pissed off and call each other names. Ya’know, like the pot calling the kettle . . .

    Okay, if anyone is still listening and made it to the end of all that, feel free to let me have it. I’m new, I asked for it.

  • Stephen

    Late, but maybe this will get through. Sorry I could not respond earlier, but I have enjoyed the many comments. This will be long.

    “The funny thing about being humble, as soon as you know you’re being humble, you’re no longer humble.” – from the song “Trap Door” by T-Bone Burnett

    Why is it that religious folks resort to moral shaming when they can’t take the time to come up with a good argument? I think it is a bad habit, a sign of weakness and sin, and makes religious people look even more intolerant, weak-kneed, and silly. Arrogance is such an emotionally loaded word, often employed to manipulate anyone we think is getting too high-minded (dare I say “uppity” here?). No doubt there is name-calling going on, and a bit of hyperbole, which I would think Dr. Veith is above (below?). I’m sure I’ll take a hit or two for this, but I detect a hint of racism here, completely unconscious and unintended perhaps, but I believe in our country, with our history, and with this particular criticism, it must be in clear view when no other kinds of evidence are present. Simply invoking “arrogance” to criticize assertions being made on appeals to authority, and further, making the claim that this somehow describes this particular president on an essential level is ridiculous. It deserves attention. What is actually going on? Refute the claims! What are they? People do not argue from authority but from emotion because they are scared. I think that is actually sort of correct. Does “our politics” refer only to Dems? I think he is speaking about political dialogue in general, but if the shoe fits . . .

    If arrogance has to do with posturing and an inflated sense of self-importance, I would add that it is worse when actions are permitted, encouraged or directed by that arrogance. Instead of worrying about whose feelings are getting hurt, name some of those and you may be getting somewhere. As a matter of fact, I don’t doubt some might come up with a few when it comes to our president.

    “I don’t know if you can answer this question with your lizard brain, but do you think this is the most arrogant statement ever, or can you think of other candidates?”

    It seems obvious that Dr. Veith is suggesting that it certainly is the “most arrogant statement ever” but I’ll take a crack at it. What short memories we have.

    My vote goes to “Mission Accomplished” with all its fanfare and the attendant actions of American and Iraqi blood, the concocted lies delivered with bluster and their ruinous effects on American foreign policy, and its yet unaccomplished objectives (whatever those actually were). There is also the arrogance of an administration that believed it had the authority to keep its communications (to this day) secret from the American people through a subverted and cynical use of the email accounts of the Republican National Committee. Remember that whole snafu over a man named Alberto Gonzales? The debacle an economy that was run on arrogance, do we have any memory of the acts of political arrogance we just survived? Shall I go on?

    There are good, reasoned arguments why liberals and secularists have not cornered the market on thoughtfulness and considered positions on everything from economics to foreign policy to art to the need to preserve the family. Make those instead of ad hominem and potentially racist attacks on the president. And even though there will be, I suspect, a quick defense against a charge of racism, in this particular case, there is no avoiding the way the word “arrogance” will grate on the ears of African Americans. It must be considered for their sakes. What is it you would wish them to hear? Too big for his britches? Out of his place? Most arrogant EVER? Really?

    Go ahead and invoke the way we are all being silenced by the denizens of Political Correctness. Or, choose the better part, repent, and come up with something worth saying that opposes the way liberals are not more level-headed. Heck, this entire post practically proves the presidents point. Instead of actually making some kind of argument, conservatives just kick the dirt and give up, saying, “he’s mean, I can’t argue with him. I quit!” Maybe that is because this is just a straw man and there is nothing to argue. This is a persona that is largely being pushed on the president because he is . . . someone that conservatives do not think should be president (for whatever reason).

    What does seem true in the claims about the arrogance of the other is the reverse claim to one’s own (apparently self-evident) humility. What I find interesting is that at a fundamental level there is a basic morality that both sides wish to claim for themselves. It is the aim of each side’s stance on everything, and it is this phenomenon that ticks the other side off so badly. Everyone is fighting for the moral high ground so that they can (arrogantly?) look down on the other, with all humility I’m sure, and “do what’s right” for the country.

    My point is, much like what tODD is saying, that calling someone “arrogant” says just about nothing. It may be a good way to try and get someone to back down and “humiliate” them, but as far as I can tell, it is usually a device for shaming someone who is asserting a point in a forceful or convincing manner that threatens one’s own position. The other tactic would be to actually point out the effects of what they are saying and/or what the other is actually doing rather than just labeling them in a pejorative manner simply because you do not like their style. The acts of an Imperial presidency that behaves unilaterally and nefariously in secret gets my attention as arrogant, but give me a list of arrogant acts perpetuated by this president rather than examples of statements deemed haughty or snobbish (and through the most specious exegesis I might add).

    Like I said, both Dr. Veith and Gerson prove the point the president is making – we don’t make reasoned arguments these days (based on some kind of authority) but decide things based on emotions. That’s basic marketing. In politics, when life gets scary, we just get pissed off and call each other names. Ya’know, like the pot calling the kettle . . .

    Okay, if anyone is still listening and made it to the end of all that, feel free to let me have it. I’m new, I asked for it.

  • collie

    Stephen@92, I just want to like my president, which I don’t at the moment. I’d like him to unite the country. Maybe it’s impossible for a president these days to appeal to a majority of Americans because politicians are so tied to the special interests that fund their campaigns.

    Looking back, speaking of uniting us, I think G.W. Bush mostly did a good job immediately after 9/11, Clinton made an excellent speech after the federal building was bombed, exuding very preacher-like comforting words. He was at his best, wish he could have stayed like that. The first Bush, I think was likable all around. Sorry, I didn’t follow politics too much, so I can’t comment on specifics on him. Reagan, similarly seemed to appeal to big chunks of Americans.

    Can’t say that for Obama, although I admit I’m biased against his policies. I’ll even say I liked him during his presidential campaign and thought he did an excellent job of appealing to the largest amount of people as possible. Why can’t he do that now?

    I’m not a political analyst, so I’ll leave the debating of your points to others here that are sharper and more focused on politics. I do agree with your point about arrogance, it was probably not helpful for Gerson to use that term, he probably could have come up with something better to describe his thoughts.

  • collie

    Stephen@92, I just want to like my president, which I don’t at the moment. I’d like him to unite the country. Maybe it’s impossible for a president these days to appeal to a majority of Americans because politicians are so tied to the special interests that fund their campaigns.

    Looking back, speaking of uniting us, I think G.W. Bush mostly did a good job immediately after 9/11, Clinton made an excellent speech after the federal building was bombed, exuding very preacher-like comforting words. He was at his best, wish he could have stayed like that. The first Bush, I think was likable all around. Sorry, I didn’t follow politics too much, so I can’t comment on specifics on him. Reagan, similarly seemed to appeal to big chunks of Americans.

    Can’t say that for Obama, although I admit I’m biased against his policies. I’ll even say I liked him during his presidential campaign and thought he did an excellent job of appealing to the largest amount of people as possible. Why can’t he do that now?

    I’m not a political analyst, so I’ll leave the debating of your points to others here that are sharper and more focused on politics. I do agree with your point about arrogance, it was probably not helpful for Gerson to use that term, he probably could have come up with something better to describe his thoughts.

  • collie

    sorry, I should have said, “Reagan appealed to large chunks of the American populace”.

  • collie

    sorry, I should have said, “Reagan appealed to large chunks of the American populace”.

  • Stephen

    collie – I also liked what Bush did just after 9/11 but then feel he squandered it. Politics aside (if we can do that) I think that election night in 08 was great moment in American history to have black man stand on that stage. We can do that – finally. He has tough row to hoe, and he is not doing so well right now. Attacking him personally isn’t right, helpful or, dare I say it, Christian. There are lots of African American Christians who deeply believe in him and some of the things he is doing, and for good reasons. And I will admit, much of what he means is symbolic. So what? Can we not say the same about Reagan?

    As for the presidents policies, I have a list of things I don’t like. I’d have to if I were to be “in the world but not of it” it seems to me. But I can’t imagine having out of touch McCain in there keeling over and letting Sarah Palin loose. Honestly. That was about the most politically cynical decision directed right at conservative Christians, and I think they ought to be offended actually. Now she’s out there and thinks she actually has something to say, which, not to put to fine a point on it, could be construed as a kind of arrogance in itself – speaking with authority to things about which you know little or nothing about.

    I’m with you. I’d like a president I could really love in a time of crisis and frankly there has not been one in my lifetime (I’m 50). That may be the force of “our politics” – that which no longer appeals to authority, reason, civil discourse, or shared values and things like that – just like the president was maybe trying to say.

    Thanks for responding and again I apologize for coming on so late.

  • Stephen

    collie – I also liked what Bush did just after 9/11 but then feel he squandered it. Politics aside (if we can do that) I think that election night in 08 was great moment in American history to have black man stand on that stage. We can do that – finally. He has tough row to hoe, and he is not doing so well right now. Attacking him personally isn’t right, helpful or, dare I say it, Christian. There are lots of African American Christians who deeply believe in him and some of the things he is doing, and for good reasons. And I will admit, much of what he means is symbolic. So what? Can we not say the same about Reagan?

    As for the presidents policies, I have a list of things I don’t like. I’d have to if I were to be “in the world but not of it” it seems to me. But I can’t imagine having out of touch McCain in there keeling over and letting Sarah Palin loose. Honestly. That was about the most politically cynical decision directed right at conservative Christians, and I think they ought to be offended actually. Now she’s out there and thinks she actually has something to say, which, not to put to fine a point on it, could be construed as a kind of arrogance in itself – speaking with authority to things about which you know little or nothing about.

    I’m with you. I’d like a president I could really love in a time of crisis and frankly there has not been one in my lifetime (I’m 50). That may be the force of “our politics” – that which no longer appeals to authority, reason, civil discourse, or shared values and things like that – just like the president was maybe trying to say.

    Thanks for responding and again I apologize for coming on so late.

  • Louis

    Well, at least I can say I like my leader – even if she is an octogenarian living in a palace ;)

  • Louis

    Well, at least I can say I like my leader – even if she is an octogenarian living in a palace ;)

  • Abby

    Possible new arrogance of Obama: we’ll see next Tuesday.

    * Byron York: If Dems lose, Obama will blame everyone but himself
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1010/york.php3

  • Abby

    Possible new arrogance of Obama: we’ll see next Tuesday.

    * Byron York: If Dems lose, Obama will blame everyone but himself
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1010/york.php3


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