“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The New Camelot or is it Shamelot?

How many times have I heard that the Barack family resembles the Kennedys? Barack delivers a hopeful message that as Trish has observed resonates with the young. He looks younger than his 45 years and he offers a break from the tiresome past of the Clintons. Obama is a charismatic politician with a fresh face and a smooth delivery but he is just another Democrat promising as much socialism as he can get away with.

A visit to his web pages reveals essentially nothing new. He wants to make another 10 million Americans exempt from Federal income taxes altogether. In addition, he wants to lower taxes on the middle class and raise taxes on the wealthy.

He wants everyone covered by a national insurance program, if you have insurance you can continue to pay for it otherwise you will be a insured by the National Pool which will be administered by the Federal Government. Essentially he envisions a Federal single payer program.

Obama is down with the unions and against corporate America. If you're young and hep like Obama, you know that "down with" does not mean "down on." It means the Unions are his peeps. He wants to review NAFTA and CAFTA for adverse impact on US labor. Of course, he's a union man and as such, he is all for whatever the Unions are all for and against whatever the Unions are against. He's has also proposed a system which automatically raises the minimum wage.

A good dem's got to be for the working man and against big business and Obama is nothing if not a good Dem. That means that under an Obama administration, big business can expect to make atonement for its past transgressions against the working man. Higher taxes are in order unless you happen to be in one of the favored green or high tech industries.

And to show that he is also a fiscal conservative, he advocates PayGo which means that every new dollar of spending will be paid for by a cut in the budget elsewhere or a tax increase. It makes perfect sense until you realise that the Federal budget is one big shell game.

Barack makes wonderful, hopeful speeches offering hope and unity to a polarized country. "Change" is the theme of his campaign and like the Pied Piper, young people are attracted and following him. I feel sorry for them in a way. They are still naive and are about to learn some important lessons about humanity and politics.


  1. Ultimately, of course, them is us for all practical purposes, as superior insight yields little in the way of removing oneself from the result.
    All us ex-pats, future ex-pats, and semiex-pats/wAloha notwithstanding.

  2. Arnie's Devastating Dissection (6 min)
    (Check out Bill and Chelsea's faces when Hill starts blabbing.)
    At the Hour and a Half Mark, she's talking about an abscessed tooth, and people are filing out.
    The Clinton twilight
    After Hillary Clinton's stinging defeat in Iowa, talkshow host Arnie Arnesen sees a wounded campaign in New Hampshire and wonders if Hillary can recover
    Voting for a Smile
    Listening to Hillary and Obama evokes the famous scene in the classic “The Night of the Hunter,” when Robert Mitchum, whose fingers are tattooed with “LOVE” on his right hand and “HATE” on his left, has a wrestling match with his hands to see which emotion triumphs.

    In the movie, love does, but it’s a close call.
    The Hillary forces at the Plymouth Church caucus in Des Moines weren’t averse to bribes.
    They were passing out See’s chocolates to Richardson supporters.

    And they weren’t averse to threats. “My wife told me I’d have to join them or I’d be sleeping on the couch tonight,” said Ed Truslow, a compact 68-year-old manufacturing representative. He was still wearing his Chris Dodd sticker when he lumbered over to his wife’s side. A Clinton organizer slapped a Hillary sticker over the offending Dodd sticker, and with a frantic cheeriness told him: “Hillary now, right? God bless!”

    They weren’t averse to bending the rules. When they realized that they might not have enough people to get even one Hillary delegate, they sneaked out of their assigned room to Red-Rover their neighbors over, before they’d been officially counted themselves.

    It was understandable that Hillary’s “Golden Girls” acolytes would freak out when they saw the throngs of young Obama hopemongers swarming the caucuses. As one Dodd supporter said, looking for her little Dodd corner, “I’m lost in the Obamas.”

    A caucusgoer drily noted that it did not seem the most propitious harbinger for Hillary that the fateful evening began with a threat to withhold connubial bliss.
    By the time she got to New Hampshire, Hillary was reduced to urging voters not to buy into “false hopes.”

    At a hangar in Nashua, with chatty Bill and chatless Chelsea, Hillary tried to purloin more of the Obama message. Besides saying the word “change” as often as possible, she said she was particularly reaching out to young people to help them “reclaim the future.” She claimed that she disliked the red state, blue state terminology — “We are one country,” she said, echoing Obama — even as she added that she should be the nominee because she’s the best one “to withstand the Republican attack machine.”

    What she doesn’t mention is that she knows how to fight off the Republican attack machine because she and her husband were so adept at revving it up.

  3. Obama's Coatails:
    All those youngsters flocking to vote for Barry don't seem to likely to usher in a countervailing GOP Majority in Congress, do they?
    I guess it's a continuation of W's Katy Open the Door open season on illegals soon to be US Citizens, enough of whom will vote to drop the final anchor on any hope of the good ship Hope ever returning home.
    Hasta la Vista, Baby!

  4. Beware of rhetoric. Rhetoric swept up Italy under Mussolini and Germany under Hitler. The JFK is in the pantheon of the liberals because an assassin's bullet froze him into myth and legend.

    John Kennedy almost got us all killed, because he impressed Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev as weak and vacillating. Kennedy pulled the plug on the in-motion CIA plan at the Bay of Pigs and left Cuban freedom fighters without promised US air cover. That vacillation prompted the Russians to go ahead with establishing strategic nuclear missiles in Cuba.

    High sounding rhetoric got us into an unnecessary meddlesome crusade in Viet Nam. Kennedy people mismanaged the Vietnamese political crisis and the Diem coup, all under the guidance of the best and brightest from liberal old guard of US Academia.

  5. I wonder how close of a match there is between the DNA of sheep and homo sapiens?

  6. There is no debate that with Billary in the White House and Newt on Capitial Hill, the Federal budget went into a cash flow surplus situation.

    There is also no debate that when the GOP controlled both ends of PA Ave, the deficit went through the roof.

    Mr DeLay and Mr Bush combining to provide free Federal give-a-ways, while not securing the country. Security being the oft given excuse for the debt expansion, not the "Bridge to No Where", nor expanding Medicare coverage, nor Mr Hastert's hiway exit ramp.

    The money borrowed, from China and other sources, not spent on building the US military, not on a security/border fence, but daily operations. Spent, not on investments in the future, but with the fore thought of a drunken sailor.

    The advent of a weak Democratic majority in Congress, not enough to balance the undisiplined spendthrifts in the White House, or the other way around.
    Not that a Democratic Congress and Democratic President would change course, but that is still an unknowable, to paraphrase Mr Rumsfeld's favorite line.

    After six years of one Party, GOP governence, the Republicans seem shocked to discover that performance counts and there could be accountability for their behaviour.

    Those young folk, they have only known, Bush-Clinton-Bush. The ruling clique for the past twenty years.

    If that was all I knew, I'd vote for change, too.
    What change is offered?
    None really.

    As Samantha Powers exemplifies.

    But you'd have to have spent some time, have some experience, to know that.

  7. Samantha Power is on FOX, right now

    A lot of side to side head shaking movement, while speaking of Obama.

    She nods when Steve speaks of McCain

  8. St. Barack, Not
    The banality of pap.=
    By John J. Pitney Jr.
    (John's Dad addressed my little Highschool!)

    Barack Obama speaks of a “new politics” of unity: “You know that we can’t afford four more years of the same divisive food fight in Washington that’s about scoring political points instead of solving problems; that’s about tearing your opponents down instead of lifting this country up.” He is surging because more and more Democrats see him as a virtuous statesman who soars above “our broken and divided politics.”

    But the message isn’t new and the image isn’t true.

    As I explained on NRO nearly a year ago, Obama is echoing what George W. Bush said in the 2000 campaign. In fact, if Obama’s speeches were term papers, I’d report him for plagiarism. “Our country has unlimited potential. But our politics is broken — at least in Washington,” Bush said in California on October 30, 2000. “You know what’s wrong, Washington is obsessed with scoring points, not solving problems.” In another California swing a month earlier, Bush said: “I’m going to reject the ugly politics of the past, where people felt like they could get ahead by tearing down their opponents.”

    One could argue that Bush was merely spouting political pap — but that’s the point. The “unity” message has been old for a long time. Here’s another example:”I saw many signs in this campaign. Some of them were not friendly. Some were very friendly. But the one that touched me the most was — a teenager held up the sign `bring us together.’ And that will be the great objective of this administration, at the outset, to bring the American people together.”

    That was Richard Nixon, after his election in 1968.

    Obama supporters would shriek at these comparisons, contending that their man follows through on his words by shunning personal attacks. That’s only partially true. Like so many politicians before him, he speaks lofty prose while leaving the wet work to underlings. Eisenhower had Nixon, who later had Agnew. Obama has David Axelrod, among others.

    Axelrod has been Obama’s chief political adviser for years. In 2004, Obama defeated millionaire Blair Hull for nomination to the Senate after sordid details of Hull’s divorce came out. Obama didn’t talk about it in public. But according to David Mendell, the reporter who broke the news about the divorce papers, Obama’s campaign “worked aggressively behind the scenes to fuel controversy about Hull’s filings.” And says the New York Times, many in Chicago “believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull.”

    So let’s recap. Barack Obama is a senator today because his campaign exploited his opponent’s messy divorce. This is a miracle that qualifies him for secular sainthood?

    Obama and Axelrod have kept their opposition researchers busy during the current campaign. A few months ago, an Obama campaign memo said: “The Clintons have reaped significant financial rewards from their relationship with the Indian community, both in their personal finances and Hillary’s campaign fundraising.” It called her “Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab).” Obama’s campaign sent it to reporters on a “not for attribution” basis. The Clinton campaign made it public, prompting protests from Indian-Americans. Only then did Obama apologize.

    More recently, Marc Ambinder reported in the Atlantic (subscription required): “In August, Obama’s team scored a significant hit by helping to place a story in several newspapers revealing that Norman Hsu, a major Clinton donor, had skipped town after having pleaded no contest to a charge of grand theft 15 years earlier and still faced an outstanding warrant.” The hit proved less effective when it turned out that Obama’s campaign had sought Hsu’s financial help.

    There is nothing Satanic about Obama’s tactics. He and his team are just playing tough, old-fashioned politics. What’s offensive is his insistence that he’s above it all. His supporters are swooning over a halo that isn’t there.

  9. It's a tough gamme, winning the White House

    No pussies need apply.

    But ya can't be a bitch, either

    Gotta present that fine line of balance.

  10. Good Gawd!
    What is it with this "Sex thing"
    and the GOP?
    Ryan's sweet, non-lyin honey,
    and now,
    Hill should get in just for stickin w/Bill!

  11. To the contrary!
    Pussies are Intimately Implicated, 'Rat!

  12. Maybe we should try the Bill and Hill Sexual Outlaw Gambit, and run the Wide-Stanced One from Albob's home state.

  13. The most famous GOPers, they do not even pursue pussy, doug.

    Foley and Craig, exemplify the current State of Affairs, within the GOP.

    The Republican with the foxy wife, a media star, "7 of 9", frequently goin' to sex clubs.

    Not the "Family Values" I grew up with.

    Now, granted, Barney Frank doesn't like girls, either. But he doesn't troll airport restrooms, he uses his basement as a profit center.

  14. Craig appears after the Superbowl with a demonstration of Self-Sacrificing Toilet Paper Cleanup in a Public Bathroom.
    A Sure Weiner!

  15. Obama's got an Axelrod on his side.
    The Black Man's Advantage.

  16. AQ smells a political change acommin, oh yea :

    Suicide Bomber Kills Key Sunni Leader in Baghdad

    Published: January 8, 2008
    BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber assassinated a key leader of American-backed militia forces in a Sunni stronghold of Baghdad on Monday morning, the latest attack on nationalist Sunnis who have recently allied themselves with American troops. That attack, and a second bomb that exploded minutes later, killed at least six and wounded another 26 in total, hospital officials said.

    The killing of the militia leader, Col. Riyadh al-Samarrai, on the fringes of north Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district, was one of the most significant attacks so far on leaders of former Sunni insurgents who have banded into militias, known as Awakening groups, to fight extremist militants.

  17. If Barry really has brains, he'll keep that Filly of his Baking Cookies.
    No Pap there, just outspoken PC jarring jargon.
    Meanwhile the Pubs will have to provide Pap smears, given their recent record.

  18. Not just in Iraq

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Associated Press) -- A security official says suspected Islamic militants have killed eight tribal leaders negotiating for a cease-fire between Pakistani forces and insurgents

  19. "A caucusgoer drily noted that it did not seem the most propitious harbinger for Hillary that the fateful evening began with a threat to withhold connubial bliss."
    Norm MacDonald, subbing for Dennis Miller, asks a caller from Iowa how the caucuses are going.

    Caller responds,
    "I'm holding my Caucus with both hands, and I'm tired of getting jerked around. "

  20. 'Rat:
    Ghosts That Haunt Pakistan

    In many respects, the country’s military rulers have governed little better, and, many Pakistanis would argue, in some ways even worse. But until relatively recently, when the growing brazenness of Islamic militant attacks and the army’s heavy-handed responses began to seriously erode his support, General Musharraf won popular approval with economic policies that attracted the heaviest foreign investment inflows in Pakistan’s history, and an annual growth rate that came close to matching India’s, averaging about 7 percent. Many in the middle class who now clamor for his removal spoke of the general with admiration, acknowledged that he seemed personally uncorrupt, and remarked on how matters had improved with the removal of Ms. Bhutto and Mr. Sharif.
    Remember when Larson cited investment in Pakistan as evidence that things were going better than as reported?

    Wonder who's investing in Pakistan, now?

  21. Bill Kristol asks--could Hucklebee be our strongest nominee?

    "He could be. After the last two elections, featuring the well-born George Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry, Americans — even Republicans! — are ready for a likable regular guy. Huckabee seems to be that. He came up from modest origins. He served as governor of Arkansas for more than a decade. He fought a successful battle against being overweight.

    In a nation of fat tubs, surely this is a winning resume!

  22. On second thought, nah, it would make people envious, and be seen as asking too much of them.

  23. If you look at the last thread, doug, you can see my response, re: Mr Burns, Pakistan and the British decisions made, circa 1947/48.

    Billery says we need to start seperating rhetoric from reality.

    Gotta luv it.

  24. Larsen didn't really believe in the "global-zone of percolating violence" formulation advanced by certain elements in the US and Britain

    Didn't beleive that the irreconcilable mussulmen were really finding sanctuary in Pakistan or that the General-President was not a pillar of stability.

    Didn't believe that the ISI was aligned against public US interests while cashing US Government checks.
    $10 Billion USD worth, that much is acknowledged by US. No "black funding" numbers available.

  25. That elijah, he comes up with winners, time and again.

    Last I saw he was bringing up the "red & black", which is another set of code words that symbolizes...

    I think of the Bohemian Grove and the costumes reportedly worn there, but ...

    Those colors symbols could be related to many other things, as well.

  26. Whit wrote:

    "Obama is down with the unions and against corporate America. If you're young and hep like Obama, you know that "down with" does not mean "down on." It means the Unions are his peeps. He wants to review NAFTA and CAFTA for adverse impact on US labor. Of course, he's a union man and as such, he is all for whatever the Unions are all for and against whatever the Unions are against. He's has also proposed a system which automatically raises the minimum wage."

    I thought Hillary was the establishment candidate? The shoe-in. The one whom the unions backed. The actual membership of the union may switch their support to Obama but it is a bit late for the bosses to gain leverage with the man. Besides, I thought most of the posters here hate the free trade business oriented place the US is. Anti-union has been a pillar of the business 'pub but so many here sound like unionistas when you complain of business folk hiring those willing to work.

  27. Ash, you always almost get it. Business folk who hire illegals are breaking US law. If the law stands for one, it stands for all. Willingness has nothing to do with it.

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  30. The issue is much larger then just the illegal immigrant issue. There is all the moaning about the competitiveness of US manufacturing when compared to 'low cost' countries.

  31. Call me a National Socialist (Nazi for short), but I'm in favor of organized labor. Undocumented foreign workers and their employers should be sent to government labor camps where they be made to mine quarries (by hand) until their remaining days.

  32. Seems that the Black "Establishment" the Labor "Establishment", all the usual suspects, were with Billery. Wih cause, really. They do have a history of rhetoric and walk around money being provided to both those "Establishments".

    Since the largest Unions are Government Service workers. An expanding Government suits both the "Establishment" and most of those workers. The government workers knowing that Obama is not a backslider, and he has a better, more hopeful, presentation. More government growth is assured, that is where the Obama hope emenates from, more Government intervention, an open hope chest.

    The Teamsters, under Hoffa, have flirted with the GOP, but remain pretty independent of both Parties. They are the ones most threaten by the NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.

    Which is not say those opposed to those agreements are pandering to the Teamsters or Longshoremen.

    Personally, I've never complained about people willing to work, but those that work illegally and those that break the law by hiring them.

    The Healthcare rhetoric is aimed, to a great extent, at the UAW and it's members. The legacy healthcare costs that the Detroit manufacturers are suffering under, are bankrupting the US operations of those companies.

    Delphi best exemplifies that fact. An interesting talking point, there are more healthcare expenses factored into a new car, than steel costs. If the manufacturesr could eliminate healthcare costs from their books, their cars would be more price competitive. There are aproximately $1,500 USD in healthcare costs in each car.

    Spread those amongst the entire population, not just the new car buyers, and the Union shop Manufacturers and the Unions would be better off. Take some of the edge from the Canada and Mexican advantages, vis a vie US plants.

    All the Establishment groups of both parties are seemingly being caught flat footed, so far this cycle.

    It is interesting to watch them dance to the new tunes.

  33. Hillary in tears, lead evaporating all across America, campaign talk of quiting, Huck recruiting 'army of God' in churches, Romney going to kick out illeals 'in 90 days', who'd have thunk it. Not me, for sure.

  34. Tears

    Well, hell, what a phoney, that woman can't even put on a good blubber.

  35. You're nothing but a rotten Nazi, Mat.

  36. I thought she looked pretty sincere there. She also seemed to be sincerely stating her desire to be President; she really really REALLY wants to be President. Life's tough, especially when you don't get what you want.

  37. That wasn't even half a blubber Ash. But, you're right, she really really wants to be President. Bill's out there now saying, I can't make Hillary into a man, can't make her taller...first time the 'sex card' has been played in Predidential politics.

    Whoopi Goldberg...she could play the race, sex, and Jewish card! A winning hand.

  38. Mat could play the Nazi card.

    The Jewish Nazi card:)

    (You asked for it, Mat!)

    Gotta go...before the blowback.

  39. Don't want to drink that backsliders wine.

    It's about our children, our country, our children & our country

    Our potential, it's so hard, but the pizza makes it worthwhile

    thank you, all

  40. Rotten to the iron core, Bob.