“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."

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Romance is Gone. But Don't Worry. It's Not Him; It's Us. We Failed Obama.

The Crumbling Cult of Obama

Sorry guys, there are no more kings

The romance is gone. But don't worry. It's not him; it's you.
It turns out we are the ones who failed Him. We weren't prepared for a mega-dosage of awesomeness. We were too dimwitted to grasp the decency of central planning. And the insistence of troublemakers to engage in debate and vote, in fact, is the most serious threat to this nation's future.
In a recent New York Times piece, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology and a Democratic strategist, wrote that the American public had been "desperate for a leader who would speak with confidence, and they were ready to follow wherever the president led." Do Americans really have some innate autocratic tendency that makes them desperately seek out a half-term senator "wherever" he may lead?
Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, recently echoed Westen's authoritarian sentiment in a Daily Beast piece, titled "Obama Is Too Good for Us," wherein he disparaged a system that allows mere simpletons to transfer their free market absurdity to Washington through elections. Similarly, Jacob Weisberg of Slate wrote that because of "intellectual primitives" on the right, "compromise is dead" and "there's no point trying to explain complicated matters to the American people. The president has tried reasonableness and he has failed."
"Reasonableness," you'll remember, is shoving a wholly partisan, Byzantine restructuring of the health care system through Congress in the midst of an economic downturn. But chipping a few billion off a $3.7 trillion budget in exchange for raising the debt ceiling is an act of irrationality that has, apparently, sucked the very soul from the American project.
The sight of a crumbling Cult of Obama—and with it the end of the progressive presidency—has many on the left so frustrated that they simply dismiss the very idea of ideological debate. To challenge the morality and rationality of Obamanomics only means you're bought, too stupid to know any better or, most likely, both. A slack-jawed hostage-taking saboteur.
Armed with this unearned intellectual and ethical superiority, it is not surprising to hear someone like John Kerry reprimand the media for even covering conservative viewpoints. It is predictable that the Senate would "investigate" a private entity like Standard & Poor's for giving an opinion on American debt that conflicted with its own. (Remember when not listening to the Dixie Chicks was a "chilling of free speech"?)
Obama himself blamed the volatile stock market on the "prolonged debate over the debt ceiling...where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip." So it's not the job-killing policy or another $4 trillion of debt in two years that's problematic; it's the insistence of elected officials to represent their constituents that's really killing America.
Following the lead of the Environmental Protection Agency, Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently used this imagined "dysfunction" as an excuse to try to unilaterally implement comprehensive education "reform" by bypassing law and using a waiver system. Why? "Right now," Duncan explained, "Congress is pretty dysfunctional. They're not getting stuff done."
Hate to break the news to you, Arne; for many Americans, stopping this administration from "getting stuff done" is getting stuff done.
The Founding Fathers rightly feared that the purer the democracy the more susceptible voters would be to the emotion of the moment and the demagogues who take advantage of it. Needless to say, we are democratic enough to get the politicians we deserve.
But debate is not dysfunction. Feel free to bemoan the fact that the American people are not automatons, but "getting stuff done" is not the charge of the Constitution. Neither is having a king, though sometimes you get the feeling that a lot of folks who believe in power as the wellspring of morality are really annoyed by that fact.
David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Blaze. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.


  1. The lesson of 911 was that Muslims were the victims of 911.

  2. After the Fall presents a selection of these fascinating testimonies, with heartbreaking and enlightening stories from a broad range of New Yorkers. The interviews include first-responders, taxi drivers, school teachers, artists, religious leaders, immigrants, and others who were interviewed at intervals since the 2001 attacks.

    After the Fall

  3. I slept through the debate. Did anyone look good? I read something about Bachmann kept going to the powder room during commercials?

  4. Needless to say, WE are democratic enough to get the politicians we deserve.Obama is absurd with his romantic and noble arguments about diversity. Almost all Muslims are immigrants, and Obama's argument is that Muslim Immigration can be a good thing but there is no guarantee that the outcome is a rich and diverse society. Immigraiton built America but the world was a different place then. People emmigrated to America for freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, today that is more the exception than the rule. Too many immigrants today have come here to cheat, game the system, abuse our liberal social policies and generosity. Unless we are prepared to hand over the keys to our civilization and watch it destroyed by people who have no respect or interest in our traditions, values and institutions I urge extreme caution. Immigration should first be of measurable and tangible value to us and then second to the immigrant. Also, we must have in place significant protocol, both formal and informal, to assimilate these immigrants into our society. Otherwise, we are doomed to fail at this and we will regret it for sure.

  5. Why is it that anyone who brings up an objection to illegal immigration is called a racist?? How can we possibly create twenty million new voters that will support politicians that promise them everything for nothing. All that everything has to come from someone. Illegal immigrants will be brought into our system and take from us what we have worked so hard to build. They are all opportunists and care nothing for this country except for what they can get from it. Immigration has brought in a class of welfare dependents who will not or cannot contribute to society. Everywhere, there have been increases of crime and poverty due to economic strain. In addition, the large amount of Islamic immigrants can not or will not assimilate into the mainstream culture. WAKE UP!!!!

  6. Pat Buchanan was right. We should have gone isolationist a long time ago.

  7. Think I am wrong come to California, any school, any hospital, any welfare office, all filled with immigrants that need and take. Who do they take from?

  8. The operative word, anon, is not immigrant, but "legal".

    Legal is a flexible concept.
    Always changing.

    The immigrants that I know, they did not come here to "game" the system.

    They came here to find freedom, liberty and prosperity. A better life for their children, than could be found in Africa.

    Oh, they "take" from their Christian God, for the most part.
    Finding strength to face adversity, there.

  9. I think anon's operative word was 'illegal'.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. .

    I think anon's operative word was 'illegal'.

    I don't think so.

    If so, it took him an awful long time to say so.

    Not having lived in CA I can't comment on the problems caused there by immigration. However, given the culture of the people living there it's likely all problems there would have existed anyway. Immigration merely exacerbated them. It's the land of liberal (and not Classical Liberal)thought, the 9th Court of Appeals, free love and free education (at least at one time). It is the 'land of the fruits and the nuts.'

    As far as other southwestern states, Rat can speak to Arizona. My impression is that the problems there are more the result of the drug trade than of the immigrants.

    The fact is that we seem to have already found a solution to the immigration problem at least for those coming from the south. People are leaving the US in droves because there are no jobs and heading to countries south of the border. All we need to do is stay on the current economic path here and we won't have to worry about immigrants, illegal or otherwise.

    I'm against illegal immigration for any reason, primarily out of respect for the law but also because of fairness. Given our wacked immigration laws the illegals take the place of the legal immigrants who can't get in and who could actually bring some value to this country. Perhaps my experiance is different than everyone else but the immigrants (merely an assumption on my part based on appearance) I have seen work a hell of a lot harder than many natural born Americans I see doing the same jobs.

    With the baby boomers retiring, we need more people added to the workforce than we can produce. One way to get them is through legal immigration. If we are unwilling to emphasize and promote training in this country for engineers, IT specialists, and scientists, the only way we are going to get the talent we need is through immigration. It's a shit thing to admit but them's the facts.

    Otherwise we can solve our employment problem by encouraging Wendy's, Micky-D's, and Burger King to open a few more restaurants.


  12. The problem with the drugs, Q, again the operative word is "legal".

    Just as whiskey made some of the rum runners wealthy men, so to has the prohibition on marijuana created an economic boon for many.

    As often happens when the Federals attempt to choose which life choices are the "winners", in the social sphere of our culture.

    We are given a false, binary choice, with regards immigration.
    Either limiting the immigrants from coming to the US, or granting them citizenship, carte blanche.

    When in reality, there are other, viable, options we could explore.

    With regards Mexico, the societal assimilation is well underway.
    In Mexico incomes and the standard of living, both rising quickly. The incomes and standard of living here, in the US, stagnant for the past decade.

    The great American convergence continues.

  13. This fellow ...

    A REAL Dirty White Boy.

    Former Luzerne County (Pennsylvania) Judge Mark Ciavarella has been spending his time doing odd jobs for a car towing service while he awaited sentencing since being found guilty on felony corruption charges. Well his painting days are over and 61 year old judge is heading to federal prison for 28 years…a life sentence.

    His sentencing brings to closure a dark time in the history of the city of Wilkes-Barre, PA, which is in Luzerne County. He was found guilty back in February of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of for-profit prisons for juveniles. Ciavarella who left the bench over two years ago after he and another judge, Michael Conahan, were accused of sentencing youngsters to prisons they had a hand in building. Prosecutors alleged that Conahan, who pleaded guilty last year and is awaiting sentencing, and Ciavarella received kick-backs from the private company that built and maintained the new youth detention facility that replaced the older county-run center

    Any bets as to the racial profile of the youths sentenced to that prison the judges were partners in.

  14. As the show in Cairo continues.

    The Egyptian military remains the driving force of government, in Egypt.

    ... who are the people trying Mubarak? The head of the military junta, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, who was his protege for years, and other members of the clique, all of whom were Mubarak loyalists and appointees. Even without knowing too much about the judges and the prosecutors, it would not be a wild guess to imagine that they were not among the people who demonstrated in Tahrir Square,
    but rather where nurtured and promoted during Mubarak's tenure.

  15. However, given the culture of the people living there it's likely all problems there would have existed anyway.

    A guy that just said he doesn't know anything about California might want stick to Detroit.


    I've been reading some of my newly purchased Bookpeople collection of Hemingway Reviews.

    The stuff they get into!

    "Hemingway's Taxation"

    Born in 1899, when the income tax first came in 1913 I think the rate was 1%. By the late 30's and 40's Hem found himself in the 91% bracket. He spent lots of time trying to figure legal ways to get around some of this, by living overseas for instance, which didn't work out cause he was 'self employed' so he made some documentaries (The Spanish Earth) and wrote for some magazines. Martha Gelhorn was big into writing for magazines (therby being an employee) overseas, taking advantage of the overseas tax break. This put a big strain on that particular marriage. Anyway, Hem fought it all legally, was audited once (outcome sealed) and stuck with his tax account (as did Mary after his death) all the way through. There is a good long quote out of a letter to his accountant saying do it legal, I feel I have an obligation to help my government, but not so damned much.

    Anyway, quite interesting.

    California used to be a paradise
    Quirk, even I can remember how it was.

    91% -- sheesh what are we bitching about?


  16. .

    California used to be a paradise
    Quirk, even I can remember how it was.

    And you blame the current situation on the Mexicans.

    I don't see it that way. Did they contribute. Sure. But in my opinion, California would have ended up where they are today anyway. They had a liberal culture, voted in liberal lawmakers, had the 9th Circuit to uphold the legality of their liberal pronouncements, and voted in liberal policies that invited everyone to come there for a piece of the action (from those seeking a cheap education to immigrants to the thousands of homeless panhandlers that populate the beach areas).

    As for you remembering California as a paradise, maybe that was because you were 30 to 40 years younger. As I recall, everything seemed like paradise to me back then.


  17. .

    The same applies for blaming the UK riots on the blacks. Were they involved. Sure. But so were a lot of whites.

    It was a black guy who got shot. It was a group of them protesting the police action that started it. However, after the first night, it was just general mayhem with every race taking part, as evidenced by the pictures we saw.

    Big cities in the UK are populated by young thugs or by others out for a good time who just don't give a shit. Let's face it, it is the home of the Glasgow Kiss and we've seen their sportsmanship at soccer games.


  18. Well, maybe Quirk, I'm not in an arguing mode.

    91% !!!!!

    That's a tax bite.


  19. I took the time to read each of these brave individuals' names. I thought you might want to as well.
    May they rest in Peace.

    From the Department of Defense:

    The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

    Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

    Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.,

    Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.,

    Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas,

    Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

    Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.,

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.,

    Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah,

    Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.,

    Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.,

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa,

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla., and

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

    The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif., and

    Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, ofSaint Paul, Minn.

  20. The soldiers killed were:

    Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.;

    Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.;

    Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.;

    Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.; and

    Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

    The airmen killed were:

    Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.;

    Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.; and

    Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

    All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.

  21. Others complain of a 15% capital gains tax.

  22. There are many, gag, that do not celebrate the ongoing US policy success in Egypt, our proxies remain entrenched in power.

    The Syrian government has been effectively neutered.

    Lebanon remains balanced on the precipice of savagery.

    In Libya it has become evident that the Colonel is unable to launch terrorist operations in Europe. Another plus for US

    No complaints, there.

    In Afghanistan the US is supplying security to the opiates that are flooding north, into Russian society.

    I firmly believe we could accomplish that mission with a much smaller military footprint. By allowing free market forces to flourish and the opiate trade to become self supporting.
    So, in that regard I do have some complaint with our Afghan policy.

    I defy anyone to study the US tax code and not find reason to complain.

    With the Federals using the code to try to implement societal management it has become evident that allowing that extension of civil authority and power was poorly debated and has been poorly managed and worthy of complaint.
    Making debate as to the viability of using the tax code to successfully achieve social goals.


  23. The Tax code is like the weather. Everyone complains about it, but no one ever does anything about it.

  24. The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.

  25. I have offered revenue and tax code solutions, a time or two.

    The proposals never taken to task, in Congress.

    As has been the norm, since I came of age.

    Instead of addressing the root cause of our economic malaise, the Congress debates the debt projections for 2020.

    Balance of trade deficits and employment opportunities should be the business at hand, in DC.

    It is unfortunate that both subjects are far from being addressed in DC.
    Both would entail reformation of the tax code. That is a legislative subject that the House Republicans have announced is "Off Limits", even if keeping the faith entails what Newt calls "gutting" the military.

  26. That is why I call them morons, Rat. You disagreed with that moniker as I believe you put it, "they have done quite well for themselves."

    I know some very wealthy people I would not get in the car with, as my dad used to say.

  27. Their goals and yours, gag, diverge.

  28. If only we were so fortunate to have yobrat running the country 'all would be well in the garden'.

    It's in the twenties somewhere plus the Idaho tacked on top of that.

    It is simply a tax on the passage of time. Just a transfer of wealth from me to thee.


  29. This year's cars, and light trucks, are only averaging 21 mpg. With gasoline at $3.60/gal it's costing Joe, and Jane Bottom 40% about $0.17/mile to do their business.

    By the Spring of the year they could, easily be back to $0.20/mile.

    Our First order of business has to be to get these costs back down to the $0.10/mile range. History has shown that when people can go about their business for $0.10/mile, or less, business booms.

    If we can achieve this using Local labor, and Local resources it will be even that much better.

    There are Two tracks to this goal. The first is "more efficient, higher mileage" vehicles. We're getting started on that track, as we speak.

    The Second Track is to get off High Cost Imported Oil, and onto "lower cost, homegrown biofuels." Here, we got off to a decent start with corn ethanol; but we've now stalled out.

  30. A million pipefitters, steelworkers, boilermakers, electricians, sheet metal workers, carpenters, plumbers, concrete workers, Stainless Steel workers, machinery operators, tractor drivers, equipment manufacturers, farmers, and engineers, and their families, Off the Dole, and onto Payrolls building local cellulosic ethanol refineries all around the country would put a huge Dent in our current problems.

    And, with our government paying landowners NOT to plant 30,000,000 Acres of marginal land, we would save a bundle, there, alone.

  31. May as well tax time, it as viable a Federal revenue source as labor.

    More so, really.

  32. What is a tax upon labor, if not a tax on the laborers time?

  33. Explain to us, boob, why your time should be taxed at a lower rate than that of an auto worker in Kentucky or a burger flipper at Micky D's?

  34. Even the GOP's Balance Budget Amendment calls for Federal spending @ 18% of GDP.

    At this point Federal revenue for the past two years has been 14.9% of GDP. The lowest it has been for 51 years, with no two consecutive years ever being so low.

    A 3% GDP shortfall between current revenues and what the GOP wants to amend the Constitution to mandate, 18% of GDP spending, as part of the permanent doctrine.

    Even the GOP acknowledges there is a need to increase revenue, if 18% of GDP should become the Constitutional spending percentage approved for a balanced budget.

  35. At this point Federal revenue for the past two years has been 14.9% of GDP. The lowest it has been for 51 years, with no two consecutive years ever being so low.

    We're in the Great Depression II, doncha know. Tax in the good times.

  36. sytycd

    I just ordered tickets. I'm taking my daughter to see the show at the Taj Mahal.

    Yay me…12th row. She was so excited.


    I must have been in that grain bin 1,000 times in my life, now it's turning into a Shakespearean Theatre.

    Acoustics a problem but a tarp as the 'sky' solved the problem of the actor's voice disappearing into the upper reaches. Great for booms, bang, thunder ect though, really reverberates.

    Met the guy putting it all together. Wonderful fellow.

    First play coming up next week, The Tempest, one of my favorites. We're of course goin'.

    Am I excited!

    Yobborat you are an idiot.


  38. Because I'm not making any money, you stupid shit, just keeping up with the general inflation, then sell something, get a third taken away - it's not too complex, well, at least for most people.

    Yobborat, like yobs everywhere, thinks emotion is reason, which it ain't.

    I am going to bed now, I'm pooped.


  39. Emotion?

    Emotion has nothing to do with your attempts at shirking normal social responsibilities.

    You feel your time to be more valuable than the time of others, a symptom of being emotionally stifled.

    You're a parasite upon our society, boob.

  40. You claim a tax upon time is unfair, but deny the time value of labor.

    Dementia, perhaps a touch of "Old Timers", is ever more evident in your positions.

    Better see a professional, boobie.

  41. It's called an hourly wage, you stupid shit.