|Obama's Jobs Hole||You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet|
by Christopher Chantrill
January 22, 2010 at 11:15 am
ON THE HOLIDAY celebrating Martin Luther Kings birthday we celebrate also the first year of Americas first black president, Barack Obama.
Its telling that 47 years ago, when Reverend King made his great speech on the Washington Mall, he did not say that he had a dream that one day, an African American would become president. Kings vision on August 28, 1963 was less ambitious:
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Even so, Barack Obama was elected president based on the color of his skin. African Americans on the night of November 4, 2008 wept with joy because one of their own had become president, against all that they had been told and feared about a racist America. Liberals rejoiced because of the first, that America had answered the question: Was it ready for a black president?
Some Americans voted for Barack Obama for non-racial reasons. Independents and disgruntled Republicans were voting against the mistakes and the corruption of the Bush era.
Now that Obama is president he is no longer being judged by the color of his skin. Now the vast majority of Americans will judge him on the content of his character. It is his character, of course, that is the great unknown, as Charles Krauthammer has written:
Obama is a man of first-class intellect and first-class temperament. But his character remains highly suspect.
But word is starting to dribble out. Reports Hugh Hewitt on the latest campaign page-turner, Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilmann:
The portrait of the president is really an effort in poison-pen pointillism, where hundreds and hundreds of razor sharp paragraphs combine to create a deeply disquieting picture of the new president. President Obama is presented as insecure and needy of reassurance (p. 25), self-important, cynical and megalomaniacal (pp 30-31), petulant and spoiled (p. 111), touchy and vain (p. 112), hypocritical (p. 119), overweening (p. 184) and deceptive (p. 120.)
Another disquieting note is the overarching theme of Obamas first year of governance, the determination to govern against the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, that government gains its just powers from the consent of the governed. The American people do not consent to the $787 billion stimulus. They do not consent to the cap-and-trade bill. They do not consent to the federalization of health care.
The comparison to the character and governance of President George W. Bush is telling. We knew, before we elected him to be president, a lot about his character: his fight against business failure and alcoholism. His character was confirmed in the challenges of his presidency when President Bush submitted to a political immolation in his second term as the price of getting the war on terror right.
The awful chasm opening before us today after the first year of Obama is the realization that we have no knowledge of President Obamas character. If President Bush was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, President Obama has been spoon-fed royal jelly by the worker bees in the liberal hive all his adult life. Even now, we know of no occasion in a charmed life when Barack Obama has risen above the shibboleths and routine thuggeries of political faction.
Yet President Obama is called to lead the nation out of a nasty recession provoked by his partys compulsive manipulation of the credit system, a history that reaches from the $400 billion losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all the way back to Andrew Jacksons war with the Second United States Bank.
In the year ahead, as unemployment stays high and as isolated desertions in the Democratic ranks metastasize into headlong routs of whole battalions, President Obama will face challenges that test every fiber of his being. Sensing his insecurity and need for reassurance, cunning men and women will suggest ways of using his political power to get back in the game. Will he sacrifice his party and his presidency and do the right thing, or will he sacrifice the American people on the altar of political expediency?
I fear the answer to that question.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State