|The Content of Obama's Character||Budget Fun with Fannie and Freddie|
by Christopher Chantrill
February 03, 2010 at 12:47 am
ISNT it great to have a Republican Senator from Massachusetts? Its also good to have the First Amendment reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Courteven if our liberal friends are shocked and appalled at the notion of corporations sticking up for themselves.
As delicious as last weeks good news was for conservatives, You Aint Seen Nothing Yet. We do not mean that every week will bring new conservative successes. Not at all. It is just that every month will bring fresh anguish for President Obama and his supporters.
Theres the sinking spell in the equity markets last week. It might be worrying about the presidents anti-banker populism. Or, more likely it is telling us that we are not out of the woods yet on the economy. I suspect disappointing news on fourth quarter GDP on January 29.
Indeed, its pretty clear after 2009, the year the locusts ate, that President Obama and his liberal supporters are facing an annus horribilis And they know it. Heres Jon Jeter of The Root telling his readers to be afraid, very afraid. He sees a perfect, gathering storm of economics, politics and tribalism[.]
Trilbalism? Im afraid so. Racism is rearing its ugly head again. Jeter quotes Andrea Mitchell, who sees anger out there, the worst since the days of George Wallace. And guess who will be taking the part of George Wallace this time around: Sarah Palin.
Palin is the latest in a long line of demagogues from post-Reconstruction governors in the Deep South to Father Coughlin in the 30s, from Reagan to Lou Dobbswhove emerged to redeem, or reclaim, the land from Northern carpetbaggers and uppity Negroes.
It still takes me by surprise when the liberals reaches for the racist red-neck line. Yet it makes complete sense. If you are writing the narrative of a progressive vanguard leading the world into a highly evolved future then your story needs an antagonist. The red-neck racist truck driver with a rifle in the back window fits the part to a T.
Presumably President Obama is trying to pre-empt the right-wing racists by getting the first dagger into the backs of the bankers. After all, it was the bankers that sent the Okies to California.
Heres my prediction. The presidents banker gambit will fall as flat as his stimulus plan, his cap-and-trade bill, and his ObamaCare fiasco. But that will be the least of his problems. There will be continuing high unemployment right through 2010 that I predicted a couple of weeks ago. Theres the housing market that still hasnt turned. Theres the huge monetary stimulus that must be unwound. Theres the budget crisis in the states. There is the tax increase coming in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire. Oh, and did I mention the budget deficit and runaway federal spending, and everyones favorite, Fannie and Freddie?
It is becoming more and more clear that neither Obama nor Axelrod nor Emanuel really understands ordinary suburban, private-sector, Joe the Plumber America. Urban America they know. But not suburban Massachusetts.
Scott Browns victory last week, writes Bill Kristol, demonstrated the potential of an enlightened, good-natured, constructive populism. Notice also how the new Brownian motion slices through the enlightened progressives vs. benighted reactionaries narrative of liberal Jon Jeter.
Jeters liberal way is the pre-modern way, a hierarchical moral order, with the educated elite guiding the un-evolved peasants. The conservative way is the Modern Moral Order, as Charles Taylor describes it in A Secular Age,
The basic normative principle is, indeed, that the members of society serve each others needs, help each other, in short, behave like the rational and sociable creatures that they are... In other words, the basic point of the new normative order [is] the mutual respect and mutual service of the individuals who make up society.
This all comes straight from John Locke. So a president that wants health care organized in a single administrative bureaucratic program is rather missing the basic Lockean point. He is proposing a new version of the old medieval hierarchical structure where kings ruled by divine right. Only now liberals want to rule by educated right.
The president has a problem, as Mark Steyn points out:
[Obama ran for president] as something hes not, and never has been: a post-partisan, centrist, transformative healer[.]
After a year of the president reverting to type as a partisan, left-liberal wheeler-dealer, the American people have declared in three elections so far that they didnt vote for that. They wanted someone who would stop the bickering and grow the economy.
So what does Obama do now? The way hes going, there may not be a Democratic Party by the end of his term in 2013.
As I say, you aint seen nothing yet.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
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
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
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
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