While many talking heads point to the many scandals that the administration continues to juggle, from Fast & Furious, to the Benghazi debacle, from Solyndra’s bankruptcy, to fisting safe-school czars, to Gaza-located campaign donations – President Obama has covered nearly every segment of scandal possible. Lack of leadership, the promotion of people of questionable character, shady money, and plenty of yes-men to provide quick, albeit, shallow, explanations for all of it are now part of the presidential modus operandi.
Like Obama, another politician who entered office with much fanfare, and promise, was Ulysses S. Grant, former Union general and war hero. Having never held office before, Grant realized that he would have to lean on others who proclaimed their own altruism and care for their country. After two terms, he left office with a much different view of politics, nearly dragging a split Republican party into ruin, and having a greatly sullied reputation.
How much are Obama and Grant actually alike? The entire article, scandals and all, can be found here, at The Constitution Club: http://constitutionclub.org/2013/11/06/history-repeating-itself-2/
According to the hackneyed narrative, the Republicans are the party of “no”. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is where brilliant liberal ideas go to fester, and writhe, to a sad death, either through inaction or being ignored. For example, the president drafts a budget, and sends it to the House, and then it is never heard about again – falling into a sort of legislative Bermuda Triangle.
The main problems with this entire narrative (which I hope the reader have already identified) are at least twofold: one, the president’s budget is a mere guideline – a wishlist of where he would like to see money spent (and the House is under no obligation to be his rubber stamp), and two, it is actually the Senate where bills have frequently been abandoned, and left to collect dust.
The rest of my gripe with the hypocrisy and two-facedness of the left is located here, on
Free Radical Network
After listening to a group of friends discussing tactics and tendencies of the left, and making my way through a psychology book, I think I have come to some enlightening tendencies and rationales why the left, and politicians in general, behave as they do.
While many of us who are conservatives or libertarians easily repeat the tired axiom that the left “just wants control” or that they “want to run everything, because they think they know better”, it seems like that is the end of the statement. We roll our eyes, or shake our heads, or take another belt of the strongest liquor that is within arms’ reach. However, a statement made is not a reason understood, or is it a mind stoked.
The rationale behind that axiom seems to be the implication that the leftists just want control for control’s sake. Put more succinctly, they want power so they can do whatever they like. In some cases, that is true, but I think I have found the real reason so many liberals, and many Republicans too, now, seem to want power.
It is simply that they lack self-control. The lack of personal self-control forces them to seek another way to exert control, and they see government “service” as a viable substitute. And when you add to that, government’s coercive force – you have a situation made in heaven for someone who has to exert control somehow.
That pairing – a lack of personal control and the ability to use governmental force – and it is little surprise to see the sorts of news stories that we do see frequently. Along with the lack of self-control, as if that were not bad enough, the media frequently gives the failing politicians a complete pass. So, it creates a politician who cannot adequately run themselves, but who benefit from a complete exemption from any results of when their new exercises of governmental power fail miserably.
We see this in any number of politicians who ardently fight for legislation that curbs rights and expands government, and who then have had to deal with numerous scandals and other ethical failings. The examples are all too common, including people like: Jon Corzine (ethical concerns during his tenure as New Jersey governor and a loss of $1.2 billion while he was CEO at MF Global) , Anthony Weiner (possible anger and interpersonal issues, as well as a well-publicized sexting scandal), and any number of other legislators or cabinet members revealed as tax-dodgers (Timothy Geithner, Jack Abramoff, Ted Stevens, and Charles Rangel [who, ironically, helped write parts of the tax code]) or found guilty of other corruption charges (James Traficant and William J. Jefferson). If it were not for the scandalous nature of the most egregious failings, the media would happily and continuously lay cover for the politicians.
When caught failing at their public roles, we frequently then see the politicians attempt to exert control over reality itself – telling us “that really didn’t happen”, or that we cannot understand the forces that they are under that lead to their actions. Another popular tactic is to invent a scapegoat – “someone else did it”, as Weiner did with his Twitter scandal. He blamed hacking until it was so obvious that no one believed that lie.
It is about psychology.
Sun Tzu famously told people in “The Art of War”, “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” Those who would be change-makers have so much ammunition given to them by the current, stale, time-to-go politicians, but they blanch too easily when confronted by the same politicians. When the people who would fight for the betterment of the country started to shrink back and disappear, I do not know, but the time of a pat on the back and a wink, are over. Now that you know the litmus test to apply to politicians (“Are they loose cannons in their personal lives? Yes? Then vote for anybody else.”) Use it.
This week, on Openculture.com, I stumbled onto a reference of a Bertrand Russell column from 1951. In the New York Times Magazine article, Russell shared his “10 Commandments for a Healthy Democracy”. Now, dismissing for a moment whether he was a classical liberal, a neo-liberal, an English liberal, or American liberal, I would like to allow the commandments to stand on their own.
I propose to take Russell’s rules, and use them to give a simple zero to two grading scale for each of the majorities in the houses of Congress, and for the President and his administration. Along with the grades, I will also list the most significant reasons for assigning the grades that I have. At the end, I will tally the scores, and reveal who has been the most misguided, and most ignorant when it came to Russell’s advice. So, here is Russell’s commandments vs. the United States government’s behavior.
Read the entire piece here, on Conservative Daily News:
“Russell’s Rules vs. Today’s Government Rule“
We have seen the missteps and the successes of the Obama administration. We have seen the worst, seemingly having each “accomplishment” being worse and worse than the previous one. The country is now subject to a namesake piece of legislation, in Obamacare, and we have seen Obama’s revolving door of big-government, tax-and-spend Keynesians spin like a dynamo.
We have seen the confident Obama boast that, “We won” when talking about his party, and their misreading of elections results. Most recently, the country has seen the administration’s misunderstanding of the Middle East, and their finger-pointing ability when they sought to make the Benghazi fiasco go away. We were witness to a massive fall in the president’s support among his former voters too (although it was not enough to overcome the lack of support for Mitt Romney among conservatives).
So, how does all this make Obama a hero of the right?
Read the rest, along with my explanation on how the right should take advantage of the left’s frequent missteps and failures, here: Conservative Daily News “Obama, The Gift That Keeps Giving”
Another day, another fiscal-cliff deal gone down the drain. John Boehner, already taking heat from the right for his softening stance on raising taxes, has come out with another offer to the president and the left. Called “Plan B”, the plan formerly had the support of Nancy Pelosi. Plan B would set the lower limit for raising taxes at the $1 million level. Plan B is very similar to the same bill that had Senate Democrats’ support in 2010.
For her part, in an interview with Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi now says she only supported the plan to “smoke out the Republicans”, and see at what level they would consider raising taxes. Pelosi was negotiating purely in bad faith, it seems. She did not have anything serious to bring to the discussion, and she was merely wasting time. That, or she is negotiating from the standpoint of “getting an inch, and taking a foot”. Whatever her motive was, it is plain to see how destructive and pointless it was.
Mitch McConnell says he would support the Plan B design, but he would do so with reservations. McConnell would rather have a bill that did not raise taxes on anybody. With Boehner’s support of this newest plan, numerous other House members raised objections to the new tax considerations, but they seem to recognize that without any plan, taxes would greatly rise. The gambit now is to “shield” as many people from the massive tax increases as possible. Sean Duffy, Jim Jordan, and Raul Labrador all seemed lukewarm at best to the prospect of voting for any tax increases, with Labrador refusing to even share his criticisms.
Called out for his part (or non-part) in the fiscal-cliff talks was Harry Reid. One Republican adviser said Reid has been on the sidelines for the cliff negotiations. Reid has also claimed that, despite numerous revisions to their positions, and despite the most recent offer, Republicans “…have threatened to abandon serious negotiations”. Perhaps more proof that he is merely running interference for the White House, Reid also claimed that President Obama has not heard from Boehner since Boehner’s new offer on Monday.
President Obama has balked at every offer the Republicans have proposed so far. Threatening a veto of everything has him in the position of a win-win situation. On one hand, if nothing happens, and taxes explode, he can continue to spend, thanks to the new revenues. On the other hand, if the Republicans cave in, he can both claim he negotiated the excellent deal, and privately, he can tell his sycophants he made Boehner and the Republicans submit. White House officials are also now claiming that the President will refuse to negotiate with Republicans out of principle. That of course, will allow President Obama (and Reid) to claim they attempted to negotiate, but were simply prevented from passing any legislation by the blocking Republicans (yet again).
To the left, the worst thing to come of failed fiscal-cliff talks is that President Obama has to postpone leaving for his Christmas vacation. They face: finally getting huge tax increases, yet again, furthering the narrative of a blocking, do-nothing, Republican party, and they get huge military cuts. Merry Christmas, America.