Patterico's Pontifications

11/6/2008

Here’s a Fun Comment Thread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:18 am

Apparently Jeff Goldstein objects to my post concluding that Barack Obama is basically a decent guy, for a politician. No, Jeff corrects me, he is a con man and a thief.

And because I dare suggest otherwise, Jeff says to me:

Want to be clapped on the back for your decorum? Fine. Just say so.

But let’s not pretend you are being honest or principled.

Certainly. Let’s not pretend for a moment that I am being honest or principled. Let’s cast aside all pretension and just admit that I am being dishonest and unprincipled.

Because dishonest and unprincipled? That’s just how I roll, baby.

From there, it’s not long before one of Jeff’s commenters is calling my position, not just dishonest, but also:

Ignoble. Immoral. Dishonorable. Reprehensible, even.

JUST LIKE BARACK OBAMA!!!!!1!!11!

Read through all Jeff’s comments to see how popular is my sentiment that Obama is not the evillest guy on Earth.

My position, just to remind you, is that while Barack Obama’s policies are truly horrifying — and while he did a lot of reprehensible things in his campaign (like virtually every other politician on the planet) — he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

Read through Jeff’s comment thread to see what an utter prick I apparently am for trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

It’s so heartening to be on the receiving end of that benefit of the doubt myself. Because I’ve hardly advocated any conservative principles here at all, for these 5 1/2 years. Pretty much just another damned pinko, that Patterico.

As I told a fellow named Warren on Jeff’s blog:

I’m not going to play the Andrew Sullivan martyr card. . . . I’m not going to react emotionally and turn my back on my political principles just because people like you are trying your damnedest to turn everyone reasonable away from the party.

But I can’t say the same for everyone else.

This is great stuff, folks. I say: keep it up. You’ll kill in 2010 with this attitude.

UPDATE: Forget the big debate over whether Obama is a “good man.” Tell me why you think we lost this election.

a. We didn’t attack Obama enough.
b. No Republican was going to win this election cycle regardless of what happened, because the country was pissed off at Bush.
c. Some other reason.

It wasn’t hard to see this coming, in my view.

227 Responses to “Here’s a Fun Comment Thread”

  1. he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

    If you knew Obama personally, I’d accept that. But how can you or anyone else located outside the inner circle be so sure about what a person viewed from a distance is like or all about?

    Back in the early 1990s, I’d never have predicted that the behavior of an occupant of the Oval Office would turn out to be as extreme and severe as it, in fact, was. I recall thinking in late 1992 that all the rumors swirling around then-candidate Bill Clinton’s extracurricular activity were more gossip than reality. I even remember a bit of ruckus cropping up around the claims of a woman (Kathleen Willey) who said that Clinton groped and kissed her in the Oval Office. This was pre-Monica, and the public (including me) still wasn’t totally sure what to make of such allegations.

    So, yea, I guess around that point in time of innocence (or ignorance), an outsider could have asserted that the 42nd president was a “basically decent guy.”

    Mark (411533)

  2. “Basically decent guy” who does “a lot of reprehensible things”.

    Ah, the “new tone”.

    Do you really want your blog to end up like Polipundit’s?

    Yippy-Kay-Yay (e69df8)

  3. Do you really want your blog to end up like Polipundit’s?

    I don’t know what that means.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  4. Mike K. has written, many times, that the dogged insistence on perfection can easily become the enemy of the good.

    This is a good illustration of the principle. Again, tempers are high (and many folks, I suspect, are regretting their anti-McCain sentiments about now). You are just trying to remind folks that Republicans need to act better than the DK crowd after 2000 and 2004.

    To borrow from “Dr Strangelove,” this all about Purity of (Republican) Essence.

    Eric Blair (a723e0)

  5. “I don’t know what that means.”

    It’s a balkanized version of what it used to be: one of the go to sites for conservative discussion and commentary.

    Yippy-Kay-Yay (e69df8)

  6. “the dogged insistence on perfection can easily become the enemy of the good.”

    How about a simple display of political competence?

    Yippy-Kay-Yay (e69df8)

  7. The thing is, we all saw that Obama had been attending a racist church, full of hate for twenty frickin years. And then claim that he had just noticed it for the first time. To boot, he was dragging his two kids along to be poisoned by that same “Condi-skeeza”, God Damn America, and anti-white viciousness. That is child abuse. Imagine anyone else taking their young children to a church where the preacher regularly espoused race hatred and calling him a good man, let alone a good father.

    Frankly, to call someone like that a good man is rather a damning indictment of just how low we Americans have set the standard for what constitutes a good BLACK man, because we sure as hell wouldn’t be calling anybody else a good man with that kind of history.

    Obama as president is a joke. It’s a reality, but all this talk about respecting the man is surreal. I mean, everyone has been complaining about how the Media and even McCain have glossed over the outrageous Wright creepshow relationship and so now suddenly we are supposed to validate the Media’s whitewash by acting as if their tale is true?

    Jeez.

    Mike Jackson (a7da41)

  8. Decent guys don’t do reprehensible things for the purpose of advancement.

    A decent guy, for example, after working an 18 hour day can fall asleep with a 2 week old baby in his arms, and falling out of the chair he was sitting in to rock the baby, end up crushing the baby instead.

    Crushing a baby is reprehensible, but the man did not do it to advance an agenda; but rather it happened, because he was exhausted.

    Obama did reprehensible things, like convince a judge to unseal previously sealed divorce records causing emotional anguish to the family involved, not because he was exhausted, nor because, say, the sealed records contained a clue to an unsolved murder, but simply because the family’s anguish advanced his (Obama’s) political career.

    Less scummy than Jack-the-Ripper, but hardly a basically, decent man.

    To say otherwise, is to infer that the family whose privacy was betrayed, has, somehow, a lesser claim to justice and fairness than the rest of us, simply by being in the proximity of Obama’s career.

    Would you being willing – to make it personal – to call Obama a decent man, if he called CPS and made a false statement implicating you and your wife as child abusers, so that he could use the newspaper headlines to give strength to his argument, for example, that he be appointed in your place?

    This does not mean that I think you should spend the next 4 years blogging penny wise and pound foolish in regards to the damage Pres-E. Obama will do to America. Returning to the Great Depression will soon have every one suffering to a much greater degree than the human speed bumps in Chicago. So understandably, you may chose not to blog about them.

    But there are human speed bumps in Chicago – Alice Palmer, Jack Ryan, the inhabitants of Grove Parc Plaza – because Barack Obama is not a decent man.

    Adriane (b8ecd8)

  9. “he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.”

    What a absurd statement, to consider anyone decent because they are trying to do what they think is right for the country!

    I’m most certain that the KKK, Skin Heads, Black Panthers, etc. truly feel that what they are doing is right for the country. Now please, would you consider them as being just decent folks?

    rookwood (91f0d9)

  10. See, this is why even though I am a deeply committed liberal and Obama supporter I bother to read and comment on this site, while other conservative sites churn my stomach.

    There was and is a very real “Bush Derangement Syndrome” on a lot of lefty blogs and in lefty minds where anything Bush said or did was dismissed outright as stupid, evil, or duplicitous, and that attitude made me sick and distrustful of whatever point was being made. Even though I thought a lot of what he did was stupid, evil or duplicitous after thinking about it, I didn’t simply assume every thing he did was bad or wrong, I looked at each incident before deciding. I was always happy when he did something I found admirable, because he is the President after all. I never thought he was a bad guy, just someone pursuing policies and saying stuff I found very wrong, often, but sometimes doing things I thought were pretty smart.

    I’m glad to see Patterico is taking the same attitude. I’m sure this site will be ready and eager to aggressively kick Obama’s ass when he does something that offends the conservative viewpoints of the front page posters. I will disagree with most of it, but I like reading what the other side is thinking.

    But I am especially glad to see that this won’t be an “Obama Derangement Syndrome” site. If you just automatically reject everything he does or says, or attribute it to his bad intentions or secret motives, you aren’t thinking or contributing to useful discourse.

    Jeff Goldstein has just proudly and openly declared himself a proponent of Obama Derangement Syndrome, and has taken it to an even more disgusting extent by attacking a fellow blogger of largely similar political views, simply because that fellow blogger is willing to give Obama the benefit of doubt and accord the next President a modicum of respect. That means Goldstein can’t be taken seriously in discussing anything Obama says, does or proposes. He’s going to reject it outright even if he agrees with the policy as if it is a trick or hypocritical or based on hidden motives or something.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Patterico and others here totally trash Obama’s decisions and policies, and will shake my head and dispute a lot of it. But I will be reading it, because it is coming from a place of honest and rational disagreement and not from a place where one feels it necessary to assume the worst about the sitting President and trash him out of mere partisan impulse.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  11. I plan on doing my best to avoid Obama derangement syndrome. I don’t share your view of the man’s character. I honestly believe that he is a snake whose character is very much in sympathy with the rogues he has associated with throughout his life. I think that he was purposefully vague (and got away with hand-waving and eyewash by a compliant media) because he knew full well that Americans would not accept his candid views.

    I sincerely hope that I am proven wrong about him and intend to fully give him his opportunity to do so when he assumes office.

    As for you, keep doing what you do. You’re a good and decent person. Perhaps your good nature is allowing you to be somewhat naive. Perhaps my cynical nature is leading me astray. Time will tell, but I agree with you that he should be extended our support and best wishes for a successful administration until he gives us reason to withhold it.

    MJBrutus (78a680)

  12. So wtf you going to start off every blog post on here with the caveat, well he is a good man but……… That really doesn’t make any sense.

    Good men do not sit in racist churches for more than 5 seconds without leaving. If we can not set the bar at least that high then we should all just shoot ourselves now. Would you be cool with your neighbor if you knew every sunday he went to a church where he would be clapping to the lie that you invented AIDS to freakin kill him? I mean where do you draw the line? Do you think a 20 year member of the KKK, who only disowns the KKK once his poll numbers drop, is a good man?

    This is just sickening. I saw those videos with my own two eyes, those people were CHEERING to those racist lines. They were punchlines, features not bugs, they were the heart and soul of that church. The Rev. took the bitter clingy hearts of his inner-city black congregation and used racism to bind them together. This MFer who will be our prez, sat there and clapped to that crap too. I do not for one second buy that he just sat their mute when everyone else was jumping around. I do not for one second think he looked at his kids when “whitey invented AIDS” popped out the Rev.’s mouth, and said “that is not true, the Rev. is just bitter from past racism.” He gave the guy 20 thousand dollars and appointed him to his freakin campaign for god sakes.

    Jesus christ man if you can excuse all that like some braindead Obama voter then WTF else can you find an excuse for? I know I have put alot of rhetorical questions in here that I never expect answers for but I would like an answer to one question. What could this guy do to prove to you he is not a “good” person? Seems to me the bar is set pretty low.

    Mr. Pink (c3053d)

  13. “I’m not going to react emotionally and turn my back on my political principles just because people like you are trying your damnedest to turn everyone reasonable away from the party.”

    Restrained temperment? For what? I believe it is documented that people need to vent their frustrations.

    Regardless of how we feel individually, or as a group, the only thing we know about Obama is in his recorded past history. And it ain’t pretty. If he maintains with his previous learnings and teachings, this country will be guided onto a path of disaster that may take generations to overcome.

    I suppose it depends on how you define “reasonable”. Regardless, give us our time to mourn, then we’ll become reasonable and concentrate on the immediate task at hand.

    !@($))#$&^*))FBE!#@)*$RKCBW##)($#*#@%…okay, now I’ve purged it out of my system!!!

    rookwood (91f0d9)

  14. You are definitely right about what this could do for 2010 prospects. I think that some would do well to look back at the hysterics the Dems were involved in after the 2000 election. That cost them from picking up seats in two straight house elections — against historical trends.

    voiceofreason2 (e18861)

  15. Patterico, I don’t agree with your sentiments about Obama at all. But does it ‘bother’ me? No, that really is silly and pointless.

    Exactly what is the point in a 200 post thread about how F-cked up Patterico is because he doesn’t see Obama as a psychopath? I understand the need to ‘vent’ but this is just silly. Why not vent on Obama, or especially Reid and Pelosi? Why turn on allies after a loss? Did the US get pissed at South Korea after Saigon fell in 1975?

    Wouldn’t the effort be better used on something constructive like getting people to join the NRA?

    liontooth (0edfdb)

  16. Over the next four years I won’t waste my time trying to stand against the rising tide of miserable serfdom we are about to receive.

    Instead, I plan on making myself look as poor as possible on paper so that God Obama the Spreader of Wealth will be unable to confiscate a dime of my earnings.

    After the first two years of an Obama presidency, Americans will be in such a state of miserable pain I won’t have to spend an iota of my time attacking him.

    When the Plebs finally get around to figuring out what just happened they’ll be so miserable they’ll lead the Impeach Obama themselves.

    syn (5e8e54)

  17. I’d say Patterico is getting the response he deserves after months of directly and indirectly (via his guest bloggers) accusing Obama of a vast multitude of sins of commission and omission. The problem is that the past accusations launched under this banner just don’t square with the “he’s a decent guy” admission AFTER Obama won. It smells of brown-nosing the new boss.

    Most of my friends are left of me. They are fine people. The attitude that people on the left of the Democratic Party are evil is just Anne Coulter douchebaggery. I’ve seen only one thing that Obama has done that suggests anything other than being a left-wing Democrat’s views, which was his unprincipled rejection of public funding. However, this site painted him as a lying traitor cavorting with terrorists, which is ridiculous. But that’s the story Patterico and his back bench sold, so it is hardly surprising he is being called on it now that the reality of Barack Obama’s America has extracted the decent guy concession and Patterico’s publishing open letters setting out terms of surrender after the flag has been captured.

    The Republican Party lost because it DESERVED to lose; any party holding up Joe the Plumber as an ‘American Hero’ after eight years of embarrassment like “Heck of a job Brownie” has lost any claim that it should be entrusted with guiding this nation. McCain is a great guy, but he handed his campaign to a Rove third-stringer; when it came time to show resolve and fresh thinking, McCain’s compromised economic team gave him nothing to say (not that Obama said anything better, but Obama was winning so he could keep his counsel). Even Palin, a woman of natural political skills, could not be detoured from her shopping spree to prep properly for her interviews.

    I think it is fair to say that the writings on this site probably contributed in a small way to this debacle. By relentlessly focusing on Bill Ayres and ACORN and made fantasy baseball prediction of how McCain might win the electoral college while losing the popular vote, it added to the white noise of delusional whispers that hemmed the McCain campaign’s freedom to break free from GWB dogma for fear of alienating the base. As many have noted, having cut down the base to the Joe the Plumbers of America, there’s not enough other constituencies to get the Republicans a majority.

    The view of many on this site that a Gingrich counter-revolution can be enacted in 2010 is risible. Republicans were not indelibly associated with anti-intellectual incompetence then; the memory of Reagan was fresh.

    Today, Republicans have lost the vote of the highly educated. It’s now a party that revels in its anti-meritocratic credentials. David Brooks called Palin a “fatal cancer to the Republican Party” because of her calculated anti-intellectualism; this country’s future does not lie in the aspirations of “Joe Sixpack”.

    Cyrus Sanai (4df861)

  18. But there are human speed bumps in Chicago – Alice Palmer, Jack Ryan, the inhabitants of Grove Parc Plaza – because Barack Obama is not a decent man.

    Excellent point, Obama has had a history of indecency but perhaps he’ll change. All we can do now is hope.

    Good luck everyone.

    syn (5e8e54)

  19. Hey Patterico,
    I don’t yet agree with your conclusion that Obama is a basically a decent guy. Time will tell.
    I understood your original post on the subject to basically be saying that you would give Obama the benefit the doubt on whether he is decent or not, but would be alert and outspoken as any member of the “loyal opposition” should be.
    I sent your post to some friends, most of whom are left leaning. The reaction: You are way too harsh to Obama.
    So, don’t worry, your post was sufficiently principled to piss off the left.

    Ira (28a423)

  20. “any party holding up Joe the Plumber as an ‘American Hero’ after eight years of embarrassment like “Heck of a job Brownie” has lost any claim that it should be entrusted with guiding this nation”

    While Obama is in office I will expect that no homes are destroyed, that no person is harmed in any way, that every person will by helicoptered out instantly if they need rescuing, that electricity will never go out, that the levees will never break, that floods, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires and earthquakes will never happen under President Obama.

    Good thing Obama is going to prevent the massive earthquake which is going hit California in the not too distant future.

    COme January 22, 2009 Democrats will be in complete control, only the foolish will try to balme Rpeublicans.

    Good luck Dems in keeping your promise to save the planet.

    syn (5e8e54)

  21. Blog war between two of my favorite blogs. My favorite conservative blogs. Here is our dilemna. We have core principles we believe in. But those core principles have not, in recent years, been sufficient to move the mushy middle to our side. Yeah, educators are against us, and the MSM, too.

    So the question is how do we regain positions of power to implement our preferred policies?

    By the way, this is the same issue that Dems faced. They confronted it by lying about themselves and their opposition at every turn. They lied and reinforced their lies often enough that the lies became accepted as truth. And it got them elected.

    So the question becomes: is the force of our arguments strong enough to overwhelm the power of opposition so invested in subjective reality (this is my truth)? Or do we accept the moral low water mark now established and play by the new reprehensible rules?

    That is what the conservative movement is now going to be forced to work out.

    Dale (6560d1)

  22. Who is John Galt?

    Horatio (55069c)

  23. “this country’s future does not lie in the aspirations of “Joe Sixpack”.”
    Thank you so much for enlightening this mere peasant with your wisdom O great one.

    kingaljr (7d90f9)

  24. Hey Patterico, this will be my third and final posting on this subject. My take on it is this: This kerfuffle began when you said in a post that Obama was a “good man”. Your displeased readers reacted by listing many of Obama’s despicable decisions and actions and asking you, quite justifiably, how you could call this the behavior of a good man. Your second post on the subject said essentially that John McCain did bad things too, and Obama did bad things but he believed they were the right things to do. Again your readers dissented and repeated their greivances against Obama’s character. This third post of yours now enters the realm of victimhood: Patterico is being attacked because he said something nice about Obama. I can only speak for myself when I say your readers’ frustration stems from the fact that, presented with all evidence to the contrary, and without any evidence to support your assertion, you still insist Obama is a “good man”, albeit “for a politician”. I don’t dispute your right to your opinion, or call into question your integrity, manhood or sanity, I only ask for evidence to support your claim, and so far, in three posts on the subject, you have not done so. Surely, as a lawyer, you can appreciate the fundamental neccessity of providing facts to support a supposition. The prosecution has provided plenty of examples of Obamas lack of character, now simply present evidence to the contrary.

    Joe (98b642)

  25. “he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.”

    “the one” is still but another attorney aint he? For what reason I can’t even comprehend you seem to have to stick up for a fellow club member. I’ll just leave it as club support as to your reasons for such a statement. Else you will not respect me in the morning.

    Cyrus, all I can say to you is STFU already! YOU have proved yourself qualified of ZERO credibility for far too long. YOU have cost too many of us way too much money with your wasted emotional pleas for personal attention. You are a pimple on my ass and a sea anchor to our society. For sure a glaring example of what is wrong with this country and the legal profession! I hope your plumbing soon becomes in need of a “Joe the plumber”!

    Bush is an idiot, and has done so much to reinforce or convince us of such, even to those of us that supported him. He is a total dolt!

    But the fact remains that it is CONGRESS that spends the money, CONGRESS made up of 535 folks that provide the total FUp it has become, 9% approval rating? How many incumbents got sent back to continue their total sell out?

    Any president equals a pound of lard.

    The real decisions are made by congress! Always have been, always will be. But they will, as well, NEVER be held accountable for such decisions either.

    Though we may at some time need a lawyer to save our ass, it is their club that has created such need.

    TC (0b9ca4)

  26. However, this site painted him as a lying traitor cavorting with terrorists, which is ridiculous

    True or false? Bill Ayers is a domestic terrorist.

    any party holding up Joe the Plumber as an ‘American Hero’

    You apparently know nothing about why he became noteworthy.

    Even Palin, a woman of natural political skills, could not be detoured from her shopping spree to prep properly for her interviews.

    Good one. Trying to jam as many canards as possible into one sentence is always fun.

    It’s now a party that revels in its anti-meritocratic credentials.

    And your evidence of this is?

    But those core principles have not, in recent years, been sufficient to move the mushy middle to our side.

    Dale, I tend to agree with you, but have not really seen anyone pushing conservative principles too much in the last 2 years.

    Blog war between two of my favorite blogs. My favorite conservative blogs.

    Yeah. I do not like it when my friends fight either.

    JD (008a90)

  27. Yikes! People’s nerves are still raw less than two days after the election. Jeff, also, does tend to take disagreement personally.

    I agree with Patterico that Obama has a moral core which the Clintons, for one example, lacked. I don’t believe that that qualifies him to be President but it’s a long way away from the spittle-flecked reaction to Patterico’s post from some of our friends.

    nk (95bfab)

  28. I usually judge a politician on how he treats his constituents. Obviously, there are other measurements in evaluating someone’s decency, but if your rhetoric of helping the poorest among us is a hallmark of your reason to represent the masses, it really helps to match your words with your deeds. Your mileage may vary.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  29. I do not think this qualifies as fighting, just disagreeing. Having a Borg type single mindedness is not healthy for any of us.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  30. Patterico,

    Unless you’ve personal knowledge of Obama, such that you have a basis for opining that he’s basically a “decent guy,” you’re really going out on a limb using his past actions, association, and political maneuvering to support that thesis.

    I’d say the jury’s still out… wouldn’t you, counselor?

    TheNewGuy (1fd3da)

  31. The only reason to say he is a good guy is that millions of other people are willing to excuse him sitting in a racist church for 20 years with his wife and kids. They are also excusing him lying about it several times. I personally am not willing to call him a good person for that.

    I would be completely unpartisan in this. If it was discovered Palin attended a church for 10 years, with her husband and kids, where the preacher, who was appointed to her campaign staff, was yelling “jews greed runs a world in need” “black people brought us AIDS from Africa on purpose”, I would openly not only call her a bad person, I would call her a disgusting racist b!tch. I would NOT vote for her ticket. Just would not happen.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  32. I don’t think that the good of the country is Obama’s least concern, let alone his primary goal.

    His concern is ‘social justice’ and ‘fairness’ and other fine sounding ideas that history has shown end up impoverishing everyone. His methods are by any means necessary.

    He is not only the first black president, but also the first affirmative action president, who has been given a pass through out his entire life. Maybe you might publish his Columbia, Harvard and Bar exam grades.

    A basically decent man? Well, Pat, when you negatively comment about his policies and his administration calls you a racist, I will laugh and laugh. Or when he taxes you to bail out the LAT, again the laughter. He is not a basically decent man. He gave away millions of dollars for the Chicago Annenburg Challenge, yet insists the results of that give away are not his responsibility. He disabled the AVS for his campaign contributions and received millions in fradulent and illegal donations.

    He has basically called every white person in the US a racist, at least those who didn’t vote for him. And when was the last time a basically decent man used his middle finger to scratch his face on national television?

    (You keep using that phrase, ‘basically decent’, I do not think it means what you think it means.)

    Of course, he will deal with you a little more gently than he did Joe the plumber, because you are on record as saying he is a ‘basically decent man’. His only principles are those of historically proven economic failures.

    If he has ever been in a fight, it was with some one smaller and weaker than he was. Paradoxically, he will weaken the US military, and prove to be an abject coward when all is said and done. He wont’ just invite attacks on the US, he will facilitate them. And when they happen, he will happily sacrifice Amercian lives.

    He, his wife and family, know nothing more about this country than the fact that it is a racist one, despite his election. They are still proponents of black liberation theology, which means philosophically, they think you Pat have to be a racist, not only because of the color of your skin, but because you are a district attorney. (You are the advantaged in an unequal power relationship; by definition you are a racist, Pat. This is not my reasoning, it is theirs.)

    No, Pat, he is a fundamentally undecent man, and history will prove him to be so.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  33. For the record, I really do not like it when my friends fight.

    JD (008a90)

  34. Stop! This topic is a waste of time and a non-winner. Just let’s concentrate on how to win back votes and stop this self-flagulaion.

    Moose (dcacef)

  35. Wow. Such anger. I sense a disturbance in the force.

    I don’t think Bambi is going to make a good or great president. I think he’ll get a pass because he is (now I know this is a secret) black, so that’s enough to cover over any of his errors for a while.

    But with that said, I think it’s OK to disagree with Bambi OR with Jeff or Patterico without thinking that the other guy is a hopeless naif.

    What, exactly, is so threatening about someone saying he thinks Bambi is basically a good guy who just might surprise us? Does everything have to be evil because you’re disappointed in the election results?

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  36. Nah Steve. I just do not consider 20 year members of racist churches “good” people that I would want to bring over to my house and have watch my kids(when I have them). I will not change that opinion just because 60 something odd million Americans disagree with me, and I will not change it because Patterico does too.

    Racism is either wrong or it is not. Pick a fuckin opinion and stick with it.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  37. The comment is what Patterico thinks, not what I think.

    Patterico thinks Bambi has good intentions or is a good man.

    Others don’t think so and want to start the War of Long Knives right away.

    I’ve stated my opinions of Bambi. So has Patterico. I’m not threatened that he doesn’t think exactly like me.

    But at this stage, it appears that because Patterico doesn’t instantly think Bambi is Hitler, then Patterico must be Hitler, too. Is that about how it works?

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  38. Not to pour it on, but while the wind is briefly at my back here, I think Cyrus makes an accurate point.

    I understand why you think the preponderance of evidence suggests that Barack Obama isn’t a bad guy. I read blogs from across the political spectrum.

    No one who reads Patterico.com knows, for example, the various praiseworthy aspects of Jeremiah Wright’s character – from military service to a lot of success at the kind of goals conservatives praise- influencing against broken families, drugs, and adultery.

    That doesn’t make his excessive Afrocentric paranoia a good thing. It just makes him something other than the cartoon villian that people who read Patterico understand him as.

    This is one example – only one of the kind of information that you, personally, understand, Patterico, but your readers do not. Because they read you and other conservative blogs, the vast majority. They don’t read the defense, so to speak.

    You don’t have to be that way. James Joyner is a real conservative. He consistently advocates conservative positions. He gets no tingle up his leg for Obama, didn’t want him to win, and expresses skepticism and dislike for his positions.

    But when he posts on sensational stories, he usually lets both sides of the argument be known on his blog.

    Orin Kerr is another example.

    You could bring some of your commenters around from an excess of hatred and contempt, born from highly and delibrately crafted partial information, by following that example.

    glasnost (c5769b)

  39. PS, comment trolls, McCain also recived many “fradulent” (apparently lacking realistic personal info) donations.

    glasnost (c5769b)

  40. glasnost – When you find yourself agreeing with Cyrus the Virus, you should be concerned.

    No one who reads Patterico.com knows, for example, the various praiseworthy aspects of Jeremiah Wright’s character – from military service to a lot of success at the kind of goals conservatives praise- influencing against broken families, drugs, and adultery.

    Yes, we do know those aspects as well. It is arrogant and condescending of you to assume otherwise. So your assertion that no one that reads this blog knows that is flat out BS.

    The Leftist twats always claim this moral and intellectual superiority, yet can never seem to demonstrate it. The idea that nobody reads anything other than what they find in the echo chamber is something they always claim, without any basis.

    JD (008a90)

  41. Patterico

    In the Blogverse any shoutout is a shoutout :)

    Personally David Benzion over at Lonestartimes who is a professional pollester has some superficial but greatly misleading reasons why this election was lost

    David attributed the reasons for the Obama victory as a vote for someome smooth based upon phone calls he has made this last campaign season.

    Well some of you here and David B make some similar points and I respectfully disagree with Benzion and those here who say that republicans must become moderates to win elections.

    let me say there is/ and never will be someone from the Republicans who will ever attract the VMG moderates – because they are not and never were moderates. There is no such thing – there are just levels of liberalism.

    This race had to do with the price of gas and the stock market and the free house giveaway.

    It was clearly and factually decided when the Republicans and the fundamentalist base stayed home disgusted by the response to the stock market clash, the lack of focus on immigration and the total absense of the abortion and other christian issues and the fact that John McCain is considered by many to not be a Republican.

    Case in Point:

    Barack has confirmed the Dem ceiling = what the last 2 elections total dem turnout was – last 2 elections the groundgames was breathtaking and esentially under different management achieved the same results – both with different levels of enthusiasm and funding

    I would call it at that level the Dems can turnout in a perfect storm 60 million in 46 states – for Republicans to control both houses need to turnout 65 million voters in 46 states totally ignoring California, New York, Illinois and PA (these 4 states contributed 87% of Baracks popular winning vote margin).

    46 states are worth fighting for, we fought essentially only in 5 states and made little efforts in the rust belt and the west.

    McCain – I love the man – was never a candidate worthy of national office for conservatives.

    EricPWJohnson (b61ef9)

  42. I’m with my friend JD; I hate it when friends fight.

    That having been said said I’m in a different place. The problem with Obama is that we don’t know enough about the man to definitively state that he is a “good and honorable” man. We know McCain. We may disagree with (as I do) several of his views but have enough real history on the dude to conclude that he is a good and honorable man, both politically and personally.

    Obama? Not so much. That in and of itself does not release the “hounds of war” to vilify him in excess language nor does it allow a concession of “good and honorable” either. Bottom line? We just don’t know although the Trinity experience, the actual workings of his campaign as opposed to to the tone and tenor represented and, quite frankly, much of the outright lying that came from the candidate gives me pause.

    This whole “good man” premise is buttressed by the idea that a continued attack on Obama as a “bad person” will have negative consequences for conservatives (note the avoidance of the term “Republicans”) in upcoming elections. It might if the commentariat allows itself to devolve into Kos and Frieddoglake freak show territory but that doesn’t equal a clarion call for perfect sensibility. The fact of the matter is that we only have deeds, past, present and future, by which to judge Obama as a man. The preponderance of the evidence (see what I did there?) indicates a slant towards the manipulative and the deceitful. Perhaps he will grow into the role of leadership but the jury is not only out on that, it hasn’t even been empaneled.

    We can continue to express pointed criticism without either becoming churlish or seeking some kind of higher ground that allows the more egregious questions to be fluffed like a pillow while the other side continues to shriek like harpies.

    By the way, I think that Jeff and Pat are both good and honorable men. I’m taking a leap of faith here!

    BJTexs (1baae5)

  43. Though I strongly disagree with your conclusion that Obama is a good man, I disagree with comments here or anywhere that you are less than honest and up-front. I think you have been pretty transparent about where you think about things different than other conservatives, and I have not seen you be disingenuous. (Though I do think you have not responded to some points, but that may simply be because, uh, you have a job and family to take care of.

    I agree with your concern about being able to disagree with someone without demonizing them, and I would be willing to give you a little slack if you implored all to be willing to observe how Obama governs rather than assume the worst (even if we have evidence for it). But the problem, Pat, is while they defend behavior of Bill Clinton that would get all of the rest of us fired the Dems accuse conservatives of being evil- how else could one claim that we don’t care if children go to bed hungry, we don’t care if we destroy the planet, and we are willing to lie to get into a war to pursue personal agendas?

    That is not meant to be a justification that “since they did it, we can too”, it is just pointing out the Orwellian terms of the debate that the Dems and the MSM have succeeded in establishing.

    Would I want my daughter to date a guy whose associates include domestic terrorists and foreign terrorist spokesmen? No, and not just because I think he is “wrong”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  44. Patterico, my view on why you guys lost the election:

    * the deck was clearly stacked against you from the outset
    * that stacking got significantly worse when the market crashed in September, because voters expect Democrats to offer activist government and most voters tend to want activist government during a crisis

    But you had Sen. McCain as your nominee, and he should have been able to reach across lines and attract centrists. I’ve voted for him before, as have many of the liberals I know; he was a good chance at swimming against the tide. But

    * Sen. McCain’s performance during the crisis appeared to be erratic, and in the debates he came across as bitter, angry, and hostile. I know at least one person who does not trust Sen. Obama but decided to donate to the Obama campaign based upon Sen. McCain’s performance in the debates.
    * the selection of Gov. Palin was a disaster. I refrained from commenting for a long time because I wanted to keep an open mind; but by the end of October I was convinced that she was (a) not as knowledgeable about national and international politics as I want a national-level candidate to be, and (b) someone whose rhetoric indicates that she believes there are a “real America” and a not-real America, and that I’m not a real American in her book. But that didn’t mesh with the message Sen. McCain was trying to sell moderates.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  45. Patterico, my view on why you guys lost the election:

    * the deck was clearly stacked against you from the outset
    * that stacking got significantly worse when the market crashed in September, because voters expect Democrats to offer activist government and most voters tend to want activist government during a crisis

    But you had Sen. McCain as your nominee, and he should have been able to reach across lines and attract centrists. I’ve voted for him before, as have many of the liberals I know; he was a good chance at swimming against the tide. But

    * Sen. McCain’s performance during the crisis appeared to be erratic, and in the debates he came across as bitter, angry, and hostile. I know at least one person who does not trust Sen. Obama but decided to donate to the Obama campaign based upon Sen. McCain’s performance in the debates.
    * the selection of Gov. Palin was a disaster. I refrained from commenting for a long time because I wanted to keep an open mind; but by the end of October I was convinced that she was (a) not as knowledgeable about national and international politics as I want a national-level candidate to be, and (b) someone whose rhetoric indicates that she believes there are a “real America” and a not-real America, and that I’m not a real American in her book. But that didn’t mesh with the message Sen. McCain was trying to sell moderates … making it harder to believe what was being said by a man who was already, because of the debates and the erratic-appearing performance in the economic crisis, hard to swallow.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  46. Apologies for the unintended double post.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  47. “This is one example – only one of the kind of information that you, personally, understand, Patterico, but your readers do not. Because they read you and other conservative blogs, the vast majority. They don’t read the defense, so to speak.”

    glasnost – This is another example of your assumptions about what people here read that are in error glasnost. You create cartoon versions of conservatives to argue against for convenience but have no idea of their real level of information or views. Anyone with any degree of interest in Rev. Wright knows there is more to his ministry than just his incendiary sermons, so why don’t you just BLOW IT OUT YOUR SMUG ELITIST ASS!!!!!

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  48. I’ve updated the post to ask people why you think we lost.

    I’m not particularly happy about being in the position of defending Barack Obama, whom I have attacked — often very harshly and with good reason — on this blog. And whom I expect to attack — often very harshly and with good reason — again in the future.

    Jesus Christ, it’s not like I’m unaware of his multitude of sins. It’s not like I didn’t tick them off.

    But I think Republicans need to get it straight in their heads why we lost.

    There’s a guy upthread who keeps asking me for evidence that Obama is a decent man. That’s a fool’s errand. There is plenty of evidence out there, but no matter what I get, it will be discounted. Then you’ll use my evidence to make ridiculous claims that I have COME UNDER OBAMA’S SPELL! I’ve fallen for the hope and change!

    For example, a couple of people claimed Obama was silent during the attacks on Palin’s family when it was learned Bristol Palin was pregnant. So I proved that, in fact, he was *not* silent, but instead declared that people’s families should be off limits, and went out of his way to note that he was born to an 18-year-old mother.

    I predicted: “I’m sure y’all can spin that as a politically wise answer, said only to benefit his campaign. You can spin anything away that way.”

    And sure enough, people yelled at me and called me naive for exactly that reason.

    He could have said the same thing, but taken a veiled little shot about how it demonstrates the failure of abstinence-only education, or something. That would be a bad argument, but plenty of Dems made it at the time. He could have made it and claimed to be keeping things on a policy level.

    He didn’t. He went out of his way to note that he was born to an 18-year-old, which really took the wind out of the sails of anyone trying to exploit the issue. He shamed the exploiters. He didn’t have to. It was a decent thing to do.

    He’s also faulted for not denouncing the ridiculous rumors about Trig Palin’s parentage as lies, or firing someone (who would he fire?) over it. I happen to think that ignoring it was the best way to deal with it; if he had explicitly referenced those rumors, even to denounce them, it would have thrown MORE fuel on the fire and caused MORE pain to Palin’s family.

    So no, I’m not going to spend a bunch of time running around collecting evidence that Obama is a good guy and McCain has had his own bad moments. We’ve all observed the campaign and made our judgments; obviously nobody is going to change their mind now.

    I take the criticism of Obama, which is utterly valid, that he has shown no backbone in standing up to his own party, essentially ever. I agree with that.

    But I do think he stood up against the Clinton machine and the GOP to attempt to run a mostly positive campaign that really did try to minimize negativity. He just doesn’t seem like the kind of sleazeball that the Clintons were and are.

    I’ll leave it there.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  49. Obama has two strikes against him being a “decent man”

    *He’s a politician
    *He’s a lawyer (sorry Patterico!)

    I (partially) kid, I kid.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  50. aphrael, your comments seem to me to be mostly on target.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  51. I disagree with your assessment that Obama is basically a decent guy, but I certainly wouldn’t question your honesty are say that you’re being unprincipled. Personally, I wish I had as much confidence in his decency as you do–but I don’t. His choice of Rahm Emanual as CoS makes me even more suspicious. I don’t get Goldstein. Must have been written in a fit of rage.

    Juan McWang (08b3ff)

  52. Yeah, Patterico, never assume your political opponent has any good points. Everyone who disagrees with you is s terrible, evil person. I knew McCain was wrong when he said being an American was important. All that’s important is being a far right wing crazy loon.

    Frum, Buckley’s kid, Noonan: Kick everyone out of your closet who doesn’t absolutely agree with you! It’s a path to governing and victory.

    Of course, Goldstein’s real reason for being a jackass is he hasn’t had a blog war recently and he lost traffic to you when he refused to ban a commenter who refused to hew to the party line.

    By the way, when is he moving to Idaho?

    timb (a83d56)

  53. Reagan give us an excellent example of what the GOP must do in order to begin the big comeback – settle on basic core principles of what the party stands for, do not change those core principles based on temporary conditions, and always maintain a sunny optimism, while pointing out your opponent’s flaws at the same time. Let us begin.

    Dmac (e30284)

  54. BTW, I don’t care at all for Emmanuel, but one thing I admire him for is his ability to discipline his own rank and file. I’ve changed my mind about him taking the COS job, as he’ll be the only one able to keep the old nutjobs from going way overboard (think Waxman and Frank).

    Dmac (e30284)

  55. By the way, you lost because you ran a bad campaign in a tough year. Republicans would have needed a real leader to win this year and the barrel was tapped. No ground game, an erratic changing message, an VP pick who started strong but ended up being a fail, the suspension (?) of the campaign….the poor decisions in a bad year really doomed the ticket.

    Ironically, by 2016 at the latest, the Republican party should have discovered its legs again and produce a charismatic leader (maybe 2012 if Patraeus can be convinced to run).

    timb (a83d56)

  56. This sort of blog war helps no one.

    Karl (eacece)

  57. If this is any kind of a preamble to the GOP’s machinations over the new two years, forget about picking up any more congressional seats.

    Dmac (e30284)

  58. Not true, Karl. This kind of blogwar delights the DNC.

    Eric Blair (3cc8fc)

  59. I disagree with your assertion that he is a “good man” Patterico. It is like suggesting someone who beats his wife and children is a good man because he also gives generously to charity. A noble deed does not cancel out a despicable one. He does things that no good man would do. His racist church is one. His association with terrorists is another. His fraudulent donation scam is too. These are not the acts of a “good man” and no noble gesture or happy family outing can take away from the fact he has acted in a despicable manner for much of his life. I can see where you are coming from but I think you have spoken too soon, been too ready to grant the benefit of the doubt as if he was a clean slate. He is not.

    Phil S. (39067a)

  60. Basically decent man or a good man? Which is it, Patterico? Words have meaning and while I would disagree with both, I would react differently to each of those different characterizations.

    And I object to your suggestion that what Obama did during this campaign is no different than what all politicians do. Sure, all stoop some, but do all stoop as low? Is there a difference between unethical and illegal? Is there a difference between spin and lie?

    I disagree with the tone of Jeff’s “honest or principled” criticism of your remark about Obama being a good man, but not the gist of it. My reaction to your post was that if a fit of graciousness, you suggested something you wouldn’t really profess if you wanted to be honest and principled, in the same way you would tell your fat aunt that her horizontally striped dress looks good on her: there’s a higher purpose to your lie and that is family harmony in the latter and social comity in the former.

    Dusty (545d04)

  61. You’ve really stepped into this one with both feet, Patterico. I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite a while, but your No on CA’s Prop 8 and now this, I’ve decided to delete you from my Bookmarks/Favorites. Life’s way too short to listen to idiots…

    Dave Mattheisen (e2cde8)

  62. I have to kind of agree with aphreael as well. In retrospect, Palin didn’t exactly distinguish herself after that initial bounce of momentum. It will be interesting to see how the national GOP goes in 4 years. If it’s Jindal / Palin (socially conservative) I’m not going to be a part of it. If it’s a more libertarian-leaning free-market ticket, I’m not sure that the South will stay Republican. Interesting times.

    carlitos (ef1ff9)

  63. Dave Mattheisen, if you’re calling our host an idiot, you won’t be missed.

    carlitos (ef1ff9)

  64. I’ve long been considering a short series of posts on effective argumentation. I have to get to work, so this won’t get it’s own post.

    It strikes me that there are two ways to handle this if you disagree strongly:

    A. Patterico is wholly wrong about this. Obama will lead the country to its doom, and Patterico’s views are the second step to the dismantling of civilization. Oh, Patterico, will you ever learn?

    B. Patterico knows that he is wrong, but is making things up because he is evil and wants Daily Kos to love him, and not just in a platonic way (see his views on Prop 8.)

    Isn’t it more effective (and more likely correct) to say that these are Patterico’s honest views, but mistaken?

    Mrs. JRM misguidedly showed my letter to Obama to some of her lefty friends, and they, of course, freaked out at what an evil right-wing lunatic I obviously was.

    Disagreement with Patterico or any poster based on ignorance, idiocy, failures of logic, or bad spelling is a legitimate form of discourse, and may be effective.

    Disagreement with Patterico because he hired on as a guest poster squishy Republican JRM seems totally justifiable.

    Disagreement with Patterico on the basis that he’s an evil, plotting mastermind who wants to get in tight with Michael Moore to do a feature film is ineffective, incorrect, and demonstrates a failure to understand that not everyone thinks like you.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  65. No one who reads Patterico.com knows, for example, the various praiseworthy aspects of Jeremiah Wright’s character – from military service to a lot of success at the kind of goals conservatives praise- influencing against broken families, drugs, and adultery.

    That’s a hell of an assumption, glasnost. It’s also dead wrong. I probably know more about Jeremiah Wright than 95% of Obama supporters because I’ve done the homework on him. All in all, I cannot recommend him as the good things he has done are inseparable from the hatred he espouses. Nation of Islam does all of the same things, but that does not make them good people, though I have praised Farrakhan for those specific things. Hamas also has quite a civic service apparatus.

    Pablo (99243e)

  66. All of my comments came out of the complete disgust that came over me thinking about his church. When I look in the mirror I see a “white folk” every day. I didn’t invent AIDS and my greed does not ruin the world. Thinking that someone who could sit there for 20 years listening to that crap, lie about it repeatedly, then suddenly act like he never heard it, pisses me off. Someone who does that is not a “good” person in my book. Disagreeing with your assesment is not going to cause me to hate you or want to not come read this site anymore. Hell 60 million people disagree with me I would have to hide in a freakin closet.

    I know for a fact that if a white politician had sat in a racist church for 20 years, and those videos came out only during a presidential election, he would be done in politics. He would be laughed out of town and ridiculed worse than Sarah Palin. He would be a freakin pariah and so would everyone that goes to his church. The undisputable fact that it is socially acceptable to be racist against white people angers me and is wrong.

    Oh yeah and the Republicans lost as soon as Pelosi let that bailout bill come to the floor without the necessary votes. After that 2 trillion dollar economic collapse it was all over but the crying. Whether you want to think she did it on purpose or because she is a stupid bitch is up to you.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  67. I’m not seeing this as a blog war and I don’t think either of the participants should either. It is a difference of opinion on both opinion and strategy. Both bloggers are quite capable of pointed argument, and I think the discussion is a good one to have. I can say without reservation that both are good, decent men. Obama, not so much.

    Pablo (99243e)

  68. Dave Mattheisen (#58),

    Oh, please. We all have permanent interests, not permanent alliances, but to suggest that this one small and utterly inconsequential post by Patterico, considered in the light of the overall scheme of things, as being some camel’s back breaker is nothing more than cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Dusty (545d04)

  69. Oh my. Deleted from bookmarks. That’ll leave a sting.

    I don’t agree with everything Patterico says. Why should I? He’s not the same as me.

    Some people need to replace their computer monitors with a mirror so they won’t ever be challenged by a contradictory thought.

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  70. Patterico

    attempt to run a mostly positive campaign that really did try to minimize negativity.

    100 years of war ring a bell?

    We just lived through 2 months of relentless negative ads from the Baracky camp in this battleground state. My experience differs from yours.

    See ya’, Dave.

    JD (008a90)

  71. Obama seems like a decent guy, that I will give you. Unless, however, you know him personally and have seen how he acts behind closed doors and behind the cameras, there is no way to know that for sure. Obama and his leftist illuminati ideals will soon show America a different side that what was captured on all of the TV screens for the past 21 months.

    Jeff (7082b1)

  72. Both campaigns were negative who cares. Most campaigns these days are. To now hear the side that has been calling the current president a fascist chimp like monkey for 8 years to now say we need unity is utterly ridiculous. Just as it would be ridiculous for me to say I want to unify with people who think the Constitution is a piece of toilet paper that they can write on as they please, such as the fantastic new right to healthcare.

    I just had a funny mental picture. Patterico as the one lone citizen in the middle of the Gaza strip calling for civility.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  73. Yeah, not to pile on, but like I said to my boss, if on my first day of work, the guy sitting next to me introduces himself as William Ayers, I’m probably not going to be working there for very long. Not saying I would get up and leave that second but finding a new job would definitely be a top priority.

    I also remember when this “man’s” associations started to come up back in March. There was a whole lot of “well Ayers is a respected member of Chicago. He has both Democrat and Republican friends.” As I felt then, I still feel now: That says a whole lot more about Obama and the people of Chicago then it does about me.

    sears poncho (319646)

  74. We are speculating how a man not yet in office will serve. Admittedly, his record shows he’s a thorough leftist. But the power of the Presidency lies largely in convincing others to adopt your position, not in actual power. (Sure you can recommend a Supreme Court justice, but unless the Senate goes along, you can’t do much more than that, for example.)

    If Bambi runs hard left, he’ll alienate the center. If he runs to the center, he has a greater chance of getting his goals accomplished. So the more we can encourage him to govern in the center, the better for America.

    Who knows, maybe he’ll appoint Rush Limbaugh as head of the FCC.

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  75. If he runs to the center, he has a greater chance of getting his goals accomplished.

    No, if he governs from the center, he will have to abandon his goals, as they are out on the Left.

    JD (008a90)

  76. Pablo,

    You may not see it as a blog war, but if JeffG was suggesting that you were not being honest or principled, I think you might see it differently.

    Karl (eacece)

  77. Now that I’m awake, and have read this from the top, I’ll throw in my 2-cents…
    First off: Mark @ 12:40, a correction…
    In the election period of ’92, we heard a lot of stories about Bubba, and most of them concentrated on Jennifer Flowers.
    Kathleen Willey was a non-entity until her appearance on 60 Minutes on 3/15/98, where she alleged that Bubba groped her in the WH back on 11/29/93 – It took 5-years for that to become public.

    Cyrus @ 3:38…
    Conservatives, at least leading ones, do not allege that Liberals are “evil”. That is the accusation leveled by Liberals against anyone on the right – that the person espousing a conservative idea is evil, as is the idea itself.
    We, OTOH, describe out opposite numbers as having wrong ideas (read some Dennis Prager for clarrification).
    Try to get that straight in the future (I’ll forego the usual lawyer jokes at this time, but don’t push it).

    It will do us no good to form a circular firing squad (we can let the Dems do that, for they do it so well).
    What we need to do is to reassert those PRINCIPLES that we believe in, and that ARE the bedrock of Conservative belief, and that are instrumental in preserving and advancing the greatness of the United States of America.

    I’m not going to attack Patterico for his statement, I’ll just say that I think he’s misguided by his desire to be supportive of a new President, someone we all hope will do what is best for the country, and her people.

    His performance will be judged on what he does, and how the People, and the World, react to that performance. If Past is Prologue, it surely does not look good. But, I think we have to see what he actually proposes, and what Congress disposes, before we sharpen the long-knives.

    That doesn’t mean that we should be silent. We need to speak out constantly on his proposals, defending what we think are positive, and slamming the Hell out of what we believe will detrimentally effect the Union; but, agruing on the merits, not on the man.

    As President, Mr. Obama will have ample opportunity to fall on his face – every President does, and some do.

    GWB, like his father, had one particular failing, in that he has an inablility to explain, to use the “Bully Pulpit” to bring the country together.
    He did an admirable job following 9/11, but failed miserably in keeping the country abreast of the situation in Iraq, and with Katrina.

    Many perceive this communication problem as an expression of his lack of intelligence (when you attack GWB as “dumb”, just remember he graduated from Harvard’s School of Business, just as Obama graduated from Harvard’s Law School – if Harvard routinely graduates dummies, what does that say about your man?), I think it is just something in his “breeding” that presents itself as a reluctance to “toot his own horn”. And Yes, if it wasn’t for his name, he would never have entered politics.

    But, back to the topic at hand…
    Is Barack Obama a “good man”?
    The answer is in the Future, and only time will tell.

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  78. After eight years of Shrub, Chimp, and Bush-Hitler, can we at least come up with a decent nickname something like Jughead or Obamatard or Comrade O or the Best Tinpot Dictator Ever. Something that says you might have won, but we’ve got your number.

    Steve (37abb6)

  79. AD – Well said, for a racist.

    JD (008a90)

  80. Steve – That would be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo racist.

    JD (008a90)

  81. I think Jeff is just concerned that we call a douchebag a douchebag (I am pre-denounced). I don’t think that Pat’s reaction is somehow illegitimate, though, if he takes a different view of the evidence than Jeff does. Just because I think you’re driving too fast for conditions, you asshole, doesn’t make it so.

    Dan Collins (4dc2da)

  82. Comment by JD — 11/6/2008 @ 8:06 am

    Thanks, JD.

    O/T, but I remember you saying recently that you are planning on coming to the L.A. area for a visit. Is that right? How about lunch?

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  83. Actually, giving him the same treatment that the left gave Bush is the opposite of racism. In fact, its equal opportunity.

    Steve (707d3d)

  84. I don’t think Obama is the evillest guy on Earth. He’s just the most powerful evil guy on Earth.

    You really think Obama has comported himself honorably?

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  85. The best I’ve heard so far is “Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers.”

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  86. JD

    Is also that ever shifting standard as to what is negative campaigning

    Pointing out that your opponent doesn’t have supervisory experience is what?

    B. its negative if its untrue

    Pointing out your opponents voting record is

    B. negative if you don’t accept the opponents spin

    Anyone remember Huckabee and all his tax increases?

    Fact checks proved he was totally lying about why and the how he raised them

    MSM blasted Thompson for going negative or for going truthful or what?

    Kept Thompson from getting the nomination eliminating one of the two threats against Obama

    then they went to work on Hillary

    EricPWJohnson (b61ef9)

  87. Mr. Pink: Patterico is not alone in calling for civility. There is a broad group in the country, some from the left and some from the right, who desire it.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  88. AD – It will probably be the first week of December, and that would be great. I would love to get together with you, Patterico, happyfeet, MayBee, Darleen, aphrael, and all of the others …

    JD (008a90)

  89. JD: I am, alas, in northern California, and so cannot meet you when you are in Los Angeles; otherwise I would love to. :)

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  90. aphrael – Civility is cool with me, towards the people that deserve it. Take you for example, I am pretty nice to you, no? You are thoughtful and reasonable, usually ;-), treat others well, and in turn, the same is done to you. But I have no desire to be civil to the HuffPo types that have called us racist sexist jingoistic xenophobic homophobes for the last 20 years, just because they won an election. In short, civility, like respect, is earned.

    Their calls for “unity” are even more laughable.

    JD (008a90)

  91. Patterico is not alone in calling for civility.

    And I’m not alone in reminding the left that they’re not the only ones who can practice civil disobedience.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  92. JD

    Obama the civil to pick Raul Emanuel someone so over the top the crazies in the dems are scared of him

    EricPWJohnson (b61ef9)

  93. Jim Treacher: of course the left aren’t the only ones who can practice civil disobedience. At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for taking the actions which we believe are the best actions we can take for ourselves and our country.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  94. Patterico: I’ve added your bookmark in another folder so now you have one to make up for the loss of #58.

    Mr. Pink: Please continue to comment. You are spot-on about the Obama/Wright issue.

    Old Coot (8a493c)

  95. JD, civility, like respect, may be earned; but I would argue that the default position ought to be to give both until they are unearned. I think that’s the only way we can function in a large-scale pluralistic society: assume a reasonable level of decency in the other guy, and treat him as you would someone who had such decency, until it is demonstrated that he doesn’t have it.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  96. Karl,

    Patterico seems to be getting quite a bit of that, even from his own regulars. I wouldn’t call it a war on Patterico. I’d call it an argument over a matter of opinion. As he noted in the other thread, it’s only heated because everyone is pissed off right now. It’s still a good discussion and one we’ll have to continue.

    Pablo (99243e)

  97. until it is demonstrated that he doesn’t have it.

    With few exceptions, read : you, has not the Left demonstrated their complete and utter lack of civility? At this point, can we not assume that they have not earned civility?

    I will concur that my brush is likely too broad, but damn. Read the comments in “Its the Republicans, Stupid”. This is standard for them. This is HuffPo. This is Gren Gleenwald. This is Excitable Andy. This is Daily Kos. This is the Left. Sadly, you share their policy goals, but are an exponentially better person than your fellow travelers.

    JD (008a90)

  98. “he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.”

    Patterico, with all due respect, I don’t see how your statement above and below support and/or give evidence to your claim. I think they are incompatible and if anything, a stark contradiction,

    Look again at the picture of the 18-week-old fetus. Are you comfortable with stabbing that creature in the head with a pair of scissors and sucking out its brains? When statistics show that most such abortions are not done for physical health reasons?

    Bottom line: Obama has pledged to sign legislation that will bring us that unnecessary horror again.

    I would like to know what your measurement of a basically decent guy is because I’m not seeing it.

    If there is not even the basic regard and respect for the intrinsic and inherent value of life – and particularly from one who will be leader of a society struggling with this issue – what makes him be a decent guy?

    Dana (3a01f2)

  99. Most presidents leave the post in shape for the next president but not bush..he ran this country into the ground and I was told repeatedly that the sky was not falling by repubs.trickle down economics doesn’t work.except for the rich…and if the rich make a product the middle class can’t afford it then who will buy it?….Fear and lies don’t make this country what it is and repubs keep trying the fear tactic and you will loose every time..time for the rich to help pay for the wars not just the middle class who loose the sons and daughters…freedom comes with a cost as reminded by republiucans and in there patriotic jest then its time to start paying

    forrest kimbrough (7bfebe)

  100. Civil is not drawing bloody pictures of McCain, who even when I totally disagree with him on issues, I can still look at and say is an honorable man who has done great things. Civil is not calling our president a chimp. Civil is not saying he knew about 911. Civil is not having elected Dems tell their own contituents that Bush lied to get us into Iraq.

    How many times should we get kicked in the teeth and just take it? The last 8 years we have been told patriotism is dissent. WTF now it is uncivil? F@ck that.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  101. STFU, forrest.

    JD (008a90)

  102. When all you’ve got is rage, every Civil Republican looks like an appeaser.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  103. It is alphie. Has to be.

    JD (008a90)

  104. We will see soon enough whether the man who gave us the middle finger this week on the eve of his victory is indeed a “good” man.

    It seems silly for bloggers to spar with each other over whether or not to give him the benefit of the doubt in the meantime. We will know soon enough.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  105. Comment by aphrael — 11/6/2008 @ 8:29 am

    Civility should prevail,
    Respect has to be earned!

    A Good Man treats his enemies with the same manners as his friends, but respects those who have earned it through their actions.

    Few on the Left are civil to all, and their lack of manners is reflected back at them in the disrespect for their positions even before the lack of intellectual integrity is raised.

    I admit to not being a “Good Man”.

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  106. Run, Forrest, run!

    Pablo (99243e)

  107. Pablo,

    If you have examples of Patterico regulars calling him dishonest and unprincipled, feel free to link them. I didn’t see any in the other thread. I saw plenty of people who fundamentally disagreed with what Patterico wrote, but I didn’t see any of his regulars call him an unprincipled liar.

    Karl (eacece)

  108. Jim Treacher: of course the left aren’t the only ones who can practice civil disobedience. At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for taking the actions which we believe are the best actions we can take for ourselves and our country.

    A more perfectly empty statement is difficult to imagine.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  109. Yeah, I should have said before, just because I don’t really see where Patterico is coming from, I don’t think he’s being dishonest.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  110. Pablo,

    Put another way, the fact that you don’t see a personal attack as anything other than a personal attack is puzzling. I doubt this thread would exist had JeffG confined himself to a disagreement on the merits.

    Karl (eacece)

  111. We should never forget that we need to know our enemy. And, that means we must figure out who he is. If we alienate ourselves from him, we will never get to know him or his battle plan. For now, trust but verify. If we can’t verify, then the big guns come out. It won’t take that long to find out.

    dianne (f68277)

  112. I believe we should be civil when the forum calls for civility. However, Clinton took abuse from the right, and Bush took abuse from the left. It is part of being a president, and giving Obama the kid-glove treatment is merely the soft bigotry of low expectations on a national level. An excess of graciousness on the Republican side will only look like an admission that we were right to lose the election. We don’t need to go there.

    Steve (707d3d)

  113. Comment by forrest kimbrough — 11/6/2008 @ 8:36 am

    Does anymore need to be said about the utter disconnect from reality that resides on the Left?

    If the actual situation was as this Moon-Bat (no disrespect intended to the Moon, or to actual bats) alleges,
    there would be no National Security Briefings for the incoming President and his N-S team,
    there would be no transition office in the EOB for them to work out of,
    and their prospective nominees for WH staff,
    and Cabinet positions would not have been pre-vetted by the FBI for clearances.

    Sort of like how transitions where handled in the 19th-Century.

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  114. Yeah it is a personal attack to say someone is “not honest or principled”. Hell he told me to f@ck a swordfish. I am still stuck on that “good” man comment though.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  115. Karl, I didn’t see Jeff call him an unprincipled liar either, and I see no value in ratcheting up the rhetoric in the argument any more than it already has been. A better question is this, and I ask it knowing that you’ve done a ton of homework on the subject: Do you think that Barack Obama is a basically decent man?

    Pablo (99243e)

  116. I cherry-picked the following from Patterico’s last comment at Protein Wisdom:

    I’m more concerned about people seeming not to understand why we lost, and responding to the loss by saying that McCain could have won had he simply been less “noble.” That seems to me to show a fundamental misunderstanding of what happened two days ago.

    I need to think about this some more but I’m inclined to agree despite my first instincts. People need a banner to follow. If you don’t have one of your own they will follow your opponent’s no matter how many holes you put in it. McCain had a banner for me but not for a whole lot other people.

    nk (95bfab)

  117. Forget the big debate over whether Obama is a “good man.” Tell me why you think we lost this election.

    Because the other guy is a black radical and the whole theme was “recreate ’68.” Unfortunately, our guy didn’t understand what that meant as he was incommunicado in ’68, being tortured in a Vietcong prison at the time and unaware of events in Chicago. He is the symbol of their cowardliness and a mirror they did not want to face. More than half the voters also had no awareness of what “recreate ’68” means, since they were babies or not even born yet, but the media romanticized that awful period and has made heroes of its leaders.

    Besides, when you’ve spent 4 decades convincing the supporters that they are the world’s greatest victims and a messiah is now here to rescue them from their wilderness, it is hard for any opponent to counter that kind of attack.

    Sara (Pal2Pal) (3337ed)

  118. Obama is not a decent man. No decent man would sit through years of Jeremiah Wright’s ranting with a smile on his face, or have his contributions to Wright’s church be his largest charitable contributions. A man who agreed with Wright would; so might a highly organized, ruthless, cynical opportunist willing to associate with an insane racist in order to build a political base.

    Obama probably doesn’t agree with Wright, so for me the only question is whether his abilities are in the service of a hard Left agenda–as many of his followers and backers seem to think– or whether he is by nature a centrist compromiser. He may well prove to be an able President. But if he is indeed a dedicated leftist, his ability to get things done will be a mixed blessing at best.

    PeterB (b6b02a)

  119. To try to answer your question first, a combination of (b) and (c). It was quite unlikely that a Republican would win this particular election; the stock market wipeout finished it all off.

    As far as to whether Barack Obama is a decent man, well, John Kass at least used to think so. I haven’t seen him comment on it lately, so I can’t say what his current thinking is, but Kass is fairly conservative.

    My opinion is that he wants good things for the country, but that’s in some sense subordinate to what’s good for him and his friends and allies, which is probably true of all of us to some extent. I think that he rationalizes things and engages in behaviors that he knows to be wrong, because either it is “harmless” or will ultimately lead to some “greater good”. (In this case, I’m thinking of the fiasco around the election of our Cook County Board President where Obama helped install a miserably corrupt hack who is the son of the previous miserably corrupt hack who held the position.)

    So how corrupted is Obama? And I say “corrupted”, because all of those things above lead to corruption. We’ll find out when we see if we get to keep Patrick Fitzgerald as our U.S. Attorney here in Chicago.

    I’m betting that we don’t. And it may even be disguised by Obama finding some “more important” job for Fitzgerald to do.

    But if and when Fitzgerald goes, there will be a lot of happy, corrupt Democrats and Republicans in Illinois who will be breathing a sigh of relief.

    Bill Roper (e07696)

  120. Yeah I saw a black guy in the grocery store the other day wearing an Obama T-shirt with him being portrayed as Superman ripping off his shirt to reveal his O! logo. Hard to buy that kinda devotion. Seriously, what did he get of the AA vote like 96 percent? Saddam Hussein didn’t get those kinda number and he held freakin guns to peoples heads.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  121. I believe the most reliable way to understand the “who and what” of a politician is to know the politician’s actions, because politicians of all stripes routinely lie about their intentions. During the campaign, Obama and team worked aggressively to hide or repackage his past actions. And I’m not talkin simply about Ayers. What about abortion, gun rights, acorn, donor credit card fraud, etc. He lied about these things. Does a decent guy do this to the extent that Obama did this?

    edward kallas (c4f3b0)

  122. Pablo,

    JeffG wrote:

    But let’s not pretend you are being honest or principled.

    Given that we’re all into intentionalism, I think the plain language there denotes that Patterico is not being honest or principled. I think most people would see that as a personal attack.

    I also think that going into a lengthy answer of your question would not serve your good suggestion that we not ratchet up the rhetoric. The short version is that I am likely between BJTexs and Treacher in this thread, which is essentially what I e-mailed Patterico this morning.

    Karl (f07e38)

  123. Re, the update: some of a, kinda b, and c. Some of the legitimate attacks were taken too much off the table by McCain; it’s a very tough time to be a Republican running for President; and whatever else can be said about Obama, he doesn’t have a long political record that can be evaluated/attacked.

    As to the main bone of contention: you’re both wrong. [Way to make friends, guy.] Obama is not a good, decent guy — there’s worse folks, but he’s really not “a decent guy, for a politician.”

    Goldstein is wrong, too. You’re not ignoble, dishonest, evil, unprincipled, etc. You’re just wrong; you’re cutting Obama too much slack on his character.

    Joel Rosenberg (5ec843)

  124. We lost because we lost the center. That’s 20-30% of the electorate and you cannot win without it.

    We lost the center because

    1. The current President was extremely unpopular. Unfairly, maybe, but that’s just whining. The center was predisposed against us. McCain never distanced himself.

    2. McCain did not get across a positive message. Every last independent I talked to thought all McCain did was attack Obama. Yes, he started each debate with positives and appeals to bipartisanship, but very quickly he went on attack. Every time he did that he lost votes. Only his base was interested, and they needed no convincing — they had Palin.

    3. Worse, the attacks didn’t land. All the center saw were the attacks, and thought “more bickering! Doesn’t he know there’s a crisis with my &^%%%$^ 401(k)???” What is he going to do and why won’t he tell me? See 2).

    4. They botched the Palin thing. She should have come out as Palin, not as some Washington wonk. Put her on Fox wall-to-wall and let her stump the Red states to get the base organized for turnout. Trying to make her into Hillary-right was stupid.

    5. They botched the McCain thing. They took a Washington insider and tried to make him into a social right outsider. Here’s the guy you have Gibson interview. Here’s the guy you have woo the center. But no, they had to make Pain into McCain and McCain into Palin. Morons.

    6. The financial crisis, of course. And no, it wasn’t because they didn’t hammer on Franks & Co. It was because they couldn’t hit too hard because one of the guys gung-ho for the Ownership Society was President Bush. Still, it would have been nice if they tried education rather than the breathless ads about how Raines was a friend of Obama. At BEST, the center said “Who is Raines? What’s a Fannie Mac, and what do hamburgers have to do with mortgages?”

    7. George W Bush. Just very, very tired of George W Bush.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  125. Who was arguing it wasn’t a personal attack Karl?

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  126. Tell me why you think we lost this election.

    MSM prop-O-ganda ops.. MSM instead merely emphasizing the truth about Obama to its market would have had Him drummed out or dead in the water at almost any chosen point. MSM knows how to do this but chose not to, that’s all.

    Essentially, Obama had a nearly infinite campaign fund. The “Free Press” MSM did not serve Democracy.

    J. Peden (229921)

  127. But I think Republicans need to get it straight in their heads why we lost

    Well, I can agree with that, and I agree that saying we lost because Obama is evil is not helpful.

    In my mind the question is how we lost in spite of Obama being unqualified and evil.

    Did anyone imagine that a first time US Senator (1 yr into his term) who had not already proven himself in another area could make a serious challenge for the Presidency?

    As said before, if McCain (or anybody else):
    1. went to a white supremacist church for any length of time
    OR
    2. Had unrepentant terrorists as associates over many years
    OR
    3. Had multiple dealings with someone convicted of fraud, including involvement with a personal business deal in buying a house
    OR
    4. Was on the chief recipient list of businesses linked to a crisis of the economy
    OR
    5. Had the arrogance to say they would tame the oceans, be the one to “fix” the US constitution, or could sweet-talk tyrants
    OR
    6. Was a radical on abortion rights, even supporting infanticide of survivors of abortion

    I don’t think they could have stood the fire-storm for even a week. I would be happy to see if someone disagrees and why.

    How to point out “negative” things that are true and should be known is an issue.

    As far as Gov. Palin goes, many think she was the worst thing McCain could have done, while others would have stayed home on election day except for Palin. I don’t think McCain lost the election because of Palin. Maybe he lost quite a few votes because of Palin, but he would have lost quite a few without her. I don’t know if there is a way to quantify the net effect, especially if you look on a state by state and electoral college effect.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  128. Obama won because:

    1) He is not George Bush
    2) He had way more bags of money that McCain
    3) The MSM was completely in the tank for the guy
    4) He ran a better campaign than McCain, thanks to #2 and #3
    5) He promised more free stuff than MAC, which also helped #4
    6) Biggest factor by far: LUCK.

    Luck plays a huge part in politics and of course our lives. Taleb Nassim points out in Black Swan
    that when luck is on your side and contributes to a favorable outcome, we tend to disregard it and instead want recognition for reasons such as: talent, skill, persistence, right decision making, etc.

    When we lose or bad things happen to us, we are much quicker to accept our fate as being unlucky.

    LUCK, in the form of the timing of the financial meltdown, determined this election in many ways.

    PC14 (82e46c)

  129. A decent and honest man who promised to bring a spirit of bipartisan cooperation to Washington would not appoint Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of State.

    Pat, you’ve proven to me you know nothing about Barack Obama.

    At this point, the burden is on you to establish that you do know what you are talking about when it comes to Obama.

    So the first thing you need to say when you post something like this about Obama is, “I really don’t know much about Obama, but this is what I’d like to think is true about him … “

    PrestoPundit (ff5e16)

  130. MD that is why I said earlier it is now socially acceptable to hate white people. I do not see another way to look at it. #1 of your list would be a massive disqualifier, but with O! not so much. It will be quite funny though to say “Wow look at O! killing all those brown people in Iraq and Afghanistan” with a straight face.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  131. Sorry, make that “Chief of Staff”

    Read Wehner’s piece on Emanuel at “Contentions” for some indication of this “vicious partisan” as EVERYONE who knows him describe Rahm Emanuel.

    PrestoPundit (ff5e16)

  132. Mr. Pink,

    Pablo wrote:

    I’m not seeing this as a blog war and I don’t think either of the participants should either. It is a difference of opinion on both opinion and strategy.

    Pablo also wrote:

    I didn’t see Jeff call him an unprincipled liar either

    My point in response was that JeffG went beyond disagreement with Patterico’s opinion on the merits (or on the politics) to personally attack Patterico’s honesty and principles — and that such is a bit more than a mere difference of opinion.

    I don’t want to put words in Pablo’s mouth — or yours. But my hypothesis is that people who like both PW and Patterico would prefer to pretend JeffG’s personal attack was not personal — or to downplay it as par for the course with JeffG. I totally get that. I also understand why Patterico might be ticked off about it. And I have already opined that the episode is not helpful to either of them (aside from the traffic generated thereby, I ‘spose) or us.

    Karl (f07e38)

  133. OK, Patterico, you’re being honest and principled. Based on what? Because I don’t understand what your “honest and principled” statement about Obama’s basic decency is based upon. That’s what my questions are based upon, the lack of evidence. I have no more reason to believe Barack Obama is basically a good guy than I have to believe you’re being honest and decent. I don’t know either of you. But if you were capable of telling me why you think Barack Obama is a good man, that would go a long way to confirming both propositions.

    In the absence of evidence, the only honest and decent answer you can offer is that it’s YOUR BEST GUESS or SUPREME HOPE that Barack Obama is a decent man. But you have no real reason to believe so.

    Or maybe I’m wrong, and you have a reason to believe that a man I know for a fact has worked to further the cause of several very sinister men isn’t sinister himself. So let’s hear it.

    You’re not being martyred here. You said something that made a bunch of people say, “why did he say that? ” So some of us asked you, “why did you say that?” So far, all you’ve done is question the motives of those who want to know how you arrived at the conclusion you did.

    Which sort of leaves many of us concluding you have no special insights. And you have no more reason to conclude that Barack Obama is a good man than I’d have to conclude he’s a Klingon.

    Of course, I have no reason to think Obama is a Klingon. Maybe you have a good reason to think Obama is a good man. If so, I’d like to hear it, because no one in even my extended family has ever abandoned anyone to live in a third world slum or Boston housing project without even bothering to include a 10 spot in a Christmas card and double their incomes. And we’re not the millionaires that Barack and Michelle are.

    So, explain to me how this works in your mind.

    Steve (6f4d90)

  134. #119 Karl:

    Please stay between me and Treacher and keep him off of my back. :-)

    I also recognize that you took an enormous amount of crap from a certain stalking troll because of your long posts about Obama and his various historical associations. I’m probably closer to Treacher’s position than you might think but am in waiting and watching mode to see whether or not his run to the center sticks or if the less savory aspects of his campaign and background become front and center in a tidal wave of power awareness.

    Certainly McCain lost due to many of the points made above (Financial sector collapse, Bush hate, MSM flava-love, effective Obama messaging, weak McCain response. etc.) but my number one is the Republican Party abrogating their leadership role as the fiscally sane member of the congressional family. The ginormous bailouts nailed the coffin for many conservatives who either stayed home or voted for Obama in a fit of pique (my own brother being a part of the latter group.)

    We’ll see…

    BJTexs (1baae5)

  135. 129.

    Ditto. Glad you found a new home by the way.

    Mr. Pink (a64369)

  136. The Republican Party lost for two reasons.
    1. They lost because Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke made the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail on the weekend of Sept 10th. That pushed the banking system to the edge of collapse and the economic crisis crowded out every other topic. McCain was, as he had admitted, no expect on the economy.
    2. Concerns about national security were pushed to the back of many voters’ minds by Obama’s offer to give them a tax break and/ or a check. In the end, no matter what their concerns, these voters went with the guy that offered them the most money.
    Personally, I am concerned about a Pres. Obama, but I will offer him the respect that his office deserves and will pray for his well being and for God to guide him.

    Dave S (93c473)

  137. We should bookmark this and come back after Baracky has his way with a prostrate and supine America for a few months I think. The stock market looks to be siding with Mr. Goldstein so far. Not a nice man at all, this Baracky Chavez, and he hasn’t even gotten rolling yet.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  138. When a man’s antecedents have been as carefully cloaked and scrubbed as Obama’s have, looking at his personal associations and actions (such as they were or were not) is what I am left with in order to make a judgment call on his “character”. Where did the guy come from/out of, and what has he ever done that is worthwhile??

    What I can see gives me great pause and smells really bad. His few documented actions tend to mostly verify the stench.

    Tends, for me, to argue against basic “goodness”. But I could be wrong. I am inclined to remain in Condition Orange with respect to the coming Obama administration.

    We conservatives must regain the strength of belief in what once were our principles–and be unfailingly guided by them.

    Gabby (1566d8)

  139. #125 I have a problem with #5 on your list.

    McCain promised lower taxes (Free Stuff) to us didn’t he?

    Do you really think he could of delivered on that promise?

    Oiram (983921)

  140. You have to wonder what drove John McCain to engage the people he did for his campaign staff?
    Were these the best available, or just what he could afford when the bottom dropped out over the Winter?
    And, where were the experienced pro’s who could have been picked up from the other campaigns?
    Could it have been, that The Maverick had stepped on so many toes that no one wanted to work with him?
    Of course, we know that the guy who ramrodded the last two winning Presidential campaigns (Karl Rove) was probably personna non grata with McCain due to the situation in SC in ’00. But, to not go to him for advice says more about McCain than it does about Rove – if you wanted to win.

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  141. Why did the Republicans lose? Because for the past 8 years they’ve mistaken tactics for a strategy.

    Dan Collins (57d0a9)

  142. McCain promised lower taxes (Free Stuff) to us didn’t he?

    He promised tax cuts for everyone.

    As far as that being “free stuff”, I disagree. It’s not “free”, it’s _MY MONEY_ and there’s nothing free about the government allowing me to keep it.

    Do you really think he could of delivered on that promise?

    Comment by Oiram — 11/6/2008 @ 10:25 am

    Lowering taxes? Yes.

    Obama said during his interview with O’Reilly that he wouldn’t raise taxes during an economic crisis. I believe what we’re in right now is an economic crisis.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  143. Just checked….DOW down 380!

    further confidence in the future BHO economy.

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  144. Ok the One Good Thing was supposed to be we didn’t have to talk about John McCain no mores.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  145. I’m working on seeing it Patterico’s way — I am tired of this never-ending political war between the two sides, and I would like to be able to be at least somewhat optimistic about the coming Obama Administration. It would be a whole lot easier if so many of Obama’s supporters didn’t have a long history of crying “racism!” at the first moment of disagreement with the Dear Leader-elect, and if Obama didn’t carry on as if he should never be asked hard questions about controversial issues.

    I’ll partially agree with our host: I think Obama is deep down a decent guy, but his personal ambition has been so overwhelming that he has been willing to accept nefarious means to reach his desired end. Maybe now that he has finally climbed the mountain his decent side will at last emerge. Whom he appoints to his Cabinet will say a great deal about the sort of leader he plans to be.

    JVW (f93297)

  146. #139
    Obama said during his interview with O’Reilly that he wouldn’t raise taxes during an economic crisis. I believe what we’re in right now is an economic crisis.

    Who’s to say that the economic crisis wont end before Obama’s first term? Lots of people here, I know :(

    G.W. Senior promised no new taxes too. In fact we read his lips. But we had to pay for the Good Reagan years somehow.

    Oiram (983921)

  147. McCain lost because:

    1. It was an Information Age media onslaught for which the Republicans were unprepared. They’re still in the last century. The Left manages its message much more effectively–and ruthlessly, I might add.
    2. The all-pervasive influence of a biased media, educated at left-leaning universities over the last 30 years and smug in their morality. They are able to create and edit reality on-the-fly. Orwell would be pleased.
    3. A large swathe of uneducated, young and/or naive voters, incurious and unread in politics, economics and history–the product of the biased university system mentioned above. In other words, perfect material to be molded by an unscrupulous media.
    4. McCain’s own incomprehension of the principles of conservatism. Economics is the heart of both political systems. Free market – vs – socialism. These economic systems determine how one solves social problems. If you want to understand your political position, you have to understand the economic theory behind it. Most voters have no idea that socialism is inimical to personal freedom.
    5. Fashions in thought, the herd mentality. Obama was this year’s black, so to speak.
    6. Obama’s considerable personal charisma.
    7. McCain’s age; it shows.
    8. Shitloads of illegal contributions to Obama.
    9. Thuggery and intimidation.
    10. A very good grassroots organization on the Left. They practice what they preach.
    11. A reluctance to call a spade a spade. Political discourse is hamstrung by our fear of speaking the truth. On this Goldstein is absolutely correct. We have to take back the language. We have to take back truth.

    ahem (671d69)

  148. #141 Is Another Drew actually happy about the dow going down?

    Un American to say the least.

    Oiram (983921)

  149. I think the republicans lost because:

    1. The MSM has been hammering Bush & Co with anti-war rhetoric, the economy and everything else for the last four years. I hear a lot of people saying Bush is the worst president and such, but when I ask them for specifics they cant name one thing.

    2. Obama is an African American.

    ML (14488c)

  150. #141 CW Desiato

    Wrote wrong comment number on #145, should of read #141 not #139.

    I’m tired.

    Oiram (983921)

  151. #145 —

    The thing of it is that Obama doesn’t have to raise taxes. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire in, when, 2009 or 2010? Obama simply lets them expire, renews some of the cuts targeted to the middle-class (which will end up being something like families under $150k per year and singles under $100k per year), and then will claim that not only did he not raise taxes, but he managed to cut them. A Clintonian evasion to be sure, but I’ll be willing to bet that the mainstream media lets him get away with it.

    JVW (f93297)

  152. #142 CW Desiato actually.

    Oiram (983921)

  153. BJ, Pink,

    Thanks.

    Also:

    feets!

    Karl (f07e38)

  154. Another Drew,

    FWIW, McCain stuck with a lot of the crew that has been with him long before this election (except for Mike Murphy, who got a head start on sniping from a perch at MSNBC). He ultimately booted Rick Davis to a figurehead position in favor of Steve Schmidt, who is a Rove acolyte through and through. The question unanswered so far is how many things Schmidt pitched got vetoed by Maverick.

    Karl (f07e38)

  155. Ping. Put me, with genuine respect for Jeff and those who agree with him, in Patterico’s camp on this.

    No trackbacks anymore?

    Beldar (1a2c77)

  156. Why did Bambi win?

    1) Republican brand is in tatters. Who believes them? I certainly don’t. They were wastrels in Congress.
    2) The mantra of “Change” is a powerful narcotic.
    3) Forgetfulness & ingratitude to people like McCain and Bush for their service to their country.
    4) Fickleness.
    5) Emotions taking the place of thinking. (And then masquerading as thinking.) The full-blown derangement of people over Palin (who has successfully run a state) is an example of that — most Palin-haters were spoon-fed their thinking.

    Now, I think the Democrat Party is far worse. The Republicans are squalid nuisances, but the Democrat Party is coming after my liberty in order to give me security. “Fairness Doctrine” is just one example of their way of thinking.

    But the Republicans have mostly themselves to blame for their corrupt ways in Congress. Despicable is too kind.

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  157. Who’s to say that the economic crisis wont end before Obama’s first term? Lots of people here, I know :(

    I was saying that during times of economic crisis, Obama said it might be prudent to _not_ raise taxes on anyone during economic downturn.

    G.W. Senior promised no new taxes too. In fact we read his lips. But we had to pay for the Good Reagan years somehow.

    Comment by Oiram — 11/6/2008 @ 10:40 am

    Revisionist.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  158. I prefer to think of him as the devil incarnate, because if he is basicly a decent man who thinks that the world would be a better place if only he could control the thing…

    Well, it’s the decent men who always cause the most destruction.
    Robert E Lee was a decent man.

    About a “family feud” between Patterico and Protein Wisdom, I’ll preach from Rodney King.

    You’re both off target though. We dodged a bullet by avoiding a Yosemite Sam presidency. We lost the battle but won the war. California voted against Al Gore and the global warmers by super majority numbers, and that included the blacks latins gays – the whole shebang.
    McCain wasn’t playing to win. He picked Sarah Palin to marginalize one of the best defenders we have for the concept of energy security.
    In this aim he failed.
    You can see his failure by the continued attacks on Sarah’s wardrobe from the media.
    Bear Sterns, Lehman, J.P. Morgan, these were the financiers for the windmill merchants. Swept away. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Generations will rise and fall before another bank backs the ecoloonies. That’s a good thing.

    papertiger (b28aae)

  159. #151 If your right, the Main Stream Media will let him get away with it only if it puts our economy back on track.

    Of course the Main Stream Talk Radio world will not.

    Is everyone o.k. with the distinction I made there between MSM and the talk radio world which is dominated by the right?

    Oiram (983921)

  160. Why would we care what you think?

    steve miller (41e5fd)

  161. Fashions in thought, the herd mentality. Obama was this year’s black, so to speak.

    Nicely turned, ahem.

    Phil Smith (1cf25d)

  162. If your right, the Main Stream Media will let him get away with it only if it puts our economy back on track.

    Pardon me if I have my doubts.

    Of course the Main Stream Talk Radio world will not.

    Is everyone o.k. with the distinction I made there between MSM and the talk radio world which is dominated by the right?

    Comment by Oiram — 11/6/2008 @ 11:06 am

    No, you’re right. Talk radio will do the reporting that the MSM won’t.

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  163. #142
    Obama said during his interview with O’Reilly that he wouldn’t raise taxes during an economic crisis. I believe what we’re in right now is an economic crisis.

    O.k. then CW Desiato,

    Has Obama raised taxes?

    I would love to here your un-revisionist version of “Read My Lips”.

    Oiram (983921)

  164. #162 CW Desiato

    No, you’re right. Talk radio will do the reporting that the MSM won’t.

    You really believe there wouldn’t be any spin there?

    Pardon me but I disagree with that.

    I mean I might listen to what you have to say about your version of MSM (no talk radio) being slanted one way or another.

    But Talk Radio reporting the news without spin?

    Wow

    Oiram (983921)

  165. I’m torn between two viewpoints. On the one hand, I don’t want conservatives to descend to the level of liberals when it comes to president derangement syndrome. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue that a decent person would sit in church for 20 years and listen to Wright’s blatant hate speech. We didn’t afford the defense of ignorance to the German people after World War II, and I don’t think we should afford that defense to Obama either.

    In Illinois, most people recognize that Obama probably wouldn’t be where he is today if some judge hadn’t unsealed Jack Ryan’s divorce suit, and if the Illinois GOP hadn’t caved and cut Ryan loose. Oh, and if Emil Jones hadn’t seen that his protege rose to the top.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  166. Torn between two viewpoints,
    Feeling like a fool!

    Dan Collins (57d0a9)

  167. I don’t feel compelled to agree with either Patterico or Jeff G., which makes both places distinctly different than virtually all lefty blogs.

    On the subject of Baracky being a decent guy, I have to vote no, because even with Patterico’s politician qualifier, integrity and honesty are important and Obama has displayed a conspicuous lack of those qualities.

    He is able to lie with a straight face directly to an interviewer or into a camera. He has done this repeatedly during the course of the campaign about his relationships with Tony Rezko, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, ACORN, and Rashid Khalidi as a start. He has lied about his prior policy positions as well – a sure sign a lie was coming from him were the words “as I have consistently said.” He was fond of telling elite audiences in San Francisco one thing and blue collar audiences another, which would have been fine if they didn’t find out about the conflicts between what was said to each other.

    Basically, Obama will say anything or do anything to achieve his goals, including lying, cheating, having others engage in questionable behavior on his part as long as there is plausible deniability for himself. To me that is not the mark of a decent man.

    From friends who work for the State of Illinois, I have heard that Obama’s image of snobbishness and arrogance is well deserved.

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  168. Ok. Clearly I’m not going to get an answer to my question asking why Patterico said what he said.

    Now, about my question about whether or not Patterico’s statement about Barack Obama being a good man was based on some sort of reason or was simply an empty platitude.

    Is it now racist for me to mention my question now that this “good man” has been elected, and more importantly did I commit a hate-speech crime by mentioning what just naturally occurred to me following this “good man’s” election.

    I’m just trying to figure out the rules. I can see the point that I shouldn’t engage in baseless attacks against Barack Obama, and should give him the opportunity to prove himself in office. Agreed. But I still don’t understand how it’s principled and honest to make broad declarations about his character when I have limited information on the subject. And what information I do have weighs heavily against the conclusion Patterico arrived at.

    So I’m still curious as to why he said that, but I’m equally open to the idea that I’ve committed a thought crime by so wondering.

    Steve (6f4d90)

  169. I mean I might listen to what you have to say about your version of MSM (no talk radio) being slanted one way or another.

    You might listen? Can you argue with a straight face that the MSM is not biased to the Left?

    Steve – As has well been established, it is racist to question Teh One. Heck, we had a troll in another thread this morning tell us that we were racist if we were not moved by the Grant Park festivities.

    JD (008a90)

  170. Hi, Karl! Did anyone ever note the irony between that stupid Wall Street/Main Street dichotomy what wouldn’t die and John McCain’s repulsive Soros-funded “Republican Main Street Partnership“? I’m just curious. If you want to know why we have a dirty socialist running our little country that would be the link to click I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  171. Oiram,

    Here is a link to an article from a member of the print media declaring that their job is to save American and the freedom of the press, not to be objective.

    It was living proof of my personal belief that the greatest role for journalists is not to make sure that every story has 50 percent of one side and 50 percent of the other side – but that the vital function for reporters is to preserve democracy and the freedom of the press, because without those freedoms a valid media would cease to exist. Yes, they’re voicing outrage today inside the sacred sanctuary of the Temple of Objective Journalism , where the celebrants nervously fingered their rosaries rather than confront the Constitutional bonfire that was building outside.

    But for eight years now, there’s been an out-of-control fire raging outside of that temple – a fire that was built upon the USA Patriot Act and Guantanamo and rendition and torture and signing statements and 16 words in a State of the Union Address. Ultimately, saving the last fabric of democracy is more important than worrying about what contrived commandments of journalism were stepped on while the blaze was finally extinguished.

    I myself would call it truth-telling, and honest journalism, but now we have some who want to call it “media bias.” That’s fine with me, but understand this.

    “Media bias” may have just saved America .

    JD (008a90)

  172. Happy, Hi. Nice to see you lose the happiness and show yourself as the fever swamp dweller.

    I feel sorry for you in this era of your discontent. Had McCain adopted the sunny optimism front you used to have, instead of the dour, dark “the bad man is coming,” he might have done better!

    Nice to see you, though.

    On the other hand, could you provide one of those posts on how much you hate NPR. I always loved those

    timb (904b58)

  173. “Talk radio will do the reporting that the MSM won’t.”

    You really believe there wouldn’t be any spin there?….Wow.

    Along with many other stories either reported first or in effect nearly exclusively by talk radio, the Rev. Wright story didn’t need any spin.

    In other words, Oiram, stating the bland generality, “there will always be spin somewhere”, is not equivalent to falsifying Desiato’s point, or to proving yours – which seems to be that objectivity is impossible.

    All you are really doing, Oiram, is repeating a comforting Mantra, and not making any practical or relevant sense.

    So, either you are incapable of making sense, or you just don’t want to, for whatever reason.

    J. Peden (229921)

  174. I shall not rest until Patterico accords the same basic “goodness” to Ann Coulter that he does to Obama!

    J. Peden (229921)

  175. …he is still, for a politician, a basically decent guy, trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

    Pity the poor, diseased politician. Imagine: to spend your days and expend your efforts making rules for others to live by, thinking up ways to run other lives. Actually to strive for the opportunity to do so! What a hideous affliction! – From The Second Book Of KYFHO (F. Paul Wilson, “An Enemy of the State”)

    Horatio (55069c)

  176. J. Peden – I’d play hide the salami with Coulter but not Obama. That’s just the way I roll. That makes her basically a lot more good than Obama.

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  177. I shall not rest until Patterico accords the same basic “goodness” to Ann Coulter that he does to Obama!
    Amen

    Horatio (55069c)

  178. Where are you gonna hide it? in her Adam’s Apple?

    Icy Truth (0466e6)

  179. How ’bout a practical compromise?

    Obama is not a decent man, but attacking his policy and/or actions (which are changeable) will produce better results than attacking his person, which – while valid, per our personal point of view – will be spun as despicably racist; and therefore, blunt our criticism of the one thing we might be able to change, his actions.

    The world is not fair. Some people have teflon, but most of us don’t.

    Whether Obama can become a good man is between him and his God (or him and his preacher, him and his psychiatrist, him and himself, as you see the world).

    Whether Obama’s can become a good president by choosing, however joyfully or reluctantly, good policy is the responsibility of the entire electorate.

    Zo – what actions do we wish him to undertake for the good of the American people?

    Adriane (b8ecd8)

  180. I’m not going to impugn your motives, Patterico, but I’m afraid I agree with Goldstein’s assessment of Obama.

    As I said to people before the election, look at what Obama has DONE, not what he has said. What he did was to threaten people with criminal prosecution for airing ads which he didn’t like, resort to dirty tricks to undermine opponents, give his attention and support (including steering grants and government funds) to a racist ranter, and fund dishonest attempts to persuade the courts that the 2nd amendment didn’t apply to “the people”.

    You, OTOH, seem to think he’s a good guy because … why? Because he gives good speeches? If so, then I congratulate on applying no more intelligence than the fools who voted for “hope and change” based on his speeches and commercials.

    While I’m not prepared to become an “outlaw”, I will not give Obama the benefit of the doubt, and I will not assume he has this country’s (that is, the country we have RIGHT NOW, not some dreamed-of socialist utopia) best interests at heart.

    Calvin Dodge (ce0475)

  181. Oops – “congratulate on” should be “congratulate you on”.

    Calvin Dodge (ce0475)

  182. is Obama a decent person i would say yes i think so. I have read the opinions of others and have to say everyone is entitled to one. But in my opinion he is a decent person there were many times that Obama could have hit below the belt but he chose the high road. In my opinion he chose to run a campaign that was not as negative as it could have been. i understand it is politics and most Americans (many here and myself) think that things that are done are wrong and honestly they are but that is the nature of the political arena if you do not like it work on reform. But Obama is a decent person playing the cards he was dealt

    trying2quit (9ecc60)

  183. is Obama a decent person i would say yes i think so. I have read the opinions of others and have to say everyone is entitled to one. But in my opinion he is a decent person there were many times that Obama could have hit below the belt but he chose the high road. In my opinion he chose to run a campaign that was not as negative as it could have been. i understand it is politics and most Americans (many here and myself) think that things that are done are wrong and honestly they are but that is the nature of the political arena if you do not like it work on reform. But Obama is a decent person playing the cards he was dealt

    Comment by trying2quit — 11/6/2008 @ 12:43 pm

    Had the MSM did its job McCain wouldn’t have had to go negative. And the MSM did Obama’s dirty work for him.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  184. I am sorry, but Jeff is right. Republicans have played nicey-nice for years while the Democrats hammered them. The Dems Hammered Bush with not one shred of humanity his entire term in office. And what did they get?? they got REWARDED with even more power, and the Repubs got to be the fall guys. McCain’s nicey niceness lost him the Presidency, although it would have been tough for him to win anyway, partly because the Party that caused the Wall Street meltdown got to blame the Republicans instead. Now that McCains nicey niceness lost the election, there is a possibility that 50 million people are forced back into tyranny, that my children get to live with a certified nutcase running Iran with nuclear weapons, and the cold war starts again.

    Obama is NOT a good guy. you see, a good guy would not allow the thuggery that took place in his name, nor the breaking of clear promises, nor the lying, nor the fraud. If that isn’t the actions of a man with few morals, then what is? This is the kind of moral weakness that is infecting our society and destroying it. If there isn’t anyone left who can recognize these actions as “bad” then what kind of a future is in store for America? Not a very bright one, that is for sure.

    Jim P (a59306)

  185. feets,

    I’ve been aware of the “Main Street Partnership” for some time, and about the same general opinion of it you do. That being said, I don’t think that’s the big explainer of why Maverick crashed and burned.

    Moreover, going fwd, if I was a GOP operative-type, I would be more concerned in direction and control of the party than in purging people from the party (advoacted by a number of sides, btw). Winning elctions requires more people, not fewer. Purity is much easier for pundits and movements, obvs.

    Everyone else seems to be posting their post-motems, which makes me reluctant to feed the glut with my own post. The thumbnail of mine would involve my old stand-by regarding the 16-year cycle, with a dash of Wall St. panic thrown in (but not much more than a dash), plus Obama’s organizational effort in battleground states. Given the weather this year, it was probably best for all right-of-center to have Maverick as the candidate — which you can read on several levels, if you wish.

    Karl (f07e38)

  186. Icy Truth,

    That was icy. And true.

    Karl (f07e38)

  187. best for all right-of-center to have Maverick as the candidate — which you can read on several levels, if you wish.

    Since we were going to lose anyway, might as well let it be someone like McCain that we were not so fond of to begin with?

    JD (008a90)

  188. The take I have is that a man is the sum of his deeds. Obama is certainly eloquent, but his deeds speak of underhandedness. He surrounds himself with vile men like Wright and Ayers. He campaigns by knocking opponents off the ballot. He employs a campaign manager who specializes in astroturf efforts. He coyly suggests that racism exists in his opponents campaigns where none does.

    I think I understand why you insist that he’s a good man. No man besides a sociopath believes himself a force for evil.

    I respectfully disagree. We have elected an unscrupulous machine politician to the highest office in the land. While he may be a benign cog if you limit your vision to the man himself, he is part of a machine whose purpose is the politics of personal destruction. The machine makes omelets, and we are eggs.

    Hadlowe (fbd42e)

  189. “I’ll partially agree with our host: I think Obama is deep down a decent guy, but his personal ambition has been so overwhelming that he has been willing to accept nefarious means to reach his desired end.”

    JVW: that’s total agreement with my position, not just partial.

    Most people here have ignored what I said about Obama’s underhanded tactics.

    Steve, I already gave one example of Obama’s decency in his reaction to the attacks on Palin’s character. If anyone says they find that convincing but says it’s the only example, I’ll dig up more examples. But if you’re going to discount that as trying to *appear* like a decent guy, then I’ll just assume you would wave away any other examples I provided, meaning why should I bother?

    Patterico (61d00a)

  190. JD (#186),

    That is certainly one way to read that. Another, more charitable (but more debatable) way to read it would be that if one accepts this was going to be a “change” election, Maverick stood a better chance of winning than a more solid conservative. Any GOP candidate was going to get tagged by the Dems as a Bush clone, more of the same, etc. — but McCain may have stood the best chance of resisting it at the margins. Whether the McCain camp did the best job at that task is another matter.

    Karl (f07e38)

  191. Got it. But it’s interesting how many on that Main Street list got swept away. It’s almost like they weren’t useful anymore or something.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  192. feets,

    In a Blue year, it’s harder to out-Blue the Blue candidate. The reverse works in more Red years.

    Karl (f07e38)

  193. Karl – You know how charitable I have felt towards McCain, since the primaries. Not so much.

    JD (008a90)

  194. Stone Crook. You watch.

    mojo (8096f2)

  195. It’s somewhat akin to what I feel about the Clintons. I know some people that personally know and like Bill and Hillary Clinton, and I think that if they were my next door neighbors I would probably get along with them just fine. I would never enter into a business deal with them, and I would always be disgusted by the degree to which they choose to live their lives as if on a soap opera, but I am sure we would be friendly.

    Sort of the same with Obama. I’ll almost surely never vote for the guy, and I’ll likely hate a whole lot of his agenda, but I am guessing that he genuinely wants to see people in this country get along and prosper, even if he is clueless about how to make it happen.

    Politicians like the Clintons and Obama (and Nixon, if we want to be bipartisan about this) have the tragic flaw of believing that they are so authentically good and well-meaning that it justifies any slimy measures they have to take in order to assume and hold political office. They really think that it is so important that they be the ones running things that it is OK if they need to shade the truth or change their beliefs to suit public opinion or use the power of the state to attack opponents. It’s sad, and I think it is what keeps so many decent and honest people of all ideologies from entering politics.

    JVW (f93297)

  196. The Obama campaign is not responsible for Excitable Andi’s dementia.

    Just wondering though: if Obama’s ‘families are off-limits’ was truly an abiding principle of his life and not a campaign soundbite, why the unsealing of the Ryan divorce records?

    These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others …
    Karl Marx’ younger brother’s wife’s 1st cousin, Groucho

    Adriane (b8ecd8)

  197. JVW @ 194 summed up my feelings quite nicely.

    JD (008a90)

  198. I have to side with Jeff on this one. Obama has shown himself to be dishonest, deceitful, destructive, petty, vindictive, divisive, elitist, and venal.

    Seriously, forget what he says…what has he actually done to make you think he is such a decent and honorable guy?

    Fred Schwartz (fcf819)

  199. is Obama a decent person i would say yes i think so. I have read the opinions of others and have to say everyone is entitled to one. But in my opinion he is a decent person there were many times that Obama could have hit below the belt but he chose the high road.

    I think this is where Patterico might be confused also. Obama had his surrogates do the dirty work for him. He did, however, tip his hand with regard to Joe the Plumber when he veered away from the Teleprompter and made those negative comments on the stump

    Fred Schwartz (fcf819)

  200. Just read this post now Patterico.

    You remind me of why a Democrat like me likes coming here.

    Yeah disagree with Obama, but he is a good man who means well.

    Basically I think all modern day presidents are good men and meant well whether I disagree with them or not.

    And yes this includes Bush. I don’t have to go over the many reasons why I think he is wrong for this country, but I know he is a good man and I know that every move he has made has been made with only the best interests of the country at heart.

    Thanks Patterico for giving America the benefit of the doubt in at least electing a good man.

    Oiram (983921)

  201. Patterico..I just read your comment over at PW regarding your thinking Biden is a good and decent man. i cannot disagree more stongly, Just because he can come across as a funny goofball does not make him decent.

    What he did to Bork and Thomas was some of the most vile and vicious, dishonest and partisan destructive behavior ever on our political scene.

    The only reason he didn’t do the dame to Alito and Roberts is because of the backlash he received.

    He actually had the effing nerve to say to each of them afetrward that he actually did not mean what he had said in front of the world.

    He is just an idiot willing to be used as a character assasin of his betters

    Fred Schwartz (fcf819)

  202. Well, now I see why some of you believe Obama is a good man. Because of some of his statements and actions during his campaign.

    But remember, I saw the same performance you did. And yes, I agree Barack Obama was marketed to me as a good man.

    Sure, he maintained a certain distance from most of the nastiness that emanated from his campaign and its supporters. And for all I know, he wasn’t publicly saying one thing while encouraging the opposite.

    So I just can’t honestly base my opinion on the public performance Barack Obama just delivered, which was designed to sell me a product.

    I suppose where I find the most reason to doubt whether he’s a good man is the condition of his family. I just can’t square the difference between his soaring rhetoric about him being his brother’s keeper and what I read in the UK Telegraph:

    Vanity Fair also noted that he had a front page newspaper picture of his famous brother – born of the same father as him, Barack Hussein Obama, but to a different mother, named only as Jael.

    He told the magazine: “I live like a recluse, no-one knows I exist.”

    Embarrassed by his penury, he said that he does not does not mention his famous half-brother in conversation.

    “If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed,” he said.

    The guy lives on a dollar month. How hard would it be to help him out? I suppose this resonates with me because I spent 20 years in the Navy, and I had a foreign born spouse with family overseas, like a lot of other guys in the Navy. My wifes father needed an operation he couldn’t afford, so I shelled out the cash. It wasn’t a loan and I never asked for it back. I know guys who practically support whole villages in the Philippines, simply because they’re related to their wives.

    Yet this guy can’t help out his own half brother? Or his Aunt? Apparently his idea of helping them is to run for office so he can get me to be his brother’s keeper. Which means, of course, I’ll have less of my own cash to redistribute to my own family if they need it. I suppose Obama would call me selfish for wanting to help people I know instead of thinking of him and his family first.

    There have been too many other incidents, like his campaign’s disabling of the AVS to enable credit card fraud, that would inhibit me from labeling Barack Obama good and decent. What’s so odd about reading that here is that this blog has been instrumental in informing me of Barack Obama’s Cook County machine heritage.

    Did something about Barack Obama winning the election change that?

    All of a sudden, for instance, do we hope Patrick Fitzgerald drops the whole Rezko investigation into shady land deals he did with Obama, because obviously there’s no “there” there as we now have it on good authority that Obama is a good and decent man? Do we now tell the MSM to spike all that reporting they didn’t bother to do during the campaign because now we know Barack Obama is good and decent, and really what else to we need to know?

    As far as losing this election goes, maybe that wouldn’t have happened if Republicans weren’t all so concerned about demonstrating what good guys they are by saying all kinds of nice things about Obama. I lost track of all the times McCain went out of his way to reassure us about just how nice and reasonable an Obama presidency would be. I’d hear some things coming out of his mouth and wonder, doesn’t he understand he’s supposed to be campaigning against this guy?

    Steve (6f4d90)

  203. JD (#192),

    That’s why I wrote it to work on more than one level in the first instance.

    Karl (d826c5)

  204. “Barack Obama is basically a decent guy, for a politician.”

    That’s not a very high standard, to say the least.

    “No, Jeff corrects me, he is a con man and a thief.”

    Actually, with the qualifying phrase “for a politician”, both statements could actually be true.

    But you’re wrong. A decent guy would not do reprehensible things.

    I think you’re grasping at straws.

    Jim C. (33af9d)

  205. Recrimination: it just tastes good!

    Fritz (abaa8f)

  206. In my view, if you do lots of reprehensible things you are not a decent guy. It’s like saying Jeff Dahmer was simply a connoisseur of exotic foods.

    Guess I’m old school.

    Stan (7cfd24)

  207. My point in response was that JeffG went beyond disagreement with Patterico’s opinion on the merits (or on the politics) to personally attack Patterico’s honesty and principles — and that such is a bit more than a mere difference of opinion.

    I don’t want to put words in Pablo’s mouth — or yours. But my hypothesis is that people who like both PW and Patterico would prefer to pretend JeffG’s personal attack was not personal — or to downplay it as par for the course with JeffG. I totally get that. I also understand why Patterico might be ticked off about it.

    Let me get one thing straight: I have not impugned Patterico in general, nor do I believe him in general to be dishonest or unprincipled. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    But in this case, I refuse to believe that a man who so recently referred to Obama as pond scum can suddenly change course and insist he’s the good kind of pond scum — or that this sudden change had nothing whatever to do with Obama’s having won the election, and Patt desiring to look gracious, and have conservatives in general take the (supposed) high road.

    I believe P’s post was calculated to show that we are willing to reach out our hand — that we differ from those who suffered BDS.

    My counter to that is that we already do differ, and that we don’t need to prove it by calling a demonstrably bad man “good.”

    Like Patterico, my site deals with issues — and in particular, I’m concerned with language. In a follow-up post today I explain in more detail why I think Pat’s post is dangerous and wrongheaded.

    YMMV

    So I disagree fundamentally with Karl’s efforts to turn my post into a “personal attack” when it was, in fact, an attack that by virtue of the way I read Pat’s post, happened to be personal — necessarily so.

    Jeff G (735284)

  208. I think Obama went beyond mere “flawed” when he went back on his word regarding campaign financing.
    I think Obama went even further beyond flawed when his campaign was exposed as taking donations via credit card from whomever and doing so by disabling even the most rudimentary fraud protections.
    A flawed but good man would have stood by his word. A good man would have gone into a fit of anger over the credit card issues and told everyone that “this is not how we do things here under my name… this is not happening. Fix it now!”
    Obama didn’t do these things and that tells me a lot about how flawed he is, and not so much about how good he is.
    This theme repeats itself throughout Obama’s associations as well.
    Obama does not initiate moves based on his internal moral compass… he waits for thers to point out the “flaw” (like wright or ayers) and THEN maybe does something.
    I tend to think good people catch their own mistakes and have their own moral compass set on true north…

    All this said, I posted on Proteinwisdom that this could have been a great discussion if the personal attacks had been left out of it.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  209. I believe P’s post was calculated to show that we are willing to reach out our hand — that we differ from those who suffered BDS.

    My counter to that is that we already do differ, and that we don’t need to prove it by calling a demonstrably bad man “good.”

    Were that your only response, it wouldn’t bother me. But your counter to me goes beyond that. You insisted on arguing that I was acting in a dishonest and unprincipled manner.

    Your evidence is to repeatedly quote me (three times now, I believe) saying in a comment that Obama was pond scum. Maybe you’ve never phrased anything in a way that you’d change later. Bully for you if that’s true. It’s not true for me.

    People often call someone they love a bad name. Often their anger is justified, but when the heat of the moment has passed, they concede that they would phrase it differently. It has happened to me. Maybe not to you.

    That does not mean that, at any point in the future, if I want to say that my loved one is a good person, that I’m being dishonest and unprincipled, because I once called that same person a name.

    No, I don’t love Obama, so stop snickering. The point is this: if this phenomenon can happen with someone you love, it can also happen with a political figure that you don’t particularly care for.

    As I say in my latest post, I’m talking about an ideal — one that I have not lived up to at all times in the past and will fail to live up to in the future.

    That doesn’t mean I have behaved in a DISHONEST or UNPRINCIPLED way, and it’s quite possible for you to have made your point without impugning my motives. Plenty of other people here have agreed with your points about Obama, but taken care not to attack my integrity. It’s a shame you can’t emulate them.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  210. Obama has the moral dimensions of a liquid pool of mercury on which his followers can see a shiny distorted reflection of themselves, their hopes, their dreams. They forget mercury is poisonous.

    Did you look into that pool, Patterico?

    Linda (9b1f66)

  211. Republicans lost primarily because of the economy. You can’t right-well go around calling folks socialists when you’re demanding $700,000,000,000 for corporate welfare. ‘Heck of a bill, that. But capitalism has its price.

    Psyberian (37b2ae)

  212. And, on November 5, 2008, the happiest man in the whole USA was James Earl Carter III. I believe he knows for certain that, in just four short years, he will no longer be known as the worst President in American history.

    Pat, I tried to support the Incumbent Reduction Act of 2008 but could not fully complete the deal. As a Texan, I just had to vote FOR John Cornyn. Good man.

    Leonardo DaFinchi (bd60dd)

  213. Karl,

    Given that we’re all into intentionalism, I think the plain language there denotes that Patterico is not being honest or principled. I think most people would see that as a personal attack.

    I see an attack on the argument, not on Patterico the man. I’ve been offline for a while and have yet to catch up on the discussion, but that’s my read of the situation and I gather that Patterico sees it the same way. I concede that my impression may be disproven but that’s where I am at the moment. If it comes to manning the barricades, I think both guys would be shoulder to shoulder. This is a spat, not a war.

    Pablo (99243e)

  214. I see an attack on the argument, not on Patterico the man.

    I’m a principled and honest man who made an unprincipled and dishonest argument!

    The irony here is that, in the abstract, I believe such a thing to be possible — while, apparently, Jeff and his compatriots don’t. They seem to take the position that men who do bad things are not good men. So if I make a dishonest and unprincipled argument, by their logic, I would seemingly be a dishonest and unprincipled man.

    Even if you reject the premise, and believe (as I do) that it’s possible for a generally honest and principled man to make a dishonest and unprincipled argument, I still perceive it as an attack on me personally to call my argument dishonest and unprincipled.

    If Jeff wanted to attack my argument, he could simply say I’m wrong. That’s how many others here have expressed their disagreement. He seemingly is compelled to go that extra mile and insult me personally. To do anything less would be DISHONEST!!!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  215. Pat, I tried to support the Incumbent Reduction Act of 2008 but could not fully complete the deal. As a Texan, I just had to vote FOR John Cornyn. Good man.

    If a Senator has to run for President, why not him? He’s my favorite Senator by far. I love that guy.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  216. Well said Patterico in #214. Haters, aren’t they?

    Psyberian (37b2ae)

  217. No, they’re not “haters.”

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  218. The irony here is that, in the abstract, I believe such a thing to be possible — while, apparently, Jeff and his compatriots don’t. They seem to take the position that men who do bad things are not good men.

    There’s a number of levels of bad and a number of levels of motivation. You are a decent guy, I have no doubt of that. But there are other guys who have done all manner of things that they thought were good and proper things. Osama bin Ladin comes to mind. Then there are other guys who bury their ideals under a bushel basket in order to make the sale to people who they know wouldn’t buy if they knew what it really was they were buying. Barack Obama is one of those and pretending otherwise is something of a fools game. And I agree with Jeff in that I think we all know it. That said, I understand where you’re coming from and I don’t think you’re a bad man because of it. I just disagree with your take. I think you’re excessively optimistic. And ironically, I hope you’re right, though I don’t believe it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  219. I think you’re excessively optimistic.

    And further, I think that you believe that graciousness will buy you (and us) a seat at the table. I think you’ll be disappointed in that.

    Pablo (99243e)

  220. Even if you reject the premise, and believe (as I do) that it’s possible for a generally honest and principled man to make a dishonest and unprincipled argument…

    BTW, I also believe that. It happens all the time. Ends, means and all that.

    Pablo (99243e)

  221. Also, I believe that Psyberian is an asshat. And I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they posses inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier…..

    Pablo (99243e)

  222. Psyberian is not an asshat.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  223. We lost the election because we didn’t have an organized, succinct platform and didn’t explain the basic values of the Republican Party.

    Our candidate didn’t project them much either.

    Does the Republican party know what it’s basic values are?

    Heck, I don’t know what they are anymore and I have always been a Republican.

    For years the Republican party has been split on the abortion issue by right to life groups. Early term abortion should be a political non-issue. Those late term abortions are disgusting and one woman I know had to have one or die. She never got over losing a baby that way.

    Same sex marriages? I don’t really care except maybe God will curse us or something, which I doubt.

    The Republican party didn’t explain financial crisis as a result of years poor legislation backed by Democrats, starting with the Community Reinvestment Act passed under Carter and added to under Clinton. I know there is more to it, but that’s a start.

    The Republican party didn’t concisely explain foreign policies and how those policies reflect Republican party values.

    Do Republican presidential candidates take public speaking classes anymore? They should.

    Hey, Republicans, get it together!

    Linda (9b1f66)

  224. Patte:

    I have a book on the shelf titled “LIFE THE MOVIE: How Entertainment Conquered Reality” by Neal Gabler (1998). The book actuaqlly is not that good, although the concept is. We experienced it here in Kalifornia with”The Guvernator”, which turned out to be “The Girlie Man”, and for the last several years have, and continue to, pay dearly for it. Like the country now will with President-Elect Barack Obama (hereafter BO)..

    So Patte, please answer the following questions. But before you do, pinch yourself – and make sure you’re not pretending anymore, and that you’re in fact are dealing with reality.

    1) Do you believe that BO was never PRESENT when Rev.W made his American hating, racist and US created AIDs to kill people of color, statements?

    2) Do you believe that BO never HEARD Rev.W make his American hating, racist and US created AIDs to kill people of color, statements?

    3) Do you believe that BO was UNAWARE that Rev.W made his American hating, racist and US created AIDs to kill people of color, statements?

    I believe the answer to all THOSE questions is a resounding NO, because a YES answer simply defies credulity. If you answered any of those questions YES, to get that answer, one would have to suspend belief. Suspend reality. Because one would have to conclude that BO does not know or was unaware of what is/was going on around him – which is in total contradiction to his whole calculating political animal life. Recall his comment, “I chose my friends carefully”?

    And recall that he stated that Rev.W was his mentor, BO titled his book ‘Aduactity of Hope’ after Rev.W’s speech and Rev.W was personally selected by BO to give the benediction speech at BO’s prez kick-off event, but just shortly before it started – BO nixed Rev.W? Why? Because BO in fact KNEW Rev.W was too controverial. Why? Because BO had HEARD Rev.W’s controversial statements. Because BO was AWARE of Rev.W’s controversial statements. Because BO knew of Rev.W’s hate statements and now he knew those hate statements – rather than helping him, would HURT him. Would threaten his quest for power. BO lied when he said he was not present, had not heard, and was not aware of Rev.W American hating and racist statements.

    But most troubling is that the major media gave BO a pass about Rev.W and just let him slide. Again, and again, and again. On Rev.W, and issue, after issue, after issue. The major media then joined his campaign.

    Now answer these questions.

    4) Regardless of the above three (3) questions (because Rev.W, his successor Rev.Moss, and Father Phlegar, are/were all actually & simply – just preaching the DOCTRINE of Trinity United Church), Why was BO NEVER asked by the major media, well Mr. BO but DID YOU KNOW ABOUT the black values, black unity, black separatist, black centric DOCTINE of Trinity United Church?

    Why was BO NEVER asked that question?

    Because that was a question NO ONE could deny. Because that was a question no one would believe if BO denied it. Because BO could not say I DID NOT KNOW the DOCTRINE of a church that I belonged to for TWENTY (20) years, where I was baptized, where I was married, and where my two (2) young children were baptized.

    5) Is the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church racist?

    6) Is someone who believes in the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church a racist?

    7) Is someone who practices the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church practicing racism?

    8) Did BO believe the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church?

    9) Did BO practice the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church?

    10) If BO believed the DOCTRINE of trinity United Church, was/is he a racist?

    11) If BO practiced the DOCTRINE of Trinity United Church, was/is he a racist?

    12) If BO did not believe the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church was/is he a hypocrite?

    13) If BO did not practice the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church was/is he a hypocrite?

    14) Does the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church FLY IN THE FACE of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, where he talked about brotherhood, “the beloved community”, integration, inclusiveness and stated: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of thier skin but by the content of their character.”?

    15) Is not the practice of the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church, the resurrection of Plessy v. Ferguson?

    16) What would BO say to his two (2) young daughters, if they asked him: Does the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church FLY IN THE FACE of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, where he talked about brotherhood, “the beloved community”, integration, inclusiveness and stated: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of thier skin but by the content of their character.”?

    17) What would BO say to his “typical white grandmother” – Grandma Dunham, if she asked him: Does the DOCRTINE of Trinity United Church FLY IN THE FACE of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, where he talked about brotherhood, “the beloved community”, integration, inclusiveness and stated: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of thier skin but by the content of their character.”?

    Patte, do you still think BO is a good man?

    Recall, that after BO stated, “I could no sooner disavow Rev.W, than I could disavow my white Grandmother”, did you believe BO then?

    However, shortly thereafter, BO then serially, when cornered by consequences, in fact disavowed Rev.W, then Trinity, and then his “typical white person” Grandmother. Did you believe BO then?

    Patte, Do you still think BO was as good a man as he was before you answered these questions?

    Patte, how long can a man lie, be a hypocrite, before, he starts to loose some of that goodness? And when does a good man start to become a bad man?

    Finally, do you believe BO did not, does not, know about his Aunt from Kenya, living in Boston, here illegally, who has defied for several years a deportation order, and thus for years has illegally applied for, accepted, and thus stolen, taxpayer funded, public housing?

    Recall that in early 2005, the Aunt in fact attended BO’s public ceremony swearing him in as a US senator. Further, you might want to watch the videotaped session where he was asked the above question about the Aunt, and watch his DENIAL – and his body language.

    I totally believe BO lied again. Further, BO claims he wants to “spread the wealth”. But Patte, doesn’t charity begin at home? Apparently, BO does not want to help his Aunt, instead he thinks it is better to let’s her steal from American taxpayers.

    I do not wish to beat up on his Aunt, it is just that I believe in the proper Rule of Law and believe and know it is INSANE, DANGEROUS and IMMORAL to ask American citizens to pay higher and higher and higher taxes so that it can contiually be thrown away and wasted on people who REPEATEDLY disrespect and violate our laws, have NO right to be HERE and REFUSE to leave when ordered to do so. There are at least 660,000 other illegals with DEPORTATION orders. Our gov’t is doing NOTHING to deport them. This is a government that has more concern for trespassers than Americans citizens, thus does not represent Americans citizens – and bottom line is a FRAUD.

    This was a huge problem BEFORE we realized what a fantasy our ECONOMY was and now are CONFRONTED with how COLOSSAL our deficits and national debt were/are. AND NOW REALIZE THAT HOW MUCH DECIET, DENIAL, DUPLICITY, DYSFUNCTION, AND DANGER OUR GOV’T’s DECADES OF DERLELICTION OF DUTY HAVE PUT US IN. At some point, this starts to be ANARCHY. With 12-20 millions illegal aliens here, how can anyone seriously argue that we actually have a Rule of Law?

    BO’s Aunt, just like the DOCTRINE of Trinity United Church, PRESENTS a LITMUS TEST, a reality test, on whether BO is a “good” man. It also presents a LITMUS TEST on whether BO believes in the proper Rule of Law.

    And Patte, what are you going to do if you conclude BO does not believe in the Rule of Law? It won’t be a movie.

    Gary L. Zerman (55474e)

  225. Hang in there Pat.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  226. A lot of bad people seem “decent” on the surface. Obama and his leftist illuminati ideals have fooled millions of Americans, but he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and his true character will come out soon enough.

    Jeff (024c6a)

  227. Patterico you make me sick!

    How can a basically decent guy be responsible for genocide?

    What the Hell am I taking about?

    Are we going to just forget about how he campaigned for Odinga in 2006 and had the foreign policy aide in his U.S. Senate office (Mark Lippert) act as intermediary during Odinga’s 2007 campaign.

    The campaign plan that Odinga laid out was developed in cooperation with Obama.

    Part of that campaign plan was to incite racial violence after Odinga lost. Such violence was responsible for nearly 1000 deaths.

    Did Obama encourage Odinga regarding this part of the strategy At the very least we know he didn’t condemn him or try to stop him from that path even though he had such a close connection to the campaign.

    Decent Man? To say so makes you a RACIST as you are saying that the deaths of these people since they were “just” black people in Africa doesn’t really matter.

    Steve (c3463f)


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