Patterico's Pontifications


On Obama and Good Men

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

It’s time to quote some bloggers who have expressed what I’ve been feeling better than I’ve been able to express it.


I agree with — and incorporate by reference, as if fully set forth again here — Patrick’s many reservations about Obama and his bad policies. I’ll add to those that I think Obama has knowingly, and inexcusably, chosen to associate with some bad people — among whom I’d certainly include twisted dollop of evil scum Bill Ayers and convicted politician-buyer Tony Rezko. Obama’s decisions to associate with those folks, and with several organizations who shelter and attract bad people, would lead me to agree that Obama has consistently demonstrated very bad judgment.

But “bad man”? Naw, I’m just not there yet. Might get there, but not there yet.

I don’t think that’s because I’m being “noble,” and I would vigorously dispute that it’s because I’m being naïve. I’ll go so far as to concede that I’m deliberately giving Obama the benefit of the doubt on some of his associations, to call that merely “bad judgment” as opposed to evidence that he, himself, is also a “bad man.” And I respect Jeff, and others, who disagree, and I credit them with good faith in making that decision (at the same time I urge them to return that respect to those who haven’t).

I agree with all of this — and I will point out that I have said exactly the same thing about Obama’s relationships with Rezko, Ayers, and Wright, and what it says about his judgment. (I think some of you have missed that; especially those of you who aren’t regular readers. Blog readers are an impatient lot and sometimes miss what Allahpundit loves to call nuance.)

Speaking of Allahpundit:

One of the last things Dean Barnett said to me was that, as best he could tell, Barack Obama is “a good guy and a decent man.” I don’t think he’d mind me telling you that, especially under the circumstances.

. . . .

[C]ongratulations to Barry O on a race superbly run and to our country for not having let the wrong reasons deter it from making the wrong choice. I’ll never be a fan, but I swear I’ll never take a nutroots posture either in relishing his failures because it helps my party. Like it or not, he’s my president. As a great man once said, country first.


[A]s members of a pluralistic society, we must have some basic level of respect for those with whom we disagree, regardless of the legitimacy of those disagreements. When lefties said, after 2004, that George Bush is “stupid” and a “moron,” they were insulting not just President Bush, but all those who voted for him. When lefty Hollywood types threatened to leave the country, if President Bush were to be elected (or reelected), they were saying to all of those who voted for the President: “I dislike your politics so much, I don’t want to even live in the same country with you.” That’s not a recipe for a strong and healthy society.

It is this last point that I think is the most important.

I think it’s important for the other side to realize that there are Republicans who won’t write off all Democrats as Bad People because of what they believe. There’s a guy who used to comment here who was an insightful commenter, but whom I had to ban because when his self-righteousness got the better of him, he was unforgivably rude. He reminded me today why I first banned him, leaving a comment in moderation that said:

You’re a stupid f—-k, Patterico.

Putting aside all of the attacks on Barack Obama for being associated with Ayers and redistributive Marxism, his creating weird symbols of power before even getting in office, his campaign’s financing FRAUD disabling basic protections to raise millions of foreign and over the limit donations, and his “overlooking” of his campaign’s voter registration and, of course, voting fraud.

Putting aside all that.

You just posted the other day about his supporting partial birth abortion and how abhorrent this is (you left out infanticide, but whatever).

And now you say he’s basically a nice guy for a politician?

You’re an ass——–.

To this person, and many others, the fact that someone believes in partial-birth abortion means that they are a Bad Person. I consider the practice horrific, and it’s not overstating it to say I believe it is evil. For some people, it’s an easy step from that to saying that anyone who supports it is evil. That’s 23% of Americans — tens of millions of people — that you’re writing off as Evil People.

I’m not willing to say these are evil people. I think many have been misled by propaganda, and many simply disagree with me. I’d rather not call them Bad People. I’d rather try to persuade them that they’re wrong.

There are people who argue that a good man would not take his children to Rev. Wright’s church. That’s a lot of people that you’re writing off as Bad People. And Rev. Wright’s church is hardly unique among black churches.

I’m not willing to say that all black people who attend Rev. Wright’s church and churches like it are Bad People. I’d rather try to convince them that they shouldn’t feel this country is as biased against black people as Reverend Wright thinks. The election of Barack Obama is a positive step.

I just heard a black man on the radio saying that he is starting to think of this country in a different way. He didn’t believe the polls; he thought when the polls said Obama was up by 7 points, that he really wasn’t, because white people wouldn’t go into the privacy of a voting booth and vote for a black man. He’s thinking differently about his country now, and that’s a good thing. His new way of thinking will marginalize the Reverend Wrights of the world.

We don’t have to write off the members of Rev. Wright’s congregation as Bad People. We can persuade them that they are wrong in their beliefs.

Obama talks about spreading the wealth around. It’s class warfare and I disagree with it. It’s a point of view that has its roots in socialism and Marxism. But you can say that it’s a bad set of policies, or you can say that everyone who agrees with him about these policies is a Socialist and a Marxist and an Other, and say that nobody can be a “good man” if they believe such things.

We don’t have to write off people who believe in spreading the wealth around as Bad People. We can persuade them that they are wrong in that belief.

All of this is important to say, I believe. Jeff Goldstein thinks I believe this for shallow and opportunistic reasons: I want a pat on the back. He says: “I believe Patterico determined beforehand that if Obama won, he’d show how classy he is — and how essentially kind are conservatives — by posting such nonsense.”

Sorry, Jeff. I’m too busy to decide that kind of thing beforehand.

I respect Jeff Goldstein and I believe I can still call him my friend, though we’ve never met. He’s a fine writer and makes a spirited argument. If he didn’t insist on questioning my motives, I would simply say I respect his opinion but I disagree. A conservative friend at work came up to me and told me my post was the stupidest post I had ever written. I think he too missed the nuance, but I didn’t get offended, because he knew I was sincere, and he didn’t impugn my integrity.

But Jeff, I will tell you exactly what I was thinking and why, since you seem so interested in my particular thought process.

This kerfuffle has its roots in what I wanted to teach my daughter about political disagreement. I have already written that, after we voted and we were awaiting election results, this episode happened:

I have told her that Obama will probably win, and she was sad. “I don’t want Obama to be my President!” she said. I told her that McCain and Obama are both good men — and although I disagree with Obama, if he wins, we have to say: “Oh well, we tried. But he will still be my President.”

She’s still not very happy. Nor am I. But I want her to learn that no matter who wins, he’s a good man trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

I thought that was an important lesson for her to learn.

Later that evening, I watched McCain’s concession speech. I was terribly embarrassed when I saw the crowd booing Obama, and I was proud of McCain for forcefully stopping it and delivering the speech he did. And I noticed something: the crowd paid attention. He was speaking to thousands of people, and aside from one or two idiots yelling once or twice, you could have heard a pin drop.

And I thought, for the first time: you know, he could have done that during the campaign. During the campaign, I was too busy defending McCain and Palin against what were certainly unfair attacks to notice this. Yes, it was unfair to McCain and Palin to assume that they heard death threats yelled from the audience, when apparently nobody else did either, including Secret Service agents and everyone they interviewed. But there most certainly was some booing and ill will expressed towards Obama. Wouldn’t it have been something if McCain had been as forceful about stopping that during the campaign? If he had been as magnanimous in his praise for Obama’s historic campaign as he was when he delivered that concession speech?

I’m not sure whether that would have helped or hurt him. I don’t think there was anything — anything — he could have done to win. But it would have been inspiring, and who knows? A lot of Americans might have been impressed. [UPDATE: Here is an account of him doing just that, but it was too late, and the media was able to portray it as a reaction to the ugliness that had prevailed in preceding weeks. Meanwhile, Obama had a standard line that he repeated again and again: “Don’t boo. Just vote.”]

I’m sick of people who want to write off entire groups of people as Bad People because of what they believe in. I’ve watched the left do that, and I’m seeing a lot of people on the right doing that now as well. (I’m not talking about Jeff here; I think he’s too smart to demonize all Democrats. But I believe some folks out there are demonizing people for their beliefs.)

When it comes to Obama, we’re obviously talking about a different situation. Many here are calling him a bad man because he has done some bad things and associated with some bad people. It’s true, he has, and I can respect the people who write him off for that reason. I’m simply not going to do it, yet. Like Beldar, I’m

deliberately giving Obama the benefit of the doubt on some of his associations, to call that merely “bad judgment” as opposed to evidence that he, himself, is also a “bad man.”

And like Beldar, I may well end up admitting that I was wrong about that.

But I’m not going to write Obama off as a Bad Man because of his beliefs, contrary to the wishes of my former commenter. And I’m not going to write him off as a Bad Man — or the majority of his supporters as bad People — based on what I’ve seen to date. So far, as I’ve said, I see him as a basically good and decent man who, like many politicians, has engaged in some highly questionable behavior in the pursuit of power.

You may disagree with my view, and that’s fine. I can respect your disagreement.

I’m not going to pretend he conducted a purely honorable campaign, and I’m sure as hell not going to say that I’m supporting his policies. But I’m going to say that I respect him and the people who disagree with me — even as I work to persuade them that they’re wrong when I can, and seek to overrule them via the political process when I can’t persuade them.

And I’m not trying to be smug about this. You can certainly go back through my archives and find evidence of my not trying to live up to this ideal. I’m sure I will fail again. But failing to live up to an ideal doesn’t make it a bad ideal. And at this particular point in time, I think Republicans would do well to show the other side that it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

193 Responses to “On Obama and Good Men”

  1. If all that I read was Pandagon or the Delaware Liberal, I’d have concluded that Barack Obama, who was born in a manger, came down from heaven to save us from the Reign of Terror that would be imposed by the Fascist Satanist John McCain, who’s both an evil genius and in the throes of Alzheimer’s, and his Wiccan witch sidekick Sarah “my kid has Downs because I’m mentally deficient” Palin. If all that I read were some sites on the right, I’ve have thought that St John McCain was here to save us from the unrepentant Communist B Hussein Obama, who uses makeup to conceal the “666” on his forehead.

    The fact is that all four candidates were decent people; you don’t get elected to all of the offices they have held by being a demon. yet that’s the tone of our campaigns today; you don’t see, “My opponent is a good guy, but his policies aren’t the best for us, and mine are.” Rather, you see “I’ll save this country and you from my opponent, who was born in Hell, the demon-spawn of Satan and Nancy Pelosi.”

    The older Dana (556f76)

  2. self-righteousness gfot the better of him?

    Psyberian (37b2ae)

  3. the demon-spawn of Satan and Nancy Pelosi.

    Wait. They are two different people?

    lorien1973 (79b0ac)

  4. Being a regular reader, I did know you’d written before, often and critically, about Obama’s associations. I was only referring to your post that I linked. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

    We’re pretty much on the same page. I was intrigued by one of my commenters who pointed out that I hadn’t quite brought myself to write that “Obama is a good man,” as opposed to writing that “I’m not yet willing to say Obama is a bad man.” I’m not entirely sure those are adjoining, exclusive, and (between them) entirely comprehensive sets. I guess if pressed I’d probably give him the benefit of the doubt about being a good man. For now.

    I’m still awfully troubled by the disabling of the credit card anti-fraud stuff on his website. That’s not small potatoes, and it’s making me crazy that the whole issue is just floating away along with the other campaign charges and counter-charges. More people seem to care about whether Sarah Palin wore a towel or a bathrobe when she let some campaign aides (who should be horsewhipped) into her hotel room.

    But it’s worth a deliberate effort to stop and step back from becoming a hater.

    Not because we’re currying anyone’s favor or trying to use language that will please the left. But because hatred corrodes the soul, and I still value mine.

    Beldar (1a2c77)

  5. So Obama either believes that left wing garbage or he was using the America-haters for his own purposes.

    Not knowing which he is might be the worst of all choices.

    drjohn (1fe506)

  6. the demon-spawn of Satan and Nancy Pelosi.

    Wait. They are two different people?

    No- they’re “Hairy Pelosi”

    drjohn (1fe506)

  7. I certainly support your words here 100%.

    This makes me recall Jane’s law: the people in power are smug and arrogant; the people out of power are insane. The unhinged moonbats have certainly lived up to the insane part the last eight years. I certainly hope my fellow Republicans and Conservatives don’t take up the mantle now. Obama is not evil. (Most) Democrats are not evil. We may disagree with them on poliitcal issues but there is no need to demonize them

    I actually even hope that Obama is successful in improving the nation’s economy and national security- although I doubt it will happen. I wiil not hope for failure for political gain as the Left has done, especially with the lives of our servicemen and women on the line.

    Proud Kaffir (1b0e9d)

  8. McCain DID insist that his supporters behave. Remember when he took the microphone from the lady who called BHO an Arab/Muslim? He corrected her. To her face. Did BHO EVER repudiate Rep. Lewis? EVER?

    BHO a good man? I don’t see it. Particularly evil? I don’t see that, either.

    Serious question. Was/is Bill Clinton a good man? I say he was/is, at the least, a misogynist. He’s probably a rapist. Yet, he was OUR president. Did you, Pat, ever come to the conclusion that he was not good? Or worse? Have there been any evil, or “not good” men who were president?

    I take zero pleasure in thinking ill of our leaders. But, today, up is down in this country. W is a flawed executive, but he is as fundamentally a decent a man as has ever been president. Yet, he is perceived by a huge percentage in this country to be genuinely evil.

    Ed (04ae8e)

  9. I reserve the right to be exceptionally disagreeable when reflecting on the abysmal performance of John McCain. I vow to be as patient as possible with the new Commander-in-Chief.

    Nickie Goomba (07debb)

  10. I don’t know why the booing Obama part bothered you.

    That is part of our TRADITION. It is a tradition in our political culture for the losing candidate to offer a concession speech, it is a tradition for that losing candidate to congradulate the winning candidate and say nice things about him to his supporters. And it is a tradition for those supporters to boo when their candidate does.

    Sean P (e57269)

  11. I don’t get the point. What is a “bad man” anyway? Evil is as evil does. Setting up an image of Satan himself as defining evil only makes it harder to recognize in its various true forms.

    What isn’t it evil to vote–not just believe–but to vote against helping botched abortion babies?

    misterg (ad6d92)

  12. This “good/bad” game you speak of? Can one play it with other US politicians?
    Bill Clinton bad?
    Robert Byrd bad?
    Ted Kennedy good?
    “Cold Cash” Jefferson good?
    W bad?
    Earl Butz good?

    gp (4db77f)

  13. I suppose everyone has their own yardstick for good and bad. I would never call Obama a good man and it has nothing to do with hate and everything to do with a man who not only vigorously supports abortion, and the abhorrent partial birth abortion, but also believes that a baby born alive from abortion should not be saved. There is nothinggood about that. It’s monstrous.

    Glynn (10ee60)

  14. I think the issue of whether he is good man or a bad man is yesterdays issue. As of Tuesday he is a symbol, full fledged and ensconced, a symbol of achievement and the people who fought for decades for this symbol to be achieved have no idea what to do next, because their life’s ambitions have been achieved. Now what?

    I wrote about what the scary prospect of victory means to academics and the media today in “The End of Cynicism?”

    I think there is a “thunderclap” that is rocking the halls of the “institutions of voice” right now and its impact will be profound.


    Doug (8097ba)

  15. Sorry, sounds like something a supporter of an opponent of Hitler might have written in 1932 0r 1933. Hitler is a nice guy – you ought to see how he i round dogs and little children.

    Bill B (8ed918)

  16. Way too much splitting hairs here.

    It’s about Socialism, not skin color.

    Vermont Neighbor (5ea336)

  17. Houston being a very heterogeneous place, I can drive five minutes from my house and find a bunch of people congregated together who I’m pretty sure are bad people. Evil people. People who would just as soon stomp on me or my kids as give us the time of day. None of them, fortunately, has the tiniest fraction of the potential that Barack Obama now has to do harm to this country if I’m wrong about him and if he really is a bad man.

    And of course, the things that are being pointed to by those who argue that yes, he is a bad man, are all things that are tied closely with his acquisition of power, money, influence, and office. Now, in one sense that’s worse, I’ll grant, than, say, putting puppies in a blender just to see the whirling colors. On the other hand, it’s the classic Faustian bargain. Even the Rezko house deal, as rationalized by Obama at the time, was probably more about moving out of a condo and into a status house — and he’s thinking, “This will help me help others,” not “I’m getting filthy rich, man I can’t wait until I can retire and head for Rio.”

    What I fear the most about Obama is that I believe he believes he’s really smart enough to solve the world’s problems — peace on Earth, lions and lambs, oceans falling/parting, Dow at 20k, and we all sing Kum-bay-yah together. And when he finds out he’s not that smart — no one is that smart — he may be tempted to ring up old Faust and double-down. The costs of him having bad judgment about associates is lots higher when he’s in the Oval Office than when he’s a state senator who lectures twice a week at night in the basement at Chicago Law School.

    When and if he’s clearly gone over to the Dark Side, I’ll say so. I don’t have any problem at all saying that, for example, Bill Clinton is a bad man, an evil man, the worst man to ever be president. And God help us, if he’d been running, McCain would have been lucky to carry Arizona and Alaska, and then I’d be really, really depressed.

    Beldar (1a2c77)

  18. Patterico, you are objectively wrong. Wrong on all matters.

    Obama is a BAD man because he is a racist man. Like most Blacks, he hates Whites. Perhaps you care what Blacks think of you, or are obsessed with using them as props in some endless yuppie status dance, but rest assured I am not.

    Obama wrote in his first book, “Bill Ayer’s Dreams of Obama’s Father” how he hated Whites, and wanted to emulate the writing of Malcolm X and commit some act of violence against Whites to “expunge” the White blood in his veins.

    Obama’s Church and Congregation, which are racist, and blame all problems Blacks have (all self-inflicted btw) on Whites, for twenty years, show that he has only gotten more racist. Like a dark-skin colored Nathan Bedford Forrest, Obama is constantly proving his racist enough and therefore “Black Enough.”

    Blacks are indeed racist, themselves, as their voting pattern of 99% for Obama, and excuses for his racist Pastor and Congregation and sentiments expressed by both confirm.

    Obama hates me for my skin color. I hate him right back.

    I hope for nothing but the worse for him, that he suffers nothing but pain and misery, and will do my level best to see that he is defeated for re-election and even better impeached and convicted. He is a very, very, very bad man.

    He is a racist. He hates Whites. Most Blacks do. How else can they explain the total moral, spiritual, creative, and economic collapse of Black Life and culture after integration?

    Have you even read his (Ayers ghostwritten) first book, “Dreams?” If you read his own words and obsessions with race and hatred of Whites of which he writes many times, you can come to no other conclusion that Obama is a racist and bad man.

    [He grew up in Hawaii, and absorbed the anti-White racism ala “beat up Haole Day” like mothers milk.]

    whiskey (e09923)

  19. She’s still not very happy. Nor am I. But I want her to learn that no matter who wins, he’s a good man trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

    I thought that was an important lesson for her to learn.

    Provided the premise were true — that he is a good man.

    Which I don’t believe it to be.

    And I still don’t believe you believe it to be.

    Perhaps the teachable moment here should have been that there are people in this country who would like to see it changed entirely — and that rather than go along as good sport, we need to fight them. Because at the end of the day, they don’t have the best interests of freedom at heart, and we shouldn’t pretend that they must simply because they are our countrymen.

    Heck, some of them even blow up federal buildings and talk of killing off 25 million recalcitrants!

    Jeff G (735284)

  20. First, as I previously said, I respect you and do not believe you have posted anything other than what you believe and have not played any “blog politics” (whatever that would mean).

    Second, I am happy to not believe Democrats are evil because they believe differently. However, when specific individuals act dishonestly for political or other personal gain I do not consider that bad judgment, I consider that being morally wrong. In some terminology morally wrong and evil are grossly equivalent, others may save “evil” for particularly malevolent motives and behavior.

    If I understand you correctly, I presume you consider many people you send to jail as not “evil”, but merely as making bad judgements and need a reality check as to what is and is not acceptable behavior. I certainly agree that a nonviolent offense while acting as a knucklehead is different from a pattern of sadistic violence, and the latter more readily fits the description as being evil.

    Maybe 23% of Americans think partial birth abortion is ok- I would be surprised at that and hope that many of those doesn’t understand what is meant. But Obama hasn’t “just” wanted to protect that, but went beyond Nancy Pelosi and others when he wanted to guarantee the death of a child undergoing abortion, even if born alive and now it’s own living being outside of somebody’s womb. In addition, he persisted in trying to obscure his actions in this regard. That along with the multitude of bad judgements otherwise listed is problematic. I mean, we’re not talking about hanging with anti-war protesters, we’re talking about associating and furthering one’s career with someone who built bombs and blew up things. I guess you could say it is a really, really, really bad decision to assimilate and teach the views of someone who dedicates their book to Lucifer.

    As far as being “our president”, does that have any boundaries? I agree that simply calling someone “a moron, he’s not my president” is not called for and is very poor form.
    Obama has spoken of the flawed and inadequate US constitution that needs change (his words were more strident, but I can’t quote them). If someone is in the office of president but makes clear he does not seek to uphold the Constitution is he still entitled to be called “our president”? I am not saying that is the case, but I am raising the question. If a President thinks something in the Constitution is flawed and wants to engage public debate on altering the Constitution in the accepted way, by the Amendment process, that is fine, that’s what is supposed to happen. But what if one wants to in effect alter the Constitution by packing the Supreme Court and other influential appointments, giving executive orders, and using Orwellian language and suppressing debate and dissent? If the executive branch refuses to enforce its responsibilities do we still owe allegiance to those individuals? At some point no, because all public servants take an oath to uphold the law and the constitution.

    I’m not saying he will approach this level of breaking faith, but if the questions are not considered they will never get answered.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  21. I don’t know if he’s a good man or not, but I’m not willing to give into the urge to become the rightwing equivalent of a Moonbat in response to him. I’m not going to get an ulcer over Barack Hussein Obama. I won’t let him do that to me.

    Kensington (b6de37)

  22. 100 million humans murdered in the 20th century through socialist ideals.

    Yep–bad people. I cannot share a moment of grace with those who failed to learn the lessons of the 20th century.

    Patrick (5026fb)

  23. Not being a Bad Man doesn’t make you a Good Man.

    Most people are a mix.

    I’ll reserve judgement on my new President, if it is alright with everyone.

    Michael (6c7a54)

  24. “I just heard a black man on the radio saying that he is starting to think of this country in a different way.”

    He’s going to change his mind when Obama gets criticized.

    Jim C. (33af9d)

  25. In a comment to the other thread on this same issue, I said that I do not know yet whether Obama is a good and decent man or not.

    In this thread, Patterico, I see that you write,

    “I think he too missed [my] nuance . . . .”

    Hey, I thought you were a Republican or at least conservative.

    Ira (28a423)

  26. “Social ideals” are economic concepts, Patrick.

    They don’t cause wars.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  27. snuffles, you really have never read any history at all have you?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. So if I understand you correctly, he can support and condone acts you consider immoral – partial birth aboartion – he can associate with the likes of Ayers, Dorhn , Wright, Rezco, and Kahlidi – he can profess to want to lead your country toward the slavery of marxist socialism – and you wish to give him the benefit of the doubt?

    I always took that expression to mean you would not judge a person until after you knew the content of their character. The doubt has been removed.

    You may not wish to judge him based on what is known about him, but I do not believe his electoral victory earns him a clean slate.

    Stephen macklin (f552f7)

  29. Since I have spammed this comment to every other place I visit, I shall spam it some more; I believe it is “nuanced” way of disagreeing with you.

    Please note that I am not advocating untruthfulness by Republicans (I’m also not advocating calling Dems evil), just calling Dems out on their transgressions. And doing it over and over again, just like the Dems are doing to Rs:

    Republicans have got to quit being “nice”.

    Dems are using negative propaganda against Rs everyday, Rs need to turn the tables.

    Every time an R is interviewed or gives a speech they need to talk about:

    * Ds culture of corruption
    * Ds deceitfulness
    * Ds being unethical
    * Ds being power-mad

    And Rs need to polish their brand and not publicly flog people like Lott and Allen for “racist” comments.

    When a “macaca” incidence happens, an R politician needs to say it was an “unfortuante” word, but go directly to attacking any and all wrongs by Ds.

    This is a political war, and Rs have disarmed.

    mockmook (ce732b)

  30. I think that the problem here is that people are really talking past each other.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. Obama is a bad person. I know a lot of people think he has a “good temperment”, but his mask falls off sometimes. What kind of passive-agressive a@@hole gives the middle finger to his opponents? That’s some scary insight into Obama’s true personality.

    Roy Mustang (2f688e)

  32. Patterico, in the attempt to win your point, you put yourself at risk of losing your case.

    bains (114bc0)

  33. Snuffles is very typically of leftists. They rush to defend socialism, and won’t acknowledge or otherwise be bothered by the death toll.

    Patrick (5026fb)

  34. JEFF G!

    In America we have freedom of association. Yes I agree Bill Ayers is a scumbag I don’t agree that Obama is guilty of the crimes Bill Ayers committed.
    But I’m not willing to shred documents people shed blood for because you are so far gone.

    There’s not a single damn person on this freakin planet that is unaware that Obama’s friends were not the nicest of people.

    Character assassination is not where I want to win elections to me Obama’s a one termer he promised cheap gas and cheap or even free houses.

    Come April when gas starts going towards 3 and the foreclosures are accelerating and the stoc market is around 6,500 if he raises taxes

    Even the unions are going to quietly be overturned

    Its amazing when things go bad the people vote democrat but when they go worse they always vote republican

    Barack loves his children, his wife when I was at the Orleans Parish DA’s office saw a steady multicultural stream of poeple who didn’t love their family. Business was booming and sadly from what I hear still is.

    Since I worked along side democrats am I apart of the problem? Was I responsible for all the graft and corruption in the 90’s in New Orleans?


    EricPWJohnson (b61ef9)

  35. Patterico, I very much appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully explain your position. It was a provocative post last night and I for one am glad for the clarification. Whether I agree with you or not, I really do appreciate time given your readers.

    In my mind, being an evil person and being a bad person are miles apart and not interchangeable. Its a progression. With that, the issue for me is what kind of person is one who not only supports partial birth abortion but willfully acts to prevent the safety, security and very life of a baby, whether unborn or a survivor?

    This person simply does not reflect the character of a decent man – especially if in the powerful position that he in essence will wield power in deciding the life or death of millions, unborn and even some already born.

    A man who is willing to have blood on his hands for the sake of political gain I do not see as a decent man. I cannot and will not yield in this.

    Dana (79a78b)

  36. Habitual liars are not good men.

    Karen (ce69ff)

  37. One of the last things Dean Barnett said to me was that, as best he could tell, Barack Obama is “a good guy and a decent man.”

    Maybe if he’d explain in greater detail what he bases his conclusion on, that would help everyone understand where he’s coming from. Or certainly if he (or anyone else responding in a similar fashion) had been a close friend or msjor acquaintance of Obama since, say, childhood, that would give Barnett a huge amount of credibility.

    However, I’m guessing that he draws a conclusion on what Obama is really like based on no more than what the average American citizen (or, to be more generous, what the very well-informed citizen) is aware of.

    Also, there is a saying that you can judge a person by the company he keeps. And when I keep hearing and reading about all the fanatics, extremists and flim-flam characters that Obama has associated with through the years — and then try to understand why someone, even with full awareness of that aspect of Obama’s background, still wants to claim that Obama is a “good” and “decent” guy, I can’t help thinking of the line:

    “And other than THAT, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

    Mark (411533)

  38. Very well said, Dana.

    Glynn (10ee60)

  39. The first time I had to take a second look at Obama was the Wright videos that came out. The first time I realized I didn’t like who he was as a man was when I read about the school in Kenya. The school is on the land that Obama’s grandfather donated to it. Obama visited and promised to give the school the money it needed to upgrade it(giving it running water and other high profile amenities). I don’t remember the exact cost but it was somewhere around $36,000. The school asked if they could rename the school after him which he agreed to. They have not recieved one cent. Obama has 4 relatives that attend that school. The principal says he still has “hope”. That is all I have to say on his character.

    sammypants (c1f56b)

  40. I witnessed a lot of booing on the mention of Obama’s name in both Palin and McCain rallies last week.
    Neither candidate rebuked their crowds.
    I saw it start to happen, boos at McCain’s name, at an Obama rally– he said right away, “don’t boo, vote”.
    And we see how that turned out.

    Ave, Patterico!
    Te salutamus.
    We were sheild-comrades once, like Goldstein and I were.
    Our paths have diverged, but I will cherish you both as my loyal adversaries and beloved enemies.
    I crave one boon of you both, keep my side strong with stout defiance to policies you deem illformed.
    May the best meme win.
    Best witches,

    wheelers_cat (98fa0c)

  41. #10, Sean P is right on. Booing and cheering is part of our tradition. It has its roots in the English House of Commons. You can watch it every week on CSPAN if you like when the Prime Minister takes questions. They all boo and cheer and shout. It’s so much more lively. And, amazingly, people are more civil than we are. There is no passive aggression. It’s just, “this is what I think”. Boo! Hurrah!

    We’ve gotten so polite that we can’t even have fun with our democratic process anymore. It’s so somber and serious. For some reason, it’s like we think every vote will be our last.

    Obama has achieved something great. There is no disputing that. Tuesday night/Wed morning was moving, no doubt. But he was and is not my choice. And I will continue to patriotically boo him when he says something and does something that I do not like. And people that agree will Hurrah. And we will all go about our lives.

    TMQ (3d200a)

  42. If I thought that Obama had really seriously thought through the implications of his views on abortion, faced squarely what happens when a baby who survived abortion is stuffed into a plastic bag, and had said, “Yeah, that’s OK, with me” — then I would think that Obama was a bad man.

    But I seriously doubt that anything like that is the case. I think Obama adopted his views on abortion as part of a package of “correct” beliefs current among the class of people by whom he wanted to be accepted. It’s all about self-packaging and social-political identity, not about the truth or moral content of the views. That makes him guilty of being a sloppy thinker, of lacking moral courage and intellectual responsibility, but not of wanting to kill babies.

    It is, of course, true that really evil people probably cause less of the evil in the world than well-meaning sloppy thinkers who just want to be accepted by the cool kids.

    Lincolnist (74b85b)

  43. I also agree with whiskey. I believe the majority of black people HATE white people. Not dislike them–HATE THEM. I used to live in the north where there were hardly any black people. Everyone was very tolerant of black people up north because we didn’t have to live anywhere near them. I thought of myself as very hip and progressive because I never had a bad thing to say about black people. Then I moved down south where there are tons of black people and I am telling you that it is easier to love black people when you don’t have to deal with them on a daily basis or see how they get special privileges based on their skin color. It’s disheartening to have my children go to a high school where the kids have all learned that they do not have to try as hard as the white kids because they get cut a break on GPA’s and SAT scores. They LAUGH at the white kids for working hard knowing that they don’t have to. They think it’s all a big joke. They throw it in the white kids faces that they don’t have to work hard to get more. There is no motivation to work hard and they learn that lesson and carry it through life. They get many more breaks in the public school system where I live and yet that is not enough for them. They never learn to work hard for anything but want what those who work hard have. They do not feel like they have to follow any rules so new rules are made up for them to ease their path. I call it the black mentality and it is alive and kicking every single day where I live. Needless to say, after I moved down south I turned into a racist.

    Karen (ce69ff)

  44. Obama a good man? Nonsense, I have seen no particularly good acts from the man. We are not arguing culpability here, we are arguing about character, and yes we are known by the associations we keep. The best I could say of Obama is that I’m confident he thinks his intentions are good.

    ThomasD (211bbb)

  45. WIf he had been as magnanimous in his praise for Obama’s historic campaign as he was when he delivered that acceptance speech?

    Patterico, it will always remain in my mind as the most devastating moment of grace during this entire campaign season: the video John McCain did in congratulating Obama on his nomination (on MLK’s bday).

    There was no political challenge, ulterior motive, and nothing more compelling than his one minute video which in my mind eloquently and powerfully reminded everyone in America the historical significance and milestone that we had reached. His congratulations to Obama, his graciousness and genuineness of the moment was lasting. It revealed the essence of John Mccain.

    How could that have been lost on anyone? Or lost in your reflection above?

    Dana (79a78b)

  46. Isn’t this rather simple?

    “Good man” means something. “Bad man” means something.

    Words mean things right? It isn’t all a question of manners.

    tommythecat (322c1e)

  47. Evil prevails when good men do nothing. You, sir, are doing nothing. If “tens of millions” of Americans support an evil practice, that makes them evil. This much is clear, and I am not afraid to expose evil where it lies.

    MoffDub (aba0c3)

  48. Fine words that, in the end, mean nothing. For eight years the Left and the MSM (I know, I repeat myself)
    have indulged in nothing but pure hatred of Bush and the REpublicans. Bush responded , as Patterico would want us all to do, by being gracious and non-partisan. And what did it get him ? The lowest approval ratings for any President for decades. And what did it get us ? A sizeable minority of the population who believe 9/11 was a CIA job, a generation of kids who think all Republicans are racists, a MSM and Hollywood who think our troops are murdering rednecks and a defeat by an anti-American who had accomplished nothing before
    Nov 4th. Sure, let’s all pretend this is like a game of shuffleboard between old friends, let’s play by the Queensbury rules and see how the Dems and the media will continue savaging the conservative base until it is completely demoralized . There is a war being fought out there for America’s very soul and only one side is fighting it. You’re a decent man Patterico and I love your writing but the truth is that this is a dog-eat-dog world. Unless we fight back we conservatives are going to be pushed into the dustbin of history. No, Obama is NOT a good man, he means this great country harm and we should harry him the way the Left and the MSM harried & ridiculed Bush for the last eight years. Their tactics won and are turning America into Europe….I left that Europe to come to the last best hope of the world
    and I sincerely believe that the Right should use every trick the Left has taught us about hate in order to save this country.

    Jay David (9b8fed)

  49. So the question is: is Barack Obama a good man or a bad man?
    That one’s easy.


    Psalm 14:1-3
    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
    to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
    All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good, not even one.

    So is Obama a good man? Of course not. But then again, that’s not saying much. He’s in the same boat we are.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  50. Drat, I botched the Psalms quote. Here it is:

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
    The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
    They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  51. And on the Dean Barnett theme, I twice caught him on radio – guest hosting for Hugh Hewitt – granting long interviews to Glenn Greenwald. I liked Dean, and will miss him, but to grant so much time to a dishonestly hyperbolic shill such as Glenn(s), without any probative questioning or even serious rebuttal, is a good indication of how earnestly we should take Barnett’s observations of political opponents.

    bains (114bc0)

  52. Patterico, they should hang this article on the wall of every Republican office in this country, just to remind folks how to behave.

    I’ve been accused of being a conservative (sorry, no, independent) because I’ve defended Bush for the last eight years against the stupid stuff, like “Bush lied, people died,” or “Bush ruined the economy.”

    On the other hand, I’ve gotten some static when I’ve defended Barry against some of the sillier claims against him, like he’s “really” a Muslim, or wasn’t born in Hawaii, etc. I’ll run into more because I’ve already pushed back against the stupid gits who claim Barry stole the election. Sorry, guys, but 6 million votes isn’t cheating, it’s beating. Mmmkay?

    whiskey is, by the way, a pathetic racist wretch. One who, in fact, has obviously had little personal contact with black Americans. Speaking as someone who grew up in southwest Ohio in a town half-black/half-white, and someone who has worked blue collar jobs with black Americans all my life: he’s full of crap.

    Yes, black Americans see things differently from white Americans, but try walking in their shoes for a while. Try getting stopped by the police because you’re a young black man in an expensive new car, or if the police put you up against the wall of a local restaurant late at night because you were black, and waiting for a friend to get off work. That happened to someone I worked with

    I can also remember the time when I was fourteen, hanging out with a couple of black friends. Yes, we looked rather hoodlum-ish; hell, we were fourteen; denim and sloppy clothes. It was a late one midsummer night at a 4-way stoplight, and an older (white) woman in a very expensive Cadillac stopped. We looked at here (nothing else to do), and she looked at us. Since it was late, and very quiet, we could easily hear the chunk of the power locks engaging in her car doors.

    You have no idea how much that pissed me off. So, yes, I have a feel for where many black Americans are coming from. It’s not all just welfare checks, and kids who refuse to “talk white.”

    I also know a black man (yes, another one of “those people”) who was absolutely certain that Obama would never, ever be elected. Just because he was black. He knew it like he knew water rolled downhill. It was part of his internal universe. White people would never let it happen. I haven’t seen my friend in a few months (and he is my friend) but I suspect he’s seeing things a tad differently not, not unlike Patterico’s example.

    Bill B: Godwin loves you. 🙂 And, yes, that’s an incredibly stupid argument, thanks for calling…

    gp: don’t be foolish. Patterico wasn’t speaking in a vacuum. It’s very simple. Barry isn’t evil because of his political positions any more than W.J. Clinton was. True, Willy committed a couple acts which were slimy and despicable, but that’s the point. One can nail him down on very specific events, not just because he was liberal (not very) or a Democrat.

    I suspect those of us trying to be civilized about this are expostulating with a whirlwind; I’ve already seen myriad blog comments to the effect that this election signaled the end of the Republic, or that Barry “stole” the election, or… Fugeddaboutit.

    There are people out there who Just Won’t Listen. The rest of us will have to deal with it.

    Casey (9ee427)

  53. I’m not sure whether that would have helped or hurt him

    it would have helped with people like me.

    aphrael (54a8f2)

  54. “(yes, another one of “those people”)”

    With that, Casey, you just accused all of us of racism. In the midst of a lecture on civil behavior. Irony much?

    Physician, heal thyself.

    tommythecat (322c1e)

  55. Evil prevails when good men do nothing. You, sir, are doing nothing . . . –MoffDub

    Yup, I have a track record of 5 1/2 years of doing nothing.

    Who the hell are you?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  56. I don’t think O’Bama hates America, but he hates the America that I love.

    I think O’Bama loves America, but it isn’t the America that I (and most Conservatives) love.

    O’Bama loves America for what he wants it to be, not for what it is.

    thebronze (c9132f)

  57. I too admired McCain for silencing the members of his audience that were disparaging Obama. But with all due respect, I know of no episode where Obama tried to reign in the crowds for even a moment.

    Likewise, during the campaign I know of no episodes where he tried to reign in folks disparaging any of his opponents, or Mr. Bush in general.

    The Democrats have essentially engaged in the politics of personal destruction and a scorched earth policy for the last 8 years. And, in large part, Obama used this rancor and hatred to fuel his run for office, and NEVER spoke about respecting Mr. Bush or his right to his opinions.

    Because of these factors, along with all of his questionable actions, reversals, out-right lies, questionable former allies, mysterious and possibly chequered past, possible monetary and voter fraud, and hypocritical calls for respect and unity after capriciously playing the race card throughout the election cycle-and because he shows no sign of contrition or regret for these actions-I cannot call him a good man without the unintended consequence of diminishing all of the good men throughout our nation’s history.

    Mr. Obama is a likeable, charismatic, guy who was impressive in the beginning and is a soaring orator; I admit that I might enjoy an evening of stimulating discussion and debate with him. And, Mr. Obama will be our next President. I will respect his office, although by virtue of his actions and the content of his life he has lost much of mine. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and be the definition of a loyal opposition.

    He is intelligent, charming, charismatic, and many other superlatives; but he is not a good man…


    Bob (99fc1b)

  58. mcg,

    So, we are all bad.

    Is a murderer equally as bad as a nun?

    For brevity’s sake, let’s call the murderer bad, and the nun good (even though there is some “bad” in the nun).

    mockmook (ce732b)

  59. I too admired McCain for silencing the members of his audience that were disparaging Obama. But with all due respect, I know of no episode where Obama tried to reign in the crowds for even a moment.

    Bob, the fact that you don’t know about it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen:

    At one point, the crowd booed when Obama mentioned McCain’s name.

    “You don’t need to boo,” Obama replied. “You need to vote.”

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  60. SPQR,

    A million plus abortions in America each year.

    Chalk them up to killed by Capitalism?

    snuffles (677ec2)

  61. How could that have been lost on anyone? Or lost in your reflection above?

    It wasn’t, Dana. That’s what I was talking about. But I had a brain freeze and typed “acceptance” instead of “concession.” I have fixed the error.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  62. This person simply does not reflect the character of a decent man – especially if in the powerful position that he in essence will wield power in deciding the life or death of millions, unborn and even some already born.

    A man who is willing to have blood on his hands for the sake of political gain I do not see as a decent man. I cannot and will not yield in this.

    Comment by Dana — 11/6/2008 @ 7:44 pm

    Habitual liars are not good men.

    Comment by Karen — 11/6/2008 @ 7:47 pm

    No need for me to comment further. Thanks, ladies. You possess the clarity of thought that the Pattericos, and the Allahpundits, and the Beldars lack.

    Jaibones (468585)

  63. Yes, it was unfair to McCain and Palin to assume that they heard death threats yelled from the audience, when apparently nobody else did either, including Secret Service agents and everyone they interviewed. But there most certainly was some booing and ill will expressed towards Obama. Wouldn’t it have been something if McCain had been as forceful about stopping that during the campaign? If he had been as magnanimous in his praise for Obama’s historic campaign as he was when he delivered that acceptance speech?

    Whaddya mean, if? That pretty well sums up what did happen in Minnesota about a month back. Fat a lot of good the magnanimity did McCain, though. I even heard some moonbats cite that as proof that McCain and Palin were responsible for inciting the crowds to supposedly become so hateful in the first place!

    I attended a rally myself around that time, and heard nary a trace of hate in the crowd. We did get a preemptive admonition against saying anything stupid, though. Fat a lot of good that did McCain, too.

    As to Obama’s alleged goodness, you seem to be arguing that he’s a good man because certain examples of his spectacularly bad policies don’t automatically translate into him being a bad man. What truly good things has the guy done? Community organizing as a stepping stone to political power? Working closely with the biggest voter fraud ring in the country, which just “happened” to work on his behalf? Engaging “truth” squads of prosecutors and sheriffs to intimidate his critics and sending threatening letters to any TV stations that dared run an ad critical of his record on guns? Saying nothing while his minions invaded the privacy of an ordinary joe (literally!) whose only crime was asking him a tough question? What, exactly?

    As for me, I’m not ready to convict him of absolutely, positively, DEFINITELY being a bad man, but I sure as hell don’t see a reason to presume he’s a good one.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  64. That was amazing, and inspiring.
    Of course, amid the kumbayah, we should still remember that even if we concede Obama is well-meaning, that doesn’t absolve him from having:

    (1)Extremely poor judgment about friends and mentors,
    (2))Foolish notions about economics, and
    (3)A lack of appreciation for the essential role of those who produce and innovate.

    Bradley J. Fikes (0ea407)

  65. But Patterico,

    Did Obama try to silence Obama when he repeatedly said that McCain wants 100 years of war in Iraq?

    Did Obama try to silence Obama when he repeatedly said that he was going to give tax “cuts” to people who don’t pay taxes?


    Silencing a crowd one time, does not an honorable man make. Also, notice he HAD to put in the caveat, “You need to vote” (it’s always about Barry). Why not just, “Don’t boo my opponent, its not classy?”

    mockmook (ce732b)

  66. ___________________________________________

    Yes, black Americans see things differently from white Americans, but try walking in their shoes for a while.

    Certainly someone like Jesse Jackson has walked in the shoes you speak of.

    [Susan] Estrich said, “Newt, I pulled a quote tonight from Rev. Jesse Jackson that I remember because I thought it was such an honest and striking quote. I don’t know if you remember it. He said, ‘There is nothing more painful to me than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.’

    Now, Jesse Jackson is not a typical white person. He is a respected African American leader who realizes there is a real problem in the black community with crime.”

    Estrich continued, “Every woman I know, black, white, green or yellow, gets a little bit nervous, if she’s being honest, when she sees an 18-25 year-old black guy dressed in gang attire, walking behind her on the street. I’m not afraid of old black men. I’m not afraid of old white men.”


    Mark (411533)

  67. Comment by Dana — 11/6/2008 @ 8:04 pm

    Dana, you are correct. And, if you remember,in addition to that beautiful ad, McCain chose to neither campaign himself nor run any other ads on that day when Mr. Obama formally recieved the Democratic nomination.

    But, I was disheartened when Obama was questioned about the ad. He acknowledged it’s honorable nature, and glibly mentioned that his campaign too would have reciprocate by halting campaign ads save for a similarly congratulatory spot. But he was not true to his word.

    Not only was there no reciprocal, gentlemanly, spot; but he also chose to do a high visibility interview with Bill O’Reilly on the same evening as Mr. McCain’s acceptance speech.

    We can posit that his campaign was in react mode due to the surprise selection of Mrs. Palin for his runnung mate. Or, that in the frenetic pace of campaigning he simply forgot. But, it certainly couldn’t been a lack of campaign money!

    While seemingly trivial, the entire episode standing alone, demonstrates the wide gulf in charcter between McCain and Obama. It may simply be a function of the wisdom of age, or the life changing experience that McCain suffered in Vietnam. Whatever the reason, and regardless of the decision that the electorate came to, O will always be convinced that Obama doesn’t posess a fraction of the character, honor, and integrity that McCain has.

    I will not savage him like the nutroots have Mr. Bush; nor will I wish for us all to suffer collectively simply for his political humiliation. He will be our President, and I will respect his office. He is a capable man and may be moreso than McCain in many ways; and I will wish him well and hope for the best for our nation. But he will never the same caliber of man that McCain is…

    Bob (99fc1b)

  68. Im really trying to get my head around this good man Obama. I tell ya, after watching the videos on partial birth abortion and infanticide, Im sorry, I just don’t understand how the thought process evolves to the point one would not include the possibility of AT LEAST looking at an alternative when birth is that close. Im a fairly strong catholic, and id trade the ability of homosexuals to adopt with these gruesome procedures any day of the week.

    I do admit, Barack Obama may be a great president in the eyes of history. But I have one question, if there is a heaven, and there was one room left, and both Barack and McCain were the two people last to die, which would get that room? When the will of good men are contrasted in that black and white picture, it makes me skeptical to say the least on this mans moral judgement.

    Mark (7cfc35)

  69. Patrick..may I call you Patrick? I disagree with you, and if you say that you truly believe Obama to be a good man, then I will believe that that is what you truly believe. It does sadden me that, if that is the case, then your moral code of values is vastly different than what I have interpreted in the past.

    I read Jeff’s post(s) and the many comments. I read Belder’s post and the comments. Belder makes the fine distinction between Obama being a bad man and a good man. I left this comment at Belder’s:

    Words have honor. Or to put it another way – linguistic integrity. I really believe to call Obama a good man is akin to never calling another man good. What would the use be?

    It is something so simple, as is done countless times every day in countless restaurants across the country. When the server or the cashier asks how the meal was, the invariable, unconscionable answer is something like, “great” or “wonderful” or “excellent”. Done simply without thinking of the harm one is doing to the real infrequent “excellent” meal.

    If all of ones meals are excellent, what word does one use to describe that rare extraordinary meal? Super excellent?

    There is nothing wrong with acknowledging adequacy using the word “satisfactory” may be the recipient of some blank stare, but try it some time. I have gone as far as using the word “marginal” when it is appropriate.

    It is the same as telling every person you date that you love them. What word do you then conjure up to describe that emotion when it becomes real?

    I don’t have the the linguistic ability of a Jeff Goldstein, but I know, for the most part, when a descriptive word is inappropriate.

    I don’t know whether Obama is bad,mean,wicked,evil or all nasty inside. I do know that according to the moral code of most moral people, he is not a good man.

    rls (14b9d3)

  70. Your motives are laudable, and — at first glance — there is the ring of truth to your arguments.

    The problem comes when you contemplate the poor, misguided, directionless souls who could advocate evil policies while being blameless. Because they were taught by poor, misguided, directionless souls who could teach such evil mindsets while being blameless. Who were following philosophers who were poor, misguided, directionless souls who could formulate such evil beliefs while being blameless. Because they were poor, misguided, directionless souls who were following the dictates of pure reason instead of actual human nature.

    Which is to say, everyone is blameless because they don’t fulfill their responsibilities. There is true evil afoot in the world because philosophers spin pipe-dreams of angelic human nature and totalitarianism. And teachers teach political correctness without the concept of “giving people the benefit of the doubt”, tolerance, or forgiveness. And politicians seek total control over the inner hearts of people rather than reasonable outer control of their interactions with others.

    Obama sought out his bad companions, even when he knew of better. He has read Marxism, when Adam Smith was on the next shelf. He has sat at the foot of Bill Ayres, when he might have been reading Martin Luther King, and he has sat in the pews of Reverend Wright’s church when he might have gone almost anywhere else. To say, then, that he is pure and without blemish is delusion.

    This is not to say that he is beyond redemption, or that he can never surmount these evil influences….but he is most certainly tainted.

    cthulhu (2b96ed)

  71. Xrlq brings us back to the origin of this kerkuffle. Jeff did not admonish Patrick for not calling Obama a bad man, Jeff admonished Patrick for calling Obama a good man. Like Xrlq, I will not say Obama is a bad man, and like both Jeff and Patrick have acknowledged, Obama appears to me to be a good father, and is a good politician… BUT, that does not necessarily mean he is a good man.

    And Patterico, while Protein Wisdom may have been unduly harsh on you, I read it as a case-in-point to a larger argument, an argument with which I, and I think you, wholly agree. (Go back to Jeff’s recounting of the Bill Bennett incident if you need a refresher.)

    bains (114bc0)

  72. Thanks for correcting me, and the citation, patterico.

    But again, it seems that he was not admonishing them for undo rancor, but simply suggesting that thay redirect it into an action that would serve him.

    I may not be expresssing it very well; it’s late in NYC!

    I’m not trying to argue with you, just explaning the nuance of our differences in opinion.

    People can disagree, without being disagreeable…


    Bob (99fc1b)

  73. I agree with Patterico and other commenters that it’s better for our cause and better for our own happiness and health if we aspire to civility and (within reason) to avoiding blanket condemnations of supporters of harmful or bad policies or even people as bad people. Personally, I definitely need to work on the civility department when provoked by the smug or uncivil. Also, I especially think we should endeavor to behave far better than the moonbats have these past 8 years (a low bar).

    However, I believe there’s a difference between thinking Obama is a bad guy and thinking that all Democrats or Liberals are bad people. In Obama’s case, his often close associations with Wright, Ayers (especially), Rezko, Khalidi, and Klonsky; his lying about the same; his grandiose proclamations about healing rising seas; his phony trumpeting of himself as a “new politician;” his doing little or nothing to restrain or rebuke the creepy messianism of his cultists, the intimidation attempt by the “Missouri Truth Squad,” or the vicious attacks and violations of privacy by his surrogates and media and office-holding shills on Sarah Palin, John McCain (“erratic” = code word for senile, and let’s not forget the rash of condemnations of his pilot activities by Jay Rockefeller et al.), and, especially, Joe the Plumber, all have convinced me that he is a bad guy, or at VERY best, NOT a good one. Just because Obama restrained booing at a rally or two does not negate the lack of restraint or rebuke that I enumerated earlier. And perhaps as a New York Mets fan, my morality is skewed, but I agree with the commenters,booing (as opposed to making vicious ad hominem attackson) an opposing politician (or player)(or even one of your own players 🙂 ) is okay (within reason).

    rjm319 (584d48)

  74. I apologize for putting this in two posts when I could have been more elegant in one.

    If you have no “responsibility” or “duty”, then there is no blame in just doing whatever happens.

    Policymakers have a duty to perform due diligence on the policies driven by their ideologies. Teachers have a duty to perform due diligence on the ideologies driven by their concepts. Philosophers have a duty to perform due diligence on the concepts they claim to observe.

    In each case, redistributionism fails. It has never improved the lot of citizens, it arises from envy rather than common sense, and its underpinnings generally are that the writer is more virtuous than anyone else because, well, they are.

    So, to me, someone may be innocent of the crime of commission while being fully culpable in the crime of omission. Each link in the chain that leads to Obama’s redistributionist proclivities has some share of the blame, but each one is also culpable in passing the poison along.

    cthulhu (2b96ed)

  75. But again, it seems that he was not admonishing them for undo rancor, but simply suggesting that thay redirect it into an action that would serve him.

    He’s a canny politician, and he figured out how to do both. He didn’t do it just once. It was a standard line.

    I’m not saying he isn’t out for himself. But he found a way to handle the ugliness of his supporters that turned it into a joke AND an exhortation to action. McCain let it ride until it became an embarrassment and then finally ended up arguing with his supporters about it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  76. Good, bad, right, wrong, evil. None of these terms make any difference. What President-elect Obama does or doesn’t do to protect the interest of the United States is all that matters. His limited experience and lack of vetting by the media leave me concerned. As a conservative, his lack of a record is troubling.

    Nonetheless, nothing matters more than upholding the Constitution. I think he will support the Constitution as he sees it, which is disconcerting, but he is the elected President of the United States and I will support him as the loyal opposition.

    I have no doubt that he, and the Congress, will attempt – and succeed – in passing laws I disagree with. Then, I will have the opportunity to vote he, and his supporters, out of office.

    I have a long-term view that most people believe in individual liberty, the faith and fairness of the law and, for words that have meaning such as: “the pursuit of happiness.”

    A cipher will soon be disclosed. If he is his a cipher, then so be it. If not, then, I will welcome if him as someone who will unite us as he promises. We will know that soon.

    ag80 (5a9b15)

  77. #59

    “You don’t need to boo,” Obama replied. “You need to vote.”

    That strikes me as a comment as easily explained as a clever turn of phrase to GOTV as one meant to admonish the crowd and encourage respect of the other side.

    It seems that your burden of proof for being judged a “bad man” is far higher than your threshold for being a “good man”. I recognize and share your distaste of reflexive, unthinking hatred towards political opponents. Such partisan demonisation is cancerous. I think, however, you risk swinging to far in the other direction, awarding President-elect Obama a benefit of the doubt he does not deserve. I believe Bush made this very mistake with the Dems in Congress, thinking that that they were reasonable people, and if he worked with them on some issues, they would reciprocate. He was wrong.

    Even more dangerous was when Bush gave Putin the “benefit of the doubt”, when he looked into Putin’s soul and somehow missed the lurking tyrant. Who knows how long we will be paying for that generosity of spirit.

    You can say that Obama has exercised bad judgment, almost as if judgment is exercised in a vacuum, when in fact it flows from our character and values. I don’t know if Obama is a “bad man”, but since he will now be the most powerful man on Earth, the benefit of the doubt is the LAST thing he deserves.

    cnh (e44da2)

  78. Pat and all —

    This post, in its tone and in its sensibility, reminded me of a scene in one of Allen Drury’s political novels. (If you like this blog, you will like those novels and Drury’s characters. He was a political reporter before taking up his novelist pen and winning a Pulitzer for Advise and Consent in, I think, 1960).

    In the scene, it is the election eve and one of the supporting characters says something nasty about an opponent, a Ted Kennedy figure. The protagonist (of the scene, at least), corrects her, and says (paraphrased), “No, [Ted] is not a bad man. We disagree on everything, and I will oppose him, but he loves this country as much as you or I, and if he wins, you know, he will do his very best, and I will support him when I can.”

    That really struck me the first time I read it, and I’ve tried (and often failed) to live up to that standard of human decency, and not let my disagreements with people sour me on them as human beings. In today’s hyperpartisan atmosphere, and with the assortative reading that some of us practice, it’s difficult to bear in mind that our “enemies” differ from us more on means than on ends.

    God save this country, and our President. And our President-elect as well.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (88bf29)

  79. Oh, I think you can be civil and disagree, especially about politics. I certainly do not think that it is in ones interest to demonize the opposition, especially the way the Left has for the last eight years.

    However I do think that we need to take back the language. Criticizing Obama, pointing out facts about him and his campaign is not racist and we should push back strenuously or our debate is going to be extremely limited. Criticizing FMFM and the CRA is not racist. If every criticism we make of the Obama administration is going to be labeled racist and we shrink back or stifle our opposition, we are in for a very bumpy ride.

    rls (14b9d3)

  80. I want to believe that Obama’s election will lead to racial healing and a reality check to the black community. But as someone else alluded to, the minute things get tough for Obama, the race card will get dealt and too many in the black (and leftist)community will revert to type. I won’t feel like saying I told you so when it happens.

    SAZMD (0949b6)

  81. A good man? Perhaps. Is there truth in truism (One is known by the company one keeps). I submit that absent that knowledge, the man is substantially unknown. What about all of the stuff – the fund raising fraud, the vote fraud, the imperviousness to accountability, etc. etc.? Was that all just our own right wing election b.s.? A good man? Most probably not. How bad? That’s the better question.

    Kae Gregory (adbb38)

  82. But I want her to learn that no matter who wins, he’s a good man trying to do what he thinks is right for the country.

    That’s would be great, if it were true. But he’s not a good man, for all the reasons Beldar, and you, have listed.

    Whether or not he’s a bad man is a different question. But I’d say it’s pretty clear he’s not a good one.

    Greg Q (d85ce1)

  83. You’re practicing bait and switch here.

    You went from defending the notion that Obama is a good and decent and honest man ..

    to saying that no one has proven that he’s an evil man or a bad man.

    This is the Hitler argument.

    You lose.

    PrestoPundit (ff5e16)

  84. “hitler argument” = Godwin’s law

    Obama isn’t evil = Obama isn’t Hitler (or Stalin)

    this isn’t a good argument, and you’ve changed the subject

    prestopundit (ff5e16)

  85. Let’s look back at this post 2 years from now after Obama passes his 2% global poverty tax on Americans and making student loans dependent upon service in the Obama community organizing corps.

    Of course, this is assuming we aren’t in WWIII after Iran nukes Israel with the help of Russia.

    Obama is an enemy of freedom. God help us for electing the most unqualified person ever.

    Roy Mustang (2f688e)

  86. He’s a canny politician, and he figured out how to do both. He didn’t do it just once. It was a standard line.

    I have seen rallies where he didn’t do it. (Did Biden ever do something like that?) And I have seen many occasions where John McCain has been gracious to a fault. He denounced the guy who used Obama’s middle name at a rally, and that was pretty early on.

    I think Obama looked very petty when he didn’t immediately denounce John Lewis’s outrageous comments. He even hesitated at the debate when McCain called him on it. That was not honorable. John McCain, despite his (many) faults, did run an honorable campaign.

    SAZMD (0949b6)

  87. That was so good that von Papen himself could have written it.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  88. Obama a good man – why? He would redistribute your wealth, because he honestly believes that is the right thing to do – and because he does, he is not ‘evil’. Does that matter? You will still be bankrupt. He will restrict your freedoms, because he honestly believes that is the right thing do do – because if he doesn’t, he won’t be able to accomplish his marxist goals, and because he believes he is right, he is not ‘evil’. Does that matter? He would set your daughter’s life to be devoid of liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as a result of doing those things that he honestly believes are the right things to do – and because he believes he is right, he is not ‘evil’. Does that matter?

    Obamapolgist (b86118)

  89. In the abstract, allow me an attempt to draw distinction. I am on a soft ball team, Wednesday and Saturday nights, a winning team with members from all walks of life – most of whom earn respectable livings. But it is a winning team and the chemistry is good.

    One of my teammates is a local contractor, someone whom I’ve heard has been dishonest in several contracts. I get along with him fine, and he plays a good third base. He throws great team and community parties, team and families like him and his family. But I am an engineer and a couple of my colleagues have been brought into several lawsuits due to his unsavory business practices. Insurance companies intervened and attribution of culpability avoided.

    I can see that he is a good father, and a good team mate. And even though he has never been charged with anything, he is not a person I chose to do business with.

    Is he a good person, or a bad person.

    More importantly though, how does it reflect upon me, as a willing team mate? I know he is not an honest businessman, in fact I know he is corrupt. I know he has seriously hurt folks he pretended to help. Yet he is an asset to my team, insofar as winning games is the paramount criterion.

    Upon what criteria should I expect my community members judge me? If I allowed this corrupt fellow to remain a member of my team, should I expect my community to consider me a “good” person?

    bains (114bc0)

  90. I personally think rape is a horrible crime, not as bad as murder, but very wrong, very ugly. However much I am revolted by the act of rape, I am not going to assume that all those who support it are bad people. Many are surely leading good lives and raising families. It is not within me, as a tolerant person, to condemn someone as Bad because of a disagreement on what is “right” or “moral” (words that cause much ugliness in themselves).

    Mike Jackson (a7da41)

  91. McCain extended more olive branches than did Obama (on MLK Day, and later telling the media BHO’s a good man).

    Obama’s vote-getting tactic of calling Bill Clinton a racist was less than canny. And I’m not even a Clinton fan.

    Many good points made in this thread… if Obama’s inability to handle criticism is similar to his moves in the primary, we may see a few blogs disappear. Truth Squads are not a welcome concept, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

    Is he a good man? His fraudulent credit card scam was allowed to proceed without much debate. Very strange that it’s business as usual; I’m with Beldar on that… and with Dana on his support of killing post-abortion live babies. The office of President deserves respect. The man who holds title must earn respect. As a Socialist, he will not win over at least half the country. Despite what the world thinks.

    Vermont Neighbor (5ea336)

  92. Awe, so so sorry that was some booing of Odumba and John McCain didn’t stop it. What about all the evil names and slanders and boos President has endured? Your diatribe made me sick. Here’s a good long boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo for you.

    Judith (a9afbb)

  93. Good Man/Bad Man
    I don’t know where on this continuum that BHO falls, but I do know that his history tacks along that rhumb-line, and notable points are mostly on the negative side of it.
    Abortion, the hot-button issue for many is for me a neutral evaluation, I don’t like it, but I can’t condemn someone for supporting it, or even having one.
    Partial-Birth Abortion though, leans hard onto the negative side of the line. It is a vile, dirty business.
    Infanticide (allowing a live-birth baby to die without any care) is just wrong, and anyone who would not condemn it, and support it politically, has to be denounced for that position. It is murder!
    He has a history of bad associations, from Frank Marshall Davis during his youth, to Bill Ayers, and Rev. Wright, and Khalidi, and others, that the most charitable characterising of them would say that he was using them to advance himself in the political milieu that he thought would be most advantageous.
    Then, there is the Daley Machine, and Rezko, and the rest there in Chicago and Springfield.
    There is just this pattern and practice as the lawyers like to say that demonstrates a lack of a moral compass, a willingness to do the expedient thing.
    Good Man/Bad Man
    Do good men skirt the edges of the law?
    Do good men obfuscate their standards.
    Do good men tailor their presentation in a manner that will offend others when it becomes known?
    Good Man/Bad Man
    All of the foregoing can be put down to blind ambition in the quest of the grail.
    Well, in roughly seventy days, he will have within his grasp the grail, and then all of the past will either be prologue, or just the manifestations of ambition to be discarded like last months’ suit.
    From Noon, on 20 Jan 09, every event will be a mark along the rhumb-line, either positive, or negative. Very quickly we will see where the pattern is taking him, and us.
    Good Man/Bad Man….time will tell!

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  94. A refusal to name and openly oppose evil on sight is without any merit whatsoever. Extending comity to evil feeds it, it makes it stronger and raises the cost of defeating it at a later time.

    The essay is in my opinion, tripe, for that reason.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  95. addendum…

    Good Man/Bad Man…time will tell, but he has a large hill to climb (apologies for mixed metaphores).

    Another Drew (57deb8)

  96. Rick Ballard,

    I say today, I am glad the American people voted the way we did and showed to the world that people–haters like you–are no longer the majority of American citizens. When people begin to dehumanize their own country men and women, surely, the end of our nation is near.

    Don’t you DARE, sir, call a man that more than 50% of your fellow country men and women voted for, ‘evil’, don’t you dare. For this little illogical game you play, “a refusal to name and openly oppose evil” is what got us stuck with neo-con idiots for 8 years and garnered anti-Americanism from all over the world, even from our traditional allies who were annoyed at people like you who were so quick and willing to call another nation, people, culture, they did not understand ‘evil’.

    Well, that you want to return women to back-alley abortions and deny them the right to self-chosen destinies and control of their own bodies, that a MAN like yourself can be so pompous as to think you can dictate what women decide with their own bodies, I could just as easily call YOU out as evil.

    Watch out, Ballard, you are the minority now and you wouldn’t want the majority who disagree with you to start calling you out as ‘evil’ now would you?

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  97. So, we are all bad. Is a murderer equally as bad as a nun?

    Let’s take the Christian worldview in toto for the sake of argument. Then the answer is yes, in the sense that both the murderer and nun face the same ultimate fate. That is, if they repent and turn to God, they can both be saved; if they do not they are both condemned. Now to be clear there are different rewards in heaven and different punishments in hell; but as for the big question the nun and the murderer face the exact same judgement. Compared to perfect good, neither measure up.

    Of course, you don’t have to accept the Christian worldview if you don’t want to. That’s fine. You can construct any standard of good and evil that you see fit, if you like. Just be very careful to construct one that cleanly separates you and Barack Obama in every aspect. Because I’ll bet that you’ve done things that even you regret, by your own standards of goodness, so you’ll have to make sure that your “line” allows for some failure. In which case, how do you know he hasn’t done better?

    I’m gonna guess that’ll be one crooked line. It sure would be for me.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  98. Mike Jackson, ditto. It is beyond me how you MEN can equate RAPE — a man (or woman) willingly forcing themselves on another HUMAN BEING to abortion, where the woman, who has every right to HER OWN BODY, chooses what to do with her body. You MEN make me sick, thank GOD the reign of terror is over. the neo-cons are out, you thugs would like to continue to tell women what to do with their bodies for a million years and FORCE your will upon is, But it will not happen. You are in the minority, and rightfully so.


    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  99. I am with you all the way. I think our Republican Congresspersons and Senators abandoned the conservative principles our Party stands for. We won the Reagan Revolution in ’80 and we won the Gingrich Revolution in ’94. Now it is time for a 3rd Republican Revolution.

    Sean Hannity said we are now living in the “Conservative Underground,” so I have created a group on Facebook called just that. Let’s find those leaders of 2010 as we rediscover for ourselves and teach those who don’t know the principles of conservatism.

    If we are going to reach voters using the internet, then we need to do so in all places – blogs, wikis, Flickr, MySpace, and Facebook. Come join the new Republican Revolution!

    Russell D. James (0445d5)

  100. Don’t you DARE, sir, call a man that more than 50% of your fellow country men and women voted for, ‘evil’, don’t you dare.

    Nicole, that’s an admirable polemic.

    On the many occasions you must have written something similarly emphatic in response to the incessant Bush hatred in the last 8 years, I thank you. I mean, how DARE people call a man that more than 50% of your fellow country men and women voted for, ‘evil’, right?

    mcg (5f0e75)

  101. You MEN make me sick, thank GOD the reign of terror is over.

    Ah. Nevermind, Nicole. Forget what I said in post 100. Instead, go pound sand.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  102. I really don’t care what the fawning followers this baby killer’s champion call me and I never will. His support for baby killing doctors who have finished off more blacks than the Klan ever dreamed of has earned him the full measure of the appellation. I’m sure he’ll continue to support black babies being ripped to pieces for his entire tenure in office. More blacks will die of legal homicide while he is in office than died crossing the Atlantic in chains.

    I won’t call evil good in the name of comity. Not ever.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  103. Nicole, honey, you can do whatever you what with your own body, but we don’t like a doctor being able to do anything he wants to a unborn baby’s body.
    And if you plan doing whatever you want your own body, we certainly don’t want to watch.

    Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

  104. Nicole, honey, you can do whatever you want with your own body, but we don’t like a doctor being able to do anything he wants to a unborn baby’s body.
    And if you plan doing whatever you want with your own body, we certainly don’t want to watch.

    Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

  105. This thread is just typical of you neocons—already arguing about whether our president-elect is ‘evil’ or not, before he has even made one decision. Already, trying to dehumanize him, so you can, in the end, attempt to justify the WORST plan, your final plan, murder, wherein you will FINALLY justify murder as ‘just’ in that you were ridding the world of an ‘evil’ man.

    Whereas, you defend BUSH, a man with thousands of innocent people’s blood on his hands, Iraqi civilians, Afghan civilians killed in raids, killed by crazy, anti-social rogue soldier and contract mercenary ‘BlackWater’ elements, also, good, patriotic American soldiers’ blood on his hands for WHAT–tell me where is Osama bin Laden???/ What has America got to show for these wars?? Only, that you neo-cons can justify ANYTHING —

    torture and suspension of habeas corpus and the right to fair trial and justice–all in the name of fighting ‘evil’ yet the retard Bush cannot even catch the right people, and there are sad, sad, stories to document the suffering of the innocent at American hands. History will not judge you neo-cons lightly, nor should it.

    An eye for an eye make the whole world blind.
    – Ghandi

    Here is a tough question — is it good to torture an evil man? Murder him? Murder his family? Wait, no need to reply, I already know what you ‘good’ people’s kind reply will be.

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  106. You ought to see what they’re saying about the baby killer’s champion over at Town Hall Nicole. It’s all over the place on all the blogs – you better go let them know how wrong they are. Hurry or you might be too late.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  107. So I guess what you’re saying, Nicole, is that it is OK to call a sitting President ‘evil’! OK then. Mark Nicole down as one more to disagree with Patterico.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  108. The worst, most evil thing in the whole world is being stuck in the same taxi with Nicole.

    Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

  109. Correction, MCG: MORE than 50% of Americans DID NOT vote for Bush, only 50% versus Obama’s 52%

    Anyway, great to see “Christians” always jumping on the “if they did it, then so can we!” bus! Especially if the “they” are ‘evil’ liberals! Love it! Go ahead and dehumanize Obama, nothing less is expected from you!

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  110. mcg,

    Spoofer? Are there really troofers that dumb?

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  111. Rick Ballard, would you be willing to MURDER a ‘baby-killing doctor’ to save an unborn child? THAT is the question-just war?

    Also, more to the point, will you be willing to pay higher taxes to support all these young, single mothers?

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  112. Uh, 50.74 is more than 50.

    And if you insist on rounding, 50.74 is rounded to 51.

    I’m not playing the “if they did it, then so can we!” game. I haven’t said it’s OK. I’m just trying to get you to come up with a straight position. Now that we’ve dismantled your little 50% rule, what is your criteria? You can call a sitting President evil if… he’s evil? Well, that sure settles it!

    mcg (5f0e75)

  113. you are wrong, MCG I do not claim Bush is evil, can you read? I said he is a ‘retard’ i.e. a terribly misguided fool who sees the world in black and white like you fools and who will, in the name of fighting ‘evil’ be willing to commit terrible atrocities. Crusades, Inquisition, ring a bell. Not evil, just uneducated, blinded, misguided — people who all did the same that you people on the right love to do — dehumaize opponents to the point where can justify demolishing them. I love how you ‘pro-life’ people care SO much for the unborn–when will you start caring for the thousands of children, born already, dying in Darfur and refugee children starving, uneducated, terrorized, bombed in IRAG and all over the world! Priories people, the living first!

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  114. As long as the homicide committed by the doctor is legal his life is safe. Odd isn’t it? If he were found strangling an hours old child in the nursery and his life were taken in the act of preventing him from committing murder, it would probably be classified as justifiable homicide. But if Barak’s baby killer just punches a hole in the baby’s skull 61 minutes earlier – home free as a bird.

    I already pay taxes to support a bit over a million bastards per year now. Paying for another million doesn’t bother me in the least. Who knows? One of the bastards saved might grow up to be President of the United States.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  115. Ah, OK. The word ‘evil’ is off the table but ‘haters’, ‘idiots’, ‘reign of terror’, ‘thugs’, ‘retard’, ‘fool’, and so forth, they’re fair game.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  116. “Priories people” They’re generally called monks or nuns, depending. Might be different in IRAG I suppose – or was that a reference to your hobby?

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  117. And as for Darfur, Nicole, I sure am so glad to hear you’re on the side of pro-lifer Sam Brownback on that important cause. You’re right, consistency matters.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  118. Ballard proves why the ‘Right’ was booted out of power by our fellow country men and women, and for good reason. He cannot give me one straight reason for why his silly littel campaign spends MILLIONS of dollars in the USA fighting and bickering against ‘pro-choice’ whilst thousands of children, born already, here in the food ‘ol USA have no health care — and abroad, forget about it. life sucks, truly, for these poor children. If you all were good Christian, you would target your funds to the protecting the living, instead of leaving them to the wolves in Darfur, massacraded, bloating stomachs, fear and pain.

    DONATE to UNICEF to help UNICEF help save the women and children of Chad and Darfur.

    Who already alive, or any organisation of your choice, or heck, be a REAL CHRISTIAN and join your brothers and sisters working on the ground to make the lives of the living better, instead of pontificating from your high throne on how ‘terrible’ and ‘evil’ the ‘baby-killer’ Obama is. Pathetic people. You would be the first to trash Obama on his plan to donate more money to Africa –the UN global aid package he was smeared by the ‘Right’ for supporting. Hypocrites. Sick. Dare I say it?

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  119. The solution for women who want to do whatever they want with their own bodies, but still avoid a pregnancy, is to use a contraceptive. In your case, Nicole, your face will do.

    Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

  120. Lost cause, all of you! But you are Americans and are welcome by the new Christian Left rising i this country. I’ll pray for you all. Good night – back to my term paper, but was fun sociological insight in to the thinking of the new minority!

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  121. And, sorry last post, to enlighten, i do mean you folks are the new MINORITY:

    All anti-choice measures trying to restrict a woman’s right to choose were defeated this year! Rational people will always triumph in the end! Take comfort in that fact (or not!)

    Good night!

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  122. Seriously, I have a better idea. Let’s get all the mommies and daddies who brought these children into the world to take care of their own children, and pay for their own kids’ health care. And if you really want healthy children, the healthiest thing you can do for them is to not murder them before they’re even born.

    Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

  123. I never called Obama a baby killer, dimwit. He’s just the champion of a few hundred baby killers who polish off more black babies than Hutu on a rampage against Tutsis ever did.

    You’re a good spoofer but you fail as a troofer. Not even the dumbest progg could be that stupid.

    You may continue to play with yourself as you wish but I won’t be around to watch.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  124. He cannot give me one straight reason

    Actually, he kind of has something like 35.4 million reasons. That’s how many babies have been aborted in the world this year so far. (link)

    That’s more than any single other cause of death you can cite, Nicole. More than war, more than murder, more than starvation, more than AIDS, more than obesity, more than heart disease. In fact, take heart disease off the table, and abortion kills more than every other cause of death, combined.

    Darfur is important. No doubt. But I will excuse Rick if he treats abortion with a bit more urgency.

    mcg (5f0e75)

  125. (OK, my math is slightly off. Abortion is at 35.4 mil, all other causes of death besides heart disease is at 36.7 mil. It’s late.)

    mcg (5f0e75)

  126. okay, so you completely ignore the stats about importance of family planning and 70,000 women die from botched abortions.

    What if abortion becomes illegal–will you impose Soviet and Chinese style gulags to ENFORCE every single woman carry to term? in cases of rape, incest, “health of the mother” (in air quotes, with smirk on my face a la McCain)??

    How will you enforce this? Criminalize abortions? Fines? Sentences? Jail? How much in taxes do you wanna pay more to sustain the new Anti-Abortion enforcement bureaucracy and nanny state?

    deep question: difference between abortion at 2 weeks – heck even the ‘morning after pill’ which conservatives fought so hard against- and the ‘Pill’? each pill taken prevents pregnancies of untold numbers of children. You will say conception is the difference — Colorado just voted against defining life at conception — so is there an actual difference, can a two-week old fetus feel pain? have memory? have emotions and hopes and dreams and fears? NO. That is FOR SURE. One living, conscious person’s life is worth every darn dollar. Once humanity has secured the right to live decent, dignified lives for its existent population, we can begin to worry about saving two-week old soon-to be lives.

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  127. “The solution for women who want to do whatever they want with their own bodies, but still avoid a pregnancy, is to use a contraceptive. In your case, Nicole, your face will do.”

    I’m gone for a few hours and return to this.

    How’s about this: all of you calm down and stop acting like children, or I’ll just start banning people right and left. This is ridiculous.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  128. Nicole Parker: “He cannot give me one straight reason for why his silly littel campaign spends MILLIONS of dollars in the USA fighting and bickering against ‘pro-choice’ whilst thousands of children, born already, here in the food ‘ol USA have no health care”

    Millions more children die from abortion every year than from lack of health care.

    You can watch any number of medical and surgical procedures on TV, from birth to brain surgery to amputations to sex change. But the one procedure that is never shown is abortion.

    And you know why?

    Because if an abortion were shown to Americans the sight of what is undeniably a tiny little baby being torn to shreds while still alive would change the the way Americans think about abortion and lead to changing the law.

    But there is no danger of that happening because damn the truth, the illusion has to be protected.

    Dr. Dean (695f35)

  129. The worst, most evil thing in the whole world is being stuck in the same taxi with Nicole.

    Naw, I think the real question is whether you’d rather be Nicole or have Alzheimers disease. Seriously.

    J. Peden (3b0c51)

  130. Actually, I neglected to mention that in England a program called “My Foetus” did show an early stage abortion (suction procedure) being performed.

    The “decsion is a moral one” the woman who created the documentary said after exploring her own pro-choice views through the documentary. She remained pro-choice but acknowledge that it is a decision of judging which life is deemed more important.

    Dr. Dean (695f35)

  131. It’s convenient how Nicole omits the worldwide CREDIT-CARD FRAUD conducted by Obama. Illegal fund-raising mean nothing to you?

    This blog and others have criticized George Bush for a number of his domestic and international policies. As Indies or Conservatives, we disagree with your side’s willingness to overlook the history of a Socialist. One who’s an anti-white RACIST, an anti-Semite, a junior politician with no legislative accomplishments and a literally endless list of slimy colleagues and family friends.

    Considering the $775,000 advantage Barry had over McCain, coupled with the endless free advertising from MSNBC/CBS/NYT/LAT/WaPo, Obama’s final numbers weren’t that impressive. Got ink? Calculate the money, the anti-GOP advantage this year, the shady fund-raising and free Media push, and it’s clear OBAMA’s numbers weren’t impressive. A few mill more? Good. Germany, Cuba and Venezuela helped put your boy in office. Don’t you come around here and tell people what’s what. I’m pro-choice. What Obama cast his vote for is infanticide; it has nothing to do with a woman’s right.

    You’re not dumb. You must be on the blogs every day. You know Obama was bought and paid for. And soon we’ll find out the consequences of that: the invisible man with the patched resume and sealed documents… He who demands transparency from you while reaching deep into all our pockets, something which he himself doesn’t practice. You’re not a liberal with a message. You’re a strident if blind Obama supporter. Oh, and the topic of this thread is whether a politician is a good man. Not ‘evil.’ Freudian slip, though, and one for which you’re forgiven. With his whole scenario, it’s an easy assumption to make.

    Vermont Neighbor (5ea336)

  132. They’re human beings, Nicole. The fact that a person lacks sensory pain nerves does not make them sub-human.

    Wow. If you’re representative of the pro-choice movement, they’ve really jumped the shark.

    Roy Mustang (2f688e)

  133. Vermont Neighbor, I truly feel sorry for you. I stopped reading past “socialist” — you know you should try not to use that word when arguing your point against the new majority–it really does make you sound uneducated (especially when you try and make it all scary-sounding by capitalising the word!) and your point will never get across because educated people will just stop reading.

    I suggest you refine your point until your definition of ‘socialist’ can distinguish between McCain’s type of socialism and Obama’s:

    “The GOP candidate wants to spend $300 billion to buy out “underwater” homeowners at the original value of their mortgages, a plan sharply criticized by a top Obama adviser”

    Or for that matter, Bush’s type of socialism:

    Explanation, please!

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  134. i have to disagree with you. i do not think obama is a decent man, much like i don’t believe anyone, and i repeat, anyone who feels abortion is a right is a decent man. look at germany. many germans who thought hitler was decent were proven completely wrong. he, much like obama, captivated a country’s attention, spoke in a quasi-god-like manner and ultimately caused the deaths of millions of people across the globe. don’t give me obama is a decent man crap.

    the office of the president holds a certain level of respect and the man who now occupies it, president bush, is a decent man. he has been villified by many, but he has behaved honorably. while folks look at him with contempt, treat him like he’s the devil incarnate, he has taken it on the chin and smiled. never once has he cut off contact from him for folks who disagree; never once has he responded in an undignified manner. he is a decent man, and obama will never be able to stand with him in that crowd.

    ktr (2adbce)

  135. ktr, by comparing Obama with Hitler, without any verifiable proof, beside his pro-choice stance which the rest of the civilised world agrees with (except Chile, Malta, and El Salvador!)
    in effect, has proven that you are not a decent person, yourself. Ergo, your opinion is irrelevant. Move on to Coulter or Malkin’s site–the quest for decent discourse on this site is above you.

    Nicole Parker (0d3b1c)

  136. excuse me nicole, the only way i was comparing obama to hitler was in his support of, by his refusal to condemn, partial birth abortion. needless to say, but his ability to draw ‘mindless’, and by this i mean you, gullible perople to him, is also reminiscient of hitler. but you’ve neglected to mention that in your quest to subvert the truth.

    oh wait, maybe because the rest of the world thinks obama’s the messiah we all have been waiting for i’ll join them. maybe not. i’ll wait for the real, promised One, thanks.

    the rest of the world thinks its okay for abortion… again a load of crap. the rest of the world isn’t in support of abortion. you forgot to add, most of africa, most of the arab and asian world don’t support abortion. but again, facts aren’t your strong point are they?

    call me in 4 years after obama’s made a mess of everything. let’s see your talking points then!

    ktr (2adbce)

  137. “torture and suspension of habeas corpus and the right to fair trial and justice–all in the name of fighting ‘evil’…”

    Well, we could be fighting evil by burning hundreds of thousands of Japanese and German civilans alive with napalm and atomic bombs, and sending tens of thousands of American citizens into concentration camps, instead of ducking terrorists heads under water to loosen their tongues a tad, but frying hundreds of thousands of civilians and putting Americans in concentration camps is more of a liberal thing, and we right wingers don’t want to step on your turf.

    Dave Surls (501b57)

  138. To those who have commented that they’ve never seen Obama act gracefully to silence overzealous attendees as John McCain did during his concession speech, here’s an excerpt from an article by Peggy Noonan (Republican and member of both Reagan and Bush senior administrations):

    “A great moment: When the press was hitting hard on the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter, he did not respond with a politically shrewd “I have no comment,” or “We shouldn’t judge.” Instead he said, “My mother had me when she was 18,” which shamed the press and others into silence. He showed grace when he didn’t have to.”

    J.York (074c1b)

  139. We now have two culturally conservative economically liberal parties in America. Those leaning libertarian not welcome in either.

    I have spent four years supporting Rs without reservation. No more. From now on if you want my vote: Earn It.

    M. Simon (aa0cde)

  140. We have two brands of Socialism in America. Cultural and Economic.

    We now have two totally socialist parties (Economic and Cultural) in America.

    Any one here care to explain why I should support either?

    M. Simon (aa0cde)

  141. J.York. Nice to remind the ‘bitter clingers’ that. Grace is Obama’s trademark. I read NRO a lot and fortunately some there are acknowledging Obama’s clear eyed grace and intelligence. Most of them are not. Shelby Steele emplansizes the race issue to the point I think Mr. Steele is a base racist. And to see Mr.Goldstein at PW attack any and all Republicans incl. Patrick, who question the Palin wingnuts…well, is retributive justice for us who laugh at him.

    I hope Obama is as ‘Leftist’ as many Republicans think he is….but I think Republicans will be pleasantly surprised. It’ll a tough four years no matter what due to the economy. The evident on-coming economic Depression is many times worse for the world than that minor event, 9/11, will be.

    Republicans, consider “Rahmbo”. He is partisan but also equally tough on ‘leftist’ Democrats. Or Larry Summers and Bob Rubin, still close advisors to the Obama administration…hardly ‘leftists’. Mr. Summers is rumored to be Sec. of Treasury. Yikes, I shiver. Cold comfort to the millions of unemployed.

    datadave (eeb881)

  142. Dr. Dean,

    You mean to tell me that Hippocrates, 2,500 years ago didn’t know that abortion was the taking of a life?

    I guess after 5,000 or 8,000 years of animal husbandry they still didn’t know where babies came from.

    M. Simon (aa0cde)

  143. President Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” and he was right — communism was, and is, evil.

    I’m sure that if one actually met some of the leaders of the Soviet Union, they might not have seemed “bad men” just as Obama does not seem to be a “bad man,” but by their actions they did evil.

    Many people thought well of Lenin personally, yet socialist Bertrand Russell was appalled by Lenin, and described hum thus:

    When I put a question to him about socialim in agriculture, he explained with glee how he had incited the poorer peasants against the richer one, “and they soon hanged them from the hearest tree– ha! ha! ha!” His guffaw at the thought of those massacred made my blood run cold.

    I think Obama is as cold as Lenin and has aligned himself with evil. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    CatoRenasci (5eb63e)

  144. By this logic, all the liars in the media are good too, especially the liars at the LA Times.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  145. Habitual liars are not good men.

    I must agree with Karen, perhaps this is woman’s intuition however when you experience these types of men enough times in your life it is understandable why the conclusion is they’re no good.

    We’ll shall see.

    syn (5e8e54)

  146. By this logic, all the liars in the media are good too, especially the liars at the LA Times.

    Beautiful baby, you hit it right out of park.

    Grand slam man, you are good.

    syn (5e8e54)

  147. yeah, right. Liars like Joe Scarborough on MSNBC going off on Paul Krugman….calling him a “little man”. Hating Rahm Emanual. That’s the media, dude. Thoroughly full of Right Wing nuts like Scarborough.

    time to remove that supportor of antiAbortion terrorists off the liberal media.

    datadave (eeb881)

  148. Just bad judgement? He has a LIFETIME of bad judgement. He’s 47 and he still is incapable of good judgment.

    And he can’t claim he didn’t know about Ayers, Wright whatever. A simple google search by his “researchers” – the same ones that covered up for his loathsome family – would have even told him Ayers was a piece of shyte. So much so he once locked up a girlfriend in his college dorm room until she allowed herself to be raped by his black roommate so she could “prove” that she wasn’t racist.

    Can anyone name one friend or associate of Obama’s that shouldn’t be either on a watchlist or in jail?

    What of his activities as a lawyer, at CAC, at the Wood fund against the 2nd amendment, hey what about his constant trashing of the U.S. consitution as a “restriction” to be challenged and pushed against.

    Let me say that here in Australia, Obama’s qualifications, associations, activities, fraud (remember he used running his campaign as qualification for office so the buck for the donations fraud ends with him), never mind that he, of his own campaign manager’s admission, used a state politician and state authorities and public funds to cover up for a fugitive alien (Aunty Z wasn’t just an illegal, she had a deporation order against her) would exclude him from any public office including civil servant. He would probably be in jail.

    He couldn’t even pass a basic FBI background check in your country. Now he gets the keys to the White House because too many Americans were too pissed off to vote and the others just got bought by the $600m dollar man?

    And you know what world leaders really think, you know those who already do the job and know what it takes to do the job:

    “I think that there is going to be good cooperation” between Obama and Medvedev, said Berlusconi. “He has everything needed to reach deals with him: he’s young, handsome and even tanned.”

    Seriously Patterico, please do keep deluding yourself that Obama is just a good guy. That’s exactly what he wants you to think and why he hides behind his headkickers.

    I see however that Hopeychangey has dredged the Chicago River and is moving them into the Whitehouse. I expect Ayers in the Lincoln bedroom next (and guarantee: you will be hearing a lot from Ayers and Dorn from now on)

    saint (09219f)

  149. To imply that obama sought out and surrounded himself with America haters and did not share their view, is naive. Read his books, watch his actions, this man hates what America WAS, remember he has promised to change it. It is quite highminded to grant him as much credit as you do, but look back over your life…..did some people associate themselves exclusively with bad people and remain “good”? Come on, he shares ayres, wrights, farrakhans views about my country and has pledged to remake this country….you figure out what that means.

    Judith (76ca0a)

  150. J. York. – that was the only time he said anything. But we know from Obama campaign defectors that all the lies and shyte against Palin and her family were straight from his camp.

    Yeah Peggy Dowager Noonan. I do believe you just had an orgasm.

    saint (09219f)

  151. Well said, Mr. Frey.

    Martin Luther, in explaining the 4th commandment (about honoring parents), asserted that we owe respect and obedience to government as long as it does not supersede what God has commanded us. Paul wrote about that in Romans even though the government in question was undoubtably evil, being led by Nero Caesar.

    People who accept evil practices like partial-birth abortion may be evil themselves. But I never underestimate their capacity for ignorance. Or, in another sense, they are evil in the sense that all of us are evil because they think first of themselves or their party and are blind to the lives of some others.

    There’s enough of that to go around.

    Being willing to forego name calling doesn’t mean that I will give any ground on the right and wrong of President Obama’s government.

    And, having said all that, it looks like I will be gritting my teeth and clenching my jaw a lot for the next 4 years.

    BitterClinger (9ca635)

  152. Change is not bad…i think that some people on this tread are to comfortable with the stage the US is in now. There needs to be change we need to be concerned about the way we are viewed around the world. i read an article on

    trying2quit (9ecc60)

  153. He lies about career-long relationships with terrorists who, to this day, want to see America destroyed.

    Well, that settles it, he must be a good man. We’re humbled by your magnanimity, and his!

    Born Free (02fdf4)

  154. Patterico,

    I make these observations:

    1. Obama is more of a pathological liar than Bill Clinton is.

    2. Obama is going to be THE MOST PARTISAN President in history.

    3. Obama will copy Robert Mugabe and ruin the US as Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe.

    PCD (7fe637)

  155. I don’t know about bad, but I do question his character, not based on his policies or beliefs but based on his character.

    On numerous occasions he has not admitted to changing his mind – born alive?, campaign financing, pre-conditions in diplomacy, radical past associations, etc. I find this disturbing.

    I believe that he helped train ACORN to commit voter fraud. He gave them money, knowing their pattern of behavior, then he lied about it. I find this disturbing.

    I believe that his statement that 95% of the American people will not have a tax increase was a deliberate lie. I believe that his statement that Rev Wright never made such statements while he was there is a lie. I find this disturbing.

    He uses race and class baiting. I find this disturbing.

    These are character issues. Do they make him bad – or worse than his contemporaries? I don’t know.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  156. “Barry O.” I like that. It rolls off the tongue, like “W.” I’d go so far as to nickname him “B.O.,” but that would contradict how Biden once described him.

    sierra (4be1ff)

  157. I’ve skipped most of the comments so I apologize if I’m repeating someone else’s point.

    Patterico, I read both you and JeffG and respect you both. In this regard I believe not only were you a little premature in praising Obama the man without anything substantial in evidence, but you are now compounding it with this Bad Person strawman line.

    A person’s moral standing is not fixed. It shifts according to their accumulated behaviors to any particular part in time. Some people do enough bad things they can never redeem themselves, some good people fall horribly then work back. You see it all the time in your work, why do you not believe it of Very Important People?

    Obama’s election is historic. No doubt. The fact of his election is something America can be proud of in that it is the ONLY country in the world with a majority “white” population that has a “black” Head of State. It finally proves Leftists wrong that Amerikkka is a racist nation. They’ll never admit it, they’ll never apologize for the insidious lie, but I certainly can point and laugh at them more than ever now.

    That’s the macro, but moving down the chain, The Obama campaign was the dirtiest, most dishonest one I have ever experienced and I believe a great many criminal things happened (vis a vis donations) that Obama not only knew about but approved. We may not find out about them while he is president – his syphocants in the media are too unwilling to look (Chris Matthews “My job is to help the President succeed”) and President-elect Obama is moving to quash any venue that may criticize him during his presidency.

    Those are not behaviors of a “good” man.

    Now, it is true that the office CAN change the man, and I’m certainly open to seeing P.E. Obama shake off his past and grow and mature and really figure out deep down in his bones that he has to be President of everyone.

    If he figures THAT out and I see behavior supporting that, THEN his moral bank account moves into the positive

    but not before.

    Darleen (187edc)

  158. “Musings of a former atheist” posted a very thought provoking [photo here]. It’s a shot of the staff at Auschwitz relaxing and having a good time.

    It’s tough to discern who is good and who is evil without a clearer definition of terms. The debate seems to turn on whether a person’s good intentions are enough to override their unintentionally evil actions. And are we naive if we give a person the benefit of the doubt?

    BitterClinger (47b0b8)

  159. Somehow an earlier version of this got posted as a comment on the next Post down, which I guess proves that I shouldn’t comment when I’m groggy in the morning. Anyway:

    I believe:

    1) The people who think that Partial Birth Abortion is evil believe it is murder of innocents. On that basis, they have a point. I don’t agree with them. I don’t think an infant is human …. yet. I also don’t have any way to prove my position. Partial Birth Abortion is at best disgusting. Calling it evil really isn’t that much of a stretch, and Obama is for some practices that really go beyond Partial Birth Abortion to the moral equivalent of exposing babies on the hillside, like the Romans.

    2) Obama has deliberately and with forethought consorted with, sought the support of, and supported at least one organization that has committed vote fraud on a scale to make Tammany Hall envious. I am sure that, like so many of the Left, he genuinely believes that this is justified in some cosmic fuzzy way. I think it makes him a crook.

    3) The Liberal Left (and to a lesser degree the extremes of the Political right) has gotten away with a great deal because they are supposedly “Good people” with good intentions. And maybe pointing out how many of them are far from good, and actually seem to be deranged creeps, doesn’t help. But we haven’t been winning all that many playing nice. It’s time for a little hardball.

    I don’t think Obama is a good man. I think that the facts on the ground show that he is a liar, a cheat, and a criminal. I think that the lying, cheating, and criminality are built in to his version of what the Far Left believes. Whether he is actually evil remains to be seen. It wouldn’t surprise me.

    C. S. P. Schofield (2f879a)

  160. Patterico-

    It’s one thing to declare Obama is going to be your President and that the office itself must be respected. I heartily endorse the calls for conservatives to remain above the pathetic name-calling and deranged hatred of Progressives.

    However, it is quite another matter to go from that to calling a man who befriended an anti-American terrorist who carried out a bombing campaign of the US, who declared war on America, who discussed the genocide of 25 million Americans who would not submit to his ideology, who plotted to blow up the Fort Dix dance (targeting US servicemen and their dates) a “good and decent man”.

    A good and decent man would have nothing to do with the likes of Ayers regardless of how it would help his career- and I think we all know that. There can be no excuse for Obama working alongside him and accepting his help in launching his career in Chicago. Either he sympathises to some degree with Ayers’ ideology (not a stretch given the links between the two and between the Obama camp and the SDS) or he was so ruthlessly hungering for power that he went along with Ayers out of pure ambition. Neither suggests decency to me.

    Perhaps I’m old fashioned but I don’t believe that a man who wants to be- and soon will be- President of the United States of America should ever be involved with a man and his wife who wanted to destroy that great nation.

    If a politician was friends with an Al Qaeda terrorist whose view of America, frankly, is not too far removed from that of Ayers and Dohrn- would you call that man “good and decent”?

    Jay.Mac (036383)

  161. Good intentions don’t count if the result is a disaster. (Just consider AGW and what its proponents suggest. They certainly want to save the planet….)

    When you hurt your wife, friends, etc., they don’t care what you meant, they care what you did! And in the face of all those tears, how meaningfull are your protestations that ‘you meant well’.

    Already we see that Obama wants to force people to ‘volunteer’, in order to graduate college and high school. Yeah, we’ll see a lot of black male high school students doing that, I bet.

    Maybe Whoopi Goldberg should talk to Obama about slavery….

    And every one is the news media is ‘wondering’ what he is going to do. After 2 years they don’t know?

    This country will be a far, far worse place to live in 4 years. Obama is a good man, alright, just like Neville Chamberlain.

    I encourage the idiots to rename every street, post office and school the “Barack Obama whatever”. Force these people to remember what their votes have done.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  162. I’ll go with he’s evil. The abortion issue makes him a monster.

    averagejoe (525ca8)

  163. At the end of the documentary about the staff at Auschwitz (linked above) one of the narrators muses about what evil is – and whether we’re all capable of it. The thing that was hard for them was seeing the monsters of Auschwitz relaxing, singing, smiling, sharing blueberries, grieving for their own dead. These people “look so human.”

    Perhaps the conclusion to reach with Barack Obama is that he doesn’t look evil, but he has supported some evil things. Whether he is a good and decent man or a bad man (even an evil man) will remain to be seen.

    We’ll all be watching closely as words give place to deeds.

    BitterClinger (47b0b8)

  164. The debate seems to turn on whether a person’s good intentions are enough to override their unintentionally evil actions. And are we naive if we give a person the benefit of the doubt?

    This is where we all need to use the capacity of judging that God gave us, using reason and a well-examined moral base.

    Words are never enough because words are easy. It is behavior that is the rule by which we judge the words.

    And when the fit hits the shan as predicted, the person responsible cannot stand around whining “but I didn’t MEAN for this to happen!” and get a pass.

    Darleen (187edc)

  165. Let’s look back at this post 2 years from now after Obama passes his 2% global poverty tax on Americans and making student loans dependent upon service in the Obama community organizing corps.

    Obama is an enemy of freedom. God help us for electing the most unqualified person ever.

    Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 9:29 pm

    Jesus f******* christ Obama, you’re on the ball!

    Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.

    Obama is an enemy of freedom. All communists are.

    Roy Mustang (2f688e)

  166. And Pat, the good cooperation you speak of with Berlusconi and Sarkozy, what a total joke.

    They are going to protect the interests of their countries, Obama isn’t. I guess that is your definition of ‘cooperation’.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  167. Actually, CSPSchofield is a case in point for this discussion. He/she doesn’t believe that an infant is yet human. To some of us that is a truly horrifying statement – intrinsically evil. But if you do not believe that someone is human, then how can your actions toward them be evil?

    To carry this to it’s logical conclusion: how can it be “disgusting” as CSP suggests? Pulling a struggling non-human lump of tissue from the womb and jamming a pair of scissors into its skull before sucking its brains out is just another surgical procedure, gross or disgusting if you don’t like the sight of blood.

    That’s how you view the world… if you don’t think that this person is human.

    BitterClinger (47b0b8)

  168. Patrick, I have to say I disagree with you about Obama’s judgment. I think Obama knew, or suspected, exactly what Ayers and Rezko and Wright were all about. But at that moment and in that place and context, these men had a lot to offer Obama and were able to get him a leg up. He made such use of them as he could and then walked away from them when they became inconvenient. In other words, he didn’t have bad judgment at all – he’s a cold-blooded cynical manipulative political operator. And I say that with admiration and respect. It doesn’t make him a bad man but it does make him an extraordinarily good and talented politician. That’s what politicians do.

    He has made a very rational calculation, based on his assessment of how others react to him (including the press), of what he can and can’t get away with, and he uses that to chart his course. To get where he got in Chicago politics he had to be out on the left edge of the Democratic party, and he went there. To win the election he had to move center, and he went there. I don’t doubt that his instincts are lefty instincts, but I think he is much more of an instrumentalist than an ideologue – he does what he needs to do to get where he needs to go. Unfortunately that also means we don’t know what he really believes or really wants to do. So: hope for the best, trust that the worst of his proposals will be derailed, and pray that the country does well. We survived Jimmy Carter, we can survive almost anything.

    Stuart (262695)

  169. Send us a wake up call when your balls grow back.

    Paul A'Barge (89d4b3)

  170. My vote was about the issues and I had prayed that the color of skin would never be “the reason” for casting a vote.
    Sadly, many people viewed this election as such.

    mcnorman (7215bc)

  171. I’m not even sure where I’d begin, this whole post is a total joke.

    I’ll just note how well George Bush’s terrible presidency sets up Barack Obama’s presidency for success. The statistical probability that Obama becomes less popular than George Bush is so small as to be insignificant. Your guys’ poor choice in presidential candidates will still be haunting you even after they’ve left office.

    chicken marsala (e14852)

  172. Shelby Steele emplansizes the race issue to the point I think Mr. Steele is a base racist.

    This is rich.

    that minor event, 9/11,

    There are 3000+ families that think you are a drooling idiot.

    That’s the media, dude. Thoroughly full of Right Wing nuts like Scarborough.

    Keep the sharp objects away from this one.

    I don’t think an infant is human

    This is such a mind-boggling insane statement that I am at a loss for words.

    If infants are not human, are they goats? Plasma TV’s? I-phones?

    JD (008a90)

  173. I think this thread pretty much covered both sides of the argument. I only wish to add one thought. I hope everyone will pray for the best but prepare for the worst.

    Dawnsblood (a83e77)

  174. I can’t really say whether Barack Obama is a Bad Man or not, because I still don’t really know Barack Obama the man. All I know is the personna of Barack Obama that was created for him to be able to run for president. Will we ever be able to see the real man under the veneer? Time will tell.

    Paul (5d2690)

  175. The Left doesn’t indulge in this sort of debate. They know George W Bush is a bad man, an evil man, and they say so clearly and without equivocation, and anyone who reads this blog, or any other political blog knows it.

    The Left offers no apologies, just the opposite, and they don’t concern themselves with fool notions like giving George W Bush “the benefit of the doubt” about anything. They have no doubts.

    The Left has shown that it delights in calumny, character assassination, and slander, they enjoy inflicting outrage and insult on their enemies. An example of which is when they pack an audience with bully boys, rush the podium, throw pies, disrupt the sound system, intimidate speakers, and they do it with a broad smile, after all it’s good fun, results in lots of TV time, and it’s an effective way to trash the opposition. Plus, there’s almost never any downside, they get away with it time after time.

    The Left’s many and various “activists” don’t concern themselves with silly old fashioned notions like “freedom of speech” or the “right to association.” Such quaint ideas only serve to inhibit their demagogues from public expressions of hatred for anyone who disagrees with their hysterical pronouncements.

    So, lets knock off the Pollyanna nonsense, sure Barrak Obama is “our” President and we hope he brings peace and prosperity to the nation, but when in modern times did you ever see the Left do anything but undermine “our” President, and his policies, when he happened to be a Republican?

    No, Lefty hatred comes first. These are not the sort of people you can “persuade,” and attempts to do so are only opportunities for them to attack your integrity and to impugn your reputation. While you are trying to persuade them, they are focused on ways to destroy you.

    Ropelight (c930c8)

  176. Comment by chicken marsala — 11/7/2008 @ 7:13 am

    I’ll just note how well George Bush’s terrible presidency sets up Barack Obama’s presidency for success
    As the failure of Gerald Ford, assured the soaring success of Jimmah Cahteh!

    The statistical probability that Obama becomes less popular than George Bush is so small as to be insignificant.
    I suppose he’ll have to take lessons on that from SanFranNan, and Dimbulb-Harry.

    Your guys’ poor choice in presidential candidates will still be haunting you even after they’ve left office
    Yes, I remember so clearly the Presidential successes of President Hubert Humphrey, President George McGovern, President Michael Dukakis, President Albert Gore Jr, and President John F. Kerry!

    God, I feel better now!

    Another Drew (fd30bc)

  177. One more nuance. I lived in the Hyde Park community – just blocks from all of the key players here – and worked at the University of Chicag for more than a decade. It is very small. I have met all of the key players here except for Farrakhan (but my mother was once harrased by his security folks for parking her van near his house). I even worked briefly with Michelle Obama at the UofC hospital. As such, my take on Obama is that you cannot be even a mainline liberal living in Hyde Park without knowing and interacting with this group of nutballs. That’s why Mayor Daley seemed genuinely puzzled that people were upset at the associations cause, like, doesn’t everyone in Chicago politics hang with these people??

    My problem was that he simply didn’t say that during the campaign. Instead he sortof lied about it all because he thought the associations might hurt. I suspect that he really doesn’t believe most of the things Ayers/Dohrn/Farrakhan/Pfleger think but is still kind of buddies with them anyhow and only realized that that was a mistake when outside critics started dissecting the relationships. It is very easy in Hyde Park to know hand spend time with people who would not pass the sniff test in any other neighborhood.

    That said, Obama is still a stinking liberal who must be stopped.

    asfried1 (73b552)

  178. Anyways, after watching this election, theres a few lessons i will take from it; 1) Vote Present if you want power and agreement. 2) Life issues are now above all our pay grades.

    Those who supported slavery, were free
    Those who support abortion, were born

    Mark (62b7e0)

  179. The Left offers no apologies, just the opposite, and they don’t concern themselves with fool notions like giving George W Bush “the benefit of the doubt” about anything. They have no doubts.

    One thing that we probably need to be remind of is that we are at the end of GWB’s presidency here. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the judgments made about him by the left and the MSM are based on what he’s done during his presidency, not what he’s going to do with it. And if you recall, the MSM was not always so harsh as it is now and his approval rating was not always so low (flashback to post 9/11). So my point is this: for the sake of our great nation, I hope we can all reserve at least some of our hatred and judgment of our new President until the time that he actually becomes President, and we see what he does or does not do. We deserve it as a country.

    J.York (074c1b)

  180. “I hope we can all reserve at least some of our hatred and judgment of our new President until the time that he actually becomes President, and we see what he does or does not do.”

    Nope. I have 150 years of experience, both direct and through reading, that tells me Democrats can’t be trusted.

    I wouldn’t cut a Nazi politician a break, because of their past record, and the same goes for a Democrat, especially a Democrat singing the tune Obama sings. All he is is Woodrow Wilson, FDR and George Wallace in blackface, and he ain’t getting break one from me.

    Dave Surls (2236a4)

  181. God, this is a stupid post. It’s really, really simple-socialists/Marxists ARE inherently evil. Therefore, Barry and his ilk are evil. No further “analysis” is required. Got it now?

    ginsocal (e79c16)

  182. I’ll cut Obama some slack when he earns it. When he proves that he is capable of leading our country and not tearing it apart with his leftist illuminati ideals, then I’ll cut him some slack.

    Jeff (024c6a)

  183. Two points, just to stir up the inmates;

    1) Not only do I not think a newborn infant is human, it is my understanding that St. Thomas Aquinas agreed with me. I recall that his position was that a newborn didn’t have a soul until it had been alive for 24 (28?) days. Chew on that.

    For that matter, I have known some 30 year olds who weren’t human. Yuck!

    2) On the other hand, who says that something has to be evil to be disgusting? I’d come up with a long list of simple examples, but people may be eating…..

    C. S. P. Schofield (2f879a)

  184. I’m not even sure where I’d begin, this whole post is a total joke.

    And we’d like to thank you for making it that way – congrats, you’ve earned it.

    Dmac (e30284)

  185. Beldar wrote (waaaaay upthread):

    But it’s worth a deliberate effort to stop and step back from becoming a hater.

    Not because we’re currying anyone’s favor or trying to use language that will please the left. But because hatred corrodes the soul, and I still value mine.

    So very, very true, for those on all sides of the issues.

    I think Patterico’s (and so many others’) take on this is very classy, and it puts to shame those who have demonized our soon-to-be-former president for the last eight years (myself included, I’m sure).

    It’s been interesting to follow Patterico’s comments on Goldstein’s blog. The anti-Patterico stuff spouted by some is really quite absurd. Anyone who thinks this is some new, wussy stance that he’s inexplicably adapting just now for personal benefit, obviously haven’t gotten to know him through this blog over the last four+ years like I have. It’s about a little thing called decency – which recognizes that good people can actually disagree on issues and still be good people. In fact, in my four+ years around here I have disagreed with the vast majority of the positions taken, and yet, here I am still.

    Why? Because it’s good for me to encounter the reasonable conservative perspective on issues for which my own liberal lens precludes me from seeing how anybody could think otherwise. It’s good for me to be in dialogue with folks around here with whom I disagree. It keeps me in check – reminds me that there’s no need to vilify the other side. By the same token, I also think it’s good for conservatives to encounter decent, moral, freedom- and fairness-loving liberals.

    Patterico has cultivated a great spirit of discourse around here, and if everyone else in the political spectrum followed his lead, we’d all be much better off.


    Tom (04f1d9)

  186. Patterico-
    Both of your posts on this topic are good. Sorry you are getting the usual tribal freakout for not staying “on message”. I am completely biased of course since I like your message.

    As for all the people who are freaking out… get over it you agreement-seeky drama queens! Patterico isn’t always going to “take your side”, it’s what gives this site integrity. He isn’t “immoral” or “stupid” or “beneath contempt” or any of the other things that posters have said or implied in this post and the following one.
    Relax, people disagree, it keeps things interesting.

    EdWood (9b10a6)

  187. The Baracky loves me this I know for dead bloggers tell me so part is a little much I think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  188. I’ve read all your posts arguing that Obama is a good man but I’m still conflicted. It might help if you tell me how you define a bad person or if you could answer one or both of the following questions:

    Are there any American politicians that you consider to be bad people and, if so, why?

    Are there any well-known advisers or associates of Obama or McCain that you think are bad people?

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  189. DRJ,

    Can we include domestic terrorists, radical muslims, convicted felons and racist preachers or are we restricted to mass murderers?

    For McCain – I’d have to list Keating as a “bad” man. Renting Senators isn’t generally rewarded as being worthy of a merit badge. Even if all the Senators rented were Democrats.

    Rick Ballard (14757e)

  190. Strike down every faith based program, and pass a constitutional amendment to include sexual orientation.

    Flex (5a00ad)

  191. Patrick, I wasn’t surprised to read your comment that this series of posts was influenced by your post-election conversations with your daughter. Last August, before McCain’s acceptance speech, I spent some time with my daughter, acquainting her with some elements of the McCain biography. I wanted to convey that I viewed him as a genuine patriot and good man, however much I disagreed with his policy prescriptions.

    Lately I find myself thinking back 45 years, to the fall of 1963, when I was a seventh grader, as my daughter is now. The school I attended was in an affluent and conservative neighborhood in Los Angeles. The John Birch Society was big then, and some of my classmates had parents who were members. These kids imbibed their parents’ politics and were often outspoken about it.

    We were in class the morning of Nov. 22. The first bulletins simply said that Kennedy had been shot and that was what our teacher told us, speaking from a note handed to her from the principal’s office. Most of us sat in stunned silence, but some of the kids — the ones with parents in the JBS– started clapping and cheering.

    I’ve never forgotten it. To this day, I can’t fathom their reaction. I hear echoes in the way some posters here talk about Obama and in the way some posters at Daily Kos talk about McCain.

    I don’t want to make too much of this. There was no cheering when the second announcement came — that the President was dead. The teacher, a nun, burst into tears and no one in the all-boy class knew how to deal with that. Before long, we were dismissed and went home for a weekend of unforgettable television images.

    But it all comes back to me when I look at my daughter and want her to understand that demonizing people over political disagreements is not a good thing.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  192. #

    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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