Patterico's Pontifications


Clarifying Who Is To Blame

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Over at the Washington Post, the president’s latest fundraising speech is quoted at length in a post titled, “Obama Slams ‘False Equivalence’ Media”. It’s a great example of how liberals view the world, and especially, Republicans. It’s also troubling to see the lengths our president will go to in order to assign blame and to justify his party’s actions (or inaction).

Here is what President Obama had to say:

“You’ll hear if you watch the nightly news or you read the newspapers that, well, there’s gridlock, Congress is broken, approval ratings for Congress are terrible. And there’s a tendency to say, a plague on both your houses. But the truth of the matter is that the problem in Congress is very specific. We have a group of folks in the Republican Party who have taken over who are so ideologically rigid, who are so committed to an economic theory that says if folks at the top do very well then everybody else is somehow going to do well; who deny the science of climate change; who don’t think making investments in early childhood education makes sense; who have repeatedly blocked raising a minimum wage so if you work full-time in this country you’re not living in poverty; who scoff at the notion that we might have a problem with women not getting paid for doing the same work that men are doing.

“They, so far, at least, have refused to budge on bipartisan legislation to fix our immigration system, despite the fact that every economist who’s looked at it says it’s going to improve our economy, cut our deficits, help spawn entrepreneurship, and alleviate great pain from millions of families all across the country.

“So the problem…is not that the Democrats are overly ideological — because the truth of the matter is, is that the Democrats in Congress have consistently been willing to compromise and reach out to the other side. There are no radical proposals coming out from the left. When we talk about climate change, we talk about how do we incentivize through the market greater investment in clean energy. When we talk about immigration reform there’s no wild-eyed romanticism. We say we’re going to be tough on the borders, but let’s also make sure that the system works to allow families to stay together…

“When we talk about taxes we don’t say we’re going to have rates in the 70 percent or 90 percent when it comes to income like existed here 50, 60 years ago. We say let’s just make sure that those of us who have been incredibly blessed by this country are giving back to kids so that they’re getting a good start in life, so that they get early childhood education…Health care — we didn’t suddenly impose some wild, crazy system. All we said was let’s make sure everybody has insurance. And this made the other side go nuts — the simple idea that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, nobody should go bankrupt because somebody in their family gets sick, working within a private system.

“So when you hear a false equivalence that somehow, well, Congress is just broken, it’s not true. What’s broken right now is a Republican Party that repeatedly says no to proven, time-tested strategies to grow the economy, create more jobs, ensure fairness, open up opportunity to all people.”

Basically, everything that is wrong in our nation is the fault of the Republicans and why can’t they just die already.

There is so much wrong with this and so much to unpack. Thankfully, over at NRO, Ramesh Ponuru starts the ball rolling by linking to several good pieces that refute and challenge the president’s claims. And like all of us, Ponuru knows better.

This president is not interested in these arguments; he would prefer it if reporters did not acknowledge their existence. Many of them will oblige without much prompting, because they see things exactly the same way.


The “Lesson” of the Santa Barbara Shootings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:18 am

Desperate to draw a Larger Lesson from the deadly Santa Barbara shootings? OK; but it should not be about gun control or pick-up artists. How’s this for a Larger Lesson: sometimes the guy who commits a crime like this is simply a horrible and disturbed person.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Defending Mark Cuban

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:56 am

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week, Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban tried to have that conversation about race (posted about here). Anger, hand-wringing and indignation ensued. In other words, the reactions were predictable and if anything, confirmed that any conversation about race is not going to be a conversation, rather it’s going to be one person daring to step into the public square and honestly express his or her views and feelings about race, fear, and the whole damn thing, and if their views do not line up accordingly, they will instantly become the target of pre-programmed attacks and criticisms by the self-appointed gatekeepers of all things race. Thus, there is no real conversation, no give and take, no exchange of ideas. It’s a one way street where shutting down the individual is the goal. Any real conversation is now a near impossibility.

With regard to Cuban’s comments, what seemed to inflame the most was this particular portion,

“I’ve said this before. If I see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the same side of the street, I’m probably going to walk to other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and lots of tattoos, I’m going back to the other side of the street.”

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith found himself taking heat for defending Cuban and his comments.

Smith emphasized that Cuban mentioned “white folks,” spoke about the “importance of presentation,” and said people were missing the point if they interpreted Cuban’s comments “along racial lines.”

“If you’re going to have a problem with what he said about the black person with the hoodie on then you have to have a problem with the white person he alluded to with tattoos all over his body,” he added. “I don’t think there is any ethnic group in America that should take issue with Cuban’s comments as a personal affront to them or as if he were isolating them.”

Smith commended Cuban for being “honest, forthcoming, and open about” his “fears and prejudices.”
“I applaud his honesty,” he said. “I took absolutely, positively no offense.”

After saying that he believed “every one” of the NBA owners would say the same thing Cuban did, Smith said that people cannot “want people to be honest” and then attack them “when they are honest, especially in measured tones.”

As a result, Smith’s twitter feed feed and email erupted with the inevitable accusations of: “Uncle Tom”, “You making excuses for him [Cuban]”, “You and him [Cuban] both look down on black people”, etc.

Smith, rather than backing down or back pedaling, further drove his point home in this frank and passionate video. Here is a man who is not only willing, but I suspect feels obligated, to step further into the public square and clarify his views, lest there be any confusion. He wants us to understand he does not care who condemns him, who hates him, who turns away from him: This is who he is. One surmises that his own sense of honesty takes precedence over all else, no matter the cost. It is absolutely worth watching.


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