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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

This will only come as a surprise to some people

It is pretty clear that, whatever big criticisms it launched at George W Bush and his administration when it was in power, that Reason magazine seems to have taken things up another notch after a recent frank, and frankly appalling speech by The One. David Harsanyi is not a happy bunny:

“Smart people can grouse all they want about the supposed zealotry of the tea party or the conservative presidential field (and sometimes, they might be right), but Obama’s mimicking Teddy Roosevelt’s end-of-career hard left turn tells us a lot about the president’s worldview. In his speech in Osawatomie, Kan., Obama dropped almost all pretenses and made the progressive case against an American free market system, which he called “a simple theory…one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government….And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work.”

“Obama, after all, is such a towering economic mind that in Osawatomie, he once again blamed ATMs (and the Internets) for job losses. This is a man we can trust. “Less productivity! More jobs!”

“That’s not to say capital isn’t useful occasionally, of course. A few days ago, Obama hosted a $38,000-a-plate fundraiser for wealthy Manhattanites. The president—with the Democratic National Committee—has hauled in more cash from rent-seeking financial-sector companies than all Republican candidates combined. This president has supported every big-business bailout with taxpayers’ money, even though he claims they shouldn’t be on the “hook for Wall Street’s mistakes.”

“But it is refreshing to hear Obama come out and give us a clear picture of this country in all its ugly class-conscious, unjust, menacing glory rather than veil his arguments with any of that soothing rhetoric that got him elected last time. It’s time, my friends, for a new square deal.”

And yet I have this fear that Obama is going to win next November.

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14 comments to This will only come as a surprise to some people

  • PersonFromPorlock

    And yet I have this fear that Obama is going to win next November.

    Hitler would lose to Obama; Himmler, probably; Goering, maybe; Speer, probably not. So it all depends on how well the MSM succeeds in defining the Republican candidate.

  • newrouter

    And yet I have this fear that Obama is going to win next November.

    baracky’s poll numbers are even worse than the 2010 blow out in the house of rep.

    gallup 3 day tracking poll

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    If the economy keeps on being depressed, then people will blame the incumbent, and Obama will be out.
    Is America ready for a Mormon President? I think that is the real question. Anybody for polygamy to be decriminalised?

  • I have the same fear. Obama remain unaccountably popular and Old Media here is going to go after the GOP nominee with everything they’ve got, even if they have to simply make things up. Obama, on the other hand, will be able to tell whatever lies he wants and never get called on it. I guarantee I can utterly crush you in a debate if you will be totally shredded for the slightest misstatement but I get to say anything I like with no consequences.

  • Ted Kennedy used the Mormon thing against Mitt in Massachusetts, It worked for him, but a couple of years later it did not stop the citizens of the People’s Socialist Republic of Massachusetts from electing Mitt governor.

    There are lots of good reasons to have doubts about Newt and Mitt, but they are both angels of virtue compared to Barry. Newt says he wants to be the “Paycheck President” and he wants to define Barry as the “Food Stamp President” that may be the kind of message that can break through the MSM fog machine. On the other hand he’s Newt and he has a boatload of baggage to cope with.

    Mitt has some good private sector experience and as governor he learned the limits of that experience in the real political world. He also learned how to deal with a legislature that was 90% Democrat (at least), not good training for Washington.

    Our current beloved leader has some serious weaknesses, but he has full control of what Gramsci called the ‘Cultural Dominating Heights’ , its a big advantage.

  • Rich Rostrom

    ‘Nuke’ Gray: Anybody for polygamy to be decriminalised?

    The “orthodox” Mormon church renounced polygamy over 100 years ago. This was a very awkward thing for the CoJCoLDS, and led substantial internal dissension and breakaway sects, some of which still practice polygamy.

    No orthodox Mormon (such as Romney) wants that can of worms reopened.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Oh, I knew a bit about the history of Mormonism- quite a colourful history it has been! But, since, modern prophets can overrule prior prophets, maybe it will make a comeback!

  • John B

    He could be re-elected and if he were it would be a testimony to the failure of nerve among conservatives to stick by what they know to be true.

  • Any reason why polygamy among three or more consenting adults shouldn’t be legal?

  • RRS

    What would the re-election of Obama signify about the structure and cultures of the U S electorate?

  • Antoine Clarke

    Polygamy: I understand the Mormons gave that up.

    Jonathan, if the One stands for election, which I am not prepared to bet on, given that I expect Him to withdraw rather than lose (like LBJ), he will probably lose.

    If he wins, we shall witness a full scale enactment of Part III of Atlas Shrugged, which for a history buff is very exciting.

  • Bod

    I fear that the American electorate in general still hasn’t (re-)learned that voting is both a privilege and a responsibility.

    There may still be a majority of the voters who, when it comes to election day, prove Mencken right, by asking for it good and hard all over again.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Any reason why polygamy among three or more consenting adults shouldn’t be legal?

    Posted by wh00ps at December 8, 2011 12:31 PM

    Not in principle, but in practice you get the FLDS, with ‘church elders’ running harems and exiling young male potential rivals by dumping teen boys, unable to support themselves, onto non-FLDS society. Also, one father and multiple mothers results in less genetic diversity (inbreeding), over time.

    Anyway, problems best avoided.

  • Paul Marks

    On the Mormons – they are doing very well.

    They have children (hands up who has children round here) and they live longer than us as well.

    Their numbers are increasing – both by births and by conversion.

    And good luck to them – after all what harm have they done?

    However, they are still a small minority of the voters.

    Judgeing by how the demographics are going a Catholic candidate would make more sense.

    Evangelical (“fundementalist”) Protestants will vote Republican whatever happens (Barack may have fooled some of them in 2008 – but not again), but the Catholic vote (especially the hispanic Catholic vote) is still contested.


    Yes – correct, on everything.

    As for the left (the NON Marxist left) on business.

    Barack is repeating a line he does not really believe.

    However, “Teddy” Roosevelt did believe it – if a businessman could prove they served the community then there wealth was O.K. (just proving they had not hurt anyone was NOT enough – it had to be a proved positive benefit).

    “Teddy” (like a certain German politiican of the 1930s) tended to be rather odd in his definition of “benefit”.

    For example Andrew Carnege had NOT benefitted the community according to TR. Partly because he had made the workers suffer (by defending his property, with lethal force, against armed attacks – and by the standard subMarxist BS about low wages and so on, in fact Andrew’s C’s steel mills offered the highest wages the world had ever seen).

    To TR WAR was the real benefit to the community and to the race (no I am not making this up – if T.R. was not a proto Nazi he was close to it, he certainly had nothing but contempt for the Constitution of the United States, but it still managed to contain him, the Congress and the Courts were not yet “Progressive”) – so the real crime of Andrew C. (in the eyes of Teddy) was to be in favour of peace.

    But where did T. Roosevelt get his basic (anti private property – unless it is for the “public benefit”) doctrine from?

    He got it from Richard Ely – who got it from German philosophy (although Ely gave it an American twist by talking about community activism and so on).

    One can see this docrtine (that wealth must prove a positive benefit to the poor) in “A Theory of Justice” (really a theory of Social Justice) by John Rawls (1971) who was the Richard Ely of the modern age (although not obsessed with race and so on).

    But there is not just a German philosophical root to this ideology.

    There is also an element from the French Revolution (and from the thinkers who inspired it – such as Rousseau).

    At first glace the founding doctuments of the United States and of the French Revolution look similar – but when one looks more closely the difference becomes plain.

    Private property is upheld in the French Revoultionary documents IF it is for the “public good” of the “public benefit”, if it is for the good of “the people”.

    And if the leaders of the people decide that certain private property is NOT being used for the good of the people……..