We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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

Samizdata quote of the day

“To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you’re fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama’s cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America’s fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.”

Andrew Sullivan.

Hell hath no fury. Of course, if “excitable Andrew” had been paying a bit more attention to Obama’s past, Senatorial voting record, choice of friends and so on over the past three to four years, as our own Paul Marks has been remorselessly doing, then Sullivan would not have been shocked by Obama’s position on the deficit, or indeed, anything else. But it was so much easier to obsess about Sarah Palin or “Christianists”, wasn’t it?

25 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Shirley Knott

    Yes, Obama is a disaster.
    But you know what, some of us supported him even knowing he was likely to be a disaster.
    You know why?
    Because he kept John McCain out of the White House.
    Cheap at twice the price.

    Modern politics is not about ‘who wins’, it’s about ‘who loses’ — something the commentariat seems to lose sight of once the election is over.

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  • TDK

    Shirley has a point.

    Cameron’s failure to lose will discredit any non-statist alternative for a decade.

    Far better for Brown to have struggled on within a coalition. Nothing would have changed. The Tory “cuts” are virtually indistinguishable from Labour plans.

  • Jamess


    Except Cameron did lose. Until people realise the shock that someone who bankrupt the country calling loyal supporters “bigots” could gain enough votes to stop Cameron getting a majority we will never understand how much of a failure Cameron’s socialism has already been.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    Nail. Head.

  • Dom

    One question: Why, exactly, have you been reading Sullivan?

  • From the article-

    We do need more infrastructure, roads and broadband, non-carbon energy and basic science research, and some of that is something only government can do.

    Do they? Do they really “need” all these things, and can only the government do them? Most obviously, can only the government “do” broadband? Is the search for the Higgs Particle really essential at this moment in time? Where are these roads needed? What towns are currently sitting alone in the middle of a field wishing that they had a transport link to the outside world? What “infrastructure”? And, cough, “non-carbon energy”?

    But even leaving that aside, the article is stupid and the quote is stupid. It presumes that Obama, his advisors, the American political class, and the majority of American economists are classical economists. They aren’t.

    It is still a virtually universal “consensus” dogma that spending stimulates the economy. If you believe that, then this budget is the right thing to do. Obama isn’t selling anybody out. He’s saving the economy. Saying he is a sell out and a failure is to imply that he knows and believes in classical economics, and that his supporters do, and the rest of the political class do. Not even Andrew Sullivan, the writer does.

    So it’s a big pile of twaddle, isn’t it?

  • Kim du Toit

    The only reason Sullivan’s got his panties in a knot is because Obama didn’t support the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” (the sorta-anti-homosexual measure in the US Armed Forces).

    Still, everything Sullivan says on this occasion is true (an increasingly rare occurrence).

  • The sort of logic displayed above is the sort of logic that got us into this mess- John McCain was a moderate Senator with a record spanning decades and maybe you have a problem or two with what the guy did, so you voted to put someone in office with no experience and no record? And you’re still proud of the result? McCain would have been bad, but likely he would have been bad without trillons of debt passed on to my kids.

  • Screw you Sullivan. Obama has done NOTHING that anyone with two functioning brain cells could not have predicted. He did not ‘betray’ anyone as anyone who expected anything else was wilfully stupidly and inexcusably blind to reality. He did exactly what he was clearly always going to do. You got exactly what you voted for… and that said, had you voted for McCain you would have got much the same.

  • James Waterton

    Has Sullivan issued a mea culpa for supporting Obama? I’d hope so, otherwise his finger-wagging is kind of preposterous.

  • Paul Marks

    Ian B. – you bugger! I was about to write something like that and you beat me to the punch (and wrote it better than I would have done).

    John McCain.

    Brother Glenn has it right.

    John McCain would have taken the United States in the same direction (the direction of tyranny), although at a slower speed, and WITHOUT EVEN WANTING TO GO THERE.

    That became clear during TARP.

    I watched John McCain carefully during that time.

    He clearly did not want TARP, he understood it was EVIL.

    He also understood that if he opposed it – he could ride the great wave of opposition to it right to the Whitehouse.

    Barack Obama was in favour of TARP – both on ideological grounds (it makes banking and so on even more dependent on government than it was before – very useful if you are a collectivist) and because he was “Bought and Paid For” (as a popular book has it) by all that lovely campaign money he was given by bankers and other such right from 2004 (McCain got little or none).

    So John McCain could do a thing that would both be moral and would be hugely to his personal advantage – oppose TARP.

    He understood all this – I watched it in his face and in his words.

    And then he ENDORSED TARP – he tossed everything away rather than be thought “rightwing”.

    It would have been the same on every other policy matter.

  • Yes, Obama is a disaster.
    But you know what, some of us supported him even knowing he was likely to be a disaster.
    You know why?
    Because he kept John McCain out of the White House.
    Cheap at twice the price.

    I must disagree with Shirley on this one. Obama has cost us dearly. The current figure seems to be $12,000 per American, and that is only today’s accounting. He’s done nothing but pile it on higher and deeper, and ineptly so.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    IanB, of course a lot of what Sullivan said is twaddle. But sometimes I will quote even a twerp like him if it shows how even some of the more desperately pro-Obama folk are wising up.

    I am under no illusions about Sullivan. He was once a fairly astute commentator, but he has gone mad over the past decade. Very sad.

    Dom: I came across the article via Glenn Reynolds. I make a point of avoiding AS these days.

  • Richard Thomas

    I’m still suspicious about McCain’s sudden rise to prominence in the election. Then the tarp & Palin things. Not quite so surprised with Clinton’s precipitous drop but that doesn’t sit completely right either. I’m no conspiracy theorist but I think I’m a couple of steps less further away.

  • Richard Thomas

    I will give Obama this though. He certainly did deliver the change that I could believe in.

  • Let’s be realistic, Obama does not run America. McCain would hot have run America had things turned out differently.
    A bunch of guys who don’t even live in America and whose names few people know run America … and Britain … and the EU … and they were never going to do anything but move their agenda of power and control forward.

  • PeterT

    Ian B, on the point of government spending to boost the economy.

    While I don’t endorse it, I believe there is an economics argument that can be made for it.

    A measure of solvency is Assets/Liabilities.

    If you are in a position where liabilities exceed assets, then increasing liabilities by £10 and increasing assets by £10 will improve the solvency ratio, since £10 is a greater percentage of starting assets than starting liabilities. So increasing the level of debt to finance a tax credit for investment by business would be a sensible policy. Increasing tax to pay for ‘investment’ in healthcare is a bad policy. You get the idea.


  • Alasdair

    GentleBeings – before you continue piling on McCain, consider this …

    *No-one* in their right minds would expect a President McCain to roll over for pretty much any legislation coming out of a Congress run by Pelosi and Reid …

    Pretend all you want to that by denying McCain the White House, you did a “noble sacrifice” …

    Even if the *only* thing McCain did was to be ‘checks and balances’ for Pelosi/Reid, the US economy would have been in a much better state than it is now …

    Plus – no Kagan on SCOTUS – no Sotomayor on SCOTUS …

    Need I continue to enumerate the ways the US and the planet would have been in better condition ?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Ed Butt, so who do you think does control the world?

    Let me guess.

  • bgates

    Alasdair is right. I’m appalled at the number of commenters who respond to the choice of an amputation v a paper cut by shrugging, “bleeds both ways, don’t it? One’s faster is all.” And I wonder – where will it end? If you support first-term Obama over McCain, will you cheer for Obama over his opponent next year, and keep your fingers crossed that he might install an even more openly fascist successor after that, all in the hopes that the more damage is done to the country the more glorious the restoration of the old Constitutional order will be, someday?

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Well, Shirley, you have got it wrong. Dictators are people without true friends, who feel unloved and unappreciated. Can anyone point out a dictator who has a good friend to talk to?
    What these people need for personal evolution are friends! What would be a good way to do that? You guessed it-
    Give a thug a hug!

  • Bogdan from Australia

    Paul. McCain could be indeed tempted to play some kind of gentle despot for the good (in his own belief) of America.

    But not with SARAH PALIN as his VP.

    She would be certainly more popular and at least as powerful as McCain himself.

    There would be NO WAY he could allow himself to disregard her as it would be Sarah Palin, he would own his own election as a POTUS.

    Either he would try to get rid of her with the application of some nast plot that would destroy him along.

    Or she would leave her post in disgust and that would weaken and destroy his presidency as well.

    McCain would be a political dwarf without Palin as his VP.

    Ho could not affort to lose her, therefore he would modify his policy along the much more conservative line than he is willing to stick to now.

    In such a case, McCain, or rather the McCain/Palin team would be uncomparably better than Obama.

    Or let’s say it: there would be NO COMPARISON between those.

    And above all, America would be already two years further on the way towards the energy security.

  • Andrew Zalotocky

    Hell hath no fury like a journalist pwned.

  • Laird

    Hey, criticize Obama all you like, but he made the trains run on time, right? Oh, wait . . . .

  • Obama made the throwing-under-the-bus run on time.