The View, From Mount Olympus

July 29, 2010

Earlier today, Barack Obama made an appearance on The View, the all-women gabfest with Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and somebody else. It’s a wildly left-wing show with Hasselbeck the sole conservative who is overmatched by Walters and overwhelmed by Behar and Goldberg (and probably the other one). Hasselbeck may be on the side of the angels in the political wars, but she’s not what anyone would call a great spokesperson for conservative philosophy…especially since she has a tendency to retreat every time Behar and Goldberg flap their lips at her in that oh-so-condescendingly scornful way. Retreat in the face of liberal shouting points is unfortunately a Republican trait, perhaps, but not a conservative one.

I haven’t seen the show. I’m sure I’ll catch clips of it on the news tonight, but I have no plans to watch the show in its entirety. I already know what’s going to go on.

Obama will emerge from the curtains and warmly greet his hosts who will get all googly-eyed and weak-kneed in his presence. Walters, Goldberg, Behar and the other one will ask a series of softball questions along the lines of “How does it feel to be doing such a great job against those evil Republicans?” These questions will be followed by applause from the audience which Obama will acknowledge with his shy smile (as opposed to his big, toothy grin) and a head nod. Perhaps he will even raise his hand as if to say, “Now, now…let’s not mock the afflicted.” His answer will begin with a light joke that will only be funny to those people who are in his magnificent Presence.

Here’s where it will get interesting for approximately ten seconds. As if to suggest the slight possibility that maybe, just maybe but probably not, the Emperor isn’t wearing anything but a smile, Elizabeth Hasselbeck will ask some sort of a dull-pointed question about jobs or the economy and Obama will pause for a second to pretend that he’s considering the gravity of her question when all he’s really doing is trying to appear like the philosopher king he wants you to think he is. If the other hosts of the show don’t jump all over Hasselbeck, then Obama will respond with 1) a trite acknowledgment that there is still a long way to go; 2) a line that begins with “when we inherited…”, and; 3) a reassurance that things are going to be just peachy real soon. Hasselbeck will immediately retreat.

When the program is over, or when the segment is complete and they bring out the next guest (maybe that guy from the San Diego Zoo who will come on with a lemur and a cheetah, or maybe Rachael Ray will come on to show you 1,001 uses for turnips), Obama will ascend once again to his throne at the top of Mount Olympus secure in the knowledge that the fawning adulation he has just received is indicative of how the people really feel about him. Such is life in the echo chamber when your megalomania is aided and abetted by the adoring TV hosts and their equally adoring audience.

Last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer said that ever since Nixon went on Laugh-In to say, “Sock it to me,” it’s been all downhill for the idea of Presidential dignity. He may be right, but I think that was more of an anomaly. To me the real downhill slide began with Bill Clinton honking into his sax while wearing sunglasses on The Arsenio Hall Show, and that slide reached NASCAR velocity when he actually answered the “Boxers or briefs” question some outrageously rude girl asked him on MTV. Since then, politicians need to run a gauntlet of Letterman, Leno, Oprah, MTV, The Daily Show, and The View in order to get elected.

I find the entire thing distasteful and a clear indicator that we’re more interested in a Celebrity-in-Chief than we are a Commander-in-Chief. Even Democrat Governor Ed Rendell compares this to appearing on Jerry Springer. The President would dignify the office by appearing on serious, substantive shows answering real, tough questions from seasoned journalists who are familiar with the talking points and insist that the President not stick to them. Let The View stick to cooking tips and movie star interviews. Anyone who goes to The View (or Oprah, Letterman, Leno, Jon Stewart, etc) for their political information needs to have their right to vote reconsidered.

The Roundup: Hot Air posted a preview last night, but I haven’t watched it.

What Liberal Media? Oh, That Liberal Media

July 21, 2010

The Daily Caller is releasing leaked emails from JournoList, an Internet cadre of journalists talking shop, free from the constraints of having to pretend that they have any sense of objectivity. Take a gander at the reaction of our hard-hitting journalists to the election of Barack Obama.

My personal favorite is Ryan Donmoyer from Bloomberg News who wrote: “Best quip I heard today, courtesy of a Facebook friend: ‘I wonder if Sarah Palin is still unclear about what a community organizer does.'”

A commenter calling himself (or herself) “Broken Window” responds: “It’s July 2010. Unemployment is way up, private investment is way down, the federal deficit has been multiplied, and racial tensions have been fanned by administration operatives…I wonder if RYAN DONMOYER of BLOOMBERG NEWS is still unclear about what a community organizer does.”

Out. Of. Touch.

July 16, 2010

I’m beginning…just beginning, mind you…to have some doubts about the sanity of our Commander-in-Chief. Sure, I’ve disagreed with almost every piece of domestic policy he’s shoved down our throats in the past year and a half, but I’ve never had any reason to doubt that his mind was as fit as his body.

But then he’s quoted in an NBC interview as claiming this his policies “got us out of this mess.” Obama would like you to believe that the drastic drop in employment in late 2008/early 2009 would have continued at the same pace in perpetuity had he not stepped in and stemmed the tide with his enormous ego fiscal policies. It’s nonsense. The massive employment drops of a year and a half ago, to the tune of roughly 700,000 a month, were never going to continue at that pace. The rate of job loss would slow as employers scaled back to the bare minimum needed to stay in business. In any time of increasing unemployment there is always a peak (or valley, if you prefer) to which the numbers both build up and recede.

Getting us “out of this mess” would not entail tepid job growth where the largest hiring firm in the nation is the Federal government. Getting us out of this mess would mean seeing job growth in the hundreds of thousands per month, not the tens. Getting us out of this mess would involve the unemployment percentage steadily dropping instead of hovering around the 9.5% mark. Let’s consider Obama’s pride and joy, the Stimulus Plan. Only about 50% of the $787 billion has been spent. If you take Obama’s ludicrous assertion that “three million” jobs have been created or saved, that amounts to spending about $131,000 per job. Now that’s government efficiency for ya. Obama promised that passing the stimulus bill would keep the unemployment rate below 8%, but now takes it as a point of pride that the unemployment rate hasn’t gone up to 15%. Why not just tell the people that without the stimulus the unemployment rate would be 20%? Or 25%? Anyone want to believe 50%? Memo to Barry: Saying “it would have been worse” is 1) unprovable, and 2) not saying much of anything at all when things are this bad. He’s starting to remind me of Igor in Young Frankenstein who cheerfully said, “Could be worse, could be raining” just before the deluge started.

George H.W. Bush was accused in 1991 of being out of touch with the common man because he downplayed a mild recession. There was some truth to that, though I think the bigger truth is that H.W. had not been in touch with the common man since he left the military after World War II. But the same media that hammered Bush as an aloof country club Republican passes over Obama as if he’d decorated the White House doorway with the blood of a thousand Republican lambs.

Does Obama really not see the world of hurt this country is in? He and his lackeys keep talking about how this is the “Summer of Recovery” when it’s really just a summer of economic pain. Yes, it’s not as bad as it was during the worst of it 18 months ago, but that’s not the same as good news. There are real people out there hurting, and people so depressed and dispirited that they have given up even looking for work. There are employers who would like to hire but won’t because of the million and one regulations that Obama/Pelosi/Reid have put into place with health care and now with financial reform. Obama has personally put thousands of people out of work with his ridiculous drilling moratorium in the Gulf. The fear of inflation, maybe hyper-inflation, is real. The stock market is bringing new meaning to the word “tumultuous.” The oil spill that Obama was so slow to react to has already crippled the economy of the Gulf areas and threatens to impact the economy of the entire nation. Yet despite all this Barack Obama is on a campaign tour telling everyone that he’s responsible for getting us out of this mess. A man with a sense of decency…a sane man…would wait until we were actually out of it before taking credit.

“Summer of Recovery” indeed.

Today’s Lesson In Progressive Politics: Bill Press

July 15, 2010

Liberal radio host Bill Press on why Obama’s poll numbers are so bad:

The lesson, of course, is that Progressives believe that the American people are too 1) spoiled, 2) stupid, and/or 3) ungrateful to understand that what Progressives are doing is for their own damn good. Press uses the word “spoiled” here but in fact it’s another “S” word that he means: “stupid.”

It speaks to a wider mindset that bedevils and in many ways defines Progressivism/Liberalism: the belief that a small, elite group of intellectuals should rule and that the slovenly, unkempt, unwashed masses should simply accept this rule and understand that Progressives know best. The clue: he maintains that Americans are ungovernable and then proceeds to implicitly compare Barack Obama with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. What Press and other Progressives fail to understand is that in America it is not the people who are governed (i.e., ruled). The government is a construct of, by, and for the people and those who are elected serve at the pleasure of the people. The people are not subjects of the government; the government is a tool of the people.

H/T: Jonah Goldberg in The Corner.

UPDATE: I see Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on this, as well, and makes the same basic point as yours truly.

A Nation of Oiloholics?

July 13, 2010

I’m not sure whether it was Bill Clinton or George W. Bush who first uttered the phrase “addicted to oil” in the context of speaking about the American people. Whoever it was, the concept and the phrase seems to have stuck. It’s now a standard talking point for progressive politicians and hapless conservatives to mutter when they want to make some sort of a grand pronouncement on the subject of oil.

In Sunday’s New York Daily News, there was a large story headlined “We Are A Nation of Oiloholics: Instead of ranting at oil companies, pols, let’s look in the mirror” with a photo of a dejected-looking barfly holding out his glass while an unseen bartender pumps some good old Texas Tea into it.

Writes Colin Beavan (who reposts the article on his blog “No Impact Man“:

We are, in other words, more than a little bit like that alcoholic who’s mad at the bartender for serving him the drinks that he himself ordered. We Americans are slugging down the energy cocktails. Unless we want more and more calamities like in the Gulf, we have to own up to our energy addiction. It’s step one in the 12-step road to recovery.

The beauty of the argument is that if you deny this, well, then you’re just in denial. Step one: Admit you have a problem!

Well, count me among those in denial. For starters, I think the argument is little more than a trite insult to anyone dealing with serious substance abuse problems. But that’s really beside the point. The more important argument is that oil is the engine of our economy. Most obviously it makes our cars run, but it also makes manufacturing possible and is used in everything from plastics to paint. That CD you’re listening to? Made with petroleum products. The carpet you’re walking on? Made with petroleum products. The candles you’re lighting for a romantic evening? Made with petroleum products. The rubber soles on your sneakers, and the tread on your tires? You guessed it. Your dishwashing and laundry detergent? Oil and oil. That over-the-counter pain reliever? If it contains Acetylsalicylic acid then it’s made with petrochemicals (the key part being petro). The plastic part of a Band-Aid? Oil. The food additives that keep canned goods fresh? Yep, that’s oil, too. The fertilizer that makes our amber waves of grain and provides food for millions of people? Well, you get the idea.

I’m not sure Colin Beavan gets the idea, nor the people like him who walk around spouting sanctimonious drivel about our “addiction to oil.”

Our use of oil is an indicator of our economic prosperity and our economic stability. Far from being a symptom of some dread addiction, America’s use of oil is a sign that we are a bounteous nation. You know who doesn’t use a lot of oil? Starving people in Third World nations who would gladly trade their untouched by human hands vistas for the ability to hop in the car, drive to the supermarket, and buy a bunch of canned goods. It is oil that makes these things possible at this point in history.

Beavan again:

We in the United States drive 20 times more miles a year than the Mexicans and twice as many as the Japanese. We use 10 times more electricity per person than the Egyptians and twice as much as the Saudis. To power this energy thirst, we each, on average, consume 10 times more oil per person than the Chinese and twice as much as the Germans. We burn seven times more coal per person than the Indians and three times more than the Brits. For all the talk of China’s climate emissions, each American still emits four times more greenhouse gas than each Chinese.

Am I really supposed to think that this is a problem? That we use more energy than countries where an enormous amount of people don’t have running water or electricity? That we drive more miles than people in Mexico…the same people who are coming to this country by the thousands precisely because we offer them a better life with, you know, more driving? That we drive further distances than the Japanese, who live on an island that is only a bit larger than twice the size of the Tri-State area (which includes two very small states)?

No, we are not a nation of oil addicts. We are a healthy and prosperous nation and should rightly be grateful to those dinosaurs who so selflessly kicked off and became fossil fuels so that we could live a better life with fast cars and air conditioning. We have nothing to be ashamed of, we have nothing to feel sorry for. It is our freedom and our liberty that gave us the plentiful benefits of living here and the attack from the Left, and their obsequious “me-too” useful idiots on the Right, on our oil use is little more than a guilt-ridden dagger to the heart of our freedom.

Perhaps someday there will be a substitute for oil. In fact, I’d bet on it. I’d also bet that it’s at least a few decades in the future and that it will evolve through a scientific breakthrough that happens by accident, not on the order of a politician. In the meantime, there is plenty of oil to go around, and using it is not a sickness that needs to be cured. Drink up, my friends. And if you choose not to, that’s fine. I’ll have one for you.

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