What’s the matter with you Americans?

posted at 4:05 pm on January 31, 2010 by King Banaian

More years ago than I’ll admit, I was a student in a class of the man who became my mentor, Tom Willett. The course was in economics and public policy, and the early part of the syllabus had us read on the nature of arguing about economics. One line that stuck out to me like nothing else was this: Saying “if you knew what I know you’d agree with me” is poor argumentation. I may know what you know, my professor argued, and yet find a flaw in your logic or add another piece of evidence that leads me to a different conclusion.

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it. Applied in the political sphere, it takes the form of “why does the public not understand what we are trying to do?” We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.” It characterizes the thoughts of Thomas Frank in “What’s the Matter With Kansas?, a book that I found alternately patronizing and pathetic, arguing that it must be false consciousness or hypnotizing demagoguery that leads the working class of Kansas, once home of agricultural Wobblies, to now vote consistently conservative.

That meme is now everywhere. David Brooks calls tea partiers anti-intellectual and Frank Rich calls them comatose. Responding to the election of Scott Brown, the BBC carries a column by David Runciman, a British academic political scientist of high birth (how else to describe someone whose Wikipedia entry notes his viscountcy?) that cannot understand why town halls are filled with people repulsed by Democrats health care reform. It’s to help them, dears!

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

Instead, to many of those who lose out under the existing system, reform still seems like the ultimate betrayal.

Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system that leaves them with premiums they often cannot afford?

My friend Marty Andrade tweeted this link with the comment “But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?” But it is not so much the politician but the wonk, the analyst who makes such pretty plans, that finds himself exasperated by the failure of the public to appreciate them. No place does this happen more than in academia, particularly in America, where as I’ve argued before the academic does not often travel in either the working class circles or in those the successful businesspeople.

The answer to Prof. Runciman’s question is inside America’s DNA. The founders, writes Prof. Carl Richard, were a deeply suspicious bunch.

The founders’ immersion in ancient history had a profound effect upon their style of though. They developed from the classics a suspicious cast of mind. They learned from the Greeks and Romans to fear conspiracies against liberty. Steeped in a literature whose perpetual theme was the steady encroachment of tyranny on liberty, the founders because virtually obsessed with spotting its approach, so that they might avoid the fate of their classical heroes. It has been said of the American Revolution that never was there a revolution with so little cause. Whatever his faults, George III was hardly Caligula or Nero; however illegitimate, the moderate British taxes were hardly equivalent to the mass executions of the emperors. But since the founders believed that the central lesson of the classics was that every illegitimate power, however small, ended in slavery, they were determined to resist every such power. Even legitimate authority should be exercised sparingly, lest it grow into illegitimate powers. (pp. 118-19)

Doesn’t it seem the same today? When one points out the connection between parts of the Obama agenda and those of European socialists we are told “he’s certainly not one of those!” Of course not. But we called tyranny a level of taxation that many other places just accepted as their lot in life. Our common people believe they deserve explanations, and they are mistrustful most of those who say, “trust us.”

And this is a vital point — a country that has the character to not use government power to plunder a minority for the sake of a majority (or vice versa, as in Saddam’s Iraq) better resists the eventual trials of war, depression, famine, etc. Many Western countries took a sharp left turn after WW2. The US did only a little less so. In both the US and UK a swerve back came from Reagan and Thatcher. I still find the latter more remarkable than the former, but the common culture that ties them owes much to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Prof. Runciman cites facts and wonders why they fail before the stories that critics of Obamacare have told. Some no doubt do not understand the facts as presented. But presenting them better will not work well in the face of America’s preternatural wariness towards power. It may worry over unemployment but that is something that is ultimately under their control. Government debt, however, appears out of their control and is used towards things we are told to trust. Trust in government is exactly NOT what this country was founded on.


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“But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?”

Brilliant. Obama’s SOTU in a nutshell.

SG1_Conservative on January 31, 2010 at 4:08 PM

country that has the character to not use government power to plunder a minority for the sake of a majority (or vice versa, as in Saddam’s Iraq) better resists the eventual trials of war, depression, famine, etc

Oh true. Sadly far too many Americans today think that the point of government is to do whatever 51% of the population wants, regardless of how the 49% feels about it or is affected by it. Hence, for example, the outrage over the fact that a minority of Senators can hold up legislation. “It’s undemocratic!” So it is. So is American government.

PS, I feel like I missed an important post somewhere. Who is writing for HotAir now?

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Why are so many American voters enraged by attempts to change a horribly inefficient system

When the government controls your health care, the government has control of you.

Emperor Norton on January 31, 2010 at 4:14 PM

And this is a vital point — a country that has the character to not use government power to plunder a minority for the sake of a majority (or vice versa, as in Saddam’s Iraq) better resists the eventual trials of war, depression, famine, etc.

Yep…

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 4:14 PM

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

“Constitutional Republic” is a term that is now alien to much of the electorate.

SG1_Conservative on January 31, 2010 at 4:15 PM

But it is striking that the people who most dislike the whole idea of healthcare reform – the ones who think it is socialist, godless, a step on the road to a police state – are often the ones it seems designed to help.

I’m from the government and I’m here to help…

Seriously, Social Security was designed to “help” regular people like me, but as far as I can tell, I’ve paid a bunch of money to it and will continue to do so. In the end, it’s likely I’ll get little to nothing in return.

forest on January 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM

PS, I feel like I missed an important post somewhere. Who is writing for HotAir now?

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Word on the street is that Sunday’s are Guest Post Sundays

So AP and Ed can nurse their hangovers, from appletinis and lemondrops, respectively.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Oh true. Sadly far too many Americans today think that the point of government is to do whatever 51% of the population wants, regardless of how the 49% feels about it or is affected by it.

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

So true. Liberals want to legislate ‘fairness’, conservatives want to legislate morality.

So many laws and powers need to be delegated to the states, where the populace can decide the agenda.

Dark-Star on January 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

forest on January 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM

when i begin a career, ill be putting away as if no SocSec will be there evah

and i dont even want it.

when you are given, you are beholden.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:19 PM

FYI:

Democracy, as the West has evolved it in recent decades, is also dead, already replaced by the “guided stewardship” of professional politicians and bureaucrats. Elected and bureaucratic officials who, overwhelmingly, have never been self-employed or worked in private enterprise, increasingly not only fail to protect the interests of the society as a whole, but actually fear and distrust the competition of free minds and entrepreneurs, and anything else which they cannot control. As a result, Western societies are polarizing into those members who produce and those who govern;

Professional talkers will give way to autocracies and dictators. One by product of wealth is the relegation by all individuals of some of their individual powers to others. As wealth increases, individuals assign the more onerous of their tasks to others — cleaning, road repair, and so on — while also assigning to group action those things which are too big, or too complex, for the individual: the construction of houses, or aircraft, or automobiles. And as wealth increases, or conversely decreases to the point where individuals are preoccupied with survival, the function of governance is assigned to, or seized by, those who would take power for their own sake. This has led to the current age of the professional politician — “leaders” who have gained all their status through talking, rather than actually having achieved or built — but the “professional politician” will morph into new forms of Cæsarism or Bonapartism. This is already underway, as “leaders” with no practical experience of the world increasingly fear the uncertainties of markets and the confidence of those who can actually create, manage, and build. Thus, the “new socialism” is a system built by leaders who demand central control of societies and who genuinely fear freedom.

From this interesting essay.

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Resisting the oligarchical control of a ruling elite displays such intelligence, such a built-in ability to use one’s keen understanding of history and man to see the inevitable misery down the road 10, 20, 40 years, that I just laugh when another liberal elitist comes along to argue his intellectual superiority in endorsing statism. “You believe in the state having near total control over the individual?” I think. “You’re an idiot!”

Of course I understand that these liberals who profess such desires believe to their deepest, elitist bones that they will be among the ruling class, while we will be the slaves. But that is just further illustration that most of these modern progressives have never read a book. They really are just the dumbest people I know. Three thousand years of human history stares them in the face, tells them they are completely wrong, and they drive on. Stupid really doesn’t even begin to describe. Fortunately, the American people are pretty much done with the liberal elites’ “intelligence.”

Rational Thought on January 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

A wonderful column, one that brightened my weekend. Thank you for sharing those thoughts and observations.

Obama is no Robin Hood, either. He’s just a hood, robbing our nation blind.

AW1 Tim on January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Obama is no Robin Hood, either. He’s just a hood, robbing our nation blind.

AW1 Tim on January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Thread winner.

Dark-Star on January 31, 2010 at 4:24 PM

PS, I feel like I missed an important post somewhere. Who is writing for HotAir now?

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Word on the street is that Sunday’s are Guest Post Sundays

So AP and Ed can nurse their hangovers, from appletinis and lemondrops, respectively.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Or maybe they’re all at AP’s wedding.

Hey. It could happen.

IrishEi on January 31, 2010 at 4:24 PM

We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.”

If I had only dumbed down the conversation enough so you ignorant peasants could understand that this is for your own good.

You know what jackass! Bite me!

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I would rather sink or swim by my own effort than be held up (or down) by the heavy hand of government.

countrybumpkin on January 31, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Or maybe they’re all at AP’s wedding.

Hey. It could happen.

IrishEi on January 31, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Did they pass a laws in NY that you could marry a robot?

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 4:26 PM

British academic political scientist of high birth (how else to describe someone whose Wikipedia entry notes his viscountcy?) that cannot understand why town halls are filled with people repulsed by Democrats health care reform.

It’s Deja vu all over again, as Yogi would say. Seems to me the British high-born made the same mistake around 1776.

I’ll jus point to this excellent article by Micahel Barone along with the most fascinating observation:

Obama’s rapturous style versus tea party substance

But when you look back over the surges of enthusiasm in the politics of the last two years, you see something like this: The Obama enthusiasts who dominated so much of the 2008 campaign cycle were motivated by style. The tea party protesters who dominated so much of 2009 were motivated by substance.

Remember those rapturous crowds that swooned at Barack Obama’s rhetoric. “We are the change we are seeking,” he proclaimed. “We will be able to look back and tell our children,” that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

A lot of style there, but not very much substance. A Brookings Institution scholar who produced nothing more than that would soon be looking for a new job.

TheBigOldDog on January 31, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Or maybe they’re all at AP’s wedding.

Hey. It could happen.

IrishEi on January 31, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Did they pass a laws in NY that you could marry a robot?

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Only if they have organic “parts.”

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Saying “if you knew what I know you’d agree with me” is poor argumentation.

A lot of people don’t seem to comprehend this. When you say something that sounds stupid, and then you try to justify it by saying you’ve spent your entire life doing absolutely nothing but studying this one topic…

That doesn’t make what you said magically stop being stupid. All it does is remove any possible excuse you could have for saying it, save that of congenital idiocy.

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:27 PM

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:27 PM

like 9/11 truthers

“I DID MY research!!!”

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The point’s been made before that intelligence and common sense are two very different things, and that having the first in no way automatically means you possess the second. Too many intellectuals believe the mere possession of knowledge — even knowledge in a completed unrelated field to politics — gives them not just common sense, but the same sort of “absolute moral authority” Maureen Dowd conveyed onto Cindy Sheehan as spokesperson on the Iraq war due to the death of her son.

They know what they know, and in many case for those who have been in academia or politics for their entire adult lives, they know they don’t need any real life experiences in the private sector world to know what they’re doing. The fact that folks not in education or government jobs think differently can only mean they’re stupid, not that they might know something more due to their experiences outside the civil service or tenure bubbles.

jon1979 on January 31, 2010 at 4:28 PM

with all due respect your majesty but your brand of tea sucks.

moonbatkiller on January 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it.

These people fall into two distinct groups.

Those who learn more and more about less and less, and will ultimately know everything about nothing, and those who learn less and less about more and more, and ultimately will know nothing about everything.

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:30 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest is evidence of this fallacy, and I have found over the succeeding decades there are many academics that fall into it.

There are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know that we don’t know.
- Donald Rumsfeld

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:31 PM

My friend Marty Andrade tweeted this link with the comment “But I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?”

Uh, because you stole it from me. And from my kids.

Wethal on January 31, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Hmmmph, an interesting supposition that, that the Brittish?American politcal thought follows that…nay, is a continution of thge Roman/Greek tradition. We all know this to be the birth of Republicanism and the origination of Democracy, but assert nearly outright that one empire is but the continuation of the other is novel.

It makes some sense if you are familiar with the book How the Irish saved Civilization. The book describes how a small sect of Irish warrior/monks spread across the then known world to gather all the scrolls of knowledge and science, arts and literature of the Greeks & Romans shortly after the fall of Rome. They took as their mission God (Blues Brothers?) to secure for future prosterity the sum total of man’s intellectual accomplishments.

It strikes as no coincidence that with easing of the dominace of the Catholic church and the onset of the enlightenment, that the first modern University was founded in nearby Scotland. This is where the mental giants of Hume, Smith, Burke and many others laid the foundations of Liberalism that our founding fathers drew upon in structuring our government. That and of course The Five Nations, the native American tribes around the Great Lakes from whence our word caucus came from.

This line of strikes me as intriguing as I often find my self citing from Classical thinkers as well as the Renaissance, or the observation’s of Edward Gibbon in refuting the intellectual laziness of my more liberal friends.

I shall have to ponder this more fully.

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Maybe because too many post-40 adults remember the “Dave Isuzu” commercials? “Trust me.”

Wethal on January 31, 2010 at 4:34 PM

What is wrong with Americans? — We have this vast supply of tar and feathers and hardly ever use them correctly. Heh.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Obama is no Robin Hood, either. He’s just a hood, robbing our nation blind.

AW1 Tim on January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I am so stealing that. :)

redridinghood on January 31, 2010 at 4:35 PM

PS, I feel like I missed an important post somewhere. Who is writing for HotAir now?

David Shane on January 31, 2010 at 4:10 PM

From the clarity of thought and the style of prose, I might hazard to guess that Doc Zero may been brought in off the bench.

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:35 PM

Doesn’t it seem the same today? When one points out the connection between parts of the Obama agenda and those of European socialists we are told “he’s certainly not one of those!” Of course not.

Honestly, I think he’s potentially worse than that.

capitalist piglet on January 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

But since the founders believed that the central lesson of the classics was that every illegitimate power, however small, ended in slavery, they were determined to resist every such power. Even legitimate authority should be exercised sparingly, lest it grow into illegitimate powers.

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

The notion that we know enough to know what is in someone else’s best interest…

No tenet of leftist ideology is more pernicious than the notion of ‘false consciousness’. It enables the most heinous of governments to claim the moral high ground.

petefrt on January 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Elected and bureaucratic officials who, overwhelmingly, have never been self-employed or worked in private enterprise, increasingly not only fail to protect the interests of the society as a whole, but actually fear and distrust the competition of free minds and entrepreneurs, and anything else which they cannot control. As a result, Western societies are polarizing into those members who produce and those who govern…

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Have you ever seen opinion polls of “the political class” versus everyone else? They are very, very telling.

No other characteristic reflects so strongly upon political opinion. Male; female; Democrat; Republican; even self-described “liberal” versus “conservative”… none of that means jack squat compared to that one decisive question: “Do you work in politics?”

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort

— Robert Heinlein.

Is that really all that surprising that the people who think “we” should be controlled, are those who don’t consider themselves to be a part of that “we”?

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Hey, if I were a Viscount, that’d be front and center on my Wikipedia page too. Heck I’d settle for a knighthood.

Urquhart on January 31, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Uggggh! My typo’s are rampant all over the place. I know it may seem sometimes that in thought I am utterly incoherent, it is just that my thoughts are far too fluid for my 2 finger typing!

Stream of conciousness posting will be the death of me, if ObamaCare doesn’t get me 1st that is.

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Maybe because too many post-40 adults remember the “Dave Isuzu” commercials? “Trust me.”

Wethal on January 31, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Joe Isuzu
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joe Isuzu was a fictional spokesman used in a series of television advertisements for Isuzu. Created by the Madison Avenue ad agency Della Femina, Travisano, and Partners, the segments aired on American television in 1986-90, reaching their zenith in 1987 after the character was featured during Super Bowl XXI. Played by actor David Leisure, Joe Isuzu was a pathological liar who made outrageous and overinflated claims about Isuzu’s cars. (One commercial even cast him as the Boy who Cried Wolf.) The campaign was resurrected briefly in 1999 and continued until 2001 to promote several cars such as the Isuzu Axiom. Famous quotes:

* “You have my word on it.”
* “If I’m lying, may lightning hit my mother.” (“Good luck, Mom!” appears on screen.)
* “It has more seats than the Astrodome!”
* “Hi, I’m Joe Isuzu and I used my new Isuzu pickup truck to carry a 2,000 pound cheeseburger.”
* “The Isuzu Impulse: faster than a speeding—[catches a bullet in his teeth]—well, you know.”

The character became a fixture in American popular culture.

Sarah Palin, in a facebook entry about Barack Obama said, “If Obama keeps it up, he’s going to be the Joe Isuzu of American politics.”

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Great commentary, Prof. Banaian. How did a conservative economist like you end up as the head of the economics department at a liberal school like SCSU?

You hit the nail on the head. The intellectual elitists laugh and scoff at we who do not want huge government intervention in the economy as “teabaggers”, but the town hall meetings and tea parties are grassroots democracy in action. They demonstrated that we still have a vibrant democracy, and we the people will not put up with big government trying to dictate to us what THEY need to do for OUR own good.

“What’s the matter with you Americans?” Not a damn thing. We have only started to take our country back from the “hope and change” elitists. Keep up the good work.

simkeith on January 31, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Sarah Palin, in a facebook entry about Barack Obama said, “If Obama keeps it up, he’s going to be the Joe Isuzu of American politics.”

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Ha! I missed that one.

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 4:44 PM

“I DID MY research!!!”

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
- Wernher Von Braun

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:47 PM

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Jefferson was just full of awesome quotes. Anyone who has iGoogle needs to get the Jefferson quote-a-day gadget, it always makes me feel a little better in the face of this soft tyranny.

SG1_Conservative on January 31, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Ha! I missed that one.

conservnut on January 31, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Actually, I’m not sure that she sad that, but I know she was thinking it.

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Win.

I reflexively distrust any aggregation of power, whether it be public or private. I distrust public far more, since they have the power of brute coercion.

Decentralization with standardization is the model of God’s natural order (the cellular model), and it should be our model for government.

spmat on January 31, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Within every socialist beats the heart of a thief. Perhaps a well-meaning thief, but a thief nonetheless. Most Americans are not thieves.

PackerBronco on January 31, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Is that really all that surprising that the people who think “we” should be controlled, are those who don’t consider themselves to be a part of that “we”?

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Which is why I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that my political enemies need to convert or die. Just winning the next election won’t be enough imo. Having reached this dismal bottom line, I watch now more than talk. Thatcher’s brief reign in Britain merely paused their annihilation. I think it can be the same here.

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 4:50 PM

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Touch’e sir/ma’am! Rarely do I see Heinlein cited, the man is oft underated as only an SF writer. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Though movie was possibly THE WORST EVER adaption of a book to the silver screen, Starship Troopers was an amazing work of political thought.

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Robin Hood ain’t even from da hood.

Dhuka on January 31, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Though movie was possibly THE WORST EVER adaption of a book to the silver screen, Starship Troopers was an amazing work of political thought.
Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:50 PM

The movie bore almost no relationship whatsoever to the book. I think some liberal director had some money lying around and decided to trash it on purpose.

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:52 PM

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

-C.S. Lewis

Wethal on January 31, 2010 at 4:53 PM

A fundamental attitude/belief of Americans is that they own themselves; that is, they understand that they enjoy the inalienable rights to liberty and self-determination. Americans also believe that the right to own property is inalienable.

A government that attempts to seize or control those rights for some nebulous “greater good” threatens our core.

Taxes aimed at redistribution of wealth undermine our individual autonomy and presuppose that there are elites who know better how to manage our lives, our health, and any other choices that we make.

onlineanalyst on January 31, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Is that really all that surprising that the people who think “we” should be controlled, are those who don’t consider themselves to be a part of that “we”?

logis on January 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every step you take
Obama wants to be controlling you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every night you stay
Obama wants to be controlling you

Oh, cant you see
He wants you to belong to the collective Obama we
To control all your life how his heart does ache
With every step you take

Every move you make
Every dollar you make
Every claim you stake
Obama wants to be controlling you

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Trust in government is exactly NOT what this country was founded on.

I wonder, if the Republicans were in the W. H. and had majorities of house and senate, and were attempting to do what the dems are attempting now, would the left be screaming as loud as we are? Louder?

4shoes on January 31, 2010 at 4:56 PM

What’s the matter with you Americans?——-eh!
=========================================================
Its the Lefty LibTard Democrat Socialists that are the problem!

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 4:57 PM

In follow up to the thoughts of Heinlein in Starship Troopers, a quote on the nobility of soldiers…

“When you reached that spiritual mountain top you felt something. Perhaps you haven’t words for it (I didn’t when I was a boot). So let an older comrade lend you the words, since it often helps to have discrete words. Simply this: the noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and war’s desolation.”

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I’ve worked in government health care for over 20 years and I guarantee I know how government works in the trenches (as opposed from 30,000 feet) than Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid do combined.

I also know more than the “intellectuals” do, none of whom which spent a day in a clinic or hospital.

The “reform” Bill at present does nothing to reform anything it all. It builds upon the failures inherent in the present system. This Bill does nothing to alleviate the moral hazard fossilized into the present system by government. On the contrary, it reinforces it.

The only away around our over consumption of health care is by rationing and that is guaranteed to be heavy handed, unfair and politicized, considering who it is that would do the rationing.

Anyone who thinks Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have any idea whatsoever regarding how to reorganize 1/6th of our economy, is severely delusional and unworthy of the title “intellectual”.

NoDonkey on January 31, 2010 at 5:03 PM

The Far-left National Socialists in the Democrat Party don’t realize that we’ve seen this movie before.

Leftists will whine when we dare to compare them to similar regimes of the past – Well the fact is we know that those regimes didn’t start out that repressive, they grew into that role.

The proper comparison is always to early stages of the Soviet Union or the third Reich. If that comparison is too painful for them to contemplate, then maybe they shouldn’t be supporting Obama and the rest of the Dems.

Insert witty screen name here on January 31, 2010 at 5:03 PM

From this interesting essay.

JiangxiDad on January 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Thanks. Enjoyed reading that.

petefrt on January 31, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Archimedes, any time I can induce someone to quote Heinlein, it’s been a good good day.

King Banaian on January 31, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Seeing as this thread seems to be a compendium of great quotes today, this on why we should not intrust the care of our nation to either The Dhim’s or Pep’s.

A prescient quote from George Washington’s final “farewell” presidential address in 1796:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy….

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Oh yea, us dumb ignorant Texans down here not wanting the same pathetic level of healthcare they have in England. I guess we’re just used to the finest med center in the world down here in Houston. Where folks from England and the rest of the world travel to for treatment because they can’t get it in their country. Such as M.C. Anderson Cancer Center/Hospital. And if you can’t afford it, don’t worry. You’ll not be turned away.
These facilities would’ve never risen up under socialized, European style medicine. DD

Darvin Dowdy on January 31, 2010 at 5:11 PM

“But

I stole this for you,” says the plunderer. “Why do you not take it? Why do you not vote for me?”

Brilliant. Obama’s SOTU in a nutshell.

SG1_Conservative on January 31, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Yep. This line just about floored me (speaking on ObamaCare):

Still, this is a complex issue. And the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering, “What’s in it for me?

So we’re just too stupid to figure out where our handout is.

I thought it said a lot both about what he thinks of the American people and perhaps the culture in which he has spent his life.

It’s not that we are concerned about Americans losing freedoms, or the effect that it will have on the economy. We just want to know what’s in it for us.

29Victor on January 31, 2010 at 5:18 PM

The enemy of Dictatorship, Marxism, Fasism and socialism is people capable of independant thought. They don’t know better than us, they just loath that we can think for ourselves.

Niteowl45 on January 31, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Obama is no Robin Hood, either. He’s just a hood, robbing our nation blind.

AW1 Tim on January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Actualy, Robin became the EARL of Locksley after Richard’s return…

Thus he taxed the people, and ruled by divine right and fiat… and was NOT accountable to the people…

That part sounds about right…

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Absolutely best read all weekend, and that would include HA thread commentators! Thanks ever so much for posting this! Sending this to our skulls full of mush off at college. One must never stop educating the youth.

Obama is no Robin Hood, either. He’s just a hood, robbing our nation blind.

AW1 Tim on January 31, 2010 at 4:22 PM

+ 1,000 dittos to thread winner. Should be on a t-shirt!

freeus on January 31, 2010 at 5:20 PM

There are known knowns: there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns: we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know that we don’t know.
- Donald Rumsfeld

MB4 on January 31, 2010 at 4:31 PM

I remember Rumsfeld being roundly criticized for saying this. But it’s logically true, and unlocks a profound way of solving problems.

Start with “we don’t even know what we don’t know yet;” and work your way forward – you’ll end up with a real understanding of the problem, and usually a solution will be there for you to implement, as well.

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 5:20 PM

Shut up and get out of my way. Now that is smart power. It’s just us ignorant rubes don’t get the nuance.

A good general rule to judge people by. If they have to tell you how great they are then they are not. If they have to keep telling us how their plan is so great it ain’t.

jukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:21 PM

What happened to having the government HANDS OFF MY BODY nuts?

jukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Maybe you’ve seen this article already, that argues that academics are liberal because of typecasting. It is based on a study by — surprise! — academics.
—————————————-

http://www.scsuscholars.com/2010/01/typecasting-academics.html
=================

Typecasting, of course, is not the only cause for the liberal tilt. The characteristics that define one’s political orientation are also at the fore of certain jobs, the sociologists reported. Nearly half of the political lopsidedness in academia can be traced to four characteristics that liberals in general, and professors in particular, share: advanced degrees; a nonconservative religious theology (which includes liberal Protestants and Jews, and the nonreligious); an expressed tolerance for controversial ideas; and a disparity between education and income.

The mismatch between schooling and salary complements a theory that the Harvard professor Louis Menand raises in his new book “The Marketplace of Ideas.” He argues that the way higher education was structured by progressive reformers in the late 19th century is partly responsible for the political uniformity of today. In the view of the early reformers, the only way to ensure that quality, rather than profit, would be rewarded was to protect the profession from outside competition. The tradeoff for lower salaries was control; professors decide who gets to enter their profession and who doesn’t.
============================================================
This explains why Obama is OUT OF TOUCH,and his entire
Administration is OUT TO LUNCH,especially all who are near
Obama,and those that live in Hopeys’s so-called vast spraw
ling community!!!

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Aha! Here is the quote I was looking for. G. Washington putting the same in a nutshell. Our founders were wont too inulging a tad in being overly verbose at times. So do relish this piece of brevity, it didn’t happen often!

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

Archimedes on January 31, 2010 at 5:25 PM

Glenn Beck’s special on these regimes was fantastic….

Should be in all schools……….

Che is not cool kids…….

nondhimmie on January 31, 2010 at 5:28 PM

The same American people who, in their wisdom, elected Barack Obama, are now drooling idiots for disagreeing with him.

Classic.

misterpeasea on January 31, 2010 at 5:31 PM

If they have to keep telling us how their plan is so great it ain’t.

jukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:21 PM

jukin:And whats worse,is that they claim their plan is going
to work!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Here’s one big thing wrong with Americans…they get their news from people that either activity suppress non-PC point of views or rebut them if need be with urban legends.

Case of the day…the goings on with the IPCC and glaciers, etc.

Here’s a link that is collecting news stories…go ahead look thru these, the US links are basically FNC, Reason, PJM…everything else, UK, Canada, etc.

So called MSM? AWOL:

http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/31/climategate-news-and-links/

r keller on January 31, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Glenn Beck’s special on these regimes was fantastic….

Should be in all schools……….

Che is not cool kids…….

nondhimmie on January 31, 2010 at 5:28 PM

nondhimmie: If you come across Beck’s show that he did,I
think,this week,on Obama’s claim that Republi
cans were holding up his agenda.Beck did a
presentation on his moms coffee can that was
under her sink analogy of the Republicans were
in it,and couldn’t stop Obama because they have
the majority!!!

If you find that video,please post it!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 5:40 PM

“why does the public not understand what we are trying to do?”

We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.”

Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.

Cheshire Cat on January 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Thanks for the link, JiangxiDad. It’s a keeper.

Thoughtful posts here. I think that we all have a better understanding and knowledge of history and politics than those who claim to be our betters. Our b*llsh*t detectors are finely tuned to distinguish reality from rhetorical propaganda.

Thanks for the Rumsfeld quotation, too, MB4. I agree with massrighty that Rumsfeld’s logic is irrefutable and a sound method for problem-solving.

onlineanalyst on January 31, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Like youth, best to use our free speech while we still have it. If Obama and his supporters can’t dampen free speech in America, it won’t be for lack of trying.

RBMN on January 31, 2010 at 5:50 PM

If you find that video,please post it!!:)

canopfor on January 31, 2010 at 5:40 PM

The last week or two of GB shows can be seen here:

http://glennbeckclips.com/

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Political scientist Dr David Runciman: In Texas, where barely two-thirds of the population have full health insurance and over a fifth of all children have no cover at all, opposition to the legislation is currently running at 87%.

Full Health Insurance, interesting quantifier. What is it that makes it Full? All of Texas’ folks, including the poor little children are immunized (which means it comes with a check-up), they have free & reduced fee clinics everywhere. The ER’s accept & treat everyone without regard to their ability to pay. And Texas has the #1 would renowned Cancer treatment center, MD Anderson, filled with stories of treating the medically indigent.

So maybe the great FULL minded Dr. would like to wander into some ER in backwards ol’ Texas he can tell the triage nurse he has lost his FULL mind. He can tell them he does not have FULL insurance, they will treat him anyway. I bet they will cure him.

batterup on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

The Queen of Spades is the card on the Left.

Trust me

franksalterego on January 31, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Word on the street is that Sunday’s are Guest Post Sundays

So AP and Ed can nurse their hangovers, from appletinis and lemondrops, respectively.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

When I more or less asked them yesterday to just start making stuff up must’ve hit home.

Lanceman on January 31, 2010 at 6:12 PM

onlineanalyst on January 31, 2010 at 5:47 PM

What academia has yet to understand, is that their days are truly numbered.

It used to be HARD to do research… you had to spend lots of time in Libraries… and in correspondence with others in your field to even find what information you were looking for. Experts in specific disciplines were honored because they could point you in the correct direction to LOOK for further information.

But now, with the Web, literally anyone can find information quickly and easily…

Had a “discussion” with a Lawyer recently, and he mischarcterized a Supreme Court case from the 1940′s…. but I could EASILY pull up the actual Supreme Court ruling and show where he was wrong…

Information IS power, and now information, and THUS POWER is more readily available than ever before…

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

We heard it in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week in his claim that his failure on health care was “not explaining it more clearly to the American people.”

Considering that Obama is the idiot quoting prices like $50K for foot amputations and talking about doctors coming after people’s tonsils, perhaps it is he who could use a little explanation of the realities of the American health care system, rather than his lurid fantasy version of it.

One logical deduction which can be made from observing the fact that people are more likely to be liberal when they are young is that liberalism actually springs from ignorance of facts, not conservatism. One can be intelligent when young, because intelligence is a natural capability, but one usually does not have ample time to gather facts upon which to apply one’s intelligence in analyzing those facts to deduce the nature of reality.

Liberalism panders to the vanity of those youngsters who have some modicum of intelligence but are too lazy to actually aggregate sufficient data to come to an accurate analysis of reality, so instead substitute simple liberal dogma.

I know, because that was me when I was young.

venividivici on January 31, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Trust in government is exactly NOT what this country was founded on.

For the very reasons slapping Americans in the face every day.

Speakup on January 31, 2010 at 6:21 PM

The US is not a democracy, it is a Republic.
There is a big difference.

Trust in government is exactly NOT what this country was founded on.

Only too true.
That factor is what drove the constitution:
“The only thing worse than a strong central government is anarcy” is the original principle behind the legal basis of the US government.

Which is why the President has only 2 roles in the constitution and the Congress only 20.
Per the 10th Amendment [Bill of Rights], all other duties fall to the states and individuals…

DJ Elliott on January 31, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Excellent column. Thank you.
And thank you fellow Texans for shining some truth on that oft-repeated Texas health insurance “statistic.” Everyone may not have health insurance in Texas, but everyone most certainly has health care. Right now, that is.

itsacookbook on January 31, 2010 at 6:26 PM

It’s not that we are concerned about Americans losing freedoms, or the effect that it will have on the economy. We just want to know what’s in it for us.

29Victor on January 31, 2010 at 5:18 PM

My head exploded at that line. Zero thinks graft is universal.

Maquis on January 31, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Information IS power, and now information, and THUS POWER is more readily available than ever before…

Romeo13 on January 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

And we must wield it with the courage of the Founders, if we hope to save our union and preserve our liberty.

Maquis on January 31, 2010 at 6:31 PM

So AP and Ed can nurse their hangovers, from appletinis and lemondrops, respectively.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I think they both deserve a day of rest with their family and/or friends.

:o)

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:31 PM

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I tried to find more info on the Danish guard that collapsed at the palace, to no avail.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 6:33 PM

King,

For an exquisite argument re the genesis of 20th Century pathology, have a look at Alice Miller’s For Your Own Good, a beacon of hope for abused former children as well as an astonishing deconstruction of Hitler’s childhood.

Chilling, and with us yet.

warbaby on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

As a licensed insurance professional, the simple answers are:

1. Sell coverage across state lines. See GEICO, Progressive, State Farm, et al. Most policies for all lines are standard through the Insurance Service Office (ISO) and the forms and endorsements are the same. Except for Texas and California… go figure.

2. Tort reform to end the practice of defensive medicine. No junk suits. Caps on damages unless they are absolutely egregious.

3. High risk pool for the currently uninsured with pre-existing conditions. Any carrier that refuses to accept this group cannot sell across state lines and will therefore be marginalized.

4. Encourage the separation of employer based commitments to provide benefits by giving a tax credit for the purchase of coverage by individuals. Hold the failed unions out as an example of the failure of their legacy costs.

Now there you go, Obama. Health Insurance reform in four bullet points.

Since you only speechify at an 8th grade level, my hope is that you will understand that you need to change your mind over your failed attempt to make a naked power grab that would certainly make the American people subserviant to an out of control and fanatical government led by an 8th grade mentality.

Step off, Obama. Step aside. Step down. Do the two step all the way back to Chicago for all I care. Just leave us alone.

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

That article was a beautiful bon mot on a Sunday afternoon. I just love the many guest writers and bloggers here. There’s so much more to HotAir than just hot air.

My takeaway line is “I stole this for you, take it!” Heh.

Mojave Mark on January 31, 2010 at 6:43 PM

I tried to find more info on the Danish guard that collapsed at the palace, to no avail.

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Here you go, sweetie!

Key West Reader on January 31, 2010 at 6:43 PM

when i begin a career, ill be putting away as if no SocSec will be there evah

and i dont even want it.

blatantblue on January 31, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Good thing, because, regardless of the lies told you by the statists, you ain’t gonna get it.

JohnGalt23 on January 31, 2010 at 6:50 PM

are often the ones it seems designed to help.

The problem with wonks, is that the actually believe that the plans the propose, will end up working as designed.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:50 PM

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