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Friday, June 18, 2010

President Rorschach


It always seemed to me that people with an intense, visceral dislike for a President were a bit maladjusted.

Some people used to absolutely loathe President Nixon, or Tricky Dick, as they called him. The liberals' hatred for Ronald Reagan was raised to a fever pitch by his immense popularity. Conservatives disliked Bill Clinton, though they were quickly branded as "Clinton haters" by the liberal media. (Strange how those who hated Nixon and Reagan were never branded as "haters.") And George W. Bush was a lightning rod for opprobrium in a way that his father never was.

But now I find myself feeling tremendous antipathy for Barack Obama. I'm at the point where the sound of his voice grates and the sight of that liver-lipped ear to ear grin makes me downright bilious.

As I watched his speech a couple nights ago I found my thoughts dominated by three themes. The first was what a bunch of lies and half truths it was. (Yes Barack, you were clearly on top of this oil spill from Day One.)

The second was, Rahm Emanuel is certainly doing his best not to let this crisis go to waste. Here we are in the midst of a catastrophe, and Obama, instead of talking about any new approaches to containing the spill (and after having rejected several very credible offers of help), is using the disaster to try to revive cap and trade.

And the third was how ingenious it is the way they place the Teleprompter right on top of the camera so that as Obama reads the words it appears that he is looking directly at his audience. This makes it sound as if his words are coming from his heart, rather than from one of his speechwriters.

As far as the Teleprompter goes, Obama is no different from the Presidents who immediately preceded him, all of whom read their speeches from Teleprompters. (Of course, none of them used Teleprompters for their press conferences.)

Where Obama differs from his predecessors is in the extent of his false advertising.

I argue with liberals from time to time about Obama. When I talk about his many lies and false promises and hypocrisies, I find that their favorite argument in support of Obama seems to be, "Well what about Bush?" I find this argument less than compelling.

With Bush, what you saw was pretty much what you got. He campaigned as a conservative, which is what he was. (You can argue about the "compassionate" part, but he never claimed to be a centrist.) Obama campaigned as someone slightly left of center, when in fact he is way off to the far left.

I'm always amazed at the naivete of those who don't see Obama's radicalism. It certainly wasn't his fault that he grew up with a leftist for a mother. But all of his early associations by choice were radical leftists. Obama stated in his autobiography that the professors he felt drawn to were the Marxists. For seventeen years Obama attended the church of the Reverend Wright, who preached black liberation theology. Wright feels, among other things, that the government invented AIDS to kill black people. Obama later claimed that he must not have been in church on the days that Wright made some of his more vile statements, but this is disingenuous at best. Obama said in his autobiography that he was initially attracted to Wright because of his political and social ideas. And you don't ally yourself with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn and Father Pfleger and ACORN if you're not in agreement with their basic outlook.

Has Obama governed as a fire breathing radical? Of course not, simply because he knows he couldn't get away with it. But he does give the unions whatever he can. He gave them GM even though it rightfully belonged to its creditors. He said that union members would be exempt from the Cadillac health care plan tax when it became apparent that their insurance benefits were lavish enough to qualify for it. He turned down an initial offer of help from the Netherlands at the outset of the Gulf oil spill because it would have violated the Jones Act (which mandates that any ships moving between US ports be staffed by union crews).

Obama even supports card check, meaning, workers voting on whether or not to unionize are not even allowed a secret ballot. This is the equivalent of not being allowed a private voting booth when you vote for President. And this means that the unions will later allocate preferable jobs and shifts and promotions based on who voted for them. Intimidation at its rawest, and Obama supports it.

The list of his lies is endless; you're undoubtedly familiar with it.

My thinking has evolved. I still see the Presidency as a Rorschach test, but the current one measures naivete rather than levels of innate antipathy.

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