Politics & Policy

Who is Obama? &c.

Barack Obama in March 2000, when he was an Illinois state senator

For the past five years, I’ve asked many people a question: What do you think Obama is? Do you think he’s a liberal, a McGovernite, a social democrat, a socialist — what? The commonest answer, from people I respect, has been “social democrat.”

In one of those recently unearthed videos, Obama says, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but rich people are all for nonviolence. Why wouldn’t they be? They’ve got what they want. They want to make sure nobody’s going to take their stuff.”

#ad#I’m sorry, but this is not social democratic, or liberal, or McGovernite. I can’t imagine those words out of McGovern’s mouth. Or out of Tip O’Neill’s. Or out of Walter Mondale’s. I didn’t like those politicians, but they didn’t think or talk that way.

Those are the words of an extremist. You can imagine Bill Ayers or Bernardine Dohrn saying them. Your basic liberal Democrat, no.

The above-quoted speech, by the way, was given in 2002. Not when Obama belonged to the Choom Gang, gettin’ stoned. Not when he was at college, drinking in Marxism. When he was a state legislator, soon to be a U.S. senator. Six years before he was elected president of the United States.

He’s been in that office for four years, but really: Who the hell is he?

‐Gonna lay something really, really partisan on you. Ready? In campaign season, Republicans need debates more than Democrats do. They need them because they need opportunities to appear before the public unfiltered — uninterpreted, uncaricatured. Democrats have the support of the media-academia-entertainment establishment. We have NASCAR, talk radio, and country music. Anything else?

We need more juice.

I’ve said for months: If people can see that they can leave the presidency in a safe, able pair of hands, they’ll fire Obama. There are three more debates, including the vice-presidential one. May Romney and Ryan shine. Or actually, just show up. They’re shiny enough, day in and day out.

If you listened to the dread “MSM” — the mainstream media — you would never know that Romney was impressive. He is, very.

‐Here’s a statement I wish Romney or Ryan would make, in one of the debates:

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and their allies are always talking about fairness and compassion. There’s nothing fair or compassionate about economic collapse. We are headed for it. We’re broke. We’re $16 trillion in debt. The budget deficit is over a trillion. And they will do nothing about it. They will do absolutely nothing. They will just sit and call us a bunch of plutocrats and ogres.

There is one ticket that will do something about this problem, and only one: the Romney-Ryan ticket. We’ll get the job done. Our opponents will say — again — we’re a bunch of heartless SOBs, running over urchins in our Rolls-Royces. Let them. We’re trying to save the country.

You think economic collapse is fair or compassionate? Ask the Greeks. It’s brutal. It’s miserable. It’s cruel. Men in business suits are pawing through garbage, looking for something to eat. We’ve got to prevent this.

Who is willing to do this job, and not just holler about fairness and compassion?

‐I read something in an Associated Press report that surprised me a little: “Thanks in part to congressional Republicans’ no-compromise stands on key issues, and an unpopular past president in George W. Bush, the GOP’s image is at one of its lowest points in modern times.”

Is that true? Forgetting the part about the Republicans’ “no-compromise stands” — what’s the state of play? What’s the score? The GOP did fairly well in the last elections: They picked up 63 seats in the House. This was one of the most impressive showings ever.

The Republicans have a majority of the governorships, and a majority of the state legislative seats. And the House, of course. The Democrats have the presidency and the Senate. We’ll see, come January.

Anyway, if the GOP is down, it has certainly been downer. And, by the way, President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are pretty good at “no-compromise stands,” if you ask me.

‐Obama is a little funny with his lapel pin — the American flag. Once, it was on. Then Obama took it off. He said he didn’t want any of that phony patriotism. He wouldn’t wear his patriotism on his sleeve, or his lapel. Others who did so were phony-baloneys. Then he put the flag pin back on. It can be so confusing, keeping track of Obama’s moods and principles.

First he’s for gay marriage. Then he’s not. “The union of a man and a woman, only.” Then he’s back on again.

Anyway, my question: If Obama loses the election this year, will he ever wear an American-flag pin again? Or will he be free of it? Is the pin just “boob bait for Bubbas,” to use a once-famous phrase of Senator Moynihan?

#page#The Democrats are interesting, in how they use patriotism. In 2008, Joe Biden claimed that those who resisted higher taxes were unpatriotic. A couple of weeks ago, Obama and Biden announced a “New Economic Patriotism.” If the Republicans labeled their preferred policies “patriotism,” the media would go stark-raving nuts.

I said that in a previous column, didn’t I? (A little repetition never killed anyone — I hope.)

#ad#‐Speaking of things I’ve said before: The radical Left gets in bed with radical Islam, and no one thinks it’s weird — I mean, the Left certainly doesn’t. The radical Muslims, probably.

Having lost the mayoral election in London, Ken Livingstone is going back to his erstwhile employer, Press TV. This is an English-language arm of the Iranian dictatorship. Livingstone is an old Communist, known throughout his career as “Red Ken.” He was taught to hate all things conservative, religious, right-wing, fundamentalist. That was his commitment.

And now he’s working for the mullahs? How can this be? You know how: The radical Left goes wherever the anti-Western action is, always. The form matters little.

Remember what the Iranian regime is — yes, they’re driving for nuclear weapons, pledging to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. But they’re also a regime that stones girls to death for the “crime” of having been gang-raped. Remember who Ken is working for.

‐Let me turn to cheerier subjects — let me tell you what is on my reading list. There’s an e-book, by two hotshots at The Daily Caller: Jamie Weinstein and Will Rahn. Jamie, I know. Will, I think I met years ago. In any event, their book is a political satire. And its title — get ready — is The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama’s True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer.

Sounds fun. I could use a little fun, as you might be able to tell by the sour tone of this column, so far.

There is also a book by Richard H. Sander and Stuart Taylor Jr. — Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. Sander is a law professor at UCLA. Him, I don’t know. Stuart, I do. And if he joins forces with Sander, Sander must be very good.

Stuart is a journalist, a lawyer, an intellectual — a public servant, in a way, but non-office-holding. His judgment is sound as a dollar. I realize we need a different expression, given the state of the dollar.

I can illustrate my esteem for Stuart this way: If he says something I’ve never believed, I reconsider. If he says something I would doubt from other people, I believe it. If he said my name were Mary Lou Smith, I’d think, “Really? But I could have sworn it was Jay Nordlinger . . .”

Years ago, Stuart wrote an article about Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia cop-killer and hero of the Left. That article was called “Guilty and Framed.” Because Stuart wrote it, I assumed it was true.

‐Do you know about Mona Charen’s podcast for Ricochet? I am her sidekick, and delighted to be. One of the more pleasurable jobs I’ve ever had. Get the latest episode — no, that can’t be the term: podcast, I guess — here. A variety of topics are discussed. I don’t think you’ll dislike.

‐Was in my home region, the Midwest, over the weekend. The sign outside the motel door said, “No Guns Allowed.” I thought, “You ain’t in Manhattan anymore, baby.” (Not that they allow guns in Manhattan. It’s just that you’re not supposed to have them, in the Days Inn or not.)

‐In a restaurant, the bus boy was not a boy but a middle-aged man. I said to him, “Sorry, I’ve made kind of a mess here.” (Happens.) He grinned and quipped, “That’s all right, job security for me.” Absolutely charming remark.

What else do I got? Lots, but I’d better get going, and you too. Happy Nobel Prizes Week! (If you think of it that way.)

 

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.

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