But was it the will of the people to have to choose between George W. Bush and John Kerry, or between Al Gore and Bush, or between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole? (Third-party candidates provided good protest votes but could not block career politicians from office.)
That is like saying that it was the will of the Bulgarian consumer in communist times to choose between an unreliable, ramshackle Trabant from East Germany and an unreliable ramshackle Skoda car from Czechoslovakia. Many American voters felt as frustrated by their choice of presidential candidates as did Eastern Bloc car shoppers in the 1980s.
It is possible to have an exaggerated notion of the discernment of the American voter. I am afraid large parts of the voting public were hysterically demanding the Trabant Model Barry. And to this day, many Americans are happy with their new Furzkiste, as the Trabant would be called: the farting box.
Thomas Sowell analyses president Obama's callously double-dealing approach to the debt ceiling issue:
Barack Obama's political genius is his ability to say things that will sound good to people who have not followed the issues in any detail -- regardless of how obviously fraudulent what he says may be to those who have. Shameless effrontery can be a huge political asset, especially if uninformed voters outnumber those who are informed.
President Obama's big pitch in his Monday night televised talk was that what is needed to deal with the national debt crisis is a "balanced" approach -- not just spending cuts but revenue increases as well.
What could sound more reasonable -- especially to those who have not been following what Obama has actually been doing and not doing? This is the same Barack Obama who, earlier this year, called for a "clean" increase in the national debt ceiling.
In this context, the soothing word "clean" referred to an increase in the national debt ceiling without any provisos. That is, no spending cuts at all. In other words, a blank check to keep spending. How balanced is that?
Another word that sounds good to people who don't stop and think is "fair." President Obama says that he only wants the wealthiest Americans to pay their "fair share." But he says zilch about just what that fair share is, or even how to determine it.
Is the "fair share" of the top 10 percent of income-earners 20 percent of all taxes? 40 percent? 60 percent? Those who talk about paying a "fair share" of taxes don't want to be pinned down.
This is another blank check that Obama wants. "Fair share" in plain English means "more," regardless of how large a share of all income taxes is already being paid by a fraction of the population, while nearly half pay no income taxes at all.
What President Obama says may not make any sense if you stop and think about it -- which he of course assumes that most people will not do. But that does not mean that he is a confused man. He is crystal clear in what he is doing, however confusing his words may be to others.
At the heart of the political games being played in Washington is taking credit and putting blame on the other guy. That is the game that Obama played flawlessly in his speech.
Neither do I wish to make a point about the US-Israel relationship, nor do I understand the Israel-related allusions of the image, I simply like the striking depiction of the BU(shO)BAMA system, the concerted cynical usurpation of America by the Republican and the Democrat establishment.
Obama - The Audacity of Fraud, my post from 2008 predicts the below findings. There is nothing special about the uneducated, waffling, and self-aggrandizing Bomber Barry. Barack Hussein Obama is simply the new chief-puppet to take the self-empowerment of the two colluding parties that own America to the next level.
Did you know? Bartok set Obama's peace-wars to music. Below an excerpt from the libretto. I encourage you to compare word and sound.
In March, President Obama ordered the use of American bombers and cruise missiles to join in with the French and British to finish off the tottering Gadhafi regime. Obama was apparently stung by liberal criticism that the U.S. had done little to help rebels in their weeks-long effort to remove Gadhafi — after only belatedly supporting the successful revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt.
Months ago, intervention to the Obama administration seemed a short, painless way of ridding the world of a decades-long international menace while gaining praise for helping "democratic" reformers. Oil, of course, is always a subtext in any Middle Eastern war.
But almost immediately contradictions arose. Sometimes we ordered Gadhafi to leave; at other times we insisted we were only helping the rebels. Bombs seemed to be aimed at the Gadhafi family, even as we denied such targeted killing — and were reminded that U.S. law forbids the assassination of foreign leaders.
The rebels were variously described as would-be democratic reformers, inept amateurs, hard-core Islamists, or mixtures of all three. No one seems to have answers months later [...] Who knows whether post-Gadhafi Libya will become an Islamic republic, a Somalia-like mess, another Arab dictatorship or a Turkish-style democracy?
The other day, I overheard a friend of mine talking to another woman about me. They seemed to agree that I was a reasonably "nice guy." However, as if to ask her "do you mind that ugly wart on his nose," my friend revealed "he's right wing, though." I had to smile to myself. First because, I do not think we will ever like each other less than we do because of our differing political convictions. Second because the two of them would show the same flabbergasted, non-comprehending faces whether I explained why I belong neither to the left nor to the right, or whether I lectured them on the role of the axiom of parallels in the development of non-Euclidean geometries. They are just not the audience for either, and it has nothing to do with intelligence.
So they will probably die, hopefully many personally fulfilled decades from now, never having been informed about this:
As a libertarian, I insist not to have to do anything either with the left or the right, as both of these factions adore and promote values and aims higher than and detrimental to liberty. Keynesianism is a case in point:
The economic doctrine of Keynes shows par excellence just how enamoured the left is with authoritarianism, coercion, aggression, and even violence as a means of bringing about the Good Society. The left's solutions almost always rely on and glamorise the wrecking-bars of politics.
The right is no different. In the days, when the right was in some respects more distinguishable from the left, it still shared the left's love for the wrecking-bars. Keynes concept of "running," i.e. directing the economy is congenial to the way of thinking of both the left and the right. Because of its authoritarian, its coercive character. Which is why the right readily adopted the Keynesian know-all approach a long time ago. Rather than subscribing to the non-authoritarian, truly liberal, free market approach. In the meantime, the Bubama (BushObama) phase of the declining US-empire demonstrates ever more comprehensively the fundamental authoritarian affinity of the right and the left - shall we subsume them under the term "the refts"? If not actually salivating over it, the refts are mightily charmed by the idea of running the economy as if we lived permanently under conditions of war, when the government has total power, and easily and recklessly demands unconditional obedience.
Nevertheless the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under conditions of free competition and a large measure of laissez-faire.
Mises writes in summation and as a general response in “Lord Keynes and Say’s Law,” in Hazlitt, ed., The Critics of Keynesian Economics, p. 319:
The policies he advocated were precisely those which almost all governments, including the British, had already adopted many years before his “General Theory” was published. Keynes was not an innovator and champion of new methods of managing economic affairs. His contribution consisted rather in providing an apparent justification for the policies which were popular with those in power in spite of the fact that all economists viewed them as disastrous. His achievement was a rationalization of the policies already practiced.
Nevertheless, the Keynesian recipe for economic success by regimentation remains popular today, as Robert Higgs notes in a post that may well contain the briefest statement of his research on the myth that the war ended the Great Depression.
Abrams concludes that “massive government spending at a time of severe economic downturn and dislocation can indeed get an economy humming again,” as World War II shows; the New Deal was merely too timid. He seems unaware that his argument merely restates the fallacy-ridden hodge-podge of conventional wisdom about how World War II “got the economy out of the Depression” that has dominated the thinking of economists, historians, and the public ever since the war itself.
When I began to teach U.S. economic history at the University of Washington in the late 1960s, I quickly realized that this tale of the wartime “Keynesian miracle” could not withstand critical scrutiny once one went beyond the barest account of it in terms of the elementary Keynesian model and the standard government macro measures, such as GDP, the consumer price index, and the rate of civilian unemployment. Almost immediately I saw that unemployment had disappeared during the war not because of the beautiful workings of a Keynesian multiplier, but entirely because about 20 percent of the labor force was forced, directly or indirectly, into the armed forces and a comparable number of employees set to work in factories, shipyards, and other facilities turning out war-related ”goods” the government purchased only after forcing the public to pay for them sooner (via wartime taxes and inflation) or later (via repayment of wartime borrowing). Thus, the great wartime “boom” consisted entirely of (1) some people’s mass engagement in wreaking death and destruction and (2) other people’s employment in producing supplies for these warriors after the government’s military labor drain, turning out ”goods” never valued by consumers or private producers in voluntary transactions, but rather ordered by government functionaries and priced completely arbitrarily in a command-and-control economy. In no sense was the alleged ”wartime prosperity” comparable to real, normal prosperity. The pervasive regimentation, rationing, price controls, direct government resource allocations, and forbidden forms of production (e.g., civilian automobiles) should have served as a tip-off.
In 1945 the death of Roosevelt and the succession of Harry S Truman and his administration completed the shift from a political regime investors perceived as full of uncertainty to one in which they felt much more confident about the security of their private property rights. Sufficiently sanguine for the first time since 1929, and finally freed from government restraints on private investment for civilian purposes, investors set in motion the postwar investment boom that powered the economy’s return to sustained prosperity notwithstanding the drastic reduction of federal government spending from its extraordinarily elevated wartime levels.
By using Heraclitus' famous phrase "war is the father of all things" in the header, I mean to insinuate a martial, a militaristic, a Spartan reading of the saying: the idea that war is the crucible from which emerge all good things. I understand, however, that Heraclitus had in truth intended a different message and that
polemos panton men pater esti
is more faithfully translated as "controversy/dispute/conflict is the father of all things."
At any rate, I do think that the refts are eager to contaminate peacetime with the habits of war.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people should be made equal, that they are endowed by their government with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are jobs, healthcare and housing.–That to secure these rights, Governments must rule over the people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the elite, –That whenever the people becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Elite to alter or to abolish it, and to institute more Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect the power and control of the elite. …We, therefore, the Representatives of the political elite, in faculty lounges, Assembled, appealing to the United Nations for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of government, solemnly publish and declare, That the American people ought to be governed by the United Nations; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Constitution, and that all political connection between them and the Founding Fathers, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as highly-taxed and dependent States, they have full Power to levy taxes, disrupt Peace, contract new departments and agencies, regulate Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which the political elite may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the establishment media, we mutually demand your Lives, your Fortunes and your sacred Honor.
Some excerpts from the latest post by Commander Jeff Huber, whose commentary at his Pen and Sword blog I always find worthwhile to follow:
As distasteful as I find the agenda of the political right, I’m inclined to sympathize with their desire to rein in the totalitarian tenor of Obama’s reign, but impeach the guy? Come on. Not even Denny Kucinich has a serious notion of doing such a thing. In the age of the New American Centurions, we don’t impeach presidents for taking us into illegal wars. These days we only impeach presidents for their inability to keep their orbs and scepters in their pants.
We’ve been in a constitution crisis since 1950 when Harry Truman committed us to a full-blown war in Korea that ended in a negotiated tie with a foe that still flares up on us like a wicked case of facial herpes. The constitutional crisis Obama has created is just another twig on the pyre of our republic. And after the Bush and Cheney administration flushed shame and irony and truth and accountability and the bill of rights all the way to the Congressional Cafeteria, who will ever impeach anyone for anything ever again?
Nor is it likely we’ll ever be able to vote the warmongers out of office. If you’re not sharing a pillow with the war profits machine you don’t get elected. [...]
The only way I see the public start demanding that we extract ourselves from what even Uncle Bob Gates admits are “wars of choice” (he’s “wary” of them now that he’s all but ensured that they never end) is if prominent political and media figures start stating in unvarnished patois that the likes of Obama and Gates and Mullen and Petraeus are using our troops as pawns, not to preserve our nation but to preserve the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us would acquire “unwarranted influence” over government policy if we allowed it to.
Constitution-gutting constitutional "scholar" and Peace Nobel Prize winning trigger-happy Bombardier Barry at his main job: hoaxing the nation.
As egregious as Obomba's "prevention" of war by redefinition is, it is not likely to create serious difficulties for him. War is popular or a matter of indifference with the vast majority, and there does not seem to be an excuse for war preposterous enough to elicit resistance. Obama, like Gates (in the below clip), almost seems to enjoy the hoaxing.
When a man as powerful as the president of the United States can be as facile about war as Obama is, those who allow it, Americans, and the rest of the world are in serious danger.
By that benchmark, the destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and Dresden in World War II, long after Japanese and German air defenses had been destroyed, didn’t amount to hostilities either. If tomorrow we decide to level Iran or Yemen or whatever other little country we’re displeased with at the moment with intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles, that won't amount to hostilities either.
Complementing my recent post on Reactionary Liberalism, I encourage you to read this open letter to Obama, in which only one, though very grave aspect of his reactionary views (and deeds) is highlighted.
I am afraid the most powerful man in the world has ascended to the American throne mainly due to a profound lack of education or miseducation - which is patently obvious even in his field of constitutional law - and a wonderful ability to see things and act in ways that reliably cater to the needs of an egregiously inflated ego rather than to intellectual honesty, consistency and truth.
Mr. Barack Obama President of the Executive Branch United States Government Washington, DC
Dear Mr. Obama:
In your recent interview with NBC News you explained that your policies would promote more private-sector job creation were it not for (as you put it) “some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”
With no less justification – but with no more validity – any of your predecessors might have issued complaints similar to yours. Pres. Grant, for example, might have grumbled in 1873 about “some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank that uses a modern safe and so employs fewer armed guards than before, or when you travel on trains which, compared to stage coaches, transport many more passengers using fewer workers.”
Or Pres. Nixon might have groused in 1973 about such labor-saving innovation: “You see it when you step into an automatic elevator that doesn’t require an elevator operator, or when you observe that polio vaccination keeps people alive and active without the aid of nurses and all those workers who were once usefully employed making iron-lung machines, crutches, and wheelchairs.”
Do you, Pres. Obama, really wish to suggest that the innovations you blame for thwarting your fiscal policies are “structural issues” that ought to be corrected?
Sincerely, Donald J. Boudreaux Professor of Economics George Mason University Fairfax, VA 22030