Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Obama Channeling Lincoln Again
Mr. President, You’re No Lincoln by Allen C. Guelzo
President Obama will wind up his black bus tour today in Peoria, Ill. And while he’s in the Land of Lincoln, we have to hope he won’t be tempted to repeat the comparison he made yesterday in Decorah, Iowa, of himself to Lincoln. Or of his sufferings to Lincoln’s.
It began with a friendly question from the audience, asking Mr. Obama how he hoped to manage a Congress which has proven so hostile to his agenda. He replied with what was intended to be a self-deprecating comment about presidents in the past who have had it worse. “But when you listen to what the Federalists said about the anti-Federalists and the names that Jefferson called Hamilton and back and forth — I mean, those guys were tough.”
But then, somewhere in the line of his thinking, President Obama performed a rhetorical U-turn: “Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.” One moment, Obama was modestly declining to claim that he had it worse than Hamilton or Jefferson — Hamilton and Jefferson, now those guys were really mean — and in a blink, he was presenting himself as an object of pity, exceeding in his sorrow even the American Man of Sorrows.
It is never a good sign when a president positions himself as a Lincolnian martyr. The presidency of Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, began circling the drain on the day he, too, tried to one-up Lincoln in the Sufferings Department. “Who has suffered more than I have?” Johnson asked in 1866. The response he got, from a nation which was still mourning 450,000 deaths in the Civil War, was an incredulous national guffaw.[...]
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Is Obama Setting the Stage for Riots?
"[...]In both England and in the United States, whole generations have been fed a steady diet of grievances and resentment against society, and especially against others who are more prosperous than they are.[...]" - Learning from Britain’s Moral Rot - Thomas Sowell
Monday, August 15, 2011
What Merit Badges Make A Good President?
Do We Need Politicians Who Are Smart or Virtuous?
Bruce S. Thornton, August 14, 2011 -
- That we raise the question at all is a testimony to how thoroughly progressive ideas about governing have permeated our political consciousness. This is obvious from the fact that Democrats are the ones who typically assert the superior intelligence of their candidate over the Republican. Indeed, every Republican candidate since Eisenhower has been characterized as a simplistic ideologue, if not an outright dunce, a tradition that continues with the scorn heaped on Sarah Palin’s intellect and alma mater. Partly this reflects the unproven assumption that liberals are by definition more nuanced, complex, subtle thinkers than are conservatives. More important, however, is the underlying assumption of progressive ideology: that modern politics in a technologically advanced world needs technocratic managers with specialized knowledge and skills, what French political philosopher Chantal Delsol calls “techno-politics.”
Yet this belief goes back even farther, to the philosophical debates of ancient Greece. When Plato in the Republic creates his ideal government, he imagines a ruling elite of philosopher “guardians” who are selected at an early age and educated for thirty years in philosophy and mathematics. In contrast, the democracy of Athens assumed that all citizens, by virtue of being citizens, were capable of participating in running the state. To Plato’s credit, in the Protagoras he gives a fair version of the argument underlying democratic rule: for social order to exist at all, Protagoras argues, all people must have the politikê technê, the craft of politics, one innate to humans. Thus all are capable of managing the state. ----------Read more