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Condescension or The Simple Truth?

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During a speech to donors in California, Senator Obama offered the following observation:

Our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. . . . You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

This observation has been pounced upon by Senators Clinton and McCain and their surrogates as demonstrating condescension and a lack of understanding of the needs of the deserving poor.

It is easy, politically expedient and therefore to be expected for candidates who are not themselves among the deserving poor to say such things.

Senator Obama left himself open to this criticism, as he has to similar criticism in the past. This is not a consequence of foot in mouth disease, as suffered by Senator and Former President Clinton. It is a consequence of something very different and, I submit, very encouraging.

If one reads the entire comment, what Senator Obama said actually seems to be both perceptive and valid. The rust belt has been rusting for years, and few effective remedies have been found or implemented, by Republicans or Democrats. The resultant demoralization is obvious, and sad but inevitable. In these circumstances, people do tend to assuage their misery by focusing on simplistic non-solutions. Some of the things they focus on can be good or at least help to distract them from their difficulties.

Senator Obama did not, I believe, intend to suggest that all of these things are perverse, although some of them obviously are. Abject poverty, in a context of hopelessness for the future, produces all manner of evil and always has. It can cause riots, self destructive activity and crime. This very normal human behavior has little if anything to do with race, geographic location or anything beyond a feeling of abject helplessness. Pandering to these results does not alleviate the problems; neither does ignoring them.

I do not feel that Senator Obama's words were condescending; quite the contrary. In contrast, to assume, as many politicians do, that the poor folks in the rust belt and elsewhere are so ignorant and befuddled as to be unable or unwilling at least to look at their problems and think about what he said is, to me, the ultimate condescension. To encourage them not to do so, by telling them that they have been grossly offended is even worse than condescension.

By leaving himself open to these criticisms, Senator Obama is not behaving as we have come to expect politicians to behave. We expect politicians to expound simplistic ideas through sound bites, in time for the evening news on television. “I will feed the poor, care for the sick, cure AIDS, lower fuel prices, educate the children and, you know, bring prosperity to the underprivileged.” Well, maybe not that much in a single sound bite; it's a tad too long. We also expect them to “vet” their comments through focus groups, and to be very, very careful lest they actually say something. Almost any statement with real substance is very likely to offend someone; we are very easily offended these days.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Senator Obama's campaign is that he says things like he just said in California and during his recent race speech. He is smart enough to understand that we do not expect them, and to anticipate the consequences, but he says them anyway. And that is probably a good thing.

There are very many things about Senator Obama which I do not like and which very well may keep me from voting for him. The point here being made has nothing to do with whether his unfortunate baggage would make him a bad president. The point is that he seems to be taking a different tack than is customary. This suggests the possibility that he is more interested in pointing out root problems and their consequences, than in immediate uplifts in the polls.

This may not be something with which we are prepared to live, or even something that can get through our filters of political correctness. But the mere appearance that Senator Obama is trying is a hopeful sign.

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About Dan Miller

  • Clavos

    Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Senator Obama’s campaign is that he says things like he just said in California and during his recent race speech. He is smart enough to understand that we do not expect them, and to anticipate the consequences, but he says them anyway. And that is probably a good thing.

    Quoted for Truth.

    Like you, I have differences with some of Obama’s positions on the issues, but I’m VERY impressed by his candor and willingness to explore “touchy” themes.

    He’s the most innovative presidential candidate in several decades, IMO.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I picked up this in my e-mails. Actually, I had seen a couple of versions of this, but this is the original, published in Israel Insider.

    From the article:

    Reverend Eric Lee, the keynote speaker of a Los Angeles event held by Kappa Alpha Psi — the national African-American fraternity — on April 4, the fortieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination — launched a vicious attack on Jews.
    …………………………
    the fraternity had just given its Tom Bradley Award — named for the former Los Angeles mayor — to Israeli-American Daphna Ziman.
    ………………………….
    After praising Malcolm X, and thank God for bring Barack Hussein Obama to be “leader of the world,” he stared directly at Ziman, according to an email she sent after the event and echoed in the following video interview with Roger Simon of Pajamas Media:

    Ziman’s email states that Lee “started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the Jews that have featured them as rapists and murderers. He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say ‘What other kind of Rabbis are there, but Jews?’ He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA [African-American] community and the Jewish community together. ‘NO, NO, NO!’ he shouted into the crowd, ‘we are not going to come together. The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.'”

    “He continued as to how now the salvation has come and the gates have open for African Americans to come together behind Barack Obama, because now is the time to show them.(meaning the jews). He continued to speak about ‘ White supremacy’ vs the talents and visionaries in the core of African Americans. He demeaned being given freedom, by saying “To what?” to a country that kills women and children.”

    Lee continued with his anti-Semitic diatribe, according to Ziman, at which time she could no longer tolerate it and left the room, breaking into tears.

    Nu.

    These are the kinds of people who support Barak Hussein Obama, a man who, before he achieved national prominence, supported the Arabs against Israel here.

    It is reasonable to assume that if this man Obama manages to assume office in the United States, he will be openly hostile to the State of Israel. There will be all sorts of sicko American Jews, like Eric Yoffie, who will do what they can to undercut the existence of a Jewish entity here, and indeed as it warns in Zechariah, Judah will come against Jerusalem. These men will kiss Obama’s ass just like court Jews have done through the centuries.

    But ironically, it is just this fellow Obama who may be what the doctor ordered. It will have to be obvious to Israelis here that the American regime is an enemy, and Obama is just the man for the task of demonstrating this truth. His supporters are virulent Jew-haters who can only restrain themselves after they let loose their hatred in public – like this Eric Lee fellow.

    My point is that Olmert and crew are toadies, bought out agents of the United States government or of the Vatican. The only thing that will make Israelis see that light and put men like Olmert, Peres, Barak (both the security minister and former president of the “high court of justice” here), Livni and their likes on butcher hooks where they can suffer the fate the fate they deserve, the fate of Benito Mussolini, will be the open hostility of the American regime and of arrogant American Jews.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Ruvy, as has been pointed out here many times before, any presidential candidate will attract his or her fair share of crackpots. It doesn’t mean the candidate in question shares those views.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    “to assume, as many politicians do, that the poor folks in the rust belt and elsewhere are so ignorant and befuddled as to be unable or unwilling at least to look at their problems and think about what he said is, to me, the ultimate condescension.”

    Precisely!!! That was my first thought when I heard Hillary’s response on NPR today. People adhere to all institutions, beliefs or ideals because they serve a purpose. In most cases, it’s to comfort them. Who doesn’t know that? The privileged are not rabid NRA types or in some extremist religious fringe, wonder why?

    Clinton’s biggest flaw is thinking that she is smarter than everyone. It’s glaringly apparent. Her stating that Obama was elitist almost had me choking on my yogurt while driving. It was really icky; too rehearsed and contrived.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd,

    Why were you eating yogurt while driving? :-<

    Hold out your wrist…

  • Dan Miller

    Ruvy,

    I appreciate your views and your concerns, as always. You may well be correct (I almost said right, which is different), for the reasons you have previously articulated.

    My vote is not worth much, and I may well vote for the Republican candidate. The point I was trying to make is that despite all of his baggage, Senator Obama is offering something not seen in U.S. politics for a long time. I find it refreshing. He seems to speak his mind, without relying on focus groups and instant polls the way some other candidates do, or to avoid saying anything substantive for fear that some voter factions may be offended.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    It was really icky. . .

    I assume that you refer to the yogurt.

    Doc is right. You should not eat yogurt, or use your cell phone, or do other distracting things while driving. Shame on you.

    Anyway, it’s pleasant to find something on which we seem to agree.

    Dan

  • Baronius

    Over the last 25 years, per capita personal income in Pennsylvania has grown by 44%, adjusted for inflation. Senator Obama might want to stop talking down to people who are experiencing this kind of prosperity. He might also remember that Illinois rust-belters are his employers.

    This statement of his was a horrible political mistake, and it’s a sign that he’s unprepared for a national campaign. His statement doesn’t boldly penetrate some political barrier; his speeches never do. They represent the point of view of a sheltered upper-middle-class liberal. The only question is whether his house of cards will fall in time for Clinton to grab the nomination, or whether he can hang on long enough to become a national joke by November.

    As for the Honorable Ms. Rodham-Clinton criticizing Obama as an elitist, I don’t imagine that she could be more tone-deaf. She shouldn’t try to present the primary or general election as a battle against elitism, because when a good chunk of America hears that word, they picture her. All three candidates this year have been clinging to their guns, repreatedly shooting themselves in the foot. It’s amazing.

  • Dan Miller

    Baronius,

    As a “a sheltered upper-middle-class” person myself (notice that I did not include your word “liberal,” because I don’t know what it means), who has never experienced poverty or other privation, I don’t agree with your apparent thesis that all of our views are specious.

    Of course, per capita personal income in Pennsylvania has increased in recent years. Is this true in the parts of Pennsylvania to which Senator Obama referred?

    I don’t really know. The point is, that he has seemed to say things, perhaps right on or perhaps not, recognizing that they may be politically inexpedient. That is something thus far unusual in U.S. politics, and I find it refreshing.

    Dan

  • Bennett

    “These are the kinds of people who support Barak Hussein Obama”

    “His supporters are virulent Jew-haters”

    Wow, rather broad brush, eh Ruvy?

    I’m not a Jew Hater. I’m really not much for hating.

    So, where does that leave your thesis that all those who “support” Obama are like the wacknut you site in your comment.

    We know you hate all three candidates, and we know that everything is always about Israel to you.

    Why don’t you write a post about the aforementioned wacknut, instead of dragging it into this article as a way of posting yet another attack comment against Senator Obama?

    BTW, your comments are starting to read like JOM’s with your use of “Hussein”…

  • Baronius

    The homeless guy outside my office building mumbles things that aren’t politically expedient. And although he’s not the freshest-smelling guy in the world, I think he’d add a refreshing element to a political debate. I wouldn’t choose him for high office, though.

    Obama’s comments have my blood boiling, and I’m sure I’m overestimating the damage he’s done to his candidacy. But those statements are damaging. They make me wonder if he frowns on the other eight amendments in the Bill of Rights. They also don’t reflect too well on the battle between him and Clinton over which one of them opposes NAFTA more.

  • Baronius

    Oh, why didn’t I think of that sooner? It’s perfect!

    “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to the press, or due process of law, or freedom against search and seizure, as a way to explain their frustrations.”

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    You forget, I am female. We are natural multitaskers. I agree with Dan about the cell phone but eating while putting on make up and dealing with children and casting the occasional look at a moody teen, is all in a second’s work.

    But you are right, your sort should refrain.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    What was icky was Clinton’s statement. She was the wrong person to say that. It was just wrong. I felt flushed for her.

    We agree on a number of things. We may not agree on the “why’s” or the ramifications, mostly because of our vantage points, but overall I get you. You should be felling quite honored right about now. ;o)

  • Dan Miller

    Baronius,

    The homeless guy outside my office building mumbles things that aren’t politically expedient. . . “

    Lots of people do that, and many of them are smelly and otherwise objectionable, not to mention certifiably nuts.

    The thing is, they (or at least most of them) aren’t running for office, high or low; nor, quite likely, do they have multiple advisers helping them to spend zillions of dollars to achieve their objectives.

    In the not too distant past, Senator Obama was called “articulate” by someone, and great offense was taken in some quarters at this perceived racial insult. Remember?

    Well, I think he is both articulate and uniquely willing to say (articulately, of course) things likely to be perceived as insulting but simultaneously likely to provoke thought. I don’t much care about the insulting bit, but hope that some are provoked into thought.

    Dan

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    Indeed, I do.

    Dan

  • Baronius

    Dan, I don’t think too many people will be calling him “articulate” any more.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Quoting me, Bennett writes, “‘These are the kinds of people who support Barak Hussein Obama”

    “His supporters are virulent Jew-haters’

    Wow, rather broad brush, eh, Ruvy?”

    Who called you a Jew hater, Bennett? Who called you anything? I didn’t say “ALL people who support Barack Obama are Jew haters”, did I?

    There are all sorts of folks who like the guy. There are blacks and people of mixed race who finally feel that one of their own is out the on the hustings representing them, represented on this list by Zedd and Heloise. And that’s okay.

    Then there is a Jewish lady on this list who likes him too, feeling that he represents new hope for America. Please note that I did not list her in with the pack of arrogant “I know what’s best for the Jews in Israel” bastards like Eric Yoffie.

    There are lots of other folks who like the guy.

    And I, for my own reasons, think he is just what the doctor ordered – not for you – he can’t dig you out of the mess of manure the oil and banking establishment is leaving you all in – but for guys like me in Ma’alé Levoná who will have to struggle against unJews on Government Hill in Jerusalem, and who frankly need lots of help and support from fellow Israelis.

    Jew haters like Eric Lee (you can revere him with the title “reverend” if you wish – I won’t) whip up the back of Obama’s church for him, and apologize with shit-eating grins later (read the entire article, Bennett). But they do the job for people like me when we point out President Obama (should it come to that) cuddling with CAIR bears in the Washington Mosque and cutting aid to this country to force its bought out “power-holders” to follow suicidal policies that kill Jews here and make others here homeless.

    I know what homelessness is, Bennett. Been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.

    As I said, Barack Obama supported rebel Arab terrorists as a member of the Illinois legislature, and has been keeping that fact awful quiet because he wants rich Jews to toss their millions his way. That’s how politics works in America, Bennett. It’s happened before and will happen again. So quitcherbitchin’. Nobody’s calling you any names – yet….

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    By the way, Bennett, I’m calling the man by his name – HIS NAME THAT HE HAS NEVER DISOWNED OR CHANGED. The candidate opposing Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination is named Barack Hussein Obama.

    What’s your problem?

  • Silver Surfer

    Zedd, please don’t eat yoghurt whilst driving.

    It’s dangerous.

    You go over a speed hump and BAM!, it’s everywhere.

    In a hot climate like yours and mine, it will absolutely stink out the car as it goes putrid down the linings of seats, etc.

    You will never get the smell out of the car, no matter how hard you try.

    Chocolate milk is another danger, and smoothies can be a nightmare – banana is the worst – because they are a mix of yoghurt AND milk.

    If you have young kids, it is also highly likely that you have rotting apple cores tucked away in secret spots around the back of the car, and a combination of the rotting fruit and putrefying dairy products will just about ensure a huge knockdown on your trade-in.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think Obama’s observations are dead on. It continually astonishes me that he can see these things so clearly and yet still advocate the failed and inherently unworkable policies which he is running on.

    For the record, McCain has addressed the same topic. And has proposed an initiative to retain workers from outdated rust-belt industries to enter more modern sectors of the workforce.

    Dave

  • Bennett

    “…the failed and inherently unworkable policies…”

    How did BushCo and the last eight years of US current events get into this thread?

    Sorry Dave, but most Americas don’t think that things can be worse than they’ve been under Bush.

    I know you can, but I think your concerns are for America’s wealthiest 5%. After eight years of watching your lobbyists sack the middle class, your pleas fall on deaf ears.

    btw, Democratic socialism is a conspiracy theory.

  • Bennett

    Ruvy, don’t be coy. You use Obama’s full name for reasons other than accuracy.

    Why would he disown or change his name? To make him less scary to the Jewish vote?

    Yeah, 20 years ago “Hussein” had such a negative impact that any serious candidate would have changed it to “Fred”.

  • Dan Miller

    Here we go, folks. Senator Clinton is in full swing, trying her best to convince voters that Senator Obama is elitist, condescending and less than respectful of people’s religious convictions.

    Her campaign handed out I’m not bitter stickers in North Carolina, and called Pennsylvania mayors to denounce Senator Obama. In Indiana, Senator Clinton told plant workers in Indianapolis that Obama’s comments were elitist and out of touch. The story continues. In a remarkable show of candor, one of Senator Clinton’s, strongest supporters, Senator Bayh, acknowledged there was some truth in Obama’s remarks, but said Republicans would use them against him anyway.

    Meanwhile, Senator Obama tried to defuse the situation by saying that his words may have been poorly chosen, but that he meant every word he said:

    I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter . . . .They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they’re going through.

    “So I said, well you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country.”

    The reactions of Senators Clinton and Obama were predictable.

    Dan

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    Everyone is tired of the Jew/Arab thing. Except for a few crack pots in the Christian community, the entire childish tit for tat stopped being boring in the 70’s. Neither of you have a point any more, accept the Palestinians maybe but even them go about things foolishly.

    Who cares about Obama’s middle name? His dad was African not Arab. Your making a fool out of yourself.

    The conversation is about clarity and rational discourse, you sir are creeping in the irrelevant commentary that we are breathing a sigh of relief from with the latest comments from this candidate.

    Its dangerous to spread disinformation. It reduces society to the chaos that your part of the world is (everyone paranoid and looking for the next conspiracy around the corner). The Republicans have waisted our time with that foolishness for 30yrs. The Dems have been trying to mimic the expert lying and doing it badly, however, we are tired of it.

    Keep it in Jerusalem.

    BTW,

    I don’t like Obama because he is part Black. Give me SOME credit. I think like ALL Americans, we are relieved that we get to have a good candidate who physically reflects our values of equality. I think Whites are just as relieved that he is not idiot or preacher or bojangles type. I think those who support him feel proud of themselves that they are not as racist as they were afraid they were. Same thing with Hillary. We are all breathing a sigh of relief that we are not as backwards as we thought we were.

    Now keep your them against us stuff and fight another 100yrs (without our funding). The truth is that modern day Israel has no identity without strife. It brings in the $$.

  • Zedd

    Made some ridiculous errors above. Try to decipher…

  • Zedd

    Stan,

    That is the best advise ever. You speak Female!

    I see the danger.

    I,m a changed woman. Thanks!!

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    You say, I think those who support [Senator Obama] … feel proud of themselves that they are not as racist as they were afraid they were. . . . We are all breathing a sigh of relief that we are not as backwards as we thought we were .

    You are probably correct, but I find this modestly disheartening. The race of Senator Obama, in a better world, would not be significant at all, and voting for him would not be productive of a warm fuzzy feeling that we “done good” by voting for a “Person of Color.” The warm fuzzy feeling, in such a world, would come from having voted for the best candidate, whether Black, Yellow, Red, Brown or even Green.

    As to Ruvy’s comments, while arguably off-thread, and while I don’t know enough to agree or disagree with much that he says, I do disagree with your statement that Everyone is tired of the Jew/Arab thing . . . [e]xcept for a few crack pots in the Christian community. . . .

    The Jew/Arab thing is one of the most important problems facing the world today; we are involved now and will be involved for a long time, like it or not.

    During the first days of the Korean Conflict more than sixty-seven years ago, President Truman exited a staff meeting called to discuss how best to inform the nation of the situation in Korea. In an inexplicable moment of prescience, as he left the meeting, he turned to a press assistant, paused at a large globe, and pointed to, of all places, Iran. He said, “Here is where they will start trouble if we aren’t careful. . . . Korea is the Greece of the Far East. If we are tough enough now, if we stand up to them like we did in Greece three years ago, they won’t take any next steps. . . . There’s no telling what they’ll do if we don’t put up a fight now.” Weinraub, MacArthur’s War, p. 40.

    The U.S. stood up to the North Koreans pretty well, and drove them out of South Korea; then the Chinese entered the Conflict in massive force. This surprised MacArthur, who thought he had won, and the U.S. advance to the Yalu turned into a rout. The Conflict ended in a stalemate.

    North Korea is no less dangerous now than it was in 1950 – not the least because of the nuclear links between North Korea and Iran. Iran is a major player in Iraq as well as in Syria, and Israel is a part of the context. Some may well be tired of being reminded of the problem, but it is real, it is scary, and we can’t ignore it. Should we do so, the already dangerous mess will likely explode into an horrific conflict in which our involvement will be massive.

    This is something upon which all of the candidates should be focusing, to a much greater extent than at present. There may be little that we are ready, willing, or able to do; but the entire matter should be on the table for discussion. It is certainly more important than any of the “issues” around which the current race revolves.

    Dan

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    In a remarkable show of candor, one of Senator Clinton’s, strongest supporters, Senator Bayh, acknowledged there was some truth in Obama’s remarks, but said Republicans would use them against him anyway.

    Evan Bayh ought to be Obama’s running mate and he made a terrible blunder signing on with Clinton.

    As for Republicans using Obama’s comments against him, that seems highly unlikely since Republicans know damn well that Obama is right on this issue and largely agree with him. It’s one of the things which has encouraged some of them to consider voting for him.

    Dave

  • Dan Miller

    Correction to comment

    Although my logic is, obviously, impeccable, my arithmetic is not. The Korean Conflict began more than fifty-seven years ago, not more than sixty-seven years ago as claimed.

    Sorry ’bout that.

    Dan

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    You, and a whole bunch of other people may be “tired” of the Arab/Israel thing, and that is your privilege. Has ever it dawned on you that I may be tired of it, too?

    The problem is that there are a whole bunch of Arabs, incessantly incited by the Wahhabi murder cult and the useful idiots from places like CNN, ABC, the BBC, the CBC, Oxfam, Médécins sans Frontières, and all sorts of other NGO’s planning to meet in DURBAN (you know, like in South Africa?) to have another hatefest where they denounce Jews and Israel. And “decent” people (rolling the eyes) like Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela will roll in the mud with all sorts of Jew-hating scum visiting their country.

    IF THESE ASSHOLES WOULD SHUT THEIR DAMNED MOUTHS UP AND PUT THEIR GUNS AWAY, I COULD FORGET ABOUT THE ISRAEL/ARAB THING. I’M A FUCK OF A LOT MORE TIRED OF IT THAN YOU ARE! I CAN’T EVEN WALK FROM ‘ELI TO MA’ALE LEVONA BECAUSE OF DAMNED ARAB/ISRAEL THING.

    So, Zedd, when these Jew-hating assholes keep their hate to themselves, especially supporters of Barack Obama, like this Reverend Wrong asshole and this Eric Lee asshole, THEN, AND ONLY THEN will “I keep it in Jerusalem”. Until then I’ll rub your noses in the haters of my people and the vicious and ugly brutality they perpetrate with the terror they practice worldwide, from Israel to the Phillipines. And, in addition, I’ll keep rubbing your noses in the fact that the same people fucking you all over, the oil and banking establishment of the Unites States, are financing the ugly terror of the Wahhabi fakers.

    If you don’t like it, that is just too damned bad. Deal with it.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy my friend, I believe that the defense of Israel is among the most important causes of our time. But even I have no idea why you turned this particular thread into an anti-Arab rant.

  • Baronius

    “The reactions of Senators Clinton and Obama were predictable.”

    Dan, I disagree. I think that Obama has done some great work in making the word “bitter” the focus of the debate. He’s lucky that the opposing candidate’s team is otnay ootay ightbray. They should have zoomed in on the offensive part of the message, which is that religion, etc., are merely comforts for the unfortunate and confused. I don’t care if you call me bitter, but don’t degrade the reasons for my faith.

  • Dan Miller

    Ruvy,

    I agree with most all that you said in your reply to Zedd, and could not have said it better myself, although perhaps less passionately since I am not there; instead, I am in a very tranquil rural area of a very peaceful country. I hope it stays that way.

    As noted in my reply to Zedd, the whole Jew/Arab thing involves us all, like it or not, and the involvement of all of us is very likely to increase for the foreseeable future.

    During your doubless copious leisure time, you might want to read the recent Blogcritics article by Alamgir Hussain and some of the comments (mine included). An earlier article on the Religion of Peace which he cites in his article is, to minimize it unduly, rather interesting.

    Dan

  • Baronius

    Dave, I love your concept of the Big Tent, which includes gays but not religious people or gun owners. That sounds like a winning GOP coalition!

  • Baronius

    Oop – should have read “libertarians and gays”.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Baronius,

    I just got home from a rough day where I had to wait at ‘Elí for a ride to take me back towards Jerusalem to Ofrá, so that I could wait for an hour and a half to ride a bus BACK to Ma’alé Levoná.

    If I didn’t have to worry about the fucking Arab terrorists KILLING ME if I had wanted to walk home from “Eli to Ma’alé Levoná, terrorists who are inflamed by the Wahhabi, murder cult, a murder cult which is financed by THE AMERICAN OIL AND BANKING ESTABLISHMENT, I COULD HAVE JUST WALKED A FEW KILOMETERS FROM ‘ELI TO MA’ALE LEVONA!

    I waited four hours from when I was done with work today to get home, my feet are killing me from waiting at assorted bus stops, and when I get home, I read Zedd’s condescending shit.

    This is not an anti-Arab rant, it is an anti-American rant. Your government has caused these policies to be carried out here, your government has trained Arab sharpshooters, the assholes who shot ShalHevet Pass in Qiryat Arba.

    It is your government’s pressure that, in the end, kept me waiting four hours to cover a twelve minute drive, and a twenty minute walk.

    So don’t tell me any garbage about how the defense of Israel is among the most important causes of our time.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dan,

    I tend to read Almagir Hussein’s stuff religiously. But I also bear in mind the source. He is a fallen away Moslem, which is not too different from a fallen away Catholic. This means he knows his Islam very well (Moslems boys are required to memorize the Qur’an for their equivalent of a “bar mitzvah”), but he is also implacably hostile to Islam.

    I’m not criticizing something which I haven’t read yet, and Almagir always turns in an interesting piece, but I tend to feel that in the end, my co-respondents in any attempts to find peace will be a believing Christian (Irene Wagner, for example) and a believing Moslem.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Because I have a migraine but am too impatient (my one flaw :o) to wait it out a couple of days, I will reply. You will encounter a few errors and there will possibly be a snippiness to my answers so do forgive, in advance.

    Now…

    What the heck happened with all that you stated? The world is intact, China is thriving, North Korea is who they want to be and we are just fine. Is it me?

    Look Israel is in the middle of the Middle East. Jews are different from EVERYONE there. They will encounter strife. Until we evolve into a non organic state, it’s just the way things are. We need to adjust to that. Heck THEY need to adjust to that and become good neighbors.

    The truth is, when they came back from Europe after a google years, they expected that everyone would buy into the “fact” that they are chosen and that they deserve that land (what is that all about and who gets to do that?). We supported them because we were afraid of being struck down by lightening or the plagues(interesting foreign policy) and forgot about what our evolutionary tale has taught us about human migration, nation building, civility and all that “stuff” (migraine word). We just skipped everything and went to “okay, if you want”. Off course we are reaping the natural consequences of our dumb decision.

    However, at this point, its time to sober up. We all need to step back and recognize that the tit for tat between Israel and everyone else is not about important issues. It’s really silly and the longer we act as if they are disputing some important issues, the longer it will last. We need to give Israel an ultimatum. Clean up the settlements NOW. Shut the heck up!! You are alone in the region be nice to EVERYONE.

    When that happens, the Arab population will deal with their own extremists. But as long as Israel is being really stupid, arrogant and condescending (European), they will keep being hated as they should (humans tent to respond that way to that behavior, odd isn’t it).

    Force an impatient in the middle of thick ivy and see what happens. What we are doing is cutting the ivy back constantly to accommodate the impatient. The ivy doesn’t like it.

    I will say what I have said before. Arabs unlike Africans, Asians and Native Americans (everyone else) have not had to deal with Europeans all that much in the past few centuries so they don’t know that they are suppose to pretend to be dumb and act like they don’t see the insults and condescending attitude towards them. They don’t know that they are supposed to pretend to agree with the subversive behavior towards everything that they are. They don’t know that they are inherently wrong and need fixin’. They react, well, normally. They get ticked off and want the behavior to stop. Much like Europeans do to everyone else who disrespects them. They (very few Arabs actually) attack anyone who seems to be contributing to the propagation of the aggressive behavior much like “we” do (a la our current military policy, Iran being the extreme example). “We” are shocked at their response and think that they are bad but we don’t see that actually we’ve been tolerated by the world and that what the Arabs are saying is true and we wouldn’t tolerate it if it were happening to us.

    I realize that stating this is “bad” because we are all supposed to not say such things but I trust that you being a thinking man will process this and reach the same conclusion. If my reasoning is flawed please spell out how.

    Oh goodness, I forgot to preface my comments with, here goes… off course I do acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, blah blah blah. I know we are all supposed to say that or else we are evil. Poor Baronius had to say that before telling Ruvy to chill earlier (snicker). Enough is enough folks. Can we just move on….

    My thing is, Israel becomes some small country in the middle of nowhere if it stops over reacting to everything and egging on more war. With the endless war, it’s a major player. They are on the news in every country every night. These are people who call themselves chosen. Any surprise that they seek so much attention?? Is it me? No hatred or even dislike here, just “what the heck?” Ruvy is going to claim that I’m a Jew hater and he knows that I am not. Actually never met on that I didn’t like. It’ll be just a tantrum because we are not supposed to question them. Be prepared.

  • Zedd

    Baronius

    The Word says that “G d is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble”.

    I don’t think that anyone disagreed with your faith. Unless you have another one.

    Tell me how I am wrong. Gotcha didn’t I?

    Actually what Obama was talking about is the christian/political/fundamentalism that has swept the nation which does have a tinge of bitterness just as the gun nuts do and the extreme anti-immigration types. Everyone is mad. He was not speaking of religion in general, even though Marx would disagree.

    Don’t forget Obama is a religious man.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    If you have a migraine, you shouldn’t be on here commenting. Go lie down and do whatever it is you do to treat your migraines.

    Then think, woman. But don’t think so hard, you give yourself another migraine. You shouldn’t suffer needlessly.

    But keep your thoughts in Texas, or wherever the hell you hang your brassiere hat.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    “IF THESE ASSHOLES WOULD SHUT THEIR DAMNED MOUTHS UP AND PUT THEIR GUNS AWAY, I COULD FORGET ABOUT THE ISRAEL/ARAB THING. I’M A FUCK OF A LOT MORE TIRED OF IT THAN YOU ARE! I CAN’T EVEN WALK FROM ‘ELI TO MA’ALE LEVONA BECAUSE OF DAMNED ARAB/ISRAEL THING.”

    Boy you seem like a peace lover. I can tell you were ready for peace yesterday!!! Wow even Desmond Tutu sucks huh? You are so due the peace which you reflect. Being the beacon that you are, shalom is right around the corner.

    I think its funny that both of you say “peace” in your greeting but are the biggest hot heads. Sorry but it’s true. Poor Sarah. How did she cope!! I bet she was glad to leave him and pretend he was her brother. She got a break.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    Thanks for the thought. I get them so frequently that I’d be resting a lot of the time.

    Besides, I think they are the reason why I am such a genius!!! Its a freak of nature. Amazing I tell you.

    Brassieres are not hung. They are folded neatly in a scented drawer. Just a little inside scoop.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Wow even Desmond Tutu sucks huh?

    If Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela want to roll in the shit with the Jew-hating garbage from the “NGO’s” and the Jew-hating shit from the Arab world, then they (Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela) will smell from shit themselves. If they keep rolling around in shit, they will become indistinguishable from it.

    This is not a complicated proposition. Nor is it rocket science. But having a migraine headache may make it hard for you to understand.

    Now, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela could be real men and disassociate themselves from the shit rolling towards Durban and its constant whine of “the poor ‘Palestinians’ and the genocidal Jews”. That would show the character that one expects from a religious leader whom one ought to revere, and from a man who led a persecuted people to power without war.

    But unfortunately, they are not able to bring themselves to do this. They are only people, and are not larger than life. Heroes tend to have feet of clay.

    ma la’asót? “What’s to be done?”

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    ma la’asót?

    Chose your battles.

    That is what they are doing.

  • Dan Miller

    Zedd,

    When you feel better, which I hope will be soon, please read (or re-read) my comment #28. You may or may not, and probably won’t, agree, but at least that’s where I try to explain why the Israel/Arab thing can’t be avoided, even if we want to.

    Best wishes,

    Dan

  • Dan

    I agree with Dan Miller’s observation. Obama is striking out on some non politically expedient straight talk. Whether he’s accurate or not is dependent on peoples point of view or ideology.

    Clarifying his ideology is what we all wanted from him.

    Saying that people “cling” to things out of “bitterness” suggests that these things people are clinging to are irrational manifestations of “frustration”.

    To flip it a bit, one might say that the folks in Obama’s church cling to victimization, and white oppression out of bitterness, and frustration.

    That doesn’t say their views are wrong, but if anyone were saying it, we might be able to guess where they stand.

  • Doug Hunter

    “Saying that people ‘cling’ to things out of ‘bitterness’ suggests that these things people are clinging to are irrational manifestations of ‘frustration’.”

    Excellent point.

  • REMF

    But it’s OK for Rush Limbaugh to cling to the American flag, despite dodging the draft during Vietnam…?

    Just wondering.

  • Zedd

    Dan,

    Perhaps it is my headache indeed that precludes me from seeing how Israel plays a part in what you described.

    My comment was not that we should remain unengaged in international matters of import. My comment was on the tit for tat between the Israelis and their neighbors.

    Actually it is our carte blanche attitude towards Israel that has puts us at great compromise with others in that region. It is reckless and has no bases. It’s not been made quite clear why we support Israel other than that they were formerly European. Why do we deem them always right no matter what? Why do OUR politicians make a pledge to them during OUR electoral season. No other country ever comes up. Not even England. We don’t gain economically from Israel, we actually dispense quite a bit of money to that country. What is the return? We gain a lot from our dealings with Saudi and some of the other states in the region but we don’t declare our loyalty or unbridled support. Is it me?

  • Doug Hunter

    I think you understand Zedd, they (Israelis) are more like us so we support them. Although the article doesn’t address this situation in particular I think it is an issue that can be a good litmus test for political persusaion.

    Democrats are quite a bit more likely to be neutral or side against Israel than others. I believe this stems from that side of the spectrums tendency to sympathise with or make excuses for what has been traditionally known as bad or failed behavior(while being overly critically of and antagonistic towards the rich, powerful, and successful). It’s quite odd to my old way of thinking. I suppose it’s all in the name of equality though, tear down success and build up failures and we’ll all be the same.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    Actually it is our carte blanche attitude towards Israel that has puts us at great compromise with others in that region. It is reckless and has no bases. It’s not been made quite clear why we support Israel other than that they were formerly European. Why do we deem them always right no matter what?

    You’ve missed a few basic points here.

    The basic point is that the oil and banking establishment controls most of American politicians of note, including the “blessed” Barack who is supposed to bring you all “change” (Barack is Arabic for blessed, the equivalent of the Hebrew Barúkh or the Latin Benedict – so stop making a fool of yourself, Zedd, and learn a little Arabic; Were it not for Obama’s daddy’s Moslem leanings, he’d be called Bennie Obama).

    THEIR policy is a weakened Jewish entity at the very least, and no Jewish entity at all if they can manage it. In order to stage manage such a foreign policy, your mannikins politicians have to constantly assure American Jews that they are 1000% behind Israel’s right to exist, etc., etc.

    These policies are not in concord with Pentecostal and Fundamentalist Christians in America, who are relying on the re-establishment of a Jewish state to guarantee their supposed savior returning, but that isn’t my problem. Basically, however sympathetic the Fundies seem now, they will eventually turn on us Jews. Reverend Wrong and Eric Lee are just a bit ahead of the curve, that’s all.

    So, American government policy is NOT TO SUPPORT ISRAEL, BUT TO APPEAR TO DO SO TO SHUT UP SENSITIVE CONSTITUENCIES WITHIN YOUR BORDERS. Barúr? – Is this clear to you? Americans are kept in the dark about this because there is a very real sympathy in America for what appears to be a fellow democracy in the Middle East.

    As usual, perception is everything in politics, and this is no exception.

    In terms of your perception, your comments indicate you to be a useful idiot for the oil and banking establishment that screws you over constantly. I’m merely trying to change this.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    NOT TO SUPPORT ISRAEL, BUT TO APPEAR TO DO SO TO SHUT UP SENSITIVE CONSTITUENCIES WITHIN YOUR BORDERS

    That sounds like a great plan, but since we do give them actual cash money, I imagine they can find some way to make that useful and therefore derive benefit from it.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Ruvy,

    Considering that we give Israel more money than any country on the planet, I think a lot of countries would like it if we faked our support.

    I know about the kissing up to the Jewish money in this country by politicians. I just needed for someone to say it. Glad it was you else I would have been accused of being a Jew hater. Jews like everyone else cant have it all ways. You don’t want people to think that you are controlling and manipulative but you “sort of” (cant say it blatantly, I’m scared to) are by the looks of what you just described. You expect that your neighbors should not have WMDs but you do. You want your neighbors held to UN mandates but you are guilty of breaking them.

    I don’t expect an answer (even though you will rant) because there is none that would make sense, there just isn’t one. Because of that, your neighbors are angry, as they should be, as ANYONE would be.

    Ruvy when you learn Sotho, I’ll learn Arabic. (?????). What was that all about?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I didn’t know Ruvy was one of those conspiracy nuts!??!

    You know Ruvy, if you still lived in the city you coulda took the subway!

    And lastly, to Dan’s comment 16…Obamas comments have provoked some thought…I’d explain those thoughts to you…but since you can’t even define the word liberal, you probably wouldn’t understand the thought process either.

    I will say that I live in the south, don’t have a gun in my house and only go to church for weddings, funerals and baptisms….so my question is, what bitterness am I CLINGING to???

  • Arch Conservative

    Ruvy…you do realize that relations with Israel is not a top issue with most American voters don’t you?

    I’d say it ranks right above the issue of wether or not to allot more federal funding to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

    Aside from being a rabid anti-semite as you seem to beleive he is, there is a plethora of more practical and immediate reasons why Americans should not vote for Obama.

    ” I think Whites are just as relieved that he is not idiot or preacher or bojangles type. I think those who support him feel proud of themselves that they are not as racist as they were afraid they were. Same thing with Hillary. We are all breathing a sigh of relief that we are not as backwards as we thought we were.”

    That statement is correct but the fact that it is correct just goes to show what morons the people are that that statement is about. Instead of saying whites you should have said white liberals though. It’s only white liberals that carry around this mythical historical guilt. There’s no way in hell I would ever vote for Obama or Hillary but yet I know that this in no way makes me either a racist or sexist. I don’t need to first check the skin color or sex of the candidate I support to ensure that I am “doing the right thing.” My only criterion is that the candidate I choose support/share my values and views. For all the talk about getting beyond race that comes from liberal America they are in fact the biggest obstacle. You can bet good money that when Obama loses to Mccain this fall all that will be heard from the American left is cries of “racism.” If they were to ask someone like myself why I did not vote for Obama I would provide a litany of reasons that have nothing to do with Obama’s race. To be sure…there would be a small hopless portion of the population that would in fact not vote for Obaam because he is half-black but to summarily dismiss all who vote against Obama as racists would be doing the matter of race relations in this nationa great disservice.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy, I’m beginning to see an increase of Anti-American rhetoric from you lately my friend-you know I could solve the problem in the middle east in about a month if someone would let me.

    Take all the money we spend on war in the region and make every Israeli family live with an Arab family and vise versa for 30 days (unarmed of course)

    It’s my firm beliefe that after a month, everyone would get to know their enemies to the point of not being willing to kill someone they know.

    Maybe the only reason that doesn’t happen is because the arms manufacturers are making so much money supplying both sides?

  • Dan Miller

    Jet,

    You may have a point, or at least an arguable one. Here in Panama, in the city of Colon, there is a very large wholesale free trade zone; one of the largest in the world. Actually, it is a very clean and neat walled city within Colon; the rest of the city of Colon is neither neat nor clean, and there is much unemployment.

    In the free zone, most of the merchants are Jews or Muslims. My understanding is that they get along just fine, and in many cases are in business partnerships with each other. Since I live about nine hours away from Colon and haven’t been there for years, all of this is hearsay; I haven’t any personal experience. I read a machine translated version of the leading Panamanian daily newspaper, and otherwise try to keep attuned to what is going on as best I can. I have never heard of any religion based discord between the Jews and Muslims there. Apparently, they focus on business (which tends to be quite successful) and to avoid discussion of religion and politics.

    They do not, however, live together. The Jews tend to live two hours away in the City of Panama and the Muslims tend to live in Colon.

    It seems quite unrealistic for “us” to force the folks in any around Israel to live together for a month or, for that matter, to force them to do much of anything. What we might consider, however, is to find ways to encourage joint business ventures. Having common economic interests sometimes promotes other common interests.

    Unfortunately, I have absolutely no realistic hope that this, or forced co-habitation for that matter, would do even a smidgen of good. The centuries old hatreds, encouraged by various governments in the land, are too great.

    Dan

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy…you do realize that relations with Israel is not a top issue with most American voters don’t you? I’d say it ranks right above the issue of whether or not to allot more federal funding to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

    Aside from being a rabid anti-Semite as you seem to believe he is, there is a plethora of more practical and immediate reasons why Americans should not vote for Obama.

    Bing,

    Israel is even lower on the American awareness scale than you put it. That isn’t a problem with me. If it is a problem, it is a problem for you, because ultimately what happens here will affect you in a very direct way. But we can talk about that another time.

    I don’t think Obama is an “anti-Semite”, a term you very rarely see me use. I don’t think he gives a rat’s ass about any religion other than his own (if he even cares about that). I don’t hold that against him either. I think he is so firmly anti-Israel, though, that he doesn’t care if we are attacked and destroyed.

    And that is the reason I like the bastard so much. Just like Hamas, which tells us they are out to kill us, and that’s that, Obama will take such an anti-Israel stance in office that Yossi Yisraeli (kinda like Joe Sixpack in America) will finally see the need to put Olmert, Livni, Peres, Barak and the rest of the bought out traitors on Government Hill on the butcher hooks they deserve to hang from – just like the Italians finally did to Mussolini.

    They’re treif meat worse than pig.

    That’s what’s in it for me and mine – maybe.

    But what about you?

    Truthfully, I do not think that you have much of a choice because none of the viable candidates have any solutions for the recession your country is in, or the falling dollar (if you manufactured anything other than crises, the falling dollar would be good news for you), or the fact that Iraq and the possibility of attacking Iran is sucking you all dry.

    I won’t mention the moral sewer your country has become, or the fact that you owe every tin-pot dictator a fortune of money….

    Side note to Dave: don’t talk to me about “not being in a recession”; check your e-mail at Blogcritics to see the memo.

    In other words, Bing, you’re screwed. All you Americans have to do is bend over and pull your collective pants down so the oil and banking establishment can shove its stick further up your collective rear end.

    I’m sure glad I don’t own a car…. I’m sure glad I’m not in America right now.

    So, in the end (your end), it’s not about Israel at all; it’s not about the Middle East and its crises, which all of us are damned tired of; it’s about the fact that the United States of America is running out of rope.

    The only real question remaining is: How fast?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy when you learn Sotho, I’ll learn Arabic.

    Well, Zedd, there is a long line of languages I need to learn first: there’s Hebrew (including Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic) of course, Arabic, so I can tell my neighbors “good morning”, Amharic, so I can talk with the Ethiopian Jews and understand some of their culture, some Russian, so I can enjoy Isak Babel’s stories in the native tongue and talk to the Russian Jews here. After that, we can talk about Sotho….

  • Baronius

    “Brassieres are not hung. They are folded neatly in a scented drawer. Just a little inside scoop.”

    Zedd, don’t sell yourself short. Whatever size scoop your brassiere has, I’m sure you look good. Also, I didn’t realize you were a fellow member of the migraine club. There aren’t many benefits to membership; you just get to mock anyone who complains about having “a little headache”.

    Obama’s statement doesn’t insult my religion, but it casts aspersions on the motivations behind my devotion to it. You say that Obama is a religious guy, but I don’t see it. He’s said that he didn’t attend services at his local church on the Sunday after 9/11. Unless he was travelling somewhere, he’s got to be the only religious person who didn’t feel the need to join in prayer.

  • MAOZ

    What’s with this “formerly European” nonsense? FYI, the Teimani side of the family managed to go from Eretz Yisrael down to Yemen and back up to Eretz Yisrael without so much as setting foot in Europe.

  • Dan Miller

    Baronious,

    Do you really think that Senator Obama cast aspersions on your motivations for your devotion to your religion? Somehow, based on your writings on this and other threads, I can’t picture you as one of the folks he was talking about: those who have horrible lives and see no hope for the future. Some of them turn to drugs, alcohol, crime or self-pity. Some turn to half baked conspiracy theories or weird economic or social notions. These are unhelpful things, to which very sad people have always turned.

    In adversity, some people seek solace instead in religion. They do so when there are family difficulties, worrisome health problems, and even when they are no able longer to cope with financial burdens. In many such cases, their religion helps them to see life in a more positive light. As I recall from sacred studies classes many years ago, lots of the people attracted to Jesus were very poor, downtrodden, and looked for some assurances of a better life, if not in this world then in the next. He gave them hope; as I recall, that was one of his aims.

    Many people turn to religion, and some become devout, for other and numerous reasons — even affluent, happy and well-balanced people who do not despair of the future. Some do so because beliefs were inculcated when they were young, others because someone brought them to faith, others through independent study, others because they live in communities where social life revolves around a church, and others for myriad other reasons.

    I do not think that Senator Obama said, meant to say, or even considered the possibility that his remarks would be taken to mean, that all or even most of the religious people in the country are religious because they were brought to their faith through despair.

    He said that people who have long been miserable, whose problems have long been ignored, and who see no hope for any improvement in the future need real help, and that they need it soon. Should this happen (which I doubt, but that is another issue entirely), at least some may eschew drugs, crime, etc. I do not think that he claimed that this would wean them away from religion, or that it should do so.

    In my view, Senator Obama meant well, did not intend to insult anyone, and said what he thought had to be said. Although I do not agree with many of the things said by Senator Obama, or with his apparent views on points to which he has not spoken, I do agree with the points that he made in the portion of the California speech which has attracted so much attention.

    Dan

  • Baronius

    “Do you really think that Senator Obama cast aspersions on your motivations for your devotion to your religion?”

    Yes, I really do. He said guns or religion or isolationism, if I may lump together anti-trade, anti-immigration, and antipathy to people who aren’t like them. Or is that summation too polite? “Antipathy to people who aren’t like them” could mean racism, gay-bashing, or who knows what. But let me take the meekest possible interpretation.

    Why combine guns, religion, and isolationism? Apparently, to Senator Obama, those things would fall together naturally in the mind of wealthy Californians. None of them are listed for their inherent goodness. Obama didn’t say that people cling to religion because they’re hopeful, and to guns because they’re bitter. He doesn’t say that after 25 hard economic years, people pitch together to make things better. No, these three things are tied together “as a way to explain their frustrations”. They’re reactionary. People who care about guns, religion, and isolationism live in shacks.

    Imagine this: Obama stands in front of a California crowd and says, “Some people in California are tired of living pointless American lives. So they turn to promiscuity, Scientology, and tearing down US servicemen in anti-patriotic movies.” Do you think that would be considered praise of Scientology? He’s not saying that every Scientologist is an unpatriotic philanderer…but I’m betting that Tom Cruise wouldn’t write a big check to Obama that night.

  • Cannonshop

    “He means well means nothing if he does not Do”. In Sen. Obama’s case, what he said, I think, is exactly what he believes to be the entire truth.

    It’s taking him at his word, that’s causing the problem, you know, because when you parse it down, and look at his voting record in the Legislature and Senate, his other positions, and what little substantive material we have on him, it’s all part of a picture that does not add up to someone us ‘bitter country folk’ want in the White House.

    (mind you now, I’m not holding much enthusiasm for that pinko McCain, either.)

  • bliffle

    Mountains out of molehills. what drivel.

  • Les Slater

    After 66 replies I am surprised that it’s only Baronius, as in his #64, that gets it.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Just comenting, you know.

  • Zedd

    Baronius,

    Funny on the booby thing. I get flushed easily but that was chuckle worthy.

    I couldn’t tell that you were religious by some of your comments either Baronius.

    If you are indeed a Christian, you know that it is impossible to judge who is one and who is not. According to theology, we are too dumb to make that call because we are not God. Did you miss that sermon.

    Also, if going to church on the Sunday after 911 is your litmus test for who is a Christian than I would have to wonder if you know what a Christian is. It’s just one who acknowledges their need to be forgiven and who believes in Jesus Christ, and that is difficult to tell by looking at anyone.

    Baronius, you know that you are skewed on this one and you wouldn’t be able to objective with this one even if you gave it your best. You’ve drifted on to minutia so why don’t we just call it a day or regroup.

    On the migraine thing, I find the migraine club members eye rolling. Its as if its a badge or something. It’s like the allergy club members in my part of Texas (everyone). It is as if they have a rare terminal illness. I only stated my situation so that I don’t loose cool points when I start making errors. Although my immense brilliance will still shine through :o) such as my beauty has not failed to elude you even across the web, I do make dumb mistakes when I have a visit from a migraine. I edit majorly at work but at home, I just don’t feel like it sometimes. So I ask for leniency.

  • Baronius

    Zedd, I’m not trying to guess the state of Obama’s soul. You’re the one who brought up Obama’s faith in comment #40. I suppose that was a defense against my accusation of his antireligiousity. I’m telling you, I don’t judge his relationship with God, but neither am I going to let it be used as an excuse for what I see as an antireligious statement.

    Dang, I’m wordy tonight. I could have probably said all that in ten words, on a normal day.

    In that same comment, you asked where the insult was against my religion. I’ve explained that I consider Obama’s statement to be an insult against the motivation for religion. It’s an ad hominem attack. Bitter rural people turn toward religion in their frustration. View it however you want, that’s not a compliment toward religion.

  • bliffle

    Baronius slanders California the same way he claims Obama slanders Pennsylvania. What state does Baronius live in? So that others may slander that state. Ho hum. Where does it end.

    Forget it.

  • Zedd

    Baronius,

    Quite frankly, I am disappointed and frustrated at how Republicans have drummed down discourse. The junk that you call political dialogue is simply smallness, nit picking and false indignation.

    I am looking forward to the time when we can revert to being proud of our genuineness. This over analysis of the remote, the gossip mongering that is called political commentary is killing our nation. The Rush-ification of discourse is lulling our ability to reason.

    Yes the poor are bitter. Yes many latch on to extreme beliefs because they are frustrated about so many things that they cant control. Ever wondered why those twangy racists are often dirt poor?

    I would challenge you to challenge your ideals and get past the foolish analysis that has been propagated by the Rushes of this world.

  • Clavos

    Baronius slanders California the same way he claims Obama slanders Pennsylvania.

    Not true; no matter how badly you talk about California, especially Hollywood, the reality is it’s deserved, and therefore not slander.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The thing with California is that you have to focus your criticism: if it’s indiscriminate, and directed at the bits that aren’t LA, Bakersfield and Fresno, then it becomes slander, and we’ll get all upset and won’t let you drink any more of our wine.

  • Clavos

    …we’ll get all upset and won’t let you drink any more of our wine.

    The principal casualty in that instance would be Truth, because as everyone knows, in vino veritas…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I thought the watchword here on BC was in Jameson veritas…?

  • Clavos

    Well, for those of us of the Irish persuasion, yes.

    Rumor has it that the peasants drink wine, however.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Take all the money we spend on war in the region and make every Israeli family live with an Arab family and vise versa for 30 days (unarmed of course)

    It’s my firm beliefs that after a month, everyone would get to know their enemies to the point of not being willing to kill someone they know.

    Jet, there are just a couple of little eensy teensy problems with your solution.

    1. You need to define “unarmed” so that the universal pocket knives we all use here (not to mention steak knives, fish hackers, forks, pencils, flashlights, and what have you) will not be used to kill everyone in sight.

    2. Familiarity breeds contempt. Israelis scream and bang the table. Arabs just kill you. That’s why there is so much Arab on Arab violence around our parts, partner. After a month, you’d have a bloodbath here.

    Your solution has its merits, though, especially for those who believe that mutual and total fratricide is the true solution to the problems in this part of the world….

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    so be it

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    so be it

    That’s an elegant way of telling me I should drop dead because you’re tired of hearing about my part of the world, Jet. Now apply this to Darfur, most of Africa, actually, India/Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Latin America and Europe and you have a formula for being able to forget about the rest of the world – which will be empty, since everyone will have killed each other off (except for a few folks at the ass end of the planet).

    So be it. I don’t have to give a damn either, you know….

    Anyway, I’ll know longer condescend to hijack Dan Miller’s fine article about Israel’s “great black hope”.

    You can reach me here at me own article….

    Later!

  • Zedd

    Jet

    Is that all it takes and poof he’s gone?

    Let me practice… “so be it”.

    Wow! That easy huh.

  • REMF

    “You say that Obama is a religious guy, but I don’t see it. He’s said that he didn’t attend services at his local church on the Sunday after 9/11. Unless he was travelling somewhere, he’s got to be the only religious person who didn’t feel the need to join in prayer.”
    – Baronius

    Oh-oh…another one of “God’s little helpers” at work…

  • http://www.Blacks4Barack.org Greg ‘Peace Song’ Jones

    From: BLACKS4BARACK.org

    Hillary/Media’s ‘bitter’ tactic against Obama desperately PITIFUL !

    Here we go again ! When the campaign started in 2007 Obama was said to have not been ‘black enough’ as per the media as they touted Hillary’s 82% support from Black Americans. The Clinton camp scrounged and dug as deeply as they could to find some kind….ANY kind of smut they could use against Obama, even searching as far back as his kindergarten writings. Couldn’t find a thing. Then as Americans of all races learned more about the real Clintons, while learning more about the great qualities and capabilities of Obama, the inevitable was no more. So the Clintons (and the media) decided if they couldn’t find anything negative on Obama, why not search through video tapes of Obama’s preacher. Yea ! That’s the ticket. So they scrounged and searched through years and years of video taped sermons and found a few somewhat harsh statements from the preacher….looped them all together….played them on the news 1 or 2 million times, in hopes that they could paint Obama as this anti-American-black militant type person….exactly what he is not (maybe they forgot he’s also half white). But, polls showed their masterminded plot to be ineffective. Now what ? Ahhhhh. Obama makes a statement discussing how many Americans are fed up with government failures and are ‘bitter’. The Clintons….McCain….the media….ALL decide….here’s something we can jump on top of…..Obama called Americans ‘bitter’ ! So he’s an elitist out of touch with real America!

    This is the weakest attempt so far. How in the world can they try to claim that a little black boy who’s father left at age 2….raised by a single white mother…so broke at times that she was on food stamps….a boy who grew up and went to college through grants and scholarships….riding to school daily in a ragedy jalopy…..just recently paying off his student loans thanks to proceeds from a book he wrote….(entitled ‘The Audacity of HOPE’) who’s entire life has been devoted to helping the disadvantaged….the poor….sick….the struggling….THIS IS AN ELITIST ?

    Hillary, McCain and the entire media should be ashamed of themselves for this weak, pitiful attempt to literally make-up truth. They should be concentrating on REAL facts such as the 109 million the Clintons have made during the last few years…or the 300 mill McCain’s wife is worth…..or what about Hillary’s secret religion known as ‘The Family’ which CNN didn’t ask a single question about in the so-called religious forum…or what about her election fraud case going on right now in California? Did we mention McCain’s wife’s stealing of drugs and her rehab stint ? There’s so much more….it’s pitiful !

    The fact is…..Obama is about as elitist as Hillary ducked sniper fire in Bosnia….Stay focused people. They are all (Hillary, McCain and the media) getting more and more desperate everyday. That’s a real good sign !

    Greg Jones
    Visit: BLACKS4BARACK.org

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Comment #9:

    “Over the last 25 years, per capita personal income in Pennsylvania has grown by 44%, adjusted for inflation. Senator Obama might want to stop talking down to people who are experiencing this kind of prosperity. He might also remember that Illinois rust-belters are his employers.”

    Baronius,

    The 44% increase you mention is below the national average increase in per capita income (which is over 50%). So relative to the rest of the country PA is getting poorer. I happen to have visited Appalachia several times in my life and my girlfriend is from a town on the NY border with PA. If you had been there and payed attention to what’s going on around you, you would know what an impoverished area it is and realize the absurdity of your comments. I am quite sure they would find the claim that they are experiencing “this kind of prosperity” infinitely more elitist than Obama’s comments.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Comment #19:

    “By the way, Bennett, I’m calling the man by his name – HIS NAME THAT HE HAS NEVER DISOWNED OR CHANGED. The candidate opposing Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination is named Barack Hussein Obama.

    What’s your problem?”

    Ruvy,

    I begin with the premise you don’t normally (at least until this election cycle) call candidates by their full name. You call Obama by his full name. There must be a reason you call him by his full name as you don’t normally do so for other candidates.

    I can think of no good reason why you would change your habit. The only reason I can think of is that in bigotry you have decided having the middle name Hussein is somehow relevant to his candidacy.

    I don’t know about you folks back in Israel, but here in the United States both parties and the vast majority of Americans have achieved the modicum of intelligence and open-mindedness to not judge people on their middle names.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    At least his middle name isn’t ‘moonbeam’ or ‘starwolf’.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    You must be done with your taxes. You seem a bit giddy. You took my advise and used Turbo Tax this year didn’t you? Admit it. The Zedddness is wise and she saved you a mint!!!

    You are welcome!!

    Welcome to the modern times Daud!

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Hey Dave,

    What happened to the Libertarian party? After Ron Paul will the party go back to it’s regularly scheduled programming or is a substantial wing of the party adhering to or tolerant of his views? Just interested to hear your inside scoop.

  • REMF

    “At least his middle name isn’t ‘moonbeam’ or ‘starwolf’.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Or “Stray Dog Killer”

  • Dan Miller

    Dear me. Now former President seems to have said that folks over sixty are forgetful but remember how much better things were when he was president and that “the history doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. All that matters is the future. Who will make the best future for you?

    Makes a lot of sense, I guess, but I wonder the apparent attack on the older folks will be taken to mean that although a tad senile, they have rosy recollections of the past. I don’t have any idea how the downplaying of history will work out. Perhaps the whole thing will be parsed sort of like Senator Obama’s “bitter” speech.

    Dan

  • Clavos

    Slick Willie is clearly losing it.

    His desperate attempts to repair Shrillary’s moribund campaign are taking on the tenor of the old lame playground retort, “I know you are, but what am I.”

    And they make about as much sense…

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Smartass terms like “Slick Willie” and “Shillary” go a long way towards earning you about as much respect as JOM got with his “Dumbocrats”. They also gain you about as much respect as the 33 percent of the Bush supporters who are as equally desparate to find a way to prove that Bush is the Greatest president who ever sat in office.

    If you trying to sway people who disagree with your views, insulting them up front is hardly a good or sound tactic my friend…

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    33%? That sounds awfully high to me..

  • Clavos

    I didn’t insult anyone but the Billarys, Jet, and they’re doing more to hurt themselves than I could ever hope to.

    I’m not trying to sway anyone; just expressing my opinion; whether or not you agree is immaterial to me.

    Not sure why you mention the “33 percent” (according to whom?), but rest assured I’m not one of them.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    You took my advise and used Turbo Tax this year didn’t you?

    Blimey, Zedd, for his sake I hope he didn’t. I wouldn’t touch Turbo Tax again with a ten-foot pole after they lost my e-payment to the state a couple of years ago and I ended up with $100 of penalties that the tax board refused to waive.

    Bah.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I begin with the premise you don’t normally (at least until this election cycle) call candidates by their full name.

    That’s your problem right there, bub. I begin with the premise. What do you know about me or my writing that you can afford to begin with a premise at all?

    The folks on the board who know how to write are aware that words consist of syllables, groups of sound, and that when read aloud, these groups of sound have meter, even if they don’t rhyme. In writing, I always read aloud what I write, to see if what I’ve written sounds good to the ear. Sometimes, the extra two syllables that the name Hussein provides sound better in the sentence. In the final analysis, that is the reason I use (or don’t use) middle names at all. They are extra syllables that I can use or not use to puff up sentences to provide the meter I feel comfortable with.

    I do not need to hint if I think that Barack Obama is a Moslem or not. If I indeed thought so, I’d state it straight up. As it turns out, he is a fellow who has hung around one church for quite some time, and unless he (Obama) has been getting together with the daddy that abandoned him and spreading out prayer rugs in qibla, I doubt that he really cares about Islam. Having lived in Indonesia for a time, I’m sure he knows more about Islam than the average American. I could be wrong, of course.

    Us folks back here in Israel tend to have a penchant for brevity, and middle names just get in the way, but that’s Hebrew culture, not American culture. On the news, Barack Obama is called just that in Hebrew.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Jet: …the 33 percent of the Bush supporters who are as equally desparate to find a way to prove that Bush is the Greatest president who ever sat in office.

    Strike ‘supporters'; substitute ‘family’…? :-D

    33% (of what, though? Bush insiders? Republicans at large?) does sound pretty high, but it’s been my experience of following British and American politics that whoever the current president/prime minister is, there are always going to be a few in his or her party who get up and trumpet that he/she is the greatest leader the country has ever had. In mitigation, this sort of thing does tend to happen at party conferences and conventions, when (a) people get caught up in the moment and (b) the sucking-up opportunities are maximized.

  • Dan Miller

    Opps.

    In comment #8, I must have had a couple of senior moments. I neglected to insert the word “Clinton” following President in the first paragraph, and then in the second paragraph I omitted the word “if” following the word “wonder.”

    Thank all of you who were too kind to comment on the errors of a typically pitiful old man. I appreciate your compassion.

    Due to my apparently advancing senility, I just might consider voting for Senator, uh, I forgot. But, you know, like, I mean what is her name?. . . Now what was I saying?

    Dan

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption


    Strike ‘supporters'; substitute ‘family’…? :-D

    33% (of what, though? Bush insiders? Republicans at large?) does sound pretty high, but it’s been my experience of following British and American politics that whoever the current president/prime minister is, there are always going to be a few in his or her party who get up and trumpet that he/she is the greatest leader the country has ever had. In mitigation, this sort of thing does tend to happen at party conferences and conventions, when (a) people get caught up in the moment and (b) the sucking-up opportunities are maximized.

    33% is a tad higher than the actual probably. The latest Gallup has it at 28% and RCP puts the average at 31%. Statistically not very significant, but I just had to correct.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    “I begin with the premise you don’t normally (at least until this election cycle) call candidates by their full name.

    That’s your problem right there, bub. I begin with the premise. What do you know about me or my writing that you can afford to begin with a premise at all?

    The folks on the board who know how to write are aware that words consist of syllables, groups of sound, and that when read aloud, these groups of sound have meter, even if they don’t rhyme. In writing, I always read aloud what I write, to see if what I’ve written sounds good to the ear. Sometimes, the extra two syllables that the name Hussein provides sound better in the sentence. In the final analysis, that is the reason I use (or don’t use) middle names at all. They are extra syllables that I can use or not use to puff up sentences to provide the meter I feel comfortable with.”

    Despite what you would like to think, your reason is exceedingly transparent to the vast majority of objective readers. Especially when you consider the fact that Obama is the only person you do this for ever (having read lots of your other posts you tend to use only last names or sometimes first and last). Now are you honestly telling me the sentences you use Obama’s name in are the only sentences you have ever written which require extra syllables? Please.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dan: Due to my apparently advancing senility, I just might consider voting for Senator, uh, I forgot. But, you know, like, I mean what is her name?

    Or, due to your apparently advancing senility, you should consider a run for the White House yourself, as you’re admirably qualified. After all, Ronnie R never let the occasional senior moment slow him down!

    PETI: Just to clarify, that 28/31% refers to the President’s job approval rating, right?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    PETI: Just to clarify, that 28/31% refers to the President’s job approval rating, right?

    Yep, it’s job approval. The trend downwards for the past few years has certainly slowed.. but it’s probably still trending downwards overall (judging from the RCP numbers).

  • Clavos

    The most likely reason for the slowdown is that he’s approaching the level of his real hard core supporters who will support him regardless.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    The most likely reason for the slowdown is that he’s approaching the level of his real hard core supporters who will support him regardless.

    Yeah that 30% of the population that doesn’t understand democracy doesn’t work unless you hold it accountable.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Maybe it just says that 30% of the people are irrationally optimistic.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Maybe it just says that 30% of the people are irrationally optimistic.

    Or that..but there’s definitely something wrong with them.

    Probably the same people who feel our economic future will be determined by the number of times the President says “God” in a speech (The Heritage Foundation). It’s a positive correlation in case you were wondering.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The slowing downward trend is probably due to the prevailing opinion that having hit rock bottom on the incompetence scale, President Bush can’t get any worse.

    But he’s surprised us before. He still has nine months to cook up something else really special.

  • Cannonshop

    wow, the thread has wandered. Okay, Obama’s “Bitter” comment: Isn’t going to change a thing with regards to his showing in PA, NC, or anywhere else in the country, the people he’s likely to have offended aren’t likely to vote for him anyway. y’see, he’s a Democrat. Most low-income, blue-collar, gun-nut/gun-owner types don’t vote for Democrats. It’s that whole “Gun Control” thing that’s so popular with the Democratic Party that it’s become something of a stereotype of its own.

    the 2008 election is the Democratic Party’s to win or lose. McCain’s one of those nearly unelectable creatures-a phalse Conservative. This is something that killed Dole in ’96 as a viable candidate, and unlike George, McCain’s already been hit with the corrupt politician bug (Keating Five, Airbus Tanker Deal), and Republicans aren’t popular right now thanks to George. (a situation like Bill’s Baggage in ’94-these coat-tails lead down.)

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption


    the 2008 election is the Democratic Party’s to win or lose. McCain’s one of those nearly unelectable creatures-a phalse Conservative. This is something that killed Dole in ’96 as a viable candidate, and unlike George, McCain’s already been hit with the corrupt politician bug (Keating Five, Airbus Tanker Deal), and Republicans aren’t popular right now thanks to George. (a situation like Bill’s Baggage in ’94-these coat-tails lead down.)

    While I agree this election is the Democratic Party’s to win or lose, I think you underestimate John McCain as a candidate. First of all, he is a real war hero. That alone grants him credibility in the minds of millions of Americans.

    Moderates love him. While Obama takes more moderates than Clinton, McCain takes more moderates than either of them (probably combined).

    He can offer government solutions to problems and still pay lip service to reduced spending (Just like Bush did back in 00).

    Christians will probably vote for him because god forbid a democrat be elected (this is esp true if Clinton wins, but I think even if Obama wins the GOP will find a way to scare up their far right and christian base, they’re already painting him as a socialist, unpatriotic, and unreligious). So yet again, the GOP has the opportunity to bring a wide range of groups into the tent.

    He has distanced himself from Bush in the past (whether this distancing has any credibility, not so sure) to the point that his distinctness from Bush is one of his defining characters in many people’s minds.

    And lets not forget the Republican Party’s natural success at winning presidential contests. Take a look at history – 5 of the last 7, 7 of the last 10, and 9 of the last 14 contests have been won by Republicans. And this despite the fact that the Democratic Party traditionally has had higher membership. The Republican Party platform inherently lends itself to successful presidential campaigns, while the Democratic Party platform lends itself to winning regional elections (it has controlled 27 of the last 37 senates (since 1933), 20 of the last 29 Senates (since 1949), 30 of the last 37 Houses, 23 of the last 30 Houses. So while the Democratic Party has higher membership and dominates both houses of Congress historically, the Republican Party has run away with the Presidency.

    So keep in mind the Republican Party has an inherent ability to win Presidencies. I would attribute this to the fact that the platform lends itself to scare tactics etc. which are only really effective on a national scale. Take this year for example, is John McCain gong to be able to scare the American public into believing the consequences of leaving Iraq would be greater than the status quo?

    John McCain is a great candidate for the Republican Party, even though the Republican Party is not in as great a position as it usually is in.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Last night NBC news said Bush’s approval rating was at 33 percent. sheesh……..

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Last night NBC news said Bush’s approval rating was at 33 percent. sheesh……..

    Ha sorry man.. just having fun. It’s an amusing subject you know :D makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Don’t write off the GOP dept of dirty trick just yet. I didn’t believe it when I read the news, writing it off as paranoia… The former GOP Secretary of State was accused of trying to rig the 2008 elections before the Deomcratic winner took office???

    I just got a postcard (I swear this is true) saying that my local polling place has changed from a public building near City Hall…

    To a Baptist church…

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I mean John McCain is such a great candidate even I would consider voting for him.. and that’s saying something. Iraq might be an itsy bitsy problem for me though..

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    The anti-free trade rhetoric coming from both democrats is really turning me off.. I don’t have a problem with stipulations (“fair trade”) but they’re going overboard right now.

  • bliffle

    McCain was a great GOP candidate in 2000, but his stature has plunged, IMO, since then, and I can’t consider him seriously anymore.

  • Clavos

    The anti free trade viewpoint by the Dems is very worrisome.

    It’s pandering, pure and simple, and totally wrong headed at any time, but especially now, when we should be enabling every possible policy with the potential of stimulating and strengthening the economy.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, it’s not just pandering. There’s been a strain of protectionism in the Democratic Party for a while now. Besides, how bad could a little protectionism be? The economy can handle another Smoot-Hawley downtick.

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    When China and Japan restrain trading American products that give them an unfair advantage over us, and is the prime reason our trade deficits are so big. As for Columbia, the U.S. sends too much to them as it is in drug revenue.

  • Maurice

    Last night NBC news said Bush’s approval rating was at 33 percent. sheesh……..

    Congress’s approval rating is about 10 points lower.

    I think congress would be looked on more favorably if they had done their job; namely provide the checks and balances needed.