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Obama and the Left’s Insulting Identity Politics

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What would you say if someone told you that they were getting their left arm removed? This person's arm works perfectly fine, but they never really liked the way it made them feel. While the arm serves a functional purpose, it's not required to survive, and deep down this person never felt like the left arm belonged on their body. In fact their left arm was impeding them from truly living life as they see fit, and suppressing the true nature of their personality. Considering this, the only sensible solution for this person is to find a doctor to remove the left arm.

Would you consider this person crazy? I think most Americans would. Apparently however, everything changes when we're talking about a penis instead of a left arm. If we're talking about lopping off genitalia, not only is the decision sane but should be supported, celebrated, defended as a right, and maybe even subsidized by federal dollars (we'll see about that one in the upcoming legislation, whenever the Democrats get around to letting us know what they finally pass). The person undergoing such surgery not only deserves our approval, according to the liberal mindset, but we also need to treat them as we would any other human being, equally, without any question as to their mental state.

Witness the media treatment of Chastity Bono's decision to undergo transgender surgery — heralded as a "courageous decision to honor his (her) true identity." GLAAD added on to this saying, "Chaz Bono's decision to live his life authentically represents an important step forward, both for him personally and for all who are committed to advancing discussions about fairness and equality for transgender people" [emphasis mine]. Seems like having your body mutilated is an empowering action. Maybe we should all do it so that we can all be courageous in honor of our true, "authentic" selves. But the reality for Chastity is much less impressive than these impassioned cheers would have you believe. Growing up in Cher's shadow, not the best role model herself, Chaz entered an early teenage life of drugs and promiscuous sex with little actual parenting — typical for children of the extremely famous. Now we're supposed to support her "courageous" decision to permanently modify her body into that of a he? Sounds less like courage and more like confusion and adult-onset, teenage angst to me, cheered on by an ultra politically correct and unquestioning left.

Which brings us to Obama's latest and supposedly enlightened appointment at the Commerce department. Just don't call Amanda Simpson a "token" appointee. After all, gender or identity politics had absolutely nothing to do with the selection, at all. Nope. Nothing to see here folks. Out of 300 million Americans who could serve as Senior Commerce Advisor, the single most qualified for the job just happened to be among the infinitesimal fraction of Americans who also happened to have had their gender re-assigned. And incidentally Ms. Simpson, who for most of her career worked either for the government or as a military contractor for the government (read: little actual private sector commerce experience), is on the board of the National Center for Transgender Equality. But again, this is not identity politics at all! And if you believe that, email me as I have some can't-lose investment opportunities for you.
Fit for governing too?
I know the Perez Hiltons out there will come out in full force and call for this Neanderthal's head for suggesting such anti-gay and insensitive points of view. Yet, even putting aside the obvious play by the Obama administration to the GLTB community (yes Amanda, you ARE a token, a mere effort to quell the GLTB masses), why shouldn't we question a transgendered individual's mental state? Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the psyche of those who have undergone extreme voluntary plastic surgery such as Michael Jackson, Jocelyn Wildenstein, and Joan Rivers, who are routinely characterized as a bit insane, versus the psyche of those voluntarily undergoing much more invasive sexual reassignment surgery such as Chaz Bono or Amanda Simpson? I'm not suggesting those undergoing gender reassignment are evil, and perhaps Ms. Simpson is perfectly well-adjusted. For me, the personal choices made by Simpson raise concerns as to whether she'd be fit for a cabinet level position in any administration. I'd hope we'd ask the same questions about any appointee who's made extreme personal choices resulting in permanent and major bodily modification, or any extreme behavior for that matter. This would seem to me to be true equality and even common sense.

But in the name of political correctness we're not supposed to even question it. That Ms. Simpson is transgendered can be mentioned, parlayed, bandied about by the president, presumably to prove how unbigoted he is (which in itself is a form of bigotry), but don't you dare question the reasoning (or confusion) behind her choice. Ms. Simpson's sanity is peerless. Aside from her desire to actually have her penis removed, we're told that she is otherwise completely normal and should be treated as such. Even if she isn't completely normal. That's right. I said it. She isn't.

There will be many who will respond to this article claiming that I have no idea what I'm talking about, that I am some middle-America redneck, that I need to get out to the coasts more. While this article isn't about me, and while I live in New York, I do want to share my own personal experience in this matter. I was very close friends with someone who underwent gender reassignment. I was his friend throughout the whole process, from when he became a she. This person had a sweet heart and was one of the most intelligent people I've ever met in my life. But one thing is for sure — this person was suffering. And the operation merely traded one form of suffering for another; it wasn't a solution or empowering or courageous. It was unfortunate and, frankly, strange. And while I still have lots of respect and support for this person, the whole episode left me thanking the powers that be that I wasn't afflicted with the same issues that my friend had. What's interesting about the experience is that at the time, being more politically correct and "hip," I didn't question my support for my friend's choice. After seeing what my friend lived through and continues to live with, perhaps I should have.

The selection of Ms. Simpson to the commerce post is yet another example of the endless game of identity politics engaged in by the current administration, at the cost of competent leadership. After all, the proof is in the pudding and a year into the Obama presidency, it's clear there are questions around this administration's competence. Even the most ardent Obama supporters are starting to question the handling of virtually every dust-up and for good reason. Whether Obama has been right or wrong on policy, he's almost always blows the nuance of the political dance with the American people and this falls squarely on the back of his cabinet. As such, he should really reconsider his identity-based appointee approach, in favor of a purely merit-based one. As if that will ever happen.

At the end of the day, I'm not making any claims to be the arbiter of what is moral or what's right. And I don't claim to have answers for those who face a dilemma regarding their own sexuality. In my view, people should have a right to make whatever personal choices they like, to their own benefit or detriment. And an elected president has the right to appoint any person of any persuasion, race, creed or whatever to office as he or she sees fit. By the same token, the rest of us have a right to question the mental fitness of such a person being promoted into a powerful position in government (as well as the fitness of the person doing the appointing), in full view of others more qualified, without being immediately labeled as homophobic, intolerant or bigoted.

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About The Obnoxious American

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, OA, but there is something about this article that stinks.

    Does going through an identity changing crisis automatically bar one from high government service or from holding a responsible position?

    We know of another person dying to undergo a sex change – a big guy who dreams of being a woman. Were this operation successful, would it prohibit him/her from holding a responsible position? Your article seems to suggest so.

    Further, not all identity changing crises involve genital mutilation of one sort or another. Heck, the acquisition of faith (or loss of it) can be an identity changing crisis. Does that mean that a convert to a religion is debarred from responsible positions in business or government?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/tom-carter/ Tom Carter

    Come on, Ruvy. Are you really equating someone who has a religious conversion with a weirdo who shoots up megahormones to grow boobs and has his tallywhacker whacked off, all to become a tall, ugly woman?

    Of course, as Jerry Seinfeld might say, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

    If you were talking about an Arab Muslim country, though, you might be right. Not only are those who convert from Islam discriminated against in hiring for government jobs, they sometimes get their heads whacked off, too.

    But to the point — anyone who thinks that his/her weirdo status wasn’t part of the “merit” consideration is living in la-la land. And note that this person’s qualifications would more appropriately be used in the Defense Department, but the Commerce Department was the lucky recipient of this appointment. I wonder why?

    OA, let me know which corner you’re sentenced to stand in, and I’ll keep you company.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Tom, if you were reading carefully, you would note the following, “I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, OA, but there is something about this article that stinks.”

    The rest of my comment is question, and I raise the point that not all identity changing crises require genital mutilation – though young Muslim girls are often forced to undergo this – and it does change their identity, though they may not want to admit it. A burqa can hide more than merely a husband’s abuse of his wife.

    You have labeled those who are so uncomfortable in their own sexual identities as “weirdos”. I leave you to to tender mercies of the LGBT crowd out there; make sure you have you fire-retardant asbestos suit on – and don’t breathe in the asbestos!!

    I find something very discomforting about this article. Both the author and I view Obama with contempt. But is this merely identity politics, merely designed to shut up the trans-gender crowd and split it off from the homosexuals who are pissed off at the lack of the Obama administration doing something for them – like getting rid of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” crap in the US Armed Services? Or is this an actual “merit” appointment – so far as merit goes in this pack of would-be fascist dictators?

    I don’t know. But dragging poor Chastity Bono into the limelite over it is in poor taste.

    Like I say, there is something in this article that stinks, and I cannot put my finger on it.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Darn right it REEKS! & what dose President Obama have to do with this poorly written opinion?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Hi Ruvy!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    where is everyone? I miss you guys!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Hi, Jeannie!

    Do yourself a favor and read this article again – slowly – so you can understand what OA is getting at here. This article is more a swipe at Obama than anything else. And until you guys lose that incompetent, you will hear little else out of OA. His articles will seem more and more obnoxious to you. To me, they are just repetitive. Some articles will be good and some will be bad, but they will harp on one theme – Obama and what is wrong with him. Since I generally agree with what is wrong with him, I tend to agree. But there is something bad about this piece – like rancid cheese – and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    I gotta grab a bite and go shopping.

    Later!

  • The Obnoxious American

    Nothing stinks about this article. It’s just that it presents a point of view that most people are afraid to offer. And I’m not saying that someone undergoing gender reassignment is barred from government, but would be nice to have a discussion about it, instead of the PC rich, question poor environment we have now.

  • STM

    Ruvy: “I gotta grab a bite and go shopping.”

    Lol. Well, don’t get the cheese, old boy.

    Fair dinkum, OA, this is some of your best work.

    You’ve got some balls doing it though.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Ruvy

    Just wanted to say that the only reason I bring up Chastity Bono is to show the media treatment of her decision. Her decision is conveyed in a celebratory and enabling fashion. But the reality of a transgendered person is much much more dark – like a bad tatoo transgendered people need to live with this body modification till they are old and living on Miami Beach (or where ever). And I do point out some history of Chaz (drugs and sex) not to attack her (we’re all guilty of the above) but to show that perhaps she’s not making this decision on the right basis. She’s set herself up as a poster child for the GLTB community, a freak show. How much of her decision is based on peer cheer versus a deep analysis of her true self (which if she engaged in, would probably make her gender reassignment moot).

  • The Obnoxious American

    STM,

    Apologies, but are you being sarcastic? If not all I can say is wow that was unexpected.

  • STM

    Nah, not being sarcastic, OA. Don’t agree with it all, though, but you are raising valid questions. This is democracy, after all.

    I might have lots of left-leaning ideas, but they’re of the working-man kind, not the chardonnay socialist type.

    Too much latte seems to alter the brain IMO.

    Which means there’ll always be something we agree on. I still believe in America’s right to defend itself and in George W.Bush’s war on terror, for instance, even if I don’t like the name.

    You can believe in universal health care and still want to see lunatics getting new arseholes torn for them.

    I realise there’s more polarisation in the US on many issues between the left and right, so some of what I say might get lost in the fog of cultural exchange.

    I believe in anyone’s right to gender-reassigment, though.

    I just don’t agree with all the PC nonsense that goes with identity politics, sexual or otherwise.

    And I hate the (often inaccurate) black-armband view of history that seems to permeate academic thinking in this country.

    I realise it’s a tad different given the history of the states, but it still doesn’t help us all not to move on.

    These days, no one can say the glass isn’t half full, rather than empty.

    That Nike ad’s a beauty: “Just do it”.

  • The Obnoxious American

    STM,

    Make note of the time and date and alert the media – I agree with everything you said! By the same token, I’m not a down the line republican (no affliation actually) and there are many right wing positions that I disagree with. These disagreements just don’t typically drive me to write a piece as much as the disagreements I tend to have with the extreme left.

  • STM

    Lol. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, OA, but I do remember that we’ve agreed on the odd thing in the past.

    They might be few and far between, but still …

  • lady luck

    Knowing many people that have gone through this operation, I must agree with OA. I question the mental state of most (not all) of the people going through this. I do think that there is a lot of confusion in their mind and we don’t need someone that can’t keep their personal life in order to be in charge of a government position.

  • Baronius

    I don’t see a problem with Amanda Simpson’s appointment. Just don’t play games and call him “she”. He’s someone who got his name legally changed, and suffers from some form of body dysmorphic disorder. If he can do his job (which by the way doesn’t sound remotely close to Cabinet-level) then he was a good appointment.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Baronius,

    I think you’re right about this not being an actual cabinet level appointment. I was using the term “Obama’s Cabinet” fairly loosely and I suppose incorrectly (a better term would be “all the president’s men.” I mean men and women. Er, wait, I think you know what I mean :> In any case, thanks for pointing that out.

    However, as I noted in the article, on Ms. Simpson’s merits, she is not a good pick for this position. I think Tom Carter had it right, she would have been better suited somewhere in Defense.

    When you look at many of Obama’s picks, it’s clear Obama has a list of names of people he wants to appoint, and he has a list of positions he can appoint for, trying his best to find the right fit between the two. I’d suggest a much better approach, such as appointing the best person possible to each position rather than having appointments rooted completely in paybacks and identity politics. Not sure this type of scratch my back system was the type of change people signed on to in November 2008.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Frankly, this whole discussion isn’t about identity politics – it’s about Affirmative Action, and conservatives hate Affirmative Action. They proclaim that AA is legal and politically-correct discrimination…

    …and it certainly is just that. In this case, an openly transgendered person was chosen for a government post. To me, this does smack of AA, of ‘identity politics’.

    Don’t get me wrong – in this case I’m ambivalent at best, because I don’t think anyone should get special treatment due to their sexual issues; but neither should LGBT’s be treated as anything less than a regular human being. LGBT’s are much, much more accepted than they were twenty years ago, and the trend towards full legal and social acceptance will proceed apace – this is all but inevitable, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of today’s youth readily accept LGBT’s as normal…and see those who don’t accept LGBT’s as hypocritical bigots (which fact bodes ill for conservative politics in the decades to come).

    I remember seeing a poster in a middle-school advertising scholarships for gay and lesbian students. Boy, the world has changed indeed. I guess such privately-funded scholarships are legal. I guess what I’m getting at is that everyone has sexual issues of some sort, some worse than others. But the acceptance of LGBT’s is proceeding quickly enough that I don’t think that AA is needed for them.

    That said, I strongly, strongly support AA for ethnic groups, for they have faced (and still face) much discrimination due to the color of their skin or the country of their heritage. Races that have been in the position of an underclass, once that race is given the identical legal status of the majority race, does NOT automatically integrate itself into all levels of society…they remain largely an underclass, making it very difficult at best to rise above their traditional station. Even worse, their situation breeds corruption and crime and violence and addiction. AA enables some to rise above, to succeed…and when the younger members of that race see a successful member of their race, those younger members feel empowered, and know that they themselves can succeed. As time goes on, there is no more need of AA.

    AA can take a generation or more to succeed…but AA was absolutely necessary to combat the racism that was endemic throughout America, particularly in the strongly-conservative South.

    In summary, AA is a very good thing for minority races and certain ethnic groups…but I don’t think it is necessary for LGBT’s, because the situation for LGBT’s is different than that of minority races. My opinion is probably not in line with progressive thought…but as I keep saying, one must insist that facts determine his beliefs, rather than allowing his beliefs to determine the facts.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    I hope you don’t think I was suggesting that we treat GLTB folks as less than equal either. In an equal world, we’d question anyone who lopped off parts of their body to acheive inner piece and that’s my point here – PC mores forbid any such question. The only thing that is allowed is full, unquestioning acceptance, otherwise, expect to be labled a homophobe. Yet you can never be equal if you are above analysis – the same analysis the rest of us are subject to.

    I’ll also say that I think you have the conservative view a bit wrong. There is a religious view against homosexuality, and since a part of the conservative coalition is comprised of what we refer to as the “religious right” some in the party are against things like redefining marriage to include gays. This isn’t quite the same thing as equality and has absolutely nothing to do with conservatism – which is all about conserving the framers vision of America. And the framers vision of America has gays as equal as all men, hence the conservative view is fully in support of gays being equal.

    What the religious right objects to in terms of gay marriage, is the redefinition of marriage itself. I agree with this. After all, marriage is an institution based in religion, a religion that forbids homosexuality. What role should the government play in that? And why wouldn’t civil unions – the state’s answer to religious marriage, repleat with the same rights – suffice to resolve the issue? Why does the GLTB community insist on government intervention into the rules of religion itself? Don’t forget that the framers noted that the creator endowed us with rights, and yet the left wants government to endow the creator with politically correct bs. Seems the left is all for mixing Church and State when they want the state to tell the church what to do.

    Lastly, you’re way off on the whole AA thing. I agree that ethnic groups have been discriminated against and still face hurdles in corporate America. But AA isn’t the solution at all and just keeps the divide between races growing. Obama has promoted a very AA approach in his appointees and it’s set race relations almost all the way back to the 60s.

    A better choice is one forbidden by the left. Fixing the school systems in urban areas so that these kids can get the education that they need to compete equally. Since the left is obsessed with a broken, unionized public education system, this problem won’t get resolved. Notice the end of DC school vouchers to wit. Another generation of kids who won’t be able to compete equally, thanks in part to Obama. AA can’t fix that.

  • Baronius

    Obama lackey that I am, I went online and looked up Simpson’s experience. He’s a former test pilot and defense contractor, who’s now in charge of making sure that firms comply with our anti-proliferation laws. Sounds like a good match.

    The irony is that someone who cut off his own penis may be in charge of eliminating missile systems.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    One other point about AA (which is off topic of the article but worth the diversion in any case). The left sees government as the solution to everything, hence AA to fix the problems with equality for ethnic people.

    Wait a second. Ethnic people? Last I checked, Indians, Chinese, and even most hispanics seem to do fine when they come here. This isn’t an ethnic problem, it’s a black problem. And while America’s history with slavery is the root cause for blacks in America losing their culture (which is the element that I’d argue is missing and results in all of the problems we see today), we’ve already addressed that root cause. Yet the victim mentality seems so ingrained in so many in the black community. Bill Cosby and even Barack Obama have mentioned this. Parenting starts at home and black kids growing up in bad urban neighborhoods will forever be behind other ethnic groups until they can fix their own communities, drop the victimology and start taking real responsibility for their lives, as opposed to say, “Obama money.”

    With that, I’ve probably succeeded at offending everyone. Enjoy!

  • The Obnoxious American

    Baronious,

    You, an Obama Lackey? I doubt that.

    Perhaps you’re right. But as per Wikipedia:

    The organization’s mission

    The mission of the department is to “promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.” Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issuing patents and trademarks, and helping to set industrial standards.

    Maybe her role is in limiting dual use technology, but can we be sure of that? And is there really no one else in the defense community more capable or is this just identity politics?

    Incidentally, thought this next paragraph from wiki kind of answers the question I just raised:

    Administration
    The Department of Commerce is administerred by the United States Secretary of Commerce, the office of which is currently held by Gary Locke. Locke is the first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce, and the third Asian American in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the most of any administration in United States history. From 1903 to 1913, it was administered by the United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    I’m still laughing at #20. That’s the funniest comment I’ve read all week….

    OA –

    While you and I will have to agree to disagree on AA, you didn’t offend me with your comment in #21 – I’m a huge fan of Bill Cosby and have been since I was growing up in the Delta. However, it’s not just a “black problem”. It’s an Hispanic problem, a Hmong problem, a Russian problem…and I saw firsthand the reaction among minorities in the military how their attitudes would usually (but not always) change for the better when they saw someone of their own color or ethnic group wearing gold.

    You can’t just tell someone that they’re equal now, that their success is now totally up to them. You also have to prove to them that they can succeed…and the best way to do this is to show them someone successful who DID walk a mile in their shoes. That, OA, is what AA does, and does well.

    It took a generation for the African-American community to start coming round after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Why? Because (1) they had centuries of prejudice and persecution to overcome, (2) they still faced great prejudice and discrimination, particularly in the South, for at least twenty years after the passage of the CRA, and (3) they had very, very few examples of real professional success other than a few entertainers and preachers. They needed a leg up, a helping hand, a way to provide to themselves proof that they could succeed…and that was what AA provided.

    When it comes to education, btw, there’s a reason I use ‘contrarian’. The teacher’s union is far too powerful, and is detrimental to our students. I still haven’t decided on school vouchers because I suspect that this is a back door to economic segregation of our schools…and I’ve attended an ‘economically-segregated’ school before. The blacks couldn’t afford it, so the school was all white…and I saw and heard much more racism there than I did in the 96% black school I attended the next year.

    But to get rid of the teacher’s union while significantly increasing teacher pay…I’d enthusiastically vote for that. Progressive I may be, but I am also contrarian.

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

    I think the intangible aroma Ruvy detects coming from this article is a few unwarranted assumptions.

    Is Obnox privy to Chastity Bono’s medical records, his/her psychological history, his/her reasons for undergoing the surgery? If not, how does he know he/she has come to this pass because his/her parents fucked him/her up?

    Secondly, how does he know Amanda Simpson was not selected for her position simply on merit? (Baronius’s research certainly indicates that she’s well-qualified.)

    And the analogy of the arm is not a good fit. Gender is just a bit more fundamental to one’s identity than the number of limbs one possesses. Rick Allen without his left arm is still Rick Allen.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    On #22, I suggest you check the qualifications of those three Asians before you claim that Obama was playing ‘identity politics’. Gary Locke was quite popular as governor of Washington state and did pretty well with our economy. Steven Chu is a nobel-prize-winning physicist…which I think is a doggone good qualification for an Energy Secretary. And Shinseki is a retired four-star general, a combat veteran who had one of his feet blown off by a land mine, and is now in charge of Veterans’ Affairs.

    Frankly, I think you need to step back and ask yourself if this is identity politics…or choosing the best people for the job and the best people just so happened to be Asian. Or you could take the traditional Conservative viewpoint of, “Well, why didn’t he pick an equally-qualified white guy? Weren’t there any white guys as qualified? This must be discrimination!”

    I recommend you ask yourself if this is ‘identity politics’…or perhaps if it’s the Conservatives’ growing desire for Affirmative Action for whites.

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

    Same as with racism, Glenn. Once you become convinced that it’s pervasive, you start seeing it everywhere.

    Black guy arrested by white cop = racism.
    Transgendered person given top government job = affirmative action.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Alright Ruvy, I reread it. We all have the right to be represented in this Government.

    may I suggest TOLERANCE OA?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie –

    TOLERANCE?!?!? That’s only for commie pinko sissies, sister!

    Sincerely,
    Comrade Glenda the Wuss

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Glenda-aka Glen HA HA
    I probably am a pinko cause I sure see the injustices of this country.

    (not a member of the lucky sperm club)
    Jeannie:)

  • zingzing

    this is a really strange article. i really can’t see why someone would bother to get “insulted” by this. it’s like seeing how someone is “harmed” by gay marriage. i guess that’s what happens when you perceive everything in the world as an attack on your sensibilities.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    The failings of the Obama presidency must really be taking it’s toll on you because your comments in the last few articles has been petulant and kind of silly – not your usual quality.

    First off, I know someone who was close to Chaz Bono, and I know the stories, so actually, I have a bit of a deeper knowledge of some of her shenanigans. That said, I was pretty clear in the article that her “sins” if you want to call them that are no worse than any of ours (or mine). And this wasn’t an attempt to smear her, as I think most people have a pretty good sense of her character based on the media reports. The point is, she makes a pretty serious, decision here, beyond life changing – body changing. And is enabled by hordes of people with an adgenda-axe to grind – wait, didn’t I explain that this was my point in the article? Why yes I did. Did you read the article, or just the title? Come on dude.

    Second, an arm doesn’t make the person but their wee wee does? That’s a pretty lame line of reasoning, especially for you, whose opinion I may not always agree with but respect for quality. I’ll have to rethink that.

    Rick Allen is Rick Allen, without his left arm or his pee pee. Chastity Bono is Chastity Bono no matter what types of flesh she tries to grow on her body, no matter what hormones she pumps in. I totally agree that gender is more complex than limbs, and lopping them off, or pumping T into your veins won’t really change that either.

    Lastly, you ignored my replies to Baronius – while he’s made some good points regarding her experience, there is no question that a major reason why she was chosen was because she used to be a he. Would Mitchell Simpson (I think that was her old name) have been appointed? Doubt it. By the same token, had Barack Obama been white would he have been elected? Doubt it. But I digress. You’ll need to do better than this my friend.

    Jeannie,

    Your comment is not worth my time to respond to. Take off the PC color sunglasses, put down the clipboard with the talking points on it, actually think about the ideas being presented and argue them. Or you can just attack me for being intolerant (which btw was the final point in the article, so thanks for proving that for me).

    Zing, way to argue with a strawman. Just for your edification, the insulting part is when Obama gets up there and says here is our new commerce advisor who is transgender. That’s insulting. It’s reduced Amanda to a political symbol which is insulting to her and all in her community. But it’s insulting to the rest of us as well, as if we need to see this in order to accept it. Like we’re a bunch of stupid kids.

    In a truly equal society, his/her gender or sexuality wouldn’t be a point for discussion. In the world I live in, I don’t care what hole you stick what in. It’s all about the issues and the results. For Obama, its all about making PC statements.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Zing,

    Meant to add on to this, the same thing happened with Sotomayor. For weeks the media is talking about how experienced she was, how balanced a judge she was.

    Then Obama introduces her as the little hispanic girl who grew up in the Bronx. He reduced her in front of all of us, reduced all of her accomplishments to the fact that she grew up underprivledged and hispanic.

    I grew up underprivledged and I’m Jewish. But I don’t walk into job interviews talking about how I’m special because I came from Queens and worked myself up from nothing. I talk about my qualifications and how they can help the place I am interviewing for.

    Look, I don’t expect someone steeped in PC lore such as yourself to understand. But here’s to hoping that one day you do.

    And I also really think your interpolating the gay marriage thing into this as harming people is not just off the mark, but in poor taste.

    Note to all Obama Fans: Just because Obama incessantly argues against strawmen (i mean straw people :>) doesn’t mean you should. I’m here ready to debate you when you’re ready to talk about the real issues and not some nonsense that you’re saying you said I said.

  • Baronius

    I can totally understand how gay marriage would undermine the societal concept of marriage. This story, no.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Baronious,

    Huh?

  • zingzing

    “Just for your edification, the insulting part is when Obama gets up there and says here is our new commerce advisor who is transgender”

    so… it’s insulting to you that obama said that she is a transgender? i haven’t been able to find any comment obama made about it… so i’m not sure if that’s the case. if you can point out a quote from obama saying “look! i appointed a woman who used to be a man!” that would be most helpful.

    or are you insulted that he appointed a trangendered person in the first place? i can’t quite tell. since obama or the white house hasn’t made a direct statement (as far as i can tell,) you must be insulted by the fact that he hired a transgendered person… and i’m not sure why.

    “For Obama, its all about making PC statements.”

    again, what statement? or are you assuming that because he appointed a transgendered person, that he did so just because that person is transgendered? isn’t that jumping to conclusions? are you assuming that simpson’s only qualification for the job is her used to be himness?

    isn’t it you, then, that is arguing purely against this person’s sexuality?

    “And I also really think your interpolating the gay marriage thing into this as harming people is not just off the mark, but in poor taste.”

    oh, whatever. don’t get all worked up. as far as i can tell, this person is fairly well qualified for the position, and just happens to be transgendered. for some reason that gets you in a tizzy. and you’re “insulted.” which is ridiculous. like when bigots say that two men getting married hurts their heterosexual marriage. it’s ridiculous. get it? see the connection? (some imagined harm/insult because of another person’s lifestyle…) i know you can see it. so don’t pretend you can’t and get all insulted.

    “Look, I don’t expect someone steeped in PC lore such as yourself to understand.”

    i can’t believe you followed up this sentence above by pretending to get insulted that i brought up gay marriage.

    basically, i can’t figure out why you’re insulted. there’s just no reason for it. she is what she is (sort of). the white house hasn’t made a big deal out of it. the media has run with it, but it doesn’t change who she is (gah). maybe it was a shrewd move by obama to get votes from a certain block. but to automatically assume (without any proof) it is is just as bad, and is the very definition of strawman.

    and if you think that her being hired for the job is insulting to her, how about saying she only got the job because of her sexuality?

    and how about your choice of pictures? (that was obvious…)

  • zingzing

    baronius, bullshit. but let’s not get into it.

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

    Second, an arm doesn’t make the person but their wee wee does?

    The point, which you spectacularly miss, is that there’s a heck of a lot more to gender reassignment than just chopping off one’s jiggly bits.

    And is enabled by hordes of people with an adgenda-axe to grind – wait, didn’t I explain that this was my point in the article? Why yes I did.

    But you did a piss-poor job of explaining how Chaz Bono’s ‘enablers’ have anything to do with how Ms Simpson came to be appointed.

    there is no question that a major reason why she was chosen was because she used to be a he. Would Mitchell Simpson (I think that was her old name) have been appointed? Doubt it.

    So far you have provided absolutely nothing to back up these assertions other than that you have decided they are true.

    Then Obama introduces her as the little hispanic girl who grew up in the Bronx. He reduced her in front of all of us, reduced all of her accomplishments to the fact that she grew up underprivledged and hispanic.

    Oh, really, Obnox. How many times have you heard people’s rags-to-riches stories being told and retold, and thought nothing of it? Yet as soon as Obama does it you throw a hissy fit.

    Actually, Obama’s detailed run-down of her life, including her academic accomplishments, her legal and judicial career, her fight against diabetes and her fondness for the Yankees, made for a pretty decent recommendation to the highest court in the land, but don’t let that deter you from the petty details you want to home in on.

  • zingzing

    “there is no question that a major reason why she was chosen was because she used to be a he.”

    well, that’s certainly what you believe to be true… but since what everyone is talking about is this very question, there appears to be a question.

    again, your argument seems to hinge on the fact that she used to be a he. and that’s all you argue against. you dismiss her qualifications and only latch onto the fact that she’s transgendered. and you’re insulted.

    you are what you argue against.

  • Baronius

    I agree with Dread, that I don’t know if Simpson was chosen to please the LGBTQ crowd or not. I agree with OA, that Justice Sotomayor was sold to us as a qualified hispanic woman, and if the Obama administration is playing identity politics with Simpson then they should be roundly criticized for it.

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

    the LGBTQ crowd

    Y’know, that acronym gets longer every time I see it. The other day I came across ‘LGBTQFF’ – the Fs standing for ‘family and friends’.

    I reckon we should just go for ‘LGBTQFFEE’ (for ‘everyone else’) and leave it at that.

    :-)

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse Miksic

    OA is ruthlessly inconsistent about their argument, and this distracting and incompetent treatment of a serious issue is bringing the debate down to a tragically low level. Then again, I’d imagine (s)he inherited this tendency from the mass media, who use the same tactics to talk about anything even remotely sensational. Search for “Amanda Simpson appointment” on Google News and see if you can find any article, from any news source, that doesn’t make it clear, right in the title, that the appointment simply isn’t news without considering the gender reassignment aspect.

    OA demands that appointments be made purely on merit, but absolutely refuses to even consider Amanda Simpson’s actual job qualifications. Unless the OP can furnish evidence that Amanda Simpson defeated more qualified and willing candidates for this position, I consider the argument invalid from the first word.

    To avoid actually speaking to this issue, the OA makes the bizarre claim to be insulted, not by Amanda Simpson’s gender status, but by the fact that she was publicized as such by the President, and turned into a symbolic token rather than an actual public servant. This claim isn’t backed by anything appearing before it, either in the article or in the comments. I also can’t find the text of Obama’s original press release, or of any official announcement by the administration that makes this assertion. If I did, I’d continue this line of argument… I’m not sure it’s proof of anything that her transgender status was mentioned by the administration… but I don’t think it’s really an issue, since there’s nothing to indicate that the administration “turned her into a symbol.” So the OA is claiming to be insulted by Obama’s handling of the situation, but (s)he spent the entire article questioning the mental state of transgendered people. Those two things have nothing to do with each other.

    Further, the central thesis of this ridiculous piece — that transgendered people should be predisqualified from important jobs because of their lifestyle decision — isn’t supported by any evidence except a completely irrelevant analogy with Chaz Bono. You never give a nod or a thought to the screening and selection process that accompanies federal appointment; you never consider the possibility that Obama’s administration, and the department he’s hiring for, know a lot more about qualifications than you do. You also don’t acknowledge the fact that to get three degrees and hold a critically important position and board membership for many years depends on having a stable identity and the ability to make difficult, rational, incredibly complex decisions.

    You can raise questions all day, but please don’t do any of the following: 1) misdirect from your true purpose, which is to question the lifestyle choices of people who are different from you; or 2) ask “questions” without offering any substantial evidence for the connections you’re trying to draw. That’s nothing but sloppy argument.

    From ABC news, and I think already posted by another commentator:

    “A former test pilot, Simpson worked in the aerospace and defense industries for 30 years, mostly at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Ariz. She holds degrees in physics, engineering, and business.

    Simpson told ABCNews.com that much of her work will involve ‘licensing and enforcement for exports’ of military technology.”

    Those two paragraphs are enough to invalidate your entire argument, which offers nothing concrete to oppose them.

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

    Baronius,

    I just think it does both Simpson and Sotomayor a great disservice to conclude, on the flimsiest of evidence, that their abilities had little or nothing to do with their appointments.

  • zingzing

    “identity politics”

    so, because michael steele is black, does that mean the republicans are playing “identity politics?” or because bush identified as a “born again christian” does that mean that the republicans were playing “identity politics?” every time the republicans nominate a southerner to appeal to their southern base, is that “identity politics?”

    or is it only “identity politics” when the dems do it?

    or is “identity politics” just another way of saying “politics?”

    seems to me that this has been going on forever, and will continue to go on forever. every appointment of an individual is going to be the appointment of someone with an identity. getting pissed off that an individual is different from you is just ridiculous.

    besides, i’m all for having a plurality of views in politics. not that i’m sure just what simpson’s point of view is. that wasn’t a joke.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “your comments in the last few articles has been petulant and kind of silly”

    Considering your articles, not sure what else you expect, but are you one to comment on the silliness of comments when you use medical terms like “wee wee” and “pee pee”?

    And let me get this straight, you complain that Obama reduced Sotomayor when he pointed out she was Hispanic, ignoring the fact that people’s backgrounds are usually pointed out in introductions like that, yet you reduce Simpson to being a crazy based on your experiences with one person who had a similar operation?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I can totally understand how gay marriage would undermine the societal concept of marriage.”

    Would that be because you’ve seen how straight marriage has undermined it?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    #31 OA,
    Please bare with me here guy, it’s been a while since I visited BC and I would like to write some articles this winter just to break up the right-leaning slant.
    Of course my writing goes through extra scrutiny for some odd reason,Dave,
    so the rust needs to fall off before I submit something to really piss you all off!
    :)

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    I think you miss the point. Surgery and hormones doesn’t change who you are and unless it’s a lobotomy, rarely excersizes the daemons people like Chaz and Amanda frequently possess. Of course if you have ever known people in this situation, you’d see that first hand.

    Moreover in the link you provided Obama went into extreme depth about Sotomayors childhood and her barriers. The majority of his speech, the part where he’s actually talking about her that is, is all about her identity and the barriers she “broke” to get there.

    And I’ll grant you that this in and of itself wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal. But when I was watching Obama’s speech live that day, I couldn’t help but wonder when the last time Bush appointed someone, where he went on and on about barriers. I suspect if it were a white male being appointed, Obama wouldn’t have to go there. But when it’s a minority he does? Sorry but that’s insulting.

    Zing,

    Sorry to destroy your argument, but while I think Michael Steele is a pretty good guy and I enjoy listening to what he has to say on the sunday shows, I don’t think ANYONE can honestly say that the GOP didn’t pick him in large part because he is black – just like the Dems picked Obama in large part because he was black.

    Let me also say that I am not dismissing qualifications. But the fact is this person (whose major experience and affliations is documented in the article) isn’t all that qualified for commerce. Someone said she’d be looking at trying to prevent dual use technologies but I have my doubts. I guess this is why the constitution never said anything about having unelected commissions appointed with enormous power to decide our lives without direct representation. But that’s a different story.

    Something else you said that I would like to point out:

    “again, your argument seems to hinge on the fact that she used to be a he. “

    I’m not sure what you think my “argument” is. All I’m saying is that instead of having these picks jammed down our throats, not being able to question it without being labled a homophone (like many here have called me), it would be nice if we had some real hope and change, and could discuss things like adults. Which is what I did in this article, whether you want to see that or not.

    And BTW, pee pee and wee wee are perfectly fine terms to use to describe genetalia.

    Jesse,

    Your comments are way off the mark. First off, you’ve planted your head firmly in the sand, ignoring any obvious play to the GLTB community here. We can go down the list of Obama’s picks. They are virtually ALL short on experience (as Obama’s first year in office testify’s) but many have some benefits in terms of proving this admin’s commitment to diversity. You can say I’m wrong about this, but you’ll also have to include the tens and maybe hundreds of millions of other Americans who have came to the same conclusion.

    But here is where you go off the deep end:

    Further, the central thesis of this ridiculous piece — that transgendered people should be predisqualified from important jobs because of their lifestyle decision

    In fact I explicitly say that this is NOT what I am suggesting. Not at all. I am saying that it should be something that we should be allowed to question without being lampooned as a phobe or neanderthal. And yet, here you are doing just that to me. Thanks too for proving the article correct.

    It’s people like you that are the real cause of intolerance in society. You can’t take it when someone questions or even dares criticizes behavior you’ve decided is OK and any conversation to the contrary is (to quote your characterization of my article which does just that) “distracting” “bizzare” “incompetent” and “ridiculous.” Really? My questions about are all of those things? I guess the science is all settled on this matter too.

    You’re right. I DEMAND that picks be based on merit alone. Why would anyone want anything different. Merit is the true diversity, and guess what, it’s pretty racist of you to think that appointing people of merit won’t also end up being just as diverse.

    And btw I link to the ABC blog – do you really think I didn’t read those two lines that supposedly invalidate my argument? As I said previously, this is a commerce position – you know those old free markets we neocons like to blather about? What in the hell does that have to do with military contracting, or working for the government? How about hiring someone that actually worked in actual private sector commerce?

    Jeannie,

    No worries, I look forward to you pissing me off :>

  • zingzing

    oa: “Sorry to destroy your argument… but I don’t think ANYONE can honestly say that the GOP didn’t pick him in large part because he is black – just like the Dems picked Obama in large part because he was black.”

    well, you missed the thrust of my argument… my point is that “identity politics” is just “politics” and it’s been played the same way for centuries. if you’re really insulted by this, you’ve been insulted all your life and just now choose to acknowledge it.

    “All I’m saying is that instead of having these picks jammed down our throats, not being able to question it without being labled a homophone (like many here have called me), it would be nice if we had some real hope and change, and could discuss things like adults.”

    well, you do come off as a bit of a homophobe. maybe it’s just the timing of your argument. and maybe it’s the way that you put things. and maybe it’s that it’s so predictable. and maybe it’s the way you so easily dismiss her qualifications and fixate on her sexuality.

    “And BTW, pee pee and wee wee are perfectly fine terms to use to describe genetalia.”

    i didn’t say anything about your terminology.

    “I suspect if it were a white male being appointed, Obama wouldn’t have to go there. But when it’s a minority he does? Sorry but that’s insulting.”

    well, this one is a white male. and obama hasn’t said anything. so why are you getting insulted?

    as for the time when he did say something, it was put in a way that showed why he picked her, that being that she brings a different perspective to the court. isn’t that why we have 9 judges? so…

    “it’s pretty racist of you to think that appointing people of merit won’t also end up being just as diverse.”

    well, that’s not racism, per se, is it?

  • zingzing

    and also, if you “don’t think ANYONE can honestly say that the GOP didn’t pick him in large part because he is black,” are you insulted by the right’s “insulting identity politics,” or do you just reserve your anger for the left?

  • Baronius

    Jesse – I can’t imagine that the appointment of an official to the Commerce Department would be news, other than the sex change angle. There are thousands of such appointments in government.

    Dread – #42? I didn’t say that. Sotomayor was chosen on the basis of her qualifications, ideology, *and* identity.

    Zing – I don’t know if OA is offended by the choice of Steele, but I am. I’ve said as much before.

  • Arch Conservative

    “I probably am a pinko cause I sure see the injustices of this country.”

    No Jeannie you’rwe a pinko because your completely oblivious to the role the government has played in bringing about these injustices. Your solution is more of what created the injustices. More government.

    The bullshit leftist rhetoric coming from you and Glenn is getting alittle old.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I can’t imagine that the appointment of an official to the Commerce Department would be news, other than the sex change angle”

    Thankfully, the world is not limited to your narrow imagination and poor memory. Google the words “Judd Gregg [who appears to have always been a man, unless the MSM is covering it up] commerce” and quite a few stories will pop up.

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

    Obama went into extreme depth about Sotomayors childhood and her barriers. The majority of his speech, the part where he’s actually talking about her that is, is all about her identity and the barriers she “broke” to get there.

    Sorry, that’s just flat-out wrong. The majority of the speech concerned her qualifications and career, as it should.

    I couldn’t help but wonder when the last time Bush appointed someone, where he went on and on about barriers.

    Hmm, OK. Since you brought it up, let’s take a look at Bush’s speech when he nominated Samuel Alito to the Court. As I read it through it sounded somewhat familiar.

    Plenty there about Alito’s legal and judicial accomplishments. Acknowledgement of Alito’s family, with a little vignette about how he met his wife and a nice joke about Alito and Bush both marrying librarians (you have to be an old library inmate to really appreciate that one). And – a mention of Alito Sr and his arrival from Italy in 1914.

    In structure, the speeches are almost identical, although Bush’s is briefer. I don’t think you can reasonably attribute the differences to anything other than personal style.

  • zingzing

    archie, if someone says “the injustices of this country,” chances are that person is including the government’s injustices. and why do you assume that her solution to injustice is more government? seems like you’ve simplified the left down to a sound bite. typical, but dangerous. don’t underestimate the enemy.

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

    Baronius @ #50:

    No, it wasn’t anything you said. I was responding to you, but commenting on Obnox’s argument.

  • zingzing

    damn, doc, the hypocrisy flowing through this thread just gets deeper every minute. it really only is a problem if it’s the left doing it. more specifically, it’s only a problem if obama does it.

    why is it that people (and i’ll include myself in that category) get so worked up when one political side does something, but are fine when their political side does the same thing? it’s ridiculous. and it shows that people, particularly those that are politically active, or at least conversant, are nothing but a bunch of reactionary pigs.

    oa’s reaction to this, but not to the same shit pulled by the right, just shows that he’s going to blast anything the left does, just because the left does it.

    by the same token, why am i not as pissed at obama for escalating the war in afghanistan as i would have been had bush done it? i am slightly pissed, but because it’s obama, i am willing to look into it, or at least to consider why he did such a thing.

    much of the right’s criticism of the obama administration comes directly after similar moves made by the bush admin, which was perfectly fine by them.

    but that’s the nature of this political divide in america. the next time the republicans get into office, we’ll gladly make a 180 and argue against everything we argue for now.

    we’re a bunch of idiots, hypocrites and blowhards.

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

    Which is why I like being a centrist, zing.

    Of course, given the general spectrum of American politics that makes me look like a flaming lefty on here!

  • Baronius

    El B – Didn’t you used to be more civil? Edit my statement to “a mid-level official” and I’m sure it holds.

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

    El B – Didn’t you used to be more civil?

    Nope. :-)

  • Irene Wagner

    I share Glenn’s appreciation for Baronius’ joke earlier on. He should jot that one down in his “Limmerick Ideas” notebook.

    On a serious note, gender confusion is an inherited trait, and is prevalent in communities where marriage between cousins is common. For that very reason, even the most fundamental Islamic clerics are sanctioning sex change operations.

    A person who has endured this difficult disability will probably have psychological issues to address, just as 25% of the rest of the population has psychological issues to address at one point or another. Some of them must be very strong people, overcomers, who would likely attack all challenges they face in their jobs with the same determination.

    As for the rest, almost all Republicans and Democrats have special interest groups to whom they are beholden. It’s just the way it is, I guess.

  • Irene Wagner

    Zingzing, no we’re not.

  • Baronius

    Dread – I never noticed before.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Zing,

    The only problem with your argument is the GOP generally won’t do this. OK, they might do it ocassionally, after all you got Michael Steele and they ran Sarah Palin, to counter the Obama’s claim to a historic presidency (i.e. Sarah being the first female VP would have been historic as well). I’m pretty sure had the left ran two old white guys, Palin would not have been McCain’s VP pick. So yes, there is some identity politics at play. But the left is straight up obsessed by identity – completely taken, enraptured, loving as well as in love with anything that fills the void created by the massive guilt they fell. The right is just doing it to keep up with the Joneses. You can argue this point all you like but you KNOW I’m right about this.

    I can deal with the right’s dog and pony show to appear sensitive, because at least I know where they stand – they don’t want government to control my life. It’s the big government true believers that scare the dickens out of me.

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

    I can deal with the right’s dog and pony show to appear sensitive, because at least I know where they stand – they don’t want government to control my life. It’s the big government true believers that scare the dickens out of me.

    Now that is petulance…

  • zingzing

    “The right is just doing it to keep up with the Joneses.”

    so you aren’t pissed at them when they do it then. great.

    “You can argue this point all you like but you KNOW I’m right about this.”

    but you can’t argue that you should be mad at the right for the same thing, correct? so why do you only point it out now? seems like, at least to me, that the right is just as guilty of this, if not worse. their “identity politics” are purely political, while you seem to think that the left’s “diversity” is forced, but somewhat ideological. what’s worse? at least we actually believe in something.

    “I can deal with the right’s dog and pony show to appear sensitive, because at least I know where they stand – they don’t want government to control my life.”

    if you think that’s the totality of the right’s stand, you seriously need to read some more.

    “It’s the big government true believers that scare the dickens out of me.”

    NOBODY likes big government. everyone wants the most efficient government possible. who the fuck do you think likes bloated bureaucracy?

    mmm, red tape is like catnip?

  • zingzing

    irene: “Zingzing, no we’re not.”

    you just wait. we will become it.

  • The Obnoxious American

    NOBODY likes big government. everyone wants the most efficient government possible. who the fuck do you think likes bloated bureaucracy?

    Obama and anyone who still supports him. Come on Zing, I’ve been completely up front and honest with you and you turn around and suggest that Obama and the left doesn’t like BIG GOVERNMENT? That’s a laugh. I suppose you’d call this “smart” government instead right? Please pass what yer smokin’

  • zingzing

    well, pass me what you’re smoking first.

    it’s only logical. the government doesn’t make money, it spends it. you may see what they’re doing in a certain way, but it doesn’t mean that it’s what they desire.

    obama doesn’t want big government. he wants a government that works. there is a balance that has to be met.

    i’m on the left and i don’t like big government. obama has certainly expanded the gov’t’s reach inside the economy, but it’s only temporary, and it’s nothing that the republicans didn’t do as well. obama wants out as much as you want him out.

    and why do you think that the right actually promotes less government? it may say it does, but does it really? nope. look at reagan. you guys bandy around “big government” and “liberty” as if there is actually a difference between the right and the left. grow up. everyone likes liberty and less red tape. if you want to discuss things like an adult, don’t throw out the red herrings ever minute of the day. death panels, communism, fascism, where obama was born, etc, they’re all out. just stop it. you know it’s bullshit as much as we do.

    and to say you’ve been up front and honest is a joke. to get back to the point, the right likes its “identity politics” as much as the left does. why don’t you go ahead and admit that either you don’t care when the right plays the same game or you’re just bitching because it’s the left playing the same game as the right?

    i think this government is responding to the set of circumstances that has been passed to it, as any government does. the right handed obama a bucket of shit: a failing economy, two wars draining said economy, a shitload of terrorists who’d like to see us dead, homophobic legislation, torture and a country torn in half. good job, assholes.

    my favorite bit of right wing politiking was the move to ban flag burning. burning the flag is an emblem of our ultimate freedom. that shit was absurd. you should all be spanked by your mothers.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    #51 AC,

    Well I see yer still spreading the crap!

    Tell me something ARCH. What have you really contributed to this site? every time your name is highlighted it brings me back to an article I wrote about HC Reform…funny huh?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    just like the Dems picked Obama in large part because he was black.

    Oh, yeah? Do you remember a certain epic primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton? I was an alternate state delegate for Washington…and my vote was for Hillary.

    The only problem with your argument is the GOP generally won’t do [identity politics].

    You admitted Steele and Palin, and Doc pointed out Samuel Alito, and then there’s Condileeza Rice…but let’s flip your argument around: the GOP doesn’t want to pick someone who’s brown or yellow or LGBT or who isn’t otherwise a WASP white male…unless it’s politically expedient or necessary, of course. Should we call this “lack of identity politics”?

  • Baronius

    Zing, I don’t think most of the BC commenters are hypocrites. The ones that adhere to one of the mainstream US parties are more prone to hypocrisy, I guess, but a good number of them call out their parties on their misdeeds.

    I don’t know if I’m going anywhere with that thought, but I had to jot it down.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    What are you talking about? Alito wasn’t an identity politics pick. He’s italian ferchrissakes. Now Italians are minority needed AA? What’s next – the first Irish SC nominee? Now that’s equality.

    Who said anything about Condi Rice? I never said every black or hispanic republican pick was for politics. In fact I’d argue that most of the GOP picks that happen to be minorities were picked mainly on merit and not identity – UNLIKE the left which puts such politics above merit – WHICH IS THE POINT HERE. (Palin and Steele excepted, as they were clearly in response to the liberal identity politics game playing – after politics is a dirty game).

    And what’s your point about Hillary exactly? She lost the primary due in large part because of a white-guilt laden media eager to elect the first black president, and a totally crappy, undemocratic primary system where either an in person caucus chooses the candidate or votes are split in a weird way to ensure a loser can’t come back even after winning a big state.

    Didn’t you read any of the news reports on this, how Hillary’s treatment in the media was insulting to women, the SNL skit where Obama gets a pillow and Clinton gets tough questions, etc etc etc and so forth? Sometimes, I say something here on BC that in the real world is basic common knowledge and people here try to pretend that it’s new info and I’m on the fringe for suggesting it. You guys need to read the news a bit more.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Please bare with me here guy, it’s been a while since I visited BC….

    You know, Jeannie, it costs a lot to get to British Columbia from here – and are you sure your husband would approve of me baring with you and all? I’m not sure my wife would – not to mention traveling all the way to the western coast of Canada to do it….

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

    What are you talking about? Alito wasn’t an identity politics pick.

    I actually agree with you about Alito – Glenn misunderstood my reason for bringing him up – but how do you know he wasn’t?

    I’d argue that most of the GOP picks that happen to be minorities were picked mainly on merit and not identity – UNLIKE the left which puts such politics above merit

    That’s the thing. You argue; but you offer nothing of substance to demonstrate that this is so – any more than certain leftists have been able to demonstrate convincingly that there is systematic racism among the right wing.

    [Hillary] lost the primary due in large part because of a white-guilt laden media eager to elect the first black president

    Again, how do you know this? The primary process, until very late on, could have gone either way. I think Clinton would have made a better president, but Obama won mostly because he ran a more effective campaign. If there was a guilt factor at all in Hillary’s loss, it was probably the Democrats getting scared that her association with Bill would lose them the election.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “I actually agree with you about Alito – Glenn misunderstood my reason for bringing him up – but how do you know he wasn’t?”

    Lolllll

    “That’s the thing. You argue; but you offer nothing of substance to demonstrate that this is so”

    Lollllllllll

    I mean seriously. Are you really saying that the left isn’t obsessed with ID pols? Answer the following:

    Who supports AA – left or right?

    Who supports “social justice” – left or right?

    Who supports quotas – left or right?

    Look I expect you to come to the discussion with a modacom of basic knowledge. I shouldn’t have to go back to Adam and Eve and explain the basic nature of nature.

    “Again, how do you know this? The primary process, until very late on, could have gone either way. I think Clinton would have made a better president, but Obama won mostly because he ran a more effective campaign. If there was a guilt factor at all in Hillary’s loss, it was probably the Democrats getting scared that her association with Bill would lose them the election.”

    I’m over here with the rest of the cognizant American public, most of whom (including those in the MSM) have acknowledged what happened to Hillary. It became such a cliche that SNL lampooned it multiple times. You can deny that this was the case, just like you could argue that the sky isn’t blue. I really don’t care.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I know it’s hypothetical, Dreadful, but it’s a reasonable assumption, especially as regards the arctic states, and had to be a factor.

    You’re right of course about Obama’s grass-roots campaign (Hillary thought she was untouchable and didn’t bother to set up the kind of organization Obama did), as well as the anti-Clinton sentiment. (The Dems didn’t want to be beholden to the Clinton machinery.)

    In the final analysis, it really was a tossup, eventually decided by the the party itself (especially when it came to counting the Florida and Michigan primaries). The Dems just didn’t want Hillary in power. The superdelegates have decided the outcome.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “The Dems just didn’t want Hillary in power.”

    I bet now they do.

  • Baronius

    I remember some racial stuff when Scalia was nominated (mostly from Cuomo). Nothing during the Alito nomination.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Baronious, please. In a melting pot that is the U.S., Italians are not a minority. Wasn’t America named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian? Puleeeeeeeeze. If Bush or anyone else really did try to play the diversity angle with either scalia or alito, then shame on them.

    Remember, the only reason that a black president is historic, is not because it’s merely the first black president but the history America has with Blacks and slavery. When the first Hispanic pres is elected, the liberal, identity obsessed left will make lots of hay about it (unless it happens to be a republican) but it simply won’t mean any more than say the first president of English descent.

  • Baronius

    How to put this delicately…The Italian American hasn’t always been associated with…the operational end of the justice system. Scalia may have faced more bias in his generation than Simpson will in this one. But outside of the Italian American community, there wasn’t much hype around Justice Scalia’s nomination.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I haven’t slogged through all these comments, but you know, if Simpson proves to be good at the job, all of this idiocy will be moot. It would prove that a transgendered person can perform in a moderately significant government position. Should she fail, it would only prove that she wasn’t the right person for the job.

    Again, all this hazing of Obama is so off base. I’ve little doubt that the Dems will lose some ground in Congress in November, but that is absolutely par for the course. The severity of those losses will be in some manner proportional to the state of the economy come fall. Unless we suffer an actual attack of some kind, and/or if our involvement in Afghanistan or Iraq takes a significant turn for the worse, only the economy will carry any real weight.

    We can assume that health care will be old news by then, and that it will have been signed into law. It will be a non-issue except in so far as the Dems can claim some credit for its passage. Whether the bill ultimately proves to be good or bad will not have been sorted out by November.

    If unemployment has started a downward trend and there are other signs of recovery, the Reps will have little to hang their hats on other than how they endeavored to obstruct virtually everything that went through Congress. Not a particularly positive position from which to campaign.

    All kinds of shit can happen, but I think most of you sell both the Dems and Obama short. Keep in mind that the Reps are far more fragmented and in general disaray than are the Dems. The Rep brand remains with far less approval than the Dems’. I know things could be tough for Dems, but it’s no less an uphill battle for the Reps.

    B

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

    Lolllll

    Lollllllllll

    Is Brent Bozell in the room?

    Are you really saying that the left isn’t obsessed with ID pols? Answer the following:

    Who supports AA – left or right?

    Who supports “social justice” – left or right?

    Who supports quotas – left or right?

    ‘Supports’ or ‘is obsessed with’, Obnox? Not at all the same thing.

    Look I expect you to come to the discussion with a modacom of basic knowledge.

    Or a modicum of basic spelling ability. :-) I’m well aware that affirmative action and quotas are much more heavily favoured on the left than on the right. You still haven’t demonstrated how Amanda Simpson was selected on that basis.

    And I hope we’re all be supportive of social justice.

    I’m over here with the rest of the cognizant American public

    If all you’ve got left are insults, Obnox, you’re welcome to them.

    most of whom (including those in the MSM) have acknowledged what happened to Hillary. It became such a cliche that SNL lampooned it multiple times. You can deny that this was the case

    Show me where I did. I merely argued that it was not much of a factor in the final nomination of Obama. Look, if the media really had that strong an influence over the voting public, Britain (all but two of whose national daily newspapers are right-wing) would have a permanent Conservative government and the US… well, that’s a separate argument.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    First, wasn’t trying to insult and apologies if I did.

    Second, I had a feeling I spelt modicum wrong…

    Third, I think I did prove it. I’d agree the hard evidence that this is an ID pol pick isn’t that firm. It never is. And I don’t have the funding to research all of the best other possible candidates.

    The most damming evidence is Obama himself. There’s a trend in his picks. The first this, the first that. The goal has always been diversity and I’d argue at the cost of competence.

    I do agree with B-Tone’s surprisingly measured response, if she does well then my argument is moot. However given the track record of this admin so far, I’d say that the odds don’t look good for Obama or the country.

    Lastly, so in a primary between two candidates, the outright mysogny of one, the media favoritism of the other, the superdelegates and absurd primary process (Hill would have won using the GOP system, which is much more similar to the general election system), none of this was “much of a factor”. Got it, thanks for that.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “If unemployment has started a downward trend and there are other signs of recovery, the Reps will have little to hang their hats on other than how they endeavored to obstruct virtually everything that went through Congress. Not a particularly positive position from which to campaign. “

    Hmmm not sure this is true. There is an emerging, and in my view, accurate narrative that this recession, which by the numbers hasn’t been all that much worse than some recent recessions, has been extended by Obama’s policies. See, people still remember 5% unemployment and they also remember Obama’s comment about 8% being the limit if the stimulus is passed.

    If unemployment is still at or above 8% in november, a pretty sure bet, then its going to be bloody. That’s just my view.

    It unemployment is still above 6 or 7 in 2012, 8 percent will be Obama’s “Read my lips” moment.

  • STM

    Calling Doctor Dread,

    I need your help mate. Please check email.

    Cheers

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

    Stan,

    I’ve sent you a response. Hope I was able to be of assistance.

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

    Hmmm not sure this is true.

    You may be onto something there.

    Many a successful election campaign has been fought on nothing much more than “We’re not the other guys”.

  • Baronius

    I don’t know if “we’re not the other guys” will be good enough for the Republicans to win with. The memory is still too fresh of when the Republicans were the other guys: the ones in charge, spending and bailing out, running up debt. They’ve got to be a lot more Rubio than Crist.

    Michael Steele doesn’t normally say smart things, but when he was recently asked if the Republicans are ready to lead, he said “I don’t know”. Of course, that really isn’t any smarter than most of what he says, because he’s supposed to be a leader, but it does contain some insight. The GOP has to be about something other than nobama. For example, referring to the topic of this article, the GOP doesn’t do anyone any good when they’re the party of less frequent, less blatant identity politics.

    Fortunately, the Republicans have a set of winning principles that they sometimes pay more than lip service to.

  • The Obnoxious American

    “Michael Steele doesn’t normally say smart things”

    I don’t totally agree with you on this. I have to say that I really enjoy the honest, straight forward and at times biting comments he has, especially on a sunday talk show type forum with democrats at the table. He’s very smart and usually says some interesting things.

    I’m not saying that translates into being an effective chairman, and I have no way to know if he is or not (I’d lean towards not but that’s based on nothing). That said, I have a lot of respect for the man.

    I do wish he’d completely stop with the cutsey ebonics but I have a feeling he’s doing it out of spite or as an inside joke of some kind. I find it hard to believe he thinks this brings him down to the common man.

    I absolutely and totally agree with your last sentence.

  • Baronius

    OA, we’re pretty much on the same page.

    Our girlfriend left us because we slapped her. Now she’s with a guy who beats the snot out of her. She’d be better off with someone who treats her right, but in this scenario there are only two suitors. How do we convince her to break up with the guy because of the abuse, when everyone knows that we’ll take a swing at her a few years after she moves back in with us?

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

    Fortunately, the Republicans have a set of winning principles that they sometimes pay more than lip service to.

    The best thing the Reps have going for them is that they are The Party of Fiscal Responsibility (TM). But as Glenn is fond of pointing out, it’s a brand they’ve seldom lived up to in recent times – at federal level, anyway – with the arguable exception of the Reagan era.

    Personally, I won’t feel comfortable with Republicans getting anywhere near the Reins of Power (TM) until the party can get rid of – or at least neutralise – the faction who’d like to (literally) get medieval on everyone’s ass.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Doc,

    It’s a dangerous world out there, and the GOP hardly holds the trademark on medievality, especially considering what happened on Christmas. You want to see medieval, wait till the Dems get their sweaty mits on our healthcare. Hope you’re healthy.

    Baronius,

    I still think she’d be better off with us. I’m sure of it. And we really promise not to slap her this time :>

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    But, you always do… slap her, that is.

    Point to me one group or even one individual who has been demonstrably hurt by anything Obama has done since taking office. All this whiney crap I hear about how he is “destroying the very fabric of our nation” has no basis in fact.

    Also, there is no evidence that anything he has done has in any way prolonged the recession. A large economy that has been tossed into the bog rarely emerges from the quagmire with any alacrity. It has always been a slow, painful process. There isn’t a Republican, Libertarian or independent alive or dead who could have worked any magic that would have this country back squarely back on its feet in one year. All such charges against Obama are nothing more than political bullshit.

    All of you who dislike (read that as “hate”) Obama tend to take him to task for the way he breathes or how he brushes his teeth.

    How anyone can gripe about his having been on vacation on Christmas day when the Fruit of the Loom Bomber was doing his thing is mind boggling. GWB spent nearly 900 days of his presidency in Crawford. That doesn’t count days taken at Nantucket or Camp David or elsewhere. That is a record for ANY president. And, whose record did he break? Guess. (His initials are RR.) Oh, and RR also was at the wheel during a run up of record deficits. But, of course, deficits didn’t matter back then, did they?

    The criticism against Obama for his lack of quick public responses to things like the Christmas bomber is also specious. What people seem to want is a cheerleader. Rah, rah, ziss boom bass, we Americans are gonna kick some ass! Do people really think that he was not dealing with these issues, opting rather to play a round of golf or take his kids to the beach? Obviously, and stupidly, they do.

    BTW OA – It’s doubtful that any Dem hands are actually sweaty.

    B

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “get medieval on everyone’s ass”

    a line from Pulp Fiction. always liked that.

  • Baronius

    “Point to me one group or even one individual who has been demonstrably hurt by anything Obama has done since taking office.”

    That’s exactly right, B. Liberalism is rarely demonstrably harmful. Usually, it appears helpful for some people. But its consequences are harmful to everyone. Spend $800 billion for 150 jobs, and 150 more people are working. Don’t worry about the debt; the consequences aren’t obvious. Look at the road project! That’s your government at work!

    Protect the teachers’ unions. Teachers are nice. We all have positive memories of our teachers. Don’t think about the new generation of illiterates, or the burden on states.

    Raise the minimum wage. You can’t point to the people who don’t get hired. The inflationary effect is dispersed. Look at the people who are taking home a bigger paycheck! Yay government!

    Guantanamo is demonstrably bad. Let’s send the prisoners to different places. That will end the problem of terrorists at Guantanamo. Don’t think about the consequences.

    Let’s end the Republican tax cuts. Republicans are bad. They lower tax rates for the rich. That conspicuously costs the government money. Don’t think about the widespread prosperity it triggers every time it’s tried. Focus on the obvious short-term loss of tax revenue.

    Of course, there are times when the visible positive does outweigh the dispersed negative. That’s when government should act. But the last people I’d trust to spot those opportunities are the ones who can’t comprehend unintended consequences at all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Liberalism is rarely demonstrably harmful… [but] its consequences are harmful to everyone.”

    That’s a hell of a blanket statement if there ever was one.

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

    Baronius:

    1. It doesn’t follow that protecting teachers’ unions leads to bad teachers.
    2. Economists are split pretty much 50/50 as to whether the minimum wage is detrimental to hiring. When it was introduced in the UK it had no discernible effect on the unemployment rate.
    3. I don’t think it was ever claimed that moving inmates from Guantanamo would solve the problem of terrorism.
    4. Tax cuts may go some way toward stimulating the economy, but they’re no panacea.

  • Baronius

    Dread, an increase in the minimum wage can have minimal impact on unemployment, typically when the legal minimum wage goes from $3 to $4 and everyone’s already earning $5. But if it affects anyone positively, it’s going to have negative reprecussions too. According to the article you linked to, some firms don’t comply, and some of the firms that did increase wages per hour also cut hours.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I should think that having to work less hours for the same pay sounds like a good deal (at least for the employee).

    That’s how our society of leisure was supposed to materialize in the early sixties, so some believed, due because of the then-highly-heralded “office automation.” People were talking of the work week getting reduced to 35 hours and eventually to 30.

    Those should have been some of the fruits of improved efficiency and real sign of progress.

    Of course, we were all wrong.

  • The Obnoxious American

    1. It doesn’t follow that protecting teachers’ unions leads to bad teachers.

    Except for the fact that public schools in every major city as well as most everywhere else completely suck and that’s before you start to compare the results our teachers get compared to other countries.

    I went to public school in NY, so don’t talk to me about teachers unions. In NYC, a number of years ago, one board of ed member actually put voodoo dust under the door of another member. This is the best kind of people union money can buy. And this person was on the board of ed!

    2. Economists are split pretty much 50/50 as to whether the minimum wage is detrimental to hiring. When it was introduced in the UK it had no discernible effect on the unemployment rate.

    That’s not true at all. Unless the economists you are speaking to have never talked with a small business owner. Try asking the actual people who do the hiring of most minimum wage workers and see how they would deal with a government mandated increase in what they pay for work. Invariably, they will either reduce workers, or hours and pass any additonal costs onto the customers. So we all pay.

    3. I don’t think it was ever claimed that moving inmates from Guantanamo would solve the problem of terrorism.

    Actually didn’t they? Wasn’t it things like Gitmo and Abu Ghraib that were recruiting tools? In fact Eleanor Clift made that very point yesterday on the McLaughlin Group.

    You can’t claim that Gitmo is a recruiting tool then suggest that closing it wouldn’t help solve the problem of terrorism. Unless of course you’re spouting nonsensical and disingenuous liberal talking points that is.

    4. Tax cuts may go some way toward stimulating the economy, but they’re no panacea.

    No one said that they were. But the current admin’s approach, raising taxes in a downturn (which is part of this massive HC bull, I mean bill) is the exact opposite of a panacea. In fact, it’s a boondoggle and makes absolutely no sense given everythign we’ve learned about economics.