Quick Roundup 410

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Is Obama really this evil? Or is Obama really this stupid?

I'd like to introduce the above pair of questions as companions to "Who is John Galt?" as members of a triumvirate of questions the Obama Presidency will bring to the lips of American everywhere. I am not sure whether Obama's unsolicited and speedy return of a bust of Winston Churchill to the Brits deserves the ire it is raising among conservatives, but that's where the questions came from, as if Obama won't give us plenty of other reasons to ask them throughout his term.

Where Obama's Legacy is Headed

Following links from Paul Hsieh's most recent NoodleFood post, "When Will the Inflation Hit?", I came across the photo at right, which reminds me of another I spotted on Instapundit some time back.

Sure! Issue a Federal Reserve Note with Obama's portrait on it. Quick! Before the inflation hits.

Where Obama Won't Be Headed

Myrhaf recently wrote an excellent post regarding Obama's campaign to go after Rush Limbaugh as a proxy for classical liberalism.

The thing that stands out the most to me about this is how mention is never made of the fact that Limbaugh wants Obama to fail if he wants to destroy capitalism. Are Obama's intentions -- or even his tactical considerations -- exempt from all scrutiny? Or is this campaign not entirely honest? Those are the questions the media ought to be asking, but are not.

Interestingly, Limbaugh is calling Obama on his bluff.

But I have an idea. If these guys are so impressed with themselves, and if they are so sure of their correctness, why doesn't President Obama come on my show? We will do a one-on-one debate of ideas and policies. Now, his people in this Politico story, it's on the record. They're claiming they wanted me all along. They wanted me to be the focus of attention. So let's have the debate! I am offering President Obama to come on this program -- without staffers, without a teleprompter, without note cards -- to debate me on the issues. Let's talk about free markets versus government control. Let's talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business.
What will become of this campaign now? I'm not sure, but I expect the left wing media machine to do whatever it can to make sure this challenge remains as un-heard (or mis-heard) outside Limbaugh's fan base as possible, and to distract the public as needed should Obama decide to retreat from the fight he picked.

[Update: Oh, I know what they might do. Make a counter-offer for a "debate," but one with so many restrictions that Limbaugh would be a fool not to refuse. And then claim that Limbaugh chickened out.]

Children and Protests

Rational Jenn recently (and accidentally) stirred up debates at several discussion groups, when she and her husband took their children along with them to a recent tea party protest. In fact, I'll admit I did a double take when I saw the picture posted here. Not to worry, Rational Jenn takes pretty good care of herself, and makes excellent points along the way when she takes time to answer her critics.

I particularly liked the following:
There is an enormous difference between letting kids hold up an Ayn Rand sign and filling their heads with Objectivist words and making them repeat them like trained animals. The first action is letting kids help Mom & Dad with real live, important grownup work. Which they love to do because they are practicing being grownups. The second action is indoctrinating children and putting them on display. One action shows respect for children and their work (learning to be adults); one action treats them like trained seals.
That gets to the heart of it. She might have looked like a liberal indoctrinator/protest stage mother, but that is far from what she was doing.

Read the whole thing, particularly if you're a parent, or thinking about becoming one.

Three from Dismuke

Reader Dismuke recently sent me a few links, one entertaining and two cause for optimism.

First for the entertainment, courtesy of Obama's Press Secretary, of which Dismuke says:
This is absolutely amazing and hilarious. An NBC reporter actually asks him a VERY good and HIGHLY relevant question (which in and of itself is quite amazing). Obama's press secretary was frozen in his tracks - a classic example of "deer in headlights." He couldn't answer, of course, because to do so would have been devastating. He wasn't even prepared to come up with decent "spin." If we had an actual press corps of reporters such as this one instead of a bunch of Walter Duranty wannabes, these people would be laughingstocks withing a week.

He also points me to a couple of interesting posts on "going Galt," saying:
It is not just that it is excellent publicity for Ayn Rand and will undoubtedly result in new readers some of whom will "get it." The very act wanting to "go Galt" is, at the very least, an implicit rejection of altruism no matter what explicit ideas to the contrary they hold and give lip service to. Once a good premise gets in the door, there is always the possibility that, over time, the sheer logic of things will help drive out the bad premises. Or, of course, the reverse could happen. But even if, after the context of the moment that inspired the revolt against altruism passes, a given person goes back and immediately undercuts everything they said and did, it can still have a very nice and long lasting residual effect. If people, during their "Galt phase" just go out and articulate WHY they are "going Galt" to the people around them, eventually some of those people are going to come across Ayn Rand - and when they do, her ideas are going to seem much less foreign and easier to grasp than they otherwise would.
This is great news!

And as much as I dislike bumper stickers on aesthetic grounds, I am tempted by the one (pictured) from the Michelle Malkin post.

Attack my country, and I become less persnickety about aesthetics. The atrocities of September 11, 2001 had me displaying the flag on my bumper the next day.

-- CAV


Martin Lindeskog said...

Did you see the new post on Pajamas Media? "Going John Galt? Tell Dr. Helen About It…" I managed to write the first comment on the post.

Gus Van Horn said...

No, I hadn't, so thanks for pointing it out.

Were I to decide to go on strike, I am not so sure I'd necessarily shout about it from the rooftops -- or give an interview about it.

Gus Van Horn said...

Blogger Gus Van Horn said...

A clarification to my last, since the "strikes" going on now are not exactly like the ones described in Atlas Shrugged:

Someone had recently asked me point blank whether I'd announce that I went on an AS-style strike, if I ever did.

For THAT, the decision would always be contingent on exact circumstances.

For what many Americans are doing now, one could make a stronger case for announcing the fact that they were on strike, and why. (In my case, I'm still not sure I would.)

Rational Jenn said...

Thank you for linking to my post, Gus. I'm glad that I was able to make my point in an effective way. Even though I had not anticipated some of the response I received, I think it sparked some good discussions!

Jim May said...

On the one hand, I agree that if you were going on the *final* sort of strike as dramatized in "Atlas Shrugged", the announcement should be low-key, aimed only that those who matter -- and done *once*. That's how the strikers in AS did it.

But the sort of thing that is going around the blogosphere is different; it it's not a strike, it's a fight. It's the beginning of that fight which we hope makes the final strike unnecessary.

This talk represents the best opportunity we've had in years to arm people against altruism. We need to arm them against the concept of duty -- unchosen obligation -- in any form.

Gus Van Horn said...

I'm glad it did. Before that, I would have leaned towards not taking kids to something like that, but then, I never had thought about it before. I'm glad you wrote about it for that reason. Thanks!

Gus Van Horn said...

[Once again, a stray comment gets caught in the Blogger queue w/o my being notified in GMail. So I am answering comments out of order.]


Agreed. Thanks for adding that clarification.

Perhaps these "strikes" are a "teachable moment" in the sense of drawing the line between the types of strikes and why they differ (i.e., the importance of the ideas floating around in the culture).