April 15, 2008

When Obama wrote "It was into my father's image ... that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself," was he talking about socialism?

Greg Ransom examines the memoir "Dreams From My Father" and the newly unearthed article "Problems Facing Our Socialism," written in 1965 by Barack Obama Sr.
If there is a mystery at the heart of Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father, one thing is not left a mystery, the fact that Barack Obama organized his life on the ideals given to him by his Kenyan father....

So we know that his father's ideals were a driving force in his life, but the one thing that Obama does not give us are the contents of those ideals. The closest he comes is when he tells us that his father lost his position in the government when he came into conflict with Jomo Kenyatte, the President of Kenya sometime in the mid 1960s; when he tells us that his father was imprisoned for his political views by the government just prior to the end of colonial rule; and when he tells us that the attributes of W. E. B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela were the ones he associated with his father and also the ones that he sought to instill in himself. (p. 220) This last group is a hodge podge, perhaps concealing as much as it reveals, in that it contains a socialist black nationalist, a Muslim black nationalist, a civil rights leader, and (at the time indicated in the memoir) an imprisoned armed revolutionary.

A bit of research at the library reveals the answers about Barack Obama's father and his father's convictions which Obama withholds from his readers.
Read the whole thing.

And let me add that I found "Dreams From My Father" a perplexing read. For me, the most moving part is the introduction to the new edition, in which he says that he really ought to have written about his mother — as if her "dreams" have more to do with what he is. Certainly, they should. He lived with her (and her parents), and the father abandoned him. Why does his book consign her to the background? His narrative is based on the idea that that his absent father represents his true identity, and I had the sense that, for some reason, he decided that the story of embracing his patrilineal racial identity would make the best narrative. After all, he sold the book proposal based on the excitement created by his distinction as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. The story he tells culminates with a trip to Africa as an adult to meet the many relatives who had nothing to do with his upbringing. This he presents as the ultimate homecoming. From a feminist perspective, this troubled me. Had the introduction not reassured me that he knew he owed so much more to his mother, I would have felt downright angry.

But is the real story in the book a submerged subtext about socialism? Is the search for racial identity a sop for white readers?

76 comments:

rhhardin said...

The father does the writing.

Mothers can be found inscribed upside-down in the bushes of every picture, however.

AllenS said...

Barack H. Obama's mother was raised by a typical white woman. That's nothing to be proud of.

EnigmatiCore said...

The city walls are all come down
The dust, a smoke screen all around
See faces ploughed like fields that once
Gave no resistance...

Oh dont sorrow, no dont weep
For tonight, at last
I am coming home
I am coming home

(Excuse me if I don't stick around; I am hiding from Mortimer, who wants to beat me up. *shiver*)

LarsPorsena said...

Wow!! How prescient
"2. Obama advocated the nationalization of "European" and "Asian" owned enterprises, including hotels, with the control of these operations handed over to the "indigenous" black population. (pp. 32 -33)"

Talk about your progressives. This guy was well ahead of Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe.

bearbee said...

Global tax....socialism?

Obama’s Global Tax Proposal Up for Senate Vote

Simon said...

It doesn't seem uncommon to idealize a missing parent; their absence is precisely their utility, and one can project upon them what one may, without all the messy day-to-day reality of actually having to live with a person. Obama's father didn't tell him no. His father didn't get him out of bed in the morning to go to school. His father didn't do the million-and-one things that produce petty friction between children and their parents. It's easier to idealize from a distance.

bearbee said...

One hungers for that which is lost. Why wouldn't a child yearn for a missing father? What ideals lead his mother to marry the man who was his father and what ideal images of the man did she pass along to a young boy without his father?

Sloanasaurus said...

I have not gotten to the part yet about his trip back to Kenya and his discoveries about his father. So its hard to comment on the socialism aspect of it. What struck me most about his book (at least the first half) is how much about race it is.

Because the media has portrayed Obama as someone who "transcends" race, I expected the book to be about how his life transcended race. Except, the book is all about race. It's all about how he thinks about race all the time and that race is the most important thing in his life. Moreover, his rise to power is rooted in him embracing being black rather than despite it. It is a very strange story.

Maybe I am partial to the more classic American Dream type stories of the African American who grows up in the south, suffers the hardships of racism and poverty, and then pulls themselves out of it to become a success, like a Supreme Court Justice or an athelete, or a business leader. These types of stories are loaded with American virtues - virtues that "transcend race."

Obama's story is nothing like that. There isn't really a universal American virtue in Obama's story. It is about something else.

The Drill SGT said...

Maybe I am partial to the more classic American Dream type stories of the African American who grows up in the south, suffers the hardships of racism and poverty, and then pulls themselves out of it to become a success, like a Supreme Court Justice or an athelete, or a business leader. These types of stories are loaded with American virtues - virtues that "transcend race."

Or a Stanford Dean, or a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, or perhaps a Secretary of State?

downtownlad said...

You tell em Drill Sgt. Why can't Obama be more like Condoleeza Rice or Clarence Thomas. He had so much potential - if only he could transcend race.

But alas - he has failed. Now he's just a useless United States Senator from Illinois about to be the Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party. How pathetic. What a waste.

Blue Moon said...

Sloan:

Not trying to be mean, but basically you are saying the only way a black person can embody "real american values" is to be republican.

Cedarford said...

Well, this is the problem of an American media concluding Obama was their Black Messiah - and not vetting him to voters until he had the nomination all but locked up.

We never quite "got" what Obama's Father's Dreams exactly were.

Now we are beginning to know.

An anti-Western hardcore socialist politically aligned with communists in Kenya who advocated mass confiscations of land, businesses from non-blacks. 100% taxes on the rich as long as the masses benefited from the ruining of such people. Land communally owned by the black race only. Alignment of Kenya outside the West in diplomacy.

It helps explain Obama's great attraction towards "The Dreams of My Father":

What was Barack Obama doing seeking out Marxist professors in college? Why did Obama choose a Communist Party USA member as his socio- political counselor in high school? Why did he want a Muslim roomate at Columbia? Why was he spending his time studying neocolonialism and the writings of Frantz Fanon, the pro-violence author of "the Communist Manifesto of neocolonialsm", in college? Why did he take time out from his studies at Columbia to attend socialist conferences at Cooper Union?

The "Mask" on Obama is being lifted. The real Obama is emerging.
More will follow, like his wealthy, but very radical Jewish and black corporate elites in Chicago spotting him in the early 90s and nourishing him and Michelle Obama with their political patronage, their 20 year run in Chicagos most select society, and plush jobs given them through their clout on the U of Chicago Board of Trustees.

Perhaps to late for Dems to reconsider the guy. And maybe even too late to reconsider the malignant forces that want him as President despite his covered-up flaws. And maybe too late for voters that are 81% convinced the country is on the wrong path under the Bush Corporatists.

The media and the Democrat Party, by willfully giving the black guy a pass from scrutiny, while going fullbore against some of his rivals, have likely helped predetermine his success. Could this be another case where everything favors the Democrats, then they again come up with the worst Presidential candidate possible outside Sharpton, Kucinich, and Mike Gravel?

downtownlad said...

Makes total sense Cedarford. I'm just confused why those dirty Jews in Chicago decided to support a Muslim like Obama? I thought most of those money-grubbing Jews were cheap capitalists as well, so why are they aligned with this Communist?

I'm sure you shed some light on these paradoxes with your enlightened judgment.

Sloanasaurus said...

but basically you are saying the only way a black person can embody "real american values" is to be republican.

That is ridiculous. I like the way you quote "real american values" as if I said it.

My point is that Obama's story doesn't have the classic American story about pulling yourself out of a bad situation to it that other stories have. Instead he seeks out racism almost because he feels left out for not having experienced enough of it like other black Americans. It's a strange story.

Freder Frederson said...

but very radical Jewish and black corporate elites in Chicago spotting him in the early 90s and nourishing him and Michelle Obama with their political patronage

The ZOG is finally making its final move by installing Obama, isn't it Cedarford? Isn't it amazing that the Jewish controlled media is able to hide the strings on the Obama mariennette.

Careful Downtownlad--you wouldn't want to use any racial epithets and offend Ann's sensibilities. Cedarford's rational concerns about the Jews are, of course, a legitimate topic of discussion.

downtownlad said...

Of course Freder. I don't have to use the N word. We can just call Obama an atheist, Islamist, black-nationalist, gay, Communist, victim. It pretty much gets the same point across.

Can someone tell me the last time they read a post on a conservative blog that actually criticized one of Obama's actual policy positions? God forbid we actually debate an actual issue. So much easier to attack.

I don't even mind McCain. He's a decent guy. But the character assassination on Obama is revolting.

Blue Moon said...

Sloan:

I put "real american values" in quotes because I think the concept in many ways is a joke, not because I was trying to insinuate that you said it.

As for the rest of your post, I actually agree to an extent. Look, the story Obama's life is the search for identity. One of the hardest things about growing up is figuring out who you are. And when you are a half white / half black boy who is being tossed around from parent to parent to grandparent, state to state, nation to nation, you are going to have it infinitely harder.

Obama is still trying to belong, which is why his campaign theme is "Yes we can! (all get along)"

Freder Frederson said...

Can someone tell me the last time they read a post on a conservative blog that actually criticized one of Obama's actual policy positions?

But as Cedarford said, his policy is apparently going to be to nationalize all white owned businesses and turn them over to black folks--it's 40 acres and a mule plus interest.

Of course, the Jews as ever, will be too smart for their own damn good and their businesses will be confiscated too. There is precedent for this. As Cedarford explained before, the Jews actually founded the Nazi party in Germany--but of course it got out of hand and backfired on them.

downtownlad said...

No no no freder. You have it all wrong. The Holocaust never happened. It was invented by Jews as a way to gain sympathy for Jews and thus enable them to get more wealth. Those Jews are so cunning.

downtownlad said...

Oh - and you can be 100% certain that if Obama wrote mainly about his mother, that Bill Kristol would use those as proof that he was gay, and Ann Coulter would be calling him a faggot.

Cedarford said...

Watch. The next part of the unveiling of Obama will be the network of immensely wealthy, but politically radical or anti-American Chicago patrons that sustained him. Ranging from Jewish billionaires to billionaire Iraqi arms runner Hamhdi Auchi (working through Rezko) to NOI to ex-60s SDS radicals active in Mayor Washington's Gov't.

Freder can gnash his dumb death all he wants.

Balfegor said...

His narrative is based on the idea that that his absent father represents his true identity, and I had the sense that, for some reason, he decided that the story of embracing his patrilineal racial identity would make the best story.

Simon had a good point above. But really, Barack Obama has his father's name. He's Barack Obama II. The fact that he has his father's name probably instilled in him, at very early age, a tendency to conceptualise himself dynastically, with reference to his father and his father's lineage. It's almost overdetermined. Like with John Sidney McCain, fourth of that name, a man who also sees himself through the lens of his father, and his father's forebears.

downtownlad said...

You don't stand a chance Cedarford. Those Jews have IQ's like a billion points higher than gentiles. Just accept your fate.

Balfegor said...

You don't stand a chance Cedarford. Those Jews have IQ's like a billion points higher than gentiles. Just accept your fate.

No, it's only a standard deviation, not "like a billion points." Average of about +25 IQ points, IIRC.

downtownlad said...

If you're infatuated with your mother - you're gay. So in order to cure yourself it is essential to break those bonds with your mother and strengthen the relationship with your father. It's true. I read it on Narth.com

Which means Obama is a stud.

downtownlad said...

It is true Balfegor. I'm an ethnic Jew and I'm smarter than everyone I know.

Roger J. said...

clarification: what is an ethnic Jew? I have read of sephardim, ashkenazim, and possible some ethiopian jews--but ethnic jews?

Sloanasaurus said...

Can someone tell me the last time they read a post on a conservative blog that actually criticized one of Obama's actual policy positions? God forbid we actually debate an actual issue. So much easier to attack.

Obama voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive.

Obama opposes allowing people to use banned handguns to defend against intruders in their homes.

Obama opposed laws to prevent partial birth abortion.

Obama opposed the defense of marriage act.

Obama has never worked to obtain compromises on any difficult issues in the U.S. Senate.

Obama supports giving drivers licenceses to illegal immigrants.

Obama opposes anti-missile systems.

Obama opposes the bush tax cuts, which include $1000 child tax credits are reduction in all tax rates.

Obama supports nationalized health care.

Obama wants to "renegotiate" NAFTA and opposes free trade.

Obama is as liberal as they come. Wait until the real campaign on issues begin. Obama will be on defense for the rest of the campaign.

Roger J. said...

Thats not fair, Sloan--much of those positions you have shamelessly derived from his voting record.

downtownlad said...

Well besides misrepresenting his views on quite a few of those issues, none of those are actually outside the political mainstream.

John McCain favors the economic policies that caused the two Bush recessions.

John McCain favors 100 year war in Iraq instead of trying to find Osama Bin Laden

John McCain favors deficits over surpluses

That wasn't very hard. I guess some people like to debate in simplistic one-sentence arguments and can't handle the complex subtleties of these issues.

To each his own.

Hmm, and wasn't Sloan slamming John McCain when he joined the Gang of 14 on judicial appointments. Now he's praising him for it. Amusing.

Simon said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"Obama wants to 'renegotiate' NAFTA and opposes free trade."

That's only because he's bitter. I have it on good authority that people who are bitter cling to anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Blue Moon said...

DTL:

Generically speaking, neither the pro-choice nor the pro-life positions are outside the political mainstream. And yet you certainly wouldn't tell a pro-choicer that it is illegitimate to refuse to vote for a pro-lifer or vice versa, would you?

downtownlad said...

If you feel that strongly about abortion, it is ok to tell people that this has to be the deciding issue. Or you can feel strongly and still tell people that its just one issue to take into consideration.

It's very important for Republicans though, right behind making sure gay people remain second class citizens.

Sloanasaurus said...

Hmm, and wasn't Sloan slamming John McCain when he joined the Gang of 14 on judicial appointments. Now he's praising him for it. Amusing.

Hmm, find where I slammed John McCain for this.... you won't. Actually, I thought the gang of 14 was a brilliant political move.

Sloanasaurus said...

Well besides misrepresenting his views on quite a few of those issues, none of those are actually outside the political mainstream.

Which issues did I misrepresent?

Roger J. said...

The current discussion assumes, of course, that people actually vote on the issues. Thats what they tell interviewers, of course, but I suspect their reasons for voting for (or against) someone are much less specific.

downtownlad said...

Nationalized health care for one. He supports nothing of the sort. He favors universal coverage. There is a difference. A big one.

By the way - his father wasn't a socialist.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9610.html

Sloanasaurus said...

Nationalized health care for one. He supports nothing of the sort. He favors universal coverage.

You mean universal coverage that is mostly backstopped by the government.

Richard Dolan said...

"From a feminist perspective, this troubled me. ... Is the search for racial identity the a sop for white readers?"

The pigeon-holing here seems a bit odd, for two reason. First, why the limitation to a "feminist perspective"? How is that different from the ordinary human perspective here, and what does it add? The search/sop dichotomy gets into dangerous territory. No one is safe from being dismissed as a phony on such grounds.

Second, the basic criticism here is about a book Obama didn't write but (for some reason) others feel he should have written (Dreams From My Mother/Grandmother). That strikes me as a strange basis to criticize Obama' book about the importance of his absent father. And, as story lines go, his is pretty familiar territory. Indeed, those who were abandoned and then adopted, only to spend a good bit of their time as adults searching for the missing biological parents, have made it something of a cliche. But a focus on the missing (biological) parent is not often intended or taken as a means of diminishing the importance of the (adoptive) parents. Not having read Obama's book, I don't know whether he says or suggests that his absent father was more important, on some scale, than his not-at-all-absent mother (and grandmother). But I don't see any reason to read that into it, any more than one would in the adoption context.

Balfegor said...

Re: Dolan:

But a focus on the missing (biological) parent is not often intended or taken as a means of diminishing the importance of the (adoptive) parents.

Viewed in context, though, that's

The story he tells culminates with a trip to Africa as an adult to meet the many relatives who had nothing to do with his upbringing. This he presents as the ultimate homecoming.

I've not read his memoir, but this description makes it sound like a narrative in which his true self -- his true home -- is determined not by his mother, or by his matrilineal upbringing, but by his father's bloodline alone. If so, that's an unusual narrative for a progressive to use -- patriarchal, with a sprinkling of Blut und Boden. And though I'm in sympathy with it, I can see where a feminist could find it off-putting.

That said, though, I'm actually a little curious whether our hostess sees a fundamental incompatibility between traditional systems of patriarchal identity -- by which I'm trying to say, systems where your sense of identity and allegiance are shaped primarily by your father's family, rather than your mother's -- and modern feminism, or whether it's just a sense of exclusive (rather than prioritised) identity that's offensive?

al fin said...

Little "Junior" Obama is an articulate ignoramus. But if he has powerful friends, he can go far by being an articulate opportunist.

A lot of people will see him as a savior or messiah, but it is unlikely he will ever help anyone.

Salamandyr said...

My first inclination is to be a bit offended, on behalf of his mother and grandparents, that Obama chooses to identify with his deadbeat father for what appears to be merely racial grounds.

Upon thinking about it, I think his self-identification has more to do with the face he sees in the mirror and those around him see. Because his skin is dark, he's expected to be a black man; to be part of a certain cultural identity that his upbringing would not otherwise include him in. In essence, we (I mean a cultural "we") told him his black father was the most important factor in his life, thanks to their shared skin color, rather than his white mother and grandparents, who may have raised him but whose mark is not left as indelibly upon his skin. I think his cultural confusion and search for answers is an outgrowth of that.

EnigmatiCore said...

One need only look at the problems now encountered in getting lands consolidated in some areas. Will this be easily done through individual action, through co-operatives or through government ownership? Realizing social stickiness and inflexibility and looking at the society's distrust of change, one would see that, if left to the individual, consolidation will take a long time to come. We have to look at priorities in terms of what is good for society and on this basis we may find it necessary to force people to do things they would not do otherwise...

... It is good to be optimistic, but so long as we maintain free enterprise one cannot deny that some will accumulate more than others, nor is it unlikely that in a country with low per capita incomes, to subject the poor into submitting to political ideologies and to persuade them to vote for those who offer them money, would not be difficult and has, in fact, been occurring...

...[Domestic accumulation] is a good gesture except for the underlying assumption which one only reads between the lines, that it is individual private enterprise and business that tends to encourage accumulation. True, in the paper there is a realization that taxation can be used as a means of forced saving, but it is given a secondary place in this respect. Certainly there is no limit to taxation if the benefits derived from public services by society measure up to the cost in taxation which they have to pay. It is a fallacy to say that there is this limit and it is a fallacy to rely mainly on individual free enterprise to get the savings. How are we going to rid ourselves of economic power concentration when we, in our blueprint, tend towards what we ourselves discredit? In paragraph 47 the paper states that the company form of business organization is a departure from the direct individual ownership typical of Marx's day. Yet one who has read Marx cannot fail to see that corporations are not only what Marx referred to as the advanced stage of capitalism but Marx even called it finance capitalism by which a few would control the finances of so many and through this have not only economic but political power as well...

...What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all and at the same time be able to channel some of these gains to future production. This is the government's obligation...

Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed. Assuming that development and the achievement of a high per capita income is a benefit to society as a whole I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development, thereby reducing our reliance on foreign aid...

...There is a statement on nationalization. True there are cases in which nationalization is bad, but there are, likewise, quite a few benefits to be derived from it... Nationalization should not be looked at only in terms of profitability alone, but also, or even more, on the benefit to society that such services render and on its importance in terms of public interest...

Revenant said...

Looks like DTL's off his meds again.

Balfegor said...

Upon thinking about it, I think his self-identification has more to do with the face he sees in the mirror and those around him see. Because his skin is dark, he's expected to be a black man; to be part of a certain cultural identity that his upbringing would not otherwise include him in.

Maybe. I think this kind of "face in the mirror" explanation is superficially compelling, but doesn't really stand up to scrutiny. At least for me. If I look at myself in the mirror.

Because what you, as a society, tell me is that I'm Hispanic, and I ought to be speaking Spanish -- hence the people in California and elsewhere who switch to speaking Spanish at me, even though I don't speak a word of Spanish. Despite growing up with that kind of thing, I did not, in my 20s, decide that I had to become authentically Hispanic merely because complete strangers were projecting the label "Hispanic" onto me. I'm not Hispanic, I'm a half-caste Korean-American, and I'm perfectly happy with that.

If Obama found that other peoples' image of him exerted such immense psychological pressure on him that he had to go out and remake himself in their image of him so as to match up properly with their expectations, I think that's kind of telling. In a bad way. In fact, though, I think that's only a tiny part of the picture. I may be steadily souring on Obama as this primary season draws on, but I don't think he's quite that pathetic.

Freeman Hunt said...

No Rev, you just hate gays. In 3, 2, 1...

Kirby Olson said...

Good sleuthing in the original post. Thanks for this.

Yes, so Obama is a socialist a la Mugabe.

I doubt if anyone on the left will mind that.

Blue Moon said...

Balfegor:

But as you know, it is hard to say no to society when it comes to choosing whether or not to get in the race box everyone wants you to get into. I am 20 shades darker than Obama and I went through much the same thing -- the whole "You're not really black because you talk funny / like soccer / listen to Bach..." and so on. Got it from all sides, and when you don't have a strong sense of self that transcends the race box (it seems you have it), then we get to watch you flail around like a bird in a fountain.

It is somewhat cringeworthy watching Obama try to find a place to fit in. Like I said in a very lengthy post a few weeks ago, he can use his racial demons for good purposes if he finds the courage to do so. Everyone who runs for president thinks they are ready to do it, but it seems to me that no one is ready. And so we watch another chapter of "Who is Obama Today?" I still support him, though some of the luster has worn off.

Blue Moon said...

Kirby:

So we visit the sin's of the father on the son eh? Can't wait to hear what McCain's dad felt about black people, women, poverty... Come on, be fair.

JohnAnnArbor said...

The story he tells culminates with a trip to Africa as an adult to meet the many relatives who had nothing to do with his upbringing. This he presents as the ultimate homecoming. From a feminist perspective, this troubled me.

From ANY perspective, it's troubling. It's one thing if a parent's missing because of dying young. It's another thing entirely if the parent abandons you, and yet you pretend like that parent's the end-all and be-all of your identity.

jeff said...

"Looks like DTL's off his meds again."

Again? You mean still.

Talking about misrepresenting someones position. 100 year war?
The two Bush recessions? You know that W is such a bad ass, he actually started a recession BEFORE he was even elected.

Then this classic "I guess some people like to debate in simplistic one-sentence arguments and can't handle the complex subtleties of these issues."

The irony just drips off of that sentence. Then of course the obligatory comment of Republicans only live to keep the Gay Man down. Or something like that. As big of a dishonest debater as ever.

blake said...

I dislike mirrors. They are the playthings of man's vanity.

I've never understood the whole "finding yourself"/identity thing. One is what one does, for most purposes. One can have a temporary glamour, like Barack, but the world doesn't sustain those well for long. That's why mystery is so sexy: reality is messy.

blake said...

jeff--

Actually, while I've come to regard DTL as a troll of late, I do believe he intended irony there.

jprapp said...

Okay, you’re asking, “where’s Bill”?

Answer: Bill is running away from the revenge of Uma Thurman (in “Kill Bill”) because Bill can’t take Hillary’s femme version of the "Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique" – that is, Bill’s gone in a pure power move, graced by political-silence technique, motivated by the torque of Hillary, like Uma, still having the movie-storyline’s evil prelude words banging (I say “banging” because the dissonance must *feel* like “banging” - besides, that word just feels right, and more fun this context) in her ears, you know, the movie-prelude words said by Bill (in the movie) and by Bill (in the oval office) – “this is me at my most perverse!” There, I said it.

Hillary’s too busy juking with her new cash-daddy, Elton, to hear the sub species aeternitas re-mix of Nancy Sinatra’s, “bang, bang .. my baby shot me down” (there’s that word, again).

Or, maybe Bill himself is behind this lack of reference? - maybe Bill has taken a cruel vow of neutered-alitry? - or, neutered-Hill-arity?

Speaking of which, Althouse, are you regaining your chutzpah? – you’ve taken down your logo-gram saying you’ve taken the “vow”?

Think of your readers. I’m so confused. Without vows of advocacy, I don’t know where anyone stands anymore.

So, take my own advice: I’m thinking McCain. But, I liked him better before he hadn’t taken the vow of cruel neutrality, that is, when he (right or wrong) yanked the chains of the religious right. His poster-boy shots of himself as a young, aspiring, smiling-Anglican, the high rent version of religious praxis sedated by etiquette, might put soft manners on a fighter pilot who spent months in hell. But, he was much better and far more fun as a fighter-pilot dive-bombing the religious domain-claimers (Republican religious right) than under his current vow of neutrality.

Neutrality – it’s cruel. It’s all cruel.

It’s crueler than a non-reference to Bill at a spring flowering-femme-festival.

“‘There must be some kind of way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief. ‘There’s too much confusion I cant get no relief.’”

From Jeremiah Wright to the religious right – where’s the really open polis when we need it?

Ruin your virtue!

Dispense with your vow!

Talk to those who love you!


Cheers


Jim

jprapp said...

ACK! wrong thread -- should have gone on the Hillary thread.

Sloanasaurus said...

And so we watch another chapter of "Who is Obama Today?" I still support him, though some of the luster has worn off.

The lustre is the idea that Obama is not really a unifying figure. In fact he could be the most polarizing figure ever to run for the presidency apart from Abe Lincoln. He is polarizing first for his almost complete left wing and elitist ideology, but also because he pushes the race issue down our throats.

This will be a nasty campaign. In the end a lot of moderate Democrats will go for McCain because they will find him to be an acceptable alternative.

Cedarford said...

Another fun thing coming at Obama that the MSM hasn't run yet is the same bloggger published an earlier piece APR 7th about another remark by Obama at a (separate?) San Fran Dem Wealthy Elite fundraiser.

Before that, Fowler had turned in a piece which ran April 7th and caused a ripple, with Obama telling the San Francisco fundraiser crowd that he doesn't need a foreign policy expert as his running mate because he already knows a lot about foreign policy. Huffington, who was about to leave for Tahiti, was concerned about that piece, which had no political impact other than pointing up Obama's cockiness.

This is a guy that still maintains that because he gave an anti-war speech 6 years ago, saying the same basic things other Lefties ideologically opposed to Iraq said - like Susan Sarandon, Teddy Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, and Saddam himself - Obama is a foreign policy genius of the highest judgment.
And he says his in-depth knowlege comes from being an expat kid for a while, his undergrad degree in International Relations, and being in contact with Muslim relatives in Indonesia and Kenya.

Clinton may be a liar, McCain may be old, but Obama appears mildy delusional and full of himself.

Balfegor said...

I dislike mirrors. They are the playthings of man's vanity.

Indeed, as the heresiarchs of Uqbar have it, mirrors and copulation are abominable.

For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illusion or (more precisely) a sophism. Mirrors and fatherhood are abominable because they multiply and disseminate that universe.

M. Simon said...

Not socialism Ann,

Communism.

Google

Frank Marshall Davis Obama

next

Black Liberation Theology Communism

The truth is out there.

jeff said...

Blake, while I haven't followed Althouse as much as I used to, the DTL of old wouldn't know irony if it bit him on the ass. And I say that in the least homophobic way I can. DTL MO (at least in the past) has been to argue as dishonest as possible, to counter any argument against him as homophobic and to accuse anyone to the right of Lenin (the first one) of living solely to deny the gay people any and all human rights. All without any hint of self aware irony.

Balfegor said...

to counter any argument against him as homophobic and to accuse anyone to the right of Lenin (the first one) of living solely to deny the gay people any and all human rights.

Wasn't DTL all cock-a-hoop about how rich he was, though? I mean, if he took Lenin as his lodestar, either that was ironic -- which you suggest would be impossible -- or I am simply remembering the wrong commenter. Which is certainly a possibility.

Revenant said...

I think you guys are barking up the wrong tree here. Is there really any reason to think that DTL believes any of the nonsense he posts here? He's pretty obviously just a troll. I doubt he's even really gay; I think he picked that as part of his troll persona because he thought it would annoy the conservatives who post here. That's why he keeps getting crazier and crazier in his Homosexuality Uber Alles ranting until he finally gets a response out of somebody. When people start ignoring him again he wanders off.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 per cent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed

Theoretically, but in reality what will stop the government from doing so is that 50% or more of income and economic transactions will go underground, never to be taxed or become barter transactions never to be reported. The independent business person will just stop earning reportable income.

Many others will just stop working at all if 100% or 60% or 50% of their income is taken from them. I have one client who just stops his business when he reaches the point where it would tip him into the highest tax brackets, which in his case would put him at about 60% total taxation. There is no point to work for less than 50 cents on the dollar, after that point so he lays off his workers and closes his shop and spends the rest of the year in Costa Rica. Multiply him by thousands. This is why communism and soclialistic redistribution of income will never work.

Richard said...

"Nationalized health care for one. He supports nothing of the sort. He favors universal coverage."

I laughed so hard when I read this. Isn't our nation in the universe? This is like how the left have now began using the term Climate Change instead of Global Warming.

EnigmatiCore said...

DBQ, don't argue with me. Argue with the elder Obama; those are his words, not mine, from the article that DTL and The Politico say show that he isn't a socialist.

The Politico basically says that the article makes the elder Obama sound moderate, not socialist.

I read it, and I was left thinking that the Politico must have some incredibly far-left writers if they thought that sounded moderate and not socialist.

reader_iam said...

"Perplexing" is a good word choice, Althouse.

Regardless of why DBQ wrote this ...

Theoretically, but in reality what will stop the government from doing so is that 50% or more of income and economic transactions will go underground, never to be taxed or become barter transactions never to be reported. The independent business person will just stop earning reportable income.

... boy, did she nail it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, don't argue with me. Argue with the elder Obama

I apologize, my mistake. I didn't realize you were quoting Obama Sr.

I argue with the concept. :-)

Kirby Olson said...

But Blue Moon, Barack has clearly stated that all of his dreams are coming from his father, or at least that his inspiration comes out of that, and if you trace ot the source, and it turns out he's a racial communist, then you can connect the dots.

I don't know if McCain's dad was a racial fascist, if that's what you're implying. I haven't read the books of the McCain clan. It would be fair game to read them and find disturbing things, I think, esp. if McCain said that one particular member of his clan was his guru, or the equivalent of his guru, as Obama seems to claim in the title of his first volume.

I haven't read that volume, though, to be fair.

I do have the Audacity of Hope and what surprises me in it is that he's actually fairly conservative: he's against gay marriage, and thinks the Sermon on the Mount is a crock that can't be used in terms of national defense. I mean, for Democrats, that's actually pretty far toward the center right to even believe in National Defense (except for other countries defending themselves against the American military industrial machine).

So, no, I think reading the books of the McCain clan are all fair game, esp. if McCain deliberately points to one of them as the source of his political paradigms.

Martin said...

Time magazine has a long article on Obama's mother. She says that Obama's book was something he "needed to work out." Also quotes others saying Obama is his mother's child in more ways than one.

I can see a need to work out who your father was, to place yourself in context. Perfectly normal.

Do so many of you really have to over-analyze him to this extent? This paper by his Dad is now the window into Obama's soul ? Well, I guess it could replace the misuse of the word cling !

montana urban legend said...

So over-analyzed. Children and the adults they grow into are so much more likely to pine and search for the lost elements of their childhood in constructing their identity than they are the elements that were right there. It's really not that complicated. The title does incorporate the word "Dreams", after all. Who dreams of what they don't lack for?

Revenant said...

Also quotes others saying Obama is his mother's child in more ways than one.

His mother appears to have been pretty far out on the leftie fringe, though, so that's not exactly reassuring.

The Exalted said...

sweet jesus, you're a ridiculous person.

you say you've read the book, does he speak about his burning desire for socialist paradise or not??

and i really can't fathom any response to your beyond silly rant that you are near-offended as a "feminist" because a book written about a young man's search for identity titled "dreams from my father" shockingly leads to his...father

The Exalted said...

yes, somebody is off their meds:

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama is not really a unifying figure. In fact he could be the most polarizing figure ever to run for the presidency apart from Abe Lincoln. He is polarizing first for his almost complete left wing and elitist ideology, but also because he pushes the race issue down our throats.

Balfegor said...

Do so many of you really have to over-analyze him to this extent?

Well, we'd be doing so anyhow -- the man wants to be the President, after all! People did so with Bush II, and loved to do so with Clinton. But it wouldn't dominate discussion the same way if, you know, he'd actually done something we could pick apart instead before he decided to run for the highest office in the country. Even his nominal accomplishments from his State Senate term turn out to have been prepped by other people and pushed to him by a top machine politician, so we can't even look at those (deadly tedious) efforts for much insight into the man. What else have we got to look at? It's basically his two books about himself and this campaign.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do so many of you really have to over-analyze him to this extent?

Yes. Otherwise we would be picking by the rock paper scissors method.

Nichevo said...

No one has yet invoked the modern meme, "baby-daddy" (as an alternative to "father"). First!