Many thanks to my readers and to the awesome guest bloggers who filled in for me so ably while I was away. Their blogs:
And So it Goes in Shreveport
Posts by all of the above, and more, can also be found at Potluck.
As I catch up on the news, I see that nothing much seems to have changed in the past couple of weeks. Obama is again relaxing and recharging among the elites -- dismantling America takes a lot out of a guy. His administration continues to explore innovative ways to work around the will of the people, and the law, without owning up to it. Grab that power while you can.
Meanwhile, despite some rather dire predictions -- Charlie Cook to Dems: You know you’re going to get totally destroyed in November, right? -- the Democrats have come up with some nifty strategies for success in 2010: downplay their crowning achievement, Obamacare, and be as vague as possible about its content. Specifically, the Dems are advised to make their lies more credible:
The confidential presentation, available in full here and provided to POLITICO by a source on the call, suggests that Democrats are acknowledging the failure of their predictions that the health care legislation would grow more popular after its passage, as its benefits became clear and rhetoric cooled. Instead, the presentation is designed to win over a skeptical public, and to defend the legislation — and in particular the individual mandate — from a push for repeal. [. . .]
The presentation advises, instead, sales pitches that play on personal narratives and promises to change the legislation.
"People can be moved from initial skepticism and support for repeal of the law to favorable feelings and resisting repeal," it says. "Use personal stories — coupled with clear, simple descriptions of how the law benefits people at the individual level — to convey critical benefits of reform."
The presentation also counsels against the kind of grand claims of change that accompanied the legislation's passage.
"Keep claims small and credible; don’t overpromise or ‘spin’ what the law delivers," it says, suggesting supporters say, "The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work [to] improve it.”
(Confused. Should they mention that poignant tale about the dead sister's teeth, or not?)
It seems the American people aren't as abysmally stupid as Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and company had hoped.
But then there's Joe Biden; don't go to Vegas with him:
“On Nov. 3, the day after the election, there will be a Democratic majority in the House and a Democratic majority in the Senate,” Mr. Biden said. “If it weren’t illegal, I’d make book on it.”Companion piece by the apparently delusional Eugene Robinson: Obama's Winning Streak. Read Jennifer Rubin on that.
In other news:
Still no Steyn. Be sad with me.
Blago keeps busy:
By the way, if you’re in Chicago tomorrow and want to ask him about this, he’ll be signing autographs at a local comic book convention. Seriously.He's something of a living cartoon, himself, so that makes sense.
Almost two years in, and we're still trying to answer the question, Who is Barack Obama? David P. Goldman: Obama is n0t even a Muslim:
He has a deep antipathy to the American view of things, insisting that “American exceptionalism” is no different than “Greek exceptionalism.” He belongs neither to the United States, nor to the Muslim world; he is a gifted outsider with a talent for persuasion who profiled Americans the way anthropologist profile primitive tribes, and in a variant of the old adventure-movie script, made himself our king.Read the rest of Goldman's short piece.
And from the above-mentioned Charlie Cook, along with Peter Wehner, more perceptive Obamanalysis. Wehner:
Things have gotten so bad for the Democrats in the wake of the mosque/Ground Zero controversy that respected political observers like Charlie Cook are speculating that Obama’s actions might only be explained by a strange indifference to his re-election. According to Cook:
Just over a year ago, a Democratic congressional leadership staffer who had sat in on a number of closed-door meetings between President Obama and Democratic members of Congress told me something to the effect of, “I know this isn’t true and sounds naïve, but listening to the president in these meetings, you’d think he really doesn’t care if he gets re-elected or not.”
While I acknowledge that someone who gets elected to the U.S. Senate and the presidency is by definition extremely competitive and has a healthy desire to win, the words of that staffer have frequently come back to mind. Most recently, I thought of them following the president’s decision to weigh in on the proposal to build a Muslim mosque and cultural center in lower Manhattan, not far from Ground Zero.
Cook goes on to write:
At the risk of sounding like an unlicensed psychoanalyst, it seems that President Obama is so supremely self-confident, so self-assured of the righteousness of his positions, that perhaps he believes if he does what he thinks is best and lets the chips fall where they may, everything will eventually work out. And, if it doesn’t, well, he’ll still think he did the right thing anyway.
Bingo. Read the rest of that, too.
The president, therefore, seems unable to process the (massive) incoming evidence that his approach is not working. He is a great, world-historical figure — and yet our situation is fraying. This is creating a form of cognitive dissonance. And so he and his aides and supporters must blame others — his predecessor, the GOP, cable news, “structural factors,” a “communications problem,” our political culture, our political system, and even the American people. As his presidency skids, Obama has become obsessed with finding scapegoats.
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