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January 20, 2009

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asquith

To a large extent, people project their own fantasies onto the past. For example, I studied the English Civil War, & you wouldn't believe the number of people who claimed an identification with the Royalists when they quite plainly would have been Parliamentarians if they'd been around then. & so on & so forth.

People's image of the past has more to do with what they think it was, & want it to have been, than reality.

Nick

On the contrary, I'd count ourselves very lucky if we had a leader (whether president or prime minister) as good as Warren Harding: http://www.reason.com/news/show/131136.html

loupgarous

Now the Daley political machine of Chicago (who also gave us Governor Blagojevich of Illinois) and the nationwide network of corrupt winos and dopers called ACORN has put a man inside the White House. Huzzah, huzzah.

Now we can have a man who will give us that "police state" the Bush-haters bleat about in dead earnest - in Colorado Springs during his campaign he promised to inflict a "national security corps larger and better funded than the Department of Defense."

Obama and his lawyer have already threatened to sue and press criminal charges against TV and radio station managers who ran political commercials critical of Obama, and to revoke their broadcast licenses. Odd language for a "professor of Constitutional law," but perfectly predictable for a beneficiary of the Daley machine.

Now, we can expect a Federal Communications Commission weighted toward the Left, and which will throttle political discussion on the air which is critical of Obama by restoration of the "Fairness Doctrine," a device only used by Democrats in office to get broadcast station managers to hew close to the party line or lose their license to broadcast. Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine because it is a direct violation of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech; the people behind Obama have been agitating for its reinstatement for years.

The sooner we're shut of this ridiculous man, the better.

Shuggy

"It’s just another chief executive taking a job that he’ll probably do more or less averagely."

Yeah - but the fact that he got it at all is, in and of itself, a significant historical step for the only democracy ever to have practiced slavery. I think a little evocation of history is allowed here. You could even say it's appropriate. C'mon man, take a day off from being so goddam rational all the time - see how it feels.

James Hamilton

Thanks for the link to your IC pieces Chris - looking forward to reading them.

There's room for those who want to keep a cool head about this - as others have said, the symbolism is built-in and needs no elaboration.

Will

Dillow -- you are a a miserable fucking cunt.

Wot Shuggy said as well.

Peter

"...a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath".

Just a bit more than "another chief executive taking a job".

Recusant

So, Shuggy, Will and Peter, his defining characteristic is the colour of his skin, is it? What he does, thinks and believes take second place to that? It seems that viewing people through the prism of race is now liberally virtuous rather than redneck racist.

Jonathan Wakeham

There are two slightly different points here. Firstly, in terms of the chasuble of history, Obama's speech yesterday didn't use history for his own aggrandisement, but to give context to the present crisis: if our forefathers, faced with even greater perils, could find a way forward then so can we. That's not about him, it's about America. Secondly, government isn't just managing. Was the creation of the welfare state just management? Was the Marshall Plan? Was the NHS? Leadership isn't just a Gant chart ...

Shuggy

"his defining characteristic is the colour of his skin, is it?"

I'm unsure if you're being deliberately obtuse or if you really don't get the point because neither I nor anyone else said this, did they? I would have thought that it would be obvious that yesterday was *not* merely an occasion where "just another chief executive (takes) a job", not to anyone with a sense of history anyway. Those of us who are rather pleased that he got elected feel this on the basis that he is (first and foremost, for me) not a Republican, not called Bush, can actually string a sentence together, has - as far as one can tell - a programme that is somewhat to the left of any Presidential candidate in recent memory - and so on. But I'm wondering what it is with people who can seriously imagine that the election of a black man to the presidency of a country with a history like the United States isn't worth considering a significant event in itself? If you thought about it a bit more, who knows - you might even feel it's something worth being happy about.

ad

"the only democracy ever to have practiced slavery"

What about Athens?

"And why is it that politicians - not just Obama of course, though he does it so well - feel the need to play upon this, to present themselves as more than mere managers - even though that’s what they are?"

It gives everyone an opportunity to parade the virtues they like to think they possess.

Shuggy

"What about Athens?"

Pedant. You knew what I meant.

Will

There is a lot of cunts who comment at this blog.

Me, Peter and Shuggy aren't those.

The cunt who posts the posts is tho' but.

Luis Enrique

With a job like that, small deviations from average performance can have very large outcomes. You can be as skeptical as you like about the importance of leadership, character and expertise and about that limitations of hierarchies etc. but after 8 years of Dubya, if you are trying to suggest that the nature of the President and his administration does not make a big difference (I'm not sure you are, but you could think that reading "just another C.E.O") then you look like somebody holding on to their pet theory in defiance of the evidence.

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