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On Being a Citizen of the World

Said an American politician, speaking to an international audience:

“I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world. I come with the heartfelt wishes of my people for peace, bearing honest proposals and looking for genuine progress.”

I mean can you imagine? Didn’t this politician know that he was an American? What kind of internationalist claptrap was he peddling?

Thankfully there are a number of folks issuing correctives to such odd ways of thinking.

As Victor Davis Hanson noted

I would not speak to anyone as “a fellow citizen of the world,” but only as an ordinary American who wishes to do his best for the world, but with a much-appreciated American identity, and rather less with a commonality indistinguishable from those poor souls trapped in the Sudan, North Korea, Cuba, or Iran. Take away all particular national identity and we are empty shells mouthing mere platitudes, who believe in little and commit to even less.

And James Lileks:

Novel sentiments aside, “World citizen” is used as a badge of empathy that carries no responsibilities. The more it’s used, though, the more it dilutes actual national citizenship, which naturally takes second place to World Citizenship…To say you’re a citizen of the world and a citizen of America places the latter in the primary slot, no?

Or as J.D. Longstreet of the Conservative Voice said this week:

I have a lot of difficulty relating to anyone who claims citizenship in the world. Frankly, that person is frightening. Saying one is a citizen of the world negates one’s actual citizenship as’ well, a native of the country within which he/she was born and, to which, he/she owes allegiance. Saying you are a citizen of the world is too’well’ vague.

I mean really what was Ronald Reagan thinking?!?

The horror of the phrase is just about too much for me to bear.

Update: I mistakenly left off the links to the quotes last night, and that problem has been fixed.

I will also step back from glibness for the moment and point out that there is, no doubt plenty of things in the Obama speech that can be criticized, especially from a Republican/conservative point of view. However, my point with this post is that to attack the phrase “citizen of the world’ (which has been jumped on by many in the conservative commentariat) is a bit silly, as it is an empty phrase that is frequently used, and not just by persons of a particular ideological persuasion.

If anything, there is not world “citizenship” as there is no global legal entity. And regardless of what one may think about Obama, he isn’t going to be working towards One World Government.

In short, I find the fixation on the phrase to be interesting. Partially because it reflects, I think, an enhanced nationalism in some portions of the right post-9/11 and partially because it strikes me in terms of pure politics to be a pretty poor line of attack. On the last point I think that if one of the best attacks that pro-McCain folks can make about Obama’s trip was that he used the phrase “citizen of the world” then it must have been one heckuva successful trip.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Bithead says:

    So, your take is that Reagan and Obama attach the same meaning to the phrase?

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  2. The words are the same, but I don’t recall that Reagan was a transnationalist progressive, which is what worries most folks who express some consternation. In the context of a speech to the UN, it seems a fair courtesy. Mind you, I don’t have a problem with Senator Obama saying it either.

    Let’s check back in about twenty-six years and see if Republican candidates are mimicing President Obama’s words and themes.

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  3. So, your take is that Reagan and Obama attach the same meaning to the phrase?

    My take is that the current reaction to Obama’s deployment of the phrase by some on the rightward side of things is nigh on to hysterical. methinks that there is some serious partisan filtering going on here.

    Also: while I hardly think that Reagan and Obama are philosophical soulmates, I find that a lot of their rhetoric actually sounds pretty similar.

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  4. Christopher says:

    Wow, Steven, u r really in a fix today! Lucky you found a way to sound as righteous as possible to your fellow liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. That’s me, Mr. Lib.

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  6. Anon says:

    It seems to me that lately the attacks on Obama have devolved into silliness, which is kind of puzzling to me. So Obama is this horrible candidate who will lead this country to ruin, based on the fact that……..he used the phrase “citizen of the world”? And on the one hand he is a flip-flopping panderer who will pander to anyone, except to the soldiers at Landstuhl because he hates soldiers so much that he refuses to pander to them? Surely if he is as bad as stated, there are major differences in policy which would be easy to attack him on?

    The funny thing is that I’m generally not that pleased about lots of things typically associated with Democrats, like bilingual education, teachers’ unions, affirmative action, government regulation, etc. Why not attack him for what he really is, instead of all this silliness and hysteria?

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  7. anjin-san says:

    I don’t recall that Reagan was a transnationalist progressive

    Reagan was a man of vision. He understood peace through strength, and he understood that enemies could become friends, or at least people you could deal with in a reasonable manner. He used the stick on the Soviets, but he was pretty damn quick to extend his hand to Gorbachav once he had created the conditions that made it possible to do so.

    You may be a small thinker, but Reagan was not. Obama give signs that he too may be a man of vision. McCain may have a vision, but it seems to be of 1956, and that is not something that is a great deal of use to us here in the 21st century.

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  8. mannning says:

    There are at least two kinds of visionaries: those who speak from a solid foundation as an American Citizen, and those who speak from a confused, unsure, compromised, and alienated background searching for an identity. Well, the world covers it! I would not place Reagan or McCain in the latter category.

    We do not need visionaries that are closet Secular Humanists on the one hand, and Black Liberationists on the other.

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  9. Our Paul says:

    A round of applause to Steven Taylor for providing a link to the Great Communicator’s address to the UN in 1982. But, sotto please, for the man is truly a snake in the grass. Consider the closing lines:

    ”I mean really what was Ronald Reagan thinking?!?

    The horror of the phrase is just about too much for me to bear.”

    A snake in the grass for the italics on the word “really” force attention to the word ”thinking”, and in turn to the only link available, that of President Reagan’s address to the UN. Please note, no part of that speech was abstracted or block quoted, although for Professor Taylor it would have been a trivial task. Thus providing a second, major lever to force perusal of the speech.

    As three opening quotes are not referenced (linked), they force the readership attention to the phrase “citizen of the world”. And by not being linked, the readership will not be distracted by the rants of a Hoover Institute Fellow…

    But not your garden-variety snake, Professor Taylor is a veritable python. A careful read of the “Gipper’s” UN speech will show that his words (perhaps not his deeds) refute neocolonialism, and praise the UN as a place where men of good will can meet.

    Mission accomplished!!! By forcing readership to the “President Who Did No Wrong”, the puffery of the current Center Right is exposed, and traditional conservative values are once again re-instated.

    Continue sotto applause, but you may now stand…

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  10. I’d have to agree with Dr. Taylor and partially agree with Anon. It’s rather obvious that Reagan and Obama are not ideological soulmates; Obama has even said that government should be part of the solution.

    What’s important, a la Anon, is that critics find something meaningful with which to criticize Obama rather than an opening line of “hello.”

    For instance, if you’re a liberal you can rightly complain about McCain’s insistence that he would place justices in the ilk of Scalia, Thomas or Alito on the bench. Likewise, if you’re a conservative you can complain about Obama’s preference for Breyer-type justices. That’s good commentary, not critiquing how Obama chooses to say hello to a crowd of Berliners.

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  11. Beldar says:

    Context and history matter.

    No one ever suspected that given the choice between satisfying the demands of American citizens and foreigners, Reagan would choose the latter. The humor of your post, Dr. Taylor, indeed is based entirely on that fact, that close and unshakable certainty in any reader’s mind that Reagan would always, always choose what he believed to be in America’s interests first, even if that was not necessarily in the interests of other countries.

    But when Sen. Obama gives us lines like these

    We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.

    — he gives some of us genuine cause to wonder. I’m all in favor of energy conservation, as a rational choice made based on market forces (not government mandates). But that’s not the case Obama seems to have been making with those lines, and I’m even more perturbed at the idea of someone from Belgium or Cairo compelling my choice as to where to set my thermostat than I am someone from Washington.

    It’s very reminiscent of John Kerry’s “global test” lines during one of the 2004 presidential debates:

    “No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded — and nor would I — the right to preempt in any way necessary, to protect the United States of America,” the Democrat told moderator Jim Lehrer during the debate.

    “But if and when you do it, Jim, you’ve got to do it in a way that passes the, the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people, understand fully why you’re doing what you’re doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.”

    Kerry lost American votes with that line. Obama lost American votes with his whole speech in Berlin. In neither case was the damage dispositive. But neither was it, or will it be, trivial.

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  12. Benson says:

    As Beldar said, context and history matter.

    Hitler and Mother Theresa can say the same thing, but mean two entirely different things. No one believed Reagan was going to place the interests of the world before America’s. However, Obama’s past statements have hardly made clear that he’d do the same.

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  13. DL says:

    ” Take away all particular national identity and we are empty shells mouthing mere platitudes, who believe in little and commit to even less.”

    Sorry VDH but the Islamic extremists have proven this thinking wrong. There are indeed elements of human society that transcend national borders. Religion, both the benificial or the destructive modes does, and has molded Western Civilization for centuries.

    That being said, since religion in the USA is hardly the unifying force it once was in this Post-Christian secular world, a radically polarized nation seems to be struggling to hold itself together, with strong impulses away from individual freedom and toward “one world government.”

    This is the real issue behind the illegal immmigration problem.

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  14. Patrick T McGuire says:

    Yet another example that Obama uses someone else’s lines to promote his “change” we can believe in.

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  15. Bithead says:

    Also: while I hardly think that Reagan and Obama are philosophical soulmates, I find that a lot of their rhetoric actually sounds pretty similar.

    So, Obama’s rather brazen in his attempt to co-opt the message. Noted.

    You may be a small thinker, but Reagan was not. Obama give signs that he too may be a man of vision.

    So was the aforementioned Hitler. So too, did Jimmy Carter. In practical terms, however, the value to those visions to the goal of advancing humanity… which after all was their stated goal in each case, leaves something to be desired.

    So, now it’s down to the question of what that vision consists of… which, oddly, is the one thing we dare not discuss, for fear of being told we’re ‘whining’.

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  16. Anderson says:

    Why not attack him for what he really is, instead of all this silliness and hysteria?

    A couple of reasons:

    (1) A lot of Obama’s critics — not “a lot of people who oppose Obama,” but those who shoot off their mouths in public — are nuts.

    (2) His critics who aren’t nuts, find it a lot easier to sit around b.s.’ing about random comments and pseudo-scandals than it would be for them to actually do some research into actual Obama policy proposals and explain why those are bad ideas.

    The usual suspects here at OTB are actually making Obama look good by their silly attacks and caricatures.

    There’s a strong sense of “man, if THAT’s all you’ve got, then how bad can Obama be?”

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  17. You may be a small thinker, but Reagan was not.

    Like I said, let’s see if Republicans want to claim Obama’s legacy in 2034.

    Obama give signs that he too may be a man of vision.

    Signs and visions. Hope and change. Style over substance. Mostly he’s given signs that he is man of platitudes, higher taxes, and unbridled statism. Being specific would inhibit his ability to be whatever the starry-eyed viewer imagines him to be.

    I may be a small thinker, but my eyes are clear and my view unfiltered.

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  18. anjin-san says:

    higher taxes

    So whats your vision? Embrace Bush’s “spend, spend and go broke” fiscal policy?

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  19. anjin-san says:

    Hey, that’s good bit, you managed to work Hitler into it. You left out Dracula and Caligula, but its early in the day.

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  20. Michael says:

    Does anybody else get the feeling that Obama’s campaign is deliberately directing the opposition’s narrative to attach points that they know will back fire on them?

    Anybody could have predicted a backlash against the “citizen of the world” line, and also predicted that enough people would realize that Reagan used the exact same phrase to quash that criticism (any anybody foolish enough to take it up) a short time later.

    Similarly, anybody would have realized that saying it “wouldn’t be appropriate” to visit troops in an army hospital would garner outrage in the opposition, which could later be completely undermined by releasing the fact that they echoing the Pentagon’s opinion.

    And all this time there is less and less attention being paid to the legitimate criticisms that Sen. Obama would like to ignore. It really is as if Obama is sending daily talking points to his opponents, and they’re gladly following through.

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  21. Anderson says:

    Higher taxes?

    Check out the Tax Policy Center chart at this Yglesias post. N.b. that the graphed quantities are +/- changes in income, not taxation.

    Someone needs to explain to me why we should be quaking in fear at Obama’s mad rush to tax us all out of house and home — that is, if our house hasn’t been foreclosed on before he’s sworn in.

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  22. anjin-san says:

    Say bit, while you are at it, can you tell us again how Nazi Germany was “the best government in history” and we were 2 weeks away from victory in ‘Nam?

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  23. JKB says:

    It is leadership 101. You must first prove yourself an ardent advocate for your goup. Put your group before all others. Usually demonstrated by fighting a hard battle for your people against the larger organization. Only then will you be trusted to speak conciliatory as part of a greater organization.

    Inexperience leaders make this mistake everyday. They try to be magnanimous and effusive to the larger orgainization before they’ve proven themselves to their immediate group. They curry favor with those up the ladder while treading upon those underneath them.

    Reagan’s commitment to the American people was not in doubt when he made that speech. Everyone knew if push came to shove, he would put America first and he did.

    Obama has not proven himself to be a zealous advocate for America. Rather his words indicate he puts America second to the world. All indications are is that Obama would subordinate America’s interest to the popular opinion of Germany, France, Jordan, Palestine. Obama’s words would be less worrying if he’d ever actually fought for America against the interest of other countries with words or actions.

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  24. Bithead says:

    It is leadership 101. You must first prove yourself an ardent advocate for your goup. Put your group before all others. Usually demonstrated by fighting a hard battle for your people against the larger organization. Only then will you be trusted to speak conciliatory as part of a greater organization.

    Exactly; That is the difference between Reagan and Obama.

    Anybody could have predicted a backlash against the “citizen of the world” line, and also predicted that enough people would realize that Reagan used the exact same phrase to quash that criticism (any anybody foolish enough to take it up) a short time later

    .

    Well, yes, and no. No because anyone who looked it it seriously, would abserve as JKB did, and Beldar, the profound differences between their meanings on the passage. Timothy Leary was a ‘man of vision’ too. Or is that ‘man of hallucinations?

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  25. anjin-san says:

    Put your group before all others.

    Well, the Bush GOP has certainly perfected this. President before country, party before country.

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  26. Bithead says:

    Well, the Bush GOP has certainly perfected this. President before country, party before country.

    So, Iraq was a threat to the Bush presidency, and of course it took 9/11 to figure that out?

    Check your meds, son… something’s a mite screwy.

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  27. RW Rogers says:

    As this post proves, anybody can play the game of “gotcha.” Scoring cheap points is so much more fun. Niggling details like context and content can be ignored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Michael says:

    Obama has not proven himself to be a zealous advocate for America. Rather his words indicate he puts America second to the world. All indications are is that Obama would subordinate America’s interest to the popular opinion of Germany, France, Jordan, Palestine.

    And what part of Obama’s campaign so far has lead you to believe he’s so terrible at politics?

    Well, yes, and no. No because anyone who looked it it seriously, would abserve as JKB did, and Beldar, the profound differences between their meanings on the passage.

    And the number of people who will look at it seriously are well within the margin of error on most polls, you and I both know that. I happen to agree that Obama and Reagan meant different things by the phrase, but that’s not the narrative that’s being played out in reality now is it?

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  29. Sorry, but I don’t look to Matt Yglesias for anything but callow, hyperpartisan sniping. I’ve seen the estimates about McCain offering more taxation, and they may be true, which is one of the reasons you don’t see me talking about how good Senator McCain is. Nor president Bush, even if you can’t seem to get beyond a Manichean I must be for Bush and McCain if I oppose Obama mindset. Senator Obama’s all over the map Social Security proposal is scary to me as a business owner since its also another tax on business even if it is advertised as just soaking the rich bastards, but not the rich bastards making between $75,000 and $250,000 a year.

    By the way, is Senator Obama a politician? Please point to the legislation he has written or pushed through at the state or federal level. He has no executive experience, no judicial experience, and damn little legislative experience that I can find. Mostly, he seems to be a marketing phenomenon. But to be fair, that is what most presidential campaigning has deteriorated too.

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  30. Michael says:

    By the way, is Senator Obama a politician? Please point to the legislation he has written or pushed through at the state or federal level.

    Politician != Legislator.

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  31. Bithead says:

    And the number of people who will look at it seriously are well within the margin of error on most polls, you and I both know that. I happen to agree that Obama and Reagan meant different things by the phrase, but that’s not the narrative that’s being played out in reality now is it?

    Give that man a Cigar and his chocie of prizes from the second shelf. Exactly the point I was leading to…. with the bonus of anjin-san, and Anderson, as examples of people outside that error margin and bought into the two being equal.

    Clearly, Obama s a fair enough political being. POlitics, however, as you suggest, is divorced from reality. Does Obama figure to lead us in the direction most consider the right course in reality?

    The evidence would seem to point against it.

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  32. sam says:

    By the way, is Senator Obama a politician? Please point to the legislation he has written or pushed through at the state or federal level.

    • Collaborated with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in 2006 to pass a law (PL 109-282) creating a Google-like database of federal contracts and grants allowing users to type in key words that would bring up exactly how much money any particular recipient received.

    • With then-Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind., won enactment of a 2006 law (PL 109-401) that allowed the United States to export nuclear fuel, technology and reactors to India for the first time in three decades. The law accepted India as a nuclear-armed power and was enacted despite concerns about India’s ties to Iran and past sanctions for transferring sensitive equipment to Iran.

    • Chief sponsor of legislation signed into law in 2006 (PL 109-456) that authorized a 25 percent increase in U.S. assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been ravaged by civil wars since its independence from Belgium in 1960 and which received $33-million in fiscal 2006. The law called for a special envoy to help mediate an end to the conflict there and urged the Bush administration to strengthen the United Nations peacekeeping force now operating in parts of the nation.

    • Co-sponsored legislation by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., signed into law in 2007 (PL 110-175) that speeds the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act by revising requirements for federal agency disclosures of requested information.

    • Played a significant role in the 2007 overhaul of congressional lobbying and ethics rules. Sided with Republicans who wanted stronger rules for the disclosure of earmarks in spending bills and tried to set an example by releasing a lengthy list of requests he asked to be included in annual appropriations bills. His support is believed to have persuaded some other Democrats (there were nine total) to adopt the amendment.

    • With Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., proposed requiring senators to make full reimbursement for the market rate of corporate jet flights. Under old rules, senators reimbursed for the first-class commercial rate of the flight. In some cases, that meant paying $2,000 for a private jet flight that actually may have cost upwards of $20,000 per seat. The proposal was incorporated into a broader package of reforms.

    Number of bills sponsored: 272

    Number of bills co-sponsored: 834

    Number of bills sponsored or co-sponsored that became law: 16

    Nifty thing the google, as BigMac calls it. Go to politifact.com.

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  33. Michael says:

    Clearly, Obama s a fair enough political being. POlitics, however, as you suggest, is divorced from reality. Does Obama figure to lead us in the direction most consider the right course in reality?

    If Obama is a politician, then he is likely to lead us in the direction that most voters consider the right course.

    The evidence would seem to point against it.

    Only if you define “right course” as “the course Bithead wants”. Thankfully, we’ve got a system that gets pretty close to deciding who sets the course based on what most people consider the “right course”.

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  34. That’s some real gravitas there. So 1.4% of the bills he has sponsored or co-sponsored became law. Maybe I shouldn’t be as worried about an Obama presidency as I thought.

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  35. sam says:

    Let’s compare and contrast. This is from govtrack.us, which I gather is a Republican-orinted site.

    John McCain has sponsored 537 bills since Jan 21, 1993, of which 340 haven’t made it out of committee (Extremely Poor) and 31 were successfully enacted (Exceedingly Good, relative to peers). McCain has co-sponsored 1227 bills during the same time period (Average, relative to peers). [On 4/2/08, the numbers were updated to consider companion bills in the other chamber identified as “identical” by the Congressional Research Service when determining if a bill was enacted or made it past the introduction stage.]

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  36. As this post proves, anybody can play the game of “gotcha.” Scoring cheap points is so much more fun. Niggling details like context and content can be ignored.

    Indeed, that’s much of the point.

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  37. Bithead says:

    If Obama is a politician, then he is likely to lead us in the direction that most voters consider the right course.

    So, Bill Clinton isn’t a politician? Sure he talked a good game going in, but changed his mind on a number of points after the election… most notably on tax cuts and went exactly against what most voters considered the right course.

    The point I’m making is you seem overly trusting.

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  38. Michael says:

    So, Bill Clinton isn’t a politician? Sure he talked a good game going in, but changed his mind on a number of points after the election… most notably on tax cuts and went exactly against what most voters considered the right course.

    Enough people thought he was going in the “right course” in 1996 to get him re-elected.

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  39. anjin-san says:

    So, Iraq was a threat to the Bush presidency, and of course it took 9/11 to figure that out?

    The Bush administration was obsessed with Iraq before 9/11. They used 9/11 as an excuse to pursue an internal agenda (Iraq) which had nothing to do with 9/11, damaging our ability to deal with the real threat in the process. President before country.

    BTW, the “meds” line is so old I think a 12 year old would be embarrassed to use it. Do you have any original thoughts?

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  40. anjin-san says:

    That’s some real gravitas there. So 1.4% of the bills he has sponsored or co-sponsored became law. Maybe I shouldn’t be as worried about an Obama presidency as I thought.

    I thought “conservatives” wanted less government activisim. Why are you upset by these numbers? I would think you would want to send him a check.

    BTW, have you placed these figures in context? What is the average rate of bills sponsored or co-sponsored that become law in the Senate? The 1.4% figure only has meaning within a larger set of data…

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  41. Bithead says:

    Enough people thought he was going in the “right course” in 1996 to get him re-elected.

    Low and outside for a ball.
    All that meant is that they considered him a better fit than Bob Dole.

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  42. Bithead says:

    The Bush administration was obsessed with Iraq before 9/11. They used 9/11 as an excuse to pursue an internal agenda (Iraq) which had nothing to do with 9/11, damaging our ability to deal with the real threat in the process. President before country.

    LOL… It’s amazing how you manage to twist your BDS into something legit sounding.

    It’s not of course, but credit for trying.

    BTW, the “meds” line is so old I think a 12 year old would be embarrassed to use it.

    I have found through experience that getting more adult tends to confuse you. Case in point; Given your anti-Bush screed, the ‘original thought’ line could be directed right back at you. Then again, you’d not know what to do with it, so I won’t bother.

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  43. anjin-san says:

    All that meant is that they considered him a better fit than Bob Dole.

    Which of course means GW received no mandate in ’04. Thanks for clearing that up.

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  44. Bithead says:

    That may or may not be true, but I fail to see how you get that out of what’s been said here.

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  45. bains says:

    It is worth pointing out that both you and Alex completely ignore the purpose, location, and the time of Reagan’s comments. Reagan was President speaking before the UN General Assembly on a specific topic – nuclear arms disarmament.

    Obama was at a campaign event on foreign soil in his attempt to get elected president of the USA.

    Hummm, a sitting President addressing the world regarding a real threat verses a wannabe appealing to the world to elect him President of the US.

    The more this campaign goes on, the more I’m convinced that candidate Obama (and supporters) are the mirror image of candidate Bush (and supporters). Both horrible speakers when off teleprompter, both woefully ignorant of minutia and seemingly incurious. Both camps spinning incessantly and never admitting gaffes.

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  46. anjin-san says:

    I fail to see how you get that out of what’s been said here.

    Of course not, that would require some insight…

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  47. bains says:

    …methinks that there is some serious partisan filtering going on here.

    Probably, but it is just as evident on the left (or by Obama supporters) by the scurrying about to defend or mitigate Obama’s words.

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  48. anjin-san says:

    LOL… It’s amazing how you manage to twist your BDS into something legit sounding.

    I find it interesting that you would even mention “BDS”. I mean, you regularly rant about Bill Clinton, a man who has been out of office for nearly a decade, but when someone has concerns about how the sitting President is doing his job, they are “deranged”.

    So, who is more in touch with reality? Someone who thinks it is important that the most powerful man in the world to do a good job, or someone who is focused on the events of a previous century…

    The PNAC agenda, shaped by men who would soon be running the country in the Bush administration, had Iraq in their sights long before 9/11.

    Possibly the reason that my argument is “legit sounding” is that it has legitimacy.

    Also noteworthy that in a single post, you mention my “amazing” ability to manipulate an argument and my inability to function above the level of a child. You make so much crap up that you cannot be consistent even within a single post.

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  49. Bithead says:

    Hummm, a sitting President addressing the world regarding a real threat verses a wannabe appealing to the world to elect him President of the US.

    Interesting point, Bains.

    Also noteworthy that in a single post, you mention my “amazing” ability to manipulate an argument and my inability to function above the level of a child.

    \

    Given you’re generally operating at the level of a child, yes, I do find your ability in that one area amazing.

    So, who is more in touch with reality? Someone who thinks it is important that the most powerful man in the world to do a good job, or someone who is focused on the events of a previous century…

    What you miss is the focus on making sure we never elect such a person again to the office.

    Possibly the reason that my argument is “legit sounding” is that it has legitimacy.

    To you, at least.

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  50. JKB says:
    Obama has not proven himself to be a zealous advocate for America. Rather his words indicate he puts America second to the world. All indications are is that Obama would subordinate America’s interest to the popular opinion of Germany, France, Jordan, Palestine.

    And what part of Obama’s campaign so far has lead you to believe he’s so terrible at politics?”

    I’m curious. What about being a zealous advocate for America got to do with Obama being good or bad at politics? Of course he is a skilled politician. What Obama is missing is the slightest hint of having ever put the welfare of the United States before his own. Or having ever fought for the best interest of the United States against foreign interests, world opinion or popular opinion.

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  51. anjin-san says:

    Given you’re generally operating at the level of a child

    Really bit, your not stupid. Can’t you do better? I have been involved in a major presidential campaign at a sufficiently high level that some of the senior staff knew who I was. I have people on my client list that I am sure even a guy like you who lives in Pig’s Knuckle or wherever you are has heard of.

    Perhaps if your arguments had merit, you would not have to constantly be laying down smoke screens to obscure your inability to do any real conceptual thinking.

    As it is, your ranting is beginning to draw actual international recognition for its remarkably high level of hysteria and fundamental lack of connection of reality.

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  52. Michael says:

    I’m curious. What about being a zealous advocate for America got to do with Obama being good or bad at politics? Of course he is a skilled politician. What Obama is missing is the slightest hint of having ever put the welfare of the United States before his own. Or having ever fought for the best interest of the United States against foreign interests, world opinion or popular opinion.

    My point was that anyone good at politics will do what makes his voters happy. American politicians have to pander to Americans, not Europeans, to get and hold power. Unless you think Obama is altruistic, or bad at politics, there is no reason to think he won’t do what Americans want.

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  53. Bruce Moomaw says:

    Again, rather odd, isn’t it, that in that same speech Obama — notorious Comsymp and enemy of democracy — devoted a large part of his speech to praising the Berlin Airlift, and then told the Germans that it was their duty to help us militarily fight al-Qaida? (Even odder that Bits and Co. didn’t notice the several paragraphs of Obama’s speech that he devoted to both themes, whereas George Will — for instance — noted it clearly, and mentioned it in his Post column on the speech last night.)

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  54. Bruce Moomaw says:

    O the bright side, of course, it’s not quite as cretinous for the GOP to carry on about Obama calling himself “a citizen of the world” as it is for them to rant endlessly about his being “a celebrity”.

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