Attacking Obama’s “Radical Past” Won’t Work

Some Republicans seem intent on repeating the mistakes of 2008.

As I noted last week, the folks at the late Andrew Breitbart’s websites have uncovered a video from Barack Obama’s days at Harvard Law School in which he speaks glowingly about Harvard Law Professor Derrick Bell. The video includes a shot of Obama hugging Bell at the end of his speech, which took place amidst a student protest inspired by Bell’s own protest about faculty hiring practices at Harvard Law School. Despite the fact that it is rather underwhelming in terms of its content, many on the right have spent the last several days trying to hype this as another example of the President’s so-called “radical past” by citing the fact that Bell himself was a proponent of something called Critical Race Theory. Depending on who you listen to, CRT is either an admittedly left wing way of looking at the law through the prism of America’s racial history, or it’s the vanguard of Marxism. Guess which interpretation (some) conservatives have adopted. (My only observation about CRT is that, like much else that it taught in America’s law schools it has next to nothing to do with the actual practice of law, but that’s a completely different issue.) Despite the fact that there’s no evidence that Obama and Bell ever crossed paths again after Obama graduated law school, these conservatives have been pushing the meme that Obama is somehow a disciple of Bell’s, just like they tried to do with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers in 2008.

Well, not all conservatives are pushing this meme.  John Hinderaker at Power Line happens to have been a student of Bell’s, and finds the Breitbart tape to be much ado about very little:

So, is the video a dud? Frankly, from the buildup I expected more. The video shows that when he was a law student, Obama was an admirer of Derrick Bell. To the extent that people know who Bell was, that adds one more radical association from Obama’s early years. But I doubt whether most people will find that very significant. Despite the media’s efforts to keep the lid on, I think pretty much all voters know that Obama has had a series of unsavory associations with radical figures. Pretty much everyone knows about Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Adding Derrick Bell to the list isn’t likely to change anyone’s mind about Obama’s fitness to be president.

(…)

I actually knew Derrick Bell. He was my criminal law professor as a first-year law student. This was one of his first years at Harvard. He was obviously more liberal than most professors there – the law school was not a left-wing institution at that time – and I think it was some years later when he came out as, in my characterization, a racist neo-Marxist. He was a nice guy and a reasonably good teacher. His ideas, as he later developed them, were reprehensible. But one of the sad and twisted aspects of our public culture is that bright young African-Americans like Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson are expected to align themselves with such poisonous creeds. Our establishment rewards them for doing so, and tends to punish them if they don’t. (Think Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas.)

So, will many voters consider the fact that Obama delivered a warm endorsement of Derrick Bell a bombshell? I doubt it.

Don Surber picks up on Hinderaker’s post, and notes that conservatives seem to be making the same mistakes they made in 2008, and to some extent have continued to make since Barack Obama took office:

One truism from the Internet is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of crazy. Unfortunately, many conservatives are driving themselves crazy over Barack Obama’s past. This did not work in 2008 and it will not in 2012.

In 2008, there was more and better ammo against Barack Obama. If his association with the Weather Underground and Jeremiah Wright could not sell him as a radical how can a video that shows him hugging a college professor prove that he is some sort of Manchurian Candidate for the Black Panthers now that he is in the fourth year of his presidency?

This won’t work. Derrick Bell did not throw bombs, not even verbal ones. He was a college professor with wild ideas. Einstein was a college professor with wild ideas, too. Shouldn’t colleges teem with college professor with wild ideas? The purpose of college is to expose young people to ideas — and the crazy people who have them.

(…)

This is birtherism again. This is a loser issue. Even if you prove your point that beyond a shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama is a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president, so what? He has been president for 3+ years. The question this year is not “is Obama a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president” but rather “is Obama doing a good job — even if Obama were a communist Muslim who is ineligible to be president?”

That’s it.

This is a debate that goes back to the 2008 campaign itself. Despite the urging of many prominent conservatives and, according to Game Change, Sarah Palin herself, the McCain campaign declined to emphasize things such as the Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers story during the campaign against Barack Obama. Of course, that didn’t stop conservative talk radio and television from bringing up both issues constantly and, on more than one occasion, Sarah Palin herself who said that Obama “pals around with terrorists.” It didn’t work. Not only didn’t these attacks from the right have any demonstrable impact on the President-to-be, but as October 2008 wore on, the gap between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin steadily increased and states that were formerly considered solidly Republican began to drift into Obama’s column. For the most part, of course, this was because of the state of the economy and McCain’s pathetic response to the same, but one cannot help but wonder if this constant drumbeat of negativity didn’t also help turn voters off to the Republican ticket. The low point of the entire month came, I think, when John McCain was forced to explain to one woman at a town hall event that  no Obama wasn’t a Muslim who wants to destroy America. The fact that his running mate and his supposed allies in the conservative movement were insinuating something entirely different makes one wonder if he realized just what he had signed up for.

Despite the fact that it didn’t work before, and clearly won’t work again if the best that they can come up with is stuff like this Derrick Bell video,  some conservatives seem intent on repeating the mistakes of 2008 all over again. Perhaps it’s because, like the nonsense about teleprompters, it reinforces their own preconceived notions about the President. Perhaps it’s because they have become so used to living inside the talk radio/Fox News bubble that they don’t realize that not everybody views things the way they do. Not everyone, in fact most Americans I would say, don’t see Barack Obama as some crypto-Marxist out to destroy America. They see him as the President in a time when the economy is still pretty bad and the price of everything from gasoline to a loaf of bread is rising and they’re worrying about paying their bills.

As the poll I cited yesterday and the one James Joyner wrote about today make clear, there is certainly an argument to be made to these people against the President. However, you’re not going to do it by dragging out 21 year old videos from Harvard Law School and recycling the nonsensical words of Jeremiah Wright.I think most mainline “establishment” Republicans know this, which is why they’d just like to get the party to rally behind Mitt Romney and get this primary race over with already. The base, however, is stuck in a world where Barack Obama is not just a bad President, but an enemy that must be destroyed. For them, stuff like the Breitbart video is gold. What they don’t realize, though, is that it’s Fool’s Gold.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian says:

    The problem is, if you discount Obama’s radical (or criminal — remember Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?) associations, he has no associations to discuss. Period. Nor any real record of accomplishments prior to 2008 apart from “winning elections.”

    It’d be one thing if his supporters could rebut these with “but he was also associated with X” or “in 2001, he did Y,” but as the old saying goes, “there’s no ‘there’ there.”

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    I think that this is one of those where you stand depends on where you sit kind of things. I don’t think that most of the American people see the president as a radical or interpret his actions in that light. That makes claims to the contrary sound weird.

  3. Jenos Idanian says:

    So, Doug, you wanna suggest what might work, or save us months of phony drama and endorse Obama now?

  4. An Interested Party says:

    The problem is…he has no associations to discuss. Period. Nor any real record of accomplishments prior to 2008 apart from “winning elections.”

    Sorry, but that argument won’t work either…

  5. @Jenos Idanian:

    The President’s record in office is the only thing that the GOP needs to look at in this election. All else is irrelevant.

    And, of all the things that might happen between now an November, one thing that will not happen is me voting for or endorsing Barack Obama

  6. JKB says:

    Oh, that’s so quaint. You thought the video release was about Obama.

  7. @JKB:

    Let me guess. You’re going to tell us that this was part of Breitbart’s silly “vet the media” project. The only people who pay attention to that nonsense are the people inside the echo chamber he and his allies constructed

  8. @Dave Schuler:

    I don’t think that most of the American people see the president as a radical or interpret his actions in that light. That makes claims to the contrary sound weird.

    I think that’s one of the main reasons they didn’t work in 2008, because the image they were trying to cultivate was inconsistent with the Barack Obama that Americans had seen campaigning for President since 2007.

  9. anjin-san says:

    If his association with the Weather Underground

    Exactly how much crack are these people smoking?

  10. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Not as much crack as you, apparently. How many rocks did it take for you to block William Ayers from your memory?

  11. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Doug Mataconis: And, of all the things that might happen between now an November, one thing that will not happen is me voting for or endorsing Barack Obama

    My apologies. I don’t see much of a practical difference between “endorsing Obama” and “trashing all alternatives to Obama, dismissing all attacks against Obama, and occasionally praising Obama.”

    For example, when was the last time you discussed Fast & Furious?

  12. MBunge says:

    “But one of the sad and twisted aspects of our public culture is that bright young African-Americans like Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson are expected to align themselves with such poisonous creeds. Our establishment rewards them for doing so, and tends to punish them if they don’t. (Think Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas.)”

    That’s a great expression of the implacable obtuseness that conservatism has retreated to on race. “Why can’t more black folks be like that nice Thomas Sowell? He always makes me feel better about being white. People should just stop putting nasty ideas in so many young black brains.”

    Mike

  13. PD Shaw says:

    @Jenos Idanian:” The problem is, if you discount Obama’s radical (or criminal — remember Tony Rezko and Rod Blagojevich?) associations, he has no associations to discuss. Period. Nor any real record of accomplishments prior to 2008 apart from “winning elections.””

    Maybe some body can dredge up something that happensed since 2008 to argue about?

  14. James Young says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That’s right, Jenos. Doug won’t do anything to get the actual Republican nominee elected. He’ll just be throwing brickbats at their campaign.

  15. MM says:

    @Jenos Idanian: There’s always the crazy idea of comparing the candidates on the issues. And by issues I mean things like economy, budget, foreign policy, not “number of black guys hugged”.

  16. anjin-san says:

    William Ayers

    President Reagan honored Manachem Begin at the White House & sat down and had dinner with him. Once upon a time, England, our closest ally, had a price on Begin’s head – dead or alive – as a wanted terrorist.

    Does that mean Reagan endorsed the bombing of the King David hotel? Of course not. Did it mean Reagan “Palled around with terrorists”? Again, no. It meant that sometimes, yesterday’s terrorist is today’s respected citizen. Ayers managed to rehabilitate himself, and he now travels in good circles in society. Deal with it. (we can just leave the right’s exaggeration of the extent of the relationship between Obama & Ayres in the garbage can, where it belongs).

    “Weather Underground association” is a mental midget argument, so I can see why it appeals to you. When that fizzles, I suggest you move on to clean coal, another proven loser.

    If you look to Sarah Palin as a thought leader, you end up standing in the corner, with people snickering at you…

  17. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There can be no doubt that attacking Obama’s Marxist roots won’t work.

    If that sort of thing bothers you and you’re aware of it then you already are priced in as a vote against Obama. On the flip side of that coin Obama’s coalition of inner city blacks, government workers, college and grad students, FDR-era Democrats, wealthy liberals, union rank and file, radical leftists, etc., wouldn’t have a clue and even if somehow they were informed about it either they would shrug it off, or they reflexively would go into denial, or they would consider it to be a badge of honor.

    The GOP will be making a monumental mistake if they focus on this line of attack. The November election is about the economy and the job market. That’s it. End of story. Nothing else matters.

  18. @James Young:

    It’s not my job to get the Republican nominee elected.

  19. Hey Norm says:

    Excellent…a FAST AND FURIOUS reference.
    Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are good…but Jordan Brewster..OMG!!!
    http://media.photobucket.com/image/jordana+brewster+/avrilfan1991rocks/Other%20Pics/jordana-brewster-020.jpg

  20. anjin-san says:

    @ Hey Norm

    I am a Tokyo Drift guy myself…

  21. Vast Variety says:

    Something tells me at Jenos Idanian is just frustrated becuase he has convinced himself that the GOP is going to loose again.

  22. Hey Norm says:

    @ Vast Variety…
    Jenos is frustrated…because he/she is Jenos.

  23. JKB says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “vet the media”, vet the Left, perhaps even vet the academy, none would make it on CNN or the other mainstream news networks without Obama’s pretty face leading the way. But now, more people know what ‘critical race theory’ is and that it is something they teach at the university instead of western civ or say insurance law.

    The GOP candidate will need to stick with Obama’s record in office and offer a different vision. But there is certainly no reason for some bloggers to not to keep Obama’s ‘radical past’ churning to see what favored ideas of the Left it brings into the news.

    As Don Surber slipped and said

    ” Anyone can be commander-in-chief when nothing is going on. Or perhaps better, anyone can sail the bought on calm waters. Rough seas require real leadership.”

    The question is, when the water gets choppy will the bought stay bought? If you can reveal enough of the Left’s agenda to cause blowback, Obama will make a good scapegoat

  24. DRS says:

    I never understood what the problem was with Jeremiah Wright. I agreed with Obama when he said that JW was a product of his time and generation, and that his view of whites was bitter because he’d seen and experienced first hand the struggles of being black in a pre-Civil Rights America. I remember Huckabee saying pretty much the same thing around the same time – and thinking it was good on him to buck the crowd like that.

    Obama is about as radical as rice pudding – as unhelpful as that is to Republicans.

  25. Ron Beasley says:

    This is red meat for the base unfortunately red meat for the base makes them look like fools to the non 27%. The base is more concerned about the black man in the White House than anything else.

  26. An Interested Party says:

    For example, when was the last time you discussed Fast & Furious?

    Perhaps you need to start your own blog…

    Rough seas require real leadership.

    Oh? Like Mitt Romney? Or Rick Santorum? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Thank you JKB, I needed a good laugh this afternoon…

    If you can reveal enough of the Left’s agenda to cause blowback, Obama will make a good scapegoat

    That too won’t work…sorry…

  27. slimslowslider says:

    and a Don Surber quote too! Life is good/hilarious.

  28. Nikki says:

    I took me a while, but I finally figured out the genesis of all the “He’s a Muslim, a Communist, an Alinskyite, a Marxist” talk–any minority who speaks out against the “natural order” of race relations in America, thus causing White America discomfort in its hallowed enclaves, these are the titles with which he/she must be tarred.

  29. The ironic thing is that CRT, like all the various schools of critical legal studies, is basically the same world view as your average Tea Party member; that is, it’s based on the theory that the law as practiced exists primarily as a tool of the elite to main control over the rest of the population rather than as an expression of any sort of universal ethical principles.

    For all the wailing the right does about Marxism, it’s ironic the number of militant left wing concepts have worked their way into the Republican weltanschauung.

  30. mattb says:

    @JKB:

    “vet the media”, vet the Left, perhaps even vet the academy, none would make it on CNN or the other mainstream news networks without Obama’s pretty face leading the way.

    Of course, this ignores the fact that this video aired years ago on Frontline — PBS for god sake, the home of godless liberal government money takers. Which means that the liberal media must have not been concerned about showing the video. It’s not like this was exactly hidden, so I don’t quite get the point your making.

    But now, more people know what ‘critical race theory’ is and that it is something they teach at the university instead of western civ or say insurance law.

    Likewise, as someone who works in universities, I can tell you that “western civ” classes have not been replaced by “critical race” classes. In fact, the later are still upper level electives, while Western Civ — or at least history — are still general requirements. Now it is entirely possible you might have someone teach Western Civ from a critical race perspective. But that’s only an issue if you ignorant enough to believe that its possible to teach history without a perspective.

    As far as having a Critical Race expert/classes in a law school, I will remind that Harvard Law is a more theoretical law school than others. And again, I would guess that any course on critical race would be an *elective* one.

  31. Cycloptichorn says:

    Nobody cares what ‘critical race theory’ is. At all.

    I dearly hope the GOP keeps pushing this, though. I really do. It will help Obama get re-elected more than anything else they can do.

  32. David M says:

    @mattb:

    Of course, this ignores the fact that this video aired years ago on Frontline — PBS for god sake, the home of godless liberal government money takers. Which means that the liberal media must have not been concerned about showing the video. It’s not like this was exactly hidden, so I don’t quite get the point your making.

    You’re thinking too much, it’s really quite simple. Obama was elected, therefor the media did not do their jobs. His presidency is illegitimate, as “real America” would not have elected him, which is why there are no limits to what the GOP will do to oppose him, no matter the cost to the country.

  33. WR says:

    @Hey Norm: “Jenos is frustrated…because he/she is Jenos. ”

    Actually, Jenos is frustrated because he is JWest. And the name change hasn’t improved his cognitive abilities any…

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ MBunge

    Well said. I am always amazed that so many white folks just can’t understand what black folks in this country might be pissed off about…

  35. G.A. says:

    Maybe some body can dredge up something that happened since 2008 to argue about?

    lol….ya all the Muslim, Communist, Alinsky, Marxist, socialist, econut crap we warned all of you that he would do and that he did….

    Obama did it……..just like we said…..lol….

    Sigh………

  36. Cycloptichorn says:

    @G.A.:

    Actually, none of the things he did resemble any of those terms.

    Are you a sophisticated, faux-troll, actually trolling the GOP here? I can’t help but think that many of your posts are a parody of right-wing thought.

  37. In fact, the later are still upper level electives, while Western Civ — or at least history — are still general requirements.

    It will show up in survey courses for non-majors too. One of the classes I took as general education elective in college was a course called “The Philosophy of Law”. The first eight weeks of the course was basically studying different schools of thought on what exactly a law is. One of those schools of thought was CLS, which we spent about one week on. Of course, this is not the result of some leftist plot, but what a course needed to discuss to provide an accurate representation of the current field of thought.

  38. All this does is prove what many Democrats have been saying The Republicans need to scratch around for dirt on the President. It only makes the Republicans look bad.

  39. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    “Our establishment rewards [black law students] for [aligning with poisonous creeds], and tends to punish them if they don’t. (Think Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas.)”

    Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas have been punished? What? Huh?

  40. Rick Almeida says:

    @PD Shaw:

    The President’s well known tie to the governor of the state which elected him to the Senate is shocking to you?

  41. Murrell says:

    So many blacks, with some exceptions, came under the control and influence of radicals. Radicals who are controlled by the international financial organization that has a one world government on its agenda and controls so much that goes on, including the disgraceful UN.

  42. An Interested Party says:

    Oh goody, can we get more people like Murrell to spread their opinions? That’ll do wonders for Republicans…

  43. Bennett says:

    I get the feeling that the kinds of folks on this site who regularly get down voted would do well to go over the Atlantic and read Ta Nehisi Coates for a few weeks.

  44. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Nikki: I took me a while, but I finally figured out the genesis of all the “He’s a Muslim, a Communist, an Alinskyite, a Marxist” talk–any minority who speaks out against the “natural order” of race relations in America, thus causing White America discomfort in its hallowed enclaves, these are the titles with which he/she must be tarred.

    So close, yet so far…

    No, the genesis is that Obama set himself up as — in his own words — a “blank slate” that voters could project whatever they wanted on. Obama has such a skimpy background. The “Muslim/Communist/Alinskyite/Marxist” evidence is weak — but the evidence that he’s NOT is even flimsier.

    But he is on record as teaching Alinsky’s principles to his students. There’s photographic proof of that one.

    So yeah, let’s see Obama run on his record. Astronomical federal debt, no budget passed in about 3 years, Guantanamo still open for business, unemployment still well above his worst-case scenario when he was pushing for the stimulus bill, killing American citizens without benefit of trial or even indictment, starting wars kinetic military action with the approval of other nations but NOT consulting or even notifying Congress, the Fast & Furious coverup, sky-high and rising energy prices (precisely as Obama promised)… and that’s just off the top of my very tired head that wants one more beer before bed.

    However, Obama is focused, laserlike, on the key issues of “we want someone else to pay for our birth control” and “this talk show host called someone mean names.”

    Oh, and he decisively ordered Bin Laden’s death… after taking 16 hours to fully consider if we really, really wanted him dead. That was a real act of leadership.

  45. An Interested Party says:

    So yeah, let’s see Obama run on his record. Astronomical federal debt, no budget passed in about 3 years, Guantanamo still open for business, unemployment still well above his worst-case scenario when he was pushing for the stimulus bill, killing American citizens without benefit of trial or even indictment, starting wars kinetic military action with the approval of other nations but NOT consulting or even notifying Congress, the Fast & Furious coverup, sky-high and rising energy prices (precisely as Obama promised)… and that’s just off the top of my very tired head that wants one more beer before bed.

    However, Obama is focused, laserlike, on the key issues of “we want someone else to pay for our birth control” and “this talk show host called someone mean names.”

    Oh, and he decisively ordered Bin Laden’s death… after taking 16 hours to fully consider if we really, really wanted him dead. That was a real act of leadership.

    And yet, despite all of that, he stands a better than even chance of being reelected…that either means that his potential opponents are that pathetically weak or that your “evidence” is far too slanted to be taken seriously…hmm…perhaps a mix of both…

  46. Scott O. says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I’ll see your teaching of Alinsky’s principles and raise you being brought up by an Alinski associate.

  47. Bennett says:

    @An Interested Party: Dude, come on, you know he will respond with the MSM media not covering it.

  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Scott O.: What’s next? That photo of Donald Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam Hussein?

    The positive influences and associates of Romney pere and fil vastly outweigh a single meeting. As I said, in Obama’s case, there simply isn’t any counterbalancing influences and associates in Obama’s case.

    He briefly held a job in the private sector… and couldn’t hack it, so he ran back to academia and activism, the land where good intentions are all that matters and you’re not held accountable for actual results. Where credentials count far more than accomplishments. Where words dwarf deeds.

    So George Romney, as part of his duties as governor, met with Alinsky to get his perspective on the riots. And his conclusion? “Pay attention to what this guy’s saying.”

    Sounds like what conservatives say today: “pay attention to what Alinsky said.”

    Contrast that with the Obama defenders: “don’t pay any attention to Alinsky. He’s not relevant. He’s just a boogeyman.”

    And then contrast it with Professor Lecturer Obama: “Pay attention to Alinsky. Especially his theories and principles.”

    Since it didn’t seem to take before, I’ll repeat myself once again: the vile and corrupt influences and associations are pretty flimsy, objectively speaking. But subjectively speaking, they are very significant, because more positive influences and associations are sorely lacking.

  49. @Murrell: How is this any different from any other race Are you saying White people will not be corrupted or influenced by money. Are the extremely wealthy given a pass on radicalism. The people who are the best leaders do seem radical to average people nowadays, because we are so used to the go along with the good old boys crowd.

  50. sam says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Obama has such a skimpy background. The “Muslim/Communist/Alinskyite/Marxist” evidence is weak — but the evidence that he’s NOT is even flimsier.

    Sand in front of a mirror and read that out loud to yourself. Then you might get an inkling as to how stone silly it sounds to the rest of us.

  51. G.A. says:

    Actually, none of the things he did resemble any of those terms.

    Dude why? He is about all of that and he is so indoctrinated that I doubt that he even knows it. And C.R.T. explains a lot about parts of his worldview and about many of yours here.

    Oh goody, can we get more people like Murrell to spread their opinions? That’ll do wonders for Republicans…

    he is closer to something then you have ever been:)

    Are you a sophisticated, faux-troll, actually trolling the GOP here? I can’t help but think that many of your posts are a parody of right-wing thought.

    No, I am just looking for a good time.

  52. Jenos Idanian says:

    @sam: Sand in front of a mirror and read that out loud to yourself. Then you might get an inkling as to how stone silly it sounds to the rest of us.

    Oh, it sounds beyond silly to me. But what makes it somewhat scary is that it’s true — and he was elected president anyway.

  53. anjin-san says:

    Since it didn’t seem to take before, I’ll repeat myself once again: the vile and corrupt influences and associations are pretty flimsy, objectively speaking. But subjectively speaking, they are very significant, because more positive influences and associations are sorely lacking.

    Repeating a stupid comment does not make the comment any less stupid. It does, however, leave you looking pretty dull. You are probably use to that & don’t notice.

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Feel free to cite some examples to prove me wrong, buttmunch. Some notable accomplishments from before 2009 besides “won an election” or notable associates that aren’t radicals.

  55. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I don’t feel any need to disprove the ranting of the guy who lives under the overpass on my way to the office, nor do I feel any need to disprove yours.

    The OTB community, which consists of some pretty bright people, has made it clear that it considers you to be, at best, an annoying fool. Run along skippy.

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: The “disapproval” of the commenting community here is something I wear with a touch of pride. And if you didn’t feel like bothering to deal with me, you were under no compunction to say my observations about Obama’s background were incorrect. Your followup — “your statements are false, and I don’t need to bother to back that up with a single example to show you wrong” — is, quite frankly, lame enough to sink into WR territory.

    You’d have been wiser to simply dismiss my arguments as irrelevant than to say they were false. That would have been something you could actually argue. Instead, you have to wave your hands and say, effectively, “everyone knows you’re wrong, and it’s not worth my time and effort to show it.”

    I understand that you need communal approval to reinforce your self-worth, and you seek comfort in polls and groupthink and other signs that you’re a part of the herd, but that’s hardly something to take pride in.

  57. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Ah, I see now why you ducked out of your stint at Wizbang, Jay. You don’t want to belong to a club that would have someone like you for a member.

  58. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Empty words from an empty head defending an empty suit. How appropriate.

  59. anjin-san says:

    it’s not worth my time and effort to show it.

    It’s not.

    other signs that you’re a part of the herd

    A heard? No. A group of people who’s opinions I respect? Sure. Happy to be associated with some of these folks, and that absolutely includes WR.

    Hate to break it to you skippy, but my sense of self worth is just fine 🙂

    The chip on your shoulder, however, is hard to miss. You sound like a lonely teenager who is pissed off at the world.

  60. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: A group of people who’s opinions I respect? Sure.

    Hope that sense of superiority of yours isn’t rooted in your spelling ability, sport…

    And I repeat: the reason that these stupid accusations against Obama gain ANY traction is because the man was an empty suit and a blank slate, so the negatives he cultivated had nothing they stood in contrast with.

    A law school “professor” and former editor of the Harvard Law Review who never published a single paper.

    A legislator who voted “present” over and over precisely to not leave any kind of a paper trail.

    A first-term junior senator who broke his pledge to serve out his full term… but had an utterly unremarkable career in the Senate anyway, so it wasn’t that much of a loss.

    A “community activist” who chose that career precisely because it gave him the air of doing good deeds without actually having to face any kind of accountability or show any real accomplishments.

    And yes, in many ways this is all irrelevant to the current election. But that’t not my point in bringing it up (well, not my main point). This would have been supremely relevant back in 2008… but it was all ignored and covered up by Obama’s supporters, especially those in the press. This, like the video Breitbart’s people released, was not intended to point out what these things say about Obama, but what they say about Obama’s enablers.

    Much like the Shirley Sherrod video wasn’t intended to say “what a terrible person she was,” but to say “note the reactions from the NAACP members when she acknowledges what a terrible person she was.”

  61. An Interested Party says:

    he is closer to something then you have ever been:)

    Yeah, that something being a straitjacket…

  62. anjin-san says:

    Hope that sense of superiority of yours isn’t rooted in your spelling ability, sport…

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t, spell check.

    As for everything else you have to say, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  63. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: What’s the Japanese word for celery? ‘Cuz that should be your nickname — your comments are nothing but “empty calories.”

  64. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    What a relief to discover that your linked video was just that John McCain-suing Mr. Browne instead of Weird Al, or worse, Meatloaf. What’s next, “Na na na good-bye”? Because that would be REALLY clever.

  65. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: More emptiness. I see why you like it here; the vacuity sucks you in.

  66. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Oh, I freely admit to having no interest in debating anything with you, Jim. You offer nothing but the warmed-over excreta of Malkin and Ace O’ Spades. I’m just here to make fun of you and the things you hold dear.

    Joss Whedon’s a creepy little twit, by the way.

  67. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Rufus T. Firefly: Your only purpose, it seems, is to carry out some odd, petty little personal vendetta. I have no real interest in the topics at hand. So I see no real reason to continue this discussion, let alone acknowledge your existence.

  68. WR says:

    @anjin-san: “Happy to be associated with some of these folks, and that absolutely includes WR.”

    Thanks! Feeling’s mutual.

  69. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “The “disapproval” of the commenting community here is something I wear with a touch of pride.”

    There’s really nothing sadder than the victory roar of the troll. When he admits that the only way they can have any kind of impact on the world is to annoy strangers on the internet, I have to take a moment to contemplate how sad and empty a life like JWest’s must be.

  70. anjin-san says:

    What’s the Japanese word for celery? ‘Cuz that should be your nickname — your comments are nothing but “empty calories.”

    Don’t know how to break it to you, but celery is actually pretty darned good for you.

    http://dailyfitnessmagz.com/2011/01/celery-nutrition-facts

    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life Jenos…

  71. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I love it when you try to sound like a Bond villain.