Ron Paul: Obama Not A Socialist

Ron Paul Obama Not SocialistSpeaking of Ron Paul, he took the bold step yesterday of announcing that President Obama isn’t a socialist. Not in a technical sense, anyway.

“The question has been raised about whether or not our president is a socialist,” Paul said. “I am sure there are some people here who believe it. But in the technical sense, in the economic definition of a what a socialist is, no, he’s not a socialist.”

“He’s a corporatist,” Paul continued. “And unfortunately we have corporatists inside the Republican party and that means you take care of corporations and corporations take over and run the country.”

Paul said examples of President Obama’s “corporatism” were evident in the heath care reform bill he signed into law last month. He said the mandate in the bill put the power over health care in the hands of corporations rather than private citizens. But he said the bill wasn’t the only place where corporatism is creeping into Washington.

“We see it in the financial institutions, we see it in the military-industrial complex,” he said. “And now we see it in the medical-industrial complex.”

I would think the bailouts of the big banks, General Motors, and Chrysler would be better examples.

Now, in a technical sense, I’m not sure any of this is “corporatism,” which is used to describe so many wildly disparate concepts as to be almost meaningless.   But there’s not much doubt that organized economic interests hold powerful sway in both our parties.

It’s also true that, historically speaking, socialists are anti-capitalist and have worked to destroy corporations.  There’s just no appetite in American politics for that.   Obama would surely have preferred to establish a government-run alternative to private insurance, which would be a very mild form of socialism, but there weren’t anything like the votes for that so there was no use expending the political capital to engage in a losing fight.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Andy says:

    “Anything like” the votes for a public option? Remember, the House passed one. There might have been 45 or so votes for it in the Senate although it’s hard to know without any real whipping.

    It’s true that the measure would have been well short of 60, but short of 50 is less clear, so it’s probably more right to say that the public option was short a handful of Senators and the vote of the parliamentarian who could have included it in reconciliation.

    Maybe I spend too much time on lefty blogs but I think we’re closer to the jumping-off point than you do.

  2. Obama really isn’t a socialist, he’s a progressive, but, while some people, like Glenn Beck and Johan Goldberg, are working to make progressive a dirty word, most people look on socialism as not a good thing.

    As far as being a corporatist goes, like you said, if Obama can’t fully take the industries and companies over, why not get them in bed deeper with the government? Also, giving companies all these deals might make them more likely to contribute more heavily to the Dems.

    The idea, though, is to join the private sector more and more heavily with the public sector, giving the government more and more control of everything.

  3. john personna says:

    I don’t get the first sentence at Wikipedia, but the third one is in line with Paul:

    In contemporary usage, corporatism is commonly used as a pejorative term against business corporation-dominated politics.

    There is something of that in modern American politics, yes. Sadly it isn’t isolated with Obama, it might be another case with Paul as the odd man out.

  4. Tom says:

    “I would think the bailouts of the big banks, General Motors, and Chrysler would be better examples.”

    The bank bailouts took place under Bush. He certainly was a corporatist.

  5. Herb says:

    The idea, though, is to join the private sector more and more heavily with the public sector, giving the government more and more control of everything.

    Yes, there’s been an effort to do that, but when I hear about this stuff I think of Blackwater/Xe or KBR or Raytheon.

    I certainly don’t think of the health care mandate.

  6. john personna says:

    “I would think the bailouts of the big banks, General Motors, and Chrysler would be better examples.”

    The bank bailouts took place under Bush. He certainly was a corporatist.

    Bush could also have forced the issue on GM and Chrysler, if he’d been strongly “free market.” Instead, he politely kicked the can down the road with some bridge funding, so that Obama could play the second act.

  7. john personna says:

    Yes, there’s been an effort to do that, but when I hear about this stuff I think of Blackwater/Xe or KBR or Raytheon.

    I certainly don’t think of the health care mandate.

    I guess we could step back and think “all of the above,” Herb.

  8. steve says:

    Socialism is now meaningless as sued by conservatives. Its just a pejorative term for the most part. As to being corporatist, there is some truth there. However, it looks to me as though corporations are controlling government, not the other way around. Who really benefitted from bailing out GM, a process started with the prior administration? What exactly does government get out of it as opposed to what GM got out of it?

    Steve

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Socialism is now meaningless as sued by conservatives. Its just a pejorative term for the most part.

    I think that’s true. It’s mostly used to distinguish between “us”, presumably believers in free markets, and “them”, presumably collectivist Stalinists.

    Both of these distinctions are straw men, of course. Very, very few of us really believe in truly free markets and very, very few of us long for collectivist anthills. A truly free market would mean no bank regulations or pure food and drug laws or licensing for physicians for that matter. I think that nearly all of us are socialists in that sense, possibly even Dr. Paul.

    IMO the distinctions in our politics are much narrower than that. Again IMO most of us believe in some socialism. We differ on just how much and whether the next step is an inescapable slippery slope.

  10. Herb says:

    I guess we could step back and think “all of the above,” Herb.

    I can see that, but you’d have to step back pretty far, I think.

    Usually when we’re talking about the public sector versus the private sector, we’re talking about government jobs versus non-government jobs. If we’re talking about “join(ing) the private sector more and more heavily with the public sector,” I don’t think we’re talking about regulations like the health care mandate or the FDA requiring milk pasteurization.

    But then again, maybe I’m just splitting hairs. Maybe the key part of Teach’s comment is “giving the government more and more control of everything.”

    But that’s just absurd because there’s a lot of distance between “you have to carry health insurance” and “Haha, I control everything now!”

    Hell, there’s people in the government who can’t even control themselves, much less a country with 300 million people.

  11. john personna says:

    FWIW Mark Thoma, an economist most would put pretty far left, had this to say about Paul’s comments:

    This isn’t as easy to refute as it ought to be. Hopefully, the end result of financial reform will diminish the truth of this charge substantially, if not entirely, but we shall see.

  12. Eric Florack says:

    As far as being a corporatist goes, like you said, if Obama can’t fully take the industries and companies over, why not get them in bed deeper with the government?

    Kinda like Hitler, eh?

    Godwin be damned, the comparison fits rather aptly. after all, he was socialist as well.

    On James’ comments, I think Ron Paul is confused on to the best of conditions, and this certainly doesn’t qualify as one of those. Thereby even under the best of conditions I’m not sure that I would ever take its face value any definition that Ron Paul Clifford on anything, including sunlight.

    That said, and to James’ larger point, I’m not sure the description of corporatist matches, either. What corporate is, after all, is going to get in bed with the unions to the degree that Obama has? After all, we have SEIU’s Andy Stern in a position where he has everything but a desk of his own at the White House.

    And an aside to Persona;

    The reason that it isn’t all that easy for Thoma to refute the charge is because he like most liberals are busy hunting around for a charge to toss at Obama… one that fits their leftist mantra. Even by their lights, Obama has been nothing but a disappointment. Thing is, they can’t allow themselves to admit that the very problem with Obama is that he has been implementing the liberal/socialist agenda. The result of that implementation is proof positive that it doesn’t work as advertised, and never has, and likely never will.

    That’s a point which runs afoul of everything the left has believed for generations. So we see the lefty commentators somewhat conflicted in confused and their responses.. and this is but one example of that. Amusing, that, and quite telling, really.

  13. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    If you do a Ben Franklin close on Obama, that is take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. On one side list the pro capitalist acts and on the other list pro socialist acts. You will have your answer. Wealth redistribution is not the act of a capitalist. Obama, by his own statements and writings (Ayers ghost wrote), from Frank M. Davis to Jeremiah Wright. From his endorcement by the American Communist Party. Our President has little if anything in common with the founders. Ron Paul doesn’t know sh*t.

  14. d.eris says:

    The Democratic and Republican Parties stand for exactly one thing: the reproduction of the Democratic-Republican two-party state. In this, they are supported by their corporate paymasters, whose interests they serve. Freedom and independence today begins with freedom and independence from the corporatist tyranny of the Democratic-Republican two-party state and the ruling criminal-political class.

  15. Triumph says:

    Obama may not be a “socialist,” but he is a foreigner, immigrant, Hollywood, east-coast, latte-drinking, Confederacy-hating, Barry Bonds-loving, Big Government, terror-enhancing, anti-American LIBERAL!!!

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    Dave:

    The most vitriolic political, ideological and religious battles often take place between factions which appear to rational disinterested observers to be mere inches apart. Catholics and Protestants, Shia and Sunni, Trotskyites and Stalinists, Harvard and Yale.

    The real differences between the bulk of Republicans and the bulk of Democrats are so slight that they must be wildly exaggerated in order to energize followers and gin up support for what is, in either case, less an ideology than a simple lust for power.

  17. Eric Florack says:

    THe slight differences you mention are foundational. And what can be perceived as a slight alteration in any foundation makes a massive change in whatever it’s supporting.

  18. DavidL says:

    Obama has taken over two out three domsstic car companies, one sixth of the econommy with health care and student loans. Hw wants to impose both cap and tax and a national sales tax, VAT. That looks and smells like a socialist to me. Doctor Pual needs to get his eyes, and brain, checked.

  19. Gerry W. says:

    A VAT tax (Paul Volcker) may just be the ticket. While it is not the best solution, we have major long term problems that neither party wants to solve. If we continue not to cut back on spending or fixing anything, then all we are doing is lowering the value of our dollar, our credit on world markets, and paying just interest on more and more debt.

    And I have no problem in taking over the car companies as it would have shut down 300 auto plants and our unemployment would go up higher. Since our country has not invested in its country, in its people, and in the future, we are where we are-a big mess that will take 10 to 20 years to fix.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    Eric:

    You’re one of the minions who must be whipped into a frenzy over trifles so that the real players can use you to gain the true objective: power.

    There’s a reason that Obama was able to seamlessly pick up from the Bush administration on TARP and GM: because the differences are not “foundational” but minor.

  21. john personna says:

    Conservative VAT backers confuse me. Isn’t the old line that “any new tax will be expanded?” And therefore “oppose new taxes?”

    I don’t know … maybe it’s just a way to deal with the cognitive dissonance: that “taxes are too high” and “we need more revenue.” Ta Da! A new tax raises revenues without raising old taxes!

    (I’m reading Think Twice, by Michael J. Mauboussin. The chapter I just finished alerted me to the curious resolutions we find for our dissonances. Good book. Enter your zip, and find it at a library.)

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    DavidL:

    Explain to me how Obama “took over” a sixth of the economy.

    We already had Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and VA health. Those programs have been bipartisan for a long while.

    What remains of health care beyond those is not one sixth of the economy. Nor does requiring people to buy health insurance and requiring companies to abide by certain rules in return constitute a take-over.

    The taking over a sixth thing is just propaganda. It is meaningless.

  23. Eric Florack says:

    You’re one of the minions who must be whipped into a frenzy over trifles so that the real players can use you to gain the true objective: power.

    Interesting that you pick up so strongly on the bailout and try to TARP me with it. The fact of the matter is I been saying for years now that Bush is no conservative but at best a centrist… I’ve also stated on record repeatedly that I did not support TARP. so, perhaps you can reassess just to let is you think is being Straw manned, here?

    Explain to me how Obama “took over” a sixth of the economy.

    is health care 1/6 of the economy or not? What Obama has done is nothing short of a government takeover of health care.

  24. Gerry W. says:

    Bush was many things. He was a right wing born again Christian who only believed in ideology. It was tax cuts, deficits and debt, our jobs going overseas, our money going to Iraq, and the neglect of our country. We stayed the course and we are where we are-a total mess.

  25. Franklin says:

    What Obama has done is nothing short of a government takeover of health care.

    Are private practices and hospitals still private or not? The health care is nothing more than incremental.

  26. steve says:

    is health care 1/6 of the economy or not? What Obama has done is nothing short of a government takeover of health care

    Really? I am going to have government telling how to take care of my patients? They are going to sign all my checks?

    Steve

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    Steve:

    Yes, you have been taken over. And not just your practice, but your very mind. Obama isn’t just a socialist, communist, Nazi, Muslim,terrorist . . . he’s also a bodysnatcher.

  28. An Interested Party says:

    Oh my, how the tables have turned…the cries of “Bushitler!” have now been replaced with “Obama IS a socialist!” and we see that ODS is alive and well, especially among certain conservatives here…keep frothing, as you may very well have this “socialist” and “Hitler-like” president for the next 6+ years….how that must make your blood boil…

  29. Herb says:

    The fact of the matter is I been saying for years now that Bush is no conservative but at best a centrist…

    But that didn’t stop you from voting for him twice, did it? No doubt in your political calculus, Gore and Kerry were so dangerous that you held your nose and voted for the incompetent “centrist.”

    Bah. I love listening to right-wingers complain about the Republican party. You know why?

    Because they can’t blame the liberals. Liberals may be control the media and 1/6 of the economy, but they certainly don’t control the Republican party!

    Oh and, “a government take-over?” Florack, that line might have worked when the unwashed masses weren’t sure what was going into the bill. But the bill has passed. It’s been signed into law.

    And we can test this claim objectively now. As a factual claim, the “government take-over” claim is, objectively, false.

    So the guy who keeps saying it may be uninformed, lying, or exaggerating for effect. But whatever he is, he is still objectively wrong.

  30. anjin-san says:

    Remember the kid in high school who spent three years kissing the quarterback’s ass? And then when the quarterback blew the big game your senior year, the same kid spent the rest of the year telling everyone how he always knew the quarterback sucked?

    That kid was bithead.

  31. Mike A says:

    To Herb:

    But that didn’t stop you from voting for him twice, did it? No doubt in your political calculus, Gore and Kerry were so dangerous that you held your nose and voted for the incompetent “centrist.”

    Oh, and in your political calculus it would have been better to have Gore – Champion Wundermutt of the global warming catastrophe charade? I know, let’s create a GLOBAL tax to redistribute the income of hard working American families.

    That would have been such a tremendous improvement over Bush. This kind of thinking puts your intellectual capacity right on par with the other mental midget on this blog, Michael Reynolds.

  32. anjin-san says:

    Anyone else get the sense that Mike A never gets laid?

  33. Mike A says:

    Anyone get the sense that Anjin is sitting in front of his Gameboy, eating twinkies and popping zits? Really – see if your brain cell can get together with Reynold’s brain cell and figure out which foot to put the shoe on. Remember Anjin, R stands for right

  34. anjin-san says:

    Thats your comeback? LOL, it can’t be much fun being you.

  35. Mike A says:

    Oooooh! Sting! You are SO witty and urbane. Actually, I’m not surprised. Your response illustrates the normal level of immaturity for the liberals that frequent this blog (read Anjin, Reynolds, Herb, The Q)

    It’s just truly unfortunate that your immaturity also extends to your political ideas. Are you ALL juveniles with overactive fantasy lives, or is it just you that has this fascination with others sex life? Dude! Like, you are Soooo pwned right now! Am I talkin’ your language Anjin, or do I need to, like, make myself into a 12th level wizard and grab some more pizza…?

  36. Herb says:

    That would have been such a tremendous improvement over Bush. This kind of thinking puts your intellectual capacity right on par with the other mental midget on this blog, Michael Reynolds.

    Ha! I’m afraid you’re going to have to do better than that.

    I’m not a big fan of Gore but it’s difficult, if not impossible, to weigh a hypothetical Gore presidency with George Bush’s actual presidency. After all, hypothetically Gore could have been a better president. We’ll never know and we have no way to test it.

    That you seem to be so certain, despite having no way to know, says a lot about your mental capacity.

    My point wasn’t that Gore was better than Bush. My point is that if conservatives don’t like Bush, they have no one to blame but themselves. In other words, you can’t fall back on the old “blame liberals” nonsense.

    Although it’s kind of funny how that instinct is so entrenched, that you came this close to blaming me and Michael Reynolds for a Gore presidency that didn’t even happen.

  37. anjin-san says:

    Check that. It can’t be any fun being you. Really, try not to speak…

  38. anjin-san says:

    Check that. It can’t be any fun being you. Really junior, try not to speak…

  39. Mike A says:

    I’m not a big fan of Gore but it’s difficult, if not impossible, to weigh a hypothetical Gore presidency with George Bush’s actual presidency. After all, hypothetically Gore could have been a better president. We’ll never know and we have no way to test it.

    This is escapist nonsense and is just another way of saying” You can’t know the possible outcome of X”.

    You’re OK so far, and if you had stopped there your statement would have at least shown a little thoughtfulness.

    But when you tie that into saying that “Since I can’t know X, than there is no way to know if X would have been better or worse than Y” , you are just being intentionally ignorant of Gore’s (and Kerry’s) obvious derangements. Gore is a rabid dog, infected with the disease of global armageddon. Of course, the only way to avoid this is give the government (read GORE, UN, NGOs) control of how we live – what we drive, what we buy, how we eat even.

    The left just can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that all of their prized political stars have some serious mental delusions – Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Gore.

  40. Mike A says:

    Did you go back to your Gameboy, Anjin…? Have you defeated the Big Boss with your magic sword yet?

  41. Herb says:

    you are just being intentionally ignorant of Gore’s (and Kerry’s) obvious derangements.

    No, you’re ignoring political realities. While you may feel confident predicting how Gore would have acted as president based on your prescience, I feel confident saying there are too many variables to know.

    Let’s say Gore was committed to a global enviro tax or taking your SUV away. Do you honestly think the Republican majorities in Congress would have let him?

    Do you think that once Gore got elected, the basic underpinnings of our government (congress writes the laws, the president signs them, etc) would cease to function?

    Of course not! Your last statement confirms your hackish nature:

    The left just can’t seem to come to grips with the fact that all of their prized political stars have some serious mental delusions – Reid, Pelosi, Obama, Gore.

    Brilliant psychoanalysis! Do another toot, Sigmund.

  42. Mike A says:

    Let’s say Gore was committed to a global enviro tax or taking your SUV away. Do you honestly think the Republican majorities in Congress would have let him?

    Possibly – a deranged President (” the science is settled”), obsessed with a manufactured crises that threatens the very existence of humanity + a compliant media and “scientific” community = enormous pressure to “save the planet.” The idiots gave him a Nobel prize for his fairy tale, don’t forget.

    Do you think that once Gore got elected, the basic underpinnings of our government (congress writes the laws, the president signs them, etc) would cease to function?

    Please don’t play stupid – or are you not playing? The basic underpinnings of our Government failed epically with the passage of ObamaCare.

    Or are you of the ilk that thinks “Representation” includes such things as passing an unread bill (Stimulus)under the false guise of emergency? 12 months later we had spent, what, 20% of the appropriated funds? But there was no time to read it don’t you see – it was an Emergency

    And its laughable to claim that “back-room dealing” to get passage of a bill that is CLEARLY opposed by the majority of Americans, equals the “proper” functioning of our Government. The reason for the back-door deals was to give Democrats fig-leaf cover for signing onto it. They had to have cover because they KNEW that the folks in their districts (Democrat districts!) did not want ObamaCare.

  43. NaderPaulKucinichGravelMcKinney says:

    They like to be in 135 countries and 700 bases.

  44. Herb says:

    Sorry, Mike. If you don’t like Al Gore, that’s fine. But if your views on environmentalism or global warming are primarily motivated by your dislike of Al Gore, you’re just not very bright.

    And statements like this reinforce that impression:

    The basic underpinnings of our Government failed epically with the passage of ObamaCare.

    No, the Republicans failed with the passage of ObamaCare. I know, I know. The Dems used extra-legal means to pass Obamacare, you know, things like winning elections and securing Congressional majorities and signing bills into law. But if you want to bemoan failure…look in the mirror.
    I didn’t vote for the guys who failed to stop the bill.

    “passing an unread bill”

    You didn’t read the bill? Again…look in the mirror. Or give John Boehner a call and ask him to read it to you. I don’t think he read it either. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

  45. sam says:

    @Bithead

    The reason that it isn’t all that easy for Thoma to refute the charge is because he like most liberals are busy hunting around for a charge to toss at Obama… one that fits their leftist mantra. Even by their lights, Obama has been nothing but a disappointment. Thing is, they can’t allow themselves to admit that the very problem with Obama is that he has been implementing the liberal/socialist agenda. The result of that implementation is proof positive that it doesn’t work as advertised, and never has, and likely never will.

    Does anyone know WTF that means?

  46. anjin-san says:

    Did you go back to your Gameboy, Anjin

    Ummm, Braniac. The last time I played a video game was probably before you were born…

  47. Mike A says:

    Sorry, Herb but if you can’t track a simple thought and reply coherently to the point at hand, then you’re just not very bright.

    My dislike of Al Gore is only related to his global warming obsession because it reveals his inherent mental instability.
    Perhaps you are an acolyte of the church- of- the- dying planet as well? In which case logic is lost on you.

    You didn’t read the bill? Again…look in the mirror. Or give John Boehner a call and ask him to read it to you. I don’t think he read it either. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

    Here’s a little clue about what “Representative Republic” means, Herb. It doesn’t mean that the citizens have to read every piece of legislation (although I did, by the way).

    It means that the vote of the representative is supposed to represent the wishes of those that elected them. In many cases it may not be possible to quantify the wishes regarding a complex issue. However that was clearly not the case when it came to the vote on Obama Care. The votes were distinctly not in accordance with the wishes of the constituents.

    Hence the back-room deals to try and pacify the voters with a “pork prize” for the home state. Good heavens, you’d have to be an idiot to think that the bill was acceptable when one of the bribes was to exempt the citizens of one state (Nebraska), and agree to give additional subsidies to defray the (unaffordable) costs to another (Florida).

    And in regards to Boehner, who knows what your point is here. Maybe you think that Repubs are being given a pass on this (they’re not).

    The body politic is going to see a sea change over the next 5 to 10 years that will shake it to its core. The main benefit coming out of this is that the politicians on the left can see it coming. They are bailing out like maggots tumbling out of a rotten wound – what are you folks up to now for desertions, something like 12 with Stupak isn’t it?

  48. Herb says:

    an acolyte of the church- of- the- dying planet

    What’s that? If you mean, do I think The Day After Tomorrow was a documentary? Then no. But if you mean, do I think that mankind has the ability to choose whether we’re going to exploit our resources or destroy them, then yeah, I guess I am an acolyte of the church of the dying planet.

    What’s wrong with that?

    Here’s a little clue about what “Representative Republic” means, Herb. It doesn’t mean that the citizens have to read every piece of legislation (although I did, by the way).

    Yes, yes, I know. You just seemed so eager to play the “didn’t read the bill” card that I figured you were blaming someone else for your lack of due dilligence. You know, like the Republicans in the House.

    I can criticize Democrats, too, if you want to employ the Fairness Doctrine. I think the Nebraska deal was a travesty. But on the political travesty scale, it’s minor. I mean, it’s not like the backroom deal that saved Scooter Libby’s ass, is it? Perspective, man.

    The body politic is going to see a sea change over the next 5 to 10 years that will shake it to its core.

    I agree. But it’s not going to change in the way you think it’s going to change. “Nancy Pelosi made me do it” and “I didn’t read the bill” and “Confederate History Month” and “Death panels” are only going to impress an ever dwindling number of voters.

    After all, if you’re conservative these days, you don’t have to be a Republican. You can be a Blue Dog Democrat. Like Stupak.

    Or not. Just look at how he was treated by the Tea Baggers for daring to fight the pro-life fight. “Babykiller!”

    Sooner or later, angry slogans will have to give way to governance. And the Republicans just aren’t prepared for that. They’re in the business of giving their constituency what they want. Slogans are in. (Kill the bill!) Governance, out. (Improve the bill!)

  49. wr says:

    Mike A — Throughout the vast majority of W’s administration, the opinion polls said quite clearly that a majority of Americans wanted us to get out of Iraq. Were you out there screaming to pull our troops out because the American people had spoken?

    If not, then maybe you should try to engage your brain before you start typing. If you state something as an ironclad rule — as you do here — then it applies to your side as well. That’s how rules work. They apply to everybody. I realize this goes counter to the current philosophy of the right — “goverment spending is evil except when it’s for me!” — but it’s simply the way the real world works. Live with it.

  50. Mike A says:

    wr:

    You are remembering the past through your particular lense of liberal wistfulness. During W’s administration many polls showed that most of the population wanted us to get out of Iraq – nobody sane likes war. But…(and this is a biggie)…

    A majority never demanded we leave in unconditional withdrawal (i.e get out NOW at any cost). There was never a majority of Americans in favor of that type of withdrawal. (Prove me wrong..) Except the Code Pink wackos and aging hippies that wanted to relive their halcyon days of protesting the Vietnam war.

    Your analogy fails miserably. The anti-war movement had wet dreams about drawing the number of protesters that the tea parties produce almost effortlessly. When are you going to get it through your liberal heads that the American people are PISSED?

    I realize this goes counter to the current philosophy of the right — “goverment spending is evil except when it’s for me!” — but it’s simply the way the real world works. Live with it.

    With this statement you reveal the typical liberal inability to see the obvious. What this administration believes – with heart and soul-is not just “government spending” This is the equivalent of giving a gold platinum credit card with no limit to a 12 year old. A 12 year old who sincerely believes that he only has to buy everyone what they want in order to be the most popular kid in school.

  51. Mike A says:

    Herb:

    After all, if you’re conservative these days, you don’t have to be a Republican. You can be a Blue Dog Democrat. Like Stupak.

    Stupak was a piker – a man who, being neither principled or resolute, didn’t know what he really stood for and therefore stood for nothing in the end. No conservative, he.

    Forget about Republicans – the new gorilla in the room is the real majority of Americans who define themselves as conservative in thought and deed. The problem that the left has now is that the social conservatives and the economic conservatives (not always one in the same) have found a common unifying cause – to keep the America that they believe in.

    There is a particular core to the American spirit that is always poised to resist at even the whiff of the iron fist. Even the liberals have this in their blood, as evidenced by the anti-establishment movement of the 60s. Right or wrong, Americans smell something hard and relentless under the velvet words and “intentions” of Obama’s speeches and policies. Particularly the Independants.

    What you see now in the T.E.A. party movement is not going to go away soon. It may even take a number of years to see what it develops into. But the power of the movement will be felt more and more. This is why the left and the left’s media are so desperate to discredit it. One thing is certain – don’t make the mistake of thinking that someone with an “R” after their name will be forgiven for governing irresponsibly either.

  52. Herb says:

    the new gorilla in the room is the real majority of Americans who define themselves as conservative in thought and deed.

    I’m familiar with arguments like this and I reject them out of hand. First…conservatives are no more “real” than liberals. Get that through your head.

    A black kid born in Harlem…
    A Mexican kid born in El Paso…
    A white kid born in Nebraska…
    An Asian kid born in California…

    Every single one of them: authentically American. Even if they’re liberal and vote Democrat.

    Regardless, polls have consistently shown that there are more “conservatives” than “liberals” in this country, yes, that much is true. But there is a big caveat.

    From a 2009 Gallup poll:

    Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal.

    You see that?

    56% of Americans do NOT consider themselves to be conservative. Care to revise your “the real majority of Americans who define themselves as conservative” statement?

    have found a common unifying cause – to keep the America that they believe in.

    I suppose the moderates and liberals do not share this motivation?

    What you see now in the T.E.A. party movement is not going to go away soon.

    Yes…it will. As soon as Republicans take control of the government again, the “T.E.A. party” (it’s an acronym now?) will definitely go away.

    It’s not motivated by a desire to keep government in check. It’s a movement to keep government in Republican hands. You know it, I know it. Everyone knows it.

    Time to be like Ricky Martin and finally admit it.

    One thing is certain – don’t make the mistake of thinking that someone with an “R” after their name will be forgiven for governing irresponsibly either.

    Oh no doubt. Too bad for all the moderates. Where are they going to go?

    Oh yeah…the Democrats. Good luck with your electoral strategy. You’re gonna need it!

  53. Mike A says:

    Herb: you want to lay a little side wager on who controls the House after this November? We’ll put it into an escrow account with strict rules about how the winner will get to withdraw it.. I’m serious as a heart attack…

    This first, and then I’ll address your last post in a little more detail…

  54. Mike A says:

    Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal.

    Your problem is staring you in the face – the “moderates” in the poll are your Independants. The same Independants who now fall approximately 2-1 against Obama. The same Independants who won him the election just a short 18 months ago but are turning their backs on him steadily.

    Herb, the country is polling at 58% approval to repeal ObamaCare right now. And instead of getting a boost from passing the nastiness, the Democrats are polling at the lowest level of approval in history .

    A black kid born in Harlem…
    A Mexican kid born in El Paso…
    A white kid born in Nebraska…
    An Asian kid born in California…

    Every single one of them: authentically American. Even if they’re liberal and vote Democrat.

    Don’t even try to pull that crap with me, Herb. I said the real majority of Americans , not real Americans . Huge difference, you know it, don’t go there…

    It’s not motivated by a desire to keep government in check. It’s a movement to keep government in Republican hands. You know it, I know it. Everyone knows it.

    No Herb, it is about keeping Government in check – really. Maybe this is where liberals are missing it badly about the T.E.A. party.

    Despite what Herr Olbermann, Mathews, and the other Goebbels clones spout, there are an amazing number of Democrats and Libertarians that attend the various rallies throughout the country. You really should attend one and see it for yourself.

    I’ll make no bones about the fact that I would vote for a tepid Republican over a true Liberal any day. But the people are feeling a wee bit betrayed, Herb, and for conservatives that started right at home in the GOP.

    Oh no doubt. Too bad for all the moderates. Where are they going to go?

    They’re already in the process of coming home. These are the Reagan Democrats that went Independant, and are identifying with the T.E.A. party principles more and more all the time.

    As much as you hate to face it, Herb, Reagan’s Silent Majority is back to ruin the Democrats decade once again. Only this time they’re on Medicare and Social Security and twice as upset at Obama as they were at Carter.

  55. Herb says:

    Herb: you want to lay a little side wager on who controls the House after this November?

    Sure. Republicans will pick up seats. Guaranteed. But enough to get a majority? That remains to be seen.

    (Besides…if the Republicans win the House, how are they going to repeal Obamacare without a veto-proof majority in the Senate? I think you’re setting the bar intentionally low. Is the goal a Republican majority in the House…or is it the repeal of Obamacare?)

    the “moderates” in the poll are your Independants. The same Independants who now fall approximately 2-1 against Obama.

    It’s a huge mistake to think that Independents agree with you. Besides…I think you pulled that “2-1” number out of someone’s posterior. Here’s the latest Gallup poll.

    It doesn’t break it down independent versus con versus lib, but here’s the sub-headline:

    Latest three-day average shows a decline to 45% approval, 48% disapproval

    A 3% difference! (Which is the margin of error, incidentally.)

    Care to defend your “Independants who now fall approximately 2-1 against Obama” remark with, you know, an actual poll?

    Maybe this is where liberals are missing it badly about the T.E.A. party.

    No, the only thing I’m missing is why you think “tea” is an acronym. Can you explain that? What does it stand for?

    You really should attend one and see it for yourself.

    No thanks. Not really into rallies. I recognize that there are limits to what you can accomplish by holding signs and shouting slogans. The tea parties (excuse me, T.E.A. parties) will come to recognize it too.

    But the people are feeling a wee bit betrayed, Herb, and for conservatives that started right at home in the GOP.

    The people! Listen…there are 300 million people in this country. The number of tea partiers? Significantly less.

    Yet does this stop you from talking about “the real majority?” Of course not!

    Here’s another poll that shows only 28% of US adults are Tea Party sympathizers. 28%! More people believe in ghosts!

    Reagan’s Silent Majority is back to ruin the Democrats decade once again. Only this time they’re on Medicare and Social Security and twice as upset at Obama as they were at Carter.

    Ha! Reagan’s Silent Majority? What a joke.

    Do I have to explain how much the tea partiers are NOT Reagan’s Silent Majority? Nah, Wikipedia will do:

    The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. The term was popularized (though not first used) by U.S. President Richard Nixon in a November 3, 1969 speech, where it referred to those Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not join in the counterculture, and who did not enthusiastically participate in public discourse or the media. Nixon along with many others saw this group as being overshadowed by the more vocal minority.

    In other words, a small vocal minority expressing their opinions publicly at large demonstrations hosted by Fox News personalities DOES NOT QUALIFY as the Silent Majority. Try again.

  56. Grewgills says:

    Mike A,
    What do the T, E, and A stand for?

    a deranged President (” the science is settled”), obsessed with a manufactured crises that threatens the very existence of humanity

    Gore is guilty of using the worst case scenarios in his presentations, but that is about it. I don’t think he has stated at any time that climate change threatens the existence of humanity, though it may threaten the lives of some humans.
    Given what you have said on the topic to this point, it appears that you believe near 90% of all climate scientists are ‘deranged’, as are ~80% of all scientists, most leaders of developed nations, and most of the citizens of those developed nations. Do you really believe that or is hyperbole getting the better of you?

  57. Grewgills says:

    you want to lay a little side wager on who controls the House after this November

    Let’s expand it to House and Senate and I’ll bet with you.

  58. Mike A says:

    Herb:

    57 against to 29 for Obama

    (Sorry, couldn’t get the full link to present properly. But you should be able to find it no problem by doing a search)

    http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/US100201/Obama/

    I’ve no doubt you will dismiss this out of hand, but the point is that I certainly did NOT pull the 2 -1 number out of my posterior.

    T.E.A. stands for Taxed Enough Already – always had stood for that and always will. Go back to early video of the gatherings.

    Here’s another poll that shows only 28% of US adults are Tea Party sympathizers. 28%! More people believe in ghosts!

    Gee, only a year old and already 28% of adult Americans sympathize with the movement. That’s 8% more than describe themselves as Liberal, according to your own numbers!

    I guess that, according to your position, more people believe in T.E.A. parties than believe in Liberals. Hmmmm – do ya’ think that Americans look at Obama as being a Liberal..?

    In other words, a small vocal minority expressing their opinions publicly at large demonstrations hosted by Fox News personalities DOES NOT QUALIFY as the Silent Majority. Try again.

    1. The Silent Majority, by definition, does not refer to a vocal group – obviously.

    2. The Silent Majority ain’t quite so silent anymore (watch video of the AARP meetings last fall re: healthcare, and look at the makeup of the rally attendees)

    3. A “vocal minority” until you get, what, 51% of ALL Americans? That’s not the way influence or momentum works in populist movements – It’s almost 30% Herb, even according to your own numbers. Almost 1/3 of the adults in the country Herb. Herb, do you hear footsteps ?

  59. Mike A says:

    Grewgills:

    You provide your own answer in your post.

    Gore is guilty of using the worst case scenarios in his presentations, but that is about it. I don’t think he has stated at any time that climate change threatens the existence of humanity

    [emphasis added]

    What ever happened to the term “Global Warming?” You know that term was so popular until an obscure place called East Anglia became a household word. Along with terms like “the Medieval Warming Period” and “hide the decline” .

    Are you seriously making the claim that almost 90% of climate scientists still believe in scientific proof of AGW ? Or are you going to fess up and qualify your statements as being related to the blandly generic term climate change, which is not at ALL the same thing…?

  60. Grewgills says:

    What ever happened to the term “Global Warming?”

    It was largely replaced by the more comprehensive and therefor more accurate term global climate change. Increasing global mean temperature is one aspect of global climate change. Increasing global mean temperature has other effects including altering rainfall patterns. Additionally increasing global mean temperature does not mean that all areas of the globe will warm, some pockets may in fact cool.
    The only conspiracy here is by scientists to be more precise in their language.

    You provide your own answer in your post.

    Highlighting the term climate change does not answer the question I posed to you.

    long with terms like “the Medieval Warming Period”

    The Medieval warm period was not a global phenomenon, although some have misrepresented it as such.

    Are you seriously making the claim that almost 90% of climate scientists still believe in scientific proof of AGW ?

    Better than 90% of climate scientists think that there is sufficient evidence of global climate change (including increasing global mean temperature) to say that it is happening. Strong majorities of climate scientists and scientists in general think there is sufficient evidence to say that anthropogenic causation is the most likely explanation for current trends.

    blandly generic term climate change, which is not at ALL the same thing

    Do you really believe that when scientists discuss global climate change that they are not talking about a phenomenon that includes increasing global mean temperature?

    Re: Gore
    His statements typically followed the form:
    We could see sea levels rise by as much as __. (fill in current current worst case scenario from the scientific literature).

    Once again Mike, do you stand by your position that would label a sizable majority of all scientists, the leaders of most of our allies, and the populace of most of our allies ‘deranged’?

  61. Mike A says:

    Grewgills:

    I’ve said it before here and I will say it again – Gore is like a rabid dog, obsessed with global armageddon. You give him a wink and a nod, conveniently down-grading his misrepresentations and gross distortions of fact to some innocent tendency to exaggeration.

    There is absolutely no, repeat no, demonstrable, and VERIFIABLE evidence that man is responsible for any warming trends over the period of time covered by the”hockey stick” graph.

    PROVE me wrong… and please leave the IPCC out of any offerings you present. Their integrity is, shall we say… a bit suspect.

    Tracking data shows that variations in CO2 levels are more likely, in fact, to be associated with changes in solar activity. Unlike the fabricated evidence championed by Al “the science is settled” Gore, the solar activity graph truly aligns itself nicely with the C02 and temperature variations over time.

    So, you are changing the argument and point. You know as well as I do what Al Gore was spewing and skewing with his “documentary.” An inconvenient truth for him…

    To answer your question, even though it is deceptively phrased, yes; if these touted climate scientist agree with the fairy tale promoted by Al Gore, (do you REALLY want me to get into quoting his utterly ridiculous predictions?), then yes I am calling them deranged.

    But it’s a moot point because the scientists you reference don’t believe the “peer reviewed” data anymore either. I’m not in disagreement with them, just you and Al Gore.

    If, on the other hand, you want retreat to the generic climate change reference as you have already begun to do, then I’m not going to quibble over whether putting in a lot of concrete around the city of Houston may have increased the local temps a bit on average.

    The Medieval warm period was not a global phenomenon, although some have misrepresented it as such.

    You have no objective proof for this, and I can just as easily say that, for example, it certainly was global.

    After all, there is a reason that the frozen island up yonder was named “Greenland.” Because when the Norse discovered it, it was, you know, green. As in not frozen.

  62. Grewgills says:

    You have no objective proof for this, and I can just as easily say that, for example, it certainly was global.

    Tracking data shows that variations in CO2 levels are more likely, in fact, to be associated with changes in solar activity.

    etc.

    I could offer you a raft of peer reviewed research including multiple reconstructions of global temps. All of them show no increase in global mean temperature during the Medieval warm period and all of them show unprecedented warming beginning last century. I could supply you with multiple peer reviewed articles showing that global mean temperature ceased tracking with solar irradiance in the latter half of the last century. I can even present you with evidence that Lassen who (with Christensen) came up with this theory concedes that it does not fully account for the current trend and has conceded that the current trend is likely due to greenhouse warming. Let’s be honest though. Nothing I present will constitute ‘proof’ for you. No matter how many peer reviewed articles I reference showing that your points are wrong you will either just make something up or will reference a crank that has put something up on the internet with no verification of rigor whatsoever.

    But it’s a moot point because the scientists you reference don’t believe the “peer reviewed” data anymore either.

    The latest polling I have seen is from Doran and Zimmerman (2009) and it indicates what I have said. Their results are similar to results from earlier polling. A review of the peer reviewed literature shows a similar trend. Do you have something more recent that backs up your assertion or are you just making things up?

  63. Mike A says:

    Some. Very. Simple. Questions. Peer reviewed by whom? Reconstructed using which computer model? Do they use the poisoned data, or articles drawing conclusions from that data, or sources of evidence that are independantly verifiable? If the research is free of this bias, please cite specifically.

    Don’t waste my time on this please, with references to magic tree rings from a cherry picked sample, or ocean level sensors drawn from a single location, or tracking stations in a metropolitan area that don’t even meet the criteria for inclusion in the data.

    I have made nothing up so far, so I find it curious that you assume I will take that tact. Forgive me, but after the fiasco of EAU and death of the scientific method for testing data, the burden of proof is on the supporters of AGW, not the detractors.

  64. Grewgills says:

    Peer reviewed by whom?

    The editors of “Science”, “Nature”, and various other relevant publications.

    Reconstructed using which computer model?

    A variety of them including GISS model E.

    Do they use the poisoned data, or articles drawing conclusions from that data, or sources of evidence that are independantly verifiable?

    The data for GISS model E is available for free download at the NASA GISS website. The data for the others indicate their source and the data is generally available for download.

    I have made nothing up so far, so I find it curious that you assume I will take that tact.

    You made up this

    But it’s a moot point because the scientists you reference don’t believe the “peer reviewed” data anymore either.

  65. Mike A says:

    Grewgills:

    I have just finished the paper published in 1991 by Lasson and Christian. It seems to be pretty emphatic about the correlations between solar activity and temperatures:

    Taking these variations into consideration, the comparison between the temperature record and the solar activity indicates a good association between the long-term variations in the temperature and in the solar cycle length record, although the coincidence may be less obvious during the pre-instrumental period than for the modern instrumental record.

    I see no evidence that indicates they had any doubts. At this point, you appear to have misled me regarding their confidence in the data and its significance…

  66. Mike A says:

    You made up this

    But it’s a moot point because the scientists you reference don’t believe the “peer reviewed” data anymore either.

    Are you saying that scientists believe the peer review process undergone at Science and Nature for AGW “proof” was pure and properly conducted? Surely you aren’t making this claim…

    The documentary and anecdotal evidence from contributing scientists themselves contradicts such a claim.

    So, if this is the peer reviewed evidence I referenced, and you know that it is, then we go back to your original statement that 90% of scientists believe the (unverified) data? If that is the case then I will reaffirm my answer and say, yes, they are deranged – only not by deficiency, but by choice.

  67. Grewgills says:

    I have just finished the paper published in 1991 by Lasson and Christian…I see no evidence that indicates they had any doubts.

    1) Its Lassen and Christensen.
    2) You apparently missed his later research with Thejll.
    3) Spoof?

  68. Grewgills says:

    Are you saying that scientists believe the peer review process undergone at Science and Nature for AGW “proof” was pure and properly conducted?Surely you aren’t making this claim…

    Do you have actual evidence to back up your claim that the editorial review process at “Science”, “Nature”, and apparently all of the other upper tier scientific journals were corrupted, or are you just making things up?
    What about the review process at “Journal of Geophysical Research” and “Journal of Solar-Terrestrial Physics”?
    Spoof?

  69. Grewgills says:

    90% of scientists believe the (unverified) data

    The NASA GISS data has been available free online for years.

  70. Matt says:

    I’ve worked with a great number of high school students and nearly all of them claimed to be conservative. The problem is once I began asking for their positions on various policies they generally exhibited a liberal stance on most subjects. The right wing noise machine has done such a good job demonizing the word liberal that a large amount of people who have liberal tendencies believe they are conservative cause “only real Americans are conservative”..