BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus…(read more)
How to Advance Your Ideological Agenda Without Actually Having to Defend Your Ideology: Insist You Don’t Have an IdeologyPosted: September 4, 2014
Obama’s Faux Pragmatism
Or “How to be a Force for Global Unity”
“I mean, who is against policies that work? Who doesn’t care about what’s best for the country? According to the president, the answer is always clear: Anyone who disagrees with him.”
Jonah Goldberg writes:
“…Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with being ideological. I do it every day. What sticks in my craw is lying about it to yourself or to the country. Insisting that you don’t have an ideology is a great way to advance your ideological agenda without actually having to defend your ideology. That’s why president Obama loves to say that he only cares about “what works” and what’s best for the country. I mean, who is against policies that work? Who doesn’t care about what’s best for the country? According to the president, the answer is always clear: Anyone who disagrees with him.
Nearly six years since he took office, the shtick is getting old. But if you want to keep insisting that Obama’s policies on health care, immigration, taxes, and foreign policy have nothing to do with an ideological or political agenda, well, bless your little heart.
More to the point, what has this “non-ideological” foreign policy gotten us? Despite enjoying more global goodwill than any newly elected U.S. president in modern history, Obama has overseen a shocking decline in America’s standing in the world. Everyone is mad at, or disappointed in, the United States.
Indeed, it is in this regard alone that Obama has made good on his repeated vows to be a force for global unity…(read more)
[VIDEO] Jonah Goldberg Drops the F-Bomb: ‘Whiff of Fascism’ to Obama Questioning Companies’ ‘Economic Patriotism’Posted: August 6, 2014
I had this on in the background when Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg were discussing this, and Jonah’s invocation of the F-word made me stop what I was doing and pay attention. Jonah’s scholarship on the history of fascism–history of political ideologies in general–makes his comments more interesting and relevant. It’s not a word he’d use casually. It’s an unsettling, and I think, accurate observation.
Whenever the president talks about himself, flip it so he’s saying the opposite
For Review Online, Jonah Goldberg writes: I think I’ve stumbled onto a handy heuristic — or, if that word makes you want to smash my guitar on the Delta House wall, rule of thumb — for listening to Obama. Whenever he talks about himself, immediately flip it around so he’s saying the opposite. Think about it. “I’m not interested in photo-ops.” Boom. Translation: “I think photo-ops are really, really important. And that’s why I’m not going to have my picture taken with a bunch kids at the border.”
“When he says he doesn’t care about ‘politics,’ just problem-solving, what he’s really saying is he wants his political agenda to go unchallenged by other political agendas.”
Now, sometimes, a literal reversal of meaning doesn’t work. But the key is to look at any statement he offers about others as an insight into his own mental state.
When Obama denounces cynicism, he’s actually being cynical. What he’s doing is expressing his frustration with people who are justifiably cynical about him. Why can’t you people fall for what I am saying!?
“…whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem.”
And — as I wrote about at great length here — whenever he says ideology and ideologues are a problem, what he’s actually saying is that competing ideologues and ideologies are the problem. That is, unless, you’re the sort of person who actually thinks Obama isn’t an ideologue, which is just adorable. Read the rest of this entry »
For Ricochet, Jon Gabriel writes: The Ouroboros is an ancient image showing a large serpent consuming its own tail. Venerated by Greeks, Egyptians and Norsemen of yore, it serves as an apt metaphor for modern American liberalism.
The Democratic coalition was largely built on grievance politics. For decades, progressive leaders divided Americans into subgroups based on race, gender, class, age and sexual orientation. Political leaders were the first to stoke this fire, but educators soon joined in, as did the media, NGOs, big business and popular culture.
This coordinated strategy finally bore fruit with the arrival of the Obama era. Democrats had finally convinced the majority of American voters that Republicans are rich, old, white males who couldn’t possibly care about the poor, the young, women or non-whites.
As President Obama assumed power, his Alinskyite past served as the template for a renewed politics of envy, personal grievance and payback. The One Percent must be punished for their wealth. Traditional marriage supporters are hateful bigots on the wrong side of history. Mitt Romney gave old women cancer and locked the younger ones in binders. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” and “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
As one blogger notes, “Barack Obama thinks his job is to lead the mob, not the country.”
Ed Rogers writes: There are reports that President Obama has turned introspective lately and that he has been more reflective than usual. In this post I will attempt to reflect on his new reflectiveness. After all, readers will need to take naps after all the holiday feasting. I hope this helps.
The president said something recently that I believe was interesting and underreported. At a Democratic campaign fundraiser, the president said he was “not a particularly ideological person.” Assuming he meant it, that was a remarkable thing to say, given that Republicans think of him as a classic liberal ideologue. How did so many get the wrong idea? The president doesn’t see an ideological bent in his actions; he sees himself doing what needs to be done without any ideological motivation. Interesting.
During his brief time in the Senate, Obama was rated as the most liberal senator in the entire body in 2007. In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama famously told Joe the plumber that he was going to raise taxes because “when you spread the wealth, it’s good for everybody.” What could be more ideological than wealth redistribution? What is Obamacare if not an ideological drive for government control and wealth redistribution? And let’s not forget that the president pursues pointless – some say punitive – environmental policies meant to shape Americans’ lifestyles in furtherance of the ideological embrace of liberal global warming orthodoxy.
Not all scientists agree that global warming is man-made. Nearly half of meteorologists and atmospheric science experts don’t believe that human activities are the driving force behind global warming, according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society.
The survey of AMS members found that while 52 percent of American Meteorological Society members believe climate change is occurring and mostly human-induced, 48 percent of members do not believe in man-made global warming.
Furthermore, the survey found that scientists who professed “liberal political views” were much more likely to believe in the theory of man-made global warming than those who without liberal views.
“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.” ― Charles Baudelaire
The most comforting of self-serving lies liberals tell themselves made a spectacular appearance last weekend as Obama lovingly invoked the ghost of progressive past by honoring its most enduring myth: “we’re pragmatic, non-ideological realists” (it’s the other guys who are blinded by ideology). When the president himself breathes stale air into the emptiest of clichés–“I’m not a particularly ideological person”–as he did at a fundraiser in Seattle, it makes news.
Author and NRO Editor-at-Large Jonah Goldberg‘s inbox and twitter feed must light up like a Christmas tree each time this happens. Mr. Goldberg should get a royalty check every time this fairy tale is circulated by prominent Democrats. And he should get a dozen roses, a keg of beer, and a bump in his Amazon rankings every time it’s spoken by the Commander-in-Chief.
This isn’t meant to be a micro-review of Tyranny of Clichés, but I figure if the president can promote NRO authors, so can I. It’s one of the more satisfying books I read this year. To anyone who might not normally read political history books, or hasn’t really read conservative authors, out of concern it might be too inflamed, pedantic, politically loaded, or dull, I’d recommend it this way: If Conservative Think Tanks had rec rooms with flat-screen TVs, margaritas, bowls of peanuts, pinball machines, electric guitars, and drum kits, then this book would be that Think Tank’s founding scripture. Okay, that’s my review. Now, here’s Jonah, from today’s edition of The Corner:
Every couple days someone jokes to me that Obama is proving the prescience of my first book. But I’ve got to say, I more often see him confirming my second (not that the two charges are mutually exclusive). From Reuters:
“I’m not a particularly ideological person,” he said, saying pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him.
Now if you read the Tyranny of Clichés, you could easily conclude that the president is simply trolling me. This lie — the lie liberals tell themselves — is the main target of the book and one of my biggest obsessions over the last decade. What’s interesting here is that Obama normally adds another phrase to his insistence that’s he’s a non-ideologue. He’s only concerned with “what works.” From TOC:
President Obama, for instance, is deeply, profoundly, habitually committed to the notion that he’s a pragmatist boldly standing athwart ideology. He’s interested in results, not mere labels. “My interest is finding something that works,” he told 60 Minutes at the beginning of his administration. “And whether it’s coming from FDR or it’s coming from Ronald Reagan, if the idea is right for the times then we’re gonna [sic] apply it. And things that don’t work, we’re gonna get rid of.” One finds in The Audacity of Hope numerous assaults on the evils of ideology—indeed “any tyrannical consistency”—that drives people away from the humility of pragmatism. And, of course, here he is in his inaugural address:
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.
This is Obama’s standard refrain, and his biggest defenders routinely repeat it back, almost as if they think it’s actually true. During the intense debt-ceiling negotiations in July and August 2011, Obama would claim incessantly that Republicans were “constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions,” while he was a compromiser and a pragmatist. This dichotomy of ideology versus pragmatism in which he casts himself as the disciple of cool reason and common sense and his opponents as blinkered ideologues is a fiction. It is part lie he tells us and part lie he tells himself.
Saying he only cares about “what works” at this point in his presidency is more of a problem given that his signature achievement, you know, doesn’t.