Last gasps from the Left *UPDATED*

This weekend, I was at a block party, and the talk got around to the fact that, thanks to the internet, our children leave a trail a mile long.  They’ve got posts and pictures up at Facebook or MySpace, and videos all over YouTube.  Whether they’re applying for a job or college, a quick check on a search engine will quickly reveal if they’re the kid clutching the bong or the encyclopedia.  The whole notion of the past being past is pretty much a dead letter for this connected generation.

This was certainly an interesting and appropriate conversation for a group of parents presiding over raising kids between 3 and 13.  What was most interesting was the explosive outcry from one dad:  “If only they’d had this when George Bush was young.  We could have saved ourselves.”  Even avowed liberals looked a little confused about this one.  Nobody called the dad on the fact that Bush freely acknowledged his wild past, one that he had definitively put behind him by the time he ran for the White House.  It also seemed a little silly to mention that Bush has been gone for almost two years.

Suddenly arriving stampedes of kids turned the conversation very quickly, so any opportunities for follow-up ended.  I wonder, though, if I was the only one there who thought that, if it comes to a missing history, Obama has them all beat.  All we know about him is what is written in his hagiographic autobiography (you know, the one Bill Ayers ghost wrote for him).  Everything else is a mystery.  It would have been nice to have a few MySpace or YouTube moments of our current president.

In any event, I mention this whole incident just to show that, Bush may be gone, but he’s not forgotten.  Long after he’s left the White House, and in the face of ever escalating Obama-Caused Disasters, Bush remains the focus of unrelenting hatred.  Even on the Leno show, a few gentle jokes about Obama are quickly pushed aside in favor of fairly savage attacks on Bush.  I guess Leno’s afraid his band will think he’s racist if he includes personal attacks on the White House’s current occupant.

UPDATE:  Here’s a convincing argument for the fact that it is Obama who will ultimately end up being a much hated president — although his blackness may mean that this hatred is kept covert (i.e., never on the Leno show), for fear of being called a racist.

Beheading Obama

On the right side of the blogosphere, we have often discussed the fact that, during the Bush years, the Left indulged in gory fantasies of George Bush being shot or beheaded.  In the interest of fairness, it behooves me to point out that some on the Left indulge in similar fantasies when it comes to Barack Obama, a man (God?) they believe has failed them.  At least when it comes to beheadings, the Islamists and the extreme Leftists are definitely fellow travelers.

Two presidents in their milieus — and how photos can lie *UPDATED/CORRECTED*

Presidents get photographed hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of time.  Each photograph captures a mere moment.  Some are flattering; some less so.  Many, however, go on to become iconic.

My generation, the 1970s generation, is deeply imprinted with this photo of Richard Nixon flashing the victory sign:

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Then there is this 1932 photograph of FDR, which exemplified the buoyant self-confidence that was so attractive to frightened Americans during a shatteringly deep depression:

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As a counterpoint to Roosevelt’s jaunty assurance, I kind of like this picture of Barack Obama, caught unawares [UPDATE:  FunkyPhD clues me in to something I didn’t know — the photo is a fake.  I’ll keep it here, but add another immediately after of Obama smoking, just to keep the balance.  Incidentally, while the newly added photo is old, the fact is that Obama can’t seem to kick the habit.]:

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Frankly, whether one looks at the doctored photo or the genuine one, each freezes just a moment in time, but both seem to capture so completely the essence of the man (or lack of essence, if you will).

Steve Schippert, who writes at Threats Watch, stumbled across a couple of photos that seem to get to the heart of Bush and Obama, by showing each man in a milieu in which he clearly connects with his audience. The photos make a lovely matched set (and don’t I love those matched sets?) because each is informal and, in each, the President holds a bullhorn, reaching out to his audience.

The first photo shows George Bush, at Ground Zero with rescue workers, shortly after 9/11:

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It is, in its own small way, another iconic moment.  9/11 was the turning point in Bush’s presidency and, for at least 8 years, in America’s relationship with the world.  Bush connected deeply with middle America, the America of people with traditional values and a reverence for American exceptionalism.  This is not a chauvinism that demands the degradation of other nations.  It is simply a recognition that we are what we are — and we like it. And the rest of the world hated Bush for his unreserved love for and protective feelings towards America.

The second photo shows Barack Obama, also with a bullhorn, speaking to adoring multitudes in Kenya:

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He looks so pleased and comfortable.  This crowd that unabashedly loves him.  They don’t care where he was born, they don’t ask about his grades, they aren’t worried about his past associations, they don’t look askance at his slender employment record dotted with promotions that appeared to be due to connections, not merit.  The picture captures perfectly a mindset that the American media sold to American voters in 2008:  Out in the world, away from America, Obama doesn’t have to prove himself.  He just is.  He’s Obama.

But things are never that simple, are they?  As Obama seeks world peace by cuddling up to bad actors in an effort to disarm them (think Chamberlain and Hitler), people of good will around the world are getting worried.  Certainly Poland and the Czech Republic have reason to fear; Israel fears; South Korea fears; everyone within rocket or suitcase range of Iran fears; Venezuela’s neighbors fear — this is a man who prefers the peace of the grave to the hurly-burly of freedom.

The world is realizing that it’s not enough just to “be Obama.”  The cowboy insult bestowed on Bush might have been an unwitting compliment.  After all, it was Bush who was willing to ride into town and, at great risk to himself, clean up the bad guys.

The Kenyan image of Obama is especially ironic, because Africans and other people concerned about Africa are waking up to the fact that it was George Bush, whitest of white presidents, not Barack Obama, sort-of-black poster boy, who was a real friend to that imperiled continent.

Phone messages from crazy people

I was out this morning getting my oil changed — and learning that it will cost almost $2,000 to fix my car from its recent run-in with a low post.  When I got home, I found an interesting message on my answering machine.

It’s the recorded voice of Dennis Kucinich begging me to “Press 1 now” on my phone to be added to the “growing list” of people calling for George Bush’s impeachment.  I don’t know how to tell Kucinich this, but George Bush is leaving office, with or without impeachment, in six months.

Impeachment is, in any event, a dumb idea.  Even though Clinton used the White House as his own private cat house, committed perjury himself, and encouraged others to lie as well, I thought the impeachment against him was vindictive politics that would backfire.  I think the same holds true in this tit-for-tat attempt to dislodge Bush, or just to humiliate him, with the end of his presidency drawing near.

It’s also unusually stupid — and this is saying a lot even for Kucinich — considering the potential fall-out here.  Clinton’s crimes were his own.  In this case, however, any Democrat calling for impeachment should consider the number of Congress people (Democrats included) who had possession of precisely the same information as George Bush, and who were as gung-ho for war as he was.  Any attack on Bush is necessarily going to create a wide-ranging defense that attacks a whole bunch of Congress people as well.  (You know, thinking about it, that’s not such a bad thing, is it?)

I know you are, but what am I?!

I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the comments to my Barack Obama posts lately whenever liberals wander by.  I’ll put up a post pointing out something very specific we’ve learned about Obama, despite his rather thin resume.  I might blog about his relationship with Rezko and the peculiar coincidences of his real estate purchase; or perhaps I’ll note that he’s been friends with some anarcho-terrorists; or I’ll blog about the fact that he doesn’t flip-flop (which implies an actual change in position), but simply has a new position for every audience and every occasion (witness his Jerusalem contortions); or I’ll point to the fact that his church of 20 years was a hate-filled cess pool; or maybe I’ll just point out that this man has less than a thimble-full of real world experience — you know, that kind of stuff.

What invariably happens when I get comments from liberals is that they don’t defend Obama, probably because they can’t.  Everything I blog about is documented.  He was buddies from Rezko and he did pay below market for his house as part of a Rezko related transaction.  He is friends with Ayers and Dohrn, and has sought as mentors many other arch-Communists.  He has stated three different, conflicting positions on Jerusalem.  The only way to reconcile them is to credit him with a sophisticated knowledge of rather arcane Jewish law.

His position on the Iraq War is equally open to criticism (“I was against it before I was against it except for the Surge which I was against even though I support it, but I still would vote for it despite acknowledging that it works and supporting it now. . . .  Uh, no further questions.”)  The Church kerfuffle is as well documented as anything else, and takes pride of place as the first publicity grenade that even a loving media couldn’t keep from blowing up on him.  Lastly, with regard to the experience issue, Obama’s resume speaks for itself.  I wouldn’t vote for him for County dog catcher on that slender a record of practical experience and real world competence.

Faced with the fact that I’ve never said a single untruthful thing about Obama’s failings and ugly baggage, the liberal response is unanimous:  George Bush is worse.  I’m finding this an increasingly peculiar response.

Assuming solely for the sake of argument that everything the liberals say about Bush is true — that he’s dishonest, power hungry, inept, has evil friends and entered the White House without any useful experience — what’s that got to do with Obama as a candidate?  First, Bush is not running in this election.  His day in the presidential sun is over.  With that stark fact it place, it’s clear that comparing the two is like comparing applies and spare tires.  It’s a pointless exercise.

Second, if liberals truly do hate the fact that Bush is dishonest, power hungry and consorts with evil people, and that he entered the White House as a useless neophyte with no practical experience, why in the world are they supporting Obama?  As we’ve already noticed, they never challenge the same substantive attacks against Obama, because they are heavily factually documented and irrefutably true.  This means that, if Bush is a rotten apple, so is Obama.

The smart thing to do, if issues of ineptitude, corruption, and bad friends really bother one, would be to consign both men (Bush and Obama) to the rubbish heap of history and to vote for John McCain.  I think most will concede that, while McCain is less than perfect, there is no trail of slime leading to his door comparable either to the ones liberals have concocted against George Bush or that the indisputable paper and video record shows against Obama.

I have to wrap up with Pee Wee Herman, giving context to this post title:

The lunatics have taken over the asylum

After seeing the insanity unfold before his eyes, a visiting law professor felt compelled to say this:

“I am really astonished at the mood in this room,” commented one witness, George Mason University School of Law professor Jeremy Rabkin.

“The tone of these deliberations is slightly demented,” Rabkin said. “You should all remind yourselves that the rest of the country is not necessarily in this same bubble in which people think it is reasonable to describe the president as if he were Caligula.”

Where was he?  A netroots (or do I mean nutroots?) convention?  A Truthers’ gathering?  A San Francisco party?  A Berkeley tree sit-in?

Nope.  None of the above.

Our professor was sitting at House Judiciary Committee hearing, listening to Democratic Congresspeople and their friends vent their spleen at President Bush.  It wasn’t an impeachment — the Dems aren’t that stupid — but it was almost worse, because it had the trappings of a kangaroo court with the President being tried in absentia:

Leading the way was Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the former Democratic presidential candidate who has brought repeated impeachment resolutions on the House floor against Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Kucinich got a rock star welcome of whistles, hoots and clapping as he walked into the hearing room, holding hands with his wife, from hundreds of anti-war, anti-Bush people crammed into the room and lining the hallways outside. T-shirts reading “Arrest Bush” and “Veterans for Impeachment” illustrated the sentiments of many.

“The decision before us is whether to demand accountability for one of the gravest injustices imaginable,” Kucinich testified, avoiding use of the “I” word.

[snip]

“To the regret of many, this is not an impeachment hearing,” said committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., pointing out the less incendiary title of the event, “executive power and its constitutional limitations.”

Still, Conyers, a vocal opponent of Bush, noted that his panel had pursued many issues that Kucinich and others regard as impeachable offenses: manipulating intelligence about Iraq; misusing authority with regard to torture, detention and rendition; politicizing the Justice Department and retaliating against critics, as in the outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame.

[snip]

“The rules of the House prevent me or any witness from utilizing familiar terms,” Kucinich said. “But we can put two and two together in our minds.”

Former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, known for his prosecution of Charles Manson in 1970, acknowledged that “I am forbidden from accusing him of a crime, or even any dishonorable conduct” under House rules. But he could still encourage people to read his book, “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., was less circumspect in asserting that Bush was “the worst president that our nation has ever suffered.”

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., concluded that “this is the most impeachable administration in the history of America because of the way that it has clearly violated the law.”

Unsurprisingly, the only sane words in this gravitas-free mad house that emanated from an actual elected figure were those voiced by a Republican:

“It seems that we are hosting an anger management class,” said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the committee’s senior Republican. “This hearing will not cause us to impeach the president; it will only serve to impeach Congress’s credibility.”

The tortoise and the hare

You all know Aesop’s class tale of the race between the tortoise and the hare: At the starting gate, the hare picks up so much speed that it soon vanishes completely, while the tortoise plods on behind. Within sight of the finish line, however, when the hare looks backwards and realizes that the tortoise isn’t even in the same time zone, he decides to refresh himself with a little nap. As he sleeps, the tortoise, who has never slowed his steady pace, comes abreast of him, passes him and, before the hare has a chance to regroup, crosses the finish line, winning the race. Aesop’s moral: The race is not always to the swift.

Now tell me if that story doesn’t remind you of the current state of the Presidential race. Hillary and Obama, bickering all the way, were put on the fast track by the MSM. One after the other, each was anointed as the obvious successor to the disastrous George Bush. Neither could fail. Hillary had the unbeatable, overwhelming Clinton machine behind her; Obama had that indefinable charisma liberals lust after. McCain was shunted aside as an irrelevant old man.

Something interesting is happening, though. The bloom quickly faded from Hillary’s rose when the MSM fell in love with Obama. And while the MSM is still in love with Obama, Obama is struggling to deal with his own past. Absent any substantive political record, his associates and acolytes are coming under scrutiny, and it’s not a pretty picture. Whether he courted them or they courted him, they’re locked in an embrace on a pretty unappealing dance floor, and ordinary Americans are looking on Obama as an increasingly less attractive partner for a political romance.

Meanwhile, John McCain plods steadily on. He appears here, he appears there. He makes nice, quiet little speeches. He does what he has to do distance himself from George Bush, because he knows that, if he comes too close, he gets tarred with the BDS brush (or just with the “we’re sick of Bush in the White House after 8 painful years” brush.) As to this distancing, I’m betting that George Bush, being a gentleman, a pragmatist, and a politician, if he spoke with McCain, would say something along the lines of “Do what you have to do to win, Buddy-Boy. It won’t hurt my feelings.”

So, despite the fact that Hillary and Obama hurtled out of the starting gate, and have been helped with big, big pushes from their sycophants in the media, I’m wondering if they’re not going to be forced into something analogous to nap mode as they near the finish line. They’re being shackled by the garbage that’s being dug up about them, as well as by the fact that, under stress, his charm fails and her scolding increases. Meanwhile, McCain just keeps moving forward, slowly, steadily and, perhaps, inexorably.