Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ross Douthat of The New York Times needs help defining Barack Obama

Ross Douthat of the New York Times is having a hard time defining our president.

Here's Ross: "Every presidency is the subject of competing caricatures. But almost a year into his first term, there’s something particularly elusive about Barack Obama’s political identity. He’s a bipartisan bridge-builder — unless he’s a polarizing ideologue."

Somewhere or another, I missed the bipartisan-bridge-builder part, but let's keep going.

He’s a crypto-Marxist radical — except when he’s a pawn of corporate interests.

Agreed, with one caveat: Ross, do you know what you call crypto-Marxist radicals who are pawns of corporate interests ???? You don't ??? Be patient. All will be explained in due time.

He's a post-American utopian - or else he's a willing tool of the national security state.

While Obama is doing his dead-level best to bring about an extremely post-American century, I'm going to go with the latter option. Look at Gitmo, Afghanistan, rendition, wiretaps, etc. The man is a tool.

The press has churned out a new theory every week, comparing Obama to John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, to George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — to every 20th-century chief executive, it often seems, save poor, dull Gerald Ford. But none of the analogies have stuck. We’re well into the Obama era, but neither his allies nor his enemies can quite get a fix on exactly what our 44th president really represents.

I don't know why Mainstream Media Typists find this so difficult to say.

It isn't difficult. Barack Obama is a fascist. This is from the Library Of Economics And Liberty:

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.)

Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions."

Not a perfect fit, but it shoulda been close enough for Ross Douthat to slap himself in the forehead and start wondering if Obama will take over the newspapers.

The Obama As Fascist pics came from here and here and here and here and here.


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

I'v said it 100X myself... both W and Obama are Fascists, with Obama having a little more (just a little) more socialist leanings. Just because 'our guy' doesn't wear a super awesome uniform with tons of gold braid doesn't mean he's not a fascist.

Fascism is simply: Concentrated Executive Powers (check); Corporatism (Gov sponsored/owned public/private enterprises); and strong National Unity and Identity with aggressive foreign policy posture (check)...

Obama, W... same thing,just different methods of killing the country.

Dr Ralph said...

Given that it was pulled from a site funded by a Libertarian think tank, I'd say your definition of fascism was more than a little skewed.

While I know you don't see it this way, this sort of shit makes you appear increasingly like part of the lunatic fringe, no matter now much your coreligionists love it.

But then that's the beauty of the internet, isn't it?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Unless I'm mistaken, that particular definition was in place long before our President decided to take over the auto industry, the health industry, the Wall Street bailout, the Donor Stimulus Plan, etc etc etc. I think if you look at it objectively, and look at the numbers and actions, rather than the rhetoric, one has to conclude that the man is a fascist.

There is one area though, where the comparison doesn't hold up. I don't think anyone will ever look admiringly at Obama and say "Wow. He made the trains run on time."

Dr Ralph said...

The precise definition of fascism (as you are no doubt aware) is one few scholars agree on.

The one you're attempting to foist off as reality was written by Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation (which brings to mind Cedric's statement "any silly person can set up a blog site with an officious sounding name"). Hardly what I'd consider authoritative. Among the other fringe ideas Mr. Richman pushes is the complete abolition of public schooling.

Mr. Richman notably omits one of the key elements used by other writers to identify fascism: militant nationalism. Obama may have many failings, but I'd say that's not one of them.

Richman also fails to mention the the other factor most writers mention, authoritarianism. I know you'd love to paint him with that brush, but watching the cluster fuck that has been the healthcare reform debate, I'd have to say if Obama's an authoritarian he's the most half-assed one I've ever seen.

So forgive me if I don't buy Richman's (and your) definition of fascism. Throwing the term "fascist" around like you've chosen to cheapens the term and is no more than playground name-calling.

Finally, as an aside, you may not be aware that Ludwig von Mises, the Libertarian Prophet from whom Richman undoubtable cribbed for his definition, wrote in the 1927:

"It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history."

And Libertarians wonder why they are a fringe party...

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Well, I will say this... I agree with Dr. Trotsky that we have to reframe our argument. Rather than a 'Why they suck' platform, we need a 'Why your life will improve under Libertarian Policies'. A "NOW" column and a "Under Libertarianism" column...

kinda sumpin like that. Yelling out FASCIST! isn't all that helpful - and would've been a little more applicable in Administration's past. I didn't get my information from any website you mentioned. I can't even remember!! MAYBE EVEN REMEMBERED IT FROM SCHOOL!!!

But the planes aren't running on time either, per TWS's previous post.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Ok, let's try the Wikipedia definition. Maybe a mass-produced one will be more to everyone's liking:

Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a political ideology that seeks to combine radical and authoritarian nationalism with a corporatist economic system, and which is usually considered to be on the far right of the traditional left-right political spectrum.

Economic nationalism? Check.
Corporatist economic system? Check.

I'm a libertarian.
Bernie Sanders of Vermont is a socialist.
Bill Gates is a capitalist.
Mike Huckabee is a theocrat.

Barack Obama is an economic protectionist, a protector of oligopolies, and he funnels wealth and authority to the corporate classes. He's expanding, not diminishing, our military adventure overseas. He's not a social democrat, he's not a liberal (in the classical or perverted sense of the word), he's not a socialist, conservative, or a communist.

Judged by his deeds, not his words, Barack Obama is a fascist.

I'm not saying it as an insult. There are millions of people, many on the far right of the political spectrum, who think the Wall Street bailout was a great idea. Ditto for the G.M. and Chrysler bailouts. Ditto for TARP, and the Donor Stimulus Rewards program (almost all corporate). Ditto for the tariff on Chinese tires. Ditto for the provisions in the Porkulus Transfer To Corporate America that mandated U.S. Steel ONLY in road construction.

There is a name for this type of behavior, and it ain't communisim, socialism, Marxism, or even Crony Capitalism.

It's fascism. Why do people have difficulty with this distinction?

Palerider182 said...

It's fascism. Why do people have difficulty with this distinction?

Fascism has been used as an insult by far-left fanatics and anti-whites for a long time. It's a mindless attack rather than a reasonable word to define reasonable people.
What is true fascism?
The word fascism needs to be re-examined and understood better.

Reasonable people love their country and want to take it back from those that have stolen it.
It is all about justice and standing up to the terrorists and their UN backers to send them back to their own countries.

Glen Beck is a clear example.
He had the courage to call out Obama for being a rascist (which he is) and for hating white culture (which he does).
So what does the media do?
They brand him a "fascist", like it's some kind of a slur.
Yet nobody adresses the elephant it the room.
White culture is under attack.
A black being a racist! The mainstream liberal media can't accept it.
Yet non-white racism and non-white hate are real.
Defending white culture and civilization is patriotic.

There's a lot of monkey games in the White House, it's time real people put a stop to them.

Dr Ralph said...

First Obama was a "socialist," now he's a "fascist."

What next: a militant vegetarian?

This would be sad if it weren't so silly. These POOMA re-writes of word definitions are becoming more and more far-fetched.

"Radical and authoritarian nationalism" is not the same as "economic nationalism" (which is, I gather, your new made-up term for protectionism).

And our "corporatist economic system" certainly didn't arise full-blown in January 2009. And frankly, the "corporatist economic system" is the logical evolutionary outcome of completely laissez-faire economics of which your and your co-religionists are so fond of.

I realize you will be ready with a clever response but I doubt I'll reply. It's a little like arguing with a fundamentalist and ultimately as pointless.

By the way, I think you've finally reached your core audience.