Friday, February 22, 2008

Let's Get the Politics Out of the Way...

Didja watch the Dim Dem debate last night? Me, neither. If not, then Jules Crittenden provides a valuable service by posting an extensive excerpt from the debate transcript, with helpful translation of the non-English bits, of which there must have been more than a few. Sample:

RAMOS: (SPEAKING SPANISH) Right now, there are more than 30 million people in this country who speak Spanish.


(SPEAKING ENGLISH) Muchos de ellos estan aquí. Por el año 2050, habrá 120 millones de hispanos en los Estados Unidos. Ahora, hay cualquier desventaja, senador Clinton, a convertirse de Estados Unidos (SPEAKING SPANISH) becoming a bilingual nation? Is there a limit?

Hill: (SPEAKING SPANISH) No. (SPEAKING ENGLISH) ¿Dije eso correctamente? Mi experiencia extensa no incluye ninguna otra idiomas. Quisiera decir esto claramente… Yes.

Obama: (SPEAKING ELECTISH) US out of Babylon. Babel aqui. Pero en Los Estados Unidos, everyone must learn English.

RAMOS: (SPEAKING ENGLISH) Porque el imperialismo del Yanquis es muy importante: Cuál de usted está preparado lo más menos posible para ser presidente?

Hill: (SPEAKING NONSENSE) Married to a president = being president. Mi marido era un gran enabler del al Qaeda y estaré también.

Obama: (SPEAKING XEROX) Together we can convince ourselves that all we have to do is fight in Afghanistan. (BABELING INCOHERENTLY) As commander in chief, I would prefer politically correct conflicts. My experience with matters of national security in the Illinois State Senate are a good indicator of what I would do as president. I’m sorry, do I have to say that in English? Juntos podemos convencernos que de que todos lo que tenemos que hacer es luchar en Afganistán. Como comandante en jefe, preferiría político conflictos correctos. Mi experiencia con las materias de la seguridad nacional en el senado del estado de Illinois es un buen indicador de lo que haría como presidente.

Go. Really. And put your coffee cup down before you read, coz keyboards are expensive. Oh, and that Obama “speaking Xerox” bit? Explanation here, if you absolutely must. Taylor Marsh seems to think that was Her Hillaryness’es Line of the Night, Captain Ed less so.

As for me… I hope Hill gained some ground last night. The best of all possible worlds would be to watch those two go into the convention with their delegate counts dead-locked. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch, Gentle Reader?

::rubs his hands together in a Rovian expression of glee::


Speaking of Her Hillaryness and the Obamanon… a correspondent forwarded this to me yesterday. It’s an AP photo, with the following caption:

A float featuring effigies of US Democratic presidential candidates, New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama makes its way through the streets during the "Rose Monday" carnival parade in the western German city of Duesseldorf.

Cute, eh? Pretty damned accurate, too.


One more thing about The Obamanon, and then I’ll go look for more worthy blog-fodder. From Kathleen Parker, in a column (“The Ecstasy of Barack”) published at

So what is the source of this infatuation with Obama? How to explain the hysteria? The religious fervor? The devotion? The weeping and fainting and utter euphoria surrounding a candidate who had the audacity to run for leader of the free world on a platform of mere hope?

If anthropologists made predictions the way meteorologists do, they might have anticipated Obama's astronomical rise to supernova status in 2008 of the Common Era. Consider the cultural coordinates, and Obama's intersection with history becomes almost inevitable.

To play weatherman for a moment, he is a perfect storm of the culture of narcissism, the cult of celebrity, and a secular society in which fathers (both the holy and the secular) have been increasingly marginalized from the lives of a generation of young Americans.

That’s a good beginning, nu? There’s more where that came from… and, like…whoa!

Added, 1030 hrs: After you read Parker (assuming you will), go read Peggy Noonan in today's WSJ. Ms. Noonan writes in the same vein, but a bit better and more "on point," IMHO. Excerpt:

Mr. Obama did not really have a good week, in spite of winning a primary and a caucus, and both resoundingly. I don't refer to charges that he'd plagiarized words from a Deval Patrick speech. He borrowed an argument that was in itself obvious--words matter--and used words in the public sphere. In any case Mrs. Clinton has lifted so many phrases and approaches from Mr. Obama, and other candidates, that her accusation was like the neighborhood kleptomaniac running through the street crying, "Thief! Thief!"

His problem was, is, his wife's words, not his, the speech in which she said that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of her country, because Obama is winning. She later repeated it, then tried to explain it, saying of course she loves her country. But damage was done. Why? Because her statement focused attention on what I suspect are some basic and elementary questions that were starting to bubble out there anyway.

* * *

Here are a few of them.

Are the Obamas, at bottom, snobs? Do they understand America? Are they of it? Did anyone at their Ivy League universities school them in why one should love America? Do they confuse patriotism with nationalism, or nativism? Are they more inspired by abstractions like "international justice" than by old visions of America as the city on a hill, which is how John Winthrop saw it, and Ronald Reagan and JFK spoke of it?

Have they been, throughout their adulthood, so pampered and praised--so raised in the liberal cocoon--that they are essentially unaware of what and how normal Americans think? And are they, in this, like those cosseted yuppies, the Clintons?

Great good stuff that. I generally like Ms. Noonan, but she's hit this one out of the park.

Added again, or, Still more... this time it's Gerard Baker, writing in The Times (UK) (“Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger?)

It (ed: Michelle Obama's comments about "being proud of my country for the first time in my adult life.") was instructive for two reasons. First, it reinforced the growing sense of unease that even some Obama supporters have felt about the increasingly messianic nature of the candidate's campaign. There's always been a Second Coming quality about Mr Obama's rhetoric. The claim that his electoral successes in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin might transcend all that America has achieved in its history can only add to that worry.

Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect it reveals much about what the Obama family really thinks about the kind of nation that America is. Mrs Obama is surely not alone in thinking not very much about what America has been or done in the past quarter century or more. In fact, it is a trope of the left wing of the Democratic party that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place.

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

This stuff just seems to be pouring out of the woodwork today, to mix a metaphor. And it's about past time, too.


  1. Those Germans are RACISTS!!!!

    How DARE they compare a black man to a dog!!

  2. Clinton? Obama? You've got to be kidding.
    Neither of them have the welfare of America nor Americans at heart. A candidate who does? Ron Paul.
    I think mike is being facetious. He must be. In that case, giggle.

  3. That picture is HILARIOUS! And you are right fairly accurate. The Obamas do not know the meaning of patriotism. It will be a very sad day on our country if Obama is elected.

  4. Cat sez: I think mike is being facetious. He must be. In that case, giggle.

    He is, Cat. And a good bit of facetiousness it was, too. Now about Ron Paul... ;-)

    Ashley: I'm glad someone else got a kick out of the pic besides me!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.