Sunday, March 02, 2008

Audacity of Hope 1

The future will likely re-title this tome "The Audacity of Despair,  if there is enough freedom left in America to allow it after this demagogue gets through. He finally defines what he says he means by the title of his book on p 356
"The audacity of hope. That was the best of the American spirit, I thought-having the audacity to believe in spite of all the evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by conflict; the gall to believe despite personal setbacks, the loss of a job or an illness in the family or a childhood mired in poverty, we had some control-and therefore responsibility-over our own fate.

It was that audacity, I thought that joined us as one people."
Whew, after all that talk of "shared values" in the book, there it was, although there was little in the book about personal responsibility and incentives. The book was about government and unions being able to solve just about any ill in the universe. One would think that we could just pass a law that everyone be wealthy, fulfilled, well educated, loved, happy, and have a meaningful life.

For me, the central message of the book was on page 57:
Unfortunately, too often in our national debates we don't even get to the point where we weigh these difficult choices. Instead, we either exaggerate the degree to which policies we don't like impinge on our most sacred values, or play dumb when our own preferred policies conflict with important countervailing values. Conservatives, for instance, tend to bristle when it comes to government interference in the marketplace or their right to bear arms. Yet many of those same conservatives show little or no concern when it comes to government wiretapping without a warrant or government attempts to control people's sexual practices. Conversely, it's easy to get most liberals riled up about government encroachment in freedom of the press or a woman's reproductive freedoms. But if you had a conversation with thise same liberals about the potential costs of regulation to small business owner, you will often draw a blank stare.

In a country as diverse as ours, there will always be passionate arguments about how we draw the line when it comes to government action. This is how democracy works. But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship."
Whew! First of all, it is important to recognize that for all of that text he said precisely NOTHING. He started talking about "facing hard problems", touched on a number of points ... gun rights, wiretapping, abortion, maybe gay marriage (although hard to tell), but took NO POSITION AT ALL! This is "core Obama".

However, my take is he is trying to make subtle points to all. He is telling HUNTERS that they will still have guns, but unfortunately our founding fathers always thought THAT was a GIVEN! The purpose of the right to bear arms is to convince the government that there are points to which they better not push an armed populace. Since he mentions "hunters", the gun control lobby can choose to believe that he is signaling that he may support removal of all guns except those explicitly required to hunt (maybe we can check them out at the local hunting preserve).

On the surface he seems "reasonable" and "moderate" ... he points out faults in both sides, however like most of his writing, the best guess is that is purely a ruse. Are conservatives really in favor of "wiretapping without a warrant"? Nope, in general they are fine with listening in on cell phone calls to known terrorists, which seems pretty different from "wiretapping". Wiretapping is more like warrantless collection of financial data on income, interest and stock sales (which the government does all the time!). Exactly what might he mean by "controlling sexual practices"? gay marriage? Is marriage a "sexual practice"? It used to be a legal arrangement designed to create families, but I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with gay marriage or sexual practices.

Notice his claim that "liberals" get riled up about "freedom of the press". Conservatives don't? In fact, I wonder who would get most riled up about putting the "Fairness Doctrine" back in place? I'm betting it won't be those defenders of press freedom the liberals. I love "reproductive freedoms" ... he of course means abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy. Wow, liberals don't adequately care about the cost of government regulation.

Most chilling of all, a recreational hunter FEELS about his guns as a liberal feels about library books? Uh, this guy is a genius? So the founding fathers found it important to protect the "feelings of recreational hunters" in the CONSTITUTION? I wonder if any conservatives are smart enough to "care about library books"? Apparently not. I guess we are only smart enough to hunt in his mind.

Women feel about abortion as evangelicals feel about worship? I guess that one is more apt from a liberal point of view, as they consider abortion a sacrament - although he misses the point that most evangelicals don't have any sacraments. I suspect he let a little bit of whatever he has that is somewhat like a soul slip through on that one. You can pretty much directly see that he finds an equation with the importance of worship and the importance of abortion to be reasonable in his universe.

His aim is for all the sheep to find him "reasonable". He constantly "covers" both sides (in his own biased way), but in the end you can tell that his real answer is that the farthest left is the "truth". He "sees all views", it is just that the right, business, the founding fathers, and anybody that doesn't agree with Obama is wrong. The only issue is to buy or fool enough votes to make his "truth" the policy of the nation. Sadly, it looks like he is well on his way.

No comments:

Post a Comment