April 6, 2008

You heard it here first

William Kristol writes in the NY Times in his column "The Shape of the Race to Come:"

More fundamental will be the question of the discrepancy between the image of Obama the uniter and the reality of Obama the liberal. That hasn’t been much of a problem for Obama in the Democratic contest, since Clinton hasn’t attacked from the right or even the center.

But Republicans will. Last week, over drinks, one Republican strategist not affiliated with the McCain campaign mused about how an independent advertising effort against Obama might work. “Barack Obama: He’s not who you think he is” would be the theme. The supporting evidence would come from his left-wing voting record in Illinois and Washington, spiced up with fun video clips of Reverend Wright.

The essential misjudgment that countless people have made about Obama is assuming that being half-white makes him more ideologically moderate. It's an easy assumption to make: if 88% of blacks voted Democratic in 2004 vs. only 41% of whites, then somebody who is half-black and half-white should fall in-between, right? It's simple arithmetic!

In reality, the opposite is true. Somebody who is as white as Obama in upbringing and personality, but as black by avocation and profession, has to constantly prove he's "black enough." Since Obama's a Primarily Political Person, as Michael Blowhard might say, he has to repeatedly prove he's black enough politically.

Obama's basic political psychology isn't at all complicated -- it doesn't take a high degree of empathy or psychological acuity to figure out the basic theme of Obama's life -- but it's remarkable how he got to the point of almost having the Democratic nomination for the White House wrapped up before the press starts to figure it out.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

15 comments:

Lawful Neutral said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - McCain will never allow such "dirty" tactics in his campaign. In fact, if some independent group starts running adds featuring the Reverend, McCain will probably condemn them and ask them to stop.

testing99 said...

Lawful, McCain is a multi-term pol. He didn't get that way by being a nice guy. He has a rep for sticking the knife in. He'll probably disavow some of it, but not all of it. Already Obama is calling McCain a "warmonger" and McCain loves to fight. His whole purpose is fighting. He will definitely go after Obama. [I did not know, McCain had one son in Iraq, another is still there. He's likely to take such stuff personally.]

Obama does not strike me as very smart. Lessee, Blacks make up 12% of the population, he's running on being "Black Enough," ... hmm. /Cartman voice.

It just seems dumb. He's trying to pretend in PA that he's not anti-gun, when he is on the record in favor of confiscating and making possession, sale, and manufacture of all handguns illegal. [A great way to "punish" White gun owners, not so good politically, ask President Al Gore. Who lost TN and the Presidency on just that issue.]

If Henry IV found Paris worth a mass, what does Obama find the Presidency worth? Not much. He's unwilling to bend his eternal push to punish "whitey" and so is likely to lose, and lose massively.

I'm sure Hillary after she loses will toss over the clips of Rev. God Damn America shouting something worse with Obama on camera nodding along. Man was just stupid to be in that Church. Stupid, arrogant, and too much filled with "hate Whitey."

headache said...

I fully agree that Obama's philosophy is really simple. Most black leaders are only in it for power. Blacks are by nature very power-conscious and love the trappings of power. Just look over to Africa, the ridiculous pomp of most leaders there in spite of abject poverty, the total disconnect between the reality of their backward, impoverished countries and their statesmanlike strutting around on the world stage. No sign of Protestant soberness, thrift and responsibility there.

"but it's remarkable how he got to the point of almost having the Democratic nomination for the White House wrapped up before the press starts to figure it out. "

I'm sure the press knows who he is. They do not make intentional detours around his obvious ideological baggage for no reason. They know that if they touch this stuff he is toast. But they are somehow, for inexplicable emotional reasons desperate to get him in. This is the unsolved mystery: why is the press to in the tank for Obama?

FrankTalk said...

McCain is not above playing dirty politics. Remember when he lied about Romney's Iraq position in the Florida primary? His 11th hour antics did irreparable damage as there was no time for Romney to respond and correct the record.

-Frank

Lawful Neutral said...

I dunno, testing99. McCain's got a thing about "dirty" politics, and I guarantee he thinks anything remotely related to race is "dirty." Plus, he wants the press's approval too much to do such a thing.

Look at the prices on tradesports; if you're so sure Obama's going to lose, there's a lot of free money out there for you. Obama's not as stupid as you think; the press love him, and if the Rev. Wright thing actually starts hurting him, he can still repudiate him and win a lot of points. Barring a literal dead body, Obama's already won.

Svigor said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - McCain will never allow such "dirty" tactics in his campaign. In fact, if some independent group starts running adds featuring the Reverend, McCain will probably condemn them and ask them to stop.

Yeah, the Good Cop is, well, the Good Cop. But, he's always got a Bad Cop around when he needs one.

C'mon man, you think the Republicans are going to go easy on Barack (and thus put him into the White House) just because McCain tells them to? Even if he does mean it?

If the Republicans are smart, they're praying for Obama, not Hillary. Obama's dug his own grave a long time ago.

Dedalus said...

"Obama's basic political psychology isn't at all complicated -- it doesn't take a high degree of empathy or psychological acuity to figure out the basic theme of Obama's life -- but it's remarkable how he got to the point of almost having the Democratic nomination for the White House wrapped up before the press starts to figure it out."

I like this paragraph. I like the way it starts and ends. If it doesn't take much to figure out Obama then exactly why is it so remarkable he's come this far?

It’s because Amreicans are so shallow and want something for nothing. They don’t want recovery, that’s too painful, they want more Codependency under a new disguise which they will call recovery. Politically this translates into Polarization. The Left and Right are intellectually bankrupt and have been for some time. But to remedy that problem would require things like “transcendence” and “alienation” and a major transformation of consciousness, and well, what a mess, who has got time for that? Better to just reinforce the Old Order and protect ourselves by practicing the same old immature ridicule and ignorant sarcasm against anyone who disagrees and points us in another direction. This is the reason Noam Chomsky is a household name and no one in America knows who Morse Peckham is.
By the same token, they don't want unity, they want conformity, which they will simply dub "unity." Why do you think the MSM has worked so hard to railroad Hillary and stack the deck against everyone BUT Obama? Obama is a shallow disguise of false unity designed to conceal his and our Codependence on a very old system falling apart at the seams.

Strictly speaking, there is only ONE Religion in America, and probably in the World today, but certainly in the West, ie;
Pop Culture.
It takes every major, important concept, and makes it shallow and superficial and trivial, and then with perfect shamelessness, acts like it knows what it's talking about.
One of these ideas is the notion of Codependency. I just don't think what it means and its implications have been fully absorbed by a long shot. And I think an unconscious admission of this is seen in Mr. Sailers paragraph quoted above. In fact, I would describe his paragraph as a "paralogism" of sorts. An unconscious violation of his own logic.
If it's so easy for him to see through Obama, then why is Mr. Sailer unable to come up with an adequate explanation for why Obama's success thus far is so "remarkable"?

Anonymous said...

Tell us more about Morse Peckham. I can't find much on the net.

--Zen Redneck

American Goy said...

In my view I think Obama (as terrible as he sounds, with his non-programme, no plan, no statements of policy, his support of ALL existing American foreign policies including the Iraq occupation) is STILL the best choice.

What do I have to vote for?

McCain - lets bomb Iran?
Hillary - lets bomb Iran too?

Dedalus said...

Tell us more about Morse Peckham. I can't find much on the net.

--Zen Redneck

Sure, ZR.

Morse Peckham (1914-1993) was Professor Emeritus of Literature at the U. of Penn (1950-1966) and U. of S. Carolina (1967-1983).
He started out as Professor of Victorian Literature but, unhappy with the state of Literary Theory, which he thought was quasi-religious, he, long story short, created his own Theory of Cultural History (Beyond the Tragic Vision – 1962) and Human Behavior (Explanation and Power – the Control of Human Behavior – 1978). His subjects were Behavior and History, his themes were Romanticism and Cultural Transcendence.
He said that Romanticism represented a transformation the likes of which Mankind had never experienced, and we are still struggling to acknowledge, accept, and absorb this fact. He said it was the single most profound change in man’s psyche since the Paleolithic Age. He said the consequences are severe to the extent we remain largely ignorant of this fact.
Those books are out of print but you can still get them through mail order at Barnes and Noble, etc. But B and N does have copies of his “Man’s Rage for Chaos – Biology, Behavior, and the Arts.” 1965; And “Romanticism and Ideology” - 1981. This book has an eight page introduction which explains his theory. It’s unbelievably brilliant, lucid, and concise. He is an unpretentious writer who never talked down to his reader, ever. Just as he never expressed resentment over the gap between his works brilliance and it’s anonymity. I have looked high and low and there is simply no one like him. I have talked to some of his colleagues since his passing and they agree that if Peckham does get his day in the sun, so to speak, he will easily surpass Marx, Freud and Darwin. Yes, Darwin. His Darwin and Darwinisticism is still the best essay on Darwin I have ever read. It’s about more than Darwin. Today, he is THE remedy for the pretentious, pseudo-intellectuals who are choking the life of the mind, and spirit, to death.
His other books are:
Victorian Revolutionaries (Heroes of a Culture Crisis)
The Triumph of Romanticism (collected essay)
Romanticism and Behavior (collected essays)
The Romantic Virtuoso

Anonymous said...

Only on Sailer's site could there be a poster who believes that Noam Chomsky is a household name, and that it is de facto evidence of America's moral turpitude that Morse Peckham isn't.

Dedalus said...

"Only on Sailer's site could there be a poster who believes that Noam Chomsky is a household name, and that it is de facto evidence of America's moral turpitude that Morse Peckham isn't."

I know it's better to ignore comments like this...but, if I may, just this once....

"Only on Sailer's site"? But how do you know? Not that he needs me to defend him, but why mention his name? I wrote the post. Talk to me. But you can't and that is why you wrote what I refer to as a "Hit and Run" post.
Hit and Run posts are, from a moral point of view, cowardly; and from an intellectual one, they're shallow.
It's too bad that on top of cowardly and shallow we have to add shameless. Otherwise there might be some hope for you.

Never mind that "turpitude", and "de facto" are corny and pretentious, your post says nothing. And yet, you take the tone of a Shaming Parent! Of course, that implies that you think you're superior to those who visit this site (which includes YOU!). Didn't that even cross your mind when your finger was busy moving all over the keyboard?

What are you? One of those moral bullies who police websites you don't like looking for the opportunity to mood-alter through self-righteousness? What, am I supposed to stand awe-struck in front of your condemnation? Horse's ass.
Pft, as if I need your approval.

Give a moment to think about what you write.
Chomsky IS a household name. He's even been mentioned on Saturday Night Live for crying out loud. And Chavez was waving a copy of his book around that day he made an ass out of himself at the UN while trying to make an ass out of Bush (not realizing that if Bush really is an ass, which he is, then the point could be made minus the retarded histrionics).

And Peckham IS largely unknown which IN MY VIEW, not this sites, is something that, given the quality, significance, and relevance of his work, ought to be a burden on the conscience of
Academics and Professional Intellectuals in this country.
Both of my posts were kind a longish, but you, like an autistic child in a strawberry patch on a lovely spring afternoon zero in on a patch of earth that your dementia transmogrifies into something hideous so that you can take offense and fire off a snotty post. What a mook.

Anonymous said...

"This is the unsolved mystery: why is the press to in the tank for Obama?"

If you've got the brains and train of thought to go this far, why stop? Let's solve that mystery. Who's funding this out-of-nowhere" person? For that matter, who is funding Hillary Clinton and McCain. Well, Brzezinski runs Obama. Rockefeller runs Hillary. Not sure about McCain.
I don't know why people ridicule conspiracy theories. Just because some of the people who espouse them are stupid, doesn't make the conspiracies stupid. But looking into them can be like looking into mandala of the cabala. It makes you insane because it is so endless and convoluted. Takes a lot of work to follow a thread.

Karen said...

Haha, bravo Dedalus on your posts - on the off chance you've RSS'ed this thread, perhaps you'll see my thanks years later - I found this page when searching for Morse Peckham! It's true he's a tough one to track down, but he was cited in an essay and piqued my interest. And now, thanks to you, I'll most certainly have to go find a few of his books. Cheers.

Dedalus said...

Hi Karen,

Fortunately not years later, just two months.

I just did a Morse Peckham search at random because, well, it's been a long time since I did one and I wanted to see if there was anything new and interesting on him.

Low and behold the first entry on the first page is this article and the comments.

Then I saw your comment: Thanks for the kind words.

It would be great what your thoughts on Peckham are. That is, if you followed up on your search.
But I'm not sure exactly how we'd go about that since it's probably not a good idea to leave one's email address on a comment thread.

Well, in any event, it was nice to stumble upon your comment. Glad I read it.

All the best.