Friday, April 15, 2011

Noonan Nails One

In all of the commentary after the President's Speech the other day after the weak spending cuts passed by the Republican majority (but the promise of real cuts over the next three years -- we'll see), Peggy Noonan really sums up what the president sounded like here.

The speech was intellectually incoherent. An administration that spent two years saying, essentially, that high spending is good is suddenly insisting high spending is catastrophic. The president appealed for bipartisan efforts but his manner and approach leave his appeals sounding like diktats. His attempts to seem above the fray leave him seeming distanced and unwilling to risk anything.

Most important, the speech signaled that the White House, after all this time, sees the question of spending as a partisan tool, a weapon to be deployed in an election, and not an actual crisis. This is disrespectful toward citizens who feel honest alarm.
And that really sums it up.   More and more of his speeches are coming off this way.   His explanations are becoming Kerry-esque.  I voted for the war before I voted against it. 

This is a man who believes in "wealth redistribution", and not only wealth redistribution here in the United States, but redistribution of wealth from the United States to other Colonial era countries, to make up for past alleged and percieved wrongs.  But I believe that there is a vindictive streak in him that doesn't see a whole lot of difference between knocking the U.S. a few notches and consider that as a boost of these other countries being bumped up a few notches.  This kind of logic was expressed in the speech when he said

The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.

Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, like homeownership or charitable giving, we cannot ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 while doing nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize.
Got that?  It's HIS (the federal government's) money.  All of it.  The government pays us. It's the only way it makes sense to call lower taxes Government Spending.

This is why the left is always contradicting itself.  It has rationalized up to be down, left to be right, weak to be strong, tax cuts to be spending, and spending (actually giving money to tax payers) to be tax cuts.  That's gotta be a confusing world to live in.  It's a wierd "balance sheet" world -- the kind that gets companies like Enron into trouble.   "Well, we'll just call this tax break an expenditure and this expenditure a tax break and put it in a different column and nobody'll be the wiser.  And if they are, what are they going to do?  We'll call them Extremist Tea Baggers.  That'll shut 'em up. "


Severian said...

This is why the left is always contradicting itself. It has rationalized up to be down, left to be right, weak to be strong, tax cuts to be spending, and spending (actually giving money to tax payers) to be tax cuts. That's gotta be a confusing world to live in.

Honestly, Phil, I think it's easier -- and considerably scarier -- than that. I think it's that they're so convinced of the purity of their intentions that they literally cannot see the difference between "something I want to do" and an objective, Platonic Good.

After all, liberals desire only good things for everybody. Therefore, by the transitive property of equality, all things liberals desire must be good in themselves.

[Maybe that's why they're all so militantly anti-Christian. Having solved the problem of theodicy for themselves-- what we desire must be right, and therefore there simply is no evil -- the rest of us sure must look like rubes].

philmon said...

What can I say?


They also see no difference between what they believe is right and what the law should dictate. Which is why they're so afraid of Christians. It's projection.

"Well if I thought that was right, I'd make it a law. Never vote for a Catholic or they'll pass a law that says we can't eat meat on Fridays".

Unless she's Pro-Abortion-on-Demand. Which is another one of those contradictions. You can't be both. But in Pelosi's head... you can.

Severian said...

"Catholic" is a whole 'nother kettle of fish, my friend. I have no idea why this is so, but for some folks -- Andrew Sullivan, most famously (and obnoxiously) -- continuing to call themselves "Catholic" is an integral part of their identity... even though they're against pretty much every official Church position there is.

No other sect or creed I know of works this way. I've never met a Baptist, say, who'd vehemently insist that he's still a Baptist even though he does... or doesn't do.... whatever it is that Baptists do (you can see the problem right there).

Nor are they worried that folks won't consider them Christians, as there are plenty of Christian sects ok with all kinds of stuff. The Episcopalian Church, for one, would be happy to have Sullivan (hell, they'd probably make him a bishop). But no: he's gotta be a Catholic. It's Rome or bust for him.

Weird, no?

philmon said...

Sullivan. Irish. Catholic. Yeah, I imagine it's a cultural thing with him.

As it kinda is with me. Though I'd certainly fit the description a lot better than Andrew or Nancy.

I came up with this term to refer to some of the Muslims I know that (even the women) dress western and have a several western attitudes -- much more "modern", like I imagine many Muslims in the more developed developing countries were before 1979 -- when one after another they started throwing themselves back into the 700's. Often by coersion, yes, I get that.

Anyway, they still called themselves Muslim, even though they also celebrated Christmas. I came up with the term "Cultural Muslims". We have a lot of "Cultural Christians" here in the U.S. I would fall in that category. You may have noticed that I this knee-jerk need to defend Christians and Christianity in general on this blog -- some people would think I'm an awful lot more religious than I am. I dunno, I think I'm where Gagdad Bob is on all of this.

I get the impression there are a lot of cultural Jews here, too.

So anyway, they like some of the more visible, and especially more fun traditions of the religions of their particular heritage, and thus they continue to identify as such.

There's my 2 cent explanation.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I really miss us having great debaters in our government. Wait, i don't think we ever have had any in my own memory. I'm not as old as Lincoln, at any rate.

Somebody should hold Obama to his own position in a way that he cannot squirm out of: if he talks of sparing the rich, haul him back to the post and have him explain how that is supposed to be redistributive. If he hedges on that, hammer it to him and either make him own the redistributionist label at every opportunity until he himself is sick of hearing it. It is his only core belief. Any other lie he spouts or any other redirect must be brought back to his main point: redistribution of wealth. How is his policy progressing toward that? Why disagree with him? Take him down the path he is champing at the bit to run. Let his one-trick pony run.

He wants to do such and such in Libya? How is that helping him achieve redistribution?

All the head-on oppositional debate is so much Sunday Morning Showdown crap. I say, agree with his premise and draw him along. Do they just not allow smart people to ask him questions?

Damn. Just once I'd like to see someone besides the MSM enter into a real debate with the man. I'm almost willing to give Trump that opportunity, just to see it ONCE.