Saturday, July 05, 2008

Karl's Weekend Reading

For this 4th of July weekend, let's start with Obama's latest defense against non-criticisms. Nope, not racism. That was earlier in the week. To keep questions about taxes and national security at bay, Obama's camp is in full defensive mode on trivial matters. The last couple days: Patriotism. Here are just a few great comments in James Taranto's Best of the Web:

The problem for Obama is that he is a child of the counterculture to a greater extent than any past presidential nominee has been. Bill Clinton flirted with it a bit, but had long since "sold out," if you'll forgive the '60s argot, by the time he arrived on the national stage. John Kerry was more deeply immersed, as a leader in a radical anti-Vietnam group--but years before he ran for president, he reinvented himself (albeit implausibly) as a war hero.

By contrast, until a few weeks ago, Obama belonged to a church whose pastor blamed America for all that was wrong with the world. He made his political home in Hyde Park, Chicago, where unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists are regarded as upstanding civic leaders. And he seems to have absorbed the counterculture's complicated view of patriotism and disdain for those for whom it is a simpler emotion...
Patriotism ultimately is not a matter of policy, or even of symbols or actions, but of feeling. The sense one gets from Obama is not that he isn't patriotic, but that his feelings about America are complicated. But when expressing feelings, simpler usually is better. Saying "I love you" in three words is many times more powerful than saying it in 3,000.

Hugh Hewitt chimes in with a LONG list of the "core of Obama" in his Townhall article "Obama In Focus On the Fourth":

He's hard left.

He wants the marginal rate on total federal taxes...

Obama has proposed more than a trillion dollars in new spending.

Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq...

He supports the decision extending habeas rights to Gitmo detainees...

Also at Townhall, Larry Elder responds to the Heller decision that re-affirms the individual's right to keep and bear arms with some interesting quotes from our founders, and from a few other characters:

Dictators throughout history sought to disarm their citizenries in order to impose power:

Vladimir Lenin said, "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

Mao Zedong said, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Josef Stalin said: "We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?"

Adolf Hitler said: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so."

Bret Stephens at the WSJ has an excellent piece on the religion of global warming, "Global Warming as Mass Neurosis. Probably the best summary on the subject - a must read.

Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

Karl Rove writes a piece on Obama's fund raising expectations - "Can Barack Buy the Presidency?". That subject doesn't excite us, but we did pull this gem out of the article:

Mr. Obama's ads show he's aware of his vulnerability on two fronts: his liberal values and his meager achievements. Yet he should be more cautious with these weaknesses. His bio ad says he was raised with "values straight from the Kansas heartland," though he grew up in Hawaii. He claims to have passed three bills, but fails to mention that two were in the Illinois state Senate and that he didn't vote on the third in the U.S. Senate. His new ad praises welfare reform, yet he opposed the legislation when a Republican Congress passed and President Clinton signed it.
...when running for president, money alone can't buy a candidate love. Cash matters, but being a good candidate and right on the issues matters even more.

Happy 4th!