Sunday, November 02, 2008


Regardless of what you think about his policies, rhetoric, leadership style, etc, the man is a master politician. And that matters.

I read this piece on his political ascent in The New Yorker a few months ago.


Anonymous said...

Yes it does, but I am surprised just how much it matters to you.

As a self describe Kool-Aid consumer, why would YOU post this article that shakes the foundation for why you selected this candidate. I do not think you are changing your rationale in prior posts to Master Politician, are you?

You can water this article down to a couple of sentences. B.O. uses people to get what he wants. Name another politician that does not do that. Here, again, is the spin we all know and love. Bush has made the office so bad that anyone with a change poster and a heartbeat, as long as they are not Republican, will do. How is that for Spin Doctor?

Heck… I could create a blog and call it West Coast Nomads and very somewhat similar to other pioneers.

Now, I am not saying B.O. is going to screw up. My God - I hope he sparks all the change he is preaching.

I am sure the Kool-Aid will taste great. I will start to drink it with the same mental toughness I will always depend on. I will hold true my ability to conform and be positive. Just like the troops... I will be supporting the direction we move in, with obvious exceptions.

I do not have to vote for him to gain the benefit from change. I am also not going to be waiting for him to fail.

It matters if you understand his past. The fast rise to power is not an American value that is highly decorated in politics. Most of America would agree that change needs to happen methodically – almost unbiased. What the American people cannot ignore is just how bad we are doing on so many fronts… change was ordered. Change was attached to one campaign (some say political genius – I feel it was so obvious… Michael Dukakis would have figured this out and won) and that campaign will win.

It does not surprise me how Obama arrived at this level of power. The dog fight in the Democratic Primary is a great example of people having choice but the winner takes all. I would have never have guessed it, but that is the beauty of Monday morning QB. Please just remember where we all stand in four years… I want this level of debate without any change. It will be interesting to scroll through your historical record in this blog. (I do not mean you have done anything but put in place a great forum for discussion.)

PassTheChips said...

I posted this for two reasons:

- Eyes wide open (90% of political support from both sides comes from having chosen a side and wanting that side to win - I on the other hand can only take my hypocrisy so far. I want to know who I am voting for, warts and all)

- It demonstrates his virtue (in the Machiavellin sense)

Anonymous said...

Who cares if the foundation shakes.... a platform built on the appropriate foundation (albeit massive shock absorbers worthy of 7 points on any rector scale) will sustain rigorous scrutiny...

I like it.

My boy PTC is wicked smart!

Bubba the Hutt said...

My problem with Barry comes not just with his policies but also with the possibility of the "Super Congress". They'll be able to do whatever they want.

I don't agree with Barry on a lot of things, but at least with a 50/50 Congress I could bank on the idea that some of his (or Nancy's) more hair-brained ideas wouldn't make it through.

If the economy gets worse will they take away my civil liberties all in the name of doing "what's best for you and me".

If the will of the majority of Americans is -insert popular political agenda here- and they (Congress) don't want to even vote on it, who's going to make them?

Wealth redistribution is the first step, what's next?

What if they plan on nationalizing my 401k fund and mandating workers to contribute 5% to their now government owned 401k account that matches 3% instead of 5?

Who's to stop them from doing that?

PassTheChips said...

- Like the Patriot Act?

- No one. But we'll vote the bums out the next time out. Very real problem with our country being a republic, not a democracy.

- Wealth redistribution and the progressive income tax are not going away. The flat tax is deader than dead. What everyone is arguing about this year is an increase of 4% to the highest tax bracket (and in Obama's case, a lowering of the tax rates on all income <$200K).

- Companies are getting rid of 401K matching left and right. I'd be surprised if any companies were doing it a ~year from now. I'd take a guaranteed 3% match from the government these days. Actually, I'd just like a guaranteed retirement pension similar to what companies were doing 25 years ago. Let me invest on my own for anything extra.

Bubba the Hutt said...

Yes, like the Patriot Act, and FISA, but look how long it took those to pass. I'm sure there were dozens of other similar bills that did not pass, but had to be refined. At least with a 50/50 Congress I feel some semblance of checks and balances.

Little by little they'll take away my right to choose what I want to do for myself. By the way, that 5% 401k is mandatory for all workers, even those that currently don't contribute to their own personal 401k because they can't afford missing that extra 5% from their annual income.

What if instead of the 401k example they decide on a gun ban. But wait, we have the Second Amendment, and there's no way they could possibly take that away from me.

“I don’t even own A gun, let alone many guns to necessitate and entire rack.”

I feel like the frog in the pan of warm water that's being slowly heated to a boil.

PassTheChips said...

I like frog legs.

Anonymous said...

Easy killer. We will not lose our liberties.... well at least without a fight.

PassTheChips said...

That's the thing anonymous. Nobody is fighting. We trade security for liberty every time we pass a law like the Patriot Act, every time we increase taxes, every time we issue debt, every time we decide the public good or national interest is more important than the individual. There's no fighting or even outcry. Only whispered thank yous as we all curl up with our beloved security.

Bubba the Hutt said...

Chips is right, I guess I should have explained the boiling frog analogy.

"The boiling frog story states that a frog can be boiled alive if the water is heated slowly enough — it is said that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will never jump out."

John said...

The 50/50 Congress thing does scare me a little, but we’ve had that before and you still have difficulties getting stuff passed. Especially if it is controversial. Politicians like to play it safe for the most part and that means a lot of talky talky and a little walky walky.

I think the biggest equalizers is the national debt. According to the Peter G Peterson Foundation ( we have a total federal burden of $52.7 trillion dollars. That is $175k per American. This will become the driving theme of all policy decisions over time. Obama won't be able to do what he wants to do without increasing this burden (same with McCain but I'm assuming BO wins). He will therefore have to concentrate on keeping spending in check by stimulating the economy, ending the war and maintaining the peace to limit future wars to keep us from increasing the debt. So is McCain or BO the better candidate for 2 of those 3 given our current environment?

What we really need is a politician to raise awareness of this immenent threat, but it takes too much courage since you could promise very little to donors. BO and McCain both skirted the issue.

PassTheChips said...

Hopefully you're right John. The debt is the issue of our time.

I'm not a big fan of the $53T #. Over $40T of it is promised benefits in SS and Medicare. Those can disappear or be reduced with a wave of the magic legislative wand (raising requirement ages, decreasing benefits, increasing immigration, etc). The real public debt is $11T. We actually owe that to people, banks, companies, and countries that loaned the U.S. money.