Friday, December 30, 2011

Benjamin Harrison and Obama

Obama, who recently stated, in a manner of speaking, that he saw himself as the fourth best president (behind Lyndon Johnson and in front of George Washington, for whatever reason) looks more and more like a former Republican chief executive.

He would like you to think of Theodore Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan. However, according to yesterday's New York Times, he resembles more a forgotten GOP one termer, Benjamin Harrison.

Harrison served from 1889 to 1893. Most people saw him as a powerful and persuasive public speaker. It must be noted that his ability to deliver an address counted for much in the days when speaking was a form of mass entertainment and teleprompters were not even a dream.

This president, who served between the two terms of Grover Cleveland, quickly gained a reputation for social ineptitude among fellow politicians. People also found him aloof and arrogant. Stephen Elkins, his Secretary of War, exclaimed that God's overcoat would not even make a vest for Harrison. Elkins received the office as a reward for strong service on Republican campaigns, including Harrison's.

The opposition calling Obama haughty and aloof comes with the territory. But on December 28, the New York Times agreed. The fact that Obama comes on the heels of one of the most well-liked Democratic presidents in history does not help him in the least.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

War on Human Events

A war has opened up on the pages of the conservative publication Human Events.

If conservatism has a paper of record, this might be one of the prime candidates for the honor since it is the eldest. Human Events features some of the most prolific and well-known conservative pundits around, including Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter. Gingrich continues to write for the paper/website while campaigning. About a month ago, Coulter launched attacks on Gingrich more powerful and cutting than any campaign.

Gingrich has not responded to Coulter . . . yet. When he does, it will serve as truly high political drama because her pieces cutting into his conservative image coincided with a drop in his polling numbers.

The internet serves as a great equalizer. Gingrich and Coulter's columns are each as accessible as the other. No subtle messages in placement on a page can be made. On paper, each looks about as intelligent as the other (meaning that they are both a lot more brilliant than I am!) They take different tones, but both get their points across.

It is a new age of campaigning and writing. A lawyer turned journalist has set her sights on sinking Gingrich's campaign. We shall soon see if she succeeds.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Liberal Problem With the Kardashians

A recent poll indicated that liberals tend to watch reality and talent shows more often, while conservatives prefer occupation oriented shows. No, I don't mean aimless protesters. I mean shows such as Gold Rush, Flipping Out, or Storage Wars where people actually create wealth through risk and hard work.

Keeping Up With the Kardashians and that shows many spawn are exactly as described by the media. Yes, I've seen parts of it here and there. It is a show about relatively attractive people doing nothing in particular. These relatively attractive people get attention because one of them made a sex tape that was seen by millions and has dated a large number of professional athletes.

But, as we have seen, self-described liberals help to keep the show on the air. Does this mean that they approve?

Of course not. A group called Courage Campaign in California has decided, despite the fact that the Kardashians pay all of their taxes completely and in a timely manner (thus preventing any of them from being eligible to serve in the Obama Cabinet) that the Kardashians pay too little in tax money. They have launched a fight to make celebrities pay more.

Whenever states such as Maryland or New York launch such folly, they make their neighbors do backflips in appreciation. Such states have high opinions of themselves, believing that people would want to pay more for the privilege and fun of living there. They may gain in the short term, but lose in the long. Rich residents move away and few would choose to locate there.

This campaign also reflects a very liberal cultural snobbery. Conservatives who do not prefer to watch a show such as the Kardashians put on will still grudgingly respect the fact that they are creating wealth by responding to a market. Some may wish the market had better taste, but it does not and never has. The fact that they create wealth and employ people legitimately makes them valuable in the market.

But liberals think that they have too much money. They want to punish them for their success. That is a dangerous philosophy, no matter who you are referring to.