On the Eve of the Primary
The New Hillary
Why does she continue? Because she grasps that Obama is just one more landmine away from imploding (e.g. , if Oprah left, why did Obama stay?). And given the sinister nature of Wright, he might just well release a revealing email, or a DVD clip of a nodding Obama in the first pew or some such thing that would require a 4th "correction" that would make his 3rd version of Wright "inoperative." Or there is always Michelle's self-absorption that is reaching a critical mass: one or two more "raise-the-bar" speeches will do the public in—and don't forget Ayers and the rest. So, yes, Hillary was right months ago in warning about this. And Obama's legions who threaten those with "racism" for pointing all this out proves only counterproductive.
Hillary appears to have morphed into a different person over the last six months. (Note I said “appears”). The sheer exhaustion of the campaign trail has left her voice worn, scratchy, tired, and Midwestern—and oddly far more appealing that her former know-it-all, mommy knows best, nasal sermonizing.
She Feels Our Pain?
For years cruel critics ridiculed her pantsuit, endomorphism, and her attempts to seem elegant when she was not. But now, weathered and tired, she seems more at home in the bowling alley, and her outfits convey a sense of practicality, wear-and-tear, and sensibility. The old Hillary’s eyes flashed and mouth tightened whenever challenged; new Hillary throws back her head and laughs on Bill O’Reilly.
When she was running 20 points ahead of Obama, and 10 beyond Giuliani, she was distant, arrogant, and aloof—and hard Left. Now in desperation, she is the earthy beer-drinker, and (far too late) appealing to the working classes. While she still gratuitously trashes George Bush, she seems to become more animated over Barack Obama, and welcomes the unflinching fight with his religious disciples who hate her with great passion.
Had she campaigned at this level of intensity last fall and edged to the center, she would have won the nomination. But, then, to be fair to her, had she run under any election rules known to Americans, she would have already won the delegate count by her big-state victories.
Has she metamorphosized permanently? I doubt it, but her present moth stage is at least most interesting than her past caterpillar incarnation. A final point: her "first woman President" is much less bumper-sticker than Obama's "First Black President." Believe it or not Hillary has almost made her gender incidental to her candidacy.
Listening to all the candidates debate whether to lift the gas tax or not; to finish filling, or to draw from, the strategic petroleum reserve; and to tax or not tax more the oil companies’ mega-profits conveys a sense of the surreal. None of these measures will give us more fuel or cut consumption; some will no doubt worsen the situation. Is our generation so bankrupt that it merely fights over slices of the shrinking pie, rather than chooses to bake new ones? Can’t the last honest man in America simply say: “Either produce more energy, or voluntarily cut back on our lifestyles to something akin to 1970?”
In the liberal mindset, one forbids Alberta oil, stops Anwar, doesn’t dare drill off our coasts, insists on using high-priced natural gas that is scarce over plentiful coal for our power-generating plants, outlaws more refineries, accepts that nuclear power is bad and clean hydroelectric dams are worse—and then when naturally short of everything cries about the “two oil men” in the White House for not subsidizing solar and wind to magically cure all our ills.
I was reading some of Obama’s tax proposals. They seem designed to extinguish the notion of high-bracket, duel income elites. Say, someone is a veteran high-school principal (e.g., $110,000) and married to a lawyer, who, while not as well-paid as Michelle Obama, nevertheless is making $150,000. That $260,000 duel income will probably see a 4-5% increase in income taxes when Obama raises the federal rates, or about $10-13,000 more. Then when the payroll tax cap is lifted, say $160,000 more income is subject to another $15,000 in Social Security taxes, inasmuch as the lawyer’s income derives from a self-employed practice, and so gets the double dose of SS deductions. That takes about another $22,000. Now in toto we are up to $37,000 more per year to the Fed.
Don’t Expect a Thanks
Worse still, that hit does not go to reducing the deficit, as was true under the Clintoni when federal spending was not that much over the rate of inflation, but rather to fund entirely new federal programs that go well beyond the Bush wasteful spending.
Even worse, those taxes don’t arise in an environment of conciliation, but rather in an atmosphere of accusation and slander about the rich shirking their responsibilities—as if the net income left to this hypothetical couple is anything like the net yearly wealth of the multimillionaire Obamas ($4 million last year) or the Clintons (who knows—$10, $20 million a year now?).
Our European Future
So the “wealthy” couple, depending on what state and municipality they are living in, may well be paying now $100-130,000 in aggregate total taxes, take on another $37,000, and end up paying over $150,000—only to accept that the country is still broke and they are still dubbed “elites,” who nevertheless pay mortgages, tuition, food, fuel, car, etc. out of their remaining net income of less than half what they earned.
And with existing tax cuts and exemptions for the middling brackets to be expanded, we are reaching the new frontier in which the aim is that what you make won’t matter. I predict very soon that we are all going to end up with about $50,000 in family net income, either earning that amount tax-free, or making five-times that and having it expropriated.
The Obama Cult
I would say that about 90% of my current mail concerns things I have written about Obama—50% of it readers furious that anyone would dare question their messiah. I can accept that he is charismatic, means well, and has led a largely exemplary life, but cannot tolerate the charge that questioning Obama’s honesty and judgment in the Wright and related matters is somehow “racist.”
Let us remember: we were once promised that two liberal Democratic candidates would run a clean campaign in which the racially transcendent Obama would not, well, inject race. Almost a year later here are the sad facts—and they have nothing to do with the ‘right wing freak show.’ Note well:
1. Blacks are now voting 90% along racial lines against a white liberal wife of our first “black” President.
2. The liberal African-American transcendent candidate attributed racist views to his own grandmother who, he said, is “a typical white person,” and on a morally equivalent plane with the racist Rev. Wright.
3. Obama has smeared the white working class as xenophobic and nativist, racist in their distrust of the ‘other’, and hopelessly clueless in their clinging to guns and religion.
4. Then there is Rev. Wright: praised in Obama’s memoirs and in set speeches, and by his donations and 20-year church attendance, the Right Rev. nevertheless is on record slandering America, Jews, Italians, whites, et al.
5. In response, Obama at first defends him (“not particularly controversial”) , then as more hatred comes out, suddenly desires to give a transcendent speech on race (odd timing) in which he contextualizes Wright’s racism, and suggests right-wingers are smearing him by replaying these "snippets.”
Then Wright himself corrects Obama in a press conference, by assuring the liberal DC press corps that his hatreds are not taken out of context, but reflective of his odious views (race determines brain chemistry, Farrakhan is an historic figure, our government is giving blacks AIDs, etc.)—completely undermining both Obama (now in Wright’s view a mere “politician”) and the scores of African-American intellectuals, ministers, and professors who on the air for two months excused Wright by defining down Martin Luther King, quoting black liberation theology, citing Wright’s great works, and suggesting we are racists to demand explanations.
Enough said. Ethics and integrity call for pointing all this out. The real amorality belongs to all those who excused the racialism, gushed over Obama ‘context’ speech, and simply accept that a President of the United States need not meet the same standard of racial tolerance that others must adhere to.
Try all of the above with McCain or Clinton and see how long they would last.
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