Thursday, January 6, 2011

Obama Hate Machine

David Corn is a lefty writer for The Nation and Politics Daily. He wonders in a recent piece whether President Obama will be able to stave off the "right-wing hate machine" which has harried him since his election. Corn writes:
The OHM [Obama Hate Machine] -- led by a wide-ranging collection of conservative media outfits, right-wing bloggers, and GOP partisans -- has already effectively undermined Obama's presidency by propagating lies about his administration's major accomplishments. It tarred Obama's health care reform initiative by falsely claiming it would establish "death panels." It pushed the falsehood that his $787 stimulus package created no new jobs. (The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that legislation created or saved up to 3.5 million jobs.) And don't forget the birthers, who are still yapping that Obama wasn't born in the United States. One recent poll found that 23 percent of Americans believe this (and 20 percent said they didn't know).
Set aside the very good possibility that some or all of what Corn imputes to the conservatives here is true. Assume instead that all of the claims Corn cites are mistaken, or even screwy. Even so, they're hardly "hate". In fact, they seem like pretty tame stuff.

If this is the sort of thing Corn thinks constitutes hate then I wonder what he thinks of this statement about George W. Bush:
"George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small, directly and by omission. He has mugged the truth-not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently, and repeatedly."
This irenic passage was written by David Corn himself in a book he wrote in 2004 titled The Lies of George W. Bush. Trevor Thomas at The American Thinker delved into Corn's book to see what malicious lies Bush told that warrant Corn's calumnious claims. It turns out that they include such atrocities against the truth as:
  • "I have been very candid about my past."
  • "I'm a uniter, not a divider."
  • "We must uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September the eleventh."
  • "It's time to restore honor and dignity to the White House."
Thomas then decided to look up some of the things that had been said by the left about Bush, just to see how they compared to what's been said about Obama. Here's a sample of what he found:
  • "He betrayed this country! He played on our fears! He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure pre-ordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place!" -- Al Gore
  • "There has never been an administration, I don't believe, in our history more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda." -- Hillary Clinton
  • "President Bush is a liar. He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country." -- Harry Reid
  • "The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader." -- Nancy Pelosi
  • "This country was the moral leader of the world until George Bush became president." -- Howard Dean
  • "No president in America's history has done more damage to our country and our security[.]" -- Ted Kennedy
  • "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." -- Jimmy Carter
  • "The man's father is a wonderful human being; I think this guy is a loser." -- Harry Reid
  • "Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader." -- Nancy Pelosi
  • "We will take to the streets right now. We will delegitimize [him], discredit him, do whatever it takes, but never accept him." -- Jesse Jackson
  • "I'd say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you've lost your mind." -- John Edwards
  • "Regime change! Bush has to go, and we have the power to do it. The officials of the government shall be removed from office for crimes and misdemeanor[.]" -- Ramsey Clark
As Thomas points out these were not statements made by "media outfits and bloggers", they were made by the very leaders of the Democrat party.

The ability of those on the political left in this country to espy the mote in the eye of others but fail to see the log in their own is little short of amazing. When the right criticizes Obama, the left calls it hate. When the left expressed its hatred of Bush, they called it criticism. Before Mr. Corn and others bemoan the tone and tenor of the right's criticism of Mr. Obama they should spend some time reflecting on how they themselves treated Mr. Bush.

Public Employees Unions

In light of allegations that supervisors of New York City's sanitation workers union ordered that snow removal be slowed down as payback for union layoffs and other offenses, calls for the abolition of public sector unions are growing louder:
As John Hinderaker points out at Powerline such unions only gained legal status in the 60s and 70s:
Public employee unions flourish because government is, by its nature, a monopoly. Thus, there is no need for unionized government units to compete against non-unionized units. Moreover, public officials who negotiate with public employee unions generally lack the same incentives that private employers have to keep costs down. The result has been a fiscal disaster, with numerous states and municipalities now going over the waterfall of bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, public employee unions have become perhaps the dominant force in our political life. They extract dues from their members which go to fund the candidacies of politicians who will pay public employees even more money. The unions' ill-gotten clout has created a vicious cycle; at the same time that government units are going broke, public employees are now far better paid than their private sector counterparts, while enjoying better benefits and ridiculous job security.
Not to mention very generous pension plans which the taxpayers, often with very little in the way of a pension themselves, are obligated to sustain. Around the nation a number of cities have had enough and are privatizing services like garbage and snow removal and are saving their taxpayers a boodle.

It's time to privatize. It's also time to make public employees responsible for their own retirement. People who are directly responsible for the death of a newborn infant in New York because an ambulance couldn't traverse the streets that these guys didn't plow surely don't deserve to receive for twenty five years or more a pension close to, or more than, 100% of what they were making when they were working.