Archive for Barack Ilyich Obama

Oh, That’s “Social Justice”!

I asked the other day what the hell the term meant, and concluded: “’social justice’ would seem to mean a vicious cycle of liberal nonsense”, in which a do-gooding government would stick its nose into the marketplace of labor and management for the benefit of the former and the detriment of the latter (that’s the justice part), only to see its heavy-handed, anti-capitalist efforts lead to layoffs and economic sclerosis.

I kinda talk that way sometimes.

But God bless Prager University (and Professor Jonah Goldberg) for taking a crack at the question too.

The video won’t play for me, but here are selections from the transcript:

Try this at your next party. Ask your guests to define the term Social Justice.

Since everyone on that side of the spectrum talks incessantly about social justice, they should be able to provide a good definition, right?

But ask ten liberals to tell you what they mean by social justice and you’ll get ten different answers.

That’s because Social Justice means anything its champions want it to mean.

“The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families — to bring economic justice to the workplace, and social justice to our nation.”

In short, “social justice” is code for good things no one needs to argue for — and no one dare be against.

This very much troubled the great economist Friedrich Hayek.

This is what he wrote in 1976, two years after winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

“I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice’.”

Pro or con, good or bad, it still has no concrete meaning (which is Goldberg’s point).

So what the hell does it mean?

Hayek understood that beneath the political opportunism and intellectual laziness of the term “social justice” was a pernicious philosophical claim, namely that freedom must be sacrificed in order to redistribute income.

Ultimately, “social justice” is about the state amassing ever increasing power in order to, do “good things.” What are good things?

Well whatever the champions of social justice decide this week.

But first, last and always it is the cause of economic redistribution.

Well, “Professor” Goldberg, that’s what you say, you reactionary killjoy. Maybe it means flowers and butterflies to other people.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

That is precisely how a UN report on Social Justice defines the term:

“Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth.

Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

I repeat: “Strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

And it gets worse.

The UN report goes on to insist that: “Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.”

Translation: if you believe truth and justice are concepts independent of the agenda of the forces of progress as defined by the left, you are an enemy of social justice.

Yet again, if you scratch a liberal, you find a fascist underneath. (And probably need a tetanus shot.)

The self-declared champions of social justice believe the state must remedy and can remedy all perceived wrongs.

Anyone who disagrees is an enemy of what is good and right.

And the state must therefore coerce them to do what is socially just.

And that, as Hayek prophesized, is no longer a free society.

It is, rather, ObAmerica.

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He Almost Had Me

It starts so well:

Zaid Jilani, a former blogger with the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, explained this week how the Obama administration frequently tries to censor the progressive organization’s content when it departs from the White House’s agenda.

Do tell:

“One of the controversial topics that was very constrained in our writing at ThinkProgress in 2009 was Afghanistan.,” he wrote. “CAP had decided not to protest Obama’s surge, so most of our writing on the topic was simply neutral — we weren’t supposed to take a strong stand.”

That was tough for Jilani, a strong opponent of the war. And as congressional opposition to the war increased over time, he found he was able to criticize the White House more directly.

But in 2011, one post went too far.

Jilani had just published a story — “one of the most successful things [he] had ever written at that point” — which indicated troops levels at the end of Obama’s Afghan “surge” would actually be higher than at any point in the George W. Bush administration. And it came complete with a graph, which congressional opponents of the war took into committee hearings on Capitol Hill.

The Obama administration was furious.

“Phone calls from the White House started pouring in,” Jilani claimed, “berating my bosses for being critical of Obama on this policy . . . Soon afterwards all of us ThinkProgress national security bloggers were called into a meeting with CAP senior staff and basically berated for opposing the Afghan war and creating daylight between us and Obama.”

You think this doesn’t go on at CBS, NPR, etc., etc? Ha! That’s why we call it the Democrat-Media Complex.

He wasn’t done, either:

“It confused me a lot because on the one hand, CAP was advertising to donors that it opposed the Afghan war,” Jilani noted. “In our ‘Progressive Party,’ the annual fundraising party we do with both Big Name Progressive Donors and corporate lobbyists (in the same room!) we even advertised that we wanted to end the war in Afghanistan.”

“What that meeting with CAP senior staff showed me was that they viewed being closer to Obama and aligning with his policy as more important than demonstrating progressive principle, if that meant breaking with Obama,” Jilani explained.

“Essentially, they were doing the same thing to us RT [Russia Today] America is telling its American producers to do now — align with your boss, who is the president of the country.”

Obama = Putin. Perfect. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

So where’s the problem?

The blogger eventually left his post at CAP, citing “reasons of other censorship and dealing with both corporate sponsors and that institution’s fealty to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).”

Great. Super. Just when I thought I had a soul brother, he shivs me with his scimitar.

PS: “Fealty”? Get over yourself.

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Lois, You Got Some ‘Splainin’ to Do

Now, where were we?

House Republicans announced Tuesday that they are recalling Lois G. Lerner, the former IRS employee at the center of the tea party targeting scandal, to testify to Congress next week, saying she has critical information.

Ms. Lerner asserted her right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination at a hearing last year, but at the time she also proclaimed her innocence. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said she effectively waived her Fifth Amendment rights with that claim and made her open to being compelled to testify.

“Ms. Lerner’s testimony remains critical to the committee’s investigation,” Mr. Issa said in a letter to her attorney, William W. Taylor III. “Documents and testimony obtained by the committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations.”

In a dramatic hearing in May, just weeks after the targeting was revealed, Ms. Lerner appeared before the oversight committee and refused to testify.

Republicans initially seemed prepared to excuse her, but Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and a former prosecutor, raised an objection saying her statement of innocence amounted to waiving her right to remain silent.

Technically, Gowdy had a point. If you assert your 5th Amendment right to remain silent, you remain silent. You don’t get to apply it selectively. Politically, however, it would appear as bullying if mean old Republicans compelled this damsel in distress to answer their questions.

But aren’t we past that now? It’s now clear not only what happened, but why. The Tea Party (more a movement than a party) rose up to swing the 2010 elections to Republicans; that was not going to happen in 2012 if Obama and his shock troops had anything to do with it. And they did. And it didn’t.

Obama feigned outrage, once, when the story broke, but he got over it. Now it’s a “phony” scandal. What’s he going to do, investigate himself? His myriad agencies and departments are too busy mobilizing against any dissent or opposition to look into malfeasance from the Oval Office. Heck, we just learned the that Treasury Secretary himself placed a scathing call to S&P for lowering the nation’s credit-rating directly AFTER meeting with Obama. He learned that one from his hermano de una otra madre, Hugo Chavez (may he burn in hell).

Eric Holder has already announced his intention to enforce only those laws that meet his fancy; he recently encouraged state AGs to follow suit. Along with the IRS and FEC disenfranchisement of conservative Americans, the FCC floated the idea of “monitoring” media newsrooms. Even signature pieces of legislation (constitutional legislation, bitches) are applied only according to taste.

This is statism out of control. Obama is more than just the evil twin of Chavez. No wonder he made a bee-line to his true idol—or as close as he could get:


Do please tell Fidel that I send my best—and that I bowed.

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Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

I like Glenn Harlan Reynolds, aka Instapundit. He’s smart and thoughtful.

Doesn’t mean he’s always right:

America’s ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.

First, in response to widespread protests last week, the Department of Homeland Security canceled plans to build a nationwide license plate database. Many local police departments already use license-plate readers that track every car as it passes traffic signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on the street or even in driveways.

But the proposal was suddenly withdrawn last week, with the unconvincing explanation that it was all a mistake. I’m inclined to agree with TechDirt’s Tim Cushing, who wrote: “The most plausible explanation is that someone up top at the DHS or ICE suddenly realized that publicly calling for bids on a nationwide surveillance system while nationwide surveillance systems are being hotly debated was … a horrible idea.”

On Friday, after more public outrage, the Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to “monitor” news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate. The “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN (pronounced “sin”) involved the FCC sending people to question reporters and editors about why they chose to run particular stories. Many folks in and out of the media found it Orwellian.

He’s right: these proposals were made and then summarily withdrawn. But if it wasn’t bad enough that they were made in the first place—and it was bad enough, that and more—the opposition was tepid and slow to react. No one should have opposed “monitors” in newsrooms more than the denizens of newsrooms themselves. And they clearly have the means to make “news” out of any story they choose. But did they do anything with this story? After A WSJ op-ed outed the plan, the story lay fallow for days without any mention.

To Rush, who said it first and best:

I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that a journalism school was actually behind this idea. I mentioned to you that there wouldn’t be any protests from journalists or journalism schools. I said:

“If it turns out here that a dean or an entire j-school is behind this idea, it won’t surprise me a bit.” And guess what? There are two, ladies and gentlemen. “The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is ‘critical’ for citizens to have.

“The scholars decided that ‘critical information’ is information that people need to ‘live safe and healthy lives’ and to ‘have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities’ …” That’s what the news should be. Any mea culpas in there? Anybody want to now admit what I told you: This isn’t about news anymore, it’s about advancing the Democrat Party agenda? It’s about advancing the leftist agenda.

If that’s pushback, Prof. Reynolds, we are so screwed.

This, however, is pushback:

Meanwhile, in Connecticut a massive new gun-registration scheme is also facing civil disobedience. As J.D. Tuccille reports: “Three years ago, the Connecticut legislature estimated there were 372,000 rifles in the state of the sort that might be classified as ‘assault weapons,’ and 2 million plus high-capacity magazines. … But by the close of registration at the end of 2013, state officials received around 50,000 applications for ‘assault weapon’ registrations, and 38,000 applications for magazines.”

This is more “Irish Democracy,” passive resistance to government overreach.

If there is any resistance to governmental overreach under the Obama regime, it is not from the bureaucracies and institutions (Homeland Security, mainstream media) that support Obama’s power grabs. If there is any at all, it comes from citizens acting in concert to protect individual liberty (like the Tea Party, say). In that sense, Reynolds is right: let’s hope they give the “ruling class” more pushback than they can handle.

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Stick it to the Union

We’ve already commented on the very satisfying thumping meted out to the UAW at the VW plant in Tennessee. But we still wanted to know what Robert Samuelson had to say.

This nugget caught my eye:

Unions’ eclipse has been stunning. At the end of World War II, roughly a third of private-sector jobs were unionized, especially in large firms. By 2013, the comparable figure was 6.7 percent, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (The rate of unionization for all workers was 11.3 percent, but that figure resulted only from greater unionization — 35.3 percent — among government workers. As late as 1983, the total unionization rate was 20 percent.)

Consider: each private sector new-hire (i.e. worker) is only one-fifth as likely to join a union as a public sector new-hire (i.e. hack). Is it any wonder that so many new jobs are in the public sector? Any wonder that Obama’s policies are so hostile to private job creation? Unions like SEIU are Obama’s purple-shirted shock troops; they’ve got his back and he’s got theirs.

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SopranoCare

Nice small-to-midsize business ya got here.

Shame if somethin’ happened to it:

Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS–under penalty of perjury–that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.

In practice, the new rule is a ban–under threat of criminal liability–on acknowledging the perverse incentive. Call it OmertàCare, a government-imposed conspiracy of silence.

Rush made the same point:

As you know, the Regime recently delayed the implementation of the employer mandate for three years, until 2016. This means that employers who have a hundred or less employees will be subject to the mandate.

The point of this is that this limit of 100 is a golden opportunity for businesses to, once again, fire people to get under that number of 100 so that they are eligible for the delay of the mandate. So what the Obama Regime has done, is said firms and businesses are going to be required to certify to the IRS — under penalty of perjury — that Obamacare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions.

I mean, this is absolutely lawless. It is against the law. They cannot, ladies and gentlemen, do this. Specifically, they cannot run businesses this way.

And yet they are. Of course governments can do this: it’s called a command economy. See the former Soviet Union as an example. North Korea and Cuba for other examples.

If it works for them…

[T]hey don’t want businesses saying that they’re laying people off or firing people because of Obamacare. That’s really what the rub is, and it boils down to they can do what they want but they better not say that they’re firing people because of Obamacare. Now, it’s been running around, going around here, that this is a banana republic. This is way beyond a banana republic now. This is Stalinism.

If it worked for Stalin…

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Simple Truths

The Fed has pumped so much money into the economy, yet the economy is still… the economy.

What gives?

In her first Congressional appearance as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen cheered Wall Street with her promise to continue the easy-money policies of predecessor Ben Bernanke. But Judy Shelton warns in our pages that “when the low-grade fever of perpetual inflation becomes a full-blown economic malady—when the next financial bubble bursts with horrible consequences for the real economy—average Americans will pay the biggest price.”

While Ms. Yellen’s Senate testimony today is likely to attract more media attention, we’d say this week’s most important speech from the Federal Reserve system came last night in Texas. Before a gathering of financial executives, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher quantified how much money the central bank has been pumping into the economy. Mr. Fisher said that total reserves of depository institutions “have ballooned from a precrisis level of $43 billion to $2.5 trillion.” He added that “the amount of money lying fallow in the banking system is 60 times greater now than it was at year-end 2007. One is hard pressed to argue that there is insufficient money available for businesses to put people back to work.”

“It is my firm belief,” he continued, ” that the fault in our economy lies not in monetary policy but in a feckless federal government that simply cannot get its fiscal and regulatory policy geared so as to encourage business to take the copious amount of money we at the Fed have created and put it to work creating jobs and growing our economy. Fiscal policy is not only ‘not an ally of U.S. growth,’ it is its enemy. If the fiscal and regulatory authorities that you elect and put into office to craft taxes, spending and regulations do not focus their efforts on providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment rather than bicker with each other for partisan purposes, our economy will continue to fall short and the middle-income worker will continue being victimized, no matter how much money the Fed prints.”

Game. Set. Match.

This is why I don’t believe the US is a completely lost cause; why our best days are behind us. Federal government policy is completely at odds with “providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment” or “creating jobs and growing our economy”. This administration wouldn’t know how to grow the economy if you held a gun to its head (metaphorically speaking, of course). Candidate Obama didn’t want to create wealth, he told Joe the Plumber, he wanted to spread it.

On that, and that alone, he has kept his promise. But if the dry rot hasn’t penetrated too deep, the house divided may still be saved. Put another way, if my faith is in capitalism, that faith has not been shaken. What we have had lately is crony socialism, quite a different thing.

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Hey, Tea Party Patriots!

You have been warned:

Good morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. My name is Catherine Engelbrecht. I am the Chairwoman of True the Vote, a nonprofit election integrity organization; the Founder of King Street Patriots, a citizen-led liberty group; and President of Engelbrecht Manufacturing.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story with you today.

It must be made publicly known that across this country citizens just like me are being targeted by an administration willing to take any action necessary to silence opposition.

My life before I spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life I now lead. As a wife, a mother, and small businesswoman working with my husband, raising our children and participating in my church and PTA, the government collected my taxes and left me and my family in peace. But when I helped found and led True the Vote and King Street Patriots, I found myself a target of this federal government.

Target? Isn’t that eliminationist rhetoric?

Well, yeah:

Shortly after filing IRS forms to establish 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations, an assortment of federal entities – including law enforcement agencies and a Congressman from Maryland, Elijah Cummings – came knocking at my door. In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.
In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.
Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

All of these incursions into my affairs began after filing applications for tax-exemption. There is no other remarkable event, no other reason, to explain away how for decades I went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of interagency coordination into and against all facets of my life, both public and private.

Bear in mind, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of this sub-committee, these events were occuring while the IRS was subjecting me to multiple rounds of abusive inquiries, with requests to provide every Facebook and Twitter entry I’d every posted, questions about my political aspirations, and demands to know the names of every group I’d ever made presentations to, the content of what I’d said, and where I intended to speak for the coming year. The answers to these sorts of questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst, but they are of great interest to a political machine that puts its own survival above the civil liberties of any private citizen.

I usually refer to this scandal as the IRS scandal. I stand corrected. While the IRS is the most visible government agency, they are ably assisted by the FEC, FBI, ATF, OSHA and Elijah Cummings.

Elijah Cummings?

I also refuse to let a precedent be set that allows Members of Congress, particularly the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to misrepresent this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens. Three times, Representative Elijah Cummings sent letters to True the Vote, demanding much of the same information that the IRS had requested. Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization.

Such as?

“On October 12, 2012, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights issued a report concluding that True the Vote’s poll monitoring efforts in North Carolina appear to be aimed at African American and other minority communities that historically have voted for Democratic candidates,” Cummings wrote. “According to the author, the information in the report demonstrates that your organization has a ‘highly partisan and political agenda to deny African Americans and Latinos, specifically, the right to vote.’”

Cummings said any efforts to intentionally and improperly challenge the rights of minority voters to go to the polling booth “could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their Constitutional rights.”

Is it any wonder Barack Obama won reelection with so many levels of government—executive and legislative—bullying the opposition into submission? I’m only surprised he didn’t win with a Saddam Hussein-sized majority (unanimity). Ms. Englebrecht has been put through the liberal fascist wood-chipper.

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Speaking Truth to Abuse of Power

Today, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of John Boehner and House Republicans:

House Speaker John Boehner said it would be difficult to pass an immigration bill because fellow Republicans don’t trust President Barack Obama to implement the law, a position that shrinks chances for House action this year.

“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” Boehner told reporters in Washington today. “And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Finally!

Of course, it only took the abuses of ObamaCare—and Obama’s own words—to get the message across. Still, the message is now clear: “There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.” There’s no doubt in the administration: they are in open revolt against our laws.

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“Not Even a Smidgen” = “I Am Not a Crook”?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks:

JONATHAN KARL: In the president’s interview with Bill O’Reilly last night, he said there was not even a smidgen of corruption regarding the IRS targeting conservative groups. Did the president misspeak?

JAY CARNEY: No he didn’t, but I can cite — I think I have 20 different news organizations that can cite the variety of ways that that was established, including the independent I.G. that testified in May. And his report said he found no evidence that anyone outside the IRS had any involvement in the inappropriate targeting of conservative — or progressive for that matter — groups in their applications for tax-exempt status.

KARL: Isn’t there an active Justice Department investigation in this matter?

CARNEY: I would refer you to the Justice Department. I think every look at this, every investigation into this and everything we’ve learned about this, is that this is not something that in anyway reached outside of the IRS. There’s been a concerted attempt –

KARL: He said there is not a smidgen of corruption. He didn’t qualify inside or outside the IRS.

CARNEY: Right.

KARL: There is an active Justice Department investigation. Unless it has been concluded without anyone telling the news media. I mean, there’s an active Justice Department investigation. Does the president pre-judge that investigation when he tells Bill O’Reilly there’s not a smidgen of corruption?

CARNEY: What we’ve learned from an independent Inspector General and through the testimony we’ve seen, completely backs up what the president said. And, you know, a lot of that has been well reported on by what you and your colleagues and your news organizations over the course of the last several months. You know, some people have missed those reports.

KARL: So the Justice Department should pull the plug?

CARNEY: Obviously, we do not interfere with Justice Department investigations.

No, course you don’t. Not even a smidgen. The president’s declaration is just an opinion. A mere point of view. Nothing to see here.

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It’s Unexpected!™

Alternate title: Jobless Claims Rise; Black Man Blamed!

The number of people who sought U.S. unemployment benefits near the end of January rose to the highest level in six weeks, but it’s unclear if the increase is the residue of holiday-related distortions or reflects a deterioration in the labor market.

In the seven days ended Jan. 25, initial jobless claims jumped by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected claims to edge up to 330,000.

The claims report is less reliable as a labor-market indicator from late November until the end of January because of the holiday season and wintry weather. The Martin Luther King holiday last week may also have skewed the report by causing delays in the processing of some applications.

Hey, he didn’t ask to be assassinated and have a holiday named after him.

Aggie’s interpretive hamsters, Barney and Frank, have been put out to stud (dread thought), so we’ll have to figure this out ourselves. Even though the economy grew relatively robustly last quarter (3.2%—keep the champagne on ice), and even though unemployment is being showed as falling, this crap keeps popping up. We can say that it’s the curse of Obamacare (rather, a curse of Obamacare; there are so many): employers letting go marginal workers. Or we can say we don’t believe anything from this serially lying administration. More jobless mean more jobless benefits. Canned workers serve Obama’s interest. Fiddle the numbers; extend benefits for not working another year or five; buy another class of government-dependent voters.

Or we can say all of the above.

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Conservatives Are Bad, But Did You Know We Were This Bad?

A little background, helpfully provided by James Taranto:

One explanation for this phenomenon comes from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.” Todd Zywicki, coincidentally on the same day Cuomo made his remark, summed up the relevant finding in a Volokh Conspiracy post:

Haidt reports on the following experiment: after determining whether someone is liberal or conservative, he then has each person answer the standard battery of questions as if he were the opposite ideology. So, he would ask a liberal to answer the questions as if he were a “typical conservative” and vice-versa. What he finds is quite striking: “The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’ The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives.” In other words, moderates and conservatives can understand the liberal worldview and liberals are unable to relate to the conservative worldview, especially when it comes to questions of care and fairness.

In short, Haidt’s research suggests that many liberals really do believe that conservatives are heartless bastards–or as a friend of mine once remarked, “Conservatives think that liberals are good people with bad ideas, whereas liberals think conservatives are bad people”–and very liberal people think that especially strongly. Haidt suggests that there is some truth to this.

How often have we said this ourselves? (Other than all the time?) It helps me, anyway, to have been a liberal for many years myself. I know the thought processes (to be generous), the denial, the sacrifice of reality for dogma. I consider my liberal self to be an unfinished version of my better self. I’m still not finished, mind you, nothing so smug and self-satisfied as that, but I could never go back—and it would be back—to modern American/Western liberalism.

But let’s look at a few less evolved people, shall we? Taranto names two:

[Mayor Bill] de Blasio launched an attack, or rather reinforced one, on a minority he can afford to alienate. Breitbart.com’s Kerry Picket reports the mayor “emphatically backed New [York] Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial remarks that ‘extreme’ conservatives . . . ‘have no place in the state of New York.’ ”

“I stand by that 100%,” said the mayor.

[Cuomo said:] “Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay–if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

Cuomo’s statement was a gaffe, though one suspects it was a Kinsley gaffe, an inadvertent disclosure of his true feelings. De Blasio’s endorsement of it, by contrast, was unquestionably purposeful. “I agree with Gov. Cuomo’s remarks,” he said. “I interpret his remarks to say that an extremist attitude that continues the reality of violence in our communities or an extremist attitude that denies the rights of women does not represent the views of New York state.”

These were no pissant pipsqueaks, but the Mayor and Governor of New York City and State. Conservatives are not only demonized (anti-gay, pro assault weapons, holders of “extremist attitudes” that perpetuate violence and subjugate women), but as such, they cannot live among decent people. Would you want to live next to Charles Manson?

But Cuomo and de Blasio are pissant pipsqueaks next to the President of the United States:

“There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president.”

Says the recently reelected Barack Obama. America as a whole seems to like the idea of a black president. Or, to give America more credit than it deserves, it likes the idea of Barack Obama as president. (He wasn’t the first black candidate, just the first successful black candidate.) Still, there’s no denying that his race (the black half) was more responsible than anything else in putting him on the political map. Just about every white supporter I know has said it.

Even Obama acknowledges it:

“Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president,”

Maybe? Did you think it was your effervescent personality? Your sharp wit? Your uncanny ability at bird calls? “Maybe some white folks…” No [bleep], Sherlock.

And you know who it is poisoning the minds of those “folks” who don’t like him. Why, none other than:

“Another way of putting it, I guess, is that the issue has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, but I’m somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we’ve put in place worked better than people might think. And as long as there’s that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it’s hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction.”

Got that, “average Republican primary voter”? (Is that a synonym for “typical white person”? A cousin of a “bitter clinger” to guns and religion?) You don’t see “reality”, but a shucking and jiving “caricature” depicted by Rush Limbaugh (pbuh) and Roger Ailes. Maybe you’re not so bad, after all. Just incredibly stupid. So there’s hope.

Oh wait. Maybe not:

RUSH: … So yesterday the New Yorker releases more pages from their interview with Obama in which Obama blames me and Fox News for the fact that he is not as popular as he used to be.

And then later that same day, Chuck-U Schumer heads out to the Center for American Progress to make a speech, and he mentioned me and Fox News five times. Here’s the first…

SCHUMER: What gives this group such undue power? The power of the message machine led by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and the Rush Limbaughs that can broadcast the same exaggerated and even false messages instantaneously are all means that the Tea Party has used to gain ascendancy.

The underlying unrest that allowed the movement to ascend can be found in economic as well as cultural and social forces that in combination have greatly unsettled the American psyche. The first and most important phenomena is a phenomena that Democrats have recently begun to address, the decline in middle class incomes. When the Tea Party elite came in and said, “Government is your problem,” we didn’t say, no, it’s part of the solution. The American people became frustrated, sour, and angry, and the Tea Party elites, unchallenged, tapped into that anger with their pied piper solutions.

Tea Party “elites”? Tea Party “ascendancy”? Who? Since when? Barack Obama is still president, Harry Reid still runs the Senate, and John Boehner, Republican, hates the Tea Party more than both of them put together!

Schumer is just making [bleep] up! And he wasn’t done:

SCHUMER: These people are wealthy, hard right, narrow, people who don’t want to pay taxes, people who say, “I created my business all by my myself. How dare your government tell me what to do with it?” Government paved the roads and built the airports so they can ship their products. Government educated the workers that make their companies run and purchase their products. They conveniently ignore these facts. Over the years, they built a powerful and successful message machine that amplified and sold this anti-government theory to their followers. The Rush Limbaughs, the Fox Newses agree with the plutocrats and spread their propaganda to the masses.

I’ve been wanting to make this point to the “you didn’t build that” crowd for a long time: Romania has paved roads and airpots; so does Zimbabwe. Where are their thriving economies? If that’s all it took, poor countries would become instantly rich with the application of tarmac and blacktop. Stop it.

You really have to hear the contempt, the loathing, dripping from Schumer’s voice. He echoes Obama, but without his “cleanliness” or his “optional Negro dialect” (™ Joe Biden and Harry Reid respectively). I can’t be certain that he and Obama and Cuomo and de Blasio (and Reid and Pelosi, et al) actually feel this much hatred for their conservative fellow citizens—I truly hope note—but their base does. We all know people who hate us this much; we’re related by blood to some. This is their red meat.

We just ticked over into an election year, so we should expect only more. What else do the Democrats have? Obamacare? Loser issue. Immigration? Loser issue. Economy? Loser issue. Peace and respect around the world. Major loser issue.

In politics as in law: “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

That thumping you hear is the entire Democrat-Media Complex pounding the table. Get used to it.

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