Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Obama: “The Government Is Us”

President Obama gave a graduation speech yesterday in front of 80,000 people at the University of Michigan. Millions of Americans are in dire need of some basic civics lessons; unfortunately, those people probably weren’t in the audience.

Obama said:

“What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”

He also urged both sides to tone down the rhetoric just a little:

“Throwing around phrases like 'socialists' and 'Soviet-style takeover,' 'fascists' and 'right-wing nut' — that may grab headlines. But it also closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation. At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.”

He also urged everyone to open their minds by seeking out opposing viewpoints. Glenn Beck listeners should check out the Huffington Post; New York Times readers should check out the Wall Street Journal.

“It may make your blood boil. Your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship.”

This is advice we could all use; myself included. Sarah Palin was also giving a speech nearby, around the same time as Obama's speech. But this time I'm not going to fall into my usual routine. Because of Obama's request that we all be more open-minded and less judgmental, I will NOT launch into one of my usual rants about that simple-minded phony Wasilla Hillbilly pandering to a bunch of toothless retarded inbred — OOPS.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this yesterday and planning on writing my Friday rant about the idiots that don't get all this. It seems simple but then this country is full of people that would rather go listen to Palin than someone with an actual brain.

PS- could you shoot me an email offline?

May 2, 2010 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Annette said...

Great post Tom, even when you "slipped."

Sometimes the truth just comes out....lol

May 2, 2010 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I really do and try to listen to all sides. Mostly for Material for my blog. That being said, there should be a Danger warning label before,during and after the Rushaholics are on. I get riled up and have to reach for my pills.
Now my wife just laughs at them. Of course she's a better person than me.
I want to shoot them. See Obama was right!

May 2, 2010 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The polarization of our political process is due to the subjugation of issues by the corporate media which only presents extremist viewpoints as a way to sensationalize a story and garner ratings. This explains how people who two years ago were behind the Bush administration are now virulently anti-government, and vice versa, when there has been no real change at all in the way that our government operates. Along the way, we seem to have forgotten that we are all human beings whose wants and worries stem from a lack of common respect.

May 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama is not qualified to be president. He is a good manipulator, but is clueless about what this country needs. He should practice what he preaches.

May 2, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Once again, the president is doing his best to bring people together, not divide them. I really admire this guy a lot.

May 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Kiss Injure said...

Should be quite obvious by now that Prez. Obama is just the butler for the Clinton neo-liberal, neo-imperialist, corporatist White House.

May 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always got me how all these years Republicans and Conservatives (is there a difference?) in Government draw a nice check, vote themselves many perks and amenities (never take a cut or lay off when things get bad), Run high deficients, increase the size of Government and join Ronald Reagan in a chorus calling that same Government bad.

You would have never heard of Palin had she not drawn a Government Check - running for a job that draws a even bigger Government Check.

Such evil money


May 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I know there are some people forget government is us, I am not one of them. The one bug up my butt is this whole, both sides are doing it crap, when they know damn well that is not happening. He got rouhgly 92k people she got a little less than 2k and they were both covered the same way by certain outlets. How is that supposed to make me want to watch or look into another "news" source when it is all lies and spin coming from certain places?
Anon 1, this will not end well for you my friend, coming here and saying PO is not qualified. I'll start ok. He seems to be doing ok changing the trajectory of the country to more middle instead of pandering to right wing lunatics that want to take us back to the days we could own people and women were just seen and not heard. Go on, tell me what you would do differently since you might know what we need to get things done. Like I said, this is not going to end well for you and I for one will delight in watching you be taken to task for that statement.

May 2, 2010 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Paul and Kerry: I guess some people would rather listen to a nonstop recital of bumpersticker slogans than listen to somebody with a brain.

Annette: Thanks. Yes, I fell off the wagon :)

Tim: Obama was right when he said "it might make your blood boil" when you read opposing viewpoints. It's worth doing, but it has that side effect.

Lew: You're right, the media does this so they can get more readers/viewers and sell more ad space. Political polarization and anything to scare people and keep them paranoid. Swine Flu! Bird Flu! Killer Bees! Freeway Shootings! Pit Bull Attacks!

And it all translates into Ka-Ching.

Anonymous: "Not qualified?" His predecessor showed us that anyone can be president.

J: He does a great job of keeping his cool in the midst of all the hatred and slander being thrown at him.

Erik: It's bad enough that politicians pull this off; but it's even worse that their followers don't catch the irony. They don't want their neighbor to have "socialized medicine" but they don't mind that their favorite politicians are receiving it. It's OK for Sarah Palin to siphon jillions of taxpayer dollars, as long as her speeches are full of "Joe Sixpack" and "Real Americans" references.

May 2, 2010 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: "Democrats do it too." "Oh, so it's OK for Clinton to _____________"

You mean stuff like that? And I'm surprised Fox News didn't say there are fourteen million people at Sarah Palin's rally.

May 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Oh yeah the whole blame Clinto thing. You would think that commander cuckoo bananas had never been in office the way some of them go on and on. First it was blame Clinton for (insert whatever here), now it is blame Prez Obama for (insert whatever here) Um where did commander cuckoo bananas serve or, is this just their way of saying he was not really presidentin the whole time and it was Darth Cheney doing it from undisclosed locations. Only coming out at night, when he was free to roam the earth looking for victims.

Well here is the deal. You have to factor in multiples when dealing with that elusive Foxness monster creature. If they tell you the immigration march had 10s of thousands of people, multiply that by about 100. If they tell you that Bible Spice had millions divide that by the same amount. I swear watching some of the news yesterday, you would think only ten people showed up to these marches. They gave tens of people way more coverage when they were out there doing the teabg thing. Where are they today when AZ government is interfering in people's rights? Oh yeah, I forgot, it is only when they are doing things to help people we should protest not when they are doing things to oppress minorities. Silly Jess, protests are for old white people, scared they will have to give up Medicare. I was fortuntate, I watched on Univision and got better coverage, than on some news channels. SWMNBN** got the same coverage for doing the whole, governement in bad but hey we want these people in there to make it better, wait what. If it is so bad, why in the hell would anyone want to serve is my question.

**She who must not be named.

May 2, 2010 at 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

The government is way too often not "us," but a bunch of flat-earthers who make sure to vote in any little by-election.

We have to develop the same attitude, and I assure you-I have.

May 2, 2010 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Glad to read that you all are taking President Obama's rare excellent advice to heart...

May 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: "If they tell you the immigration march had 10s of thousands of people, multiply that by about 100. If they tell you that Bible Spice had millions divide that by the same amount."

That's the formula! You've discovered The Secret :)

JR: That's exactly it. The Right does their homework, with millions of stealth candidates running for every "insignificant"city, county and state office in the country. And Righties always vote -- Always. They've been doing this for decades; and it's way past time for liberals to adopt these methods too.

TP: I was doing so well, and then in that last sentence of my post, I, I don't know what happened. Something just came over me :)

May 3, 2010 at 1:55 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I understand Obama saying what he said. It's the responsible thing for a president to say.

I can and do regularly take in opposing views. When I do, I expect to encounter a certain amount of spin, slant and shading of the truth. That can be taken in stride.

What I cannot take in stride is outright free-form lying. Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. No one likes being lied to. No one comes back for more from people who've insulted their intelligence.

So, that's a dividing line Obama didn't address. The political right has done so much lying for so long, they appear to believe many of their own lies. They're steeped in them. And whether they believe their lies or not, they're obviously applying the Big Lie technique conservatives used to condemn communists for using.

I've seen Alan Simpson, former senator from Montana, and at times when he wasn't running for anything, Bob Dole, advancing ideas I don't agree with — without the lies and distortions. That was OK, but those instances were the rare exceptions. Who on the right now sticks to facts and truth dependably?

As John Kerry was caught saying by an open microphone during the 2004 campaign, "They just lie and lie, and they don't even care (if people know they're lying)."

That's true, and it leaves them with no credibility, IMO. I generally avoid those who've destroyed their own credibility.

May 3, 2010 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

He lost me at:

“What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad"

May 3, 2010 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

It's hard to listen to both sides, especially when the Republicans choose lying as a method of getting what they want. The truth becomes a fugitive and is hunted down until it becomes unbelievable.

May 3, 2010 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: There was a column a week ago by David Brooks, saying that most people actually do seek out opposing views at different websites. I hope he's right, because there's certainly the perception that everybody just visits the sites that will reinforce their already-existing viewpoints.

I agree, it's the lying that's upsetting; not the fact that people have different opinions.

Joaquin: I thought you looked a little lost :)

Holte: "The truth becomes a fugitive and is hunted down until it becomes unbelievable." Very well put.

May 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

With a comment like that, the one that appears lost on America is our 'leader'

I would love to know who has told PeBO "that all of government is inherently bad"
He probably just pulled that from you know where.

May 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

I agree that it is the lying that is upsetting too.

"I wouldn't want to run for president in 2008 when I don't have the experience yet." (paraprhasing Obama)

"I don't want to be in the automaker business." (as Obama takes over GM and Chrysler, tells them what cars to make, and dictates executives salaries, while giving much of the assets to the UAW.

"There will not be rationing of health care." BHO

I could go on for pages regarding the "truth" being told by the enlightened left that never lies.

May 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

TP, Freeper land is that way>>>>>> Hope this helps :)

May 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, you can't be serious with this nonsense.

When did Obama say he didn't want to run in '08? And, since when is a change of mind (if Obama did actually say what you claim he said) a lie? Your contention is childish.

Lincoln and Wilson didn't want to be war presidents. Harry Truman didn't want to send troops in to operate coal mines during the Korean War. Obama didn't want to keep the automakers from going under. All of them did what they had to do. Get over it.

As for telling automakers what vehicles to produce, show me the proof. But if Obama did that, good for him. As a taxpayer, I want the investment to pay off, both in saving the companies and bringing a return. And regarding salaries, Obama knew the public wouldn't stand for bailed out auto executives to make a killing out of funds intended to save their companies. There was no lying involved.

Show me the proof there's rationing of health care because of the Health Care Reform bill. You can't because there isn't any. What there will be in a few years is 36 million more people with insurance. I don't call that rationing, and if you do, you're the one with an honesty problem.

"I could go on for pages regarding the "truth" being told by the enlightened left that never lies."

I'm sure you could. I'm equally sure the rest of your assertions would be as asinine as the ones in your comment. Your problem, common to many on the right, is an inability — or unwillingness — to distinguish statements you dislike and disagree with from dishonest ones. Then there's the bad habit of twisting other people's words to suit your purpose.

May 5, 2010 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger T. Paine said...

Anderson, first see the following link for when Obama said he wouldn't run in 2008 for president because he "wouldn't have the experience".


As for the government telling what cars will be made, Obama via his car czar, dictated to GM which branches of it's division to divest.

Hummer, with its leftist-hated SUV's was one of the companies to be shut down, along with GM's performance division of Pontiac. The Obama administration further decided to have GM keep its Buick line, despite it not being very profitable in the U.S.

How the heck is that not telling a company what type of cars it can and cannot make, sir?

As for the health care rationing, it isn't here yet obviously as this illegal law was just passed; however, I would bet you large sums of money that this will come to fruition if left to stand as is.

Common sense and some basic economic knowledge will tell you that there WILL be rationing, and Obama is definitely smart enough to know that this is the case and that he was lying in order to achieve his vaunted health care reform, and damned be the consequences.

The bottom line is that when you add 36 million or whatever the seemingly arbitrary BS number of people that were without insurance to the rolls, you have substantially increased the burden on the health care network by increasing demand.

Next, you provide disincentives to health professionals by capping what certain procedures, reimbursements, medicines etc can cost the consumer. This makes far less people willing to continue or join the health care profession, thereby substantially decreasing the supply of available health care professionals.

If you have more people needing care and a lot less people to care for them, how in the heck do you think there is not going to be rationing and long waiting periods for care, Mr. Anderson?

Just because you cannot find a supporting statement for your position in a source such as the Huffington Post or Daily Kos doesn't mean that one's assertion is not indeed factual. A little common sense will go a long way in being able to determine which is a fact, opinion, or lie.

You obviously are an intelligent guy so I can only assume that you will be able to tell the difference, sir.

May 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Paine, that video was from 2004, three years, at least, before Obama decided to run. Tell me you've never changed your mind about anything in a three-year period. You're labeling this as Obama lying says something derogatory about you, not him.

"Hummer, with its leftist-hated SUV's was one of the companies to be shut down, along with GM's performance division of Pontiac."

I'm looking for some reference here where Obama orders GM to stop making Hummers and Pontiacs. I see no such reference, which tells me Obama's not lying about anything to do with that, but you are blowing smoke.

There we were, sinking into a deep recession, gas prices still high, and GM decides to scuttle its exquisitely expensive to buy and run Hummer line -- sales of which had been weak and declining for some time. Then there's Pontiac and Saturn, which I was kind of sorry to see go. GM did it to streamline its operations, bringing production capacity and marketing more in line with demand, just as it had done years earlier with Oldsmobile, when neither Obama nor the government had anything to do with it.

Click here and read what the Washington Post reported on GM's decision, quoting GM's president, Paine. Note this, that he said:

"On Pontiac, Henderson said he believe car brands need to play offense, not defense, to win. 'We didn’t have a strategy that would allow us to win with the Pontiac brand. We didn’t have the resources nor could we provide the marketing muscle behind the brand,' he said."

Am I supposed to believe Chrysler's dropping of its DeSoto and Imperial lines was because of devious, dishonest presidents?


"As for the health care rationing, it isn't here yet obviously as this illegal law was just passed; however, I would bet you large sums of money that this will come to fruition if left to stand as is."

Now we're just down to your supposition, Paine. No proof, just what you think. It would be impossible to summon a clearer example of someone who conflates opinion with fact and tries to pass off the former as being the latter when the facts don't suit his purpose.

You made a charge of Obama lying. For him to have lied about this, there would have to be actual cases of rationing. What's more, Obama would have to have known there would be cases of rationing before they happened, but said otherwise for some devious reason.

Paine, try to be honest. Don't you at least begin to see why those of us on the other side of the political divide look at nonsense like what you've perpetrated here and believe down to our toenails that you people have lost touch with truth, facts and reality, and don't much care because those things just keep going against what you want them to be anyway?

I'm not trying to insult you by saying that. One more time, I'm just amazed.

Lying is something people do purposely. To prove a lie, you need an admission by the person who told the lie or solid, verifiable contradictory facts. You made this charge about Obama lying and about people on the left lying. What you've backed that up with is so lame I'm embarrassed for you.

I get things wrong sometimes. I change my mind sometimes. At the same time, I try to be honest and play fair. I believe Obama is the same way. I'm not a liar, I don't think he's a liar.

I think you owe the president and people on the left an apology. You want to disagree on matters of opinion, no problem. But don't pass off your opinions off as facts and use that nonsense as the basis for calling others liars.

May 5, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

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