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An Old Newness (Thomas Sowell)
Townhall.com ^ | April 29, 2008 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 04/28/2008 9:06:13 PM PDT by jazusamo

Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits -- one hit away from the landmark total of 3,000, which so many hitters want to reach, but which relatively few actually do reach.

Waner hit a ball that the fielder did not handle cleanly but the official scorer called it a hit, making it Waner's 3,000th. Paul Waner then sent word to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the one that put him over the top.

The official scorer reversed himself and called it an error. Later Paul Waner got a clean hit for number 3,000.

What reminded me of this is the great fervor that many seem to feel over the prospect of the first black President of the United States.

No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.

Paul Waner had too much pride to accept a scratch hit. Choosing a President of the United States is a lot more momentous than a baseball record. We the voters need to have far more concern about who we put in that office that holds the destiny of a nation and of generations yet unborn.

There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans.

Many people seem to regard elections as occasions for venting emotions, like cheering for your favorite team or choosing a Homecoming Queen.

The three leading candidates for their party's nomination are being discussed in terms of their demographics -- race, sex and age -- as if that is what the job is about.

One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom. The demographics of the presidency are far less important than the momentous weight of responsibility that office carries.

Just the power to nominate federal judges to trial courts and appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, can have an enormous impact for decades to come. There is no point feeling outraged by things done by federal judges, if you vote on the basis of emotion for those who appoint them.

Barack Obama has already indicated that he wants judges who make social policy instead of just applying the law. He has already tried to stop young violent criminals from being tried as adults.

Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things -- using the mantra of "change" endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually everything has says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s.

Protecting criminals, attacking business, increasing government spending, promoting a sense of envy and grievance, raising taxes on people who are productive and subsidizing those who are not -- all this is a re-run of the 1960s.

We paid a terrible price for such 1960s notions in the years that followed, in the form of soaring crime rates, double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment. During the 1960s, ghettoes across the countries were ravaged by riots from which many have not fully recovered to this day.

The violence and destruction were concentrated not where there was the greatest poverty or injustice but where there were the most liberal politicians, promoting grievances and hamstringing the police.

Internationally, the approach that Senator Obama proposes -- including the media magic of meetings between heads of state -- was tried during the 1930s. That approach, in the name of peace, is what led to the most catastrophic war in human history.

Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant of history to have heard about it.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; sowell; thomassowell; tsbo
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1 posted on 04/28/2008 9:06:15 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: AbeKrieger; Alia; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; bboop; ...
*PING*
Thomas Sowell

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Recent columns
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Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to, or removed from, the Thomas Sowell ping list…

2 posted on 04/28/2008 9:07:35 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

It would be instructive for many if Dr Sowell were ever asked to express these thoughts in the mass media. I would think Fox would want to consult him, especially now they are so focused on the topic of Obama. Perhaps he is too intelligent for that forum, perhaps something like the intelligence Bob Tyrrell brings: it is undeniable but also somehow fails to come across in the medium, which seems too shallow to accommodate the experience.

Then again, who would have the temerity to argue with him?


3 posted on 04/28/2008 9:11:32 PM PDT by BelegStrongbow (what part of 'mias gunaikos andra' do Episcopalians not understand?)
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To: jazusamo
No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.

May I say it? Crack! Mr. Sowell hits it out of the park.

4 posted on 04/28/2008 9:13:38 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand ("resort not to force until every just law be defied")
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To: jazusamo

If the first black President is someone like Thomas Sowell we would have to count our country truly blessed.


5 posted on 04/28/2008 9:17:53 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: BelegStrongbow; jazusamo

I would believe Dr. Sowell has probably been approached for such Media discussions, but is wary of such “opportunities”. I wouldn’t bother with such circus were I he.

Thanks for the ‘Ping’ Jaz. Once again Dr. Sowell does his best.


6 posted on 04/28/2008 9:21:00 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: BelegStrongbow
I believe he should appear more in the media but I understand he doesn't like to travel. I did see him on Hannity & Colmes last year and here's a link to a portion if you didn't see it.

Thomas Sowell on H & C

7 posted on 04/28/2008 9:21:15 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: Billthedrill
If the first black President is someone like Thomas Sowell we would have to count our country truly blessed.

That needed repeating!

8 posted on 04/28/2008 9:24:11 PM PDT by cpdiii (roughneck, oilfield trash and proud of it, geologist, pilot, pharmacist, iconoclast.)
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To: jazusamo

This is an excellent post. Sowell indeed did hit it out of the park!

I’m fanning this to some of my 30 plus friends for them to think about, I mean really to think about. There are three lefty liberals among them but I haven’t given up hope yet!

Thank you Mr. Sowell!


9 posted on 04/28/2008 9:24:16 PM PDT by Sen Jack S. Fogbound
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To: Billthedrill

I couldn’t agree more!


10 posted on 04/28/2008 9:24:55 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
"Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things -- using the mantra of "change" endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually everything has says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s."

LOL. That is so well said -- Dr. Sowell has just inspired my new tagline!! (I hope he doesn't mind that I borrowed it from him)
11 posted on 04/28/2008 9:25:39 PM PDT by Enchante (Obama: My 1960s Social Policy Needs to Be Supported by My 1930s Foreign Policy!)
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To: BelegStrongbow; All

Sorry, I didn’t check to see that the link was still active and it’s not. :-(


12 posted on 04/28/2008 9:28:02 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: Enchante

Dr. Sowell has been very outspoken in his criticism of Obama in several of his columns. :)


13 posted on 04/28/2008 9:30:20 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Excellent anecdote to start off this column!


14 posted on 04/28/2008 9:30:46 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (Let's Get Cup Crazy! Let's Go Sharks!)
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To: Billthedrill

Yes. However, I suspect Dr. Sowell is too smart to want to be President.

More’s the pity.


15 posted on 04/28/2008 9:36:54 PM PDT by rlmorel (Clinging bitterly to Guns and God in Massachusetts...:)
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To: GOP_Raider

Masterful.


16 posted on 04/28/2008 9:37:15 PM PDT by rlmorel (Clinging bitterly to Guns and God in Massachusetts...:)
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To: jazusamo

This remarkable man never fails to get it right, and me right when I read his words.


17 posted on 04/28/2008 9:37:59 PM PDT by Gator113 (McCain will be the best democrat President this country has ever elected.)
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To: GOP_Raider

...And I REALLY am not a sports analogy fan, either. But that really made the point.


18 posted on 04/28/2008 9:38:08 PM PDT by rlmorel (Clinging bitterly to Guns and God in Massachusetts...:)
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To: GOP_Raider; jazusamo

By a similar line of reasoning we should not want Shrillary to be the “1st Woman President” either!!!!

Let that great milestone be reached in a manner worthy of honor and acclaim, not disappointment and disgrace!


19 posted on 04/28/2008 9:39:25 PM PDT by Enchante (Obama: My 1960s Social Policy Needs to Be Supported by My 1930s Foreign Policy!)
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To: All
There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans.

I told my wife tonight that I ask myself everyday why someone like Obama would even consider running for the Presidency: doesn't he know the President may have to make a decision that could end in the deaths of thousands of people?

His arrogance and foolishness prevent him from making a decision that would kill thousands of innocent people in another country, even if that decision would save the lives of thousands of innocent Americans.

And he doesn't have the ability to protect this nation against a nuclear attack: I strongly feel that he'd sleep better at night knowing that a nuclear bomb went off here in America because he wasn't willing to preemptively go to war against a nation like Iran.

20 posted on 04/28/2008 9:44:08 PM PDT by Fox_Mulder77
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To: jazusamo

A great, after-the-nomination article. Timing is everything.


21 posted on 04/28/2008 9:47:18 PM PDT by Rudder (Klinton-Kool-Aid FReepers prefer spectacle over victory.)
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To: jazusamo
There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans.

WOW! Dr. Sowell doesn't mess around!

Very good one, Jaz, thanks for the ping.

22 posted on 04/28/2008 9:49:44 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: jazusamo

It would be interesting if Thomas Sowell as a black would opine as to what percentage of the black community agrees with Jeremiah Wright.


23 posted on 04/28/2008 9:55:27 PM PDT by Binghamton_native
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To: Fox_Mulder77

I believe you are correct in saying Obama doesn’t have the ability to protect our nation.


24 posted on 04/28/2008 9:59:38 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

>> No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president,

Well, Mr. Sowell, what are you waiting for?


25 posted on 04/28/2008 10:05:08 PM PDT by Gene Eric
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping. Excellent column. Spot on.


26 posted on 04/28/2008 10:05:47 PM PDT by Rocky
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To: rlmorel

Dr. Sowell has a way of making it work though. Few people can do it without sounding cliched. Sowell is one of them.


27 posted on 04/28/2008 10:11:12 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (Let's Get Cup Crazy! Let's Go Sharks!)
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To: jazusamo
I think Hillary is far more arrogant and dangerous than Barack. Interestingly, every criticism that is made of Barack can also be made of Hillary and more.

But I do agree with Dr. Sowell. I always envisioned that the first black president would be a conservative Republican. BTW, I always thought the first woman president would be a conservative Republican. Unfortunately, it is more than likley one of those visions will be proven incorrect this time 'round. What a pity.

28 posted on 04/28/2008 10:12:13 PM PDT by TAdams8591
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To: TAdams8591

I hope we’re both wrong but I tend to agree.


29 posted on 04/28/2008 10:15:37 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
"One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom."

"Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant of history to have heard about it."

Two pearls of wisdom from one of the great clear thinkers of our time.

30 posted on 04/28/2008 10:19:29 PM PDT by Always A Marine
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To: jazusamo

There are certainly blacks qualified to be President. Barack Hussein Obama is not one of them.

But trhere is one in the field: Dr. Alan Keyes.


31 posted on 04/28/2008 10:24:30 PM PDT by TBP
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To: jazusamo

Probably the first black president should be a Republican. Race appears to be consuming Hussein.


32 posted on 04/28/2008 10:29:51 PM PDT by Post Toasties (It's not a smear if it's true.)
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To: Post Toasties

Yes it does, he’s lost a lot of ground in the last couple weeks and I don’t see him getting it back.


33 posted on 04/28/2008 10:34:29 PM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Thomas Sowell hits another home run! Let’s see who can come close to him! Sowell for President!


34 posted on 04/28/2008 10:54:25 PM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: TBP
There are certainly blacks qualified to be President. Barack Hussein Obama is not one of them. But there is one in the field: Dr. Alan Keyes.

Yesterday's mention for McCain's VP choice?

Dr. Sowell is frequently and warmly mentioned on the G. Gordon Liddy Program. Surely all these mentions can't be missed by McCain!

35 posted on 04/29/2008 12:20:27 AM PDT by Does so (...against all enemies, DOMESTIC and foreign...)
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To: Always A Marine
"One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom."

Thomas Sowell always puts things in brilliantly simple and insightful way, but this sentence even more than others just pricked me at my core. It's so lucid I had to pause for a few moments before I could continue reading because a chill ran all the way down my spine.
36 posted on 04/29/2008 12:27:38 AM PDT by According2RecentPollsAirIsGood
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To: Binghamton_native
It would be interesting if Thomas Sowell as a black would opine as to what percentage of the black community agrees with Jeremiah Wright.

If you were familiar with Tom Sowell's career, you wouldn't offer such a suggestion. It's not his style.

37 posted on 04/29/2008 12:45:21 AM PDT by Misterioso
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To: jazusamo
he’s lost a lot of ground in the last couple weeks and I don’t see him getting it back.

Careful! This could be one of the all-time super set-ups.There is something stinky about the way Wright is going so public. Is it because him and Obama have agreed on a big smack-down before Indiana so all the "crackers" will think he's their kind of "black"?

I think Obama is the sock-puppet for his wife and Wright. He has been brought along under uncommon circumstances.

38 posted on 04/29/2008 1:57:45 AM PDT by leadhead (Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think,)
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To: rockinqsranch

From my obsevations I’d say that Dr. Sowell is a gentleman, knows that he personally wouldn’t raise his voice to shout over others and won’t put himself in a position where others can freely shout over him.


39 posted on 04/29/2008 2:28:22 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: Billthedrill

****If the first black President is someone like Thomas Sowell we would have to count our country truly blessed****

If Thomas Sowell were our first black President our country would be blessed for eternity.

That’s better;)


40 posted on 04/29/2008 2:33:00 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Despair - man's surrender. Laughter - God's redemption.)
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To: Enchante

Paul Waner was known as “Big Poison.” He had a brother Lloyd, nicknamed “Little Poison.”


41 posted on 04/29/2008 3:12:24 AM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: jazusamo

The link worked for me, but it turned out to be a leftist media watchdog site which made sure only to post the part which would outrage liberals and to exclude whatever Dr. Sowell and Sean conversed about. I read what the poster extracted and decided not to take advantage of your kind effort, though I do thank you for making it. It can’t have been fun to go to that site, much less access anything the site provides.


42 posted on 04/29/2008 3:38:22 AM PDT by BelegStrongbow (what part of 'mias gunaikos andra' do Episcopalians not understand?)
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To: Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi; jazusamo; redgolum

"Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things -- using the mantra of "change" endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually everything has says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s.

Protecting criminals, attacking business, increasing government spending, promoting a sense of envy and grievance, raising taxes on people who are productive and subsidizing those who are not -- all this is a re-run of the 1960s. "

This is exactly right. Bill and Hillary Clinton also tried to take us back into the 1960s in the 1990s.

The problem with Obama and Wright though is the theology. There was a debate a number of years ago in First Things, I think, about Mark Noll's The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and that should be part of this debate over Rev. Wright because this is not really about race but bad theology and the liberal politics connected with that. There have been some great discussions on Wright, faith and politics on Hardball with Chris Matthews and Rev. Eugene Rivers, on FOX with Megyn Kelly, Michael Steele, the former Lt. Governor of Maryland, and Angela McGlowan. Quite amazing actually, bringing forward black Christian leaders talking about these issues.

It's too bad Bill Buckley is gone. They could have had a great debate on faith and politics on Firing Line with Michael Steele, J.C. Watts, Alan Keyes, Rev. Eugene Rivers, Cornel West, and Thomas Sowell. The discussions and debates should continue. They just need to take the controversy over theology and focus it back on Christianity. Someone should organize this.

It's not just 1960s politics but 1960s theology in this mess of Obama and Wright.

I think it was Mark Hemingway over at National Review picking up on this with Wright's hermeneutics, trying to make scripture mean what he wants it to say.

They need to get this out of racial politics and debate the theology.

43 posted on 04/29/2008 4:52:14 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: jazusamo

Great essay!


44 posted on 04/29/2008 5:08:31 AM PDT by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: jazusamo

Thomas Sowell for President. Undoubtedly, one of the brightest minds (of ANY race) today.


45 posted on 04/29/2008 5:10:48 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1 - Take no prisoners))
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To: Misterioso
Are you not curious to know how many blacks believe the things that Jeremiah Wright is saying? I know I am. Perhaps it is not Thomas Sowell's style, but, if not him, then maybe another conservative black. We already know the answer if we believe the liberal black leaders.

PS. I am familiar with Tom Sowell's career. I own and have read several of his books.
46 posted on 04/29/2008 6:45:56 AM PDT by Binghamton_native
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To: jazusamo

As usual Sowell nails it.

“No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.”

This line goes beyond this issue. It captures the essence of liberal policy. They wants the ends so bad they’re willing to accept any means. So morons like Gore and others peddle crappy ideas that haven’t a chance of succeeding and the desparate fools lap it up, too impatient to wait for an actual solution, or too close minded to accept solutions from nonliberals.


47 posted on 04/29/2008 7:12:21 AM PDT by enough_idiocy (Holding my nose in 2008. I disagree with McCain on lots of issue, but with the Democrats on more.)
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To: jazusamo
Many people seem to regard elections as occasions for venting emotions, like cheering for your favorite team or choosing a Homecoming Queen.

Oh, man, I have said this so many times. Liberals choose a president based on the flimsiest of ideas! "I just LIKE him/her," (Clintons) "I just feel like he understands/empathizes" (Clinton), "I just think he's a remarkable person," (Obama)...

I always tell them, "That's how you pick a homecoming king, not a president." They give me this stunned look and don't even argue. They just kind of sit there.

48 posted on 04/29/2008 7:17:24 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: jazusamo; Fred Nerks; Jeff Head; MtnClimber; LucyT; F15Eagle; neverdem

Barack Obama has already indicated that he wants judges who make social policy instead of just applying the law. He has already tried to stop young violent criminals from being tried as adults.

Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things — using the mantra of “change” endlessly — the cold fact is that virtually everything has says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s.

Excellent as expected.


49 posted on 04/29/2008 7:36:39 AM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: jazusamo
Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant of history to have heard about it.

Wow. I think that surpasses Santayana's version in terms of elegance and impact! Though I think I would have said "contemptuous of history". These people seem to be, not just innocently ignorant of the lessons of history, but hostile to the idea that it has lessons to teach us.

50 posted on 04/29/2008 8:04:18 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Typical white person)
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