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defending liberalism
The Danger of President Obama’s Farewell Address
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  • KremlinKryptonite

    Obama: $9 Trillion more debt. 20,000+ new regulations, now costing Americans more than $100 Billion annually. 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost. Weak foreign policy. Democratic Party massacred.

  • Dale Fayda

    “…probably undermined the cause he was trying to promote.” What? The only cause that ever really concerned Obama was is and will be Obama. Everything else was just “conversation”. Everything this pathological narcissist has ever done has been to build and to secure his “legacy” and that includes this latest bout of self-important pontification.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Perfectly said….

    • CosmotKat

      “Everything else was just “conversation”
      Or a narrative………a foundation of lies to be used to fool the gullible i.e. their base.

  • Kevin

    The only memorable farewell speech of the last century was Ike’s. His warnings against the dangers of the military-industrial complex had credibility by coming from the preeminent soldier of the era while seeming to warn against the parochial interests of the military he was seen as the paragon of. Obama lacked Ike’s stature, but also just repeated his self-laudatory spiel. However, at this point, who’s shocked that a little man like Obama couldn’t live up to the standards set by his predecessors?

    • FriendlyGoat

      Heck, conservatives never actually listened to Ike about that military-industrial complex matter. Some of them thought it remarkable, considering his background, that he made such a warning. And——–then they went off ignore the meat of the subject.

      • CapitalHawk

        Well, yeah. I mean, how are you going to build and sustain a worldwide empire without a military-industrial complex?!?!

      • CosmotKat

        “Heck, conservatives never actually listened to Ike about that military-industrial complex matter.”
        And you clearly did not understand what Ike meant and what he was warning us about. I am not surprised. Most progressives have been misinterpreting and misrepresenting this phrase for the last 60 years.

  • Andrew Allison

    In other words, a typically petulant and divisive oration from the pen and phone guy. Obama, having decimated his party at the State level while losing the White House continues to give his rampant narcissism free reign.

    • Genesis123

      ^^^^^
      What he said.

    • Matt B

      Petulance is exactly right.

  • FriendlyGoat

    “Little” conservatives can continue to blame liberals for their own disastrously poor grasp of both civics and economics until “bigger” conservatives FINALLY and COMPLETELY eat their lunch, but thoughtful writers like these at TAI shouldn’t help with the misconception.
    The take-away of rights, leverage, opportunities, hopes and money from the entire working class is going to be of stunningly large scope and long duration, and those losses are going to be incurred by a LOT of folks who voted for the Republican Party to ravage them in such a manner—— as well as by folks who didn’t.

    Whenever you hear someone on the GOP side tell the liberals what they should have said “instead” or who they should have run “instead” to prevent this, you are hearing a couple of things. 1) You are hearing a GOP person actually predicting the damage to be inflicted on everyone, left or right, who happens to be not already well-to-do. 2) You are hearing someone who expects only liberals to somehow thwart such consequences—apologetic that his or her own party is like a grizzly bear from the wild which cannot (CANNOT) know better than to maul people as a matter of nature—–apologetic that conservatives would like to have warned us, but, hey, bears can’t talk, you know?
    If you think I am overstating this, pay CLOSE attention to how badly the “little” conservatives get personally hurt on under-insured health care costs over the next several years. Once the states are in competition to see which one can produce the worst policy standards to be sold everywhere, the level of workers’ protection from financial catastrophe will be headed irretrievably down—-groups and all.

    • Tom

      You have noticed that Mr. Willick is usually somewhat liberal, right? I mean, I realize that anyone who’s not as deep in the tank for the Democrats as you are is actually a GOP operative in disguise and probably secretly a Trump voter who’s ashamed of themselves, but you really need to stop acting like Democrats have halos and Republicans have horns.

      • FriendlyGoat

        I am responding to two things:

        1) There is no danger in Obama saying everything he wants to say and everything he needs to say—–no matter how liberal. Our side does not need to soft-pedal anything for any reason. Maybe Obama will stay busy reminding the country what it stupidly gave away.

        2) I am responding to you and Jim and every other church person I have met who said “If only Democrats had run someone other than Hillary”.

        • Tom

          1. Your side is about as good as soft-pedaling as you say I am. You’ve all the self-righteousness of the Moral Majority with a side order of smugness.
          2. Yes. And?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Stay tuned. So many of your own people are going to be slapped silly and all you can worry about is my (our) smugness. Seriously, Tom. Nothing else can happen.

          • Genesis123

            Nothing? Like absolutely nothing? Only the future as you envision it. This is not smugness. This is a full blown delusion. Which, real talk, may be tragic for those who have to care for you but is absolutely hilarious to me. I mean, how many time must somebody be proven wrong for them to get a bit of humility? We may never know.

          • FriendlyGoat

            There are such things as rich churches. There are also poor churches.
            The people in the poor churches are going to be slapped silly and over a period of many, many years from the present governmental alignment. Seriously, nothing else can happen and nothing else is going to happen. It’s neither smugness or delusion which tells me this. It is life experience.

          • Tom

            I’m frankly not entirely sure how, if your first sentence turns out to be true, it’ll be any different for them than the last eight years of Obama have been.

        • Genesis123

          Agree completely with Point 1. Given Obama’s record in helping Democrats get and stay elected, I really hope he continues to help them as much as possible. I can’t wait for Citizen Obama’s first press conference.
          Also love your idea that people are too stupid to know what’s good for them. You know how you got Trump? By saying stupid shlt like that. You want more Trump? keep on saying it.
          BTW, did you hear the good news. Looks like Lightbringer, the Messiah, Abu Hussein himself will still be in office as dismantling of his legacy begins. Already Congress is chipping away at Obamacare. It will take time, but soon we will be free again.

      • Genesis123

        You are saying Comrade FG needs to stop acting like Comrade FG? And how would we be able to ridicule and mercilessly mock him then? I like my Leftwingers nice and sure of themselves.

        • Tom

          I would prefer it if he were not so easily mockable.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, that would be better for you. Serial mocking is not good for your spirit and not becoming of the people you purport to represent.

          • Genesis123

            Serial mocking of those who don’t deserve to be mocked, like the disabled, is indeed bad for your spirit. But since you don’t consider yourself disabled, who am I to say different?
            Also, I represent only myself. My views are my own.

          • Tom

            Frankly, I’ve watched you degenerate yourself. You were once relatively sane, although to the left of the commentariat here.
            Then Trump happened, and you lost your mind.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Tom, for a variety of reasons but largely related to my age, I am personally beyond the reach of most of the damage which can be done by Mr. Trump. You’re not. My mind is gonna be fine. Yours is at risk of adverse surprise.

          • Tom

            Oh, I know Trump is going to cause problems. I’m just not convinced that he’s MussoliniHitler.

          • FriendlyGoat

            He is not Mussolini or Hitler. He is a combination of P.T. Barnum, Hugh Hefner, the robber barons of the 19th century, Arthur Laffer, Grover Norquist, Dick Cheney, Ralph Reed, and the Pied Piper. Because of the characteristics of the first two names and the last name, people follow him when they should know better. Because of the characteristics of the other names in the middle, he is going to “cause problems”. Those problems are systemic and long-lasting for the lower half or two thirds of the people in the country.

          • Tom

            Now, if that chimaera actually existed I’d be as worried as you are, mostly because of Barnum, Hefner, and the Piper.
            Since it doesn’t exist outside your own imagination, I’m less concerned.

    • Genesis123

      You are so right and so astute. We all know 20th century history and realize that top down government solutions produce great results while free market solutions produce bad results. No wonder all your predictions always come true, with knowledge like that. For someone who claims to know blue collar workers, you seem completely unable to comprehend why they keep on rejecting, in state after state, your evil unionist ideology. It is almost as if your blind partisanship prevents you from seeing reality as it actually exists, as opposed to how you think it should exist. And now the Lightbringer, the Messiah and many people’s Savior, Abu Hussein is living. I suggest you should move to Cuba where there are unions, and healthcare and all sorts of Leftwing goodness. I’m just looking out for you.

  • Disappeared4x

    Thank you J Willick, for a thoughtfully useful view of a final Presidential address I could not watch. or listen, or read, because of the painful assault on language from his ‘center-left’ administration, especially since 2013.

    Your “undemocratic liberalism” helps, except I still struggle with what ‘democracy’ and ‘liberal’ mean to the word demagogues, those who decided we needed laws regulating new pronouns. The USA is a Constitutional Republic, not a pure democracy, yet the delegitimizing protest to end the Electoral College seems to think otherwise.

    Good thing the new team – cabinet – has very few lawyers, and those few not from Harvard or Yale.

    • Andrew Allison

      The USA is a Union of democratic States, and the Electoral College was put in place precisely to prevent one or two of them from imposing their will upon the rest. The fact that 156% of Clinton’s 2.8 million vote plurality came from CA, a State which as the leaders of the Assembly and Senate announced after the election doesn’t share the values of the rest of the country, is just the latest manifestation of the wisdom of the Founders.

  • Eurydice

    Well, that’s what you get when the system is perpetually in election mode. Election mode is binary – there can be no consensus, no compromise – one can only vote for this side or that.

  • ljgude

    I watched about a third of it before bed here in Australia and it seemed to me he was just reiterating his idealistic goals of 2008 and acting as if he had accomplished them. Not much new in that. My favorite part of Mr Willick’s article is this:

    “By trying to simply dismiss [populist] initiatives out of hand as ‘illiberal,’ mainstream politicians have given populists further ammunition. If trying to address the legitimate concerns of my people is illiberal, politicians like Hungary’s Viktor Orban are saying, then I am guilty as charged of illiberalism.”

    I think it is Obama’s and the post cold war left’s appropriation of the world ‘liberal’ and insisting that it mean such things as open borders and include a multicultural order that dismisses both the Nation State and Western Culture as obsolete that has brought on the populist reaction. When the people go to war with politicians who impose impossible policies on the them, they do so with the leaders they have. Sometimes those leaders are waiting in the wings like Churchill, and sometimes the people have to shove them down the throat of the Great and Good like Orban or Trump. Or Pauline Hanson in Australia. None of us know how well or poorly Trump will do trying to set the US on different course but even if he fails miserably the policies of the now threatened elites – the Obamas, the Bushes, the Clintons and their European counterparts will ferret out the political philosophy and leaders that can address these issues.

    • Andrew Allison

      The Orwellian use of the word “liberal” by the left is bad enough, but perhaps the most egregious example of double-speak in common usage today is “progressive”. The Obama legacy of regression in the economy (workforce participation and real wages at 1970s levels), race relations (back to the 60’s), and foreign policy (worldwide contempt) is just the latest indictment.

  • CapitalHawk

    The fact that leftists, like Obama, continue to manipulate words that have a positive image in peoples minds (“democracy” being the most recent example) to mean “things the leftists want”, is nothing new. This, together with an attempt to eliminate the ability to even articulate “bad thoughts”, is the whole point of political correctness.
    They all read 1984 with great interest, because, to the leftist, it is not a warning but an instruction manual.

  • Pait

    This reminds me very much of Brazil’s left wing propaganda machine’s reaction after the left-wing government threw the country into a major recession, which started around the time when government corruption was being investigated. They blamed the courts and the investigation for the recession, as if the crime had nothing to do with it.

    This piece is following the same method: blaming in advance those who alert against the threat to our freedoms for the actions of those who have set out to curtail them. The messenger of bad news is at fault, not the perpetrator of the acts. Great reasoning….

    • Genesis123

      Those who are a threat to our freedoms? You mean those who make it illegal to not buy a product a lot of people don’t want? That freedom? Or religious freedom of bakers who don’t want to cater gay weddings? Or forcing nuns to provide contraception? You mean threats of freedom like that? Well, I have good news for you. It appears people of the /US have had enough of those who would do that and threw them out of positions of power on every level, from a local dogcatcher to the POTUS. You can rest easily.

      • Pait

        Now it starts to resemble the loony bin wing of the Brazilian far left. Good to know that the Almighty has spread his lunatics evenly, for even they may have a part to play in this world.

        • Genesis123

          I like how you avoid talking about your own hypocrisy by spouting non-sequiturs; this time about the Brazilian far left. It’s a neat trick. Doesn’t really work on anyone with a double digit IQ but no harm in trying, eh?

        • CosmotKat

          That’s not a rebuttal, Pait, that’s you unable to challenge the truth in what Genesis123 is stating so you elect snark and infantile put downs. The loony bin is what has become of the Democratic Party and the truth of that statement becomes clearer every day and your reply confirms it.

          • Pait

            No, by no means a rebuttal. Rational argument against irrationality would have been a waste of time. I’ve been around long enough to know that arguing with salafists and communists is useless. It’s always better to let trolls have the last word.

          • CosmotKat

            Right, Pait.

            Yet you did respond so you seem to be speaking from both sides of your mouth or is it just another of your two-faced progressive political arguments or maybe you are a troll getting in the last word? Which is it, Pait?

            I do not detect any salafists or communists challenging your two-faced political arguments, only people who disagree with your commentary and with good reason.

          • Genesis123

            Come on, he is a Left-winger. It would be a shock and a surprise if he had intellectual integrity. Given my previous conversations with him, I certainly wasn’t expecting it. BTW, this is JR’s new handle. Comrade Friendly Goat had me banned a couple of times because I talked about his Messiah Abu Hussein in a tone that wasn’t sufficiently reverential.

          • CosmotKat

            I know and like all left-wingers they cannot tolerate disagreement. One of the things that distinguishes the left, and I think you can agree and looking at what’s going on in the streets and in the media right now, is rage. They’re always angry. Nothing makes them happy, except maybe a bomb hitting the RNC convention and killing everyone inside now that would make them happy, but generally speaking they are filled with rage. That rage is the characteristic trait of whom? Satan, that’s right. They don’t like when we call them the satanic left. I have no idea why since satanic they are, and right now we are witnessing them like Blake’s great red dragon whipping that tail around, flailing, trying to sting anything that they can get to take you down. They are so wounded, so angry, and so afraid of what we would do to them because you know what it would be? Exactly what they would do to us if they could. Peace, JR and keep it coming.

          • Genesis123

            Irrationality? Please tell me where i was factually incorrect. You can’t. So you choose to slither away, just like Comrade FG. The thing is, truth doesn’t stop being true because it is politically convenient for you. Facts don’t care about your feelings. You clapped as Obama used pen and phone to rule by executive fiat. It’s a bit late in the game to start clutching at pearls about our freedoms. You and the rest of left-wingers have no credibility on this with general public. None.

          • Pait

            I don’t remember if it was you or the other psycho who claimed to be seeing red dragons or something of that sort. if that’s not factually incorrect and insane….

        • Anthony

          Here’s something I remembered as I read some of your commentary (replies): a challenging query can prompt a variety of responses…(Playing the man, not the Ball). Also, this is associated: “Personalized rhetoric appears more widespread than previously suggested.” (Journal of Language and Social Psychology)

          • Pait

            They seem to be getting really excited about this. Perhaps it’s the perspective of all the Russian tapes leaking – they’d have to watch their beloved leader dancing with a broomstick inside his behind, and then seeing him been led to the gallows for high treason. Pardon my French… it’s the only language to use

          • Anthony

            The muted French is fine and quite understandable. Yet, the signal reality is that President Obama is “old news”. So, TAI is going to need a new whipping boy very soon for the blindly hateful – we’ll see if broomstick recipient qualifies.

  • MikePM

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with democracy in the west, and it doesn’t need “rejuvenation”. The Obama left is slowly collapsing around the world for one primary reason: they simply have no coherent explanation as to how you can have open borders and unfettered free trade and simultaneously have rising wages and standards of living for the west in a global economy.

    And they never will either, because it’s impossible. It can’t be done. The wealthy nations of the west can either have open borders and absolute free trade, or they can take measures to protect their people’s jobs and wages. But they simply cannot do both at the same time.

    At some point, Obama and his fellow internationalist elite liberals are going to have no choice but to pick which of these two things matters more to them, and then go with it, because they’re sharply divided on this question.

  • vepxistqaosani

    The real question to ask as Obama leaves the presidency — but not, of course, public life — is, What did he intend to accomplish? The results of his actions fall so far short of his words that one must conclude either that he is singularly incompetent or that his intention was to permanently weaken the American economy and the American presence in the world. And he would have succeeded at both were it not for the fracking that he so fervently opposed (and now takes all the credit for — in public, at least).

  • markterribile

    How do we heal the polarization that leads a ‘liberal’ journalist to fear that his plumber is an anti-semite when the left has shown it is willing to sacrifice Israel? That has people claiming that the Right is violent when nearly all political violence (and coercion) are coming from the Left? Our biggest problem is the mass distortion coming from the press. Our second biggest problem is the willingness of highly placed politicians to lie shamelessly for their cause, a problem enabled by a press that echoes the lie rather than exposing it.
    In short, the answer lies in renewing our reverence for the Truth, pleasant or painful.

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