Winning the Semantics War

One thing the American Left has been very good at is winning the semantics war. If you use words that sound appealing, you can mask their true meaning and fool a lot of people. A prime example is Planned Parenthood. That sounds so reasonable; after all, who would be in favor of chaotic parenthood?

The buzzword list keeps growing. It’s incumbent upon those who still use their brains to read between the lines.

Nowhere is this semantics war played out better than on college and university campuses. UC Berkeley students started the game back in the 1960s with the so-called Free Speech Movement. What a masterstroke. By saying they were the ones in favor of free speech, they intimated that the university was squelching speech. History shows that to be false. Neither did any of the “students” who used violence to get their way suffer any reprisals.

What’s really strange is that they get away now with using the same semantics while simultaneously stomping on the free speech of those with whom they disagree.

Few want to say it, but there’s an eerie kind of parallel that can be made historically:

America has always allowed the greatest freedom of speech of any nation. If you are on the Left, you can get away with saying almost anything you want, regardless of the outrageousness of your statement. If you are on the Right . . . well, not so much, it seems.

While we’re on the subject of free speech, let me go in a little different direction with that term.

Following in the giant footsteps of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama is now earning unbelievable speaking fees. How does anyone defend giving a person, no matter how famous, $400,000 for talking less than an hour?

Shame on Obama for taking the money. Shame on Wall Street for offering it.

I talk many hours every year teaching classes. It’s going to take me a while to get to that figure. And if I go to some organization to speak, most of the time I receive no compensation. You see, I really believe in free speech because most of mine is free to whoever wants to hear it.

The Barack Obama theme: socialism for thee, but not for me.

It’s hard for the Left to keep raging against the establishment when the Left is the establishment. They got there largely by winning the semantics war.

When is our side going to wise up and communicate more effectively?

The Great Pretender

Much of the attention politically has been on the Republican side lately since there’s an actual competition for the nomination. On the Democrat side, there’s no drama. Every once in a while, a rumor floats about Hillary Clinton planning a run against her boss, but that’s not much more than fluff. No way that’s going to happen. The rumor gets circulated because of the spreading discontent with Obama within his party, but the rumormongers are going to have to come to grips with the brute fact that the establishment is on his side and will brook no rebellion in the ranks.

Given a choice between governing and campaigning, Obama has always found the latter more to his liking. It’s a lot more fun making promises and bashing opponents than it is having to deal with the reality of his failed policies. So in the guise of touting a so-called jobs bill, he is on the road quite often now, in campaign mode, all the while pretending that’s not what he’s doing:

But, hey, give him some credit—he’s an excellent pretender in many ways. Lately, he’s taken to identifying with the “Occupy” movement, claiming to be one with them in their attacks on Wall Street, a rather humorous identification since the Wall Streeters have filled the coffers for the Democrats for some time. The idea that Wall Street is Republican territory only is more mythology than truth:

Pretty brazen.

The Campaign Meets the Occupiers

The presidential campaign is more than up and running; it’s in high gear. Not only are Republican contenders lining up for the nomination, but President Obama is actively campaigning while officially calling it a “jobs tour.” That way all the taxpayers receive the distinct privilege of paying for it. For Republicans, the goal is clear:

Those who want more fundamental change continue to search for the anti-Romney. They’re not convinced he is the real deal. Yet oddsmakers still put their money on him. Republicans could regret that choice:

I’ll have more to say about that in later posts. The 999 comment, of course, refers to Herman Cain. If he were to get the nomination, that might make it a tad difficult to make the case that Republicans are racist, which is a favorite tactic of the Left:

Cain has been connected to the Tea Party ever since it started. Many in the media are now trying to say that this “occupy” movement is like the Tea Party. Well, there are very few similarities. Even the slogans don’t match:

Not to mention the nature and personal hygiene of the activists. Yet President Obama, on the campaign trail, is now saying, as are many Democrats, that they support the Occupy Wall Street crowd. But there is a disconnect:

By the way, have you heard that the Nazi Party and the Communist Party have officially endorsed Occupy Wall Street? You can know a movement by its supporters.

Friday’s Overlooked News

The Obama administration has become adept at something other administrations have done, but this administration has taken it from amateur status to expert: waiting until Friday evening, when few are paying attention, to dump all the bad news of the week—bad, that is, for the administration. Under Obama, this has evolved almost into an art form. What am I talking about? Well, here’s what transpired late last Friday:

  1. The long-term care insurance portion of Obamacare was quietly dropped. Forced to face reality about the financial unsustainability of the plan, HHS will now pretend it never existed. All along, we were told this plan would save money; it was an illusion from the start. The illusion finally was shattered.
  2. The Treasury Department reported the second-highest annual deficit in U.S. history. The budget year ended in September. The sad truth? We ran a $1.3 trillion-dollar deficit for the last year. That’s second only to 2009. Let’s see, who was president way back then? Oh, yeah. For the record, that makes three years in a row with a deficit more than $1 trillion.
  3. George Kaiser, a billionaire who was one of Obama’s staunchest contributors and a major Solyndra investor, paid practically zero taxes over the last decade. Now, tell me again about those evil Republican who make too much money and don’t pay enough taxes? Obama may talk class warfare for political gain, but he relies heavily on millionaires and billionaires like Kaiser and Warren Buffet to raise money for him personally. And all that anti-Wall Street talk going around through the Occupy “movement”? Are those protesters really aware of how dependent on Wall Street the Democrat party is, and how avidly Wall Streeters have contributed to the Democrat coffers?
  4. More on Solyndra. The House Oversight Committee seeking more information on the foolish loan to the bankrupt solar power company is being stonewalled by the White House. No information that can be gathered from the president’s e-mail will be sent to Congress. While I understand the separation of powers argument, Congress does have oversight responsibility for how money from that ill-advised stimulus bill was spent.

Some of this is politics as usual, but this administration said it would be the most transparent, most ethical administration in American history. When you try your best to hide bad news and refuse to cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation, that doesn’t pass the laugh test.

And I haven’t even mentioned the continuing saga of Fast and Furious. I think I’ll say more about that one tomorrow.

Flagrant Immaturity

It’s hard to leave the “Occupy Wall Street” story this week, especially when the cartoonists keep coming up with outstanding depictions of the true nature of the protest. One takes aim at what he considers to be the typical protester:

Others poke fun at the half-baked political philosophy that seems to dominate:

Songs appear to be a theme:

Far too often, slogans and chants [of the old, stale variety] serve as replacements for rigorous analytical thinking. What’s doubly sad is that most of them are probably college graduates—or at least they hung around college for a while—where they were indoctrinated into a pseudo-intellectualism that displays itself as flagrant immaturity. Their professors never grew up, and now they are creating disciples in their own mold.

We reap what we sow.

Yes, We Can!

About the only thing I have in common with the “occupiers” of Wall Street is a disdain for some of the “fat cats” who think the world revolves around them. Yet that self-centeredness is not unique to Wall Street. It’s the common human malady, and in the case of the bad economy we’ve suffered the past few years, Wall Street alone is not to blame—although some people are always quick to blame someone else when things go wrong:

In fact, some people have become expert in blaming others for their woes. Yet they continue to hawk the same old remedies that aren’t remedies at all:

There’s at least one part of the economy that has shown some innovation during the Obama years:

What a success story! We should reward this administration with four more years, right?

We can’t leave? Well, to quote the man himself, “Yes, we can!”

Deliberately Ignoring the Real Problem

Congress and President Obama are out to get Wall Street now. It’s not as if there doesn’t need to be change on the Street, but it needs to be the right kind. In the past, when Wall Streeters made bad decisions, there were consequences. People learn from consequences and change their behavior.

We’re no longer content to allow that. The federal government must now step in and “correct” the behavior.

One of the architects of a proposed law to penalize the financial markets is Sen. Chris Dodd, parading himself as a paragon of virtue. This is the same Sen. Dodd who had a sweetheart deal for two homes via Countryside Mortgage company. This is the same Chris Dodd who is chair of the Senate Banking Committee, from where he consistently resisted attempts by the Bush administration to more closely watch the government lending agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

I’m sure there’s no connection, but Dodd also just happened to receive nearly $134,000 directly from those two agencies over the years.

The new bill being pushed, for some strange reason, omits oversight or a change of rules for both Fannie and Freddie. Everyone else is to get hammered, but these two are exempt.

Yet they are the principal reasons why we got into the subprime lending disaster in the first place. They currently dominate the mortgage lending market. How can they be ignored in the bill?

The current economic car wreck began with Fannie and Freddie. Nothing is being done to correct the problem. What’s to keep it from exploding again?

The late volcanic eruption in Iceland is nothing compared to what may be coming.

But let’s blame Wall Street instead.