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"Europe Deserves Obama More"

Benjam in Perry writes in Anglofritz:

Berlin-based Scottish expat, culturist and opinionator Nick Currie, better known as the musician Momus, elects Barack Obama today as the next President of Europe. The position just opened up, Momus says, after French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this month withdrew his essential support of Tony Blair for the job.

He also quotes Roger Cohen in the New York Times, who describes Obama as an online phenomenon, jumping national borders and  "stirring as much buzz in Berlin as he does back home." Well, that's quite a bit of an exaggeration, but there is probably indeed more popular support for Barack Obama than for Tony Blair for the position of EU President. (See Nanne's post on Contention About the New "EU President")

Obama is considering a visit to Berlin, says Karsten Voigt, the German government's envoy for German-American relations, according to DW World. I doubt that Obama will indeed visit Germany during the hot election campaign. He already has won more than 80% of votes from the US expats living in Germany and registered as Democrats, I believe.

It would be great, however, if Obama would take time of from the campaign trail and visit Europe in order to put to rest the criticism from Steve Clemons (and myself) regarding his Lack of Real Interest in Transatlantic Cooperation:

As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations' Subcommittee on Europe, Obama has held zero hearings -- at least that is how the record appears to me. Compare this to the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe, which is having constant hearings -- or to the Senate Subcommittee's work before Obama became Chair -- or to a comparative commitment of Hillary Clinton

Related posts in the Atlantic Review:

President Obama and Europe

Clinton Most Likely to Rebuild US-European Alliance

Obama the Catalyst

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Joe Noory on :

Who here really think Europeans would elect a minority to a national or European leadership position? The appeal that Europeans have found in Barack Obama is based entirely on the fact that they know they themselves wouldn't have to make that sort of decision, and they know it wouldn't be color-blind. More to the point, the public will not even be electing the "[b]PotEU[/b]" to begin with. In the grand tradition of not really trusting the population, a group of people chosen for party lists, elected off of party lists, as if the public couldn't be left to make reasonable choices - these are the people who will hand you your "politcal national champion", the [b]PotEU[/b]. In the mean time, other anti-democratic nagging of the classic sort will continue unabated. Wallstrom, who I don't believe has ever been elected by a population to anything near the scale of her present influence, has been asking to stack the deck of the selected with people who share her sex and ideological goals - which we're somehow supposed to beleive is a democratic-feeling substitution to actual pluralism on the basis of feeling good about correcting a historic imbalance in a way that by-passes the voting booth in any way they can. This is cause for congratulations. Without understanding what they're up to, an entire society is trying hard to turn itself into a virtual dictatorship in the imagined interest of its' own good. [i]Have a nice day.[/i]

influx on :

"Who here really think Europeans would elect a minority to a national or European leadership position?" Ah, the old "only in America" argument. I suppose five years ago, you would have added something about Clinton being a woman and how that would be unthinkable in Europe etc. Now, how many African-Americans have been members of the US senate? Five? Well, I rest my case. I am not saying that Europe fares any better, but it's simply not true that the US is a beacon of race equality when it comes to their government. Nyamko Sabuni and Manuela Ramin-Osmundsen are both ministers in their respective governments, and I know there are more in other countries.

influx on :

Sorry, but forgot to call complete BS on this statement: "The appeal that Europeans have found in Barack Obama is based entirely on the fact that they know they themselves wouldn't have to make that sort of decision." Really? That's the only appeal? What do you call that kind of delusion? Inverse racism? Keep on posting comments, Joe Noory, this is getting interesting.

quo vadis on :

So what exactly is Obama's appeal to Europeans? Why would any European pundit suggest that a relatively inexperienced Senator from Illinois be elected President of the Europe? How is Obama more qualified than Tony Blair? How about Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid both of whom are at least as far to the left in US terms and have far more relevant experience than Obama?

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Since when do voters base their decision on experience of the candidates and their qualifications? ;-) Anyway: Barack Obama was right about Iraq, while Tony Blair was wrong. So, perhaps, he has better judgement than Tony Blair. Since Blair was wrong about Iraq, Obama is more popular in Europe than Blair. None of them, however, would be elected EU president by the peoples of Europe, if we had such an election and if Obama were allowed to run for office. All I am saying is that Obama would get more votes than Blair.

Joe Noory on :

Don't you think it rather straightforward to think that they don't really need to know anything about the man's platform or likely cabinet appointments if he's running for president of another country? This is a case of 'sporting' interest in what happens in the US election, not a real one, because as much as one would like to think that who the US president is would matter to Europe, that it really doesn't in the way people imagine. Realistically, nothing is vested in it for them. In fact, were non-Americans to find a great deal of interest in a certain candiate in the US, and the population generally prefer to find certain diminution of interests on the part of America in the world, the signal sent to the US population by their elation is that the candidate they getting a woody over is more likely to be bad for the intrest of the United States, not good for it in the most basic objective terms. You still aren't addressing teh point of the "President of the EU". and how this clay figure is [b]not[/b] elected in manner which is different form the who the Soviets slected from among their onetime Politburo. My question is simply "who will you vote for on your ballot for the PotEU?" Then and only then, will I accept another prattling, faux-academic sounding lecture from anyone on the east side of the pond about US elections, particularly when they repeat verbatim this patently false "selected not elected" circulated by the far left when all the objective evidence pointed to leftis groups attempting to destroy ballots in the tens of thousands. They get to have their criticisms heard in earnest when they form a realistic participatory government for the EU. Period. Though it's rather obvious that those Europeans most vehement in their negative opinions about the US are fishing for here is a way to call someone a bigot, it's shallow and irrelevant to the choices Americans make for themselves when they vote. No matter what charge you want to idly level at someone, it's still exceedingly worse to be anti-democratic than to be accused of racism, because democracy is the only realistic way to eliminate the effect of racism on government. On the other hand, racism and bigotry is something normally found to any substantive degree in near-monolithic societies like those found in Europe. The theatrics of pointing at those abroad or engaging in insincere symbolism at home is not remediative, it's delusional. I'm told by bien pensent twits that as an Arab, that I'm discriminated against. I have yet to find that happen to me in the US, and only encountered it in the UK, Germany, and France. So you want to vote in an election where you aren't even a citizen? Try it in the socially enlightened corner of Europe known for promoting it's universalism, open-ness, debate culture, and the like... [url=http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2008/05/22/l-assemblee-refuse-d-accorder-le-droit-de-vote-aux-etrangers_1048540_3224.html]France[/url]:[i]Dans le cadre de l'examen du projet de loi sur la réforme des institutions, l'Assemblée nationale a rejeté, [b]sans surprise[/b], jeudi 22 mai, trois amendements de la gauche et du Nouveau Centre visant à accorder le droit de vote aux étrangers. Lesdits amendements avaient reçu un avis défavorable du gouvernement.[/i]

Pamela on :

"In fact, were non-Americans to find a great deal of interest in a certain candiate in the US, and the population generally prefer to find certain diminution of interests on the part of America in the world, the signal sent to the US population by their elation is that the candidate they getting a woody over is more likely to be bad for the intrest of the United States, not good for it in the most basic objective terms." My memory on this is less than perfect but bear with me. Go back to the 2004 elections. There was a British newspaper that got its hands on the voter registration files of (I think) Clark County, Ohio. It started this campaign to target the voters with pleas from the Brits - some of them the 'elite', e.g., Harold Pinter - to vote for John Kerry. People in the U.K were sending letters, etc. The backlash in the U.S. was so fierce they had to call the whole thing off. A truly ironic set piece when you realize that people in the UK who 'care' how U.S. citizens vote have surrendered their own vote to the EU.

Joe Noory on :

Yes, it was called [url=http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/007796.php]Operation Clark County[/url], and it featured [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/seipp/seipp200410210841.asp]British leftist[/url] deigning painfully to talk to people who didn't drink from their cup and calling random numbers in a county in the state of Ohio. The notion that they were [url=http://www.julescrittenden.com/2008/01/08/pond-view/]meddling[/url] empiriously didn't dawn on them [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/18/uselections2004.usa2]for a few weeks[/url].

Kuch on :

..."Now, how many African-Americans have been members of the US senate? Five? Well, I rest my case. I am not saying that Europe fares any better, but it's simply not true that the US is a beacon of race equality when it comes to their government." Well, there are currently something like 40(+), or so African-Americans in the US Congress. In terms of straight percentages, this is about the same percent of blacks in the total US population. Let's be honest, Europe doesn't fare any better because it, in fact, fares worse! How many Ethnic Turks are currently in the Bundestag? How many muslims of any ethnicity are in the French Assembly? This seems to be setting up a predictable reaction from Europe is Obama does not win the election; American is racist.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

@ Kuch "How many Ethnic Turks are currently in the Bundestag?" Four. The total number of parliamentarians is 612. 11 have an immigrant background. 3 are Muslims. See: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/501-Eurabia-and-German-NeoNazis-and-the-Taliban-in-Iraq.html#c6402[/url]

Elisabetta on :

I am calling bullshit here. The German political system like the Brits runs a list system. There are no primaries or independent intra-party democratic elections to settle upon a choice candidate. The party head honchos decide who gets on a list behind closed doors and if the electorate wants to vote for the SPD, they get the Turk. Another question, how many of the Turks and or immigrants are appointed by the party as their allotment of non-seated representives as opposed to running for a seat on a direct vote? Well I suppose this is not a response or anything new to you Joerg, but you were very successful in ahem framing the relative information. When you have Turk from either the extreme of Wannsee or Marzahn I will be impressed.

Pat Patterson on :

Are you suggesting that the European parliamentary system promotes people based on a quota rather than the Us system where that local minority better be able to get a majority of the votes or his district and know where all the bodies are buried?

Elisabetta on :

Are you suggesting that the European parliamentary system promotes people based on a quota rather than the Us system where that local minority better be able to get a majority of the votes or his district and know where all the bodies are buried? Naw, Germany is pretty sane; no Scando gender quotas yet. The real test of social integration for foreigners is taking a seat outside of Wedding or on a State level on a direct vote. Take for instance Ford from Tenn, who lost by 2 or 3 percentage points in the bye-election of 2006. If Pelosi and Reid had not wandered so far to the left, he would have won and everyone in Tenn and the South respects the guy. There are 'safe seats' historically in England, or at least according to Bertie and Clovis there are--but you still have to run a campaign. If you are Turk or immigrant who gets appointed by your party, you are a representative of your party but a true representative, especially in the 'rainbow Rocky Mt high electric company' fashion, I don't think so. To run a race you have to comprise yourself: such as, going to a politically expedient "church", lolling about with misunderstood 'activists' and taking advantage of the odd real estate deal from your Rezkoesque buddy.

Pat Patterson on :

I was trying to agree by hyperbole and on second look I seem to have failed at both. Making clear my agreement and the lack of recognized hyperbole. But bringing up Harold Ford reminds me that my impression of him was always favorable and I had thought years ago, without any major slips, he would have become that black candidate that could truly garner the neccessary white votes in the South to become president. But I suppose being a Blue Dog and voting for the Iraq resolution consigned him to apostate Hell as far as most Democrats were concerned. Plus I'm probably one of those chauvinists that thought, Harold Ford is single, he's been a successful politician, has a good education, is well liked in his district, has a fair share of dollars in his pockets and seems like he knows how to use a fork and complete a sentence. Why the heck shouldn't he go to the Playboy Mansion?

adaniel on :

I think it is indeed a strange to think that Europeans would not elect somebody from a minority. Mr Sarkozy, the president of France is half Jewish, half Hungarian by origin. I think this would have happen in Europe or in the US a generation ago. The US is still taking pride on considering a woman candidate for the presidency. Germany has a great leader and she is a woman. It has also happened in Europe that the top two jobs (president and prime minister) were filled by women (two of them and they were unrelated!). The majority of the Spanish Cabinet are women. It is the American electorate that is preoccupied by the gender and the race of the candidates.

quo vadis on :

I will point out that the most powerful woman in the world is African-American and a Republican at that.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Well, Forbes thinks that Angela Merkel is most powerful. Followed by Wu Yi (Chinese vice-premier) and Ho Ching (Temasek Holdings). Condi Rice does not get a medal, but is only fourth place: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/812-Merkel-is-the-Worlds-Most-Powerful-Woman,-but-What-About-Gender-Equality.html[/url] Can you name one amazing achievement of these women? What makes them "powerful"? What is Rice's most remarkable achievement since January 2001 ??? Preventing a fist fight between Powell and Rumsfeld? Teaching George Bush? Democracy in Iraq?, peace treaty with Iran?, nuclear disarmament in North Korea? Libya? Kosovo indepence?, solution to Israel/Palestine conflict? Ending the genocide in Darfur? UN reform? NATO enlargement? stability in Afghanistan? hunting al Qaeda in Pakistan? (And please don't mention the fact that there has not been another terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11, which has often been described as the Bush admin's greatest achievement. Nobody gave Clinton or anybody else credit for things that did not happen.)

quo vadis on :

Power doesn't imply positive achievement. No woman has had greater influence over global events over the last few years than Rice, for better or worse - regardless of what Forbes says.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

What influence on global events did she have? She was around when everything happened, but I am not sure what influence she had on any of these events. Did she influence Rumsfeld? Did she influence Olmert and Abbas? Even the surge was not her idea. She just sold it as any press secretary could do as well. Oh, yeah, Annapolis was her idea, I read. Very powerful. I am getting too snarky and should go to bed.

quo vadis on :

I give Rice as much credit for the planning, promotion and execution of the Iraq war as Rumsfeld and Cheney. Rice was picked by Bush specifically to head up the uncooperative State Dept when Powell, who was regarded as too close to the nay-sayers there, resigned. If you're Bush in that situation who do you pick to reign in the likes of Wilson and Plame, an unreliable lacky who might be swayed by their own staff at State? No, you choose one of the strongest proponents of the program.

David on :

"I give Rice as much credit for the planning, promotion and execution of the Iraq war as Rumsfeld and Cheney. " So do I. That's why she's a miserable failure (but a highly accomplished liar - per Scott McCelland).

John in Michigan, USA on :

The real question is, what has [i]Obama[/i] done to deserve a major political position in either Europe or the US? I admit, the symbolism is powerful. Is being a powerful symbol and raising money during the campaign the only requirement for the highest office in the land? If so, I can't think of a clearer example of the "[url=http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/01/barack_obama_and_the_soft_bigotry_of_low_expectations/]soft bigotry of low expectations[/url]". Obama is an established Chicago politician who is a relative newcomer to [i]regional i.e. statewide[/i] politics. His landslide election to the US Senate was in part due to the fluke of his opponent's self-destruction. Shouldn't he at least have to prove he can win re-election to the Senate before risking all on the national stage? Prior to his current campaign, he had virtually undetectable amounts of professional experience (political or otherwise) outside of the state of Illinois. As for executive experience, he had none to speak of, prior to the campaign. He has shown strong potential to grow into a much larger role, but such growth takes time. The only basis for him becoming EU President today, is if that role is purely symbolic (similar to the UN Ambassadors-at-large for this-and-that). Do you really think Obama belongs in a ribbon-cutting, fund-raising, after-dinner-speech ghetto?

Joe Noory on :

perhaps this is the fundamental difference which requires an ocean between us. no-one "deserves" a position. ever. life doesn't need to be as stiched-up and engineered as europeans seem to crave it to be. talk about sad...

John in Michigan, USA on :

Nah, I don't see it that way...there are plenty of people who feel entitled to things in the US...Obama is running against one of them in fact... Also, the word "deserves" has multiple meanings, and I think by quoting a musician named Momus, Joerg is encouraging us to use our imaginations.

Zyme on :

"In fact, were non-Americans to find a great deal of interest in a certain candiate in the US, and the population generally prefer to find certain diminution of interests on the part of America in the world, the signal sent to the US population by their elation is that the candidate they getting a woody over is more likely to be bad for the intrest of the United States, not good for it in the most basic objective terms." That would be my personal reason for favoring Obama. But really I think only a minority of european press and opinion makers have this in mind. To them Obama sounds simply softer than Bush, they expect a more peaceful way of conducting politics. As regards voting the President of the EU: This would be highly problematic and is rightly dismissed. There is a number of euro-sceptic societies in the EU that would only send in ridiculous candidates and their promotion tours wouldn´t be good for Brussel´s image. In these countries it is essential to keep the EU out of the news to continue along the road of integration without further interruption. Also electing the leader by the colleagues provides a good basis for rewarding national politicians who enforced EU integration against considerable opposition. This is why chosing Tony Blair would send a grand signal for all the other leaders out there. It would be a great way towards winning their ambitions. Just imagine Gordon Brown intending to become the next one after replacing the Pound with the Euro! Also there is a lot of work to be done in Brussels. While at the national level fewer and fewer parts of sovereignty remain and thus the politicians can dance their dance, at the EU level there is simply no place for populistic "leaders" who crave for recognition but lack any considerable qualification.

Joe Noory on :

They'd prefer an empty suit anyway. Otherwise the idea of handicapping America with the same evasiveness of fussy and ineffectual little social campaigns that they undergo probably appeals to some as well.

Joe Noory on :

[i]Also electing the leader by the colleagues provides a good basis for rewarding national politicians who enforced EU integration against considerable opposition.[/i] So a sort of stacked deck is better? That's a very bad precedent which would only decay over time to remove the public even further from being able to have a voice in government. Are Americans expected to continue to politely accept the usual belittlement by Europeans who pick up on any and every allegation idle thown out there by the left when Europe is constructing for itself something that resembles a dictatorship? How does logic neeed to be tortured to call this "by, of, and for the people?" Can we assume that like in most of its' history, that the people really don't matter and it's "who counts the votes that counts"? Like the delusion that there would be something 'soft' about an Obama White House, isn't there something deeper than seeking an icon and a delusion that draws this population whom we are constantly told are supposed to posess a better understanding of history? What I see is a society so afraid of what it thinks is a 'filty, unwashed' public that its' willing to dispose of any reasonable baseline for legitimacy, and force an EU on a population that isn't convinced yet. If they want to have a solid future, they need to stop second guessing a majority that deserves a lot more credit that the elite give it, ask it what form of government it wants, and ask ther public to affirm it. More to the point from an outsider, the people channeling their discontent at the ways people organize themselves by fixating on America need to quit fooling themselves and try to put their own house in order by participating in form THEIR OWN societies are taking. If you don't think a railroaded public won't rebel if it's [i]fat, happy, and stupid[/i], you're setting up another crash test of European history.

Zyme on :

Wouldn´t you agree that being able to vote politicians only makes sense when they feel somewhat bound to their mandates? Here they are not only free to abuse whatever political anouncements they have made before the election and disappoint every expectation they created. They also use this opportunity quite frequently. With such a conglomeration of populists and thugs you cannot rule a country, you can only make sure the biggest lobbyists find appropriate contacts. I will not deny that lobbyists are quite frequent in Brussels and do their best to influence legislation. But since the leaders there do not have to collect money for the next election campaign, do not have to fear being replaced at the next election and do not have to take whatever they can get, they can conduct politics more freely. They can focus on real work. This does not mean everybody there does - but at least they are able to. In fact this is the perfect form of government in my humble opinion - a commission of experts. When an entity like the EU gets big enough, it cannot be ruled by unanimous vote anymore. To develop the realm efficiently, a new chain of command has to be established. Since we still have member states with national sovereignty, progress is best achieved when incorporating national leaders. "How does logic neeed to be tortured to call this "by, of, and for the people?"" Yes indeed this is Orwellian language and completely laughable. Yet the need arised when the project of integration was in danger. Good propaganda has never hurt a good cause :)

Joe Noory on :

[i]Good propaganda has never hurt a good cause[/i] That's literally how Hitler got started. You may want to rethink about how germaine that really is. It's practically third world.

Zyme on :

"You may want to rethink about how germaine that really is. It's practically third world." Would you be willing to explain that any further? Right now it doesn´t sound very convincing. All I did was to explain how EU integration can be achieved even under difficult circumstances. The fact that it seems to work nicely contradicts your label of "third world" - that is unless you consider Europe being part of the third world :)

Joe Noory on :

The difficult circumstances that you're talking about is the fact that there is no vocal willing majority for it, but that notwithstanding the public will have no actual say in what's being imposed on them. Here, we call the people who do this 'parents of young children', owing to the fact that children, like the European population in this case, have few rights and are treated like their free will is a danger to themselves. If you don't find the notion repellent, then really - what does it matter... we could give you an Wii and a pile of games, and you'd be perfectly happy in North Korea.

quo vadis on :

Zyme's attitude supports my theory of the fundamental difference between Americans and Europeans when it comes to our relationship to our governments and how we see our place in our respective societies. Americans are never very far from our immigrant ancestors. Somewhere, for many within living memory, there is someone who stepped off the boat and into a situation where they succeeded or failed on their own. I have an immigrant great grandfather whose story reads a lot like that of Vito Corleone, less the crime and violence. As a teenager he escaped the poverty of a central Sicilian hilltop village to take his chances in America. There, through his own efforts, he transformed himself into a man of wealth, property and influence in Houston Texas. Europeans, on the other hand, are never far from their feudal-era serf ancestors. Class centrism and an “I do my part and you take care of me because you know best” attitude seem to permeate European social and political thought. The only difference is that now the ruling class is made up of technocrats rather than lords.

John in Michigan, USA on :

vadis: I think that is a good rough analogy. The European aristocratic system has had some great moments...the American system seems to have done a little better than the European in the technical arts and popular culture, but we've produced nothing comparable to European fine arts, for example. Interestingly, most of Europe's past achievements were from an aristocracy that claimed a divine mandate. I am not just talking about the divine authority that justified hereditary nobility. I am talking about the religious inspiration or basis for the principles which defined what is good art, what is good government, what is good law, etc. Now that Europe appears to be constructing a new, secular aristocracy that accepts many religious values (life, charity, etc) but specifically rejects religion as a source of authority, what then will be the source of this new aristocracy's authority? I take it as a given that it would be difficult to create a new, unelected aristocracy based solely on Enlightenment ideals, since it is impossible to separate the Enlightenment from the idea of universal suffrage. Isn't it? I suppose the source of authority could be technical mastery of the social sciences, and even, social engineering. This worries Americans because, in our experience, the social sciences have had nowhere near the success that the physical sciences have had; and most top-down social engineering has been a disaster. But perhaps the Europeans will achieve some breakthrough in true, empirical social science and engineering. Perhaps they will finally transcend the neo-Marxian and crypto-Marxian fantasies that have hobbled or even perverted the social sciences so far. Perhaps the Europeans think they already have this breakthrough?

Zyme on :

I would argue that the EU is not a philosophical but a rather technical creation. It´s main role never was to spread enlightenment. Its primary role in the beginning was to secure peace in Europe. Then its role was to enhance economical relations and increase our wealth. In addition to that, the next role was to unify the legal system. A monstrous task for decades that is still in the stage of implementation. Also souvereignty was transformed to Brussels so that Europeans are more and more in the position to speak with one voice in the world. It is believed that only this will enable us to achieve our ambitions. And for some, the EU´s role is to create a european identity - a new nation or (considering the numbers of peoples involved) an empire. So all these roles are rather technical and do not include a new ideology, although the ideas of enlightenment surely play a big role behind those processes.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"I would argue that the EU is not a philosophical but a rather technical creation." I interpret this as roughly equivalent to saying, the EU project is motivated by issues and questions of technique or process, and not motivated by a new philosophy or a new ideology. And I basically agree. Nevertheless, the fact that the EU is creating a new aristocracy with real power, has unavoidable philosophical implications, in my opinion. Since religious authority and heredity is no longer the source of authority for the new governing class, what is their source of authority? I suggest the answer is science. An example: when a Eurocrat wants to find out what Europeans think about an issue, he does a scientific survey rather than holding an election. So the people are in a sense consulted, but they have very little real power since scientists decide when the survey takes place, which questions are allowed and which questions are excluded, how the questions are framed, how much outlying data is discarded, what the results mean, etc. In short, science, not the people, determines the mechanism by which people are consulted. The people never get a chance to choose the specific techniques (representative sampling, telephone vs. in person interviews, etc) that are used to design the survey; [i]indeed such a choice by people would be impossible, since non-experts lack the training to make an informed decision[/i]. Studies are judged, and scientists selected, by their peers, not by the people at large, etc. Proper science is good and powerful, but politicized science is very dangerous. If the EU represents rule by the experts replacing rule by the people, is science really strong enough to avoid the incredible temptation that will come with this power? I guess we will see.

Zyme on :

"when a Eurocrat wants to find out what Europeans think about an issue, he does a scientific survey rather than holding an election." I guess they will only be confronted with this question whenever asking the people is compulsory - for example for referendums. As we could witness perfectly in the creation of the traty of Lisbon, these obligatory referendums are eliminated where possible, so there won´t be big need for surveys in the future. The entire question "What Europeans think" is wrong. Instead the question in Brussels always is "What is good for Europeans". And that can be decided without any surveys at all. "Nevertheless, the fact that the EU is creating a new aristocracy with real power, has unavoidable philosophical implications, in my opinion." This surely is the case. I would explain it by the sheer number of peoples involved. One people can be governed by a parliament elected by this people. They know that at least in general their leaders will be men and women from their midst. In a country with several peoples like in Britain or Spain this is already highly problematic and creates a well for separatists. It becomes a governmental catastrophe in an EU of 27 countries and an endless number of cultures. The solution to this is an imperial structure where no people gets the impression of becoming dominated by a disliked neighbouring people. Instead they are all ruled by an emperor (in the medieval ages) or an imperial council (like the Commission). So at least in general they are all even again. "Proper science is good and powerful, but politicized science is very dangerous." It can be. I would consider it being a powerful tool. It can be used for good and for evil. I get the impression that an unprecedented number of european countries places its ambitions into Brussels today. That is the ore from which this tool is created. "I guess we will see." Yes I am convinced we will.

Pat Patterson on :

That sounds like a very big Yugoslavia?

quo vadis on :

"Since religious authority and heredity is no longer the source of authority for the new governing class, what is their source of authority?" If the serfs aren’t asking any questions, why should the Aristocrats volunteer answers? I don’t see anyone making any real attempt to base the authority of the new aristocracy on anything more substantial than “I’m an expert recognized as an expert by the other experts”. You do hear crypto-religious terms like ‘moral authority’ and other ominous sounding phrases like ‘political philosophy’ bandied about. I suppose the new secular religion is not really that different than the old one; the language sounds oddly familiar. Throw in Dante’s Inferno as “Amerikanische Verhältnisse” and some Katrina hyperbole and you get the failed constitution in the Lisbon treaty with barely a squeak. The most ominous thing about the future of Europe is that Europeans have failed to grasp the lesson of the Marxist experiment - perhaps because so many of the 68ers in power in Europe still romanticize it. Anytime you create a power structure people will try to exploit it for their own gain at the expense of those subject to that power. The more comprehensive and less accountable that power structure, the more easily and completely it can be subverted. In the end you always end up with Stalin.

Don S on :

"Anytime you create a power structure people will try to exploit it for their own gain at the expense of those subject to that power. The more comprehensive and less accountable that power structure, the more easily and completely it can be subverted. " This I agree with. From this POV one of the great strengths of the US form of democracy is that in the US the people are ultimately sovereign in the only form that matters. That is the people have the power to blow up the power structure and replace it short of revolution. As a 'conservative' who normally votes for the GOP the events since 2004 have been somewhat disconcerting to me of course, because it is the GOP power structure which is currently being blown up. But it's also comforting in a way because it confirms that the system is now working again as designed after a hiatus of many years. Between 1930 and 1980 (arguably 1994) there was no such 'blow-up' when in the normal course of events there ought to have been at least one and perhaps as many as three such watermarks. My other consolation is that the GOP is not fit to hold power at this point, having ceased listening to the people. When that happens to a party they NEED to be turned out of power. The tragedy for the Democrats is that they weren't completely repudiated for 60 years - because political parties learn from repudiation, from time in the wilderness. I suspect they learn and evolve in no other way.... But this is even more of a tragedy for the EU, I think, because you have evolved a system in which the people cannot 'teach' their power structure the lessons which need to be learned. The only possiblility for such learning comes from incorporating new countries within the EU, but even then the EU tends to force the new entrants to create a homogenized class of 'EUCrats' at speed. The voice of the people of the older Eu countries don't seem to be represented at all. Except in the form of the 'scientific survey'. I think the survey can kind of work for a while as long as it is done with rigorous honesty and interpreted with humility. But should either the honesty or the humility fall away you have the ingredients of a perfect technocratic tyranny; a Manderinate if you would. And the current EU treaty process reveals a disasterous decline in both. The survey system has been designed to report a predetermined result, a result predetermined without humility. I fear it will end in tears - or worse, civil war. In the end you always end up with Stalin."

Zyme on :

"Here, we call the people who do this 'parents of young children', owing to the fact that children, like the European population in this case, have few rights and are treated like their free will is a danger to themselves." Again I would not use such harsh words. A responsibe government has to think ahead of temporary waves of public opinion and have visions for the shores ahead. No long term project can be carried out when taking into account every mometary discontent of the elctorate. And what project is even more long-term than the european unification? "If you don't find the notion repellent, then really - what does it matter... we could give you an Wii and a pile of games, and you'd be perfectly happy in North Korea." I strongly reject this assumtion. When a leadership is solely focused on exploiting its people and starving them just to gain even more useless luxury, it is hard to image an even more vile system.

Pat Patterson on :

That "...commission of experts" sounds vaguely familiar. Could that be a phrase from the pages of scientific socialism referring to the intelligentsia of the vanguard of the proletariat? But a motto, "We know it hurts but we only have your best interests at heart," unless of course you are a Scottish fisherman or a Roma.

Pamela on :

"Europe DESERVES Obama More" I totally agree. A Marxist, hate-whitey, ACORN, Bill Ayers, Nation of Islam, etc., real good buddy. Perfect fit for the EU. Take his wife, while you're at it, would you please? She makes Cherie Blair look like Jackie Kennedy.

Reid of America on :

Obama will lose all 50 states. The anti-Obama campaign by Clinton has deeply hurt Obama even though the attacks have been mild. Once Obama is nominated and his hardcore leftist past and current associations are made public he will lose all 50 states.

Elisabetta on :

A Momus reference....nice. Perhaps, I should get my old Sarah and Creation records out "to feel his vibe". Really, anyone whose most famous song is "Murders hope of women" is a pretentious twat. Does anyone here have Sarah Fanzine #1?

ADMIN on :

Please note that by default the comments in this blog are threaded rather than linear, i.e. some of the latest comments and responses to comments are not at the bottom, but in the middle. At the top of the comments section you have the option to change the view from threaded to linear, which enable you to see the latest comments at the end of the thread.

adaniel on :

Certainly Europe fell in love with Obama before we learned if he likes us at all. Obama does not have a transatlantic policy and it is very difficult to see if he would become a trustworthy ally of the European Union.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Europe Deserves Obama More" Here is another way to think of this question: What would a European Obama look like? Historically in Europe, what group is most analogous to the descendants of slaves in the US? Although the analogy is far from perfect, the best analogy is the European Jews. So, a European Obama would be a Christian. He would have a secular Christian father who raised him after his mother, a Russian Jew, "disappeared". Therefore, according to Jewish law, he would be a lapsed Jew. Europe and indeed all developed countries correctly see this technicality as irrelevant, but in some other parts of the world, once Euro-bama's Jewishness becomes generally known, it may be treated as the single most important fact of Euro-bama's life. Euro-bama would have served on a board of directors with a former member of the Baader-Meinhof Group who is still proud of his service. Euro-bama would have attended a number of fund-raisers featuring the members of the "respectable", political wing of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahanism]Kahanism[/url]. However, it is considered very bad form, perhaps even criminal, to mention any of this. Euro-bama considers these relics of his youth. His youth apparently ended shortly before he realized he had Presidential ambitions. Euro-bama's spiritual mentor and sometime campaign adviser would be a heterodox Zionist who had done a lot of genuine good in the community but nevertheless stubbornly insisted that the holocaust never really ended, and that plans to resume it were already well under way in some secret NATO lab. Also that Jewish brains are structurally different, so Jews require special teachers and curricula in order to prosper. While that idea is hardly new to Europe, somehow when the mentor expresses it, it is considered positive and uplifting. Fortunately, for over twenty years, Euro-bama managed to avoid hearing his mentor, and when he did, never took his mentor very seriously. The mentor suspected this all along, but was happy to have a local politician in the family so he let it go. After a number of false starts, Euro-bama would manage to break publicly with his mentor, thus ensuring his continued candidacy. His former mentor would not be pleased. Although the people would be consulted at ever step in a multi-year election, costing the equivalent of the national debt of small country, Euro-bama's candidacy would depend critically on decisions taken in private by lawyers, political mandarins, and other "experts" concerning whether party representatives from certain regions of Europe should be given credentials, and related technical matters. Euro-bama thinks this is foolish, as he is riding a genuine wave of popular support; nevertheless, he has no choice but to let the experts scatter the bones and hope for the best.

Fuchur on :

[i]Although the analogy is far from perfect, the best analogy is the European Jews. [/i] No, I totally disagree. The best analogy to European Jews are American Jews. In fact, [b]there is no European minority group comparable to African Americans.[/b] The fate of Jews in (modern) Europe is just too peculiar. There is nothing comparable in America to the Third Reich and the Holocaust. On the other hand, note that [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Emancipation Jews[/url] were granted legal equality in Europe before the turn of the last century. In some states of the USA, segregation was abolished only in the 1960s. In Germany, the largest minority group are Turks, at about 3% of the total population. Turkish immigration to Germany started in the 1960/70s. The situation may be slightly different in European states with former colonies (GB, the Netherlands, France) - but still, there's nothing comparable to the situation of African Americans, who came to America centuries ago and make up about 13% of the population, and even are in the majority in several states!

David on :

"Obama is nominated and his hardcore leftist past and current associations are made public he will lose all 50 states." You mean the Chicago Tribune has been sitting on this bombshell information for 5 years, just waiting for him to win the nomination? I've been hearing predictions of disaster about Obama and his campaign for the past 18 months, and he has only gained in stature and strength as a candidate. Go ahead - keep screaming "Marxist!" and "Muslim!". You're only putting your own pathetic ignorance on display.

John in Michigan, USA on :

No-one is calling him a Muslim, even though according to non-Western standards, he is, as he now admits. Obama also admits that when he was younger, the more radical the cause the more attractive he found it. The Chicago Tribune is hardly the kind of paper to consider Obama's radical pals and past to be a bombshell. They've endorsed him, after all. They've presumably decided that it's not an issue. And in Chicago or even Illinois, they may be correct. But on the national stage, that stuff will matter. America's distrust of the radical left has a long tradition and was not invented by Karl Rove or even Lee Atwater. Obama knows this. Indeed, one has only to read the latest statements from the Obama campaign to see that his attempts to triangulate are becoming more and more frequent. If Obama manages to reinvent himself as a moderate between now and November, it will be a triumph of Clintonesque proportions. While you have yet to apologize for your earlier, casual, irresponsible accusations of hate, I am encouraged to see that you've chosen not to repeat them again today. May we expect an apology anytime soon?

influx on :

"No-one is calling him a Muslim, even though according to non-Western standards, he is, as he now admits." Beautiful circular logic.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Thank you, I think?!? I suppose I could have said "no-one on this post called him a Muslim until David brought it up". Would that make you happy? Sheesh. Calling someone Nation of Islam (NOI), [url=http://atlanticreview.org/index.php?url=archives/1085-Europe-Deserves-Obama-More.html#c14189]as Pamela did[/url], is not the same as calling them Muslim. Even though followers of NOI often refer to themselves as Muslims, they are not in fact Muslims, for a number of reasons having to do with theology. For example, NOI teaches that W. D. Fard was in fact allah (god). Elijah Muhammad claims to be a prophet of this allah, and stated, “Allah (God) came to us from the Holy City Mecca, Arabia, in 1930. He used the name Wallace D. Fard, often signing it W.D. Fard. In the third year (1933), He signed His name W.F. Muhammad, which stands for Wallace Fard Muhammad. He came alone. He began teaching us the knowledge of ourselves, of God and the devil, of the measurement of the earth, of other planets, and of the civilizations of some of the planets other than earth.” [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallace_Fard_Muhammad]Source[/url] These teachings are considered a heresy in mainstream Islam. Why does any of this matter? Perhaps it all boils down to this: Obama seems to have gone through a period of experimentation, of inventing and re-inventing himself (as do we all at times). But it is certainly fair to ask, has he fully settled on a well-defined identity, or is he still re-inventing himself? This would be a question for any Presidential candidate of his age, but for someone with so little experience, it assumes critical importance. Since his voting record on national issues is so thin, his biography and choice of associates is one of the few remaining ways we can judge what he means when he speaks, and if he means what he says.

Pamela on :

"Calling someone Nation of Islam (NOI), as Pamela did, is not the same as calling them Muslim. " Apparently, that sentence was not as clear as it should have been. The meaning I intended is that he is a 'good buddy' of NOI - not that he is a member. Frankly, I think Obama belongs to the Church of Political Opportunism. He's out shopping for another congregation, as he has just announced he's leaving Trinity. Why anyone believes a word this man says is beyond me.

John in Michigan, USA on :

Pamela, Fair point. After I posted, I re-read what you wrote again and it occurred to me that was probably what you meant - buddies, not membership. Sorry if I jumped the gun. An interesting question is, how close does someone have to be to the candidate to be considered an "associate"? McCain had to deal with a front page NY Times feature story about an attractive female lobbyist whose main association (outside of incidental contact with him and his staff in her capacity as a lobbyist) was a single, unchaperoned plane ride with him! If this same, ridiculous standard were applied to Obama, my guess is there would be a never-ending parade of associates for the blogs and mainstream media to chew over. I can't prove that, of course, it is just my guess about the guy, based in part on his statements that as a younger man he found himself attracted to radical causes just because they are radical. Some might use the word "causista" to describe that part of his life. I'm open to the possibility that Obama no longer is a causista. Obama's speeches, even as far back as his 2004 primetime address to the Democratic convention, suggest this. He's been willing at times to break with his radical past. He drops hints now and then that he admires or at least understands certain aspects of Reagan's presidency. There are probably other examples I can't think of right now. But if he is no longer a causista, what is he? He can give all the speeches he likes, but to convince people he needs to be able to point to specific instances in his post-causista life in which he asserted his new identity (whatever it is) even when there was a significant cost, or at least, no obvious benefit for him in doing so. Assuming he wins the nomination, his address to the 2008 Convention will be an ideal time to do this. Also there is the question of his mentors. It's blindingly obvious that earlier in his career some powerful people in the Chicago establishment identified him as a rising star and blessed him with their largess. I am not just talking about fundraising, but also the fact that he was allowed to attach his name and reputation to important or popular bills and other initiatives in the Illinois state house that he had very little to do with. For example, according to [url=http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-02-28/news/barack-obama-screamed-at-me/print]this[/url], "Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. was Obama's kingmaker." Now kingmaking happens all the time in politics, but it is certainly legitimate to ask, who are these kingmakers, and what do they expect in return? Based on the speed of Obama's rise on the national stage, and his short and shallow national resume, it is highly likely that sometime between 2004 and now he was taken in hand by certain kingmakers in the national Democratic Party, the Soros empire, etc. Which is fine, but who are they, and what do they want?

John in Michigan, USA on :

Wow. I read too fast and almost missed: "He's out shopping for another congregation, as he has just announced he's leaving Trinity." That's HUGE news! Chigaco Sun-Times: [url=http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/981141,obama053108.article]Barack Obama quits Trinity United Church of Christ[/url] Powerline: [url=http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/06/020654.php]Get me from the church on time[/url] (heh) It could well be purely opportunistic as you suggest. That would indicate he's re-inventing himself along the lines of Hillary Clinton, power at any cost. Or, it could be something else. It could be the legacy of MLK finally re-asserting itself against the legacy of Malcolm X. We will see.

Pat Patterson on :

Sen. Obama has placed the national organization of the UCC in a terrible bind. Rev. John Thoms, the denomination president, said that, "...the paiinful reality is that many candidates and public officials now find it nearly impossible to be an active member of a particular religious community," But I find no incidence where a candidate has severed from his congregation and also denounced them has occurred except for the senator. Rev. Thomas is stuck defending the indefensible simply because as a congregation based church he has virtually no say or any way to rein in the more outlandish of his members other than to imply that their particular difficulties, or racism in this case, is not actually racism but rather the pressure brought to bear by, in this case, white racists. Just as I will not hold my breath waiting for the national body of UCC, though a visit to their webiste shows dozens if not thousands of comments denouncing Trinity, to simply say that they are indeed racist and schismatic. But they chose to bask in the reflected glory of and then found that their new Sun King was but a pallid reflection of a single candle. Flickering and not revealing much.

Pamela on :

It could be the legacy of MLK finally re-asserting itself against the legacy of Malcolm X. Oh Puh-leeze. Rashid Kalidi, Bill Ayres, Rezko, Wright, Farrakhan 20 years in a 'church' that spouts Black Liberation Theology. He lied about being conceived after Selma, he lied about his grandmother's racism of 'a typical white person' - at least if you compare it to the story in his autobiography. President of the Harvard Law Review and he never wrote one article that anyone can find. Traditionally, someone coming out of that position clerks for a judge somewhere. He went back to 'community organizing'. If he's smart, he'll find a Unitarian congregation somewhere. They're so inoffensive the only time you hear the words "Jesus Christ" is when the janitor falls down the stairs.

Pat Patterson on :

But isn't he censured as a result?

Pamela on :

"But isn't he censured as a result?" Yes. He has just left the 'church' open to a lawsuit by OSHA.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Oh Puh-leeze" As a pro-war libertarian, I am, without a doubt, the most conservative Unitarian-Universalist you'll ever meet! Seriously, I am a UU. To understand my comment about the various legacies asserting themselves, you have to understand my pet theory that Obama is sincerely attempting to re-invent himself as he goes along. Don't worry, I've not drunk the kool-aid and started pretending that he actually *is* this new person he pretends to be. I'm suggesting that, unlike Sen. Clinton's triangulation, it might not be 100% cynical. If my theory is correct, it would be taking a ridiculously huge risk to elevate someone to the Presidency in 2008 who is "in transition" in terms of his core identity, especially someone so young and inexperienced. However, if Obama stays in the Senate for a while, completes his personal oddessy, and emerges rejecting the separatist legacy of Wright, Malcolm X, etc. he would be a formidable candidate. Leaving one's church after 20 years is a big deal for anyone; but my sense is that leaving an African-American church, and talking against to the pastor as he did somewhat in the Philadelphia speech a while ago, is an especially big deal. Obama will still get the African-American vote, but if he doesn't win, he will pay a huge price back in Hyde Park. And I think he knows this. His leaving the church is indeed a Sista Soulja moment, but it may also be much more than that. In this race, Obama is by far the most intriguing candidate to write about. I'm just trying to figure out what makes him tick.

Pamela on :

"Don't worry, I've not drunk the kool-aid and started pretending that he actually *is* this new person he pretends to be. I'm suggesting that, unlike Sen. Clinton's triangulation, it might not be 100% cynical." "pretends" is the operative word. There is such a thing as 'right and wrong'. A 'church' that preaches race hate is wrong. Attending it for decades is wrong. Giving over $20k a year to that church is wrong. I don't give a monkey's butt about anyone's pet theory. This guy has made his bones on the backs of race pimps. He is not 15 years old. So, either he believes it or he's a liar and a fraud. "Cynical" gives him too much credit. I was raised a Lutheran, a convert to Judaism, my best friend for over 40 years is a devout Catholic, my husband is Episcopalian. I've been to every flavor of house of worship you can imagine - except Baptist. I can assure you that if anything other than the Gospel or Torah came from the pulpit, the entire congregation would walk out. And the money would dry up. 'Disgust' doesn't come close.

Joe Noory on :

You'll note that the title isn't [i]"Deserves [b]an[/b] Obama"[/i] but "Europe Deserves him MORE", as though there was some complex requiring something to be "taken away" from those dastardly Americans, who are, after all, there to kidnap your children in order to drink their blood. Seriously, what is it? What is that incredibly sad and needy pathology that makes so much of what comes out their mouthes not so much about the inherent value of the thing discussed, but about a negative fixation with Americans?

Reid of America on :

It appears that Obama has the nomination. Many people find my prediction that Obama will lose all 50 states to be silly partisan bravado. It is not. Both McGovern in 1972 and Mondale in 1984 lost 49 states and they, unlike Obama, were actually qualified to be president. If Nixon and Reagan could win blue state America you better believe that the maverick centrist McCain can win in a landslide against the radical leftist Obama. Barack Hussein Obama versus John Whitey McCain There is no contest.

David on :

Hey Reid, I wish you'd take your white hood off long enough so we can get a look at your face.

Joe Noory on :

Really? How does that deeply racist argument the left made about Colin Powell not "being black enough" because his parents were immigrants and not part of the mainstream black population fit into this? Or is it a case of his characterization of what one "class faction" of the democrats has been saying about the other, now that Hillary supporters had to deal with another faction using race, not gender as a form of irrational emotional leverage to guilt trip votes out of people? Ideologically, Obama suits a miniscule segment of the American public. He is rated by the anally retentive senate vote counters (organization mainly trying to guilt trip senate votes in favor of leftist special interest) as the senator most to the left. How, in the meme-obsessed logic of the left is this supposed to "bring America together" by giving a warm feeling to a morally repugnant elite looking to have some trained-in emotional hangup absolved?

Reid of America on :

Hey David, You are setting back race relations by conflating criticism of Obama with racism. Obama's unelectability isn't related to his race but his radical past and associations. For the record I am hoping that McCain picks Colin Powell, a black man, as his vice president. Powell, unlike Obama, is qualified to be president.

Elisabetta on :

Reid: Why do you hate black peoples?

Elisabetta on :

I apologize. That should have read--Reid: why do you hate the black peoples on the internets?

John in Michigan, USA on :

Elisabetta, For shame. "internets" is insensitive and divisive. Also it is so very 2005. The correct term is "a series of tubes" as in "[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_of_color]The Internet[/url] is [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_of_tubes]a Series of Tubes![/url]", attributed to an unknown Net Neutrality activist. It may be abbreviated to "Innertubes". Also, you should have used a capital "I".

joe on :

Reid To David and his fellow travelers any criticism of BHO is racism. In fact, David does not really see the need to have an election other than for Congress. We should all just anoint BHO. David has worked very hard these last few months in the defense of America. I think you should show more kindness to David as his efforts are going to give you our greatest president who surely will make your life better and also safer.

David on :

Joe, The congressional contests are very important, and it really looks like a Democratic blow-out this year. You mock me for volunteering for the Obama campaign, but do you volunteer for McCain? What do you do for the democratic process other ridicule those who are participating?

John in Michigan, USA on :

"What do you do for the democratic process other ridicule those who are participating?" Well, for one, he is doesn't race-bait.

joe on :

David, I thought you were quite proud of your efforts to gain the nomination of BHO to be the candidate of your party. Have I misread your comments? To answer your question about working for JWM, no I have not worked in his campaign nor will I. In fact, I have not worked in the campaign of any candidate for the office of POTUS. BTW, my comment was about the defense of America not about the democratic process. I have sadly come to the realization that in your mind there is no difference between these statements. To help you understand that there is a difference, I might suggest should you have reason to be in WDC in January 09 or at any other time you take a few hours to visit ANC. You might then begin to see there is a very real difference and that difference has a price.

John in Michigan, USA on :

I just watched an interview Shelby Steele gave in January, 2008 in support of his book "A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win". Shelby Steele is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, which makes him a Black conservative. His basic point is that there are two common archetypes, roles or "masks" (his word) that Blacks often find useful in dealing with delicate issues of racial identity: the bargainer and the challenger. An example of a bargainer would be Jazz great Louis Armstrong...or Barack Obama. An example of a challenger would be Jazz great Miles Davis...or Jeremiah Wright. Whites in general are most comfortable with the bargainer, Blacks are more comfortable with the challenger, but both are in their own way inauthentic, or at least, the incomplete public face of the whole person. To understand what Steele is saying, and how it applies to Obama, read the book, or watch this five part interview he gave to National Review's "Uncommon Knowledge" program: [url=http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YTYzZGIyYjJkNTVlY2IyNzViYzQ2YjhkMmE1ZmFkMjk=]Part 1[/url] - [url=http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=MjdlNTE3MGUyYjdhNGZjZjA2YzY3OGJlNzY2NDk4YTM=]Part 2[/url] - [url=http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=MDE2ZjZjMWI5ZWFlZDVmZWU3YjhiYzUwYjYyMzg5MTY=]Part 3[/url] - [url=http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YzQ4ZTQ1ZGIwYjY3NTM3YTkzYmM1YWRhYjliMTUxYmQ=]Part 4[/url] - [url=http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=YjY2MTJlMjNiNjMwNzRkZWExNjEzMWVmMTVjMWYyYmU=]Part 5[/url] I highly recommend it. Hopefully, Steele's interview will shed some light on what I was trying to express when I told Pamela, "I'm suggesting that, unlike Sen. Clinton's triangulation, it might not be 100% cynical". As a younger man in search of an "authentic" Black identity, Obama adopted the role of the challenger, which I called the "causista". That he did this is one of the central ironies of his life, because in fact none of his ancestors were ever slaves in America. However, my theory (which I developed before I saw the Steele interview) is that Obama has never fully embraced the challenger mask; part of him has always been attracted to the bargainer, probably due in part to his bi-racial identity, his cosmopolitan experiences in Indonesia and Hawaii, and his mother's family's Midwestern heritage. His dream is either to have it both ways (a juggling act, in which we still don't see the real person behind the masks), or to forge some synthesis of these two masks that transcends both of them. So he is deeply conflicted; his triangulation is as much personal and cultural as it is political. If Obama, and the nation, could somehow resolve or transcend this conflict, he, and we, could do great things. But as far as I can tell, he has not yet done so. Peggy Noonan captures this brilliantly in her essay "[url=http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110009388]The Man From Nowhere[/url]". Or, if Obama has in fact forged a core identity that transcends these masks, he has yet to reveal it.

Reid of America on :

Because of the lack of accomplishments and political record we don't know what Obama is all about. Obama has always been completely removed from his so-called Midwestern heritage. His mother was a communist. That is the antithesis of Midwestern values. Obama has associated with communists since his youth. I understand that academics don't find this objectionable but the American people as a group do. When you combine the communist and Muslim associations they render Obama unelectable.

David on :

Reid, take your wooden crosses and gasoline and go home. Today most of America is celebrating a historic event: an African-American winning the Democratic nomination. 7,000 articles in English on Google News. And the world is celebrating along with us. Check out the site [url=www.watchingamerica.com]Watching America[/url].

Pat Patterson on :

And the sun, honestly, will come up tomorrow. Most people in America are probably disappointed that the fun is over and now the droning and self-righteousness will begin. But since Sen. Obama was supposed to transcend race then isn't celebrating his being the first black man to win the nomination of a big party a regression to racial one upsmanship? But the fact that it was the Democrats, the apologists for racism, segregation and the Klan since the Civil War, who chose a black candidate does go along way to making amends. But I just wish that Sen. Obama had followed the examples of George Washington Carver or Sarah Breedlove and not Paul Robeson or W.E.B DuBois.

Pamela on :

Shelby Steele is always on my 'must read' list ever since I read "The Content of Our Character", so I'm familiar with the argument in the book. The problem is this: People are not theoretical archtypes. Obama has made his choices AS A MAN, not an archtype. I don't vote for archtypes. I have the deepest misgivings about the choices he has made and I won't vote for him.

joe on :

Reid I believe you to be incorrect on your statement of OBH has failed to accomplished anything. He did win his party's nomination to be their candidate for the office of POTUS. Pat makes the point this accomplishment was suppose to transcend race yet it is one of OBH fellow travelers who brings up the issue of race. This should give you an insight in how this is going to play out in the coming months. Reid if you do not agree with OBH basic platform of raising taxes at home and surrendering to our enemies aboard then there is something very wrong with you. This is a platform David not only fully supports but is working tirelessly to see implemented. As this is only rational and obvious policy choices to David and the left, it has to be the right path forward. Your failure to see this and you are by no means stupid, then the only explanation is you are a racist. We really are faced with two very different outcomes both of which do not give one much reason to cheer. One outcome is can America survive an OBH presidency. The other outcome is can America survive OBH not being elected president.

Don S on :

'can America survive an OBH presidency. The other outcome is can America survive OBH not being elected president.' Yes on both counts. The US has vast strength to survive blunders because of it's strong defensive strategic position. A Louis Napoleon cannot do for the US the way he did for France for two reasons - The US has no threatening neighbors and the US system permits a president to stay in power only 8 years. Similarly the effects of not electing a candidate are passing. 8 years from now whomever is elected this November will be the lamest of lame ducks with the very people most enthusiastic now just waiting to give him the push. I doubt McCain would last the full 8 to be honest; he's 72 and looks older.

joe on :

Don, I would agree with you. You fail to answer at what cost either of these will be. I think the costs will be extremely high in either outcome. If I remember correctly you were at one point prepared to give BHO an opportunity even with all of his weaknesses. I also believe you made some reference to former POTUS Carter. Well America is still paying for his administration.

Pamela on :

David, your reaction to criticism of BHO bodes ill for consideration of your support for him on the merits. Reid's - and my - criticisms are factual. The only person on this thread that has said anything remotely racist is you. [I'm assuming Elisabetta's were satire]. Your failre to address the issues raised and simply toss around ad hominem insults speaks volumes about YOU.

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

Maybe Europe does not deserve Obama: See this: Die Tageszeitung: "Uncle Barack's Cabin" [url]http://medienkritik.typepad.com/blog/2008/06/die-tageszeit-1.html[/url]

John in Michigan, USA on :

Wow. Good link, Joerg! Die Tageszeitung's editors claim, "The headline is supposed to make people think about these stereotypes. It works on many levels." I would be very interested to learn what those other levels are, besides the obvious implication that Obama is an inauthentic Black because he broke publicly with his church, and a sell-out because he appears to have got the nomination shortly after that. I see they didn't put a question mark after the headline "Onkel Baracks Hutte". Headline writing is a certain art, and doesn't always follow the same rules that govern ordinary language. In an English headline, putting a question mark in the headline would make it less of an attack, less confrontational, etc. Do German headlines work the same way? Can anybody guess what those other levels are?

ADMIN on :

Please note that by default the comments in this blog are threaded rather than linear, i.e. some of the latest comments and responses to comments are not at the bottom, but in the middle. At the top of the comments section you have the option to change the view from threaded to linear, which enable you to see the latest comments at the end of the thread.

Reid of America on :

Well it appears that Obama and McCain are virtually tied in the polls at this point in time. Some polls have McCain slighly ahead and some Obama by a point or two. There is 5 months till the election. As the saying goes, let's get it on!

John in Michigan, USA on :

The closing of the polls of the last primary on Tuesday was an important milestone, however, the overall primary race was a photo finish and too close to call. Now that Sen. Clinton has formally conceded the nomination, congratulations are due. Congratulations to Sen. Barack Obama and his history-making bid to become the Democratic nominee for President. Anyone reading Atlantic Review will know I have deep reservations about Sen. Obama. The tendency of small-minded, feel-good partisans to viciously attack anyone who doesn't praise their candidate at the precise moment and in the precise words they choose, may well cost the nominee the general election. Far worse is Sen. Clinton and her toxic politics of entitlement and ambition. She has conceded, but [url=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/whats_up_hillarys_sleeve.html]she has failed to release her delegates from their commitments, and clearly has something up her sleeve[/url]. Will she, like Al Gore in Florida in 2000, concede and then un-concede when "new information" surfaces? Nevertheless, it would be childish and mean-spirited to withhold congratulations from nominee Obama.

Gina on :

Who cares who the Europeans prefer ... if it was up to France, our next President would be Jerry Lewis. How about focusing on who has the experience, judgement and character to protect us and bring prosperity to Americans ... not someone who in the eleventh hour, finally tries to establish foreign policy credentials, in a one week visit, as a transparent political ploy to get himself elected. Where was Obama, when he was supposed to chair the congressional committee on Afghanistan, and never had a single meeting. Why did Obama vote 'present' over 100 times in the senate? Even if he manages a political rally in the Roman Coliseum, he's still just an inexperienced politician, who is not qualified to be President of the United States of America !!!

John in Michigan, USA on :

Hi Gina, Since this is a blog about the transatlantic relationship, we do in fact care who the Europeans prefer! However, I fully agree that Obama showed little interest in the transatlantic relationship, until he decided to run for President. His newfound interest is (so far) mostly posturing for headlines.

Quincy Davenport on :

Well, if you want to find out some reasons why so many Europeans support Barack Obama, there is a site which was set up last week I think called europeans for obama .com or .eu. There is a interessting statement on this.

Bill Townsent on :

The website you referred to is called Europeans for Obama and the Homepage is www.europeansforobama.com

John in Michigan, USA on :

Qunicy or Bill, "As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Obama has tackled such challenges as the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the genocide in Darfur." [url=http://www.europeansforobama.com/together-we-can]Source[/url] This claim is pretty remarkable, given the consensus here at Atlantic Review that Obama did very little as the mostly-absent, sometimes-"present" leader of the Europe sub-committee. Is there evidence we haven't seen that he actually did anything substantial during his time on this sub-committee? I ask on the slight chance that you are not Obama-bots and therefore can actually conduct a meaningful conversation.

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