A Significant Aspect of My Life, Explained
52 Guitars: Week 7

Yes, He Can!

Neo-neocon has come to a sobering realization:

And so if you are audacious enough (and your name is Barack Obama) you can fool most of the people most of the time. And your supporters will defend you for it, as long as you’re not lying to them about some pet issue of theirs.

This is not a discovery that bodes well for the country. It’s one of those things that, once seen, cannot be unseen. With the press behind you and the wind at your back, you can do just about anything.

Yes, he can! Read the whole thing.

(You remember "Yes, we can," don't you?)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yes, we can!

That's Bob the Builder isn't it?

Anyway, it's *very* disturbing.

Here is Belloc's essay on the revival of Latin. But it addresses aspects of compulsory education and issues with the modern state.


"Provided the State does not lay its deadening hand upon the new development, nor exercise that blind tyranny of which it is to-day more enamoured than was any despot in the past (and how tamely we submit!) the situation may be saved."

This essay was written around 1931.

The retired foreign service officer who goes by the moniker "Diplomad 2.0" offered this on a pair of foreign heads of state:

"In short, Chavez ran Venezuela with the "long-con." Maduro does not have the skills for that, and came to power as the long-con was coming to an end. He has to go for the "Winner! Winner! Chicken dinner!" short-con approach. Constantly pulling rabbits out of his hat. Accuse the capitalists! Accuse the gringos! Accuse the political opposition! The end result, of course, is the destruction of liberty and the growing chaos, lawlessness, and violence we see in Venezuela."

With regard to the Democratic Party, I suspect their serial frauds will eventually catch up with them. Then again, given that Roe v. Wade has been on the books for 40 years, 'eventually' may be a very long time indeed.

I was trying to figure out what the "con" in "long-con" and "short-con" meant, and finally realized it probably means, simply, "con."

I think Neoneocon has made the Obama-Chavez comparison. I don't know who Maduro is.

I certainly hope you're right about the serial frauds. I'm not so sure. I mean, I think that in the really long run, history will probably come to an accurate, which is to say negative, judgment of them, but I'm not confident of the United States coming out of it in recognizable form.

Louise, "yes we can" was an Obama campaign slogan. I'll have to read the Belloc essay later.

It was rather hard to take seriously as a campaign slogan. I can only assume Bob the Builder is unknown in the States.

It isn't like it has no international reach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD0vHZxAmso&list=PLntYnGThNYy4XsgJMQqDc5bCzNu4hnzgS

That's totally new to me, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that my grandchildren are aware of it. Or that the connection to Obama's slogan has been made before.

I didn't really mind Obama's "yes, we can." But "we are the people we have been waiting for" really annoyed me. In the context of the general messianic thing people were doing with Obama, it seemed slightly creepy.

Bob the Builder predates Obama by a long shot; Patric, who is 16, watched him when he was very small. Never occurred to me that Obama stole Bob's slogan.
I am not sure which is worse, Obama's (former) personal messianism or the GOP's nationalist messianism, though the latter is clearly the more dangerous, as it is a lasting myth.

Woodrow Wilson is long dead, Daniel.

Ah well, I knew it was Obama's campaign slogan. I can remember sniggering up my sleeve at the time. My kids have been great fans of Bob the builder for about 16 years, same as Daniel's boy.

Unless you are especially interested in the revival of Latin, Maclin, I don't necessarily recommend reading all of that essay, but the quote I used seemed to be relevant.

Ok, well, just looking at that quote, then, one would expect that the situation is not going to be saved. The hand of the state grows ever more heavy in attempting to shape the minds of the people.

Yes I agree. I was pretty interested in the whole "how tamely we submit" thing. If Belloc was writing that in about 1930 it explains the way things are now.

"I am not sure which is worse, Obama's (former) personal messianism or the GOP's nationalist messianism, though the latter is clearly the more dangerous, as it is a lasting myth."

I just heard Michael Medved espouse it in the most bald terms the other day on the radio. He was basically saying "God made America special for the world." My fifteen-year old daughter could only say, "That is really stupid."

I think both parties have their own version of the enduring myth, but they really look different. Obama's messianism was just a subset of an overall tendency. It reminds me of the effort on the part of some liberals a few years back to recast themselves as "brights." I guess the progressive version isn't as nationalist. It is more internationalist. Still elitist, though.

"Obama's messianism was just a subset of an overall tendency." Right. I was talking about his cult of personality, not progressive messianism as a movement.

"I think both parties have their own version of the enduring myth, but they really look different." Yes, setting aside the question of which is worse, I do think there is a substantial difference between the messianic or utopian impulses on right and left.

"how tamely we submit"

Pretty tamely, it turns out. As Neo said, "with the press behind you and the wind at your back...."

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)