Harry S. Obama

That is the title of Michael Barone‘s column here.

Harry S.?


Barone speculates on the possibility that Obama will pull a Harry Truman, that is come from behind in the polls and win unexpectedly. Barone seems skeptical.

In addition, Truman’s victory was brought about by two “F factors” — the farm vote and foreign policy — the first of which scarcely exists today and the second of which seems unlikely to benefit Obama in the same way.

When the nation went to war in the 1940s, 1 in 4 Americans still lived on farms. The 1948 electorate still reflected that America. Voter turnout was actually lower than it was in 1940, and the vast postwar demographic changes were not reflected in elections until turnout surged in the contest between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson in 1952. Truman promised to keep Depression-era farm subsidies in place and charged that Dewey and the Republicans would repeal them. That enabled him to run ahead of Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 showing in 13 states with large farm populations, from Indiana to Colorado and Minnesota to Oklahoma.

Without that swing in the farm vote, Truman would not have won. Dewey, waking up to find that he would not be president as he and almost everyone expected, spotted that immediately the morning after the election.

Today only 2 to 3 percent of Americans live on farms. Farm prices currently are running far ahead of subsidy prices. Obama is not going to be re-elected by the farm vote.

The second F factor that helped Truman was foreign policy. As Ornstein correctly notes, Truman’s Cold War policies — the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan — were supported by Republican congressional leaders and by Dewey. Top Dewey advisers were taken into confidence by Truman’s foreign policy appointees. It was the golden era of bipartisan foreign policy.

But on one policy, Truman went further than his top advisers and Dewey’s. When the Soviets blocked land access to West Berlin in June 1948, Truman’s advisers — men of the caliber of George Marshall and Omar Bradley — said that it was impossible to supply food and fuel to Berlin and that we should just abandon it.

At a crucial meeting in July 1948, Truman listened to this advice. After others had finished talking, Truman said simply, “We’re not leaving Berlin.” Gen. Lucius Clay, our proconsul in Germany, set about organizing what became the Berlin Airlift.

Gen. William Tunner, who had run the wartime airlift from Burma to China, made the Berlin Airlift work. Vast quantities of food and coal — far more than experts had estimated — were brought into Tempelhof Airport on planes landing in foul weather every 90 seconds. And the pilots took to throwing out pieces of candy to the hungry kids lining the runways.

Andrei Cherny​, now the chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, tells the story in his book “The Candy Bombers.” He argues persuasively that the Berlin Airlift — an example of American strength, determination, technological prowess and generosity — played a key role in re-electing Truman.

Well, we already know that Obama will not be known in history for his tough foreign policy.

All I can say to Barak Obama is, “Mr. President, I knew Harry Truman, Harry Truman was my friend, and Mr. President, You’re no Harry S. Truman”.

Well, I didn’t really of course, that was before my time, but you get the idea.



Left Wing Tea Party

Ron Radosh wrote an article on Van Jones‘s attempt to build a left wing version of the Tea Party movement. They are calling this one the American Dream Movement and I suppose they will be building a grassroots progressive movement to counter the Koch brothers funded astroturfed Tea Party.

You remember Obama’s departed Green czar, the once self-proclaimed revolutionary Communist Van Jones? Well, the man is back. According to Michelle Goldberg, writing  in The Daily Beast, on July 23 Jones threw a Washington, D.C., party to announce the creation of what he predicts will be the left-wing’s Tea Party, which he calls the “American Dream Movement.” Goldberg writes:

Launched at a July 23 event in New York City that was part rally, party dance party, the American Dream Movement aims to restore the fight for economic justice to the center of progressive politics. On Aug. 9, the movement put out its crowd-sourced “Contract for the American Dream,” a 10-point economic manifesto that called for new investments in education and infrastructure; higher taxes for corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy; and curbs on lobbyists. The next day, it was published as a full-page ad in The New York Times. Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois will soon introduce the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, legislation based on the document.

Here’s a little more from the Daily Beast.

Like the Tea Party, the American Dream Movement is intended to be open-source, meaning that all sorts of different groups planning all sorts of different actions are encouraged to unite under its banner. But it will also have an umbrella organization, called Rebuild the Dream, which Jones is creating in concert with MoveOn.org. “If the American Dream Movement is the Tea Party, then Rebuild the Dream is Americans for Prosperity or the Tea Party Express,” says Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director.

That’s not the only parallel. The American Dream Movement is intended to put a name on a preexisting political force, just as the Tea Party did. Part of the inspiration for the movement came from the demonstrations against right-wing economic policies in Wisconsin and Ohio. Since then, there have been protests nationwide, some in unexpected places. In April, Montana saw one of its biggest rallies ever when 1,500 people gathered in front of the capitol to protest budget cuts. In July, 800 people demonstrated on behalf of public-school teachers in Ogden, Utah. These protests have received far less attention than the Tea Party. “There’s been an unprecedented wave of activity that’s had no common banner, and so nobody noticed,” says Ruben.

I am not sure that a rally of 1000 or so bussed in union goons is quite the same as the Tea Party, but at least they’re trying. But, I thought the Coffee Party was the Left’s answer, or the One Nation movement, or whatever else they’ve been trying.

This link is far from sympathetic to the Tea Party. I gather the writer feels that Progressives are just to well-informed and sophisticated to follow a movement so simple-minded. They are right about the cultural differences though. The reason the Tea Party is unlikely to be matched on the left is simply because the Tea Party does a much better job of expressing  American values and ideals. Most people on the Left, the kind who go in for the Coffee Party, etc. sound like they just emerged from a time warp from the 1930’s Soviet Union.

Female “Circumcision” is Obligatory

So says one Mullah Ismael Sosaae from Kurdistan. Anyone who says otherwise must be a member of the Jewish conspiracy.

Then they come to the issue of circumcision. They have no problems left except the issue of female circumcision in Kurdistan. The mothers and sisters of more than half of your party members were circumcised. This means that you insult your own grandmother. You insult your own mother. You accuse them of ignorance. You dishonour your dead grandfather and burn his coffin for allowing the circumcision of your mother. Circumcision is a tenant of Islamic law (sharia). (…) (This bill is) to satisfy the Jews who in the conference of the Jews in Beijing discussed that female circumcision should be banned. You obey their orders and disregard the Sharia of Allah (…).

There is a lot more where that came from. Read it and shudder.

Thanks to Jihad Watch for bringing this to everyone’s attention and for the hard work they do.


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