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Jun 29th 2005

Peggy Noonan on Barack Obama

Noonan lambasts Senator Obama’s egocentric self-comparison to Lincoln.

This week comes the previously careful Sen. Barack Obama, flapping his wings in Time magazine and explaining that he’s a lot like Abraham Lincoln, only sort of better. “In Lincoln’s rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat–in all this he reminded me not just of my own struggles.”

Oh. So that’s what Lincoln’s for. Actually Lincoln’s life is a lot like Mr. Obama’s. Lincoln came from a lean-to in the backwoods. His mother died when he was 9. The Lincolns had no money, no standing. Lincoln educated himself, reading law on his own, working as a field hand, a store clerk and a raft hand on the Mississippi. He also split some rails. He entered politics, knew more defeat than victory, and went on to lead the nation through its greatest trauma, the Civil War, and past its greatest sin, slavery.

Barack Obama, the son of two University of Hawaii students, went to Columbia and Harvard Law after attending a private academy that taught the children of the Hawaiian royal family. He made his name in politics as an aggressive Chicago vote hustler in Bill Clinton’s first campaign for the presidency.

You see the similarities.

7 Responses to “Peggy Noonan on Barack Obama”

  1. very interesting article. i read some of the responses and most of the people said that politicians are prideful because they lack faith and that a theocracy was an answer to political problems. i first heard obama speak at the DNC and i was impressed, but when i found out that he was hardly the person he presented himself to be, i was dissapointed. politicians can say whatever they want, and no matter what they say the other side gets mad too. the big problem is not pride of individual politicians as much as it is pride of each party as a whole. they are incapable of cooperating. i have no hope for american national politics.

  2. doug

    To Finland we go! 😉

  3. i have before me a graph of all the EU countries and the taxes they pay. denmark and sweden are the highest (52% and 49% respecitvely) tax rates. is it worth paying 20% to the government to have lower healthcare, better schools, and more civilization? i dont know. but maybe if one of the states (say minnesota) turned socialist and pple who lived there paid a huge amount of taxes, it would be a neat experience. would they be healthier, less stressed, kinder to one another? maybe. i think you can agree that america needs help in lots of ways (and so does any country), but i dont think that the current political climate condusive to making the necessary changes. at least give me a sauna. sorry about argentina. brazil must be on steriods.

  4. doug

    i have before me a graph of all the EU countries and the taxes they pay. denmark and sweden are the highest (52% and 49% respecitvely) tax rates.

    Denmark also has a 25% Value Added Tax (VAT) meaning that everything at the store is marked up 25%. They have marginally higher unemployment and no minimum wage law.

    Sweden also has no minimum wage law and a 25% VAT (12% on foodstuffs and some tourism items, 6% on newspapers).

    is it worth paying 20% to the government to have lower healthcare, better schools, and more civilization?

    The quality of schools is strongly correlated with family structure and parental involvement. It is not correlated at all with the amount of money spent per pupil.

    And “more civilization”? What are they doing in Sweden? Reconstructing the Pyramids and the Parthenon?

    but maybe if one of the states (say minnesota) turned socialist and pple who lived there paid a huge amount of taxes, it would be a neat experience.

    Yes. Why don’t you move to the state with the highest tax rate? That could be a neat experience.

    i dont think that the current political climate condusive to making the necessary changes.

    Thank goodness.

    at least give me a sauna.

    And this, I believe, is at the root of your love of socialism.

  5. LaurenceB

    Luxembourg has, according to some, the highest standard of living in the world. They have a very liberal immigration policy, and one of the official languages is English!

    …Not that I’ve ever looked into this sort of thing.

  6. LaurenceB,
    Lux. only has a 20% tax. hardly the type of system i am endorsing. also, every single country in north europe claims to have the highest standard of living in the world. all of these countries are great because they speak english perfectly (due to having american tv with subtitles instead of dubs). Lux is a good choice though.

    Doug,
    first, i must rebuke you for critisizing countries that you have never been to. its one thing to make fun of socialism or other socio-political structures when the only other countries you have experienced are semi 3rd world located in south america. of course the US has a better system then they do, but south america is not the only other continent (maybe you have been to other countries, but i dont know).
    second, i agree with most of your comments. i think you missed the point. im not saying that socialism is the answer for america, but whatever we have now has serious problems. i dont blame this so much on the system as i blame it on the people (myself included).

    other thoughts:

    “The quality of schools is strongly correlated with family structure and parental involvement. It is not correlated at all with the amount of money spent per pupil.”

    right, most of the differences are more cultural than anything else. in america this would be impossible because of the diversity we have.

    “And “more civilization”? What are they doing in Sweden? Reconstructing the Pyramids and the Parthenon?”

    no doug, they only have one of the highest standards of living, great soccer team, hockey team, and wonderful yogurt. all of these things may be at the root of my so called love for socialism (including saunas). i just like the way of life there.

    however, being in italy has made me realize (even more than being in russia) how great america is. not because of the economy ro culture so much, but maybe its just better to be where family and friends (like you dougie) are.

    in short, i love yogurt and norse mythology, but i also love america. i dont know how to fix the problems i see, and i know i need to be more involved politically. for this reason, i will start to listen to NPR every morning.

  7. also you missed the whole joke about minnesota because they already do that. i think we can see a trend though: the colder it gets, the more taxes you pay (with exception to Alaska where they pay you to live there).