Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big Government An Assumption Launderer

I was reading this post on Big Government by Paul A. Rahe that I thought was interesting and I will explain why after I give a small citation.  Rahe's post basically discusses the rumor that Obama was going to switch his vice president, Joe Biden, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Back in mid-June, Leslie Gelb floated an idea in an op-ed piece that he published in The Wall Street Journal. After the midterms, he argued, when Robert Gates resigned his position as Secretary of Defense, Hillary Clinton should be given the job in preparation for making her the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2012. As a booby prize – Gelb spoke, of course, in more flattering terms – Joe Biden could be made Secretary of State.

Apart from fact that it requires one to suppose that a man known as “loose lips,” notorious for blurting out the first thing that comes into his mind, would make a decent Secretary of State, Gelb’s suggestion made a certain amount of sense. President Obama was no longer popular; Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill had a considerable following that would be far more likely to come to the polls in 2012 if she were on the ticket; and it had long been obvious that Barack Obama held his Vice-President in contempt.

With these facts in mind, in a post back in July, I noted the criticism leveled at President Obama by erstwhile supporters of Hillary Clinton such as Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and James Carville. And I then raised the possibility that President Obama might seize upon the occasion of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to catch her father at a time when, as everyone knows, a man from Arkansas can deny no one a favor and that he might then close the deal suggested by Gelb and get the husband of his Secretary of State to call off the attack dogs unleashed by the Clinton family.
If you read the highlighted passage, you may see what I am trying to get at - the author keeps mentions "fact," but all he really offer is opinion.  The "facts" that he writes of above are that this entire scenario requires a supposition.  He claims the President is no longer popular, that the Clintons have a strong following, and that Obama has "contempt" for Vice President Biden.  All these points seem less like fact and more like assumptions.

He claims the president is unpopular but according to the latest right-leaning Rasmussen Report, Obama has a total "somewhat" approval rating of 49% - Gallup's numbers put Obama at 45% put also show that Obama's scores are still higher then presidents Reagan and Clinton at the same point during their first term.  It is a bit silly to try and use a president's mid-term polling to determine what they will do two years down the road - it would have been like predicting 2010 election results right after Obama was elected and riding some very impressive numbers (69%).

The mention of the Clintons and their fans is interesting - there seems to be no documentation anywhere talking about the fan base.  There are no stories about Clinton-maniacs busing around the country to see her speak, and the top Hillary website - JustHillary.com - closed its doors when she lost her bid for the presidency.  While I believe Clinton to be largely popular among his base, I think Obama probably shares a good portion of those people.  When it comes to fanatical followers though, Clinton is no Palin.

The last claim is interesting because he offers no proof and just states that such contempt is "obvious."

So basically, Rahe makes a bunch of assumptions in the beginning of the article and then refers to them as facts.  He then uses those "facts" to make more assumptions.

Sadly te readers of Big Government eat this crap up...

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