Feb 242009

My collegiate mentor and friend Dr. Susan Fillippeli has written an interesting post on Obama’s new “rhetoric of fear.”

Since the inauguration, what has become of Obama’s message of hope?  Quoting Dr. Fillippeli:

It is no accident that Obama’s rhetoric has shifted significantly from one defined by hope to one defined by crisis. It has nothing to do with worsening economic conditions or with any discovery that upon assuming the presidency he has found things to be even worse than he thought. This is a planned rhetorical shift necessitated by the size and scope of the changes that Obama seeks to implement.

Upon reading this, I thought of the “ridiculous” idea of taxing drivers per mile—something Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called an idea “we should look at.” The Obama administration has since dismissed the idea.  However, I suggested to fellow blogger nhfalcon that this could easily be a “float,” designed to mine the worst of the public’s shock and skepticism now, to better prepare the way for it later.  Gas is $2, or just under, right now.  When it gets back to $4, Obama could easily point back to his earlier dismissal as appropriate for the time, but now we have a real problem, and we must do something.

To those opposing the hard-left ideologue in the Oval Office:  remain principled, firm, and unceasingly attentive.  Now is the time for hope—real hope—but it must be bolstered by a practical understanding of the conditions on the ground.  I fear we face a brutal and sustained assault on common sense, and the power of the aggressor to package his socioeconomic poison as necessity must not be underestimated.

Obama’s rhetoric hasn’t changed for nothing.

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 Posted by at 12:13 pm

  22 Responses to “Obama’s new rhetoric of fear”

  1. I’m definitely no Obama supporter, but what’s so ridiculous about a “per mile” usage tax to fund road construction and maintenance costs versus the current “per gallon” gasoline tax? The libertarian in me fully supports usage fees for services rendered vs blanket taxes. I would add vehicle weight to the equation to more accurately assess an individual’s usage/impact. Where’s the flaw in that logic?

  2. One addendum: I definitely don’t support the use of Global Positioning System units in cars to track mileage. If such a tax were to be instituted, a yearly odometer reading when renewing tags would be more than sufficient.

  3. Can you imagine the gaming for tax-per-mile taxation?

    “I’ll take the absolute shortest route to work. Might tie up traffic more since everyone in the whole city takes this route and I do waste more gas sitting in traffic, but I’ll pay less, so I win. Gee this road is crappy now.”

    And the black market business of odometer tampering gets a lift…

  4. Lee: I understand and mostly agree in principle with the usage base you speak of. The proposal as I understood it was to include GPS units, and though I never read such, I supposed they would report usage on a cellular network (else the odometer reading you mention would be sufficient). Also, I’m quite certain a mileage tax would be in addition to current gasoline taxes, and absent genuine fiscal responsibility (I’ll be watching for that legislation to be carried to the president’s desk on a unicorn’s back), my mantra remains “no new taxes EVER for ANYTHING.”

    BamaDan: I hadn’t thought that far down the equation, but yeah, there are certainly interesting consequences beyond the heinous privacy invasion!

  5. Just wait for the Earned Mileage Tax Credit for low-income drivers…

  6. Shuffle, shuffle, drag, shoving soapbox into place, climbing atop

    Repeal the income tax. (Repeal that pesky amendment, too.)

    Shuffle, shuffle, drag, pushing soapbox back to its hidey spot.

  7. Just about 45 minutes to The One’s address as I type. I expect, more or less, “things are really bad, but if you will just go along with what I prescribe, everything will eventually be rosy.”

    I’ll be swinging a Wiimote. I’ll read about it later.

  8. Hey Bo,

    I know this isn’t exactly the forum for this, but I was curious what you thought of the following potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates:



  9. nhfalcon: My VERY early opinion/WAG:

    Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson can forget it. Bush will continue to suffer from last-name fatigue even three years from now, and the latter three are past their sell-by dates.

    I would bet on a primary season in which the frontrunners are Jindal, Palin, and Huckabee, in that order. Crist and Graham may make some early racket, but they won’t hang. The winner will select one of the other two as a running mate.

    (Palin WILL matter. Take it to the bank.)

    I deeply hope it’s a Republican ticket of grounded, defensible fiscal principle. Time will tell.

  10. Rich Lowry at The Corner identifies this as the scariest passage of the speech:

    As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President’s Day that would put people back to work and put money in their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t.

    Quoting Lowry: “(Obama)’s trying to redefine extensive government activism as simple pragmatism, and if he succeeds, might well shift the center of American politics for a generation.”

    I have read the transcript. Clearly, he took what some of his allies, including President Clinton, had to say about his tone to heart. Still, the only prescription is more cowbell government.

  11. As during that time referred to as “The Clinton Years,” I am again REFUSING to watch the Pres. on TV. No press conferences, no speeches to Congress, no State of the Union Address, no townhall meetings. I’ll just wait to hear what the heavily biased, right-wing media of Fox News has to say on the day following.

  12. I’m with Terri. Watching the media jizz all over itself every time Obama speaks turns my stomach.

  13. Just over 20 months until the midterm elections… Hopefully, we can arrest and roll-back some of the ridiculous spending.

  14. PS – I love Jindal, but when he runs in the national spotlight, I predict, right now, the media is going to sink its fangs into the fact that he attended an Exorcism, and they are never going to let it go or explain why he was there.

    It’s Piyush Bobby Jindal time, It’s Piyush Bobby Jindal time, …

    Does everyone have that dancing banana in their heads? Good, my job here is done.

  15. I sent the link to my son and here was his reply:

    “I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again”

    Hmmm, didn’t know he even knew who The Who was

  16. I just watched Jindal’s response to Obama’s speech on YouTube.


  17. Can Bobby Jindal legally throw Ray Nagin out of New Orleans? That hyena assclown rises back up like Freddy Kruger. Proximity to LSU must be the reason.

    Jindal Fears Saban!

  18. Quoting my dad in email this morning: “Thank God the stock market gets it. Every time the president opens his mouth about more big
    government to solve the economic crises, it goes down 500 points. Maybe he (the president) will get it when it hits 2500.”

    I have no significant complaint with the content of Jindal’s address, but I wonder if they’re “handling” him too much. He seemed stilted, and I wonder if the setting worked against him. Would putting him in a nice sweater and seating him in an easy chair next to a fireplace have been too radical?

    Did y’all catch the story on Chris “I felt this thrill going up my leg” Matthews’ “Oh God” as Jindal was introduced? And CNN.com has been one long lovefest today.

    Remember, though: liberal media bias is a myth.

  19. What Matthews/Jindal story was that?

  20. I thought it was Olbermann. Now that is one dude I can’t stand to watch!

  21. Ah.

    You know, the shame of Olbermann is that I used to love watching him and Dan Patrick on “Sportscenter” on ESPN. My favorite was when he’d breakdown a double play…

    “and the Sox then turn the 5 to 4 to 3 double play, in case you were scoring at home. Or even if you’re alone.”


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