Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

February 2, 2009

The Hysterical Over-reaction…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:14 pm

…to my last post on Obama’s critique of the greedhead bonus thieves who stole from their shareholders and gave capitalism a bad name, indicates that many of those who consider themselves conservatives don’t have the first idea of what conservatism is.

Obama didn’t call for new laws or penalties for for the swinish financeers (the typical liberal solution). What he did was use moral suasion and call for self restraint, two conservative values. The inability to recognize this by those who consider themselves conservatives is a sad libel on true conservatism, and robs it of intellectual respect if they are its representatives. They identify themselves as ignorant and value-less. They substitute for rational conservative values a crazed hatred of a Democrat because he is a Democrat. You make yourself lackeys–virtual spittoons–for the bankers even the New York Post calls “pigs” on its front page.

I went out of my way to point out that both parties are responsible for the economic carnage we face, those who didn’t see that either lack reading comprehension skills (among other intellectual equipment) or are so blinded by partisan hatred they can’t see what’s in front of their eyes. I feel sorry for them and the damage they do to their cause.

And alas, I have to bring this up. I don’t think the ugly crazed hatred for Obama’s mild remarks is free in all cases from a kind of “how dare a black man talk to us this way!” attitude. You may howl with rage about it, but cumulatively I feel it’s there. Not in all the comments but in some and in sum. How pathetic when your inability to read what I wrote accurately, or phrase your disagrement without the vile and cowardly malice of those who hide behind anonymity, mark you in many–not all, but many–cases as inferior and too dim to recognize how you clearly you flaunt your inferiority.

Instead of more spittle-flecked comments, try reading a good book, if you have the reading skills. I recommend starting with David Copperfield. It will help you deepen your human as opposed to hate-filled responses to life. Further of the latter will only prove my point.


My favorite dumb comment about the bonuses: the idiot greedheads who brought bankrutcy to theirown insitutions and may still cause the entire economy to colllapse “deserved their bonuses because of their wise investment strategies.”


My favorite supportive comment:

“As often happens I have to wonder if many of those commenting actually read the article! It’s very simple, the big wigs can have their billions in bonuses but not with our tax money. Why is that difficult? Why does it have to turn into another Obama is a poopoohead whine fest? It’s hypocritical to b*tch about hypocrisy while supporting the problem.”



  1. The probem is that Obama is not doing enough. If JFK could haul the steel execs like Roger Blough into the White House to jawbone them into holding prices steady (and, of course, they then backstabbed him), why can’t the President haul the CEOs of some of these companies laying off thousands into the Oval Office and order them to hold the line, adding a few TARP funds as incentive? It’s because the President is now relatively powerless in the face of business domination, even domination by the mediocrities who have destroyed our way of life so quickly. “Senate leader” Daschle: purchased with just a limo and driver. When the Hunts and Murchisons bribed LBJ, Johnson got a string of TV stations. Hence the devolution of the joke that is Washington power. While we’re at it, could we put Charlie Rose and Ken Auletta in the stocks outside of 30 Rock. They could pucker up and kiss our prole heinies the way they’ve been smooching Jack Welch and Dick Fuld and all of Davos all these years. (And they are still doing it!!)

    Comment by charlie finch — February 2, 2009 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  2. You know Obama’s comment came across on Youtube as pretty balanced and thoughtful. “We got into this because we didn’t want the (financial) system falling on our heads.. If we are going to work together..” etc. I took it as his reaction to hearing the news about a significant, though much lower as it turned out, amount of Wall Street bonuses and in unknown part related to government money receiving companies. His comments had a spontaneity, a lack of Nixonian paranoia, that was charming. I can most easily phrase this in a way that may not cross culture very well. When you start to make this into the pocket version of an Apostles’ Creed and say, as many of your readers no doubt heard, you may have malefactors but hardly any great wealth in your commenters, that property beyond what the government would grant you is immoral, then we begin to have a problem.

    Comment by Michael — February 2, 2009 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  3. RIP Pajammies, it was fun while it lasted

    Comment by charlie finch — February 3, 2009 @ 6:48 am | Reply

  4. I guess, PJM is still in business for another day. The problem with Daschle is that he was esentially a lobbyist. People ask, “What exactly do lobbyists do?” and the answer can be seen in the stimulus bill. Why are we seeing millions for birth control in the stimulus bill, when its conclusion looks idiotic on its face? Because some legislator owed some lobbyist a specific favor. Say what you will about Sen. Gillenbrand, she posts all of her meetings with lobbyists and the subjects discussed on her website, and the Prez should demand the same of every member of Congress. Then he should introduce a bill banning lobbying FOR PAY. Under your First Amendment rights, you could lobby all you want gratis. To show you how things have changed, I can remember lobbying for days in House offices for the Cooper-Church Amendment, walking into Rep. Robert Giamo’s office, for example, and blabbing with him for an hour about Vietnam. Now, all you get to do is go to a Visitor’s Center. For more on this change of Congress, see Claudia Anderson’s casual column in this week’s “Weekly Standard”. One reason to swiftly annihilate every terrorist from Gaza to Bali is so that we can all get to walk around the halls of Congress again!!

    Comment by charlie finch — February 3, 2009 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  5. One more thing: this Robert Gibbs is a total meatball with no bedside manner who can’t think on his feet. He’ll be outta there faster than Dee Dee Myers or Jerry terHorst

    Comment by charlie finch — February 3, 2009 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  6. Warren Harding was a charismatic, mesmerizing campaigner, enabled by a wife who was a successful professional. He campaigned with a one word slogan, “normalcy”, and many thought he was our first black President (disproved in some excellent biographies). He was from the Midwest and appointed a stellar all-star cabinet, which included Andrew Mellon, Charles Evan Hughes, Herbert Hoover, Henry Wallace and Will Hays (the Hays code). With nothing but charisma to cover him, Harding soon became the victim of favoritism and lobbying. The first President to leave the continental USA while in office, he died returning from Alaska. Many thought that his wife poisoned him.

    Comment by charlie finch — February 4, 2009 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  7. RR — Maybe you should stop reading the comments or stop commenting on them. Lots of other bloggers have their trolls, but these bloggers either ignore them or find ways to defuse them.

    As it stands, you end up sounding as spittle-flecked as those you rail against.

    I suggest neo-neocon as an example. She covers a similar range of topics with a writerly, psychological angle as you do. She has had some nasty folks come at her and manages to trundle on without excursions like this topic.

    Comment by huxley — February 4, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  8. Companies that lose billions of dollars should clearly not be handing out bonuses. For those employees of these companies prone to whine about not receiving their bonus it may be time to more actively speak up when you hear some idiot extolling the virtues of insane leverage, with seeming little risk. It may be time to apply some of the advice that these firms endlessly blather about to their legions of customers regarding prudent and careful investing.

    Until then, start making money and start making bonuses again.

    Comment by Scott E — February 4, 2009 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  9. If ya can’t crack a coupla nuts once in awhile, what’s the point?

    Comment by charlie finch — February 4, 2009 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  10. I thought the point was insightful commentary, not thin-skinnedness and grudge matches.

    Perhaps RR doesn’t have much else to say than to beat up on trolls. It certainly hasn’t been a good couple of weeks to continue trumpeting how intelligent and competent Obama is.

    Comment by huxley — February 4, 2009 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  11. Bob Woodward blabbed on “The Chris Matthews Show” that there is more scandal to come

    Comment by charlie finch — February 4, 2009 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  12. Is it racist for me to point out that Obama went a bit further today than ‘use moral suasion and call for self restraint’.

    How about if I blame Barney Frank instead? Can you then get off your moral pedestal, look at it rationally and admit you were wrong?

    Comment by Rob — February 4, 2009 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  13. Mr. Rosenbaum,

    Please examine your article’s title – it looks deliberately inflammatory. Did you really want to imply that having lots of money is immoral? Is there some specific type of negative correlation between money and moral virtue, or did you have a threshold in mind?

    Please don’t get me wrong – I would support a harsh prison sentence or draconian fines (as in leave the jerk out in the street) for the “geniuses” behind our current financial crisis. I don’t want to see the scum get rewarded for theft and economic vandalism. However, saying that having lots of money is inherently evil just seems crazy. Money is just a tool after all.

    Comment by OmegaPaladin — February 5, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  14. “Obama didn’t call for new laws or penalties for for the swinish financeers (the typical liberal solution). What he did was use moral suasion and call for self restraint, two conservative values.”

    Maybe not in the same paragraph, but it isn’t credible it was not part of an effort towards such new laws and penalties.

    Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

    Comment by Tom Perkins — February 7, 2009 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  15. I disagree with OmegaPaladin that the article’s title is inflammatory. Rosenbaum is a great student of history. But even a not-so-great student of history soon notices that:
    1. riches are almost always associated with direct or indirect access to much more power than the average individual has;
    2. as a species, humans have not evolved to be very good about controlling themselves when they achieve great power.
    So it is not surprising that in most cases throughout all of recorded history, people with great wealth tend to abuse the great power that accompanies that wealth.

    Does this historical lesson mean that all rich people are immoral? Of course not. But these exceptions do not disprove the rule.

    There are innumerable warnings about the dangers of great riches to the human soul or spirit in every religion. And great concentrations of wealth have at least as corrosive effect on the possibilities for democratic governments.

    Comment by Richard Bell — February 7, 2009 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  16. Richard,

    The title is stating that if you see someone with lots of money, you should assume he or she is immoral. I would like to see hard numbers backing this or at least some evidence.

    Your argument is that there is a negative correlation between power and morality – i.e power corrupts. However, the argument breaks down beyond the most general form. Was I more moral when I was unemployed? Are the homeless poor models of moral behavior? Since earning a paycheck grants you more money and power, should you and Mr. Rosenbaum donate all of your earnings to charity? Taking this argument to extremes actually ends up sounding communist, which I don’t think is your intent.

    I would argue that power be understood as capability, regardless whether it is political, financial, or personal power. With lots of money, you can do more of what you already want to do. Evil people do evil, good people do good, in general.

    Comment by OmegaPaladin — February 10, 2009 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

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