2008 April 01 Tuesday
Steve Sailer Sees Barack Hussein Obama As Deterrable

Steve Sailer thinks we can prevent a President Obama from doing too much damage.

The good news about Obama and his radical past: he can probably be deterred. Barack Hussein Obama is more Hussein than Osama, an opportunist rather than a fanatic.

While his heart may be black, his head is quite white, the epitome of the small-town Midwest where his maternal grandparents originated. He's conflict-averse, cautious, polite, eager-to-please, sensitive, and insecure, with a Sally Field-style need to be liked.

So, Obama's radical principles have repeatedly pushed him left … right up to the point where he starts worrying that if he goes any farther to the left, not everybody will like him anymore, and that could endanger his amazing rise to power. Thus, he compromises and accepts promotion to the next level in return for selling out.

Up through now, Obama has been focused on attaining more power for himself rather than on actually using the power he already has to benefit the people in whose name he has promoted himself. He's kept his eyes on the prize: the White House.

I hope Steve is correct about this because I think Obama has the best odds of getting elected President.

Once Obama is in power will he continue just as hard to try to get everyone to like him? Will this attempt to get people to like him eventually turn him bitter? He's got to reach a point where he realizes this is as high as he's going to go. Will he find that perch as insufficiently satisfying? Will he try then to satisfy himself more by accomplishments that appeal to his base?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 April 01 10:17 PM  Politics American Presidency

Dragon Horse said at April 2, 2008 5:14 AM:

Why people keep saying a 47 year old Barack Obama is insecure when he has been campaigning in almost every state in the country in a way that a shy and insecure person would kill themselves before doing I don't know. Insecure compared to what? A lot of this is based on a book that had a lot to do with his time in high school and as an undergrad...news flash (maybe not Steve) but most people at that time are insecure. That's part of life. I would hope people would not judge me in my early 30's what I was like 15 years ago, I'm not the same person, most of us are not.

If you want to see a politician with a pathological need to be "liked" that is Bill Clinton. Obama is personable and he uses that, because if he was as icey as Hillary...all other things being equal he would be gone. He figured out that people don't vote for those they don't like even with superior resumes. Hillary's greatest problem is she comes off exactly as she is...an ice cold conniving b1tc# with a messiah complex. Obama could be the same, but he is skilled enough not to show it. Hillary being transparent has cost her this election, in this way she is a inferior campaigner, by far.

As far as Obama in office. I think he will not do anything radical (then again I don't know what paranoid people to the right of Genghis Khan think is radical), at least not until the end of his second term .:-) He will likely try to focus on win-win situations as much as possible to create a super majority to get through some moderate legislation in areas that Bush did not address...when politicians do not want to go along with him he will do something that Reagan did (something he says he will do all the time) go before the American people with a brilliant speech encouraging them to pressure their politicians in Congress to get in-line. I think based on his performance in his current campaign he will be quite successful at it as he seems to be able to move people, especially people with money, organization, clout (elite whites) and he can also move blacks to organize in urban areas. This is really his core constituency. White elites (wealthy and young) and blacks...and after all the wounds are healed I also believe women (especially white and black women). Women tend to love Obama, proof of that is his high favorable rating among them and the fact that in moderate states like Wisconsin, VA, Maryland (he even won the majority of white women against Hillary and even won a high percentage over 40% of working class white women). For more on that check CNN Election Center Exit polls. I think once Hillary is out of the way he can work on charming this base and will be successful.

Considering his base he will likely hold off on radical reforms (mostly in social domestic policy) until the last 2 years of his 2nd term (if he gets that far).

Dragon Horse said at April 2, 2008 5:19 AM:

I would say that I think Steve considers introspection as insecure.

Obama is not like Reagan or Bush (the younger) as he is not this pure extrovert who live in the future. He is more like Lincoln. Both types of personalities have challenges, but one does not make for a superior/inferior president.

HellKaiserRyo said at April 2, 2008 11:58 AM:

Define “damage”... the borrow and spend conservatives have done much damage by increasing the deficit and miring us in a futile war. I think it you want to prevent damage... the right wing needs to focus more on anti-immigration policies instead of appease the Grover Norquists and Lawrence Kudlows of the world. I do not expect the left to emphasize immigration or speak out against it, but as a "pragmatic leftist" who wants a welfare state, I do want the some credible right wing factions to serve as a counterbalance to extreme open borders lefties. A welfare state by definition cannot have too many people who are dependant on it. But the anti-immigration rhetoric of the right (with the exception of people who are sincerely concerned about it such as Randall Parker, Steve Sailer, and Peter Brimlow) uses illegal immigrants as scapegoats for the problems of the white working classes with no ardent conviction for rectifying the problem. However, I urge the anti-immigration right to be somewhat pragmatic as deportation seems to be a putative measure by most of the public for dealing with the immigration issue. I do not think deportation will be politically popular, but some more anti-immigration sentiment is necessary for a relatively solvent welfare state.

The fiscal conservatives (no supply-siders as I respect some fiscal conservative sentiments) who take delectation with their exorbitant tax cuts use the social religious conservative dupes who voted for Bush because of his stance against abortion and gay marriage. Abortion and illegal immigration and synonymous... they are wedge issues that the puppetmasters (Grover Norquist and Stephen Moore) rely on so they can pass their selfish economic agendas while they do not intend to address those issues significantly.

I read papers about the budget crisis and deficit from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. McCain's supply-side dogma will only exacerbate these problems. Barack Obama isn't the savior of the United States, but we would not make the situation worse as he is not guided by far right economic dogma. Obama needs to win this election; it will be a vehement rejection of Bush’s regressive economic policies that pander to the well off. Maybe right-wing populism will rise after Obama’s election which will emphasize other issues besides tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain has to lose this election... the contemporary Republican Party needs to fall.

Bob Badour said at April 2, 2008 12:03 PM:

A nit to pick with HellKaiserRyo: Illegal immigrants are more the cause of the problems of black working classes.

HellKaiserRyo said at April 2, 2008 1:09 PM:

Well, I will not dispute it because I do acknowledge the veracity of that statement. I am simply saying that ameliorating the problems of illegal immigration is NOT a high priority for the current right wing agenda. Appeasing the financial interests of the well off is the primary priority. The stealth reformation of the tax code (via 5 easy pieces is their main goal: see http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/tax_agenda.html) and I bet Grover Norquist, the right-wing paladin, does not care about other right-wing interests such as immigration and right to life issues mentioned in my aforementioned comment

Do you think the people who had millions in tax relief (in general, not any person specifically) care about the expenditures on the Iraq War? I just find it ironic that some people complain about entitlements for the unfortunate driving up taxes, but they are willing to defend the Iraq War and are oblivious to its cost.

The right-wing can serve as a useful counterbalance for some left-wing extremist sentiments (I am not particularly fond of some left-wing groups such as MoveOn.org), but I find the contemporary Republican Party to be the greater evil as they embody an insouciance for the interests of the unfortunate of society. A Rawlsian liberal such as myself prays (not literally) for the contemporary Republican Party to be surmounted as their principles are antithetical to Rawlsian values because the interests of the well off have priority over those who are struggling.

I do not see myself promoting anti-immigration causes as it seems so out-of-character for this leftist... but someone needs to do it for the reasons Randall Parker stated in other entries. I roll my eyes at people such as Ruy Teixeira (for the Center for American Progress) who gleefully cite that minorities as displacing whites, which I fear this might become a demographic problem that will significantly burden the state. Sure they might vote for Democrats, but these people who vote for Democrats because they selfishly benefit from entitlements are not liberals. Voting strictly for your economic self-interest does not make one a liberal. People are liberals if they advocate their social policies because it is consistent with social justice (whether from a Rawlsian or utilitarian conception of social justice) and such advocacy is extricated from their self-interest.


Hispanics and blacks are not liberals... they might favor the effects of liberal redistribution policies, but liberals DO NOT want to force sectarian moral values on the populace such as banning abortion.

For example:

Baloney again. If you look at the poll results, you'll notice something really odd: Hispanics are no more socially conservative than blacks - who identify 64%-5% with the Democrats. As the Pew people report,

"Registered Latinos are somewhat more socially conservative than registered whites … On the other hand, Latinos seem to share social views with those of registered African Americans."

Are Hispanics - or, for that matter, blacks - going to vote Republican based on these moral views? The answer is already in: no. Except when voting on rare single-issue referendums, such as California's anti-gay marriage initiative California two years ago, the Hispanic electorate seems far more concerned about bread and butter issues. Indeed, in their new book The Emerging Democratic Majority, (click here for my review) John Judis and Ruy Teixeira contend that in American politics, social issues are essentially a luxury item that primarily interest better-off groups.


Randall Parker said at April 2, 2008 7:30 PM:

Dragon Horse,

Obama only does well among whites in states that have few blacks in them. Why do you suppose that is?

Audacious Epigone has chomped the numbers. The greater the number of blacks the less the whites will vote for black Obama:

After the Super Tuesday contests, the correlation between Obama's white support and the percentage of the voting electorate that is black by state was an inverse .35.

The trend has become more pronounced over time, currently standing at an inverse .43, with a p-value of less than .02. The actual relationship is stronger still, as blowout states for both candidates weaken the perceived correlation.

The black shares of the total electorate on the Democratic side in Illinois and Arkansas are similar (24% and 17%, respectively). Yet, as 'home' states for each of the candidates, they are anomalies. And not only in how lopsided the overall outcomes were (65%-33% and 70%-26%), but also with regards to how the influence the general trend that as black proportional representation increases, whites move away from Obama. Obama took 57% of the white vote in Illinois (his second best performance among whites) but only 16% in Arkansas (his worst performance among whites).

Dropping these two states propels the inverse correlation between the percentage of the electorate that is black and Obama's white voter share to a vigorous .52. Excepting DC*, the caucus states without exit polling data that Obama has dominated in all have very small black populations. So presumably the real relationship is even stronger still.
Randall Parker said at April 3, 2008 10:21 PM:


I think McCain needs to lose for the good of the Republican Party.

Rawls: You should read Tyler Cowen's post Why I am not a Rawlsian. I agree with Tyler. For this and other reasons I do not consider myself a modern welfare state liberal.

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