Opening Statements on the Benghazi Hearings
In charge of speaking for the Hillary 2016 interests..
The rise of Barack Obama includes one glaring episode of political miscalculation. Even friends told Mr. Obama it was a bad idea when he decided in 1999 to challenge an incumbent congressman and former Black Panther, Bobby L. Rush, whose stronghold on the South Side of Chicago was overwhelmingly black, Democratic and working class.
Mr. Obama was a 38-year-old state senator and University of Chicagolecturer, unknown in much of Mr. Rush’s Congressional district. He lived in its most rarefied neighborhood, Hyde Park. He was taking on a local legend, a former alderman and four-term incumbent who had given voters no obvious reason to displace him.
Mr. Rush’s name recognition started off at 90 percent, Mr. Obama’s at 11. Then Mr. Rush’s son was murdered, leading Mr. Obama to put his campaign on hold. Later, while vacationing in Hawaii with his family, he missed a high-profile vote in the Legislature and was pilloried. (One Chicago Tribune editorial began, “What a bunch of gutless sheep.”) Then President Clinton endorsed Mr. Rush.
“Campaigns are always, ‘What’s the narrative of the race?’ ” said Eric Adelstein, a media consultant in Chicago who worked on the Rush campaign. “In a sense, it was ‘the Black Panther against the professor.’ That’s not a knock on Obama; but to run from Hyde Park, this little bastion of academia, this white community in the black South Side — it just seemed odd that he would make that choice as a kind of stepping out.”
The episode revealed a lot about Senator Obama — now running for president, against the odds again and with a relatively slim résumé. It showed his impatience with the frustrations of his state Senate job; his outsize confidence; his fund-raising powers; his broad appeal; and his willingness to be what Abner J. Mikva, a former congressman and supporter, calls “a very apt student of his own mistakes.”
It also shed light on the complicated ways that class has played out in Mr. Obama’s political career as a factor entangled with his race. Class emerged as a subtext in the Congressional campaign, along with generational differences that separate Mr. Obama from older black politicians.
He might have fared better if he had jumped into the race sooner, campaigned even harder and found a way to speak more effectively to working-class black voters, people involved with that campaign say. But most say they doubt he could have won. It is hard to take out an incumbent, and though Mr. Rush may have looked vulnerable after losing a lackluster campaign against Mayor Richard M. Daley in early 1999, he was not vulnerable enough.
“He was blinded by his ambition,” Mr. Rush said. “Obama has never suffered from a lack of believing that he can accomplish whatever it is he decides to try. Obama believes in Obama. And, frankly, that has its good side but it also has its negative side.”
Everything is in your face and full of hate now. We just wanted to be left alone to live our lives. Who has got time for it? We have sunk fully into Spengler prediction of Power Politics and endless war.The story of the High Cultures is that of societies that ultimately fail. Cultures eventually die, but produce fossils, canons of art and science and political forms. The period of fossilization, after the end of the culture proper, is what Spengler calls “Civilization”, which he said began for the West at the end of the 18th century. The work of modernity is the completion of the final forms. Spengler was the first philosopher of world history to write about the other great civilizations not as a mere prologue to Western history.Spengler’s idealization of the history of High Cultures had obvious implications for the future of the West. If the analogies held, then, within a few hundred years the West should collapse into a universal empire, with a culture that would ultimately become as stiff and curatorial as Egypt’s during the New Kingdom. Meanwhile, money and democracy would increasingly hollow out the traditional forms of society, until both collapsed in the face of power politics. Wars would reach a climax of technical sophistication and speed, even as nations disintegrated internally.
It sounds complicated, but the basic message of Amaral's model is that if you don't believe you have perfect information, and you don't think any single other person has perfect information, consensus will eventually be reached. That's because everyone's trying to figure out what the majority of people think. And by doing that, they actually help shape majority opinion.