The Spectacle Blog


By on 11.17.11 | 10:59AM

As Joe Lawler brought to our attention, in some comments made in Hawaii on Tuesday, Barack Obama proved his intellectual weakness yet again. It's not just his thinking that Hawaii is in Asia. (By the way, if Hawaii is in Asia, that makes it even harder to reach a count of 57 states.) Just listen to how difficult it is for him to get into and out of fairly basic concepts. Our once-soaring orator is utterly lost without his teleprompter.

But that's not the biggest problem with what Obama said.

As usual, he returned to this idea of "spread(ing) out the that it's fair." The more common formulation by Democrats is "shared sacrifice."

Let's not forget what "shared sacrifice" means to Obama and friends. Here's a metaphor of my own design:

Imagine you usually walk around the street with $100 in your wallet. One day you get mugged and the mugger takes your hundred bucks.  A few days later your boss comes to you and says "Bob (assume your name is Bob today), we're really struggling at the company. I don't want to fire you but if you want to keep your job, you're going to have to take a 20 percent pay cut." You, knowing how hard it is to find work these days, accept the pay cut -- almost with some gratitude that you weren't fired.

So now instead of walking around with $100 in your wallet, you walk around with $50 in your wallet. (Yes, I know that's more than the 20 percent pay cut, but don't forget that much of your pay goes to fixed costs, so a 20 percent cut in salary cuts much more deeply into your discretionary spending.) Now, you get mugged by the same mugger as before, but you only have $50 to give him to avert bodily harm. He's a good listener, this mugger, so although he was looking for $100 he understands why you only have $50 and walks away without pistol-whipping you.

In Barack Obama's world, you have shared the mugger's sacrifice.

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