Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Barack Obama

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that he’s considering a run at the Presidency in 2008. Or is this all just about selling his new book?

If the former, how long until the gloves come off in the press and among his fellow presidential aspirants?

Discussions - 8 Comments

That seems to be a favorite method of yours - if someone says or does anything that gets attention at the time they have a book in print, you suggest they’re just trying to sell said book. In a short span of time, you’ve done it with Linker, Kuo, and now Obama. Does this characterization of the authors as cynical vendors (or worse) only apply to authors with whom you disagree?

Actually, I think that Kuo has a political, not merely an economic, agenda, and that Obama probably does have designs on the presidency. From a distance (I’ve purchased it, but haven’t read it yet), Obama’s book looks like the kind of book a presidential candidate would write or have ghost-written. Linker’s motives are more opaque, because clarity would leave him with a lot of explaining to do.

Glad you’re keeping score.

I’ve read what you’ve written, and noticed a pattern; I don’t know how that’s score-keeping. My question remains - can authors with whom you agree ever be operating on a cynical profit/royalties motive?

With respect to both Kuo and Linker, I take up and deal with their arguments, trying to show where I think they go wrong. As I noted in my last response, Linker’s motives are self-consciously opaque. And I think that Kuo’s protestations to be unconcerned with the political impact of his book are disingenuous. I treat it as a political book because it so obviously is one.

I would, I suppose, be troubled if people lied to make money from a book, but my first interest is always in the arguments. Their character comes in only if considering it is necessary to evaluate the arguments.

About Kuo, I’ll add this. I don’t begrudge him the money he’s trying to make, which surely affects the timing of the book’s release. But the timing of the book’s release is intimately connected with our political season, which means that his allegedly "spiritual" memoir has a distinctly political valence, which is clearly intentional, not just in the promotion but in the writing of the book itself (which reflects all sorts of religious left talking points).

I would have a bigger beef with people who trifle with politics merely to make money, but I think Kuo’s real passion is political, not financial.

Marvin Olasky is in some respects mroe charitable toward Kuo than I have been, but he does highlight the way in which Kuo’s financial motives emphasize the political elements of the work.

Machia-Rovian Grand Master of Democratic Strategy: "See, what we do is have 9 out of 10 of our writers and also the majority of our candidates espouse shrill and extreme views on the important issues, thereby polarizing the nation, establishing advantageous bargaining positions, but most of all, whetting the public appetite for our carefully groomed, (evil chuckle)MODERATE and sane-seeming candidates, whom our media allies will then pronounce "statesmanlike."" (extended Simpson’s-like evil laughter spell)

Diminutive Democratic Toady: "Who will do so for foreign policy?"

Machia-Rovian Grand Master of Democratic Strategy:"Well, unfortunately we had to let Hillary take that slot."

Diminutive Democratic Toady: "And on religion and politics?"

Machia-Rovian Grand Master of Democratic Strategy:(evil chuckle) "Barack Obama." ( collective extended Simpson’s-like evil laughter spell)

HRC’s religion is discussed here. And Kuo has gobs on the Fellowship in his book.

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