Germany has lost hope

Der Spiegel has a collection of German commentators expressing the lack of love for Obama (HT: Ann Althouse):  

This week, though — a week when Obama should have been celebrating the first anniversary of his inauguration — may have been the president’s worst yet. Scott Brown, an almost unknown Republican member of the Massachusetts Senate, defeated the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley for the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The defeat in a heavily Democratic state not only highlights Obama’s massive loss of popular support during his first year in office, but it also could spell doom for his signature effort to reform the US health care system.

This week, though — a week when Obama should have been celebrating the first anniversary of his inauguration — may have been the president’s worst yet. Scott Brown, an almost unknown Republican member of the Massachusetts Senate, defeated the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley for the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The defeat in a heavily Democratic state not only highlights Obama’s massive loss of popular support during his first year in office, but it also could spell doom for his signature effort to reform the US health care system.

This echos something my dad told me the other day.  He travels all over Europe on a regular basis (homeland security type job; it’s a family joke that he’s a secret agent) and says that Obama is now a laughingstock per the people he meets. 

On November 5, 2008, my liberal friends were oh so starry-eyed, saying over and over that all was going to be well and good now.  They’re most excited mantra, the one that they repeated over and over, was that that the world was going to like us now!  Now, thanks to Obama, we would be loved! 

I laughed it off, because, really, I’d rather be right than loved.  George Bush was right about the things that Europe hated him for, of this I have no doubt.  (He was wrong about a lot of other things, but that’s another post.)  I stopped worrying about being liked in my teens, and haven’t looked back. 

So, I’m laughing at them, not celebrating that Obama is not loved and not attempting to prove any points with that. 

Added: Hkatz, one of Althouse’s commenters, cites this story about Germany’s stage show: Obama, The Musical.  The article says:

Their plan is to take Hope on tour across Germany and then the rest of Europe. Hutchins acknowledges that it may be commercially difficult to take the show to the U.S., however, given the current gloom surrounding the Obama presidency.


A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle, Assuming That the Woman Can Be Taken Care of By the Government

I’ve been mulling over this article, from the women-centric, “unabashedly intellectual, but not dry or condescending,” allegedly feminist Slate spin-off Double X for quite a few days, and I still can’t come up with exactly what I can say about it.  Have you ever had someone say something to you that was so offensive, so unabashedly insulting, that you are literally too shocked to respond?  Erika Kawalek says (bolding mine, of course):

I want to emphasize something about the difference between the state of affairs for women in America and in the rest of the civilized world. The competitiveness people bring to “dating” and “closing the deal” here is underpinned by intense economic competition and the desire—increasingly, the necessity—for basic social and physical security. There is a secret amongst the Canadian and European women living in the Big Apple. I know this because I am Canadian and my closest girlfriend is French, and when we resident aliens get together we really tear up this country and how it treats its women. (Our dating lives are fine and always have been.) When we talk about dating or the possibility of having family, with a man or on our own or with—gasp!—a coven of like-minded women (why not?), the conversation is framed entirely by the fact that we can count on our native countries to look after us should we—for whatever reason—not be able to make ends meet stateside. Now, we should be able to secure decent futures for ourselves, with or without male partners: We have Ivy League degrees, speak multiple languages, are savvy and entrepreneurial. We are also a lot more calm about dating and mating than the American women we know, who seem plagued by contradictory forces. . . .

I’m always baffled that women here don’t demand the same benefits on which we Canadian and European women rely. It would make dating and mating a lot easier, that’s for certain. American family values? Where are they?

So, the basic thesis of the article, the entire assumption of the argument, is that women can be, nay, should be, more equal by being parented by the state.  Kawalek argues that America is keeping women down by not providing, to all extents imaginable, any and all needs of any children they should choose to bear.  That the state is keeping us poor women from landing a husband by not offering to pick up any and all slack that he may leave behind (to say nothing at all about the slack that the woman should and could cover on her own).  The implicit, but clear, assumption underlying this article is that the woman is not capable of covering her own life’s costs. 

It’s notable that Kawalek’s suggestions about the security brought to Europeans is clearly, egregiously incorrect.  She never even considers the facts that these policies in no way correlate with higher marriage rates, indeed marriage rates in France, Canada, and almost all of Europe are far below ours.  The European fertility rates have dropped so far as to be considered a crisis, and Canada’s is similarly low, yet our American rates are still at replacement levels.  Men and women are simply not refusing to date and mate as a result of our smaller safety net.  Facts are, as usual, completely irrelevant to liberals when compared to what “should work” based on whatever theory happens to be in their heads. 

But I’m used to that.  I should be used to liberals assuming that women, like minorities, are completely incapable of things that men are expected to do with no problem (somebody, of course, has to be producing the wealth that is going to be taken away from them and provided to the helpless females in Kawalek’s world). 

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, said in his link to this article that the “dating secrets of Canadian and European women” referred to here “revolve around the state playing the role of the husband.”  I think Reynolds is too generous.  A husband expects some contribution and partnership with the wife.  Kawelek clearly wants a world where the state plays the daddy to the helpless child, dotingly covering any and all possible bumps in the road.  She, and her liberal cohorts, have so little respect for women, for me, for you or your wife or your mother or your daughter or your sister, that she thinks that it is only to be expected that we would need and demand that “help.”

No, you are not alone

A British blogger complains that Obama has become tiresome, and its time for him to come home.  (HT Nealz Nuze):

Isn’t it time for him to go home yet? It is good, in theory, that the new President of the United States is taking so much time to tour Europe. He arrived in London last Tuesday, has been to Strasbourg, Prague yesterday and now he’s off to Turkey. It shows, I suppose, that he cares about the outside world and that is ‘A Good Thing’. But his long stay means that we are hearing rather a lot from him, way too much in fact.

His speeches have long under-delivered, usually leaving a faintly empty sensation in this listener even though I welcomed, moderately, his victory last year as offering the possibility of a fresh start and a boost to confidence.

Yet, we are told that he is a great orator and in one way he certainly is. He does have a preternatural calm in the spotlight and a mastery of the cadences we associate with the notable speakers in US history – such as JFK and MLK. But beyond that, am I alone in finding him increasingly to be something of a bore?

Read the whole thing.  Now, can you imagine if these folks had been listening to those of us who have been saying this for the last two years?

Ouch! (and Darn!)

As I noted before, the great and grand hope of President Obama would be that EUROPE WOULD LIKE US AGAIN!  Now, I stand by my statements that it doesn’t matter what Europe, or anyone else thinks, but it would have at least been nice if he could get them to, you know, stand beside us and fight a little or something.  But it was not to be:

Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to America’s allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities.

But though he continued to dazzle Europeans on his debut international tour, the Continent’s leaders turned their backs on the US President.

Gordon Brown was the only one to offer substantial help. He offered to send several hundred extra British soldiers to provide security during the August election, but even that fell short of the thousands of combat troops that the US was hoping to prise from the Prime Minister.

Just two other allies made firm offers of troops. Belgium offered to send 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12. Mr Obama’s host, Nicolas Sarkozy, refused his request.

Poor Barack pulled out all the stops to convince them to do more.  He tried hope:  

The derisory response threatened to tarnish Mr Obama’s European tour, which yesterday included a spellbinding performance in Strasbourg in which he offered the world a vision of a future free of nuclear weapons.

He tried lecturing:

Mr Obama – who has pledged 21,000 more troops to combat the growing insurgency and is under pressure from generals to supply up to 10,000 more – used the eve of Nato’s 60th anniversary summit to declare bluntly that it was time for allies to do their share. “Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone,” he said. “This is a joint problem it requires a joint effort.” 

 He even tried outright threats:

He said that failing to support the US surge would leave Europe open to a fresh terrorist offensive. “It is probably more likely that al-Qaeda would be able to launch a serious terrorist attack on Europe than on the United States because of proximity,” he said.

But, alas, no more help from our friends abroad than when that detestible, mentally retarded, chimpy, cowboy (spits on the ground in disgust) was in office.  This must be Bush’s fault, somehow.

The Spanish Experiment

One thing that I absolutely love about our federalist system is our ability to experiment with different policies and learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions.  Laboratories of democracy and all that.  But, ding, ding, ding, here’s a case where we don’t even have to put one of our precious states on the line- Spain has already done the hard work for us. 

March 27 (Bloomberg) — Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.

For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal contains about $20 billion in tax incentives for clean-energy programs. In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power – – which are charged to consumers in their bills — translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.

“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview.

Spain’s Acerinox SA, the nation’s largest stainless-steel producer, blamed domestic energy costs for deciding to expand in South Africa and the U.S., according to the study.

“Microsoft and Google moved their servers up to the Canadian border because they benefited from cheaper energy there,” said the professor of applied environmental economics.

“May destroy two jobs for every one created.”  Wow.  Now, here’s the important question: Can we learn from Spain’s mistakes?