President Veruca Salt

Princeton Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell suggested on Scarborough that Obama has “inherited” a “hollow prize” in the presidency of the United States.

The one place where we have many African-American executives was in the mayor’s office. But one of the things that we saw in cities where African-Americans had risen to the level of city hall, was that they inherited what we call “hollow prizes.” They became mayor of Detroit just as the auto industry was hollowing out the city, just as the tax base was hollowing out.

And when you look at the particular structural constraints facing this president: reduction in the tax base, mobile capital, the real question became whether or not Barack Obama, in becoming president, inherited a hollow prize in the United States.

What a classic example of race-based blameshifting, and a victim mentality – and so typical of the Ivy-league left that so heavily populates David Brook’s “educated class.”

Who “hollowed out” Detroit – the auto industry, or big government/over-regulation together with the unions’ ever-increasing demands?  Liberal policies are destructive.  One need only look at Michigan, California, and other Democratic strongholds to see their results.  Who is “hollowing out” America with unbelievable foreign debt to finance those destructive liberal policies?   Bush’s overspending was vast, but Obama approved every penny of its tripling.

As for this “inherited” nonsense – an inheritance is when you passively and unexpectedly receive a windfall.  In fact, President Obama fought tooth and nail for this office, didn’t hesitate to break his deal with McCain on public financing, and cheated by illegally taking foreign campaign donations via his website.  He generally lied, misled and worked hard to fool the public that he was a centrist, post-partisan candidate who would cut the budget “line by line” and clean out corruption.  Describing his office as an “inheritance” is a slap in the face to each citizen of our republic, which was begun with the express purpose of rejecting “inherited” rulers.  Blaming his predecessor and whining about what he received after fighting hard for several years to receive it indicates he’s a clueless, entitled, spoiled brat.

It’s classic Veruca Salt behavior.  She scammed her way into getting a golden ticket, upon arrival at the chocolate factory immediately started bullying the other winners, didn’t bother to read the rules because she had no intention of following them, and was generally whiny, boorish and over-demanding until she met her very timely downfall.

The president who said, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” wants a European-style welfare state.  Whether it’s by incrementally nationalizing industries, purposeful business-killing regulatory over-reaches, making offers banks can’t refuse, or misdirection and outright lying to voters… he doesn’t care how – he wants it now.

And I take great pleasure in the fact that we’re stopping him from getting it.


  1. Immanuel Comer says:

    I hear you Laura… as an African American I’d like to admit that my race does have a habit of pointing back to what we’ve “inherited”

    I’d also like to point out that although these statements are misplaced, that other times they are simply a statement of fact.

    On the other hand, I like to point out that as Mark pointed out Obama probably doesn’t subscribe to the ‘hollow prize’ view of America and thus, respectfully, your argument is based on a flawed point. Obama’s not the one complaining in this article.

    If others are feeling sorry for Obama, that’s altogether a different situation.

    He did work to gain the presidency. However, I think it is fair for him or anyone else to say that he inherited issues that he didn’t explicitly create. He’s not perfect, and at times in his effort to be bi-partisan yet fair to his party and views he is also hypocritical. However, I don’t think he whines nearly as much as some think he does.

    I believe there is a difference between whining and stating fact. A lot of times when he (or republicans for that matter) was/were merely stating fact the media translated it as whining and blaming.

    As far as President Veruca Salt. You might actually have a point there. However, that with less than 3 years to make changes (even if not necessarily the best ones) he has every right to want things done now.

    I heard comments on the radio regarding the battle between democrats and republicans:
    On one side, America voted democrat and this is reflected in the presidency AND in congress. Therefore, republicans need to realize America has spoken and they lost.

    On the other side, republicans are voting against what they think is bad policy.

    If that’s what it is then, OK. However, if republicans are only interested in “… taking great pleasure in the fact that [they're] stopping him from getting it” then I have a problem with that.

    Politics vs true democrat/republican ideologies. What is really going on in Washington?

  2. But I do think he subscribes to the “hollow prize” view. The President has continued to apologize for and criticize the United States during the campaign and since taking office. I took Mrs. Obama at her word when she said – twice – that for the first time in her life she was proud of her country. They sat for twenty years in a church where those views were preached and applauded. Since taking office he has blameshifted and outright lied – for example, claiming that the Bush administration had not paid attention to Afghanistan and that they had to start from scratch. This, in spite of the fact that the Bush admin. had left a detailed study, and Obama had asked them not to announce that publicly – which they didn’t, until Obama and Rahm Emmanuel started lying about “starting from scratch.” Then all of a sudden they stopped making that claim, and the media let them get away with it.

    These continued claims of “inheriting” problems – as though the fact of ongoing reality were a special and unique problem the Obama administration encountered, and presidents normally start with a completely clean slate – are an embarrassment. Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush all “inherited” Carter’s Iranian train wreck, if one subscribes to the inheritance theory, but they had the dignity, maturity and common sense not to whine and blameshift about it. They just got on with the job.

    I don’t expect Obama to be bipartisan any more than I am bipartisan. I’m just as intensely partisan as he has shown himself to be since taking office. But I do expect President “I won” to stop these transparent lies about his bipartisanship and pragmatism. I do take pleasure in the fact that the GOP is digging their heels in against him, and yes, part of that has become personal, not just policy. It doesn’t speak that well of me and I know it. But that’s how I feel; personally offended and angry. Not because of the policies he’s trying to implement, because that’s just politics. The offense and anger stem from the personal attacks against my sort – the “teabagging” slurs he permits from top-level Democrats including his staff, the childish middle finger displays, the “shut up” attitude, the “I-I-I, me-me-me” and the straw men he knocks down in every speech, the arrogance (this is the moment the oceans began to recede, WTH??), the constant blaming of Republicans (and I’m not even a Republican, I’m conservative, registered Independent – more libertarian than GOP if the truth be known) when on these big issues that he claims are so popular, he can’t even get the entire Democratic party to vote for him. I’m personally offended and angry at the lengths the media has gone to in order to cover for him and even angrier that even THAT is insufficient and he actually whines about how unfairly he’s being treated. I do try to be respectful of the office but it’s increasingly hard because I so dislike the man holding it.

    As for America voting Democrat – sure, but when you look back over the campaigns, Democrats lied to win. Obama explicitly took very centrist positions and has attempted to govern from much further left. Now that America has had a taste of what they’re actually doing, in comparison to what they said they’d do, the polls have shifted considerably to the right, Dems are losing elections, and it’s widely agreed that 2010 is going to be a GOP blowout, far more than the usual minority party off-year gains. Which is a pity because I think the GOP will just return to the deplorable behavior that got them kicked out of the majority to begin with.

    Still, as much as I despise the GOP as a group – and I do, so much so that I left the party several years ago – I find the Democrats far worse and Obama’s behavior disgraceful.

  3. Wonderful piece! I hope that I can get my grown sons to read it. They loved ‘Willy Wonka” and may see the parallel.

    I lived in Detroit for 27 years but luckily moved out six years ago. My beautiful former neighborhood has fallen on very hard times.

    My Democrats friends all live in nice suburban communities throughout the United States. They have no idea of the tragic consequences of the policies that they espouse. If Democrat policies led to prosperity, then Detroit would be among the most prosperous cities of all, because the city has been under Democrat control for over 40 years. The “hollowing out” took place under the Democrats!

    Sometimes I think that the election of President Obama was fortuitous, because we can see the true face of progressive politicians: their lack of real compassion, of understanding of our Constitution, and of knowledge of the conditions that create wealth in our economy. For the first time, many people have become politically aware of the high stakes in the next elections for us living now, and for future generations.

    We don’t like Veruca Salt in novels…or in power over us.

  4. You’re very kind. :-)

    Sometimes I think that the election of President Obama was fortuitous

    You’re right, and I seriously considered voting for him for just that reason – I figured if we spent some time on the fast track to socialism, rather than the GOP slow train, it might shake people up enough to fight back. In the end, I couldn’t do it. I held my nose and voted for McCain… but a McCain administration would never have sparked a Tea Party movement, and he would have implemented, with a compliant GOP and an eager Democrat party, many liberal policies.

  5. Immanuel Comer says:

    Well.. I closed my browser window the first time by mistake so I’ll try to be brief

    Laura, you surprised me
    1) I thought you were Republican
    2) The comment was pretty fair to both sides
    3) You were honest not only regarding politics and policies but how you feel about Obama (more of us should stop trying to hide these biases)

    I have a lot to learn
    1) I try to be impartial; however, Obama does look more like me than any other president
    2) Obama genuinely impressed me during the race for president. I didn’t feel like I was voting for the lesser of two evils (my first presidential vote ever, partially for that reason)
    3) I am paying more attention to politics than ever; however, I am surely pale in comparison to Laura and others. Even now, I know I miss some of the issues that many are so passionate about.
    4) Perhaps out of ignorance, but I think our country was doing the best the 8yrs Clinton was in office (I’m 28 now, before than I really wasn’t paying attention to the Whitehouse)

    I’m grateful to Obama for actually keeping my interest. However, I admit that he’s impressing me less these days. He seems to play more politics than he used to. My questions is why?

    When I hear someone being accused of lying, I question where the individual intentionally lied or simply was incapable of knowing that they would either 1) change their mind when they know better 2) find it nearly impossible to keep their original word under the circumstances. I want to believe that Obama didn’t plan on not “coming through” on campaign promises. 1 Cor 13:7 (read it in the amplified)

    Perhaps I don’t understanding the meaning. However, I still maintain that I don’t think Obama subscribes to the “hollow prize”.

    For example, I was the first black male valedictorian at my high school in a town that has been described to me as historically racist. I personally wasn’t going for either the valedictorian or the “1st” distinction “prize” and thus I didn’t look it at that way. Even if I did, I could say it was a “hollow” one because it didn’t mean that much extra for me as an individual for whatever reason. Also, I know that I wouldn’t have fared as well in a more competitive environment.
    Obama seemed to have a very similar response to his victory in the presidential race. He acknowledge the historical achievement; however, chose not to focus on that aspect. He also took office in a time where I think history will prove that many won’t envy the timing he had (The economy did go extremely sour a little over two months before the election). Perhaps he’s wrong for reminding people that certain problems existed before he took office. Perhaps prior presidents should be applauded for NOT doing so.

    However, lets not ignore that true justice is blind but people are not. There are still people furious at him simply because he’s black or that he’s not white, that he’s democrat or not republican, and that he’s blame-shifting or not addressing his opponents strongly enough. Even when the conflicts between him and opponents of his views are purely about the issues only, the news seems to like putting a spin on it that makes everyone look like the bad guy (which is nothing new, I know). Not to excuse him at all. He’s made some statements recently that I personally recognize is just as bad.

    Perhaps he is “succumbing to the dark side” of politics that he so righteously spoke and continues to speak against. Maybe he’s finding out that “It’s more easily said than done.”

  6. I think our country was doing the best the 8yrs Clinton was in office

    Economically, we were in pretty good shape during those years, and the GOP was a good deal less corrupt than they are today. For that matter, so were the Democrats. Tip O’Neill may have been a complete bastard, but he was an honest, patriotic complete bastard and his influence lasted even after he left Congress. The way Democrats treated Bush wrt the war – openly hoping for a loss, the CIA leaks, the double-dealing and political treatment of national security issues… it was personal, and a serious escalation of how Clinton had been treated. Though I think nothing will top Ted Kennedy’s offer to the Russians to help undermine Reagan…. the man should have been arrested for treason. Seriously. But I digress….

    I accept the premise that some people hate the president bcause he’s black, but I don’t know any… I suspect that number is pretty darn low and mostly a product of media hype, as you say. Hate him for being a democrat, yes, surely. :-) But I don’t mind that so much. The way Obama acts now is entirely consisted with the way he acted when he was coming up through the ranks of Chicago politics – from getting his opponents kicked out of races, to acquiring and leaking his opponent’s sealed divorce records to the media. These sorts of things were well known before the Presidential race, so you can imagine how infuriating the adoring media coverage was; photo after photo of him with a halo background, never reporting his gaffes or especially Joe Bidens, but an unlimited supply of ink for Sarah Palin’s… etc. Illegal campaign contributions went more or less unreported, and scandal after scandal was swept under the rug. When people on the right have a really visceral reaction to Obama, I really believe you can chalk more of it up to the feeling that he cheated to win. Pretty much exactly the way a lot of Democrats when Bush became President.

    As outraged as I get about politics today, the truth is it doesn’t even come close to the epic battle between Adams and Jefferson… As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is no new thing under the sun. :-) And as I keep reminding myself… this world isn’t my home – not really.

  7. Immanuel Comer says:

    Didn’t know Obama did/allowed all that… That is a shame

    I’d like to say, I finally watched/listened to the entire State of the Union address.

    Yes, Obama could have been clearer regarding “responsibility” while setting the record straight. What was his and what wasn’t anyone else’s and also what isn’t anybody’s in particular.

    However, read the transcript, he didn’t mention “Bush” once. Nor did he use the word “administration” in a blame-shifting way. I just want to point out how, like in a game of “whisper down the lane”, what is said is construed to mean something different.

    Sadly, the following quote is not being referenced nearly as much as it should be:

    “Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions -– our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government –- still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.” – B.O.