Monday, August 30, 2010

Nearly a Decade? C'mon!

He'll say it three times if you watch the video of BHO making another attempt to blame it all on Bush: "It took nearly a decade to dig the hole that we're in."

We're not sure which hole he's talking about. It isn't the deficit hole. Even though Bush spent like Paris Hilton, the national debt as a percentage of GDP ticked up after 9/11 with increased war spending but then stayed level, well within historic boundaries. It headed up again with the bank bailout initiated by Bush and continued by BHO, but what really fueled its endless rise was BHO's impotent stimulus, which he ever so cleverly introduced not as a temporary measure but as a the new baseline for federal spending.

We know that the hole isn't the unemployment rate, either. Bush's highest unemployment rate was 6.0% in 2003. Mostly Bush presided over an economy with about half the unemployment we have now. Those tax cuts were just awful, y'all!

OK, maybe it was the housing bubble. That certainly grew under Bush. But did Obama the prescient campaign against the federal subsidies that encouraged so much home buying in the previous decade? Well, no. That was all the fault of something else: greedy bankers who get to do whatever they want when you elect the Previous Administration.

So we guess the bubble was a hole, mysteriously caused by unnamed policies of the patently evil and incompetent Bush, who somehow managed to steal two elections.

It's not working, Mr. President. We hope that you're trying out lines for your SOTU in January, something like "The era of big government is over."


Anonymous said...

A former student of yours recommended your blog to me. He seemed to think that you make good arguments for faith. And you do have some compelling things to say on that from time to time. I guess the purpose of your blog is not to compel me to believe and that's okay. It is your blog. But I find you spend a lot of time on such mundane things and it makes me wonder if you really think that faith is a matter of life/death, heaven/hell. My friend seems to think that I am going to hell. I guess I don't understand how Xians who think the whole world is going to hell can spend so much of their time on frivolous undertakings.

Oh and by the way, you seem to have a split personality. When you speak of faith, you seem almost human. Otherwise, you seem like kind of an asshole.

JB in CA said...


As a longtime reader of and commenter on this blog, I think I can understand and even share some of your perplexity (though I wouldn't put it in such colorful language). At the same time, however, I think you're looking for something that this blog is not and was never intended to be. For SWNID, it's a kind of hobby shop where he can test ideas and blow off some steam (with a playful overabundance of sarcasm) over topics that he has no special expertise in--politics, economics, etc.--and attempt to integrate his understanding of them with topics that he does have special expertise in--faith, education, etc. For that reason, he naturally spends a great deal of time on "such mundane things," if only to explore for himself how they can best be integrated into the Christian worldview. Sometimes he gets it right, sometimes he gets it wrong (which, by the way, is exactly what he would say about my comments, assuming, of course, we reinterpret the second "sometimes" as "most of the time"). But never does he lose sight of the importance of faith. It may seem that way to an outsider, but that's largely because an outsider comes to the discussion from a different perspective. What an outsider may interpret as a curious lack of emphasis on faith, an insider would interpret as an obvious presupposition of faith. Perhaps that's because outsiders tend to think that faith is something extra that can be added to and discussed apart from the rest of one's life. For an insider, however, nothing could be further from the truth. To discuss anything, no matter how mundane, is to discuss it from the perspective of faith. In that respect, I think SWNID's posts are anything but frivolous.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Anon, you have an acute sense of the human personality to make such sweeping generalizations from perusing a blog. You should work for the government.

Suffice it to say that this blog does exactly what we say it does, which is to express our views occasionally and playfully on subjects that interest us at the moment. We are interested in lots of stuff. We find life pretty interesting, even in its mundane aspects. Our aim is not to persuade unbelievers to launch the adventure of faith. Blogs are not sufficient for that, in our view. We contribute to that end variously; this vehicle plays a tiny role in such.

As to your vulgar characterization of our personality, we enthusiastically affirm your judgment. We are as you surmise. We deal with our failings with self-referential parody, including our ridiculous usage of the first-person plural. How do you deal with your failings?

Your referring friend knows not just our blog but the actual person who writes it, not that he is anything special, simply another example of a person smitten by the Christian gospel. We figure that you ought to get to know more people of faith really well if you want to rely on more than your ability to jump to conclusions about them and their beliefs. In their ordinariness you may see what we believers find extraordinary.

Still, feel free to dismiss the seriousness of our faith with your thoughtful and thorough analysis of our blog, which represents the tiniest fraction of ourself. Feel free to dismiss the lives of other people of faith for similarly superficial reasons. It is, to borrow a phrase yet again, a free country.

JB in CA said...


I would add to SWNID's response that I think much of your perplexity results from a misunderstanding of the nature of faith. Outsiders tend to think that faith is something that can be added to the rest of one's life, a kind of extracurricular interest or commitment. For insiders, on the other hand, faith is the organizing principle of one's life. To discuss anything, no matter how "mundane," is to discuss it through the lens of faith, regardless of whether one uses any religiously-loaded terminology to do so. So what you interpret as "frivolous undertakings," SWNID would interpret as attempts to create a coherent worldview, grounded in the revelation of Christ.

That's not to say that he always gets it right. In that respect, I share some of your perplexity (though I wouldn't put it in such colorful language). Sometimes he gets it right; sometimes he gets it wrong. (He'd say the same thing about me, of course, assuming, that is, we reinterpret the second "sometimes" as "most of the time.") But the only sense in which he's frivolous is in his outrageously pompous presentation (think Stephen Colbert). Perhaps you like that sort of thing, perhaps you don't. But in either case, be careful not to let the style distract you from the substance. For there's a lot of the latter worth contemplating, and a lot to learn about faith in the process.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We actually think that JB in CA gets it right most of the time; hence his status as Honorary Co-Blogger with all the rights and privileges that pertain thereto. We always assume that he only disagrees when he expresses disagreement, which is not often.

Jim Shoes said...

Anon, if you're still listening, I note your use of the word "mundane," which I take that you've used carefully, meaning "of or pertaining to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly" ( If that's the case, then the response is, Yes, SWNID and other Christians care about the mundane very much. Practicing the love for one's neighbor and enemies that the gospel demands means caring very much about what happens moment by moment.

If you think that Christians just care about what happens to a person after the person dies, you need to listen more closely to what Christians are really saying. Christians think that God sanctified the mundane by creating it and then entering it as a human being, experiencing all of the crap that the mundane has become so that he can make it again what he wants it to be.