In De-Niall about Obama

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“Hit the Road, Barack: Why We Need a New President” proclaimed the cover of the August 27 print edition of Newsweek, bearing a photo of the president, jacket slung over his shoulder. Inside, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson made his case against Obama, provoking a response both furious and revealing.

Consider the case of James Fallows, longtime national correspondent for the Atlantic and author, most recently, of China Airborne. In the September 3 print edition of Newsweek, Fallows responded to Ferguson in this manner:

A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless and unconvincing that I wonder how he will presume to sit in judgment of the next set of student papers he has to grade. I have no complaint with anyone making a strong case against Obama, or in his favor. That’s what an election year is for. My point concerns the broadside pamphleteering nature of his argument, which is no worse than what we expect on cable-news talk shows but also no better. And it comes from someone trading heavily on the prestige that goes with being a tenured professor at the world’s leading university.

This was not the longest response but certainly the nastiest, especially the charge that Ferguson is “trading heavily” on the prestige of his Harvard post. Ferguson’s article contains no reference to Harvard but Fallows’ response begins with a reference to “my undergraduate alma mater.” That is a signal to readers that he is not only a Harvard man himself but graduated to higher studies elsewhere, and is therefore someone to be heeded.

“Broadside pamphleteering” is a strange description of Ferguson’s 3,248-word article, packed with facts, analyses and historical references. Fallows found it all “so careless and unconvincing” but tackled none of Ferguson’s arguments. Ferguson begins with Obama’s promise of “growth” and it is on the economy, he says, where President Obama’s failure is greatest, despite a “dream team” of economists including former Fed boss Paul Volcker.

In “Obama’s America,” wrote Ferguson, “nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return.” And this comes “despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised.”

Ferguson calls Obamacare “Pelosicare,” since it was Nancy Pelosi “who really forced the bill through Congress.” Pelosicare was “another fiscal snafu” with net costs of the insurance-coverage provisions close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period” according to the CBO.

On foreign policy, Obama “completely missed the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy.” He could lend support to youthful revolutionaries in a direction advantageous to American interests “or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail.” In Iran, “he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. Ditto Syria. In Libya he was cajoled into intervening. In Egypt he tried to have it both ways, exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, then drawing back and recommending an ‘orderly transition.’ The result was a foreign-policy debacle.”

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  • Jon_Babtist

    The left can't handle the truth. They don't even seem to demand it.
    They lies they tolerate and cheer makes one wonder if they have any ethics at all.

  • PaulRevereNow

    Niall Ferguson wrote an excellent book some years ago, "Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order,
    (short title). That book, and his article in The Blaze, and Fallows' BS response, show why he is better qualified than Fallows to write about this subject. And why Paul Ryan is better qualified than Obama, Pelosi, or anyone else the Democrats can muster, to handle the U.S. debt crisis.

  • Lfox328

    This is a tactic that I find particularly vicious. To take away a man's livelihood because of his political opinions, makes the Left's constantly evoked refrain, "McCarthism!" ridiculous.

    THEY are the ones that smother dissent.

    • Questions

      Everyone, Left or Right, smothers dissent if their beliefs are threatened. I've experienced both versions. That's not "moral equivalence." That's human nature.

      • malkes

        Not true as the left is most radical and constantly calls for quelling difference of opinion with threats to their livelihood and even physical .

  • weroinnm

    Report: “Obama is Preparing to Leave the Presidency”!
    “Food For Thought”
    Semper Fi!

  • dmw

    Gee. I guess it's O.K. when one speaks from "the world's leading university", as long as they say the (politically) correct things. In a sane world, when one from "the world's leading university" says some things that detour from "conventional wisdom", perhaps the public should take notice and, at the least, consider. I thought the idea of academic freedom was to always be able to question, with questioning supported by discernible facts.

  • Schlomotion

    Kenneth Billingsley claims:

    "'Broadside pamphleteering' is a strange description of Ferguson’s 3,248-word article, packed with facts, analyses and historical references."

    Why? That's only seven pages. Did Mr. Billingsley think that by using the number 3,248 we might confuse it with a CIA stack dump or an Apple patent?

    • Stern

      ah, the genius of the leftie troll. tell half the story. Leave out the important bits, the continuation that reads "packed with facts, analyses and historical references. Fallows found it all “so careless and unconvincing” but tackled none of Ferguson’s arguments."

  • Therabble

    "after which Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini promptly released the American hostages." Ah yes, and of course a few years later Reagan was selling arms to those same "evil" people. Oh, I'm sorry, how many times did he say "I don't recall" to questions in his deposition to investigators?
    And of course you are aware of the declassified papers buried until after Ford's death in the Ford Library in which the details of a secret Nixon Ford policy to whip the Shah into doing what Washington wanted him to do eventually destabilized Iran's economy and the oil market which led to the Khomeini's rise. This of course led to the petroleum shortage during Carter's time. Much of what Carter was blamed for was a result of what Nixon/Ford did and then hid.

    • Viet Vet


    • aspacia


      Nope, you are so wrong. We help a coup against the democratically elected leader of Iran, and replace him with the Shah (Operation Ajax) At least we could control our interests with the Shah. We did not want to destabilize the Shah, we needed his allegiance.

      Carter is a liar, and most of his colleagues at the Carter Center quit after his bs mendacious book Peace not Apartheid

  • Mike Villano

    Poor Fallows actually believes he's a rational thinking man.
    All that time and money spent at Harvard left Fallows with nothing but an attitude and deep seated faith in government as god.
    The words brainwashed and stupefied will come to mind forever when I hear the name Fallows.

  • watsa46

    Kill the messenger, the message remains. Lie as much as U can, something always remains. This was a payback against the arrogant Harvardians colleges and universities who accept billion of $ from the ME to undermine the country while they fill their pockets with petro$.
    Fallow is SHALLOW! But then he is from Harvard..

  • Paul Brice

    Niall Ferguson is a complete hack. He's more full of s_h_i_t than my colon after Thanksgiving. The US right wing is a bunch of racist, hating lunatics. Ryan and the House Republicans should be gunned down before a firing squad for breach of fiduciary duty to the average American citizen. And the people who support them should be set adrift in the pacific on a decommissioned supertanker to fight it out in the Ayn Rand way they so like to live. We sane people can watch for a few months with bemusement, and then we'll torpedo the thing and all the scum in it to the bottom of the ocean so they can all be eaten by sharks, and the world can finally return to some semblance of sanity..

    • ratonis

      Wow. Now THERE is civil, intelligent commentary!

      • rockman

        Your little pipe dream can hardly be considered evidence of sanity.

    • rockman

      Enjoy your upcoming interview with the Secret Service, chump.

    • gray man

      Too bad YOU don't have the balls to back up what you say, you F***ING coward. I hope you come for me.