Sonntag, Februar 22, 2009

Miscommunication, politics and wonder...

First of all, a hat tip to Neo-NeoCon.

Second of all, the relevant link here.

The title of this post is miscommunication, politics and wonder.

Miscommunication: not merely the accidental, but also the deliberate. The last election was marked by a curiously uncritical press that failed to communicate the fact that President Obama, while intellectual and educated, is fundamentally a product of the Chicago political machine (this has been covered on this blog before) and fundamentally beholden to a Democratic Party that is fundamentally reactionary, populated by radicals from the 190s and 1970s that continue to believe in something completely and totally discredited, i.e. some sort of utopianism based on a fundamental ignorance of economics. The miscommunication was also deliberate: if the Republican Party had decided to go after President Obama's fundamental lack of actual detail for his panaceas, the shallowness of now-President Obama might have appeared for everyone to see.

Yes, I am saying that President Obama is a shallow man. How can you be both educated, intellectual and yet shallow? Simple: there's no depth to the man, no real person there. No one knows what President Obama really believes or says: his track record in Congress and in the Illinois Senate was exemplary in the use of "present" to avoid taking positions. We have elected a President without knowing where he really stands: this is what I mean by him being shallow. Intellectuals, highly educated ones especially, have a tendency to avoid making decisions because there are too many implications, too many possible resolutions, preferring to postpone any actual decision until it is either no longer necessary because events have overtaken the necessity of decision, making it moot, or to wait until a decision is forced by events.

Intellectually, this is an elegant solution to the danger of having to defend decisions and face the derision of your peers. Politically speaking, it is a catastrophe, since it is nothing less than indecision writ large: faced with an indecisive opponent, other political players will re-write the rules of the game to ensure that they win.

But, you say, President Obama is a product of that rought-and-tumble, hard-knuckled world of Chicago politics, where indecision is punished and power politics are rewarded.

Yes: the operative word is product. President Obama isn't a Chicago politician, but rather the perfect foil, the perfect passive player in the system to ensure that the system can be gained. He beat his opponents for his Senate seat by taking them to court, rather than being the better candidate; he ran unopposed.

The problem now is that he's no longer in Chicago, or, more exactly, the real world is not Chicago.

The world economy is in turmoil, and President Obama is doing his level best to make things better. That is what is being communicated via the press, and this is another case of miscommunication, where the IBD article above comes into play.

What the world markets and the US public need to hear is how adults are in charge. Instead, we here and see how President Obama's administration is turning into a right and proper catastrophe, with major posts unfilled and others filled with those sullied by banal and mundane human failings, but also with more than a taint of disdain for the rule of law. His major accomplishment is to have made things worse, rather than better: his perfect storm of Democratic control of both houses is being ripped apart by the irresponsibility of the "stimulus" bill and its apparent basis, that it is better to do something than nothing.

Now that's a specious argument: how about doing something effective for the economy as a whole, rather than obviously rewarding the party faithful? This is where President Obama is a product of the Chicago system: he is doing what is expected of him.

What about wonder?

I wonder at the the naivete of the voting public not to have realized just who they voted for. The facts were not hidden, but out there, merely under-reported (again, the uncritical press is to blame here). The vote for President Obama, for many, was a vote against Bush, against the past, for hope and for change.

I wonder at the sense of wonder now being expressed as to how things could be so totally screwed up.

Because it's no wonder at all. We have elected a President who, despite being intellectual and educated, is fundamentally shallow and out of his depth; we have installed the least competent and trustworthy Congress in decades (if not longer), re-electing politicians whose irresponsibility is legion; we have given the control of government, at a time of economic crisis, to those whose fundamental political theory shows an almost complete ignorance of real-world economics.

The cause of the economic crisis is manifold and ultimately the stuff of historians yet unborn. Solving the problem is of political priority, and yet we have the least qualified people in charge.

Oy vey.

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