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"None fell from such a height" - Habemus plus vis computatoris quam Deus
Ramblings of a Unix ronin
unixronin
unixronin
"None fell from such a height"

Walter Russell Mead, writing for The American Interest, has a column about Obama's fall from grace, and the embarrassing failure of such realities as the economic crash to obediently succumb to his rhetoric and demagoguery.  It's not a bad column, if you ignore the bit where, after he lambasts the Left up at the start of his article for "mistaking hopes and fantasies for reality" and going all starry-eyed over promises of hope and change, he then falls into the exact same trap himself in the last few paragraphs of the column.  (As pointed out several times in the comments.  Don't miss the comments.)

To be fair, no, I don't want the President of the United States to fail, either.  But that's because I want the President to be competent and effective, a statesman and a representative of this nation.  But Barack Obama is an arrogant, narcissistic, incompetent bumbler with no executive skills (and apparently few if any diplomatic ones, either), and if he fails while in the office of the Presidency, well, that's very sad for the Presidency, but if he fails, he fails; and honestly, the blame for failure lies squarely at his own feet and the feet of those who elected a man to the Presidency essentially on the basis of idol-worship and empty campaign promises.

Mead says Obama has "had some painful and public lessons", and is "beyond a doubt [...] smarter, tougher, and more experienced now than he was two years ago."  No, I don't believe he is.  On the contrary, I think he's still firmly convinced of his own infallibility, and baffled at reality's failure to meekly conform to his master plan.

"We must all hope he succeeds", says Mead.

No.  We must all hope that this time, the vast, complacent American public wakes up and stops blindly believing campaign promises of milk and honey in the Promised Land.

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perspicuity From: perspicuity Date: November 17th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
that kind of HOPE is for hippy losers with the BELIEF that someone will do something for them without the work. hasn't happened yet.

#
johnkzin From: johnkzin Date: November 17th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
To be fair, no, I don't want the President of the United States to fail, either. But that's because I want the President to be competent and effective, a statesman and a representative of this nation. But Barack Obama is an arrogant, narcissistic, incompetent bumbler with no executive skills (and apparently few if any diplomatic ones, either), and if he fails while in the office of the Presidency, well, that's very sad for the Presidency, but if he fails, he fails; and honestly, the blame for failure lies squarely at his own feet and the feet of those who elected a man to the Presidency essentially on the basis of idol-worship and empty campaign promises.

So, basically, he's a black George W. Bush ... who just needs a 9/11 to re-rally his power base?
johnkzin From: johnkzin Date: November 17th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
(my point there is "same shit, different day" ... the only thing different about Obama is: he's our first black president)
unixronin From: unixronin Date: November 17th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually tend to disagree with that.

For just one example, consider foreign relations. Bush made a diplomatic gaffe with his unexpected and uninvited shoulder-rub on Chancellor Andrea Merkel of West Germany, sure. Barack Obama's diplomatic record has been a trainwreck. He has made diplomatic glass-crater gaffe after glass-crater gaffe, humiliating the US in front of foreign leaders, repeatedly violating protocol, casually offending our allies, and doesn't seem to realize he's doing anything wrong — and his foreign-affairs advisors either don't have a clue either, or don't dare correct him. Many of the leaders he just met with in India came away from their meetings having realized for the first time that the President of the United States [and I'm directly paraphrasing Indian sources here] is a man so ignorant of current issues that he cannot extemporize about anything that isn't on his teleprompter. He followed that up in South Korea by managing to both insult the Chinese press corps and simultaneously demonstrate that he wasn't in control of his own press conference.

On the other hand, there are areas where Obama and Bush II are very much alike. For instance, both are firm believers in a faith-based reality that trumps actual reality. They merely happen to subscribe to different faiths — Bush allowed his policies to be guided by the religious right when religion and reality were in conflict (witness the travesty of abstinence-only sex education; yeah, like anyone without a Bible in their desk drawer ever thought for a second THAT was going to work), while Obama is an equally firm believer in "progressive" ideology and the ideas that wealth is theft and entitlements can be expanded forever.


Don't ever mistake my disgust with Obama for a liking for George Bush. As was observed recently in a column in ... I'm thinking it might have been the Economist, but I'm not sure: It took Bush to get Obama elected, but it took Obama to make Bush look good.
johnkzin From: johnkzin Date: November 17th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bush also made diplomatic mistake after diplomatic mistake. He alienated NATO, and generally went out of his way to confirm every "cowboy hick" stereotype other countries had about Americans and Foreign relations. The thing with the shoulder-rub was just the tip of the iceberg (a hilarious tip of the iceberg, but still just the tip of the iceberg).

Where Obama may not realize he's doing anything wrong, Bush didn't care. He was the ultimate "we're America, we can do whatever we want, unilaterally" example of the ugly-American.


The scary question is: who or what will come next in this train wreck of presidents?
unixronin From: unixronin Date: November 17th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
[Bush II] generally went out of his way to confirm every "cowboy hick" stereotype other countries had about Americans and Foreign relations.
Actually, I've read a number of different comments recently - from sources I consider reliable, such as STRATFOR - that many foreign leaders liked that about Bush. Bush the genial, folksy cowboy, they understood. Obama, they tend to regard as an empty suit, and many of them find it really unsettling that the US doesn't seem to have anyone at the helm. Between that and the "quantitative easement" (translation: print our way out of debt) Fed fiscal policy, there are a lot of foreign governments that are very uneasy about where the US is going, and trying to figure out how the hell to best get out of the way when, not if, it comes off the rails.

The scary question is: who or what will come next in this train wreck of presidents?
That is, indeed, the question, isn't it? I've seen polls that say that if any of the current front-runners gets the 2012 Republican nomination, as many as a third of Republican voters may vote third-party or independent.

Edited at 2010-11-17 10:30 pm (UTC)
fruitylips From: fruitylips Date: November 21st, 2010 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Bush's 'cowboy diplomacy' knock was always massively overblown by people (foreign and domestic) who already didn't like him. It bore little resemblence to his actual foreign policy. In short it boiled down to 'the US is doing things! OH NOES!' and nothing else.

While he had tons of problems in that area, two years of Obama has made me long for the calm cool leader that W was on the international stage.

So you're on the Trump in '12 bandwagon? ;-)
unixronin From: unixronin Date: November 21st, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trump? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW! :)
fruitylips From: fruitylips Date: November 21st, 2010 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
"To be fair, no, I don't want the President of the United States to fail, either."

Personally, I'd be pretty happy to look back on an Obama Presidency come '16 and realize that he was right all along. I'm not going to turn my brain off and support him doing things that I know are stupid and harmful to the USA.

Oddly, Cracked (of all places) had a pretty decent article about Obama's biggest problem. Nothing to do with policy and the like, but everything to do with actual leadership.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-wtf-has-obama-done-so-far.com-isnt-helping-obama/
unixronin From: unixronin Date: November 21st, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Personally, I'd be pretty happy to look back on an Obama Presidency come '16 and realize that he was right all along. I'm not going to turn my brain off and support him doing things that I know are stupid and harmful to the USA.
Yeah, that's my point exactly, just better stated. You have a way with these things.

Just read the Cracked article, and I agree. It's actually pointing out quite a few of the things I already said about the site. the majority of "Obama's accomplishments" per that site are things that Obama merely did not block Congress from doing. Um, OK, so a Democrat-controlled Congress wrote and passed a bill, and a Democratic President did not veto it. This is an accomplishment? Listing "did not veto his own party's bill" over and over as an accomplishment is pretty much damning him with faint praise.

Meanwhile, the site is strangely silent over the issues that have people taping photos of Obama and Pelosi to their dartboards.

Edited at 2010-11-21 04:22 pm (UTC)
fruitylips From: fruitylips Date: November 21st, 2010 09:13 am (UTC) (Link)
With one caveat I should mention. The long successful Obama that leads to a Biden administration has got to scare the bejeezus out of everyone...
unixronin From: unixronin Date: November 21st, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I still half suspect Obama selected Biden as an insurance policy, on the theory that nobody who would actually want to assassinate him would dare do so knowing that Biden would be the one to step into his shoes.
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