Why Is Obama Failing?

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Published : December 23rd, 2009
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Category : Editorials

 

 

 

 

"What's costing the president are three things: a laissez faire style of leadership that appears weak and removed to everyday Americans, a failure to articulate and defend any coherent ideological position on virtually anything, and a widespread perception that he cares more about special interests like bank, credit card, oil and coal, and health and pharmaceutical companies than he does about the people they are shafting." Drew Westen, Leadership Obama Style

I think it is more that last of the three than anything else, and explains the others. Obama is captive to special interests, as are many of the key members of the Congress, and the Obama Administration, and the Federal Reserve. And I should add his two predecessors.

It explains why he cannot articulate a coherent ideological position and make it stick. Make no mistake, he is a smart and verbally adept individual, a gifted person intellectually. But he cannot adhere to principles because he has abandoned whatever principles he may have had to serve a variety of corrupting interests. And he appears laissez faire and distant because he is a figurehead, a household servant, and not in control.

What makes Obama a greater failure than either Bush or Clinton is that he was elected on the promise of reform, a promised change, a political renewal in a country sickened by the erosion if not betrayal of its republic by men who view the Constitution as 'just a goddam piece of paper.'

"Somehow the president has managed to turn a base of new and progressive voters he himself energized like no one else could in 2008 into the likely stay-at-home voters of 2010, souring an entire generation of young people to the political process. It isn't hard for them to see that the winners seem to be the same no matter who the voters select (Wall Street, big oil, big Pharma, the insurance industry). In fact, the president's leadership style, combined with the Democratic Congress's penchant for making its sausage in public and producing new and usually more tasteless recipes every day, has had a very high toll far from the left: smack in the center of the political spectrum.

What's costing the president and courting danger for Democrats in 2010 isn't a question of left or right, because the president has accomplished the remarkable feat of both demoralizing the base and completely turning off voters in the center. If this were an ideological issue, that would not be the case. He would be holding either the middle or the left, not losing both."

*

The American people and what passes for their thought leaders in a captive media and a craven academy are a significant part of the problem. Rather than engaging in serious critical thought, most political reactions are cartoon-like, an emotional and visceral red vs. blue mentality that is so painfully evident in their Sunday morning television programs, that is more appropriate to the elementary school playing fields than serious political discussion or the work of running a country. What is held out as the alternative to Obama by the opposition? A brainless Bimbette, or some other servile hack of the machine, who in turn will serve the special interests of the corporations all too well, but will give a different portion of the voting public a sense of 'victory' as their slavery is made complete.

 

"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods." H. L. Mencken

 

Mencken is of course directionally correct, but I am not so cynical as he was. The American people had done better in conducting an idealistic revolution and the founding of a republic, and tempered it with the blood of patriots. And so it was the light of the world. And they can do better than this again.

 

Jesse

 

Please visit Jesse’s Café Américain for refreshing news on the markets

 

 

 

 

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