Thursday, September 10, 2009

Doomed, doomed I tells ya

I like Obama. I think he's a fine man. I'll go much farther than that and say I think he is the best we can possibly hope for. No other man or woman possessing his intelligence decency and wisdom could possibly become president. Thoroughly understanding the issues, being open minded, respecting people and their different views, forgiving one's enemies; these are the attributes of an exceptional person. Add to all that the fact that someone with those admirable characteristics was able to get elected and it's hard to see how a better hope than Obama could come along.

Unfortunately, the very attributes that make Obama such a fine human being make him a weak president. Once he established beyond any reasonable doubt that one could oppose him with impunity, the game was lost. The politician's greatest desire is to avoid pain and anything they do is going to hurt some way, some how. So their calculation is always what will hurt least. Supporting Obama will get a shitload of calls and emails from a bunch of ignorant fucking lunatics. They'll probably come scream at you at public events. Opposing Obama costs you nothing. You may even get rewarded. No strings attached. What's a poor apparatchik to do? No, to succeed as president, Obama needs make those who oppose him, particularly those in his own party, feel pain. He has to be a ruthless asshole that doesn't give a fuck about someone else's point of view beyond figuring out how to bend it to his own. Can he do that? Can he do it without becoming somebody else? One of them? I'm guessing no.

But ultimately, I don't think it really matters what Obama does. In the "tides of history" vs "great leader" debate, I'm 90 percent or so on the side of "tides of history" theory of predicting the future. Right now it looks like the tide is washing in an era of stupidity and violence. We are a thoroughly corrupt oligarchy drifting rapidly totalitarian. The media ranges from stupidly irresponsible to consciously ultra-partisan. More and more people are effectively brainwashed. Not only are they ignorant of the facts, they are angrily averse to knowing them. They'll believe what they're told by their leaders, no matter how outrageous and their leaders are telling them democracy and rule of law are not legitimate, Those, and other socialist ideas (such as education, to name just one) are, in fact, dire threats to national security, to Amercan's children, all things good and God Almighty.

Were Obama to consult poor chuckling, I'd advise him to give a big speech on the Mall detailing just exactly how and why our political system is irreparably broken, then resign and emigrate to France in order to devote all his energy to writing. He'd probably accomplish much more that way than by turning into a ruthless asshole. But you never know. I can see how one might argue that he give being a ruthless asshole a chance, then if that doesn't work out go with the expat option.