How would you like to play Devil's Advocate and tell us how hopes and expectations have been buoyed by Obama's cabinet choices and his first few days in office?
We have a political hack tapped to run the CIA, and a tax cheat pegged to run the Treasury, and they're just the most prominent of Obama's confidence destroying picks. Others are headed for for such low profile posts as Attorney General and Homeland Security to name just the two that come to mind.
Then there's the media going out of its collective way to not simply prop up this figurehead of a President, but to deify him. I have a quote from an LA Times story today, but first ponder the story's title for a moment:
President Obama swiftly sets course on Day One
That's a -news- headline!? I could live with it were it not for the reporter's or the editor's need for an adverb. That one word figuratively penned an entire article about how far in the tank they are for America's first Nobody President. And before I say more, I want to be clear: I have no regard for Obama, but I detest the press. The media's scurrilous conduct means that ordinary people have to do the job the press should be doing – and then some. That's because any negatives we do point to will "swiftly" be countermanded by the mainstream media.
That means we'll only be able to plant ideas before the press blows on them and makes everything all better better again… just like mom used to do.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the power of positive thinking – and the destructiveness of negative thinking, and I've seen it at work. I've lived through it. And I've lived to talk about it. it works like this – you fix your focus on the goal, and you ignore the negatives and marginalize anyone who voices them in the hope that the goal will be reached before the house of cards collapses.
That, of course, means that "the goal" may not be what it appears. It means that, for example, that Obama might not be looking out for you as much as he is for himself, and more important, for those pulling his strings, and if the furtherance of their goals involves looking out for you, then everyone will be happy in the end. But if choices need to be made, guess whose hopes and dreams get bypassed?
And if you don't think Obama is a figurehead, look no further than today's announcement of an Executive Order to close Guantanamo. Obama literally and more than once had to ask his counsel for clarification – OF HIS OWN ORDER!
OK, to accuse him of mouthing someone else's words is too strong, and it assumes facts not in evidence, you say? Fine. I admit I've detailed a "worst-cast" scenario, but the only other explanation is that Obama was ill-prepared to comment on an order he directed, but one in which he delegated the details to others. It's not the delegating, it's the detachment and the disinterest, stupid!
Now about that LA Times quote I mentioned, if it doesn't seem like much at first glance, that's because it isn't - but note the tone – "We're down with that, Bobo," it screams:
Obama moved as well to put his own house in order. In a nod to the recession, he announced that about 100 administration aides earning more than $100,000 would have to forgo pay raises.
Can you imagine a line like that in reference to Bush? A hat-tip to the recession? Obama puts the squeeze on a few six-figure sacrificial lambs?
If anything, the media has circled the wagons even tighter around Obama, and they're filling any gaps with that expanding insulating foam.
Jonathan Gurwitz wrote what appeared to be a very good analysis of the situation in his piece titled: The Greatest Degeneration, but like so many, he failed utterly in the end. In his commentary, Gurwitz had me in his grip when he said:
What we have witnessed in recent years, what we are especially witnessing now, is the great undoing of the optimism and resourcefulness of the six decades that preceded it. Call it the greatest degeneration. That degeneration is the result of the abandonment of principle, the politics of expediency, situational ethics and irresponsibility. It is the consequence of leaders who turned the revolutionary concept of government for the people into people as instruments for government. And now those people are demanding to know what the country will do for them.
I don't believe anyone has said it better. So what's the prescription? That's where Gurwitz (like everyone else who thinks the seeds for success have been planted) draws a blank. He first finds great similarity in the words of Obama's inaugural address with those of Kennedy and Reagan - Obama: "It has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things … who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies."
But Kennedy admonished us not to "ask not what government can do for…" us, and Reagan is famous for saying something far stronger – that "government is the problem."
Gurwitz missed that: "Those could be the words of Kennedy or Reagan," he claims.
Uh… no. But then he makes his pitch for re acceptance by his MSM friends:
Let's hope that as the priests of government salvation call for more burnt offerings, Obama can restore his predecessors' faith in the American people.
And with that, what began as the most accurate assessment of our current state that I can recall reading became its own burnt offering. It actually makes no sense if you think about it – -We- should hope that -Obama- can restore -his predecessors'- faith in the -American people-?
WHAT? I'm sure that made more sense in his head than it does in print. I BELIEVE Gurwitz meant that WE, you and I, should HOPE that Bobo can restore our FAITH in OURSELVES, but we need the Messiah to do it.
It seems Obama is either Jesus-like or Hitler-lite.
A reader responding to a Wall Street Journal article today summed it all up very nicely:
Judge Obama on performance alone? Why would America do that? He wasn't elected based upon his performance. — Tim Kunkel
And comedian Argus Hamilton puts it in terms we can believe in:
Five years ago this man was an unknown Illinois lawmaker, and today he's President Abraham Luther Roosevelt.
No? Then in the words of Maxwell Smart, "Would you believe Adolph Christ?"