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Alienation from the Real World –Aloof works in Chess, not Politics

Thirty six years ago, realizing that the study of philosophy and liberal science had alienated me from the real world, I joined the Army. One would think that Barrack Obama would have had more than enough exposure to the real world to be fully grounded in it. Instead, his abstract and post ironic approach to everything has resulted in where we are at the moment. I’m all for Socratic Self-Examination and living the examined life, but Socrates refused to act and had to drink the hemlock. Plato, faced with the same problem later, left Athens, not wanting them to sin against philosophy again.  Or, was it Aristotle? No real matter…

The President Channels His Inner Grace Kelly

Since the election, I’ve been watching and listening to lots of people on the left whimper about how unfair life is; however, some commentators have been wondering what the hell? The president has not only alienated the masses, he’s doing a pretty good job on the base as well.  Jon Stewart gently scolded the President in advance, suggesting that the voters might have expected audacity instead of comity. At times, Obama has reminded me of Grace Kelly in High Noon — there are other Quaker references available, but the whole “let’s not be unpleasant, let’s all try to get along, none of our concern,” approach of this administration has pissed me off.  It’s not as if we couldn’t see it coming…

For example,  Paul Krugman has chosen to once more lay out a strategy for politics as a contact sport– explain what went wrong and what could work in the future. I have no reason to believe that this administration will do what he suggests, although if Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have any sense and don’t want to see another debacle in 2012, they should be slamming dancing the guy, with Joe Biden pogoing on his ass to get him to remember something…

When Obama won, the Democratic National Committee was run by the Vermont madman, Howard Dean. Dean famously said when asked whether he was from the liberal or the conservative wing of the party that he was from “the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.” The party in 2008 seemed to understand that; this year not so much. I’m not going to vote for a moderate Republican unless my choice is someone like Ben Nelson. In fact, in that case I’ll write in the name of one of my brothers in the Defeatists, or maybe a Malcontent from Area 51 like Cultureghost. I don’t drink diet coke, I never liked light beer, and I truly dislike non-dairy creamer. IF I AM GOING TO VOTE FOR SOMEONE, I WANT THE BASTARD TO STAND FOR SOMETHING. Maybe even, something I believe in. Most Americans are the same way.

Another Democratic leader was Harry Truman. Truman was famous, according to Dylan Ratigan anyway for saying “People say I give ‘em hell. I don’t; I tell the truth and they call it hell.” Krugman has a formula going forward…and it’s worth paying attention to. In response to the complaints that the administration didn’t focus on jobs, Krugman points out how the Republicans were allowed to capture the narrative. No reputable economist was satisfied with the size and scope of the stimulus…but, compromise and sweet harmony overcame good advice and facts. It is not wise to seek accord with rabid dogs, scheming slimesuckers and the insane or, Chris Matthews put it so well, the “hypnotized.” Krugman has pointed out in other places that neither Geitner nor Summers were really Keynesian economists –Obama, to steal a line from Animal House trusted his frat buddies, the Deltas…he fucked up. Then, he began to endorse the thinking of the Omegas — the Boehners, the McConnells, the Greenspans. If the Democrats thought they had a Blutarski, they were wrong…in fact, they may have had a Marmalarde running things.

So where, in this story, does “focus” come in? Lack of nerve? Yes. Lack of courage in one’s own convictions? Definitely. Lack of focus? No.

And why would failing to tackle health care have produced a better outcome? The focus people never explain.

Of course, there’s a subtext to the whole line that health reform was a mistake: namely, that Democrats should stop acting like Democrats and go back to being Republicans-lite. Parse what people like Mr. Bayh are saying, and it amounts to demanding that Mr. Obama spend the next two years cringing and admitting that conservatives were right.

There is an alternative: Mr. Obama can take a stand.

For one thing, he still has the ability to engineer significant relief to homeowners, one area where his administration completely dropped the ball during its first two years. Beyond that, Plan B is still available. He can propose real measures to create jobs and aid the unemployed and put Republicans on the spot for standing in the way of the help Americans need.

Would taking such a stand be politically risky? Yes, of course. But Mr. Obama’s economic policy ended up being a political disaster precisely because he tried to play it safe. It’s time for him to try something different.

So, have the meeting with these guys, point out that you’re still the President, and demand cooperation. Have Pelosi and Reid gear up and get as much stuff in the backlog passed as possible. If the Republicans block votes or filibuster, so be it. Publicize it, and show the nation what is actually happening. And, point out to McConnell and his crew in the Senate that filibuster reform is very possible, in fact, likely…after the new Senate takes office. Which will have a pared down, more liberal, more progressive base. And, it only takes 51 votes to pass a rules change when the Senate is seated.

Or not. I could see both parties becoming irrelevant. I think it would be a problem for the nation, doddering as we are on the issue of remaining  a world party or becoming a client state of China, but what the hell…I’ll probably be dead before it all goes completely south. It won’t be a great show, and it may drag on. But when you elect somebody who claims the audacity of hope as a trademark and then fritters away two years so that the next two years will be unnecessarily tough, you can’t rule it out.

One other thing has irked me of late. The press has been blasting the White House for not selling its accomplishments. Well, in our Athenian Republic as advocated by the Founders and explained in the Federalist Papers, the press should have done that as a part of being fair, balanced and doing its job of informing the voters so they can make the best choices. Obviously, the framers and the authors were on crack. It amazes me that when any critical thinker realizes that the attention span and memory of  the average member of the public is about .5 nanoseconds (Ohhh, shiney!) the White House figures that its accomplishments, however historic and marvelous, but undeniably complex, will come to mind when Bob, who’s wife has been laid off, kid has had to drop out of college and mother’s home is being repossessed will remember that he can’t be denied insurance next year or that if the kid had taken his loans out now instead of when he started, he could still be in school or that the bank did lower Mom’s mortgage for six months, or that he has an extra $50 in his paycheck since they reduced payroll taxes and his wife has an extra $50 in her unemployment check. All he knows is that he’s pissed off, screwed over and the people on Fox News use simple words and no big ideas. The last three Democratic Presidents — Carter, Clinton, Obama — have all been bright, highly educated and ultimately ineffective due to being so bright, educated and arrogant as to forget what got them there in the first place. Obama has two years to overcome alienation, replicate Clinton and maybe fix this disaster — we’ll see.

View the original article at Veterans Today

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