Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama vs The Job

During this recession, a lot of us are thinking about job-hunting. Even though most of us still have jobs and may even like our employers, it is perfectly reasonable to think about the possibility that we might have to find new positions, which in turn creates worries about finding a job quickly, and of course the worry that the job we get will be a bad one. What a lot of people do not realize, is that companies also dread the hiring process, and for many of the same reasons. The nightmare scenario for many companies, is finding someone who interviews well but when hired proves to be a waste, or worse to be someone who damages the company through negligence or fraud. Barack Obama is proving to be that sort of “hire”.

Granted, I have been arguing against the ‘hiring’ of Barack Obama, Chicago-style Lawyer, Activist and all-around Narcissist since he won the nomination of the Democratic Party (at war against America since 1970). So I have to admit that my opinion is colored by a certain tendency to see Barack Obama as a cancer rather than a savior. On the other hand, I made an effort last fall to give him a chance, when he was first elected President. Even though the present set of conditions is largely the result of the Democrat-controlled Congress of 2006-present, I felt that President-elect Obama deserved the chance to make his case and explain how his plans would work.

It’s pretty apparent by now, that Obama’s plans were limited to variations on a simple template:

1. Scare folks out of rational examination of an issue, sell it as the “worst since”, then append some emotionally-charged historical condition, no matter whether the comparison is valid or not;
2. Propose massive spending that does not directly address the causes or effects of the crisis, but which would be difficult to sell in any nominal political conditions. In short, use scare tactics to advance ideology as a primary goal, overriding all other imperatives;
3. When challenged on any proposed agenda, accuse the critic of obstruction, and claim that the critic is somehow making the crisis worse by demanding due diligence;
4. When public opinion begins to turn against the use of scare tactics, switch to a pretense of optimism and success, claim that your political agenda was somehow responsible, and if it becomes obvious that the plan has failed, blame your political enemies;
5. When all else fails, distract the public through persecution of high-profile individuals, scapegoat conveniently caricatured enemies, or just hide from the issues by focusing on absurd quirks like publishing your ‘Final Four’ picks instead of addressing the failure of your Treasury Secretary to comprehend even the most fundamental elements of finance, or appear on a talk show hosted by a comedian, rather than explain how sending billions of tax dollars to your favorite special interest groups will increase consumer confidence or rebuild the housing market.

Remember Richard Nixon? You know, ‘enemies list’, blaming selected media individuals for his problems and pathetically trying to show he was somehow ‘cool’ by appearing on “Laugh-In”? You should, we’re seeing the same thing now with Obama’s recent behavior. The difference, of course, is not only that Nixon had a decent sense of how the economy worked and who America’s friends and enemies were in the world, it’s also that Tricky D managed to not drive off the cliff until six years into his presidency; President O managed to find the crash inside of six months of winning the Oval Office. Of course, there’s a couple other diff’s as well – Nixon’s own party was willing to impeach and convict him for what he did during Watergate, while the Democrats are hardly going to consider their leader in any moral balance, especially given the example of their own leadership. And last, when Nixon left the White House we at least had a competent if uninspired President in Gerald Ford; absolutely no one with a three-digit IQ and a working conscience would consider handing the keys over to Joe Biden.

Sounds extreme, I know, but look at the record so far. The 787-billion dollar “Stimulus” bill has twenty-three separate sections, addressing all kinds of federal projects on liberal wish lists, and yes some of them are reasonable, maybe even good for the country, but not a cent is spent to create any private-sector jobs except through unions, there is nothing to help working families who are facing foreclosure right now, or who have already lost their house, and there is nothing in the bill to restore the lost investments of people whose 401k’s were almost literally decimated in the last year. In fact, despite Obama’s shrill cries that it would be catastrophic to delay passing the bill (let alone dare to question or oppose it), most of the spending does not even take place until next year, a fact made all the more obvious by Obama’s delay in signing it. Obama can no longer spin his credentials; they are as paper-thin as his experience.

Barack Obama never understood the job; he wanted it as the pinnacle of additions to his resume. In so doing, Obama proved the limit to his scale, like the man who wanted to be a great composer, never understanding that the truly great compose because they love music, or the man who wanted to be known as a great athlete, rather than strive because he loves the game. President Obama loves competition, politics, and glory, but frankly none of those qualities are pertinent to the office of the President of the United States. Obama made gains in the election by deriding the sitting president during his campaign, but too late Obama has come to see the virtue of a tough hide, and the need for a president to be something more substantial than a mere provocateur. Obama is a master of the political assassination, but he is a rank amateur at the greater skill of building informed consensus. Obama conjured the image of a larger-than-life superhero for himself, but he never acquired the judgment or developed the humility needed to confront the scale of national tides and crisis.

Obama’s defenders complain that the president should not be criticized for his plans, because they take time to work. The problem is not the timing, however, but the character and application of the action. The Obama mandarins opine that the simple flood of spending alone will eventually produced the desired growth in the economy. Such thinking, of course, is deluded. One needs only to imagine the difference between a farmer who carefully prepares and plows his land, placing his seed in just the right places and amounts, and who irrigates his plot and watches to keep out birds and weeds, with the fool who just throws seed around with no organization; which farmer will legitimately produce a good harvest should be obvious to predict. Or compare a manager who carefully considers the employee skills he needs and how many people, who budgets his staff and considers the demographic and industry factors, before he carefully interviews, hires, then trains only the people who would be good additions and create growth for his company, to the idiot who hires without planning and according to his whim; which company will be out of business within a year is not hard to predict. In such cases there is no need to ‘wait for results’; the results are obvious by the manner in which resources are allocated and applied. To expect that spending hundreds of billions of dollars on special interest political projects (pork to most Americans) will produce an economic boom if we just wait long enough, is along the same lines as arguing that if we had just given Bernie Madoff more time, he’d have made enough money to pay back all his investors – it’s not only stupid, it’s criminally dishonest.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your rant would ring less hollowly if you backed up your ad hominem assertions with references to cited sources. Tossing out word grenades just shows your inability (like many on the Left) to confront the messiness of what's actually happening.

Peggy said...

Mr. Drummond,

I just want to thank you for your very sound and knowledgeable words. I can say I almost fell out to read such "blasphemous" words in the Houston Chronicle. It is such a refreshing thing to see there are a few level headed people in the city of Houston. I had begun to think there were none. And, to Anonymous, I feel sorry for you and the likes of you that have no idea what is going on--just LOVE THAT MAN. I'll pray for you.

Peg

atlobserver said...

I fail to see how that template differs all that much from what Obama's predecessors (both Republican and Democrat) have ever done.

You act like Obama is the first *gasp* politician in the history of the White House and that *gasp* only Democrats are capable of using fear tactics (pardon me while I pick myself off the floor with that one).

Aren't you the same person who praised Bush from on high?: the king of using fear tactics to push through irrational, liberty-reducing legislation in the name of "finding the terrorists" (many of whom still haven't been found).

But oh wait, you'll read this message, assume I'm a leftist tree-hugging hippie and say something that doesn't address my argument (i.e. Obama is no more guilty of fluffiness than Bush yet you choose only to castigate Obama). Then when I actually reveal that I'm critical of ALL politicians and that I disagree with Obama on several substantial policies (including this bailout which I highly disagree with), you'll cower away from the discussion because you have no interest in addressing anybody who isn't a straw dog.

Continue to critique Obama, but I'll continue to be curious about why you love Bush so much when it appears he's guilty of most of the things you hate about him.