Monday, January 25, 2010

Buyer's Remorse

I'm sure this is gettin' all sorts of play on the right today and I'll pile on, as well.  David Michael Green, an obviously liberal  professor of political science at Hofstra University (but I repeat myself), penned a real keeper this weekend entitled "How to Squander the Presidency in One Year."  The good prof starts out like a house afire:

There's only one political party in the entire world that is so inept, cowardly and bungling that it could manage to simultaneously lick the boots of Wall Street bankers and then get blamed by the voters for being flaming revolutionary socialists. 

It's the same party that has allowed the opposition to go on a thirty year scorched earth campaign, stealing everything in sight from middle and working class voters, and yet successfully claim to be protecting ‘real Americans' from out-of-touch elites. 

It's the same party that could run a decorated combat hero against a war evader in 1972, only to be successfully labeled as national security wimps. 

Just to be sure, it then did the exact same thing again in 2004.

Barack Obama has now, in just a year's time, become the single most inept president perhaps in all of American history, and certainly in my lifetime.  Never has so much political advantage been pissed away so rapidly, and what's more in the context of so much national urgency and crisis.  It's astonishing, really, to contemplate how much has been lost in a single year.
The Good Prof then launches into a litany of The One's failings, the best of which might be this:
And let's take it up a whole ‘nuther level, while we're on the subject.   A successful president is one who articulates a strong and compelling narrative for the nation.  So, in your quest to avoid rising even to mediocrity, be sure to leave a great big gaping canyon where that whole narrative thing is supposed to go.  No New Deal, no Great Society, no New Frontier or War on Terror for you.  Nope!  Just a thousand little projects with little non-solutions to big problems.  Hey, why not inject yourself into Cambridge, Massachusetts community police politics while you're at it!  Or the New York State Democratic Party gubernatorial primary!  Or you could deliberate for weeks about which breed of dog to get for your kids!  That's a great use of the president's political capital!
Oh, my.  You just KNOW things are bad when academics start pissing and moaning about their golden boy.  And then Professor Green drops this lil bomb towards the end of the screed:
Of course, I don't give a shit about Barack Obama anymore, other than my desire that really ugly things happen to him as payment in kind for the grandest act of betrayal we've seen since Benedict Arnold did his thing.  But what about the country?
Heh.  This dude is harsh and the above ain't the half of it, Gentle Reader.  But... what about the country, anyway?  What to do?  What to do?  Never fret, there's the standard Lefty poli-sci solution on tap, if ONLY The One would see the light and...
Go where the real solutions are.  Fight the good fight.  Call liars ‘liars' and thieves ‘thieves'.  Do the people's business.  Become their advocate against the monsters bleeding them dry.  Create jobs.  Build infrastructure.  Do real national health care.  End the wars.  Dramatically slash military spending.  Produce actual educational reform.  Launch a massive green energy/jobs program.  Get serious about global warming.  Kick ass on campaign finance reform.  Fight for gay rights.  Restore the New Deal era regulatory framework and expand it.  Restore a fair taxation structure.  Rewrite trade agreements that undermine American jobs.  Rebuild unions.
Ah, there's more but I'm sure you know the tune. You can hum right along if'n ya have a mind to do so, but as for me?  I'm just glad Ivory Tower academics don't actually run anything and spend all their time corrupting young minds.  Young minds have a habit of being changed once they're out in the Real World... or at least that's the way it used to work.  I'm beginning to have my doubts about that but that's also another story, entirely.  We'll not go there today.

So anyhoo... the Good Professor really isn't done after he's vented his spleen about his Fallen Hero.  No, he just has to fire one last shot, predicting we'll sink into a fascist dictatorship once Palin (his speculation) and those eeevil Rethuglicans come into power.  About which: Put the bong down and back away from the lectern slooowly, Professor, and no one will get hurt.


  1. Hey Buck;
    One thing that annoys me about know-it-all academics is that most of them seem to forget we have three levels of bureaucracy. The smartee pant teachers completely data dump the Civics classes we were all forced to take in ninth grade...
    The President has little authority over day to day matters, and Office holder cannot just wave his Presidential Magic Wand and make dreams come true.

    If he wants to whine about mismanagement, I think Con-gress has much to answer for in the world of fraud and rip off.

  2. Get your popcorn ready.

  3. A graph I'd love to see...

    You know those "Submit horrible stories about the worst boss you've ever had" things? I want to see a scatter diagram of people who've actually had some ideas (anecdotes) to turn in...superimposed over those who voted for Holy One.

    My theory is that the Obama-slobberers are disproportionately represented among those who have always worked for Daddy-In-Law...or for themselves...or have never worked at all. Point being, anyone who's had a lackluster boss before -- seagull manager, doesn't do a damn thing, just diverts blame and sucks up credit, squawks, craps and flies away -- saw this coming from MILES off.

    Gerard's got (along with many others) a pic of Obama's "My Pet Goat" moment. If you still have some faith in the idea that Obama's fortunes are still married up with those of the country, do NOT go looking at it.

  4. I find it interesting that he really does threaten harm to the president. I wonder if that will get him a little more attention than he bargained for.

    Not that I disagree with him on that one.

  5. "Young minds being changed" -- that has recently happened in our family. Younger Daughter, the Social Worker (also the one going back to Grad school on her own nickel so she can get a Masters and maybe a job that will pay her enough both to eat AND to pay rent!), just did her income tax return. She was devastated not to be getting as large a refund as she planned. I had tried to explain to her (and the world) that would happen when the Big O handed out his whopping "tax cut" -- it's just like pouring water back and forth from one bucket to another -- the volume often gets smaller, but it never gets bigger!

    She has pronounced herself a newly-minted Republican, which pleases her daddy no end. I can take it or leave it, being a GDIndependent, as long as she avoids voting for anyone with socialist leanings.

    Sometimes I miss teaching in a College of Business Admin so I could join in the liberal-bashing with colleagues!

  6. Darryl sez: The President has little authority over day to day matters, and Office holder cannot just wave his Presidential Magic Wand and make dreams come true.

    I disagree. Witness the impending terrorist trials in NYC, the looming EPA regulation of CO2, signing statements (what the Executive branch will and won't do), and Dubya's success at ramming his policies through the Congress, for better or worse. While I appreciate your point in the larger sense, it's also true the president wields a tremendous amount of authority and power.

    OG: Yeah, this is gonna be a lot of fun, innit?

    Morgan sez: the Obama-slobberers are disproportionately represented among those who have always worked for Daddy-In-Law...or for themselves...or have never worked at all.

    Themselves? I think the self-employed hate Obama the MOST. They're the ones that are getting royally screwed.

    re: The One's pet goat moment. Do some more looking and you'll find the right's knee-jerk in this space is just frickin' stupid, and makes those that jumped on it without thinking look asinine.

    Kris: There's a difference between wishing and actually threatening, no?

    Moogie: That's great good news about your daughter. Reality strikes! And thanks for reminding me that not all academics are Lefties. But most are. (insert big-ass grin here)

  7. "Do the people's business."

    As opposed to the country's business (which I have a whole 'nother problem with, as that concept produces a line of thought that directly perpetuates the concept of the paternalistic Imperial Presidency that we have today...and have had for several decades). But to get back on point, that little distinction (people vs country) really tells you all you need to know about said writer's POV.

    "The President has little authority over day to day matters, and Office holder cannot just wave his Presidential Magic Wand and make dreams come true."

    Agree 110%. Reason had a pretty good column (can't remember who wrote it) taking down Paul Krugman (which is like taking candy from a baby) after he wrote a column that all but directly stated that Obama should just become a superman and leap the Congress in a single bound to get health care reform passed. Ask Clinton what it was like trying to get legislation passed with a hostile Congress...he had (emphasis on HAD) a Dem majority for his first two years and even then he failed miserably.

    As for your points, Buck, signing statements are a fairly recent phenomenon (unfortunately...they need to go away) and Bush's ability to ram stuff through is an aberration, since Congress basically rolled over...he had a GOP majority, not that it mattered given that he had fairly sizable Dem numbers in the major votes of his presidency (both the Iraq War resolution and the PATRIOT Act come to mind).

  8. When I read through the list of things the good professor wants Obama to do, I wonder who is the real out of touch elitist.

  9. Bush's ability to ram stuff through is an aberration...

    So LBJ, Nixon, and Reagan were aberrations, too? It happens a lot more than you think, Mike. Weak presidents might be the exception rather than the rule.

    Lou: You're right, but aren't MOST academics elitist? I'm speaking of the "call me DOCTOR" types, of course.

  10. There's a good takedown on why academics are lousy in the real world here. You have to read down a bit, but it's worth it.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.