May 1, 2013

Obama's performance in the Theater of the Ineffectual President.

It's not "my job... to somehow get [Congress] to behave," said Obama at yesterday's news conference, quoted by Maureen Dowd, who says:
Actually, it is his job to get them to behave. The job of the former community organizer and self-styled uniter is to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do. It’s called leadership.

He still thinks he’ll do his thing from the balcony and everyone else will follow along below. That’s not how it works.

How can the president star in a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner satirical film pretending to be Daniel Day-Lewis playing Barack Obama in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Obama,” and not have absorbed the lessons of “Lincoln”?
1. It's silly to think that because Obama played the role of himself (playing Day-Lewis playing himself) that Obama is all about Lincoln. It made Obama look like he's about Obama, and putting Obama on the same level as Lincoln, with the mock-historical grandeur and the direction by Steven Spielberg, seems likely only to inflate Obama's egocentrism.



2. Why would this Hollywood-in-Washington adoration make him deferential to some other historical figure, one who had to accomplish great things to achieve his high place in history? Quite the opposite! It should make Obama feel that it's always been enough for him simply to be Obama, the screen onto which a nation projects its hopes and dreams. Why should Obama "absorb lessons" from the movie about "Lincoln"? Obama created his own mode of arriving at greatness, and it's not much like Lincoln's at all.

3.  A "community organizer" doesn't really "organize" a community, but even if one does, Congress isn't like the communities Obama supposedly organized. The idea that Obama could "organize" Congress is silly. Congress has its own organization, and it's full of powerful individuals who are currently actively pursuing political goals, not a bunch of citizens going about their private lives who might be induced to back some political project run by somebody else.

4. Yesterday's performance at the press conference was — I would presume — theater. It was the Theater of the Ineffectual President. It was not the Theater of the Lame Duck. (Dowd's piece is titled "Bottoms Up, Lame Duck." The "Bottoms Up" refers to her suggestion that Obama "have a drink with Mitch McConnell.") Obama likes to say he'll never face another election, but he's facing the 2014 elections. His performance yesterday was — I presume — a scene in the script for winning the midterms. I can't accomplish anything without Congress. Congress is the problem. He needs his Congress. Will we not give this beautiful man — upon whom we've projected our hopes and dreams — the Congress that will bring his presidency to a successful end? He is the central character in this movie "Obama" that we've all got to sit through. If we stay in character as members of the audience — passively taking in whatever we see on the screen — we'll merge our desires with the main character in the big spectacle. Identification with the protagonist. In the scene that ran yesterday, we saw our protagonist suffering his doubts and his weaknesses. He is beset with adversaries. Oh, no!

5. So, now we can see that Obama is doing his "job," as described by Maureen Dowd: "to somehow get this dunderheaded Congress, which is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff he wants them to do." Somehow. I'm telling you how I think he's going about getting Congress — Congress 2015 — to do the stuff he wants them to do. Keep sitting on your bottom as he leads from behind. Or: Bottoms up! And I don't mean drinking. I mean, get your ass out of your theater seat and stop watching the "Obama" movie. The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves.

313 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 313 of 313
Darrell said...

making it appear they were a right wing movement, by imprisoning communists, intellectuals, union leaders, etc.

They were imprisoning Marxist-type socialists. Like Cookie, Hitler believed that his brand of socialism (cobbled from 17th, 18th, and 19th Century German and French philosophers) was the true socialism. He believed that Marx corrupted the true socialism was an unworkable defective imitator. Mussolini's bullshit fascism--more a means to the acquistion and holding of power than a political philosophy--was based on writings that went into the formation of the French labor movement. Hitler's socialism keep free markets lest scarce resources be wasted with artificial low prices. He rejected class warfare because of his experinces with German officers from the German Noble classes during WWI. He believed it would be a tragic waste for German to rid itself of some of its best and brightest people. The motherland/fatherland bullshit is to petty to even discuss. Anyone who thinks that the Soviet Union didn't put itself first is stupid or lying.

FDR ccould get American academic Lefties to say an unkind word about Hitler's brand of socialism until Hiltler attacked the Soviet Union. Since most Americans at that point said "Good. Let the two socialist motherfuckers kill themselves!" something had to be done to differentiate the two movements in order for the US to assist the Soviets.

Rocketeer said...

Fascists hid their tracks well though, making it appear they were a right wing movement, by imprisoning communists, intellectuals, union leaders, etc.

Interestingly enough, all things the communists did as well - including that part about imprisoning communists. Now how could that possibily be?

Crunchy Frog said...

Other than the Pope and (Godwin alert) Hitler I can't think of any other leaders who are so associated with speaking from balconies as Mussolini. Probably not even the Pope as he doesn't so much give speeches as blessings from his balcony.

Hitler and Mussolini at least made the trains run on time. Obama can't even do that. No, when I think of men in Obama's class that speak from balconies, I think of one man only. Someone whose only competence was in gaining power, and was a miserable failure once he achieved it. Sixty years later his country is still suffering the consequences.

Barack Obama is Juan Peron.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Theme song for the Theater of the Ineffectual President. At the end of the scene when the curtain comes down on the sad lonely ineffectual hopeless President, we need to all be able to witness the wreckage of his silent revery.

Except, I don't feel sorry for him and he sure isn't silent.

edutcher said...

If, in fact, Barry's whining is about nagging the Lefties into giving him a Demo House in '14, that approach has been tried on both sides and gone down in flames.

PS, OT, and FWIW:

The 3 busted in Beantown were for harboring, but it sounds like another 3 may have also been nailed for dumping backpacks filled with fireworks.

This may not be as OT as it seems.

I Callahan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
furious_a said...

Hitler and Mussolini at least made the trains run on time. Obama can't even do that.

Not true -- high-speed rail is going to be AWESOME!

Darrell said...

I'm lame. This I will stipulate.
Are you happy now, Ann?

I Callahan said...

You provided your own explanation with your fairy tale explanation of right wing and left wing governments.

That's funny, RC. And you accused ME of being circular.

I'll ask again - how are my explanations of left or right, incorrect? Let's hear YOUR definitions of the two, and we'll at least have a jump-off point.

furious_a said...

Barack Obama is Juan Peron.

Then who's Evita -- Hillary! or Michelle?

sydney said...

I am so sick of the political-Hollywood-media industry.

Darrell said...

Then who's Evita -- Hillary! or Michelle?

Nope. Still Barack. Whenever he doesn't get his way. AFMPAS is already getting his double Oscar ready for his two-role tour de farce .

edutcher said...

Barry is his own Evita.

Pogo said...

Althouse is correct in guessing that the Democrats could win in 2014, but this is less because of Obama, whatever movie role he's playing, but more stems from the massive moron vote, the slack-jawed Obamphone Obamafarm Obamacare takers who want to stick it to the last few remaining makers.

The massive moron vote rarely comes out for primaries or midterms, thus making them harder to steal.

PS ObamaTax approval is now at 35%. That'll be tough to bounce back from.

bagoh20 said...

There is no way to achieve left-wing goals of equality other than through authoritarianism and totalitarianism. It has to be forced, because it's not natural to the human species, except in times of general abject poverty in very small groups.

There is obviously no way to achieve right-wing goals of freedom and individualism in the presence of authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

There are of course right-wing and left-wing authoritarians, but neither can achieve their respective goals. Authoritarians are the enemies of us all.

Unfortunately for lefties, there is no other way to even try to achieve their goals. This is just one rational reason to prefer the right's prescription.

SOJO said...

Maureen was right.

Seriously, he should let Jay-Z take over behind the scenes. That guy has the personality to kick their butt into shape when it came to backroom dealings and arm bending.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not true -- high-speed rail is going to be AWESOME!

Well, awesome for DiFi and her husband who seems to have apparently managed to get set up to be one of the primary contractors on the project.

Seeing Red said...

At this point if someone says Hilter was "right-wing" I automatically think History major?

Elite University?

DADvocate said...

To get dunderheaded Congress to behave and do its dirty deeds, Obama needs to man up and be the dunderchief.

Bruce Hayden said...

Never did understand why anyone thought that Hitler was the least bit right wing. Rather, I have long viewed his authoritarian regime as just more evidence that socialism, of whatever stripe or variety, ultimately devolves into totalitarianism. And, that is one of the primary distinctions, at least any more, between the right and the left, is that the former worship liberty, while the latter are willing to sacrifice liberty for economic security.

Seeing Red said...

everyone's a victim.

Bruce Hayden said...

I do think that there is a chance that the Dems retake the House in the next election. After all, there were a number of Republicans who won in marginal districts.. But, win they did, despite Obama's unprecedented GOTV program. I think that there is a higher likelihood of the Republicans winning the Senate, or at least getting the Dems edge down to Slo Jo Biden, and esp. when ObamaCare really kicks in hard. Throw in no end in sight to the Obama Recession, and I think that the Dems chances of doing well are questionable.

But, then, I predicted that the Republicans would win the Senate last election, and was proved quite wrong. I think that they could have, maybe, without Obama at the top of the ticket. But he was, and that may have made the difference.

ampersand said...

A Pimpmobile,not a Lincoln.

Mark said...

My problem with this blog post is that it presumes that Obama had a thought-out strategy in play, that he's trying to win sympathy by playing a role of the good President beset by a horde of Lilliputian Republicans.

I think instead he just wanted to go in front of the cameras and wing it, because he has a need for the spotlight.

With Barry, if you're willing to stop projecting, what you see really is what you get.

TMink said...

Sadly, our President's best qualification for office was his being half black. We reap what we sowed with his election.

Trey

Mike said...

I stopped at John's comment (9:46) to put in this: How about Evita and Juan Peron on the balcony of the Casa Rosada?

John said...

Garage said:

"Obama is Mussolini, but Republicans would work with him more if he were a better leader."

No, I think Obie would like to be Mussolini. He may even imagine himself to be Mussolini.

The problem is that Mussolini was reasonably competent as a political leader. (Made the trains run, drained the Pontine Marshes etc) Obama has shown himself not to be competent.

He has shown himself to be uncharismatic except as the generic "clean, articulate,
black man"

For all his wanting to be and trying to be, Obama is no Mussolini.

John Henry.

Alex said...

I forgot to mention the national highway system = government initiated action.

Alex said...

I'm not saying the government should take over the economy. Obviously the high-tech industry is 90% a private-sector creation.

Intel, Apple, Applied Materials, HP, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and a 1000 other companies. These are miracles of unfettered freedom.

John said...

Darrell,

Good comments on the origins of German National Socialism (often called NAZIsm) but there is a key point that you omitted.

German National Socialism as well as Italian Fascist Socialism were both national in character. They believed that it was possible to have socialism in one country.

Marxist socialism defines itself as international. Marx did not believe that it was possible to have socialism in a single country. He took a hundred thousand words to say it but the reason basically boiled down to "If you have a socialist country next to a non-socialist country, people will escape socialism"

As someone upthread noted, the Berlin wall was not erected to keep people from entering East Germany. It was erected to keep people out.

Marx was not right about much, especially his understanding of value. It is that misunderstanding that causes socialism to require repression and strong impassable borders.

This requirement for socialism to be international is one thing he got right.

John Henry

CEO-MMP said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Maybe the problem, Professor, is that most people reading this already know he's ineffectual (or whatever's worse than ineffectual) so there's no big a ha! moment?"

Did I say he was ineffectual or did I say the opposite?

Why is it so hard to read? Really! You need a sledgehammer? Hopeless!

Just read the last sentence in this post, then forget it, then go somewhere else that's easier. Go to the movies."

Sweetheart, I was referring to your early criticism of the commenters who weren't following your entire post. That led me to speculate that perhaps no one was paying attention to every tiny detail you wanted them (us) to because people think Barry sucks. And the people who think he sucks are going to read "ineffectual president" and stop.

No need to get bitchy, sweetheart.

ampersand said...

With their push for Immigration reform ,internet sales tax and gun control (shared), Republicans are working damn hard to turn over the Congress to the Democrats in 2014.
Karl Rove had one barely successful client,why does anyone take advice from him?

Unlike the Bourbons the Republicans learn nothing and forget everything.

John said...

Bruce,

I'll bet you really do understand why Hitler was considered right wing. It is for the same reason that in the US and England (but never by himself) he was always called a NAZI and never, ever, a "socialist" national or otherwise.

He was seen as giving socialism a bad reputation. So we got the big lie that the National Socialists were not socialists but "fascists" (small f) even though that name came from a socialist Italian political party/philosophy.

Never forget that in the and especially the 30s socialism was seen as a great thing by many of the deeper thinkers in the FDR admin. The Germans sullied the brand.

John Henry

John said...

Alex said:

"I forgot to mention the national highway system = government initiated action."

If you mean the Interstate Highway System, that is specifically called for in the Constitution:

Art 1, S8,
"To establish Post Offices and Post Roads"

On the other hand, the federal govt has no authority over any other roads. Except that they say "If you don't do what we want, we won't give you back the money your people paid in taxes"

John Henry

Rusty said...

Alex said...
I forgot to mention the national highway system = government initiated action.


Falls under the category of providing for the general welfare. In Illinois it became part of out tollway system.

Rusty said...

Intel, Apple, Applied Materials, HP, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and a 1000 other companies. These are miracles of unfettered freedom.

The wild west where the only regulation is self imposed.
Makes you wonder how well other industries would do.

Dennis said...

Cringe inducing all the way around.

A big cringe induced by Obama.

A cringe induced by Dowd.

A cringe induced by Hollywood.

A cringe induced by us for having elected Obama.

(No, wait.....)

A cringe induced by our own beloved blogress who seems to love encryption and impatiently snapping the whip against her thigh, rapidly tapping her toe against the hard asylum floor. Why, if we don't "get it", she might not pay any more attention to us! Let us all work even harder!!

Thank you mam, can we have another?

Cringe worthy, we are all soooo unworthy.

;-)

Marshal said...

Alex said...
I forgot to mention the national highway system = government initiated action.

5/1/13, 2:09 PM


What conservatives are against the government funding any of the national highway system?

Paul said...

So more rubes self-identify.... Obama suckers all of 'em.

Presidents call members of Congress all the time and bargan with them to get things passed. Well most presidents. Obama seems to think pronoucements will do the same as he goes on mega-vacations.

And now we find out... yes they could have saved our people in Lybia, but Obama and Hillary just could not take that 3 AM call.

Voting present is not an option for getting things done. Sadly our president still thinks it does.

Rick67 said...

One of your best. Nicely done.

RebeccaH said...

I can't accept your premise that the fault lies with ourselves, since I and a large proportion of the American public didn't believe in Obama from the very first. A lot of us had issues with him before he got elected the first time: his background, i.e., Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayres and Bernardine Dorhn, Jeremiah Wright and that Trinity Church congregation cheering him on in his anti-American diatribes, even Obama's own mother and grandparents and their "Western civilization is awful" worldview, etc. etc. etc., not even to mention his appalling lack of experience. Most of us welcomed the election of the first African-American president (despite our misgivings) as proof that America is truly as great as it is, hoping against hope that he would be the transformative figure he promised he would be. Our bad. What we got instead was Frank Marshall Davis, William Ayres and Bernardine Dorhn, Jeremiah Wright and that Trinity Church congregation cheering him on in his anti-American diatribes, even Obama's own mother and grandparents and their "Western civilization is awful" worldview". And Valerie Jarrett.

Rabel said...

I'm pretty sure that Althouse's remarks in the comments section are a theatrical mocking of the President's presser and Dowd's colummn.

If she could only get the dunderheaded commentariat, which today is mind-bendingly awful, to do the stuff she wants them to do, all would be rosy, but it's not her job to get us to behave and get up off our bottoms so she follows her own particular method of arriving at commonsense blogging greatness which includes the horrifying threat to pack up her things and go home. Golly.

And she did all that without Spielberg's help. Well done, unless it wasn't.

On the other hand, the press conference was probably timed to coincide with the 100th day of the second term and was unannounced to minimize coverage of what they knew would be a disaster, so rather than the theater of the absurd we were seeing the reality of the absurd.

Ken said...

I don't think any commenter so far has actually read this post!

Did you ever think that you're not as good a writer as you think?

Ken said...

Robert Cook,

The Boston lock down had nothing to do with "the left," and the suggestion is imbecilic.

It has everything to do with the left. The left is characterized by its severe distrust of the ordinary person. This distrust resulted in a lock down, a deprivation of liberty, the left's natural reaction. Yet, it was an ordinary citizens that found Tsarnaev, after the paralyzing leftist over reaction that locked down the city.

Lydia said...

A new Quinnipiac poll gives the Democrats a slight edge for 2014.

Obama's just doing what has worked for him in the past. Don't really know why Dowd is so upset. But maybe she's not really, and this is just part of a good cop/bad cop routine--she wants a dictator, while he's just a really good guy up against a really bad bunch of Republicans.

Ken said...

Robert Cook,

in your skewed view, any government that tends toward authoritarianism is, by definition, "left,"

It's weird to define things by their explicitly stated tenants of state run everything, so that the individual is swallowed by the collective with an all power government head defining what that collective is isn't it? Especially, when the most obvious examples of lefty governments are communist Russia, communist China, national socialist Germany, and fascist Italy. Thankfully, communist Russia, national socialist Germany, and fascist Italy were destroyed, the first by the Cold War, the second and third by WWII.

Ken said...

garage,

Obama is Mussolini, but Republicans would work with him more if he were a better leader.

Why would you say something at stupid as that, when Mussolini was the very definition of a leftist leader? He was the progressive's progressive. In other words, he embodied everything democrats desire in their politicians.

AprilApple said...

Bagoh said...

He's effectual like a virus, and we are getting sicker each day.

This.



Hagar said...

The lameness is not in our President but in ourselves.

The Professor may be alluding to the fact that in 2012, more Republicans failed to turn out to vote against Obama than the number of Democrats who failed to turn out to vote for him.

wildswan said...

He is still trying to get the Democrats to blame the Republicans and they are still doing it but are uneasy. So I guess that means we should be thinking about how the increase that uneasiness

Hagar said...

What conservatives are against the government funding any of the national highway system?

Yes, Marshal, big time. Eisenhower maneuvered the Interstate System through Congress as essential for the national defense and had to be undertaken regardless of the danger to the moral fiber of the states and local communities.

Alex said...

Republicans of the past supported the Highway bill:

History of Eisenhower's National highway program

No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth GOP would vote for anything so valuable.

AprilApple said...

Perhaps it's time to stop letting Jennifer Rubin select our candidate?

Matt said...

Alex said...
Republicans of the past supported the Highway bill:

History of Eisenhower's National highway program

No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth GOP would vote for anything so valuable.

5/1/13, 5:16 PM

No shit! We already have one! Why the hell would Republicans support a nationwide equivalent to the Bridge to Nowhere?

Drago said...

Alex: "No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth GOP would vote for anything so valuable."

No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth dems would actually propose anything so valuable for a vote.

Today's foaming-at-the-mouth dems are 100% all-in on simple payoffs to their constituent voting groups (and the inevitable money-laundering of much of those tax dollars back to the dems).

But hey, don't you dare criticize the public school teachers unions or else garage will pop up out of his lily-white residential area to "hip you" to the "facts" about which brilliant Europeans were actually (secretly) educated in the US.

SukieTawdry said...

The substance of Obama's presser: Whine, whine, whine. Piss. Moan.

What liberal commentators always fail to acknowledge--or recognize--is that approximately half of us out here don't want Congress to "do the stuff [Obama] wants them to do." And we expect the people we elect to act according to our wishes, not his.

Drago said...

Hagar: "The Professor may be alluding to the fact that in 2012, more Republicans failed to turn out to vote against Obama than the number of Democrats who failed to turn out to vote for him."

Hmmmmmm: Romney garnered more votes than McCain and Obama secured millions fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008.

Hagar, are you saying that more republicans failed to turn out in 2012 to vote against Obama than in 2008 but that many more Obama voters stayed home in 2012 than in 2008 as well as some of those Obama voters from 2008 voting for Romney in 2012, hence Obama's overall decrease and Romney's overall increase (over McCain) though with fewer Rep votes?

Bob Ellison said...

Rabel said I'm pretty sure that Althouse's remarks in the comments section are a theatrical mocking of the President's presser and Dowd's colummn.

This comment is a measured, carefully constructed retort to Altouse's remarks.

bagoh20 said...

"No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth GOP would vote for anything so valuable."

And for good reason. We could never build it today. It would take 100 years and cost more than the GDP of the planet thanks to current regulations. Besides the Dems' environmental base would never let the Dems vote for it,
even if it was free.

Thanks to decades of overspending and over-regulating, we can't afford to patch the potholes in the one we have.

Rabel said...

Bagoh:

"We could never build it today. It would take 100 years and cost more than the GDP of the planet thanks to current regulations."

And the greens would never allow it.

Think of the possums.

bagoh20 said...

Do you really think that the highway system would not have been built without the federal government? It's not really the government that needed it, and in fact they didn't actually build it. Americans wanted it, so they built it. Government was just the easiest management mechanism to get it done at the time, rather than the biggest obstacle and cost driver as it would be today.

Do people really believe we would only have dirt paths today if not for the federal government and Eisenhower? Can you really imagine that? Highways were inevitable, unstoppable, and manifest destiny in this country, because we wanted them, we knew how to make them, and they were valuable.

El Pollo Real said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...

The Boulder Dam is a splendid example of American bipartisan public works: authorized under Coolidge in 1928; designed and begun under Hoover in 1931; finished under FDR in 1935--underbudget and ahead of schedule. I guess that hard times did wonders for productivity.

FDR jealously hogged the credit and it wasn't until after his death that the dam was renamed--quite rightly--Hoover Dam.

I guess public sentiment was so anti-Hoover at the time (HDS?) from the Depression that credit could not be given where credit was due.

bagoh20 said...

There were 112 deaths building the Hoover Dam. Today it would never be finished, unless Planned Parenthood was running the show.

Kelly said...

Foaming at the mouth Republicans wouldn't have to worry about funding to build the interstate today. Hell, we can't even get a replacement for the World Trade Center ten plus years on. We can't get a pipeline from Canada. Now, if it was approval for choo choo trains progressives would be all in.

Rusty said...

Alex. Quit fuckin around.

High Speed Rail!!!

CEO-MMP said...

Ken said...
I don't think any commenter so far has actually read this post!

Did you ever think that you're not as good a writer as you think?"



You know, I've wondered about that more than once.

It seems like at least a couple times a week we see the Professor carrying on that her point has been lost or whatever, and it's always our fault as readers, never her fault as the writer. But after a while--we can't all be morons.

SteveR said...

NEPA in conjunction with the Endangered Species Act makes something like the Interstate Highway System impossible to contemplate.

edutcher said...

Alex said...

Republicans of the past supported the Highway bill:

The reason for the Highway Bill was to be able to move strategic nuclear resources quickly and easily.

Same reason the autobahn was built.

bagoh20 said...

Captain, shouldn't we slow the boat down? There sure is a lot of ice out here.


Another Big Blow For Obamacare: Study Finds Medicaid Has No Effect on Measured Health Outcomes

bagoh20 said...

"The reason for the Highway Bill was to be able to move strategic nuclear resources quickly and easily."

That may have been the sales pitch, but think about it. Does it really make sense to build all that highway from city to city if that's what you intend to use it for? Have we really used highways to move strategic nuclear? And why from city to city? That's not where we keep them, ever.

Jim Bullock said...

Dear Professor,

We need to be better or the ill-met enemy will continue to be us. Even jealous over missing the NerdProm, do not fall again for the cool kids vs. meanies, Jr. High student council campaign. Real governments vs. the student kind can do real things thus perform real malefeco.

Whatever his failings, featured speaker Obama is merely the symbol we get floating on top of the kind of political machinery we tolerate. What we'll tolerate is our choice.

Did I get it right, Prof?

Do not lose heart. Vats of frustration inoculated with starter memes lead to filmy derangement syndromes atop the wholesome juice of problems, understandings and honest disagreements. The current US polity is ill-equipped to think, or understand, or decide much of anything. President Obama and his sycophant media play into that. They mostly don't mean to. It's just how they are.

I think this is a learning time, perhaps of half a generation or so. We are now being taught by cruel experience; the last vehicle for lessons not learned more gently.

So, of course it's all about the 2014 elections. And of course the press conference is of a piece with the NerdProm. Of course it's all about the cool kids vs. the meanies, so we can all feel better about ourselves when they let us sit at their table.

And of course, whatever his cohort does without adult supervision will be a disaster.

The people who dubbed themselves the "reality-based community" during the last administration are showing themselves profoundly reality-challenged during this one. Or rather, they are orientated to the reality of getting elected on feelings, so the game is getting people all wee-wee'd up.

The solution is don't buy the act.

edutcher said...

bagoh20 said...

The reason for the Highway Bill was to be able to move strategic nuclear resources quickly and easily.

That may have been the sales pitch, but think about it. Does it really make sense to build all that highway from city to city if that's what you intend to use it for? Have we really used highways to move strategic nuclear? And why from city to city? That's not where we keep them, ever.


If memory serves, not only was that not the sales pitch, I don't think it even became known as a reason until years later.

PS I know what you're saying, but there was a plan at the time to put nuclear missiles on 18-wheelers and railroad cars and keep them moving around the country 24/7.

I remember when Lionel included a boxcar with a missile inside one Christmas. Big seller, too.

Palladian said...

Hell, we can't even get a replacement for the World Trade Center ten plus years on.

I hate this stupid talking point. I suppose if you live in Rabbit Testicle, Alabama you might not be aware of this, but there's currently a 105-story tower down at the WTC site. People who complain that it took more than 10 years have no idea about the complexity of the forensic and recovery operations, the enormous amount of material that had to be excavated and removed, and that the site is also the location of a huge underground transportation junction which had to be reconfigured and rebuilt. There was also the problem that the whole area of the original WTC site was reclaimed marshland, so a lot of planning and modification had to go into giving the new construction an adequate foundation. The new building had to be designed and approved and the extraordinarily complex services for the area, which includes 7 new buildings plus the museum and memorial, and the Grand Central Terminal-sized transit hub, had to be worked out and built.

Were there bureaucratic delays? Yes. But given the scope of the project, and the fact that One World Trade Center (the "Freedom" Tower) is almost complete, it's invalid to pretend that there's still a big hole in the ground down there.

bagoh20 said...

Alex, you should just stick with being a Righty. It's easier, because it always makes sense, and the facts will be on your side. Just a suggestion.

We need more lefties here, but you gotta really feel it, do more lying, throw in a few personal attacks, some links that prove the opposite of your point and that kind of stuff.

Jack Wayne said...

Dear Ann, please read about the Slough of Despond. Then you'll know why people don't really care about what you're saying. Pretty much everybody knows we're fucked. It's baked in the cake. Etc. If you have time, you can read about the Fin de Siecle. Same thing. Western Civilization is winding down yet again due to the over-whelming weight of it's own bullshit.

St. George said...

In June 1815, President James Madison decided he wanted to visit Annapolis to visit a new warship.

He wasn't certain it was strictly official business.

What did he do?

He paid his own way?

$25!

Today the discussion has something to do with a movie director and the president. And the president feeling sorry for himself. I can't follow this nonsense.

Mark said...

Back in the 1950s and '60s, the United States government built three functional platforms for putting people in orbit, and explored numerous other systems that didn't work out.

Then sclerosis set in, we got a shuttle that was effectively a horse designed by committee, and once those wore out we've got....

Nothing.

The private sector though has a number of projects moving forward, faster and cheaper than anything since before NASA became an iron ricebowl for highly educated bureaucrats.

bagoh20 said...

I'm proud of the Freedom Tower, and think it's impressive, but I bet if we gave 1930's America the technology we have today, without the rest of our crap, they would have finished it in 1 year, tops. The Empire State Building in 410 days with technology that's almost stone age by today's standards at the same time the Chrysler Building was going up too. We just are not the lean, tough get-er-done nation we once were.

Besides, everyone knows that the Freedom Tower is actually made of Styrofoam wrapped in reflective mylar. New Yorkers who know have either been eliminated or offered Manhattan parking spots to shut them up.

Michael said...

Palladian, you are quite right about the existence of the building but you dont credit the delays beyond the site cleanup. We have undertaken and completed projects of significantly greater dimensions and complexity in a fraction of the time it has taken this project.
13 years for the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1870s
4 years for Golden Gate Bridge
5 years for Hoover Dam
2 years for Empire State Bldg
2 years for Chrysler Bldg
Less than 3 years for One57 at 57 and 7



bagoh20 said...

Everyone knows I'm a small government wacko, but it's tough to not be in awe of what this nation accomplished in 10 short tough years in the 30's. But that was not today's America.

Building the Hoover Dam for instance, the contractor faced with demands from the workers, and a strike, fired them all, and hired new ones under the exact same terms offered. Like the Empire State Building, and as Pollo Real said above, it was finished under budget and ahead of schedule.

Losing 112 men in the process is unacceptable to me, but some risks will always have to be assumed to do tough things. I think we could have found a much better compromise between what we had then and now. Maybe we will someday in my libertarian dream.

jms said...

A couple of points. Saying that Obama is the least experienced candidate is sort of beside the point. He is actually easily the least accomplished President we have ever had. He's managed to free-float ever upward based on no discernable accomplishment. High school -- biggest class stoner. Columbia -- no accomplishments. Harvard law review president -- no publications. No accomplishment. Annenburg foundation -- wasted $100 million dollars with no results. No accomplishment. State Senator -- no accomplishment. President -- no accomplishment except for using the few months when his party had total control of Congress to ram through Obamacare -- hardly an accomplishment. It is fortunate that Barack Obama is a man of so little accomplishment, because he is a man of dangerous and destructive ideas. Now that he has to function as an actual President with a functional opposition party -- no accomplishment.

Second, the term "community organizer", like so many terms of doublespeak -- means exactly the opposite of what it says. An organized community is a functional community -- where people have jobs, houses, stable families, civic organizations, good race relations, shared values. The job of the "community organizer" is to disrupt and destroy all of those in order to amass political power. Everything Obama has ever touched has turned to disorder. No jobs. Disrupted and wrecked housing market. Broke down families in the black community that so dearly supports him. "Obama for America" style race baiting in place of real civic organizations, overt race baiting (Trayvon could have been his son, White police "acted stupidly" in arresting Gates), polarized values (dividing Americans against each other on gun control and abortion ("God bless Planned Parenthood.")

It's time to retire the term "community organizer" as the doublespeak it is. A "community organizer" does no such thing. Their job is not to organize, but to disorganize and destroy communities. Obama is doing his real job as well as he can. It will be all we can do to run the clock out on his poisonous Presidency without losing the values, organization and community that has always characterized the real United States of America.

CWJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

The 1930s:

24% unemployment
70% drop in trade
46% drop in industrial production.

100,000,000 acres of cropland laid waste by The Dust Bowl

New England Hurricane of 1938 - Category 5, hits land at a 3. Takes 800 lives, 57,000 homes, $4.7 Billion(2010$)

Glad I missed it, but even with all that bad falling around them, they built much of the best stuff the country ever did.




bagoh20 said...

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet or even noticed, but it seems to me that it could be said that in a fair assessment of the facts and with a thoughtful analysis one might come to the conclusion that Obama sucks at his job. There I said it.

Patrick said...

Those were some tough dudes back then Bagoh. These days tough means publicly joining a club that is no longer unpopular.

ed said...

@ DBQ

When it comes to the theme song for Obama's ineffectual Presidency all I can think of is "3 hour tour ....". E.g. Gilligan's Island.

Patrick said...

It would be interesting to have a major contractor bid out the Hoover Dam and compare it with the actual bids from the project. Then we'd have a better idea of the cost of regulations, as well as the potential regulatory benefits - that is at least some of the 112 who died.

Of course you would also have to account for the inevitable environmental lawsuits which would derail the project in its entirety.

Probably would have to put Rachel Maddow in charge.

Patrick said...

Bagoh, your thoughtful analysis, requiring reason and accountability, ignores how he makes us feel.

Patrick said...

I'll shut up now.

bagoh20 said...

"Then we'd have a better idea of the cost of regulations, as well as the potential regulatory benefits - that is at least some of the 112 who died."

I have no doubt that modern safety regulations would have saved some of those lives, but some also would have been saved by modern technological improvements. It would be valuable to analyse which regulations would actually have helped, and which are superfluous, or even dangerous in themselves.

I'm fairly certain that two things are true: 1) much of the regulation is needless or worse, and 2) even after we proved that, we would abandon none of it. If it saves even one life someday maybe in a galaxy far far away we must keep it, and probably expand it.

bagoh20 said...

"Bagoh, your thoughtful analysis, requiring reason and accountability, ignores how he makes us feel."

I know this may seem to put me in a category like a lot of pathetic Bush haters and other leftists, but although I'm a very happy, optimistic person most of the time, Barack Obama epitomizes, and reminds me of much of what does find it's way in to ruin my day on a regular basis, just by knowing he is, in fact, "effectual".

I work many hours, and risk a lot trying to make the lives of people I know better, and he seems to be my worst enemy in nearly all of it. Not people I see and struggle with every day, but distant lawmakers in my state capital, and D.C.. They often in one fell swoop, in the dark of night, wipe out years of work, and progress for people near me. It's hard not to hate the people who do that.

Patrick said...

The worst enemies of the people always seem to be those convinced of their owm righteousness. They will never stop.

Browndog said...

Althouse likes to claim nobody reads her posts when they go awry of reading her mind.

Certain, she was, this blog post was brilliant, and would bring us along to a deeper meaning.

Failure, was to convey it in text.

Again...

Browndog said...

My fear is that Bagoh is a dying breed...

...That there is no one to pass down the knowledge he has acquired...

My worst fear is that he doesn't even deem it worthwhile.....anymore.

I'll take facts, hold the narrative said...

I wonder if at some subconscious level, the President is considering leaving the Presidency if his party effectively loses the Senate in 2014.

His work history does not indicate that he would stay in any job during difficult times. He always seemed to be handed an opportunity (Columbia, Harvard, winning the State Senate seat, winning the Democratic primary and then the general election for the US Senate), and would stay just long enough to get another job. Despite his age, he does not have many years in any single full time job.

With respect to his job experiences and vacation/work schedule after being elected President, he is the first "office temp" POTUS.

Right about now, the itch for a new and easier job must be driving him to distraction.

bagoh20 said...

He'll finish.

And we'll still be here cleaning out the ash trays.

betamax3000 said...

Rabel said...

Think of the possums.

5/1/13, 6:02 PM

I have been thinking about the possums since this post.

Dirty, sexy, lazy, beautiful possums.

betamax3000 said...

Blogger bagoh20 said...
"And we'll still be here cleaning out the ash trays."

The best part of Vodka and Candy Cigarettes: you can lick the ashtray clean and Enjoy it.

betamax3000 said...

Are Women's Panties the Astray of Life?




Ask a Nesting Possum.

Mark said...

Right about now, the itch for a new and easier job must be driving him to distraction.

Except there's no other job in the world that would let him take over the televisions of the United States on a whim, or let him blow someone up from a drone when he felt like working out some tension.

I could see him committing suicide if things spun way out of control, but not resigning.

Mark said...

And lets face it, being President Obama doesn't require a lot of work if you don't give a fuck. And there's unlimited golf.

El Pollo Real said...

Mark wrote: Except there's no other job in the world that would let him take over the televisions of the United States on a whim, or let him blow someone up from a drone when he felt like working out some tension.

Get real.

Sec. Gen. of the UN? Hello! They already love him there. And the Moonie guy is a non-rock star. BHO could even pretend he's more Kenyan than ever if they didn't want an American leading them (but I suspect they would like his brand of America).

The role is perfectly suited for him. The only obstacle in 2017 would be a Clinton who'd probably also like the gig.

Face it, Barack Obama will be in our faces for the next 20 to 30 years, minimum.

Mark said...

If he resigns, the Americans who idolize him won't forgive him, and everyone else would brand him as a loser. Yes, he'd be in our faces for 20+ years but as a laughingstock to most.

He ain't quitting until they rip that putter and that drone kill-button out of his hands.

furious_a said...

It would be interesting to have a major contractor bid out the Hoover Dam and compare it with the actual bids from the project.

The Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge -- they'd never get built today.

furious_a said...

People who complain that it took more than 10 years have no idea about the complexity of the forensic and recovery operations...

How long did it take to build the original WTC?

wyo sis said...

I can't see him committing suicide. He has too much self-regard to do that. Besides he doesn't have to. He can just go play, give a speech here and there and let the liberal machine work.
That's essentially what he's done so far, but now he can drop the pretense of caring because he's been reelected. He doesn't really care about a Democrat congress except as much as his handlers tell him to. The political careers of other Democrats don't seem to concern him, except as rivals. He's a figurehead and he's good at it by virtue of his genetics and temperament. Anything more is too much work.

damikesc said...

Indeed. Fascists hid their tracks well though, making it appear they were a right wing movement, by imprisoning communists, intellectuals, union leaders, etc.

They imprisoned competition on their Left before attacking the Right. A revolutionary strategy. The FIRST targets of the violent Left here in the 1960's were the more moderate Lefties. They didn't target the Right initially.

damikesc said...

Let's go ahead and clarify.

NAZIS were Socialists who believed in control by the nation.

COMMUNISTS were Socialists who believed in control by Moscow.

Any Socialist group who didn't support Moscow running their government became "fascistic" by default...evne though they had virtually identical programs as Moscow.

Marshal said...

Alex said...
Republicans of the past supported the Highway bill:

History of Eisenhower's National highway program

No way today's foaming-at-the-mouth GOP would vote for anything so valuable.


Apparently Alex didn't read his own article which says in part:

The main controversy involved the apportionment of the funds. Heavily populated States and urban areas wanted population to be the main factor, while other States preferred land area and distance as factors. The 1954 bill authorized $175 million for the interstate system, to be used on a 60-40 matching ratio.

If the main controversy was how to apportion financing the issue of whether it was acceptable for government to

His assertion that the GOP would never support highways remains not only unsupported but counter to all available evidence since literally no GOP budget has advocated eliminating funding for highways. At most there is an disagreement about which level of government should be responsible for what, which is a perfectly reasonable area of debate.

If the GOP were as bad as their critics like to pretend those critics wouldn't have to invent bizarre theories as evidence.

Editor said...

For the sake of the common good, genuine leaders do not demonize or alienate those who dare to disagree with them. That is Obama's forte. He comes across like a snotty, condescending adolescent who's convinced himself of the delusion that he, and he alone, has the solution to every imaginable problem. He equivocates, he makes promises he has no intention of following through on, he exploits tragedy for political gain, he plays the violated victim, and he lies. Obama is no leader, nor, sadly could ever be. It just desn't pack the gear.

Editor said...

For the sake of the common good, genuine leaders do not demonize or alienate those who dare to disagree with them. That is Obama's forte. He comes across like a snotty, condescending adolescent who's convinced himself of the delusion that he, and he alone, has the solution to every imaginable problem. He equivocates, he makes promises he has no intention of following through on, he exploits tragedy for political gain, he plays the violated victim, and he lies. Obama is no leader, nor, sadly could ever be. It just desn't pack the gear.

Rocky2 said...

Government-Approved Illegals !

Speaking of illegals, the government hasn't built the border fence high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who want to take away our freedoms.
Yes, the government hasn't built the White House fence high enough to keep out the un-American criminals who somehow got into the White House and who are now working hard to take away the religious, social, and economic freedoms of true American patriots!
Here are two slogans that Obama would rather not think about: "Unborn babies should have the right to keep and bear arms - and legs and ears and eyes, etc.!" and "Unborn babies should have the same right to be born alive that abortionists had!"
If Obama should ever happen to Google "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right," do you think he would feel guilty merely walking in the hallowed halls of that House where true Americans walked?
Is it safe to assume that Mecca Wafers are Obama's favorite candy? And is barack-coli a vegetable or a disease?

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