Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   4 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Is this Obama's 'Bring-it-Home,' Unplugged Moment?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 4/19/11

Become a Fan
  (26 fans)
- Advertisement -

 
Obama Enraged by Breen, San Diego Tribune

While George Lakoff declares "all politics is moral" -- a pageant of values in action -- the great paradox is great politicians need not be especially moral or law-abiding or compassionate.  LBJ comes to mind, renowned for high-handed, rough talk, hardnosed deal-making, and the bloodbath that was Vietnam. My hero, FDR, dishonored himself and America when abusing the rights of law-abiding citizens with the racist internment of Japanese-American.  And sometimes, he was untruthful.

Sure, LBJ had moral principles, like any Texas wheeler-dealer, old-style Democrat desperate for a legacy -- to win big, dominate his era, and be adored by millions.  Of course that was long before Texas went goofy, practicing its own spiritual secession from the rest of America.  Last week, Texas upped its speed limit to 85 mph, bespeaking its out-of-touch, sheik-enriching, gas guzzling mentality.  

Once upon a time, appealing politicians needed moral character but not since Nixon, Clinton, W. and Gingrich came along.  Indeed, fussing over a politician's inner motivation, even sincerity -- is usually a fool's errand, similar to misusing words like good or evil for amoral pragmatists.  Politicians should be judged by success, overcoming unexpected, dire events, and whether you agree with their achievements. Election winners, as history shows, are no more -- or less -- moral than lawyers, doctors, plumbers or real estate brokers. 

Focus on Known Knowns

Thus let's put aside that which we will never know about politicians (or most high fliers) -- ultimate intentions -- and stick to empirical behavior, like decisions or speeches or battle lines.  Look at the utter wasteland when authoritarians divide the world between "good Christians" (or good Muslims) vs. "traitorous, enemy evil-doers." Talking of overmoralizing, it's laughable how Birthers blame not only our feckless president for not getting born in Hawaii but impugn his parents for blowing the obvious cover-up -- making them immoral and dumb.

Admirable politicians answer only to one standard: to advance the greatest, long-term good for the greatest number, here serving our greatest American value: socio-economic mobility.  That mandates good public education, lack of discrimination, public health care -- and access to capital.  Certainly, overt immorality impedes good politicians from progressive gains (Clinton for one), and flagrant lying usually obscures cataclysm (LBJ, Nixon, or W. the fabricated "war president").  Notably, the private Obama (and top staff) have escaped scandals over sex, money, or indictable influence peddling.  What if Obama boasts moral family values, he's a bust so far as a liberal president, increasingly as any kind of president.  Nice guys make dreadful negotiators-in-chief.

In this light -- let's unpack not his inscrutable (in)sincerity or imagined motivation but last week's scandalous headline, "Obama Unplugged," regarding an offstage brouhaha from our presidential Sphinx.  "You want to repeal health care?" Obama taunted Republicans into a mic he didn't know was live: "Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'"

- Advertisement -

A Powerhouse of Timidity 

Is this considered embarrassing, wild-eyed repartee by this White House?   Well, first off, "Go at it" doesn't approach W.'s punchy, if cliched bellicosity, "Bring it on."  That costly braggadocio committed the entire U.S. Armed Forces globally, for a decade, against ill-equipped, cave-dwelling terrorists.  Really, for W.'s dumb gut, how many months and smart bombs could it take to wipe them all out?  Of course, W. often flashed anger, incited his base, and smilingly excoriated critics as traitorous criminals.  Perhaps if like W. Obama heard God's voice, he'd have the moral certainty of Bush's Old-Testament prophet voice.

In any case, whether Republicans deem the president "stupid" (or worse in private, smart as monkeys go) pales next to their winner-take-all, over the top rhetoric.  Their issue isn't Obama's brain but how much abuse they can wreak on this presidential punching bag before the tactic boomerangs. I myself hesitate asking smirking, disagreeable Republicans, full of eye-rolling, pre-digested talking points, whether they think me stupid.  Or maniacal Obama defenders, for that matter.   Does Obama not realize he loses just by asking the question?

Then, drumroll please, we hear Obama's great threat, re health insurance reform: "Put it in a separate bill," the president blasted Speaker Boehner,  "We'll call it up. And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it."  Well, other than restating the Constitution, where's the terrible ferocity here -- what's unplugged about invoking your veto power?  Is this some special White House gamesmanship we've all missing, too subtle by half?

Something's Not on the Level

- Advertisement -

And then Obama struck the coup de grace, with piercing words for a guy he'd just praised after the budget deal, "When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure he's just being America's accountant . . . This is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill -- but wasn't paid for . . . So it's not on the level."

"On the level"?  "America's accountant?"  Tough talk.  That's your most forceful, unplugged shot, Mr. President -- Ryan's monotonous voting record? Why not at least call Ryan a major league hypocrite -- or a moral or intellectual contradiction?  Why not depict Ryan as a deceptive, calculating ideologue who disrespects fact and history, with mountains of evidence disproving the divinely-ordained GOP mantra -- tax breaks to the richest fuel job growth?

If this is Obama unplugged, I'd like to see him wild and crazy.  I'd like to see him fierce, just once flowing with audacity he once celebrated.  But there I go again, a complaining, whining progressive who's happier when feeling betrayed, stuck thinking Obama's a boob or betrayer or wimp.  Okay, let's try this again, one final positive shot to show my eternal good faith:

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92. From '92-02 he did marketing (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Summer in the GOP Asylum: "Who are these guys?"

Trickle-down Gulf Wreck-onomics

"Apocalypse Now' Vogue Engulfs Chicken Littles

Moses Kaput -- Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy

"God Particle' Refudiates the Religious Right

Deadline Looms To Fund Critical Ocean Plastic-Trash Film

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

but when the object of constant GOP attacks, how a... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 11:34:31 AM
Well said. Frankly, I'm done being abused by the c... by intotheabyss on Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 5:40:00 PM
Your article, while well written, proceeds from th... by Peter Winkler on Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011 at 9:41:45 PM
and quacks like a duck... it's an Oh-bomb-ah.... by GLloyd Rowsey on Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011 at 6:17:27 AM