So, today I noticed that Rob Kall, the proprietor at OpEdNews somehow got headlined with a diatribe against President Barack Obama, including within certain prognostications that are based on his own distemper with the White House. Since I have been asked to participate more over at OpEdNews I kicked myself around the block here, because had I taken him up on the offer, I might have dissuaded him from writing such a tendentious and (as I have alluded) distempered blog.
First, the notion that everything that goes wrong in the country is attributable to the President is juvenile thinking, perhaps infantile! Second, the list of "abuses and ignored opportunties" by Obama turn out to be extremely complex situations for which there are no (none whatsoever) easy answers in terms of national policy and national politics. The failure to close Guantanamo detention facility, for instance, leaves the President with the unsavory political choice of lodging the inmates domestically, say in an unused Illinois prison, a decision that would immediately bring in the press to ponder the likelihood of terrorism emanating from within the prison via whatever means they could manufacture in the editors's offices. Or, he could let the inmates go and be assured that they will (thanks to Cheney and Bush locking them up in the first place) go on in life to become major martyrs and terrorists in their own right.
But, Rob Kall in his tantrum forgets that what Barack Obama sees is not Rob Kall's agenda, but instead what his Chief of Staff calls a sh*t PIE inherited from the previous occupants of the West Wing ... and the East Wing, btw. It should not be lost in passing that the Chief of Staff is a large percentage of the problem and must go soon. It is alleged that this is already underway. Obama would do himself and the nation a huge favor by expediting the removal of Rahm Emanuel and his stultifying effect on the rest of the staff. Leo McGarry spins!
What is in the unsavory pie is an economic situation that cannot be described in full for the simple reason that if the White House were to do so, panic across the globe would surely ensue. Why panic, because the situation was (and continues to be) the most dangerous economic situation ever encountered by the United States. The economy of America is predicated on the U.S. currency being the "reserve currency" of the world. This gives the United States additional leverage (in the classical non-debt sense), additional cushions for domestic politics to make small errors, and additional responsibilities for guiding and assisting smaller economies. The United States is the largest economy in the world, despite challenges by the EU and China ... and India, Brazil, and combinations thereof. To put it simply, if the U.S. economy tanks ... and it very nearly did ... the world economy tanks and the misery will be endless. That's what's on Obama's plate, but you will see scant reference to it in Rob Kall's diatribe.
Then, of course, there are two political situations in Washington that impinge strongly and painfully on the White House. The Democratic leadership in the the Congress is not strong, certainly not of the calibre that the times demand. Nancy Pelosi is a savvy politician, but she is still very much a woman, and unable to play hardball with the jackasses within her own party and especially those in the Republican Party. The Republicans are the other factor, of course. They decided as a hedge against making any creative mistakes of their own, to object and obstruct everything the Democrats were elected to do. They have lied, cheated, lied, prevaricated, lied, and stood their stupid ground as if the American public were too stupid themselves to notice. With John Boehner appearing in the nightly news with various new shades of tan on his perplexed face, the Republicans have gotten a pass from newspapers and television critics alike, as if the "fair and balanced reporting" doctrine required the press to find something ... anything ... to say nice about a bunch of obstructionist morons! Give us a break!
The answer to Rob Kall is obvious. Democrats, whether they be conservative or progressive must understand that the President and his staff are not being deliberately aloof, nor are they thumbing their noses at bloggers scattered around the internet or the people who read these blogs and make their comments on them. The President is guiding the ship of state through extremely dangerous waters and, frankly, tempests in the teapots of the internet really go a short way toward making the situation worse. They are not important comments, but they set up a background of distrust and ill-will, that could just as easily have been a conscientious understanding of the big picture.