President Obama's Apparent "Fiscal Cliff" strategy is the latest example of how clever political tactics are pushing conservative principles over the edge.
"I honestly believe that God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes" -- the late Robert Novak, conservative syndicated columnist.
I once had a good friend named Cliff. He's gone now, having passed away a few years ago. So, with all the talk of late about a fiscal cliff, quite naturally my old friend has been on my mind a bit more than usual over the past week or so. One of the things I recall about him was how often he would express the notion that "game recognizes game." It implies that anyone who's got "it" -- an unusually high level of musical skill, for example -- would, on sight, instantly recognize others who share the same skill level.
Today, I'm wondering how Cliff would have felt about a condition which defines the flip side of this notion: the " Dunning-Kruger Effect ." It describes those who are incapable of recognizing mastery and technique in others because of an inability to recognize the magnitude of what they themselves don't know.
Knowing Cliff, he perhaps would have simply called it the "Goober Effect." But whatever it may be called, it's a condition that seems to have gripped President Obama's legislative opponents over the past four years. After all, in politics deft demonstrations of political savvy are nothing new. But the way Obama has been legislatively pimp-slapping his GOP opponents over the past four years is nothing nice. We're told that politics is a science. If that's so, then where have the GOP's political atom-splitters been holed up during Obama's first term? How many more ways can the president politically outfox his adversaries? And how many more times will his opponents consent to chump themselves by playing Charlie Brown as the president plays "Lucy" with the political football?
Now, in any mix of varied sorts, I'm neither the most keen-eyed nor sharpest wit; but I'm smart enough to recognize ignorance when I see it. And from where I see it, the GOP has suffered greatly from its inability to "recognize game" in the context of the president's political savvy and therefore refused to accept the possibility that a "community organizer" might be capable of repeatedly outsmarting their Party's seasoned politicos. And the outcome of this has been a domino effect of conservative cultural setbacks being bowled over in tandem with a changing American social/cultural landscape.