“…the Senate demonstrated that President Obama surely is the most incompetent if not counterproductive deal-maker in an era that requires a good one…In the future, why bother asking Obama about his views? He excels only at annoying the other side.” [Jennifer Rubin, “McConnell and Biden to the rescue; the grandstanders holler”, WashingtonPost.com, 1/1/2013]
This evaluation is true, but why?
Partisan opponents would attribute it to our President being an unflinching ideologue. However, Obama has proven himself to be a pragmatist, which should not be confused with a complement. In fact, there has been a substantial continuity of policies from the Bush to the Obama Administrations, especially on issues that Obama rhetorically attacked while campaigning. Obama’s repeated legislative embrace of the Bush tax cuts, including most recently, provides an obvious timely example.
Clearly, President Obama has demonstrated by his conduct in office that he is a congenital backbencher who is unfit to lead, which would account for his emasculate pledge to lead from behind and his obsequious bowing to foreign potentates. Beyond his temperament, he is too inexperienced to have an informed judgment on policy. While he can be led like a donkey to effective policies by strong leaders (such as those from the Pentagon) armed with facts from reality, Obama can just as easily be led astray into inane policy positions, see his recent push for more federal gun control legislation as the finances of our country disintegrate around us.
How can the Democratic Party save itself from its poor choice as a standard bearer in light of his lame duck performances?
- Replace Democratic leadership in the House and Senate to demote what LBJ would call the “red hots”;
- Get some grownups with experience on the White House staff to better advise the President; and
- Limit the scope of Obama’s policy portfolio when he speaks as the congressional spokesmodel.
What does this mean for the average citizen? We don’t really have a President anymore; Obama sits in the chair and pretends, but that is not the same thing.
As President, Obama is the Wiz; not as in an accomplished achieving individual of insight, but as in the feckless pretender played by Richard Pryor in the classic Motown film The Wiz.
In light of this abdication, instead of venting your spleen at the incompetent President selected by the American electorate, consider the importance, and accessibility and accountability, of your representative and senators. Have you spoken with them about solving the problems in this country which were created by Congress?
Regarding contacting your congressmen, with what issue should you start? Instead of a cornucopia of small precise concretes, try addressing the broader principles. An unprincipled disagreement over small differences amounts to conceding the erroneous premise, see all recent disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over marginal differences. For particular objectives related to key issues that will be addressed this year, see the Selfish Citizenship post on legislative resolutions for the New Year.
Extra Point: “A Brand New Day” in The Wiz is the response to the defeat of Evilene (a.k.a. former Speaker Nancy Pelosi). The lyrics written by Luther Vandross include:
It’s such a change
For us to live so independently
Freedom, you see, has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself to check it out
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
Can’t you feel a brand new day?
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